Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so much to my friend E. from Local Bee Hunter’s Nook who tagged me in this fun tag! Please check out her blog because it’s one of my favorites out there ♥

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Rules:

1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select up to fifteen bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment (or pingback) on each blog to let them know that you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

How the blog started

I had been reviewing books on goodreads for about a month and I realized I wanted to talk about books in a way that I couldn’t do in reviews, so I wanted to create my own space to have this freedom. Also, I’m not going to lie, I wanted to get into the business of receiving ARCs and it seemed best to do it while having a blog. I don’t think I thought too hard about it, I just kind of looked into what the best/easiest platform was and came up with a blog.

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Advice for new bloggers

  • Curate who you follow and think about social media. (This is probably two pieces of advice in one, but oh well.)
    Curate who you follow: you will be tempted to follow everyone in the hopes of a follow back, and that’s perfectly fine for building numbers. But it’s also okay to realize there are blogs that review books genres you aren’t interested in, or people whose tastes are completely different than your own, and it’s okay to not follow everyone.
    Think about social media: are you already on twitter/instagram? Are you ready to talk about your blog and your reading on your existing accounts, or is it better to start new ones? Do you want people you know IRL to be able to find your blog and see what you read? Is it safe for you (for example if you read a lot of queer books but you’re not out IRL)? I want you to think about these questions well when you get a blog, and come up with your own answers. Also: you don’t have to have either or both of those, you can also have none. I only have a twitter because instagram is too stressful for me, there’s no rule as long as you’re comfortable.

 

  • Think about your content and what makes your blog unique. It’s perfectly fine to not know this right away, and your reading tastes are subject to change over the months and years. I didn’t know when I started that I was going to review mostly queer books, but once that became apparent I felt like I had so much more purpose and I could write my posts better because I knew that I had been creating myself an audience of mostly queer bloggers and readers who are interested in the same things as me. Not everyone needs to have a “specialization” but I think if you find your niche you’re more likely to have a comfortable blogging experience and to make friends because of it. People will also remember you and your blog better if they can associate you with a specific type of book, and know to come to you for specific recommendations. If numbers are what concerns you the most, finding a niche could be a double-edged sword, but even in niche spaces it’s entirely possible to gets lots of followers and views. Just: don’t get into blogging for the numbers.

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I tag:

Laura @ The Book Corps

Steffy @ Little Booky Nook

Sakhile @ Sakhile Whispers

Ash @ Wild Heart Reads

Amy @ Bookish Heights

Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books

May @ Forever and Everly

Sorry if I tagged you and you were already tagged by someone else! Also if I haven’t tagged you and you want to do this, consider yourself tagged by me!

 

Favorite Posts // January 2020

favorite posts

In January I finally got back into blog hopping (I’m sorry I’ve been so bad at it lately with my blogging/reading slump) and that means I also got back into saving my favorite posts. I used to share them in my monthly wrap ups but I don’t know if I’m going to keep writing those, so I decided to dedicate a whole post for my personal recs of the month. I hope sharing this first month’s post will hold me accountable in the future and have me blog hop more often.

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Local Bee Hunter’s Little Nook

✍️ The guide to Spotify audiobooks: did you know you can listen to audiobooks on Spotify? My friend shares her experience with it with useful tips and recs.

✍️ Surviving Edelweiss: I find edelweiss so hard to navigate, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I admit I haven’t even had the patience to try out all of the stuff in this post yet (just the sight of edelweiss’ user interface makes me mad), but it has both “101” and more advanced tips so it’s useful for both beginners and older bloggers, and it’s really easy to follow.

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Two Book Thieves

✍️ This series of posts highlights upcoming LGBTQ+ releases and holy shit, it’s blown my mind because there are SO MANY. Your TBRs will thank you (or not).

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Reads Rainbow

✍️ Charlotte talks about some of the novellas she’s read on the tor.com website. Did you know there are a lot of free short stories/novellas on there? I am someone who gets anxious about starting shorter stories so I don’t always reach for them, but this post made me curious about so many of them. Plus, hey, they’re free and they count towards your reading goal.

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Naty’s Bookshelf 

✍️ Naty shares a lot of ideas for when you’re out of blogging juice and just don’t know what you’re supposed to write about. There’s so much on here that just reading it is going to make you want to start writing!

✍️ A “if you liked this, try that” post that pairs books to f/f books. I love this type of posts, even if I haven’t read the first book it still gives me an idea of the book that’s being recommended and I end up wanting to read it.

✍️ More f/f recommendations by Naty! Lots of different genres, lots of stuff I’ve read and I recommend too, and a few things I really need to get my hands on.

