Blogmas

Blogmas Day 2

Etsy Gifts for Booklovers

Blogmas day 2 is here! I love making these posts because I basically get to online shop for things I like. I also like to keep it real and showcase handmade gifts that average, working class families can afford. None of the gifts I have found breach the £20 limit.

Under £5

Nika Charms and Gifts make and sell the most adorable bookmarks. My favourites are under £5. There is a £1.50 postage charge, but as the item itself is less than £5, I wanted to include it in this section.

As an alternative, bookmarks printed on cardstock are cheaper still.

£5-£10

Artisanal Ane creates beautiful Kindle sleeves to keep your Kindles safe and snug. A Kindle sleeve costs £7.50 with £1.50 postage.

£10-£15

Poppins and Co have so many stunning prints that booklovers will gush over. This Little Women quote is just £11.99 with free p&p to the UK.

£15-£20

Pretty Rose Home Decor make weighted, fabric bags that make nifty bookends. You can grab a pair for £17.50 and free p&p.

I hope these gifts have given you inspiration to buy a perfect gift for your loved one that won’t break the bank.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Photos belong to the ETSY sellers (follow links for original sources)

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Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich

How to Make Money Blogging by Bob Lotich 3/5

Bob Lotich founded ChristianPF.com back in 2007 and after getting laid off in 2008 he took the leap into full-time blogging. Less than a year later he was earning more from his blog than his previous day-job.
While his results are not typical, this book covers all the steps he took to make money from his blog over that two-year period.

Review:

There isn’t anything wrong with this book, it just didn’t offer me anything personally. It covers the basics thoroughly, so if you don’t know the basics, then this is great. I know the basics, and although I blog as a platform for my books and to review, rather than to make my blog my business, I was hoping for some new, innovative ways to grow, even if just a tad.

Basically, time and hard work grows a blog, and eventually, can lead to income, but I’m already aware of that.

However, like I said, this is a good freebie for beginners.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J. Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

book-review

The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 4/5

17078496_1452801474771265_1869332312_nSeconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don’t forget to bring a towel!

Review:

Your friend of many years wants you to drink exactly three pints in the pub, even though your house is about to be torn down. Why? Because the world is about to be demolished, and he’s an alien, planning to hitch hike the both of you off of the doomed planet.

Such wonderful humour and writing style. There are many times where I chuckled to myself at one description or another. Adams has a knack for whimsy and wit, and who’d have thought to mix that with science fiction. He did, and it worked.

That brilliant humour weaves well into the characters too. Within a page, I knew Ford and Arthur’s different personalities like they were old friends of mine; Arthur the fretful, stumbling through life, ordinary guy, and Ford the kooky, alien stranded on Earth for fifteen years. Their dialogue is on point and hilarious. Then, there is Marvin. What a stroke of genius his character is; a depressed robot, who had me laughing the whole way through.

If you like science fiction, want something a little different, and want it jam-packed with humour, then this is the book for you. Just remember to bring your towel.

One of my favourite quotes:

‘Grunthos is reported to have been disappointed by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve-book epic entitled My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.’


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Suffragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter by Carol Drinkwater

book-review

Suffragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter by Carol Drinkwater 3/5

16707182_1431094340275312_273811952_n18th June, 1910
We marched from the Embankment to the Albert Hall. It was a glorious day. The sun shone warmly. Everyone was in good spirits. There were aristocrats, artists, even my mother looked happy. She who has been so opposed to my work with the WSPU. More than 10,000 people had rallied and there were dozens of bands playing. It was quite incredible. We waved banners, carried flowers, sang along with the tunes. Hundreds who have been imprisoned for our Cause marched together in a powerful band. It was all very rousing of spirit. I felt proud to be a woman, proud to be alive, proud to be a part of a movement that is fighting to make a difference.

Review:

Although Dollie and her diary are fictional, Drinkwater uses factual people and events of the Suffragette movement in London. If it was a historical fiction story without the diary layout, I would have preferred it more. I’m not a huge lover of diary narratives, and prefer them to be real memoirs, not fictional. That being said, it is an absorbing way to learn about the Suffragette movement, especially for the young adult audience it is targeted at.

I already know quite a lot about the events in this book and believe Drinkwater has integrated them with Dollie’s life and experiences masterfully. As a child, Dollie, by sheer good fortune, is plucked from a life of poverty and taken in by Lady Violet. Her background story makes her need to join the WSPU all that more believable. At just fourteen, she joins the WSPU, and her reactions and frustrations to certain events, unpassed bills, and treatment of the political prisoners are replicated in the reader.

