Archive for September, 2012

Book Review: His Majesty’s Dragon

Sep
13
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

His Majesty's Dragon coverTitle: His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1)

Author: Naomi Novik

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain’s defense by taking to the skies . . . not aboard aircraft but atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons.

When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, fate sweeps Capt. Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future–and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. For as France’s own dragon-borne forces rally to breach British soil in Bonaparte’s boldest gambit, Laurence and Temeraire must soar into their own baptism of fire.

My Review:

This book has been on my “To-read” list for years (at a guess, at least 3 before I even started blogging!) It’s high time I got it read, yes?

First of all, you need to know that I’m a dragon fangirl. Ever since reading through practically every book Anne McCaffery ever wrote in Junior High, I just couldn’t get enough of fantasy dragons. I still wish there were more dragon stories out there because I just can’t get enough!

This one wasn’t the most accessible dragon book I’ve ever read, which might be why I’ve been putting it off for so long. The prose style has the weight of a classic historical fiction at times (James Michener comes to mind) and that can make it very difficult to wade through. There were several battle passages that I only glanced through – I don’t care much about the details, even if they are more interesting than “they fought, side A won, major character 3 was wounded.”

But, if you can get past the difficult word surplus it is well worth it! The concept of fighting against Napoleon with dragons is really interesting! The details are all covered and well thought out. The author accounts for several different belief systems involving dragons and has clearly spent quite some time thinking about how maneuvers would work (though I was much less interested in that – it all went way over my head).

Another thing I loved was the portrayal of Captain Lawrence. With his military training and tendency to remain aloof it would be very easy for him to slip into an insufferable Mr. Darcy type character. Instead, Novik balances the stiff-upper-lip with moments of tenderness with Temeraire that just make you love both sides all the more.

All in all this was a very satisfying, engaging read, and though I won’t be picking up book 2 right away, I must remember to read adult lit more often – they have more dragons!





Discussion Day: Middle Grade

Sep
12
11 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day
Flying Books

Image source unknown – feel free to claim if it’s yours.

We all have a pet peeve when it comes to reading. For some, it’s grammar issues. For some it’s certain kinds of characters or certain kinds of plots. For me? It’s the concept of the “Middle Grade Novel.” (Among other things, of course. I’m not a “one pet peeve” kind of person.)

When I was going through Junior High, I was having trouble with my reading. I was born in the wrong time, obviously, because by the time I hit about 10, my reading ability was far beyond the books that were appropriate for my age. I might have stopped reading altogether if it weren’t for Harry Potter coming out that year, and for the lucky find of a few adult authors who wrote “clean” novels. At the time, there weren’t that many “middle grade” novels, and my reading was suffering because of it. I struggled through adult lit, and if there were a few concepts I didn’t understand, and some innuendos I completely missed, well, I don’t seem to have suffered for it.

Young readers these days are very lucky. In the wake of Harry Potter there was a flood of new novels, all geared toward that age group. MG and YA both got their start from that trend, and I think it’s great. We need to have books that will keep tweens interested in reading. My problem? A lot of times authors resort to simplifying a book to make it MG. That seriously rubs me the wrong way.

Just this morning, Beth Revis posted this discussing the difference between MG and YA in plot. She goes into a lot more detail, but the big difference she points out is MG is about discovering the world, while YA does more with discovering yourself. I’m okay with that description, though I’m not sure it applies in all cases. I’m even okay with making that distinction between audiences – an MG audience is more likely to be dealing with the “discovering the world” phase, while YA audiences are more likely to relate to inner turmoil. And I can say without doubt that I like both kinds of stories – let’s face it, my favorite genres (fantasy and sci-fi) are all about discovering new worlds! So why am I able to say that I dislike MG, in general?

I would argue that the root of the problem is that authors, or possibly their editors, believe that for an MG novel to fly with their audiences, they must simplify it. I can understand why they think that – there are so many other things shouting for our attention it’s easy to get distracted. But I also think that if a tween or teen is picking up a book in the first place, they’re saying they’re willing to give it a shot. Maybe I’m alone in this, but when I was reading at that age, if I didn’t understand something, I used context clues, or figured if it was really important it’d get explained later on (if it didn’t, I’d usually forget about it anyway). Looking back, this was how I learned many things in those years. I still use books as an opportunity to learn about things I don’t know. But, if the challenge to learn these things isn’t there, if the books are too easy, then what message are we sending the kids reading them?

That’s not to say I don’t have my favorite MG novels that I return to time and again. Harry Potter is the obvious series, though later it becomes more YA. The Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende are two others that I reread on a regular basis. In fact, on a recent revisit of The Faerie Wars I discovered a mention of the TARDIS (a reference to Doctor Who) that I never would have understood at the time – I only discovered Doctor Who a few years ago. I loved finding that little tidbit, but obviously my reading the first time around didn’t suffer from not understanding something.

I know I don’t have much say in the matter, but I would hope that there are some authors out there who can believe in their audience. I don’t mind having some MG novels that are easier – everyone develops at different speeds, and some tweens wouldn’t be ready for a challenge. But for the ones that are (and for those of us who still like to discover the world) can we please have something a little more complex? 10-year-old me is still cringing inside at the idea of being talked-down-to!





Book Review: The Grimm Legacy

Sep
11
5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

The Grimm Legacy CoverTitle: The Grimm Legacy
Author:
 Polly Shulman

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library? a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That’s where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime?or captured by the thief.

My Review:

What if there were libraries that didn’t just lend out books? What if they leent out artifacts instead? And what if they devoted an entire floor to artifacts that most of the world wouldn’t believe in?

The Grimm Legacy takes that idea and runs with it, creating the mysterious library that houses the Grimm Collection, as well as collections based in William Gibson’s Neuromancer and the works of H. G. Wells. Elizabeth is asked to be a page in this wonderful place, and let me tell you, I’m beyond jealous!

Beyond the setting, though, I was a little disappointed. The plot is fine, if a little too easily wrapped up. The narrative voice reminded me pleasantly of Harry Potter (I loved the Doctor up in his office with his strange tests – such a Dumbledore!) But the characters all felt a little flat to me, with mostly a single defining character trait, and very little complexity. I could describe most of the characters (and by extension their goals) with a single word. They all fit neatly into their own little archetypal box and didn’t move out of it much.

Looking at it a little differently, my complaints mainly boil down to one thing: this is a middle grade novel. I’ve said many times that I’m not a big fan of MG lit, mostly because I’m well past that stage and those problems. I also believe MG novels shouldn’t be “dumbed down” or made less complex just because they’re for a younger audience, but that’s a rant for another day.

I guess what I’m saying is that I really loved the concept, and all my complaints are really my own fault for not doing my research and figuring out this was an MG before starting. If you like MG, and you like the idea, then please don’t let me put you off!

 





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 10

Sep
09
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description borrowed from On a Book Bender]

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

Behind the Desk
(My life behind the scenes)

  • I’m back to blogging regularly (I hope!) and I’m taking the blog off hiatus. Unfortunately I’ll still have the problems of things like taking the GRE and applying to grad school and blah blah blah. But I’m trying!
  • I’m around 20 reviews behind, and it sucks. Despite this, I spent the day laying around in bed and reading, because I have a cold, and this is what you do. I try to ignore that logical part of me that tells me it would be just as restful to be writing reviews.
  • I’ve been listening to The Night Circus as narrated by Jim Dale… and I love it! This is the first time I’ve paid attention to an audiobook (even though technically this is a “reread”). Dare I even say that the audiobook is better? Maybe not quite yet, but this is definitely improvement!

Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome since the last post)

  • Amanda and Kelly are being awesome again (as usual) and they’re kicking off Unbreaking the Shelves, a challenge that runs to the end of the year and encourages you to get on top of that TBR pile! I joined in and you should too!
  • Misty, the Book Rat, complained about THE WORST review request ever! I got the exact same email, and since I’m not accepting requests right now, it went straight in the trash. I didn’t even read it close enough to see if it got all the info right (they didn’t on hers). Be that as it may, I loved her response!
  • Lori at Pure Imagination talks about her book breakup process. Mine is fairly similar, only it doesn’t happen nearly so often, and mostly only with books that I promised to review (though that shouldn’t happen anymore, right?)
  • Jamie, The Perpetual Page-Turner, got over her carsickness! WOOOHOOO! This has never been a problem for me, but if you need tips, her posts gives plenty of ideas and tips for those who do suffer.

