Saturday, January 03, 2009

Three things I forgot to remember

At least I didn't wait four days, this time:

I'm over-posting, tonight, mostly because everyone's gone and I can get away with it. This is important enough for a 3rd post, though:

The latest issue of Estella's Revenge is all fresh and new, ready for your reading enjoyment! I've got one article and one review in this one. I decided against cross-posting the Queen of the Road review, so you have to raise and lower your clicking finger if you'd like to read my thoughts on Queen of the Road.

And another thing:

What the heck is that Wild Card button in my sidebar all about? I think it deserves an explanation before I go further with Wild Card reviews and posts. FirstWild is a group whose members tour Christian titles and its participants use a standard posting design. All of the bloggers who read for FirstWild fetch the same HTML material -- which includes a brief bio of the author(s) and a complete chapter from the tour book -- to post on a pre-set date. We don't all read the same titles, but everyone who receives the same book posts that excerpt on the same day.

Now, some of you already know this . . . I tend to go against the flow. I like reading a chapter excerpt elsewhere, but I kind of don't like having to use someone else's standard format on my blog. However, Christian fiction is a genre into which I've been planning to throw myself a little more and FirstWild is a great way to do so. My intent is to join in on the first-chapter posting on the specified date and keep my personal review separate. That means first-chapter posts may not coincide with my reviews of the titles. Depending on when I finish reading a book, the review may show up either before or after the standardized full-chapter post. I'm telling you all of this because I recall thinking the format was kind of odd the first time I saw it. And, you know I live to keep y'all informed.

Because most everyone said they like to know whether a book is "preachy" or the Christianity is more of a product of characterization than a major thematic element, I'll continue to relate my thoughts on the preachiness aspect if it really stands out, one way or another. The weight of religious elements is something I tend to babble about regardless of what religion we're talking about -- and that includes atheism.

Last, but not least:

I'm going to begin posting very briefly about books that don't work for me if they've been received for review. The idea is to share why I didn't finish reading a book and let readers know who I believe might enjoy reading the titles that haven't grabbed me. The purpose is to grant myself permission not to finish books that don't interest me but still give review books exposure. I've occasionally sent DNF titles to friends I think would enjoy them and who are willing to review. I'll probably never stop sending books all over the place; but, as I was reading my annual review post I realized there were far too many titles that I completed out of a sense of obligation. Hopefully, we can shoot down that guilt balloon with a DNF-post dart.

There will be a DNF post coming up soon, actually (there's a reason the concept crossed my mind). You have been warned. No, that wasn't an evil laugh -- that was your cat/dog/hamster/parrot coughing.

Confession of the week: I bought some grape-scented bath fizzies for kids and I really get a kick out of watching the little dinosaur in each egg "hatch" as the bath fizzy disintigrates. Truly, things like that should not be wasted on children alone.

I'm going to bed now, really. I mean it.


  1. I am constantly trying to figure out how to do FIRST posts. :) If I finish the book in time for the tour...I try to customize my post and review as much as possible. A lot of people do it like plan to, though. (I got a lot of what's this wild card thing? emails, too)

  2. Amy,

    I was really quite hesitant to join FirstWild because of that format, but Brittanie of A Book Lover persuaded me to join, so I've done a bit of pondering about how to approach it. I think the bit at the top could stand some changes to clarify what it's all about, don't you? Maybe I'll write to Mimi about that, when I have some free time and am conscious.

  3. Anonymous10:40 AM

    I like your idea with the DNF books. Sometimes I think I do the book a disservice by finishing it and writing a review when I didn't enjoy it. Lots of people like books that I don't, so my opinion isn't the be all and end all that I would like for it to be. ;)

  4. Kathy,

    That's kind of how I see it. We can do more harm than good finishing a book. I think if a book isn't working for me, I tend to become progressively more irritated with it.

    My DNF book is Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy. As I was reading it, I thought of some people who would probably enjoy it -- mostly those who are romance fans and find sex scenes appealing. I don't; I think they seldom advance plot (there are exceptions), so I'll recommend it to romance enthusiasts when I post.

  5. I've been wondering what the Wild Card was about. Thank you for explaining!

    I really like your idea of how to handle review books that aren't working for you. I may have to adopt a similar practice.

    I hope you got a good night's sleep!

