Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads

Best Fiction:

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng

You can read more about Little Fires Everywhere on Goodreads

Runner Up: Bear Town, Fredrik Bagkman

Buy Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon

Buy Bear Town on Amazon


Best Mystery & Thriller:

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

You can read more about Into the Water on Goodreads

Runner Up: Origin, Dan Brown

Buy Into the Water on Amazon

Buy Origin on Amazon


Best Historical Fiction:

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

You can read more about Before We Were Yours on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

Buy Before We Were Yours on Amazon

Buy Lincoln in the Bardo on Amazon


Best Fantasy:

Fantastic Beasts.jpgFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, J.K. Rowling

You can read more about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Goodreads

Runner Up: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Buy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Amazon

Buy Norse Mythology on Amazon


Best Romance:

Without Merit, Colleen Hoover

You can read more about Without Merit on Goodreads

Runner Up: Come Sundown, Nora Roberts

Buy Without Merit on Amazon

Buy Come Sundown on Amazon


Best Science Fiction:

Artemis, Andy Weir

You can read more about Artemis on Goodreads

Runner Up: Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel

Buy Artemis on Amazon

Buy Waking Gods on Amazon


Best Horror:

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King & Owen King

You can read more about Sleeping Beauties on Goodreads

Runner Up: Final Girls, Riley Sager

Buy Sleeping Beauties on Amazon

Buy Final Girls on Amazon


Best Humor:

Talking as Fast as I Can.jpgTalking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham

You can read more about Talking As Fast As I Can on Goodreads

Runner Up: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, Kevin Hart

Buy Talking As Fast As I Can on Amazon

Buy I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons on Amazon


Best Nonfiction:

How to be a Bawse.jpgHow to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, Lilly Singh

You can read more about How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Goodreads

Runner Up: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Buy How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Amazon

Buy Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions on Amazon


Best Memoir & Autobiography:

What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton

You can read more about What Happened on Goodreads

Runner Up: Hunger, Roxane Gay

Buy What Happened on Amazon

Buy Hunger on Amazon


Best History & Biography:

Radium Girls, Kate Moore

You can read more about Radium Girls on Goodreads

Runner Up: Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

Buy Radium Girls on Amazon

Buy Killers of the Flower Moon on Amazon


Best Science & Technology:

Astrophysics For People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

You can read more about Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Goodreads

Runner Up: Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, Angela Saini

Buy Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Amazon

Buy Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story on Amazon


Best Food & Cookbooks:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives, Ree Drummon

You can read more about The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Goodreads

Runner Up: 5 Ingredients, Jamie Oliver

Buy The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Amazon

Buy 5 Ingredients on Amazon


Best Graphic Novels & Comics:

Big Mushy Happy Lump, Sarah Andersen

You can read more about Big Mushy Happy Lump on Goodreads

Runner Up: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies, Greg Rucka

Buy Big Mushy Happy Lump on Amazon

Buy Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies on Amazon


Best Poetry:

The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur

You can read more about The Sun and Her Flowers on Goodreads

Runner Up: Depression and Other Magic Tricks, Sabrina Benaim

Buy The Sun and Her Flowers on Amazon

Buy Depression and Other Magic Tricks on Amazon


Best Debut Goodreads Author:

Hate U Give.jpgThe Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

You can read more about The Hate U Give on Goodreads

Runner Up: Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Buy The Hate U Give on Amazon

Buy Caraval on Amazon


Best Young Adult Fiction:

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Runner Up: Turtles All the Way Down, John Green

You can read more about Turtles All The Way Down on Goodreads

Buy Turtles All The Way Down on Amazon

*As Angie Thomas’, The Hate U Give, won two of the reader’s choice categories (congrats Angie!), information given here is listed for the runner up novel


Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction:

A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J. Maas

You can read more about A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lord of Shadows, Cassandra Clare

Buy A Court of Wings and Ruin on Amazon

Buy Lord of Shadows on Amazon


Best Middle Grade & Children’s:

