April 2017 Month in Review

May 1, 2017

Newsworthy

 

GUYS! MY BLOG WORKS AGAIN !!!!!

Wow. April was not the blog-tastic month I expected, or even hoped, it would be. After a WP plugin decided to break everything I own technologically, I had to take an unexpected 3-week haitus. THREE WEEKS. The first week I was anxious to get things back up and running. But quickly, I fell into a terrible spiral. I hadn’t realized what a critical part of my life blogging was. I slowly stopped writing reviews, even to post later. I stopped reading and commenting on other blogs. Eventually, I got into a funk so bad I even thought once, “Well, if I stop blogging, will anyone notice?”

Enter Amanda @ Cover2CoverMom and Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks. These lovely ladies both reached out to me earlier last week to see if I was okay. Just this little check-in completely turned around my outlook on blogging. Honestly, it felt like eating alone in the school cafeteria for weeks and suddenly the cool kids sat at my table. Their kindness was just the reminder I needed. This community is my home! While there might be bad days (weeks…), they will always be there for me.

As you can see, my awesome Admin and I worked hard to get everything in place and we’re back! Now– let’s hope I can make up for lost time this month. πŸ™‚

 

List of Reads

While I might not have done a ton of blogging, I did make an effort to read this month! That said, I was going to participate in Aimal’s A Very ARCish Readathon and I completely failed. In my funk I couldn’t bring myself to read ARCs. Instead, I read only the books I wanted to pick up in the moment. Which, honestly, kept my head above water on some level, but meant I didn’t make much progress on my reading challenges or ARCs. You’ll notice most of the books below are very highly rated due to that compulsion. At least I didn’t completely fall apart. Just mostly. O_o

April Books:

Read 14 total books

 

MUST READ this month:

Rebecca – I have been putting off reading this book for years. This is EXACTLY the sort of book my high school English teacher would have forced us to read and told us how to interpret. But, reading this of my own accord as an adult– let’s just say I completely understand why it received the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century. It’s incredible. The writing is beautiful, the characters are unreliable, and you are always guessing at what will happen next. Read it if you haven’t. Read it right now. 

DANGER! Avoid this month:

Magic Knight Rayearth – So, last month I gave MKR a pass, as it was the first volume in a three-volume series but the lowest rated of the month. I didn’t want to judge it alone. Manga functions differently than novels. That said, since I spent this month only reading books which filled my heart with joy, we find MKR on the bottom of the pile again. This is a pretty standard magical girl storyline, but with a great twist at the end of the series. What didn’t work for me was the pacing and how I couldn’t figure out what was going on in some panels. But that’s it! Honestly, if you are into manga or magical-girl stories, you should totally check this out. If you feel indifferent at best about those categories– well, I’d pass over them.

 

Challenge Updates

I’m making slow by steady progress on my yearly reading challenges. This month wasn’t a great month for much of anything, but slow and steady wins the race, right? There is still time!

  • Overall Reading Challenge: 53/110 (48%)
  • Listopia Challenge: 6/15 (40%)
  • PopSugar Reading Challenge: 16/52 (30%)
  • Read Harder Challenge: 8/24 (33%)

 

Tsundoku Life

It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me!

As most of you know, tsundoku means the act of leaving a book unread after acquiring it, typically piled up together with other unread books on shelves, floors, or nightstandsIn my case, I get most of my books from the library. But, having 21 books checked out and waiting to be read can be overwhelming (even if it is down from the 31 I had last month!). I interpret my tsundoku as a combination of the physical books waiting to be read, but also the gigantic TBR I have listed. My goal? SHRINK THE TBR.

This month I bought three new books, all for book clubs. I’m actually really glad that I own them all. Two are the Six of Crows duology, and the other is a short story collection. That said, I’ve been trying to follow Laila @ Big Reading Life‘s advice. I’ve been slowly going through my Goodreads TBR and cutting out books I am either no longer interested in, or books I don’t even remember adding. In March, my pile was 1,586 books. Now…

 

Just like last month, I spent a few hours one weekend culling my list, and I feel way better for it.  I’ve seen my TBR drop almost 400 books since January thanks to this tip. It makes my TBR much less stressful! Any other TBR-reducing pro tips?

