Second time’s the charm? I have some new books
Hestia: Fire on cover/in title
Frigg: Featuring Family:
Bastet: Young female MC
Kojin: Featuring food/cooking
Second time’s the charm? I have some new books
Hestia: Fire on cover/in title
Frigg: Featuring Family:
Bastet: Young female MC
Kojin: Featuring food/cooking
Okay I know I don’t actually have a to have a Plan for the Norse Pantheon but I kind of want some ideas.
Odin: The Girl and the Ghost
Freyja: Anya and the Dragon
Tyr: Disabled Main Character
Hel: Save Me a Seat
Frigg: A Ceiling Made of Eggshells
So I thought the Path or Pantheon readathon was in June because I wasn’t paying attention. I did get some books to read that met the prompts but I wanted to try this again. I’m doing the Path of Home again and adding the Norse Pantheon to give myself a challenge. I’m going to do a new TBR for the Path of Home ASAP. And luckily for the Norse Pantheon, I don’t have to set one but I’m going to do a kind of setup for what books I might do just to sort of have an idea of what I’m doing.
I’m taking this tag from the wonderful Reader Voracious. Midyear is a good time to look at where our reading goals are going into the second half of the year, make adjustments. This Midyear post shows where I’m at currently and will give me a good idea of where I’m heading into July.
All these stats are current as of yesterday. I’m not surprised that most of my books were borrow I’m a huge library user. I’m really surprised I’ve read so many new books but again I thank the library for that I wouldn’t have access to any new books without their great digital sources.
As for the reading categories, I was surprised last year when I didn’t have more fantasy but I think that because of a gap in middle-grade fantasy that is slowly being filled. Never the less I love all the contemporary I’ve been reading and it will probably remain my largest category.
The other slices are Historical Fiction, Memoir, Sci-Fi, Horror and Mystery, and Horror and represent about one book. Stats are all thanks to Reader Voracious’s wonderful spreadsheets.
1. The best book you’ve read so far this year?
This question isn’t fair. But if I’d have to pick I’ll have to say. Sweet and Bitter Magic. It had a great emotional arc, there was LBGTQ content and the mystery kept me on my toes. Plus witches. It’s not fair. The book was made to draw me in. I’d read it again, and again.
2. The best sequel you’ve read this year?
By far the best sequel I’ve read is the final book of the Unwanted Quests by Lisa McMann, Dragon Fury.
3. New releases you haven’t read yet but want to.
I’ve been lucky to have access to a lot of new releases through my library system, these are a few of the ones that the library either hasn’t caught or that I’m still waiting in line for. Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea just sounds like the perfect summer book. All You Knead is Love, I will never turn down a book about food, and Bridge of Souls because I’ve wanted to read the end of Jacob and Cassidy’s adventure for a while.
4. Most anticipated releases for the second half of the year.
These are just a few of the ones I’m looking out for in the second half of the year I’ve been looking forward to Ghost Girl since I saw it on Netgalley. The Many Meaning of Meilan sounds like a lot of books I’ve read and liked before. And Violets are Blue I just really like the description to the story. Finally Steelstriker which releases on my birthday so I know what I’m getting for a present.
5. Biggest disappointment.
I won’t even say Crystal Caets was a disappointment, I liked the book. I just think the publishing team was probably rushed to print, then the series was later canceled which is a shame because it’s a good concept.
6. Biggest Surprise.
When I was stuck in bed with my ankle I really wanted to A Thousand Questions, but they only had it in audio, thinking I had nowhere else to go, I decided to listen to an audiobook for the first time. This book changed my view on audiobooks and has me listening more. Another one of my midyear goals is to listen to more audiobooks.
7. Favorite new to you, or debut, author.
I’m enjoying the The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores.
8. Newest fictional crush.
None, as I’m reading young adult.
9. Newest favorite character.
Tamsin and Wren from Sweet and Bitter Magic. Ellie from Starfish.
10. Book that made you cry?
Speaking of Starfish there were some definite sniffles about a book where a fat girl finds her agency. Also more books like this!