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Rick Riordan

You can read more about Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Trials of Apollo, Rick Riordan

Buy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Amazon

Buy The Trials of Apollo on Amazon


We're All WondersBest Picture Books:

We’re All Wonders, R.J. Palacio

You can read more about We’re All Wonders on Goodreads

Runner Up: Malala’s Magic Pencil, Malala Yousafzai

Buy We’re All Wonders on Amazon

Buy Malala’s Magic Pencil on Amazon


Congratulations to all the winners, runners up, and everyone who had a book featured in the Goodreads Readers Choice Contest for 2017!

All the pictures included in this post came from Goodreads. Make sure you check out the books on this list and if you’ve read any of them let me know what ones you think are worth the read!

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Names of the Week

Alessandra

Female
Alternate Spelling: Alexandra (Alessandra is the Italian and Spanish Version)
Nickname: Alex, Ales (Pronounced Alice), Ally/Allie
Pronunciation: Ah-Leh-Sahn-Dra
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Defender of Mankind
Well-Known Alessandras: Alessandra Cullen (The Devil’s Advocate), Alessandra Ambrosio (Model), Alessandra Torresani (Actress), Alessandra De Rossi (Actress)

 

Elena

Female
Alternate Spelling: Alena, Eleena, Eleana
Nickname: El; Lena
Pronunciation: Ee-Lay-Na
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Shining Light
Well-Known Elenas: Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries, L.J. Smith); Elena Lincoln (Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James); Elena “Helene” Vasilyevna Kuragina (War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy); Elena Galathynius Havilliard (Throne of Glass Series, Sarah J. Maas); Elena Jane “Ellie” Goulding (Singer)

 

Horatio

Male
Alternate Spelling: Horacio
Nickname: Ray
Pronunciation: Huh-Ray-Shee-Oh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Man of Time
Well-Known Horatios: Horatio (Hamlet, Shakespeare); Horatio Hornblower (Hornblower, C.S. Forester), Horatio Caine (CSI: Miami); Horatio Alger (Novelist)

 

Sienna

Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: None that I am aware of
Pronunciation: See-En-Ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Reddish Brown
Well-Known Siennas: Sienna Martin (The Lifeboat Clique, Kathy Parks); Sienna Blake (Hollyoaks); Sienna Rosa Diana Miller (Actress and Model); Sienna Tiggy Guillory (Actress)

 

Enzo

Male
Alternate Spelling: Enzio
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: N-zoh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Short Form of Lorenzo
Well-Known Enzos: Enzo Valenciano (The Young Elites, Marie Lu); Enzo (The Vampire Diaries); Enzo Knol (Dutch Youtuber); Enzo Anselmo Ferrari (Founder of Ferrari)

Francesca

Female
Alternate Spelling: Franncesca; Fransesca
Nickname: Frankie, Frannie
Pronunciation: Fran-Ches-kah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Free
Well-Known Francescas: Francesca (Torment, Lauren Kate); Francesca Altifiorla (Kept in the Dark, Anthony Trollope); Francesca “Franky” Fitzgerald (Skins UK); Francesca Isabella Simon (Author); Francesca Gregorini (Writer/Director)

Isabella

Female
Alternate Spelling: Izabella; Isabela
Nickname: Bella; Issy; Isa
Pronunciation: Iz-ah-bell-ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Devoted to God
Well-Known Isabellas: Isabella “Bella” Swan, a fictional character in Stephenie Meyer’s, Twilight, series; Isabella Knightly (Emma, Jane Austen); Isabella Thorpe (Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen); Isabella Linton (Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte); Isabella (Measure for Measure, Shakespeare)

Mara

Female
Alternate Spelling: Marra
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: Mar-ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Of the Sea; Bitter
Well-Known Maras: Mara Jade Skywalker (Star Wars Extended Universe); Mara (Clockwork Forest, Doug Macleod); Mara Amrita Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy, Michelle Hodkins); Mara Carlyle (Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer); Mara Wilson (Actress and Author); Mara Liasson (Journalist)

 

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World Building: Deciding the Type of World

There are tons of blog posts out there that talk about world building. There are entire books that discuss the different aspects put into creating your own fictional world and all the intricacies of it.
So naturally, because it’s been done so many time before, I decided to add to the madness and give you my thoughts on world building in this new series of posts.

