Friday 15 January 2021

Post Scheduling and Other Blogging Behaviours

 This week's question for the Book Blogger Hop is: 
How many posts do you schedule for your blog on a weekly basis?
In an ideal world, I get all my posts scheduled for the coming week on the weekend before. So, for posts next week, I'd have them finished by Sunday. If I don't get them finished and scheduled for the week then I rarely have time to sort them out during the week and I end up only posting whatever was finished and the draft posts would move to the next available slot. 

Whenever I schedule a post, I schedule a social media post for it at the same time otherwise I'd forget and never "promote" any of my posts... If you can call sending out a tweet (or two) promotion but whatever. This is a hobby, not a job. 😉

I like to have three posts a week (excluding my Sunday wrap up post) but sometimes there are less and sometimes there are more. I really try to avoid more though... I struggle to keep on top of things at three, never mind more!

I tend to be quite organised at setting up post "shells" for any weekly memes I plan to take part in as and when I spot a question/topic I like. 
I do the same when it comes to signing up for blitzes, cover reveals or tours too. 
As for reviews, I only set up the post shells for those when I'm ready to draft the review... Although, I do tend to write a quick review draft asap after finishing a book - especially if it's a review copy - as I don't take notes and it can take me a while between finishing a book (and drafting my review) to actually finalising the review and publishing. 

If I'm feeling particularly creative, inspired or motivated, I sometimes get posts scheduled weeks or even months in advance! It's never a full week/month's worth but sometimes I finalise and schedule blogger memes or tags well in advance as they can be time-consuming to create and I chip away at them as I feel like it. I do tend to review any of these long-ago scheduled posts the weekend before they go live and make any tweaks if things have changed though.
However, if I was ever hit by a bus you'd likely get a few more posts from me from "beyond the grave" because of this habit... 👻


Tuesday 5 January 2021

Books I'm looking forward to in 2021!!

So, I'm cheating a little with this week's prompt as I've listed books that fall into the second half of 2021 too... Most are the first half, which isn't surprising seeing as books later in the year aren't really announced yet, but some do cross the line and fall July or later. 
(And I'm not sorry because I'm also linking up with the Book Blogger Hop and they're covering the entire year. 😜)

There are so many books! 2021 is going to be full of good reading.
Are any of these on your lists?


A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer 

Release: January 12th 

Must know how it ends! I've been dying! I'm so glad I took forever to read the first two or I may actually have expired...


Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews 

Release: January 12th

A new book set in the Kate Daniels world? Take my money!!!


Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore 

Release: January 19th

It's been quite some time since I read Graceling but I loved it and with Bitterblue having sat on my bookshelves for years, unread, I'm hoping Winterkeep's release will give me the kick I need to revisit the series!


Ignite The Fire by Karen Chance 

Release: January 20th

More Cassie and Pritkin!!!!! I started reading this series back in my university days and we're only just getting close to the end... Talk about commitment, eh?

Still Standing by Kristen Ashley 

Release: February 2nd 

A new MC series from Kristen Ashley?! One that links in the Chaos guys?! Sign me up!!


The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare 

Release: February 15th

I feel like I've waited a hundred years... Okay, a bit of an exaggeration but this should have released last summer so... Cheers Corona you absolute rocket! 


A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas 

Release: February 16th 

I have no idea why this book has taken so long but I'm so glad it's finally coming! 
The ACOTAR series is an absolute fav and I'm curious as to where it goes next.


Wild Wind by Kristen Ashley

Release: March 9th

Jagger Black's book... Slipping back into Chaos is like wrapping yourself in a warm cozy blanket on a cold winter's day and I'm ready for it!


Thrice Cursed by Hailey Edwards 

Release: March 23rd

I love Edwards' Necromancy series (and spin-offs) but I have no idea what to expect from this brand new series! I'm looking forward to giving it a try and the cover is awesome. 


The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary  

Release: April 29th 

The Switch was one of my favourite books of 2020 so, naturally, I have high expectations for O'Leary's next book!


The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang 

Release: May 6th 

I have no idea why the release date for this is showing as May on Amazon UK May,  but August on Goodreads, but I'm super happy to be getting my hands on more in this series! Looks like the UK may actually be getting it earlier than North America? Time will tell!


Million Dollar Demon by Kim Harrison 

Release: June 15th

Itchy-witch is back!! I'm so happy to return to the Hollows and hope this book is as enjoyable as American Demon.


Capture The Crown by Jennifer Estep 

Release: July 6th

I binge-read the Crown of Shards series last year and adored the young character of Gemma. I was ecstatic that the spin-off is based around her. Fingers crossed we get to see some familiar faces throughout her journey. 


The One and Only Crystal Druid by Annette Marie 

Release: September 24th


Another mention would be Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections by Annette Marie and Rob Jacobsen but it doesn't have a firm release date or cover yet... Sometime in the spring, I believe!


Monday 4 January 2021

The Classics Club!

Anyone who spends more than five minutes on this blog knows that I'm a romance and fantasy/urban fantasy reader more than anything else. Heck, even my fantasy/urban fantasy needs a good strong romance for me to get behind or I get grumpy, so let us keep it simple and say that I am a romance reader above and beyond anything and I don't often stray from that path... But that wasn't always the case. 

My reading used to be much more varied. 
I used to be more open to "risks". I'd pick up anything that sounded good to me, even if it wasn't in my typical wheelhouse and I'd read it. I've lost that somewhere along the way... And I want it back. 

