Category: Discussions

2019 State of the ARC

Posted February 15, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
2019 State of the ARC

State of the ARC is hosted by AvalinahsBooks Current/Recent Approach I recently spoke about where I get my ARCs, how good (or bad) I am at reading them, and countless other things under the “how I deal with review copies” umbrella of conversation. I’ve learned that I’m really not terrible about keeping up with them overall, but there are still plenty I leave unread at the end of the year. I don’t want to ignore my review copies from previous years completely, but I need to figure out my new approach to reading ARCs from 2019 to stay on top of things. I am the person who reads a book and writes the review within the next 1-12 hours at most. Yes, every single time. This is partly because my memory is garbage but also because I’m just DETERMINED to do it. I like to be on top of things. This is why I don’t have a problem reading books super early – I end up with posts scheduled months in advance. It feels good to have a more full blog post calendar; I love getting to the next month and realizing I already have at least a few things on there, scheduled and ready to go. I read the book and write the review immediately. Period. No matter the pub date. I’ve been trying to be better about reading my ARCs early enough, mixing in some backlist ones while getting ahead on future ones. One day you’ll see me reading […]

Sharing Reading Progress on Social Media

Posted February 13, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
Sharing Reading Progress on Social Media

I was thinking about this as I was updating my Instagram stories with my most recent finished books, as well as those I’m currently reading. That seems to be the latest social media trend for tracking book progress and sharing our reads. Last year, we were all updated Twitter threads and moments with books as we finished them, maybe including a mini review too. Lindsey avidly uses the Bookerly app and shares cool graphics for books as she reads and finishes books. Some people do one thing, some people do multiple, some people do nothing. I think it’s fun to watch reading progress from others and (in general) share mine… but I get so lazy later in the year. I’m just not in the mood to take the picture, especially if it’s of my Kindle screen or I have a poorly formatted egalley. Sometimes I screenshot the Goodreads page and that takes an extra step, plus having the screenshot annoyingly saved on my phone. I’ll get into all that later, but thought I’d go through some of my past preferences for tracking my reading progress on social media and why I went with the ~decision~ I did for 2019. 2017 Tracking I used the Twitter moment in 2017, which was kind of annoying for me personally. After finishing the book, marking that on Goodreads, and writing a little review, I would then have to duplicate those steps on Twitter AND track down the photo of the book/Kindle from when I started reading. […]

Requesting Review Copies as Motivation

Posted February 8, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments
Requesting Review Copies as Motivation

Okay, this could be an absurd topic, but I need to talk about this. I’m finding myself doing it more and more and it’s NOT a good thing but also kind of a good thing???? I’ve talked a lot about authors that I keep adding to my TBR and never actually read. It’s a bad habit and I keep getting stuck on it. I recently noticed that there IS a way to “force” me into reading these authors – request or receive a review copy. Let me clarify again that (a) these are authors I WANT to read but keep putting off for reasons I’m not sure about; I’m not actually forcing myself to read authors just for shits and giggles, and (b) I’m not saying this is a GOOD STRATEGY but it happens to be working for me, so I want to talk about it… and see if anyone else is as garbage as me. When I like the sound of an author and their stories, I keep adding things and telling myself to just READ one of their books, for gods sake. I don’t know why I drag my feet or get nervous about trying new authors (honestly it could just be me getting crushed my review deadlines and blog tours and the never-ending TBR pile in general). I’ve found that the best way for me to finally get around to reading these authors is just requesting a review copy. Or joining a blog tour. Or borrow an ARC from […]

2018’s Anticipated Reads – How’d I Do?

Posted January 9, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
2018’s Anticipated Reads – How’d I Do?

