News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
We now have a Facebook! While not everyone using Facebook, some people (like Asti’s family) find it the easiest way to keep up with the sites they like. If you’re on Facebook, why not follow our Oh, the Books! Facebook page?! (Oh, did I mention there’s a GIVEAWAY over there?)
In Case You Missed It
Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week.
- Kelley griped about when people manhandle her books.
- Our latest Bookish Guide featured LGBT YA recommendations.
- Asti reflected on LGBT YA covers that were published in 2013.
- Kelley shared her mini reviews for March.
- Asti started wrecking her Wreck This Journal.
- Day Four of the Bookish Games: Divergent Edition have begun.
Our Lives This Week
[stextbox id=”asti2″ caption=”Asti” collapsing=”true”]My week has revolved, once again, around uni. I’m sure I mentioned last week that I have five assessments due in the week and a half? Well, I just finished the third so things are looking good! The final two assessments I have to work on are reflection-based assessments, so I’m actually feeling pretty good about it all. I don’t know how people wait until the last second to do assessments! How can you handle the stress? Being organized and dividing your time up appropriately is the only way to go… or at least for me!
Oh, and I also met my dissertation supervisor this past week. I can’t explain how happy I was when I left that meeting. I didn’t have to do a dissertation for my undergrad so I’ve sort of been nervous about this whole thing. (And part of me couldn’t help but worry that maybe my supervisor would be this evil strict person who would look down on me… don’t ask why! The mind can be evil like that sometimes.) But everything went well. She gave me amazing feedback on my work so far, was understanding about my mind being focused on my current assessments, helped me figure out what the next best steps are, and was just the friendliest lady ever…. Did I mention what my dissertation is about yet? YA Blogs and Blog Tours! Woohoo![/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”kelley2″ caption=”Kelley” collapsing=”true”]When I was in fifth grade, my best friend and I entered the science fair (and got second place, thank you!) with a project where we tested the saturation point of various substances in a cup of water. We’d measure out eight ounces of water into a clear, plastic cup, then sprinkle in a teaspoon of the substance (salt, sugar, etc.) at a time, marking down our observations. We watched how at first, it seemed like nothing happened, but gradually the surface of the water would begin to swell and form a dome over the top of the cup.
Eventually, the water revolted, unable to assimilate any more granules of the substance into itself. That tenuous dome would give way, spilling over the lip of the container and onto the tacky surface of her mother’s plaid table cloth (those things never seem to feel completely clean, you know? Is it just me?).
Right now, my life is that cup of water. I’ve been eagerly inviting generous teaspoons of ALL the substances in, wishing and wanting to assimilate every one. As you might have guessed, the Borg are much better at assimilation than I am. I’ve reached that spilling-over point, and I’m desperately trying to hold that cup aloft, stirring with all my might in the hope that a few more granules will dissolve and keep me intact. It’s not working out so well.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to write a whole blog post in my weekly update. I just wanted to let you know why I haven’t been around much (and haven’t been responded to all of your comments — yet!), and I thought I’d at least try to make it more interesting to read!
In other news, I HAVE had a couple of successes this week.
Him: I wish people could just have conversations with images. Me: That's basically what twitter is. Him: Really? *signs up* #success
— Oh, the Kelley! (@anovelread) April 23, 2014
This is totally happening right now. I only feel slightly – okay, quite – ridiculous. http://t.co/pbLmg18eVp
— Oh, the Kelley! (@anovelread) April 23, 2014
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
Tweet of the Week
If I got my wedding pictures back and they were all just glamor shots of nachos, I wouldn't even be mad. I love nachos that much.
— Will Stegemann (@BeTheBoy) April 22, 2014
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
Reviews, Reviewing, and ARCs
- Brittany shares the results from her survey on book reviews.
- Celine talks about the importance of one star ratings.
- Charleen complains about PDF ARCs.
- Leigh explains how she writes her reviews.
- Jeann discusses how negative and positive reviews after your reading.
