March Notes

I don’t know if I’m alone, but I felt like March was such a long and busy month. The blog kept me extremely busy. Even with spring break, I felt like there was not a lot of time for a breather. If I wasn’t working on blog posts, I was working on my bullet journal, doing Red Cross training, applying for jobs, or cleaning house if I wasn’t at my part-time job.

I like having a lot to do, but I do think I need to start making more time for myself so that I don’t feel so drained by time the weekend rolls around. I think April will be a lot less stressful, even if it’s not less busy. I have all my bullet journal’s weekly spreads set up for the month and I know what I’ll need to do for Red Cross work.

I feel like I was doing a lot of soul-searching in January and February, trying to figure out what I wanted out life and this blog. Now I feel like I know what I want to work towards. I feel less frantic and more focused.

Bookish

Bullet Journaling

Blog Tags / Awards

Blogging / Life

  • Disrupt You! by Jay Samit | I read the bulk of this book on the road during spring break. I’m really shocked I was able to read it, because I’ve not been able to read in a moving car without getting a headache since I was a child. Anyway, this book was all over the place. The author jumps back and forth with examples from his life and other famous entrepreneurs to exemplify how different parts of value chains (e.g. production, distribution, etc.) were disrupted to the profit of the disruptor. I did not feel like I got what I was hoping out of this book (i.e. specific self-help advice), but it was a fascinating read at times.
  • Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor | After completing my Spring TBR, I decided my next read would be Akata Warrior. I haven’t finished the book, but I am enjoying it thus far. It had a really useful recap of the past book, so I was able to jump right back into the story without missing a beat.

Last month I shared my blog stats for the month of February. I wasn’t sure if I would continue to do so in this specific format, but I decided it was a still a good fit. It makes sense right now while my stats are still not that impressive or complex. If I ever have a remarkable month, I will dedicate an entire post to blog stats.

March was a record-breaking month for The Inky Saga. The blog grew from 288 to 363 blog followers, a net gain of 75 followers. And for the first time since last September, my blog reached 1,000 blog views! There were also 604 visitors, 383 likes, and 130 comments. I think it was the first time I reached 100 blog views in just one day. For posting just fourteen blog posts, I don’t think that’s too shabby!

September 2018 was my last really good blog month, but I did not keep up with blogging after that. I’m really optimistic that the blog could see significant growth over the rest of the year if I keep blogging, blog hopping, and promoting my blog via Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. It’ll be really excited to see if my efforts pay off over time.

My two most popular blog posts this month were How to Avoid Blogger Burnout + New Blog Schedule (45 Likes) and The Wanderlust Tag | Blog Tag (38 Likes). They are also two of my most recent posts, but the next most successful posts are other tags/community memes. My personal favorite was probably my Leslie Knope TBR.

Moving into April, my blog strategy will be to publish least one evergreen post (e.g. how-to or advice) and one community post each week and then something extra, like a book review, job search update, or a compilation post. I will also try to stay on my schedule and get a lot done well in advance. I also want to start up my YouTube account for content I don’t want to write and post regularly on Instagram.

Sunday morning I sat down with my April bujo planner and started jotting down blog post ideas. I looked at the Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Tuesday prompts and picked out a few I was interested in, thought about the books I would like to read and review, and re-listed some of the blog posts ideas I’ve had in mind for a while. I’m actually thinking I may pick a few days I can spare this week and front load a lot of the work for the more time-demanding blog posts.

I’m not exactly sure yet what will be up on the blog this week. I know what I’d like to post, but realize I may not have time to finish anything I don’t manage to start this weekend. I don’t want to have anymore publishing mishaps in April, so I’m not scheduling anything that’s not complete!

How was your March?

What was your favorite blog post this month (mine or yours)? ^_^

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

February’s Inky Notes

Life Lately

February always seems to fly by, probably because it is the shortest month of the year. Somehow it’s managed to be a time of sadness, annoyance, and optimism. My family lost Apollo this month and I can still scarcely think or talk about him with out my eyes watering up, but it’s getting easier. They’re bittersweet tears for the most part.