11. Book that made you happy?
I know I sound like a broken record when I say Sweet and Bitter Magic, it is true, however, but another book that made me smile was: A Chance to Fly. I read this as an Arc and loved it. Every time I see a good representation of disabilities in fiction I’m smiling.
12. Favorite book to film adaption?
I never read any Grishaverse, I know the shock. So I really can’t get into Shadow and Bone. An adaptation of one of my favorite series might be coming up eventually so I can’t wait for that.
13. Favorite post you have done this year?
Foreverland Book Tour-first book tour I’ve ever done.
Arc and Book Tour: Oh My!-Tips for Arcs and Book Tours
14. Most beautiful book you have bought this year?
That Thing about Bollywood. It’s so sunny in person, and looks even better than online.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I’m a mood reader so I don’t have a specific list but lots and a lot of books. I’d like to hit 100. I’m at about 40 now but I always have more time motivation around the end of the year to read. Midyear isn’t my highest reading time so I still think I can get it done. Breaking my ankle knocked out some reading time so I’ll honestly be happy with 80 if that’s all I get to. I’d like to get past what I got last year which was 81 so we’re shooting in the 82-90 with 100 as a stretch goal.
I tag anyone who wants to do this, how is everyone else looking at Midyear.
This week has been pretty calm more camp prep since the camp is in July I’ll be doing a lot of that till then. Other than that I brought my PlayStation downstairs, the way I had to sit to play it when it was in my room I can’t really do with my ankle now. It’s making me want to replay DragonAge. I was a elf mage last time not sure what make I’d go with, but I still want to complete the game I have, aka find all the shards, kill all the Dragons, get to the DLC. Yes, I know who is evil and what happens in the DLC but still I’d like to play it through.
If you’ve played DragonAge respond with your race and class and what race and class you think I should try!
I’m already a good way into the Path or Pantheon challenge I just finished my first book for the challenge, I switched books from the one on my TBR but this one still fits the prompt. It was for a young female MC and I’m now using The Five Things About Ava Andrews. I’m also about 3/4 of the way through the book about food. Much Ado about Baseball, so I’m hoping to finish this challenge up nice and early this month.
Okay, I’ve been watching Loki and it has its issues but I think once we get into the meat of the show as we did in Episode 2 we’ll really have something. I love the buddy cop feel with Mobius and Variant Loki. Also not sure what Marvel is setting up for but the banter between Variant Loki and Lady Loki is going to be amazing I can already tell.
My week wasn’t super exciting but it was still a good one. I got a lot done and am moving forward towards my TBR for the year.
Also expect to see some more game and show-based posts from me soon. DragonAge essentially got me through last summer’s rough health scare with my sister. So I’d like to replay it just to see if there is anything I missed and because it was so relaxing summer. Also expect some Switch game posts or commentary and shows because Marvel insists on making TV that I want to comment about.
A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl who is allergic to most pets, but still wants to find her perfect friend.
At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!
Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet?
With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.
The idea of being allergic-like Maggie would be so hard, but the allergies are just masking her larger problem which is the loneliness she feels in her family. But as she tries and fails at having different pets and her mom progresses in her pregnancy, she realizes she maybe has a place after all and that her role as a big sister is important, and that she doesn’t need a pet to fill the void, that her family is already there.
I got the chance to interview my fellow blogger Kal from Reader Voracious. A wonderful book blog that has great tips for SEO and just generally good and helpful content for other bloggers, plus Kal’s spreadsheets every year keep my brain from exploding. So without further ado our interview:
Q1: First, if you would please tell my followers a little bit about yourself? I’ve already told them that I’m getting an interview with the wonderful Kal from Reader Voracious, but if you’d give them a bit more.
Hi there, I’m Kal — a 30-something gal from Southern California who absolutely loves reading, travel, hiking, tea, video games, and outer space. I’m pretty nerdy and love to dig into the deep themes of the media that I consume… and wrote my senior honors thesis on philosophy and Battlestar Galactica! When not engrossed in a book can be found communing with nature.
