Featured post

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...

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.

Book Chick City Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge: Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

Last year I took part in the Book Chick City Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge, which involved reading 12 mystery and suspense novels during the year. I was far too smug about how achievable I thought this would be for me, given that I mostly read crime fiction at the time. However, I only read 9 books that I counted as falling under that category (I suppose if you include YA books like The 13 Trilogy by Michelle Harrison, then I actually did reach my target, but I think it is a good lesson for me to be harder on myself.)

I don't think I entered into my challenges with the right frame of my mind last year - I took on too many and I sucked the fun out of it. Also, I lost sight of my main objective - improving and engaging more with my blog. This year and am being more cautious about challenges, but I am definitely entering this challenge again, because I do love mystery and suspense, and I know that with the right frame of mind this challenge will be fun for me.

So, the Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012 is slightly different as there are now two levels; one can choose to read either 12 or 24 mystery and suspense novels between 01 January and 31st December 2012. I am going for 24 novels. I have set myself a target of reviewing on my blog 50 books this year, and it seems more than likely that at least half of those will be crime fiction, so 24 seemed a reasonable enough number. Fingers crossed, this time round I can do it. I feel a lot more positive after reflecting on last year's challenges and I think this challenge is so right for me. I am really looking forward to it, and not being too over-confident, while at the same time determined to have fun and keep the focus where it ought to be - on my blog (and getting through my TBR shelves).