Thursday, 30 August 2018

Booktastic Link It Up Thursday: A Meme For Book Bloggers

Booktastic Link It Up Thursday: A Meme For Book Bloggers

As the summer holidays are coming to an end, it's time to get back into the swing of things. As I mentioned in a recent post Back to Work with a New Plan of Action I'm going to be making a few changes. 

One thing that is changing is the Booktastic Link It Up Thursday! I want to grow this idea and so I'm turning it into a weekly meme instead of just a link up party.

Every Thursday you can link up your book related post. Posts can be book reviews, book hauls, book related meme posts... as long as the post is book related it counts :)

So what's changing?

First change is that I'll no longer be setting up a linky for you to post your links to. Your links can be posted directly into the comments section of the weekly post.

Second change is that I ask you to link back to the weekly blog post here on my blog some where in the post you're linking up. 

As before I ask that you link up blog posts ONLY please. Other types of links will be deleted.
I'd also appreciate it if you follow me on any social media of your choice (I'm JoLinsdell everywhere). Of course, I would love it if you subscribed to my newest posts ;)

Why join the link up?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! 

Please grab the Booktastic Link It Up Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.

Booktastic Link It Up Thursday: A Meme For Book Bloggers

Let's grow this party!

Click to tweet:

Everyone works hard on their posts and loves visits/comments/pins from others. Please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Now on to the party!

I'm looking forward to seeing all your book related posts every week.

Booktastic Link It Up Thursday: A Meme For Book Bloggers

Monday, 27 August 2018

Would You Rather Book Tag

Would You Rather Book Tag

I got tagged! A big thank you to Laura at tropetrinitytrilogy for tagging me to do the Would You Rather Book Tag. Check out her video at
Original video by Ethereal Theory at

The tag...

Would You Rather...

1: read a great book with a bad ending or an okay book with a great last few chapters
2: have good characters or good world building
4: have a perfect fairy tale ending or have a bittersweet ending
3: have a really likable main character or a really relatable main character
5: have your lovable sidekick die at the end of the story or turn on your main character at the end of the story

My answers:

I tag

I Should Read That

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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Interview with Jenn from Bound to Writing

Interview with Jenn from Bound to Writing

Welcome back for another interview with a book blogger. My guest today is Jenn from Bound to Writing. Let's give her a warm welcome

1) Introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? and Where do you blog?
My name is Jenn and I’m a book blogger and self-published author. I’m from New Jersey and we don’t act anything like the people from the Jersey Shore. I blog at Bound to Writing.

2) Why and how do you blog? What made you start?
I started blogging after I finished a social media marketing class in college. We had to run out own blogs for the class and I loved the idea of starting my own not based on social media. I’ve always had a love for books and writing so I started my own book and writing blog.

3) How long have you been blogging?
I recently passed my 1 year anniversary of blogging.

4) What advice do you wish you'd had when you started?
That it’s a lot of work. I never realized how much time and effort it takes to run a blog. Even after a year, there is still so much to do with creating posts and posting on social media that it takes a lot of time.

5) How much time do you devote to blogging each day/week/month?
Each day, I try to spend at least an hour to two hours blogging. Whether it’s blog hopping, writing posts, or on social media.

6) How often do you post to your blog?
Currently, I post 4 times a week.

7) What motivates you to keep blogging about books?
What motivates me is that I love the community. I love interacting with everyone and sharing my thoughts about books and my own writing.

8) Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?
I wish authors knew how much effort book bloggers put into reading and reviewing their books. It’s extremely time consuming and sometimes it feels like they don’t understand that.

Interview with Jenn from Bound to Writing #BookBlogger #BookBlog

9) What's your most popular blog post?
WritingResources: Pinterest Writing Boards. I’ve never seen a post so popular on my blog. It discusses writing boards that I’ve found very useful on Pinterest.