Q2: Where do all your guide ideas come from? I’m still working through all of them and I especially love your one about representation and the one about getting books to people who are represented in the books pre-covid.
Thank you so much! Honestly, sometimes I don’t even know where some of my ideas come from. I’ve always been an analytical person who thrives on processes and I think that lends itself to writing tutorials and guides. It started with the first iteration of my spreadsheet template in 2018 and kind of snowballed from there!
Usually when I dig into a topic like SEO or going self-hosted, I wind up writing a guide post to help others with what I learned. So in a way, the ideas come from my own intellectual curiosity. The posts you mentioned about representation and Flapping Pages ARCs were directly inspired by discussions within the book community on Twitter. I have a lot of opinions and am overly verbose, which don’t lend well to the 240 character format.
Q3 : You seem to be focused on helping other bloggers? A one of your Paetron’s I appreciate all the work you put in, where does the desire to help others come from?
I’ve always liked helping others, especially with breaking down topics. I used to tutor when I was younger, and I’ve developed and written standard procedures and training guides in a number of jobs. I think I get the most fulfillment passing on my knowledge to others.
Q4: You’ve been a blogger for a few years, what advice would you give yourself as a beginning blogger?
I can’t believe it’s already been over three years for Reader Voracious! Truthfully, growing up in the 90s I’ve always kind of been into content creation, blogging, and website design. I am soooo glad that my Xanga and LiveJournal accounts are gone so I don’t have to live in fear! Fun fact: I joined Neopets in 2000 and ran one of the most popular petite guides on Premium in like 2005/2006! I lost access to my account ages ago, but LeenaLu is still there… probably with a lot of broken background images.
My biggest piece of advice would be to write what you want to write and the rest will come. Your “writing voice” and style will develop over time and it’s important to just let that process happen instead of forcing it. If you’re passionate about what you’re writing, it will shine through and people will gravitate towards you and your work. Don’t stretch yourself too thin by doing too much too soon, or trying to be on all social media platforms.
There are so many bloggers that burned themselves out and disappear within 3 months, and it’s a bummer. On that note: do not over request ARCs on Netgalley! We’ve all done it, and we all regret it. This post have a list of 6 lessons learned in my first 6 months of blogging… and they all are still relevant to me now!
Q5: Favorite Book? And if You can’t answer this hardest of questions top 5.
HahahahahahahahahaaHA… top 5 will even be tough! *takes deep breath*
Q6: You were one of the first book bloggers to do a Paetron. What have you learned from the platform?
It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be! One challenge that I didn’t expect was my desire for feedback and feeling like an imposter not providing anything of value. It took a long time for me to realize that for the most part the people who join my patreon do it to support my work and don’t necessarily mind too much what the benefits are. Patreon has been a way for me to have some meaning and responsibilities as I haven’t been able to work, and I am so thankful to all of my patrons’ support.
My Patreon benefits have changed a lot in the past two years. This January I made a lot of tweaks and made the decision to bifurcate my content and provide a home for posts I wanted to do on the blog but didn’t have the space for and didn’t really fit too well. I’m pretty happy with the change and have an excitement for diving into some of my other interests and long-form essays with a much smaller audience.
Q7: Would you recommend Paetron to other book bloggers?
Maybe. It depends on what the blogger hopes to get out of Patreon. For me it has been a creatively fulfilling way to build a small community and help offset the costs of running Reader Voracious, but I would be remiss not to mention that it can be pretty stressful – especially if you’re someone who puts a lot of pressure on yourself.
Before anyone decides to begin a Patreon, I’d recommend looking at the kinds of things you want to offer and provide. You want to be sure that whatever you’re doing is fun for you. A lot of people offer early access to all blog posts — I used to — but think about whether or not you’re able to schedule posts ahead without stress. For me it wasn’t sustainable in the long term, so I had to limit it to my guide posts. Having a Patreon can be really fulfilling though, so if it sounds like fun I totally recommend it! Just start slow… you can always add more benefits later on. It’s best to not overwhelm yourself, because inevitably it will take more time than you think it will.
