Posted in Discussion

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder, Maybe?

Hi guys I really have no good excuse for missing so much of April, I’ve been doing readathons including my own which I should have reported on. My absence is entirely my own fault. I got a chance go on a trip out of town and I haven’t left town since COVID. So I leaned into that and didn’t keep up with my posts.

I can say I haven’t read very much in April. So that’s one thing. I’ve been video gaming and mobile gaming a lot (thanks Horizon Zero Dawn and Pokemon Go) I’m trying to get my life back into some sense of control left by a depressive/psychotic episode I had before the pandemic and I broke my leg, ie, my room is an epic mess and I want to put up bookshelves. Anyway I promise to try to post for the end of April, and be around more for May. I just got overwhelmed and other things in my life took priority. I guess this happens from time to time when you blog long term anyway forgive the absence. I’ll try not to let it happen again. I’ve got plenty of ideas for posts ready and waiting.

I can’t wait to get back to my Zodiac series and go more into Tarot, which I hope you guys enjoy, I’m going to set up a Discord for the blog so you can share your thoughts with me and each other. I’ve really enjoyed being on Discord these past few weeks so I thought the blog could use one.

Again let me know what you think in the comments, oh and I’ve also started roller skating, if you can call it that, practicing is a better term, and have gotten new glasses which will needed to be added to some of my artwork.

But that’s my month of changes, tell me what you think or need on Twitter or in the comments.

Posted in Announcements, Discussion, Feature, Recommendations

Astrological and Tarot Posts

Though you may think of astrological work and tarot as more associated with Halloween we do have the Vernal Equinox coming up so I decided to start a series of posts of books each Zodiac sign, might like based on traits traditionally assigned to the sign. Now we’re going to make it a little interactive by making some polls by how well you think these fit, with maybe some stickers up as prizes.

Eastern and Western

We will be explore both Eastern and Western would like now I want this to be interactive too, I’m personally a Libra Sun, Capricorn Moon Taurus Ascending in the Western Zodiac. And a Metal Horse in the Asian Zodiac.

Zodiac

Now if you have now idea what that means that’s okay these post will kind of an intro to how to figure out your Zodiac and the astrological world in general it will also help me bring two of my favorite things together. The astrological world and tarot and the book world and reading. As for the Tarot portion I’m going to be doing books that would fit all of the Major Arcana, it’s okay if you don’t know what that means either we’ll be taking a dive through tarot as well.

Feedback and Tags in Astrological Posts

I definitely want everyone’s feedback especially if they are particularly drawn to a card or sign, do you think my book predictions are spot on please tell me #astrolistbooks or #tarotlistbooks and please tell me if I’m wrong and you have better ideas feel free to turn this into a tag if you want to we are going to start out tomorrow with Aries and go from there. As for the Tarot posts we will be starting with the Fool the day after. I look forward to learning more about tarot, teaching you guys and pairing up books with signs.

I can’t wait to hear from you guys in the comments or on Twitter.

Posted in Discussion

Readathons are Hard

Or why I’m so sleepy this month. I ran a readathon for the first time it was the Chopped Readathon which is going to be continue in July with a theme The Blind Scribe and I will announce sooner than to July. We may have small event during the space between so pay attention to the Chopped account so you are aware of all updates. One thing I learned about running readathons, it’s about 10 times harder than it looks.

  1. You want to make sure everyone is engaged.

I’m not sure how good I did with this, I might do reading sprints or mini challenges next time to keep everyone involved. I’m also going to make sure I do stats for every week next time around.

2. You need help.

I was lucky enough to have The Blind Scribe at my side through all this being super encouraging and helping me with ideas and shooting down any bad ones. I think if you’re doing a readathon you shouldn’t do it alone.

3. Don’t feel discouraged by the number of people your first time around.

I was expecting 30, I got 7, I have no idea what I would have done with 30 people. Under ten was exactly what I needed for my first readathon. The Readathons will give you exactly the number of people you need.

4. Don’t forget to have fun!

You’re doing all this so that people can have fun, don’t forget to have to have some yourself, you’ll be too busy to do all the challenge for your readathon but try to do some of them and have some fun it’s just a reading challenge after all no reason to be so serious.

5ish) Maybe this is just me but don’t be a super stickler for your rules. If they really matter for your readathon that’s up to you, but I found letting my participants play with the rules a little bit resulted in happier participants.

