The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Hey lovely little ones! I hope you’re all looking forward to Christmas, or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, that you’re having an utterly fab week.

Today I want to thank the brilliant Azia at The Uncharted World for nominating me to take part in the Black Cat Blue Sea Award! It’s always nice to be nominated, but even nicer when you’re nominated by bloggers who you really respect! Please do me a big ‘0l favour and check out Azia’s wonderful blog – it’s full of pretty great content so I’m sure you won’t regret it one little bit. Nuh uh.


So what is the the Black Cat Blue Sea award? Well, according to a source Azia and Jasmine found around the blogosphere (many thanks, ladies!), the award is β€œfor bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.”

Which is totally one of the nicest award descriptions I’ve read since I’ve been blogging!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the three questions posed by the nominator.
  3. Nominate eight other bloggers and provide them with your own three questions
  4. If any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award.

Azia’s Questions

Why and when did you begin blogging?

I started blogging in February 2016, which crazily means I’ve almost been blogging for a whole year now! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone. I started Bookshelves and Biros because I was going through a bit of a tough time, doing a job I really didn’t like and I desperately needed something that would help me to unwind in the evenings and give me another focus. I was also just starting to fall back in love with reading after graduating from university (where I didn’t have a huge amount of time to read or money to buy non-academic books with!) so blogging about books seemed like the natural choice. Thus, my little slice of the internet was born!

Are there any books/places you re-read/revisit for a special occasion or season (i.e. winter/the holidays)


Yes! I love re-reading Harry Potter on the run up to Christmas. I always find the HP books really comforting and homely, and that’s the feeling that I love to try and recreate around Christmastime. I’m currently slowly picking my way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the eleventy millionth time. I also have a snazzy illustrated version of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a good one to thumb through at this time of year when that festive feeling comes a-calling.

Do you have more fun ranting about a book or raving about it in your reviews?

Great question! Definitely ranting, although it’s not something that I do that often in book reviews. It’s rare that I hate a book so much that I feel the need to have a proper rant, so when I do it’s always a cathartic and pretty fun process. Funnily enough, people always seem to like those reviews better too. I actually find it really, really difficult to write rave reviews about books that I love because I never feel that what I’ve written conveys exactly how brilliant the reading experience was. This is basically a long-winded way of me saying that I’m great at being a goofy, angry nerd but I’m terrible at being eloquent. Go figure.

My Three Questions

  1. What do you consider your best blog post from 2016 and why?
  2. Do you have any blogging goals or big plans for your blog in 2017?
  3. What have been your best and worst reads of this year and why?

…And My Eight Ten Nominees (because you’re all fab)!

  1. Lauren at Wonderless Reviews
  2. Stephanie at Teacher of YA
  3. Jess at The Mud and Stars Book Blog
  4. Lilly at Lair of Books Blog
  5. Casey at Adoptabookaus
  6. Beth at Reading Every Night
  7. Steff at Little Booky Nook
  8. Yarravy at Hiarethforthepages
  9. The Orang-utan Librarian
  10. Kate at The Nerdy Novelty

No pressure as always, but please link back to this post if you do give it a go so I can see all of your answers! ❀




34 thoughts on “The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

  1. Aw thanks so much for the shoutout, Sammie! ❀ I really respect you too!! I can't believe you've only been blogging since February! You seem like a seasoned pro who's been blogging for years. I'm wowed by your skill haha πŸ˜€ Congrats on garnering so many followers in such a short time. It's well deserved!

    And I get you when you say it's harder to write a rave review for a book you love so much. Sometimes it's hard to describe exactly how you feel about it, so when you finish, you feel like you haven't said enough. But I admit, I LOVE reading rant reviews. They're so much fun to read and so much fun to write haha. Great post as usual, Sammie! πŸ™‚


  2. Thank you for nominating me Sammie, I love the description to this award it is def the best i’ve seen thus far πŸ™‚ I’m also a collector of all things Harry Potter & love watching the movies (fave: Goblet Of Fire) during the holiday season. I surprisingly haven’t re-read the books since I first read them 8 years ago, probably because I don’t really do re-reads but the HP series is one I really want to re-read. It’s long over due, it’ll be like a homecoming *eeeeK*

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re very welcome! I know it’s so lovely, isn’t it? πŸ™‚ Warm, fuzzy feelings for Christmas, please! Ooooh you should definitely do that – the New Year would be a great time to start! I totally get what you mean, it always feels like coming home to me, as well. πŸ™‚ Have fun with the award! x


