Spilling the Tea: in defense of the Goodreads Challenge

These days, I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about the Goodreads challenge and why it’s bad. The most common arguments are about the idea of imposing stress and competition onto reading, which is supposed to be a fun activity, and how trying to get your numbers up just makes the task into a chore. There is, of course, something to be said for this; the process of turning “games” into work has been well-documented. (For a cool take on this, check out this piece from The Atlantic about the problems with the Untitled Goose Game!) Far be it from me to condemn those who seek to remove the numerical insanity from their reading habits; as I like to say, read what and how you want to, because life is too short to do otherwise.

But, with that in mind, there is no need to vilify those (myself included) who do enjoy counting the books they read. We have perfectly valid reasons to want to keep track of those numbers. Here are a few of mine:

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Top Ten Tuesday 11/19 – All I know is these times are changing

You know the drill: TTT is a weekly themed post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is “Changes In My Reading Life (Maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now).” At first I thought this would be difficult, but once I started writing, I realized there have actually been a lot of changes for me, both recently and from childhood to now. I tried to link in a few more of my past reviews and posts for this, so…take a look at them, maybe? 😊

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Audiobook review blitz – Shadow of the Fox, The Alchemist, & Nevernight

I have a confession to make: I’m REALLY bad at reviewing most audiobooks. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy them, or that I don’t have opinions on them, or even that I don’t think as deeply about them. I love them, and lately I’ve been listening to a lot of them since my commute includes a minimum of 45ish minutes walking every day (20-25 each way from the train to the office).

But reviewing them is so hard! I can’t flag quotes that I like. I have no reference on how to spell most characters’ names or foreign words or fantastical components of the world. It’s hard to go back and double-check details I want to clarify before I write a full review.

What’s a girl to do??

I have a possible solution: a blitz of mini-reviews. Minimal details required, but still conveying my opinions on important points. Will it work? Let’s find out with a test run. Here are a few of my recent audiobooks:

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What I’m Reading, Where I’ve Been, and a Poll for You!

Hey, friends! It’s been about a week since my last post, and I apologize for that. Had a couple personal things come up, including an unexpected medical problem, but I’m getting back on track and will have more reviews and fun stuff headed your way shortly. What to expect full reviews of soon:

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (5 stars, amazing nonbinary contemporary YA)

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (4 stars, YA fantasy that will appeal to all book-lovers)

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (I’m just finishing up reading an ARC of this one, so my rating isn’t final yet, but suffice to say it is an incredibly well-written piece of literature)

Note that Quichotte isn’t YA–I swear, I read a pretty wide mix of titles; I’ve just been on a YA kick lately. Expect a more balanced distribution of genres and age ranges, going forward.

And while we talk about going forward, let’s go back for a second as well. I didn’t get full reviews posted for some of my reads earlier this month (gotta prioritize the ARCs and all that jazz…). Which one of these titles, which I’ve recently finished reading, would you most like to see a review of?

That’s all for now! See you soon with more quality bookish content!

Don’t you hate it when…

…all your holds at the library come in at once? Seriously, I have had five holds in place since December, and four of them came in within the past couple days. Because other people also have holds, I need to finish them in my allotted three weeks or pay the dreaded ~late fees~. I also just won a physical ARC in a Goodreads giveaway and got approved for several e-ARCs from NetGalley, so I have a lot of reading to do and not a lot of time to do it. Which book should I read first? Vote here, and comment if you have thoughts on what else to read next!

Hello, world!

This may not be a coding language per se, but given that this is my first real foray into the world of blogging, I thought it only fitting that I should open with those two words.

(For those of you not familiar with programming, any time you learn a new language–Java, C++, Python, what-have-you–the very first thing you execute should be printing the phrase “hello world” to the console. It’s a bit simplistic, but it’s a good way to get a feel for the most basic commands of the language.)

Hopefully, this blog is going to be full of assorted original content, including book reviews, think-pieces, and lifestyle snippets. Will those plans hold true? Only time will tell.

For now, here’s a quick update on what I’m currently reading:

  • The Royal Art of Poison by Eleanor Herman
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown (actually listening as an audiobook)
  • The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson (kind of on pause for the moment, much to my dismay–I need to know what happens next to Wax and Wayne!–but only because I am drowning in other books to read right now)

Expect reviews on those to come out soon, both here and on my Goodreads page.

Much love,

K-Specks