Q8: Can you tell us more about self-hosting your WordPress?
So I did a bunch of research on just how much work is it to self-host. It turns out: not that much. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually is but I promise it’s not that bad. And with backups you can revert any boo-boos! I documented my process of moving from paid to self-hosted wordpress in this guide.
Q9: I want to thank you I’ve used your spreadsheets two years in a row to keep up with things. I know that’s not a question but it does lead into my next question.
😭😭😭😭😭 Thank you so much, I love hearing that my spreadsheets are useful!
Q10. Kal, shamelessly self-promote all your things, Paetron, website, twitter etc.
You can find me at readervoracious.com, on Twitter @kalventure, and on Instagram @thereadervoracious! I love chatting about books and making new friends! If you’d like to support the work I do and get some cool things like reading vlogs and make me read books like Twilight, you can join my Patreon for as little as $2 a month!
Thanks so much for having me!
I really enjoyed talking to Kal from Reader Vorarious, everyone follow them and check out their spreadsheets to help you keep track of the your book count for the year. Without mine I’d have no idea how many books I’d read.
I promised you the Path or Pantheon TBR, I had a tough time choosing these books, some were easier than others, I thought I’d remind everyone of the path I chose:
Hestia-Fire on the cover/in the title.
I’d been meaning to read this when I got it as arc. Time however got away from me and, it still looks like a great book though and I happy to have a specific reason to read it. Maybe I’ll finally learn not to request too many books for on Netgalley lol.
The Firebird Song
The Kingdom of Lyrica was once warm and thriving, kept safe by the Firebird, whose feather and song was a blessing of peace and prosperity. But the Firebird disappeared, and Lyrica is now terrorized by the evil Spectress who wields her powers from within a volcano. All that remains is a mysterious message scrawled on the castle wall in the Queen’s own hand: Wind. Woman. Thief.
Young Prewitt has only known time without the Firebird, a life of constant cold, as his village is afraid to tempt the volcano monsters with even the feeblest fire. But he has heard whispers that the kingdom’s princess survived the attack . . . and he is certain that if he can find her, together they can save Lyrica.
Princess Calliope has no memories beyond living on her barge on the underground lake. But as she nears her twelfth birthday, she is certain there is more to life than the walls of a cave. When Prewitt finds her, he realizes that she is the missing princess: the only hope for Lyrica. Determined to decipher the meaning of her mother’s strange message and find the Firebird, Calliope and Prewitt set off on a quest that puts them in more danger than either of them ever anticipated.
I’ve been a fan of this series since book one and it has strong family ties so it’s perfect for this prompt. These books have been full of mystery, family and super fun riddles, and though I’m sorry to see the series end I can’t wait to read the conclusion.
As book three of the Greystone Secrets series opens, the Greystone kids have their mother back from the evil alternate world, and so does their friend Natalie. But no one believes the danger is past.
Then mysterious coins begin falling from unexpected places. They are inscribed with codes that look just like what the Greystones’ father was working on before he died. And with the right touch, those symbols transform into words: PLEASE LISTEN. And FIND US, SEE US, HELP US. . . .
The coins are messengers, telling the Greystones and their allies that their friends in the alternate world are under attack—and that the cruel, mind-controlling forces are now invading the better world, too.
After another spinning, sliding journey across worlds, the Greystone kids must solve mysteries that have haunted them since the beginning: what happened when the Gustanos were kidnapped, what created the alternate world, and how a group of mismatched kids can triumph once and for all against an evil force that seems to have total control.
Baset–young female MC
I hadn’t heard of the author of the book, but was going out for a rare visit to a doctor to pick up some books and spotted it and it sounded interesting. Now I’m glad I have a specific opportunity to read it.
Elin’s family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom’s army. So when some of the creatures mysteriously die, Elin’s mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath, she manages to send her daughter to safety.
