Weekly Recap| Sep 28 – Oct 4, 2014

Weekly Recap
Weekly Recap

News & Updates at Oh, the Books!

Birthday Giveaway Winner!

Relativity by Cristin BisharaLast week we had a giveaway to win one of Kelley’s  favorite books (in honor of her birthday). The giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Lauren @ Lose Time Reading for winning! She chose to receive a copy of Relativity by Cristin Bishara – and it’s on its way! Thanks to everyone who entered the competition (and wished Kelley a happy birthday). Better luck next time :)

In Case You Missed It

Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week.

Our Lives This Week

[stextbox id=”asti2″ caption=”Asti” collapsing=”true”]It’s been a good week, albeit a quiet one online. I spent last weekend down at Swanage with Dave’s family to go fishing and to check out Corfe Castle (1 + 2). It was really quite beautiful, though a bit sad because the castle had been destroyed during some civil war and only bits and pieces were left of it! Darn those people back in the day for blowing stuff up!

(1 + 2) Corfe Castle (3) Book Haul

(1 + 2) Corfe Castle (3) Book Haul

And then once I came back it was straight to London for a week placement with Orion. This was my third time helping out with their publicity department and I really enjoy it because the people there are lovely and the tasks are varied. I also like that it’s located right in central London. During my lunch breaks I would go shopping (couldn’t resist buying the new Scott Westerfeld book (3)) or check out the tourists and performers at Trafalgar Square.

It’s definitely been a good week, but a busy one. I’m glad I have this week off to a) catch up on blogging and online stuff and b) start making some progress on that whole job hunting thing (wish me luck)!


[stextbox id=”kelley2″ caption=”Kelley” collapsing=”true”]This was pretty mentally and emotionally exhausting for me. It’s been a roller coaster every day; alternating between crappy news and happy news, stressful things and satisfying things. The good news is that I’ve been quite productive both at work and on blog stuff, even though I haven’t done much besides that.

Squeakers Mama Kitty

And, of course, in Cat Saga news… all three of them now pretty much hang out and wait for me every day when I get home from work. Squeakers (the black one, pictured above) is now comfortable enough with me to snuggle — and I even got him purring the other day! I also spotted a group of 5 kittens nearby and goodness they were so cute! They looked just like Squeakers and Sourpuss, so clearly they’re all coming from the same parents. Sigh![/stextbox]

Elsewhere in the blogosphere

Tweet of the Week

On Blogging and Book Reviewing

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

On Writing

Things Bookworms Think About

A Reader’s Life
inside books
Feminism & Censorship in the Book World
different types of books (genres, formats, publication)
Lists & Recommendations
Bookish Fun


Reflections and Introspections
Videos of the Week

Question of the week

In our reviews (at least, most of them), we’ve been utilizing the Rating Report functionality of the Ultimae Book Blogger Plugin. This means we break down our ratings into the various aspects of the book, like characters/plot/writing/etc. What we want to know is…

Do you care about our rating breakdowns? Do you look at them? Do you ignore them? Are they useful for you?

So, how was your week?

Asti Kelley

Read 28 comments

  1. I don’t really look at the break-down ratings, I tend to look at the main rating and then read your thoughts, because you tend to mention what you thought of the world and the characters and the pacing anyway in a review, and I think getting your feelings on it is better than a star rating for it.. I could be in the minority, but I couldn’t imagine splitting my review that way, it’d throw me. Good luck looking for work Asti, it’s a difficult market out there for it, and Kelley, you must be careful with the kitties, you don’t want them to become *too* dependent on you, especially with kittens now roaming, but I trust you know what you’re doing :)

    • That’s kind of how I feel about the rating breakdowns, too. Although we don’t really split up our reviews like that, just have a star-rating breakdown at the end. As for the kitties… I know, it’s a struggle! I’ve gotten to the point now, though, where I think I’ll have to just adopt Squeakers whenever I move, unless he migrates on his own to somewhere else. All the other kitties are still too feral and elusive so I don’t think they’ll be a problem.

