Category: Discussions

On Playing Catch-Up

Posted October 17, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 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 / 6 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 […]

Takeaways from my Mid-Year Stats

Posted July 9, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 2 Comments
Takeaways from my Mid-Year Stats

I didn’t plan to do another post about my stats (goals and numbers post HERE and challenge post HERE), but I noticed a few things as I was reading it through again and analyzing the numbers.  Keep in mind, I had read 77 books in total by this time last year. I’ve only read 60 this year because my challenge is down. This shouldn’t skew the numbers THAT much (especially not the averages), so I still think these are valid conclusions. My average star rating is higher than last year’s so far, but I have less books that I would call a “favorite.” In 2017, my average rating after the midway point was 3.3 stars and I had 8 books that I put on my “favorites” shelf on Goodreads. However, 2018 has the opposite situation. My average rating is 3.7 stars and I only have THREE books on my “favorites” shelf. I feel like this is the result of a few different things. I’m reading less overall so it could just be that I haven’t hit as many favorite books yet. I am reading better quality books overall (or being more picky about the books I pick up in the first place), but just less of them. I think I’m trying to be a bit more discerning in what I’d consider an all-time favorite book too. It’s also worth mentioning that my whole theory of favorites can differ in some spots. I don’t know how I got the 8 number […]

How are TBRs Working for Me?

Posted April 5, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 3 Comments
How are TBRs Working for Me?

The whole TBR thing is pretty new to me. I started making TBR posts about a year ago just because I love the IDEA of them. I’ve found, since then, that they do a pretty good job of reminding me what books I was hoping to read within the month. I’ve only read my entire TBR one time – I’ll get to that later – but otherwise I think I do pretty well. Now that I’ve been TBR-ing for a little over a year, I thought I’d see how I’ve fared. I did a very brief wrap-up about this back in November (link below about mood reading) but wanted to expand more. (Again, this post at Pretty Deadly Reviews inspired me back then and now!) Other relevant posts to check out : about how my bookish planner is impacting my reading and blogging this year, whose books I’m actually reading, and my mood reading tendencies. Monthly breakdown February 2017 [50%] 8 books on the TBR plus a poll to decide between 3 options I ended up reading four of the books on my TBR, but that included the book that was selected in the “help me choose what to read” poll at the bottom. Not terrible, but not too great. I think the idea of having a TBR to choose from kind of motivated me to read the books on there. I feel like half is not bad!     March 2017 [56%] 9 books on the TBR plus a poll to […]

Thoughts on Rereading and Rewatching

Posted March 23, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 4 Comments
Thoughts on Rereading and Rewatching

A common theme in my fantasy-football-turned-everything-group-chat on Twitter is rereading favorite books or rewatching movies. We have spin-off chats for certain book series (ACOTAR) and movie universes (Marvel) for those who read/watch them. I don’t remember anyyyything about these books or movies because my memory is terrible. But, everyone also does a lot of rereading or rewatching and I am just so bad at it. As I mentioned in a recent TTT, there are some books I could reasonably reread more than once, but I don’t do it as often as other people do. Don’t get me wrong – I can see the appeal of jumping back into an old favorite. Whether that means watching a movie or show you love for the millionth time or rereading a book that you love, there’s just something comforting about hopping back into that world for a little while. I genuinely love that feeling, on the rare occasion that I actually do it. I have rewatched the entire series of Friends over and over and over for the past 15 years. This is my one (huge) exception to the general rule that I don’t rewatch/read. There’s something just so perfect and nostalgic and feelsy about this show that coming back to it is like coming home. So now that the exception is out of the way, here are some of my general thoughts on the whole thing. Reasons that I reread: 1. A new book is coming out in a series I read a while ago, and […]

How Moving Has Affected My Reading

Posted March 12, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 1 Comment
How Moving Has Affected My Reading

I’ve talked about this for a while in different spots, but thought it would be interesting to share all of the ways my reading habits have changed since we moved. (I talked a little about this when I explored where I was getting my books from.) Usually moving from one apartment to another wouldn’t exactly impact your reading habits (unless you moved 20 minutes away from work instead of 40 minutes and have less audiobook time, for example). When we picked up and moved to Maine in July 2017, I knew my reading habits would be changing quite a bit for a few reasons. This wasn’t like any other move. Reasons I anticipated the move would change my reading 1. I would be bringing only a handful of physical books with me, along with my Kindle. I was determined to bring around 10 books and rotate them in and out each month when I’d go home. I would read a handful during the month, bring them back to CT when we’d visit, and I’d replace them with the same amount of books. (More on that part later…) I obviously also had my Kindle for reading egalleys and ebooks, as well as my iPad for other book services (checking out library ebooks or Scribd). I would also have the option to check out physical books from my new library as well. 2. I would end up having two library cards (in two different locations/states) simultaneously. As I mentioned, I got a […]

Behind the Screen: A Book Blogger Tag

Posted March 5, 2018 / Discussions, Features / 5 Comments
Behind the Screen: A Book Blogger Tag

I caught this making its away across the blogosphere and was tempted to join in, but then Madalyn made my life easier and tagged me! This was created originally by Amber @ Du Livre. When did you start blogging and what was your first review? I started blogging on July 16, 2014 and my first review was for We Were Liars. I did not enjoy the book, to say the least! My first non-review post happened on the same day (because I was a bit intense when I got started) and was for my Top 10 Summer Reads. I think that’s pretty indicative of my reading preferences! Who/what inspired you to start blogging? I remember reading Before I Fall back in July 2014 for the first time and having so many thoughts about it. I was scrolling through some of the reviews on Goodreads (before finishing the book, whoops) and noticed a lot of people had links that said “for more thoughts, go to X blog here!” and I was intrigued. I always wanted to blog (I had so many failed ones back in the day) and it truly had never occurred to me that reading/books would be a blogging topic. It wasn’t my first review because I started the blog when I was in the middle of reading it, but still – this book and some of the Goodreads reviewers inspired me! What is a blog-related goal you have? I’m really not sure because my blog has changed so much over […]