Book hauls, Sunday post

Real Publicist Advice on Review Copy Approvals (Post Pending!), Some Truly Emotional Reads And A Tough Week Sunday post #85

This has been quite a hectic week. I don’t know what is it with me, but I just can’t get things done. I’m not particularly tired, I’m just unmotivated! I’ll sit down and scroll through social media (I swear, it’s never been a thing that bothered me), and I’ll just stare at nowhere… Hours later, I realize I need to get things done. It’s really kind of a nightmare, which is why I am glad that the Christmas period is coming because there will be a lot of days off. At least, I am hoping that will help! I’m only glad that this weird feeling I have has not affected my reading. I’m still happy to read! Anyway, if you skim this post, please check out what I have planned for next week! It’s something you’ll be excited to see… Share the news! NEXT WEEK WE HAVE:

real publicist advice on how to get review copies approved

~ What I’ve Been Reading ~

Zeru by Phillip Vargas was amazing. I have had this copy since the dawn of time – basically, one of my first free review copies on some platform I don’t even remember, way before I started blogging. I didn’t know this book would move me so much! So when I read it in April, I decided to hold the review until I can post it, maybe together with the reviews for Kindred or Homegoing. But then, I realized Kindred’s subject matter is too different – merely it being about Africans is not enough, the topics are too far apart. (And I’m still reading Homegoing, because I just can’t read that book without weeping.) So this book was left all alone, and a half a year later, I realized I was doing it a big disservice, not reviewing it outright. So here we are.

Zeru is a short book, but it talks about a very important, serious and sad phenomenon in Africa – the hunting and killing of Black albino people for their organs (although perhaps the better term would be Black person with albinism, I apologize if I’ve used it in an offensive way, please tell me in the comments), supposedly for their hidden power that the hunter will gain after they consume something of the Zeru – the local name of a Black person with albinism. It is still a big problem in some places (at least, so the book says), and it’s truly tragic that these children, already endangered by the sun and the elements because of their sensitivity to light and UV rays, also have to hide from brutal murderers. So at this point, you can probably see why this story gripped me so much. It’s about a child, and a capable child at that, who lives in the junk yards because of the Zeru hunters who have killed his family. It’s a story of prevailing, although you’re the underdog, and also a story of an unexpected friendship – which I won’t spoil for you by telling you more about what it was. Please read this book! It’s short, but it has important things to say, and the writing is truly great. I am not sure Phillip Vargas has written anything else that’s accessible, at least, judging by Goodreads, but I would love to read more books by this author. It was a journey for sure.

[ Goodreads ]

So I finally read a Christmas book, huh? This was a totally accidental haul from a publisher I’m auto-approved for, but I don’t regret reading it. It took me ages to warm to this book, but when I did, it gave me some truly heart-wrenching moments. It has some deep emotions in it, that’s something I can definitely tell you. Worth a read, in my opinion. Thanks to Farrago for the free review copy – it has not affected my opinion.

Tansy’s not having the best days of her life – she’s running from a lost business and a broken heart, and a whole lot of guilt, shame and disappointment, when she is ‘found’ by a scruffy dog and a couple of situations that lead one into the other. Tansy ends up working an odd job for a TV show filming crew she runs into, which essentially means babysitting a really cocky actor and a super patronizing co-star of his. Angry at her life, or rather, the lack of logic in the fact that this is now somehow her life, Tansy is not in the best place when the story starts out. Meanwhile, Davin is your traditional brooding hero: handsome, but utterly full of… ‘stuff’ on the outside. In the end, you’ll probably find out he’s not actually like that, but he’ll do a great job of convincing you he’s not worth the air he’s breathing at first. It’s not long before he opens up to Tansy, and through her – to us, and shows just exactly what he is protecting so much with such a harsh picture on the outside.

