Feature Week 38: Blogger
We've shared the stories of many of our author ambassadors, and now we flip the coin and focus on Isme Stubbs, an ambassador who reviews books. Isme is one of our younger ambassadors who hosts her own book review blog.
While we don't ask our ambassadors to disclose their birth dates, Isme is definitely one of the youngest National Year of Reading ambassadors. She lives in Perth with her parents who are florists and leads a creative life that is fuelled by books. Thanks to books, Isme grew up in faraway lands.
In 2009, while still at high school and just 13 years old, Isme started her Book Slooth Blog dedicated to reviewing and recommending books. Isme is a fantastic advocate for youth literature.
As the end of the school year approaches, Isme is studying hard and is looking forward to more reading time over summer. When she graduates from high school, Isme hopes to continue her studies by undertaking a degree in ancient history & classics, linguistics and French at the University of Western Australia.
An important task that Isme assisted with this year was as one of the judges for the National Year of Reading Read This! creative reading and writing competition open only to teenagers. We had some amazing entries and you can see the winners on our website:
Isme's blog began in 2009, when she made 9 posts. In 2010 this grew to 81, while in 2011 she managed to put her fingers to the keyboard on 125 occasions. It will be interesting to see how many books Isme can review during the National Year of Reading.
Her blog includes reviews of books she has read that are suitable for 12-16 year old girls and guys. She endeavours to review all books that are sent to her and accepts most young adult novels and some picture books. She does not review adult novels. Nor does she accept e-books unless they also come in hard-copy. She is happy to include author interviews or profiles in her blog and will also provide personal reading recommendations if you send her details of the person seeking the recommendation such as their age, sex and reading preferences.
Follow this link to take a look at Isme's blog:
Isme's thoughts on books, reading and the National Year of Reading
I was so excited when I found out that it was the National Year of Reading... What better excuse to get away with reading at all times of the day?!
I was so glad when I was asked to be an ambassador because I think that reading and literacy is just such an important skill. Reading can be one of the greatest joys, if you have the opportunity, and I think it is extremely sad that a lot of people don't. This year, I would like to make people more aware of the power of literacy and the joys that it can bring through reading.
Isme's reading habits
- When do you read? I read whenever possible. You're likely to catch me with a book at all times of the day.
- Are you a constant reader or are there times when you don't read at all? I read most of the time, but if I have been on a crazy reading binge, then I might go on a bit of a break.
- Do you have a favourite genre? I can't really pin-point a favourite genre, but I do go through phases where I will only read one type of book, this usually happens with series.
- What's the book you've read most often?
'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke or 'The crucible' by Arthur Miller.
- Which book is by your bedside right now?
'Anne of the Island' by L.M. Montgomery, 'Guards! Guards!' by Terry Pratchett, 'The adventures of Huckleberry Finn' by Mark Twain and many, many more...
- What's your perfect holiday read?
I am a seasonal reader during holidays. Summer: a contemporary novel, something light and fluffy. Winter: something with a bit more depth, a novel that you are able to read while you are by the fire or in bed - something like 'Between shades of gray' by Ruta Sepetys.
Autumn: I don't really like sad books, but if I ever read them, it would probably be now, something along the lines of 'The fault in our stars' by John Green or 'The shadow girl' by John Larkin. Spring: oh spring! I absolutely love spring and usually find myself reading comedy right about now.
- What was the last book you borrowed from your public library?
'Cold comfort farm' by Stella Gibbons.
- What was the last book your bought from a bookshop?
'Adorkable' by Sarra Manning.
- What was the last book you received as a gift?
'Guards! Guards!' by Terry Pratchett.
- How do you get hold of books? However possible!
- Print books, ereader or both? Words on a page are perfect. For me, nothing can beat the feeling of paper in your hands.
- Do you have lots of books on the go at once, or just one? It depends on how much work I have, whether or not the book is intriguing me. I usually have a few, so that I can change with my mood.
- Do your ever cheat and read the end of the book first? I used to, when I was younger, but not anymore.
- Do you skim the boring bits or read every word? I only skim when something really exciting is happening, but then I go back to re-read and clarify.
- At what point do you give up on a book? If I am a decent way through and I really don't like it, there is nothing intriguing or the characters annoy me.
- Do you remember learning to read? Not really, my parents encouraged me to read from a young age, teaching me to read when I first started kindy/ pre-primary, so it's just always been there.
- What's the first book you can remember reading or having read to you?
I read and was read a lot of books as a child, but the first significant books that were read to me were by my dad in my early primary years. We took turns reading 'Deltora quest' by Emily Rodda, and then 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke - one of my favourite books of all time. Also, my granny used to read me 'Dr. Dog'.
- Was your family a reading family? Half and half.
- Did you like to read as a child? Couldn't get enough of it.
- Do you use your local public library? As much as I can. Although I'm a bit of a fiend because I never want to return the ones that I like.
- Estimate the number of books you own. Hundreds! Thousands! Millions! Hundreds and Thousands! No, just kidding! A few hundred. I try to give them away after I have read them, unless I really like them.
- Where do you read? At home: in my bedroom, the garden or the sitting room. Sometimes my Mum's office. Otherwise, anywhere possible!
Isme's favourite reads
- 'Inkheart' by Cornelia Funke.
I think that imagination is such an amazing thing, and this book definitely influenced mine.
- 'The crucible' by Arthur Miller.
I don't know exactly what it is about this book, but just the way it captures you (no pun intended) and just the sheer insanity of the events behind the story.
- 'The shadow girl' by John Larkin.
Growing up in a privileged lifestyle, I have always been aware of those less fortunate yet somewhat ignorant at the same time. 'The shadow girl' just opens your eyes and forces you to look at the cold hard truth about people in unfortunate situations. Although it is confronting, you find yourself desperate to know what happens to the protagonist and thus, you keep reading.
I have a lot of other favourites: 'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery, 'The hunger games' by Suzanne Collins, and 'A love story starring my dead best friend' by Emily Horner, to mention a few.
Isme's recent YA reads
Here are three of the books Isme has been reading over the past few months:
- 'The perks of being a wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky
Through a series of letters we share a coming of age story, a world of first dates, sex, drugs, family and friends.
- 'Slide' by Jill Hathaway
Hathaway tells the story of Vee who slides into the minds of other people and experiences the world through that persons eyes. She is in dangerous territory when she slides into the mind of someone standing over the body of her sister's friend Sophie holding a bloody knife. Vee must find a way to unmask the murderer before they kill again.
- 'A straight line to my heart' by Bill Condon
A story of growing up - finishing school, getting a job and first love.
Isme was caught out reading 'A straight line to my heart' while at the Love2Read Café in Perth. Back by popular demand, the Café is located in the State Library forecourt at the Perth Cultural Centre and open from 6 October - 9 December, on weekdays from 10.00am - 5.00pm, and weekends from 10.30am - 5.00pm. The outdoor reading room has books, magazines and newspapers to browse and read. There are word games and Lego poetry for the whole family to play. Bring an e-reader to discover the e-books available for loan with a State Library or public library card. For details of the program, select the following link:
Want to know more?
- You can follow Isme's book reviews on her blog and join her on twitter and Goodreads:
- If you want to find out about all the National Year of Reading ambassadors, go to our ambassadors page:
- Other featured ambassadors can be found on the ambassador feature week listing: