Friday, 21 February 2014

Librarian Lydia

I almost did not remember to make a huge change (for me) to this blog. When I started this blog I had just embarked on my career in librarianship. I had started a graduate trainee ship and a Post-grad Diploma in Information and Library management.

It was a bit of a risk to be honest. I quit a job that, although dull, was well paid. I chose to do a course that cost a substantial amount of money and a job that didn't pay a huge wage on the off chance I wanted to be a librarian. I was pretty confident it was the career for me. Within a few weeks of both the job and the course I discovered an emotion I had never known. That feeling of knowing I was doing exactly what I wanted for my job. I can honestly say this is the job for me and I love each day even with all its different challenges.

So what is the change I mentioned at the start. That change is to finally remove the (in training) from the title off the blog as I am officially qualified as a librarian! I currently do not know my exact passing mark but I do know that I am now a librarian in qualification as well as job role. I am so thrilled with this accomplishment and that even though it was a risk it really has paid off. Now I can focus on my new school library and making the most of being in a job I feel made for.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

I have really missed taking part in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by Broke and the Bookish. I have written up two different posts for previous entries and just haven't remembered to post them in time. This week the theme is the reason that I love being a blogger/reader and I think this is a fantastic introduction back into the weekly meme.

I love to blog because... 

1. It helps me read more

Blogging about what I read has encouraged me to read as many books as I can possibly manage so that I can keep my blog active and current. It keeps me reading different titles, genres and authors which is introducing to some books I would never have read and have really enjoyed. 

2. It makes me think

When I read books I know there is a chance I will review them. This makes me really think through my opinion of what I am reading. I don't think I really did this much before I blogged. I didn't decide on a rating or comment on how it was written or even if I enjoyed it, I simply moved it from the to-read pile to the read pile. Now I think about what I thought which makes me understand what I like to read more. 

3. It encourages me 

I appreciate when those that comment say they are going to read the books I have posted about. I think recommendations is one of the best ways to discover new authors and new books. Hopefully I can keep reviewing books that people are inspired to read.

4. It connects me 

I love the people that blogging connects you to. I have discovered some really amazing book blogs through my own blog and found some really interesting people who share the same reading tastes as me. I really enjoy reading the comments people make on the blog. As I have said before on my Gone review the author himself commented and I think that is so amazing that blogging makes reviews more accessible to readers and authors alike.

5. It allows me to share

I get to voice my opinion on all things book related (and other subjects) and it is so wonderful. It is very enjoyable to be able to talk openly about books I read. 

I love being a reader because...

1. It takes me away

I love the fact reading allows me to escape from the here and now and delve into an exciting an thrilling tale that gives me such joy. I can be the characters, experience their joys and tragedies and be completely removed from my life. If I want to be somewhere else a book can do that in only a few pages. 

2. It gives me time

Sometimes I just want to take a breath and pause. Reading is a great opportunity for this. It is such great me time. When I curl up on the sofa, in the bath or in my bed with a book I just feel the world slip away and my stress levels sink and *sigh* it is just bliss. 

3. It is my passion 

I love having something I am so passionate about. For some people it is sport, others music and for me it is books. I love the conversations being a bookworm can start. 

4. It is informative 

Ok so if I wasn't a little bit nerdy cool already I play scrabble as well as read. Reading introduces me to some seriously good words that once I learn can score me some serious scrabble points if they land on my tile rack. 

5. It is always available. 

Books are easy to access. I can read without subscribing, sometimes it can be free (borrow from your library), books do not need to be charged, they do not freeze and I do not need any technical know how to open a book and dive right in. I can read whenever, wherever and that freedom to do something I love so easily is brilliant. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Book Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Watched by Society, Trapped by Rules, Freed by Love?

It might be that I have hit my limit of Dystopian fiction or that this story was just not my kind of book. Intrigued by the cover and the premise I wanted to give it a go. Matched is another romance driven story of a girl in an oppressed society discovering through forbidden love just how oppressive her society is and then as with many other Dystopian tales attempting to break free of the tyrannical rule. 
Cassia is the central character. She has many of the attributes we have come to know and in many cases love in our dystopian heroines.  However, she has a fatal flaw for me which is possible why this book has not gripped me in the way many others have. Cassia is so blah. No gumption whatsoever. I think Ally Condie wants us to see her as a character with serious backbone but her fickle heart betrays her. I hate this idea in young adult fiction that we can love so fast without really ever truly getting to know a person it is just so unrealistic and for me ruins the plot. Additionally this book has zero pace. I mean nada. It is one slowly unraveling tale that never really reaches a dramatic point it just rambles on until the end. 
The Society that Cassia lives in is not explained in much detail. This world decides everything for you. It matches you to your ideal partner, career and you carry around some pills for emergency use. Apparently there is a war on but we don't know who with or why.  We are not given much more information then that as the story begins to  unwind.  Cassia has been matched to Xander, her best friend. But the system has a supposed glitch and shows her the face of someone else she knows, Ky. From that moment on Cassia (to me) appears to almost be willing herself to fall in love with him. One moment she is over the moon to be matched to Xander then she is falling in love with Ky.  The only saving grace came in the last few chapters which redeemed the story some what by actually having something happen rather then teens wondering round on a hill learning to write. 
In truth I think that although a dystopian world this is essentially a teen romance book. The dystopian element is not explored in a way that makes it seem real.  Unlike Tris’s world in Divergent or Katniss's in The Hunger Games we do not see enough of The Society to make it understandable why it is so oppressive.  I don’t loathe romance fiction, in fact I read the very similar The Selection which is both dystopian and romance driven but was just a lot more believable and the characters and therefore more likeable. 
What I said to my husband when I finished reading sums it up quite thoroughly, I don’t think I want to read the other two.  If you like romance with a faint trace of dystopian society then give Matched a whirl, you could like it a lot more than I did.  On an extra note I  am taking a break from the dystopian worlds for a bit just in case my view has become a little jaded! 
More romance then dystopia, worth a read for love story fans!