Happy New Year!

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As some of you may know, I had only one new year’s resolution for 2017: I aim to read no books by or about straight white men this year.

I have two reasons for this: I want to broaden my own horizons as a reader, and I want to draw attention to books and/or authors that the readers of my blog(s) may not have heard of or may have wanted learn more about. I specifically want to focus on writers of colour and the LGBTQ community, and I have already bought a ton of books in preparation for this project.

So there you have it.

No Straight White Dudes In 2017.

Let’s go.

Video Games for Literature Lovers

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Source: James Bit Originals.

“A game is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand.”

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (2014)

At last, it is time to bring two of my interests together: literature and video games. I have tried to create a varied list of games that are either directly inspired by works of literature or are a strong narrative experience themselves. However, my own personal bias has definitely influenced what made the cut (I am all about atmosphere), not to mention the fact that I have tried to recommend only those games that I have either played myself or watched playthroughs of. That said, hopefully there will be something on this list for everybody, from the more experienced gamer to someone who is completely new to the field. Think of this list as a starting point. If you have any suggestions or recommendations that you want to share, please leave a comment below!

Note I: These games are presented in no particular order.

Note II: Take a shot every time I use the word “journey,” “experience,” or “patience.”

Note III: Take another shot when I recommend a game that features terminal illness and/or traffic accidents in some way.

Note IV: Or Troy Baker.

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Home Library Reshuffle

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There is something deeply cathartic about rearranging your book collection. It is also a great way to make you aware of your own reading habits and how they’ve changed over the years.

“I think I’ve officially got enough books on World War One to put them together into their own separate category. Is that a good thing? I can’t decide if that’s a good thing.”

Final result:

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Top 10 Adoptive Parents In Literature

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We all love our Dickensian tales about evil stepmothers and adorable orphans who have to make their own way in a dark world – but sometimes they get lucky. Fiction has given us some of the most loving and supportive adoptive parents you will ever see, and these ten foster families particularly warm my heart.

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Moving Mayhem!

My apologies for the lack of posts lately, darling readers. I have just come back from a lovely holiday in Cornwall and then moved into a new apartment right after that, so my life has been a bit chaotic of late. Most of the work is done now, so I should be back to writing book reviews soon (first up: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys!).

I have had some time to unpack and rearrange my collection of books though:

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I love playing around with different ways to organise my books, and I’m quite happy with how this arrangement turned out.

Do you have a system in your home library? Do you sort your books alphabetically or by genre/period?

10 Tips for Beginning Book Bloggers and Reviewers

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First things first: I know that this post is a little bit presumptuous of me. I am barely a blip on the internet’s radar, who am I to say what people should and shouldn’t put on their blogs? I am not an authority on the subject and you should write whatever the hell you want without caring about what I have to say ’cause baby you’re a firework. Still, I have noticed a few “trends” amongst young book bloggers that make me cringe and after reading one bad review too many, I thought it was time to dedicate a post to some basic do’s and don’ts of the field.

These tips are all on the actual writing on your blog, not the way it looks or the way you (don’t) sell yourself. My focus is on what matters most: the quality of your content.

(That said, a readable font and a lay-out that doesn’t give your readers a headache or seizures are worth looking into.)

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Theatre Review: “Much Ado About Nothing” (RSC, 2014)

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Edward Bennett (Benedick) and Michelle Terry (Beatrice).

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As I’ve explained in my review of Love’s Labour’s Lost (RSC 2014), this production was presented as Love’s Labour’s Won by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This was a controversial decision that confused audiences and led to heated debate among scholars, since Love’s Labour’s Won is either the title of a lost Shakespeare play or an alternative title for an existing play. Which one? Who knows! An episode of  Doctor Who was dedicated to it, that’s the level of mystery we’re talking here. Still, I can see why one would want to stage these plays as a duology: they are variations on similar themes. Both Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing have a distinct male and female group, men asked to prove their love, strong female characters who are more demanding than forgiving, clear class differences, and a whole lot of banter. Some critics have even argued that Berowne and Rosaline were a kind of try-out for Beatrice and Benedick.

The setting is the same (Charlecote Park, post-WWI this time) and most of the cast members return, but this production fails exactly where Love’s Labour’s Lost so gloriously succeeded: using the setting to enhance the themes of the story.

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Theatre Review: “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (RSC, 2014)

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Read my book review of Love’s Labour’s Lost here.

In 2014, the RSC performed a trilogy of plays set before (Love’s Labour’s Lost), during (The Christmas Truce), and right after World War One (Much Ado About Nothingreview here), thus tying into the year’s centenary commemoration events. The two Shakespeare plays were presented as the Love’s Labour’s duology: Much Ado was retitled Love’s Labour’s Won (a controversial decision resulting in many confused people in the audience and furious debate among Shakespeare scholars), the majority of the cast performed in both plays, and both used the same setting: Charlecote Park, a grand country house and estate a few kilometres away from Stratford-upon-Avon where some say Shakespeare poached a deer and got arrested for it.

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