WHAT THE Slump…

It’s getting warmer here. Summertime is fast approaching. I am one of the few that HATE the summertime. I don’t like being hot. My house never gets cool enough for me. The electric bill…uh, No Thank You! The only solution, more ice cream!!! More ice cream leads to weight gain. No ice cream. Sad Face. Summer is not for me.

 

I do however enjoy summer reading! I find the summer to be the perfect time to read a quick Chick Lit book or a fun mystery. I tend to prefer light reading in the summer. How about you? A couple Sophie Kinsella books, maybe some Laurien Berenson cozy mysteries and life is as good as it can be in the summer heat!

 

This year I’m struggling. I’m constantly picking up new books at the book sale and trying to fill a void that can’t seem to be filled. That isn’t to say I haven’t read great books. I have! I read Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series with my friend Jody and OMG we LOVED it! I read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and surprisingly loved it too! The Throne of Glass series (1-3) by Sarah J Maas, Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus books (1-3), and Victoria Laurie’s amazing Ghost Hunter Mysteries are also highlighted.

 

So, my slump came in waves. It wasn’t immediate and it didn’t stop me from wanting to read. It just isolated me and made me feel overwhelmed.

 

For starters, realization that no one reads my blog posts. I’m kinda wasting my time a lil bit and that’s really disheartening. So I quit. Not the most mature approach, this I know! Yet, when you have really sh*tty internet service and you are breaking your back to create a regular schedule that almost no one even cares about…why bother?! I switched to Instagram @LetsBookAboutIt and I’m reviewing books there. I quite enjoy it. Even if I’m still a little slow to post or my pictures don’t rank at all compared to the big names, it’s still fun.

 

Next, I have far too many LONG LONG LONG fantasy books. Did I mention they were LONG? It feels like 75% of my TBR pile is made up of LONG fantasy books. To say I’m overwhelmed would be an understatement. I see the long books. I want to read the long books. Then I pick them up and put them back down. I can’t seem to stick with them for more than a few chapters. I think it started with the Throne of Glass series. I loved books 1 and 2. Book 3 had some challenges for me. I wanted to like it, but I didn’t. (not in the first half anyway) That book was so incredibly long. I just kept pushing and pushing my way through. I’d give up a whole day to read it and at the end felt like I didn’t make a dent. It was discouraging. That’s when the Fear Of Long Books began. Now, I’m afraid to start a long book for fear I won’t finish it or I’ll get bored. If I put it down, I may not pick it back up! It’s all in my mind, I know. That doesn’t stop me from thinking it though.

 

Lastly, the combative state of Twitter made me distance myself from it and thereby leaving my bookish online friends. Well, not entirely, but I feel like I’m not connecting like I used to. (and my internet was awful so I stopped watching videos L )

 

I’ve seen the Twitter controversies come and go. I usually try and stay out of it, because I’ve found that no matter what I say…it’s apparently wrong. So mums the word now! Yes, there are the wonderfully mature human beings who can debate an issue and NOT judge you or make you feel bad for having the opinion you have. To each their own, right? I have seen PLENTY of that on Booktube in the past. The fairly recent conversations seem far too heated for that. It’s a lot of hurt feelings and when feelings are involved…things get heated. Let me back track!

 

Recently, it feels like no one can have an opinion without someone being offended. Maybe you didn’t like a book or author? Maybe you DID like that book or author? Maybe you found problematic issues in a book? Maybe you read that same book and saw nothing wrong? No matter where you fell, someone is upset with you. I don’t like people being upset with me. So I didn’t weigh-in on those conversations and I certainly did not read any problematic/controversial books!

 

In fact, I avoided all “hyped” books. I decided I’m not even going to try anymore. I don’t want to argue with anyone and there are plenty of older books that I want to read/enjoy. So, I distanced myself from the hype. Problem is, when you stop caring about the books that are being “cared” about, you stop being apart of the conversations. Sad Face. It was kind of lose lose. If I read the problematic books (to be apart of the conversation) then people would be mad that I read a book with such problematic elements. If I didn’t, I steered clear of the anger/offensive material…but I couldn’t chat with those people (because that’s all they talked about).

