Category: Let’s Discuss

Aug 15
That’s a Wrap! (My Wrap-Up of the SCBWI 2019 LA Summer Conference)

That’s a Wrap! (My Wrap-Up of the SCBWI 2019 LA Summer Conference)

Book Events, Let's Discuss, SCBWI, Writing Tips 21

Hey, everybody, I’m back! I’ll confess that my brain feels a bit like pudding after all the amazing things I learned at the summer SCBWI conference—I think I need to give it all a little time to set. But so much wisdom was shared, and I’m feeling reinvigorated when it comes to my writing, which is always a good thing. I thought I’d share some highlights from the conference. This is just a tiny taste of everything I learned and experienced there. Inspiring Keynote Speakers: M.T. Anderson – He talked a lot about taking the familiar and making it unfamiliar and vice versa, and reminded us that the strangeness we seek is all around us. In our writing, we should show the world the invisible, what only we see. Darcey Rosenblatt – She told us about her incredible learning journey through SCBWI and how it has affected her career. Christian… Read more »


Jul 17
Goodreads’ YA Books Lists: 2019 Edition. Let’s Discuss.

Goodreads’ YA Books Lists: 2019 Edition. Let’s Discuss.

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For their celebration of YA Week, Goodreads once again created a few lists specific to YA. Last year I analyzed these lists and compared them to my own reading, and I thought that was a really interesting exercise. Thought I’d do the same again this year. CLICK ON THE CATEGORY HEADINGS TO SEE THE LISTS ON GOODREADS. 100 Top YA Books: This is an all-time list that Goodreads came up with using books that are most often on shelves and their ratings (it was updated for 2019). I’ve read 54. (Which happens to be the exact same number I’d read from last year’s list, though the books have changed slightly.) I have 17 of them on my Goodreads TBR (down from 19 last year). 11 of these I own but haven’t read yet (up from 10 last year). 17 books aren’t technically on my TBR, but I probably plan to… Read more »


Jul 15
Bookish This or That Tags (x2!)

Bookish This or That Tags (x2!)

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I first saw these two tags over at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures and thought they looked like fun. So why not combine them into one This or That Tag? I actually did ANOTHER This or That tag a couple of years ago, so feel free to check that one out too! The creator of the first one is Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks. This or That? Reading on the couch or on the bed? Both, but if I have to choose, I prefer bed. I even lay down in the middle of the day and read sometimes. Male main character or female main character? I tend to read more books with female MCs, so I guess I prefer them? Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading? Sweet snacks always trump salty ones. Always. Trilogies or quartets? Trilogies. I mean, really, I think duologies are awesome. First-person POV or third-person POV? I… Read more »


Jul 04
Why Don’t Illustrators (and Cover Artists) Get More Attention? Let’s Discuss.

Why Don’t Illustrators (and Cover Artists) Get More Attention? Let’s Discuss.

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Artist vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com Recently, I added a field to my review template, and I wondered why I’d waited so long. I use the UBB plugin from Nose Graze (that’s a referral link, by the way), and there’s a field right there for Illustrator. One I’d never added to my template. Why had I been ignoring it? I think it comes down to the fact that we rarely think about the illustrator unless the book is a picture book (which I don’t typically review on the blog), so I didn’t even really think about adding this to my review template. It wasn’t until I reviewed a middle grade book where I specifically commented on the adorable illustrations that I realized the issue. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head: Wait, why haven’t I credited this person anywhere? The phenomenon was not entirely my fault—the book… Read more »


Jun 25
Why I’m Weird Tag

Why I’m Weird Tag

Let's Discuss, Tags 52

This tag was created by Dellybird, and I was tagged by Renee @ Renee’s Bookcase. Thanks for tagging me! Basically, we’re just supposed to list ten things that make us weird. Not too tough, considering I have plenty of weird quirks (just ask my kids—they make fun of me for them all the time). Why I’m Weird I sing nonsensical, made-up songs constantly. They usually involve puppies (’cause puppies are just awesome). Often, they’re sung to the tune of random worship songs. I think this might be somewhat blasphemous. (“How great is my puppy? Sing with me, how great is my puppy? And all will see how great, how great is my puppy.”) I also have crazy catch-phrases that I say often. I wrote a post about this once. I try to keep them mostly contained to my family, but sometimes I fail. For years, my kids (and my oldest’s… Read more »


Jun 18
How Often Do You “Randomly” Visit New Blogs? Let’s Discuss.