World Building is still a process I’m figuring out for myself so I thought through these posts I could share with you what I’ve learning about the different elements of creating your own fictional universe.

The first and most basic step is deciding on what type of world you’re going to have.

Is it a dystopian world? Utopian? Conformist or evolutionary? Medieval or fantasy?

This is the most basic thing you need to determine because the type of world you’re creating will literally affect every single thing you write and decide for your story.

If you’ve got a dystopian society, the world you create isn’t going to be bright and colourful. It won’t be full of rainbows and people won’t be skipping down the streets. It’ll be dark and gritty and you’ll use a thesaurus to find every variation of the words “dark” and “gritty” to describe the setting.

On the flip side, if the world you create is a utopia then there probably will be rainbows and skipping involved. Your characters will probably be happy with their lives and things will seem good.

Now obviously neither of those descriptions are set in stone and there is always the possibility of a light at the end of the dystopian tunnel or of a dark underworld side in your utopia. But you get the general idea.

Choosing the type of world is just the first step in world building. It’s the first layer of a very elaborate cake. It’s the base for many different things that will happen in your story and happen to your characters.

The world you build does not have to fit exactly in to description box of the world you choose. But you can’t choose to have a totally normal story and then, five pages before the end, a dragon suddenly appears and eats everyone.

I mean, sure, that would be really cool, but it’s not really plausible when the rest of your story was set in a normal, average, every day town where, previous to those last five pages, there were no dragons.

And if you do choose to do that, you better have a really cool sequel lined up and ready to go.

Now, as I said before, this is only the first step. There are so many other aspects to world building that turn it from an idea into an actual thing. The people, the history, all the stuff that doesn’t necessarily make it into your book, but is still so important to your story.

In the coming months I will be talking about world building and the various things that go into it.

If there is anything you would like talked about or anything you would like to add let me know down below!

And let me know: is there a type of world you prefer writing over others? Do you prefer a fantasy universe? A dystopian world? The possibilities are endless and I want to know what you think!

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Back at it Again With the Blog Posts

Guess who’s back? Back again? Are you singing, cause I was as I typed that.

Have you ever briefly lost your motivation to work? And then as you get your motivation back, you become overwhelmed by how much you need to do. Then you lose your motivation again as a result of that overwhelming stress? Yup, that has been my life for about a year now.

I’ll keep my reasoning brief here. There was a lot going on in 2016 that made me lose all my motivation for writing.

I was working at a job I hated, then that place closed down, a new store opened up and I was helping to get the place ready so majority of my time was spent at work.

I’d come home and I was tired and the less writing I was doing, the more overwhelmed I was getting by how much there was to do.

I was putting out half attempts at blog posts and even worse fanfic chapters. I started getting some really negative reviews, especially on one of my stories. Not like, “hey, didn’t enjoy this chapter that much”. More along the lines of telling me I should quit writing and that I was terrible at it.

I try not to let it get to me. It’s part of the business right? Not everyone is going to like your work and that’s totally fine. But I was already feeling overwhelmed and stressed and all these things combined was really making me lose my love of writing.

So I decided to take a step back. I focused on work and myself and really figuring things out.

The place I work now is fantastic, best job I’ve ever had. I’m going back to school in a few weeks and I’m beyond excited. I didn’t think I’d ever go back to school, but I decided it was the best choice for my life and my future and I can’t wait.

And I started writing again. I’ve been rewriting the old chapters of my fanfics to a level I am much happier with. I also continued working on my novel and have been writing blog posts that I actually enjoy.