 

I am not sure of the current state of Bookish Twitter. I only pop on and off. I have a feeling that those issues are still going strong. Why wouldn’t they? If you see a book that offends you, you are going to talk about it. If you read a book that you love and see people hate on it, you’re going to get defensive. No one really wins. On one side, you have the offended people who read something that rocked them to the core and therefore get so upset they may not be explaining their points as calmly/rationally as they maybe could have. They are so offended by this body of work, that they don’t want to hear any praise for it. They don’t want to hear your side. On the other hand, people are so busy being defensive of this body of work that they miss the opposing sides point all together. They miss the bigger picture and that can have lasting damage. In the end, we need to listen to each other and grow more accepting of others no matter what side we are sitting on. Also, we want publishers to see our points calmly, to take the bookish community seriously and to make changes in the quality of what they produce. That’s my opinion anyway. Whether you agree or disagree, I respect that. Please respect me if you choose comment.

 

So, now I’m here with my internet actually functioning and my words rambling across my screen. Will anyone read it? I dunno. Will someone be mad at me about my thoughts? Quite possibly, but I wrote a blog post though!!!!

 

Has anyone been in a similar funk? Have you ever picked up books only to put them back down? Do you feel a little lost?

 

My goals for the rest of the year are as follows:

 

– Blog/Instagram More

– Find My Way Back Onto Twitter And Solidify Stronger Friendships

– Read What My Heart Wants, Not What I Feel Obligated To Read

– Continue To Grow TBR Hot Spot (My Goodreads Group) and Do Right By My Amazing Members. I really want to provide a good group for them and not let them down. I’ve felt like I have due to my slump and I’m working hard to change that.

 

That’s all for now folks!

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Silent Night & The Time is Right!

Silent Night & The Time Is Right…for a Great Christmas Read!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a great Christmas read. It usually starts right after Thanksgiving and I finish 3-4 books before Christmas. I’m very selective about my Christmas stories and I thought I’d share my top picks with you. So, in this post you will discover my Pro’s and Con’s of Christmas books and get a list of the BEST books I’ve read! Sound like fun? Hopefully you will find some wonderful books for yourself!

*I’d like to note that it takes me HOURS to scour the web for new Christmas Books. I’m not sure if they aren’t too popular, but finding them in general can be tricky. Amazon used to have a Holiday Page. You could choose Christmas and find the latest books. They have since changed that. Now it’s a “Christian” page. These books focus on the religious side of Christmas (absolutely nothing wrong with that, but not always what I’m looking for) and not always a lighthearted fun Christmas read. Therefore, it’s HARD! Plus, I have strict criteria. So, let’s begin with that…

Let’s start with what I like:

Normally, I am not a Contemporary/Romance fan. I like fantastic worlds and crazy plot twists. I’m not very interested in human behavior and more serious topics. I don’t enjoy predictable, sappy books. By predictable, I mean the books where you know that this person will overcome this and that person will deal with that….then they end up together. Sorry, I’m just not interested in books that focus on characters’ daily struggles or everyday life events. I like twists and turns, as I said. I like major suspense. SOOO it’s quite funny that during Christmastime…I LOVE those predictable romance books. Lol! I just love sappy endings and loveable moments during Christmastime. Now, I still want a good plot and if it’s too predictable (I’m lookin at you, Call Me Mrs. Miracle) I will still DNF it. So this list will be filled with sappy love stories, but they will still have good laughs or minor plot twists.

What I Avoid:

Christmas is a time to be cheerful and happy. I want to feel good and uplifted at Christmastime. I DON’T want to be brought down by children dying, their parents dying, or people struggling through cancer diagnoses. WHY do authors think this is acceptable??? Death during Christmastime is painful and people will forever remember that’s the Christmas their loved one died. Even if that older cancer patient taught the little boy a life lesson…good for him. I don’t want to hear about it around my happy/sappy time of year. Nope. No thanks. I’m sorry, to anyone who does find these books uplifting/enjoys them. That isn’t my preference. You will find none of those books on this list. That said, it must be a popular concept, because it’s very hard to find a Christmas book each year that doesn’t have those elements. Why would you want to cry around Christmas? The Christmas Shoes makes me bawl like a baby!! I have to change the radio station! Why?? Ok, I’m done. Taking a deep breath and moving on. Sorry about that.

