News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
Our Grand Opening giveaways have finally ended and the winner have been chosen! Congratulations to all of you!
- Kayla won a copy of The Bone Season & a bunch of swag
- Carrie won a copy of Vicious
- Stormy won a copy of Vicious & a bunch of swag
- Missie won a bunch of swag
- Helen won a copy of Wonder
- Lillian won a copy of This Is Not a Test
In Case You Missed It
Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week.
- Kelley told a story about searching for the bookish version of Hell Mode.
- Leanne revealed chapter 1 of of choose your own adventure game: Savior of Booklandia.
- Kelley reflected on her monthly reading progress.
- Asti showed off three of her bookish friends: Shelly, Sana, and Kristy.
- Kelley reviewed her new favorite book: Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow.
- Asti wrote a love letter to the book blogging community.
- Leanne shared her monthly favorites and reading progress.
- Kelley expressed some concern about questionable ethics in street team promotion.
- Day 1 of the Bookish Games: Divergent Edition has begun!
- Kelley also wrote up some YA sci-fi recommendations for those new to the genre, over on her tumbls.
Our Lives This Week
[stextbox id=”asti” caption=”Asti” collapsing=”true”]My week has been a roller coaster! I don’t know how else to describe it.
I’ve had a really shitty experience with the transportation system this week. Not only did it takes me 3 1/2 hours to get to work on Tuesday, and 3 hours to get home (when it usually takes just under 2 hours each way), I had to deal with some really weird people. It really started to get to me, and with the struggles I’ve been having lately with my own negative feelings, I just felt like shutting down.
But then unexpected goodness happened this weekend and just sort of made everything better. While stuck in traffic on my way to my work placement, the lovely people at Random House tweeted asking for help finding me. During one of the train rides home this week I had more than one person offer their seat to me, which is always unexpected. An Instagram photo I took caught the eye of someone from the local paper who asked if they could feature it in an upcoming edition (and I said yes).
I also received the sweetest letter ever from Chiara which made me realize how lucky I am to be involved with the blogosphere. And generally, I’ve just realized how thankful I should be to be surrounded by so many people both inside and outside of the Internet. Numerous people have made me laugh or smile this week. Sometimes it’s just noticing the little things that makes a world of a difference.
So yes, it’s been a crazy ride this past week with my emotions and daily happenings, but it’s over. And as close as it was to being a really bad thing for me, it ended up being just what I needed.
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I won’t even comment on craziness because my life has shifted into that as normal mode now. It will probably remain that way until my design degree is finished, so until then just assume every week my life has been at least slightly insane and that I’m behind on everything. ;) And to be completely honest it will probably stay that way afterward too, because as soon as I get free time of course I take on MORE projects (one of which you will hear about in coming months).
So, what’s new with me?
I got a new art journal, because I totally messed up my other one. You’re probably wondering how that’s possible since art journals are basically a place to unleash/store/collect/work through random messy and unpredictable things. Well, it’s pretty hard, but when I (accidentally) gesso the ring binding so much the cover won’t close, and (accidentally) paint all the pages together on one edge so that they start ripping (because the paper was crappy to begin with) when I try to unstick them… it’s definitely possible. The more I worked in it the more unhappy I was with it anyway, and I didn’t want my art living in there. So I got a new home for it. The paper is much nicer, the pages are much bigger, it has a traditional glued binding with sewn-together signatures, and it has one of those elastic closures so that when I make my pages all dreamy and fat with paint and washi tapes and other things adhered in, it will still stay together. So I’ve been playing a little bit in that, and taking it for a test run, and making a (good kind of) mess.
Oh yes, and my birthday is coming up this week (the 11th), and it will probably be the first year I haven’t made myself a birthday cake in as long as I can remember.
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- Teeth problems
- GOAT SIMULATOR
- Secret project planning
- Wine AND tequila (but not at the same time)
- Arts & crafts with watercolor & Sharpie
- Cleaning out my closet and finding a bunch of Pokemon cards from like 12 years ago
— Kelley (@anovelread) April 2, 2014
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
Blogger of the Week
I want to try something a little new here this week and see how it goes. Now, we include a LOT of links to discussions and other interesting tidbits around the web in each of our Weekly Recap posts. But sometimes there’s just one that stands out, and I just can’t help but want to highlight it. ~Kelley
[stextbox id=”group3″ caption=”Blogger of the Week: Kelly @ Pretty Little Reader” collapsing=”false” image=”null”]This week, I’m taking a cue from Kelly at Pretty Little Reader. Her monthly Keeping Up With the Blogosphere feature is similar to our weekly recaps, but instead of giving you a massive link list, she highlights a handful of bloggers who wrote thought-provoking posts. I’ve been really impressed with her methods here, and as a longtime fan of her blog (as many of you are as well, I’m sure), I wanted to give her a bit of special recognition too.[/stextbox]
Tweets of the Week
Wow I just tried to sing to my cat and she almost punched me in the face!
— Line Hollis (@LineHollis) April 4, 2014
— Kelley (@anovelread) April 5, 2014
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
Blogging Tips and Advice
- Ashley shows us how to migrate your WordPress theme from a foundation design to bootstrap.
- Ashley explains how to host an ebook giveaway.
- Stephanie helps you DIY: contact form.
- Ashley explains where she got her “ask me a question” feature.
- Ashley answers: do you need to follow bloggers who follow you?
- Jeann says the pressure is all in our heads.
- Emz answers the question: should you schedule your posts?
Other Blogging Thoughts
- Carrie started a discussion on being open about blogging statistics.
- Claire has highlighted some of her favorite new book blogs.
