Late November 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

A round-up of November’s blog events plus what’s happening this month.

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Reading in bed
Image from Pexels.com

I’ve struggled to get online the past few days, right after blogging about free ARCs my internet’s been sketchy at letting me back online to post more, so apologies for this being late!

Before I begin this post though I’d like to clarify something about my previous post  Free Books/ARCs Help the Publishing Industry so Stop Complaining!  I explained the value of free books and ARCs to the publishing industry but part of the post was taken up with comments (some great comments by the way) which focused on the negative aspect of free books.  This sparked a lot of interesting discussion and thoughts turned not only to the benefits of free books but the negative aspects of piracy among other things.  This is something I’d love to write more about soon and I’ll be doing so as soon as I can.  Thank you all for your thoughts on this subject, it’s great when a blog post you write gets so much interest and discussion back, and a special thank you to everyone who shared the post and followed my blog too thank you 🙂 ❤

November…

November was a fun/not fun month for me.  It was my birthday in the middle of the month (thank you for all the well wishes everyone!) and although this was a happy time, it was spoilt by the fact I developed a horrible virus which left me feeling wiped out physically and very tired, a virus I’m still in the recovery stages of (although don’t worry, it is nothing serious thankfully 🙂 )  So onto November’s highlights:

user satisfactionNovember’s most popular post: Free Books/ARCs Help the Publishing Industry so Stop Complaining! was only published on the last day and has been viewed so many times it’s the second most viewed post on this blog after What Makes A Book Young Adult / YA Versus Just Adult?, with over 100 views already and counting! 😀  Please check out the post if you haven’t already and leave your thoughts on the subject.

The second most popular post on this blog was surprisingly a photography on the subject of ‘temporary’featuring berries!  If you enjoy looking at photographs or just want to see what all the fuss is about then please do check out this post by clicking to see it 🙂  PhotoChallenge: Fragile Berries 

Faint View MPBooks
Image © My Peacock Books
mypeacockbooks.wordpress.com

The third most popular post was a book review of a simple yet interestingly surreal picturebook called Piggybook by Anthony Browne  and just edged ahead of my only poetry post of the month Distant Sun (pictured) which is a very short poem and not my usual style.


 

Plans for December…

So onto next month and what is in store for this blog in December?  Well I finally feel I’ve gained back my ability to write and with my last post being so well received I plan to write a lot more, it also helps that I’ve cleared a heavy backlog of book reviews by posting them almost every day in November.  I still have some reviews to share but there will definitely be a lot more other content too.

Goodreads 2017 challengeI fear my own Goodreads reading challenge to read 60 books in 2017 will be left unfinished :/  I read over 50 books last year but this year I’ve taken a lot more time off reading and read some longer books too which meant I didn’t read as many, plus I’ve had far more freedom to add different content to this blog so I’ve been focusing more on other projects and not just books to read and review.   I think I’ll set a new target next year, a little lower, but has anyone else ever failed their reading challenge?  Anyone going to accomplish it this year?

Tomorrow’s blog post will be a book review, the book review, of Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki which got the unpleasant comment and unhelpful vote on amazon (which by the way threw my amazon ranking down about 40 places 😮 😦 )  I would never solicit positive votes from anyone as I value my own integrity as a reviewer but if you ever enjoyed any of my reviews (or that of any other reviewers) and happened to find them on amazon UK or Goodreads you can always let us know by way of clicking ‘helpful’ or ‘like’ 😉

Also, expect lots of Christmassy stuff happening this month and more articles/discussion posts on various subjects, as well as me sorting out my social media which on some channels (Pinterest, StumbleUpon, etc.) has been a little slow and stagnant 🙂

Hope you all had a great November!  What are your plans for the coming month?  Anyone looking forward to this month?


By the way, anyone notice the snow on my blog?  Like it or does it slow down the loading of the blog? Please let me know 🙂  You can also follow me in these places: 

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The Gremlins in my Head #MPBooks

How does a simple illness mess with your mind and mental health?

Cat covering eyes
Image from Pixabay.com

For most of yesterday I’ve been feeling like the cat in the picture.  I’ve had a splitting headache, found it hard to function and am struggling hard to shut out thoughts of guilt and sadness which have plagued me since I started coming down with something a few days ago.

