Tomes and Tea: A Sunday Tumblr Tradition

Sunday Tomes and Tea - Welcome to Night Vale

Sunday Tomes and Tea is a tag created by @bibliophilicwitch on Tumblr back in 2013. I’ve been participating since mid-2016, I joined the book-nerd, tea-lover party with this pic of Welcome to Night Vale that spring.

Sunday Tomes and Tea - Everything's Eventual

Sunday Tomes and Tea - Magic Burns

When I have delicious baked goods around, I make sure to include those too. (Both of these are from 2017.)

Sunday Tomes and Tea - The Dark Tower

When I’m lucky enough to be reading something with cool illustrations, I snap those instead of the book cover, because so few books have them! (2017, The Dark Tower.)

Sunday Tomes and Tea - The Death of Vishnu

Sunday Tomes and Tea - The Subtle Knife

Despite the name, it doesn’t have to be tea. My oatmeal looked especially pretty one Sunday morning, and a different weekend, I was chugging a smoothie for my poor sore throat. (Both 2018.)

Sunday Tomes and Tea - The Bookseller of Kabul

Sunday Tomes and Tea - The Awakening

Because my mug collection is vast, I try to coordinate whenever I can. (Both 2018.)

Sunday Tomes and Tea - A Darker Shade of Magic

Sunday Tomes and Tea - Misery

Sunday Tomes and Tea - Pigs in Heaven

But when I get a new favorite mug for Christmas, it starts showing up more weeks than not. (All 2019.)

 

Sunday Tea and Tomes - Children of Earth and Sky.jpg

And when my poor used book is missing its pretty dust cover, like this past week, it’s time to get creative and mess with what has obviously been my standard setup for all these years!

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Expand Your Horizons + Pick It For Me: September TBR

Horizons TBR September

I usually would have had this posted sometime last week, but since The Reading Frenzy is hosting the Pick It For Me Challenge this month, I wanted to wait to see what my assigned partner (whose name is also Elena!) chose for me.

I told her to pick three books from my unread-and-owned-physical shelf. (It’s bigger than my Kindle TBR, I’ve been working on whittling it down.)

I got:

  1. The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry
  2. The Trial, by Franz Kafka
  3. Gates of Thread and Stone, by Lori M. Lee

The Trial will work perfectly for Classics for Expand Your Horizons, and here’s the rest:

  • #ownvoices: Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan
  • Nonfiction: The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester
  • Banned Books: The Dead Zone, by Stephen King

I think (the other) Elena’s choices are a decent representation of the eclectic composition of my used-book TBR: she chose a YA fantasy, a heavy classic, and gothic magical realism, which sounds strange but also fascinating. So I’m excited for this TBR!

Looking for an Online Book Club?

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Well, there are tons, but I’m guessing you already knew that. Emma Watson’s got one. A few of my friends from Booklr have them. Those are all through Goodreads, and there’s hundreds more–and if you can’t find one to suit your tastes there, you can always start your own.

But recently I was invited to join one that’s right up my alley, and since it’s open to everyone, I thought I’d share.

It’s called The Reading Frenzy, and it has monthly themed challenges to help you wade through your TBR when you’re not sure what to read. (Yeah, because I never have that problem? Only all the time.)

Unlike other book clubs that focus on specific title read-alongs, this is perfect for me and my ever-growing pile of unread books. The September challenge (sign-ups going on now) are for the Pick-It-For-Me Challenge, where you’re paired randomly with someone else. You tell them how many books to choose for you, and from which of your GR shelves, and they respond with their chosen books, while you do the same for them.

Honestly, I was sold on joining the group just on the strength of that challenge, regardless of the rest of the year brings. It sounds like so much fun, studying someone else’s TBR to pick books for them. I’m hoping to get my partner to read some of my favorites, if I can, but that’s half the fun–I have no idea what pool of books I’ll be drawing from! Maybe I’ll get someone who has a giant stack of unread political nonfiction. Maybe I’ll get someone who wants to read more classic sci-fi. Maybe I’ll get a romance fiend.

No matter what, I’m going to bet I add at least a few books to my own TBR when I study theirs. (“Oh, that looks interesting! That too! I don’t know anything about [random fascinating subject] but I should read it!” Yeah, that’ll be me.)

Okay, I hear you saying, “But isn’t the point to read down your TBR, not add to it?” Honestly, yes. But in my case, I’ll be reading actual books and adding hypothetical books, and I’ve been weeding my TBR regularly anyway. So I think I’ll be fine.

I just didn’t want to keep this fun to myself. Come on over to Goodreads and join, why don’t you?

The Book Robin Hoods: Going Strong!

calling allauthors

Are you an indie author looking for a wider audience for your works, or a community of fellow indies to share advice and support? You can find both at #thebookrobinhoods!