If you’re expecting open romance, well, that’s not how this book is. I would say, this is more of a slice of life story, where the characters are struggling with disappointment and their respective pasts, trying to make something of their lives, and as a result, something comes from it. It’s a very unobtrusive, silent kind of story. At first I was going to give it 3 stars because I couldn’t connect to the characters and what was going on, but then the real reasons behind their actions came out, and they were deep and troubled – I was mesmerized. If at first the book seems like just another story, by the end it will have you exploring the deep pains of the human condition, betrayal by the closest people you have and coming to terms with it all. It’s done beautifully through dialogue between the two main characters and it had me glued to the pages past the halfway point. I really do recommend this book, but I have to warn about triggers as well. But the trigger is a spoiler, so if you want to risk it, please don’t keep reading. Triggers include: miscarriage, guilt – especially over the miscarriage, losing a business and all your belongings, a cheating and manipulative spouse, growing up in a poor family with an alcoholic dad, being looked down on because of being dyslexic.

[ Goodreads ]

I LOVED it! This is a wonderful book to read after you’ve read Spinning Silk – although I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone, because you might miss some important details. I really loved how Shin complements Furi’s story from Spinning Silk – it opens up extra dimensions, and you feel like you’re rereading the book, without having to reread it. Another thing I loved was how Spinning Silk focused on the women’s side, and Shin – on the man’s side of the narrative even symbolically. Spinning Silk accentuates Furi’s creativity, as well as her ability to create life, and Shin’s story is more about preserving that life, defending it. The love story still remains poignant, but I feel like it was much better explained in this book! If you had questions unanswered after Spinning Silk (like I did), you’ll love how Shin fills these blanks it. Especially the ending! The ending builds up what the first book was missing – and it’s also exciting for a whole ‘nother reason, which I won’t spoil for you.

Bottom line: Shin is definitely worth a read. But if you’re thinking of picking it up as a standalone, I still advise to read Spinning Silk first. They are both wonderful novels! I thank the author for giving me a free copy for review, this does not affect my opinion.

[ Goodreads ]

~ What I’ve Been Bookstagramming ~


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So I’ve started reading The Winter of the Witch! Huge thanks to Ebury and Penguin UK for sending me the print review copy, it’s so beautiful. And so far, the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. One thing I can say already – if you thought The Girl in the Tower was dark? Little did you know. If I had to sum it up, I would say that this series is kind of like Harry Potter – since it’s YA, it sort of… grows with the reader. In the two years that we’ve been following it, it started as a moderately fairytale-ey semi-dark but hopeful tale, and graduated into a properly dark read – kind of the way Harry Potter progresses through the books and gets super dark by The Deathly Hallows. The topics are also getting more and more serious, and relevant. There is so much symbolism about the oppresion of women in the middle ages, and it’s so well done. So far I’m really enjoying The Winter of the Witch!

[ Goodreads ]


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~ What You’ve Been Talking About ~

Fanna @ Fannatality talks about happy chaos and how happiness can lead to peace

Darius Jung talks about how authors can succeed with Amazon marketing

Amber @ The Literary Phoenix shares 10 tips for warm and cozy winter reading

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek talks about blogging slumps

Amy @ Golden Books Girl recommends books to Winnie the Pooh characters! Super cute.

Satou Johns @ Inkish Kingdoms shares irresisible things in a book that gets you hooked immediately

Victoria @ A Bookish Secret shares ideas for a digital bujo for 2019

~ What I’ve Been Talking About ~

Last week I posted my long awaited review of List of 13. I swear, it’s one of my favorite books of the year and you just have to find out why! Please go read 5 Reasons to Read List of 13:

list of 13

~ What I’ll Talk About Next Week~

Ohhhh… Next week is so exciting!!!!! Like I’ve already mentioned at the start of the post, I will have an interview with a real publicist and they will give us tips about how to get approved for review copies, along with a template for a review request by email which you can just copy paste and use. It’s definitely worth reading!!! And the week is actually doubly exciting, because we also have #NewBloggersWelcome!! The welcome post is scheduled for the Wednesday, and please come back on Friday (the 21st) to read Real Publicist Advice: How To Get Review Copies Approved?

