100th Post: September Wrap-Up

September has been a very long, busy month, and I’m only now finding time to wrap-up.  I’ve actually decided to do the first week of October too as I’ve left it until now to post, and I’ve bought lots of new books and been to some bookish events!  I’ve also had my biggest disaster using WordPress!

I’ve been back at work for a month now.  I have a wonderful class of children and love being in the classroom, but work outside the classroom keeps me away from reading and blogging as much as I’d like to!  However, I have made a pledge to myself that I will not work at the weekend unless I absolutely have to, and this has really helped me relax at the weekend, and enjoy some down time.

OOPS aka Sugar Plum Fairy (which isn’t me swearing – much!)

I’ve been using WordPress since April when I started my blog, but today I learned that I’m still such a beginner!  My media was getting very large, so I decided I would delete some images from it!  BIG MISTAKE!  I have now learned that deleting media is not a good idea as it deletes it from my posts.  I bet everyone else knows this, so why didn’t I know ?  Let’s just say, I had to spend quite a long time re-loading images and updating posts!  I won’t make that mistake again! 

BOOKISH EVENTS

Bath Children’s Literature Festival

I went to the Bath Children’s Literature Festival for the first time on Sunday 29th September.  I went to hear the wonderful Irish authors Sinead O’Hart and Catherine Doyle talk about some of my favourite books, The Eye of the North, The Star-Spun Web, The Storm Keeper’s Island and The Lost Tide Warriors. The Eye of the North was the children’s book that got me hooked on children’s books as an adult.  They really were inspiring to listen to as they talked about how their first books just sort of ‘popped’ into their heads, Catherine’s inspiration for Malachy coming from her Grandfather and Sinead being just like Emmeline.  The strangest question came from a child who asked ‘How would you like to die?  They both handled this really well and with good humour. 

I got to meet them and have my class books signed by them.  They were very friendly and ‘knew’ me from Twitter! 

Reading Rocks

On Saturday 5th October, I went to my first Reading Rocks, South which is an annual event attended by those in education who have a passion for reading children’s literature.  It was a fantastic day – meeting new people, catching up with those I knew, listening to some inspirational speakers and buying yet more books! 

The two speakers who really stood out for me were Jane Considine who has a real passion for reading which absolutely shines through in every word she says – she is also extremely funny!  The image she showed from an old Sex Ed book for children was not fit for sight at 10am!  Afterwards, I met her at her book signing – she immediately noticed that I was not from ‘around these parts’.  We had a lovely chat about Irish-isms as her Gran was from Southern Ireland. 

The other speaker was one of my favourite authors, Vashti Hardy, who gave a wonderful talk about her books, which included references to STEM and gender stereotyping.  She also spoke about her own bookish influences growing up.  I was very excited to meet her afterwards and have Brightstorm signed by her.  She also recognised me from Twitter!

BOOK, BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS

I might have slightly overdone it with book purchases, but it’s really not my fault – I blame the release of an incredible number of amazing children’s books on Thursday 3rd October.  Not sure what excuse I can make for my other purchases.  Oh yes!  Believathon is coming up in November and I want to make sure I have plenty of books to choose from!

My September/October (so-far) purchases:

1.      Uki and the Outcasts by Kieran Larwood

2.      Guardians of Magic by Chris Riddell

3.      Skeleton Keys:  The Unimaginary Friend by Guy Bass

4.      The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson (I also won a copy  of this one on Toppsta)

5.      The Boy Giant by Michael Morpurgo

6.      The Princess Who Flew with Dragons by Stephanie Burgis

7.      The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay

8.      The Great Brain Robbery by P G Bell

9.      The Velvet Fox by Catherine Fisher

10.    Frostheart by Jamie Littler

11.    The Star Outside my Window by Onjali Q Rauf

12.    The Somerset Tsunami by Emma Carroll

The Discovery Centre Library

Normally I go to a closer library rather than the main town library, but this time I went to our main library and it is just gorgeous.  I was amazed by the incredible selection of books and the huge papier mache of the BFG!  I got just a few shorter books from there!

1.      The Road to Ever After by Moira Young

2.      The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll

3.      Owen and the Soldier by Lisa Thompson

4.      A Most Peculiar Toy Factory by Alex Bell

NetGalley

I’ve finally got my 80% badge!  I have requested and been approved for a few books.  My successful requests were:

1.      The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  This is her first adult  novel which I’m very excited to read as I’ve adored both her middle-grade and young adult books.

2.      The Little Fir Tree: From an original story by Hans Christian Andersen by Christopher Corr.  I remember the Hans Christian Anderson story in a whole school assembly a few years ago, so I really wanted to read this one.

3.      Guardians of Magic by Chris Riddell.  I was approved for this one after the publication date by which time I couldn’t resist buying it!

This was a longer post than I thought it would be.  Thank you if you stuck it to the end!

7 thoughts on “100th Post: September Wrap-Up

  1. Congratulations on Post 100!!
    A tip I got for reducing my media size early on was to convert my pictures to smaller resolution before uploading. I use a free image editor to do this (it’s also how I make my headers etc) and reduce to a standardised range that I’m happy with before uploading to WordPress.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations Mary! Your blog is so impressive to read that I can’t believe you’ve had it for such a short time. I’m pleased for you that you had such a positive time at The BathKidsLitFestival and Reading Rocks. I have been to the Bath festival with my youngest for the past 9 years, but having just embarked on a part-time Masters which is eating into my leisure (and MG reading) time, I had to give it a miss this year! Can’t wait to read your reviews of all those recent purchases😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! My blogging definitely slows down during term time. Both Bath and RR were such fantastic events – I definitely want to go to more! Good luck with your Masters – I’m always very impressed with any one who embarks on the Masters journey! I have so many reviews to write – it’s hard to stop just picking up the next book instead! I’ll try to catch up with reviews this weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

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