Sign up here to become a featured author and put your name and novels out there to a strong and dedicated base of book bloggers who want to support authors like you!

BRH personal request fixed

On the other side of the coin, are you one of those book bloggers who want something to read from outside the box? From independent authors who aren’t afraid to take chances, mash together genres, or tell stories beyond the usual scope of mainstream publishing? Do you want to support independent authors and promote them to your friends and followers?

Sign up here to become a featured blogger and declare your willingness to read and review indie books. You’ll be able to request the ones you’re interested in (including mine!) and authors will be able to find you to request reviews. You’ll never run out of things to read again!

The Book Robin Hoods: And So It Begins!

bookrobinhoods

I introduced you to The Book Robin Hoods last month, and since then, I’ve sent out over a dozen review copies of What We Need to Survive to interested bloggers. Some contacted me, some I asked! (Note to self: get back to that. Writer, promote thyself! I could be sending out more books…)

I’m excited to say that my first BRH review is in!

Wow, just wow! So when I stumbled across this book it sounded very intriguing and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed by its content. What I probably liked the most was that the characters are in the focus. Sure, as a reader I want to know why the world is in its current state and there are still some unanswered questions left of which I hope will be answered in the sequels. Yet I loved to see how the characters, especially Paul and Nina, grow, mature and deal with this inconvenient and scary situation. How they build relationships and friendships even though the next day might be their last one. You never know as everything is uncertain and blurry. This book jumbles with the importance of values and materialism. What DO you need to survive after the epidemic plague wipes out 95% of the American population? What is important, what loses value? I loved how this story really got me thinking about such questions however, I was glad to return to our own rather safe and not plague polluted world. After all, we don’t know what the future holds and imagining such a world as in “What We Need To Survive” is scary, thought-provoking yet somehow important and essential in my opinion. I can definitely recommend this wonderful story with a very satisfying ending at least I thought so. Personally, I cannot wait to dive into the sequel “What We Need To Decide”!

Since they were so excited, and willing to keep reviewing, I sent What We Need to Decide along as well–I need reviews for books two and three even more than book one, but since you have to read them in order…

[I don’t regret writing a series romance at all, but it does make it more difficult to market the later books. Definitely considering a looser structure and/or stand-alones in the future.]

So, writer friends, this is a great resource. Getting book reviews without paying an arm and a leg can be tough, and here we have a growing community of passionate readers who are excited about supporting independent authors. We need to be utilizing it!

If you haven’t checked it out, go and become a member, apply to have your profile added. Or just research the reviewers on offer and contact them directly about your work! Everyone I’ve corresponded with has been lovely, so there’s really no risk, even if they turn you down.

The Book Robin Hoods

bookrobinhoods

“Welcome to The Book Robin Hoods, where authors are matched with readers with the goal to promote writers and help book bloggers find awesome new reads to review.”

I’ve joined a new community of readers and writers, created and hosted by M.C. Frank, which has the goal of making it easier for independent authors to find reviewers for their works, and giving readers access to authors they might never have found otherwise.

As of last week, I’m now a featured author, and I’ve already gotten a few requests for What We Need to Survive!

I encourage everyone to check out the site. I’ve already gotten a few direct requests for review copies, and pretty soon I’ll be making requests of my own, to see if any of the featured book bloggers are interested in my works!

Reading Challenge Complete: Mount TBR 2017!

mount-tbr-2017

For a while, there, I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get this done! I signed up to read 150 of My Own Damn Books–unread books that I owned prior to January 1st, 2017. At the beginning of the year, thanks to used book sales and free stuff from Amazon promotions, I had well over 300 books that qualified.

But I finished on December 3rd, with most of a month left to go! I’m going to keep listing books in my reviews that qualify for this challenge, counting up from 150–I have no idea how many more I’ll get through.

Usually this is where, based on previous Challenge Complete posts, I would make a list of all the books I read and link them on Goodreads…but it’s 150 of them. That’s not going to happen.

Instead, take a look at my shelf there to see them all!

To reward myself for this huuuuge accomplishment, I made a new TBR Jar with a few of the books I was looking forward to most, from my 2017 acquisitions. I drew one to celebrate!

2017 TBR Jar

My next (easy) goal for knocking down TBR books is to read the very last unread book from my 2015 acquisitions, Ripley Under Ground, one of the books I won in that Twitter contest I completely forgot about. I have read The Talented Mr. Ripley, back in college, but not since, so I’ll be rereading that first.

Once I do that, I got a few other mini-goals brainstormed, one of which is definitely to read all those free Christmas romances I picked up last December, which hopefully means I’ll be too busy to get more!