News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
In Case You Missed It
Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week.
- Kelley reviewed Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman.
- Asti revealed another fun new feature: On My Bookshelf.
- Kelley talked about when going in blind screws her over.
- Asti reviewed Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers.
Our Lives This Week
In Asti’s Life…
WARNING: LOTS OF RAMBLING AHEAD!
I actually have things to talk about this week, which is actually pretty darn exciting! Should I start with the yay bits or the fail bits? Let’s do the fail ones, because they’re actually kind of funny.
Fail #1: I went grocery shopping (ooh, how adult of me) and bought some ingredients for recipes I planned on making, including this Easy Zoodle Bake one (I’ve made it and let me just say: SO GOOD!! Highly recommended!). Unfortunately, when I took the ingredients out to actually make the meal the next day, I realized I bought CUCUMBERS instead of ZUCCHINI. Nooooooo!
Now, it’s my own darn fault for being pretty stupid when it comes to healthy eating (I grew up happily eating McDonald’s and PB&J sandwiches), so identifying fruits and vegetables by sight isn’t my strong point (unless it’s something obvious like oranges). I remember being confused at the store when buying these because they had both cucumbers and zucchini right next to each other without labels, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the zucchinis looked like the last time I bought them. I even used Google images on my phone to try and help me decide which ones to buy and ugh. I failed. I couldn’t believe it when I got home and realized my mistake. D’oh.
Fail #2: I smacked my head on my desk bending down to pick my phone off the floor… twice. Smooth, right? The first time hurt so bad. I hit it right on the edge and it created a small cut on my forehead and was so sore. The second time (which happened only a couple hours later) didn’t hurt as bad because I didn’t hit it as forcefully (nor did I hit it in the same spot, thankfully!), but still. So much fail.
I think the funniest thing about that though is after I hit myself the first time, I sent Dave a picture of my wound and told him what happened, and his response included caution about being careful so as not to hit my head again. I gave him attitude for that, saying I didn’t hit my head on purpose and of course I would be careful not to do it again, only to find myself smacking my head against the desk a couple hours later. What is wrong with me?!
But it’s okay! Neither of those fails bothered me because a) they’re not serious, b) I have no problem laughing at myself, and c) there was too much goodness this week! Let’s end with the good things:
Good thing #1: There’s a little tradition on my mom’s side of the family where every time someone turns fifty, a surprise party is thrown. It’s a bit contradictory because as everyone knows about this tradition they come to expect the party and therefore surprising them is nearly impossible. Fortunately, we were still able to surprise my mom. She had always told me she didn’t want a surprise party because it wouldn’t a surprise and so I didn’t think we’d do one for her, but my aunts contacted me last week and decided we should try anyway. We herded everyone together at a restaurant where she planned on eating with her sisters, and she had no clue about any of it (well, apart from the fact she recognized one car outside the building and when they asked for their reservation the hostess said “table of fifteen?”).
It was a lovely night celebrating my mom and being with family, so I’m glad we decided to do it even though we waited until the last minute. Happy birthday mom!
Good thing #2: My birthday is coming up! I’m turning 26 this year, and while there’s really nothing exciting about that number, it has been sort of exciting checking the mail this past week to see what goodies show up from Dave. I’ve received a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card (which I already spent on The Walls Around Us) and the Funny Bunny Gift from Lush, which is pretty darn perfect. Nothing like books and baths to help a girl relax! Thanks handsome! <3
Good thing #3: I’VE BOOKED MY PLANE TICKETS TO LONDON! (I’m just a little excited, if you couldn’t tell…) Dave and I have been discussing when we’ll see each other next, and as he starts school in September, we decided that August would be a good time for a reunion. I have no idea what we’ll get up to while I’m there, but I don’t really care. I miss that boy oh so much, and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with him (and to also hopefully visit some of my friends in London, too)!
So yes! Things are finally on an up for me, which I have to admit is so refreshing after months of feeling like nothing would ever be okay. I still have my bad days and there’s still a long way to go before things are exactly as I want them to be, but it’s nice to finally feel a bit of optimism and positivity in my heart instead of the paralyzing numbness I was struggling with before.
I guess I just want to end this long ramble by saying thank you for being a friend and follower, as your love has also helped things turn around for me. And if you’re struggling with depression or helplessness because of whatever situation you’re currently going through, please try to hold on. It may seem like things won’t get any better, but that’s only because you’re not giving yourself a chance. Acknowledge the things you’ve managed to do lately despite the sadness, no matter how trivial they may seem, and realize that you are an amazing and beautiful person that deserves to happiness. I love you all. x
In Kelley’s Life…
My life this past week has been quite… interesting. So, LAST weekend I went blackberry picking with a couple of friends at their family farm out in the country. It was a long and busy day, but it was so rewarding because I learned a lot, and at the end of the day we had homemade jam made with berries we picked ourselves! I’m saving most of my jars to give to my husband when he comes back (blackberries are his favorite!). AND I had a great little homemade gift to bring to my mom for Mother’s Day the next morning!