I don’t like to admit I’m not feeling good, but the truth is that although the last few days of last week I’d been feeling positive, I started to come down with something and it seems relentless in wanting to put me on bed rest.  I feel like I’ve got a sleeping sickness, I’m just so tired all the time and when I sleep, which has been for most of the last two days, I don’t feel refreshed at all 😦

Though I suspect (and hope) that all I’ve come down with is a nasty virus or similar, it’s the negative impact on my mood that’s really worried me.  I try to keep myself cheerful and upbeat, in fact I want to feel positive, but something inside, almost like a disconnected thing is trying to bring my mood down and bring in all these horrible negative thoughts which ultimately plunge me into depression.

Sometimes it’s been so easy for me in the past to give in to these thoughts, to embrace the pain and horrible feeling they give me of guilt and upset.  It’s been so easy to give up, to let go, to enter that dark realm of dark thoughts that spiral me ever further into a place I can’t crawl back from.  It’s a place, a realm, I’ve sometimes been almost eager to enter, not happy with my own life, my own existence, I’ve found it hard to even want to grab the sides of the long dark pit and crawl out.

But despite that horrid darkness, I stop.  I stop myself going there again.

It doesn’t always work out this way, of course, sometimes I relish being in that realm and enjoy breathing in the mind-choking air, but now I’m discovering I’m stronger than I think.  I can resist the urge to fall into that dark pit, or at the least I hover past its entrance, look down and fight that will to put myself there, to accept that I have to feel that way just because everything in my life seems to want me to.

Today, although I still feel ill and an incredible guilt is filling me for not being able to keep up my personal commitment to check in with all you wonderful people and your blogs, I still resist the urge to get fully depressed.  It’s almost like I’m fighting myself and the happy me is winning this battle.  I refuse to let the depression take hold, to let it throw me into that pit, to make me resist the urge to leave.  Today I am okay.

Does this mean it’s not possible to become depressed like that again?  No.  It just means that today, I’m coping better than I used to with this thing, and I’m determined to not let it control me.


Well I went off-topic here, waaay off-topic and wrote something from the heart based on my emotions and how I’m feeling today.  I am still feeling ill and this post was a real depiction of how I feel and became far more raw than I thought it would be.  I’ll be posting up a lot of book review posts the coming days which I’ve prepared so I can sleep off this (hopefully a virus) thing.  
  Inspired by the daily prompt: Gremlins


Please let me know any of your thoughts you have on this post, I’d love to hear from you (though I might need time to reply as I may be asleep) 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#PhotoChallenge: Fragile Berries #Photography #Photo #MPBooks

An image that evokes ‘temporary’ on the day that is temporary to me – my birthday!

Berries
Fragile berries – Image © My Peacock Books
mypeacockbooks.wordpress.com

Well I’m lazy today.  It IS my birthday but I took the day off and didn’t have anything prepared for my birthday blog post 😮  So I thought I’d post a quick image I took which to me fits this week’s photo challenge: Temporary.  To me berries and summer fruits are very temporary and as you can see from the photo these ones are already beginning to dry up.  I’m also aware that birthdays are temporary, as they come and go only once a year 🙂 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂 😀

I’ll be back online later but I’m taking the morning off, hope you are all well and thank you all for the birthday wishes I’ve already received 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤


Do these berries speak ‘temporary’ to you?  What in your mind is temporary?  Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also follow me in these places: 

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October 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

A round-up of October plus plans for November (including a special date) 🙂

Picture of reading in bed
Image from Pexels.com

October was a mixture of good and bad.  Though mostly good I did suffer a rather horrible bout of migraines which left me unable to use anything with screens, like my laptop, phone and e-reader as looking at screens just made the headaches worse.  I think my attempt at reading one of my backlog of NetGalley books (‘Unstoppable: My Life So Far’ by Maria Sharapova) probably made the bout all the worse as I tried to push through and finish reading it so I could review, rather than put it down and listen to my body.  The book is an interesting read for anyone interested in Maria Sharapova or women’s tennis and please take a look at it if you want to by clicking on the link above or any other links in this post (all links open in new tabs).

My Peacock Books Alternate Banner for non wide screen viewDespite the bad I’ve had a lot of good happen this month, with a wide mixture of posts and I tried to do two new things on the blog! :)  Firstly the most popular post of the month was a short discussion post which led to a lot of conversations.  What is Your Trademark? got some great shares online and it was a fun post to discuss what makes our blogs unique.