I found it was becoming too much about the numbers and what other people thought and less about what I liked and what I thought.

This time away has definitely been beneficial. I feel refreshed and excited to be back and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Thanks for sticking with me!

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Blogging For One Year!

1-year-anniversary

One year. I’ve had this blog for one year. That’s crazy! It does not feel like one year.

So many amazing things have happened and I’m hoping there are many more amazing things to come. I have a lot of plans for this blog in the upcoming year and a few changes I want to try out.

First, I’m going to be buying my domain name. The plan was for me to buy it this morning and then by the time this post went up it would be the first post with my official domain name. However, as I was going through the process of buying it there were some extra fees and some more info that I hadn’t been aware of before.

It’s actually pretty stressful, but I’m trying not to concentrate on it too much and just enjoy the fact that I’ve been blogging for one year! So, buying my domain will definitely be happening (hopefully today!), just not quite when I was hoping it to.

Another change that will be made is to my Thursday posts. Previously, Thursdays meant I would be posting a Poem of the Week. However, this just wasn’t exciting to me. With everything else, I get excited when I post, but it wasn’t the same for weekly poems.

I am not eliminating it entirely though! Instead, I will be posting a Poem of the Month on the first Thursday of every month. Thursdays will become my random monthly post day. Starting in August, Thursdays will include: Poem of the Month, Top Ten Lists, Featured Authors, and things like that. I’m hoping to make each of these a monthly thing.

Another possible change that might be coming at some point is the possibility of me incorporating Youtube into this. I’ve wanted to make Youtube videos for ages and while it probably won’t be happening any time soon, I wanted to get your opinions on this.

So, I think that’s all the changes that will be made. Everything else will be staying the same as I’ve been enjoying and I think you have too (at least I hope so)!

Thank you so much for an amazing year! I have 213 followers on this blog which is 213 more than I was ever expecting so thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I hope you’ll stick with me for this next year that will hopefully be even better than this first one!

Wordpress Anniversary

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Exciting News!

Exciting

After missing a few blog posts and having my schedule go completely off the rails, things are starting to align again!

I’m catching up on my work and am feeling significantly less stressed than I was last week!

Also, something I am very excited about. I’m buying my domain name!

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now and finally decided it’s something I want to do. So, on July 16th, which will mark exactly a year since I started this blog, I’ll be buying my domain!

The only thing I’m not thrilled about is that every link I’ve posted to all my blog posts before that day will no longer work, but the excitement far out ways that 😛

Thank you so much to everyone who has read anything on this blog so far and to anyone who reads my stuff in the future!

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Writing Apps

iconsToday I’m going to be talking about apps. More specifically, the apps I use for writing or when I’m writing. Now, some of you might be wondering what apps have to do with writing. Surprisingly quite a bit as I have found out in recent months. From social media to note taking, email to coffee, apps have a lot more to do with writing than I ever thought they would. So I am going to tell you about my nine favourite/most used for writing apps.

Evernote:

evernote_iconFirst up is Evernote. When I first got this app I wasn’t sure I would ever use it as it’s a notetaking app and I already had one of those. Now however, it is probably one of, if not the, most used app on my phone. I use it for everything: my schedule of what to post on my blog and when; lists of characters for my novel; even for typing up actual blog posts. The words you’re reading right now? Being typed on Evernote while I’m at my Physio appointment.

However, I think my favourite part of the Evernote app is that is not only accessible on your phone. Once you download the app you are also able to download it onto your computer. The program syncs all the time so everything you do on your phone will also be waiting on your computer when you get back. You can make checklists, point form notes, record audio and video, and even add pictures. All around I think this is a great app.

WordPress:

indexThe second app that I find incredibly useful is the WordPress app. The reason I like this one so much is probably obvious as it makes accessing my blog easy. With this app I don’t have to wait until I get home to post something or to respond to other people. With this app I can create posts and pages, edit things, respond to comments, and even change my theme. You get notifications when someone likes a post, leaves a comment, or follows your blog, allowing you to know exactly what is going on at all times. I would highly recommend to anyone who runs a blog that they see if they can download an app for their web host.

