A Week in the Books – Links I Loved the Week of 5/4/18
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
A Week in the Books
My blog is a year old this month and I decided to give it a little facelift. A gift for my blog and a headache for me? Maybe a little of both. It IS fun to do something new, and I’ve also worked out some nagging technical issues that will allow me to add more options for finding books.
There’s still a lot to do, but I’d love your feedback! Check out the home page and then feel free to leave a comment here or send me a message. And please let me know if anything isn’t working!
While I’ve been doing this, I’ve been enjoying the return of The 100 on the CW (I know). Have you seen this show? It’s relevant to bookish news because it’s a show based on a YA dystopian novel (that I haven’t read), and it’s been on hiatus for about a year.
This show is totally not in my usual wheelhouse (It’s dark! It’s violent! Insanely attractive teens save the world!), but started it last year and ended up binging all of the seasons on Netflix. The premise is interesting and far-fetched, but it makes for compelling TV: generations ago, the world experienced a nuclear meltdown and a number of people were saved by moving in to a large space station. Now they suspect that Earth is habitable again, so they send down 100 juvenile delinquents to see if they can survive (because they are expendable if it doesn’t work out). But they find that humanity was not wiped out as they suspected.
As these types of shows tend to do (think Lost), the story gets more convoluted through the seasons, but I’m still addicted. Have you watched it?
With all the behind-the-scenes activity, I didn’t spend much time on other blogs this week, but here are a few articles I enjoyed:
Book Reviews and Lists
May Reading Challenge: Royal Reads – Beyond the Bookends
I’m not much of a royal watcher, but I have to admit to finding Harry quite charming. I can’t imagine the life the Megan Markle is marrying into, though. Wait–actually I can, because I read and loved The Royal We, which paints a pretty good picture of how it might be for an American commoner to marry a British royal. If you’re looking for reads to immerse yourself in the world of royalty in advance of the big wedding, check out the list for everything from romance to the queen taking a train ride.
When a Novel Is Just Too Much: Short Story Recommendations – Running ‘N’ Reading
Tara’s list of excellent short story collections has convinced me that I need to read more short stories. I very rarely pick them up, but there are several recent ones that are getting raves. I haven’t had much success with audio books–something many people use to read more–but maybe short stories will be the thing I need to fit more reading into the small moments throughout the day.
Articles and News
Reading Slow, Short, and Selective – Book Riot
I really liked this essay on the value of slow reading and choosing books and stories that allow for exposure to many voices and ideas. While I do love big books, I found myself speed reading through my most recent 900 page book. It wasn’t great literature and the language wasn’t something to savor. While I enjoyed it, I just wanted to find out what happened next and finally move on. As the writer here says, it started to feel like it was hogging my reading time. I think sometimes speed reading can be good, but I’m increasingly interested in finding those stories that aren’t greedy of my time but can instead allow for focus and reflection.
What Do You Get to Do? Joy E. Rancatore
Joy is a fantastic writer who has a lot on her plate–like any of us. Her article came at a particularly crazy time when I’ve been feeling pulled in many directions. Work has been crazy, there are lots of school events going on, plus planning for summer, working on some home improvement projects, and I guess I needed (?) to redesign this website. All great things, but I was starting to feel a little frayed and not appreciating any of them. These are all things I get to do. If I can just focus on one at a time, I know I’ll appreciate them more.
What do you get to do this weekend?
I love the blog facelift and congrats on 1 year! I need to give my blog a facelift too, but I’m dreading all the techie issues when you switch to a new theme and don’t have time for it right now…ugh!
Did you make your own logo or hire someone to make it for you?
Thank you! The theme I chose looked pretty good straight out of the box, thankfully, but there were definitely some technical headaches. Some of the plugins didn’t play nice with each other and took my site down entirely a few times! I had to change some settings with my host to get it to work, but it was ultimately a good thing because everything is more stable.
I did make my logo myself, which I always feel a little bad about. I work with some talented and skilled graphic designers and a lot goes into their work. But, for a personal site I can’t justify hiring someone right now.
Let me know if I can help with anything if you decide to redesign!
Congratulations on a whole year!! I am so proud of you! Your site is gorgeous. ❤️ Thank you for the shoutout, too! I am so happy that my words encouraged you this week. That makes it all worth it! I love this blogging we get to do. ?
Thanks, Joy! It’s been fun to follow your progress this past year as you’ve accomplished so much with your writing! Your post came at just the right time–and I meant to comment there as well, but it’s been a crazy week 🙂
Thanks for sharing the list of royal reads! I also thought The Royal We was a ton of fun to read, so I’ll check out some of her other recommendations.
I’m thinking I may need to check out the one where the queen rides the train! I enjoyed The Royal We so much–definitely a light read, but I thought it was really well written. I haven’t checked out their website lately (GoFugYourself) but I’m hoping they’re writing more books.
Congrats on your blog-iversary!!! I love the new look!
Thank you! Have a great weekend!
The blog facelift looks great! My only suggestion might be to make the normal font color a *little* darker—the lighter color makes it a little bit harder to see. Or maybe this is just a sign that I’m getting older, ha ha.
I probably should do a blog facelift too (and I also have quite a few technical issues that need addressing), but I just find myself so not motivated to start that headache. So good for you for diving right in!
Thank you! I was eyeing the font color as well. I darkened it, but let me know if it still looks light to you the next time you visit.
It’s definitely a project! I have a huge list of things I want to do, but I have to tackle them little by little. It’s really easy to spend hours messing with design but not actually write anything for the blog–which defeats the purpose 🙂 So, one thing at a time. The design is fun, but technical issues are such a pain and always take longer to fix than expected.