Monthly Archives: March 2013

Good Reads and Goodreads

Lately, I’ve been doing a ton of reading alongside my writing. While the school year poses an insane challenge to getting everything done, even a quick fifteen minute read before bed leaves me content.

So, what have I been reading?

A whole mix of things, really. Sometimes, I’m reading short stories. Others, I’m reading books in advance of my freshmen English students. I tend to bounce a lot, switching between literature and young adult, then fantasy, then suspense, etc., and on the nights I can only cram in a small amount, I’ll knock out a short story. I admit I switch back to young adult fairly regularly, a fact I attribute to originally writing YA, and to the genre “growing up” a bit over the years. Currently, Christopher Pike’s Thirst 2 has taken up residence on my nightstand, alongside Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and an anthology of H.P. Lovecraft tales—all of them equally adored as my go-to reads before bed.

Speaking of that nightstand—no matter what the genre, it seems the books are piling up. This is due to my currently exploding To Read bookcase (yes, I said bookcase), which is about to get fuller with the six book order I just placed on Amazon. I should probably put a hold on any more book purchases, or break down and get a Kindle, but I’m still a greedy little kid whenever I hit a bookstore or hop onto Amazon. The only thing that would make it all better would be finding more time to read, since over meals and before bed is simply not enough!

In the past, I wrote some [long-winded] reviews of books here on my blog, and posted what I was reading on my Links Page. This worked out great, until I ended up finding I was tackling more books than I could keep up with while simultaneously writing about writerly topics. So, I moved on over to Goodreads to both write about what I’d read but also keep track of what I’d finished. Hopefully, you’ve heard of Goodreads, and if you haven’t, I’d like to tell you a few reasons you should check it out.

Goodreads is a social network-style website devoted to readers and all their reading finds. On the basic level, you can keep track of books you’ve read and are currently reading, as well as books you want to read. You can also share detailed reviews that you can link to your social media sites, and create customizable badges to proudly display your books on any blog or website (like the one I have to the right, for example).

But the networking aspect of Goodreads is what makes it the true reader’s home—here you can find readers of similar styles and choose to friend them or follow their reviews. You can also find your favorite authors and follow their blogs, books, and reviews. This might be my favorite feature, as I love hearing what some of my favorite authors are reading and their thoughts on books I might have read as well. In addition, Goodreads hosts groups and forums so that you can share your love of books/authors/genres with other like-minded individuals. I haven’t taken full advantage of this feature, but for those more into the social media aspect, it’s a real boon.

While I am no longer writing the detailed reviews I used to, I’ve still made a habit to share some thoughts on my reading on Goodreads for anyone who might be interested. I don’t follow others’ reviews as much as I’d like to, instead keeping tabs on a few connections that have exhibited similar interests or solid, thoughtful reviews.

What about you—do you follow book reviews and share your reading on Goodreads, or do you use/reference an alternative website? If you do use Goodreads, what features do you use, and have you found it helpful in connecting with other readers and writers?

If you are on Goodreads, I’d love to be connected. You can find me here. And if you aren’t there yet…well, I guess we know what you’ll be signing up for momentarily…. 🙂

Happy reading, everyone!

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Two Blogger Awards

It’s taken me far too long to get around to this, but—today is the day! Great news: Catrina Barton has kindly nominated me for two blogger awards, the Versatile Blogger and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Catrina writes YA paranormal novels, and she runs a blog following the writing process and the adventures of her recent book release, Dangerous Temptations. I am, of course, completely flattered that Catrina bestowed me with this honor, especially considering my less-frequent posting makes this feel far too generous.

versatileblogger111So, thank you, Catrina!

The Versatile Blogger Award has been floating around for a while now, and the nomination requirements are:

          • Display the award logo on your blog.
          • Link back to the person who nominated you.
          • State 7 things about yourself.
          • Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them.
          • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.badge-veryinspiringbloggeraward

Conveniently, the Very Inspiring Blogger Award has the same rules, so I’ll be doing this once for both awards.

