Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Badges, we have badges!

Thanks to Eva at and Care at the NZ Book Month challenge has BADGES!!!! LOOK at the PRETTIES .... choose your favourite. Play along! Celebrate the Kiwi awesomeness! :D

Business Time

OR ... the NZ Book Month challenge, if you want to be all formal and stuff.

Edited to add ... and LOOK at this awesome button that Care made for it. How can you say no to jaffas? NO ONE can say no to jaffas:

October 1 marks the start of NZ Book month: Chatting with Care - - on Twitter yesterday, I happened to mention this, and idly suggest I might run a mini-challenge for October. She offered to help, and automatically gets jaffas just for that (see near bottom of post).

And so, here we are. :) Um. This is pretty much on the fly, but here's the plan:

During October, read one (1) book by a Kiwi author (there's a very helpful post about that right here: and I believe the origins of this was borne out of a Weekly Geeks.


Part the second (2nd): Watch a Kiwi film, or a film by a Kiwi writer/director. Therefore, the LOTR movies count. (Anything from Peter Jackson ALWAYS counts.) As does The Truman Show ( - the screenplay writer is a Kiwi); the Shrek films (the co-director is a Kiwi); the Narnia films ... OR, really go Kiwi and try and dig up something like Goodbye Pork Pie ( - my hometown is featured at the end) or Once Were Warriors (

Part the third (3rd): Listen to some Kiwi music. Once again, I have a blog post featuring said Kiwi music: although I'm sadly lacking in this area. However, go forth, and google. Kiwi musos are AWESOME. Seriously. Try Midnight Youth, or Kids of 88 (their song My House is really catchy) or Gin Wigmore. Or Steriogram. Or Computers Want Me Dead.

Choose one, two, or all of the above. Or, hell, watch the first series of Flight of the Conchords.

I'm offering options because although it's New Zealand Book Month, we Kiwis are a diverse lot.

Um. There'll be a giveaway at the end of the month. I'll send out ... jaffas, or something. Yeah. I'll send everyone who joins (pleasedontlettherebehundreds) a packet of jaffas at the end of October.

Kiwi as. "You're not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata!"

Plus also, if some creative person could make me a badge of some kind using the above picture - I'd be really grateful.

AND ... play. You know you want to ... one month. A little slice of Kiwi life ... go ooooooooooooooonnnnn.

To play, sign up in the comments. Or smack me in the face on Twitter here:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Banned books challenge

It's Banned Books Week, and I've decided to join the challenge, here:
I'm late to the game, I know, but better late than never! My one and only plan for this challenge is to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird, which I've been meaning to do for the longest time.
And I want to read a banned/challenged book that I haven't read so ... Orlando by Virginia Woolf. Because I have it, and I loved Mrs Dalloway.
One of the best gifts my mother ever gave me was that she never, ever censored what I read. So, thanks mum. This challenge is for you, I guess. (Which means I might actually complete it ...)

The reading week

It's Monday! Time to answer the "What are you reading?" question posed over at
I am reading the ARC of The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. Up next is probably The Stand, for RIP IV. And I have ... three book reviews to write for here, plus a whole lot more for work.
But that's neither here nor there.
Happy reading!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Geeks

The questions in question are here as always, Weekly Geeks:

So I'm going to do the personal ad one, because we can always use new blogger friends, right?

Exactly. I'm glad you all agree with me :D

Must Like Cats
MMF (Married, mad female) working Kiwi mum seeks books blogger who love a good story, cats and old movies. No pina coladas need apply, and I hate getting caught in the rain.
Happy Weekly Geeks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The reading week

Wow, Monday! This is what happens when you're on holiday, you just don't pay as much attention to what day it is. Meme hosted here as always:
Anyways ... I'm reading the Made of Planet Awesome YA novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness.
There has been much a-twittering and a-tweeting over this novel during the past few weeks, and so I jumped on the bandwagon while I wait for to finish what she's reading so we can collectively flail over The Year of the Flood.
So that's next.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BBAW meme

It's all about creativity today for
I'm chatty (no!!!) so I'm going answer all of the meme questions. Because I love talking about myself :D Uh ... and books.

Do you snack while you read?

If so, favorite reading snack?
Chocolate covered pretzels, and an ice-cold Coke straight out of the fridge

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea ofwriting in books horrify you?
I haven't written in books since I was at university. It feels like vandalism to me.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Bookmarks, or sometimes I employ my ninja memory skills and try and remember the page number. Although I don't do that very often.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I don't need to read to the end of chapters, but I do need to read past any page that ends in 13

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Not right away, no. Somehow I always end up stumbling across them in some other context that explains their meaning. The universe is taking care of my vocabulary for me.

