News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
Important Housekeeping Announcement
You’ve probably noticed that things are looking slightly different around here this week. Well, we’ve been working on fixing the email issues (and the strange problem of some people being redirected to unsavory websites when trying to visit our blog), and things are finally under control. The culprit has been found and eradicated, but sadly, it was one of our favorite plugins: Special Text Boxes.
This means we are in the process of finding a suitable replacement and then adjusting all of the millions of places across our site in which we were employing that plugin. It’s been a long and intense process, and things are still in flux right now, but we’re working on getting it back to a state that feels like home. In the meantime, please bear with us!
NOTE: If you use the Special Text Boxes plugin, we highly recommend that you disable and uninstall it asap. Find a replacement. It has some serious security backdoor issues.
In Case You Missed It
Despite all the stupid problem troubleshooting going on this week, we still managed to have a very full post schedule.
- Kelley confessed she’s having trouble keeping all her lives separate.
- Asti talked about monsters: scary or marry?
- Kelley posted her mini reviews for things she read in September.
- Our October Bookish Guide: Witches & Dark Magic went live!
- Asti reviewed Half Bad by Sally Green.
- Carley stopped by to talk about her life library.
- Kelley reviewed Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater.
- Day One of The Bookish Games Ready Player One Edition began!
Our Lives This Week
In Asti’s Life…
I’m going to be honest here, my week has been pretty much full of nothing. I haven’t really gone anywhere or done anything special. It’s just been job hunting, blogging, take pictures of my books, and reading. Pretty boring, right?
Well, okay, there is ONE exciting piece of news. I have ordered a DSLR camera! I’ve been eyeing one for a while now, for a variety of reasons, and have finally decided to just take the plunge since Dave told me he’d pay for it as my Christmas present. (So what if Christmas isn’t for two more months?) It’s supposed to be here Monday, but I’ll be out on work placement (going back to Little, Brown to work with their marketing department for two weeks) so won’t be able to sign for it so have no idea when I’ll actually get to start playing with it. Still, super excited!
In Kelley’s Life…
Despite the evidence on my instagram…
…this week has been pretty much garbage. Every day brought some sort of stupid assault and/or problem that I needed to fix. I’m still fixing our blog (as noted at the top of this post), and this has been the worst week for additional mentally taxing activities. I started a new narcolepsy med this week, which should be awesome (I’ve taken it in the past), but so far it’s felt like I’m not even medicated AT ALL (which is ludicrous, since I’m taking it in addition to my normal stimulants). Every day I’ve just been walking around in a fog, barely awake.
The good news is that my cat is getting better and the outside kitties are happy too. And I got to see Neal Shusterman on Wednesday, which was pretty fantastic. AND I’ve got almost ALL of my Sci-Fi November posts already prepped! I can’t freaking wait until I get some time off during November and December.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
Tweet of the Week
I asked my father for his advice on how to meet guys, and he said, "Just walk around carrying a copy of Tolstoy."
— Miaka K. (@Miakaa) October 19, 2014
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
- Ashley explains how to use FTP for your WP blog.
- Rachel talks about balancing school and blogging.
- Ashley shows how she organizes her computer files.
- Brittany creates a Goodreads 101 post for book bloggers.
- Jamie offers more tips on how to be an organized blogger.
- Stephanie discusses choosing a color scheme for a website.
- Sarah has advice on blogger networking that isn’t an energy suck.
- Ashley talks about CPU and memory on your self-hosted WP blog.
- Ashley explains how she made her own e-course plugin.
- Erin explains why she loves negative reviews.
- Rachel asks: why should I justify reviewing a DNF?
- Marianne confesses: she doesn’t read reviews how you think.
- Asma talks about writing a review and realizing you didn’t like the book as much as you thought.
A Blogger’s Life
- Meg says giveaways are a pain.
- Tory explains how she drafts her posts.
- Liza ponders on monetizing book blogs.
- Ashley asks herself: what kind of blogger am I?
- Amy struggles when blog ideas come to nothing.
- Lauren shares her growing pains as a book blogger.
- Fionnuala explains why she has never published a discussion post.
