Category: Discussions

Rambling Thoughts on Reading and Anxiety

Posted December 11, 2016 in Discussions / 39 Comments
Rambling Thoughts on Reading and Anxiety

I haven’t picked up a book in over a month, but it’s been more than a year since I really felt driven and motivated by reading. I open a book, I read a few pages or sentences, I set it aside. I can’t focus on words or find joy in stories. I scroll through Instagram, I watch Netflix. I pass the time in meaningless ways. Last week, I bought a copy of Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith, a book that’s been […]

It Turns Out I Don’t Want to Read My Own Damn Books

Posted July 10, 2016 in Discussions / 32 Comments
It Turns Out I Don’t Want to Read My Own Damn Books

A year ago, I was blogging up a storm and blazing my way through the latest buzz books. And I felt a bit burned out, craving the space to amble through the mountains of backlist books on my shelves, savor tattered paperback copies of classics, and re-read old favorites without guilt. A few months later, when I decided to take a break from blogging, I thought the time had finally come for me to do those things. When Andi announced […]

Take it Off: On Decluttering My Bookshelf

Posted June 18, 2015 in Discussions / 27 Comments
Take it Off: On Decluttering My Bookshelf

Is there anything worse than coming home from a library sale or used bookstore, going to shelve your beautiful new books, and finding that there isn’t space for them? We’ve all been there, and unless you’re a lucky duck who has room to add another bookshelf (or has no problem stacking your books on the floor, which, I mean, we’ve all been there), you’re going to have to get rid of some of the old books to make room for […]

On Rethinking Chick Lit and Judging a Book by Its Cover

Posted June 12, 2015 in Discussions / 42 Comments
On Rethinking Chick Lit and Judging a Book by Its Cover

A few weeks ago, I attended the book group speed dating event at BEA, where I sat down at a table stacked high with books. Titles by Anthony Marra, Lauren Groff, Bill Clegg, and Atul Gawande caught my attention, but my eye slid right over Dietland by Sarai Walker, which I immediately dismissed as chick lit, a genre I have historically avoided in favor of more “serious” literature. A rep from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt came over to tell us about […]

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, Or Can Comparisons Spoil a Book?

Posted March 26, 2015 in Discussions, Reviews / 12 Comments
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, Or Can Comparisons Spoil a Book?

(I have done my best to avoid spoilers, but this post contains vague references to Hausfrau’s ending. Readers who don’t want to be spoiled might want to stop reading.) Rarely has a day passed in the last few weeks that I haven’t seen at least one review of Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum in my feed reader. Narrated by an American expat living with her Swiss husband and three small children in a suburb of Zurich, this novel deals with isolation, depression, […]

Six Ways to Reduce Blogging Stress

Posted February 22, 2015 in Discussions / 22 Comments
Six Ways to Reduce Blogging Stress

There has been a lot of talk lately about the pressures all bloggers feel at one time or another. In addition to commitments like work and family, we feel like we have to read all the new releases, publish posts regularly, reply to comments, read and comment on other people’s blogs, and be active on social media. As Andi wrote on Estella’s Revenge, “none of us are WonderWoman.” We can’t always do it all, and that’s fine. We blog because […]

How to Write More Creative Book Reviews

Posted January 16, 2015 in Blogging & Challenges, Discussions / 43 Comments
How to Write More Creative Book Reviews

Happy Bloggiesta! This is my first time hosting a mini-challenge, and I’m really excited to share this post with you! In the last year, there has been a lot of discussion among bloggers about the way we write about books. Many of us are growing bored with reading and writing traditional reviews, myself included. In order to keep our readers (and ourselves) interested, we need to re-evaluate the way we approach reviews and come up with more creative ways to […]

How Important is Context to Understanding Literature?

Posted November 10, 2014 in Discussions / 23 Comments
How Important is Context to Understanding Literature?

Catherine of The Gilmore Guide to Books published a thought-provoking post on Friday. The week before, she had reviewed Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things, which she felt was “emotionally sterile,” and “carefully controlled.” But after listening to a short interview Faber did on NPR, in which Faber reveals his wife was diagnosed with incurable cancer while he was writing this novel, Catherine saw the book in a different light. But, she asks, should an author’s personal background be taken […]

Why Banned Books Are the Best Books

Posted September 21, 2014 in Discussions / 11 Comments
Why Banned Books Are the Best Books

Happy Banned Books Week, darlings! This is my favorite literary week of the year. Held during the last week of September (9/21 through 9/27 this year), Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. Librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, bloggers, and readers share information about the history of book banning and support the freedom to seek out and express ideas, even if they are not popular. Although the US prides itself on freedom of expression and decries censorship, things can get […]

Where Are All the Books for Twenty-Somethings?

Posted July 9, 2014 in Discussions / 42 Comments
Where Are All the Books for Twenty-Somethings?

I am 24 years old. I have my B.A., and I work at a job that’s vaguely related to my major. It’s boring and slightly soul-crushing, but I’m thankful to have a job. I don’t really know what I want my career to be. I live with my boyfriend of (almost) five years, but I don’t feel nearly ready to get married. I like watching Disney movies while drinking too much wine with my friends. I love to read, but rarely […]