It’s @boroughpress’s turn to host #bookadayuk this month

Hashtag #bookadayuk is back on Twitter after a month of absence. In case you have forgotten, #bookadayuk is a Twitter campaign to discuss about books. There is a different topic of to talk about every day.

In February 2015, the hashtag is hosted by The Borough Press. If you would like to tweet your book suggestions, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk and @BoroughPress. Here is a list of topics:

#bookadayuk topics for February 2015p

Check out my tweet for today. 🙂 Which author would you like to meet? Tell me in the comment box below!

Bailey’s Women Prize for Fiction hosts hashtag #bookadayuk this December

#bookadayuk is a Twitter campaign to encourage tweets about books. There is a different topic of discussion every day.

This month, the hashtag will be hosted by Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Check out the topics below! If you would like to tweet your book suggestions, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk and @BaileysPrize.

#Bookadayuk topics for the month of December

1st: The book you began your year with

2nd: The book you tell everyone about

3rd: Favourite classic by a female author

4th: The book you re-read at least once a year

5th: The best-looking book on your shelf

6th: Your favourite female author

7th: The female author you’d most like to meet

8th: The book you’d choose if you could only read one again

9th: The book you’ve been meaning to read for awhile

10th: The book you’d give your best friend

11th: The book that makes you cry

12th: The book your mum passed on to you

13th: The book with the best advice

14th: Favourite winner from the Bailey’s Prize

15th: Your favourite book with ambiguous ending

16th: Which @SpinelessClass you’d most like in your stocking


17th: The bookshop you’ll be buying your Christmas presents from

18th: The literary character you’d most like to kiss under the mistletoe

19th: The book that gets you in the festive spirit

20th: Your favourite Christmas film that was adapted from a book

21st: Your favourite fictional family

22nd: Favourite festive character

23rd: The book you’ll be giving for Christmas

24th: The book that you want for Christmas

25th: The literary house that you’d most like to spend Christmas at

26th: The best book you got for Christmas

27th: The biggest book on your bookshelf

28th: The 3 authors you’d invite to your ultimate literary dinner party

29th: The book you’re ending the year with

30th: The first book you’ll be reading in 2015

31st: The character you’d most like to be with at midnight

I posted this quite late so today is the 10th topic. I would give a Hello Kitty version of World Atlas to my best friend because both of us enjoy travelling. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, the content is really educational regardless of the age of readers.

What book would you give your best friend? Share your book suggestions in the comment box below. 🙂

This World Atlas was a bargain at RM10

This World Atlas was a bargain at RM10


Welcome to hashtag #bookadayuk, Headline Publishing Group

Hashtag #bookadayuk is a digital campaign to get Twitter users to talk about books. Everyday there is a different topic to be discussed and each month the hashtag is hosted by a different book organisation.

Books are My Bag‘ was the host last month. They followed the format used by its predecessor, ‘We Love This Book‘ by compiling the tweets using Storify. Every single contribution to #bookadayuk were featured in their Storify, which delighted us. Furthermore, we were extremely happy when our tweets were retweeted and favourited by the host and authors! For example, this ‘book with beautiful spine’ contribution was retweeted by Darren Shan.

On 1st of November 2014, the hosting baton is passed onto Headline Publishing Group. The topics for the month of November are featured in the image below. To tweet your book suggestions, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk and @headlinepg.

Hashtag #bookadayuk: November topics

1st: Movember begins. Your favourite hairy hero

2nd: A book you can’t wait to read this winter

3rd: Your favourite fictional family

4th: A brilliant epic read (we mean at least 600 pages)

5th: Guy Fawkes night – pick a character you love to hate!