As you might remember, I have the honor of being the judge of the Empty Pages Writing Club writing competition in March. They have spent all quarter working on short stories, and I get to read and review them! Unfortunately, my blog going down meant I lost access to other technological things. This we’ll you’ll finally see the results, and so will they!  I couldn’t be more appreciative of how patient they’ve been. It’s been a long road for them all!

 

May TBR:

  • Our Shared Shelf- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Kids Lit – End of the Tunnel by Paul Capon
  • West Side Stories – Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
  • Brunch Books – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • VACB Book Club – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: Short Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chaing
  • Popsugar Challenge – Stuart Little by E. B. White
  • Read Harder Challenge – Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
  • Listopia Challenge – When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I am super excited to talk about The Handmaid’s Tale and A Visit From the Goon Squad at book clubs this month. Plus, End of the Tunnel is a book my mother picked out– My Mommy will be in town visiting this month during Kids Lit Book Club, and I can’t wait for her to meet all my favorite ladies!!

 

2017 Goal Update:

  • Never have a backlog of more than 5 books which need to be reviewed:
    • There are 18 outstanding books which require reviews. Don’t judge me.
  • Spend 5 minutes a day blog hopping:
    • I failed miserably this month. Again, a huge shout out to Amanda and Evelina for getting me back on track!
  • Expand the book discussion question database by at least one book a month:
    • This month I added discussion questions for The Vagina Monologues. I hope to catch up with all the Our Shared Shelf books by the end of the year, and hopefully add some of the West Side Stories books in as well!
  • Maintain posting twice a week:
    • As terrible trojan/multipartite virus tragically attacked my blog, and this was only recently resolved, I failed this month. But not for want of trying!
  • Participate in 5 cross-post style events:
    • GUYS. I need your help here! I feel totally lost. I wrote this goal with the intention of developing new blogger relationships, or deepening existing ones. But I’ve got nothing. Help!
  • Make the Thanksgiving Readathon with Ottavia a real thing!
    • This is something we’ll chat about closer to Thanksgiving. Probably early Q3.
  • Expand my non-book review posts:
    • See above. Unintentional forced hiatus!

Well, since my blog was out of commission for three weeks, I failed on all my goals except one. I guess my goal for May is to fail no MORE than one next month. That’s a good goal, right?

I’ve missed you all, and I can’t wait to reconnect. Please leave your love below– it means the world to me!

 

Happy Reading,

Jackie B.

Jackie B Forman


What do you think?

  • I’m still looking for cross-posting opportunities. What ideas do you have to help me achieve this goal?
  • Have you ever dealt with unexpected blog outages and the like? How have you coped with it?
  • What does the book blogger community mean to you and why?

57 Comments

  • Birdie May 1, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I’m glad to see you didn’t leave us! I think April was a hard month all around, or it was just me and you. Thank goodness I preschedule a lot, otherwise I would have had an empty few weeks.

    It looks like you read some great books. I’d particularly love to hear your thoughts on Six of Crows.

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I did have some prescheduled posts, but I lost those in the chaos, sadly. I’m sorry your April was hard, too! I’ve certainly learned a few lessons. O_o Catching back up on everyone’s blogs is on my To do list. It was just so hard to stalk people and see how awesome their blogs were when I couldn’t touch mine. But I’m so glad to be back.

      Oh, reviews on both Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are coming. I have soooooo many thoughts!

      • Birdie May 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

        Yay! As soon as I saw you’d read them I wondered what you thought. πŸ˜€

        I figured you lost everything in the chaos. 90% of the time I curse using wordpress.com and debate on switching over to wordpress.org so I can use plugins, but now I’m wondering if it’s not such a bad idea to just stay where I am and go without the cool plugin features. Just to be safe.

        • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 9:46 pm

          I actually thought about switching to WordPress.com during this whole ordeal, honestly. It helps that one of my friends hosts my blog and acts as an admin. I pay him for his services, obviously. But as we’re friends it’s pretty discounted. I don’t know what I’d do without him. Particularly after this! I would say that 75% of the time, I love that I’m self-hosted. The other 15% is broken up into 10% of “it’s way harder for people to subscribe and find my posts via WordPress Reader” and the other 5% is total fear over my blog falling apart. In the end? Totally worth it.

