Monday, 31 October 2016

#BLOGTOBER DAY 31: October wrap-up


I can finally relax... For the next few hours, until November starts, and with it NANOWRIMO.


(Before I have a mental breakdown, here's what I got up to this month.)

Bookish wrap-up:
In October, I read 29 books, including 7 non-fiction books and 5 graphic novels. Phew! Quite a few of them were novellas that accompanied series that I was reading, but I'm still proud of that number, particularly because I've been so busy with Blogtober.
I didn't finish a book for the #2016ClassicsChallenge, but I'm halfway through my October title - 'The Age of Innocence' by Edith Wharton - which I'll be finishing in mid-November through Serial Reader.
I didn't read anything for my personal series challenge... I'm thinking I need to really work to catch up in the next two months, or I should carry this over to 2017.

The best books I read in October?
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I only gave one book 5 stars this month, and that was Claire Hennessy's wonderful 'Nothing Tastes As Good' - last month's #SundayYA book club pick. 

The worst books I read in October?
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Both of these fairytale retellings seriously disappointed me. I gave 'Stealing Snow' 1 star and 'Queen of Hearts' 2 stars, but I don't recommend you read either.

Musical wrap-up:

This month's album of the month has to be awarded to 'Revolution Radio', the insanely catchy comeback from Green Day.
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A lot of exciting albums released this month, but with all of the reading and blogging I didn't have time to listen to many of them. I haven't heard 'Revolution Radio' in full, but I'm choosing this as album of the month based off of all of the songs that I've heard so far.

There's only one candidate for song of the month.

 If you didn't guess Waterparks, why are you even on my blog?

My concert of the month (so far) needs to be You Me At Six's show in Oxford. I say so far because I'm going to see Bring Me The Horizon's Halloween show at the O2 Arena tonight, and I have a feeling they're going to pull something very special out of the bag for this occasion... 

I hope you had a great October! Did you partake in Blogtober, or were you too busy preparing for NaNoWriMo?

Sunday, 30 October 2016

#BLOGTOBER DAY 30: WTF Did I Miss This Week #4 (w/c 24/10/16)

The YA world:

Quite a few pretty new releases this week:
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With Epic Reads announcing the majority of their summer 2017 covers, this week was a brilliant one for cover reveals
Image result for fir sharon goslingCHANGES IN LATITUDES by Jen Malone - on sale July 25, 2017
CRYSTAL BLADE by Kathryn Purdie - on sale August 15, 2017
Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau - on sale June 6, 2017DREAMFALL by Amy Plum - on sale May 2, 2017
ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia - on sale May 30, 2017
GRIT by Gillian French - on sale May 16, 2017How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat - on sale August 15, 2017
IF BIRDS FLY BACK by Carlie Sorosiak - on sale June 27, 2017
OBSIDIAN & STARS by Julie Eshbaugh - on sale June 13, 2017THE ART OF STARVING by Sam J. Miller - on sale July 11, 2017
THESE THINGS I'VE DONE by Rebecca Phillips - on sale August 1, 2017
WHO'S THAT GIRL by Blair Thornburgh - on sale July 11, 2017YOU DON'T KNOW ME BUT I KNOW YOU by Rebecca Barrow - on sale August 29, 2017
I've only chosen my favourite of the Epic Read's covers - you can view the rest here. Out of all of these I'm most excited about Rebecca Barrow's debut, as she used to work for the same library service I do! Cool, right? Well, that and the second Lisa Williamson novel - 'The Art of Being Normal' is still one of my favourite books of all time.

In other news:

  • Leigh Bardugo got a hefty pay check for her next two novels. 'Ninth House' tells the story of the secret societies on Yale's campus.
  • Talking of Leigh Bardugo, the Worlds Collide tour featuring Leigh and Rainbow Rowell started on Tuesday, trending on Twitter for much of the night.
  • The winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016 is... Paul Beatty!

The music world:

New releases: 
Image result for tove lo lady woodImage result for walls kings of leon album artImage result for avenged sevenfold the stage
Actually, 'Walls' came out a couple of weeks ago and I missed it... But there were hardly any new albums released this week, so I needed to fill this section somehow!
In fact, the new Avenged Sevenfold album wasn't announced prior to release: it was dropped without any promotion on Friday. 

Three more new bands have been announced:  
  • Sumner Roots, rising from the ashes of Framing Hanley, announced their first show in January.
  • Nothing Left, the new venture from ex-members of For Today, released their first song
  • Another side project from Chiodos frontman Craig Owens, badXchannels, which came with a new song and a November/December US tour announcement.
There's a new video from One OK Rock:

Real Friends released a Halloween-themed video for 'Mess': 

NEW Highly Suspect!  