Go and check out the Chopped Readathon

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Favorite Duos

Since Valentines Day is coming up I wanted to give a shot out to some of my favorite duos. This list focuses on friendships or unrequited love. There is nothing like a good duo to give a otherwise boring book some flare. Now I’m all for trios and big groups of friends and may even do posts on that throughout the month. What do I look for in a good duo banter mostly. High levels of snark. A good camaraderie between the two parties. Here are my top five:

1) City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts by [Victoria Schwab, V. E. Schwab]

Cassidy and Jacob have just the right level of snark, and I know you might argue this is a trio since Laura makes her way into the books a lot, I can see that, but at the heart of it is Cassidy and Jacob, their connection anchors the books despite all the ghosts and other things we see it all feels real because we’re coming at it through the eyes of two best friends, and also they are extremely snarky to each other, about the situations they are in, it just add something light to the books that could get too dark and scary for the younger readers its aimed it.

Amazon: City of Ghosts

2) Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go by [Marieke Nijkamp]

This book is so special because you can only see one side of the friendship and the other is told through flashbacks, it is an elegant portrayal of mental health and the friendship that was made through it. It’s a lovely tale of understanding and reaching out for help, and trying to find justice. This is the one serious pick for the list but I’d read it again. The friendship between Corey and Kyra deserves its place among the top duos.

Amazon: Before I Let Go

3) Starfish

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

Ellie and her friend Catalina is the friend every young fat girl needs in her life. Ellie’s mom fat shames her while Catalina’s mom and her family accept her and her size. Catalina encourages Ellie’s confidence in wearing and doing things her mother had put on the no go list. These two help each other win. When Catalina has a problem Ellie is her biggest cheerleader. Okay so maybe Before I Let Go wasn’t the only serious book, but Starfish is wonderful if I can have a favorite book it’s this one, and also the next one I can’t just pick one favorite okay. Everyone go buy 10 copies.

Amazon: Starfish

4) Vespertine

Vespertine by [Margaret Rogerson]

Though Starfish is my favorite on the list Vespertine made me laugh the most. Artemisia and the Revenant are the ultimate snarky duo. Seriously every other line is a smart remark and yet the have a strange way of caring about each other, who would have though the death nun and the possing somewhat evil spirit would win for win for best comedy but seriously they do. I’d like to have tea with them just for the laughs.

Amazon: Vespertine

5) Stargazing

Moon and Christine are a great duo Though Christine is initially put off by Moon unique way she soon finds she has a lot to learn from her next door neighbor, like the way Moon is willing to be friends with everyone and do things that are a little off the wall. They also do things Christine’s strict mom won’t allow like painting their toenails! But when a medical event happens Christine wonders if Moon will still be her Moon after the operation of if things will have changed. This is a great book for apricating people as they are.

Amazon: Stargazing

Posted in Discussion

February Goals

I know I need to catch up on my reading in February, and hopefully I will. I’m hoping I will have time to to read a little a bit while I’m focused on holding the readathon.

Try and read at least 10 books in February

This is the same goal for every month. I think I’ll hit it because of the Readathon. I’ve planned out a lot of books to read, For all the Readathons I’m doing my own and Royal Readathon I’ve got 22 on the list for the month, but I plan to double up, in several place so doubt I’ll be reading anywhere near that number.

Work on the Readathon in February

I’ve already done a lot of work ahead of the readathon. So now I’m just waiting for people to sign up and we’ll have a good time. If you guys have any questions I’m here, we’ve got a great prize package. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actually seen the show, you can probably find clips on Youtube. But we are going to have fun either way.

Start doing research and rough drafting for my novel

I said I wanted to do more writing this year and I need to put myself on a schedule if I’m going to get anything done. There is a lot of research to be done, I pretty much know how the story goes but I need to get the details figured out. I should probably do an outline. Anyway, that’s something I want to start working on this month.

Keep posting every day

I know I’ve done this well in January and I want to keep up the habit in Feburary. The daily posting has been showing in my numbers and I want to keep my numbers up and hopefully go above the month before. I want to see the curve go up and do the reverse of last year. And that takes posting

Posted in Discussion, Feature

We Don’t Talk About Bruno…No…No…No

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ENCANTO DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WAN’T TO BE SPOILED FOR ENCANTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I know this is a book blog however I believe in talking about all exceptional pieces of media and Encanto was exceptional. I plan to profile all the character about how they relate to mental health and trauma because ultimately the movie is about intergenerational trauma. First on the roster is my favorite character Bruno.

Bruno is shunned by the family for his visions. However I believe they are a symbol for his mental illness that that Abuela who wanted the family perfect didn’t know how to handle I think a lyric from “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” sums it up best, it’s from Dolores.

It’s a heavy lift with a gift so humbling
Always left Abuela and the family fumbling
Grappling with prophecies they couldn’t understand
Do you understand?

I think it’s worth pointing out she’s the only one who realizes Bruno never left and perhaps has a more positive view of him, the rest of the song is about negative things Bruno supposedly did but she seems to be more at least understanding about Bruno’s gift being tough.