          • Birdie May 2, 2017 at 8:36 am

            LOL, yeah. There’s a LOT I’m missing out on. I hate that I can’t use javascript and host rafflecopter or linkys. And I love your plugin for spoilers. Those three are the ones that haunt me the most. πŸ™‚

          • Jackie B May 3, 2017 at 12:07 am

            I’m so conflicted! I’m glad that I introduced you to the spoiler plugin, but I’m also sad that it haunts you. πŸ˜‰

  • Grab the Lapels May 1, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I just bought Ramona Quimby, Age 8 for my niece, who turned 8! Awww. I haven’t read it myself, though. I didn’t notice you were gone because I was catching up on blog posts in my inbox. I feel like we’ve been communicating a lot! Also, if your blog dies again in the future, you can always write reviews on Google Docs or Microsoft Word and copy and paste them later. We <3 you!!!

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Ramona is an adorable story– it’s actually the 6th book in the Ramona series, but it doesn’t really matter where you pick up the series. I read it as part of my quest to read all the Newbery winners. I hope to read them all before 2022 when the Newbery hits 100 years old! There are 95 books in total at this point… I’ve read only 23. I’ve got quite a ways to go.

      I started out writing reviews in OneNote (my Word Processor of choice), but I lost motivation quickly. I hope that now things are back up and running I’ll be more motivated to give my review a pick in the butt. Here’s hoping! πŸ™‚

  • Laila@BigReadingLife May 1, 2017 at 11:06 am

    So glad to hear you fixed your blog! I figured that the technical woes were really tough and required a lot of maintenance, that’s why we hadn’t heard from you. I haven’t been posting as much lately, but I’m giving myself a lot of space and not beating myself up for it – if I post once a week, I feel good about it. Life gets in the way of posting sometimes!

    You’ve got some good books on your May TBR. When You Reach Me was very good, as was Visit From the Goon Squad. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about The Handmaid’s Tale. One of my goals for the year is to reread it. It’s been years.

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      It was a mess and I’m just glad it’s over. I’ve learned a lot, and I will certainly be more careful going forward! Life totally gets in the way sometimes. It’s nice to see any posts, honestly. I love seeing my friends keeping their blogs going.

      I’m also excited about my books! The Handmaid’s Tale will be a re-read for me. Last time, I listened to the audiobook as read by Clare Danes. I hope to read the paperback this time and see if I find anything else in the text reading it myself. I remember it being brilliant but terrifying.

  • Diana May 1, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I am glad that you are back Jackie.I missed having you on blogosphere.Glad you sorted out the blogging issue.Your reading seems to have gone well so I hope it continues.All the best with the reviews though.

    What’s cross-posting?

    And I do love the blogging community.I love being able to discover and discuss books and I’ve made friends here through the interactions.Its like having my own wonderful world away from the stresses/demands of real life.

    Welcome back <3

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks, Diana! I’m sure you can imagine how overwhelming an 18 book backlog feels. Yikes. But I have confidence I’ll be able to push through soon enough. Think of all the great pending reviews! πŸ˜‰

      Cross-posting is when you have an opportunity to post on other blogs. Most often, this is done through guest posts, interviews, and events. For example, I did a guest post with Brendon @ Gaming for Justice last year when he was featuring Native Hawaiian authors in November, or this year I am planning on hosting a readathon with Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction. In those cases, I did (or will) post something on their blog as myself. However, I got into an interesting discussion today about Ton Ten Tuesdays and that sort of thing, where you can post links of your own posts on other people’s comment pages, and on the TtT homepage. Does that count? If so, I can easily win. So much to ponder. So much.

      It’s great to be back. I missed you all. πŸ˜€

  • wordsandotherbeasts May 1, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I’m glad you decided to stick with blogging after WordPress crashed! I agree with Birdie, I think April was just a difficult month in general haha. And congrats on doing so well with your reading challenge! I wish I could have read that many books so far this year, but I’m such a slow reader haha! I hope May is a better month all round for you.

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      πŸ˜€ Thanks! It was a bit overwhelming. I honestly never *really* thought about giving up– I just lost heart. I feel like I’m ready to get back on the bandwagon, however!