7 Things About Me:
  1. I have a group of really amazing friends. In addition, in the last couple months, I’ve had a few old friends come out of the woodwork, giving me the feeling of being surrounded by awesome, loving people. Add this to my blogger and reader friends and I’m sitting here wrapped in a mental hug. You all rock!
  2. I’m a crazy proud auntie, which I’ve said before and I’ll say about a gazillion times. (In fact, I might have been so proud that I was tempted to circulate her recent report card on Facebook, but I held it together. Swear.)
  3. I love to bake, but am so-so on the cooking. (We can’t just eat cookies and banana bread all day? Really?)
  4. While I do despise traffic, I actually love to drive—call it prep/decompression time for work, or just time-to-ruminate-with-loud-music, but I’ve liked it since my 16-hour roundtrip travels to get home my freshman year in college. Which leads to…
  5. I love to travel and want to do it more. No, more. NO, even more than that! I try to take a trip every year, but this hasn’t worked out the last couple. Fortunately, this summer I’m heading to Italy and Croatia! I can’t wait!
  6. I am really into countdowns. (Like to my summer trip, for example.)
  7. There’s a brown thumb, and then there’s what I have, which is like the thumb of death. I have two plants that have suffered carried along with me for a while—Seymour, a 13-year-old Ficus Monique, and a 4-year-old Cactus aptly called The Cactus. Seymour has some extraordinary branches and a few (read: twenty-ish) bright green leaves. This leads me to believe that Seymour is doing fine, but friends like to tell me otherwise. I just looked up a picture of a Ficus Monique, and I’m going to continue believing Seymour is the minimalist relative of that plant. Meanwhile, the cactus has some brown leaves. (What?!) But you know, I figure I’m too busy tending to my attention-hungry and adorable cats, so…uh…yeah.

Okay, that wraps up seven facts about me. Now on to nominations, where I’ll be bending the rules a bit.

The award requirements suggest nominations for 15 blogs. Instead, I’d like to focus on just a few. Quality over quantity, here, so…the following are three great bloggers I follow:

  • Jessica Vealitzek at TrueSTORIES — Jessica’s blog always makes my list, because she is constantly inspiring, thoughtful, and entertaining. I also enjoy the reality of her posts, since I’m generally more “light and fluffy” and can use a good dose of reality here and there. (Say, Jessica, think you might want to do a post on how to properly care for plants?)
  • MariNaomi at MariNaomi – Comics about real life and stuff — I won’t lie; Mari happens to be a friend of mine who’s been running various comics around the web for years, and after much prodding/nagging/cajoling from her little pal (that would be me), she finally upped and started a WordPress blog. This means I can now spread the word of her awesomeness more easily by sharing her blog with you! Mari is the author of Kiss and Tell, a graphic novel that I immensely enjoyed, and I’ve been following her since I read it.
  • Katherine Checkley at The Intrinsic Writer — Katherine has all sorts of clever thoughts and posts on the writing process, and her blog is one I not only read as often as I can, but one that I reference frequently.

And that’s it—yes, only three. I’m handing five nominations each to these three spectacular people (technically ten, since there are two awards). I read a lot of wonderful blogs, but these three are the ones that I read faithfully and the ones I think you should check out, too.

However, I still think giving commendations to other blogs is extremely important. There are tons of phenomenal blogs out there that I haven’t seen, and they, too, might very well be worthy of these fabulous nominations. That said, I would like YOU to tell me about your favorite blogs and bloggers.

Who are your “go to” bloggers? Whose posts do you regularly read, and who would you recommend for others to read?

I’m always in the market for new reading, so please share your suggestions/loves/favorites below!


Blog-iversary

Just a quick note to say:

One year ago today, I made my very first post on this blog. It’s been a wonderful experience made extra special by all of you!

So, happy blog-iversary to us, and thank you for being a part of my journey. (And fun fact: the title of my first post was…The Journey!)

Thanks again, everyone. 🙂

-Eva

P.S. For anyone who missed Wednesday’s post, it’s now up on my page. My WP fail apparently created little technical foul-up waves so that it only went out to some email addresses (what?)… Hopefully by year two there will be no more mishaps! 😉

 


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