  3. Not sure if you can see this comment (it might end up in your spam box) but thanks so much for the shoutout, Sammie! πŸ’– I really admire and respect you, too. I can’t believe you’ve been blogging for such a short time. You seem like a seasoned pro that’s been blogging for years! You’ve garnered so many followers in such a short time and it’s certainly well deserved πŸ˜€

    I suspected Harry Potter would be your answer to that question lol. And I definitely get you on the reviews. I enjoy writing rave reviews, yet, it’s so much harder writing about a book you love because you feel as if you didn’t say enough or didn’t explain well enough haha. But I’ll admit it’s so much fun reading and writing rant reviews, too. The anger comes so easily πŸ˜‚


    • I couldn’t see this lovely little comment, hence the horrendously slow reply! 😦 I should have taken a screenshot of my spam inbox because it’s basically full of comments from you, lol! I have no idea how that happened! As always you are MORE than welcome. ❀ Haha – I don't know about that, I still don't finish my scheduled posts and then they publish half finished LOL. Maybe there will come a time when I stop doing that and then I'll think of myself as more professional. πŸ˜‰ Thank you though, that means a lot to me! Ob-vious-ly (you read that in Snape voice, right?). It really is so much harder to write a rave review – it took me AGES to write reviews for books like ACOMAF and I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson because I didn't feel like they really got across just HOW amazing they were, so I totally get what you mean! Hahahaha. You know it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Darn you spambots! LOL. I’m so glad you managed to catch this comment, and so many others apparently. (I’m not bitter, WordPress. Not. At. All.) And that’s all right! I think even professionals would make that same mistake. It’s SO easy to make. I’ve done that so many times, I wonder how my blog even functions LOL. And yas. ACOMAF took me FOR-EV-ER to complete. But I’m so thankful for those books that manage to inspire so many feelings (both the good and the bad) inside us πŸ˜€ I would stop reading if books didn’t have that effect on me once in a while haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaaa! I couldn’t believe there were so many in there! I was like WTF WordPress, what are you doing?! Hahaha my blog is barely functioning at the moment so I can definitely empathise with that. πŸ˜‚ So busy/tired at the moment I haven’t even had time to plan anything! Me too. God I get all swoony and dreamy even thinking about it – I always reread a few pages when I’m feeling a bit low on inspiration haha. Me too! It’s the best/worst part of being a reader lol – the simultaneous heartbreak and wonder haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hopefully I’m never sent to the spam jail again or I will have some words with Akismet LOL. And that’s all right, Sammie! Blogging is a very time-consuming (and sometimes very tiring) activity haha. I think it’s good to take a break every once in a while. I’ll be waiting patiently for your next post haha πŸ˜€ In the meantime, ACOMAF calls to us from the shelves. I definitely need to reread that masterpiece ASAP.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol I’ve seen someone else I know on WP in spam jail now, I’m wondering when the target on my back is going to appear haha! This is very true – I’ve definitely been doing a lot more sleeping than blogging recently. So boring being an adult! Thank you! ❀ You are the best. Yes, yes it does. Enjoy! x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it seems WP is making its rounds. Last I saw, Beth was in the slammer. Hopefully she’s been freed recently and hopefully it doesn’t come for you, too! πŸ˜‚. Aww thank you! You, too! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow what a lovely award!! Thank you so much for nominating me!!! I actually had a similar experience at uni, despite doing English, so when I was done I also felt I like got the chance to fall back in love with reading again! Oh harry potter is very Christmasy! Haha I’m with you on the teachers- it can definitely be harder to praise a book!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww, this is such a lovely award, and thanks so much for nominating me! Your reason for starting your blog is very similar to mine – I wanted a escape from a job I couldn’t stand, and something to focus on so I wouldn’t just mope around about how much I hated my job in the evenings haha. Blogging can be so therapeutic, and give you so much purpose! As it happens, I am also re-reading Goblet of Fire at the moment! I’m only reading a couple of pages a night though, so I probably won’t finish it before Christmas unless I get a wriggle on. What part are you up to?? πŸ™‚ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it? As always, you’re so welcome! πŸ™‚ Oh really?! Maybe we’re the same person because that is exactly the same trigger I had. I was so miserable in the evenings I needed something to keep me sane, haha. You’re so right, to begin with it was so therapeutic for me. It’s probably not quite as therapeutic now…but it definitely centres me a bit when I’m down. Haha we are definitely the same person then! Same here really, I haven’t gotten too far into it yet and I’ve got a few ARCs so I very much doubt I’ll finish before Xmas either. I’m up to the bit where Harry’s name has just come out of the GoF! How about you? xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaa yes I think we might be the same person. Definitely agree it’s not so therapeutic now, it can sometimes be a cause of anxiety to me rather than the opposite, but it’s still good that it gives me something to focus on when I’m worrying about something else. I wouldn’t give it up for the world πŸ™‚ Oooh which ARCs are you reading in the run up to Christmas? I’ve got even less far with GoF, they’ve only just got to Hogwarts haha. It does take them over 100 pages to get to Hogwarts though, in my defence πŸ˜› xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Two peas in a little pod! I totally know what you mean. Being behind on my comments and blog hopping (such as now, replying to your comment ten days later haha…) always gives me a bit of an anxiety edge but I have to remind myself that everyone is busy and all bloggers get struck with a bit of guilt now and again. Such is life! I was reading A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (awesome, look out for it!) and I’m currently reading Nowehere Near You by Leah Thomas, which is the sequel to Because You’ll Never Meet Me. πŸ™‚ Haha! Are you any further with it now? I’ve made no progress! Lol, this is very true! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ahhh I know exactly what you mean, I feel like I’m forever replying to comments two weeks later. It just all gets a bit overwhelming sometimes. It’s reassuring to know that we’re all in the same boat. Ooooh I really want to read both of those books! I have Sara Barnard’s first book, but haven’t read it yet. When is A Quiet Kind of Thunder coming out? And I desperately want to read the sequel to Because You’ll Never Meet Me – it was one of my favourite books I read this year. Is it living up to your expectations so far? I haven’t made much progress on GoF either, although I’m planning on curling up with it for a long reading session soon, as I got the boxset of the new covers for Christmas, and I am in love with how pretty they are – it’s making me want to marathon them all. xx


