Tag: Books: Giveaway

Eclectictales.comโ€™s Blogoversary!

Posted 3 February, 2017 by Lianne in Website / 24 Comments

The month of February hits a milestone of sorts for the blog (not necessarily the space as I moved recently, but just existence of the blog as its own entity): eclectictales.com turns TEN.

Not my gif, as always

Yup, you read it right: 2017 makes ten years of me blogging. It’s pretty surreal to think it’s been that long since I’ve started blogging (steadily; I think I mentioned in my About the Site section that I had a previous blog/domain but had to stop for offline reasons). And after ten years, one does learn a few things along the way… ๐Ÿ˜›

  1. It’s easy to follow what others are doing (format-wise, books read and reviewed that are popular right now, etc.) but at the end of the day it’s your blog: you do the thing that makes you happy.
  2. Blogging is an ever-changing process: you pick up new ways of formatting or presenting your thoughts and ideas, the focus of your blog shifts and changes…Gosh, just look at some of my posts circa 2012 compared to now. It’s normal, and it’s part of the fun.
  3. You don’t have to review every book you’ve read–I learnt that recently, actually. I use my blog as my book journal so to speak (as with the amount of books I read per year, I will have used up a lot of notebooks O_O) and for the last few years my approach has been to record my thoughts as much as I can on the books that I’ve read. But sometimes when you don’t have much thought about a book you’ve read, why struggle churning out what turns out to be a wee & generalised review? This is still a hobby at the end of the day, not your dissertation.
  4. Yeah, it’s dismaying when no one comments on an awesome book you’ve reviewed (or a review you’re particularly proud of having clobbered together), but it happens. It’s there, maybe one day someone will read it and appreciate thoughts in it. But as long as you’re happy with it and you’ve got it jotted down somewhere, it’s all good.
  5. On a related note, at the end of the day stats don’t matter, really. I mean, yeah, I too wish I got more traffic and more readers, but those that drop by and comment do make my day ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Being different has its benefits in terms of what you offer in your reviews and what readers come across in your blog. What do I mean? Well like my url suggests, I do read an eclectic range of books, perhaps a little more far out than what you may necessarily come across, and while perhaps that may contribute to a lack of traffic or comments at times, I do get the occasional comment saying they appreciated coming across this book or that that they had never heard of and want to check out now. I’m always happy to recommend titles to people!
  7. The book blogging community is a supportive place. Yeah, it’s had its weird drama moments from time to time but the friends I’ve made over the years through the community and the memes and the discussion are priceless. #hugsforall
  8. Scheduling blog posts = life saver.
  9. Blogging burnout happens–and it’s okay. I never thought I’d be one of those people who would experience it, and perhaps it’d be a surprise to you to know that I did experience it considering my blog posts are scheduled at a daily frequency, but the hiatus time I had back in December? Sure, I was experiencing headache after headache transferring my blog over to the new server but in the same vein it gave me the time to step back and take a break, which I didn’t realise I even needed. !
  10. I guess this reiterates #1 a bit but most of all? Have fun blogging!

As always I’m thankful for everyone’s support and friendship over the years of chatting about books and other things; I honestly don’t think I would’ve continued blogging for as long as I have (or perhaps with the same vigor as before) if it wasn’t for your guys.

Not my gif but this is for you all, this cute puppy in a bowl ๐Ÿ˜›

As a thank you to you all and in celebration of my blogoversary, I am hosting a book giveaway! Now, I’m doing it a bit different this year; rather than going by my favourite reads in 2016, I’m going to give you an option to choose any one book I’ve read & reviewed on my blog.

Now, this prospect sounds crazy daunting as I’ve written over 900 book reviews in the last 10 years (see tag; omg where to start?!) O_o But there’s a few ways to navigate through and discover/decide what book to choose:

This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. The contest will run until Monday, February 13th @ 11:59PM EST. Please make sure you use a valid email address when you enter (as the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will draw a new winner). You can read the rest of the terms and conditions with the Rafflecopter below ๐Ÿ˜‰

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that’s about it! In bocca del lupo! If you have any questions about the giveaway or any issues with Rafflecopter, please email me at webmaster [at] eclectictales [dot] com or comment in this post. Many thanks again for all of your support over the years ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œWith mirth and laughter let old wrinkles comeโ€ (Birthday (Book) Giveaway!)