GoodReaders’ Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next. Also includes stats for the Unbreaking the Shelves Challenge)

Read:
  • Legend by Marie Lu
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Currently Reading:

  • Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
  • Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Unbreaking the Shelves stats:

(Beginning total: 65)

As of 9/9: 63

  • Keep my to-read list as close to 530 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 500.

(Beginning total: 535)

As of 9/9: 537…oops!

Added: A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton and Carnival of Souls by Marissa Marr

Series Completion
0/15
  • EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)
Total Books
2/57

 





Discussion Day: GoodReads

Sep
07
8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

GoodReads logoIf you’ve been around the book blogging world for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of a little site called GoodReads. I’ve been spending a lot of time there recently, prepping my miles-long TBR list for Amanda’s Unbreaking the Shelves challenge, and I realized I was saying the same thing over and over again: “I wish there were a way to…” I know one website can’t do everything, but there are a LOT of things I wish were different. Does anyone else feel like that, or is it just me? I know GoodReads isn’t going to consult me on their next big redesign, but if they did, I sure know what I’d tell them!

Some things I’d like to see:

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to mass edit? (If there is and I’m just a huge dunce and missed it, please tell me! It will save me hours I tell you, HOURS!) I must not be the only one who has ever decided to divide up a shelf (say “Classics”, divided into “classics want to read” and “classics should read”). If I could have a set of check-boxes to select multiple and then add them ALL to a new shelf it would be so much faster than going through and adding them one by one – and then one by one deleting them from the shelf from before! OR, say for example, you’re adding old books by your favorite author to your “read” shelf – wouldn’t it be nice if I could select an entire series at once to add, instead of doing it manually? Oh and while you’re at it, can we NOT have the “edit your review” box pop up EVERY SINGLE TIME I add something to a shelf? Sometimes I just want to make a minor change, or add something to my To-Read list! (Don’t even get me started on the fact that you can publish reviews before ARCs are even available!)

My next request? Multiple read options! I read my favorites over and over and OVER again. I want to be able to reflect that (because you KNOW it was good if I’ve read it 20 times). I’d also like to know when the last time I read it was, whether my rating was different, whether I actually FINISHED it or just read my favorite parts and how many times I’ve read it overall.

Since I’m asking for the impossible anyway, any way we could get an auto-publish feature that would allow me to set something on my GoodReads profile auto-publish reviews from my blog? Perhaps this would work better as a plugin, or third-party app like dlvr.it for Twitter. I could set up a template that would take a certain amount (say the first paragraph) of the review, set up a link to bring them back here if they want to read more. I’m certainly MUCH more likely to use that than their built in “publish this review to your blog!” feature!

Some things that need improvement:

Honestly? Inever use the social aspects of GoodReads, and that’s what attracted me to the site in the first place. I find the homepage interface far too cluttered and cramped so I hardly ever even look at it. I find my two little buttons on the side (my “what I’m reading now” and the yearly challenge widget) and that’s it! If there were options for how to arrange the newsfeed, or a way to make it feel less claustrophobic, I would probably use GoodReads for more than just a place to store my TBR list and to track my yearly goals. (Oh, and on an occasion a resource, if I can’t remember some info on a book.)

While we’re being picky, can I ask for half stars? I don’t like giving out star ratings anyways, because I just know I’m going to read something later that I’ll like just a liiiiiiiittle bit better than the one I rated 4 stars but not quite well enough to give it a perfect 5 score, but there won’t be any way of rating it differently. I eventually gave up on rating things on my blog, but to “improve GoodReads recommendations” it wants me to rate their books. Besides, if I post reviews there, to show up on anything but the last page of reviews it has to have a rating.

 

I feel sure I’m forgetting something, but you get the idea. There are so many little, and some not so little, improvements that could be made! There are also a lot of other options for these services – Shelfari, Library Thing and YABC (YA Book Central) come to mind. Of those, I only have an account on YABC, and even that I haven’t gone back to in months. Do you have an account with any of these services? Are any of them better than GoodReads?

