Just A Little Update :)

Hi there, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I wanted to pop in and say a quick, “Hello!” and give you a little update before I begin with my regular blog posts again.

When we last spoke, I was at least 10 books behind in my Goodreads Challenge. I knew setting a goal of 150 this year was going to be difficult, but I wanted to challenge myself. Last year my goal was 100 and upping the goal by 50 was a stretch I was willing to make.

When November rolled around, I finally got over a MEGA book slump and started reading like crazy. So much that I neglected my blog to do it, and while I missed chatting with you all, it was nice to focus on reading.

Over my Thanksgiving vacation I read 11 books in one week! It was insane, but so awesome! I haven’t binge-read like that in a long time and I didn’t want to stop.

Every spare moment I’ve had, I’ve been reading and now I’m only 2.5 books away from my goal (I’m about to finish another book today!)

Once I hit my Goodreads goal, I have a hell of a lot of reviews to write and a ton of ideas for blog posts, so expect to hear from me soon! I’ll be back on a more regular posting schedule and I can’t wait to see what you all have been up to.

I have a request for you:

I’d absolutely love it if you left links to your favorite blog posts that you’ve written over the past couple of months in the comments or send them to me on Twitter at @inloveandwords so I can check them out. I’m dying to see what you’ve been reading and what you’ve been up to!

Aside from reading ALL THE BOOKS, here’s what I’ve been up to:

My best friend had his Black, White, and Sparkles Christmas/Birthday party and a good friend of mine got married!

I love getting all glammed up for Joe’s Christmas/Birthday parties, and this year for the sparkle theme, I went all out with the sparkles and gems:

Continue reading “Just A Little Update :)”

Raising Little Readers: How I Instill a Love of Reading in my Kids

It’s 12:30pm on a Saturday and my youngest daughter, Violet (3yo) is napping with her dad in my room.

Vsleeping

I’ve been sitting and reading a book for about 20 minutes when I notice that my oldest daughter, Roree (5yo) has been extremely quiet for most of those moments.

Feeling like an awful mother, I decide to see what she’s up to, fully expecting that she has fallen asleep herself in the middle of the playroom floor, which wouldn’t be the first time.

Instead, I find her lounging on her bed with a book in her lap and two piles of books on either side of her.

My heart absolutely soars.

Roree

Continue reading “Raising Little Readers: How I Instill a Love of Reading in my Kids”

TeaChat: Hot Sauce and Shame

For those of you who are new around here, TeaChats are a monthly post that I do in which I pretend that you and I are going out and grabbing a cup of tea (or coffee or wine) and we’re chatting about what we’ve been up to lately.

Let’s chat!

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Finding Time to Read

I’m pretty sure all of us here in the blogging world have quite a bit more going on in our lives than just reading and blogging about books.

I’m no exception. With a more than full-time job, an almost 2-hour daily commute, and two young kiddos… finding time to read is a lot like piecing together a puzzle.

My weekdays begin at 5am and I don’t stop going until 8pm.

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TeaChat: Misogyny & Book Clubs (Unrelated)

For those of you who are new around here, TeaChats are a monthly post that I do in which I pretend that you and I are going out and grabbing a cup of tea (or coffee or wine) and we’re chatting about what we’ve been up to lately.

  

Let’s chat!

teabooks

Whew! I struggled this week with the blog.

Typically, I write a week’s worth of posts over the weekend so that I can just read and comment on other blogs in the evenings before bed during the week, but with Easter, it threw off my routine.

Anyway, I’m back in the game this weekend, so hopefully I’ll be more present in the community this week.

March was a stressful month for me. Let’s just say that it’s nice to know that misogyny is alive and well and, apparently, acceptable in the workplace. /sarcasm

The highlight of March, however, was that my sisters, mom, my best friend, and I started a romance novel book club. It’s a great excuse to chat about books and book boyfriends we love and just to hang out with one another. I’m very close to my siblings and parents, so it may seem weird, but it’s actually not at all (for me, anyway).

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My Thoughts: Negative Book Reviews

I’m not a big fan of controversy, so though I’ve read a few posts on this topic, I’ve avoided it on my own blog until now.

One of my favorite blogs recently posted about the subject, and when I started writing a comment on her post, I realized I had a lot more to say than I originally thought.

So, I’m finally biting the bullet.

After all, typically, my blog is a pretty light-hearted place. I mean, I read primarily romance novels and I have a butterfly rating on each of my reviews that rates the butterflies books give me… It’s all pretty flowery over here most of the time. LOL!

However, I do have a pretty strong opinion when it comes to this particular topic: reviewers giving books negative reviews.

The great thing about this topic is that every single reviewer (whether you have your own blog or you just write reviews on sites like Goodreads and Amazon) every single one of us has a right to our own opinion on the topic of negative reviews: whether we post them or not, where we post them, what books we give them to, etc.

There are a couple of things I’ll say, right off the bat, on this topic

First, I am not a fan of people who give negative reviews that are intentionally mean and/or snarky.

I’m not a fan of trolls in any form, so it is no surprise that it makes me really uncomfortable to read negative reviews that bash an author or readers that like a book, even if there is humor involved. No matter how popular the book is… but even more if it is a book by an indie author.

I’ve stumbled upon quite a few reviewers that do this regularly and I have avoided them since. Because, frankly, it makes absolutely no sense to me why someone would read a book that they know they won’t like just so they can write a snarky review.

Maybe someone can explain this to me so that I understand? (I’m not saying that sarcastically, I’d really love to understand why people do this.)

Second, I don’t like it when reviewers give higher ratings to books just because they were given to them by authors or publishers.

Trust me, I get it. I know how difficult it is to give a low rating to someone who gave you a book in hopes that you could help promote it, but it does a great disservice to those of us who are reading your reviews for honest recommendations. I’ve seen this enough times now that I’ve started to go into reading reviews of ARCs with a certain skepticism… or I avoid ARC reviews entirely.

Personally, it’s because of my own discomfort, that I rarely review ARCs unless I fully, truly think I’ll love the book. I mean, there are so many amazing books out there — why waste my time reading books I know I won’t like?

I state very clearly in my review policy that I will be completely honest in my reviews WITHOUT bashing or being intentionally mean if I don’t like it. I also explain that I may not even post the review or finish the book. I receive the ARC in exchange for a review CONSIDERATION.

Also, I know that there are reviewers who do not post their reviews of books they didn’t like at all and that is completely fine. Again, it’s a personal preference and I respect everyone’s choice.

As for me? If I don’t like a book, I’ll tell you.

I look at it from the angle of a reader of reviews. Obviously, I expect (I almost wrote “hope,” but, no, I definitely expect) that the reviewer is 100% honest no matter how they come by the book.

Reviews, to me, are much more for the readers than it is for the author. It isn’t about making the author happy, it’s about helping readers decide what books to read.

To me, negative reviews aren’t about telling a reader not to read the book… it’s telling the reader what you, personally, didn’t like about the book in case they have similar tastes. That doesn’t always mean that the reader will share your opinion.

In fact, I discovered a new favorite author and a new favorite series by reading a one star review of a book.

This reviewer absolutely hated this book, but as I read the review and she talked about what she didn’t like, all I could think was, “That book sounds AWESOME!” Then I read it, and subsequently bought every single book in the series and spin-off series.

Now I’ve found a new favorite author… thanks to a one-star review.

At the end of the day, your blog is your blog.

It’s your choice whether you post your negative reviews or not, I just hope that you understand the authors and readers of the books that you don’t like are human beings, too, so mocking and/or bashing them is pretty lame… no matter how many likes or comments you get if you do it.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on negative reviews? Do you post them? Why or why not?