Twitter:

twitterI never used to be a fan of Twitter, but since I started blogging and writing a lot more I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to connect with other people who do the same things as myself. Having the Twitter app on my phone makes it much more convenient to do exactly this.

Just like with WordPress, having Twitter in the palm of my hand means I am able to message people and respond to notification almost as soon as I get them rather than waiting until I get home.

Email:

mailIt doesn’t matter what email app you use so long as it works for you.Whether it’s Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or something else, I find that having an email app on your phone is incredibly useful. For the longest time the app I had didn’t work properly and while at first it didn’t seem like a big deal, when I downloaded a new one I realized how much better it was and just how often I needed access to my email. Whether I’m being notified about something on social media, a writing site, or a job prospect, this app allows me to stay connected even when I’m on the go.

Pinterest:

pinterest-iphone-app-iconPinterest started out as something I hardly ever used. I didn’t really understand how to use it or, like Twitter, what the point of it was. Like, I pin pictures of things I like on different boards? Okay, great, now what? But slowly, over time, I started using it more and more, and now a big of my Pinterest is used for writing ideas. From writing tips to prompts, quotes to actual ideas for novels. Pinterest has become a surprising large part of my writing. With this app you can create boards for specific pieces of work and pin photos and information that you think will come in handy. You can
find pictures of what you think a character looks like and pin it to your board and now you have a visual while you’re working.

Calendar:

nexusae0_WeekCalendar-Icon_thumbI’m not sure if this counts as an app as I’m pretty certain all phones have them. I was very fortunate with my phone that I can add icons and colours to my calendar. This is very useful when I have more than one thing on a certain date, the icon will show up so I know what I’m doing even if I can’t see the full event. I can honestly say that without my calendar I would probably be very lost. To some it may not seem like I’m very busy, but looking in my calendar you can see when I upload a blog post, when I update a fanfiction, when I worked, and anything else that is going on. I’m not totally certain the calendar really counts here as I think that regardless of your job or anything else you should take full advantage of the calendar on your phone.

Dictionary.com:

Dictionary.com_iconNot going to lie, this app probably doesn’t get used as much as it should. Mostly because I sometimes forget I have it. However, as a writer I feel it’s important for me to have a dictionary at my fingertips at all times. Whether I use it to look up the meaning of the word or sometimes to see if I’m spelling something correct, I find this app to be incredibly helpful. The Dictionary app also has a word of the day, so even if you don’t use it to look up definitions, I sometimes like looking at the word of the day as often times it’s a word I’ve never heard before.

Facebook Pages:

296c75ad07c19d3ccc4f6d7125bc623fSo I didn’t even know this was an app until quite recently, but now I am so glad I have it and I would highly recommend it to others! While the Facebook app is great for connecting with your friends and posting pictures, I found I was never able to update or post anything on my Facebook page. With this app I am now able to share posts on my page and respond to others who post there. I used to get the notification on the regular Facebook app, but couldn’t actually respond until I got home. Now if I get a question or comment I am able to respond and I find that, like I mentioned for Twitter, I am able to make connections much easier.

Coffee Finder:

unnamedFor some of you, this may be the most important app I talk about: The Coffee Finder App. The one I use only requires me to turn on the GPS on my phone and then it finds all the coffee shops in the area. I can change the distance it searches so it looks for places five minutes away or five hours away. I can decide if I want it to look for any coffee place or I can change it so it only finds Tim Hortons or Starbucks or something else. This app has been great in finding places when I’m not at home and even finding little shops I may not have even known about before.

If you’re a frequent coffee drinker or just like finding little places to sit and work, I would recommend an app like this. It’s come in a lot handier than I ever thought.

What are you favourite apps to use when writing?

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