Bruno’s Diagnosis

As for Bruno’s actual diagnosis, I at first went to autism because of his blunt remarks and issues with social situations. But now I think he’s somewhere of the schizoaffective spectrum, the visons are just a manifestation of that, he’s a schizophrenic who has true visions. Some more supporting evidence is the different personalities that manfest to help build the house the have the different personalities and his ritual tapping as a calming mechanism all fit a schizophrenic diagnosis.

He’s also the family scapegoat who is showing the family exactly what they don’t want to see with his visions so it’s not surprising that along with his mental illness make him an easy target for the family to ostracize. Also the fact that they don’t realize his vision are changeable until Maribel is a big issue for everyone. Bruno realizes it but assumes everyone will think the worst because it’s him. Which considering the above issues actually isn’t unreasonable assumption.

Family Trauma

His role in the family trauma landscape is to watch out for things that might hurt the family in the future. But like Dolores said back in his song “It’s a heavy lift with a gift so humbling.” Luisa may be the first to show actual weakness but Bruno was the first who couldn’t hold up to the perfect standard set by Abuela and had to run away.

At the end of the movie though it’s good to see him back with the family, but time will tell if he’s truly accepted for who he is, Abuela did seem happy to see him. Either way, there is a lot to say about Bruno.

Posted in Discussion, Feature

Summary of 2021: Each Month Reviewed

I’m doing a summary of how the blog improved each month during the year and any mistakes I made that I could get better at in 2022.

January

In January of this year I was trying to keep up with last December’s numbers which wasn’t happening. I shattered my ankle in the middle of the month and had to deal with surgeries and doctor’s visits. Though I’d read 9 books for the month in spite all of this and did an author interview with Lisa McMann so I think January was a pretty good month for the blog.

February

This is where I was starting to get approved for ARCs I wanted and putting together events I thought would be cool, they weren’t always successful but that’s the nature of the blogging world. In summary I was growing as a blogger most because I was laying down recovering from my broken ankle.

March

In March I really worked on improving the website’s design and did lots of readathons, I did Trope-ical Readathon which I plan to do in its next round as well I did this readathon again later in the year, I didn’t do as well on this try but I was at least working on readathons and the blog was getting its current redesign.

April

I was getting back to my books per month numbers before breaking my foot, so that was nice. I also took part in at least 3 readathons this month. the Easter Readathon, the Autism Readathon, and the Disability Readathon. I also was doing well about writing reviews for my ARCs after I read them, there is one habit I need to get back to.

May

I finished some more of the books from the Disability Readathon, my fatigue from my healing was slowing my reading down as well. I only managed to finish five books. I also didn’t get to AAPI authors until later in the year.

June

The beginning of the famous summer slump, all book bloggers seem to talk about it. It’s harder to keep up momentum in the summer. Though I seemed to be conquering it pretty well. I read 6 books this month and almost read 7. So my reading was heading in the right direction. I posted the most regularly I had throughout the year. I also found readathons for the next two months. So I was getting better with planning.

July

I had so much personal drama in July, I broke up with a friend of a decade. My other friend was in California and I hadn’t been able to see her due to COVID. In summary this was not a great month for me personally, so hence not a very good month for the blog I only read 3 books. It was just not a great month, I learned things personally, but the blog kinda fell behind the way.

August

If July was my least productive month, then I came back swinging in August. I read the most books I’d ever had in a month at that point 13. I also took part of the Royal Readathon, I can’t remember what their subcategory was I believe sidekicks and the Trope-ical Readathon in which I hit most of the prompts so I was proud of myself for that.

September

This month was my disability hearing so I kind of has a panic attack about that and couldn’t really focus on reading. I read 5 books but that was about all I did. They were mostly spooky so that was fun, I all the books I read this month were good.

October

I was still worried about disability this month because I hadn’t gotten a response back from Social Security, however I was posting more regularly and doing backlog reviews, I also took part in the Orillum Readathon which I had a lot of fun with and the Halloween Readathon. I still only read five books this month.

November

This is where I finally started looking at my 100 book goal and being like goodness I need to read some more. I took part in three readathons during this month, and completed all three, I did IndigAThon, another round of RoyalReadathon, And

PokemonaThon. I also read the most books per month ever this month, 16! So in summary this month was super successful!

December

I was still 14 books from my 100 book goal so I needed to read this month. I took part in the Reindeer Readthon and completed it. I also did Bookmas this month so I posted regularly about Christmas and New Years related things. I also started to make plans for the New Year and read 16 books this month reading over 100 books so I was happy with my progress in the end of the year. Now I just need to spread it across the year.

How was your year? Progressively good or just good in certain parts like mine my goal for this year is to try to remain progressively good throughout the year as opposed to just here and there.