      As far as the number of books I’ve read, well, I like to read instead of sleeping. O_o

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea May 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I was going to ask about Magic Knight Rayearth haha, but you answered that well enough. You managed to accomplish a heck of a lot of reading! I am so thankful it has been resolved though. I am not sure I could carry on without your wisdom and whit πŸ˜‰ Best having you back where you belong now <3

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Haha– I think you might like MKR, actually! It’s really entertaining, and I enjoyed the twist at the end. A lot of people I’ve spoken to like the anime better than the manga, but I haven’t seen the anime. I’ll have to trust them. πŸ˜€

      D’aw. Thanks! I couldn’t carry on without you either. Who else will debate with me on the merits of a book?! πŸ™‚

  • AvalinahsBooks May 1, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Yes! She is back! πŸ™‚ congratulations on being visible on the blogosphere again! And honestly, you will always be missed and noticed πŸ™‚ I also often harbor “nobody will miss me” thoughts, but we should always remember that… that’s a load of bull πŸ˜€

    Also, too bad you got bummed out of that ARC challenge, but maybe you can still do Kimba’s Clean Sweep May? Started today, I haven’t joined yet, but I might, and the idea is to read as many ARCs as you can πŸ™‚ Kimba also has great linkups most of the time.

    Also, Rebecca. Can we fangirl about it a little bit? Oh my gosh!!! So much love for that one. Have you read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield? Something VERY much along those lines. Read it if you haven’t. I can give you more similar recs too if you want, I’m a sucker for books like that!

    Also, I haven’t read the MKR manga, but that was my favorite teenage anime! It was… so much like an RPG game. Which character did you like best? Gosh I loved them all. Also, have you noticed that A LOT of the secondary characters have car names? Lancer, someone else, o forget… I remember having a conversation about that with my bestie at the time. We used to have to watch that anime in Polish too cause nothing else was accessible xD it was tough, but I learned to understand like maybe 50% πŸ˜€ ah, memories… also, Mokona. Soooooo cuuuuute!

    What are cross post events? I would be curious πŸ™‚

    And so it was a virus… :0 oh man. Chills me to the bone! Brr… glad you made it out! I hope it won’t happen to me cause I… don’t really have an admin who could sort it out :0

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      THANK YOUUUUUUUU. It is a load of bull, but sometimes the ugly tiny voice in my head wins. Sometimes. With all the wedding planning and a new job and my blog crashing, well, it was easy to fall into a tiny pit of dispair. Luckily you and Amanda helped pull me out! πŸ˜€

      Let’s talk linkups. One of my friends says that I should totally count Linkups and related posts as part of my cross-posting venture. I was only thinking of guest posts, shared readathons, etc. What do you think? Should linkups count?
      Either way, I should look into Kimba’s Clean Sweep. I might not jump in as I need to get my blogging feet back under me, but maybe it’s a good way to kick my own butt? Who knows. I’ve never participated in one of her linkups!

      This is the first time I’ve read anything like Rebecca. I just adore it. I honestly didn’t expect that at all! But there is something about how beautiful the writing is, and how heartbreaking the story is, and how fascinating and unreliable all the characters are– I was completely entranced! I have now added The Thirteenth Tale to my TBR. It sounds lovely, particularly after Rebecca. I’ll have to read it! I’m all about more recs, too. It’s hard for me to find horror/thriller books that I enjoy. This doesn’t really fall into either of those categories, though… suspense? Recs please! <3

      • AvalinahsBooks May 5, 2017 at 11:27 am

        Glad I checked my WP notifications! I had missed this reply. Wedding planning! Ooh, so happy for you ^_^ but I can totally see how that would be stressful. And wait, a new job? A new new job? I think I missed something.

        Shared readathons sound like sooo much fun. Or like, just buddy reads? We could totally… read Attachments together and then blog about it on your blog like in a dialog format? Then read something else together and blog about it on mine? Lol. Something like that.

        Kimba’s Sunday linkup is totally fun though. So much love and just… you can just find new blogs to read as well. I love it. You should do the Sunday one, like literally the first time I linked up, 50 people came and said hi and welcomed me into the community πŸ˜€ I was like WHOAH πŸ˜€ it was really nice.

