In My Life
My sister returned home from her semester abroad, which I was extremely excited about. Still am, actually because she’s home! Naturally, this called for good food, so I braised beef and prepared couscous for our Sunday lunch. There may also be vanilla pudding in the fridge to satisfy sweet cravings. Hah. Since she’s back, she’ll finally be able to read Winter, which I thought was a glorious conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. I got her into the series last year and so far she’s enjoyed all the books, so I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of this last book.
Guest Post on Diversity and Tokenism at Chasing Faerytales
As part of #DiverseReads2016, I threw in my two cents and talked about how token ethnic diversity isn’t good enough. Including a character of an ethnic minority in a book but not properly representing their culture is pointless at best and damaging at worst when this purports stereotypes. I rounded off my thoughts with five book recommendations of books that were culturally sensitive towards diverse ethnic groups.
Adding more damage to my TBR (to be read) pile I received in the mail my orders of The Chimes by Anna Small and Die Verschworenen by Ursula Poznanski. I’ve wanted to read The Chimes since last July but only managed to get my hands on it now because the UK release date was pushed back several times. Now I finally own a copy and definitely plan to red this one next month.
On the Blog
Bookstagram 101 is in full swing after I announced it the previous week. Starting off, I outlined available options for equipment, ranging from cameras to accessories and props. The section on cameras is particularly in-depth to help anyone who’s looking for a new camera or thinking of switching. Hopefully this guide adds more clarity to the process.
This week’s Bookish Scene: Project 52 theme Into the Night saw me featuring one of my favourite books, This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. If you’re participating in the photo challenge, remember to link up your photos at the end of the post.
Hazel and I resurrected Epic Recs as well and picked out wonderful books for each other to read. As always, you can check out this week’s YA releases at Hot off the Press.
Counting Stars by Keris Stainton revolves around characters in their initial stages of adulthood. I really liked the diversity of the characters not only in terms of social class and race but also in terms of their circumstances and aspirations. Another bonus was that the primary main character was a vlogger and her transcripts were included in the book. Social media is such a huge part of today’s youth, so seeing it integrated well was something I also liked about this book.
Around the Blogosphere
- Jeann @ Happy Indulgence expounded on the casualness of death.
- Beth @ The Quiet People stated that sometimes she’s uncomfortable with LGBTQ themes in YA books. With that she referred to the inclusion of LGBTQ themes merely for the sake of it and the shallowness these are treated with in some books.
- Alex @ Fiery Reads calls for equal support of female villains because male villains seem to get all the love.
- Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction imagined what type of YA main character she would be.
- Claire and Nikki @ Bitches with Books tackled the meaning of diversity.
- Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf doesn’t mind mid-series book cover changes.
- Cait @ Paper Fury ruminated over the possibility of reading “too much”.
- Kritika @ Snowflakes & Spider Silk considered magic vs. Technology in fantasy and science fiction.
- Pamela @ A Writer’s Tales shared what she likes to see in romance plots.
- Cilla @ Paved with Books raised the importance of having classics translated and by extension, books in general.
- Bec @ Readers in Wonderland thought of ways to combat times you’re sick of reading.
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books is envious of “book-eaters”.
- Socha @ Writing About Books thought about books that changed in the course of growing up.
- Annemieke @ A Dance with Books responded to the oft-asked question, How do you read so much?
- Lola @ Lola’s Ramblings broke down associative memory and things she remembers based on the books she read around those times.
- Gilly @ Writer of Wrongs discussed the willingness to wait for series to get better.
- Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness attempted to reconcile conflicting reading goals.
- Tracy @ Cornerfolds got her books crossed as a result of reading them concurrently.
- Carlisa @ Confessions of Carlisa elucidated what book bloggers actually do. Pretty sure most book bloggers relate to most of these points. I checked 9 out of 12.
- Christina @ Christina Read YA reflected on her blogging and booktubing journeys.
- Aneeqah @ My Not so Real Life posed the question: Can book bloggers get paid?
- Alexandra @ Twirling Pages built upon Aneeqah’s post also asking, can you make money from book blogging?
- Claudia @ Penmarkings analysed the effectiveness of comments for discussions.
- Emz @ Paging Serenity is a moody blogger.
- Carlisa @ Confessions of Carlisa rehashed why she started book blogging and counted the ways the book blogging community is still so great.
- Amber @ bookutacksamber plunged into bullet journalling to keep track of blogging.
- Kat @ Cuddlebuggery declared, book blog like nobody’s watching!
Book Blogging Community
- Kara and Lyn @ Great Imaginations are taking submissions for #BloggerPROfessions, seeking positive confessions from book bloggers.
- Jess @ Princessica of Books introduced #ProjectPositivity, also calling for submissions shedding light on positive aspects of the book blogging community.
Regarding these two projects seeking positivity—these are responses to a blog post of #BloggerConfessions that were largely negative. Personally, I do think that some points represented the (private) sentiments of more than a handful of bloggers and thus shouldn’t be discounted. Negativity cannot be ignored and it’s in everyone’s interest if we can find ways to overcome them.
However, I throughly disagreed with the tone and lack of respect in the way these points were portrayed and am amazed at some of the irony. Despite the preemptor that none of these points were directed at any specific blogger, the word choices still bore hateful accusations. This is why I’m heartened to see that bloggers like Kara, Lyn and Jess are intent on fostering goodwill in the community.
