Category: Let’s Discuss

Jan 20
The Cybils Awards Finalists! Which Books Do You Hope Will Win?

The Cybils Awards Finalists! Which Books Do You Hope Will Win?

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The Cybils Awards finalists were announced on January 1st, and I was excited to see some of my favorite books in the lists! Apparently, 1047 books nominated across all categories. Wow! I thought I’d share all the finalists with you along with a few of my thoughts. I’d love to hear from all of you—what books would you like to see win?   I haven’t read any of the books for these first three categories, so I can’t comment on them much, but several look really cute!   I’ve read three of these and LOVED all three of them! Operation Frog Effect was actually my nomination (yay!!), but I also adored Maybe He Just Likes You and Song for a Whale. I’d actually be happy to see any of those win. If the other books are the same quality, I don’t know how the judges will pick!!   This is… Read more »


Jan 13
My 2020 Goals & Challenges

My 2020 Goals & Challenges

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I’ve decided to switch gears mostly away from reading challenges again in 2020 so I can really focus on my writing goals. I used the Bookish Resolution Challenge for writing goals in 2019, but since they’re just year-long goals, they didn’t really motivate me—especially when things started going wrong in my household and we hit those last few months of craziness. And the waiting game with submissions isn’t particularly motivating either. I’d love to be able to say my book sold in 2019 but that’s not the reality. Here’s hoping that 2020 is the year that happens! I’m going to try hard to make solid monthly writing goals in 2020 and focus on those. (And you guys, along with my writing friend Megan, can help hold me accountable!) Here are some goals for the year, but like I said, I’m also going to break them up monthly to make them… Read more »


Jan 10
2019 Challenge Wrap-Up

2019 Challenge Wrap-Up

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I was planning to wrap up my 2019 challenges AND list my 2020 goals all in one post, but it ended up being an overwhelming behemoth of a post (that no one would actually read), so I decided to split things up after all. Watch for my 2020 goals, which will be posted on Monday.   A Wrap-Up of My 2019 Reading/Blogging Challenges: Progress: 24/21-30 Discussions (Chatty Kathy) Even though I only posted one discussion in December, I averaged out to two a month and met my goal for the year!! Nicole’s Best Books of the Decade Tales of a Social Media Failure: Is Bloglovin’ a Thing of the Past? Goodreads Choice Awards and Paste’s 30 Best Young Adult Novels of the 2010s: What Have I Read? Tales of a Social Media Failure: AKA, I Don’t Understand Instagram Stories Books YOU (Yes, You!) Should Nominate for a Cybils Award I’m… Read more »


Jan 02
2019 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

2019 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)

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As usual, I’ve adapted this from The Perpetual Page Turner’s End of Year Survey! 2019 READING STATS Number Of Books You Read: 173 Number of Re-Reads: 14 Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy/Paranormal   Best Book You Read In 2019? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!! Okay, but here are a few: Middle Grade Contemporary: Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee (Also: Planet Earth Is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos) Middle Grade Fantasy: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (Also: Midsummer Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca) YA Contemporary: The Boy Who Steals Houses by CG Drews (Also: Birthday by Meredith Russo) YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi: The Toll by Neal Shusterman (Also: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer) Verse Novel: The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton (Also: Voices The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott) Graphic Novel: Becoming RBG by Debbie Levy (Also: The Okay… Read more »


Dec 18
Nicole’s Best Books of the Decade

Nicole’s Best Books of the Decade

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I’ve been seeing lots of these lists around since we’re coming to the end of the 2010s, and I thought I’d jump in! Here’s the thing, this list would be practically impossible to make if I thought about it too hard. So I didn’t. I made a vow to go with my gut when making it. (And, surprisingly, I managed that for the most part without second-guessing myself too much). So, this isn’t a thorough list of books I loved. Heck, if I made another list right now, it might be different. But this is definitely a list of books that impacted me over the last decade. So, how did I come up with the list? I scanned my Goodreads list (in year-published order) and … picked. I sort of randomly decided that I would choose two from each year. And then, like I said, I went with my gut… Read more »


Nov 26
Goodreads Choice Awards and Paste’s 30 Best Young Adult Novels of the 2010s: What Have I Read?

