Weekly Recap| Sep 14-20, 2014

Weekly Recap
Weekly Recap

News & Updates at Oh, the Books!

In Case You Missed It

Asti was also featured in The One on Mab is Mab this week!
And Miranda highlighted the Bookish Games as one of her favorite features from other bloggers!

Our Lives This Week

[stextbox id=”asti2″ caption=”Asti” collapsing=”true”]Are you ready for my exciting news? Are you? Are you? Are you?


I don’t love it, but I tend to be an overly critical perfectionist so I don’t expect any different. I’ve been honest with its many limitations, I’ve done all I feel I can do, so now it’s just a matter of heading back to uni this week to print, bind, and hand it in. Woohoo!

HoFotgraphy, Heir of Fire, Sarah J. Maas

Apart from that, the only thing I can think that has been any sort of excitement this week if the #HoFotography duel I had with Sana. I saw her drooling and sharing pictures of Heir of Fire on Twitter and Instagram so I challenged her to spend a day with me taking creative photos of the book, which we did. It’s over now, and I think she won, but I had fun so I forgive her.

I hope your week was amazing! :)[/stextbox]

[stextbox id=”kelley2″ caption=”Kelley” collapsing=”true”]My week was definitely pretty awesome. I feel extremely productive because NOT ONLY did I catch up on everything at work (some things have been waiting in my inbox for MONTHS), but I got a LOT of blog stuff done. I wrote a crapload of reviews, prepped a ton of posts, and got my plans for Sci-Fi Month sorted out!

I also got to see Melissa Marr on Thursday night, which was awesome. She is always entertaining, and so full of great insights and stories about the industry! Saturday I also got to see Mari Mancusi, and then my sister and I went to see The Maze Runner with a friend. I’ll report back about it, um, later. ;D

(Also, for those keeping track of the Stray Cat Saga going on outside my apartment. Sarsparilla (that’s what I’ve taken to calling him) now waits for me every evening and sometimes in the mornings. I have been trying not to feed him every day, at my husband’s insistence. Then I got home Thursday night and saw he’d given him food AND water. Apparently that cat had brought his mother with him (who is pregnant AGAIN — she seems to live in a perpetual state of pregnant or nursing, poor thing). So, while all of my friends seem to be having their cats go missing, all of the strays in my neighborhood are congregating outside my window. Oh, life.)[/stextbox]

Elsewhere in the blogosphere

On Blogging and Book Reviewing

blogging tips and tricks
reviews, ratings, and arcs
a blogger’s life

On Writing

Writing Tips & Advice
Authoring & the Industry

Things Bookworms Think About

A reader’s life
back to school
buying books and organizing them at home
book marketing
reading slumps, moods, and distractions
it’s the end of the [book] as we know it
inside the books
book formats
young adult and genres
series and standalones
recommendations and lists
Bookish Fun


Random Stuff
Videos of the Week

Question of the Week

Many of us have a sort of tenuous relationship with reviews, writing them, and reading them. Reviews are typically the posts on a book blog with the least amount of views and interaction on them. We know our blog is mostly known for our discussions, games, and other posts anyway, so we’re wondering…

What would you think if we stopped Posting reviews?

So, how was your week?

Asti Kelley Leanne


Read 62 comments

  1. I think it would be okay. You guys are doing a great job sharing your opinion and finds on all things bookish. I would still love to to know your current book loves, maybe you can put it all on one post? Thanks for including my post here :)

    • Thanks for letting us know your thoughts Ana! I do think personally I’ll probably still do individual reviews (especially as I currently have them scheduled until January! >.<), but I'm glad to hear that people won't be bothered is we pull back on them. I'm thinking maybe in the future I'll try and make ten more discussion based... but we'll see what happens. Like I said, I'm scheduled until Jan so no changes anytime soon! XP

  2. I feel like such a weird person because I like reviews.. maybe that’s just me, but I have a firm belief in ;it’s your blog, your choice’. If you want to stop doing reviews, then do that, you could easily do something else, like a monthly spotlight of the books you’ve read and loved that month with a few sentences on why, or you could just not do anything, it’s completely your choice girls, just don’t feel pushed by anyway else :) Thank you for linking me again girls, I always appreciate it :D

    • I don’t think you’re a weird person if you like our reviews! I’m actually quite glad there’s people out there who do! I’m always just curious because most bloggers who choose to discuss reviews usually talk about how they’re not reading them or feeling them anymore, so it’s sort of hard not to think everyone feels that way. There needs to be more posts out there that say I love reviews! haha.

