Book Blogging: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Hello readers!

Today I’m writing about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Book blogging is a unique experience for each one, but there are some things about it that are quite universal, and I wanted to know what you think about it. I intend of keep blogging for as long as it’s feasible and enjoyable, but I have changed my approached to book blogging a few times, and I’m right now also in the process of trying to change my reading, my TBR and my posting schedule.

The Good

You discover SO MANY great books

I have no idea how many books I’ve only read the past few years because of blogging. My source of inspiration before used to be mostly lists that came out on Buzzfeed or Washington Post or that were Booker winners, but now I get to read many, many unique books I wouldn’t have found otherwise! It’s surely one of my favorite things about it. At some points I even ran out of books I wanted to read, which NOW is never an issue (quite the opposite).

ARCs

Being approved for an ARC is still one of the best feelings and it never gets old. It’s so great to receive a copy of a book you’re really excited about, and it saves a bit of money too, considering how many books a blogger reads per year. Continue reading

Blog Post Ideas for Book Bloggers

Hello fellow book bloggers,

Blogging slump is no fun – we end up writing so many posts it’s hard to come up with new ideas sometimes. I get  stuck in “reviews + weekly wrap ups” a LOT and no other posts at all, and don’t always feel very creative. That is totally fine and you totally don’t have to create new content all the time, but it’s really fun to do so, and if you’re trying to get more traffic, it’s also an interesting way to get new readers.

So I gathered a list of ideas for bookish posts and I hope you guys find it useful! I sure had fun writing this list (and it took a lot of time).

Blog Divider

1. Seasonal posts

This is a classic book blogging strategy. Every year I create a draft for some of the holidays or special days and compile lists of recommendations for, or some other bookish discussing around the holiday. For example:

January

  • Releases of the new year you’re looking forward to
  • New year resolutions, bookish or otherwise

February

  • TBR/Recs for Black History Month
  • TBR/Recs for Romance Week (Valentine’s day)

And so on! For more ideas, read my post ideas for bookish posts, month-by-month.

Examples: Winter & Christmas Book Recommendations, International Women’s Day: 10 Book Recommendations, 10 Book Recommendations for Fall

2. Anti-TBRs

What are the books you plan on NOT buying and why? Some I wrote: #1#2, Hyped Books Released in 2019 That I Am Not Going to Read

3. If you have Instagram, show off your aesthetic

Or how your Instagram aesthetics has changed over time. Bookstagrams are so pretty and really nice to look through. You can also show the behind-the-camera and share tips and tricks for photographing books!

4. Write about books that are coming soon

Quite often through the year, there’s a cycle of new releases hitting the shelves, and it’s really fun to look through those and pick a few that catch your eye or that you heard of before. You can do that per week, per month, per season etc.

Examples: Happy New Year! + Books Published in 2018 I Look Forward To, Books coming out August/2017 I’m dying to read, Books Coming Out on 2019 I’m Looking Forward To, Upcoming 2020 Releases I’m Looking Forward To

5. Create a quiz

I am not very good at creating quizzes, but they are SO MUCH FUN. If you have a paid version of WordPress, there are some plugins you can use for creating better quizzes: WP Beginners – 9 Best Quiz Plugins for WordPress (2019). Some quizzes to answer if you want to get inspired: Fun Quizzes for Bookworms!

Some quizzes I created (on the free WP): How Similar Are Our Reading Tastes?, Which Overly Specific Typical YA Couple Are You Based on the YA Books You Pick?, What Kind of Book Blogger Are You? Continue reading

The Sunday Snuggle: Weekly Wrap Up W3/2020

Hello readers!

This week I finished more books than expected due to a lighter work week! So after finishing 4 of the 5 ARCs I have for January by now, I decided to take the plunge and finally start Ducks, Newburyport. I’ve no idea how long this will take, but I’m hoping to be finished by the end of the month, since February I have LOTS to read and then March the WP Longlist comes out and will probably dominate my reading. I’ll alternate a little with some audiobooks, since I like having a bit of variety. ALSO I’m hoping Ducks will be part of the WP Longlist and then I’ll feel very smug about having read it by then! One can dream, at least.

This week I bought in audio:

american predator maureen callahan

Continue reading

January Releases eARC Reviews: Miss Austen & How Quickly She Disappears

miss austen gill hornbyMiss Austen by Gill Hornby

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Historical Fiction

Goodreads

I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Miss Austen is the story of Cassandra Austen, who famously destroyed most of the letters exchanged with her sister Jane. I enjoyed the witty dialogues, so very like the way the books are written, and I think it’s where it shines. I was however bored with it rather soon, despite its attempts at making a (fictional) dramatic account of Cassandra’s love life, Jane’s depression and jealousy of other women. All the characters seem to be taken right out of Jane Austen’s novels (on purpose, I assume), all wit and clear heroines vs antagonists, which did not work well for this novel, in my opinion. I hoped for more well-rounded characters. I was engrossed by the story at times, but much too often I was simply bored. The predictability of the plot (which, considering it’s based on real events, can’t be avoided) was not helped by the writing, or the characters. If you’re craving some Austen in your life, I think you’ll enjoy this, especially how much you see of Cassandra in this. I itched to know more about their real lives. The novel, although witty and loosely based to real events from the Austen family’s lives, did not feel quite strong enough. Continue reading

#FFFeb TBR and Recommendations

Hello readers!

Charlotte from Moonraker & Read Rainbows posted about the #FFFeb challenge and I decided to (attempt to) participate! To learn more about it, go check out her post 🙂 oh and don’t forget to follow her, she gives amazing recommendations and I love the aesthetic.

Blog Divider

My TBR

Because I am also trying to keep up with the ARCs and backlist books I already own, I will try to adhere to those books for my TBR as much as possible. So I’ve divided my FFFeb TBR into priority 1 and 2, since I’m confident I can read prio 1 books (also I already own them) and then if the month goes really well reading-wise, I’ll pick up prio 2 books as well!

Click on the covers to go to their respective Goodreads pages. Priority 1 books:

the truth about keeping secrets savannah brown exciting times noise dolan harrow the ninth tamsyn muir

The Price of Salt the lady upstairs halley sutton

Continue reading

eARC Review: My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell

my dark vanessa kate elizabeth russelRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery

Goodreads

I received an advanced copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

My Dark Vanessa was among my most anticipated books for 2020, and justifiably so. This intense, consuming book is an exploration of the psychological effects of abuse a teenage girl suffers from when she’s fifteen all the way into adulthood, and the love story she is convinced she lived, instead of the horrific reality of the abuse. It’s not an easy read, and it’s not for every reader. It was a rewarding experience to read this – I was left destroyed and with so many thoughts going through my head, I had no idea how to write this review. Continue reading

Three of My Favorite Meat-Free Brazilian Recipes

Hello readers!

For those who don’t know, I’m Brazilian! I love food and I’ve been a reducetarean for 10 years now, so I’ve been experimenting a bit with vegetarian and vegan versions of my favorite Brazilian dishes for a while. I thought it would be interesting to add some recipes to my blog, and with Veganuary getting people interested in new recipes, it seems like a nice timing.

Brazilian cuisine is influenced by several cultures, so some of the typical things we eat come from other countries and have been adapted, which is why some of the recipes I post might look familiar. For this post, I needed to take photos of the food and there was not much time between asking on Twitter if I should post this and actually posting it, so this is just the Brazilian vegetarian or vegan food I cooked between New Year’s and today – it’s a very low-key, relaxed post.

Please excuse my English, it is not my mother tongue and it always shows when I talk about cooking. I also don’t really measure things, so I approximated. If you guys like this post, I can do others with more typical Brazilian food (vegan feijoada, Brazilian strogonoff etc) and other recipes that aren’t necessarily from my country but that I love.

I marked (V) for vegan and (VEG) for vegetarian.

Blog Divider

Lentil stew with rice (V)

20200101_121943996159439411758203.jpg

This should be a rather generous amount of food, perhaps 4-5 people. Keep the leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days, or freeze it for eating at a later date. It will probably taste even better the next time you eat it because the spices infuse the lentils with more flavor when left to rest. The recipe is also healthy and full of protein. Continue reading

The Sunday Snuggle: Weekly Wrap Up W2/2020

Hello readers!

It’s been an eventful week, with going back to work and remembering what it’s like to wake up with an alarm (not great).

Next month I will be participating in #FFFeb! I have decided on a TBR, and thankfully most of it are ARCs. This week I will post it plus a list of recommendations – I’m really hyped for it!

February there will also be #Tropeathon! I need to think about what I will read then, but it depends how FFFeb goes, and I’m hoping to use a similar TBR for both!

I was hoping to start Ducks, Newburyport this week, but then I realized I have 5 ARCs due this month, so I’m trying to get through those first and then pick up Ducks before the month is over. I definitely want to finish it before the longlist of the Women’s Prize comes out, because then I am sure I won’t pick it up anytime soon if it’s not listed there

This week I received from Edelweiss:

he started it samantha downing a madness of sunshine nalini singh the lady upstairs halley sutton

Continue reading

Mini-Reviews: Queen of Nothing, The Deep, To Drink Coffee with a Ghost, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered

queen of nothing holly black Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads

I really enjoyed the first two books in the series, especially for how cutthroat Jude was, and all the scheming and twists and betrayals were just really exciting to read. This final book, however, just felt like one long ode to how amazing Cardan is, how worthy of love and how secretly a good guy he was all along. There is not much going on at all for most of the book, and even what conflict is there was too quickly resolved, too neatly wrapped up. I did enjoy the book, just felt a bit disappointed by it. The audiobook was really good, though! Continue reading

eARC Review: Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell

cleanness Garth GreenwellRating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, M/M

Goodreads

I received an advanced copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I have not read Garth Greenwell’s other work What Belongs to You, and it was with no expectations and hardly any memory of the synopsis that I started it. What I knew of the book is that it would be an exploration of sexuality and identity, which is absolutely true. This book is very sexually explicit and beautifully written, the sentences not too flowery but still poignant. I was not sure I liked this book for the majority of it, because although I appreciated the writing and the themes, erotic literature is not quite what I normally pick up, and I felt uncomfortably like a voyeur. Basically, if you’re a prude like me, maybe skip this book. The main character, an American teacher, tells episodes of his life in Bulgaria, and how they reflected previous experiences he had in the US years before. I really enjoyed reading about Sofia and had my heart broken when learning the reality of homophobia there. Reading this a very immersive experience. Continue reading