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes released a video for 'Lullaby':

Here's Danny Worsnop making his triumphant live return to Asking Alexandria!

Danny's other band, We Are Harlot, also made a statement about how shocked they were to hear about the reunion - probably doubled when it was announced that a new song has already been recorded.

Alvarez Kings released 'Cold Conscience' and announced that their debut album 'Somewhere Between' will be out early next year.
There's also a new Lower Than Atlantis song, 'Dumb', premiering on Daniel P Carter's Radio 1 Rock Show tonight. There's also a big announcement - album news, perhaps?

More tour announcements, this week including:
  • The line-up for Not So Silent Night, a two-night extravaganza in California in December, which will be headlined by both blink-182 and Green Day.
  • The Hotelier announced a very short UK run in January.
  • Seaway are returning to UK shores in January and February, supported by WSTR and The Gospel Youth.
  • Tegan and Sara touring the UK and Ireland in February.
  • Headline shows from Foxing in March.
  • The Pigeon Detectives playing a longer run of shows in March following their recent sold out tour.
  • You Me At Six are playing huge shows in April - you don't want to miss that Alexandra Palace show!
  • Deftones playing a huge arena tour in May. 
  • The first wave of bands announced for Austria's Nova Rock festival.
In other news:
  • Bands continue to be unlucky with vans. This week Knuckle Puck wrote off their minivan after a collision with a deer, but still played their show with The Wonder Years that night. (Dare I say this is karma for their beef with Jarrod Alonge? No, karma isn't real!!)
  • It looks like there's going to be a Relient K Halloween EP
  • The first Download 2017 band announcement is going to be on Thursday. Because of how close it is to Nova Rock, we might be able to expect some of those bands to crop up, so start getting excited! 
  • Mallory Knox are up to something, based on those new Twitter header and profile pictures...
  • Creeper did a cool thing on the radio, which resulted in them covering 'We Don't Believe What's On TV' by twenty one pilots.
  • Waterparks teamed up with Pandora to stream 'Double Dare' before its release. UK stream coming on Monday...
  • AFI came back and proved just how edgy they are by announcing 'AFI (The Blood Album)'.
  • There's also exciting live performances by Enter Shikari, Deaf Havana and Puppy on Daniel P Carter's Radio 1 Rock Show this Sunday.
  • Some fans got engaged on stage at an Avenged Sevenfold show! Awwh.
With that soppy note, I'm leaving you. I apologise if I've missed any news this week: I've been away for the weekend, so I haven't been exploring the internet as much as I normally do! 
Have a happy Halloween - I'm looking forward to spending mine with Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, Don Broco and Basement. Look out for a very excited purple-haired cowgirl in the crowd...

Saturday, 29 October 2016

#BLOGTOBER DAY 29: This Modern Love pt. 6

After the utter mortification that was the fifth part of this post series, I'm so glad that it's nearly over. Jesus, I hate talking about my feelings on the internet.

Q6. How has technology affected your relationship?

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Uh... That's a tricky one. Because technology's such a big part of daily life it affects EVERYTHING: I wouldn't be writing this blog post without technology.
I guess technology made my relationship possible.
I met my current boyfriend at a party and he left his jacket at my house, so I messaged him on Facebook and arranged to return it to him. We've messaged or text each other every single day since then, and we wouldn't have grown as close as we are without those exchanges. In fact, I probably would have just kept his hoodie rather than tracking it down to give it back to him (it was pretty cool).
But if I chalked my entire relationship up to technology it would feel reductionist. Most of my friends are at university, so I maintain nearly all of my relationships through social media, not just my romantic one! I can't thank technology for giving me all of those relationships, because I had to meet my friends in the first place to get to the stage where we interacted online.
So the only answer can be: technology has affected my relationship positively, though not hugely.

That's the end of the This Modern Love series! I hope you liked this set of posts, and how it was something completely different for this blog. Would you be interested in reading more like this in the future?

Friday, 28 October 2016

#BLOGTOBER DAY 28: October book haul

This book haul's a little bit early this month, because today I'm off to London for MCM Comic Con! I've prepped all of the posts for the weekend in advance, but I'm so excited to show you guys all the awesome books I bought this month that I thought I'd post this one first.

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I bought six books for my Kindle this month: four novellas, and the last two installments to the 'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' series by Laini Taylor.

Library book sale:

Most of these are installments to series that I was missing. I'm very happy that I now own the entirety of the Defiance trilogy, and I'm looking forward to getting around to these.