      I personally will be continuing reviews on my end, just because I have them scheduled until January and find them fairly easy to write. I do love though that in the end you’ll support us no matter what we do. You’re amazing <3

  3. Well, I stopped posting reviews as well so of course I am not against the idea. :D I do love reading reviews though (and yours are always great – not too long, not too short + interesting), but there are so many other features + games + discussion posts here, I think it would be fine if you cut (or cut back on) the reviews. :)

  4. I think you guys are pretty good at reviews so I don’t think you NEED to stop posting them, but if you do stop posting them I will still adore your books. I know reviews take a lot of effort and get very few views, so… I’d say it’s ultimately your choice.

  5. I feel so conflicted about this. Oh, the Books! would succeed with our without the reviews, so if you wanted to stop writing them, you could. And if I’m honest, when it comes to most blogs, sometimes I read reviews, but most of the time I don’t. I have to say though, I’d be sad to see them go entirely. I’ve actually purchased books solely because reviews I’ve read on Oh, the Books! sold me on the book!

    • Wow, really? You’ve purchased books solely from our reviews?! Do you remember which books? That is really cool, I have to say. And it makes me realize how useful our reviews really can be, even if they don’t get as many views/reads/comments as our other posts. Thanks so much for the feedback, Jackie!

    • I think your conflicted feelings sort of reflect ours! I feel like most people come to our blog for the features and discussions we have, more so than reviews. While that’s not a bad thing, it’s led to us questioning our reviews and whether or not readers want them at all. I do think they still have a place here though. As you’ve said, they’ve influenced you to check out books before, and I think they’re helpful for readers who aren’t bloggers who want guidance in choosing what to read. (I think bloggers don’t need as much help because there’s EIGHT MILLION things telling us what to read already, haha.) Thanks Jackie :)

  6. Thanks for linking Kat’s discussion post! I’ve missed these posts (haven’t’ been quite as active as lately, but trying to get back into blogging with a vengeance!)

    It’s funny because I have a survey going on my blog about which posts people like the most, and almost every single one of them have said they love the reviews – and yet those (like you said) are the posts that get the least amount of interaction – as compared to like discussion posts on our blog – and the least number of views.

    So, it makes me wonder if I need to do a discussion topic pondering this very mystery!

    As for your question, it’s your blog and I think you guys provide enough content to be able to get away from reviewing, but it might be fun to do a review every once in awhile – or a group read where the three of you read the same book and then discuss it in a post for our delight. I think those kind of posts are awesome and often turn out quite funny and/interesting, especially when people have divergent ideas on the same book.

      • Really? Hmm… For some reason I find it really hard to make myself read a discussion-style review. Maybe because it’s harder to skim for the highlights? lol… I don’t know! I’ve thought about doing a few like that with my husband, for books we both read, but it hasn’t happened.

    • Oh, I should go take your survey! I’m sure you’re going to be posting the results at some point? I’d love to see! But yes, it is interesting how most of the time, the feedback is that people don’t want bloggers to stop posting reviews even though they get the least amount of attention/interaction. I don’t know that we’ll actually stop posting reviews completely (or at all), but it is nice to know that they’re appreciated when we DO post them, and that the rest of our content is enjoyable whether there’s reviews on here or not! Thanks for the feedback, April. :)

    • I feel like I’ve seen similar results on other blogs – people tend to say they love reviews the most even though they don’t get as much interaction. Maybe we’re just not writing them in a way to encourage interaction? Maybe it’s because they haven’t read the book so feel no need to say something? I don’t know! But it is quite interesting. I would love to read your discussion post about it if you do decide to do one. (I’ve been feeling like I need to write a discussion post myself on this topic to sort out all my thoughts – because there’s so many!)

      I agree, I do think it would be fun if we reviewed a book together every once in a while. It’s actually quite funny because we’re in a book club together where we read the same book once every three months, so that would be the perfect opportunity to do it. Maybe we should have our own mini review writing session for the book together before we get together with everyone else for the book club. Two birds with one stone!

