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Welcome to Even Butterflies Think

Hey! Welcome to Even Butterflies Think.  I'm Jazz, an avid book reader and one of the lucky people in the world working in my ideal ca...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

#BlackLivesMatter + a poem by Pastor Niemoller

I struggle to express in writing my feelings on #BlackLivesMatter. Every time I see another fellow human made to leave this existence because they contain a higher amount of melanin in their skin and because history has taught the world that this is reason enough to justify murder, I feel like someone punched me in the chest. So I am not going to make this piece about the injustice occurring in the States against black people and especially black men.

This post will consist of a poem.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Thank You For Coming Home, Valerie Brandes

I'd like to tell you a bit about publisher Valerie Brandes, founder of independent publishing house Jacaranda Books. Valerie is actively tackling the lack of diversity in British publishing, and in doing so has given great opportunities to me and many others like me in our careers.

Life is full of parallels. Far too often it requires seeing something great expressed elsewhere to realise that the very same greatness can be found right in front of you. That is what happened when I listened to my author Frances Mensah Williams' TEDx talk "Where is home?"  at the Africa Writes Festival this past weekend where she was in conversation with Margaret Busby. Delivered in December 2014, the talk looked at the concept of 'being at home vs feeling at home' in our globalised world, an issue that is explored in her debut bestselling romantic debut novel From Pasta to Pigfoot, published in May 2015.

The moment came 6:57 minutes into the TEDx talk when Frances tells us that during a workshop in Ghana, after being raised and spending the majority of her life in the UK, a colleague said to her "Wow, you've worked for some big companies, you've got great experience. You must have had a good life in London, but we need people like you here in Ghana to help us develop. Thank you for coming home."

London-born Valerie Brandes, a self-professed 'Hackney girl', returned to the UK after 20 years living, working and raising a family in the beautiful, sunny city of San Diego, California. On completing a Masters in Publishing at City University and working for the prestigious Profile Books, she made the brave decision to address a glaring yet much ignored issue in the publishing industry: the lack of diversity in our workforce and literature. Following on in the footsteps of great women such as Margaret Busby and Verna Wilkins, Valerie's new publishing house Jacaranda Books, would positively affect not only my life but those of many people to follow: a publishing house that puts diversity at the forefront of its mission, promoting diversity in publishing "from bookshelf to boardroom"*.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Calling Book Bloggers & Aspiring Writers

I am very blessed to be doing the thing I love most in the world - working with books and literature, in a company that shares my vision and ethos. At Jacaranda Books I am currently managing my own list (I know, so exciting!) which affords me two great privileges: 1. to share the books I love with all you wonderful readers and 2. to provide opportunities to great writers.

So first, to the readers. This month will see us publish The Colour Black by Maia Walczak and I am seeking bloggers and book reviewers to interview, write about and hold competitions and giveaways.

A unique take on the American road novel, The Colour Black is the story of a talented, colour-blind, feisty young woman Silvia Cruz. Silvia lives a quiet but comfortable existence in San Diego as an artist, drawing abstracts and nudes. Then  comes Jack; free-spirited, athletic and a lawyer with a love for wild swimming, he is different from her other models, and though resistant to love or meaningful relationships, Silvia soon finds herself drawn to him.

Publishing, Diversity and the Power of Self Belief (by Jamal Edwards)

On 8th July I went along to the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity Conference with a publishing colleague. It was an excellent day and I am so glad I could attend; kudos to Alice Ryan for organising a great event.

Though some aspects were geared towards the bigger publishing houses and not small independent publishers like us, the advice was incredibly valuable, and I was able to take away brilliant information for our team regarding dealing with journalists and booksellers, and how to rethink our social strategy and content marketing. However, the highlight of my day was hearing Crystal Mahey-Morgan speak.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Welcome to Even Butterflies Think


Welcome to Even Butterflies Think. I'm Jazz, an avid book reader and one of the lucky people in the world working in my ideal career - publishing.

I started Even Butterflies Think before I landed my first role in publishing as an outlet for sharing my love of literature after discovering a online community of people just as crazy as I am about books. Over time I have become less active on this blog (apologies) but always with the hope to returning to it one day!

On this blog you'll find some book reviews and posts on topics related to literature and the publishing world.

You can find me on social media, just search for @jreadsalot, or you can contact me by email evenbutterfliesthinkblog@gmail.com .

I hope you enjoy my blog!