I predicted which books I thought I’d rate five stars (and already analyzed those for the year), but I thought it would be fun to go back and look at my “most anticipated” lists and TTT posts as well. Cristina posted one a couple of weeks ago and it inspired me to do my own! I’m keeping it simple because I’m lazy today but there will be some info on my ratings for these books too. Books I Read I’m extremely impressed that I managed to read the VAST majority of the books I put on my “most anticipated” list at the beginning of the year. Many of them lived up to my expectations or exceeded them, with most books falling in the 4-4.5 star range. Some got a little less and one even earned 5 stars. The most disappointing was SAM & ISLA, which isn’t overly surprising.      4 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 3.5 stars | 4 stars      3.5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars | 4 stars | 3 stars      5 stars | 4 stars | 4.5 stars | 4.5 stars | 4 stars Books I Didn’t Get To I attempted to read all of these books at one point or another. I even got ALL WE CAN DO IS WAIT and THE WEDDING DATE out from the library, but the books sat there unread and acquired fines. For the latter though, I put off reading it because of some of […]

Missing the Five-Star Reads in 2018 (Did My Predictions Come True?)

Posted November 19, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 9 Comments
Missing the Five-Star Reads in 2018 (Did My Predictions Come True?)

The more I read, the less “favorite” books I seem to find. Each year has resulted in less and less five-star reads for me. I don’t know what it is. Am I getting pickier? Do I need to expand my reading horizons because I’ve always read too much of the same thing, and everything is too similar to me? I really don’t know. To be honest, I think it leans more toward me being pickier. As I keep reading more and more books, I become more critical of them. The book has to be mostly perfect for me to consider rating it five stars. Even then, I end up critiquing it later and saying “did this REALLY even deserve that rating?” I have SEVEN five-star reads this year… and TWO of them were rereads. And one of them literally happened a few days ago. This is legitimately sad to me. Do I need to reduce my qualifications for making a book five stars? I always think that if a book would be considered a FAVORITE, it would be five stars. If I don’t get that feeling my heart and head, it ends up with 4.5 stars. I’m wondering if my standards are too high. Which brings me to… Five Star Predictions – Which Came True? I wrote a post in November of last year predicting which books I thought would be five stars for me in 2018. I thought this post would be the perfect place to see how they fared. Which books […]

On Playing Catch-Up

Posted October 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
On Playing Catch-Up

Over the last few years, I never really struggled with my Goodreads Challenge. The number was always achievable based on how I anticipated my life going in that calendar year, or how ~into~ blogging and reading I was at the time. I was 13 books ahead for most of 2016 because I binge-listened to the Series of Unfortunate Events on audio. It gave me so much wiggle room during the months I didn’t read as much. I even wrote a post about how I always get ahead on my goal and maintain it throughout the year. However, this year has been a struggle. Last year was a bit of a struggle too. I can’t motivate myself to read nearly as much as I used to. The saddest part of all this too is that I’ve LOWERED my Goodreads challenge over the past few years because I wanted to feel less pressure to read and achieve some balance in my hobbies. My current issue is that I feel like I have too many other interests right now – I don’t dedicate time to reading in the same way that I used to. There are a lot of different factors and potential reasons why, so I thought I would chat about my life at the moment and be honest with myself about my reading life. Playing Catch-Up I’m currently (at the time of writing this post) two books behind on my challenge and it’s all too familiar at this point. I know things like […]

ARC Analysis

Posted September 24, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 7 Comments
ARC Analysis

I have always felt like I’m ~bad at ARCs.~ I request books and never want to read them, or I read them super late, or I forget to email the publisher with my feedback… the list goes on. I’m ashamed to say that I have quiiiite a few old ARCs around that I still want to read but just haven’t done it yet. At the time of writing this, my Netgalley ratio is 75%. That’s really not bad, considering how terrible I THINK I am with reading ARCs. I recently – finally – developed a spreadsheet to track my books for review (more on that in a second) and was able to do some major analysis about my ARCs, where they come from, and if I really am as bad at reading them as I think. If you like stats and random analysis like that, keep on reading! The Spreadsheet This spreadsheet concept very randomly came into my life. I loved reading about Nick’s review copy spreadsheet and thought about making my own for a couple of weeks. Later in August, Shealea commented on my TTT post and I went to check out her blog and TTT, which was about 10 spreadsheet hacks for book bloggers. It was a great post and linked to her “owned book” spreadsheet. Because I have an app for that, I decided to revamp her spreadsheet and turn it into my “review copy” spreadsheet instead! I basically reworked some of the formulas and formatting, added some […]

