Tag Archives For: discussion

17 Feb, 2017

Banned from the Library Recap

/ posted in: Reading

On January 11 I wrote a post about a self-imposed ban from the library in order to focus on reading books I have here.

The rules

  • No requesting more library books until March 1
  • I can go pick up books that I’ve already requested that come in.
  • Also, I can only get new books from Amazon if they are free.  That’s totally cheating but come on, free books!
  • The only exception is if I run out of audiobooks which may happen because I have a road trip this month.

How did it go?  Here’s a hint.  I’m posting the recap a few weeks before March 1.

At first I was great!  I listed a bunch of books that I had started and wanted to finish for #DiverseAThon.

 

I finished those all up. Mission accomplished.

I went on a road trip and listened to a lot of audio books too.

Then the trouble started.  I have so many books here that I haven’t read.  Some of them I was really excited about at the time.  I wandered around not reading any of them.  Here’s what I did instead.

  • I just kept listening to more audiobooks that I had exempted from the ban.
  • I read books that I was receiving in swaps.
  • I started rereading books.  By the way, let’s celebrate Goodreads adding rereading!
  • I read two, yep 2, books that I had here that I hadn’t picked up before.  I liked them.  It is proof that I should read the books I have here.  But, I don’t want to.

By the way, here’s all the books that came into my house while following the rules of the ban precisely.

Sent through swaps

I’ve read 2.5 of these so far.

Free on Amazon

I’m halfway through Ingrid Winter.

Came in from a previous request to the library

Yeah, I gained 10 books while actively not getting new books.

So the moral of the story is that I should rehome a lot of unread books I have here, especially all of those I picked up and read a few chapters and put down.  Here’s the book that broke me.

I was thinking about #ReadtheResistance and thought that I should reread this one.  My current library doesn’t have it.  Why did my rural library have this crazy liberal hippie fantasy?  Anyway, I decided to order it but I totally wouldn’t read it before March 1.  It came in the mail.  I gazed at it.  I put it aside like a good girl.  And then I said to hell with it.

 I’m ending the experiment early and going back on the library request website.  I also got an Amazon gift card in the mail and went wild.

The Hate U Give and River of Teeth are preorders.  I ordered River of Teeth based solely on her Hippo Day tweets and her twitter handle @gaileyfrey that made her my new favorite person in the world.

I’ve started requesting library books too.  I’ve added all kinds of shiny things to my Goodreads TBR lists during my ban – both upcoming releases and deep backlist.

I shouldn’t try to fight my nature.  If I want to read it, I’ll read it right away and I’ll love it.  If I put it aside, let it go no matter how good it might actually be.

 

09 Feb, 2017

Are book bloggers important?

/ posted in: Reading

Ah, the perennial angsty post where we try to convince ourselves that we have purpose in life. Yeah, so I don’t really care about that. I read lots of books and like to talk about them. I don’t need anyone to approve. But, I had a conversation with an editor the other day that got me thinking.

I had reviewed one of her books previously. She had since put out several tweets about needing reviewers for the next book. I ignored it at first because I got a copy of the previous book and didn’t want to be greedy. But after several tweets I responded. Our conversation boiled down to her feeling that I didn’t do enough for the last book to warrant getting a hard copy of the new one. I don’t care about format. I’d rather have an ebook anyway. But I wonder now if people in publishing have any idea what bloggers can do for them.

Obviously the general public isn’t going to be influenced by what bloggers think. That’s easily seen from comparing year-end best of lists from bloggers with what actually sold during the year. I think what we do though, especially for small presses, is help with name recognition.

For the last book I:

  • Reviewed it on the blog (in my view or wrote an article about it, not a review in her view)
  • Reviewed it on Goodreads
  • Reviewed it on Amazon
  • Featured it in several lists since I liked the book
  • Did a giveaway of it and now it is living with another blogger who will do a lot of these things too
  • Put it on instagram in a bookstagram post of just this book and also in at least one group photo
  • Marked it read on Litsy
  • Requested that my library purchase it
  • Tweeted about each of the posts I made that it was in
  • Tweeted each instagram photo
  • Retweeted a few of her tweets about the book

That’s about all I can do except for buy each and every one of you a copy of your very own.  I’m pretty sure that any of my followers would see that book and think, “I’ve heard of that one.”  That’s the limit to what bloggers can do for a book.  We can make people aware that the book exists and that we think they should read it.

