Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Changes for the Two Year Anniversary

As you can see from opening the page, Off The Shelf has gotten a bit of a re-design! I have been trying to make some changes to the site for some time now, but the Blogger Template was being quite temperamental. I was unable to make small changes (font color, text size, etc.) in the template I had previously been using. In that case, I decided it might be time to try something totally different.

Upon scrolling down, you will notice all of the regular features of this blog can still be found where they had been. The sidebar on the right is still filled with lists of my favorite authors, book suggestions and links to other great book blogs.

I'm not sure I am totally in love with it yet, so the look might be a little different the next time you visit. (For those of you that view my blog via email, make sure to visit the actual webpage to see the changes!) What do you think? Let me know in the comments...

In order to make my book reviews more helpful and direct, I have decided to set in place a grading system. Books will now be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following categories:

Story Line - ?/10
Character's Voice - ?/10
Writing Style - ?/10

Overall - ?/30

Friends have always told me I am never a reliable source when it comes to "how good a book is". I guess it's because I tend to say that every book I read is good, or fantastic, or "the best ever". I hope that with this new grading system, readers will be able to have a better understanding of my opinion and might help formulate their own.

I can't believe it has been two years already since I started Off The Shelf! Throughout that time, I feel I have grown as a writer, and a reader, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in those aspects. Thanks to all of the readers and followers of this blog. I hope what I have written in the past, and will write in the future will continue to be helpful, and inspiring.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What's Happening in the Book World

 {The sun sets at the closure of another month}

Things in the literary world have been very, very busy lately - with everything from new publications to leaked pseudonyms and discoveries made about chocolate. The following are a collection of the most popular headlines buzzing around the Internet at the moment.
To start, have you been reading what you should this summer? With only a month left to go, you might want to check out The Huffington Post, as they have revealed the 7 Must-Reads of Summer.
There are only 10 more days until the highly-anticipated fourth and final installment of Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It series is released on August 13th! Have you pre-ordered The Shade of the Moon yet? You can do so here, here and here!
The biggest hype in the book world currently is most certainly the surprise that J.K Rowling can write a crime novel...who knew? In April, Rowling wrote The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. After publication, the novel had only sold 1,500 copies in the UK, but since the leak made by The Sunday Times, sales of the novel have sky-rocketed - putting it at  #1 on this week's Best Sellers List.
Have you seen this week's New York Times Best Seller List yet? If not, be sure to check out the Young Adult category, where all four of John Green's novels have made it into the top 10, as well as two of Veronica Roth's.  
While on the subject of John Green, his tumblr has all of the need-to-knows about The Fault in Our Stars movie coming in 2014. (!!!) 
A new The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer was shown at Comic-Con in San Diego two weeks ago.
Happy belated birthday Harry Potter! Entertainment Weekly celebrated the book character's special day on Tuesday by naming 33 Great Things About Harry Potter (in honor of his 33rd birthday)
Last but certainly not least, a study recently conducted in Belgium proves that people are more likely to interact with merchandise and staff when a bookstore smells like chocolate.
On a more personal level, my own book news is that I am currently reading Saturday by Ian McEwan, one of the many books on my Summer Reading List. The novel is a little slow-moving so far, but I'm hoping it will pick up soon, as I'm not really one to abandon a book. (Speaking of abandonment...ever wonder what classics get abandoned the most, or at what point do most readers give up? Goodreads has the statistics.)