Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Sunday Retrospective (18)


A Sunday Retrospective is inspired by In My Mailbox at The Story Siren and TGIF at GReads!, where I share the books that I've acquired during the week, last week's posts and interesting links.

Sunday's here, and you know what that means - time to share more fun stuff! There's been quite a few interesting things happening around the blogging community, and always, expect some fun, thoughtful links in this post!
IN MY MAILBOX
from Alyssa
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

from the author (Thanks Phillipa!)
Girl vs Earl by Phillipa Ashley

bought
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

ON THE BLOG
Reviews
I didn't read novellas before, but after my brilliant experience with the Throne of Glass prequel novellas and Destroy Me, I'm convinced that they can be worth a read. The Nightmare Affair made me laugh when I read it, which I always love.

Other Fun Stuff

AROUND THE COMMUNITY

COMPANION NOVELS CHALLENGE

This month, I've been reading Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin for the challenge. While I have read the series before, it's one that I like to revisit, mostly because I find the stories pretty darn addictive. I finished both Something Borrowed and Something Blue, and I'm preparing my joint review of these two. Plus, I may be making an extra special post! Anyone have any thoughts on either of these books?

Don't forget that next month, we'll be reading Perfect Chemistry, Rules of Attraction and Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles! Vi will be hosting for the next two months (April & May), so we'll all congregate on her blog this time. I'm looking forward to starting this series because I've never read it, but have heard good things about it.

(For more info about this challenge and our planned schedule, please feel free to check out this post.)

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE READ-ALONG

A Game of Thrones has now become a part of my Monday routine, and I love it. I'm very intrigued and nervous about how all the characters in the story are faring. Arya started to annoy me a little, even though I still love her. Jon, however, is pretty much my favorite. And Dany is growing on me! How is everyone else faring?

(For more info about this read-along and the schedule, please feel free to check out this post.)
JUST A THOUGHT 
So lately, there's been a lot of negativity floating around the book blogging community. I don't want to name what exactly has been happening, but I do want to say that it makes me sad. There's nothing more lovely and amazing to me than this incredible community. I love interacting with people, I love making new friends who share my bookish interests, I love interacting with the authors who rocked my world with their stories and I love working together with publishers to promote the books I truly fall in love with. So this consistent hit after hit after hit that's been going on often saddens me, though I personally try to stay out of it and not let it affect me.

That being said, I just want to share three posts I've seen this past week that remind me what an awesome place the book blogging community is. The reason I continue to love blogging, apart from getting to share bits and pieces of myself in my reviews and posts, is because I get to be surrounded by amazing people like these three girls.

Jamie, blogger behind The Perpetual Page-Turner, wrote this post sharing her feelings on what's been happening in the blogging community lately. What I truly enjoyed about her post is the fact that she simply says there's no one right way to blog - everyone is entitled to do what works for them since it's their blog and they don't get paid to do it. Her heartfelt post certainly made me feel so much better after everything that's going on. Here are a couple of choice quotes:
I’ve just found in my almost three years of blogging the things that work for me and my blog and I have never felt happier — even if my blog isn’t doing the trendy thing or even if some people don’t like it. I don’t expect them all to.
I don’t really care what the blogosphere is trending towards — if I don’t like it/enjoy it/feel right about it then I’m not going to do it. It has to feel right for me because I spend my free time doing this — I’m not getting paid a salary here and who wants to spend their free time doing something that they don’t enjoy? I’ve only got limited amounts of time in this life.
So, get down with your bad self. Feel free to change up what you do and to tweak it through the years. Remember that you probably started your blog to talk about books and connect with other book readers…and you are doing it right, no matter how you go about it, if that’s what your blog is doing. Have fun, know what you want for your blog and remember there isn’t one way to do anything. And when someone makes you feel bad about what you are doing, remember that you’ve got readers who clearly enjoy what you do and that’s a win in my book. Just like with reading, we bring our own life experiences and interests and what not into our blogs and that’s what makes it so awesome.

