Wednesday, 6 December 2017

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Sorry Blogger but it wasn't working out! Find PebblePen Book Blog at Wordpress here.

Anthology imitations of Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey

Now, I am a huge fan of Milk and Honey, but for me, no-one does the controversially honest style as well as Rupi Kaur. Recently I have read a few other anthologies recommended to me as similar in terms of style and content but none have really reached the bar set.

The Last Time I'll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza

I had high hopes for this book as the publishing house, Andrews McMeel, also recognised Milk and Honey and subsequently published Kaur. Unfortunately, much of the poetry in this anthology lacked the emotive language and read much like an unending whine. The only point that I actually enjoyed and connected with Lanuza was in the final two lines of 'Migratory Birds'.
"Never quite knowing,
How to be with yourself?" 

For me, this brought about a feeling of not belonging to yourself and the uncertainty of not understanding or knowing yourself. This is familiar to every person at some point in their lives.

I also wish that the anthology had ended on a slightly lighter note. It began with a shallow, fanciful first love and then slowly drooped into a depressing whine in which the speaker struggles to get over him. I would have liked perhaps a second love or a sense of contentment to be alone for now.

I wouldn't personally recommend it, but if you are tempted by this its expected publication date is the 30th January 2018.

The Princess Saves Herself in This One Amanda Lovelace

Image result for the princess saves herself in this one

This anthology has been incredibly popular among fans of Rupi Kaur as Amanda Lovelace seems to very much share the feminist ideology of Kaur. It was even recommended by one of my favourite book bloggers, Hannah at Fables and Tea for our collaborative genre bookmark project. Alas, I also thought it was a slightly paler imitation of Milk and Honey.

It's a bit more badass and sweary that Kaur but in my opinion didn't contain half as much depth of feeling. The princess saves herself quite easily as she hadn't fallen too far from her throne in the first place.
Image result for the princess saves herself in this one
Kudos there, as a lot of the time that is the case. Sometimes you may feel as though you've fallen a great height when in reality it was just a trip in the journey, but for a poetry anthology, I found it slightly anticlimactic.

So there you have it! If you think there is something I missed in these reviews please let me know.

You can get 'The Princess Saves Herself in This One' online here.

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Friday, 1 December 2017

The Social Media Race - Crowdfire vs. Hootsuite vs. Kereru Media

Every blogger encounters social media at some point during their travels.

I also encountered Crowdfire. 

Crowdfire's claim is that it is an application capable of promoting and engaging your audience on both a blog and social media. I previously tweeted my dissatisfaction at the new layout and the fact that more and more of the Crowdfire's functions are becoming premium features.

So I wanted to pit them against some of the best social media people and other programs to see what the best use of money is! My budget is only £20 for a month as this is how much the premium Crowdfire upgrade is and I really wanted to see what you can get for that.

December 2017 is Crowdfire's turn! Other programmes that will be tested include Hootsweet. I will also be hiring a social media marketing firm, run by my close friend Cat Randle, Kereru Media. If you are interested in participating in this race, please don't hesitate to contact me and we'll just keep rolling on every month!

My expectations so far:

There will be very little in the way of original postings aside from the four posts I will compose before the race begins. Crowdfire is an app at the end of the day and my prediction is that my feed will be full of news tweets and that it will automatically share my blogs on all social media channels.

As far as growth is concerned I think the blog will grow because of this, but I'm concerned about the number of those who subscribe to the blog and to the social media channels who will actually be engaging with my content and not just scrolling past because of the lack of any sentient thought behind half the posts.

As far as how much time is going to come from me, I would say more than 1 minute (which is the daily recommendation from Crowdfire) but part of that will be my desire to connect with the people that Crowdfire sends my way and also wanting to personally over-see this race.

I believe that it will present a relatively long-term social media solution if done successfully as they charge a reduced price for a yearly plan and they will also hopefully introduce me to other creators, reviewers, authors and collaborators!

At the start of next month (01/01/2018), I will review the service, value for money and whether I would recommend Crowdfire to help run your social media channels!

