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Finding Balance | Netgalley Backlist & Rules

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Overall, I have to say I am pretty good with keeping up with my Netgalley list now. I used to be fairly bad at it. I would often go on requesting sprees because I was not sure if I would or would not get approved for books. I figured most were a long shot and I would just up my odds by requesting a bunch. Well, that approach did not work.

When I first started I had no system or rules in place, so I would just pick a random ARC I needed to review and read it every so often. I did not account for when it came out or how long I had on my shelf. I was kind of overwhelmed and I had a ton on my kindle. I really had no idea where to start so I pick threw a dart and read that one.

This was not the best course of action for me. I saw more and more books go into the 6 months or older section and I became stressed. I was getting approved more often as I handed in reviews, which I was excited about, but then I had more and more books coming into my kindle that I previously. One day I was just so over whelmed I took a day and just went through everything. When I did this I came up with a few rules and tracking system that helped me.

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My Tracking System

I made a really simple tracking system for myself. I write down the title, if I reviewed it, when it is to be published, and when it will be archived. When I go to read an ARC, I go to this list and I look at the published date to determine which one I will read next.

You may notice that I do not track which books I request. I used to, but now I only pick one ARC to request per month. You can see from the above image I have an ARC for February, March, April and July. I only requested one per month so I can’t get over whelmed with the ARCs coming in. Having one ARC a month means I can still read all the books I have on my shelf without worrying about getting my reviews in.

My Rules

Now these rules are just what works for me, that does not mean they will work for you, but I thought it would be interesting to share.

  1. Request one book per month, dependent on the release date.
    • This limits the amount of ARCs coming in
  2. Read the an ARC the month before it’s release date.
    • Takes the pressure off
  3. As soon as I get an approval email, add book to the ARC Tracker
    • This ensures I don’t forget a book I am approved for.
  4. Only request books I would pay to read.
    • This one is my top rules, this makes sure I request only books I will want to read asap. I will not want to put them off and I know I am not taking ARCs away from others who really want to read them.
  5. No book can make it to the 3 month or older shelf.
    • Ensures I keep my feedback ratio over 80%

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The Current State of my Netgalley

Feedback Ratio: 87%

31 Approved  |  27 Feedback Sent

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How do you manage your requests and netgalley reviews?

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Writing and More

Writing | Blogoween Announcement

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Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that I am taking part in, or at least I am going to try to take part in Blogoween, which will be a month full of Halloween and bookish posts. My two favorite things!

I found out about this Halloween and Fall related challenge after reading about it on Northern Plunder, if you have not yet check out her blog she is awesome. As soon as I saw her first post I knew I needed to jump in.

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Levels

Level 1: 13 Days of Blogoween

Pick any 13 days to post
Don’t have to be consecutive
Don’t have to post on Halloween (but you can!)
Level 2: 24th – 31st

Must post on the 24th Oct through to the 31st Oct (that’s 7 posts)
Must be consecutive posts
Must post on Halloween
Can’t change level
Level 3: 31 Days

Posting EVERY DAY (that’s 31 posts)
Can mix Autumn themes into your posts
If you find within the first few days it’s too much, can switch to Level 1

source 

I think I am going to go really bold here and TRY for level 3, but chances are I will end up doing 13 days of Blogoween, no shame in that. Honestly, my goal is to just have fun and maybe find a few new blogs to follow. I hope you don’t mind all of the posting you are about to see from me!

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Tag Tuesday | The Miranda Sings Award

Tag Tuesday

I was tagged by Misty, you need to check her out. She is so kind and her blog is wonderful.

Rules:

  • Announce your win with a post, and link the blogger who nominated you.
  • Include the featured image on your blog post.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers (or as many as you can think of) and link your awardees in the post.
  • List 7 things you love about yourself. (This can be about your appearance, your personality, your achievements, etc.)
  • Don’t use negative connotation (i.e. Don’t say things like – “I’m prettier than an average person.” or “People have told me I’m smart.” You are pretty. You are smart.)

