Hello everyone and happy Monday!
I’m going to be making a few changes to my wrap ups, starting with this month. First of all, I’m removing the “haul” section. There’s a couple reasons for this.
- I always feel weird talking about new books and ARCs when there are so many out there who can’t bring in books every month because of their location or financial situation.
- I started a BookTube.
In many ways, #2 feels like it cancels out #1. I don’t get dozens of books every month, either… but Book Hauls seems like a central theme on BookTube and it feels more right to put that piece of content over there.
On that note! I want to add a couple sections. One will be to feature my work on other platforms, and the other will be to feature your work. Earlier this month, I posted about curating blogrolls and overwhelming you came back and suggested Feedly so I’ve jumped over there and have started tagging some posts I really like… and I want to share with my readers.
Okay! For today, I think that’s enough changes, so lets jump right in. 🙂
All the things I’ve been reading
I blame The StoryGraph for this one, but somewhere mid-month I compared my November 2019 reading to my November 2020 reading and NO. I was behind, and I didn’t like it. This is something I’ve been judging myself quite harshly on all year – I read far less this year than last year, and since I read novellas and comic collections and even a poetry book over the summer, I’m just disappointed in myself.
And I get it, I’ve read a lot over all and it’s an ELECTION year and the PANDEMIC and my whole job basically changed and I spent all summer studying for certifications and that’s all FINE but I like to win… so… I decided to win November, I guess? I can officially say I’ve read more books this November than last November.
There are a few that aren’t showing yet – namely, I read two ARCs whose reviews will be dropping closer to publication. Also, I finished the Great Courses series on the history of ancient Rome. Which I didn’t love. And decided not to review on the blog because I figured nobody would be interested! Yayyyy.
Readathons & Reading Challenges
The beginning of the month was a bit difficult with hardcopy reading. It wasn’t that the books were fully awful or anything, they were just falling a bit short of my expectations and I was getting a bit … uninvested, I guess. That, and my mental energy was pretty lacking. It picked up a little at the end of the month, but even though Even the Darkest Stars was awesome I didn’t quite finish it in time.
But look at that Draco constellation! It is almost complete and will certainly be finished in the month of December. If I read more than three books, though, I’m going to have to figure out another constellation with just a few stars so that at the end of the year I don’t have anything half-finished. Hmm… Going to have to think on that one.
As far as keeping vs. unhauling this month, I ended up keeping two of these books and unhauling one. Unsurprisingly, I decided to unhaul Matched, which will go in the Little Free Library. The fact that this one wasn’t a keeper didn’t surprise me at all, and I basically knew going in that it would be a wash. That’s okay, though – they can’t all be winners!
Court of Lions likely would have been donated too if I hadn’t loved Mirage so much. It’s entirely possible that this book won’t make a second rotation on my shelves and will get chopped after a reread, but we’ll see!
As it stands, I hauled 4 books in November, and only unhauled 1, so I continue to over-buy. I am going to run out of space in 2021, I think – yikes!
Magic and Mischief on the Blog
The major change this month on the blog was a new breakdown on my Problematic Authors page.
I’ve never been perfectly happy with the formatting on that page, and it was thrown together rather hastily. I had an idea, so I went in and broke it down into three subpages depending on the type of action that had been taken. If you visit the page now, you’ll see our three poisoned apples:
Each one leads to a different subset of authors. As a reminder, these pages exist to allow people to educate themselves, not as a compendium of hate. I hope breaking these down helps make the pages a little more readable. I’ve updated my review banners as well, so you’ll likely be seeing more banners.
What Have I been Scribbling?
I have been working on Rhapsody In Blue!
I did not do NaNoWriMo in October – frankly, I didn’t have the bandwidth for it – but I nonetheless have started digging into Rhapsody and making some major adjustments. I’ve been looking at the Save the Cat method for plotting a novel to get some guidance on plotting, which is a huge weak spot in my own craft. Additionally, Campfire Blaze is finally out and ready, and since I backed that Kickstarter last year, I started looking into the modules and all the tools available to me.
I really like it, and I’ll do an overview next year once I start using it more. For now, lets just say that it’s going to be a wonderful, inclusive tool for me as a writer. I’ve been working on importing character profiles mostly.
I’ve also been using the plotting tool to link characters and the plot line and I need to fill in some location information, get the class schedules together, and figure where the real best place to start the story is. I started re-writing the opening scene, but I didn’t like it. I did like the way the writing module auto-links all my character data so I never have to jump around if I can’t remember how Emma likes to do her hair, for example. Small details like that make my revision process easier.
From The Other Magical Tomes
As the title suggests… I started a Booktube channel! I was very impromptu, but so are most of the major time commitments I make? As if of writing this, I’ve posted two videos. First of all, the traditional Booktube starter – The Booktube Newbie Tag.