    • I feel the exact same way these days, Amanda. I feel like there’s no point providing my break downs because a) I usually don’t feel anything too drastic in any department to really merit a separate rating than my overall one and b) I talk about each thing within my review (and usually bold them for those who want to skim and get a quick overall picture) so if people are really that bothered I assume they’ll look there. I used to be a big fan of separating them but these days I just feel like it’s more work, even if it takes all of five seconds. :P

      Thanks Amanda <3

  2. Sounds like you’ve had quite the busy week, Asti! I wish you luck on your job hunt :D And wow, I think I prefer your cover of Afterworld to the other one. Or maybe I just like shiny new things :b Kelley! You’re cats are just adorable! It’s good to hear that they’re settling down :)

    I personally don’t really look at the rating breakdown. I go straight in for the average score. I think it’s because while I appreciate specific elements of a book, I still think that how it rates overall (as in how it glues together) is much more important. I wouldn’t go out of my way to read a book that scored 5 in world building but 0.5 in character development, you know? But that’s just me :D

    I hope you both have a great upcoming week! It’s just edging closer and closer to Christmas, isn’t it? It scares me how fast this year has gone by…Thank you for the linkup <333

    • Thanks Jess! <3 I'm not quite sure which Afterworlds cover I like myself. I do like the UK one i have, what with the silhouettes and the tear drop and stuff, but I also like the black and white look of the US one. They're both okay ;)

      I definitely understand what you mean about the individual ratings. I've found lately that my rating breakdowns aren't usually that drastic to b any different than my overall rating, so there's really no need for them. If people really want to know how I feel about the individual bits and pieces, they'll read the review. So meh. I've just stopped including them and no one's said anything XP

      Christmas?! Don't be mentioning Christmas already! I can't handle it! haha. This year has definitely gone by fast.

      (And before I forget Jess, I just wanted to say that I love you and thank you so much for commenting and interacting with me all the time! I've been busy so I haven't been able to repay the favor as much as I want to, but I've definitely noticed you around lately and I feel honored because you have such a beautiful blog! So thank you thank you thank you! <3)

  3. Asti, good luck with the job hunt!

    Kelley, hope this week is better for you, and yay for kitty pictures!

    I like the rating breakdown, but sometimes I do kind of gloss over it. I think the final rating is really all you need if you’re looking to eliminate the individual ratings.

  4. I’m a fan of your ratings breakdowns since they give me a chance to get an idea of the pros and cons of a book even if I only have time to skim the review at a given moment. I didn’t realize it was part of UBB, I might have to check that out :D

  5. Asti, definitely a busy week! And good luck :)

    Sounds like a roller-coaster, Kelley! Hope everything is alright!

    I like the ratings breakdown but I could be biased as I use them myself ;) If someone else uses them (like you guys) I almost always look at which sections got which ratings because if everything else was good BUT the romance then I could decide if I wanted to put up with bad romance (a huge pet peeve of mine in YA) for the rest of the book. That’s something an overall rating can’t really tell you, especially if you don’t have much time and just skim the review.

    I’ll just be over here freaking out about Maggie’s tweet D:

  6. Thank you so much for including my post on creating Twitter cards! I’m just beginning my book blogging tips and pretty new to book blogging in general, so this definitely made my month! Definitely adding you guys to my Feedly! I found some great other blogs through your post, too. Asti, I’m job searching too and balancing that with keeping up with the blog is so difficult! I feel you!

  7. I do like rating breakdowns. Sometimes the plot might be so-so but the character development excellent and that is important to note :)
    Kelley hope all your rollercoaster days are behind you. Stress isn’t fun, but you have kitties to pet!
    Asti, pretty neat that you got to visit a castle ,even if it is only ruins.
    Thanks for the inclusion :)

    • Thanks for the feedback Julie! I’ve stopped using rating breakdowns in my review personally, but definitely understand what you mean. If something like that occurs in the book though I’m always sure to mention it in my review, and usually end up putting it in bold so anyone who just wants to skim the review can still note it! :)

      And yes, Corfe Castle was pretty neat even though it was in ruins! Was an enjoyable trip :)

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