Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Vacation and Themed Months

Two bits of news for you guys on this rainy Wednesday evening!

The first is that I am jetting off on vacation next Tuesday and starting to think seriously about it. I am away for a week. There are a couple of posts scheduled but not masses so if anyone feels like whipping out a guest post before the weekend that I can host on my site (with enormous gratitude) then I would be very appreciative. Drop me a note via my email magemanda AT gmail DOT com or contact me by Twitter @ALRutter!

The second is that I have been reading this post a number of times, and watching the comments, and thinking seriously about the future of my blog. I don't want to be *just* another "new release" blog and I want to explore different genres. So I have come up with a new direction for Floor to Ceiling Books.

I am planning theme months - which I want the readers of my blog to have full input on. A week or so before the end of the month I shall offer up three themes for the following month - whichever option is chosen I shall abide by, and read books under that theme alone.

Some of the themes will be wide-ranging - like YA titles. Some will be very, very specific - like Charles de Lint novels. Some will be extremely personal - like books my boyfriend has recommended. And some will hopefully widen my reading experience (and contribute to the SF/F Masterworks blog) like reading classic SF/F novels.

I hope that sounds of interest! Hopefully it will give a good mix of new and old novels, and will touch on a number of different genres.

I intend to kick this off in September. I am away on vacation from 31st August to 7th September and am starting to think about which books to pack, so I will pack whichever books correspond to the theme voted for in the majority by my blog readers.

The options this time around are:

1) David Gemmell novels

2) Historical fiction novels

3) Books published by Orbit

I'm asking you, my readers, to pick option 1, 2 or 3. Please leave me a comment. Whichever option receives the most votes by midday on 30th August will win and I will take books of that type on holiday.

I'd really welcome general comments on this future direction for my blog, and also suggestions for future themes. I am planning to do this each month going forwards, and I will be very grateful for any contribution from my readers!


  1. Neat idea!

    Option 2 for me.

    I just discovered historical fiction in the last 2 years and loving the genre. I'm always keen to see new recommendations.


  2. That post really seems to be stirring up a lot of discussion across the bookblogosphere. I've got my own post on it planned for tomorrow. I like that by being a relatively new bookblog, I get to focus more on older novels because I don't get a lot of ARCs and can't afford stuff as soon as it hits the shelves. And as much as I'm mostly a reader of fantasy and paranormal stuff, I do try to throw in a bit of diversity in the form of some nonfiction or historical fiction or just whatever else catches my fancy. I have my main interest, but I try to avoid limiting myself. :)

    My vote goes for historical fiction. It's a genre I somewhat enjoy, and would love to see your opinions of. Plus there's such a wide variety to choose from!

  3. I like the idea of doing theme months. It might be something I look into doing in the future on my own blog. It seems like a good idea for genre exploration and getting me out of my reading comfort zone.

    There are tons of theme ideas that have bubbled into my mind for future months, but I'm not sure if I should suggest them or not.... Anyway, enjoy your vacation!

  4. 2. Historical Fiction! Since that is one of my other loves :)

    I think I'm good RE: Mark's blog post, mostly because like Tea, I'm a new blogger and don't get any ARC's or review copies and only get to buy new books once every so often. Fortunately I have about 60 book on my TBR-pile including a lot of really old books (18th century English novels, don't ask, bought them for my MA thesis, which I never finished, and still need to read them) and several English lit classics and other books I should have read for courses at uni but never did. So that might make for some interesting reviews lmao might do a series on speculative themes/aspects in those non-genre oldies!

    But I do hope you won't quit writing entirely about the new shineys! If only so I can drool and be envious ;P

    And enjoy your holiday!! It will be quiet on Twitter without you ;)

  5. No guesses which option I'm going to suggest, 1. David Gemmell!

    It was an interest blog post by MCN, and I managed to point out something I should be doing myself on my blog, so I'm going to try and do that, add specific recommendations after each book that are similar to the book being reviewed. It seems as if what he thought was a quick post will change at least a couple of book blogs!

    Have a good holiday!

  6. Historical fiction.

    It's another genre I love and there's so much variety out there...

  7. You can never have read enough Gemmell.

  8. Historical Fiction.

    Love Gemmell's stuff but historical fiction is well worth diving into.

    I'd highly recommend CJ Sansom's Shardlake novels set during the reformation period. Excellent characters and the setting really oozes and wafts off the pages (I'm glad we don't have scratch and sniff novels) :D

    The author really brings the period to life.

  9. I love historical fiction, and it seems so hard to find good stuff these days, so I vote for Option #2, so I can find some new gems from your reviews! Totally selfish on my part, but oh well. At least I'm honest about it!

  10. I love historical fiction. Sometimes history gives us better stories than fantasy. The genre is also fairly light reading, which means you can pick it up inbetween more serious novels... perfect for holiday!

  11. Thanks for all the comments so far!

    At the moment historical fiction is in the lead, with eight votes, which really surprises me! I'm planning reads from Elizabeth Chadwick, Philippa Greagory, C J Sansom, and Simon Scarrow (some for the girls, some for the boys!) If that sounds interesting, vote away :-)

    The Gemmell books would be some of his standalones, like Morningstar and Knights of Dark Renown, and then possibly the start of the Rigante series.

    The Orbit read would include some Kevin J Anderson, Jaye Wells and Kelley Armstrong.

    So now you know what you're voting for! Changed anyone's mind? *grin*

  12. Nope no changing of my mind. Only got me clamoring louder for historical fiction!

  13. I'm going to go with option 3) Orbit books.

    Have you thought about doing a graphic novel themed month? There's lots of choices out there, from the superhero to scifi, well known (Fables, Y the Last Man) to lesser known. There's even Manga (though you could probably devote an entire month to Manga too).

  14. Sounds like I am not the only one who plans on tweaking their blog a bit due to the Newton post (though I had been thinking about my new plan for a couple of months now). Also..I vote Gemmell.

  15. Some interesting thoughts on this post! Like Tea & Tomes and Mieneke I'm a new blogger and working my way through my rather significant TBR pile - I've been worrying that some of the books I've got are 'out of fashion' as they're not new - or have been reviewed by too many people before!

    As for theme month, I like the idea of a publisher theme to see the difference and similariities between books by a single publisher but I have to go with historical fiction this time. Curious to see what you say about Philippa Gregory vs. CJ Sansom! :-)

  16. OOOhhh, Chadwick! She is an author that I want to get to know. I've heard good things about her novels. I'll looking forward to that one if you write a review.
    If you want a suggestion, Sharan Kay Penman to me is bar none for medieval English history (esp the Plantagenets). She has this unique talent for being as true to history as possible and yet getting you so involved in the character's feeling that the story becomes alive. The only negative is that her books are trilogies and the stand alone (The Sunne in Splendour) is a hefty tome.


  17. I vote for 2. historical fiction - to begin.

    Have a nice holiday !