7 Things I love about myself:

  1. I’ love that I am determined. Once I set my mind to something I work hard until I have achieved it.
  2. I love that I am a good listener. A lot of my friends come to me to talk because I am a good listener and I give pretty good advice.
  3. I love that I can be goofy. While I can be very serious I can be VERY goofy. I think it is important to have fun and be goofy other wise things become overwhelming.
  4. I love that I enjoy learning new things. I am always interesting in learning something new. I have never though “I know enough” in my life and I think that is important.
  5. I love that I have the ability to be creative. I know it sounds a little funny, but I love the fact that I am creative enough to have a creative outlet. I love art and creating things with my own hands.
  6. I love that I have the ability to be content. Once again this sounds kind of funny. But, I like that I can be happy and peaceful while doing nothing.
  7. I love that I act like an old lady. I often am told I act like an old lady because I do a lot of crafts that seem to be something “old ladies” do. But, I think it is wonderful to create something with your own hands.

I Tag:

Camillea

Zoë

theimaginedreality

Lacey

Kaytlyn

Flavia

Charlotte

& anyone else who would like to do this tag.


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T5W | July 5th|Books Without Romance

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In the past I have never done Top 5 Wednesday, but this week I decided to give it a shot. This week the prompt asks us to list the top five books without romance or have a tiny bit of romance. I went to the Top 5 Wednesday goodreads group to get this weeks prompt. You can also find all of the prompts for this upcoming month.

Jackaby by William Ritter

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I cannot speak more highly of a book/series. I love Jackaby and all the other cast of characters. Now, this book has some lingering eyes, but it barely even in the book. I will say there are a lot of people who want to see some of the characters shipped, but there is no romance in this book. Just  glorious supernatural adventure.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

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Sabriel is way to busy trying to save her father Mage Abhorsen in the Old Kingdom. She is dealing with free magic and a companion that might not actually be on her side to worry about a true romance.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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This books is a wonderful story. Honestly a must read in my opinion.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is one of my favorite books. A high fantasy adventure following Bilbo Baggins. There is magic, orcs, elves, an angry dragon and much more…apart from romance.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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This books main focus is on Jonas and his internal struggle becoming Receiver of Memory. Being given this role causes him to question the society he has grown up in.


Can you think of any other books without romance?

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TAG | The Unique Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Thank you Dawlyn and Krista from Little Blind Book Finds for the Tag! Today for Tag Tuesday I will be doing The Unique Blogger Award. I love tags like this because every person creates the questions for the people they tag so no one has the same questions.

The Rules

  1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  4. Ask them 3 questions

The Questions

1.What inspired you to start your blog?

Going right for the hard questions, huh? Well I decided to make my blog because I wanted to talk about books. Now some of you may know I have a bookstagram and I had that first. But, while I LOVE bookstagram and still use it constantly I noticed there is a lack of communication which upset me. So I decided why not create a blog. While I made it a while ago, I really started using it this past January.

2. What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Have fun and post what makes you happy because people who enjoy the same stuff will find you. Also, blogging is meant to be fun, make sure you are always enjoying the content you are creating and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

3. Name a book that you’ve read or want to read that you heard about from the blogosphere?

This is a really great questions, hum. I think one of the main books/series I plan to read because of the blogosphere would have to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I heard about it on booktube, but a review I read, which of course now I cannot remember, and it really sold me on the book/series. Apparently, my boyfriends love of commas has rubbed off on me.

My Questions

  1. Is there a quote from a book that has inspired you/changed the way you view things? If so, what is the quote?
  2. Who would you cast as the main characters of a movie adaptation of your favorite book?
  3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I Nominate:

Jess

Nikki

Kristina

Sarah

Misty

Also, anyone else who wants to join in on the fun!

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Wrap Up

JUNE 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

5 Stars:

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I finally got around to finishing A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I have to say the ending blew me away completely. It has me very excited for the next book in the series. I am currently am in line to get it from my library so I can read it at the beach without ruining my copy.

4 Stars:

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Another book I got to during the month of June is The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember. I read this short book in a single day and I was very invested in the main character. This is a LGBTQ+ retelling/twist between Ursula from the little mermaids childhood and Norse mythology. This book would have easily been a 5 stars, but there was a scene that happened between our main character and her love interest that made me a little uncomfortable. Even with that small scene I adored this book.

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The first book I finished in June was It by Stephen King. This huge tome that is over 1000 pages was totally worth it. It was creepy and intriguing, it has me very excited for the remake that is coming out later this year.