Posted in Discussion, Feature, Memes

Entrée-Chopped Tag

So for the late post today I didn’t sleep well last night and have been having migraines, plus my ankle has been hurting so yeah, just a big party of fun. I’m still doing better about making post in advance so this doesn’t hit me so badly, but I’ll try and do better next year. So here is the Entrée post for the Chopped tag.

Entrée

Has to be meatier to get you to the dessert round

Protein: Another book that was either long or hard hitting.

The Best Worst Summer Ever wasn’t long but it was surely hard hitting as it was about how friendships can fall apart as and get back together many years later and how new friendships can form.

Amazon: Best Worst Summer Ever

Vegetable: Something healthy, you reading something off your TBR.

Red, White, and Whole by [Rajani LaRocca]

Red, White and Whole was on my TBR as soon as it came out out it tells the story of a young Indian American girl who is growing up as a teen in the 1980s and pushing against her parents rules, it would be a normal story of rebellion except for what happens later in the book. It’s definitely healthy as it talks about healthy and her mother is a doctor.

Amazon: Red, White and Whole

Starch: A comfort read or something that had a found family.

Dragon Fury (The Unwanteds Quests Book 7) by [Lisa McMann]

Dragon Fury is the last book in the Unwanteds Quests books which has great found family and is a great series of comfort reads if you like dragons, magic and multiple worlds.

Amazon: Dragon Fury

Durian: A book that was tough to work with.

The Dark Lord Clementine

The Dark Lord Clementine by [Sarah Jean Horwitz]

Though it turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year, it was difficult to work with at the time because I really didn’t know where the plot was going. I got about 2/3 in and finally got a better idea and then it was a much easier book to read. Great book and maybe it was just me but a little bit confusing in the beginning.

Amazon: The Dark Lord Clementine

Since this is the entrée I would make dinner and a drink I would make Indian Butter Chicken with spices from the Dragon World. Then my Drink would be a slushy with apples to represent both the Dark Lord Clementine and The Best Worst Summer.

Posted in Discussion, Feature

New Year Goals For the Year

What are your goals for the New Year, are you shooting high are you keeping to your same goals from last year, or are you reducing what you are doing to relax some? I have to say I’m shooting a bit higher for the coming year. Maybe because I see the blog as sort of a business and I want to start reading more material to work with.

1) Starting with the number of books I want to read in the New Year I’m shooting higher this coming year. I managed to read 100 this year so I’m shooting for 125 this coming year with a stretch of 150.

2) I want to make sure I take part in readathons, they encourage me to read and allow me to read outside of what I would normally read. I know so far I’m taking part in two, Pondathon Part 2, and Finshathon both are going all year long but I know I will find month long Readathons to take part in throughout the year, for example there are several from this year that have promised to have second parts in 2022 that I’m excited about.

3) Posting regularly, In the new year I’d like to post 5-6 days a week, I want to get more people visiting the site, I want to get my numbers up, and this so far is how I have see that you can do it. So expect to see plenty of me on the site, and me being annoying as I argue with myself to keep consistent. Summer is going to be a problem I already know it. I should write posts for June and July now.

4) Engage on social media more. I think I’m starting to do this, I’m hosting a readathon in February. Chopped Readathon for anyone who wants to know we still need another organizer, and we have a prize. Also, I’m going to try to do better at blog hopping and commenting on other blogs.

What do your goals look like for the next year? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Posted in Bookmas, Discussion, Feature

Successes of the Year

It’s almost the end of the year, I know we’re all still reading away. But I just wanted to think about some of my successes for the year.

1) I hit 500 posts for the blog

This is one I’ve been going after for awhile, so to finally hit it was a good feeling. I’m really looking forward to going after my next goal of 1000 posts.

2) I’ve got almost 200 followers for the blog I’m at 197, so if you know someone who would like to follow please send them my way. But seriously that is way up from the 163 followers I had at the start of the year so I’d definitely call gaining more followers one of my successes.

3) I successfully completed several readathons throughout the year and manage to read lots of books due to them. I’m also looking forward to part two in some of these readathons which will take place in 2022 next year.

4) The fact that I was able to get my reading books per month up to the teens. This is the first year I’ve been able to do that. I read 16 book one month this year and 12 and 13 in other months so I’m really proud of myself about that. I’m hoping next year I’ll be able to to reach 20 a month.

5) The fact that I’m going to hit my reading goal, even though I thought it was going to be a stretch in November I managed to read a 30 books in 2 months and I’m going to read the most books I’ve ever read in a year at 100 despite the fact that I was out of the reading game for three months recovering from my broken ankle.

What are some of your successes from this year? Let me hear about them in the comments!