What are you currently reading?
The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

What is the last book you bought?
The City & The City by China Mieville

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I can read more than one book at a time. But like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, just because you can do something doesn't mean to say you should.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Not really. By default I tend to read late at night because of family stuff, work etc. Luckily I'm a night owl.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Uhm ... Neil Gaiman, probably. I'll think of more later. OH! Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. And Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. Everybody should read those.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?
Organise? I don't understand the question. Uh ... I mean ... at the moment they're organised by piles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BBAW Interview

Here's my interview with Check out her interview with me as well :)

1) You're a very recent books-blogger. What made you decide to take the plunge? And how did you come up with your blog name?
I had set up my blog for the purpose of running an online book club, but I soon found the book blogging community and realised that it was something I wanted to do. So, I researched other blogs and looked at what they were doing and based my blog around that. After a couple of weeks my blog had grown and began to include author interviews and book reviews. The name Book Chick City was difficult. My hubby and I played around with a few words and he came up with Book Chick City when I found the template I wanted to use.

2) Give us a pencil-sketch: a bit of a profile of who you are and what your daily life is like.
I love books and reading, as you know, but I also love going to the gym, playing golf, hiking and running (which I'm not doing too much of at the moment due to a knee injury). When I'm not doing all that I am blogging or reading. I'm also trying to write a novel, which is the main reason I gave up my job as a veterinary nurse.

3) What's the best thing you've found about the books-blogging community?
Everyone I have come across is really friendly and I love discussing books and looking at what others are reading. It's really fun and takes up far too much of my time, but I love it.

4) Going through your blogger profile (which makes me sound like a stalker) you list one of your interests as buying books (mine too!)In an average week, how many books do you buy?
I'm always buying books, which is silly as I have so many that I haven't read why do I need more?! I probably own about 1200 books and still I buy between 5-10 books per week. There is something inside me that has the compulsion to buy. I have an addictive personality whether it's to exercise, chocolate or books!

5) Would you say you had a favourite book? If so, what is it, and why?
This is a difficult question to answer as I have so many books that I absolutely love. But deep down I think that I know there is one that I love more than all of them and it's Dracula by Bram Stoker. I adore this book. I have four different copies and I have read it 3-4 times. Wuthering Heights is a very, very close second.

6) Going back to your profile ... your favourite movies list is eclectic. Out of those, which movie have you watched over and over again and not got tired of?
All the movies I list as favourites I never tire of watching. As well as books I love movies and I have just as many DVD's as I do books (about 1200). If I had to pick one then it would be An American Werewolf in London. I love this movie. It has great humour but is scary at the same time, a great mix and perfectly balanced. If you haven't seen it yet I would recommend it, just remember that it is twenty eight years old now, so it will look dated, but in my eyes it will always be brilliant!

7) You were nominated as best new blog for the BBAW. How does that feel?
Amazing!!! I just couldn't believe it when I received the email. I was stunned, surprised and so excited! I truly didn't expect it as I had only been blogging eight weeks, so I was really thrilled to received the nomination and very grateful to whoever nominated me.

8) You have a lot of reading challenges going on! How are they all going for you? Are you enjoying them all? What do you like about taking part in them?
He he, I know! When I first started blogging I just saw all these challenges and thought 'oooh I want to do that one, and that one, and that one!' Now I have nine, some I've started some I haven't but I've still got time to complete them all. I love it, it's fun!

9) Looking at your bookshelves (jealous!) do you try to collect series of books in the same format: ie: paperback/hardback/trade paperback, and by the same publishers, or is that not something you worry about?
Yes, I am very organised and a little obsessed with that. If I start a series then I really want to keep it in the same format and from the same publisher. This can sometimes be difficult of it's an old series and all I can find are a mix, but I just have to deal with it. If I'm buying a new series or one that hasn't been out long then I will buy the entire series in one go so I don't have that problem. Although, I have come unstuck before when the author changed publishing companies and they changed the books covers. That was very distressing!!! :)

10) Are you going to take part in the readathon in October?
I hope so. I don't know a lot about it yet other than we read and post all weekend. Sounds like a laugh. I don't know a lot about it yet other than we read and post all weekend. Sounds like a laugh. I have my All Hallows Eve event throughout October, so I'm not sure I can fit in both, but we will see.

And ... some photos :D

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Reading Week

Time for that all-important question, posed here:
I'm on holiday for two weeks, so I'm optimistically expecting to get lots of reading done.
Oh, and did I mention? I have the ARC for Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood!! Which is TOTALLY my next read - after I finish Marian Keyes' new book.
That is all.
Happy reading!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekly Geeks

The topic, Geeks, is here as always:
I never plan my reading. I sort of stumble over books in a clumsy and graceless fashion and read whatever smacks me in the face the hardest.
I should be doing better with challenges, but as always, I'm ... not. I've accidentally nearly finished the Neil Gaiman one, I think I only have one more book to read for that. The rest of them ... uh ... never mind.
I do try, every so often. In a worthy fashion, I pile the books I want to read next on my bedside table. But, inevitably, I'm distracted by something shiny in the corner.
Happy Weekly Geeks! :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I stand corrected

The UNIVERSE makes my brain happy. After blogging earlier about looking forward to Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood, it CAME!!!!

