Stacking the Shelves #108 - #BatKidsLitFest Haul & Recap + Surprise Book Mail!

Hello, everyone!

I hope you've all had a lovely week. Did you get up to anything exciting?

I thought I was going to have a very small haul this week...but it ended up being not-so-small.

I attended a YA literature event last weekend (I'll talk about that more later on) and I picked up quite a few books there - more than I thought I would! 

Also, thank you to Harper Collins Children's Books for sending me books to review; I can't wait to read them! 

This past week has honestly been one of the most lovely weeks I've had! It was filled with blogging (I just feel so inspired to blog lately - I LOVE THIS FEELING), making new friends and lots of bookish fun. It's been great, truly.

So last week Saturday and Sunday I attended the Bath Children's Literature Festival which is one of my favourite things ever. I met Lara Williamson (author of A Boy Called Hope, The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair and Spaghetti-Hoop Boy) on Saturday which was so much fun! A lot of the people attending the event were a lot younger than me as she writes middle-grade books; so I felt super old, but I had a great time! She played "Pass the Parcel" with the audience and really interacted with them which was lovely. But, I'm not going to lie, I was super terrified that the parcel would reach me and I'd have to speak in front of everybody (yes, I'm that shy) but luckily it didn't. 😂

On Saturday evening, I went with my friend to the Brian Conaghan & Sarah Crossan event, where they discussed their new book, We Come Apart. One of the audience members asked the authors about the ending of their book (which I believe is quite sad) and we just saw this young girl's head flop onto her mom's shoulder after Brian and Sarah answered the question, which clearly wasn't what she wanted to hear. Later on, the mom answered a question that another member of audience had asked and she said she'd never seen her daughter cry so hard in a book. Sarah Crossan hugged her afterwards and apologized for making her cry, which I thought was really sweet! Poor kid, nobody must've warned her that the book nerd life is a painful life.

Then Sunday (THE BEST DAY EVER) happened. Sunday was a very, very good day. It was the kind of day I hope I never forget; the kind of day that elicited feelings I wish I could store in a bottle. It was also unseasonably warm with actual sunshine, even the weather wanted to make it a good day! 
So on Sunday, I kicked off my literary day by attending the Emily Barr Creative Writing Workshop which was incredible. I felt so inspired to read and write, I was brave enough to read some of what I'd written out loud (who even am I?!) and I got two story ideas during the class! Emily gave such wonderful advice and I adored the writing exercises she set us; you can read my in-depth recap (and read some of my writing) here! 

After that I had to rush to the Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison and Lauren James event, which was on the other side of Bath. It was chaotic and rushed but I MADE IT. I absolutely loved the talk! I was grinning and laughing for the entire length of the talk and I had so much fun listening to them speak. The discussion was also in a really nice comedy club. There were tables set out with red cloths draped over them and on each table, for each different event, there were different books/swag you could take! FREE BOOKS. 

After the event I met TWO BOOK BLOGGERS - I've never met online friends IRL before! I met Lucy from Queen of Contemporary who I've known for nearly six years. It was so surreal meeting one of my first ever blogging friends! She's so lovely and I'm so happy I finally got to meet her! 

I also met Alice from Married to Books and she's so sweet; she lives quite near to me so I'm hoping we can hang out more often!

After I'd gotten my book signed by Lauren James and chatted to Lucy and Alice for a bit, my friend and I went to Waitrose to go get some lunch. My parents were there with a friend, so Matthew and I sat and chatted to them for a bit whilst we had lunch. After replenishing my energy levels with a beautiful chicken sandwich, we hurried down to the comedy club again to listen to Gemma Cairney, Sara Barnard and Amy Alward! Sara sadly couldn't make it due to illness, but it was so much fun listening to Gemma and Amy speak! They talked about the importance of writing books that deal with difficult topics (Gemma), the importance of including girls who are interested in STEM in their books (Amy); the spoke about their writing processes, books they are currently reading and a whole lot of other fun stuff! I haven't read Gemma or Amy's books but I had my copy of The Potion Diaries with me, so Amy was kind enough to sign it! 

Matthew and I then went back to Waitrose to buy a chocolate and hang about in the cafe for a bit (there was a 45 minute break between each talk) and then we were off to the last event! When we got the comedy club Alice waved us over, which was really nice of her! So we sat by Alice, picked up some new books off of the table and ate chocolate - IT WAS MUCH FUN. The last talk was fandom/cosplay themed so the authors on the panel had dressed up and there were several people in the audience also donning cosplay outfits, which was so cool! I absolutely loved listening to Frances Hardinge, Maggie Harcourt and Lucy Saxon chat about their favourite fandoms, the books they're reading, the books they're was SO FUN. I laughed so much and I, again, had SO MUCH FUN. I really want to try to get Frances's and Lucy's books now - they sound so good

After the event I got my books signed and then THE MOST EXCITING THING HAPPENED. Okay, so. At our table, a woman and her daughter were sitting and she had an arc of Renegades by Marissa Meyer that she gave to Alice as she didn't want it. I was like, OH MY GOSH THAT MUST MEAN THERE ARE COPIES OF RENEGADES AROUND HERE SOMEWHERE. So I was craning my neck and popping my head up like a meerkat but it's dark inside the room so I couldn't see if there were any other copies. ANYWAY, fast forward to after the event. I'm standing in line to get my book signed by Maggie Harcourt, and one of the stewards enters into the signing room. She holds up a copy of Renegades and says the most glorious words I've ever heard, "Does anyone want this book?". I waited half a second to give someone else a chance to put their hand up (how polite of me) but no one did so I shot my hand up. And I got a copy of Renegades. I nearly DIED I was so excited.