Alone and far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can communicate with both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great power, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? Or is there no escaping the terrible battles to come?
The sister book to Midsummer’s Mayhem. This series of books are Shakespeare-inspired retellings with food, fun, and mystery.
Much Ado About Baseball
Twelve-year-old Trish can solve tough math problems and throw a mean fastball. But because of her mom’s new job, she’s now facing a summer trying to make friends all over again in a new town. That isn’t an easy thing to do, and her mom is too busy to notice how miserable she is.
But at her first baseball practice, Trish realizes one of her teammates is Ben, the sixth-grade math prodigy she beat in the spring Math Puzzler Championships. Everyone around them seems to think that with their math talent and love of baseball, it’s only logical that Trish and Ben become friends, but Ben makes it clear he still hasn’t gotten over that loss and can’t stand her. To make matters worse, their team can’t win a single game. But then they meet Rob, an older kid who smacks home runs without breaking a sweat. Rob tells them about his family’s store, which sells unusual snacks that will make them better ballplayers. Trish is dubious, but she’s willing to try almost anything to help the team.
When a mysterious booklet of math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrives in her mailbox, Trish and Ben start to get closer and solve the puzzles together. Ben starts getting hits, and their team becomes unstoppable. Trish is happy to keep riding the wave of good luck . . . until they get to a puzzle they can’t solve, with tragic consequences. Can they find the answer to this ultimate puzzle, or will they strike out when it counts the most?
I love any of the books Molly Knox Ostertag puts out so it was no surprise this one was on my list. It looks beautiful so I’m ready for beauty as well as great content.
The Girl From the Sea
Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She’s desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends…who don’t understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan’s biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl. Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn’t seem so stifling anymore. But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they’re each trying to hide will find its way to the surface…whether Morgan is ready or not.
So that’s my list for the Path or Pantheon Challenge. Wish me luck with the challenge and if you are taking part share what Path or Pantheon you are joining .
I’m excited about this wonderful challenge called Path Or Pantheon. It’s presented by the wonderful folks over at @MythTakeReads they are doing a small challenge, in between Rounds of their #MakeYourMythTakerChallenge. This is good for me because while I love their work I’ve always a little intimidated to do MythTaker. I’m going to do it next cycle however this is a nice way to did my toes in.
You either pick one of the Pantheon which has a set of books based on select gods in the pantheon. A Path is set up much the same way except they deal with themes that go across the pantheons like beauty, home or war.
I selected after much deliberation was the Path of Home
I’m going to do a TBR on this tomorrow, so check out the books I’ve picked out to meet to prompts and check out the challenge here.
So I’ve told you about my feral cat Cinnamon, turns out she’s an expert-level sneaky cat. We’ve tried drugs we’ve tried treats, we’ve tried to just grab her, we’ve tried a regular cat carrier. Now we’ve resorted to the snap traps specifically for feral cats plus sardines plus tuna plus meds. Hopefully, this will finally catch our sick but sneaky and feral little kitty who doesn’t know we’re trying to do what’s best for her.
I haven’t gotten to play Horizon Zero Dawn much this week due to my focus on the Cinnamon. The cat is smarter than me and has thus been wearing me out. But I have had some fun, I’ve found a lot of new things to read and I think you all will expect lots of cool new content and reviews from me. I’m trying to catch up and get back on track for my reading goal that breaking my foot knocked me off of. So I’d love to hit 10 books this books, though hopefully more. I’ll be happy with 10 though.
I’ve leveled up in Cozy Grove an I continue to love it, it the small independent slowly plotted game that I needed.
I’m also working on going to meetings and making signs for my camp, it’s a camp for girls, trans, and gender non-conforming kids and youth, part of the Girls Rock network. Get to pick an instrument, and form bands make up a song, and perform in a showcase at the end of the week. They also go to different workshops like the one I’m teaching on tarot. We also have ones on things like yoga and D&D. It’s my favorite time of the year and we had to miss it in person last year due to COVID. So I’m excited to head back.
Hope you all had a good week and that this week is productive