State of the ARC: November 2017

November 29, 2017







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!

November Progress

This month I read an ARC! I know, I know, little victories, right? Plus, I also managed to read and review the book before publication day! This has only happened one other time for me over my blogging career (not quite two years), so I am giving myself a big pat on the back for this one.

The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn


You can find my review here.

I want to give a huge shout out to S.C. Flynn. Prioritizing his book to the top of my ARC pile happened completely because of the person he is. Flynn is a known face on social media as someone who politely interacts with bloggers. He has a presence even when his books aren’t being mentioned. This is something I really admire. So, when Flynn asked me to read his upcoming new fantasy novel, I was personally invested. Yes! Of course! I wish there were more respectful and present authors. I’d love to develop more meaningful relationships with authors, for sure.

I magically did not end up acquiring any new ARCs this month, which is amazing. I’ve been trying to stay away from NetGalley and I am no longer accepting author submissions. Whew! That takes some pressure off, right? Once I have a reasonable pile again, then I’ll let myself dig back into ARCs.

Current State of the ARC

ARCs read in 2017: 8 ARCs

NetGalley Backlog: 15 books

Author Request Backlog: 13 books

Unsolicited: 3 books

Total ARC TBR: 31 books, all post-publication date


As you might recall from last month’s State of the ARC, my short-term goal is to read 3 ARCs in the 4th quarter of the year. I’ve already broken away from my TBR with The Hidden Face, which makes me proud. Two left to go! These are the books at the top of my pile:

Roll by Darcy Miller

Published May 23rd, 2017
Unsolicited: via a friend who’s friend wrote this! SUPER COOL!

When Lauren (but call him “Ren,” pretty please) Hall sees birds falling from the sky, he knows something is wrong. But just as he’s starting to worry, he realizes that the birds are plummeting toward the ground on purpose.

Turns out they’re Birmingham Roller Pigeons, and his new neighbor Sutton is training them for a competition.

Sure, it’s strange, but Ren’s best and only friend Aiden has picked this summer to start hanging with the popular kids. So Ren starts training pigeons with Sutton—what’s the worst that could happen? A bird falls on his head?

You’ll have to read Roll to find out.


The Meaning of Michelle edited by Veronica Chambers

Published January 10th, 2017
Requested via NetGalley

Michelle Obama is unlike any other First Lady in American History. From her first moments on the public stage, she has challenged traditional American notions about what it means to be beautiful, to be strong, to be fashion-conscious, to be healthy, to be First Mom, to be a caretaker and hostess, and to be partner to the most powerful man in the world. What is remarkable is that, at 52, she is just getting started.

While many books have looked at Michelle Obama from a fashion perspective, no book has fully explored what she means to our culture. The Meaning of Michelle does just that, while offering a parting gift to a landmark moment in American history. In addition to a tribute to Michelle Obama, this book is also a rollicking, lively dinner party conversation about race, class, marriage, creativity, womanhood and what it means to be American today.


The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad

Published March 14th, 2017
Requested via NetGalley

A fascinating collection of new and classic tales of the fearsome Djinn, from bestselling, award-winning and breakthrough international writers.

Imagine a world filled with fierce, fiery beings, hiding in our shadows, in our dreams, under our skins. Eavesdropping and exploring; savaging our bodies, saving our souls. They are monsters, saviours, victims, childhood friends.

Some have called them genies: these are the Djinn. And they are everywhere. On street corners, behind the wheel of a taxi, in the chorus, between the pages of books. Every language has a word for them. Every culture knows their traditions. Every religion, every history has them hiding in their dark places. There is no part of the world that does not know them.

They are the Djinn. They are among us.


This is only the second time I’ve participated in State of the ARC and I’ve already made a dent in my list. Even if it’s only one book, I’ll take it! Hopefully, this will give me the motivation I need to keep making a dent in that pile. I still have two ARCs to read to meet my goal for this year and we’re heading into December. Yikes! I think I’d better get on that.

What do you think?