- C.J. @ Sarcasm & Lemons listed some important approaches to negative book reviews.
- Emily @ Books & Cleverness defended book reviews that are part of blog tours.
- Alahna @ The Charmed Reader feels too easily swayed by reviews. That’s why she’s trying not to read a book review till after she’s read the book.
- Melanie @ YA Midnight Reads clarified some ins and outs of ARCs (advanced reader’s copies).
- Willa @ Willa’s Ramblings reported what it’s really like to work at a bookstore.
Cait @ Paper Fury wrote a lovely post on how to (nicely) attack people with friendship on the Internet:
DO ATTACK PEOPLE WITH FRIENDSHIP WHEN THEY SAY HELLO. This might scare them away. But it also might make them too scared to leave you. —Cait, Paper Fury
I missed the drama, but I’m all up to date right now and I’m not sure how I feel about all of it. Yes, you should have the right to say how you feel, but I don’t agree with the way things are being said and how it’s so judgmental.. I’m just going to keep out of it *shrugs*
Next month I’m going to catch up with Bookish scene. I’ve failed miserably, but I think I had/have a good reason. I’m so happy for you your sister is back :)
Also, I’m the co-host of the upcoming Love a thon, which seems to be the perfect event right now.
Alexa S. says
The Chimes has a beautiful cover! I’m very curious about it, and will definitely be looking forward to seeing your thoughts. And I’m so pleased that there were positive reactions to the drama that ensued last week; it’s always a wonderful thing, in my opinion, to celebrate this community, in spite of its flaws. (It doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement and growth too!)
Alexa S. recently posted Bon Voyage: In All of Time & Space, Where Would You Go?
Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) says
I feel rather out of the loop since I missed the drama, but as someone who has been blogging for quite awhile I can say this stuff seems to go in cycles and, on the whole, we have a pretty friendly and thoughtful community.
I’m with you on the Lunar Chronicles series — I flew through them in audio book at the end of last year. So much fun!
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books says
I really need to start reading The Lunar Chronicles. I feel like everyone I know have read and loved this series, I’m starting to feel left out, haha.
I love your post about Bookstagram. I always admire people who have time and patience to do such beautiful pictures of books. I wish I could do that, too, maybe someday!
I really think that diversity is important, but it’s kind of annoying when it’s just there and quickly forgotten or not acknowledged enough.
Thank you so, SO much for featuring my post in your recap, it makes me so, so HAPPY!! <3 <3 <3
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books recently posted Treasures from London
Madilyn Quinn says
Diversity isn’t diversity if it’s not represented properly, I think. It’s just as if the author is throwing it in to appease some quota. Well, you know, there is no quota. Write it well, or not at all.
Thanks for all the links! Note I have a few things to distract myself with while waiting for my interview.
Madilyn Quinn recently posted Wonderful Wordsday
Lyn Kaye says
Thank you for linking our project! I agree that we need to talk about issues in our community, but the tone and the bitterness was harming more than helping, and I agree that the tone and the anger was not trying to be constructive at all!
Please feel free to send in your own! We are still taking submissions!! <3
Lyn Kaye recently posted Book Review: The Help
Gladly! I’ll think of something and submit before the deadline! :) Since it’s Feb 3, that still gives me a bit of time.
Cait @ Paper Fury says
OMG YOU JUST QUOTED ME AT THE END THERE. EXCUSE ME BUT I MIGHT COLLAPSE RIGHT NOW. *runs in circles squeaking*
But, also. YES. I loved this round up and I loved that there were some positive post responses to the Blogger Confessions post! Like the money ones, particularly by Aneeqah and Alexandra, because they were totally nice and respectful while kind of rebutting some of the comments made in the original post. YAY. (And I agree that the original post was rather full of irony. I think it could’ve been a really interesting post, and it’s great to be honest! But I felt the tone was so acidic and hurt…and it makes me sad that those bloggers have had such a crappy time blogging? I actually feel sorry for them.)
ANYWaY. Yay for returning sisters!! I really wish my sister would read Winter. D: She promised she would during the January holidays but they’re literally OVER NOW and she didn’t even start. *cries piteously* It is such a good conclusion I just want to throw it at everyone to read. XDD
Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted Is It Possible To Read “Too Much”?
*runs after Cait and showers her in hugs* I think anyone who’s been really shy on social media would feel extremely encouraged reading your post, so that’s a mighty good thing! :)
My sister’s started her new semester too, so we’ll see when she’ll really start reading it. Knowing her, it might take another month and then she’ll suddenly finish it in a day. Lol.
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says
Fantastic wrap up this week Jo! It’s been a drama filled and active week in the book blogosphere, and while some good has come out of it, I think it’s a long way to go until we all accept each other’s differences. The backlash on Twitter was disappointing. Thanks for sharing my post!
I love diverse books, but often including them from a shallow standpoint doesn’t do it justice. I kind of would’ve preferred not including it if they were just going to be pushed to the side or given a few passing comments.
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted Indulgence Insider #46 – Lifeline Bookfest Hauling
Thank you, Jeann! I actually understand the backlash because even though none of those points applied to me, I found the presentation a tad bit offensive. Though I am saddened by some of the backlash that equally disregarded respect for fellow bloggers.
I totally agree with you — omission of diversity isn’t ideal at all but preferable to misrepresentation.