In summary, an informative read to educate young adult readers in the Suffragette movement in London.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Touch (A One-Act Play) by Briana Morgan

book-review

Touch ( A One-Act Play) by Briana Morgan 4/5

15970433_1398295036888576_299992794_nThe Seeker has grown up in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime, and for most of her life, it hasn’t bothered her. But when some of her classmates are arrested for touching, she decides to try the most forbidden of things and touch another person. When she discovers the power of touching, and how it changes her and those around her, will the Seeker be content to return to a life without it?

I downloaded this book for free during an Amazon promotion.

Review:

Touch is a criminal offence. Not even parents can hug their children. The Seeker needs contact, she needs to know what another’s touch feels like, so she goes looking for it. Touch changes the Seeker’s life, and that of those around her.

Have I read a play before? No. Was I worried that I wouldn’t like the medium? Yes. Were my worries unwarranted? Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed this one-act play, and the enthralling concept. The idea of touch being illegal gripped me from page one.

The characters were relatable and that is quite a feat for such a short play. I would love to see this concept in novel form. There is plenty of scope to do just that. The author touched on background history that made the Seeker’s need for touch, and defiance of the law, more believable. Although fast, the narrative doesn’t let up until the last page, and as a reader you find yourself with a new found respect for touch. Lovers of YA dystopia would love this play.

A thought provoking concept that can be read in one sitting.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Book Reviews

Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson 5/5

13349044_1191867994197949_1972624146_nBlurb: The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler – the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years – has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

Review:

Sanderson has done it again. So many points of view, and so many cleverly woven plots and sub plots that interlink beautifully. Every character is important, well developed, and enriches the story. They change, grow with the narrative, and are just so believable that they could be real humans.

I am continuously in awe of Sanderson’s world building skills. The allomancy, political agendas, and mythology that were established in book one have only been strengthen and shined in book two.

I love Vin’s character, and the reasonings I laid out in my review of book one still stand. I have a soft spot for her relationship with Elend, and the flaws and difficulties they face only make me root for them more. There is another character who’s swiftly becoming an absolute favourite of mine- Sazed. I wish I had created him- that is all. My husband has read this series countless times, and I continuously ask him questions about my favourite characters that I don’t really want answers to. Luckily, my husband loves the books just as much as I do and will not spoil them for me. There you go- two recommendations for this series rolled into one review!

Jam packed with action, loss *sobs*, and revelations, I read the last 250 pages or so in one sitting. The ending had some misleading moments that left me clamping my hand to my mouth, and then a cliffhanger that has fuelled my need to read book three.


Check out my review for The Final Empire, Mistborn #1 : here.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Swarm by Alex South

 

Swarm (A Zombie Apocalypse Series #1) by Alex South 3.5/5

27246992Blurb: John has a dead-end job, doesn’t see enough of his friends, and struggles to find meaning in his life. These everyday concerns vanish on the night he’s jerked awake by screams.

Frenzied figures roam the streets. A helpless onlooker, John tells himself that this isn’t like the films. This is real life, with real people.

He and his neighbours band together over a small supply of food. Tensions brew, and a difficult choice arises. Risk starvation, or attempt escape? Conflicted over the cause and scope of the apocalypse, the group struggles to work together.

At first John clings to logic. The zombies do not drink or eat. Organic matter cannot sustain itself under these conditions, but things grow more complicated as the behaviour of the infected makes a drastic and inexplicable change.

Review:

I’m a sucker for all things Zombie. I saw this book for FREE on Amazon Kindle, and just had to download it. Is it like every other Zombie book? Yes and no. Yes- as far as there are zombies, survivors, and the unknown. No- as far as the book isn’t action packed per se. The narrative focusses on John’s personal journey in dealing with an apocalyptic situation, and not the zombie outbreak itself.

I’m a scaredy cat, but I was never scared. Was I supposed to be? Maybe? Did I want to be? Yes! I read zombie books for the horror, however I did like that this book added a different level to the situation, and a more indepth look at survival thought processes. A little more character development wouldn’t go a miss, but I liked John; average joe, getting on with life, and then one day- BAM… zombie apocalypse. He is relatable to the masses.

I always take zombie novels with a pinch of salt, or tongue in cheek. I don’t read them to be awed, I read them for light-hearted, gruesome fun. This book offered that, and I was pleasantly surprised with the narrative.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman.

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.

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