        As for Rebecca. Yeah, it’s not a genre of its own, is it πŸ˜€ but here you go!! I’ve got a looaaaaad of those recs. I’m just gonna link drop for you.

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18869970-my-cousin-rachel

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6065182-the-little-stranger

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3407877-the-forgotten-garden

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6138.The_Moonstone

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14975.Labyrinth

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15814529-the-asylum

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1572841.The_Other_Eden

        • Jackie B May 5, 2017 at 4:22 pm

          I love that WordPress flagged your comment for review due to having so many links in it! Way to convince my blog you were spam! XD

          This is a GREAT list. You’re terrible for my TBR, Evelina. Terrible. πŸ˜‰ Most of these books sound right up my alley. It didn’t even *occur* to me to read more du Maurier books! I will have to start with My Cousin Rachel, then. Just brilliant writing. Brilliant!

          Yup. New job. I started mid-month and I love it thus far. My silly title is “Continuous Improvement Consultant”. Basically, I get to ask people “Why?” until they realize what they are doing is stupid. It’s awesome. I still have a ton to learn, but there’s nothing better than getting someone to see how dumb they are at work. (I swear I’m a good person…)

          YES. LET’S DO IT. Let’s set a date for the book to be read, and then we can just Twitter chat through it and I can try to find a blog post in it. Then you can pick a book and we’ll do it again for your blog. You are the best. I assume your reading schedule is absolutely crazy?

          I don’t participate in any link ups right now, but it sounds like I should! I get overwhelmed trying to keep up with my blog hopping already, sometimes. Do you keep up with everyone you met through Kimba’s link-up? Or it is link-up specific? Also, would you consider those cross-posts? Just for polling purposes. πŸ™‚

          • AvalinahsBooks May 9, 2017 at 3:26 am

            I was SURE it would get flagged πŸ˜€ but there’s no way I’m just going to make you google so many books xD had to take that risk πŸ˜€

            So yeah. Spam can be good sometimes? πŸ˜€

            My cousin Rachel was YUM. So many of those books were just so yum yum, they take up a very particular spot in my heart and maybe I should write a themed blog post for them πŸ˜€ way to get more similar recs, I guess. Because it’s not very easy to find books like that. This took years xD

            Oh man, your new job sounds totally awesome! Efficiency and all that. And the fact that you don’t really have your tasks, your tasks are people xD that’s the awesome bit, probably. I think I’d also be good at that, because people often ask me how I write out such perfectly bullet-pointed emails and plan things out xD haha #totallynotbragging

            Alright, I can totally read Attachments sometime soon. Yeah, reading schedule is crazy xD especially after that time I requested ALL THE BOOKS from NG and THEY ALL got approved?? Oh well. But Attachments is not a very long book, so I could just read it in a day or two, I feel.

            How would we be doing the blog post, I mean the format? Write me an email for that πŸ™‚ you know my email from the comments anyway. Like, we could maybe make up questions for ourselves and then both reply to each other, like a dialogue? Could do it in emails and then it would be easy to draw up a final draft? Kind of like a little interview, dialogue, something like that πŸ™‚ should be a cute format.

            Yeah, I do keep up with pretty much everyone from the linkup πŸ™‚ I just do my post, and since I’m usually one of the last people to link up, I go through the blogs right after I post, and if there’s new people, they comment on mine and I visit them too the next day. It usually takes like just another hour after I have posted, so I do it all as a process. It’s nice to catch up with everyone in the same day as well πŸ™‚ you should try, it’s actually fun, because Sunday posts are about real life stuff too, not necessarily just books.

            I don’t know about cross posts though, I am not very well acquainted with those πŸ˜€

          • Jackie B May 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

            You should definitely put together a themed post with these books listed! Then you can find more recommendations which fit the theme. I think that’s an awesome idea. I won’t be able to add anything new, but I’ll still talk the recommendations. πŸ™‚

            I’ll totally email you this weekend. It’s a date. Let’s do this!

            Wow– I’m super impressed that you manage to review everyone’s posts! You are much quicker than I am. I must not read that quickly or something? Perhaps I just write too much in my comments? πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to learn some magic from you, for sure!