I will also remember this month as the one I lost a bunch of money, between my smartphone coming down with the “black screen of death” and discovering I had cavities I needed to fill before I got bumped off my parents’ insurance. Thankfully I had enough money in my bank account to pay off my credit card before my statement period ended. I’m also thankful my tax return came in this month, so my bank account will be back in good shape before long!

I think I will look back on this month as a time when I worked super hard to learn how I might ultimately be able to support myself without the need for a full-time job. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something strange, new, exciting, brilliant, and I don’t want this feeling to fade!

On the Blog

Bookish

Bullet Journalling

Lifestyle

Blogging / Tech

Read But Not Reviewed

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston | I decided to pick this book up in honor of Black History Month. The book spans the protagonist’s life from her relatively privileged childhood through becoming a woman and going through her three husbands. It’s a book of self-awakening and ultimate empowerment. At times it’s funny, relatable, and heart-breaking because the protagonist is a dreamer, a woman ahead of her time. I feel like this book very much deserves the distinction of being a classic. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the life of black women at the turn of the century in the rural South.
  • Disrupt You by Jay Samit | I’m not finished this book, but it’s one I started in December that I still wanted to try to finish. I’m enjoying it right now. I feel like it’s a good time to read this inspirational book as I’m trying to build up my blog.

Blog Stats

I don’t know if I really qualify as a book blogger anymore, but book blogs are still primarily what I read online! One insightful piece I read by Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books this week inspired my decision to start sharing my blog stats. In her post, she so aptly describes the book blogger’s complicated relationship to our blog stats. Almost everyone says they don’t let their stats define them, but I think everyone cares more than they are willing to admit.

Around the time I decided to upgrade my blog to a Premium account (February 17, 2019), I also decided that it was time I start treating my blog like my job. I’ve slowly been branching out what I talk about on this blog, in the hopes of growing my blog and staying true to myself. I feel like a lot of book bloggers out grow this community and I want to be a shining example of what can come next.

I’m monitoring my stats a lot more carefully these days, if only to see what types of blog posts do well and where my views are coming from. I’m a little shy to share these screenshots, because I know I do not have a very “successful” blog. I’ve never really been one to chase trends, blogging only when I had an abundance of time on my hands and when I felt like it. I’m also not super out-going when it comes to making and sustaining blogging friendships.

monthly-trend-feb
Monthly Blog Growth of The Inky Saga

February’s views and visitors clearly correlate with my blogging schedule. I wasn’t very active the first week after I upgraded my blog, so the 18th–25th is very low. Tuesdays are generally my highest performing days if I participate in a bookish meme (e.g. Top Ten Tuesday). I was shocked how many people read my February 26th blog post (Top Five Tuesday: Hogwarts House Reads!). I was actually a little worried if half of them were spam views because after I upgraded my blog I discovered I had a little more random blog followers (i.e. not book bloggers or creative types) and almost half the visitors were from India, which is not normal for me.

daily-feb

The last weekend of February I saw a lot of brand new blog followers, bringing my monthly total from 240 to 288. While it’s nice knowing people are finding my blog content worth following, these new followers are not exactly in my target demographic. Which is to say young, millennial creatives! Like me! But obviously anyone who is truly interested in everything this blog has to offer is welcome here. I figure anyone who’s not can be weeded out with more bookish/lifestyle posts. ^_^

In March I’m hoping to learn more about how to better promote my blog across Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’ve decided to be ambitious and aim to reach 400 blog followers by March 31st. I’m hoping that comments and likes continue to grow at a parallel pace, comments especially because I love feeling like my blog posts are just a conversation starting point.

If you’re interested in more of my blog stat analysis, I plan to do them each month for the foreseeable future. I may also have some more posts during the month if I feel I have any sort of wisdom to share on the topic.

endnote

I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s been a while since I did a monthly-wrap-up-type of post. I didn’t really know if I wanted to revisit my old format (e.g. May Notes ➴, June Notes ➴, July Notes ➴) or do something more minimalistic. It was a last minute decision to add my blog stats, so I hope that didn’t make this post too much of a slog!

