Blogger Newbie: Angela (@ Books of A Shy Girl) | Diversity & #Ownvoices

Today, I’m happy to invite Angela from Books of a Shy Girl to talk on my blog! I hope you enjoy her post!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hi, everyone!
I am Angela, a Chinese girl who was born and has always lived in Italy. I’m a high school student who studies languages and I’m a bibliophile.
Since I was small, I liked reading. It is now my main passion and, since I wanted to share my opinion about books I had read, I decided to create a book blog: Books of a Shy Girl.
I know I’m not very good at reviewing since I started my blog a few months ago, but this is really important for me.
In fact, it took me almost a month to just decide the name and I chose it because I’m a very shy person.
My dream is to travel all around the world, learning new languages. visiting places that have a long history behind them and knowing new things about a folk.
I’m curious about everything and will probably annoy you with how many questions I have.
Other things I love are photography. listening to music, Mythology and milkshakes!

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: My blog is about books. I focus mainly on Young Adult, but I accept other genres if someone wants a review from me.
I’m trying to be more active on social medias and in the book blogging world, participating in book blitzes and blog tours.

Why did you start blogging?: As I’ve said before, I’ve started book blogging because I wanted to share my opinion about books I had read.
Before creating Books of a Shy Girl, I read other book blogs about whether reading a book or not.
Their amazing posts made me want to say my own thoughts about a book and, after a lot of time, I decided to finally create my blog.

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As I’ve already said, I am a Chinese girl in Italy.
I’ve been bullied and I am a victim of racism. I think in all countries there are those people who don’t want foreign people to live in the same land as theirs, or don’t like the difference in body and culture.
I was and always will be hurt by their mean words.
I was probably traumatized when I was a child as I am not anymore that outspoken and extrovert little girl I once was. Now, I’m a really shy high school girl who is too self-conscious of herself. I don’t like crowded places and I prefer staying at home reading a book and watching TV or helping my parents at work, rather than going out on Saturday nights.
This is probably why I don’t have many friends. But better few than many fake friends, right?
However, there’s a good thing that racism has brought with it. My love for foreign countries, my love for learning new things about different cultures, my love for speaking other languages. In fact, I consider myself a Cosmopolitan person, this is, if you search the meaning of the world in the dictionary, you will found the following meanings:
– free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.
– belonging to all the world; not limited to just one part of the world.
I am a “citizen of the world”, I prefer explaining when someone asks who a Cosmopolitan person is.
I don’t divide the population in Chinese, Italian, Russian, homosexuals, people of color. I see only humans, people who have feelings, who cry, who laugh, who hurt, who smile.
In the last few months, I have been highly active on Twitter and I started following #ownvoices and #DiverseBookBloggers people.
These people are not ashamed of who they are or of their heritage. People such as @theshenners who promote LGBTQ+ and Diverse books.
It’s thanks to her and other people that I decided to read more #ownvoices books, because in the world there are more than 7.5 billion people. That’s a lot!
And every one of us is different than the other.
We need more books that represent us, with our thousands of facets, our own fears, our own diversity.
Read more, be kinder, spotlight diverse books!
#WeNeedDiverseBooks!

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I loved reading this post and I am really happy to feature Angela’s guest post! If you also enjoyed this go follow her on twitter, facebook, instagram, goodreads or google+ or contact her via email (booksofashygirl@gmail.com)!What are your thoughts on this topic?

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Blogger Newbie: Raine (@ The Raine Spectrum) | How To Deal With Anxiety

Today I’m happy to share with you, Raine’s tips on how to deal with anxiety. I know there are a lot out there that has to deal with this so I hope you find this helpful. I give the word to Raine!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You? I’m Raine!! I am a total geek and gamer. I love reading novels, comics, textbooks, anything I can get my hands on. My favorite games are FPS or questing. My Hogwarts house is Slytherin, and my best friends are Hufflepuffs!!!

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it? My blog ( @therainespectrum ) is about my journey through mental illness, my eating disorder, daily thoughts that I have, poetry, random reviews, pro-feminism, body positivity, pro-equality, and support for anyone who needs help. Really it’s just my ramblings, but my main goal is to channel my problems into artistic and creative ways, and to teach others how to do the same. I want to show them that normality is possible when nothing feels okay.

