Sunday, 13 May 2012

Booking in Heels' First Blog Birthday: Part Two

On Sunday 13th May 2012, Booking in Heels is one year old! Can you believe it!? To celebrate, I'm running a three day event right up to the day itself, when I'll be running a stupendous giveaway!

In the meantime, here's what will be going on:

Friday: The Blog! A look at Booking in Heels itself and what makes it (and me) tick.
Saturday: The Books! What books wouldn't I have discovered without blogging? 
Sunday: The Buddies! We all know blogging wouldn't be half as much fun without the amazing community, so here are a few of my special friends.

Keep checking back and celebrate with me!

Day Two: The Books!

I've mentioned before how the books that get all the hype in the real world never seem to be the same ones that are all over the blogosphere and vice versa. On the day Insurgent came out, I spent ages searching Waterstones for the huge display that they must have, only to find one copy tucked away in the back. Obviously book bloggers are exposed to a number of books each and every day, so I started to wonder which books I'd never have found without Booking in Heels.

The main difference is that I barely ever read YA until last year. I'm not sure if it was a snobby thing or just that it never occurred to me to do so (hell, I didn't read teenage books when I was a teenager!), but I now know that YA books can be just as interesting/deep/fun as adult ones.

Here are my top five books that I found through blogging, whose absence now is simply imaginable - 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, UK cover1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Okay, so obviously this is getting a lot of hype in the offline world now. I can see that, I'm not a complete moron. But unfortunately it's only because of the film, which means that if I hadn't heard of The Hunger Games a year ago and read it then, I'd probably have dismissed it as 'the book of that silly film.'

I adored this book, and Catching Fire. In fact, I was considering rereading them just the other day and I hardly ever do that so close to the first time. Thinking about it, this is probably the first YA book I actually read. Ever.

Review here.

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern book cover
2) The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern   

I can't even imagine not having The Night Circus in my life - it's positioned on the book shelf closest to my bed, so every so often I just catch sight of it and smile...

I did actually see this in Waterstones at the time, but it was hardly prominently displayed - just plonked on a shelf near the floor. It was all the many, many reviews present on the blogosphere just before Christmas that made me desperate to read it.

Hell, if it wasn't for blogging, I probably wouldn't even own a copy yet, as it was Bex from An Armchair by the Sea who was nice enough to send me a copy!

Review here. 

3) Divergent by Veronica Ross 
Divergent by Veronica Roth, UK book cover 
Another YA book that would have passed me by without blogging, and what a loss that would have been! I first read Divergent in August/September last year and it's been fresh in my mind ever since. When Insurgent, the sequel, arrived on my doorstep last month, I'm pretty sure the penguins heard my squeal in Antarctica.

It's just a unique concept, written wonderfully with a believable romance. Last year I wouldn't have believed such a thing could exist in teenage fiction :)

Review here. 

Ape House by Sara Gruen book cover
4) Ape House by Sara Gruen

Obviously I'd have heard of Sara Gruen without the online influence, but only in connection with Water for Elephants. Ape House is the author's other book, and it's absolutely wonderful.

I found out about it from Ellie's review at Musings of a Bookshop Girl, and instantly knew I had to read it. Because she's generally wonderful, Ellie sent me a copy for Christmas and I sat down and read it that very day. It didn't disappoint :)

Review here.

Book cover of Stray by Rachel Vincent
5) Stray by Rachel Vincent

This is the first book in the Shifters series, a brilliant urban fantasy story about werecats, of all things. I was dubious at first, but after reading multiple glowing reviews I decided to give it a try. 

Seriously, these books are amazing. I own the first four already and it won't be long before I can get my hands on the final two.

Review here.  

Sometimes it seems like publishers have given up promoting books in the real world, especially YA books. They're hardly ever prominently displayed in stores and you never see posters for them. But then you look online, and it's like the book blogging community has exploded with praise for a particular book! It's just strange.  

Obviously these are just five examples, but there are hundreds (literally) more, both on my shelves, my TBR and my wishlist. If you're a book blogger, chances are you read book blogs too, and thus you're exposed to new books all the time. Just sat looking at my shelves, there are so, so many that I wouldn't have read otherwise. They're not all as amazing as the above five, obviously, but it doesn't matter - book blogging has expanded my reading horizons in so many different ways. 

Check back soon for my Blog Birthday Giveaway!


  1. I absolutely agree that I've often had to scour a bookshop for a book that's been RAVED about online - and sometimes I don't find a copy then. I didn't read much YA pre-blogging either, but I've read some great titles since that I never would have picked up otherwise. I'd second some of these books, even though I haven't actually READ them all yet. But I ACQUIRED them because of blogging, which is PRACTICALLY the same thing...

    Jess (Jess Hearts Books) and Rachel (In the Library of LadyViolet) relentlessly urged me to read The Hunger Games - and it was AMAZING. I'm pretty sure it was Rachel who nudged me towards the Shifters series too. Vickie (ComaCalm's Corner) sent me a copy of Divergent for the Random Acts of Kindness project. I HAD to buy The Night Circus after all the rave reviews before Christmas.

    And hey, you made me read King Solomon's Mines, which I might not have done for another thirty years - or never - if it hadn't been for your LXG challenge. THANK YOU FOR BEING AN AWESOME FRIEND AND BLOGGER! :D

  2. I heartily agree with you. :) I wouldn't read the majority of the stuff I do if it wasn't for blogging, Twitter and Goodreads. There are so many amazing ways to pick up recommendations that you never would in the real world because who the hell cares about urban fantasy and epic fantasy and the like? We do!


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