Posted 5 October, 2016 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 25 Comments

*Blog post title taken from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (review)

So lo and behold, today is October the 5th. Which on a personal note means that today is my birthday. Yes, the old addage goes that age is just a number, but this year feels just a tad bit different on my account because I’m turning 30. It’s weird to think that my 20s are over (where did it go? Seriously, I’ve been pondering about this for the last few weeks)…Suffice to say this is going to take a wee bit getting used to (then again for the past year I’ve been pausing for a moment every time someone’s asked me how old I am because I wasn’t sure myself, haha :3 ) ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, I was thinking for a few weeks how to mark/celebrate this, especially here on my blog, and I’ve decided to list 30 books that have influenced me over the years: marked a change of reading, opened a new genre or branch of translated books that I enjoy reading, marked a non-reading interest, remains an absolute favourite for years and years. No commentary will be included (as listing 30 books took a bit of time to fill out!), but feel free to ask me why I listed so-and-so ๐Ÿ˜€ This list is not in chronological order, I should add (read too many books to remember when I started reading this genre and that field; and I call myself a historian ๐Ÿ˜› ):

  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3)
  • Jane Austen’s Persuasion (review)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South (review)
  • Ian McEwan’s Atonement (review)
  • Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (review)
  • Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons (review)
  • Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling
  • E.M. Forster’s The Longest Journey (review)
  • Frank Herbert’s Dune (review)
  • Garth Nix’s Sabriel (review)
  • Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
  • Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy
  • Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Poems (review)
  • Carmen Laforet’s Nada (review)
  • Alice Munro’s Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage (review)
  • Patricia A. McKillip’s Winter Rose (review)
  • Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris (review)
  • Anthony Marra’s The Tsar of Love and Techno (review)
  • William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (review)
  • Maria Rainer Rilke’s Duino Elegies (review)
  • Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (review)
  • Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series (see author tag)
  • The Kalevala (review)
  • Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist
  • Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (review)
  • Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy (review #1, review #2, review #3)
  • Robert Shearman’s Remember Why You Fear Me (review)
  • Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle (review)
  • Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review)
  • Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana

Dare I ask if you were surprised by some of my choices?

And now for the fun part: I’m hosting a wee giveaway in which you have a chance to win a book of your choice from the above 30 (omg, all the choices!). In the case of trilogies/series mentioned above (e.g. Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Deborah Harkness’ All Souls), you will need to specify which book in the trilogy/series you want ๐Ÿ˜‰ This giveaway is open internationally (so long as The Book Depository ships to your country) and will remain open until 11:59PM EST on 14 October 2015. Just make sure you use a valid email address; should you win, you will have 24 hours to respond to my email otherwise a new winner will be drawn (I would also kindly ask to email me when you do receive the book so that I know the book arrived to you safe and sound!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Un bocca di lupo! Let me know if you have any problems with Rafflecopter or whatnot. Meanwhile, I will quietly celebrate my birthday with ice cream cake, Japanese food later this evening, and German beer to wash it all down (after starting celebrations off over the weekend with some good ol’ German food) ๐Ÿ˜€

ETA: Congratulations to the winner, Kate! I hope you enjoy the book you chose ๐Ÿ™‚ Many thanks again to everyone who entered and for the birthday greetings!