- Nicole asks: are the number of followers you have important to you?
On Writing & Authoring
Writing Tips & Advice
- Leila Austin discusses long haul projects.
- Sarah shares some inspiration for NaNoWriMo.
- Lydia Kang offers advice on committing to the shiny new idea.
- Janice Hardy shares Pick Six: a how to create a character game.
- Juliette Fay shows us how to turn the tables on a bad writing day.
- Maggie Stiefvater says songwriting and novel writing are the same.
- Julie Eshbaugh talks about the value of letters from your characters.
- Susan Dennard on holding yourself accountable and staying motivated.
- Tanja wonders: are there too many books?
- Roger asks: is social media marketing heaven or hell?
- Michael Underwood explains why writing diversely matters to him.
- Agent Kristin Nelson asks: is Harper Collins pitting authors against booksellers?
All That Drama – Bloggers & Authors
authors doing bad things
- The Guardian posted a follow-up article to the Kathleen Hale situation.
- The blogger who was attacked explains what really happened.
- Nichole explains how Kathleen Hale got a blogger’s address.
- Hannah discusses the situation from the angle of “faux politeness“.
- Jenna says this is what happens when an author tracks down a critic in real life.
Bloggers & Reviewers Respond
- Sara shares her thoughts on the incident.
- Nicole looks at the saga of Kathleen Hale.
- Alicia talks about Kathleen Hale and choices.
- Emily shares her thoughts on the issue of Hale.
- Finley Jayne addresses the situation by sharing her own story.
- Amanda talks about harassment, stalking, and refusing to stand down.
Authors & Publishing Folks Speak Out
- Maggie Stiefvater on not stalking someone’s house.
- Alex Bracken has advice for authors on handling criticism.
- Chuck Wendig shares 5 ways to respond to a negative review.
- Beth Revis discusses the consequences of stalking and why so many took a stand against the author-stalker.
On the Relationship Between Authors & Bloggers
- Paige shares her experience with an author on Wattpad.
- Katherine discusses Kathleen Hale, book blogging, and stalking.
- Ceilidhan writes an open letter to Kathleen Hale and Guardian Books.
- Asheley says reader-author interaction should carry on, despite the drama.
Protecting Your Privacy
- Alex examines the breach of online ethics.
- Rachel writes her own post about the stalking author.
- Cassie talks about internet privacy and cyberbullying.
- Dana encourages her fellow bloggers to please be safe.
- Kelly offers 7 tips for protecting your privacy as a blogger.
- Sydney discusses what these happenings have meant to her.
- Josephine talks about online safety in response to Kathleen Hale.
- Christine wonders if The Guardian followed their own code of ethics.
- Jamie shares her personal response to the shocking THING that happened.
Things Bookworms Think About
a reader’s life
- Zoe explains why she reads.
- Kezia debunks some reading myths.
- Amy plans on demolishing her TBR pile.
- Amanda complains about books going bad.
- Ruby asks: would you rather be a novel or a poem?
- Tara gives a shout out to author-narrated audiobooks.
- Jonetta asks: are you still in reading “love” these days?
- Kaitlin answers the question: should books be banned?
- Gina Damico says books are gateways to happiness (and/or rage).
- Tabitha wants to know what you do when you don’t feel like reading.
- Jean likes that the reading community generally doesn’t flame each other for disliking a book.
How We Read
- Jamie likes re-reading, in theory.
- Kaitlin discusses her reading habits.
- Tori thinks she reads too many series.
- Octavia can never plan what she reads.
- Gillian talks about coffee and comfort reads.
- Chiara says books are starting to make her cry.
- Kristen admits she does some weird things when she reads.
- Gillian suggests ways to fix your mood interfering with your reading.
- Carmel asks: have you ever read an entire book only to think “why did I read the whole book?”
buying and organising books
- Tanja talks about the sites she uses to order books.
- Nafiza explains what not to do when buying books.
- Jessica highlights some of her favorite home libraries.
- Genevieve discusses the fun of organizing her bookshelves.
outside the books
- Rachel and Jamie dish junk about covers.