Classic books are one area where I rarely dip my toes nowadays but last year (2020) I found myself listening to the audiobook's for Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass and Peter Pan, and while my reactions to them were mixed, I was super happy that I'd finally read them! 
I'd finally read these classic books and had an unpolluted (by pop-culture, re-imaginings, movies, tv etc) opinion of them! And there are so many others that I want to read! So many stories I'm familiar with because of their legacy or reputation but have never actually experienced from the source material.
So, I'm diving in! 

I'm joining the Classics Club and pledging to read/listen to 50 Classic books by December 31st 2026.

The beauty of this club is that it isn't prescriptive on what constitutes a classic and re-reads are also acceptable. The only re-reads I've included are books that I haven't read in over 10 years, and some of them not since school days, so it'll be interesting reading them as an adult.

My list of 50 books are as follows and I'll update it with hyperlinks as I read them and share my thoughts on each.
  1. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  6. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. Emma by Jane Austen
  10. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
  11. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  12. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  13. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  14. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  15. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
  16. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  17. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  18. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  19. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  20. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  21. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  22. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  23. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  24. The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  25. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  26. The Return of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  27. The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame 
  28. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  29. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  30. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 
  31. A Study in Scarlett by Arthur Conan Doyle
  32. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  33. The Hound of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  34. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  35. The Secret Garden by Louisa May Alcott
  36. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  37. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  38. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
  39. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
  40. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
  41. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  42. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
  43. The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  44. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
  45. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
  46. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
  47. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
  48. The Queen of The Damned by Anne Rice
  49. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  50. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett 

Friday 1 January 2021

2020 Reading Wrap Up!

I'm linking this up with The Book Blogger Hop as this week's question is: 
How many books did you read in 2020? 
But I'm also using the post to wrap up all my challenges from 2020, some of which were absolutely disastrous and others were quite successful!

I started 2020 full of optimism for the year ahead reading but covid pretty much messed up every plan I had - not just the reading - so it's no surprise that my challenges fell by the way-side really. 
I still managed to read 133 books.
This was 28 more than 2019 but somehow I still feel like I've "failed" because I haven't managed to tick arbitrary boxes set by myself a year ago when the world was different. 
Go figure.

Anyway... The round up to 2020's reading challenges is as follows:


Target: 156 Books
Result: 133 Books

Bit harsh labelling it as a failure when I read more books than I did in 2019, despite the pandemic and it's slump inducing effects, but facts are facts! I didn't hit my goal... 

The Audiobook Challenge

Target: Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20 books.
Result: 12/20

I equalled my 2019 total - despite only getting 3 months of commuting this year! - so I'm actually happy... I think I'd have beasted this challenge if things were normal.

Beat The Backlist 

Target: 80 books
Result: 60 books

Honestly, I'm not too disappointed by this. Something has to give when reading and I read double the number of new releases I was aiming for so... Meh.

2020 New Release Challenge

Target: "New Release Pro" (31-60 books)
Result: 67/60

I was aiming for the low end of my "zone" at 31 books and I read 67... This was surprising and a nice win!

Book Blog Discussion Challenge 

Target: 1-10 - Discussion Dabbler
Result: 2

I was aiming for 1 discussion post as I usually don't write discussion posts and I got two!
I am happy and I declare success.

2020 Retellings Challenge

Target: "Warrior Princess" (6-10 re-tellings)
Result: 1/10

This was a late addition to my 2020 challenges and it should have been so easy as I love re-tellings but I just... didn't read any. Ooops.

2020 Bookish Resolutions

My Goals:

Bookish Resolution #1 - Shut Up and Read It!
16 books everybody raves about that I haven't read and want to. Instead of saying I want to I'm going to read them!
Result: 2/16


Bookish Resolution #2 - Nuke NetGalley
Clear every book off my NetGalley...
Result: Fail! I read a lot but there are still 18 left...


Bookish Resolution #3 - Binge The Series

The Chicagoland Vampires (I'd read 6 out of 13)
Result: Still 6/13

The Kitty Norville Series (I'd read 4 out of 13)
Result: Still 4/13

The Lunar Chronicles (I'd read 0 out of 4)
Result: Still 0/4 
(I tired to start Cinder but couldn't settle into reading it!)

The Hush Hush Series (I'd read 0 out of 4)
Result: 0/4

The Selection Series (I'd read 0 out of 5)
Result: 0/5

The Red Queen Series (I'd read 0 out of 4)
Result: 0/4

The Dark Days Series (I'd read 0 out of 6)
Result: 2/6

The Mercy Thompson Series (I'd read 0 out of 12)
Result: 4/12

The Magnus Chase Series (I'd read 0 out of 3 books)
Result: 0/3
I listen to Riordan on audiobook and with the pandemic, and not driving to work, my audiobook time was slim to none (as I said in the audiobook challenge). Thus... No Magnus Chase for me this year. 

The Trials of Apollo Series (I've read 0 out of 5 books)
Result: 0/5
As above... I listen to Riordan on audiobook. No commute = no little/no audiobook time.

Hades Hangmen Series (I'd read 0 out of 10 books - I'm counting the 2 novellas)
Result: 0/10

Crown of Shards Series (I'd read 0 out of 3 books)
Result: 3/3


How did your reading go in 2020? Did you achieve your goals?
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