Shortly after, the awesome Jen, one of the co-bloggers behind Makeshift Bookmark, wrote a post sharing the things that she personally finds to be positive about this community. I really love the fact that she pointed out things big and small that we all pretty  much love too, even while addressing the fact that sometimes we can feel a certain way. The candor and lightheartedness in her post is lovely to read, and I definitely enjoyed it. I'm bookmarking it for future reference when I feel sad or discouraged about book blogging! Here are some awesome quotes from it:
I'll tell you what: I am never at a loss of people with whom to discuss my most recent enthralling read. SOMEONE out there has read and loved a book that I love and is more than willing to drop everything they're doing to discuss it with me. I can't do that with just anyone.
I can't think of a better feeling than meeting a bookish friend for the first time in person. Don't you love the fact that it's not even awkward? Because you've talked to them so much about favorite books, favorite characters, most anticipated reads, etc. that it's like you have known them all your life? Yeah, book blogging did that. My daily life wouldn't be what it is now without my bookish friends. 
But in this community, there is a bookish BFF for everyone. And there is a place for everyone. Variety is, for real, the spice of life. And there are thousands of readers out there that are just a click away, waiting to discuss any and everything. The best part? The feeling of community. Sometimes the collective passion books is just so massive and ginormous that I can't even articulate my heart-explody love for all the books and all the bloggers and all the authors.
And then, yesterday, Sharon, one half of the awesome duo behind Book Barbies, wrote her own post celebrating the book blogging community. She too shared her thoughts on the recent blogger drama, instead choosing to focus on the wonderful things about book blogging. Here are a few quotes I enjoyed:
One of my favorite things about the book blogging world is all the diversity! If everyone read the same books and wrote their reviews in the same style, there would be no reason for a book blogging community. Rather than 100+ awesome blogs, I'd probably follow 4 or 5, because that'd be all I needed. WE NEED THE DIVERSITY.
You are awesome. You're promoting books. Isn't that why we're all here to begin with? We love books. We love reading. We want to talk about it to others and proclaim the wonderfulness of Lisa Kleypas and Tahereh Mafi and Jill Shalvis.
The book blogging community is a friendly, diverse, hilarious, sarcastic, generous, creative, bright, straightforward, genuine, interesting, caring, beautiful, flaily, intelligent, understanding, wonderful group of people with one common goal: to share our love of books and reading with the world.
The girls did a wonderful job sharing why they loved the book blogging community, and each put her own spin on things. I wanted to highlight their posts just to remind everyone - this a community to love. We make bookish friends here, we find people who can relate to our hobbies, our weirdness and our styles. It's a wonderful place to be, and in spite of everything, I am proud to be a part of it... and you should be too!

18 comments:

  1. I loved Juliet Marillier's YA novel Shadowfell so I really want to pick up her other novel now. I've heard a lot of praise for Daughter of the Forest so maybe I should start with that series!

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    1. There are a few bloggers I absolutely trust who recommended Daughter of the Forest to me! I'm very excited to read it and SO grateful that Alyssa sent it my way.

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  2. I'm kind of glad I've been out of commission for the last week and missed out on this latest round of blogger drama-as far as I knew, everything was hunky-dory and that's how I'm going to move forward. Thanks for sharing the positivity posts-always makes me happy to see :)

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    1. I think it's a good thing that you missed it! A lot of it was unnecessary and draining and sad - so I thought I'd share these happy posts :)

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  3. Oh my godddd Daughter OF THE FOREST BEST BOOK EVER. Seriously it's in my top ten favorites of all time, it is THAT good.

    I'm excited for you to read it!

    Team Dany, always!

    Heh, I admit to feeding into the negativity, but legit I am going to talk about things that annoy me.

    Alas.

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that Daughter of the Forest is one of your all-time favorites! It definitely gets me more excited to read it.

      And yes, Dany pretty much rocks at the moment. I keep forgetting how young she is!

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  4. I've heard brilliant things about Juliet Marillier's books! Daughter of the Forest has been on my to-buy list for a while now. I hope you enjoy it. :) I must be living under a virtual rock as I haven't been aware of any recent bout of negativity (though I guess I'm not surprised given how often something happens!). Anyway thanks for sharing those brilliant posts. :)

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    1. I'll be sure to let you know how Daughter of the Forest is. It certainly seems like a book I'd love, and it comes highly recommended to me.

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  5. I've been meaning to read Marillier forever--it's awesome you finally got a copy, too!

    I saw Jaime's post, although I'm not sure what prompted it and the others. But still, positivity and encouraging a feeling of community in the blogosphere is always a good thing.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. Yes, there's absolutely nothing better than positive posts that remind us why this community is so great. Even better than that though, is remembering why YOU (or each of us individually) blogs!

      Also, I hope you get to read her soon. I'm very excited about this one!

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  6. Darn! I was writing a post and then the form reset and erased it! Weird!

    Anyway ... love the look of Girl vs. Earl. It looks so cute!

    I'm so behind on my Game of Thrones reading ... had a busy week! I hope to catch up this week. Hopefully I can get in 3 chapters a day!

    Have a good week!

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    1. It's fairly easy to catch up on the Game of Thrones read-along, I promise! I'm excited that I can finally continue with the next set of the chapters for this week :)

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  7. Daughter of the Forest, SO SO GOOD. I hope you love it like I did!

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    1. Oh yay! You liked it too? That makes me even more excited about this book. I will let you know how I end up feeling about it!

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  8. ATTACHMENTS! I need to buy that! Ginger keeps telling me how good it is.

    I thought it was funny that the Song of Ice and Fire readalong was from now until December, but it needs to be that long if not longer. Those books are crazy long and out of control, lol.

    Loooove yoooou!

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    1. I know! I'm very excited for Attachments, especially after loving Eleanor & Park a whole lot!

      And yes, those books are LONG. But reading at this pace is totally working out!

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  9. Attachments is SO GOOD, as it is with everything Rainbow writes. I hope you enjoy it!!

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    1. I can't wait to read it! I absolutely loved E&P, and Rainbow is so sweet :)

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