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January 2018 Round-up #MPBooks

Picture of reading in bed
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So the first month of January feels as if it has flown by and I’ve been very busy.  Not only have I managed to post a lot of stuff on my blog and get back to pre-scheduling most posts, but I’ve also been busy in the offline world.  My time with blogging is going to be hampered a little bit though over the next month as I’ll be away for a bit, but I’ll still keep reading (I just can’t help but love reading!) and do my best to not let it look like I’ve disappeared.  To those kind friends who worry, don’t worry, I’m not pushing myself or anything, I have a lot of pre-saved posts all ready to go so you might not even notice I’m gone! lol  In the online world I also have some more exciting news to share but I want to save that until a little later when I’m sure everything’s going well.  So anyway, on to what’s happened in the last month…Read More »

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10 Reasons Why #BookBloggers Refuse to Review Indie Books #MPBooks

Before anyone gets upset by the above title, I’m not having a go at bloggers or trying to upset any indie authors out there. Instead I want to write a post to explore the reasons why book bloggers might refuse to review books, and this is especially the case sometimes with indie titles.

Not all book bloggers refuse to review books, not all book bloggers refuse to review indie books, but sometimes they do. And when a blogger does, there’s no point in being upset, if you’re an author, as there are always reasons behind it.

Below are 10 random reasons, some by own, others I’ve found online, for why bloggers might, and I stress might, refuse to review a book. If you’re an author, especially an indie author, it might be worth reading this, and if you are a book blogger, do you agree?

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#Poetry: The Real Me? #MPBooks

Blank faced woman
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Hello everyone.  I’m afraid I’m a bit behind since New Year with getting out my posts.  They are coming but I’ve been away and so it’s taking longer than planned.  Anyway, just a quick poem for you today.  Please be aware that this is a poem on the darker side, in case you are not a fan of that type.  Enjoy 🙂Read More »

Reading in bed

Late November 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

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 

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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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October 2017 Round-up #MPBooks

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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#BookReview: The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas by Cal King & Sean Bright #MPBooks

The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas book coverTitle: The French Exchange Whale and Other Book Ideas

Author: Cal King

Illustrator: Sean Bright

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks

Genre: Humour, Non-fiction (Joke book)

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Description: It’s said that everyone has a book inside them.  Hapless would-be writer Cal King doesn’t have just one though – he’s bursting with ideas for everything from children’s books to (in his mind) prize-winning novels.  Unfortunately all his ideas are terrible.

Cal was initially hurt when it was suggested he compile his pitches into a collection of ‘ridiculous book ideas’.  But, driven by an all-consuming need for approval, he agreed.  He hopes his ideas will prove to be an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamt of being an author.  His publisher thinks they’ll make you laugh out loud…

My Review:  This book really put a smile on my face and is perfect for anyone wanting a quick laugh. Cal King is bursting with ideas for lots of different books, but the trouble is that none of his ideas are really that good. That didn’t stop him pitching his ideas to a publisher though, and the result is this book!

‘The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas’ is exactly what it’s name suggests, a collection of book ideas, all of them very funny (most of them not very good), and each of them listed here along with a brief description and an illustration of the book cover to match. The book starts with a brief introduction from the author, and another one from the publisher, before launching straight into the book ideas. Each one of these potential novels has a title, a tagline and a short synopsis which is usually no more than a page in length with a funny cover illustration on the other side of each double page. Although the book can easily be dipped into and read in any order, the recurring titles make it funnier if you read the book in order.

Silly book idea 😀

Like any joke book out there, this is all about having some silly fun and for me this book didn’t disappoint. I didn’t find each title hilarious but they were all silly and raised a smile. Some were definitely funnier than others, such as ‘Como Se Llama?’ Learn Spanish with Llamas, ‘Gordon’s New Trousers’ which doesn’t sound funny unless you see the picture and read the synopsis (Gordon is a highland cow) and I love ‘The Chartered Surveyors’ and the silly descriptions. The pictures really helped make this book much funnier than it would be without them. Each illustration is black and white and I love the simple yet fun design.

This book might be a short read, but it’s funny and one I keep looking back at whenever I feel like a quick laugh. There are a lot of book ideas and, strangely, I can imagine some funny (if slightly ridiculous) movies being made out of them. A few titles even had me laughing aloud. I’d certainly recommend this book for some silly fun, especially as a gift for anyone who enjoys funny books.

Another book idea with a funny title!

-Thanks to the Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Do you enjoy joke books?  Would this one make you laugh?  Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.  You can also follow My Peacock Books in these places: 

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