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Black Hat, Jacaranda Books, Social clay and Books, Books, Books

I have a bad habit of not writing on this blog for a while (though I still post on Facebook), reviving it, apologising for my absence, going great for a while, and then it happens again. It is an unhealthy cycle that leaves me feeling deeply guilty and unhappy, so I am going to stop the cycle.  I have to accept I am not the kind of blogger who updates daily, post a few book reviews a week, get the news before the news. I admire bloggers like that, and I love this blog and will continue writing it, but the way I write posts means this isn't the kind of blog that will get updated once a day or even once a week necessarily; for regular short snippets I use the Facebook page.

I AM sorry if I made anyone think I could be that sort of super blogger, I wanted to, but the nature of my journey in publishing as self-employed has been one of constant change and discovery and excitement, so  that when a new experience, opportunity, project comes up I often get so into it that all else stops. That is what has happened a few times since my last post...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Everyone's a Winner! Late winner announcements and apologies

Hello Readers,

I want to start this post off with a big fat humongous "I'm sorry!" I haven't been able to blog for a while now, which happens and is not usually the end of the world, but in this case it meant that winners of two of my competitions were not announced, and this is totally unacceptable. I feel really bad for keeping you waiting and, for that reason, I have decided that it is my responsibility to make it up to you.

So, instead of choosing one winner for my Department 19 competition, and my Feeling Sorry for Celia giveaway, I have decided to award a prize to anyone who has entered, just for the fact that you've waited a while for your prize.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Guest Post: Department 19 by Will Hill + Competition

Possibly one of the biggest fans of Will Hill and Department 19, KamzKool is a young school-aged blogger and motoring fanatic. Will Hill's novel instantly captured him, and his super-fan-status was sealed when he was able to attend the secret event to celebrate the second book in the series, The Rising.  KamzKool has been kind enough to share on EBT a few words on his favourite book and the event he loved so much. Also there's a competition at the end to WIN YOUR OWN COPY!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Review: Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty + Giveaway

Feeling Sorry for Celia
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Published by Macmillan Children's Books, Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330397254 (2010 Paperback Edition)

Visit Jaclyn Moriarty's Website
Feeling Sorry for Celia on the Pan Macmillan website

"Dear Ms Clarry,
It has come to our attention that you are incredibly bad at being a teenager.
Yours sincerely,
The Association of Teenagers"

It isn't just the story, but also is the pleasure of reading this book due to how it was written, that makes this book wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that I want to share it with you and have included a giveaway at the end of this review.

Feeling Sorry for Celia is a beautiful story about being a teenager, looking at friendship, family, love and school life. It is fun to read, for the most part non-judgemental, and most of all it shows that real life and real people are just not perfect. It was a real pleasure to read: funny, heart-warming and very honest. I think many people will recognise some part of their teenage self in this book and its characters.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Shelf Clearance: YA Giveaway

This competition is now closed and the winner has been announced at the bottom of this post.

If you're reading this, it hopefully means that you have seen my blog post all about my shelf clearance mission in an attempt to bring back some sanity to my life. If you haven't read it yet and are interested, then head over to my article Shelf Clearance, Kindle and Giveaways, but if you just want to win some stuff and don't really care why, keep reading.

I have this bundle of books to give away, which includes Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer (both published by Atom), Bite Club by Rachel Caine (published by Alison and Busby), The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, and Raising Demons by Rachel Hawkins (both published by Simon and Schuster UK):

Shelf Clearance, Kindle and Giveaways

I have so little space (well none actually) for my many books that even I am going crazy because of it. The fact is, at this rate, I'll never get to read all the books that I have because it will take me too many years to unearth them from all the boxes, storage trunks (I wish I was kidding) and bookshelves around my house. Also, I may have to substitute furniture in my room for boxes and trunks of books if I do not find a solution soon (I reckon the bed will be first to go - storage trunks with a mattress on top will do the job just fine). I know many of you are thinking 'you can never have too many books', and I agree, as would my Mum. Or at least she would have agreed until I started to transform myself into a modern day Don Quijote (or should that be Doña Quijote in my case).

Monday, 21 May 2012

#Kindlestones: Amazon & Waterstones sign Kindle deal

So, the main news of the day is that Waterstones has signed a deal with Amazon to sell Kindle ebooks through its store. I kid you not. You can read about it for yourself on the Bookseller or watch James Daunt making the announcement on this YouTube video:

There have been many mixed reactions in the publishing world and beyond, but overall there has been a lot of confusion. I stand amongst the confused, and the reason for that is partly due to an article posted only yesterday on the Guardian website which finishes up with '"We'll be different from Amazon," he [Daunt] says, with characteristic ebullience, "and we'll be better."' Furthermore, Daunt is the last person I would have imagined making a deal with Amazon.