Bookish Things I’ve Learned About Myself

Posted September 21, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 10 Comments
Bookish Things I’ve Learned About Myself

This is a little random round-up of some bookish facts or habits I’ve learned about myself in the last few months. My preferences or habits have changed a lot since moving (and then moving back) in the past few years so I’m constantly learning new things about my bookish self. 1. I cannot and should NOT let myself request fantasy books on NetGalley The reason? I am the biggest mood reader when it comes to fantasy books. THE BIGGEST. I rarely read them because I have to be in a specific headspace, time of year, and at a certain level of Goodreads challenge status. I take a long time to read them because I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to complex world-building and often slow starts (because of said world-building), so I need a lot of time to read them. I don’t read them in the summer either because they’re just not light enough. The fact of the matter is, requesting fantasy books on NetGalley NEVER works for me because there’s a 10% chance I read the book before the pub date. Why bother then?! 2. I don’t need my physical shelves in a specific order To be fair, this is primarily because I have a lot of small/random bookshelves and not a gorgeous library room with built-in bookshelves. I will someday, but not yet. I have two taller/bigger black bookshelves, two smaller white bookshelves, and one little corner bookshelf. I also have one at […]

“Cozy Mysteries” – My New Obsession

Posted September 17, 2018 / Book Lists, Discussions, Features / 6 Comments
“Cozy Mysteries” – My New Obsession

I mentioned in a few recent posts how I’ve been obsessed with the Aurora Teagarden Mystery movies on Hallmark Channel (based on the book series) and my coworker recommended the Rose Gardner Mystery books for me to read as well. I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been loving these style of books/movies without really knowing what they were called. I’ve HEARD the term “cozy mysteries” but never really knew what it meant… until I finally made the connection. Wikipedia says that they feature these main qualities: sex/violence are downplayed (compared to straight up murder mysteries) small town location – intimate communities amateur detectives, often women who are well-educated with public-facing jobs (they know everyone in town) and have some kind of insider connection to the police often dismissed as nosy busybodies even though they’re working it and solving murders 💁🏼 murderers are regular community members with some kind of revenge/greed/jealousy as motive What started it all After the Christmas season wrapped up and all of my holiday Hallmark movies were binged, I missed Candace Cameron Bure. I don’t remember how I exactly stumbled across the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries but I thought: why not? I was in the mood for more CCB so I went for it. I LOVED THEM. I binged the first few movies over the course of a week or so, while Chris was working overnight, and didn’t stop thinking about them when I wasn’t watching. There were also THREE new releases in the “series” this year (January, April, and July) that I […]

How I Make My TBRs (Organized Mood Reading)

Posted September 7, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 0 Comments
How I Make My TBRs (Organized Mood Reading)

I loved Nick’s post about her organized mood reading a while back and decided to share something similar here! As you’ve noticed, I’ve been curating and posting monthly TBRs here for over a year now. I love having something to guide my reading, for the most part, without making me feel too pressured. I have nothing to lose if I DON’T follow my TBR, but it’s the perfect thing to get me on track if I’m losing ideas of what I need or want to read next. I am a mood reader for sure, but those tendencies have faded a little now that I have (a) some semblance of organization and (b) deadlines I can’t get around sometimes. When I pull together my monthly TBR posts, there are a few factors I take into consideration and a handful of places I look to get ideas. I should also mention my life would be a MESS without Crini’s book spreadsheets each year. The pictures you see below will come from that SS. Here’s how I develop my monthly TBRs… Step 1: Look at upcoming deadlines Deadlines here can mean just about anything – self-imposed due dates, book club meetings, library book due dates, and blog tour posts. I always have at least 1-2 of these per month, so that’s the first thing I check when developing a TBR list. What is coming due? I use my book spreadsheet and add a tab for some of these due dates. This tab is […]