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging because I wanted to help people. I have been obsessed with superheros for like ever, and they’ve inspired me to help. Because I don’t have superpowers, I’d always wanted to bring joy to other people and help them in the little ways. I want to show people that everyone is beautiful and we all deserve the same opportunities, because nobody deserves to feel worthless or lesser.

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Anxiety can strike at any time, and it always sucks. It makes you irrational and frustrated. It’s so easy to get rid of that feeling, but it feels impossible to want to get rid of it because it is consuming.

Step 1.
Firstly, you need to breathe. If you aren’t breathing, it’s easier to panic. When you are in control of your breathing, think of something that makes you happy. Step 2.

Step 2.
Make a list of things that make you feel better. Do these things. Go through that list when you’re feeling anxious. For example, on my list, I have
1. Wash face with warm cloth
2. Drink a glass of cold water
3. Stretch
4. Write a short story and/or sketch a picture
5. Sing a song with my sister
Doing these things really help me, and I suggest that you try, because your list might prove helpful to you, too.

Step 3.
Call a friend. Sometimes talking to people makes things better, even if you don’t feel like talking to anyone. Having a friend is a lot better in the long run, rather than pushing them away in a moment of unhappiness.

Step 4.
When I am hungry, I get so irrational, it’s not funny. My family calls it “hangry”. Therefore, eating always makes me feel better. Even if it’s just a strawberry or some grapes. So, if you’re like me, and get hangry , then eating will definitely help.

If you want to feel better, the first thing you have to do is take control of the situation.

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I hope these tips were helpful and interesting to read! Thank you Raine for them! If you liked this post or want to read more like them, go to Raine’s blog here and follow her!

Blogger Newbie: Leanne (@ Bookish Revolution ) | 3 books that changed my life

I got an exciting guest post from Leanne over at Bookish Revolution! Let me just give her the word!

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Who Are You?: I’m Leanne, I’m relatively new to the world of book blogging. I’m an avid (but slow!) reader, and I’ll read pretty much anything except romance, which no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get into! I also love belly dancing, running and my cat Coconut.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: My blog is about books, but I’m not doing many straightforward reviews. I prefer to look at how books have shaped my view of the world, or how they’ve helped me in some way. I also like to do a light-heartes post once in a while – like pictures of my cat with books!

Why did you start blogging?: I wanted to connect with people and discuss books with them – that’s pretty much it! I also want to improve my writing style and develop my own “voice”. I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I finish a blog post.

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Which books changed your life? Here are 3 of mine

This week I’ve been reflecting on my reading progress for the year. Not just in terms of the number of books I’ve read, but also the quality of those I’ve read and the level of diversity I’ve managed to achieve.

I’ve read some great books this year that have all resonated with me in different ways. That said, with the possible exception of Roxane Gay’s wonderful Difficult Women, which I talked about in an earlier blog post, nothing has jumped out at me yet as a book that I’ll remember for years to come. You know the sort I mean, the book you look at sitting on your shelves and immediately start reminiscing about the time you read it and how it made you feel.  It makes you want to capture that feeling again and again.

Now, I know we’re only in July, so there’s still a few more books left to read before the end of the year. I also recognise that the important books in your life tend to be few and far between, and that’s part of what makes them special – you’d probably be rather emotionally drained if every book you read left you pining so deeply for the experience of reading it again, and sometimes that’s really not what you need from a book anyway.

But it got me thinking about some of the books I’ve read that have had a big impact on me over the years, and some are probably ones you wouldn’t expect! Here are 3 books that, in very different ways, have changed my life.

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To be honest, I can’t remember exactly when I first read Harper Lee’s classic. It wasn’t when I was at secondary school, although I certainly owned a copy at that point – I think I may have been at university before I finally managed to read it.

I could see immediately why it’s such a popular choice on the curriculum in American high schools, and I really hope it still is today. It addresses so many important themes – race relations, gender stereotypes, what it means to have courage and to follow your own moral compass. To have compassion for others who aren’t like you. Things that I think are more relevant today than they ever were.

To Kill A Mockingbird taught me that doing what you think is right isn’t always an easy option – but you should do it anyway. When I re-read this book a couple of years ago, I remember sitting on a bus and reading the end of a particular chapter – and having to close the book for a second so I could hug it. I never do that.

Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight – Linda Bacon

And now for something completely different!

I first read this book about 4 years ago, after having a conversation with a work colleague on the bus home. I’d been going to Slimming World for about a year by that point, and I’d never really considered any other viewpoint than the one espoused by pretty much everybody, from doctors to friends – being fat is unhealthy, and you’re only going to be happy if you can get thin and stay thin.

Oh, how the science in this book completely changed my perspective.

I’ve never been happy with my body. I come from a family where dieting is the norm, and being fat is just not something that is acceptable. This book helped me move away from the diet mentality – and consequently away from low self-esteem. Until I read this book, I hadn’t realized how much of my self-esteem was wrapped up in trying to attain a socially-acceptable body (or how much emotional energy I was expending trying to do it). I’m not only happier because of this book, I’m healthier – I don’t obsess about eating, but I’m still able to make food and exercise choices that help me maintain my well-being and a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to the constant weight cycling and “all-or-nothing” approach to healthy eating that I had before. It also got me into reading other books about the obsession with the obesity “crisis”, as well as size-acceptance movements and intuitive eating.

I have a lot to thank Linda Bacon for – I can’t imagine what my life would be like now if I hadn’t ditched the diets and started living my life.

Kindred – Octavia E. Butler

This is the first book by Octavia E. Butler that I read, and I hope to add more to the list!

I enjoyed this book so much – the plot had me gripped and the nuanced relationships between the characters had me hooked. But these aren’t the reasons it’s important to me.

Kindred made me look at diversity in books in a new light. I’ve felt for a long time that it’s important to read more than just white male authors, who generally don’t experience the barriers to publishing or exposure in the book community that other writers do.

This is hard for me to admit, but reading this book made me realize that I’d been making assumptions about black writers and writing that really weren’t true. Embarrassingly, I’d never heard of a science fiction book written by a black person, never mind a black woman, and this had never occurred to me as odd. I’m cringing as I write this, because it all seems completely ridiculous to me that I could ever have thought this way.

I’d never really considered that black writers who get publicity in the UK tend to be writing about particular subjects such as slavery, or the political situation in Nigeria, themes that you’d probably expect black writers to explore. There is nothing wrong with this – I’ve read some brilliant books on these topics. But I think it does lead to black writers getting pigeonholed, because the reading public is often only showcased a particular sort of writing. I think this can often be true for writers from other backgrounds too. I’m sure it’s not an accident that science fiction is overwhelmingly white, and male. Even though Kindred is widely dubbed a classic, and isn’t a new book, I’d never heard of it. I know it deals with slavery and race relations, but I’d never seen them approached in this way.

As I said, I loved this book, but it also raised some questions about diversifying my reading that made me feel uncomfortable. I’m glad about that. It made me realise that, if I was going to make sure that diversifying my reading didn’t turn into a tokenistic gesture, I needed to make an effort to find authors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds other than those established enough to be getting a lot of publicity, or those writing in mainstream genres that tend to have big marketing budgets. It’ll need a bit more effort, but I think it’ll be worth it. There are so many books by a diverse range of writers out there that we don’t get to hear about because of the barrier such writers face, and I’d like to help remedy that if it’s possible.

So, there you have my 3 life-changing books – which books are important to you?

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If you enjoyed this post, make sure to follow Leanne on her blog, twitter, litsy (@LeanneAslin) and/or instagram! Which book(s) changed your life?

Newbie Bloggers: Tina (@TinaHoganGrant) | Lessons about writing

Welcome to another edition of Newbie Bloggers, in which I introduce you to new bloggers! This week I’ll introduce you to Tina, who is not only a blogger but also a writer!

I give the word to Tina:

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Who is Tina?

Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hi, My name is Tina Grant and yes a newbie. Less than a week in fact and I’m excited to be a part of this community. I live in southern California and trying to grasp the fact that I will soon be a published author. (Yeah!) I just signed the contract earlier this week with my publisher to publish my works “Reckless Beginnings.” A fiction novel based on actual events. I’m married (24 years). We have a son and two wonderful grandkids. My husband is a professional falconer, We built our home in the mountains of Frazier park. My passions are reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, boating, gardening, fishing, exploring small remote towns and antiques.