#NewBloggersWelcome real publicist advice on how to get review copies approved

~ What I’ve Been Hauling ~

It seems I have also hauled quite a bit of books last week… Although #sorrynotsorry. The Donna Joy Usher series I am totally looking forward to because I’ve enjoyed the two first books. I’ll probably always be auto-buy for Sarah Addison Allen, and then there are a few review copies, as well as a book from my older wishlist. Have you read any of these?

So how has your week been? And what are you reading? What did you haul?

As usual, I’m linking up with the Sunday post meme at Kimba’s book blog and Stacking The Shelves over at Tynga’s Reviews.

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Satou Johns to
2 years ago

Awww that is so nice! Thank you so much! I love those pictures of those books! I hope you get to haul more books hahaha and to read them all!!

Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan
2 years ago

May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love and your life with laughter.

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

Zeru looks like an amazing read, thanks for the shoutout! I’ve added it to my TBR so that’s next year’s Z book for my Alphabet challenge found already 😉

2 years ago

I hope you can get some rest during those days off and they help you feel motivated again. I understand how you’ve been feeling. I’ve been finding myself staring at my computer screen a lot. I just keep procrastinating my thesis – I just don’t really feel like doing anything. =P Zeru reminded me of The Snow Angel by Lauren St.John. One of the characters is also a black person with albino and she lives in the slumps after running from her town to save her life. I can’t wait to read your interview with a real publicist. So excited!… Read more »

Laura Thomas
2 years ago

You always manage to steer me towards books I might not have discovered otherwise. I appreciate that! I’ve been kind of like you this week too. Not being focused and not getting things done. I have been reading more than usual. Just reading though, not much reviewing. LOL I need the holiday break to rewind and refresh:)

2 years ago

I am so so SO excited about Winter of the Witch. Can’t wait to read it.

2 years ago

I felt the exact same way over the past week – it’s been quite draining. But, like you, my reading motivation has been quite high so at least there’s been some pleasure. Looking forward to your publicist post!

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

I’ve been feeling blah too. I have so much work to do to get ready for Christmas and it’s quite draining. I’m excited, yet I’m looking forward to Christmas being over too I’m looking forward to your publicist post!

Laurel-Rain Snow
2 years ago

I have now realized that I still have First Frost languishing on my Kindle! Must change that. Do you ever buy books and then almost forget about them?


2 years ago

Your books look really interesting. I hope you enjoy them. The post about getting review requests approved sounds like a great one.

Hope you have a great week!

My post is here.

JJ @ This Dark Material

Those pictures of Winter of the Witch are beautiful!! I’m also hoping the holidays give me a little boost; I’ve been feeling a little bit of that un-motivation that you’re describing and it would be nice to break out of it. Your interview with a publicist sounds amazing—I can’t wait to learn what I can improve on when I contact publishers!

2 years ago

At least your reading wasn’t affected with everything else going on. It seems like a lot of bloggers are slumping right now. Can’t wait to read the post about getting approvals.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

I hope you’re able to find your motivation soon. I have depression, so I can relate to staring at nothing. Sometimes I don’t know where all my time goes. I’m glad you found some good books. Have a great week!

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2 years ago

The Winter of the Witch is such an eye candy book. I still need to read the 2nd book as well. Most likely in January.

You defo found some other interesting stuff as well.

First Frost is probably not my type of book… i mean, no idea what it is, will check it now, but my usual books don’t often have cute covers like that

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

LOVE the Instagram pics! Sorry you’ve been feeling unmotivated. Some weeks are definitely like that!

2 years ago

I really liked List of 13 too! And I’m definitely excited to read your post with tips from a Publicist!

Lizzy @ Bent Bookworm
2 years ago

I’m in the middle of Winter of the Witch too! I was bawling by the first 15 minutes…I hadn’t thought of it as being similar to HP but agree it is definitely getting darker. I’m hopeful for a kick-butt ending but I had to put it down for a bit, my heart couldn’t handle it!

Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

Ugh I feel you on the hectic! I am really looking forward to vacation and reading and no work for 2 weeks! Happy reading!

2 years ago

I can’t wait for your publicist post! And I hope you are feeling better and you would come back to blogging with a bang soon!


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