I have an ebook of the new book.  I’m going to be doing most of the same things for it.  I’ve already requested that Litsy add it since it wasn’t in their database.  I’ve asked the library to buy it.  I’ve only read the first few pages and I’m already promoting it.

I know that we are mostly talking to ourselves in the book world but we talk A LOT if we like a book.  I don’t think the powers that be recognize it.

 

03 Feb, 2017

When Representation is Oh So Wrong

/ posted in: Reading

Whenever there are discussions about diversity in books there are always people who wonder what the big deal about bad representation is.  They wonder why people from marginalized backgrounds get so angry about authors getting things wrong.  These (usually) white folk say things like, “Calm down, it’s just a story.”

Ok, people, I have an exercise for you to start to get some understanding.

Think of something that you know about.  It could be a hobby or a job or where you live.  Now think about an author writing about it and getting it all wrong.

I have examples of things that have made me a bit stabby while reading.

Location

Once upon a time I opened a book and started reading.  I found out that this book was set in my hometown.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I came from a literal one-stoplight town.  There are no books set there.  But there it was – town name and state.  Then the author started describing the town in detail.  It seems like a nice place but it wasn’t my town.  It was also specifically set about 200 miles east of my town.  It was weird and disorienting.  It didn’t stop me from reading the very long series but it was unsettling every time name was mentioned.

Job

I just read a book that I absolutely loved.  One of the characters was applying to veterinary school.  She didn’t get in.  That didn’t surprise me since she was doing it all wrong.

  • She forgot to go to college first.  You don’t just apply to vet school when you are in high school.
  • She didn’t apply to the right school.  Vet schools are weird.  They are geographically locked.  You are supposed to go to the school in your state or the school that your state contracts with to allow their residents to enter.  There are some exceptions (I was one) but this person never mentioned the name of the vet school in her state in her discussions.
  • Bless her heart, she thought going to a big name vet school mattered more than anything.  Nope, see geographically locked.  Vets don’t consider where you go to be of any importance at all.  Location of internships and residencies if you choose to do that are different but where you went to vet school is irrelevant.
  • She had all kinds of volunteer work and AP classes and extracurricular activities but none of it had anything to do with animals.  She also didn’t appear to have any pets.  Not vet school material.

This was a minor point in the overall story but it bothered me every time it came up.  It bothered me enough to write that all out.  With a little bit of Googling, the author could have figured a lot of that out.

Hobbies

I try not to read fiction with horses in it.  If there are horses in a book I want to read, it will reassure me greatly to see an author photo with a horse in it.  People get horses all wrong in books.  They are constantly jumping off the horse and just letting it wander about.  That’s a sure way to end up walking back home.

The hero is always riding a huge stallion.  Please.  Stallions can be a total pain to work with.  Most people don’t ride them routinely, especially in books where horses are used as a major mode of transportation.

I really hate it when someone shows women being all liberated because she refuses to ride sidesaddle.  You can ride however you want but don’t talk about sidesaddle being unsafe or unstable.  Modern sidesaddles were developed to let women jump fences or work cattle while wearing dresses.  Once I got used to it, I felt more secure sidesaddle than astride.
sidesaddle

Not me but I don’t have any of my sidesaddle photos uploaded. I took this one in Portugal.  The skirt hides a very secure system for staying on a horse.

My most rant filled review ever was for a Danielle Steel book where she totally misunderstood the Olympic ski team.  It made me insane and I don’t even ski.

What are the minor things that irritate you when authors get it wrong?

If these minor things can irritate a reader then imagine how much more problematic it is to constantly hear your race or religion constantly messed up.

 

 

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