  7. I do think that your blog has so much else going on that you could easily maintain your level of great content without. But at the same time, I wouldn’t stop writing reviews JUST because they don’t get much interaction. If you enjoy writing them, keep sharing them. Just because your regular readers aren’t responding to them doesn’t mean they might not help someone. (Most of my review hits seem to come from random searchers.) But don’t continue just because “it’s what book bloggers are supposed to do.”

    (Of course, I don’t know how much my opinion is worth… since I’ve stopped reading reviews altogether, your decision won’t affect me one way or the other.)

    • Hehe, admittedly, I don’t reviews most of the time either anymore. But I have noticed that our reviews get a bunch of views from random searchers as well, so there is definitely some value in that. I don’t know that we’ll stop posting reviews, but you are right that we have plenty of other things to fill in the gaps without them. Thanks for your feedback, Charleen!

    • I actually don’t feel strongly one way or another about reviews. I don’t necessarily enjoy writing them, but I don’t necessarily dread writing them. I just do them… does that make sense? I will be continuing with mine for a while at least because I am scheduled up until January with them, haha. But I do agree, if we decide to go that route and stop doing them, I think our other content is more than enough that it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      (And hey, your opinion is still very valuable to me. I enjoy having you as a follower on my blog, even if you don’t read my reviews. :))

  8. Asti: Congratulations on finishing your dissertation! I’m sure it will go over well!

    Kelley: Now I’m really curious about your thoughts on The Maze Runner movie! Also, the fact that you named the cat and now your husband is feeding it… I think you guys are kind of doomed, even if the cat never comes inside your house. Also, sounds like someone needs to get that mom cat spayed! (Not saying it needs to be y’all because I know it’s not cheap!)

    As far as reviews go, maybe you can just post less of them. I almost always read the reviews on this blog, which I can’t say I do for every blog, because I do really like to know what you guys think of books. However, I will say there have been an increasing number of books y’all have reviewed that I have never even heard of, which generally decreases my interest in reading the review. So maybe if y’all just did it for books you really loved and want to share with us or that are pretty well-known and people might be curious what your thoughts on it was.

    • Yes, that kitty waits for me in the mornings and evenings now! >_< I would love to get the mama kitty spayed. The poor thing! If I could get close enough to her to catch her (and not make her freak out), I would take her in to get spayed. I feel so bad for her (even though the neighborhood is now flourishing with kitties thanks to her, lol). Interesting feedback about the reviews, Amy. So what changed as far as the books we've been reviewing? Are they just more obscure? More books in genres you don't care for? Are we branching too far out as far as the variety of books we review? (If so, I wouldn't mind sticking to specific genres on the blog and posting reviews for other books on GR/Amazon.)

      • Yeah, I feel the books have been more obscure and unknown lately, like the Maggot Moon book and I think there was one called Tinder (it has a wolf on the cover), and I was thinking what are these? Maybe you guys could save those for the mini reviews, and just do full-size reviews on the more popuar books? Those are just my thoughts, since you asked. :)

        • Haha, Kelley asked but those were both my reviews. Sorry Amy, I guess I’m not reading popular enough books for you?? ;)

          The funny thing is both of those books are by the same YA author, and they’re both quite well-known over here in the UK. It’s just that sad thing were the US industry is pretty US-centric. Ah well.

          I honestly don’t mind if you don’t like those reviews though. If you don’t want to read those reviews, don’t! For me, I think those are more valuable than the ones that are popular because the books that already are popular don’t NEED the help and promotion. BUT, on the flip side, such books that are less known are less likely to get interaction because many bloggers limit their review reading to books they’ve read or want to read. I’m okay with that.

          I think I’ve been feeling a bit meh about reviews lately because of the lack of interaction, but the fact that it’s taking me hours upon hours to catch up on commenting for blog posts from months ago makes me sort of happy those posts lack interaction. haha.

          • I still love your reviews, Asti! I usually read them anyways because you might have found something interesting that I didn’t know about, but that does make sense that you are reading books that are popular in the UK! Even when I read reviews though I don’t always comment, especially if I’ve never heard of it. Which I hate that I do because I know I’m sad when I don’t get comments on my reviews!

        • Haha, both of those you mentioned were Asti’s reviews, and like she said, that author is pretty popular in the UK. I think this is an interesting discussion, though, because our readership has really broadened over the past 6 months. Quite a large portion of our audience is international, and since Asti’s in the UK, we’ve had an increasing number of UK subscribers and UK-originated content/books. I think it’s cool that we’re such an international blog, and I would think it’s a great way for us to help cross-promote books into places where they might be less known (like those ones you mentioned are a perfect example)!

