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Friday, 25 September 2020

Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

  

My thoughts about the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


My thoughts about Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


My thoughts about the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The only thing wrong with this readable, funny memoir of a magazine writer's yearlong travels across the world in search of pleasure and balance is that it seems so much like a Jennifer Aniston movie. Like Jen, Liz is a plucky blond American woman in her thirties with no children and no major money worries. As the book opens, she is going through a really bad divorce and subsequent stormy rebound love affair. Awash in tears in the middle of the night on the floor of the bathroom, she begins to pray for guidance, "you know -- like, to God." God answers. He tells her to go back to bed. I started seeing the Star headlines: "Jen's New Faith!" "What Really Happened at the Ashram!" "Jen's Brazilian Sugar Daddy -- Exclusive Photos!" Please understand that Gilbert, whose earlier nonfiction book, The Last American Man, portrayed a contemporary frontiersman, is serious about her quest. But because she never leaves her self-deprecating humor at home, her journey out of depression and toward belief lacks a certain gravitas. The book is composed of 108 short chapters (based on the beads in a traditional Indian japa mala prayer necklace) that often come across as scenes in a movie. And however sad she feels or however deeply she experiences something, she can't seem to avoid dressing up her feelings in prose that can get too cute and too trite. On the other hand, she convinced me that she acquired more wisdom than most young American seekers -- and did it without peyote buttons or other classic hippie medicines. When Gilbert determines that she requires a year of healing, her first stop is Italy, because she feels she needs to immerse herself in a language and culture that worships pleasure and beauty. This sets the stage for a "Jen's Romp in Rome," where she studies Italian and, with newfound friends, searches for the best pizza in the world......




 




Looking for inspiration for your book blog? Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

My thoughts about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.


Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he's the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and
which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both.



 


You might also like: Series I'm Obsessed With: Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Looking for inspiration for your book blog? Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Book Review: The Never Have I Ever Club by Mary Jayne Baker


#BookReview: The Never Have I Ever Club by Mary Jayne Baker #NetGalley

My thoughts about The Never Have I Ever Club by Mary Jayne Baker

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Disclosure: I got sent an ARC of this book by the publisher via Net Galley. Pub date 18th June 2020.


#BookReview: The Never Have I Ever Club by Mary Jayne Baker #NetGalley
Robyn Bloom thought Ash Barnes was the love of her life – until one day he announced he was leaving her to fly halfway across the world.

Months later, Robyn is struggling to move on – but then she has a brainwave: The Never Have I Ever Club. Her handsome next-door neighbour Will helps her bring their fellow Yorkshire villagers together for some carpe-diem-inspired fun.

From burlesque dancing to Swedish massages, everyone has plenty of bucket-list activities to try, but it doesn't take long for Robyn to realise what – or who – her heart truly desires: Will.

There's just one problem: he's Ash's twin brother.

Make that two problems: Ash is moving home... and he wants Robyn back.

Mary Jayne Baker is the recipient of the RNA Romantic Comedy Award for A Question of Us.






You might also like: Book Review: Us, In Pieces by Tasha Cotter and Christopher Green

Looking for inspiration for your book blog? Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: August Link Up


Blog Audit Challenge 2020: August Link Up #BlogAuditChallenge2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020

As I mentioned in the sign up post for this challenge, I'll be hosting monthly link ups in order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress. On the first Saturday of every month participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 

#BlogAuditChallenge2020

August Link Up


How did you do with the August challenges? What was the hardest part of the challenge? What are your thoughts about the Blog Audit Challenge so far? Create a blog post sharing your progress and link it up below so we can all visit and support each other in our mission for blog awesomeness. 



Save the date!

Check out the September Challenges here. The September link up will be on 3rd October. 





You might also like: 60 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers


Don't forget to promote your participation in the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 by using the following graphic in any blog posts you do connected with the challenge along with a link back to this site. 


Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by @JoLinsdell at www.JoLinsdell.com

Friday, 4 September 2020

2020 Challenges: June, July and August Update


2020 Challenges: (June, July and) August Update

2020 Challenges: (June, July and) August Update

Firstly, sorry for not posting updates for June and July. This year is tough for a number of reasons and I was struggling with depression. This is something I've faced before numerous times over the years but this year is probably my lowest point yet. Too many things have happened this year and they broke me. 

Not only did I not make any progress with any of the challenges, I also didn't feel up to blogging at all... or much else really. 

I decided to take the summer months to concentrate on rebuilding myself from the inside. It's a long process and an on going one but I am in a much better place now than I was a few months ago. 

I'm very grateful to have such amazing family and friends. Even the smallest of gestures really helped make a difference. On the darkest days it can be so hard to see even a slight ray of hope but it's there. It's easier to acknowledge the negative but there is something positive in every day... sometimes we just need help to be able to find it. 

If you, like me, struggle with depression please know that you are not alone. The journey is long but we can do this!




