#AMonthofFaves 2018: This is How I Read (What I Read Too) and Blogged This Year

Again today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is  “This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year.”

How I Read

In three words: 

Slowly and intermittently. 

By the numbers: 

  • 35 books. 
  • 2 nonfiction.
  • 6 books I rated 5 stars on Goodreads.
  • 20 I rated 4 stars. Most 3.5, rounded up.
  • At least 20 ebooks returned unread.
  • 6 DNFs counted on Goodreads.
  • At least 3 others that I DNFed.

In 2019, my goal as I mentioned in my last blog post is to read 50 books since this is the year that I turn 50.

What I Read

The 35 books were (in alphabetical order):

  1. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  2. American by Day by Derek B. Miller
  3. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  4. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  5. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by by Ta-Nehisi Coates (writer), Brian Stelfreeze (artist), Joe Sabino (letterer), Manny Mederos (designer), Rian Hughes (logo designer), Jack Kirby (writer, artist), and Laura Martin
  6. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
  7. Colosseum: Poems by Katie Ford
  8. The Cruelest Month, the third Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, by Louise Penny
  9. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  10. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
  11. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  12. The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin
  13. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  14. Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason
  15. The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly
  16. The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  17.  Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  18. Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
  19. Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott (illustrator)
  20. Pago Pago Tango by John Enright
  21. Pines, the first in the Wayward Pines series, by Blake Crouch
  22. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  23. Queenpin: A Novel by Megan Abbot
  24. Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  25. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  26. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  27. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  28. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  29. Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  30. The River Why by David James Duncan
  31. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  32. Still Life, the first Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, by Louise Penny
  33. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
  34. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  35. Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

How I Blogged

In one word: Consistently, at least once a week.

By the numbers: 78 posts.

Most of them were Sunday Salon posts, with a few readathon posts, several readathon posts, and a few What We’re Watching Wednesday posts with my wife. With every blog I’ve ever had, I always try to write several blog posts a week and inevitably fail. This one is no different as once again this year, I attempted some new themes, but failed. I do better at one theme/meme: The Sunday Salon, with readathons mixed in. So in 2019, that’s what I’m going to stick to: Mainly one blog post per week with a couple of readathons mixed in, namely Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and 24in48 Readathon.

How was your reading and blogging this year?

Joining in for #AMonthofFaves for December 2018

Starting tomorrow, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Here are the days and topics:

  • MON. | Dec. 3 – #AMonthofFaves [The 2018 Favorites Edition]
  • WED. | Dec. 5 – #AMonthofFaves Popular Books Worth the Hype
  • FRI. Dec 7 – #AMonthofFaves [The Blogger Love Edition] 
  • MON. Dec. 10 – A Day (or Weekend) in the Life
  • WED. | Dec 12 – #AMonthofFaves Routines, Habits and Changes. What Worked this Year and/or What Didn’t
  • Fri. | Dec. 14 – #AMonthofFaves On Our Holiday Wishlist 
  • Mon. | Dec 17 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading 
  • WED. Dec. 19 #AMOnthofFaves This is How We Holiday 
  • FRI. Dec 21 – #AMonthofFaves On the Screen 
  • MON. | Dec. 24 – #AMonthofFaves Challenges and Goals
  • WED. | Dec. 26 – Favorite Book Covers From Our Reads This Year #AMonthofFaves
  • FRI. | Dec. 28 – #AMonthofFaves This Is How We Read and Blogged This Year 
  • Mon. | Dec. 31 – Favorite Books Read This Year #AMonthofFaves

Today, I planning on starting drafts for each since I already have ideas for many of the topics. 

As for what I did this past week and last month, and what I have planned for this month in addition to this event, see my previous post Pushing Forward Back November/December 2018.

How was your past week? Your past month? Read, listened to, watched anything good?

Pushing Forward Back July/August 2018

Pushing Forward Back JulyAugust 2018Back at July

As planned, the month began on a high, with three days off for both Kim and me. Kim had her normal three days off: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I took vacation days for Tuesday and Thursday, having Wednesday already off as a holiday for The Fourth of July. As I recall, we didn’t go anywhere or do much of anything, but it was still good to have the time off.  The second week, we went out to a new rib joint in town, owned by a friend of ours, and it was great. We also watched Love, Simon, which also was great. The highlight of the third week was getting the complete series of Homicide: Life on the Street and starting a landscaping project on a driveway we share with a neighbor. This past week, Kim and I were able to go to an Endless Mountain Music Festival concert at Mansfield University and it was very good. I also was able to continue the landscaping project and get it mostly done.

On the reading front, I had a great month as I read 12 books, thanks to back-to-back readathons the last two weekends of the month: the 24in48 Readathon and Dewey’s Summer Reverse Readathon. Altogether, I have read 27 books for this year.

The dozen books this month were:

  1. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
  2. Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet by by Ta-Nehisi Coates (writer), Brian Stelfreeze (artist), Joe Sabino (letterer), Manny Mederos (designer), Rian Hughes (logo designer), Jack Kirby (writer, artist), and Laura Martin
  3. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  5. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  6. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  7. Queenpin: A Novel by Megan Abbott
  8. Rebound by Kwame Alexander
  9. Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  10. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  11. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  12. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)

All were good, but the best ones were Behold the Dreamers, The Hate U Give, The Poet X, and Queenpin.