- Nikki talks about her experience with reaching out to publishers.
- Sana is helping bloggers discover Edelweiss starting with browsing and tags.
- Stephanie shares how to make a currently reading gadget.
- Amanda discusses how she knows when it’s time to let go of a feature.
- Ashley explains what “whois” is and how she determines if a comment is SPAM.
- Kelly reveals why she likes your blog.
- Kelly is questioning quality over quantity.
- Ashley talks about reasons why your WordPress site might get hacked.
- Kelly explains how to use PicMonkey to make images circular.
- Ashley has challenged you to clean up your tags and labels!
- Ashley shows us how to create dynamic featured images in WordPress.
- Miranda discusses when bloggers don’t respond to comments.
- Mitchii talks about money spent on book blogging.
- Octavia shares her experience with unplugging for the weekend.
- Amber shares the results of her “What do you think of the book blogging community?” survey.
- Alice says we need to talk about blogger’s block.
- Ashley discusses the awkward moment of posting the same thing twice.
- Giselle discusses third-party help in blogging and BookTube.
- Gala Darling has 50 ways to kick blogger’s block’s ass.
On Writing & Publishing
Writing Tips & Advice
- Carrie discusses how to fix some dialogue writing pitfalls.
- Alex analyzes post-binary gender in sci-fi: writing without revealing gender.
- Susan Dennard has some advice on planning a series.
- Elizabeth discusses science fiction as metaphor.
- Corinne Duyvis stops by Pub(lishing) Crawl to talk about choosing the right pen.
- Beth Revis has started up an awesome new project called Paper Hearts, full of completely free writing advice.
- Elizabeth Richards offers some advice for knowing when to let go.
- Jessica Grey stops by Pen & Muse to show us how to make fairy tales your own.
- Matt Haig made an instructional video on how to be a writer.
- Drew helps you take back your imagination.
- Alexia Casale discusses her writing process.
- Sara discusses book promotion and marketing materials.
- Jonathan Auxier stops by Novel Novice to answer: “Do I really need a head shot?” after the book deal.
- Adam gives some reasons NOT to sign with a publisher.
- Lisa wrote a great analysis on building an app for mobile YA book discovery.
- Alex Bracken discusses how much your major matters.
- Abria takes a look at creative writing degrees.
- Jacob explains what enhanced ebooks can do for scholarly authors.
Things Bookworms Think About
- Ana visualizes her friends as characters in a book she’s reading if they have the same names.
- Andye wonders what should be first: reading the book or watching the adaptation.
- Pamela discusses reading a series from start to finish.
- Kayla explains what it’s like to be a mood reader.
- Judith answers the question: why do you read YA?
- Abria looks at the books she allegedly read.
- Topaz talks about her bookish pet peeves.
- Becca explains how she bookmarks.
- Andye discusses reading in public.
- Mel shares her thoughts on spoilers.
- Rachel wonders about reading the sexy in public.
- Hazel explains why she loves active reading.
- Nikki wants to know how you feel about pacing.
- Sophie talks about books (and food) that intimidate her.
On Having All the Books
- Shae talks about her stocking requirements for bookstores and libraries.
- Tilly has tips for buying books without breaking the bank.
- Eugenia discusses the different ways to organize books.
- Shelly walks you through organizing your shelves.
- Anne thinks of books as a reward.
- Genevieve talks about what it’ll take for her to read a dystopian.
- Nara looks at the fairytale parallels in the Lunar Chronicles.
- Ashley talks about classics.
- Josephine says to read widely and read nonfiction.
- Alice is looking for horror recommendations that will actually scare her.
- Amanda talks about her ‘sudden’ love for graphic novels.
- Rinn features books with dragons for St. George’s Day.
- Also: here are 17 YA books with dragons.
Covers & Content
- GillyB shares her experiences with judging books by their book covers.
- Chrys discusses authenticity and accuracy in fiction novels.
- Sophie shares which trends she’s noticed lately in YA.
- Emz wonders how books should be judged.
