Tuesday, 17 September 2013

status update: hello, fall.

It's been a week since I last posted, and that's usually when the guilt for abandoning Pass the Chiclets kicks my butt into gear. Apologies! Here’s a little status update to fill in the space.

Books to review:

Fall—more specifically, September—is major book-release season, and I have no less than four ARCs that release within two weeks of each other to review. To hold myself accountable, here are all the ARCs I have to review over the next three months:
  1. Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt. [Sept. 10 2013] A middle-grade historical mystery which seems like it would charm me straightaway… if I gave it more than a few more pages at a time. I will return to you ASAP, promise!
  2. Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts. [Sept. 17 2013] A dystopian manned by three POVs; not sure why I thought requesting this one was a good idea. Oops. Still, I’ll give it a shot.
  3. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. [Sept. 17 2013] I liked this one’s premise, but the first two chapters are practically 100% whining so… we will see, I guess?
  4. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. [Sept. 24 2013] Eep. I loved this book, but that makes writing the review all the more daunting.
  5. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner. [Oct. 8 2013] Not very good; review will be forthcoming anyway.
  6. The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya by Jane Kelley. [Oct. 15 2013] I picked this out of a catalogue, so was elated to receive it at all, but now I’m feeling guilty for relegating it so far down in my TBR pile.
  7. Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark. [Oct. 22 2013] Verse! And I’m totally ready to love it.
  8. Reality Boy by A. S. King. [Oct. 2013] I read this one when it arrived even though it comes out in October, even though I had seven books before to read. Why is A. S. King such a good writer?! Reality Boy is practically intellectual. I’m not sure how else to describe it.
  9. Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger. [Nov. 2013] Not sure if I really liked the first one enough to go into this sequel with a pleasant mindframe, but fingers crossed.
  10. Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando. [Dec. 2013] Something fresh to finish off the whole stack! Looking forward to this.
Some more thoughts on book blogging [it seems like every time I do a PSA I have some thoughts to share on book blogging, heh]:

I’ve been pondering the comment-for-comment culture of blogging. It’s not only in book blogging, of course, but in any type of blogging that revolves around a community you-know-me-I-know-you structure. And the concept has been making me think lately: if I only comment on your blog so you’ll comment on mine, and vice versa, do we ever actually have an “audience”, or real readers? Or, if we’re going to look at this more optimistically, at what point do we get a real audience, readers who care about what we write?

Mostly I’ve been concluding that we need to care about or respect the blogger themselves to really become their reader. And this is a reason why new book blogs don’t tend to get off the ground very high (myself & PtC included); if you only write reviews, who cares about one more bland, monotone opinion?

Thus, I think creative content is essential to readership. It needs to be content that people want to consume. I want to replicate that feeling that I, as a reader, get—that urge to comment on a blog post. Not out of courtesy or duty, but because the topic or post genuinely interests me. And if a blogger does that consistently? You bet I’ll subscribe.

Yet: creating can be tiring. Effort and time go into building content (and, subsequently, maintaining a readership). Me? I just want to write reviews and discuss books on my own personal platform. So unless I wish to have a wider readership for me reviews, I resign myself to my level of non-fame: comments only from book bloggers whom I am friends with, majority of search hits for my Book Thief quotes post, an average of 0.5 comments on my reviews. But in the end, it wouldn’t matter. I’m reviewing for myself, because I want to, because I like it. Because creative content is hard to make. Popularity would be nice. But…

I’m lazy.

Tant pis.

How is your fall going, friends?