Charity shopping:
I haven't been charity shopping in a while, so on my last trip I lost all self-control. I'm so happy that I finally own a copy of 'You Against Me' by Jenny Downham - particularly one with such a gorgeous cover - and I'm also amazed I found a nearly brand new copy of 'It' so close to the film being released.
All of these books were £1 each (apart from 'Animal Farm', which was half price!)
These four weren't actually from charity shops, but were instead finds on eBay. After reading 'Speak' I knew I wanted to binge read some more Laurie Halse Anderson books, and we didn't have any more in the library. The copies of 'Catalyst' and 'Prom' are both basically brand new.

Brand new books:
When I went to Bath to meet Sarah J. Maas, I had to buy some books. I found 'The Last Leaves Falling' in the Waterstones that I visited beforehand, and I got 'The Almost King' signed by Lucy at the event. I'm going to showcase all of my signed books eventually, so you can't see inside just yet!

I also bought three books from The Works in my town. It was 3 for £5, so I made the most of it! 

Competition win:

The YA Fictionados hosted a competition to win a copy of 'Under Rose-Tainted Skies' and I'm so happy I won! I can't wait to read this one - I've been looking forward to getting hold of a copy since it released.

I hadn't heard of 'Vassa in the Night' until Cait at Paper Fury reviewed it... On the morning this box arrived! What a strange coincidence. 

After being so good for the last few months, I'm kind of disappointed in myself for buying 34 books... But they're all going to be awesome, so it was worth it! Now, to find somewhere to put them in my house. Hmm...

Thursday, 27 October 2016

#BLOGTOBER DAY 27: Ten commandments of concerts

I go to a lot of concerts, and some people have no concert etiquette.
I know, I know, everyone paid for a ticket and they deserve to enjoy their evening however they want... But I think everyone would have a much better time if they just obeyed these ten commandments.

1. Thou shalt not use anything larger than a phone to take photos or videos

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I've been stuck behind people who have filmed the entire show on an iPad before. How is this allowed?!

2. Thou shalt use your phone minimally

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Being a blogger, sometimes an exciting thing happens at a show and I want to update Twitter IMMEDIATELY. When Jack Barakat announced that All Time Low were going to be headlining a stage at Download, I whipped out my phone and tweeted. When Josh Franceschi shared that You Me At Six were going to be playing another show at Alexandra Palace, I shared that too! 
I'm not saying people shouldn't use their phones, I'm just saying they shouldn't be texting or tweeting every single second that the band's on stage.

3. Thou shalt leave PDAs at the door 

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Oh, how cute!
No, actually, pretty gross. You get to see each other every single day, so can't you do that somewhen else? This also applies to guys who have their hands in their girlfriends jeans and squeeze their asses every five minutes. That can't be comfortable.
I don't understand couples that do this, because I go to concerts with my boyfriend quite regularly and canoodling is the last thing on my mind.

4. Thou shalt not shout at your friends

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By all means, talk during the band. You're only ruining your own experience.
Unless you're one of those people that refuses to lean in and talk in someone's ear, and instead projects so loudly that your every word is louder than all of the speakers in the room. Then you should just shut up. 

5. Thou shalt not talk during the slow songs

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Okay, you're allowed to talk during shows as long as you aren't talking too loudly - and as long as you don't talk during the slow/acoustic/quiet moments. They don't come often, and I'm sure whatever you have to say isn't so important that you can't wait three minutes.
This also applies for acoustic acts. Seeing This Wild Life supporting Sleeping With Sirens was one of the worst experiences in the world, because hardly anyone shut their damn mouth. 

6. Thou shalt pick up those who fall

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Most bands will remind you to do this, but just in case you didn't get the message: if someone falls in the mosh pit, HELP THEM UP! Don't just leave them on the floor getting trampled. That makes you a dick. 

7. Thou shalt not force people into the pit

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If someone is stood near the pit and doesn't want to get involved, do not - I repeat, DO NOT - force them in. In fact, don't physically manhandle anyone. Respect personal space, yo.

8. Thou shalt attend the set of the support band 

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You never know if that support band could be your next favourite band, so don't write them off just because you don't listen to them already. You've paid for your ticket to the show, you might as well get your money's worth.

9. Thou shalt not get so drunk you can't control yourself

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As well as being unable to remember anything and looking like an idiot, you might ruin the show for other people. Drink, but get drunk after the band have finished.

10. Thou shalt not stand in the first three rows of seating

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It's okay further back, but if you're in the first few rows and you stand the rest of the seating area doesn't really have a choice. You might be in seating because you took your time buying tickets and the standing area was sold out, but there are other people who actually want to sit, and you're being an inconsiderate jerk by not allowing them to do that.
This is why I love the O2 Forum, who actually forbid standing in the first three rows. If people know they want to stand, they sit further back. 

Those are the ten commandments I think everyone should follow at concerts. Have I missed anything important?