Thank The Books It´s Friday

Yes, it´s my favorite day of the week, dear bookish Padawans. And what a week it´s been. I was amused, shocked, stunned… I´m glad I survived.

Let´s all greet Mr. T. F. Squirrel before we proceed.

squirrel fuck

Very happy to see you, too T. F. Squirrel.

I swear, this week has been super taxing. I finally found a cure for this hellish flu. The key is to pump yourself with vitamin C. I had a minor skin break out from all the oranges and lemons I ate the past week. But hey, I don´t feel like dying in the a.m. anymore, so that´s a plus, right?

Then there was my apocalyptic B-day on Wednesday. Not only did I call my family in the States ( to thank them for the Valentine´s – Birthday cards ) to remind them for the x-th time that my birthday ISN`T on Valentines day, I also had to let the 37 sink in. Meeh, I did that over cheese cake so it wasn´t that bad. My daughters asked how old I am now- And because I know both are worse than the newspaper with their gossip I told them I just turned 30. Word has spead already. #VillageLife

 

 

Speaking of Valentine´s Day- Am I the only one happy it´s over? Seriously, all the pink hearts and flowers and love declarations…. Do we need a special day for all that?

 

Let´s dive in to the book world now!

 

tula

 

Evil tongues claim there are people accusing others for cheating on Instagram. Okay, fine. I´m the evil tongue who has been spying on certain online personalities and has noticed there´s a small “fake coffee” war going on. And it´s quite a vicious one, too. I swear, someone always has to share their shit fit about some petty issue and act like a victim. And here I thought this book community was a full on hugger place.

 

 

But do not fear, friends ( and all you fake coffee victims )… I have a post about that scheduled for the upcoming week. Who´s excited? I`M EXCITED!

 

I still haven´t been able to read this week. Trust me- I had such a hard time acting like I wasn´t home on Wednesday. I spent all my energy on my hiding skills. Now I have no excuse as to why I haven´t read. This will be my last excuse.

 

Okay, bookish Padawans…

It´s time to bid you all farewell. I hope you enjoyed the Friday gossip ( even if there was a little ).

Until next week.

Shower the world with book love, y´all! ❤

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One Book. Different Covers. ( Foreign Editions )

We´re slowly ( oh, ever so slowly ) moving in the direction I´ve been raving about all this time. Book cover discussions.

As weird as this may seem… I´m feeling more and more inclined to talk about the one thing that makes my heart explode with love or my blood pressure rise.

If you so happen to be new to this blog then you probably haven´t had the pleasure of finding out what my general opinion on book cover images / book cover art are. I´m sure none of you have scrolled that far back to search for my apocalyptic ideas and thoughts on certain covers. And that´s perfectly fine.

To save you time ( because I´m THAT extra ) I´l give you a quick bullet point rundown on what I prefer to see on a book cover ( not genre fixed )

  • non character images
  • bold color contrasts
  • large images
  •  non busy

As long as the book cover is an eye catcher in a positive way I´ll stop and take a look.

Now, we all know the saying `Never judge a book by it´s cover`. There isn´t a saying that´s more annoying to me than that one. Because of course (!!!) I judge a book by it´s cover. Who doesn´? It´s the first thing we see before reaching out for a book ( unless a book has been recommended and said person spoiled 1/3 of the story for me beforehand… in that case it´s then book purchase by recommendation ).

An eye catchy book cover is a silent invitation to take a closer look at a book. And when you like what you see you´ll take your time to check the book out and read the synopsis on the backside. It´s as simple as that.

To judge a book by it´s cover is okay. There´s no crime committed when saying a book cover has caught your attention. Because book covers are important!

With all this being said- I went on a book shopping spree the other day and noticed a few book covers that I haven´t seen before. Now, most of you probably figured out that I live in Germany, and that my german language skills are * cough cough * for shit. This also includes my reading skills. It takes me F.O.R.E.V.E.R to read a 200 page novel written in german. This is the reason why I´m Amazon´s best customer because I order all my english editions on there.

Back to the book shopping spree:

The book store I like to shop at does have a small aisle with english published books. Yes, the fantasy and horror corner takes up much of that aisle but that´s okay. I can live with that. It wasn´t until I was searching for books for the girls when I noticed the different cover images for the books I already have.