If book bloggers were to get together and put together their own “facebook for book lovers” what features would you like to see? What features of GoodReads frustrate you? Is there anything you couldn’t live without? I can’t be the only one!





Book Review: The Boys Next Door

Sep
06
7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Endless Summer CoverTitle: The Boys Next Door (Endless Summer #1)

Author: Jennifer Echols

Summary: [from GoodReads]

Cute, available, and one cabin over….

Lori lives for summertime on the lake. She spends all season wakeboarding, swimming, and hanging with her friends—including the two hotties in the house next door. With the Vader brothers, Lori’s always been one of the guys.

But while Lori and the “baby” brother, Adam, are inseparable friends, she can’t deny a secret crush on Sean, the older Vader boy. This year Sean’s been paying Lori a lot of attention, and not in a brotherly way.

But just as Lori decides to prove to Sean she’s girlfriend material, she realizes that her role as girlfriend to Adam may be even more important. And by trying so hard for the perfect summer romance, she could be going way overboard….

My Review:

Talk about the perfect beach read! Light and fluffy, this was just the thing to get my summer “started” (though really, it was already halfway over by then).

The story is set on a lake, really just a summer tourist trap. Lori is working her usual summer job at the marina, but this year she’s determined to do what she’s always wanted to do for years – catch the eye of the boy next door. Having just spent the day at Put-in-Bay (our closest equivalent) I found this sort of behind-the -scenes look at the people who make sure all those tourist attractions work fascinating. I would love, just for one summer, to work at a touristy place – I’ve always thought the camaraderie of us vs. them between the employees would be a fun experience!

Then, of course, there’s the romance story. I always find these types of contemporary “fluff” romances a little predictable, but that’s a good thing. I spend so much time trying to figure out all the other stories that when I pick up a beach read, I don’t want that. The Boys Next Door asks nothing of you but to come along for the ride. And boy what a ride it is! For all his faults, Adam is one of those quirky but lovable characters you can’t help but fall for. All through the book I was mentally yelling at Lori for blindly insisting on Sean when Adam is clearly the better catch (but, really, if she doesn’t want him, send him along to my place!)

In the end, I am really glad I chose to do my “read something by Jennifer Echols” with this book. It wholly satisfied my craving for a good beach read and left me eager to dive into more of Echols’ work!

*Version reviewed is part of the Endless Summer omnibus. Review of book 2 coming soon.





Book Review: My Soul to Take

Sep
04
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Book Review

My Soul to Take cover Title: My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1)

Author: Rachel Vincent

Summary: [from GoodReads]

She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.

My Review:

My Soul to Take is the latest in a long line of “books I can’t believe I haven’t read.” So many people were so excited when the latest in the series was about to come out and yet I somehow hadn’t even heard of the series! I know, I live under a rock or something.

One of the things I really liked about the series was the “mythology” that surrounded the plot. There were lots of unexpected details that made it clear the author did her research on the original lore of banshees. At the same time there were other aspects that were used in a new, almost irreverent, way. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of Tod and the system of reapers. (Also, I definitely got a giggle out of Tod’s name – a reaper named death?)

All of that said, one of the things that really frustrated me was the way Nash just stepped in and took over. I feel like I’ve read far too many paranormal romances lately, and many follow the same basic plot:

  • Girl notices hot new boy who practically stalks/throws himself at her, sometimes even though she’s in a relationship.
  • Girl does something weird she doesn’t quite understand.
  • Boy swoops in and is: a) like her, b) sworn to 1) protect, 2) marry or 3) save her, OR  c) somehow knows ALL ABOUT what she’s going through.
  • Boy holds girl’s hand, tells her it’s okay and either fixes ALL the things, or tells her ALL the answers.
  • Girl magically forgets creepy stalking and falls in love with him FOREVER at age 16.