Next up I will likely be sharing my March bujo and goals. I’m also aware I still need to reintroduce the blog for anyone who’s wondering who the heck and I am and how they ended up following me! I feel like I also need to do it for myself, just to have record of my intentions for this blog going forward.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on Twitter and Instagram.

July Notes ➴

July is the month I feel like I finally became a true blogger.  I’ve never been prouder of the blog posts I’ve made and how successfully I’ve balanced being both a blogger and a blog reader. Additionally, I started up two new weekly series: Novel Progress (in which I share my writing updates + topic discussions) and Weekly Reviews (in which I summarize the week’s blog posts and reading progress).

That being said, I did feel like I was edging towards burn out. Exiting July I came away with ideas for how to make things a little easier on myself, but I’ll save those ideas for my August Goals + TBR ➹ post, which should go up tomorrow!

Revisiting My Goals

This month all my goals had to do with my blog. I’ve started to take my blog more seriously not just as place to share my bookish thought but also a portfolio of my writing and individuality. I have wanted to treat my blog a little bit as a job to see how I like it.

Here are the goals I set for June:

  1. DEDICATE M/W/F TO WRITING BLOG POSTS
  2. DEVELOP A UNIQUE BLOG THEME
  3. CONDENSE MY BOOK REVIEWS

One of the best things I’ve done for myself is decide to dedicate specific days to blogging. I didn’t stick strictly to M/W/F, but for the most part I think I kept the spirit behind this schedule alive. I didn’t want to feel like my blog was taking over my life, so if I felt like I did a lot of blog work one day I didn’t do that again the next day. I’d like to increase my productivity on these blog days so that’s something I’ll be working on next month.

So this month I wanted to create a unique blog theme for Betwined Reads. By that, I meant blog imagery, meaning reusable blog headers, featured images, and blog logo. Basically, I wanted to work on my blog identity, the stuff that people remember when they think about the blog. I feel like I got a good foundation started. I have some color schemes I like a lot and my use of special characters has become something of staple. Also after writing my blogger aesthetics post, I have an idea of the stuff I can focus on in my future designs.

As for my final goal, I feel like I did find a book review style that I like. However, I’m not really sure I condensed them. Instead I feel like I just broke them up a bit more attractively so they’re less intimidating on the surface level. I think I’m satisfied for now, but I will keep an eye out for cool ideas on how to make them both useful to readers and satisfying on a personal level.

June’s Blog Posts

||      BOOK REVIEWS     ||

||      BLOG TAGS     ||

||      NOVEL PROGRESS     ||

||      MISCELLANEOUS     ||

What I Read

In July I only managed to read three books. I’m not someone who reads a lot during the week, and this month I took a lot of time in between reading books to work on other things. I would like to make reading a better part of my day next month. All the books I read this month had me thinking a lot in between reads, so I don’t feel too bad about how seemingly little I read.

  1. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | ★★★★½
  2. Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko | ★★★★
  3. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene | ★★★½

My favorite read was definitely Vassa in the Night, but that was a reread! So I guess I’ll go with Ceremony. I walked away from that book each time thinking about Tayo and his pain. I also felt it was a very spiritual in a way that anyone from any culture could appreciate. My least favorite was probably Summer of My German Soldier, even though it was a perfectly fine read. My biggest critique is that it didn’t resolve everything that goes down in the book in a way I found personally too satisfying.

☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

Sorry this post is coming late! I was out of town last weekend and didn’t prepare much in advance, as I explain in yesterday’s A Quick Update | August 9th. Tomorrow morning I will publish my August Goals + TBR ➹, where I’ll talk about some of my goals for the month and the books I plan to read.

I feel like this year is winding up pretty quickly and I’m excited to see where I take the blog by the end of the year. Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m getting really excited for what fun opportunities and reads that life will have in store.

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

June Notes ➴

With June over, we are officially halfway through 2018. How crazy is that?! This month looked very different for me as I was house-sitting for most of it while my mom visited my dad in Israel. I was home alone, watching our dogs, and essentially living my best life of my inner hermit. I wish I had gotten more done (as always), but I consider it a productive month.