It was a fantastic way to end an even more fantastic day! I then went home with my parents and I got some nice pictures of Bath. The sun was shining, it was so warm and I had a bag full of books. It was truly such a wonderful day!

Tuesday was also a super good day for me. I had my book club meeting and it was so much fun. We discussed books, I was thoroughly convinced to pick up Throne of Glass. We talked Harry Potter houses, French bulldogs and health insurance (sometimes we go off on tangents, you may have noticed). And there were biscuits. I love biscuits. It was such a lovely day and I had so much fun at the meeting! The one librarian who runs the book club also gave me some arcs and swag that she had lying about SO THAT WAS AWESOME. Again, I nearly died of excitement. 

Other news...
  • I also FINALLY got a response from a publishing company I've emailed a few times and who I've been desperate to work with. They've put me on their mailing list so YAY, LET'S DO A CELEBRATORY DANCE!!! 
  • I got a stunning notebook to start planning my NaNoWriMo novel in! I have several ideas for it but no idea how to string them all together. Here's hoping this notebook will (magically) help me. Wishful thinking? I HOPE NOT. 
  • Next week is my last week of term and then I have a week off school! I CAN'T WAIT. 
Life update over, now, onto the books!

I emailed Harper Collins two weeks ago to ask if they perhaps had any copies of Forever Geek to send to me to review! I didn't get a reply from them (I did actually, but it went to spam. Best "spam" mail I've ever gotten) so I assumed they didn't have copies left. BUT THEN a few days later, the postman left a huge parcel by the door. A Harper Collins parcel. After flapping my arms like a demented bird and shrieking more than a little, I opened the parcel. There was not one, not two, but THREE books inside. *runs around screaming*

They sent me a copy of Forever Geek (IT'S HARDCOVER), The Thousandth Floor and The Dazzling Heights! They're all so pretty and the colour combination looks gorgeous together. ANYWAY, I have read The Thousandth Floor and I have a copy, so watch this space for a giveaway! I wasn't a huge fan of The Thousandth Floor but I am keen on picking up the sequel. I hope I love it more than the first book!  

My book club also organised us review copies of The Taste of Blue Light. We're one of the book groups chosen to read this book and I believe the publishing company will be selecting three reading groups to visit the Hachette publishing house in London to see how the publishing process works etc. It sounds AMAZING; I hope my group gets selected! 

I bought The Loneliest Girl in the Universe before the literature festival and I was hoping I'd get around to reading it, but sadly I didn't have time. It sounds like an epic sci-fi thriller; I'm so excited to read it! ALSO, LOOK AT THAT COVER.

Jess Butterworth was one of the authors I listened to on Thursday evening, so I bought her book at the event to get signed! It was literally such a hard decision deciding whether I should buy Running on the Rooftop of the World or Sea by Sarah Driver. I eventually went with this one because I do have Sea out from the library! This book sounds super cute and I'm so excited to read it. 

I also purchased a copy of Flawed by Cecelia Ahern. I'm so excited to read it! It sounds SO, SO GOOD

These were the three books my library gave me! I mentally shrieked very, very loudly when I saw If Birds Fly Back in that pile, as I've been wanting to read it for ages. I hadn't heard of One Silver Summer before I got it on Tuesday, but it sounds like such a cute read and I'm so excited to read it. I have read Windfall so I'll also be giving this away on my blog or Twitter! 


LOOK AT RENEGADES, ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL?! AH, SO BEAUTIFUL. I'm SO excited to read Renegades and The Fandom! I saw a lot of buzz about the latter on bookstagram/Twitter a few weeks back and I was super interested in it. So excited to read it! 

I also got a copy of Kaleidoscope Song by Fox Benwell (which I forgot to include in this photograph) and it's so pretty! It's also set in South Africa which is the coolest thing ever. Would you like to know how many books I've read that are set in South Africa? 


ONE. I've read many, many books and only one has been set in SA. 

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I didn't actually read the blurb properly when I picked the copy Kaleidoscope Song off of the table because I was so distracted by the pretty cover (and the fact that the event was starting); however, I read the blurb when I got home and I realised it contains sensitive subject matter and other things that I don't particularly enjoy reading about. It's gotten really good review and I a lot of people have loved it, so I'll also be doing a giveaway for this on my blog or Twitter, so keep an eye out for that!  

I'm so excited to read all of these! Which one should I read first? Are there any here that you're particularly interested in reading? How was your week? Did you buy any books this week?