blogging

Ranty Roundup – June

June was a great blogging and pretty good reading month for me. I managed to read 5 books in their entirety, and knock off some classics from my classics club list. I’m expecting July to be a little slower in both blogging and reading, but I’m also committed to dedicating as much time as possible to reading, as I don’t want to commit to reading 10 books in August to finish the #20booksofsummer challenge.

The best nothing short of dyingbook from June was hands down Erik Storey’s Nothing Short of Dying. I’ve already talked about this forthcoming title a bit on my blog, but my review (and the book) aren’t due to be published until August, so I will hold back on anything too descriptive. Let me just say, it’s one of the best novels I’ve read, and one of only two five star rating books that I’ve read this year.

I’m currently half way through Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, and although I am enjoying it, I’m finding it slow going and I’m looking forward to completing it and reviewing it on August 1st for the Classics Club Spin pick.


eliotalong

In other Classics news – I’m participating in a readalong of Middlemarch, hosted by Bex at Armchair by the Sea. So far I am finding Middlemarch to be better than I was expecting and I will be trying to write a post of impressions, ideas and thoughts each week here on the blog, but my main priority will be keeping up with the chapters per week. I will also be reading another book a week – I don’t want to fall even further behind in my reading challenge on Goodreads.


20 books of summer

Yet another challenge I am currently focusing on is #20booksofsummer (in winter) I was hoping to be able to knock off 6 – 7 books from this list before the month was up, but then I hit Tristram Shandy and my progress just slowed right down. I’m going to be focusing a lot on getting pages read during July, as opposed to blogging so that I can catch up on this a little. My current total stands at 3 books completed and one book half finished. I’m going to need some serious dedication to get this challenge completed!


make me read it

Another exciting event happening in July is the Make Me Read It readathon, where you guys can choose which books (and in which order) I read between the 9 – 16 of July. I’d appreciate it if you guys could vote in my poll, I’m looking forward to being able to participate in this readathon, from what I can tell it is in it’s second year and is such a novel idea. From what my poll looks like now, I’ll be working my way through House of Mirth and Go Set a Watchman, but there’s plenty of time for that to change. Pretty sure you can still sign up if you wish, just head over to here and sign up.


24in48Last but not least is the 24 in 48 hour readathon. I haven’t yet signed up for this one but I fully intend on participating. I’ll be taking the weekend off and spending 12 hours a day reading my little heart out. I’ve done 24hr readathons before, and always burnt out, so this challenge seems better in regards to spreading out the workload!

Sign-ups are happening over here, and if you wanna ‘thon with me, this seems like a great event to get some serious reading done in!


Books read in June – 5

Nothing Short of Dying – Erik Storey – 5 stars
No Safe Place – Matt Hilton – 4 stars
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules Verne – 3 stars
Deathlist – Chris Ryan – 1 star
The Awakening – Kate Chopin – 4 stars


Book Reviews in June – 7 (and that might just be a record for this blog)

Off The Grid by C.J. Box
The Sandpit by Stephen Leather
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
No Safe Place by Matt Hilton
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
First Response by Stephen Leather
The Awakening by Kate Chopin


Challenge Progress

Read My Books Challenge
Journey to the Center of the Earth
4 in 2016

Classic a Month/Classics Club Challenge
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Series a Month
Did not participate in the Series a Month Challenge in June.


July TBR

I’m going to aim to read 6 books in July. These will all be from my #20booksofsummer list and be heavily focused on the classics. The following are the books that I would have read in an ideal world, but 5 of these titles are part of the Make Me Read it poll, and I don’t fancy reading 4 400p books in one week while working, so I’m not going to aim to read all 8. I’ll also be whittling down Middlemarch.

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
The Innocents by Ace Atkins
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Fire Point by Sean Black
Edge of Alone by Sean Black
Ghost Sniper by Scott McEwen
White Fang by Jack London
State of Emergency by Andy McNab
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

And that was a very long wrap-up!

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Hated the book, love the author.

Ranty Runt's Rants

Something devastating has just happened. I’d been waiting for a new book by one of my favourite authors, a long awaited follow up to a favourite novel. Once I had it in my hot little hands I cracked it open and started reading with glee.