          • AvalinahsBooks May 13, 2017 at 5:28 pm

            Depends πŸ˜€ it’s only with you and some others that I write 20 chapter comments, you know πŸ˜€ I don’t have a lot in common with some of them, so it will be a short comment πŸ™‚ but sometimes I have more to say πŸ˜€ and it’s almost always the same people I write dissertation comments to! πŸ˜€

          • Jackie B May 15, 2017 at 5:05 pm

            Hahaha– I love your super long comments. I don’t respond to them right away always because I know that I need to spend time thinking and coming up with something thoughtful to say, but I always love them. Keep it coming!

          • AvalinahsBooks May 16, 2017 at 5:09 am

            Aye aye, Cap’n πŸ˜€

  • whatthelog May 1, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I’m so sorry this happened to you! Believe me, I felt a little surge of joy when I saw that you were posting again πŸ™‚

    As always, you are always welcome to guest post on my blog – in fact, I would love to have you πŸ™‚

    I hope May goes a little bit better for you!

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      D’aw… you make me blush! A surge of joy?! I’ll take that as the highest compliment. πŸ™‚

      We should talk. I have some ideas, but, well, I don’t want to be too.. inappropriate? Also, you might have some guest posting ideas? Send me an email! jackieb at deathbytsundoku dot com. πŸ™‚

  • Laura Purdy May 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Ooh so many good books for May !! (Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the Chang Short Stories (double-yay!!!))

    I’m adding Rebecca to my list right now. ESPECIALLY, since someone above mentioned The Thirteenth Tale as a reference point. I read that recently and got totally swept up in it, I want to try some of that author’s other books as well.

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      I know! I’m super excited about all these books. I just finished the first Chang short story, Tower of Babylon, and it made me super happy. I love short stories.

      Oooh, that’s a great connection for you if you enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale! I really loved Rebecca. It’s definitely not the sort of book you’d typically expect us to chat about, so I am not certain what you’d like about it. But I loved it. I hope you do, too! After all, it was named the “Novel of the Century”. That’s quite an award.

  • theorangutanlibrarian May 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Oh gosh we noticed!! I’m sorry I didn’t message you! I am so excited to see you blogging again though!! Ahh I’m so glad you liked Rebecca- it’s an awesome book!! One of my mum’s favourites in fact! I also want to read Six of Crows at some point. haha I feel like my life is a tsudoku- but wow- I that tbr man- that’s a lot!!! That’s amazing that you dropped it by 400!! Very impressive!!

    • Jackie B May 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks– I definitely don’t expect anyone to come find me when I’m wearing my bad-day sweatshirt and hiding under the covers. I was definitely not trying to make anyone feel guilty! O_o

      The TBR is out of control! Whenever I hear about a “great book” from one of my friends, BAM: It’s on Goodreads. Then other people will recommend books and before I know it, it’s out of control. This review process has been great for me, however. I’ve rediscovered many books I totally want to read at some point– many of them are little known, as well. I love contributing to the book community in that way. Tsundoku is an affliction we all have.

      • theorangutanlibrarian May 2, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        You’re welcome!! Ah I understand that- I do that too. And don’t worry- I just feel like I should have done that cos I did notice!!
        hahaha I know right- I’d do the same, but fortunately, my memory sucks, so sometimes I’ll open up GR with the intention of adding something and it’ll just go right out of my head (like a goldfish πŸ˜‰ ) Ahh that’s fantastic!! It absolutely is!!

  • KrystiYAandWine May 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    So glad to hear you’re up and running again over there, Jackie! WP can be a handful at the best of times! At least you read A LOT of books this month! That is awesome! Here’s hoping everything continues to go smoothly in May!