It came with a bunch of other review books into work, and I proceeded to flail in the appropriate manner.

Loudly. Unfortunately there was only one other person in my office today who could share my excitement. Sigh.


PLUS PLUS PLUS ... I have, like, two weeks off work.
Let's review.
Two weeks off work.

NEW books by Margaret Atwood and Marian Keyes.
The Knife of Never Letting Go, and Hunger Games.
Half-assed plans to watch Supernatural on DVD - from the start because I've missed so much of it.

Can I get a woot??? Heee

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Books make my brain happy

Between scoring the ARC of Her Fearful Symmetry (there will be a review, but in a few weeks; I have to write one for the paper as well); having The Hunger Games and The Knife of Never Letting Go on my TBR, getting China Mieville's new book The City & The City finally, AND scoring the ARC of Marian Keyes' new book The Brightest Star in the Sky from work for which I have dropped everything (I always drop everything for new Marian Keyes) I'm a happy reader lately.
Of course, given that my blog is still being held together at the seams by memes, I'm not doing a lot of like, you know, reading. BUT STILL!!! I have so many great books lined up at the moment that my brain is kind of ... singing. Now all I need is for Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood to come out, and my brain will implode with the goodness. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Reading Week

Monday! Stop sneaking up on me like that - it's not nice.
As always, the question is asked here:
I finished Her Fearful Symmetry and it is amazing. Seriously, seriously amazing.
So. Back to The White Tiger, and Let the Right One In, then on to Hunger Games, and maybe The Knife of Never Letting Go.
And that is all I have, because I'm hungry and tired.
Happy reading! :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekly Geeks

Ooooh … good one, Weekly Geeks. :)
Your description is here:
Okay On to the questions:
Find a negative review that you have written. In your post, link to or include the original review and then rewrite it to answer these questions:

I'm going to use Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult for these questions.
Review here:
Why did you react negatively to the book?
Because it felt like a rehash of My Sister's Keeper, the ending was manipulative and the storyline didn't make sense to me.
What was it about the story or characters or style that hit you so strongly?
I think it was that the story was repetitive, mostly. I thought the characters in themselves were fine, but it was like they were reading off someone else's script. (My Sister's Keeper).
Are you reacting to any fears or insecurities?
I don't think so, no.
2. Write a new review about a book you loved, keeping in mind these questions:
What was it about the story that resonated?
Would you have loved this book as much ten years ago? Five years ago?
Will you keep loving it in the future?
Where are you in your life that this is the story you wanted and needed?
Okay, I'm not sure if all these questions were answered, but I've reviewed The Graveyard Book, because I didn't do it properly first time around. It's a short review, though, because it's late and I'm sliding into incoherency :)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Bod is a very unusual boy. It's not that he survives the man Jack with the sharp knife who murders
his family that's unusual, but being raised by a graveyard full of ghosts.
Riffing off The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book is a wonderful fable about growing up, and family, and the nature of good and evil, and what it means just to be human.
I didn't review this properly when I read it – I pretty much just said I wanted to keep it as a pet and take it with me everywhere. Oh. And make every single person I know read it. I loved it that much. It was my favourite read for 08, and is now one of my favourite books.
Each chapter reads like a little self-contained story, although the whole comes together extremely well to add up to a charming, and scary wee book. The themes of the book – family, growing up, leaving home, are timeless, and in Gaiman's skilled hands, they feel new all over again.
I would have loved this book when I was 12, and I'm pretty sure I will love it forever. Timeless tales well told will always be welcome. :)
At the end of her post, Ms. Hale posed six questions for those who review books on their blogs or other sites. Write a letter to Ms. Hale explaining your position on each of these questions, then return to her post and leave a comment with a link to your post. And remember her request to speak freely, but kindly and respectfully!
Do you find that the anticipation of reviewing the book has changed your reading experience?
I don't think so, no. I like to think I approach all the books I read in the same way, although I do anticipate some more than others.
Are you rating the book even as you read? Or do you wait until the end to sum it all up?
I wait until the end. Because the end of a book is what can make or break it – it can validate everything that's gone before, or shatter it, strengthen it, or weaken it. So I always wait until I've read the last pages before rating.
Does knowing you'll be reviewing it (or rating it) publicly affect which books you pick up in the first place?
No; not at all. I read almost anything, and generally speaking what I read shows up on my blog reviewed. I have little reading shame :)
Does the process of writing the review itself change how you felt about the book?
No; never. I get frustrated with myself sometimes if the words aren't coming out the way I want them to, but I can't blame the book for that.

What is your motivation to assign a rating to a book and declare it to the world?

I only recently developed a rating system for reviews, one that I felt good about, which ranges from 10-1 and each has their own comment. 1, for example, is “blind rage at the time stolen from my life”.
If you review a book but don't rate, why not? What do you feel is your role as reviewer?
If I review a book on my blog and it doesn't get a rating, it's probably just because I've forgotten to put it on the end. My role? To read and enjoy, and then get as many people as possible to read the books that turn me into a babbling fangirl. :)