- Megan shares 5 trends that need to disappear.
- Kristilyn has noticed some “outsiders” in YA.
- GillyB looks at best kiss scenes and what makes them great.
- Cass shares her thoughts on unreliable narrators.
- Laura shares the love for LGBT+ side characters.
- Siiri discusses what makes a good villain PoV.
- Sana talks about her feelings when characters do a one-eighty.
- Jason discusses character relationships: till death do they part?
“Touchy” Subjects & Gender Issues
- Celidhann discusses the diversity problem at book con.
- Stormy weighs in on Full Fathom Five and supporting authors.
- Kelly (Stacked) wonders if teen girls are seeing themselves reflected in what they read.
- Dennis asks: Are Boys Not Reading Because of All Those Women in Publishing?
- Porter asks: what if boys can’t find the right (reading) stuff?
- Tom weighs on on the whole books for boys vs. girls thing.
- Alex Bracken discusses the slut shelf.
- Beth Revis weighs in on “the slut shelf”.
- Chuck Wendig rants about rape in fiction (warning: potential Game of Thrones spoilers ahead!).
- Christa has some thoughts on consent and sensitivity when it comes to sex in YA.
Quizzes, Games, & Charts
- The LA Times has a How to be a writer game!
- Take this quiz to find out which Hunger Games district you belong in (apparently, Kelley belongs in District 6).
- Wondering which Shakespeare play you should read? Use this flow chart to find out!
- Take this quiz to find out which Grisha you are! (Apparently Asti is Etherealki and Kelley is THE DARKLING!)
- This periodic table of storytelling is awesome (thanks to Jim for this one)!
- Jen helps you spend your money by sharing literary-themed items.
- Elena has created a wallpaper for Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.
- Judith teaches us how to say some Harry Potter phrases in Dutch.
- Betty has found some really cool book stuff.
- This dude made a Shardblade for Brandon Sanderson and it is SO COOL!
Random Bookish News & Thoughts
- If you’re interested, a new sample is up from the World of Ice and Fire.
- The cover and title for Raven Boys III has been released!
- There’s been a cover (and info) reveal for Firefight (Steelheart #2) as well.
- Claude says Italy’s TV Reality Show Ignored Psychology of Authors.
- Kayla shares what she learned from the LA Festival of Books.
- Do you like geeky treasures? Do you like getting presents in the mail? Have you heard about lootcrate? (I’m sorry. But also: you’re welcome. And also: you can thank Angie for alerting me to this. -Kelley)
- Hannah is putting twitter in time out.
- If you like Kelley’s Exploring Tarot With Books series, you might want to check out Line’s post on tarot in Mad Men!
- Here’s an interesting post on untranslatable words and phrases.
- Andrew Sullivan on why friendship is a greater gift than romantic love.
Videos of the Week
- Holy crap, did you know that there’s a cyberpunk anime parody of HARRY POTTER?!?1
- Check out this fan interpretation of Shallan’s Lullaby from Words of Radiance!
- Here are some videos of people playing their cats as instruments (thanks for this one, Miranda!).
Question of the Week
We don’t have a question this week, but we thought you might want to know the consensus from the questions we’ve asked in the past couple of weeks.
We asked about CommentLuv and how you feel about it.
Most people said they didn’t care about it either way, but a few people said they really liked it. What were their reasons?
- It’s a much more subtle and tactful way to provide linkbacks to other bloggers.
- It’s a way to highlight your most recent posts, not just link to your blog in general.
- Seeing the blog post titles in the CommentLuv links actually entices them to visit a site they might not have thought to otherwise.
All great reasons. As you can see, we haven’t had time to think about turning it back on yet, but appreciate the feedback!
We asked if you thought our weekly recap posts were getting chock full of TOO much content.
The answer was a pretty unanimous and resounding “no!” We’re pleased and encouraged that you all enjoy our recaps so much, with all of our various bits of goodness we’re inclined to share with you. Thanks so much for letting us know!
So, how was your week?