Sound realistic to you? Yeah, didn’t think so. Now I’m not saying it’s not a great idea – what girl doesn’t want a guy who is hot, understands everything about you, and can fix anything (there’s a reason all Sam says in the Holes movie is “I can fix that”!)? But after reading too many of them in a row, I’m starting to cringe as soon as the boy comes in and is described as “the hottest guy I’ve ever seen” because I know exactly where it’s going, and it’s going to end up with a heroine who relies almost entirely on her guy to fix it. *sigh*

Overall, though, I really enjoyed the book, and may I recommend for those of you who have already read and liked this book that you check out Croak by Gina Damico? Much better on the romance side of things, and it reads almost like the story of the reapers in this one!





Media Monday: Doctor Who is back!

Sep
03
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Doctor Who Series 7 poster

Image belongs to the BBC

I know many of you don’t care about this quite as much as I do, but Doctor Who has returned! Despite series 6 being probably my least favorite of all New Who, I’m highly excited for this year’s return.We’ve been promised a season of high adventure, and a celebration like no other for the 50th anniversary.

*THIS REVIEW WILL BE AS SPOILER FREE AS POSSIBLE*

With all that hype, I was completely prepared for Saturday’s episode to not live up. I don’t particularly like the direction they’ve taken the Ponds’ story line since the end of series 5 – they left themselves a wonderful playground of unanswered questions, and then just… ignored it. Um, what? So, while the episode wasn’t what I’d call amazing, it was pleasantly better than what I expected. I actually kind of liked the story arc with Amy and Rory, though I’m sad that they mostly wrapped it up within the episode.

The Doctor was also all sorts of lovely – he’s grown up, in a way from when we first met this incarnation at the beginning of series 5, but somehow he managed to keep the zany-ness that always makes me laugh. I especially love his obsession with the milk! And, of course, Amy narrating what the Doctor is thinking at the beginning of the episode made me laugh, mostly because she was spot-on!

But I think my favorite part of the episode was Oswin. She is so perfect – intelligent, able to hold her own against the Doctor and sweet at the same time. The twist at the end was heart-wrenching, after learning to love her. She’s so happy and optimistic that it’s almost like she’s a female version of the doctor – a much better one than River Song ever was!

One of the things that did disappoint me overall though is that this really didn’t feel like an opener episode. The past few seasons they’ve been very good at setting up the over-arching mystery of the entire series right from the get-go, and this one didn’t seem to do that. The mystery they set up (without really acknowledging they do it – you have to follow the news on the show to even get it) seems awfully simple for them. That doesn’t mean I’m not intrigued, but I am a little worried that they’ve puffed it up into this big epic thing… and it still won’t live up to the epic-ness of series 5, which remains my favorite series.

Ah well. Overall, the opening episode was a satisfying trek into Doctor Who world, which is all I really need, right?





Unbreaking the Shelves

Sep
03
12 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events

Unbreaking the Shelves button

This fall I will be joining Amanda and Kelly in their Unbreaking the Shelves challenge! There are two parts to the challenge:

Part 1: Actively organize, categorize, and otherwise be brutally realistic about the books you have in your pile.

Part 2: Actively work on bringing that TBR pile down to something that isn’t threatening you with bodily harm if you don’t start reading it. [from the sign-up page at On a Book Bender]

For more details, click the button above [also from the sign-up page at On a Book Bender] and it will take you directly to the sign-up and directions.

Goals for Part 1:

All of these apply to my GoodReads shelving

  • Make sure ALL my books are on the own shelf.
  • Create To-Read hierarchy? (READ NOW, Read soon, Read someday)
  • Make sure ALL books are properly sorted according to genre.
  • Sort through my classics list and be realistic about what I actually WILL read (Maybe sort them into “want to read” and “should read” shelves?)  DONE!
  • Take all “Read” books out of the “series-completion” shelf and add in all the ones that I haven’t yet. DONE!

Goals for Part 2:

(As of 9/2: 65)

  • Keep my to-read list as close to 530 as possible. Expert level: bring it down to 500.

(As of 9/2: 535)

Note: This number may change as I finish my goals from part 1 – any additions made as part of completing those goals will NOT count against my overall total (I figure technically those are already on the list and I just forgot about them).

Series Completion
0/15

  • EXPERT LEVEL: Read a total of 57 books from the TBR list (overshooting my original GR year goal by 25)

Total Books
1/57

Since I don’t read well when forced to stick to a specific list of titles, I will be allowing myself a lot of leeway in which titles to choose off each list, and I won’t be listing them here. I hope to add a short updates section to my CR posts each week so I can check in and you can all keep me accountable! Good luck to everyone else participating!





What did you do this summer?

Sep
02
6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day
Pretty rocks at Put-in-Bay

Can you find me? Hint: I’m wearing blue!

Do you remember the first day of school, back when you were a little kid, and the very first assignment you got was to write a report on your summer? Those were the days! Summers seem to go by faster and faster now, and before I know it, it’s time to get back to the fall “normal” (whatever that is…)

This summer I learned lots of things, and spent a lot of time wishing I had more time to do the things that mattered. While I spent most of my time at work, I did manage a couple of day trips with the family, and even a few weekend trips. Unfortunately, I also spent a lot of time away from my blog, what with being on vacation, a week long internet failure (May it NEVER happen again! *knocks on wood*) and just general busy-ness.

The things I learned (both bookish and not):

  • Always remember sunscreen! AND, no matter how icky it feels to have sunscreen in your hair, REMEMBER YOUR PART! Or, be left with tons of hurt every time you brush your hair… Relatedly, do not take a 3 hour canoe trip and forget to bring drinking water. Trust me on this one!
  • Bout of Books is an EPIC fail without the internet! I know, you all thought it would be an advantage, but without the immediacy of the competition and the feeling that others are watching, it was just too easy to say “Meh, I’ll read later.”
  • Mosquitoes are sneaky sons-of-b*tches! Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not biting! (Current score: Mosquitoes=50ish, Me=2 – I stopped counting when I got to 10+ bites on my right foot alone. Basically, MAH LEGS! THEY ITCH!)
  • Starting a new TV series on Netflix may be fun, but it is a HUGE time-suck. Do not do so unless you have NO plans for about, oh, 3 weeks or so.
  • An RSS feed reader left alone for 3 weeks or so tends to overflow, often piling up 700+ posts per week. It is physically impossible to read that many, and trying only ends up with headaches. Relatedly, drama happens whether you’re around to see it or not.
  • Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, and you have to just let it go. I’m still working on this one – I feel mighty guilty for taking basically a full month off, when I intended to only hiatus for a week. I blame internet failure. Well mostly, I blame myself, but I’m telling myself it was the internet.
  • The main things I need to work on (besides internet reliability and not scheduling too many vacations too close together lol) is balance. I took on and started WAY too many new projects in the late spring/early summer and by August I was feeling burned out yet again. I need to find a way to do a little bit of everything, so I don’t end up needing a serious, couple-a-weeks break every 6-8 months (seriously, that’s my track record. How awful is that?!)

All of these things I learned are going to lead to some changes around the blog. Don’t worry – nothing major! Just some minor tweaks to maybe keep things running better.

Number 1: I am no longer accepting OR requesting ARCs in any format whatsoever.

My review policy has said this for a month or so now, but I’m making it official. ARCs are not what I started this blog for. I have a wonderful local library that can get me just about anything I want within a week of the publishing date. If they can’t, well, frankly my TBR list is so long it could last me another 5 years or so without adding ANY new releases anyway. This doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally feature books that I’m excited about before their release dates (I will probably add a “added to GoodReads” section to Clock Rewinders when I get back to that, like Amanda does). But I will no longer be publishing reviews of books before they are released (with one exception – I have one remaining NetGalley eARC that I requested before I decided to go in this direction).

Number 2: I am looking for a guest/co-reviewer and/or discussion poster.

I often find myself too busy, and I would appreciate someone else who would like to contribute.  I am looking for no more than 1 post per week, but otherwise everything is negotiable. I would particularly appreciate someone who would like to review a genre I don’t generally review (almost anything besides YA) and/or someone interested in co-authoring (and solo-writing occasionally) discussion posts. Previous blogging experience is NOT required. Contact me at anne [at] creativityscorner [dot] net if you’re interested.

Number 3: I am implementing a weekly schedule.

No really this time! I’ve tried to do it a few times, and I failed. Epically. This time I am going to write down a schedule and STICK TO IT!

More changes may come up but that’s it for now! Happy reading everyone!





Many older posts are currently under reconstruction. Please excuse the inconvenience.

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