  • Do you read ARCs? If so, how do you acquire them? Are you making dents in your piles?
  • Do you think you would benefit from joining State of the ARC or #ARCsAnonymous? Why or why not?
  • What ARCs are next on your To Read list? Which ones are you most excited to read?
  • Do you have a relationship with any authors? If so, how did those develop?


  • Ann Marie November 29, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Oh, they do pile up though, don’t they?? I’m trying to “start fresh” and keep up with all of my commitments. I’m not even looking at NetGalley and only requesting things from the publisher I know I’ll read in a timely fashion. I tend to get farther behind on reviews. Writing does not come easily for me and I have ADD so I really need to be in the right frame of mind or I can look at the screen all day long which means I’m not getting any writing done and I’m also not getting any reading done (much less anything in general…). At present, I am 4 recent reviews and 5 books-I-read-a-while-ago behind. I’m thinking of doing some mini reviews to get caught up. Great post!

    • Jackie B December 4, 2017 at 8:18 am

      I can completely relate. I won’t be requesting anything from NetGalley until I’ll all caught up. A lot of this was from when I first got a NetGalley account and I didn’t know what I was doing. O_o I thought I could read books as my full-time job, I guess? 😉

      Good on you for respecting your own limitations. That can be quite challenging! I’m behind on my reviews as well, but that’s part of being a book blogger, I guess. Good luck getting those mini reviews written. I know you can do it!

  • Laila@BigReadingLife November 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Congrats on getting one ARC read! I don’t request ARCs because I already have like 5 years worth of books I want to read on my Goodreads TBR, plus I hate having to post on a deadline. Good luck with your ARCs for the rest of the year!

    • Jackie B December 4, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Thank you! I honestly just didn’t know what I was doing when I started using NetGalley and I’m still paying for it. I’m with you– I think I’d rather read the books on my TBR which are already published in most cases. I know I’ll be more selective about selecting what I read from NetGalley going forward!

  • Helen Murdoch November 29, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I read many fewer ARCs now than I used to. I got all excited about authors and publishers ask me, little old me, to read their books. Then I got overwhelmed and felt like I was reading for someone else instead of me. So, now I only do reviews for TLC Book Tours and they know the kinds of books I like. 🙂

    • Jackie B December 4, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Exactly! It’s really exciting to hyave authors and publishers ask you to review their books. It makes me feel really important. But, quickly I realized that I cannot help everyone. Alas– this is how I ended up with this huge back log. Oops.

      I’m glad you’ve developed a relationship with TLC Book Tours! It’s always great when someone understands the sort of books you want to read. I’ll have to check out your tour posts!

  • Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks December 28, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Wait, WHAT. How is there not any comment from me here 😀 I am absolutely lost. Was this perhaps the week when I was really ill, and then you went lost for half a month… I see no other way I wouldnt have visited here, omg 😀 I’m so sorry!

    Old Reader Copies lol. It should also be noted that the abbreviation (ORCs) really works for what they feel like for us :DDDDD

    I have not requested any books actually for about two weeks. I am sooooo proud of myself!

    The Djinn one sounds great, have you read it yet?

    • Jackie B January 5, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      Yes! Indeed! How dare you not comment here!! 😉 But seriously, I just realized I missed my December State of the ARC. I drafted it and everything! I just never scheduled it. O_o It seems silly to post it now… Well, we shall wait for January’s post, I guess.

      But yes, this was certainly the week you got sick and I vanished and POOF. Time passed. This was the last post before I stopped all my blogging and reading habits.

      I am all about OLC! That’s a brilliant acronym. The only trouble with it is that it makes ME feel old, instead of the ARC. It’s all the the eye of the beholder, I guess.

      I am about 30% through The Djinn Falls in Love. I hit a story which I wasn’t particularly interested in (the downside to anthologies) and I hit that crazy time in my month so, well, it didn’t get done. Oops! The first three stories were wonderful, though! I am looking forward to picking it back up once I finish my first two book club books.

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