6th: A book that reminds you of your school days

7th: The book you wish you owned as a first edition

8th: Doctor Who ends tonight – best book featuring time travel

9th: A book you have to read twice to fully appreciate

10th: Happy birthday Neil Gaiman! Favourite fantasy novel

11th: Remembrance Day – your favourite WWI novel

12th: A book on your shelf you haven’t got round to reading yet

13th: A book you’d love to see on the big screen

14th: A book you loved but wouldn’t want your mum to read

15th: A book that made you hungry

16th: The best debut you’ve read this year

17th: Your favourite mystery novel

18th: It’s Scotland v England! Tell us your favourite sport book

19th: A brilliant book with eye-catching red cover

20th: Your favourite fictional pet

21st: A book you’ve read that you wished had a sequel

22nd: Your favourite book about a journey

23rd: An awesome autobiography by one of your heroes

24th: A series you’d happily read all over again

25th: One month to go! A book you want for Christmas

26th: Tasty! Your favourite cookery or baking book

27th: Thanksgiving in the US – your favourite US classic

28th: A book with beautiful title typography

29th: Happy birthday C.S. Lewis! Favourite fictional world

30th: Your favourite book featuring a wedding

Today’s topic is favourite fictional family. Our pick is the Travis family by Lisa Kleypas because our customers love reading Ms Kleypas’s well-written romance novels. Each Travis sibling has its own book: Gage (‘Sugar Daddy’ published in 2007), Haven (‘Blue-Eyed Devil’ published in 2008) and Jack (‘Smooth Talking Stranger’ published in 2009). Our customers cannot wait for Joe Travis’s story ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’, which is expected to be published in 2015.

What is your favourite fictional family? Let us know in the comment box below.

Bigger than words: A live telecast with singer Usher

Scholastic is collaborating with a global superstar Usher in a campaign to promote reading habit in children. There will be a live performance and special programme that will teach students ways to take informed action, become reading advocates, and help make a difference in their schools, communities, and the world.

Here are details of the programme:

Date: 6th of November 2014 (Thursday)
Time: 1:00 p.m. USA Eastern Time/10:00 a.m. USA Pacific Time

Sign up for the webcast here.

View the promotional video, tweet and banner below.

‘Books Are My Bag’ hosts hashtag #bookadayuk in October

Dear book lovers,

If you have a Twitter account, you should search for #bookadayuk. The hashtag is basically a UK-originated digital campaign to get people talking about books. There is a topic of discussion everyday and the hashtag is hosted by different book organisation every month.

We Love This Book‘ arranged the topics for the month of September. I was impressed by their out-of-the-box method to present tweets from contributors. Instead of clicking on ‘Retweet’ or ‘Favourite’ button, ‘We Love This Book’ compiled and displayed their favourite book suggestions via Storify. I was elated when my suggestions for Favourite Literary FriendshipFavourite Seafaring Novel and Literary Crushes were featured there.

On the 1st of October, ‘Books Are My Bag‘ will take over the hosting duty. Check out the image below for a list of topics. If you would like to contribute ideas, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk when you tweet to @booksaremybag.

#bookadayuk topics for the month of October

#bookadayuk topics for the month of October

1st: Book to curl in front of the fire with2nd: Happy birthday Snoopy! Favourite fictional dog

3rd: A book I love from one of the Cheltenham Literature Festival authors

4th: One with a beautiful spine

5th: Happy birthday Louis Lumière! Favourite cinema/film reference in literature

6th: First book I bought in a bookshop

7th: Last book I bought in a bookshop

8th: Best bookshop find

9th: Favourite book about a bookshop

10th: One with an orange cover

11th: Bought at a BAMB Bookshop Party

12th: Favourite Bookseller recommendation

13th: Nostalgic reads! Changed meaning when I re-read it later in life

14th: I adore the title of this novel

15th: Best home in literature

16th: Most memorable adventure/journey in literature

17th: The nearest book to you right now

18th: Make me laugh in public

19th: Make me cry in public

20th: Favourite bookworm in literature

21st: One where I fell in love with the narrator

22nd: Makes me want to travel

23rd: Best book on diversity

24th: A hidden gem

25th: Mmmm! Most memorable food/drink moment in literature

26th: Clocks go back! Best book on time-travel

27th: Favourite epigraph

28th: Has the best advice

29th: Most memorable fashion moment

30th: Favourite experimental book

31st: Spookiest read

Today’s topic is ‘Book to curl up in front of a fire with’. We don’t have winter in Malaysia but my favourite memory of winter is seeing snow in the backyard of my UK home (I studied there for a year). I read ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë that winter. I was motivated to read the novel after watching the film starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. 🙂

What about you? What book do you choose when you want to curl up in front of a fire?