Review: Time and Regret (+ Excerpt + Giveaway)

Posted 1 September, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 7 Comments

Time and Regret
By: M.K. Tod
Format/Source: Paperback courtesy of the author as part of the Time and Regret France Book Tours

When Grace Hansen finds a box belonging to her beloved grandfather, she has no idea it holds the key to his pastโ€”and to long-buried family secrets. In the box are his World War I diaries and a cryptic note addressed to her. Determined to solve her grandfatherโ€™s puzzle, Grace follows his diary entries across towns and battle sites in northern France, where she becomes increasingly drawn to a charming French manโ€”and suddenly aware that someone is following herโ€ฆ

Through her grandfatherโ€™s vivid writing and Graceโ€™s own travels, a picture emerges of a man very unlike the one who raised her: one who watched countless friends and loved ones die horrifically in battle; one who lived a life of regret. But her grandfather wasnโ€™t the only one harboring secrets, and the more Grace learns about her family, the less she thinks she can trust them.

Exciting, a new novel from M.K. Tod! I read her first two books (see author tag) as part of book blog tours in the past so naturally I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel and take part in this wonderful blog tour today. The premise of this novel is a bit different from her previous two, which particularly piqued my interest. This book was released on 16 August 2016. Included in this post are an excerpt from the book and details on how to enter for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Thank you to France Book Tours for letting me take part in the book tour for this novel.

Read More

List: Books By Canadian Authors to Check Out (+ Giveaway!)

Posted 1 July, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 10 Comments

Happy Canada Day! It’s a long weekend up here, which is nice, and to celebrate everything Canadian, I’ve decided to put together a wee list of some of my favourite books by Canadian authors that I’ve read in the past year (2015 – 2016).

Edit (09 July 2016): A little late as I’ve been away at the end of June/start of July, but you can consider this post as part of this month’s edition of So You Want to Read… (see previous posts)

  • Still Mine by Amy Stuart (review) — I read this book earlier this year and it’s absolutely marvelous! Very atmospheric, foreboding, and mysterious; you’re not quite sure who to trust in this wee mining town in the middle of nowhere, and the protagonist is fighting her own past demons whilst searching for clues to the whereabouts of a missing woman. I’ve mentioned it recently how it’s a perfect vacation read, but it’s a great read any time, really.
  • Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis (review) — This was last year’s winner of the Giller Prize, which prompted me to check it out (plus I got some verbal recommendations when I was at the bookstore shortly afterwards). It was absolutely stunning, from the premise of bringing human consciousness to this group of fifteen dogs to capturing the essense of human experience. Not to mention from the Canadian standpoint it gives a curious/change of perspective of the city I live in.
  • Family Furnishings by Alice Munro (review) — No list of Canadian literature is ever complete without mentioning Alice Munro ๐Ÿ˜› I selected this title, the latest compliation of her works, because it’s all around a solid collection. I found I prefer her later stories to her earlier ones–much easier to get into, the themes and scenarios interesting–and think this is a great starting point if you’ve never read anything by her before.
  • Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden (review) — Joseph Boyden is a quite a big author up here, writing about Aboriginal experience in Canadian history and about Aboriginals and their lives as a whole. I hadn’t gotten around to reading any of his books until this year and suffice to say it was quite a read! I learned a lot about the Aboriginal contribution to the Canadian forces during World War One as well as a myriad of other topics such as the residential schools and the serious issue of morphine addiction. Can’t wait to read more books by him!
  • The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (review) — Any book by her, really (see author tag), but to date this title has to be my favourite from her. It’s absolutely atmospheric, feels like you’re almost in northern Scotland, at Slains, facing the sea. Both storylines–the 17th century one and the present day one–were absolutely enthralling, I couldn’t quite put it down once I started reading it. I’ve enjoyed almost all of her books save for one of two but if you’re new to her works or want a sample of her storytelling, this is definitely the book to check out.

And that’s my list of recommendations of books to check out by Canadian authors! Have you read any of these titles? If so, what did you think of them? If you haven’t read any of these, well, now’s your chance! I’m hosting a flash book giveaway where you can win your choice of book from the above five titles* ๐Ÿ™‚ This giveaway is open internationally so long as The Book Depository ships to your country. This giveaway will run until 08 July 2016 at 11:59PM. A winner will be selected the following day and will have 48 hours to respond to the email so please make sure you enter a valid email address! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at webmaster [at] eclectictales [dot] com. Bonne chance! ๐Ÿ˜€

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* – If you’ve read the above titles by Alice Munro, Joseph Boyden, or Susanna Kearsley, I’d be happy to send you a book of theirs that you haven’t read.