10) Do you write reviews for every book you read?
Yes! If I finish a book, I like to share my thoughts on it. I started my blog to share my thoughts about bookish topics and it’s only fair that my followers know what my thoughts are on all the books I’ve read.

11) How many book reviews do you normally do a week?
I’ve recently changed my schedule so I only post my book reviews every other week. But those posts contain reviews for the books I’ve read over that period of time.

12) What genres are your favourites?
I love all things YA. My favorite genres in YA are contemporary, romance, and mystery.

13) What are you currently reading and why did you choose to read it?
Forever Disguised by Annie Woods! I was given a review copy of this book, but I chose to read it because I loved First Came Forever, which is the first book of the series. I am definitely going to be spending a lot of time awake tonight to read this one!

14) Do you have any plans for your blog in the future?
My mind is always thinking of new content for my blog, but it will always remain a book and writing blog.

You might also like:

A Bookish Summer Blog Hop: Where Do You Buy Your Books? 

Interview with Clair from Always Need More Books

My Local Library: A Behind The Scenes Tour

Interview with Stacey from Whispering Stories

Monday, 20 August 2018

Back to Work with a New Plan of Action

Back to Work with a New Plan of Action

Firstly, sorry for disappearing without saying anything. I hadn't planned to have a break like this but it happened and I went with it. Sometimes we all just need a break right? 

Anyway, I thought I'd bring you all up to speed with what I've been doing in my time off.


I went of holiday with my family to Calabria. This awesome place in the South of Italy is fast becoming one of my favourite places on the planet. We went there for a wedding last year but only got a short amount of time to explore. Having loved what we did see we jumped at the chance to go back again this year when a friend of ours asked us to visit him.

We spent most of our time on the beach at Pizzo swimming with the fish and getting tanned. We did take a trip to Tropea too as it gets so much hype about how amazing it is. It is beautiful. It's also full of tourists... packed full of them. We decided that although the scenery was breathtaking but it just too busy, with not much space to actually relax. Still glad we went to see it. Another place ticked off my bucket list ;)

The place we stayed at was in Monterosso Calabro which is a small hillside village. Half the buildings are empty so it was very peaceful. And again, the views were amazing. We will definitely be going back in the future.



On the way back to Rome we stopped off in Pompeii (another place on my bucket list) and visited the ruins. WOW! just WOW!

Pompeii is well worth a visit and I wish we'd had more time to explore it more. It's like stepping back in time. The whole city is so well preserved. It was a amazing to be able to walk down those streets and step inside the buildings.

Seeing the casts of the bodies in their final moments was hard, especially those of the young children. It was unnerving knowing that the vulcano is, in fact, still active (and going by recent calculation due another eruption in the not too distant future). 

We only managed to see about a third of the ruins as we only had a short amount of time. I'd love to go back and see the rest of it one day.



Back home to Rome for a day to unpack, and finish decorating our kids bedroom, then we were back in the car and headed to Latina. A closer location this time. We went to a place called Miami Beach which is a water park full of all sorts of water attractions. 

Acqua gym, group dancing, a foam party, an obstacle course, Jacuzzi, big water tube rides... it was a busy, but very fun day out. We even watched a magic show, and fed the fish and turtles at the lake. Loads of fun for kids big and small.

If you're planning a holiday in Italy you might want to check out my book Italian for Tourists ;) 

Then what?

After all of that it was back home again and time to try and get back to normal (whatever that is). 

Oh and I cut my hair... drastically. Yep from super long to pixie. It was time for a change and, to be honest, long hair was just too much work to keep it looking good. 

In all of this I forgot to give you the last update for BookTubeAThon and so I filmed a quick vlog to sum it all up:

Back to work

It's hard to get back into the flow when you've taken time off.. especially when you discover your inboxes are exploding. Seriously, SO - MANY - EMAILS! It's taken me all week to get through them and I'm still playing catch up.

During my time off, and now I'm back, I've been giving some serious thought to my work load. I love what I do and it's hard to think about cutting something(s) from my list. I do know that I won't be able to grow more though if I don't make some changes. 