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Acquadimore Books

✍️ My friend Acqua talks about something I often think about: changing your mind about books you reviewed. I think we all have our own thoughts about this and something we do or don’t do about this particular phenomenon. In my indecisiveness about old reviews I usually just leave them as they are, trusting that people will read the date when they were written and understand that maybe I would word things differently now. Anyway, it was super interesting to see Acqua’s thought process in her post.

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Queer Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Database

✍️ Not a blog but I found this useful database and I thought I’d share it.

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I hope nobody feels bad if they’re not included, it’s possible I haven’t seen your post or that I forgot to save the link, and your chance will certainly come in the future! Also, if you’ve written a post you’re particularly proud of, feel free to drop a link in the comments and I will check it out!

A look at my 2018 bookish resolutions – how well did I do?

2019 is almost upon us so I thought I’d do a typical end-of-the-year post. Back in January I wrote a post about my reading and blogging resolutions and now I wanted to take a look at my goals and see if I’ve kept my word or not.

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1. Start reading audiobooks ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I not only started reading audiobooks early this year, it’s also become one of my favorite ways of reading books and I’ve become completely dependent on them to motivate myself to do my chores. I have a full post planned on audiobooks and what I’ve learned in the past year of listening to them so I hope that’s something you guys can look forward to.

2. Squeeze in some reading time whenever possible ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

While sometimes I still waste time on twitter when I’m stuck on a tram or subway, I think I got much better at this, also thanks to the fact that I can sit most of the time instead of having to stand like I have to do when I’m on the bus in Italy.

3. Having more than one current read of different genres (but not too many) ✔️

Did I do it? Yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️.5/5

I’ve done much better at this than I thought possible for me. Sometimes I did have too many current reads going on but they were still all different genres and/or books for different occasions (like, books I can read while I’m on public transportation VS books I want to read when I’m home, anthologies VS novels….).

4. Manage my time better ❌

Did I do it? ……………..not really

How well did I do? ✔️.5/5

That…didn’t happen. This was more of a general goal than a purely bookish/blog goal and I’ve failed in all areas. The good (?) news is that I have started questioning whether all this (plus other stuff) comes from maybepossiblyperhaps being ADHD, something I want to work on figuring out in 2019.

5. Learn how to read faster

Did I do it? Not unless it’s audiobooks

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

The only thing I’ve learned how to do is listening to audiobooks at 1.5x to 2x speed, which makes it incredibly faster than I would on my own. I still can’t read faster than I do when I read myself, the only thing I feel like I’ve learned a bit is how to skim more effectively when a book or scene doesn’t interest me, but that’s not something I’m willing to do with books I’m loving. I’ve also learned to be okay with the fact that in order to enjoy a book I need to go to my own pace so that’s okay.

6. Write one discussion post every month 

Did I do it? nah

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I only did this in the early months of 2018. Life happened in more ways than one so I haven’t been able to keep up with this but I don’t feel bad about it.

7. Post mini reviews ✔️

Did I do it? yes!

How well did I do? ✔️✔️✔️✔️/5

I still don’t cross-post all the mini reviews I write on GR here, but that’s just because I’m lazy and forgetful. I love reading others’ mini reviews and I want to keep posting my own here even if they’re written in more of a tumblr style (btw, RIP tumblr). I just don’t want to pretend to be a type of blogger I’m not when it’s too easy to find my goodreads/twitter personality if you click a few links on my blog’s side bar.

8. Read my ARCs diligently and only request ARCs if I’m 100% interested in them 

Did I do it? uhh,,

How well did I do? ✔️✔️/5

Ahahahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahah

9. Read one German book a month 

Did I do it? big sigh

How well did I do? ✔️/5

I read one German book……………………….a year………………………………………………………..

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I don’t want to make anyone feel good or bad about themselves in this post, least of all myself. I just thought this was the only way I could look back at 2018 in a productive way instead of just thinking about all the good and bad stuff that’s happened.

Whether you’ve set goals for this past year and achieved them or not, I’m proud of you and I know you’ve done your best, and you’re allowed to feel everything you’re feeling about your goals. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

2018 reading and blogging goals

Happy new year everyone!

Ideally I should have written this post in December, but I figure it’s also a good post to start the year with.

My resolutions aren’t anything big or extra challenging, but I do have some things that I wish to change and improve.

  • The biggest change that I wish to make is to start reading audiobooks. I’ve never felt the need to do so but now that I live alone I find myself hating doing chores. Wait, that’s normal? Okay, but I mean… I hate chores also because I feel like I could be doing something in the meantime. And yeah sometimes I listen to music but at some point I started thinking “what if I managed to read (listen to) something on my TBR while I’m cooking/ironing/idk.” I finally got an audible account and I’ve already started listening to my first audiobook (I got Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman). I’m also looking for more audiobook recs so if you have any definitely let me know!
  • The second goal is something I’ve already started doing in 2017 and it’s also about managing my reading time in a better way. I found that by installing the kindle app on my phone I got a lot of more reading time while I was outside (on the bus, train, wherever), and I want to continue doing this and get better at it. So: keep reading while I’m stuck somewhere with only my phone. The only problem is that I don’t want to do this with every book, because reading only a few pages at the time doesn’t work for, say, fantasy (at least for me), so this brings me to my next point:
  • Having more than one current read of different genres (but not too many). Until a few months ago I was an exclusive one-book-at-the-time reader. I still find that that’s the best way for me to enjoy the books that end up being among my favorites, especially if they’re fantasy. But when I started reading more contemporaries and when I started getting more ARCs I realized that sometimes in order to keep reading and not give in to the reading slump I had to start reading something else too, so this past year I’ve managed to read a few books at the time, and that’s what I want to keep doing. But I also don’t want to get overwhelmed with current reads, so my rule is that at any given time I can’t have more than one contemporary, one fantasy, one non-fiction and one graphic novel on my currently reading shelf, plus one audiobook because that’s a different format anyway.
  • This is not only book related, but I really need to manage my time better. I keep trying to do ten things at once and end up finishing none. I switch on my laptop to “write one blog post” and end up scrolling goodreads, tumblr, twitter, starting to write a review, google how to make edits, start reading a webcomic, chat with friends… Eventually it’s 1am and I haven’t accomplished one (1) single thing and I really want to stop doing that. If I want to be constantly active on my blog I also need to block out all distractions while I’m drafting a post.
  • Learn how to read faster. This is not exactly a priority but I get so annoyed at myself when I see that I seem to be reading 3x slower than a lot of people. I tried to blame it on English not being my first language, but honestly a lot of my friends whose first language also isn’t English read so much faster than me. I can’t really explain why but I seem to be reading at talking speed, so that means that it never takes me less than 6 hours to read a 300 something pages book. I know I can go faster, but that for me means skim reading, and it’s not something I want to do (if I’m doing it it means I’m hating the book). If anyone has advice on how to learn to read a bit faster while also savoring the book please let me know! I’m kind of desperate at this point.
  • Be better at blogging. I mean it in every way possible, from posting regularly to creating better content. Specifically though, the main thing I want to do is write one discussion post every month. Even if it’s not an actual discussion, I still want to write something that is completely mine and not just a copy of what everyone else does. My most popular posts are discussions after all, so that makes me hopeful that people actually like the things I have to say. The downside is that to be able to write those I need to have time, not only to write them but also to engage in the book community on wordpress, twitter and goodreads, and I don’t always have the time/energy to do so.
  • Post mini reviews. Seriously, if you know me from goodreads, you know I read a lot more than what I post here on the blog. If 2018 is going to be like 2017, I will read a lot of webcomics, short stories, whatever. Sometimes I will even read full length books that I simply can’t write a full review on because they’re too perfect and I can’t find more than a few words for them. I post all of those on my goodreads, but why not post them here too? I started blogging with the impression that all my reviews here had to be perfectly structured and long-ish and I’d keep my more rambly and generally less pretty reviews on goodreads only, but why limit myself that way? 2018 is going to be very busy for me so I need t make sure that I am able to use the content I am able to create, even if it’s a mini review. With that said, I also want to write better long reviews when I do write them, especially with my ARCs.
  • Speaking of which… I really need to read the eARCs I received in 2017. I have a few books that are the second part of a trilogy and the final book is coming out this year and I’m still here like….but I still have the ARC of book two. Oops.
  • Even with the changes to Netgalley, I was able to request a few more ARCs (and not just “wish” for them). I’m not sure how, but I was also approved for a couple of them, so the goal is to keep trying to request, but only things I’m 100% interested in.
  • I need to read books in German. Please kick my ass if I don’t. Ideally I want to read one a month, but…..we’ll see.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something but that’s all I can think of  right now! Let me know what your goals for 2018 are and tell me if you have audiobook recommendations (I’ll be eternally grateful) or tips on how to read faster!

A Guide To ARCs | #2 The Master Who-To-Contact List for Internationals ARC Requests

This is a great and useful post!

Lost In A Story

As the title suggests, I’ve created a list of all publishers that do send out ARCs to international reviewers! Of course, the publishers on this list also send out ARCs nationally so I won’t exclude those wonderful people, but mainly this list is for internationals. Since getting ARCs is often harder for internationals (see this post), and we don’t always know what our options are, I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of contact details for all publishers that send out ARCs to internationals (so that is everyone that does not live in the US. I have not specifically looked for publishers that send out in the UK, but I assume all national UK publishers do that.)

Anyway, there are a couple of things I want to say before we get into this. And it’s fairly important to read this through:

A…

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