- Anya has a survey for her readers – go tell her what you think!
- Anne muses about award-free blogs.
- Rinn wonders about the careers of book bloggers.
- Amanda is thinking about the future of commenting.
- Mitchii wants to know if you keep the book blogger label offline.
- Sophia talks about writing dissatisfying posts.
- Liza shares her adventures on moving to WordPress.
- Sophie has found the recipe for what makes a book blogger.
- Nikki shares her experience with affiliate programs.
- April and Jen co-sign on co-blogging.
Reviews and ARCs
- Kelly has some strong thoughts about book reviews and twitter handles.
- Carrie wants to know what her readers think about ARCs.
- Sarah is struggling with a review writing slump.
- Lesley Anglesey stops by YA Highway with 4 tips to help you create the ultimate story plot.
- Susan Dennard offers some advice on reconnecting with your characters.
- Elizabeth Richard explores perfecting your opening line.
- JJ says it’s important to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
- Colleen has some thoughts and advice on word counts and novel length.
- Julie Eshbaugh has an “awesome” exercise that will improve your word choice.
- Chuck Wendig dishes about piracy, Patreon, and why he won’t put out a tip jar.
- Jackie Lea Sommers is counting the cost of writing a book.
- Kat Zhang discusses character movement and characterization.
Things Bookworms Think About
thoughts on Reading
- Betty is in a reading funk.
- Alise talks about being in the opposite of a reading slump.
- Kayla wonders: do you ever worry about your reading future?
- Sheri talks about reading while abroad.
- Lily wants to read all the books at once.
- Lisa discusses writing in books you read (inspired by Rainbow Rowell’s tweets).
- Dana and Anna ask: what were the first books you felt you “should” read?
- Katy talks about rereading and destressing.
- Emz wants to know what you do while you read.
- Sophie makes a note to scrap the reading schedule.
- Kelly speculates about when you put down a book for a while.
Likes And Dislikes
- Hazel explains what readers want in a book.
- Delaney shares the little things in books that make it or break it.
- Pamela asks: do you need to like the protagonist?
- Miranda is breaking out of her comfort zone and diving deeper into the fantasy genre.
- Helen shares her experience with poetry for National Poetry Month.
- Natalie confesses that she’s never read NA.
- Nara tries to help differentiate between confusing genres.
Books and Movies
- Ceilidhann asks: is there such a thing as an unadaptable book?
- Ashley shares her thoughts on books to movies.
- Kit has some thoughts on the Divergent movie.
Other Bookish Thoughts
- Katya stops by Bibliodaze to discuss finding empowerment through all the stories.
- Kelly compares some hardcover-to-paperback cover redesigns.
- Inspired by Eleanor & Park, The Belle Jar muses about how tough being a teenager can be.
- Lori shares her thoughts on relationships and books.
- Maggie Stiefvater rages about readers’ expectations that the GirlCharacter should just disregard her feelings and desires.
- Emily questions what morals YA books are promoting.
- Josephine talks about unavailable books on her TBR list.
- Lili is going down with her ship.
- Here’s a funny list of spoilers for every book ever (you’ve been warned).
- Arielle lists 19 true struggles of being addicted to YA books as an adult.
- Here’s an interactive typographic exploration of Alice in Wonderland.
- Take this quiz to find out how well-read you are, according to this quiz-maker, at least (it turns out that Kelley isn’t very well-read at all, and is a NEWBIE. PSH.).
- Check out the GORGEOUS winning bookmark designs in the Book Depository competition!
- Susan made cookies to match the Reboot cover!
- Kat recommends 5 young adult yaoi mangas.
- Ceilidhann has collected a brief history of lesbian pulp fiction.
- James says homophobia sucks: here’s why.
- Sarah stopped by Cayce’s blog to share 5 YA LGBT characters to love.
- Cayce shares 2014 LGBT YA releases she’s looking forward to.
- Someone (who has too much time on their hands) has put together a pretty hilarious list of Magic-card-celebrity lookalikes.
- Edward asks: is religious fundamentalism merely a failure to read well?
- Beth Revis explains how the best students are teachers.
- Foz Meadows has some commentary about female bodies.
- Amanda says maybe it’s time for employers to stop being so sexist when women ask for raises.
- Maggie Stiefvater put up a great big 10-minute drawing lesson.
- Did you hear? J. K.Rowling is planning a new trilogy.
- Find out which Star Trek captain you are (Kelley is Captain Janeway, of course! Leanne is Captain Jean-Luc Picard – woohoo for bald & smart!)
- Charlene points out three real life instances of time travel.
Videos of the Week
- Wil Wheaton gives the perfect response to a little girl asking how to deal with being called a nerd.
- Jorge Cham has animated this speech Neil Armstrong gave on why he’s proud to be a nerd.
- RedThread Games (creators of The Longest Journey) are delving into horror with Draugen.
- Check out all these groan-worthy chemistry jokes.
Question of the Week
Results from Last week’s Question
We’ve had a few people tell us that they’d like to see the results from the previous week’s question (hey, looks like we’re not the only ones interested in the feedback!), so we thought it might be a good idea to include it each week. Here’s last week’s question.
Does the length of discussion posts matter to you? Do you prefer long ones? Short ones? Medium-length ones? No preference?
This Week’s Question
Our Weekly Recap posts are pretty full — I think we all know that — but we’re starting to wonder if maybe it’s too much. We love you all and we want to keep you interested, engaged, and coming back to visit us; getting the balance right is important! Please let us know
Are our Weekly Recap posts too full? Should we cut back on some of the content? When you see a post with this much stuff in it, does it turn you away?
So, how was your week?