          I was also thinking you were going to point out a lot of the sort of random books I’ve reviewed lately, like Transgender Lives, etc. Sometimes I just pick up random books on NetGalley because they interest me, even though I realize they may not be as interesting to most of our readership. Hmmm…

    • OH YEAH and The Maze Runner! So, it was definitely interesting. I think the whole setting was really cool to see, and quite imaginative. For the most part, I enjoyed the movie, even though I think there were some things that were confusing (probably because I didn’t read the book). I’ve read some pretty negative feedback about it (more complaints that the movie was trying too hard to emulate other successful YA adaptations like Divergent and THG), but I dunno. Have you watched it? Are you planning to watch it? I’d love to hear what you think about it.

    • Okay, now to reply to your first comment since i had only really paid attention to yours and Kelley’s convo earlier. Thanks Amy! Even if my dissertation doesn’t go well (though it will), it’s just such a relief to have it done. Feels great!

      And I do get what you mean about the frequency of reviews and the sort of… obscurity of some of them. I have a current pattern for my reviews, I schedule them every three posts (review, other, other, review, other, other) so once appears every week or two. I actually have been reading some popular books lately, so though I had posted some lesser-known ones in the US earlier, some big ones will be coming up soon! I’m sure they’ll receive more interaction just because people will have opinions on them since they’ll have likely read them too! We’ll see :)

  9. Congratulations, Asti! Isn’t it a relief? :)

    Kelley, I also got a lot of things done on the blog this weekend! I had several reviews I needed to write that I kept putting off. It’s like “OK, now I’m ahead. I can stay on top of this.” :)

    Thanks for sharing my link about the giveaways! I’ve gotten several responses already!


    And this cat saga is the most entertaining thing I’ve read all week xD

    As far as your reviews, it’s a “your blog your rules” sort of thing! Personally, if I’m looking for a review on a specific book, I’ll look it up on Goodreads and look at the list of all the bloggers’ opinions that I follow. But sometimes it’s nice to see it come across my BL feed as well. Ultimately, it’s all up to you guys! Reviews can be hard to write, and just plain annoying on top of that.

    • Ah yes, the cat saga, lol… As for reviews, yes, I do the same thing. I go to Goodreads, where I can see all my friends’ ratings and reviews in one place. But like you said, I sometimes enjoy seeing them come up on my reader as well, because sometimes I might not even realize that person read/reviewed the book at all, and I’m curious what they thought of it!

    • THANKS KAYLA! I was so excited to finally be able to hand it in! Though I have to admit, it’s a little crazy realizing I’m not a student again. You mean I have to be a real adult now? Nooooooo! XP

      I agree, I’m much more likely to go to Goodreads to look at reviews than blogs. But I can’t imagine writing a review and putting it on Goodreads and not my blog. Feels like if I’m doing the work I might as well post it, haha! Reviews are just so confusing sometimes, but I think I’ll be keeping them for a while. I have them scheduled until January so they’re not going anywhere yet!

  11. Congratulations on finishing your dissertation, Asti! The relief occurs when you hand in that hardcopy, bound and looking incredibly pretty and you realise…you can’t get it back anyway, so might as well let it go :D But wow, does it feel like a load off your shoulders?

    The review thing is honestly up to you guys! Reviews are often hard to judge because I only click them on BL if the books are on my radar…If they’re a strain to write then I say “let it go”, but if you’re passionate about them then I’m sure there’s always someone who’s going to be interested, you know?

    Ps. Thank you for linking me in the feature <33

    • Thanks Jess! It was an AMAZING feeling to hand it in and just know that it’s out of my hands. I know I did my best with what I had so I can’t imagine there’s too much I would change anyways. It was definitely time to just let it go! :)

      I don’t feel strongly one way or another about reviews, but I think they’ll be sticking around just because they’re sometimes easy content. Features and discussions can sometimes require more effort out of me, so I like having reviews as sort of “break” posts. Even the less interaction can be nice just because it means I don’t have so many comments to catch up on lol.

      And you’re welcome for featuring you! I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed your blog before but now that I have I have to say I love it! Will definitely be stalking you (but in a non-creepy way, haha.)

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