Only to find I didn’t like it. The story was boring and then things got even worse. This author started to offend me. Casual racism and sexism. Rape culture being endorsed. I was positively seething. This wasn’t what I expected from one of my favourite authors. I started to hope that this was written by a ghost writer, and I couldn’t believe that I hoped that one of my favourite authors hadn’t written his book. I’d spent my hard earned on this, and it wasn’t worth it.

On top of the fact that I was offended to my very core, the characters were flat and one dimensional, the plot was badly constructed and boring. The novel read like a first draft. I knew that the author wrote a series of independently books that dealt with harder (as in violent) subject matter, but this book was a follow-up to one of his traditionally published novels. It was a follow up to a thriller that wasn’t overly sadistic. Violence is one thing, but torture and sadism for the sake of a thrill is a whole different ballgame.

I want to review this book. Usually I would have no problem giving a negative book review, I’ve done a few. But I’ve never ripped a book to shreds that was penned by one of my favourite authors. I’ve raved and recommended this author to lots of people on the internet and in real life, and I don’t feel right giving an honest review of this book when I’m such an advocate for this author. He re-blogs my reviews, comments on them and such. It just seems awkward. I’m not going to share the author’s name, but I’m sure if you’re interested you can wait for my review that corresponds with this discussion post.

I’m going to review the book. I’ve written some of my ideas, but it’s brutally honest. I was wondering how other bloggers deal with this conundrum when reviewing a favourite author. Do you still post detailed reviews of books that you’ve hated, even by a favourite author? Do you keep things short and sweet? Or do you just skip reviewing that title? Is there etiquette here? Has posting a negative review ever backfired on you? I want advice, my book blogging friends. Help me please.

Other installments in Ranty Runt’s Rants:

The worst time to love a reader
My personal war on romance
Breaking a blogging slump
Hated the book, love the author

Breaking a Blogging Slump: 5 tips

Ranty Runt's Rants

I gave myself permission to take a break from blogging in July of this year – I had crazy work and study commitments and I was working in a country area, 4 hours away from my home. So it was okay, in my mind, to not blog until mid – late August. The break was not meant to include the months of September, October and November. That was a bona-fide blogging slump, accompanied by a reading slump. I made no blog posts and read a book a month, instead of a book a week.

I forgot I was a book blogger – and I knew it was bad when I deleted the WordPress app from my phone. I was still using twitter, and luckily I started reading again, which lead me back to the blog.

Here are 5 ways that can help you break a blogging slump, if you find your blogging a little lackluster.

  1. Read blogs – give yourself half an hour to scroll through your ‘reader’ feed, or check in at bloglovin’, if you have one. If you spend 30 minutes reading what is happening in other people’s lives, and checkout their book enthusiasm; you will probably see something that inspires you, or something that gives you some ideas of what to do next.
  2. Join a challenge or set a goal – I joined the #12forXmas challenge, in which I attempt to read 12 books in December. Joining a challenge, especially a reading challenge, is a great way to break a slump because it gives you two types of content – posts about the challenge itself (eg. sign ups, progress posts) and books to review on your blog!
  3. Read a book you won’t resist blogging about – Be it a new release from your favourite author, a book that the book blogging community is currently raving about or a classic that you think you will hate. Choose a book to read and review that you know you will have opinions about – and then blog about it!
  4. Commit to blogging for 15 minutes – I’m a big fan in telling myself that I can do anything for 15 minutes, so make it your goal to write a draft of a blog post in 15 minutes. Tell yourself that after 15 minutes you have permission to walk away. I find that once I start typing and thinking, I’m happy to continue until I have something publishable.
  5. Talk to someone in real life about your blog – Take a few minutes to bring up your blogging with a friend or family member, or even a complete stranger. The best way of ensuring new content is to then give the URL of your blog to that person, it will inspire you to put something new on the blog so that your friend (family, stranger) doesn’t look up your blog and think you are a weirdo for talking up a blog you haven’t updated for months.

Whatever you do – once you have your mojo back, take advantage and get back into the swing of things again, get writing, get interacting and enjoy the process! Blogging is fun, but just like reading, you can go through productive and quiet times, it’s just important to have a few ideas on how to get back into the swing of things again.

Do you have any sure-fire ways of breaking a slump? Do you find that you have blogging/reading slumps at certain times of the year? Is it a cycle? Do you just burn out? Run out of ideas?

Other installments in Ranty Runt’s Rants:

The worst time to love a reader
My personal war on romance
Breaking a blogging slump