What is your blog about and what are your plans with it?: I just launched my blog yesterday announcing the news of my book. I plan on using it to share with others the process and events that evolve up until launch day. It will be used to promote the book and other works. (Right now I am working on a sequel “Better Endings”) I plan on sharing writing tips and ideas and making new friends with my same interests.

Why did you start blogging?: I started blogging to mainly promote my book and share my interests with others. I also find it a great way to learn from others too.

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My passion is writing and reading. there is never enough hours in the day for all the books I want to read. I developed my passion for these from my father famed science fiction writer James P. Hogan. Books were his world and are now mine. Sadly he passed away suddenly seven years ago but I cherish the lessons he has taught me and lives my life by them.

Never Give up

If you have pushed yourself hard, give yourself one more shove

Never use the word carn’t.  [note from Lia: I am assuming this word should be can’t but I would also recommend to never use the word carn’t 😉 ]

If you are afraid to do it.. just do it.. you will discover that it wasn’t that bad after all

Your mind can be your worst enemy.. sometimes you just have to stop listening to it
I could go on, these are just a few lessons my dad taught me.

I live a content life in the mountains with my husband of 24 years with our two dogs (a Brittney named Tess and a Jack Russell named Ellie. We designed and built our house ourselves (When I say ourselves .. I mean just that. We did most of the work ourselves.)

My husband is a professional falconer and does bird abatement for a living. I’m at an exciting time in my life with the launching of my first book in the near future and I’m very excited to be here.

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What did you think of Tina’s life lessons? What is one lesson you learned in life that helps you write? Or just in general? If you liked this post and are interested in more of Tina’s posts (or her book!), go check out her blog here.

Newbie Blogger: Kelly (@ Aura’s Child) | What Should I Write?

I’m back with a new blogger, namely Kelly from Aura’s Child! She’s such a sweet person so you should definitely check out her blog. But first, her post!

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Tell us something about yourself: Who are you?

Hello! I’m Kelly Kawaguchi.

I am a very flawed and fairly uninteresting and untalented enigma on the internet. I like talking to myself and pretending I know what I am doing. I take pride in my personality, although, I can be a careless person much of the time. I pity very little and don’t apologize for my strong opinions. I am fickle and confused about just about every aspect of myself and the world.

Fun fact: My keyboard’s letters “g” and “p” don’t work. I add in those letters later after I’m done typing, so I apologize if I missed filling in any.

What is your blog about and what are you planning to do with it?

I write about my opinions and feelings about all sorts of topics, events in my life, etcetera. I will probably hit just about every topic, from recipes to literature to world current events.

I would like for my blog to, potentially, become an outlet for people who would like to express their thoughts, experiences, and such.

Why did you start blogging?

I started off by posting a journal entry. Essentially, it was going to be my online diary. Things were getting rough and I knew I needed an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. Blogging let my mind express what it needed.

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What Should I Write?

My mind has been a mess lately. I want direction. But I guess everyone wants direction. Or do we already have a direction, we just do not see it yet?

I love to write but I have little skill in it. I am interested in movies and nature and health and animals and botany and so many other things. I read somewhere that you spend approximately 80,000 hours of your life working. I don’t know if it’s just me, but that is quite a few hours to spend doing something you may not enjoy.

I want so much to enjoy life. But is that just a new way of thinking? A western culture way of thinking?

That doesn’t mean it’s a wrong way of thinking, just maybe a more self-centered way.

Hundreds of years ago, people really had a place in society. Each had a job to do. Sure there were those that were privileged and those who were trampled on by society, but for the most part, people were all part of a big working machine. We all had more purpose in my opinion.

Side note: I’m not saying back then was “better”.

Now it seems to me everyone is looking for a new way to please themselves. Even if people do things for others, many are just seeking for their own fulfillment.

What are we going to waste our lives on next? Is there a right or wrong answer?

This post was very much so a stream of consciousness. I wanted to whip up an interesting post, but whenever I began typing, it felt fake. I want my blog to be real, raw, and beyond all else, I want it to look like me.

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What did you think of Kelly’s post? Do you agree with her opinions? Let her know! Follow her on her blog and twitter!