  6. Thanks so so much for the tag Sammie! I’ve never seen this award around the blogosphere before so I can’t wait to take part in it myself, and I can’t wait to answer your questions either! πŸ˜€
    I enjoyed reading all your answers as well. I love hearing more about why people started their blogs, plus Harry Potter is always a series I re-read around winter as well. For some reason, even though the books aren’t really set solely in the winter, I always see them as winter books you know?
    I find it a lot easier to write rant reviews too, though admittedly I don’t have many. I think sometimes it’s just fun to rant every now and again!
    Great post, and thanks again for the tag! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Beth! ❀ Me neither – it really is such a lovely one so I'm glad it landed on my desk haha. For sure, it's always so interesting to find out what motivates people to blog and how they started in the first place. Especially because so many of us started for similar reasons! For sure – I always think of snowy Hogwarts and Christmas and being cosy when I think of HP so I know exactly what you mean. πŸ™‚ Yessss! I love a good rant every now and again, but I've gotten quite good at avoiding books based on other rant reviews or that I don't think I'll quite like so I tend to swerve writing them now haha! It's kind of a shame. Thank you and you're very welcome! πŸ™‚ x

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad it landed on my desk as well then in that case. I love taking part in awards and tags and as this is one I’ve never seen before it just feels new you know?
        Exactly, and when it comes down to it the fact that we’re all on here for similar reasons is a great way to make friends and start talking to people as well isn’t it?
        I think that’s got to be the same for me. Hogwarts in the snow is just embedded in my mind! πŸ˜€
        I mostly seem to manage to avoid books I won;t like, unfortunately one or two have slipped through the cracks but most of my books are either good or great ones.
        That’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀


    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ Haha – tell me about it, that is definitely going to be one of mine as well, along with keeping up with comments (sorry!) and blog hopping. Argh! Haha – I shall look forward to it…if my pingbacks start working again, lol! πŸ˜‰


  7. I am so sorry for the late reply and my lack of reading posts I FEEL SO TERRIBLE but know that I HAVE WANTED TO SO BADLY! This post has honestly lightened my up so so much, it is such a sweet post and you nominating me has my heart just flying! I loved reaading the answers to all of your questions! I’m going to be making my way throguh HP this holiday of mine, I’m so happy that you find it so homely and comfortable! Loved this post and thank you again SO MUCH! ❀ ❀


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