I learned a lot about myself. I work much better if I spend my days working mainly on one big project, instead of bouncing around between different ones. I’ve found blogging and writing are two very different tasks that pull my mind in different directions, so it’s better to stick to doing one of those per day instead of dividing up my day. Blogging and writing are not the only things I do with my life, but they do tend to require the most from me.

I’ve gotten a lot better at striking a healthy balance between my time spent online and off, but I know I could do even better so I this is one of my goals for next month.

Goals Revisited

In case you’re new around here, I like to set myself goals at the beginning of each month that I share on the blog for accountability’s sake. It works sometimes, but it most definitely did not work this month! I’m was a little too ambitious with what I wanted to accomplish, and I feel like I didn’t do anything too well. But, nevertheless, I think I did do a lot, so it’s hard to be too hard on myself. It was a fun month.

Here are the goals I set for June:

  1. READ MORE BLOGS
  2. WRITE FOR 30 MINUTES EACH DAY
  3. GET ORGANIZED

I consider my biggest success this month was in reading more blogs. At the end of May, I realized I wanted to find more blogs that I love. I was already following so many, but a few have become inactive since I followed them. I also realized I followed quite a few for their visual aesthetic and not because I loved their posts or the books they talked about.

So this month I made it habit to look at the posts that showed up in my feeds and comment on posts if I could think of anything worthwhile to say. I’m happy to say I discovered some blogs, old and new, that I really enjoy and I became closer to some of my fellow bloggers! I still intend to do a post with everything I learned and showcase some of my favorite blogs at the moment. I just need some time to get all my thoughts straight.

With regards for writing, I was less successful. Writing used to be my biggest priority and this month I found it shifted as I began to put more focus on my blog and reading those of others. I still want to write, and especially finish this novel, but I’m going to give myself a break from deadlines and see what happens when I’m writing because I want to and not because I feel like my time is running out.

As for my final goal, I did get a little more organized. My books tend to end up all over the place as I read and muse about what to read next. I had intended for them all be returned to their respective places on my bookshelves. But then I realized there are reasons for them to sit where they are so there is an organizational structure in place, even if it doesn’t look like it! I also forced myself to go through all my MacBook Pro’s desktop files and put away stuff that didn’t need to still be cluttering my digital workspace. Soon I’ll transfer stuff to my portable hard-drive.

This Month on Betwined Reads 

What I Read

June was not a very successful month for reading. I only read four books, but they were all in line with my TBR and all reviewed! The only outlier was City of the Beasts, which I opted for in place of The Young Unicorns, a much better book saved for fall.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 2.53.16 PM

  1. The Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L’Engle | ★★★★
  2. Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle | ★★★½
  3. Dragons in the Waters by Madeleine L’Engle | ★★
  4. City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende | ★★★★

My favorite read was definitely The Arm of the Starfish. It was such a fun summer caper with international-thriller vibes. My least favorite was Dragons in the Waters, because I didn’t really connect with any of the characters and felt like the plot was a bit of a mess. It also took me a long time to read. I probably would have DNF-ed it if I wasn’t such a big fan of Madeleine L’Engle.

End Note

Next up on Betwined Reads, I will be sharing my plans for July! I actually began that post earlier this month as I realized things I want start doing, but I need to look it over and make sure I’m being sensible so that I don’t overload myself again! I also have a few other blog posts in the works, but I don’t want to say exactly what those are because I don’t know when they’ll be done. Does anyone else have a problem looking at screens when your allergies are bad? I do…

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

May Notes

betwinedmaynotes.png

It’s that time of month again when I look back at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the month as well as reflect on what I posted and read. May was another month of which I could feel exceptionally proud. I not only got a lot of good reading done, I produced a lot of new kinds of blog posts in addition to the regular book reviews.

I feel like I’m growing a lot as a blogger and I’m happy to continue pushing myself to experiment in the future. Before I get into my plans for next month in tomorrow’s post, let’s reflect on this month!

Goals Revisited

It took me a little while to get started on my goal for this month, so I’m happy with the progress I made toward all these goals. I’m beginning to realize the goals I’ve been setting for myself are a little ambitious, but I think that’s a good thing. If a goal is not really a challenge, then I think you’d eventually begin to wonder what is the point of it. So as long as I’m working towards these goals throughout the month, I think I’ll be content.