Newbie Bloggers: Fran (@wheelchairvista) | Daniel Blake and the fight afterwards

This is the third installment in a hopefully long series! I have received a lot of submissions lately so it might be a while for everyone to get their turn. You can still submit, but keep that in mind!

Now I give the word to Fran from Wheelchairvista!

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Who is Fran?

Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hi, I’m Fran, a Disability Blogger, Activist, Trainer, Advisor, and Information Guru.
My professional background is in nursing and I’m a highly experienced trainer, with over 25 years of experience. I can come into any setting to help educate and inform people about disability issues. I can also work with organizations to help them ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
I live in London, England, and love exploring this great city and enjoying the variety of cultural events we are so lucky to have on our doorstep. But, traveling in London is challenging, not so much the getting there, but dealing with the myriad of parking regulations in each London Borough.
I try to be as independent as possible, but life, bureaucracy, and other obstacles often get in the way.
I’m also a cat lover and enjoy travel and photography. I’m an avid reader and love going to galleries and exhibitions.

Continue reading “Newbie Bloggers: Fran (@wheelchairvista) | Daniel Blake and the fight afterwards”

Newbie Bloggers: Breeny (@Breenys Books) | Writing Advice

Hello and welcome to this second edition of Newbie Bloggers, a project organized to introduce new bloggers to the community. Today, I’m excited to introduce to you: Breeny from Breeny’s Books!


Who is Breeny?

Tell us something about yourself: Who Are You?: Hello, I’m Breeny! I’m a bookworm and a writer. I love reading and writing YA contemporary, sci-fi, and fantasy. I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember *breaks out into singing Moana*, and they’re both strong passions of mine. One word that could describe me would be booknerd, and those books are either the ones that I read or the ones that I write.

What’s your blog about and what are you planning to do with it?: My blog is @BreenysBooks and I use it to chronicle my book reviews and writing journey. I upload posts every Monday and Thursday, so be sure to look out for those. I also use my blog to interact with other wonderful bookish and writerly people.

Why did you start blogging?: I started blogging to share my love of words with others, and to join and explore a community that loved words just as much as I do. One of my favorite lines that I’ve come with is: “I write to inspire and I read to be inspired.” And I like taking that inspiration and sharing it with all of you guys. Blogging is also a big stress-reliever for me, and I find it to be so much fun. Everyone in the community is super awesome, and I feel super awesome and lucky to be a part of it.


Breeny’s Post: Some writing advice!

As a newbie book review and writing blogger, I’ve recently been asking the community for tips. It’s my way of first engaging and reaching out to another blog, and I always love reading the responses that I receive. There’s a lot of variation in the responses, and I feel that reflects the variation of everyone’s individual blogging journeys.

That being said, I thought today I’d share with you all my number one piece of writing advice that can also be applied to reading and just life in general. As I’ve progressed through school, at times I’ve had to put writing and reading on hold. That’s one of the main reasons that I enjoy blogging, because I can schedule my posts ahead of time (and interact with you lovely people). Anyways, as a writer, I’ve heard the advice ‘you should write everyday’ given so many times. I used to hold myself to that standard, until I realized that I wasn’t any less of a writer if I wasn’t writing every day. Nor was I any less of a reader if I wasn’t reading every day. Writing every day isn’t the only thing that makes you a writer, and I’ve started to embrace that. I go months without drafting or editing, especially during this time of the year when school is wrapping up, but I’m a writer. Sometimes just thinking about your story is enough. Or creating a playlist, looking at Pinterest, jotting ideas down on napkins. Those are all ways to engage with your creativity and your writing, and engaging in both of those things is what I ultimately believe makes you a writer.

I’m interested in hearing what you all’s number one piece of writing or reading-related advice is, so be sure to comment them down below.

Thanks for reading! Happy reading and happy writing.


Lia: I hope you liked this post, and if you did, go follow Breeny! You can find her on her blog, twitter, and goodreads!

If you would like to participate as well, check out this post. The project will be bi-weekly and on Sundays. If I get a lot more submissions I might change that. If you want to participate but don’t have a post yet, you can also just send me a message then I’ll give you a date, so you can work on your post and send it to me before that date.