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As a book reviewer I do get books in the post (and I am excited every single time one arrives!), but today I got something a little different. I got my first ever marketing pack for a book that I am currently reading for review. I was so super excited!

The book is Deathcat Sally by P.S. Brooks, and so far I am really enjoying it. Hopefully I will have the review up by next week (children willing!). It’s about Sally and Zachary, a teenage girl and a cat that find themselves joined together after a car accident that nearly killed them both. Not only do they have to deal with this unexpected predicament, every time they fall asleep they enter No Man’s Land, a dreamscape that is all too real, and all too scary. IMG_7571

The author, P.S. Brooks is also an illustrator, and has done the book cover, illustrations and marketing material himself. And his work is lovely! I was sent some of his Deathcat Sally art in the form of bookmarks, badges and a little booklet providing background for the book. I have put some of the art up on my library wall (well it will be my library when it has finished its life as a playroom!). The cat stickers and little cat figure that was in the marketing pack disappeared very quickly to my 6 year old’s bedroom. IMG_7560

I have also been perusing his other artwork and I have fallen in love with it! It is whimsical and gorgeous and I want some! I like so many his pictures I can’t decide on a favourite, but it’s close between Origin of a Starfish and Dance of the Stars. What’s your favourite? Have a look for yourself at P.S. Brooks Illustrator & Writer!

Now that I’ve shared my excitement, I’m off to continue reading 🙂

Exciting Mail

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If you’re an avid reader, you will know the pull of every bookstore that you have ever come across. It is virtually impossible for me to pass a bookstore without going in. I love browsing the shelves of my local Dymocks, seeing what’s new and picking up books I’ve heard good things about but not yet read. I love the crispness of the covers, the unblemished pages and unmarked spines of new books. With four rugrats I rarely get to experience the pleasure of going to a bookstore on my own, which kind of shatters the leisurely perusal of the shelves that I would like. So in recent years I have started buying more and more books online, from places like Book Depository and Dymocks Online. It’s a somewhat more sterile way to buy, but I still love searching through the various categories and booklists, and I can shop at any time of the day or night, such as when all my kids are asleep!

As nice as new books are, I have always loved secondhand or pre-loved bookstores the most. Books stacked haphazardly from floor to ceiling, piles of books everywhere, the wonderful smell that only used books have, and the delight of finding a real gem among the stacks or grabbing a bargain on a book I’ve wanted for ages. I love that I’m giving these books a new life, another reading, a new home, and a chance to share them with my family. I could spend hours wandering the aisles and perusing the shelves…. except I have children. Children who knock stacks over, pull books from shelves, and run through the narrow aisles disturbing the peace.

So I had a conundrum, wanting to buy used books, but having the inability to get to a used bookstore during daylight hours by myself. Then a couple of years ago I discovered the most amazing online store, a store that allows me to shop at all hours, any day of the week without the “help” of my kids, but still allows me to buy secondhand and used books. As a bonus it has a search function for when I’m looking for something in particular, not as much fun as physically searching stacks and shelves of books, but it does save time!

This wonderful store is called Better World Books. A truly unique online book store, they not only have thousands and thousands of used books in a searchable database, they have free shipping to most parts of the world, and they have plenty of sales and deals throughout the year. A browse in the bargain bin is an absolute must! Each book is listed with a description, including the condition, such as used good or used acceptable. And the best bit? I know, it’s hard to imagine it getting any better, but it does! For every book that they sell they donate a book to a person in need, and each sale supports literacy and libraries around the world. Any books they can’t use are recycled. How totally awesome is that!

Make a difference when you buy books in the year ahead, and give Better World Books a go.

Best Pre-loved Bookstore Ever

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I have decided to investigate some social media for Today We Did. I’m not very experienced with any particular platform, so I’m trying twitter first. If you’d like to follow along, find me @TodayWeDidBlog.

I’ve also managed to set up a Facebook page, called Today We Did. I thought this might be a good place to chat about our activities, and I would love to see photos of some things you’ve tried at home too!

Please forgive me in advance if I don’t get the hang of social media straight away 🙂

Cheers,

Sara 🙂

 

Social Media

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This year I have decided to try using some themes for our activities. I want to try doing some related activities and reading some books that fit into the theme over a few weeks. I thought it might be fun to concentrate and explore an area. It may not work, but we’re going to give it a go. As the kids are just starting the new school year, I thought we would start with a Back to School Theme.

I’m also adding some extra categories under themes to bundle some of our related activities together so that it will be easier to find things.

Themes