July 2015Weaving Pages: July 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Letter From A Reader: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Hello!

I got this book during a bookish secret santa, and I've been saving it to read for Summer! Now that I finally picked it up, it's become another favourite and I would recommend it to EVERYONE!

7664334Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: N/A
Source: Gift
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: May 4th 2010
No. of Pages: 344


Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way. -(Goodreads)
 5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
 flying with joy.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

How to Quickly Empty Your Feed Reader

It can't only be mean who logs onto Bloglovin' before melting into despair at the sight of 300 posts needing to be read. It's like a scene from a horror movie when you realise it probably would have been a much better idea if you'd just kept up with the posts each day... Alas, there is nothing we can do when you have reached the point of no return, so instead I'm being your fairy godmother and sharing a few ways you can get through that feed quickly.


1. Be Picky
Scroll through your feed and when you a post you don't want to read, click 'Mark as Read'. Keep doing this every time you reach a post that doesn't interest you until you reach the end. Then refresh the page and ta-da! You've only got the posts you want to read left! Trust me; you've got to be tough when chossing, especially if you have 300 posts to plough through!

2. One Step At a Time
I love to do this, personally. All I do is go through my feed blog by blog. This saves me masses of time for some reasons, probably because it means I'm not just constantly scrolling. I just click on the blog, and read the posts I want to. Then I click 'Mark Blog as Read' if I decide there are some I don't to read. Try it- it's quick and easy!

3. Be a Little Lazy
Sometimes, we don't need to walk into things with grand schemes or plans of action! All you need is to open up that feed and click on what you want to read and you're done! Don't feel bad about not reading everything, and it's okay to skip out on the comments too. Take it as an opportunity to skim through what you missed whilst you were forgetting Bloglovin' existed. 

4. Start Fresh
As painful as it sounds, sometimes you need to just let it all go. Click that 'Mark All As Read' button. Sure, it may hurt to think of all the great posts you've missed, but then how many would you be missing trying to catch up on the old ones? Just go for it! Time to have a clean slate, or a clean feed maybe. :)

How do you tackle all of your unread posts, or how do you stop them piling up in the first place?


Thursday, 23 July 2015

4+ Books You Won't Want to Miss This Summer


GUYYYSSS, Summer is finally here! Though the rain might say otherwise, we are finally in the months of sunshine. If you're anything like me, you'll have been planning your summer months before hand, and of course that includes what I'm going to be reading. My trusty kindle will be packed away with me on holiday, along with as many paperbacks I can fit into an already stuffed-to-the-brim suitcase. If you haven't decided what exactly you're going to be reading just yet, I definitely have some suggestions for you! This Is What Happy Looks Like is a definite if you're feeling like relaxing with a fluffy contemporary novel. It's such a cute story, and I can promise you that all of Jennifer E. Smith's books are great summer reads too!
If you're more into adventures or historical fiction, a good idea is to read That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson, as it's set in WW2 Britain and focuses on the relationship between a British girl and a Polish pilot. 
For more adventure, read any of E.Lockhart's books. We Were Liars is a good choice if you're in the need for something explosive, but if you're looking for a summer of road trips choose How To Be Bad. I'm an huge fan of roadtrips, so if you can't get enough of them go and read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I'm super excited to open this one up as if it's anything like Matson's Since You've Been Gone (another perfect choice for summer!) I know I will be head over heels in love with it!


Have an amazing summer and read your socks off in the sun! What are your suggestions for brilliant summer reads?


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Name Game - Naming Your Blog


In every single guide to beginning a blog, the first step is to choose a name. That is definitely easier said than done, so to help you I have some suggestions that helped me eventually choose a name.

1. Quotes
It's probably not the first thing you think of, but I remember searching through lists of quotes for inspiration. There are so many that I guarantee you will find more than one idea! Of course, the problems begin when you have to check to see if they are available.. Still, I went through pages of bookish quotes to give me ideas which included Shakespeare, Dickens and probably all the other big names you can think of!