Current Social Media Activity:

Twitter followers: 175
Facebook Likes: 30
Blog Subscribers: 6
Youtube Subscribers: 7
Instagram Followers: 0
Pinterest Followers: 0

Off we go Crowdfire! May the odds be ever in your favour!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Fragments of Femininity by Olivier Pont

A collection of complex yet delicately woven stories. Some intimate moments I never expected as well as some truly dark points. I connected with the characters, yet still felt they were mysterious. There are no obvious answers and only the author knows the full story of what each character was going through. There were some stories such as Elikya, Mathilde and Fleur's stories that truly celebrated femininity and those characters found freedom and passion through their womanliness. Yet there were also tales told around Chloe and Faith, where despite having traditionally unfeminine bodies, they still found a sensual side. Then there were the darker tones of women such as Sylvia whose story actually made me feel somewhat disgusted. Sylvia's actions speak strongly of self-loathing, which is an important and emotive theme but deeply unnerving. Despite this, I did love having a leading lady with curves. Alison taught us that although the past can haunt us it is also crucial that we move forward and think more of the present and future.
The art is seductively smooth in some places and joltingly hard in others. The contrast is very expressive and I think Pont outdid himself in this regard. The balance of the characters and the way they move is very smooth and natural.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Printable Bookmark Recommendations Collaborative Project!

These free printable bookmarks were a collaborative project by your book blogging community. They're perfect little snippets for people interested in exploring new topics outside their usual bookshelves, or for more experienced readers to get more out of a genre they love. If you see a title you recognize, there's a blogger that would love to talk to you about it. If you see titles you've never heard of then there's a blogger who loves it and believes you will too! 

All credit is given to the wonderful people who worked on it:
The Historical, Fantasy & Sci Fi bookmarks below were the ones I contributed titles too, however, I was also in charge of compiling, formatting and coordinating the other blogger's suggestions and editing them into the other bookmarks on this page. All printables can be found permanently in the tab at the top of the blog, ready to be downloaded whenever you need some quick book advice!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in April 2017 and of the National Book Award, Colson Whitehead's phenomenal race-centered novel has also been announced long-listed for the Booker Prize 2017.

Underground Railroad is everything. It is the secret to a new identity and life for slave girl Cora, as well as her past, present and future. Born and raised in a cotton farm in Georgia, Cora knows first hand the cruelty of the white man. As a child, abandoned by a mother that ran, she is strong and fights to stake a claim on what's hers, even if all this amounts to is a three foot strip of land between cabins, and continues to do so throughout her journey. She travels by rail, smuggled from state to state, reaching for the freedom and education she was denied.

The book is a poignant reminder that freedom isn't always what it seems and is seldom permanent, especially for a black girl. Whitehead explores the reality of people's attitudes towards slaves and even free men with darker complexions at the time. It was truly riveting and heartbreaking for the losses and injustice she suffers but the journey makes it all worth it. I loved the rare moments when Cora finds snippets of kindness and acceptance by the people who harbor her.

My second historical fiction novel of the month whose protagonist is also named Cora is just as brilliant as the first. A brilliant coincidence.

Buy The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Now on Worderly

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Happy Lippy Book Club: Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici & Rachel Deering

Publication Date: 8th August 2017

Heathen is not only the first breath-taking leap into a Nordic fantasy world, but also a story of acceptance, courage and passion. The art is stunning and reckless. I love how free and unique both the art style and the story are. Aydis is a strong and fearless warrior, cast out of her village for kissing another girl.

Throughout her journey she seeks to not only end the suffering of a Valkyrie, who is cursed by the tyrannical God-King Odin, but also to abolish the subjugation of women like her. On her way she must fight tricksters, jump through flames, and even overcome the temptation of fickle love.

The Nordic lore and the immortal talking animals (especially her horse, Saga!) just wove another layer into the fabric of this story that I couldn’t resist.

I thoroughly enjoyed this volume and can’t wait for the next one. The ending is very much leading up to something big (though I can’t give too much away) and I would love to see where this series goes. Both Aydis and Brynhild are powerfully intense characters, whose mind-set and emotions are laid completely bare to you as the reader. You don’t read graphic novels like this. You experience them.