My kids go back to school mid-September (yep that late AND summer break started on 8th June. The struggle is real). The fact that they will be going back to school had me thinking "finally I'll have some time to actually get some work done". In truth, I won't actually have that much time. 

The kids going back to school does mean I will have some more time without the kids, but when I got to thinking about it I realised that doesn't necessarily mean I'll have more time to do work.

Back to school means school runs. This in itself will take more time this year as my boys will be at different schools. Two different schools, opposite directions from our house, different start and end times. I'm going to be running from one place to another most of the day.

Back to school also means parent/teacher meetings, school admin stuff, and all the birthday parties and other social meet ups.

September also means back to training. My boys practice competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and swimming. The next Italian Championships for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are at the end of October and so my youngest will be back training hard in preparation. So far he has won 5 Gold medals and is aiming for another for his collection.

Swimming training starts up again too, and with it lots of competitions. They both do individual, relay, and lifeguard. My eldest is hoping to qualify for regional and national competitions this year and so will be increasing his training over the coming months. 

More training for them means more things on my own to do list too. For one I have to take them to and from their training sessions, and competitions. 

So will I really have much more time to devote to working? Not really. This means I need a new plan of action. I don't need to work harder. I need to work smarter.

I'm still trying to work out all the details of my new plan but I do know I need to make some changes to what I do and how I do it. 

Let's work together

One thing I want to do more of is collaborations, both for my youtube channel, and here on the blog... maybe for social media too. Group projects are fun to do, and get great results. If you have any ideas for a collaboration we could do together get in touch. 

Working smarter

I'm currently researching apps that I can use for my blogs and social media. Like I said, I want to work smarter, not harder. If you know of a great app that gets results, is super easy to use, and saves you time with your various blog related tasks please tell me all about it. Bonus points if it's free ;)

One of my favourite apps is SUMO. I've been using it for a couple of years now and love it. It makes it super easy to share images along with links to my content. Just so you know, I was using it way before I became an affiliate for the program and would still be telling you about it even without the chance to earn a little something from my link. 

Anyway, I'll fill you in more soon, once I have a clear idea of the what and how to of my new plan. I'll also try to get back into my normal posting schedule here on the blog. 

Taking some time off has been great. Sometimes we need to step away for a moment to better understand what we're doing, and want to be doing. 

Did you take some time off this summer? 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Interview with Mohd Faizan Fahim from Bookaapi Book Blog

Interview with Mohd Faizan Fahim from Bookaapi Book Blog #BookBlogger #BookBlog

Welcome back for another Book Blogger Interview! This week my guest is Mohd Faizan Fahim from Bookaapi Book Blog

Introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you blog?

Hello everyone, my name is Faizan Fahim. I am a student, currently doing MBA in Marketing. I am from New Delhi, Capital of India. I am living here for my whole life.
I do blogging on my book blog, hosted on WordPress. Other than the blog, I post the review on GoodReads, I do have a Facebook page, and Instagram Account.
I make graphics for my blog and Instagram on Ms Publisher and PowerPoint.

Why and how do you blog? What made you start?

What made me start is the reason when I read a thread on Goodreads that they are deleting the negative reviews. There was a very big discussion on that GoodReads post, how GoodReads being unfair to the reviewers, so I thought, I should make a blog. And I did.
I used both now, GoodReads and Book blog.
At least I own my content and reviews now, GoodReads can have a part of it, but it is mine.
So, wanting to own my content make me start my own blog.

How long have you been blogging?

I am blogging for past 2 years, one year on, and then I brought the self-hosted plan of WordPress. It was so difficult in starting, with all theme and customizing, but we are readers, we can read and solve problems so that I did.

What advice do you wish you'd had when you started?