 

A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Now, while I wasn´t a fan of the cover ( or the story, for that matter review here) from the english edition, I did find myself drawn to the german cover. It just speaks to me more with its light cool colors.

This got me thinking…. What other book cover treasures were out there for the books I already have. I went on a foreign edition hunt…. and I was successful!

 

 

 

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram is a cute romance written for people who aren´t me but I must say that while I love the cover for the english edition ( left ) I´m not so sure what to think of the german edition ( right ). It´s plain and simple but… maybe too simple?

 

 

Yeah, not digging the english edition for Sarina Bowen´s The Ivy Years #1 but I do fancy the german cover. I blame it on the backside of the guy´s head in the left image. Uugh.

 

 

Love the color theme on the english edition for Monica Murphy´s Never Tear Us Apart ( Never #1 ) but I hate seeing the faces. The german edition, though…. Good Lawd, the orange bits on the cover reflect in a bronze tone and it´s just stunning. Would rather have the german cover on my shelf. * sigh *

 

 

This one rubs me the wrong way. The left image is the english edition for Slammed by Colleen Hoover. The cover image was perfect for when it was published. Now it´s outdated. The german edition ( right ) might be more trendy but it doesn´t really fit the story. I still prefer the german edition, though. Would look impressive on my bookshelf with all the other black outdated book covers.

 

 

Hands down, the english edition ( left ) of Maybe This Time by Jennifer Snow is nothing I´d ever purchase in a book store. Not with that cover. If only the book had the cover from the german edition….

 

So, there ya have it. One book. Different editions and covers. I can´t really say if the germans are far better at creating book covers but I can say that it´s nice to see what a difference a cover image can make.


Which book covers / forgein editions do you like or prefer?


 

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a lovely bookish day,

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Let´s Talk Trigger Warnings ( An Answer To The Tattooed Book Geek )

A post about a blog post I recently read from the awesome Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek and am too ashamed to leave a lengthy comment ( as I´m positive I´ll either blow up his comment section, his WordPress account or WordPress in general ).

Earlier today I spotted Drew´s post, Let´s Talk Trigger Warnings, published in a Facebook group and just had to drop my drill ( yes, I was drilling… making a greenhouse, y´all ) because I´ve become a new fan of Drew´s and will literally stop whatever I´m doing to read his blog posts.

Whatever you do I would advise you to read Drew´s post ( click here to read ) before continuing with mine as his post is a) much better, b) more diplomatic, and c) worthy enough to shower with chocolates.

While reading his latest update I couldn´t prevent the smile from growing on my face. Trigger warnings for books.

A subject many book lovers LOVE to argue over ( myself included ).

I think it´s hard to write about your opinion on the matter because the risk is just too high. You risk losing followers. You risk your reputation. You even risk friendships. But on the flip side – You might also gain new followers, your reputation might glow and you might make new / more friends if you state your opinion on controversial subjects. Either way- there´s no telling what´ll happen. Guess it´s only fair to try and see where your opinion will take you, right?

Where were we? Aah, yes, Drew´s trigger warning post. Right.

Before I start agreeing or disagreeing with Drew I think it would be wise to know where I stand on the matter.

Trigger warnings / warning labels do nothing for me. I´ll aknowledge them but they don´t sway my interest or reading choices. Trigger warnings of all sorts don´t influence my book purchase what so ever because I don´t care for them. In that fragile moment before buying a book I read the synopsis and already have a rough idea on what the story is about and piece the rest together. I don´t need to know more. Should a subject I don´t necessarily like pop up then that´s just the way it is. I have no one to blame. Not me, not the author, not the publishers or even the book itself.

Now, let´s cover up Drew´s points on trigger warnings.

On a Twitter post of his he asked if people included trigger warnings in their reviews.

I wish I had seen that Twitter post ( I didn´t because I suck at Twitter ) because I would have voted with “No”, I don´t include trigger warnings in my reviews and as Drew, I won´t start including them, either. I will give a vague description on what the book entails in my review ( e.g. It´s a dark romance with steamy scenes ) but I will not go out of my way and include a warning label for my reviews. Pick out what you like out of my review and decide for yourself. While many of the world´s population feels triggered… many also don´t. And everyone has the option to follow or unfollow me, depending on what my content did for the readers.  I won´t waste my time apologizing to sensitive / or triggered people for expressing my thoughts. Call me rude, crude, insensitive, mean… I refuse to walk on egg shells for the sake of likes or out of fear of not wanting to make someone suffer more ( the reason for that is below ).

