Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – How Do You Choose Your Next Book?

April 27, 2021
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As our options for choosing a book to read have become virtual for the most part, during COVID, we have to decide which one works best for us. The easiest option for many is a book selling site, such as Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble or Kindle, to name a few. There is also the option of utilizing your local library, where you can browse online, order and pick up your selections. And visiting your local bookstore too. Whatever method you use the author will sincerely appreciate your leaving a review. So please do.

It is a matter of personal preference where we purchase our books and in what format. Whether it is print or e-book. As I work on a computer all day for my day job and then work on my laptop most evenings, my preference is a print copy. I enjoy the tactile feeling of weight, smell and texture as well as the physical turning of a page. For me it is better to read without a backlight at night, as it stimulates my brain rather than calming it.

Which do you prefer? Print or e-book?

Why do you make this choice? Is it a practical concern or something else?

I am lucky to have a friend, who gives out books after she and her daughter have read them. I recently visited her and she handed over a huge bags of books! Such a delightful surprise and it was like Christmas lifting each one out to read the blurb. However, it then gave me a problem – how should I choose which one to read first, second, third and so on.

After reading all the blurbs, I categorized them. Ones that did not instantly appeal, others that were soft choices and others that engaged my curiosity. Depending on your specific likes and dislikes, favorite genres and subject matter, choosing can be little easier. So from this stack.

I choose my first three reads as below.

I choose these particular books because two have characters in them that write and the third because I love myths, legends and magic.

This is my review of Saying Goodbye is Easy by Kathie Sutherland

A compelling, complex and enlightening narrative, full of truths, struggles and internal emotions. Every reader will find a connection with the struggles, highs and lows of the narrator. A courageous, heartfelt and revealing story, told in short stories and reflections.
This book will change your outlook on your life and your life’s path.

Please leave a comment on how you choose a book and the last book you reviewed so other readers can find them.

A Happy New Year and My Blog Schedule for 2021

December 29, 2020
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As many of you know, I commit to a blog schedule at the end of each year for the up coming year. In 2021, my twice weekly posts will continue to be divided between writing topics and delving into my books and writing life for my readers.

I hope you will find the content interesting, enlightening and fun. I will post every Tuesday and Thursday each week as follows:

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday

Stories behind my published books and also from works in progress.

First pages

Update on events I will be attending – if possible physically, if not virtually in 2021

Glimpses at my current writing project.

Sharing short stories or poem’s I have written from prompts or workshops.

Character Interviews

My book reviews

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday

Special Interviews with authors from Creative Edge

Writing Tips

Writing contests

Literary Birthdays

Author Toolbox – once a month

Monthly Author Interviews (please sign up for one – first Thursday of every month.)

I will continue with my monthly newsletter, so please sign up when prompted. I hope we can develop a great relationship with this new venture – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses. Thank you in anticipation.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – 8 Writing Tips for the Holiday Season

December 17, 2020
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Writing Tips:

Holiday’s tend to reek havoc on our writing schedule with visitors or visiting, meal preparations, and traveling but with COVID restrictions in place, we need to find alternative ways to share the seasons celebrations. That is also true for our writing time. Here are a few tricks to help you continue writing throughout the festive season.

  1. Keep track of the number of words you write instead of how long you wrote.
  2. Set a reasonable word count goal in small pockets of time even if it is only 100 words at a time.
  3. Relax your normal rigorous writing timetable – take time to chill, enjoy and also use it to observe. There may be a ‘scene’ that could help your current work in progress. People watching is fun too.
  4. Wake up earlier (or stay up later) than usual to ensure that you spend some time writing. If you have the option utilize the guest room to ‘hide’ yourself for a while.
  5. Don’t feel guilty about not writing – we all need down time.
  6. Test out a scene with family or friends to get feedback.
  7. Connect with a supporter for encouragement.
  8. Create a writing plan around your activities. 

Above all stay safe, stay well and write.

Wordsmith Collective Thursday – 10 Alternative Gift Ideas for Writers

December 10, 2020
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Of course there are numerous gift ideas for writers and authors out there. I have picked ten more unusual and useful gifts.

  1. Domain name for a writer website – creating a domain name as an author is a significant step. Help them make that step.

2. Finger-less writing gloves – these can be to ease the cold or medical support for wrists.

3. Online course for improving their writing – writers can never get enough learning for their craft.

4. Bookends – whether reflecting the genre they write in or their favorite animal, author or to match their decor. Your choice.

5. Gift card for a bookstore or online – always a welcome gift.

6. Subscription to a literary journal – there are numerous journals to choose from. Find one that matches the writers genre or style.

7. High-tech pen – the more fancy the better. Writers have multiple pens at arms reach all the time!

These next three are so good for posture. Writers tend to huddle over their laptops or notebooks.

8. Adjustable footrest

9. Back rest for desk chair

10. Ergonomic wrist rest pad 

What has been your favorite ‘write’ gift?

Do you have a wish list for this year?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Snacks While Reading List & Author Birthdays

December 8, 2020
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We all have that favorite snack or drink when we are reading. Depending on where we read, the snack changes. If we are in bed, we obviously don’t want crumbles or spills of any kind but in a cozy chair covered in a blanket beside a fireplace, can be tricky too.

Snacks to read with:

Crackers and cookies

Hard pretzels & popcorn – mind those buttery fingers on the pages/screen though.

A cheese plate

Grapes, Dried Fruit & Nuts

Veggies & Dip

Granola Bars

Candy – this is a risky option, too many can be consumed!

Cupcakes – again watch those sticky fingers.

Drinks to read with:

Tea – whether black or green, chai or chamomile – the choice is yours.

Chocolate Milk – hot or cold, topped with sprinkles, marshmallows or cinnamon. Be careful with this choice as chocolate might get smeared on the pages. A straw is recommended.

Fruit Smoothie – there are as many variations to this choice as your imagination can think up.

On this day in history

1609 Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan opened its reading room. It was the second public library in Europe to open.

Writers Born 8 December:

Bill Bryson – American-British author of books on travel.

Bjornstjerne Bjornson – Norwegian writer who received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature

James Thurber – American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, and celebrated wit.

John Banville – Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter of dramas and screenwriter.

Louis de Bernieres – English novelist.

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