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Some of this book I loved, the other parts I did not enjoy at all. I enjoyed all the nods to other words such as Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and more. But, this book just rubbed me the wrong way sometimes. I just got angry at it, not at the characters. I found myself thinking, “Why? There was no reason for this!” Beginning is great, then ending is amazing, but the middle falls a little flat. If you can push yourself through the middle of the book you are golden!

Bingo Update

JulyBingo

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What did you read this month?

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TAG | The Goodreads Tag

Tag Tuesday

1. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS ‘READ’?

The Fireman by Joe Hill

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2. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

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Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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3. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS ‘TO READ’?

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

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4. WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

I plan on reading The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.

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5. DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

Yes, I actually have it posted on my blog [HERE].

6. ARE YOU DOING A 2017 READING CHALLENGE?

Yes, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. I currently have 41 books read, so I am well on my way.

7. DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

Yes, but I keep track of my wishlist on amazon not goodreads.

8. WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO BUY NEXT?

I have no idea, I usually just buy whatever book I feel like reading. But, I am craving a non-fiction read.

9. DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE A FEW?

“Life is tough my darling, but so are you” Stephanie Bennett Henry

“Kindness is an act of bravery, I think, just as hatred is an act of fear” William Ritter

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth” Buddha

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship” – Louisa May Alcott

“He thought much but said little” J.R.R. Tolkien

10. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

Stephen King, Louisa May Alcott, Rainbow Rowell,  and William Ritter are my top authors.

11. HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

I have joined a few, but I don’t always read all of the books the groups read.

Top 5 Wednesday

NonFiction Pulitzers

Our Shared Shelf

The History Book Club

Supporting Bookstores

Non Fiction Book Club

12. HOW MANY SHELVES TO DO YOU HAVE ON GOODREADS?

Apart from read, to-read, and currently reading I have genre shelfs. I put books on these when I am done reading so I can see what types of books I am reading.

 

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I tag: Kristina ,  Charlotte , Sarah , Misty , Nikki , and anyone else!

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Try a Chapter | June 2017

BlogSo my TBR is starting to make me a little uneasy. I am not sure if it is because it is half way though the year or I just feel like I need to cut it down a bit. Either way I decided to do “Try a Chapter” to see if some of the books on my TBR are actually something I would enjoy or the description tricked me into thinking it would be something great to read.

 

A Little Life

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition.

Goodreads.com

Conclusion: Keep

Already a chapter in and I want to know what is going to happen to the character. Even though this book is longer I feel like it is going to go fairly quickly because it is so character driven, or at least seems that way at this point.


Annihilation

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

Goodreads.com

 

Conclusion: Unhauled

This book/series sounded so good. There was a mystery, science and exploration. Sadly, the writing was annoying. For me it took to long to get to the point. Even though I only read the first chapter I already started skimming, which is not a good sign. I do not mind slower books if they actually build up to something now and again, but this did not do it for me at all.


The Circle

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

Goodread.com

Conclusion: Unhauled

Sadly, this was not for me. I really, really wanted to read this then watch the movie. It seems that this book is not for me, I think I will rent the movie so I can see what everyone is talking about. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason I do not want to read it, but I know I do not.


 

What do you think of my try a chapter decisions?

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TAG | On My Shelf Book Tag

Tag TuesdayHello everyone, I hope everyone is doing well. Last week I ended up taking a week off to get some exciting personal stuff taken care of. Now I am back and ready to go with a lot of ideas and energy. So lately if you have not noticed I have been doing more tags, that is because I think they are so fun and I love reading other peoples answers. I am thinking about doing a “Tag Tuesday” type thing because I find them so fun. What do you think? Let me know. So this week I am doing the On My Shelf Book Tag. I have been seeing it for a long time around booktube and blogs and thought it looked like a lot of fun.

Directions: Pick a number between 1 and as many books as you have on your bookshelf. You can ask friends or go to social media for help or you can use a site like random.org. When you get the list of numbers (I picked 8) find the corresponding book for number and provide a memory. (Example: #7 find the 7th book on your bookshelf and share a memory).

The Books

100: The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins

My Mom and Dad took my to the bookstore on my birthday and let me pick out a few books. This is one of the books I picked up. I have not gotten to it just yet, but I am very much looking forward to it. It is a mixture of mythology, magic, and other lore.