Here´s the thing- I can´t tell the difference between someone who truly has a mental illness or suffers from PTSD and who just claims to suffer from it because they can´t tell the difference between a a dislike and an illness. I can´t smell through my laptop screen who´s just being sensitive or who´s truly struggling. Not everyone reveals their life story online and I don´t expect them to, either. I have no problem with the trigger topics Drew listed and I run my blog with what feels comfortable for me. I will voice my likes and dislikes ( e.g. I hate when religion is included in romance novels /I love second chance romances ) but I will not shy away from “trigger” topics. This is just me. I can´t speak for others. I think the main problem with this IS because it´s hard to tell the difference between just being sensitive and really suffering. My heart goes out to those who truly suffer but I have no sympathy for overly sensitive people who just don´t like a topic.

Authors these days include trigger warnings for a few reasons:

  • They want to prevent angry and potentially harmful reviews for their books. This can damage sales as many “civilians” ( non book bloggers ) just look at the star ratings and hardly ever read the review behind the rating
  • Because they can´t know who´ll be triggered by what and to what level they´ll be triggered. This is something authors need to realize that they can never win at. Whatever they include there will always be the 1 asshole demanding a refund or bashing a book for the tiniest issue THEY had.

 

And there are authors nowadays who include so many trigger warnings that it can almost be seen as a major spoiler.

“This book contains age gaps, adultery, alcoholism, sexual assault. Extreme graphic scenes.”

A field trip for me, as I´m a reader who actually wants these topics to be woven in to a story. Imagine my disappointment when I read about the age gap of 10 years ( 26 and 36 is not the end of my world ), the adultery turned out to be a simple peck on the cheek ( again, not cheating for me ), the alcoholism was a case of the Hero having a weekend drinking spree ( you are not immediately an alcoholic if you drink alcohol over the weekend ) and the sexual assault was the Hero farting the wrong way ( in my opinion ). And what about the extreme graphic scenes? Well, folding laundry can be graphic, too.

In short: The book was about a couple who lived and loved until he cheated, then he partied, tried to get back with the Heroine, was successful and they had steamy sex and remarried. The nutshell synopsis / trigger warning.

My point is- authors are often too careful for no greater reason. They want to play it safe because they don´t know who will be triggered when and for what reason. This is not the author´s fault. The problem is with the readers. Authors know this. Readers don´t. They refuse to see the difference between what Drew mentioned as Reality vs. Fiction.

To Drew´s question:

Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, all ages too and I’ll ask, do you think that age has any influence on the attitude towards trigger warnings? Do you think that older bloggers are less inclined to include trigger warnings in their reviews and have a different attitude towards them than, say, younger bloggers? Or, is the age of the blogger irrelevant?

Yes and no. I think it has a lot to do with age and generation and also a lot to do with one´s personal mindset. I´m an 80´s kid born into the military life. Without wanting to bore you- The first half of my life was anything but easy. Now, I´m 36 and can say that I don´t have the energy to deal with most of the shit younger bloggers deal with- ergo: the reason why I can´t relate to most younger book bloggers. Sometimes I sit here and read reviews and think “Please, find Jesus.” just because I can´t understand WHY certain topics ( usually the topics I consider to be peanuts ) bother them so much. But then on the other hand, I´ve met young book bloggers who are genuinely level headed, who publish really great reviews and give excellent explanations on their feelings and thoughts in a mature way. So, I definitely have a more of a “kiss my ass” attitude and that, in my opinion, has to do with a combination of the above. Lol

Trigger warnings genre specified? Pfft. Part of me wants to yell “YUPP! OVER HERE IN THE ROMANCE DEPARTMENT BIG TIME TRIGGER SALE. GET ALL FOR THE PRICE OF 1!”

Does anyone remember the case back in 1992 ( if you don´t remember then keep reading. I was 10 back then and still remember it as if it happened yesterday. My dad bitched so much about this )?