As I mentioned, it’s very hard to find a book that is uplifting (not sad at all) AND doesn’t bore me to tears with predictability. So, if you agree with me or haven’t tried a Christmas book, but want to…look no further! Here we go!! (So excited!!!)

The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts. Easily my favorite Christmas read and I will be rereading it this year! This story focuses on The Snow Globe, of course. A young woman comes into an antiques shop and discovers the globe. The man behind the counter tells a tale about a German toymaker who received the globe as a gift after a great tragedy in his life. (it won’t bring you down, because the book is not focused on this tale) It’s said that the toymaker saw the image of a beautiful woman when he looked into the globe. This woman did come into his life and mended his broken heart. The snow globe has been past down from generation to generation always ending up in the hands of someone who needs a Christmas miracle. (I paraphrased this from the summary on the jacket) Obviously, our main character needs that miracle and so the story begins! This book touched my heart and I hope it touches yours. I’m very eager for a reread. By the way, it’s only about 166 pages. So you can fly through this on a cozy Saturday!

  • The Trouble with Christmas, It Happened at Christmas, and Snowbound at Christmas by Debbie Mason. These are apart of her Christmas, Colorado series and I adore them! I bought her debut book, The Trouble with Christmas and instantly fell in love. Obviously, I can’t sum up all of the books without spoilers but I can tell you about that debut book! So, the story focuses Madison Lane. She’s this big wig in the city and is accused of botching up a deal with Christmas, Colorado. Her company is supposed to spruce up the town and create a beautiful tourist destination. The town needs the money, the company needs the deal! Now that things are all messed up, Madison is shipped off to Christmas to clean up the mess. There, she meets Sheriff Gage McBride. Now, Madison isn’t met with a warm welcome and she’s quite a character. So, things just keep happening to her…funny things. Poor Gage is stuck cleaning up the mess. OF COURSE, the ending can be predicted. You see where it’s going already, right? The charming part… the characters in this book (they are all so unique and entertaining)…and the town that just comes to life. It’s a character of its own. You want to live in Christmas, Colorado. You wanna visit its shops, befriend its residents and laugh along with Madison. It gives you the warm fuzzies, but still has elements that you DON’T see coming. They may be smallish things, but I found them enjoyable. Now, all of Debbie Mason’s books tie together. So, Madison’s friend Skylar will become the focus of It Happened at Christmas. Cat is the main character in Snowbound at Christmas. I won’t get into how she relates (it’s not a spoiler, but it’s still fun to discover as you go) but each book focuses on people you are familiar with in previous books. Make sense? She also has Summer time books. They fall in between these books. I have found that I can read these pretty well and not feel like I’m missing something. If you enjoy the first book, maybe you want to give them a go. I will be, because I notice some minor plot points that I had to guess what happened…they don’t affect the overall story, but I’m curious. This is getting long, so I’ll stop, but if you want additional detail just tweet me or DM me over on twitter @letsbookaboutit.
  • A Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs. This book is interesting to me, because I’ve tried a couple of her other books and was bored to tears. Sorry! Yet, somehow I loved this book. I may reread this one also! So, this story is about a Librarian! Yaaay!! Her name is Maureen and this is her big chance to direct the local holiday pageant. She’s going to make it PERFECT…or is she? Along comes Eddie…he’s a rock star (ohh yeahh! I’m a sucker for a bad boy, you?) The dude crashes his car into the town nativity scene!! Oops!! Now, he has to do community service and help Maureen with the pageant. Ya know that isn’t gonna go well! These two make each other crazy aaaand of course fall in love. How in the world does that happen? What does this mish mosh of a pageant look like? Read the Book!!! I really enjoyed this one. It could be the librarian/bad boy thing…either way, I highly recommend this particular book. OH, and you don’t need to read any of her other books to read this one. I don’t even know what number this is in the series.
  • A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is a Victorian Christmas story set back in 1894. Margaret Campbell is a teacher and can’t wait to go home for Christmas, but fate has another plan. She ends up meeting Gordon Shaw and her Christmas will never be the same. If I remember correctly, she’s forced to spend Christmas with his family and the characters learn a lot about each other. I feel like Margaret grows a lot in this book and it was a very interesting read. It’s written well and easy to understand. It’s not written like a Classic, as I expected it to be. Overall, I found this one very enjoyable and touching. I plan to reread eventually.