Reading is good for you (infographic)

National Reading Campaign, a Toronto-based non-profit organization, has collaborated with CBC Books to create a campaign poster/infographic to encourage Canadians to read.

The infographic does not only highlight most important advantages, but also cites the research to support the facts.

Do you know that …

For more facts and supporting research on reading, visit this link.

Reading is Good For You (infographic)

This blog has been nominated for a Leibster award

Thank you to Born and Read and Thoughts on Books for nominating this book blog for a Leibster award. Sorry for the delay in reply. I am greatly honoured to received recognition from fellow book lovers because I never expected this blog to attract readers from all over the world. 🙂

Anyway back to the award. The Leibster award is given by bloggers to bloggers. The main aim is to help readers discover new blogs and welcome them to the blogger community. There are different set of rules (as mentioned in this link) so to avoid confusion, I’ll stick to the rules set by the nominators.

The rules:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Post 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by your nominator
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers with under 200 followers (you can’t nominate the person who nominated you)
  • Set 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Let your nominees know you’ve nominated them.

Eleven facts about myself

  1. I am a Malaysian.
  2. I am a budding social psychologist. I like to use popular culture to explain certain social psychology points.
  3. I created and maintain this website/blog because I am helping out a local book rental store named SS Readers Corner. I want to generate more traffic to the site so Malaysia-based book lovers will visit the actual store.
  4. I look for book-related topics almost everyday. Twitter really helps me with that task.
  5. I prefer paperback to e-book. E-book readers are expensive in Malaysia.
  6. Whenever I hear that a book is being adapted into a movie, I will consider reading the book. If I choose to read the book, I try to read before the movie comes out.
  7. Despite that, I have NEVER read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. I don’t understand the hype.
  8. I am starting a book club with my close group of friends. I’ve been to a few but never hosted one before. Can’t wait for the exciting challenge.
  9. I am an avid user of public transportation so I have a book with me almost all the time.
  10. When I cannot find a bookmark, I’ll use anything to mark the last page read. Examples include used train ticket, business card, tissue, receipt.
  11. I feel sad when I see people on their phones during commute from work. Instead of checking their Facebook, why not read a book?

Eleven questions set by Born and Read

  1. What book(s) makes you laugh?
    Witty romance books. My favourite is ‘Kiss an Angel’ by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
  2. Do you have a special reading place?
    No because I move around too much. I do, however, prefer a quiet spot.
  3. What were the last three books you read?
    ‘Unlawful Contact’ by Pamela Clare, ‘Love Me to Death’ by Allison Brennan & ‘A Wallflower Christmas’ by Lisa Kleypas.
  4. Do you see movie adaptations of books you loved?
    Yes, adaptations usually motivate me to read the original source.
  5. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
    Developing my writing skills.
  6. E-books or paper?
  7. Which writers inspire you?
    Writers who write engaging stories because of their own personal experience e.g. Tess Gerritsen, Pamela Clare & Julie James.
  8. If you had to choose between never being able to listen to music again or never being able to watch another movie, which would you choose?
    That’s tough because I enjoy listening to music and watching movies. I would choose the latter. I cannot survive without music.
  9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
    Spain because I am fascinated with the Islamic architecture in the Southern region. Plus I’ve always wanted to improve my Spanish.
  10. Sweet or savoury?
  11. Caffeine or alcohol?
    Caffeine because I used to live in Melbourne and Melburnians take their coffee seriously!

Eleven questions set by Thoughts on Books

  1. Do you still live where you grew up?
    Yes, I love my hometown.
  2. What is your favourite aspect of book blogging (or blogging in general!)
    I get to inform readers about bookish events all over the world! I want to become a global citizen.
  3. If you could pick one scent to smell for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  4. Are you a morning or evening person?
    Morning. It’s not great to be a morning person during summer!
  5. If you could bring back one person from the past who would it be?
    A celebrated Malaysian musician/actor/director named P Ramlee.
  6. Favourite subject at school/college?
  7. Have you ever had any pets?
    Yes, cats and fish.
  8. Ever broken a bone?
    Fracture my arm but it wasn’t broken.
  9. Favourite app?
  10. Dog or a cat person?
    I love cats!
  11. Describe your dream house.
    I live in a tropical country so I want a well-ventilated house with a big backyard for gardening and for my cats to run around.