An older lady sued McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee on her lap. For me, that was an epic moment because even then I asked myself if the lady was unaware of the fact that coffee is hot. Coffee = Hot. Even older people know this. Which brings me to my point:

Readers of certain genres KNOW what type of book they´re getting themselves in to. They should NOT act surprised when something genre related pops up in the story.

YA – You´ll more or less be confronted with young adult problems. Stuff you wished you could still consider as a problem. Angst, love, drama…

Erotica – I really hate to break this to y´all… but there´s a 100% chance of sex being included in erotica novels. Lots of it. 3 scenes per chapter if you´re lucky. Don´t expect to find a greater purpose in eroticas. Very few have sex AND an actual story.

Romance – This is where all the fun can take place. Be prepared- you might be confronted with at least 2 trigger topics you react to.

Fantasy – This is where the gate is kept wide open because anything is possible for fantasy novels.

Horror – Boo!

Thrillers – Well, let´s see…. blood, death, suspense,…

A reader has a rough idea what they´re getting in to when picking a genre. Should a reader need more details then a visit to Goodreads has been claimed to be helpful.

I don´t think there are more trigger warnings for certain or specific genres. My wild guess is that all suffer from the same issue.

Now, to answer Drew´s final questions:

My thoughts on trigger warnings are: If you feel you need to include them then go ahead. Just ask yourself WHY and for WHO you are including the warnings. If you don´t feel the need to include them- even better. Do I think reviews need trigger warnings? Absolutely not. Entertainment needs no warning. Are trigger warnings important? HA! In some cases, yes. Other cases, no.

Here´s a small ( and sadly true ) example of  books that have a certain trigger warning but don´t need them.

LGBT, LGBT+…

I once had a heated discussion with a book blogger on her distaste for gays in romance novels. Look, this is not an issue of liking a topic or not. This is a matter of humanity. She wanted a warning beforehand to not be confronted with what she believed is a mentally unstable person.

Although we live in 2019 there are still youngsters who believe the LGBT community should be locked up and treated…. preferably with a cross and a priest. To demand a warning label for a book that has a sub character who´s gay just shows what type of person you are. You don´t have to like LGBT romance novels but you don´t have to voice your small minded and hateful opinion in your review and demand a trigger warning.

I would rather not read romance novels that have children included. And now that we know this, what are we going to do about it? What can I or you buy with this information? Nothing. The reason for my dislike is simple: I have kids. When I read I want to mentally escape motherhood for a few hours. This does not mean I´m triggered. It also doesn´t mean I´m giving a book with kids a lesser rating. And PLEASE- Do not think I don´t love my kids because of this. I´d just prefer to read a romance novel without kids involved. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

Dear Drew,

I thank you loads for the awesome blog post you´ve written. I applaud you for being diplomatic in every way possible and for pointing out what the true issues are.

I agree with 95% of your post and am looking forward to read more!

PS: See why I couldn´t comment on your blog post? Lol

Keep it up.

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Thank The Books It´s Friday

Well, what do ya know… It´s our favorite day of the week- FRIDAY! A good enough reason to unleash the Friday squirrel.

squirrel fuck

With desperate squirrel out of the way I´d say it´s time to talk about what´s happened this week.


 

tula

 

  1.   I discovered that fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon suspects her husband poisoned her. Well, this news popped up around mid January but I just found out. That´s some creepy shit right there, if you ask me. Looks like her hubby is a real piece of work. The article here states that he´s done it for financial gain and to ruin her career.  I guess hubby´s not that clever. If he wants financial gain then he shouldn´t want to ruin her career. What an eejit. Give her chocolate then divorce her. And to think her husband´s a lawyer. * snorts *

 

2.   Authors bribing fans to leave reviews on Amazon with Kindles. This is old as fuck. The only difference between the review begging from then and now is that it´s NOW happening publicly, whereas back in the day authors would offer Kindles and stuff within closed social media groups. I really don´t know how to feel about this. I´m torn between wanting to applaud authors for having the guts to bribe and wanting to flat out tell them you can´t buy reviews ( well, technically… you can but that´s not the point ). Oh, and to also exclude book bloggers from said bribery. Da fuq?

 

3.   My apocalyptic BookTube project is launching Monday, 11. Feb. 2019. YAY!

 

4.   More Netgalley approvals came through.

Not sure when I´ll be able to read all the Netgalley gems but Imma hoping it´ll happen this year. Just the thought of it is giving me heartburn.

