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Books In


AKA Showcase Sunday

During my readathon internet break, I managed to get riled up on Twitter by someone who was criticising posts like this (Showcase Sunday, IMM, etc.); saying that they are bragging, pointless and unprofessional. Now, do what you like with your own blog, but just because people do things differently does not make them unworthy.

It’s not like we’re only talking about review copies. Most of us buy and borrow books, some we win or are gifted to us and, yes, some are for review. I think publicists appreciate any mention of the books they send out and indeed I have gone and bought books off the back of these sort of posts. I don’t think it ruins our blogs by telling people we got some books this week or that mentioning review copies is bragging. To be honest, there are advertising laws in place that make it a grey area not to reveal the source.

One of the benefits of the blogging platform is that it doesn’t need to be sterile and conform to a set of rules. I’d much rather see someone’s enthusiasm shine through than read impersonal critiques, yet I accept that some people want to do that and read those sort of blogs so I have no animosity towards them. And I would never make rude assumptions and then try and convince the wronged party they shouldn’t have their feelings hurt by the comments. They’re my feelings, however pointless they are, they matter to me.

Onto the books! I was so excited to receive a copy of Pantomime and if you’ve been paying attention to my readathon wittering, you will know I’ve read it already and loved it! We are all sworn to secrecy about the secret in the book so it’s going to be a tough one to review considering the things I want to talk about. The Confidant was also on my readathon pile and my review should be up as part of a blog tour at the end of the month.

I also received some surprises in the post this week including a Halloween package from Canongate. I’m not sure if I will read Talulla Rising as I can’t forget the author’s negative comments about genre readers. I do like the sound of The Haunted Book though and will try and fit it in before Halloween. Mad River sounds a little Criminal Minds-esque so will be added to the ever growing pile of crime fiction I must get round to reading soon.

Now, I may be losing it but I have no recollection of pre-ordering Mystic City. I thought it sounded interesting at first but have since heard a lot of people saying it’s not that good. Though I’m often contrary to the greater YA reviewing community so at least I’m starting with low expectations. The Terry Pratchett book is a short story collection and Lone Wolf was one of this week’s Β£2.99 books in Tesco.

For Review:
The Confidant by Hélène Grémillon (Gallic Books)
Pantomime by Laura Lam (Strange Chemistry)
Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan (Canongate)
Mad River by John Sandford (Simon & Schuster)
The Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson (Canongate)

A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Witch Hunt by Syd Moore

Break Out by Nina Croft (Nocturnal Book Reviews)

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits & Tea.

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  1. Anonymous

    Well, I completely agree with you. I think these posts are good for your fellow bloggers, to find out about new (or old) and interesting books – we get so many books that some won't be reviewed for a while, so to wait for that, would be a long wait.

    And also for the publishers it's good. They have their book (that they sent you for review, for free) mentioned at least twice on your blog and why shouldn't you give them that little bit of extra exposure?

    I'm behind with my Mailbox posts because the books are piling up and I don't want to talk about more than 7-9 books in each post. πŸ™‚

  2. kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews

    I'm ridiculously excited about Pantomime too, Ellie! Will have to read it as soon as possible πŸ˜‰ It has such a gorgeous cover that I was instantaneously sold πŸ™‚
    Hope you like Break Out. It was a fun book for me.
    Enjoy all your lovely bookish goodies!
    As for those negative comments… They are just jealous and don't quite understand why you're doing what you're doing. I wouldn't pay attention at all. Not worth it.

    1. Ellie

      It wasn't a jealousy thing, they were from an established blogger who just does things differently. I have unfollowed because I don't think we'll ever see eye to eye.

  3. Ellie

    I saw that Twitter conversation and I thought the dude came across as a bit hostile, actually. You're absolutely right that a book blog is personal and the more enthusiasm, the better! Different bloggers do things in different ways, and I for one love it when someone is openly excited about the books that have tumbled into their lives that week. It doesn't matter where they're from – the library, the bookshop, a car boot sale, borrowed from their mum, sent by a friend, review copies, whatever – I'm still interested!

    For me it's another way of learning about new books and discovering readers who love the same stuff I do. And besides, you can usually tell the genuinely excited readers from the 'here's all the swag I got – in your FACE bitches' minority. Also, I'm very nosy and love hearing about other people's book acquisition habits, because I do it ALL THE TIME. πŸ˜€

    On that note, do I WANT to know what Duncan said about genre readers? I bought Talulla Rising this week too (stop me if I'm bragging) because I loved The Last Werewolf so much… Was he enough of a douche to put me off for a while? *cringes and waits anxiously*

    1. Ellie

      Basic gist was that people that didn't like his books were stupid genre readers that only wanted gore and violence so of course they wouldn't understand his book. That literary writers must dumb down their writing to be appreciated by genre readers. There was something else where he said he only had a go at writing genre because was that popular and he couldn't sell his literary fiction as well.