My questions to my nominees:

  1. What is your favourite book?
  2. If you have a bookshelf or bookshelves, how do you arrange your books? Click here if you need ideas.
  3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  4. If you could have lunch with any fictional character, who would you choose?
  5. E-books or paperback/hardcover?
  6. What book are you currently reading?
  7. Do you have any book suggestion(s) for a book club? If yes, please share.
  8. Coffee or tea?
  9. What is your favourite travel destination?
  10. If someone wants to get you a gift, what would you pick?
  11. If you could meet an author, who would it be?

Now I would like to nominate these individuals for a Liebster award:

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner.

Banned Books Week: 21st – 27th September 2014

Banned Books Week is an annual celebration of the freedom to read in the United States of America. It was launched in 1982 as a result of increased number of challenged books in schools, bookstores and libraries. American Library Association (ALA) estimates that more than 11,300 books have been challenged and/or banned since 1982. The top three reasons cited for such actions are:

  1. the material is considered to be “sexually explicit”
  2. the material contains “offensive language”
  3. the materials is “unsuited to any age group”

ALA has compiled frequently challenged books according to year. Top 10 challenged books in 2013 are as follows:

No. Title Author Reasons for challenge
1 Captain Underpants (series) Dav Pilkey Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
2 The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
3 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
4 Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
5 The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
6 A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl Tanya Lee Stone Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
7 Looking for Alaska John Green Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8 The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9 Bless Me Ultima Rudolfo Anaya Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
10 Bone (series) Jeff Smith Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Banned Books Week 2014 will be celebrated from 21st till 27th September. This year’s focus will be on graphic novels because they are frequently subjected to censorship despite their serious literary content and popularity as a genre. Find out more info at this website.

Book community from librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists to teachers and readers will celebrate the week by hosting a variety of activities. Check out ALABanned Book Week and Read Write Think to find out more about the activities.

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) celebrates Banned Books Week with a special banner

My friends & I will have our first book club discussion on 27th of September. Our book of choice is ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, which still finds itself on the banned books list. You could read more about this ban here.

Are you going to celebrate Banned Books Week? How are you celebrating it? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts/ideas with us in the comment box below!

Authors and the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) ice bucket challenge

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been getting a worldwide recognition since the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ went viral on social media last month. Here are some facts on ALS, ‘the Ice Bucket Challenge’ and authors who have lent their support.

Author John Grisham had a cigar in his mouth while being dumped with ice water.

What is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

  • The disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralysed (source from ALS Association).
  • It is also known as  “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
  • In the UK and Australia, the disease is categorised under Motor neurone disease (MND).
  • The most well-known individual with ALS is perhaps Stephen Hawking, a British physicist.
  • It is unclear what is the exact number of ALS patients in Malaysia. In developed countries, there is on average one ALS patient for every 500,000 persons, thus there might be about 60 ALS patients in Malaysia today (source from The Star Malaysia)

What is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

  • The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of ALS
  • An individual who has been challenged must either (a) dump ice water on him-/her-self within 24 hours of accepting the challenge, or (b) donate to a local ALS organisation. Some people do both!
  • Individuals who complete option (a) could nominate 3 people to take up the challenge.
  • Many famous figures have done this challenge from technology whiz (e.g. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg) and business moguls (e.g. Donald Trump) to actors (e.g. Robert Downey Jr., Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch) and athletes (e.g. Lewis Hamilton, Usain Bolt, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei).
  • Stephen Hawking was involved in the challenge too. Click here for the story.
  • The challenge became viral because of our need for social validation. Since it is for a good cause and almost everyone is doing it, we feel obliged to be involved either by posting videos, completing the challenge and/or donating to ALS/MND organisation. To read more about the psychology of the ice bucket challenge, visit these link: The Age and/or Bloomberg Business Week.