Here are the goals I set for May:

  1. BUILD A BACKLOG OF BOOK REVIEWS
  2. FINISH MY FIRST DRAFT OF MY W.I.P.
  3. POST THREE TIMES A WEEK

Because it took me a while to finish up my Harry Potter rereads, I had trouble getting through many books fast enough for my book reviews to build up. However, I am ending the month with at least one review saved for next month! I plan to have a little Madeleine L’Engle-themed week or two highlighting some of my favorite works of hers that I think are excellent summer reads.

As for my second goal, I did not get as much writing done as I would have hoped to be able to claim by the end of May, but I did get some crucial work done that will make the first draft better than it will have been if I had started earlier and wrote a bunch of filler words. In case you missed it, I managed to post a pretty long writing update yesterday (Making a List of Possibilities | Writing Wednesdays) that included some details about how I plotted my novel.

My final goal to post three times a week did not prove to be too hard once I started! At the beginning of the month, I was M.I.A. because of my Harry Potter reading and reasons explained in Playing Catch Up in May. Ultimately, I think I was successful in this goal because I plan to keep it up from this point onward! For more details on what to expect on Betwined Reads in June, be sure to check out tomorrow’s post.

This Month’s Posts

  1. May Goals + TBR
  2. Revisiting Harry Potter | Part I
  3. Revisiting Harry Potter | Part II
  4. Playing Catch Up in May
  5. Hogwarts Mystery ❆ | Betwined Tech
  6. Blog Hopping in June
  7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  8. Making a List of Possibilities | Writing Wednesdays

What I Read

I made a mistake at the start of May of listing books on my TBR that I was not entirely interested in reading at the moment and, therefore, only got to one. I’m glad I read that one (The Ocean at the End of the Lane), but the only reason I did is because I talked myself into it because I thought it might inform my novel writing. I was kind of right; I liked the mediation on monsters and dream-like style.

Here are the books I read this month:

  1. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (review coming in June)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  5. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas  (reviewed)
  6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (reviewed)
  7. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (review coming in June)

I realized I listed A Ring of Endless Light on last month’s Notes, but I didn’t really finish it until well into the first week of May; so I listed it here as well. My favorite read this month is probably going to be La Belle Sauvage (which I haven’t finished yet but intend to finish the day this post goes up). I adore the protagonist Malcolm and all the spy business afoot. My least favorite was ACOFAS, for reasons I detail in my review.

End Note

Well I’m off to go finish reading La Belle Sauvage! I hope you’ve had a wonderful month. Many thanks to you regular readers of my blog, new and old. Next up on Betwined Reads you can expect my June Goals + TBR, in which I will share my plans for the month of June. It’s already shaping up to be an exciting one!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

April Notes

As I write this post, it is the last day of April. I’m really pleased with everything I accomplished this month. When I decided I wanted to return to blogging this spring, I wasn’t sure exactly what that would mean to me or my life. I kind of forgot the work it involved to be a consistent book blogger, but now I feel like I’m truly blogging for myself. And I love it.

In today’s post, I will summarize my month in response to the goals and TBR I set in myself in my April Goals + TBR post earlier this month. I also share my schedule for the rest of this week!

Goals Revisited

Unfortunately, I did not stick with my blog goals for the month. Shortly after the publishing of my April Goals + TBR post, I realized I was in way over my head because I had not left myself enough time to write the posts I envisioned in the quality with which I would be happy. I realized that in order to not be overwhelmed with the amount of posts I had wanted to churn out that I’d need to plan well in advance and have a buffer of posts to protect me during weeks I was less productive.

Here are the goals I set for April:

  1. PUBLISH AT LEAST TWO BLOG POSTS PER WEEK: ONE BOOK REVIEW AND ONE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
  2. SHARE A WRITING UPDATE
  3. FIND AND SHOUT OUT BLOGS THAT I’M LOVING

Ultimately, I decided to focus on book reviews the first full month of my return to blogging. Book reviews were the reason I started book blogging in the first place three years ago now, and I had developed a complicated relationship to them as I struggled to remember why I liked doing them. This month I shared three book reviews (on Burial Rites, Akata Witch, and Sophie’s World) and I was progressively happier with each one I wrote.

