Tag: Book Expo

Armchair BEA 2013: Wrap-Up

Posted June 2, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 5 Comments

armchairBEAAs we come to a close for Armchair BEA I would like to think everyone had a great time and hopefully found some new blogs to follow and people to follow on twitter. I think my RSS feed will have grown (I miss Google reader already) and maybe have some new regulars to my blog. My goal was to find new male bloggers to follow and I expected to find some great bloggers (both male and female). If you haven’t guessed it I’ve written all these posts in advance since I will be out of the country visiting a good friend in New Zealand. I still had some time to read comments, other blogs and twitter so I know I have new friends. I hope you check out my other posts as well as these ones and catch you all around the book blogosphere.

Other ArmchairBEA 2013 posts

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


ArmchairBEA 2013: Keeping it Real & Children’s/Young Adult Literature

Posted June 1, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 13 Comments

armchairBEAWhat do you mean by “keeping it real”? Does this come back to ethics or are we talking about relating to our audience? Like I said when I ranted a little about authors and ethics, I try to be transparent and talk about what works for me and what doesn’t. I want people to read my blog and get my honest opinion. Sure, I get ARCs and sometimes it feels like the publisher stops sending me books because of a bad review but I think that is just my imagination. The publicists I’ve talked to that work in the book industry have told me that they don’t have a problem with bad reviews, it is about getting exposure to the book and they know that some people won’t like it but at least the book is getting talked about. Now if you are talking about writing material that will keep readers coming back for more then I’m probably not the right person to ask. I like to review all my books and write bookish posts on topics I’ve been thinking about, I love comments but I’m not too worried if I don’t get any. I’ve said this before, this is just a way for me to express my passion for books and if I get readers, that is just a bonus.

So now let’s move on to Children’s/Young Adult Literature; genres that I often struggle with. First of all, children’s books like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Little Prince are wonderful philosophical novels but I don’t know how to write a decent review for them. Then you get great picture books like I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen which I love and want on my bookshelf but when it comes to the book blogging world, I don’t know how to approach them in a blog. I have a love/hate relationship with Young Adult books, I want to enjoy them and for some I have but I really want more from most of them. I’m really getting sick of all the dystopian and paranormal YA novels but people love them and good for them, I’m just personally over them. I know erotica is the new big thing but I think YA (and maybe even NA) will remain big sellers in the book world.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


ArmchairBEA 2013: Ethics & Non-Fiction

Posted May 31, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 26 Comments

armchairBEANow this is a hard topic, firstly I’m not sure if I know enough about the book blogger code of ethics (there should be one set in stone or in hardback at least) and I often struggle with reading and reviewing non-fiction. First of all, ethics; I don’t think I’ve experienced much to do with plagiarism but I think it is important to always give credit where credit is due. I like to tag my posts make it clear if I’m reviewing an ARC, just so people know that the book has been given to me for free. I think it is important to be transparent with our blogging so we can be viewed as an honest and trustworthy blog. I have had some positive and negative experiences with authors and my reviews; I think it is important to have bad reviews so people know what we like and what we hate. Now I try to be critical and constructive in my reviews but authors still take offence. There is nothing against the author, you don’t have to unfollow me on twitter and most of the time I’m willing to try another of your books. But if it doesn’t work for me, I want to write why, I never want it to feel like a personal attack; authors just have to accept that not everyone is going to like their books. I hope I didn’t get too sidetracked but I think we have an obligation to write negative reviews as well as positive.  I want to start being more vicious with my reading and abandoning books so I don’t waste to much time on the books I’m not enjoying but I also want to document my reading journey here as well so I’m looking for ways to implement abandoned books into this blog so people get a full picture of what is happening in my reading.

Ok, when it comes to Non-Fiction, I struggle to get into most books and I’m really trying. I want to learn more and I’ve been reading some books about the Romantics lately, but how do you review them? With fiction it’s easy to breakdown a book and say what you like and dislike but when it comes to non-fiction how do you give an overview of the book without sounding like Wikipedia? I’m sure you can talk about what works and doesn’t work in that non-fiction book but only to a limited extent, these are real events you can’t really say “here is why the holocaust didn’t work for me”. I want to open up this post to both ethics but more importantly to Non-Fiction.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


ArmchairBEA 2013: Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

Posted May 29, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 26 Comments

armchairBEADay two here at Armchair BEA and we are talking blogging and genre fiction. This could be interesting; I can’t wait to see what people say about both topics. When it comes to blogging I take this serious; it’s not that I want to become a professional and earn money (sure that would be nice but I want to treat this as a hobby, I’d love to get paid for doing what I love but I’m happy to have fun) I just like things organised and looking good. I’m not entirely happy with the way my blog looks but I think I lack the coding and graphic design skills to fix it so I leave it the way it is. Now when it comes to blogging platforms, I’m an elitist and think a self published wordpress blog is the only way to go; it is the only way to be flexible and professional. I’ve also recently discovered this amazing plugin thanks to The Oaken Bookcase which has been a book blogging lifesaver (after the hours spent going though older posts to fill in the information) so if you are on wordpress.org check it out.