Pedestrian Pigeons

My second most popular post was a simple photograph.  It was also my first attempt at joining in the weekly photo challenge on wordpress.  It was a lot of fun and I hope you like both this post called Pedestrian Pigeons as well as another photo I’m proud of called Boat vs Swan – just try to find the swan 😉

Pet Show LizardTwo light-hearted poems made it as the 3rd and 4th most popular posts, I don’t think I wrote a dark poem this month.   Elastic Skin was a fun poem I really enjoyed writing and I even used my own photo I’d taken at a Pet Show of this interesting gentleman.  The other popular post was a motivational one called Be Grateful which I hope everyone will enjoy taking the time to read as it holds a good message (which I need to remind myself of sometimes!)


The Great Catsby book coverMy book reviews only netted an average view this month, the only stand out review that got more hits than any others was The Great Catsby, an interesting cat version of the classic book.  It’s worth a look at as it’s also a picture book and the images alone are really fun to look at!

This month I gave another book the special ‘Phoenix the Peacock’s Favourite’s Stamp’! This favourites award only goes to what I consider to be the very best ever books:Image of Phoenix the Peacock's favourite stampThere are so many amazing books but I’m very picky about who gets the stamp and so far only two books have received it (this one included).    The Dollmaker of Krakow book coverThe amazing book I deemed worthy is The Dollmaker of Kraków an amazing historical fiction novel with a touch of magical fantasy which makes for heart-warming and heart-wrenching reading.  Although it’s aimed at children, being a middle grade (older children’s) book, it’s very much a book that could be read by any age and isn’t afraid of tackling a difficult subject in Europe’s history: The Holocaust.  It’s a book I’d recommend every single person read, and with Christmas being part of the plot it would make a good Christmas present – the ending being ultimately a positive one.  I’ve now added pictures to the post so if you didn’t see them the first time please take a quick look as the illustrations in side are just beautiful!


Scared Eye

I was brave enough to try my hand at flash fiction this month and more importantly had the courage (or craziness) to publish it here!  Her Presence is only around 300 words long and is a special story for Halloween.  It’s not so much spooky as strange or maybe even silly but I hope you enjoy it.  This was my first ever attempt at such a short story as I’m more used to writing much longer and more descriptive text (as if that wasn’t obvious from the length of my blog posts!)  Let me know what you think 🙂


So what’s in store for November?  Well it’s my birthday right in the middle, on the 13th.  I expect lots of well wishes and cake 😉  I am hoping to do something on this blog for my birthday but I’m not sure if I’ll get anything done.

book pile
Image from Pixabay.com

My tbr pile is very, very long at the moment.  I’ve got a backlog of a lot of books and I’m determined to review as many of these as I can by the end of the year (or by Christmas).  I was considering doing a reading challenge (I’ve given up on reaching my Goodreads goal of 60 books) to push myself but I checked out a couple of them and didn’t like the options.  I then considered creating my own challenge!  Madness or genius?  I can’t yet decide but what do you think?  Do any of you do any reading challenges?

I’m also planning to write some more articles and discussion posts.  Now I know I say that every month but I really have a drive to write about something specific, and you’ll find out what that is this month.

So that’s my October and plans for November?  What are yours?


How was your October?  Did you celebrate Halloween?  Did you read all the books you wanted?  What do you plan to do or read in November?  Let’s chat, I’d love to hear from you 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookHaul: Bookbridgr October 2017 & A Personal Update #MPBooks

A fun book haul and an update on some problems I’ve been having.

Hi everyone.  I’ve got some fun post from bookbridgr recently, a book that may not be to everyone’s tastes but it is to mine.  I also have a bit of an update about myself.  I’m afraid I’ve not been well lately.  I’ve been battling migraines for the last week and a half and I am sill getting headaches although the severity isn’t as bad as it was a few days ago.  The migraines got so bad that I’ve been nauseous and vomiting.  😦

Sick Pug
How I feel when I have a headache! – Image from Pixabay.com

There’s noting wrong with me, at least nothing serious but all the headaches really limit my ability to read anything digital.  This doesn’t just include digital books but I’m also not having an easy time reading anything online including blogs and writing reviews (as they of course involve screen watching and reading back what I’ve written).  I’ve bought some anti-blue screen glasses which make it a little easier to read but screen time has still been hard and at time painful.  I’ll hopefully be okay soon I just wanted to apologise to everyone for not visiting too many blogs recently and for being behind in answering messages and emails.

