Posted in blog stuff, book tag, Community, Fun Bookishness

Autumn Reading Tag

I have snagged and adapted this tag from Amy Jane Smith on YouTube. This is, obviously, a booktube tag, but I don’t booktube and thought this tag would work just as well on the blog.

holidays

1) Are there any books you plan on reading over the Autumn season?

I have quite a stack of graphic novels set aside for Dewey’s this month. I also plan on finishing Victoria by Daisy Goodwin and starting The Pearl and the Carnelian by Annabel Fielding. These are both currently on my NetGalley shelf. I also want to read more Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ll download those for my iPad. I also plan on reading a collection of short stories called Rogues that was edited by George R. R. Martin. I’ve preordered The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon that will be released on Nov 1 and I will read as soon as I open the box.
2) September brings back to school memories: what book did you most enjoy studying? And what were your favourite and least favourite school subjects?

The book I most enjoyed studying in school was Animal Farm. I remember liking how the animals in the book were representative of real people, leaders and such. Funny thing, my oldest daughter thinks this book is creepy, lol. My favorite subject, I think I’m cheating a little bit here, but it was Vampires in Myth and Culture that I took during my undergrad. By far, my most favorite class EVER. Least favorite, back to high school, was p.e. I suck at sports. I have no coordination or endurance for that matter. I hate being the center of attention, which happens often when you have the ball or, in my case, when you miss the ball. Gym class was painful for me and still remains as a painful memory.
3) October means Halloween: do you enjoy scary books and films? If so what are some of your favourites?

I used to really love scary movies. The older I get, the less I enjoy being jolted by things jumping out on screen. Usually, when I know something scary is about to happen, I can’t stand the suspense and just look away from the screen. I’m such an old fuddy duddy. I’d rather read scary books, but I haven’t found too many that I like. I did like Pet Cemetery both the movie and the book. The same for Misery. I’d really like to find some non Stephen King books though since I don’t read his novels anymore.
4) With November it’s time for bonfire night & firework displays. What’s the most exciting book you’ve read that really kept you gripped?

This is really British, lol. We don’t have bonfire night and we have fireworks displays for the 4th of July. Anyway…The entire Outlander series, In Death series, The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore, A Study in Scarlet. There are others, but those are what popped into my head.
5) What book is your favorite cosy comfort read?

I love rereading the In Death books because they’re familiar and I love the characters so much. I would consider them to my coziest, comfort reads. Also, Harry Potter. Those are definitely cozy reads for the autumn. It might be time for a reread…
6) Curled up with a good book, what is your hot drink of choice?

I enjoy both coffee and tea. Hot cider and mulled wine (as long as they’re not too sweet) are good as special treats but not something I have very often. Coffee and tea are mainstays throughout the year.
7) Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

Nothing that I can think of. My daughter was recently in a car accident and while she didn’t sustain any severe injuries, she did have some injuries that we’re dealing with right now. Between doctor’s appointments and waiting for the ball to drop from our insurance company, we’re kind of in limbo. I guess you could say that I’m looking forward to all of that being resolved, good or bad.

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Posted in Community

The Ratings Pressure

5 Hearts
I recently watched a booktube vid on YouTube about the positive and/or negative aspects of rating books. The video is Goodreads Ratings:  Yay or Nay? by suddenlylorna, who I love and you should check out. I’ve touched on this subject in the past but from a different perspective and I’d like to revisit it today.

I rate books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and here on my blog. I do so for several reasons.

  1. A rating gives an instant and brief glimpse into my feelings about a book. This is useful to me, personally, because it helps jog my memory about how I initially felt about a book. I think this is helpful to other readers too, to give them a starting place upon which to decide if they want to read a book or not.
  2. It’s easy. I do my very best to write about my feelings on books that I’ve read but sometimes, especially if the book is older, I don’t always take the time. A rating takes the place of a drawn out review and/or journal entry.
  3. A rating is less opinionated.

I can see suddenlylorna’s point about no longer wanting to rate books on GR though. She said she feels pressure to rate a book in her mind, as she’s reading it before she even finishes a book. I’m sure other readers feel the same pressure. In my mind or in a notebook, I am taking notes on what I am liking or disliking about the book as I’m reading it. I’m not assigning it a rating though. I also don’t give in to the pressure to agree with the majority. If I rate a book, its rating is coming from my experience with the book, not other people’s. This is controversial, but I’ve seen GR users gang up together to attack authors and/or books. These so-called “influencers” can severely hurt a book’s rating. This reason alone is enough to base your opinions on a book on what you take away from it, not what other people are telling you is good or bad about a book.

Ratings and opinions are subjective. The book I reviewed on Monday was given a wide range of ratings on GR. I gave it a middle rating of 3 but I could see why other people only rated it 1 star. The things that bugged me about the book bugged them even more. That’s their opinion and it isn’t right or wrong just like my opinion isn’t right or wrong. I can think of one specific book that bugged the ever living hell out of me. I can’t, not for one millisecond, see why so many people liked it. Still, it has been made into a movie and is ever so popular. Who cares? I can live with being in the minority.

