Tag Archives: review books

Some changes are a’ comin’

1 Jan

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit MIA in the last little bit. I decided to take a break from blogging because, to be completely honest, I had no desire to do it anymore. I even entertained the idea of quitting and just going back to being a regular, old reader. I guess you could say I was burnt out and disillusioned with the whole book blogging thing.

Instead of just giving it up, I decided that I would make a few changes here on the blog and in real life to help me get my reading and reviewing mojo back.

Review Books
I got desperately behind on my review books, which in turned stressed me out and made me read less, which in turn put me further behind. I got caught in that vicious circle and went from reading 3 to 4 books a week to 3 to 4 books a month. I wasn’t getting pressure from publishers or authors who sent review copies that I requested, but I was still overflowing with guilt that they spent the money to send me the review copies and I hadn’t read them yet. So, this year I’m not going to be requesting or taking on any more review books unless they are REALLY books I want to read. And even then I may just wait until the release date and buy the book myself. This isn’t an easy decision, because I LOVE shiny new books, but it’s one that needed to be made. Once I get caught up on my review books I may change this, but for now, no review books for me.

Reading schedule vs mood
Part of the reason I go so behind on my review books is that reading on a schedule is kinda a new thing to me. And I found that when I had to read a certain book by a certain date it took some of the fun out of reading. It didn’t matter if I was scheduled to read an amazing book by one of my favorite authors, reading started to feel a bit like a chore to me. So this year I’m going to go back to how I used to read before I started blogging: based on my mood. Besides the delinquent review books I have a huge amount of bought books unread and I love the idea of perusing my TBR stacks and grabbing a book that appeals to me. Now, as for the 40 or so reviews I have here waiting to be read (yes, I said 40), I promise all you publishers and authors that I will get around to reviewing them. But I think this way of reading will not only help me read more, but it will help me be able to more fairly review the books that I have. If I force myself to read a book, no matter how great, I’m probably not going to like it.

Book buying freeze
My own unread bought books also stress me out sometimes. I’d say, including ebooks, I have about 500 of my own unread books in the house. I am not proud of this fact. Actually I’m embarrassed. It seems a bit wasteful and borderline hoarding. So my plan for this year is to not buy anymore books unless it’s part of a series I am in love with (Like Women of the Otherworld or Wolves of Mercy Falls) or by one of my favorite authors. No more buying books to buy books. Or because I’m bored. Or stressed.

Ignoring the hype
While Twitter is a great way to discover new books, it has its downfalls, too. Namely allowing me to get sucked in to the latest hype surrounding the newest must-have book. I tend to easily fall into the everyone-is- talking-about-it-so-I must-have-it mentality when it comes to books. And, unfortunately because of this, I’ve read a lot of mediocre books this past year. So my plan is to ignore the hyped-up books. I’ll still be on Twitter, of course, but I’m going to try to train my brain to filter out all the excitement about new releases.

I know some of the above kinda goes against the grain of what a book blogger is supposed to do, but I’ve never been one to fit a mold. Basically I’ll keep reading and reviewing books, but I’m going to go back to doing it my way. I think with these changes in place I’m going to find that I read and review a lot more and my posting is more consistent.

I’m kinda excited about this, guys.

I’m just not that into you: unfinishable books

3 Oct

It happens: you see a book and fall in love with the cover. The jacket blurb sounds like something you’d love. You request it for review and then it lands on your doorstep. There is a happy book dance and you eagerly dig in only to find out – ooops – you kinda hate it. Or maybe you don’t hate it but it just doesn’t hold your interest. And while you try to slog through to the end, you keep sneaking glances at your growing pile of other review books that you’ll probably enjoy a whole lot more. But it’s a review book. So you HAVE to read it, right? Right?

No, seriously, I’m asking: if you get a review book that you can’t imagine finishing in a million years, what do you do? It’s something that is whispered about on Twitter, but I think there’s a bit of embarrassment and guilt tacked on to any discussion about it.  After all the books are sent to bloggers specifically for review. We get them for free. Not reading and reviewing them just, well, feels wrong.

So, fellow book bloggers, what do you do when you hit a review book dud? Do you push on through? Skin until the end? Pass the book on to another blogger? And if you get part-way through a book, do you post a review?

This is something I’m trying to figure out, but I could sure used some help.