Edit: Congrats to the winner of this giveaway, Denise! I hope you enjoy the book of you choice. Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Eclectictales.comโ€™s Blogoversary!

Posted 5 February, 2016 by Lianne in Website / 61 Comments

Ciao everyone! It’s February again, which means one particular thing on this blog: it’s my blogoversary ๐Ÿ˜€ Huzzah!

Not my gif, as always, but this is basically me right now (in my head, of course)

So yeah, my blog/web space turns NINE this year, which basically means I’m ancient here in the book blogging community, lmao j/k. But all joking aside, it seems like yesterday that I just started got this web space and trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. It wasn’t until GoodReads came around about a year afterwards that I learned there was such thing as book blogging and a book blogging community which I thought was really cool, and hey! I like reading a lot so naturally my web space went the direction of book blogging.

I feel at this point I should say something profound about the experience so far, lol xD The blogging experience is constantly changing–just look at the book blogging community and the various discussions that have surfaced in the last month or two, or even the way my book reviews evolved over the last several years–but suffice to say I’m still blogging on my own terms and I still enjoy it. Sure, sometimes I wonder if my posts are being read at all (I see my stats when I log in, but that’s as far as they register in my mind), blogging about books and genres that I don’t see very many bloggers read as well or comment on, but it happens; as long as I’m happy writing up my thoughts about it, it’s all good (I think I mentioned it last year but I consider this to be my equivalent of what would be a book journal). And it’s nice to see a comment every now and then saying that they’re curious about the book I mentioned or recently read and will check it out; I always enjoy recommending books alongside talking about them, so I feel my job is done when someone takes up my recommendation (for good or for ill, lol) ๐Ÿ™‚

Not my gif, but a 12th Doctor gif always seems rather apt xD

So yeah, for now I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, and as always I’m very thankful to those who’ve stuck around with the blog, commented, chatted with me; your flailings, conversations, and friendships mean a lot to me ๐Ÿ™‚

Just out of curiosity, for this year’s blogoversary I decided to conduct a wee little survey to see what readers and visitors of my blog are most interested in and whatnot. It’s totally voluntary and won’t be part of the following giveaway; I’m just curious to hear from readers. The survey will be open for the rest of the month. You can fill it out at the following link–

eclectictales.com reader survey (of sorts) (closed now)

I’ll try to squeeze the results sometime in March. Many thanks in advance! ๐Ÿ™‚

As a thank you to you all, I am hosting a book giveaway with an opportunity to win one of the following nine books (see what I did there? ๐Ÿ˜› ) I read in 2015 and enjoyed:

  • Darragh McKeon’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (review)
  • Julie Schmaucher’s Dear Committee Members (review)
  • Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review)
  • Viola di Grado’s The Hollow Heart (review)
  • Brandon Sanderson’s The Alloy of Law (review) or any of the preceding Mistborn books/from the first trilogy (#1, #2, #3)
  • Any of the books from Deborah Harkness’ All Souls trilogy (see author tag)
  • Any of the books from Rachel Bach’s Paradox trilogy (see author tag)
  • Lindsey Kelk’s Always the Bridesmaid (review)
  • Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers (review)

This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. The contest will run until Monday, February 29th @ 11:59PM EST. Please make sure you use a valid email address when you enter (as the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will draw a new winner). You can read the rest of the terms and conditions with the Rafflecopter below ๐Ÿ˜‰

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In bocca del lupo! If you have any questions about the giveaway or any issues with Rafflecopter, please email me at webmaster [at] eclectictales [dot] com or comment in this post. Many thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

Not my gif; I’m in a gif-posting mood at the moment, clearly. So sorry if this is lagging your bandwidth -_-;