    • Jackie B May 3, 2017 at 12:03 am

      Thanks! Fewer books will be read, but hopefully, more posts will be written! It feels so good to be back. πŸ˜€

  • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel May 2, 2017 at 1:40 am

    So glad you are back. I am glad this mishap made you realise how important blogging is to you. And so glad everything is back to normal. You had a nice reading month. I see a lot of 4 and 5 stars. I hope you will be able to do all the May challenges in TBr too. πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B May 3, 2017 at 12:05 am

      We’ll see what happens as far as my TBR is concerned– but I have high hopes. I am so reenergized now. You guys have definitely helped build a great community for me. πŸ™‚

  • Anna @MyBookishDream May 2, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I’m sooo happy that you got your blog back! I have really missed you! <3 πŸ˜€ I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the Six of Crows duology, I really loved those books – they were sooo much fun. I haven't read Rebecca yet, but I really want to – especially since I have heard amazing things about it. I don't own it yet sooo I'm not sure when I will actually be able to get to it, but I'm glad to see that you loved it! πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B May 3, 2017 at 12:34 am

      Thanks, Anna! It feels great to *be* back, too! πŸ˜€
      Ah, the life of a book blogger– when was the last time either of us picked up a book someone recommended to us we’ve “been meaning to get to” for a while? I know my TBR is huge for a reason. I hope you get the time for it soon– Rebecca is a beautiful book.

      • Anna @MyBookishDream May 3, 2017 at 4:44 pm

        That is so true! Most of the books that I want to read have been recommended to me by someone and I have “been meaning to get to” them for ages. It doesn’t help that I’m a mood reader either, as I can’t really plan when I will be reading what!

        • Jackie B May 5, 2017 at 3:41 pm

          Exactly! This is why I have a giant ARC pile, as well. I’m in the mood when I request them, but by the time I’m approved I’ve moved on. Oops!

  • Shouni May 3, 2017 at 11:48 am

    WELCOME BACK! I guess we’ve both been gone for a month, it feels good to be back! I’m sorry the first two weeks were kind of lonely, just know that I love reading your blog.

    SIX OF CROWS! I love those books so much. 14 books in a month is a lot for a month, and most of those books are pretty big too. Yikes, 18 books that need reviewing? Good luck with them all. Maybe do mini reviews so you don’t feel too stressed about it. Hehe, the goal to not fail more than one goal sounds great.

    • Jackie B May 4, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Thanks, Shouni! It feels great to be back. πŸ˜€ I appreciate the compliment; it means a lot to me knowing that people care and I’m not writing to a vacuum.

      I can’t wait to write my reviews for Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. I have so many feels and so many thoughts. I mostly read books that sounded like all the bestest things– so I flew through them. I doubt I’ll read 14 books again in a month in the future. O_o

      Thanks for the mini-review pro-tip! I haven’t done much with mini reviews in the past. I find that I tend to get on a roll and write a lot! But, perhaps if I limit my word count, I’ll actually get through it all! Here’s hoping.

  • ifitsnotbaroque May 3, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I am so happy to see you back at it again with the cool reads! I’ve missed you in real life too. I’m pumped for next week!! Now there is even more to celebrate!

    • Jackie B May 4, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Thanks! I’ve missed you too– I feel like every time I’m at band you aren’t, and vice versa. I am only 20% done with A Visit From the Goon Squad, and I’m not certain what I think of it yet. There is definitely a ton to talk about, though! I am super excited. πŸ˜€

  • Amber Elise @ Du Livre May 5, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I swear, technology is such an anxiety-inducing invention. I’m happy your blog is back on track!

    Oh man, Rayearth brings me back. One of my friends was obsessed with it when I was in 8th grade, I wasn’t the biggest fan but I could appreciate it!

    • Jackie B May 6, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks, Amber Elise! Yes– technology is SUPER anxiety-inducing. Sometimes I wonder if we’d be better off without it? πŸ˜‰

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom May 6, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    YAY!!!! I’ve been waiting on this post for what seems like forever. So happy to have you back Jackie! Sorry I didn’t get to it sooner, but you know me: always a week behind lol

    Like I mentioned before, the only reason it took me 3 weeks to notice was because I was MIA myself this month. When someone drops off like that, I always think about them. If they don’t return in a reasonable time, I do my best to check in on people. I love all my blogging buddies πŸ™‚

    You read 14 books in April! You go girl!! I must admit, I’m surprised to see a 3 star rating for The Kite Runner… I’ve only read rave reviews for it. Will you be writing a review?