I do want to share with you guys some more different stuff I had planned to write for this blog, I just hope people will still want to visit when I finally get these posts written.  For now though a quick book haul post of a book connected with a television show:

The Crystal Maze Challenge
Hardback book with glossy pages filled with fun games and pics! 😀

The Crystal Maze Challenge – The Crystal Maze is back and there’s no place like dome.  Packed full of over 100 new games, mind benders and riddles, with this book you can now play the ultimate game show in the playground of your own home. Join ranks with family and friends as you travel through the four iconic zones – Aztec, Industrial, Future and Medieval – guided by Maze Master Richard Ayoade. Some games are quick, so you can have a spontaneous game if you fancy, whilst others require a bit more preparation but they can all be played with household items!  Test your skill, mental and physical abilities as you try to leap around your living room without touching the floor, solve puzzles and brainteasers, and complete treasure hunts around the house, all the while trying to win the crystals before heading to The Crystal Dome … and remembering not to leave anyone locked in any cupboards!  The Crystal Maze is ready and waiting … will you start the fans please!


So, am I the only one who’s a fan of The Crystal Maze?  Have you ever watched the show either now or in the past?  Please let me know I’d love to hear from you.  You can also find me in these places: 

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A September 2017 Late Round-up #MPBooks

Image from Pexels.com

A round-up of September is not going to feature much this month as I had a little blip and didn’t do as much as I had wanted to on this blog.  I actually forgot about doing a round-up post at all until today! lol  But I wanted to wrap up the month by showing you which posts were the most popular as well as give anyone who hasn’t seen some of my previous posts  the chance to catch up.

There were three top posts this month but by far the most popular is one I put out recently which was for a classic book with a feline twist.

Romeow and Juliet book coverRomeow & Juliet is a fun picture book for any ages based on the classic play ‘Romeo & Juliet’, however the entire book features cats rather than humans and the illustrations are simply stunning!  The review has had a lot of shares on the web so well worth looking at if you have time.

 

Peacock hello

The second most popular blog post was my little post about my return after taking a break from the blog called Hello…Anyone Miss Me?  Oddly my personal post about how I’d been feeling down about my blog and things in general had a lot of views and even shares.  I felt better after having a chat with several people from posting that post and it goes to prove that sharing really is important and helps if you’re ever depressed.

Yuki Means HappinessThe third most popular posts were both a book haul post and another review.  The review is for Yuki Means Happiness a book I found interesting and much darker than it’s blurb or cover would have you believe!  Well worth checking out if you like modern cultural books.

 

My book haul posts have been doing better than expected recently with around the same number of views for both Walker Books September’s book haul post and a new Bookbridgr one featuring those animal inspired classics.  Look out for another book haul post from Walker Books about to come up – this month with new Christmas books and Christmas inspired gifts! 😀

Zonkey

I’d also like to share this month’s poetry which got quite a few views.  I’m afraid I only wrote two poems this month and haven’t had much time or inspiration to write more but hopefully that will change especially with Christmas and Halloween inspiring some fun poetry.  There were two serious poems however, one light and one dark.  The lighthearted poem I do hope you will enjoy, even if it’s just for the picture of a zonkey (check it out!), is Different Is Fine.

crouched in sadness

As usual the dark poetry got more views with Why Did You? featuring a particularly difficult subject that is still a serious problem in our world but that’s considered a little taboo to even talk about.


October’s going to be a far busier month and I have a lot of exciting things to share with you.  I have a new book haul post to share with you this week as well as of course plenty of books I have yet to share from last month’s set.  I’ve decided to try and do something for Halloween at the end of the month, even if it’s as little as a spooky poem.

Pumpkin
Spooky Halloween stuff! – Image from Pixabay.com

As well as poetry and book reviews I hope to share an article or two this month.  I have an article that’s been bugging me, sitting in my drafts for ages and I just need to read back through it and give it a bit of editing before it’s done.

 

Apart from all that I hope to just enjoy getting to know you guys more and visiting as many of you as I can.  I’m not able to constantly be online and visiting blogs is something I can only do every few days rather than everyday, as I’m just too swamped with everything in my offline life at the moment.  The run up to Christmastime is a busy one for me and the next few months look like they’ll be busy for me although I hope you’ll enjoy what I do manage to post out 🙂

I hope you’ll all want to keep reading this blog and the content I put out.  You are the reason I keep enjoying blogging.  I might still blog if I had no audience but it’s so much more rewarding to know others are reading.

So a big thank you to you all for following this blog and I hope you have a great October!

Thank you image
Image from Pixabay.com

Did you have any highlights for September?  What are you looking forward to in October?  Please let me know I’d love to chat with you 🙂  You can also soon find me in these places: 

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