Thursday, April 26, 2018

My TBR pile is too tall...a first world problem

There is nothing that give me greater joy than a stack of books in my TBR (To Be Read) pile, and there is nothing that fills me with more horror than a stack of book in my TBR pile...

I am lucky enough to work in a book shop, so am surrounded by books.  I am also SUPER lucky that I receive ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies), so I get to read the books before they are released, I know...poor me!

These are my piles:

1. Books that I need to read for upcoming podcast episodes.
2. Books that are due for release in the next few months.
3. Books that have already been released that I probably should have read by now.
5. Books I am currently reading.
4. Books that I have borrowed from the library, foolishly thinking I would have time to read.
5. PLUS let's not forget the 'virtual' pile of at least 8 books on my iPad thanks to Net Galley! (not pictured)

I know full well that having too many books to read is absolutely a first world problem and my question to the wide world, is not what to read next, but how do I manage my time so that I can get through even half of these??

In 2012 I read 366 books, 1 book a day...I am not sure how I did it...I am pretty sure I didn't watch TV for a year, I didn't have Netflix and I wasn't  addicted to playing Backgammon on my phone.

Turning my phone off, is one obvious solution. As is a month long holiday...but what about Apps?  Does anyone use any productivity Apps to help them 'get stuff done'?  Comments, thoughts and suggestions greatly apprectaited.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Kensy and Max Book 1: Breaking News by Jacqueline Harvey

Kensy and Max Book 1: Breaking News by Jacqueline Harvey
Published March 2018 by Penguin Random House

Introducing Kensy and Max – an action-packed spy-adventure series for girls and boys from bestselling author Jacqueline Harvey! What would you do if you woke up in a strange place? If your whole life changed in the blink of an eye and you had no idea what was going on? Twins Kensy and Max Grey’s lives are turned upside down when they are whisked off to London, and discover their parents are missing. As the situation unfolds, so many things don’t add up: their strange new school, the bizarre grannies on their street, the coded messages they keep finding and the feeling that, all around them, adults are keeping secrets . . . Things can never go back to the way they were, but the twins are determined to uncover the truth!

I was super excited to read the first in a new series by the super talented Jacqueline Harvey.

One of the things I loved about this book, as with so many of Jacqueline's books, is that they are so well researched. All of the street names and most of the places mentioned in the book are real, so you can follow where the twins are going on real map of London, or for a more realistic experience look at this area on Google maps or Google Earth. 

Follow their journey from home to school, by following the directions on Page 85 (you will have to start at home and work backwards, as there is no address for the school)

In Chapter 17, Kensy and Max have dinner at The Morpeth Arms This is a real pub in London. They really do have a Spying room and underneath the pub there really are corridors and holding cells for the nearby Millbank Penitentiary.

You can find The Morpeth Arms on Google Maps (58 Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RW, UK ) and see how close they really are to the MI6 headquarters across the river.

Being the  nerd that I am, I actually did this, and I loved seeing exactly where the story was set, I think kids will love this too.

Apart from all of the above, the story was great too.  Lots of shady characters, figuring out who the good guys are, who the bad guys are and a revelation at the end of the book that makes you want the get your hands on the next book as soon as possible!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Writers Read Podcast by LiTracey

I have been very fortunate to be invited to participate in a new Podcast, developed by teacher and literacy expert Tracey Grice.

Tracey has come up with an ingenious idea of interview authors, not about their writing, but about their reading life.  It's called Writers Read, and the first episode is out now.

In each podcast Tracey will interview an author, and talk to them about what their reading life is like, what book got them hooked, what do they read now, where do they read...  The authors will also choose one of their books to read from, the plan is that this reading will have the listeners on the edge of their seats, desperate to get hold of that book and see what happens next...

My part in this venture is called Rebecca Recommends, and I will talk about some of the other books the author has written and hopefully get listeners excited about those books too.

The first episode featuring Jackie French is out now, the Auscast Network and iTunes versions will be live within the next week.

In the meantime, enjoy the first episode of Writer's Read on Sound Cloud.

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