When starting, I filled up my blog with different widgets. There was a Twitter widget, and Facebook Page widget, Instagram Widget and also a Goodreads widget.
One day I thought about why I am making my blog so messy. So I started cleaning. Now there are not many widgets. My latest posts, and some ads.
That I wished to know earlier.
This is the advice I give to new book bloggers, keep your blog clean.

How much time do you devote to blogging each day/week/month?

I try to write at least one post every week. And if you see me some latest post, you will realise how much work I do in writing a single post. From creating good-looking graphics to writing a detailed article that would be helpful to the reader.
So yeah, it takes time to write a post.
Sometime even three days, because I don’t sit consistently.
I make time to do this between other works.
But I am thinking to give more time and post at least two posts a week.

How often do you post on your blog?

Already answered in Question 5 I think.

What motivates you to keep blogging about books?

Facebook Groups.
Let’s see.
I read the post on one of my Facebook Group that what WordPress Plugins a beginner book bloggers should use?
So I wrote the “Best WordPress Plugins for Book Bloggers” about this topic.
My Facebook book Blogging groups motivate me to blog, because they offer me the problem, that I solve.
And there are NetGalley ARCs that I like to review on my blog.
One more major motivation is the sense of creating something. It feels good when I see my published post.

Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?

I don’t know what to say here…
I don’t have relations with authors or publication houses much.
They send me books and I review them.

What's your most popular blog post?

I am not a popular blogger, so there is no popular post.
But “Book Blog Post Ideas”, this post has more views than other posts.
I wrote a long post about what to write when you are out of ideas. 30+ Ideas, with an explanation.
Helpful for book bloggers.

Do you write reviews for every book you read?

No, that is not possible for me.
I write a review of only those books that I said I will review.
Like NetGalley book, and review Copies.
Other books I read, I write about them, not reviews, but Quote Post or Analysis of a Character or Situation.
I am trying to widen my book blog topics.

How many book reviews do you normally do a week?

One post, but that is not always a review.
But I am trying to write at least one review every week.

What genres are your favourites?

My favourite genre, this is my favourite question.
I like reading Y/A Fiction, teenage Stories, Coming of Age Novel.
I also like slow books. Slow books is not a genre, but I like books with prose.
Like Kate Atkinson, Carol Rifka Brunt. Fast books like Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train, well, I want to protect myself from those type of books.
I also like reading short stories. Short stories say a lot of things in a few words.
Good writing is what I want from a book. Good writing with the Good story.
I don’t need lessons, motivations or jaw-dropping sequence. Give me a good metaphor, with prose, and sound story. That’s all.

What are you currently reading and why did you choose to read it?

I am reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I am reading it because a friend of mine said that I read crap and I should read some good fiction.
So my friend, who thinks reading y/a is idiotic, gave me this book.
But I am also reading a Me and Me by Alice Kuipers.

Do you have any plans for your blog in the future?

Yes, I am thinking of writing more, and make a helpful guide for beginner book blogger.
I am thinking of adding any of my friends to help with sharing on social media.
TBH I am not a planner, I do things randomly.
I also have to figure out that mail thing. I am a noob at that.
But it is a matter of time that I will solve that riddle too…

Friday, 10 August 2018

Book Review: Banana for Two by Ellen Mayer

Book Review: Banana for Two by Ellen Mayer

Disclosure: I got sent a free copy of this book via Net Galley.

Book Review: Banana for Two by Ellen Mayer
Mama, her toddler, and two stuffed bunnies turn a grocery store outing into an opportunity to talk, laugh, and learn a little math. As they fill their cart with items in quantities of one and two, Mama lets her baby hold them, connecting the familiar idea of one and two hands to concepts of one and two. But how will Mama share one banana for their snack? As she cuts the banana in half, her child proudly recognizes the two pieces, showing an understanding of the notion of two.

This playful story models talk and actions that help children develop a stronger understanding of quantities and how math is part of daily life.