Little did we realize, however, that we picked up some unwanted travelers in all those high grasses surrounding the blackberry patches. All three of us have spent the week in utter agony, as we (very slowly) recover from gazillions of bites from the spawn of Satan. BUT, I did get to meet Marie Rutkoski on Friday night, which was another awesome event at my favorite local bookshop.
(Oh, and in Cat Saga news… I finally got a good photo of Mama Kitty! Isn’t she GORGEOUS?! I mean, just look at her beautiful green eyes!
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
Blogging Tips & Ideas
- Tonyalee discusses blog design.
- Rachel shares a quick blog cleanup infographic.
- Anne wonders: should your blog be more niche?
- Shannon talks about her blogging prerequisites.
- Sean explains reposting and the etiquette of attribution (via).
- Ashley explains how to create a blog series, technically speaking.
- Amanda highlights seven design resources she can’t live without.
- Hannah reflects on review books.
- Ana talks about her review structure.
- Liza wants to know: do you keep ARCs?
- Deb asks: should book bloggers write reviews?
- Alicia shares her thoughts on negative reviews.
- Harman explains why she won’t answer review requests on Facebook.
A Blogger’s Life
- Becky says she’s a bad commenter.
- Katie reflects on one year of blogging.
- Stormy did some blog spring cleaning.
- Katie confesses: she doesn’t comment back.
- Holly talks about cliques in the blogosphere.
- Kat lays out some real talk about blogger exhaustion.
- Ashley wonders: are we overestimating our originality?
- Jennifer shares her thoughts on meeting book bloggers.
- Laura talks about buying books before blogging vs. now.
- Carrie says she sometimes struggles with staying motivated.
- Bekka discusses blogging for yourself vs. blogging for others.
- Aimee highlights things that have changed since she started blogging.
On Writing & The Industry
- Stormy discusses letting your stories age.
- E. C. Myers wants to talk about all kinds of writing.
- Julie has advice for getting author photos you love.
- Heather Dixon talks about creating alternate worlds.
- Chuck Wendig asks: what lessons, from what stories?
- Michael J. Martinez says to respect your writing process.
- Christine explains why your hero should fight a good guy.
- Kristin makes some confessions of a pantser-turned-outliner.
- Elizabeth May discusses creating an authentic historical atmosphere.
- Chuck Wendig reveals to writers that “none of us know what the f*ck we’re doing“.
Things Bookworms Think About
A Reader’s Life
- Lili talks about audiobooks.
- Keionda rants about novellas.
- Nicole says her kids love to reread.
- Alexa talks about attending signings.
- Laura lists five reasons to love reading.
- Cassi identifies as a plot-driven reader.
- Erin shares her thoughts on beta-reading.
- Jamie reflects on books that change your life.
- Val wonders if book translation is worth it or not.
- Jordin wants bookish podcast recommendations.
- Cait lists ten problems of being an adult reading YA.
- Carmel asks: do you judge authors by their online identities?
- Ellen explains how TV rescued her from a huge reading slump.
- Cait highlights ten occupational hazards of being a bookworm.
- Nicole looks at reading recording accuracy and book polygamy.
- Aimee provides three problems obsessive readers can relate to.
- Joy wants to know: do you choose your next book based on its size?
- Amanda explains why she doesn’t buy and keep book she doesn’t have to.
- Shannon wants to know: what do you expect from a companion novel or sequel?
Abandoning a Book
Inside the Books
- Erin talks about road trip books.
- Bekka admits she doesn’t like fluff.
- Karina shares 5 books with powerful friendships.
- Julie, Lynn, and Rose share their thoughts on tropes.
- Mitchii wonders: how closely should fictional stories mirror real life?
- Amanda wants to know: where art thou bisexual and lesbian relationships?
- Joey assures readers that not all fictional men smell like the great outdoors.
- Joey rants about characters letting out a breath they didn’t know they were holding.
- Rinn recommends some historical fiction.
- Parajunkee offers 10 reasons to read romance.
- Ellen put together a newbie’s guide to fantasy.
- Epic Reads lists 12 must-read YA graphic novels.
- Lauren speaks about her love of historical fiction.
- Kelly says: what about YA nonfiction? and recs some titles.
- Krysta has seven reasons why you should read middle-grade.
Covers & Illustrations
- Kelly shows off YA covers featuring shades of plum.
- Check out the artwork for The Man in the High Castle.
- Uh-oh! New cover art for Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series.
- Bill and Bob take over Terri’s blog with a discussion about daggers on covers.
Libraries and Bookstores
- Tara says she loves her library.
- Kristy hates bookstores, sometimes.
- Tabitha admits she’s addicted to libraries.
- Nova wrote a song based on The Program.
- Hazel created graphics for Just One Day quotes.
- Ashley shares five ways that reading is like exercising.
- Brittany highlights 5 underrated Muggle characters from Harry Potter.
- Epic Reads wonders: how old are the “teens” on the covers of teen novels?
- Hafsah created a downloadable wallpaper for A Court of Thorns and Roses.
- Kayla shares the colors she associates with The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.
Videos of the Week
- Book Nerd (BEA) Problems: when all your authors sign at the same time.
- Have you seen the first Supergirl trailer?
So, how was your week?