The First Day of Blogmas - An A to Z trip around my bookshelves. Part One.
Hello! Hi there, I'm Liam. This is my very first book blog post, and I've decided to kick this blog off on the 1st December with the slightly crazy idea of doing Blogmas. So my plan is to do a post every day between now and Christmas Eve. Over the month, I'm hoping to use this as an opportunity to develop my blog, make it look pretty, establish some themes, that kind of thing, and head into the new year with a much clearer plan for what I'll be doing forward.
In other words, over the next 24 days I'll be throwing everything in here I can think of, and then I'll see what works and what doesn't. Feedback is going to be really important for that, so please let me know what you like, what you don't like. What works and what doesn't, from the big stuff to the little tweaks.
I know some amazing book bloggers out there, so I'm really hoping for some good tips.
An A to Z Trip Around My Bookshelves.
Once I'd decided that I was definitely going to start this blog, I went to the lovely Aimee-Louise, who blogs over at summerreadsmoonlightdreams.wordpress.com, for an idea for my first post. Her suggestion was an A to Z of books. It sounded absolutely perfect, so thanks Aimee!
It gives me a good framework to work off, it's a challenge, and I love a challenge, and it should give you a pretty good idea of my reading habits, which are varied. I'll split it into two parts though, so come back tomorrow for the second installment.
So here we go:
A is for American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Ancient Norse Gods and their friends fight for relevance in modern day America.This book's got everything in it, fantasy, horror, crime, mythology. It's variously funny and tragic and is thoroughly exciting. Neil seems to be able to write just about anything, but this remains my favourite of his books.
B is for Birds in Northumbria When I'm not reading or baking, I'm usually out birding. It's been one of my overriding passions for the last four years or so. I've got a shelf full of bird books and insect guides, and this just had to be represented. This little book is a record of all the bird sightings in Northumberland in 2015, so one for the enthusiasts.
C is for A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin. The sequel to Game of Thrones, I'm sure I don't need to tell you what this is about. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series. It's one of the great fantasy epics. Now if only he would finish it!
D is for A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab. Magic, mystery and multiple Londons. I've only recently started reading Victoria's novels, starting with this one, and I immediately fell in love with her characters and her world building. This is a thrilling book that I read straight through in a day because I just couldn't put it down.
E is for The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. The first book in the Wheel of Time series, possibly the greatest fantasy series I've read. Magic and war meets political intrigue with a whole host of fantastic villains and some amazing young heroes.
F is for The Fandom by Anna Day. Four teens are thrown into a world from their favourite film and book franchise, this debut novel takes a refreshing look at a number of familiar YA tropes and has a lot of fun with them. This book is being published in January, but I was lucky enough to get an ARC signed by Anna.
G is for Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Two of my favourite authors taking a humorous look at religion, witchcraft, prophecy and the end of the world. If you haven't read this, read it now before the BBC TV series starts. It's brilliant.
H is for The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll. A long, humorous poem about an expedition by sea to hunt for a strange creature. People have searched for years for some kind of meaning in this poem. Lewis Carroll himself said that he didn't know what it meant, but that didn't mean that it didn't have a deeper meaning. Personally I just love the way it sounds read aloud, and the various monsters. This copy is illustrated beautifully by Chris Riddell.
I is for I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan. Lucifer is given a deal by God, spend a month living a virtuous life in the body of a failed writer and he can come back to Heaven. Lucifer accepts, and then decides to have a month's holiday in human form. This is a wickedly funny and clever novel.
J is for Jingo by Terry Pratchett. I absolutely adore Sir Terry. I was lucky enough to meet him twice on signing tours, and he was the first writer to really get me excited about reading and collecting books. This particular entry into the Discworld series is highly relevant right now, for its themes of casual racism and flag-waving patriotism, all told with his customary blend of humour, cynicism and compassion.
K is for Kisscut by Karin Slaughter. I don't read a lot of modern crime fiction, but I do enjoy Karin's novels. They are pretty brutal in places, but her characters are really engaging and there are some real shocks thrown in too.
L is for Labyrinth by Jorges Luis Borges. This is a collection of amazing short stories. The inventiveness that Jorges shows with his concepts is remarkable. The Library of Babel is one of my favourites in this book, a library that doesn't just contain every book ever written, but every book that could ever be written.
M is for Murder Trials by Cicero. I read Ancient History and Archaeology at university, and wrote my dissertation on Cicero. This collection of speeches he gave as a lawyer show what a brilliant orator he was and what a clever mind he had.
N is for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. More magic. This time it's a competition of sorts between two magicians with very different styles of magic, all set in a mysterious travelling circus. This novel is mysterious and beautiful, and the way Erin describes the different parts of the circus really brings it to life.
Right, that's all for today. I'll be talking about O to Z in tomorrow's blog post.
Please let me know what you think, either by commenting below or by contacting me on Twitter at @notsotweets