2. Get the Family Stuck In
I actually enlisted my Mum to help me choose my blog name. We kind of just bounced ideas off each other and that's exactly how Weaving Pages were created. Now I can't even remember the other ideas I had, but at the time it was actually fun and amazingly helpful to have my Mum offer up suggestions. So bring your parents, siblings, friends and choose a name! It will surprise you how helpful they can be ;)

3. Think about the Meaning
What do you want your blog's name to convey? Brainstorm any messages that you want your name to get across because, afterall, that is what your blog is going to be known as from now on! For example, one of the reasons Weaving Pages works for me is because it is so versatile. Weaving Pages can talk about writing, reading, the pages of you life. I feel like it gives me a lot of options and doesn't constrain me at all. So think hard about what you want your blog's message to be, and express that in the name you choose!


Saturday, 18 July 2015

3 Things I've Stopped Doing With My Blog


1. Monthly Recaps
 I remember that when I started blogging I used to do Weekly Recaps to. I have no idea how, because recaps are some of my least favourite posts to write. So I've thrown them off this blog completely, and they'll only make a comeback at the end of each year. I know some people probably think I'm crazy because a) It's good for catching people up on posts they may have missed and b) It helps with pageviews but I've decided that if I bore myself to death writing them, they can't be the most exciting things for you guys to read. I love to follow the rule that if you write something with passion, those who read it will feel that too so on that note; see you later monthly recaps!

2. A LOT of Features
Once again, when I begun blogging I was big on taking part in weekly features. I did Top Ten Tuesday and started Wattpad Wednesday to the point they were complete constants on this blog. I think one of my best decisions has been to stop doing that, because it was getting predictable, and predictable means boring. Our blogs are like stories; they change as we change, sometimes going too fast or too slow. How many times have I complained about a book being too predictable? A load of times. So if I wouldn't enjoy that in a novel, I most certainly wouldn't include it in my blog. Therefore, I'm loving being able to come up with new posts instead of having it all written out for me, which was getting pretty boring.

3. Book Hauls
Well, I'm no longer doing book hauls in a traditional sense to say the least. Before I was following the format of using a picture and listing the books I had got. That's not much fun to read or write to say the least, and so I've scrapped it. What is more fun is to include these books in a post about how I've been feeling lately, and how this has maybe affected the books I've chosen. I am a mood reader, so this most certainly applies to me!

What changes have you made to your blog? 


Thursday, 16 July 2015

4 Things I Do to Get Ideas for New Posts


1. Google Calendar to the Rescue
I use Google Calendar to track all the posts I have scheduled or need to write. Often that means I have little scribbles telling me I need to to review a certain book or an idea that I never got around to actually writing. This is really helpful, because even if I'm feeling a little stuck, I still have a whole host of ideas ready to be messed with. Using Google Calendar also means I can easily change things up, so I can choose to publish a post earlier than I first thought or push it back a week or two. Honestly, I do not know how I ever blogged without using a schedule!


2. Notes, notes, notes!
I keep a Google Docs page filled with ideas for posts, and it is literally a life saver. Using Google Docs (Yes, I promise I'm not being paid to promote Google!) lets me access this list from every single computer I use which keeps all my ideas in one place. It also means I have a list titled 'Blog Ideas' where I type out rough sentences about posts I want to eventually write. Those ideas can stay there for months, but it's amazingly helpful to have something to use as a reference for when I have no clue what to write about and also allows me to easily remember all my thoughts!

3. Get out the Social Media
Okay, this may make you laugh, but I find that social media can be extremely useful in giving me ideas for posts. Sometimes I see conversations that encourage me to write discussion posts like this one about using too many exclamation marks in emails, but it's also a great way of finding out the latest news so you can be quick to write posts. An example of this is my post on why the fact Girl Online was ghostwritten matters. Another way to use social media is through sites like Bloglovin' which really help with inspiration by taking a peek at all the posts everyone is writing.


4. Hit the Books
For all the book bloggers out there who are reading this, it's a pretty useless point since we're always reading. However, if you aren't a book blogger, and you aren't reading.... GO READ A BOOK NOW!! All of you! Reading is an incredible help and I actually just wrote a post on stereotypes that was completely inspired by what I read in a book. I could probably write around three more posts with ideas just from that book! The next time you read something, try and think how you could incorporate that into a post.


If you need more suggestions on how you can come up with ideas for posts, I have another post all about escaping the grips of an empty blog schedule, so go take a peek at that too! 
How do you come up with ideas for posts?


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Hello Everyone!

I received this book for review from the lovely people at Hot Key Books! After meeting E. Lockhart, I finally picked it up and it turned out to be just as good as I had hoped!