I’m saddest that I neglected to start working on my third goal this month. It is still a primary long-term goal of mine. I will continue to think about what form it could take, what kinds of voices I want to share, and how I can blend it into my work week without my reading or writing suffering.

Despite my measly success this month, I still plan to set a new trio of goals for May. You can look forward to that coming out early tomorrow (5/1) morning!

What I Read

I had so much fun reading this month, I went far and above the modest TBR I set for the month in my April Goals + TBR post. I read a grand total of seven books, comprised of two books from my TBR and the first four books of the Harry Potter series. (The one book I did not get to, Spreadable Media, I’m just rolling over into next month.)

Here are the books I read this month:

  1. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (book review)
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  6. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder (book review)
  7. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (book review to come)

At the beginning of the month shortly after settling on my goals and TBR for April, I realized it was time to revisit the Harry Potter series again. It has been over ten years since the debut of the final book and as I had begun writing seriously again I wanted to see what I could glean from how Rowling crafted the wizarding world, the her characters, and her novel plots.

Since I knew it would be a hefty undertaking, I wanted to record my experience in some way for my blog. So I decided to write down some of my thoughts of the books as I read them anew with fresh, adult eyes. Next week I will be posting my two-part series of the notes I made while reading these books again! Part 1 will come out Tuesday (5/8) and Part 2 on Thursday (5/10).

End Note

I have quite the schedule of posts to share this week and I’m super excited to get them out. I’m also feeling quite inspired to do more than just book reviews at the moment, so there’s a lot of posts in the pipeline that I just need to sit down and write.

If you’d like to have another way to stay informed with when I will be posting new blog posts, I encourage you to check out my Twitter @betwinedlori. I’ve recently been doing a pretty good job of promoting my new blog posts there and keeping my followers up-to-date with my upcoming posts.

Here’s the schedule I pinned on my profile last night:

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

April ’17 Wrap Up

Hiya!

I’m back to Betwined Reads today with my reading wrap up for April. Last week marked the end of all of my classes so now all I need to do is finish up some grading and my three papers due at the end of next week. Then I’ll be able to be more active online! Although I should be working on my assignments, I wanted to come on here and wrap up the month properly since I’ve finally had some reading progress to share.

This month I read three books, two of which were for class and one that I started mid-March during spring break. Looking back, I didn’t rate any of these books particularly high, although I did enjoy reading all of them to some degree.

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Feed is a young adult novel written in 2001 about a future in which people have technology put into their heads at an early age so that they can have a running feed in their heads at all times. The book was a very quick read (I think I finished it in one sitting of about 3-4 hours), and it was an interesting read in light of ongoing topics of the class in which it was assigned. However, it felt dated as social media wasn’t really a thing in this world.  ★★ 

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | The final installment of the Starbound trilogy was a little disappointing for me. Perhaps, it suffers because I now read Kaufman’s latest (superior) work in The Illuminae Files. My biggest critique is the book seems disjointed. Unlike the previous two, this one only allows us a short time with the two main protagonists before all the old characters return. The first book set up a really exciting world conflict and in this book it just fizzled so fast for me.  ★★★

I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobeck | I read this book for my the historical perspectives class I assisted with this spring and it was a really acerbic take on San Francisco and the tech scene from which major Internet companies arise. It provides some great historical background of exploited creators responsible for major intellectual properties we still see on the big and small screen today. My biggest critique of this book is that the author exaggerated and was unfairly reductive at times, which forced me to pull back a lot. There were laugh-out-loud moments, but just as often there were jokes fell flat. ★★★

End Note

This week will be spent primarily working on finishing up the semester strong. I have about a day’s worth of grading to complete for the three classes I assisted with this semester. But I’m nearly done with two of the three papers I have to write, primarily because those two papers have been somewhat scaffolded by the professor.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval on a research study I’ve been working on all semester! It involves an online survey of YA book bloggers, so some of you reading this may receive an email soon inviting you to participate. I’ll have a formal blog post explaining the survey soon on this blog, so if you’re interested stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.