Musically, three albums in particular grabbed me: Sundays by San Francisco musician Hannah van Loon, who performs as Tanukichan; Third by guitarist Nathan Salsburg; and Wild Pink’s Yolk in the Fur, with the latter being the one I was playing the most on the virtual turntable.

Forward to August

This month begins with a visit to my mother the first weekend for her birthday (it’s this Friday, but we’ll celebrate it on Sunday). I have the second Friday off as I work that Saturday at the library (has to do with the number of hours I work per pay period, they give me a day off before I work my one Saturday a month). I don’t know what we’re doing yet, but Kim and I probably will go on a day trip, maybe to the Corning Museum of Glass, maybe to Finger Lakes wine country. We’ll see what the day brings.

So how was your month of July? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in August? Share in the comments.

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted my thoughts on “The State of The Blog 2018,” in which I also decided I’m only going to post once a week here.

The State of the Blog 2018

After (and even during) participating in yesterday’s Reverse Readathon, I started thinking about Blogging, yes, with the big B, not just with my own blog but blogging in general. My thoughts began spiraling about Blogging after I went to the “Linky” on the first post for the readathon to visit other blogs, but when I clicked on a few links, I wasn’t taken to a blog. Instead, I was taken to links for Instagram, Litsy, and Tumblr. While I have nothing against these platforms, it made me realize (continue to realize) that blogging is not the same as it was when I started more than a decade ago. Not only are there more than one or two blogging platforms (Blogger and WordPress were the two kings), there are a variety of other “platforms” from which to choose, from the Big Three of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to “services” and apps like Tumblr and Litsy, just to name a handful of the myriad of choices.

When you only had two platforms, I think it was easier to establish, build and cultivate Community, again with the Big C, but I don’t mean the TV show. There even were ways (openID) to comment on blogs in different platforms. Now, at least to my knowledge, there is no (easy) way to comment across platforms. Plus “back in the day,” you had memes and groups to join that cultivated community or at least attempted to do that. I’m thinking of Weekly Geeks, which was established by Dewey who also began the 24 Hour Readathon, of which this past weekend’s readathon was a spin-off. I’m also thinking of The Sunday Salon, which still exists on Facebook and “has” hundreds of members, at least in name, but is nothing like it was when it first began. And I’m thinking of Humor Blogs, a community of humor bloggers of which I was a part for a few years back when I began blogging.

So yesterday after going to Mr. Linky on that first post, I did visit a few blogs and commented. I then went to Instagram and commented there and also tried to find the blogs of those there, if they have a blog, some only had a link to Goodreads, yet another platform. Not that it was my intention to get comments on my own blog and blog post about the readathon, but later I noticed that only one or two people had commented on my blog post — and they already were regular visitors to my blog. I won’t lie while not my intention, I had hoped to get a few people visiting, but alas, that era of commenting and getting comments back has gone the same way WordPerfect has gone. It’s too much work to find a person’s blog. For example, on my Instagram posts, I mention there is a link in my bio, but really who wants to go through that when our attention span already is so limited to a few seconds of scrolling through photos and hitting the heart button?

I also make it more complicated because the link in my bio is a link to another site that links to multiple blog posts. So even if a person was to find the initial link, then they have to go to yet another link to actually get to my blog post.  Ugh.

All this brings to my own blog, small b, and by the numbers a very small b. I probably should superscript the b that’s how small it is. I do have 50 followers, but only have two or three regular commenters out of those. As for visitors per month, I have about 1,000 or so, depending on the month and much less than that in views of actual blog posts. I am beginning to understand why so many book bloggers just have given up their blogs, but not only in terms of numbers but also in terms of time. Why put the time into a blog no one reads when there is time to do other things, especially beginning with work and spending time with family.

At the beginning of the year, I had the idea of increasing the number of blog posts I did per week from one to four with different themes. I even double downed on the idea in a list of 25 things to do before I turn 50 next year. To date, I’ve probably done all four once or twice. It’s been more like one or two per week, so being realistic, I now only am going to do one per week which yes, I will share on Facebook with The Sunday Salon group, because even though it’s not the community it once was, I still visit a few blogs there and the bloggers reciprocate and visit my blog. I should add that most likely I will continue to do Library Checkout posts at the end of the month and my look back at the last month and look ahead to the next month at the end of each month, but other than that, it will be a post once a week.

Once again, my Sunday post will be eclectic instead of just focusing on reading. As I have done in the past, most weeks it will include what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m listening to, and what I’m doing. I had planned for separate posts on what Kim and I were watching, on what I was listening to and on what I was photographing with a special snapshot each Saturday. That last post now will move to Instagram. The listening part just will be a video or playlist at the end of the post. If Kim wants to do a guest post once in a while, she can do that, but there’s no pressure on her or me to do a post once a week.

I think what I’m saying is that I’m just going to go with the flow across different platforms or maybe I should say I’m just going to go with the (continuing) fracture(s) across different platforms. If you can’t beat them, join them…even if there really isn’t a “them” anymore.