    “5 cross-post style events” I’m not entirely sure the goal here, BUT would a read along fit the bill? Jane @Greenish Bookshelf asked me to participate in her Anne of Green Gables read along, so I am committing to reading the first book this month… You should join! I *think* we have talked about both wanting to read it… I can’t remember if you’ve read it before or not? I didn’t think so…

    Anyways, here is the link if you are interested: https://greenishbookshelf.com/2017/05/01/announcing-the-anne-of-green-gables-read-along-2017/

    • Jackie B May 8, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Pft, you and me both! Why do you think I always respond to all your posts once a week? πŸ˜‰ Nothing like getting a TON of comment spam from me all at once, hm? XD

      I will definitely be writing a review for The Kite Runner. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about it since I’ve read it– trying to figure out what I enjoyed and what I didn’t. The book gave me a lot to chew on. Also, I had some friends give me trigger warnings ahead of time, which I appreciated– but they missed a pretty big trigger warning for me, and well, that shook me quite a bit. I definitely needed time to reflect. Expect that review soon!

      YES. This totally counts as a cross-posting opportunity! I am in the middle of reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time right now. So this is perfect timing! I don’t know if I’ll participate in all of them, but this is a great idea. Thanks for pointing it out. πŸ™‚

  • morethangeekylove May 7, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Sooo glad to see you back Jackie!!!

    I can totally understand how you felt during these 3 weeks and the fact that you are back and posting again makes me very happy and I cannot wait to read your upcoming reviews/non-reviews posts.

    On the TBR discussion I don’t even want to talk about mine…. it is so huge that if I line up all the books in it I can compete with the Great Wall of China and I am pretty positive that I might surpass it… Also it is very important to read books you are willing to read, not only focusing on scheduled reviews or books that you must read for one reason or another. I myself took a break for 2 months because I needed my head cleared up so I can start a new on my own terms and conditions and enjoy reading not feeling it like an obligation.

    This mentioned I love how organized you are and how you set yourself goals!! This is something that I cannot dooooo please teach meee…

    Again welcome back ^.^

    • Jackie B May 8, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      YAY! Thanks, Lin! <3 I would love to see a TBR the length of a Great Wall. In real life. Someone must make this now! πŸ™‚

      Haha. Setting goals and achieving them is more-or-less my day job. The first step is knowing what inspires you and you will have the passion to work to achieve. The second step is revisiting your goals *regularly*. I've learned that once a month is not often enough for me, so I've posted my goals visibly where I write my blog posts. That reminds me that I have made a commitment and should see it through.

      Start small! You can do it!

      • morethangeekylove May 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        Hahaha! Such a TBR will be really amazing to see…

        Oh trust me I have tried a lot of times to set goals and follow them, but it does not work for me. I may be too distracted or procrastinate a lot for that… And for that reason I want to hit myself hard haha

        But I will try this out again, with the years I feel like I am more mature now and will try to be more diligent to accomplish goals even though something small can bring immense happiness ^.^

        • Jackie B May 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm

          Exactly! Start with something small– like posting regularly, or reading a few minutes each day. You’ll be amazing how the little things add up over time. πŸ™‚

  • Marie May 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Yay, I’m so glad your blog is back and running, Jackie, and I can’t wait to read your posts again – even if I am like 9 days late to the party ahah πŸ™‚
    You had an amazing reading month though – I really need to read the SoC series at some point, by now I guess I am the only one left having not read this ahah πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B May 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Yay! Thanks! Pft, 9 days late is nothing. I’m just glad to see you here. πŸ™‚

      Six of Crows was a ton of fun. I’d definitely recommend it for people who enjoy YA, heists, anti-heroes, and fantasy worlds. It’s a longer book, but I think it’s totally worth it. Review to come soon!

  • Jasmine May 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I’m sorry you had some trouble with blogging. The last post I read, I thought you were getting busy with wedding planning and such. I guess I decided to give you too much space for taking care of business and didn’t check up on you if you were okay. I’m glad you’re back though. And, I do love it that you take some time out to read books you want to read rather than reading ARCs. It’s a constant battle for me too. I want to read a lot of ARCs but I want to read some books too. I do want to re-read Six of Crows. I’m glad you got through book 2 as well. I only read book 1 and I’m actually re-reading it now haha.. And 18 books on backlog is nothing.. I’m around there or somewhere more haha..

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