I also posted my November Haul just a few days ago. As I mentioned earlier, I’m moving my hauls over to Booktube! If you’re interested in seeing what books I’ve brought in over the last month, that video is there as well.
While I 100% dislike the filmed process (sorry – I’m just not a big fan of seeing… me), I’m looking forward to posting some other material. I just filmed a reading wrap up vlog on Saturday, and I’ll be scheduling that sometime soon, and I’ve got an Animal Crossing-themed video in mind as well.
My bookstagram is still going strong, if you’re not already following it. I decided with the last set of photos that I wanted to change up my filter… and I really like the results. I think I’m going to continue to adjust my filter every new shoot (about mid-month) and see what happens. 🙂 Sometimes it’s good to change things up!
Do any of you have booktube channels or bookstagram accounts? I’d love to hear about them in the comments if you do!
Words from other wise witches
After having so many people recommend it on my post about curating the blogs you follow, I decided to give Feedly a try and it is a gamechanger. I’m still not perfect, but I am definitely reading a lot more blog posts than I used to. It’s also a lot easier to navigate to the posts I am interested in reading… so… thanks for the recommendation everyone!
Now that I’m hopping a bit better, I wanted to share some posts with y’all that I came across in my reading this month!
- Annemieke had a great twist on Top Ten Tuesday this month where she discussed some things she’s grateful for in science fiction books.
- The Orangutan Librarian challenges readers to stop being pretentious about originality in art, and to celebrate stories. This is a really interesting post, and I appreciated the conversations about historical influences and societal constructs!
- Ashley posted a long awaited part two regarding her opinion on sex in YA lit. I clicked this so fast, because the relationships in YA books are pretty PG… which was not my experience as a teen!
- Krysta over at Pages Unbound challenged readers to move past the stigma classic books get from their inclusion in academia, and provided a wonderful list of impressive, inclusive classic novels that often get overlooked.
- Katie used her platform this month to take a minute and provide a (often necessary) lecture about the way the community judges people on their book choices… and I why she doesn’t do it. There’s a lot of shame over reading certain books or certain authors in this community, and I applaud Katie on standing up the bullies and saying her piece.
- Sabrina took a step back and examined the signs of reading fatigue, and when to know you need a break. There’s a lot of pressure in the community to hit certain reading goals and to keep up with the most popular books, so this is always a good reminder.
- If you’re like me and missing travel… the World of Wanderlust dropped a book this month on how to feel more French or emulate the Parisian experience… at home. I loved Paris and would certainly love to be there, so these tips were fun.
- Every month, Nicole posts allyship updates and these are always worth reading to find more ways to be active in the community and support marginalized voices and make a difference in your day-to-day life. She’s going self-hosted, so don’t mind the clutter as she transitions.
- Arub helps us take a step back and assess the way we read our ebooks and approach digital media in her post asking why we’re still using Kindles. One of my major lifestyle changes in 2020 has been to cut out Amazon, and if you’re the same… you’re got to check out this post.
- In non-bookish topics, Clo took us behind the scenes this months in her own personal journey and self-care practices and spoke in depth about her use of astrology and tarot. I’ve never seen a post quite like this in the community and it was so passionate and informative – definitely a good read if you’re interested in those topics.
- As NaNoWriMo wound down, Marie shared some writing advice that is great for new writers… but also great for more seasoned writers to remember as well! She’s trying to take more ownership of that part of her identity… which is wonderful!
- If you hadn’t already noticed, The Quiet Pond did a revamp recently. Rather than just update the images and aesthetic, CW shared the entire journey and this is an excellent resource if you’re a blogger and considering revamping your site.
Adventures in the real world!
Whelp, this is strange but I have… nothing to share for November?
November was very quiet, and I spent a lot of time worrying about work, then crashing and playing videos games. There were no adventures. We had the election, and honestly? Everything since then has been a blur. I’m happy but I’m also exhausted to my bones and I’m ready for some things to change. Since I have no control over any of that change, it’s a waiting game. And so, the dude abides. Or whatever. Maybe more next month, but I have nothing on my calendar!
What’s Coming Next?
Coming up really soon, I have a whole excited post about The StoryGraph, which I’ve been low-key (maybe high-key?) screaming about since the summertime. They’re officially rolling out soon, so no time like the present to jump on the last days of beta! Seriously though, I worked really hard on that post, so I hope y’all enjoy it.
Here’s a sneak peek at my hardcopy TBR! Audiobooks are, as ever, based upon what holds come in and what’s available from Libby.
I’ve been a pretty productive reader the last week (started with a couple books I really liked) so there are some reviews coming or that have already come (looking at you, Even the Darkest Stars) that will pop up on the December wrap up as well. I’m hoping for a lot of reading and a lot of rest in the month of December, because 2021 is looking to start off running for me. 🙂
What did everyone do this month? Did you get a lot of reading done? Did you start on a new WIP? Did you go on any grand (or small!) adventures? I want to hear all about your experiences – let me know in the comments!