Now, I am no expert in ereaders or the digital revolution; though I am passionate about it, I know there is so much for me to learn and understand. But that is the whole point: the majority of readers are probably equally, or even more, ignorant of the detailed mechanics and politics of the digital reading revolution, and many probably don't particularly care – they simply want good books at a good price. As far as many are concerned, Amazon is a force not to be competed with, and it is the best company because it is so cheap, and many of them will be happy with this new partnership. On the other hand, there is a significant body of readers who do not want to be tied to Amazon, who have other e-readers, and who are desperate for those other e-readers to be given a fair chance - I know this for a fact because I have come across them.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Whitney Houston Songs on Love, Hope and Friendship

This morning we heard the sad news that Whitney Houston passed away. There are, and will be, many articles, posts and reports about the person Whitney Houston was, her life and her death.  I am not going to do that here. The truth is that, like most of us, I did not know her personally, I never met her, and most of what I knew about her personal life came from the media, which always has an agenda. I will respect her memory by commenting on that side of Whitney that she did happily, publicly, constantly share with us - her music - for that is the only part of her that I can truly claim any knowledge or connection with, and I believe that is what she wished to be remembered for.

For me, what I remember most about Whitney Houston's career is not just her amazing voice - a great loss in a time where such an incredible vocal ability seems to have become a rarity and a lower priority in the music industry - but also what the lyrics of her songs had to say about love, friendship and hope. I know we are two days away from Valentine's Day, but I do not mean just romantic love, but love as a much greater force, one that can be platonic, and that one should have for oneself and for mankind, a love that, if you are at all spiritual or religious, you may hold for a Higher Force  - be it Mother Nature, God, or the Universal Spirit.

Below I have selected some Whitney Houston's songs that were most precious to me on the topics of love, friendship and faith. I hope you remember them or, if you were never familiar with her music, that these will give you a little insight into what she did and possibly who she was. I would love to hear your memories of any of these, or your general thoughts on them. If anyone came to this page looking to find out about her life, or death, then this is as honest a depiction that I believe I can give for a woman who I did not know, but did listen to, did learn from and was influenced by. This is the way I wish to remember Whitney Houston, and I hope you will share these memories with me.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Burns' Night 2012

It is 25th January 2012, marking the annual celebration of the life and birth of Scotland's National Poet, the lyrically brilliant word-smith Robert Burns.

Although I am not Scottish, like many Brits and people all over the world, I do have an extremely high regard for the poetry of Robert Burns. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what I love about Burns' work, seeing as it is something I have enjoyed since I was young, and never had to really analyse. One of my favourite aspects is his great command of rhythm, the lyrical nature of his work, alongside the use of Scottish dialect - which is why one of the best ways to enjoy his work is to listen to it recited. 

One of my all time favourite poems, and one of, if not the first, poem I ever memorised was My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose. I cannot describe how much I love this poem. For last year's Burns' Night I posted My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose, and this year I decided to treat you to some of my other favourite poems from Burns. Enjoy!

John Anderson My Jo

John Anderson my jo, John,
When we were first acquent;
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bony brow was brent;
But now your brow is beld, John, 
Your locks are like the snaw;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson my Jo.

John Anderson my jo, John,
We clamb the hill the gither;
And mony a canty day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
And hand in hand we'll go;
And sleep the gither at the foot,
John Anderson my Jo.

Monday, 2 January 2012

The Eclectic Bookshelf's 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge

Last year I began to read a lot more Young Adult fiction and enjoyed a number of brilliant titles and series, including Michelle Harrison's 13 series published by Simon and Schuster UK, Hayley Long's Lottie Biggs series and Amy Kathleen Ryan's Glow, published by Macmillan. This year I wanted to keep that going and get through some of the YA titles on my shelves, as well as some of the exciting new titles coming out this year.

I needed a challenge that was not too specific about the type of YA and would be good for non-expert YA bloggers like me (I have seen such accomplished YA blogs!). Then I found The Eclectic Bookshelf's 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge. There are four levels:
  1. The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.
  2. The "Fun Size" YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels.
  3. The Jumbo Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 40 Young Adult novels.
  4. The Mega size YA Reading Challenge – Read 50+ Young Adult novels.
I will be taking the "Fun Size" Challenge. While I am being cautious about not overstretching myself with reading challenges this year, as I wish to focus on my blog and on maintaining the "fun" element of blogging and reading, I have decided that 20 YA novels, based on my shelves and some of the titles publishing this year, is manageable. Also, as I have made a target of 50 blog book reviews at least this year, and have dedicated almost half to another challenge, this will help me almost complete the other half.