Blog Hop: Holiday Reviews

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you ever do a review post based on a holiday? For example review Christmas theme books in December.

Frequently!  Although it often turns into movie reviews for holidays–somehow I tend to tie my holidays to movies more than to books.  I usually try to do something Christmas-related for December, I posted about Mr. Smith Goes to Washington for the 4th of July, and I reviewed Jesus Christ Superstar on Good Friday.  Although I did miss Guy Fawkes Day for V for Vendetta.

Among my more unusual holiday posts was reviewing Casablanca on Pearl Harbor Day, and the time I shared an old Star Trek fanfiction piece about a very unfortunate redshirt for Friday the 13th.

Bloggers, do you do holiday-themed reviews?  Readers, do you like to read holiday books close to their related day?

Back from Fairylands

oncetimenine400Summer is beginning, and that means an end to the springtime Once Upon a Time reading “challenge.”  A couple weeks ago, actually…but I have a somewhat belated wrap-up post today!

This is always a laid-back challenge, and I have been particularly laid-back about it this year…because I started a new job at almost the same time the challenge began!  A good problem, but still distracting…

I started well with reviews, but dropped off more recently.  Here’s the break-down on fantasy reading over the past three months.

Even if I couldn’t focus as much as I like this year, I always love this challenge!  Did you participate this year?  What did you read that you enjoyed?

Reading Challenges Update

A little past the quarter-mark of the year, time for a check-in on reading challenges.  I’m being more laid-back this year and trying something different.  Just two challenges this year, the Reread Challenge and the…well, it doesn’t have a name, but there is a scorecard below.

For the Reread Challenge, I’ve been diving into lots of beloved rereads (21, in fact), so I’ll just remark on some of the more notable ones.  I reread (almost) the entire Tillerman Cycle (so good), The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Good Omens, Hatchet and its sequel, Golden and Grey, the first three books of the Little House on the Prairie series, and Jane of Lantern Hill, the very last L. M. Montgomery novel I ever read and which I had previously only read once.  So far, I’m having a lot of fun revisiting old friends, and definitely plan to continue.

As to my unnamed Reading Challenge, here’s the scorecard and the results for the first few months of the year:

Goodwill Librarian Reading Challenge

  • A Book That Became a Movie: The Martian by Andy Weir (at least, they’re making a movie…)
  • A Book Published This YearThe Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
  • A Book with Nonhuman Characters: Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis (droids instead of dwarfs!)
  • A Funny Book: Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
  • A Book by a Female Author: Loads of them, but Phoenix Island by Charlotte Paul was the first of the year.
  • A Mystery: Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
  • A Book with a One-Word Title: Unbound by Jim C. Hines
  • A Book of Short Stories: Clockwork Fairy Tales, edited by Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett
  • A Non-Fiction Book: The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs
  • A Book from an Author You Love that You Hadn’t Read Yet: Beyond the Farthest Star by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • A Book a Friend Recommended: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
  • A Book at the Bottom of Your To-Read List: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • A Book You Can Finish in a Day: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • A Book From Your Childhood: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Always Wanted to Visit: Loose Chippings by Thomas Gerald Wheeler (England and Wales)
  • A Book with Magic: Ahem.  We’ll go with A Question of Magic by E. D. Baker, because of the title
  • A Book by an Author You’ve Never Read Before: Again, loads, but the first was Who Is the Doctor? by Graeme Burk and Robert Smith? [sic]

And that is…a lot!  17, in fact, putting me well on track to hit 50 by the end of the year, just mathematically.  But I think I’ve accounted for the easy ones, and it’s going to be harder to do many of the rest…  For now I’ve made it only new reads (except “book from my childhood”) and haven’t put any book in multiple categories.  I’d like to stick to that, but I’ll see how strict I feel as the year goes on.

And…that’s all for now, folks!  🙂  Did you have any reading challenges or goals this year?  How are they going for you?

Coming Attractions (Or, Squee!)

I don’t usually post about what I’m planning to post about…but I have so many exciting books stacked up right now, that I can’t resist sharing. 🙂  All of these had staggered release dates, but somehow they’ve managed to land on me all at once!

Coming Attractions Continue reading “Coming Attractions (Or, Squee!)”

Blog Hop: Starting a Blog?

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you have any advice for new bloggers?

I’ll give you the same advice I give everyone I know who’s considering starting a blog: have a plan.  Plan your content, and plan your schedule.  I don’t mean you have to have every blog post already formulated, of course, but know what kind of content you want to write about (and make sure it’s something you can generate a lot of content around) and know how often you want to blog.

When I started this blog, I committed to two book reviews every week, and I’ve stuck to that for four years.  I knew how much I read (and have read) and knew that I’d be able to generate content around two books every week.  I honestly don’t think there’s any other topic I could manage that kind of volume of content around!  But for me, there are always new books (or a loooong list of old ones), so that always gives me something new to write about.

Blogging is just like any other writing.  You have to make it happen.  If you decide to write whenever inspiration strikes…well, you might be different, but for me, I find strikes of inspiration can be few and far between, especially if I’m not consciously striving towards producing a certain amount of content on a regular schedule.  When I started blogging, I also thought I’d do “Ruminations” posts on writing topics whenever the inspiration appeared…and those posts have been pretty few and far between!

Two book reviews per week may not be the right schedule or content for you–but know what schedule and content will be right, before you start blogging.

Other bloggers–what kind of advice would you give?