State of the ARC: February 2018

February 27, 2018







State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Evelina at Avalinah’s Books used to track ARC progress and motivate us ARC reading slackers.

My friend Evelina at Avalinah’s Books and I have a problem: We tend to let our ARCs pile up. Yup, that’s right. Our Advanced Reader Copies quickly become Current Reader Copies. And in some situations, even become Old Reader Copies. That’s right–we both have ARCs which are over a year old. SUPER guilty!

Evelina decided to take matters into her own hands! Not only did she start this lovely meme, State of the ARC, for people to try to grapple with their love-hate ARC relationship, but she also started #ARCsAnonymous on Goodreads. This group is geared towards just pushing through the ARC pile and making a difference. All are encouraged to join!

February Progress

February’s been a challenging month for blogging and reading (more on that with my month in review!). I know March will be much more challenging. That said, I was able to read two ARCs this month!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden


The State of the ARC reading theme for February was Love. The Bear and the Nightingale definitely fits this theme! A beautiful collection of Russian folktales retold in the first volume of the Winternight Trilogy, Arden lets us explore various facets of love: Familial love, self-love, and romantic love. Even within these there are expected twists and turns. I really enjoyed being introduced to this new universe.


Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen


The third volume of Sarah Andersen’s published comic collections did not disappoint. While Herding Cats did not seem to have an over-arching theme across the comics (unless Andersen herself is the cat being herded here…), I really loved each comic on its own. As always, Andersen explores a deeper topic in the final third of the book. The exploration of exposing oneself through the internet was quite thought-provoking. While not as fun or consumable as the previous two volumes, it’s still a lot of fun!


You might notice I didn’t publish a review for either ARC this month. That’s okay! I knew late-February through early-April would be a tough time for blogging. I hope to have these reviews published soon. I know you’re waiting with baited breath. 😉 I’m just excited that I read one of the ARCs I acquired last month. Nailed it.

Current State of the ARC

ARCs read in 2018: 3 ARCs

ARCs acquired in 2018: 5 ARCs

NetGalley Backlog: 14 books

Author Request Backlog: 3 books

Giveaways/Unsolicited: 6 books

Total ARC TBR: 23 books; 21 post-publication date


New year, new goal! This year, my goal is to read one ARC a month from NetGalley at a minimum. My current NetGalley feedback ratio is 56%. That’s a 1% increase from January! Woo-hoo! It’s the little victories, right? Right.

I hope to raise my feedback ratio to the coveted 80% by the end of the year through this goal. The trick here is that I’ll make my ratio goal if I keep my requests down… Limiting my requests will be key!

ARCs Acquired in February


Adegboyega-Edun reached out to me in January to see if I was interested in reading his novel. I informed him, as my Review Policy states, I am not currently accepting books for review. I’m booked for 2018. (Ha! Punny!) He was very kind and gracious of my declining to read and review his novel. That said, he still sent me a copy of it. I appreciate the thought but still…

I didn’t acquire any other ARCs since I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had the energy for social media or blogging. Scoping the ARC scene just hasn’t been a priority lately. This is great from a long-term-ARC-pile-shrinking-goal perspective, as well as a NetGalley feedback ratio perspective. But it does mean I’ve been ghosting all my favorite websites and people. Oops!

Tentative ARCs To Read for March:


I really wanted to read Let’s Talk About Love in February as my love-story ARC.  Instead, The Bear and the Nightingale was a great alternative. I still desperately want to pick up Let’s Talk About Love; I feel there is so much I can learn from it!

The Girl I picked up by recommendation from Evelina. She’s wonderful and terrible for me and my reading habits. I am on a quest to read more non-fiction this year, make this biography of Marilyn Monroe a key read!

Finally, I’m in the middle of reading The Djinn Falls in Love, which I pathetically started last July! That’s okay, as it’s a collection of short stories. Perhaps I’ll get it read finally?!


So many wonderful ARCs, so little time. While I have three ARCs listed above, my goal is only to complete reading ONE of these for March. It’ll be a crazy month and I don’t want to pressure myself too much.

What do you think?

  • Do you ever receive unsolicited ARCs directly? What are your thoughts on unsolicited ARCs?
  • Do you participate in State of the ARC? Share your post below!
  • What ARCs are on your to be read list for February?


  • morethangeekylove February 28, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Yeyyy you re doing pretty well Jackie and much much better than me. LOL everyone seems to be better than me with these ARCS haha but that is ok I will conquer them sooner or later!!

    I did participate for the first time in this meme and I am loving it, it is soo useful and hurtful because helloo reality check xD below is my link to the post:

    As for the books they are soo many I can’t even >.<

    I am glad that you liked The Bear and the Nightingale I've heard and read soo good things about it it is on my list and I hope that I would be able to get to it soon!
    And I read Herding Cats too!!! We gave it the same rating by the way 🙂 I love Sarah's comics they are so relatable and fun.

    Awesome post as always <3

  • Laila@BigReadingLife February 28, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Good for you for reading 2 in February! If you keep that pace (and don’t request more) you can get through your backlog! I know I would be horrible at reading ARCs so I just don’t request them. I sometimes feel like an anomaly for that, though, in the blogging world! But I gotta “be Laila” and not somebody else. 🙂

  • Grab the Lapels March 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I have a couple of publishers who ask if I will read and review their forthcoming titles even though in general I’m not accepting ARCs. It’s just that there are a couple of publishers I really want to see do well, so I support that. Jackie, you have so many book clubs and reading goals that I always wondering why you are on NetGalley. Do you like it, or is it just irresistable?

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks March 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    You read The Bear and the Nightingale!!! I loved that one 🙂 and I also thought that Herding Cats was nice, but a little bit… Weak, as a collection? But definitely entertaining 🙂
    The worst bit about being busy and being a book blogger though is that you still get ARCs although you don’t have time to read them xD but seeing as how it’s unsolicited, you don’t have to read it.
    And I SO want to read Let’s Talk About Love.
    I hope you enjoy these and that you have more time to return to us after the Big Date 🙂

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