Book Review: Banana for Two by Ellen Mayer

Over 50,000 Signed Books - The World's Largest Selection For the Avid Fan, Reader, & Collector

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Interview with Neena Paul from Kindle and Kompass

Interview with Book Blogger Neena Paul from Kindle and Kompass

For today's Book Blogger Interview join me in giving a warm welcome to Neena Paul from Kindle and Kompass

Introduce yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? and Where do you blog?
I am Neena and I currently live in Detroit area in Michigan. I moved here about 3 years ago from Bangalore, India. I am originally from the state of Kerala in India. I blog at a shared space started between me and my friend Rama Vani at We were friends since college and have known each other for the last 15 years. She lives in Chennai, India. We blog about books, travel and occasionally some personal/motivational writings. You can read more about us here (

Why and how do you blog? What made you start?
We started blogging primarily because between us books and travels were a constant topic because that’s something that was close to our heart. We were also often asked by our friends on travel tips and book recommendations. So, we thought, why not we put it out somewhere for people to read if it helps them.

How long have you been blogging?
Our blog is relatively new. We started it about 10 months ago. Because we also work full time IT jobs, this is something we try to do during our extra hours.

What advice do you wish you'd had when you started?
I wish we had started this much earlier. We have been reading books from a very young age but it just took so long to put those into something useful like a blog. But then there is a time for everything!

How much time do you devote to blogging each day/week/month?
Like I mentioned, this is a shared space between two of us who also manage full time IT jobs. So, we mostly spend after work hours or weekends to get the content ready. We read on a daily basis, so between both of us, we manage to have at least 2 book reviews per month. And because there is two of us, it is probably a tad easier than having to do it all alone.

How often do you post to your blog?
Over the last 10 months, we managed to have about 50 posts up on the blog. We schedule our posts to go out every Thursday morning IST hours. Occasionally, we do more than one posts a week. That happens when we post about non- book/travel related posts.

What motivates you to keep blogging about books?
The fact that we are able to encourage more people into the habit of reading and providing book suggestions to enthusiasts is a great motivating factor to keep writing reviews. It is also a way to keep track of what we have read and what we liked the most. We also regularly post our reviews to GoodReads.

Interview with Neena Paul from Kindle and Kompass #BookBlogger #BookBlogging

Is there something you wish authors knew about your blog or blogging?
It would be nice for us to have more opportunities to work with authors and fellow reviewers. We are new to this space and still learning the multiple avenues of blogging and author interactions. There is a lot to learn from established bloggers.

What's your most popular blog post?
We recently published our 50th blog post which became an instant hit among our readers. We shared about how we find time to do all these things that we have come to love – books travel and fitness. It probably struck a chord with the readers. We heard a lot of feedback on how everyone loved it. Here is the link to this post -

Do you write reviews for every book you read?
We almost try to review every book that we read. If the books are small, we try to club them together into a single review or a wrap up post – like this one here
We try to keep notes as we are reading about the characters and major twists and so it becomes easy for us to review them later on.

How many book reviews do you normally do a week?
We normally do about 2-3 book reviews a month. Because we stick to a weekly schedule of publishing on Thursdays we end up having drafts written long before but not published yet – something that we are trying to change.

What genres are your favourites?
We are both lovers of fiction. I started my reading journey with Harry Potter and since then there was no looking back. We also enjoy reading autobiographies, contemporary fiction and classics like Jane Austen.

What are you currently reading and why did you choose to read it?
I am currently reading “A Mid-Summer Night’sDream” by William Shakespeare. As for why, I don’t believe an answer to that is needed because it is one among the world greatest works by Shakespeare. I wasn’t sure if I will be able to read it, but now that I started I am totally used to the style with which is written and the characters are beautiful.

Do you have any plans for your blog in the future?
We are slowly learning the SEO techniques and the very large platform that blogging is – something we did not realise until we started out on this journey. We hope to learn and associate with fellow bloggers and continue creating content that is mutually rewarding to us and our readers.

Interested in my work and services?
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