  4. KarenSi

    I just wanted to say a big thank you for your donation even though it's a Scottish charity. I really appreciated it. Was very generous of you.

    I personally don't see what's wrong with people showing what new books they have coming in. One of the things that I miss from working with books is my book knowledge. I am so behind on current titles because I don't have the time to do the research any more. For me posts like this keep me up to date and give me tips for what to look out for. So I thank you for that. Plus if you are excited about something why shouldn't you share? Sharing doesn't always mean bragging. Sadly there are always going to get negative people out there.

    Oh, and that book snobbery over genres was one of my pet hates of the book world. Nothing wrong with disliking genre but it's a bit much to brush it all off and tar the readers with the same brush. Sounds like some bitterness there.

    Thanks again. xxx

  5. Theta Sigma

    Hi Ellie

    Firstly, carry on with postings like this. It's a great way for people like myself to get a handle of what other people read, plus it's introduced me to people who I now consider friends. Unfortunately, in anything like this – whether you call it appreciation, fandom or addiction – you're always going to get an element of snobbery.

    As for the books, great haul. I like the look of The Haunted Book myself, especially as I'm a fan of The League of Gentlemen.

    Thank you, as always, for suggesting more books for me to read and keep doing what you do. πŸ™‚

  6. Hannah @ Dragons and Whimsy

    I like to show my incoming because I get excited about books. I started it because I often bought many books that then never saw the light of day so this way, they're shown a little love before they're forgotten for years. Now that people actually read my blog, it can also give my readers ideas for books to buy/wishlist. It's fun! If I was going to brag.. I'd talk about how my readers clearly don't have the books I do. Which I'm not.. yuergh. Sorry that made me a little grumpy.

    Look forward to your review of Pantomime! I reeeeally had to hold back on requesting that one because I knew I wouldn't have time over the next 2 or 3 months.

    1. Ellie

      It caused an attack of grumpiness in the middle of the readathon! But you know I was "taking things too personally".

      Maybe I should start a rediscovery meme for people who regularly find books they've forgotten about πŸ˜‰

  7. beccabooklover

    I personally love doing these type of posts so that I can just share with everyone what books I had that week. Not because I'm showing off to brag but to share my enthusiasm with others. I also love looking at everyone's posts because I learn of some amazing new books!

    Anywaaay, I love your haul this week! I had Mystic City and I'm looking forward to it quite a bit. Will definitely have to check out Pantomime aswell! πŸ™‚

    Becca @ Lost in Thought

  8. Anonymous

    I was going to look out for Lone Wolf this weekend (as I think I told you on twitter) but never got the chance. Maybe I will have a look after work tomorrow

  9. skiourophile

    We blog for our own pleasure, so we should feel free to do whatever makes us happy, I say. I like to see what might be coming up on other readers' radars.

  10. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    I love to see the books everybody gets. Yes, sometimes I get a bit jealous when I see a book I want to read so bad, but I'm also happy for the blogger. It gives an indication of the reviews you can expect and sometimes, I find new books I can add to my list. I only show my books, because of my enthusiasm & I'm so grateful if I get allowed on Netgalley πŸ™‚

    I can definitely see why someone would think it's bragging, because sometimes I see bloggers who got like 10 review copies and they are saying: "I got so little this week, but I still want to show you the books I got." And then I'm like.. be grateful! 10 books, that's so much.

    1. Ellie

      Haha I'm a little embarrassed when I get loads of books in a week, more than I would be able to read. I'm more likely to brag about my will power when I don't buy/request/accept anything! πŸ˜‰

  11. Birgit

    To be honest, some bloggers come across as compulsive ARC hoarders to me, and I don't mean this in a jealous kind of way. It's just beyond me how some folks want more more more and would have to cross the threshold to immortality to be able to ever read all those books. So yes, maybe I am a wee bit judgemental! πŸ˜‰

    Side note: I must be one of only a few book bloggers who is glad to only receive review copies by request and not unsolicited. I'd totally freak if I received 10+ ARCS each week. Seriously!

    Generally though I like to see the book haul of other bloggers as sometimes I discover books which have somehow escaped my radar and … OMG is that a new Terry Pratchett!? See? I was absolutely clueless about that book and I am an avid Pratchett reader.

    1. Ellie

      I am sure there are some bloggers like that but this person was trying to tell me most bloggers that do these posts are bragging and there's no other point. I think the only time I got 10 review books in one week was went I went to a blogger event and was encouraged to take them. I get mostly finished copies so I'm not hogging ARCs/proofs. It's up to the publisher if they send them to me and I'm not going to feel under pressure unless I have given a definite yes I will read.

  12. Think

    Wow. That person sounds like a jerk. I hate when people try to force their opinion on someone else. It just makes the jerk look like an idiot jerk.

    I love these features because it gives me the opportunity to learn about new books.

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