The Blog Audit Challenge 2020

This is a challenge I created aimed at improving our blogs. You can find full details here in case you missed the introduction post. The goals for June where related to links, July covered quality content, and August was all about content gaps

I will be trying to catch up on these over the next few months. As with most of the challenge tasks, these are all things that can be done as an on going project and so they don't have to be done all together (I'm not sure about you but I don't think I could manage to do any of these in one sitting anyway).

The Audiobook Challenge

This challenge is was created by Eline from Lovely Audiobooks. I'm doing it as a year long challenge. 

I haven't listened to any audiobooks over the past three months. I did however download my first audiobook ever from Net Galley in August so I'm hopefully going to change that soon. 

2020 Challenges: March Progress Report #AudiobookChallenge2020


Audiobooks listened to in June, July and August:
  • 0

The A to Z Reading Challenge

Next up is the A to Z Reading Challenge

I read nothing in June or July but towards the end of August I did manage to read one book (even though it was for a letter I'd already covered).


2020 Challenges: The A to Z Reading Challenge


Books read this month:

H- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling



Armed with a Bingo

I'm also doing the Armed with a Bingo challenge.


2020 Challenges: August Update Armed With A Bingo



Books read this month:
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (A bestseller book)

2020 Challenges: (June, July and) August Update #Blogging #Reading



Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: September Challenges

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: September Challenges #BlogAuditChallenge2020


Blog Audit Challenge 2020


Welcome back for another month of challenges for the Blog Audit Challenge 2020!

I hope you did well with the August challenges. Remember to link up your progress reports in the Link Up on the 5th September

Each month we'll concentrate on a different area of our blogs.

Life is strange for most of us this year with Coronavirus, Lock-downs, etc... If you fall behind with the monthly tasks don't worry. Just catch up when you can. This challenge lasts the whole year. 

The Challenges:


January- Plan of action
FebruaryInformation pages
March- The trimmings
April- Design
May- SEO
June- Links
August- Content gaps
September- Developing readership
October- Get social
November- Press and collaborations
December- Know your stats

Monthly link ups

In order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress, I'll be hosting link ups on the first Saturday of every month where participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 


#BlogAuditChallenge2020

September Challenges


Our focus for September is on developing readership. 

The September challenges:


1. Optimise your comment system

Are you making it easy for readers to comment on your content? I don't know about you but when I read a great blog post and go to post a comment only to find comments are not enable I feel let down. It's like I read all your content, got inspired by it and then.... nothing. The End. 

Then there's the blogs that have you jumping through hoops to be able to post a comment. Yes to site protection (spam is a big problem for bloggers) but if it's too hard to post a comment people will give up. 

Keep it simple, and make it easy. 

Also encourage readers to comment on the post. Ask a question or include another CTA (Call to action) at the end of your blog post to inspire them to continue the conversation in the comments section of the post.

2. Make sure you reply to all comments

If someone takes the time to comment on your content it's good etiquette to reply to them. The comments section is the part of your blog where you turn readers into fans that come back time and time again.  

Show them that you appreciate them taking the time to comment on your blog post, and get to know them better. This can also be a great way to find out what content your regular readers want more of. 

3. SEO comments

Your comment section is an extension of your blog content and can do wonders for the SEO of your post.

When replying to comments drop in the keywords for the blog post if they fit naturally into the text. 

So instead of just "Thank you" try "Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you enjoyed this post about blogging. What kind of blog do you have? As a blogger, what do you think could be added?"

The first is polite acknowledgment. The second includes keywords like: blogging, blog, and blogger. It also invites the reader to continue the conversation further. 

It's good practice to drop keywords that you think fit the blog posts you comment on when on other bloggers blogs. If you take the time to make a more targeted comment on their blog it increases the chances that they will do the same for you when they visit your blog. 

Let's use an example for book bloggers. Instead of writing just "Great post" try "I learnt some new tips about book blogging in this post. Thanks for helping other bloggers".

The first example, which although is very nice and appreciated doesn't add anything to the post. The second is much better and includes keywords like: tips about book blogging, book blogging, and bloggers.

If it was a book review post instead of just "Great review" try to add in the name of the book and author e.g. "Great review. I loved this book too. In fact I'm a huge fan of the whole Percy Jackson series. Rick Riordan is awesome. I want to go to Camp Half Blood too". 


Free downloads: You can grab copies of all the extra materials for the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 for free here


Save the Date!

The October challenges will be posted on 2nd October. The monthly link up post for sharing your September progress will be on 3rd October. 


Blog Audit Challenge 2020: September Challenges #BlogAuditChallenge2020


You might also like: Exploring CTA's: Different Types of Calls To Action To Use in Your Blog Posts


Don't forget to promote your participation in the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 by using the following graphic in any blog posts you do connected with the challenge along with a link back to this site. 


Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by @JoLinsdell at www.JoLinsdell.com

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