Why don’t we, as a book reading society, allow ourselves to have opinions? I remember reading someone’s blog or an article or something, where someone said it’s rude to post a negative opinion about a book. Maybe it was in a Facebook group. I think it’s actually against the rules to debate about why they (the member(s)) didn’t like a specific book. Anyway, wow! Not every book published is actually good. Not every book that has received critical acclaim is good. Not every book adapted into a movie is good.

It amazes me how much pressure we put on ourselves. Allow yourself to have an opinion on your books! Of equal importance, allow others to have opinions too even if they don’t agree with yours! The world would be a boring place if we all thought the exact same things.

Posted in Community

Top Ten Tuesday

toptentuesday

This is a “freebie” week where we can pick our own topic. I am choosing Top Ten Favorite Booktubers. This is in alphabetical order according to my subscription list on YouTube. If you don’t know what booktube is, it is people who are passionate about books and reading who make videos of themselves talking about books, bookish stuffs, book reviews, other booktubers, and all things books! It’s fun!

I don’t know why the majority of my subscriptions are British booktubers. Are the majority of booktubers British? I don’t know. Thing is, I found booktube on accident and then I found more booktube channels by checking out the subscriptions of those booktubers. I think that’s probably why most of the booktubers I follow are British, if what I just said makes any sense at all. Without any further crazy ramblings…

  1. Book Riot
  2. booksandquills
  3. ChapterStackss
  4. Choncey Boddington
  5. Jean bookishthoughts
  6. MercysBookishMusings
  7. readbyzoe
  8. Rose Mannering
  9. Sarah Churchill
  10. suddenlylorna

There’s my list. I hope you’ll check out these YouTube channels if you are unfamiliar with booktube. If you are familiar and have your own subscription list, feel free to suggest a channel or two (or three) that is not on my list. I’m always looking for more ways to immerse myself in books!

Posted in Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading: November 9, 2014

Whew! October was a busy month. I tried to stick to a publishing schedule for this blog since it was new and I wanted to ensure a good base of readers. Life often intervenes as I’m sure other bloggers will know. Not only was October a busy blogging month, but it was a busy reading month as you can see from my previous post. I also make a Booktube video for my October Wrapup. I haven’t uploaded it yet though. I attempted to and had an error and haven’t had a chance to go back and retry. It’ll be up soon, though. As for what I’ve been up to so far in November…

Weekly What I'm Reading

So far this month, I have read three books. Three books that are completely outside of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed all three.

9812288#1. Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan. I believe this was a book that I downloaded off of a Bookbub recommendation, meaning I either got it for free or really cheap. It appealed to me because I absolutely love the time frame in which the novel takes place, 1920-1940 and I also like immigrant stories. I didn’t realize when I read it that it was part of a series until I got to the last page and was like, “That’s it?!?!? This is how it ends?!?!” Yeah. I chose to read this book at this time because I’m trying not to start any new series because of my book buying ban. I mean seriously. I don’t want to read book #1 and then be desperate to read book #2 if I don’t already own it, ya know?? Grr.

1629601#2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. As I said in my review of We Were Liars I really respect Lockhart’s writing abilities and talents. After reading We Were Liars, I wasn’t too sure about her storytelling abilities, lol. I absolutely loved The Disreputable History though. It needs its own post and review.

237209#3. In the Woods by Tana French. This is another #1 in a series, but from what I can tell, each book is a stand alone. This one certainly didn’t have a cliff-hanger ending. I don’t think I’ve ever read another “series” of books that didn’t follow the same characters throughout. This series seems to be all about the Dublin Murder Squad as an entity rather than a group of people. I’ll definitely read book two because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

What I’m reading right now is VIII by H.M. Castor. Very excited about this book. It’s YA so I should be able to read it fast enough to get to Atonement by Ian McEwan this week. Both books are library books and due on the 12th. Eeek! I might have to renew either one or both because three days isn’t a lot of time to read two book.

How’s your November going?

Posted in Reading

October 2014 Roundup

Round-UpOctober was a busy month and NaNoWriMo, November promises to be even busier. Considering that I put myself on a book buying ban last month, my reading still ended up being pretty decent with only a few minor disappointments. I hope that you can say the same. Without further ado…

  1. Every Day by David Levithan – 5 Hearts
  2. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix – 4 Hearts
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – 5 Hearts
  4. Festive in Death (In Death #39) by J.D. Robb – 4 Hearts
  5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – 3 Hearts
  6. Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  7. Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  8. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie – 3 Hearts
  9. Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts
  10. Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts
  11. The Murder of Adam & Eve by William Dietrich – 3 Hearts
  12. Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz – Did not finish – Broken Heart
  13. Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger – 4 Hearts

Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Including item #12, my read books for October had an average rating of 3.46 Hearts. Not including item #12 they had an average rating of 3.75 Hearts. Again, not too shabby. My favorite book of the month is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of Rainbow Rowell. I just have one more book of hers to read before I’ll have read them all. She needs to write faster. Do you have any favorite writers that you feel that way about them? That they need to write and publish faster?