- Lucy shares messages she’s found in books.
- Krystal talks about her most
- Charlotte says judging a book by its cover is okay.
- Kelly looks at YA books with moons on the covers.
- Aimee rants about those little chips on book covers.
- Cee compares books with ferris wheels on the covers.
inside the books
- Lauren shares her musings on love triangles.
- Ellen highlights her favorite villains from fiction.
- Natalie and Emily look at Snow White retellings.
- Anya says she needs the romance to be believable.
- Renae discusses the second chance romance trope.
- Emz wants to know: how do you picture characters?
- Hollie talks about seeing yourself in a book character.
- Carrie compares The Hunger Games to The Servile War.
- Renae does a breaks down on second chance romances.
- P.E. talks about the most ferociously fearsome faux-pas in YA.
- Debby loves beautiful father-daughter relationships in books.
- Ana highlights what characteristics she likes to see in a book romance.
talking about ya
- Kel talks about YA imprints.
- Emz thinks YA needs more diversity.
- Sam is starting to move away from YA.
- Kristin explores the landscape of YA lit.
- Jess looks at aestheticism vs morality in YA.
- Dennis discusses retrofitting adult nonfiction for YA.
- Kristen wants to know: what was your gateway book to YA?
- Lauren shares ten reasons why she prefers YA to adult books.
recommendations and lists
- Ellen wants your book recommendations.
- Epic Reads made a timeline of YA historical fiction.
- Alice share the books that taught her about self-respect.
- Sophie talks about the places books have made her want to visit.
- Ana explains why she likes historical fiction and shares some recommendations.
- Rinn shares the top 10 horror books on her TBR.
- Lili recommends creepy reads for squeamish readers.
- Holly shares books to read if you like spooky settings.
- Adrienne lists 13 YA novels to spook you this Halloween.
- Celine, Larissa, and Melanie share their top 15 Halloween reads.
- Sana highlights thirteen authors and their journey into YA horror.
- Caroline shares an awesome flowchart of Halloween book recommendations.
Bookish Halloween & Horror OCtober
- Laura shares 11 YA Gothic horror reads.
- Bieke admits she is not a fan of horror.
- Val shares what she would be for Halloween.
- Danny recommends YA books with serial killers.
- Rinn talks about the scariest creatures in fantasy.
- Take this quiz to find out which 90s which you are.
- Kat shows us how to make Halloween bookmarks.
- Bekka walks you through painting a bookish pumpkin.
- Jamie dresses five of her favorite YA couples for Halloween.
- Jackie shares characters she’d love to dress up as for Halloween.
- Stubby lists 9 Harry Potter Halloween stories we’d rather see than Dolores Umbridge.
- Amy shares her dreamcast for Free to Fall.
- Georgie creates a storyboard for Perception.
- Lili uses emojis to express her bookish feels.
- Hafsah designs a wallpaper for The Young Elites.
- Rosa shows off her findings of 8 literary tote bags.
- Thuy shares her manicure for Game by Barry Lyga.
- Jessica takes a look at some creative home libraries.
- Jessica designs a wallpaper for Marimekko: In Patterns.
- Jenn creates a wallpaper for Rainbow Rowell’s Landline.
- Kayla shares her synesthetic colors for My Life Next Door.
- Epic Reads has a reading kit inspired by Exquisite Captive.
- Sanderson fans: there is now a Mistborn adventure game!
- Take this quiz to find out which Dr. Seuss character you are.
- Here’s a chart for those reading Clariel: The Charter vs. Free Magic.
Rants and Raves
- Kristilyn writes a love letter to Amanda Palmer.
- Rika asks: what about the people we don’t forgive?
- Tabitha rants: some TV watchers try to make her feel like a leper.
- Imogen looks at death and bereavement from a child’s point of view.
- William discusses fake deaths, cheap resurrections, and dealing with real grief.
Videos of the Week
- Watch these gorgeous trailers for ‘Tant de Forets’.
- Book nerd problems: when you get “the feels” in public.
- Danny shares some YA book trailers to get excited about.
- Here’s an instructional guide on how to prepare for second puberty.
So, how was your week?