Honorable Mentions:

I found Sheila Roberts’ Merry Ex-Mas to be a cute little story. It has multiple character perspectives (all women) and focuses on how their lives unfold right before Christmas. They are each at different stages in life and it was a fun read. There were definitely predictability issues here, but I did experience quite a few giggles.

Also, Heather Graham’s Home in Time for Christmas. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish this book, but it was me being me. I still think it’s a pretty good story. I just had trouble with the lack of twists. If you enjoy Contemporary love stories…this will be perfect for you. It’s a story about Melody Tarleton (I really enjoyed her). She’s driving home for Christmas and a man clad in Revolutionary War clothing pops out in front of her. He’s convinced he’s a Patriot soldier. His name is Jake. So, of course Melody brings him home to meet the family. Wouldn’t you? LOL! She makes up this story to explain his…eccentricities. Now she needs to figure out, is he really a Patriot soldier? Or is he just confused…very confused? Also, is she falling for him??? Hmmm! Check it out! I may try to reread eventually. So I’ve always kept the book.

Well, this was a long one folks! Sorry about that! I hope you enjoyed it though and you’ve found at least 1 book that appealed to you! If you have any wonderful Christmas Time reads, please send me a tweet/DM/Comment down below. I’m always on the lookout! Also, please check out my instagram page for pics!! Until next time!!

I wanna be liked…

I want people to view my posts and enjoy them. I want my content to be genuine and conversational. I want to provide bookish and gaming information to those who didn’t know my info before. I want to make friends! I want tons of friends that I can chat with about whatever book I’m reading. I want them to be comfortable coming to me about books, or life, or anything!

In a dream world, I’d love to score some ARCs from my favorite authors. I want to read their book ASAP and I can recommend it to everyone I come across! Glorious!

I don’t want to be famous or on panels. I’d freeze up and get nervous. I just want that many friends or that many people who respect my opinions.

I’d love to read half as many books as people do in the Booktube world and NOT get incredibly burnt out.

I want people to be able to say how they feel without hurtful trolls tearing them apart. (I know, dream on!)

I want all my booktube friends to never doubt themselves or their content. I see it far too often and you are all so amazing that you never have anything to worry about.

I want to put out content on a regular schedule and actually be able to stick to it. I envy those who do.

I want to be noticed.

What do you want? Tweet (@LetsBookAboutIt), RT,  or Comment down below. I know that I WANT to know!

T5W: Fictional Items I Want

This was created by the amazing Lainey at gingerreadslainey over on Booktube!

Ok, so besides Harry Potter, I couldn’t really think of too many book items that I would want. I want VIDEO GAME items!

  1. Double Clawshot from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess! I don’t know exactly how to describe it/them. You can use them to get from one place to the next, in the air, and really quickly. OHHH YEAAAAH!!
  2. I want a KEYBLADE from Kingdom Hearts. It doesn’t even matter which blade, I just NEED a blade! I wanna fight Heartless, while traversing the Disney Worlds in the process. Livin the dream…..
  3. I want a Moogle from the Final Fantasy series. Are they an item? I’m counting them as one. Gosh, they are so cute and helpful! KUPO!!
  4. I want Materia from Final Fantasy 7!!!! I want Bahamut and I want healing/fire magic!! Woo HOO I’d be unstoppable!
  5. I want the Rose from Beauty & The Beast or Mary Poppin’s bag. I just can’t decide.

Short & Sweet!!! This was SO much fun!!! Please comment below and let me know what items you’d want!! Or send me a tweet on Twitter @LetsbookAboutit 🙂