22907596
Title: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: N/A 
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published: November 6th 2014
No. of Pages: 342
Fifteen-year-old Frankie Landau-Banks has grown up a lot over the summer. She's no longer daddy's little girl - and almost immediately after starting the new semester at her highly prestigious school, she bags goofy-but-gorgeous Matthew Livingston as her boyfriend. They get along great but then Frankie discovers that Matthew is a member of a boys-only secret society that specialise in 'hilarious' pranks. Which hardly seems fair... especially when Frankie knows she's smarter than any of its members. And to prove this, she's going to teach them a lesson.

Impersonating lead member Alpha by using a fake email account is surprisingly easy, and soon Frankie is setting the boys up with all sorts of ridiculous schemes and sending them on wild goose chase after wild goose chase. Alpha's not prepared to lose face and admit it's not him sending the emails - but the fun can't last forever, and soon Frankie will have to choose between what she think she wants, and the reputation she deserves.
  -(Goodreads)
4 stars: Page decides that this book was very enjoyable
however, it was not catapulted into amazing.


Saturday, 11 July 2015

The Oversimplification of Sterotypes


I'm going to tell you 3 simple facts:

A) I just read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart
B) Sexism is a heavy theme that riddles the pages.
C) It got me thinking about stereotypes.

I lied somewhere during those last 4 sentences above. It could be anything, but to save you having to play the guessing game I'm going to tell you that my lie was using the world simple. Lets think about it this way; those 3 facts are grossly simplified because:

A) I did not just read The Disreputable History. I stopped every few pages and noted my thoughts down. I tried to make sense of them, working out particularly where I stood and on which side I would want to argue. Then I read more articles before going back to the story, using them to attempt to properly express what I felt. It was a long process, but no good one is ever short.

B) So sexism isn't the only theme, though it is a big one. It's also about the pressures we encounter from society, including the unspoken rules that plague us relentlessly, as well deciding to be the person who refuses to be cajoled into following them.

C) It got me thinking about much more than stereotypes, but for now, that's our topic.

So as we've established, nothing is ever black and white, much less stereotypes. Yet, here's the Oxford Dictionary definition of stereotype:
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
I don't believe you could have a better definition than this, yet like all dictionary definitions, it has been condensed. Clarified. Simplified. And so my thoughts are that we shouldn't leave it down to a single explanation, because like everything else, stereotypes are most definitely more complicated than that.

Which is what got me thinking. We generally agree that we shouldn't stereotype on the basis that it's wrong, because as we know, we are all different. No one person is the same as another, be it because of genetics or environmental factors. However, I still find myself questioning if we should always perceive stereotypes in the same manner, because like everything else in this world, they aren't simply black and white.

Personally, I feel that stereotypes can cause many different situations. The more harmful ones cause social issues that infect society and cause ignorance along with hate. However, some can be sources of (note: well-founded) amusement, or harmless ideas associated with groups of people. Again the key word here is 'harmless.'

My general thoughts here are that some stereotypes should be fought against. Relentlessly. To give an example that The Disreputable History prompted me to think of that, it's the stereotype that men must be tough, in control and that it's natural for them to partake in power disputes, whilst women are the home makers of nature, there to support others. To come second. These stereotypes are the basis for sexism, and they are why men are called 'assertive' and 'confident' whilst women are called 'bossy' or 'control-freaks'. This is not only damaging to society, but to the people themselves who are limited by such ideas and forced to conform to them. I could write an essay on how this idea of natural order has resulted in the sexism which is integrated into today's society.

Nevertheless, it's also impossible to not look at the -as weird as it sounds- benefits of stereotypes. They can encourage you to act in an appropriate manner towards others, and you cannot deny that they play a huge part in the world of comedy. Furthermore, many people take stereotypes and accept them as part of their identity or as how they describe themselves. For example, many people use stereotypes attributed to their countries to describe themselves, such as the idea that British people adore tea or Portuguese people use their hands to express themselves a lot.

Consequently, what is crucial to notice is that there is a difference between the examples I have given. One paragraph above explains the consequences of harmful stereotypes, whilst the second paragraph describes stereotypes that don't cause offence or discrimination. Yet to go even further than that- because by saying that statement I have to also admit that different people are offended by different things -it would be more accurate to state that one of the main issues is not always the stereotypes themselves but the way they are accepted and used.