142: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I read this as a ebook loan from the library when I was watching my friends puppy for the weekend. It was great he napped on my lap as I read this book in nearly a day. I would like to add that this dog is about 75 pounds and so not a lap dog. My legs went so numb, but he was being so cute I didn’t have the heart to tell him get off.

10: End of Watch by Stephen King

I have yet to read this Stephen King book because it is a third in a series I have not started yet. But, I will say that Stephen King has become my favorite author. I have yet to be disappointed by him. Even before his books I was in love with his work. When I was younger, most likely to young, I watched creep show and all the movie adaptations for his work and loved it. I remember watching the 6 hour TV version of The Shining with my friend. We started watching it in the afternoon and as things got more intense the sun went down. It was one of the best movie watching experiences I have ever had.

133: 50 Children by Steven Pressman

I picked up this book when I went to DC with my aunt and Mom. We spent the weekend going though all the museums and walking around the national cemetery. Somehow I ended up the tour guide for them since my aunt never went there and my Mom had not been there since she was a little girl. I remember learning more about my moms childhood and the wonderful times they had. It was very nice to hear the stories and spend time with an aunt I had not spent a ton of time with due to distance. I picked up this book on our last day when we went to the Holocaust Museum. I have to say that this museum was one of the best we went to not only because it was factual, but it also impacted us all emotionally as well.

36: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling

One of the funniest memories I have with this book is right before the movies came out for this book I decided to reread it so it was fresh in my mind. Well, I happened to get to a VERY intense/emotional part and I happened to be at Uni in between classes. Lets just say I was trying very hard not to ugly cry in public where everyone could see. Somehow I managed to pull myself together in time for class.

132: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

This was the first book I bought because of booktube. I had just started watching youtube maybe 6 months before that due to makeup tutorials and other lifestyle videos and decided to search books. Well, I stumbled into booktude and I am still have not left. So not only was it the first book I bought because of booktube, but it was the first Rainbow Rowell book I ever read. She is still an author I enjoy a lot and continue to read. I think she is the only author where I have read all of their work.

166: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Honestly, the only memory I have for this book is how happy it made me. I read it so quickly not much happened. I pulled it out and started reading it on a weekend. I stayed in bed all day and read it cover to cover. I think someone had to remind me to eat something I was so into the book.

53: Alice’s Adventures on Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Now, my moms other sister who I spent a lot of time with LOVED this book. In fact it was her favorite book. I picked up a lovely illustrated edition so I could read it since I somehow managed to only watch the movies. Being a book lover I want to read the source material. I will say I much prefer the only animated movie over the newer live action adaptations.

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What is your favorite book on your shelf?

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TBR

TAG: Books I’ll (Probably) Never Read

Tag TuesdaySo I was on booktube, yet again, and was watching some of Ariel Bissett’s videos and I came across this tag. Even though I was not tagged I thought it would be a ton of fun to do! I will insert her video at the end so you can watch it too if you would like.

The Questions:

1/ A really hyped book you’re not interested in reading?

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
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A year or so ago this book was featured in book hauls, review, blogs, and it seemed like everyone was reading it and was super excited. I on the other hand just was not interested. When I buy or read a book I want to know a little bit about the plot and such, but this book had a description that didn’t really tell me much. Plus, since all the hype I have heard some not so god things.


2/ A series you won’t start/won’t be finishing?

Fallen Kingdoms

Mountain ViewI read the first book in this series and really enjoyed it, I gave it four stars. Even though I liked it so much I decided not to continue with the series because I did not want to commit.


3/ A classic that you’re just not interested in?

Fahrenheit 451

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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Both of these have been talked about by my friends and family members. I have been told “you have to read it” so many times, but I just don’t feel inclined to do so. If you have read either of these let me know, I am curious to what you think.


4/ Any genres you never read?

Satire, I don’t really gravitate towards it. Maybe one day I will give it a go,  but not today.


5/ A book on your shelves you’ll probably never actually read?

Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

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The reasons I don’t think I am going to read this is because it is a dystopian/end of the world book, which is a subject I don’t always enjoy and when I picked this up I was unaware it was a series. Lately, I have been getting tired of reading series. I am gravitations towards stand alone books.


What book on your TBR are you unlikely to read?I hope you enjoyed the tag, if you want to do it please feel free!Ariel Bissett’s Video