 

5. My youngest daughter ( 7 ) finished reading her first book. 50 pages! It took her some time but she made it. Her final thoughts ( and I quote ): “The book was stupid.

 

6. Unsuccessful book hunt. Seems like authors are either extremely busy writing or they´re having a creative break at the moment. Aside from Netgalley. That place is buzzing with life.

 

7. I received an early birthday gift from my mother. A biography called

`Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, And Everything Else That Really Matters`. Lord, is that title a mouthful.

Going Grey

At first I thought she had bought the book for herself- I was wrong. She actually believes I´m counting my days. Not funny, Mom. But ( !!! ) Two can play this game and I so happen to be good at it. Soon my mom will be the new and proud owner of `Nursing Home Ninjas`

Nursing Home Ninjas

 

That´s it for the week. For next week I´m expecting a few days with a little more adventure or excitement. Fingers crossed.


 

How was your week? What plans do you have for the weekend? Let´s chat!


 

I hope you all have a safe weekend and enjoy whatever you have planned. ❤

See you all on Mug Monday!

Much love,

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Book Expectations

For over a solid month I´ve spent my time living in the reading funk world completely unable to touch another book or even think about reading ( Well, I was sick, as well, so….).

Book slumps / funks (or whatever y´all wanna call it) happens to us all, even the best of us lot.

I can´t really speak for others but the main reasons why I land in Reading Funk Land are probably the same reasons why others  land there.

  • Reading Overload  Blasphemy! I shall burn in Hell for even thinking this could be a reason.

 

one does not

 

Seriously though… One simply needs a damn break from reading once in a while.

 

  • Previous Books  Whether they´re good or bad, some books can cause major reading slumps
  • Time  Because ya either have it, or ya don´t.

 

But this isn´t about me whining about how unfair life is and why it can´t give me the strength to read at all times… This is about book expectations. Right.

My latest reading funk has exploded my personal reading funk record. In 3 weeks ( !!! ) I haven´t been able to touch another book. Why? Because the last story I read exceeded my expectations.

 

Weird, I know. Can hardly believe it myself with the luck I´ve had the last 2 years with romance novels. I can literally name a handful of books from off the top of my hat that have either changed the color of my undies / pulled the rug from beneath me / blown my mind.

 

I think the whole problem with me and reading is:

 

It´s not the book´s fault. It´s my fault. 

 

I always have high expectations when it comes to books. Call me spoiled if you like, but I expect to receive the whole package when I pick a book. Unfortunately, what I expect and what I´m 100% aware of are two pairs of shoes. It´s always a sad day when I come across a book that got my hopes up then shattered my dream of being able to add to my collection of sacred reads.

 

 

The latest private book discussion with my book bestie told me I´m too picky. That I also might be the only person who even has expectations for a book before reading. Well, after a half a bottle of wine I started questioning my approach towards books.

 

What would happen if I didn´t have any expectations at all for a book? Is that even possible? Isn´t there always something a reader expects before buying their next read? Is it bad to expect?

But then I dismissed the whole topic because of how ridiculous it is. Of course, readers have expectations!

Even if it´s something as simple as ” Okay, I want a romance. The book endorsements say it´s a romantic romance.” then I expect the book to be a romantic romance and not some early 90´s Peter Jackson splatter flick.

 

The reason why I can´t eat takeout while watching splatter films anymore.

 

Am I asking for too much when I say I want the whole bookish package that will most definitely reach my expectations? Is wanting a nice cover image, decent print quality, fairly acceptable editing, and a great / gripping story too over the top?

Well, I can easily say I don´t mind being picky. Books cost money and I don´t have it ( money, nor books ) growing on trees. But having oversized expectations might be a little too much for this time and era, considering how many hobby writers have the power to create a beautiful package and a less than great content.

Maybe having expectations isn´t entirely wrong. Perhaps this is a case of screwing down my personal bookish standards so I can avoid constant disappointments.

Either way- Let´s see what gems 2019 has in store for us romance readers. May the book Gods shower our heads with meaningful and deeply emotional love stories.


What about you? Do you have high book expectations?

Feel free to leave a comment below to discuss this gruesome topic. ❤


 

That´s it for today, dear bookish Padawans. I hope you have a lovely day / evening. Share the book love.

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