What about literary world? Are there any authors who have taken up the challenge and/or have donated?

Neil Gaiman – He was challenged by his wife, Amanda Palmer whose step brother died of ALS. I like that he mentioned how the challenge works.

Sandra Boynton – She’s been a supporter of the cause ever since her sister died of the disease 10 years ago. Ms Boynton took a unique approach to the ice bucket challenge.

Stephen King – He did in honour of a friend who suffers from ALS.

Simone Elkeles – author of ‘Perfect Chemistry’ series.

John W. Quinn – author of ‘Someone Like Me: An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy’.

There are many more authors who have done the challenge and/or a donation. Visit YA Interrobang and Book Riot links if you’d like to find out more.

How can you help the cause?

The Ice Bucket Challenge seems like a fun thing to do. However in my humble opinion it does not do much for the illness other than telling people of its existence. Instead of pouring ice water over yourself, why don’t you donate some money to your local ASL or MND organisation? Here are some links to the organisations:

United States of America – ALS Association

England, Wales and Northern Ireland –  Motor Neurone Disease Association

Australia – Motor Neurone Disease Australia

Malaysia does not have an official ASL organisation but you could contribute your time, money and/or resources to Malaysian Rare Disorders Society (MRDS). MRDS is a volunteer-run organisation that takes care of the welfare of individuals with rare disorders and their families. Visit this link to find out more information about the society.

Hashtag #bookadayuk continues in September

Ever since I discovered hashtag #bookadayuk last month, I have been tweeting my answers to the book chat. It is so fun but challenging at times. Often I refer to ‘My Books’ section at Goodreads to find a suitable book to throw into the discussion. I usually post using @ssreaderscorner but when I have 2 book suggestions, I will use my personal Twitter @emberzmars. My proudest moment was when I was the earliest to answer ‘The Best Young Adult book’ tweet on 19th of August 2014.

I am delighted to say that hashtag #bookadayuk will be continued in September. This time, it will be hosted by We Love Books on Twitter (refer to image).

Hashtag #bookadayuk: Topics for September 2014

Hashtag #bookadayuk: Topics for September 2014

1st: Favourite book about books and/or bookshops

2nd: Favourite book set in a school (Back to School

)3rd: Best Home Front novel (declaration of WW3)

4th: The book you bought for the cover

5th: The book you bought despite the cover

6th: Favourite book of short stories

7th: Favourite fictional monarch (Elizabeth 1st birthday)

8th: Favourite literary dinner party

9th: Literary crush

10th: A book that gave you hope

11th: Best book recommended by a librarian

12th: Favourite Austen character (Austen Festival)

13th: Favourite Roald Dahl character (Roald Dahl Day)

14th: Character most like you

15th: Favourite Agatha Christie story (Christie’s birthday)

16th: Favourite picture book

17th: Favourite literary detective/policeperson

18th: Favourite coming-of-age book

19th: Favourite seafaring novel (Talk Like a Pirate Day)

20th: Favourite literary friendship

21st: A book to turn someone into a reader (International Literacy Day)

22nd: Best book recommended by a bookseller (Bookseller’s Association conference)

23rd: Favourite prize-winning book

24th: Something to do with Gatsby/Fitzgerald/20s (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday)

25th: A book recommended by your parents

26th: Favourite poetry collection (TS Eliot’s birthday)

27th: Book set in your favourite country to visit (World Tourism Day)

28th: Favourite literary troublemaker

29th: The book that made you question everything

30th: The best book you read this month


To join in the fun, include hashtag #bookadayuk when you tweet your answer to @welovethisbook. Check out our entries on SS Readers Corner’s Twitter timeline on the right side of your screen. For today’s chat, our pick for ‘Favourite book about books and/or bookshop’ is ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky. Charlie was given a list of books to read by his English teacher named Bill. I like the list and have added a few books to my own ‘To Be Read’ list.

What is your choice for ‘Favourite book about books and/or bookshop’? Feel free to share your entries in the comment box below or chat with us via Twitter.