How Often Do You “Randomly” Visit New Blogs? Let’s Discuss.

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Recently, I’d found that I wasn’t visiting as many blogs as I used to. I have a solid group of blogger friends who come by my blog and I visit them back regularly, but I was rarely visiting any other blogs, and I started to feel like my blogging world was getting a bit myopic. Especially since, over time, some of my blogger friends have (sob!) stopped blogging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining about the folks who hang out with me all the time (I love you all!), but it’s a great big book blogosphere out there, and every once in a while I notice what a tiny sliver I’m interacting with. So I’ve decided to make an effort to expand my bookish world a little. Here are a few steps I’m taking (each of these on an occasional basis): Visit posts that my friends have linked to. This… Read more »


Jun 11
My Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions

My Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Let's Discuss, Top Ten Tuesday 79

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is an audiobook freebie, but I chose to keep it simple: Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions I thought this would be a really hard topic because, honestly, I didn’t feel like most of my views are all that controversial. But then when I started exploring my past discussion posts, I found that I went through a period where I was talking about some very tough topics that could definitely stir up strong feelings.  Still, even when I’ve expressed an opinion that I thought might upset a lot of my readers, I usually found that there were quite a few people who either shared my opinion or could totally understand where I was coming from. Pick a subject, any subject, and you’ll probably find a hundred differing opinions. I thought this topic was really interesting, and it… Read more »


May 24
All the Little Checkboxes Confuse Me!! Let’s Discuss.

All the Little Checkboxes Confuse Me!! Let’s Discuss.

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I have to start this post by saying that I’m not expecting anyone to do anything about this issue, and I don’t blame my fellow bloggers at all for my own state of checkbox confusion. I just need to vent for a minute!!! Ever since the disaster that was the new (or, no-longer-all-that-new) GDPR regulations, commenting on blogs has become a game of navigating a minefield of checkboxes. I mean, I get why they created these regulations, but for the average blogger, it’s just made our commenting lives a mess. I’ll admit it: I’m easily confused. Now every time I go to a blog to comment, I have to spend five minutes figuring out which of the fifty checkboxes I want to check, and I’m not too proud to admit that half the time I want to pull my hair out in frustration by the end! It doesn’t help that every blog… Read more »


May 16
Have Books Ruined Me for Movies? Let’s Discuss.

Have Books Ruined Me for Movies? Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 53

When I was younger, I LOVED going to the movies. I went often, and I especially loved Disney movies and the iconic teen movies that came out at that time (10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, Say Anything…, Heathers, Can’t Buy Me Love, Sixteen Candles, She’s All That, etc.). As I got older, my movie watching habit slowed WAY down. A lot of it just had to do with how much it cost—it always seemed like there were better ways to spend that money, and we’d occasionally rent something but it got harder and harder to find movies that everyone wanted to see (or even that my husband and I were both really interested in). When my kids were little, we often went to see the newest animated features, but other than that, my movie excursions were rare. Lately, I’ve started watching more movies again. It started because of… Read more »


May 06
“Other Stuff” I Like Reading About on Your Book Blog. Let’s Discuss.

“Other Stuff” I Like Reading About on Your Book Blog. Let’s Discuss.

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I’m one of those people who pretty much exclusively follows book blogs. I’m not particularly interested in following blogs that focus on something else like travel or fashion or general lifestyle stuff. BUT I’ve found that I actually really enjoy getting little snippets of those things on my friends’ book blogs. I thought I’d highlight some of the types of non-bookish posts and topics I enjoy seeing on people’s blogs. Not because I’m expecting anyone to specifically create more of these because I like them, but just because I thought it might be fun to feature some of the other types of posts my bookish friends create. Crafts – I absolutely love seeing the crafts that my fellow bloggers have been working on. Whether you’re knitting cool scarves (or cowls–this post was actually inspired when I saw this knitting post at Bookwyrm’s Hoard), or creating pottery (Steph Pajonas makes cool pottery),… Read more »