Goodreads Choice Awards and Paste’s 30 Best Young Adult Novels of the 2010s: What Have I Read?

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It’s that time of year again. We’ve got the final rounds of the Goodreads Choice Awards going on now. I always like to look at the lists and see what books I’ve read or been eager to read. I saw Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books do just that, and I was inspired to write a post about it too! Then Roberta @ Utopia State of Mind posted about Paste’s 30 Best Young Adult Novels of the 2010s, and I decided I had to see how my reading has stacked up against that list too! I’ll start with the Paste list. This was curated by Eric Smith and the Paste Books staff. I ADORE Eric Smith. His Twitter feed is both hilarious and informative, and if you don’t follow him, you need to. Since he was involved in creating this list, I decided I needed to see it. Here’s their list… Read more »


Nov 21
Tales of a Social Media Failure: Is Bloglovin’ a Thing of the Past?

Tales of a Social Media Failure: Is Bloglovin’ a Thing of the Past?

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Take a quick glance at my sidebar and you’ll see that the vast majority of my followers follow me via Bloglovin’. Of course, I’ve always known that my follower count doesn’t directly equate to active blog readers, but back in the day, I got a lot of my traffic from Bloglovin’. I always cared about that number above all other follower stats (besides email, I suppose—but I know that lots of people don’t follow via email because they don’t want their inboxes overwhelmed). But lately, I’ve noticed that Bloglovin’ doesn’t have the same activity level that it used to. Nowadays, I don’t get many new Bloglovin’ followers, and at least three-quarters of the ones I do get are outright spam accounts (often with some sort of pervy info in their bios—no thank you!) Moreover, I’ve noticed that a lot of newer bloggers (ones who’ve started blogging in the past couple… Read more »


Oct 23
Tales of a Social Media Failure: AKA, I Don’t Understand Instagram Stories

Tales of a Social Media Failure: AKA, I Don’t Understand Instagram Stories

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Confession: I’m pretty much a social media failure. I mean, I’m on Twitter and Instagram, and I’m fine with them for the most part, but I’m not doing anything spectacular on either platform. I often end up feeling awkward on Twitter when I try to engage with people in any meaningful way, and I’ve realized that the ins and outs of Instagram just baffle me. What hashtags should I actually be using? Should I be tagging authors and publishers or just using hashtags for them? How the heck do I make my pictures look cool instead of boring? (I’ve realized that I don’t have a truly artistic eye, so I might just be a lost cause when it comes to that last one—which is why I’m at least glad I have my rainbow bookshelves as a simple background). I’m currently running a giveaway on Instagram, but I’ve realized that I… Read more »


Sep 24
I’m a Judge for the 2019 Cybils Awards!

I’m a Judge for the 2019 Cybils Awards!

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve been selected as one of the round two judges for this year’s Cybils Awards in the category of Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction!! What are the Cybils Awards, you ask? Well, they are officially the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards (I’m assuming the I in the acronym was added to make it a name that flows better). As you can guess from that name, this is an award given by the book blogging community. This is the group’s stated mission (via their website): The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious. The awards have been around since 2006,… Read more »


Sep 18
Fun with Spam #8

Fun with Spam #8

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I’m excited to say that spammers have figured out ways around those pesky checkboxes in the comments section, and I now have plenty of new material for these spam posts again! So… It’s time for a new installment of Fun with SPAM, where we peek into the abyss of the Spam folder to find a few gems and imagine … what if I were really going to reply to these random crazy comments?  Take a look at what I might say: Fantastic put up, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already! I put up with a lot, let me tell you. I have no idea why my opposition doesn’t understand all the brilliant points I’ve made! They’re obviously just jealous. This book blogging world is cutthroat. But you have inspired… Read more »