The idea I'm expressing here is that (to use my previous example) the fact that the stereotype which says nature results in men and women being instinctively different exists does not by itself damage society. The fact that people use this as an unspoken rule and let it dictate the way our world works does. And that is the problem. When we choose to view the world as simply black and white, we cause more problems than we solve. By choosing to oversimplify the complex but beautiful terrene we inhabit, you allow yourself to be close minded and ignorant. Be that as it may, I am not denying that the fact the stereotype exists in the first place isn't a negative thing, or that they themselves are not damaging. What I am saying is that in the modern and advancing society we have to do, we can choose that a) We will work to prevent the creation of anymore damaging stereotypes that will only be carried on into the future, and b) that we will choose to not let their existence shape our opinions. At the end of the day, we are our own people, and we have a choice.

At the end of the day, this means one valuable thing; we can prevent stereotypes from limiting individuals by simply deciding that we want no part in them. If people can learn that imprisoning ourselves and others with imaginary standards will only drag us down, you can stop the intolerance that is so often show.
Nonetheless, that does not mean we must burn all stereotypes into the ground. It means that we have to use our heads to be able to distinguish when a stereotype is being harmful and when it is not. Sometimes stereotypes are used for social commentary or in comedy to highlight a variety of things. Once again, I stand firm with the belief that we must judge whether each situation is destructive or not, because otherwise we also stand set to lose any benefits the use of stereotypes might have.


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Hello!

To my dad's great happiness, and in my search for even more amazing, gorgeous books, I finally picked up Chronicle of a Death Foretold. And let me tell you something- it is utterly brilliant.
23878Title: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Series: n/a
Source: Bought
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 1981
No. of Pages: 120

Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Spanish: Crónica de una muerte anunciada) is a novella by Gabriel García Márquez, published in 1981. It tells, in the form of a pseudo-journalistic reconstruction, the story of the murder of Santiago Nasar by the two Vicario brothers. -(Goodreads)
 5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
 flying with joy.


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The Art of Falling to Pieces


It's funny how easily you can betray yourself. One wrong move, a flutter of your lips letting a long kept secret escape, a door you choose to close too soon. Or not soon enough. Each second of our lives is spent walking a precocious edge, being dared to peer over a little more.

Sometimes you do.

And your arms grasp wildly for anything to keep you there, begging to go back on what you did. Whether you took a false step, lost your balance, ran too far and too fast. Your heart stays in solidarity with the knowledge that you could have done better. You could have stayed standing perfectly and stridden confidently along that edge. Yet you fell, and sometimes knowing that is what hurts the most, because no one ever wants to betray themselves.

Inevitably, all you want to do is stay sat quietly, feeling the disapointment that settles in. It obliterates everything else till you cry to find solace in someone's arms, or in a bowl of ice cream or your neighbour's cat. And the worse thing is that it's so so tempting to let yourself become that sorrow you feel and just walk around with it impressed into who you are. But one wrong move doesn't shape you, and neither does one disappointment. They are simply things that must happen, that are written into the very fabric humanity is made from. No one is ever perfect; we are designed to stumble and fall.

The most freeing thing you can do is to remember that. Lift your head up, wipe away your tears, fix your make up and throw away the tissues and empty ice cream cartons. Learn to define yourself, and not let your mistakes become who you are. Smile and know you aren't going to quit, but that next time everything will most definitely be better. Don't forget to look for the good and realise that even when you realised you had fallen, you struggled on with a smile plastered on though all you wanted to do was stop everything there and then. It doesn't matter that you stumbled. The fact that you continued when that was the last thing you wanted to do is enough to be proud of.

That's the art of falling to pieces: the realisation that you never quite let yourself fall completely. You'll always be able to grab someone's hand, or pull yourself up and vow that you're going to leave this behind you and the next time you'll be smiling so hard you might cry. And it'll be for good reasons. All you have to do is remember that even though we're all balancing on an edge, we have the choice with how we deal with it. So run as fast as you can along it with the knowledge that when you fall, you alone can choose to stand up again in no time.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Hiya!

Over my hiatus, I gave myself a little treat and finally picked up Snow Like Ashes which a) everyone had been freaking out about and b) I was pretty sure I was going to freak out about to. Before you ask, yes I did.

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: October 14th 2014
No. of Pages: 416


A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
 -(Goodreads)
 5 stars: Page the bird salutes this book, and starts
 flying with joy.



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