Support Book Bloggers Challenge: Guest Post by The Book Nook

In an effort to support and promote book bloggers further in 2022, Pages Unbound is hosting a (very casual) Support Book Bloggers Challenge. The idea is simple: we will work together to read blog posts, share them, comment on them, and boost book bloggers in other ways. To learn more about the challenge and the 12 prompts involved, visit the original post here(The above banner was created by Pages Unbound.) If you decide to join in on the fun, the social media hashtag to use is #BookBloggerSupport22.

The prompt for September is to write a guest post for a blog or feature a guest post on your own blog. Earlier this month I encouraged bloggers to reach out if they wanted to be featured on my blog. Thankfully my outreach didn’t fall into the internet void! All guest posts are presented as given to me; I have not edited any of the content save for the formatting.

For my fourth featured guest post, please meet Ariana at The Book Nook! Keep reading to learn more about this fellow book blogger!

Meet the Book Blogger

Hello book community! My name is Ariana – Ariana Jane for long and Ari for short – and my pronouns are she/her or they/them. I’m currently based in the UK, but I’ve lived in four different countries throughout my life – South Africa, Italy, USA, and finally my current residence – so I like to think I’m relatively international… I blog over at thequaintbooknook.com with my sister Gemma, who actually started the blog but has very kindly given me free reign while she’s busy studying. Otherwise you can find me on twitter @queenzucchini and on instagram @booknookreview, though I don’t often post at the moment! 

You will see immediately from visiting either my blog or social media that I am a fantasy buff. I read it, watch it, review it, and even write it! The world is much more exciting with magic in it, and fantasy books are where I go to have adventures, and live all the lives I can never have in our world. I also recently developed a love for sci-fi, which I was always a bit intimidated by in literary form. But there’s so much out there that I was missing, and my current obsession is The Expanse series by James S.A. Corey; if you haven’t read it before, I highly recommend picking up Leviathan Wakes, which is book one. 

My current job is as a bookseller, which does mean I read a bit of everything to be able to recommend a variety of genres to my customers, so I’m not a very picky reader, but there are still things I avoid. I don’t like war stories, or victorian settings (I don’t know why), or pure romances with no other plot, or depressing literary fiction. Things other than SFF that I enjoy are murder mysteries, children’s books, young adult, and nature writing. 

Some of my current go-to recommendations are Leviathan Wakes, which I already mentioned, The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon for epic fantasy fans, Everyone in my Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson for a truly brilliant murder mystery, The Wilderness Cure by Mo Wilde for an eye-opening look at our relationship to food and the natural world, and Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston for an exciting romp perfect for those looking for something beyond Harry Potter. 

That may be too many recommendations, but the main reason I started my blog (or was thinking of starting a review blog at the same time as my sister did so) was to share my love of whatever I’m reading at the time… there’s only so much I can bully my family into reading the books I love, and my customers won’t want to sit and listen to a long spiel all the time… and I did already have another blog to share thoughts and creative writing (it’s fifthquadblog.wordpress.com if you’re interested, though I haven’t posted on there for a few years) so I was familiar with WordPress. It’s also been a way to hone my writing craft in a low pressure environment, so even if some of my reviews are a bit slapdash, I do try to put time and thought into each word. 

What I didn’t anticipate from building up my blog was how many amazing people I would meet. In fact, I’ve just come back from FantasyCon 2022 during which I got to see and hang out with some of the authors and fellow bloggers I’ve been interacting with over the last couple of years. The book community is really lovely (minus occasional drama) and it’s been my favourite part of starting my blog. Fellow book bloggers are amazing, everyone willing to share each other’s work and support posts with comments and advice! There is no way I’m going to remember everyone, but for quality content and excellent people do follow these people: 

  • Imyril of There’s Always Room for One More is a great pillar of the SFF blogging community, with great taste and hosting plenty of great events throughout the year such as Wyrd and Wonder, SciFiMonth, Spooktastic Reads, and the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards. 
  • Lisa of Dear Geek Place is also involved in the above mentioned blogging events, and is a lovely person who can always be counted on to do an excellent live tweet of a film during each event! 
  • Annemieke of A Dance With Books has great reviews that cut to the core of the book, and I always love seeing her BuJo posts, because she is a very talented artist!
  • Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story is someone I never would have met if not for Wyrd and Wonder, because we don’t cross over on many things, but she is wonderful and her reviews are always so thoughtful and interesting. 
  • First Line Reader (always has really interesting posts and I love the way she opens each one with the first line of her current read!
  • BookForager has become a dear friend and we’ve shared a few buddy reads and readalongs in the last two years. She give insightful and thoughtful reviews, is always enthusiastic about what others are up to, and has a great Fun for Monday feature where she does book tags and the like! 
  • Peat of Peat Long’s Blog is also one to follow. He posts more than anyone I know, and I am always in awe. He’s also very thoughtful, and often has posts reflecting on the fantasy genre or specific aspects of writing. He’s also very funny, and someone I’ve come to call a friend on this platform, so maybe I’m biased! 
  • And of course a special shoutout to Celeste of A Literary Escape. Presumably, if you’re reading this post, you follow her already, but I recommend it all the same for her honest, thoughtful reviews and constant support of authors and fellow bloggers. 

Before I go, I want to give a specific shout out to the events I’ve already mentioned: Wyrd and Wonder and its sister-event SciFiMonth are both an excellent time to meet like-minded bloggers, and SciFiMonth is coming up in November! You can sign up Over Here and if you want something a little more casual to dip your toes we also host #SpooktasticReads in the last 13 days of October to celebrate all things creepy (but not too creepy) about fantasy! You can find a post about it on my blog’s home page. 

Thank you so much to Celeste for letting me write this post, and if you decide to check out my stuff because of it, do say hello so we can be friends! 

Thank you, Ariana, for participating in this month’s Support Book Bloggers Challenge! Please feel free, of course, to check out her blog and social media handles.

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