  6. Hooray, hooray, hooray on shooting down the guilt balloons! You know, that whole "life is too short" sentiment is so incredibly true.

  7. Wendy,

    I'm glad to find out I'm not the only one who puzzled over the First Wild format! You're welcome.

    That new policy about doing DNF posts took a lot of pondering. I want to do what's right for the publisher and author but, at the same time, I think we all have to realize how valuable our time is.

    I didn't get to bed till 4am. My head is throbbing. Maybe tonight will be better. :)


    So, so true. Life is too way too short to waste on bad books! :)

  8. Good for you for vowing not to feel obligated to finish a book! I agree that just because a book isn't for you, it doesn't mean the book is one that everyone will dislike--sounds like you are adopting a great approach. I'm compulsive and have to finish a book--luckily most of the ones I dislike are relatively short. :0

  9. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Great idea about the DNF review books - or DNF books in general. Sometimes it's as interesting to discover why a book wasn't finished as it is to know why it was loved/liked/finished. :)

    I had 10 days of obsessive knitting/headache. My Google reader said 1000+ which I dealt with mostly by putting everything into folders and saving everyone I wanted to comment on. And then procrastinating another week. For some reason.....

  10. I love that DNF idea! I should do that too although I haven't had to leave a book unread very often.

  11. Trish,

    I have to fight that compulsion to finish every book -- know the feeling. But, I'm getting old enough to realize I don't have time to waste on books that don't thrill me. I think they're better off finding a happy new home. :)


    That hadn't occurred to me, but it did cross my mind that sometimes I'll go ahead and look up a book even though a blog friend didn't finish it. I figure exposure is always a good thing and by mentioning who might like a book, I can still keep things positive.

    Oh, 1000 is too much! I haven't looked at my reader, today. It's my turn with the stupid headache. Blecch.

  12. Chris,

    In general, there aren't that many books that I won't give a second chance, but I'm getting a little impatient in my old age. LOL

  13. I totally have one of those bath fizzies! My brother gave me one for Christmas as a little gift knowing that I'm very easily amused ;) I have to say though that the one I have did not smell too good. I believe it was lime. It also turned the tub green :/ I did get a kick out of the dinosaur when he popped out though, lol.

  14. The one good thing about writing DNF reviews is they can be fairly brief! :) At least, that's my experience.

  15. Chris,

    That is so funny!!! I love the smell of the grape fizzies -- I got a box of a dozen. Such fun watching the little dinosaur emerge, isn't it? I'm also easily amused. :)


    Ha! Good point! I think it'll be kind of fun and different -- and possibly very freeing. :)

  16. I like the DNF posts idea! Sometimes I intend to finish and just keep putting it off, but often, I know that I have no desire to continue. Several books in both categories right now...

  17. Jenclair,

    You got me started thinking about the right way to handle books that I thought I should set aside. I'm glad you like my plan! It's difficult for some of us to quit; that's why I decided I had to grant myself permission to stop but come up with a solution that is also good for those who sent a book (if applicable). I feel pretty good about it. :)

  18. Oh my gosh! Quaker makes an oatmeal like that! It is called (of course) Dinosaur Egg Oatmeal. Our kids love it, but when they are not looking I make myself some because it is so much fun to watch it hatch in my bowl!

  19. Jessica,

    I have got to find some of that oatmeal! Thanks for telling me about it. Girls just want to have fun. :)

  20. Hey, thanks for letting me know about the confusion. Hopefully I have cleared it up a little. ;-) If not, let me know.

    I like the DNF idea. I have SO many of those. SIGH.

  21. Hi Mimi,

    You're very welcome! I'll let you know the results. :)

    Thank you! I feel really good focusing on the books that I love. Such a great feeling to say, "It's okay to let go!"

  22. I keep telling myself life is too short to read bad books. If you're not enjoying it, move on. I learned my lesson after plodding through a nearly 700 page book just because I didn't want to waste my $15. LOL

    Diary of an Eccentric

  23. Anna,

    That is exactly why I've always had trouble moving on -- I couldn't bear to stop reading a book that I'd spent good money on. Then, recently, I felt like I had to finish ARCs because I owed whoever sent them a review. But, I think writing why it didn't work and who I believe might like it is a decent compromise and not feeling obligated to finish is also very freeing. I'm happy with my decision. It's also working well, so far -- I've enjoyed all 4 of the books I've finished, this year!


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