Last year I wrote a Top Tips for Book Blogging post as part of Armchair BEA but think time I think I would just like to share my goals for this blog which should lead into the talking about genre fiction. This blog originally started as a way to document my reading journey, I’ve always thought my target audience is me and any other readers are just added bonuses. Now I want to be a literary explorer, I don’t want to get tied into only reading one genre, so before I started this blog I started a Goodreads book club also called Literary Exploration  in which we try to read different books in different themes and genres. Now this is all voted on so sometimes I think the book club can get a little stuck on reading cannon books but it is a lot of fun and still takes me out of my comfort zone. This led to the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge where we challenged people to read a book from different genres. This has had such a positive result that I think it will become a yearly challenge (with some fine tuning) and I hope it will continue to push people out of their comfort zones.

Now I like to read literary books but I do enjoy some good hard crime (hard-boiled and noir) but as a literary explorer I have to force myself to read all genres. I really struggle with Fantasy (not so much urban fantasy), Romance, Erotica, Chick Lit, Paranormal and Young Adult fiction but I really try. I think it is important to be willing to try other genres because there are always great books to experience and if we are not willing to try we end up missing books that could become our next loved book. A recent example of this for me was The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu, I expected Young/New Adult but I got so much more for the book.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


ArmchairBEA 2013: Introduction & Classics

Posted May 28, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 54 Comments

armchairBEAIt’s here again for another year; while most book bloggers or book lovers in America get to spend the next week at BEA, we sit here being green with envy and wishing we were there. BEA is the Book Expo of America, held in New York, where all the bibliophiles of America get to be enticed with new books from publishers. While us poor Australian book bloggers don’t have this kind of opportunity we can still participate with Armchair BEA. This is a virtual conference for people that can’t make it to BEA. Over the next few days I will be joining in with this event and their daily blog post topic suggestions.

I participated in Armchair BEA last year and found it to be a great success for finding great book blogs and for my little blog which was only just starting out. Now I’m older (maybe wiser), I hope this will be another successful event for both me and my blog. Day one is a general introduction, like last year we are given a choice of some questions to answer as a way to introduce ourselves and our blogs. Also today’s genre discussion will revolve around classic literature which I will talk on quickly after the questions.

  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I think I answered this question last year as well but I wanted to answer it again for any new readers and because I think I have had an interesting reading journey. My name is Michael and before 2009 I wasn’t a reader but then suddenly something clicked and I started becoming obsessed with books. I started this blog a little over a year ago as a way to document my literary explorations and talk about my new addiction.

  • Which is your favourite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

I think this would be My Experience with the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, the reason I love this post so much is because it serves as a good introduction to me as a reader and blogger. I talk about starting out as a reader and my hunger to discover great literature and also talks about my long term goal of reading the entire list.

  • What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

I would love to visit the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and adopt a book just like Daniel Sempere did, and if you tell me this place doesn’t exist you are only shattering my dreams. In all seriousness there are many places I would love to visit but I think I would have to say Lake Geneva, the birth place of my favourite novel of all time. If I had a choice, it would be during that dark and stormy night in 1816; those romantics are nuts but they are also really interesting people.

  • What is your favourite part about the book blogging community?

I just love the community behind book blogging, I follow some great book bloggers and I hope to discover some more during Armchair BEA. I love reading new reviews and chatting to other bookish people via twitter and comments, it’s just the highlight of blogging. But there is a huge negative that comes with the book blogger community  and that is the way my TBR suffers, I think it grows faster than I can read, I have no idea how I’m ever going to catch up and get it under control.

  • Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

I’d love to see more male book bloggers; it’s hard to find them. I’m not sure if it reflects on the amount of male readers out there; I hope not but I would love to know there are more men out there that share a passion for literature. I’d also like to more bookish opinion posts rather than just book reviews and interviews; there are a lot of things we can talk about on our blogs and I think we fall into the trap of just writing reviews. I know I fall into this trap.

Now that I’ve answered these questions, it’s time to move on to talking about classic literature. As part of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list I will be reading a lot of books that are considered western cannon and I’m looking forward to them most of all.  There are so many books out there I want to read and I feel like I’m still playing catch up with all the ‘must read’ novels. For people starting out with classics I would recommend picking which ever one looks the most interesting. There are classics in all genres and if you love Science Fiction maybe try Philip K Dick or Isaac Asimov, Fantasy try J.R.R. Tolkien or even mysteries I recommend Raymond Chandler or James M Cain.

It’s hard to recommend books to non classic readers, you just have to take your own reading journey and try books that interest you. I’m sure once you experience the joys of reading classics you will want recommendations and I recommend joining something like The Classics Club to challenge yourself to more classics. I don’t want to say too much about classics, I want to take to the conversation to the comments but I’d like to ask some questions of the readers to help the conversation along;

  • What is your favourite classic?
  • Which classic would you like to read but are dreading?
  • Are there any classics that you were presently surprised by?
  • Finally are there classics that just seem too hard and why?

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots