Jan 31, 2012

January Wrap-Up Post (And Thoughts About Recent Drama)

Because I am participating in 3 reading challenges this year, and because I am trying to stay organized, and because I am always trying to think of topics to blog about, I decided to start doing monthly wrap-up posts to talk about my challenge progress and anything else bookish I think you guys should know about. So. Here I go.

There was a lot of book blogger drama this first month. I'm not going to talk too much about it, there are plenty of posts for that on the internet if you don't know about it, but at this point I think pretty much everyone knows about what went down. I just want to say something about it so I, personally, can move forward. 

Since this new year began, I've really been thinking long and hard about how I want to make blogging more fun for me. Because ever since this drama started, I have been stressed out, worried, and it's really put a damper on the fun of blogging for me. I don't think it's any surprise which side I have chosen to take, and because of that I feel slightly at odds with some of my fellow bloggers. It's also why I have stayed off Twitter a lot the past few days. I just really can't take it anymore.

When I write my reviews, I feel like I have a duty to myself and my readers to be completely honest. I write negative reviews, and yes, some of them get fairly mean. But I purchased that book. Or in some cases, was given a free copy in exchange for MY HONEST review. And that's what I do. I can't help my personality or the way my writing comes off to others. And truthfully, if you don't like what I write, don't read it. It really is that simple. I will always be honest and I will always write about how a book made me feel or didn't feel. If it made me angry then you can expect an angry review. That's just me and I won't change it for anyone.

I also write DNF reviews. I rarely post them on my blog. But I do post my thoughts on Goodreads. Just because I have only read 100 pages doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on what I read. There was a reason why I stopped reading, right? And I know for a fact that some of the people that follow me and trust my opinions appreciate my thoughts on books I don't finish. It is very strange to me why people care so much about what other people do or how they write. For instance, I think only writing reviews for books you like is kind of dishonest, but I'm not going to come on your blog or review on Goodreads and harass you for doing so. It's your prerogative. I'm sure you get more ARCs from publishers because of it, and good for you. But I do feel it's kind of selling out. My 2 cents. If someone wants to write a snarky review with GIFs, that is their right. Don't harass them for it. It makes you a troll. And frankly, I think they are hilarious.

When I buy a book and spend my hard-earned money on something, I can say whatever I want in my own space. There's this thing called free speech. And I shouldn't have to worry that I might get hate mail over it. But I know at some point I will. Because it is the internet, and it's inevitable. 


Now for my challenge progress. I am participating in the 2012 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.

In the month of January I managed to read one debut author book. Not great, I know, but I have read one more, I just didn't post the review for it yet, and therefore, I'm not counting it yet. It's The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet.


 I had very strong opinions about The Edumacation of Jay Baker and you can see my review by clicking on the link above.

I'm also participating in the 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Evie-Bookish and a ton of other bloggers. 


So far for this challenge I have completed 4/15 books. This is not the final count of the books I will be reading because it's only February and I have already added to the list numerous times. I'm not going to lie, this challenge is hard work. It is really difficult to find time to read the books on my own shelves. That's why I have cut down on review requests.

Books Completed:
~Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
~Cold Blood (Dirty Blood #2) by Heather Hildenbrand
~Base Spirits by Ruth Barrett

Finally, I am participating in the 2012 50 States Reading Challenge hosted by Book Obsessed



I have managed to complete 3 states so far: New Hampshire, Ohio, and Washington. I just finished a book set in New York, and that review will be up soon, but not yet, so I won't count it now.

Books Completed:
~The New Girl by Paige Harbison (New Hampshire)
~The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark (Ohio)
~Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John (Washington)

Again, reviews can be seen by clicking on the links.


For anyone that wants to know, I read a total of 13 books in January. That's not really a great number and I'm not happy. But I have had a ton of work to do this month. There will be catch up time in later months. I hope.

If you have any wrap-up posts you want me to come comment on, please leave links in the comments. I would be more than happy to visit your blog. And if you have any comments on my thoughts about the book blogger drama, feel free to leave those too. 

12 comments:

  1. Loved reading through this post! I for one love reading your posts/tweets because you are honest and that is what makes them interesting and a lot of times hilarious!

    I am pretty much blissfully ignorant about the drama that has gone on but I think I can guess what went down!

    I really need to do a post about my challenges, or I am going to get so behind!

    Tess @ My Pathway to Books

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    1. I wish I had remained blissfully ignorant. But next time it happens (and there will be a next time) I will also ignore it. Another reason why I have cut down on Twitter time.

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  2. I wish I was privvy to the drama! Oh well, probably best left alone anyway. People who have nothing better to do than b!tch about others need to get a life. :-)

    Wow, 13 books in a month? I don't think I've read that many in 5 years! Sounds like you're really busy. Don't sweat it!

    I appreciate the fact that you're super honest, and I know when/if you ever read my books you'll lay it right out there - good, bad, or meh. I really respect that.

    K

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    1. It was mostly a bunch of bloggers and authors spouting off about how we should and shouldn't write our reviews. I don't like being controlled so I decided to rebel and write this post. And you know I love you, Kendall. There's mutual respect here. And I already love your writing, so I wouldn't be too worried if I were you.

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  3. Right? Where was I during the drama?! I feel like the smelly kid at lunch no one talks to! Anyway- CRAZY coincidence that I'm wring a post about DNF reviews and I'm about 85% done... I'm going to link to your post and quote some of the things you said if that's alright?

    Email me chick! xoxo
    (thebookishbrunette@gmail.com)

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    1. You may absolutely link to my post. Strange coincidence!! And thanks for commenting. Be glad you missed most of the drama. It wasn't worth it to get involved and I wish I hadn't.

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  4. Amen sister! Keep being one of the honest (and trustworthy) reviewers. Don't let the drama get you down.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer! I'm feeling a lot better. I just needed to take myself off of Twitter a few days to regenerate my sanity. And you too!

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  5. Well put. I usually do a tiny sentence or two on Goodreads on DNFs.

    BTW I LOVE your header. It's gorgeous. Seriously great layout.

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    1. Awww thank you! I don't usually rate books I DNF, but I feel like I need to say WHY I didn't finish them. And I don't think that's unfair. I hate how bloggers attack each other. That shouldn't be happening at all.

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  6. haha well said!!!! you know this whole thing i have managed not to get involved in this i didnt even know it was going on! but i mean get over it! you cant please everyone and if you dont like it dont read it!!!! love your wrap up!!!

    Tara

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    1. Thank you Tara! I agree. I don't visit blogs I don't like and I don't read reviews that offend me. It's very easy to walk away and take the high road. Just do it.

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