In My Mailbox

19 Sep

This weekly meme is a great way to let other readers know what books they should be looking out for. In My Mailbox is hosted by the  The Story Siren.  You can find out more deets about it  here.

I was too sick last Sunday to do an IMM post, so this is for the last two weeks. Bear with me: there’s a lot of books.

BOUGHT

So this week I kinda failed big-time on the whole book buying ban. I ended up buying a bunch of books using an in store credit I had.  Since part of my goal was to save money, I sorta didn’t fail. But I did bring more books into the house.

I could stress out and feel bad, but I’m not gonna. It happened. No biggie.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
The Birth House by Ami McKay
The Gravesavers by Sheree Fitch

BOOKMOOOCHED
The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Trapped in Ice by Eric Walters
Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Mongomery

GIFTED
The Candidates by Inara Scott – Sent to me by the lovely Monica at Bibliophilic Book Blog.

REVIEW
Jake by Audrey Couloumbis (Random House Canada)
Torment by Lauren Kate (Random House Canada)
Dust City by Robert Weston (Penguin Canada)
Virals by Kathy Reichs (Penguin Canada)
The Eternal Ones bu Kirten Miller (Penguin Canada)
The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines by Jo Ann Yhard (Nimbus Publishing)
The Fall by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro (HarperCollins Canada)

Amazing book care package from Tundra Press:
Gunner: Hurricane Horse by Judy Andrekson
Avalanche Dance by Ellen Schwartz
Winter Shadows by Margaret Buffie
Dear George Clooney Please Marry my Mom by Susin Nielsen
Ghost Trackers by Chris Gudgeon
The Nightwood by Robin Muller
Here Comes the Bride by Beatrice Mann and Anna Laura Cantone

And, I bought some ebooks this week. Why, you ask? Because I got a Kobo eReader!!!!!!! Thanks bunches to my awesomely wickedly amazing folks who got it for me as an early Christmas gift.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Radiance by Alyson Noel
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

Moratorium on book acquisition update

24 Aug

Screw it. 😛

Reading Week

16 Aug

Ah, who here remembers reading week? A break from school to get caught up on school. Brilliant idea, really. Did anyone actually ever read during reading week? I seem to remember sleeping a lot. And when I did wake up long enough to read anything it was always books that had nothing to do with school.

Which gave me my latest brain fart. I need to have a reading week! See, I’m kinda drowning in amazing books that need to be reviewed. And lately reading seems to be pretty low on my priority list. So, I decided to give myself a reading week. Starting today I will not poke around online, watch TV or do any extra work around the house. All my time will be reading time. I’m not calling this a read-a-thon, out of fear of what animal will end up landing on my doorstep. (Confused? Read all about it here.) God knows I don’t need a repeat of the last few read-a-thons.

I won’t be able to get through all my review books this week, but I think that I can make a serious dent in them.

Here are the books I’ll be working my way through during reading week:

Ambitious? Yes. Crazy? Perhaps. Doable? We shall see.

This is gonna be fun. 😀

In My Mailbox

8 Aug

This weekly meme is a great way to let other readers know what books they should be looking out for. In My Mailbox is hosted by the  The Story Siren.  You can find out more deets about it  here.

So, that little amendment I had on my moratorium on book acquisition? The one where I said books order/requested/won before don’t count? Well, it seems that the majority of the books I was waiting on arrive this past week.  I also ended up buying two books post moratorium but since they were purchased at a literary reading so the authors could sign them, they don’t count. (Hey, my moratorium, my rules!)

I know I normally blurb about the book, but because of the number that came in this week and the fact that I woke up late and have a crapload to do, I’m skipping that part this time round.

So here’s the slew of books that came for my enjoyment:

BOUGHT

Maggie Stiefvater signed collection from Fountain Bookstore
Ballad
Lament
Shiver
Linger


The Devouring by Simon Holt
Kitty Goes to War by Carrie Vaughn
Heave by Christy Ann Conlin (signed)
The Hidden Life of Humans by Erika Ritter (signed)
Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen – gifted from a friend

REVIEW

Candlewick Press carepackage
Another Faust by Daniel And Dina Nayer
Another Pan by Daniel And Dina Nayer
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick
Stork by Wendy Delsol
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett
The 10 pm Question by Kate De Goldi
My Worst Best Friend by Dyan Sheldon

Penguin Canada
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Random House Canada
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong
Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

From author
Pour Rich by Jean Blasiar