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. 🙂
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
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.
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%)
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 nightstands. In 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!
- 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!
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?