My least enjoyed book of the month was We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I enjoyed her writing style but not the story. In case you were wondering, I don’t include Frozen because the reason I didn’t read it was because the formatting for the eBook was frightful. It also needed some major editing. I mean, names and the beginning of sentences weren’t capitalized. I couldn’t read it like that. It was an ARC, so nothing was really lost on my part.

How was your October reading? How did it compare to September?

Posted in Community

Short and Sweet

You ever wonder where that idiom comes from? Short and sweet. Why do those two things go together?

Anyway, I uploaded my first booktube video last night. I don’t want anyone to watch it. It’s awful. It took me hours and hours to get through it and it still ended up being awful. I have gigantic hangups about being in front of a camera. This is the only reason why I didn’t take the video down is because that would just feed into my neuroses.

Secondly, I started my first buddy read today. I have no idea what the “rules” for doing a buddy read are, so I’m letting my buddy lead the way. We chose to read We Were LIars by E. Lockhart basically because it was on both of our TBRs and we both already owned a copy. I’ll keep you all posted with how this goes.

I was also tagged in my first Instagram tag yesterday. It was the #shamefulbookishconfessions tag.

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My 1st tag! Thanks @patriciacrowther78 Here goes and I hope I don’t get too many hates. 😉 1. I can’t stand Stephenie Meyer. I think her writing stinks. 2. I’ve never read any John Green and don’t have any plans to do so. 3. I’ve read all the 50 Shades books. I also thought they were fun. 4. I’ve also read 50 Shades of Alice in Wonderland. Heheh 5. I judge people who don’t like to read. 6. I hated The Lovely Bones & regret reading it. 7. I am not one of the people who think trilogies have been overdone. 8. I don’t like Stephen King as a person and I gave all of his books away and won’t read another. That’s all I can think of. Don’t judge me too harshly. #shamefulbookconfessions #booknerdigan #bookworm #books #reading

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Lastly, I had a very brief Twitter interaction with author Gail Carriger yesterday. I totally squealed and I had to show it to everyone including you guys!! 

 

Posted in Community

TBR Pressures

Community Spotlight

I’d like to make today a community spotlight day. What this means is that I will pick a book blogger, booktuber, or bookstagramer and spotlight their profile and then delve into one of their topics and/or posts and/or photos and/or videos.

For my inaugural Community Spotlight Post, I have chosen to profile a booktuber. Our first booktuber is MercysBookishMusings. At the time of this posting, she had 7,386 subscribers and 275,798 views. I don’t remember how I found her booktube channel, but I am so glad that I did.

Mercy does a great book review. She talks about the characters, plot (without spoilers) and an author’s writing style, covering all the things that I critique myself in a book review. What I especially like about her videos is that they are straightforward book talk. There is nothing wrong with the booktubers that like to perform in their videos, it’s just not my cup of tea. I prefer booktubers who talk like you’re having a conversation with them and not like they’re coming at you with their exuberance and Mercy is a fantastic book conversationalist. I also love her bookshelves that act as a backdrop for her videos. Color me jealous.

Mercy recently uploaded a video discussing her current reads (I believe she’s in the middle of something like 15 or 16 books) and her TBR list/pile. She talked about how when she vlogs about how many books she is reading and how many books are on her TBR that she feels a ton of pressure to whittle those books down. Then that pressure makes it so that it’s hard for her to read and then it becomes this vicious cycle of pressure. I can totally relate to her experiences. I’ve been blogging for ten years and whenever I feel the pressure to stick to a schedule, meet the demands of a blog challenge, and/or meet the demands of a reading challenge (in other cases) it makes me want to hide which causes me to fall farther behind. The same thing when I have an especially big paper due for a class that I’m not sure how to start. I avoid the assignment until I start losing sleep at night (literally) and then it becomes this huge burden on my shoulders that I end up writing at the very last minute because rather than break it down and attack it in small pieces, I avoid it altogether until I’m down to the 11th hour. So, I can understand how Mercy feels a certain pressure to read and thus, keep up with her vlogging demands.

My solution to this is that while I do have a TBR list/pile, I don’t set myself a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly reading goal. Reading is my escape. It’s pleasure. It’s travelling to new cities and countries. It’s meeting unique characters. If I put pressure on myself to read a certain amount of books in a certain amount of time, reading becomes a task or even a chore. Yes, I keep records of the books that I own that I have yet to read and a list of the books that I want to read but don’t own, but I use those records as references. Am I trying to pick out my next read? Well then, I consult my “to-read” shelf on Goodreads to see what’s what. Am I out shopping at the Barnes & Noble or my favorite used books store and can’t remember if I’ve already bought a certain book or not? Then I consult my “need-to-buy” shelf on Goodreads. I don’t allow either shelf to become an ax above my neck. It actually makes me a little giddy to look at my bookshelves at home and think of all the books that are waiting for me to read them. No kidding. Sometimes, I stand in front of my shelves and hug myself as I giggle maniacally. You can ask my husband.

Do you allow TBR pressure in your life? How do you avoid it? How do you deal with it? Make sure and visit Mercy’s YouTube channel at MercysBookishMusings