The Art Of Pointing Fingers At Book Bloggers

ATTENTION

It is advised to leave all pitch forks at the doorstep of this blog. Thank you.

 

Maybe the title of this blog post should be “The Art Of Calling People Out On Their Shit” because it truly suits the purpose of this post much better. Or perhaps I should turn this post into a ” How To Start A Bookish Witch Hunt” guide…. Not sure.

Either way- I saw something ( again ) that caught my interest.

I know, I know. Wasn´t it just a few weeks ago when I spotted the last bookish faux pas? It was and it pains me to point out the latest ( and loudest ) tactless acts in this oh so love – sharing book community done by certain online personalities.

 

 

So many people believe us book loving folks are harmless introverts who mind our own business because our noses are constantly stuck in book cracks. We´re all clones of 1970´s librarians. The reality, though, is that we´re just as human as non readers are, and therefore behave like normal everyday people ( unless we´re reading. Then I can´t guarantee what us book people are capable of ). Some of us are genuine and nice and others are just mean shits with too much time on their hands.

 

So, the other day I spotted quite a few posts on how people didn´t quite approve of  Instagrammers “fake coffee”.

 

 

Instagrammers creating fake coffee for pics? Does this mean someone´s trying to sell us all an lie? You mean to tell me, ME, that there ain´t no coffee in those wonderful mug pics I see all the time?

 

 

Well, no, Bitch…. I´m not shook. Not in the slightest. It´s no secret that most Instagram coffee shots don´t have actual coffee in them. Seeing recent posts from quite a few book – people bitch over this matter wasn´t earth shattering. Just simple complaints over the fact that the world is sneaky and corrupt. I can live with that.

But here´s where it gets interesting:

The more complaints I saw the more every complaint sounded like they came from frustrated people. Some even went as far and virtually pointed fingers at certain book bloggers who openly discussed their bookstagram / coffee voodoo. And the more I investigated the more I spotted  hurt people ratting out other people by adding blog links.

 

 

Really? Is this what we´ve reduced ourselves to? ( not including myself here ) Complaining about fake coffee and trying to put others on the spot for doing so?

 

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Soph Is Blogging published a blog post on Bookstagrammers And Their Fake Coffee and even cared enough to reveal her own secrets on how to create great coffee dupes for the ever unforgiving Instagram ( I am mentioning Soph because a link to her blog was posted by one of the many complainants ).

You can tell her post was created to act as a little guide on how to do the fake coffee trick. I don´t know about you but I find this extremely interesting, even as a non coffee drinker. In no way is this a terrible thing. Soph is welcoming others to do the same.

I was always aware of the fact that something wasn´t 100% right with those Insta- coffee pics but I also never cared enough to dig deeper into matter. Because I´m not passionate enough about it but I still find it really cool to find out how coffee dupes are made.

Here´s the thing- Fake coffee is nothing different from the beautiful pimped burgers in Tv commercials. Am I sad about it? No, not really. Soph is more or less offering her pics to her fans / followers, presenting them with something that looks stunning. It´s her creation and she´s spending time getting something up that´s perfect for her.

Now, this doesn´t mean I´m a fan of fake coffee pics. This just means I don´t care enough about them.

I, too, fake some of my Instagram pics and like Soph… I´m not making a secret out of it. Because it should go without saying that most Instagram shots don´t resemble reality. I certainly don´t always have a mug near me when I´m reading. And I sure as hell don´t set my book down and keep it in that position when I´m reading. I don´t even read near the window because my window sills ( as lovely as they are ) don´t allow comfortable seating. My bones would protest after 30 minutes! But my window sill does work wonders for Bookstagram pics. So does the forest in my back yard, and trust me on this one… I do NOT go there for random chapter reads ( mainly due to ticks, boars, foxes, and random creeps. What can I say? I´m careful and shit). Safety is high on my life list so whatever I do with books for Instagram- It´s not what I usually do.

For example: I don´t have chilled walks in the middle of a normally busy road with a book in hand.

 

And this Disney moment here…..

 

 

The butterflies are….wait. We have to brace ourselves for this one…

Okay. Ready? The butterflies are fake.

 

 

My point is- Bookstagram pictures are often staged shots. And that´s okay. Because that´s what Instagram has become- A place to show off creativity. It is not a place where “shallow”  people ( as one complainant kindly stated ) play.

Which brings me to my next point ( and this will not be a popular opinion ) :

I´m for naming this child by its name: People who complain about fake coffee are envious. Or (!!!) they feel like they´ve been cheated on by society. Because I´m positive these complaints don´t come from a place of awe and appreciation.

It´s the same thing with children during art class. There´s always one special booger who will call out on the one artsy kid who dared to cheat the system by taking their wet paint brush and letting it glide over the colored pencil drawing to create a watercolor effect instead of using normal watercolors.

Yes, sometimes bookstagrammers can make other bookstagrammers feel inadequate. But that´s entirely up to the bookstagrammer to see the difference between reality and a lie. Once a person whines about something being “unfair” and “makes their lives difficult” then it´s no one elses problem but theirs. These people have no right to complain over peanuts.

I create “fake” ( although, I´m still having troubles seeing the fake aspect of all this ) because I want to challenge myself. Can I be as creative as…. ? Can I do that too? What if I recreated that Christmas book tree? And I even publish my failures and include the tutorial that led to the failure.

For someone to point their finger at a book blogger  for wanting to be helpful and even share a link to publicly put said book blogger on display ( also hoping to find sympathizers afterwards ) is not the way to go about things in this book community.

No one likes a tattletale, especially when it´s done on the internet. Because that shit can backfire.

 

If you feel I´ve addressed you in particular then I´m sorry I won´t be able to help you. This is a beautiful yet tough love community. Pull those big girl panties up and move on because there are larger issues to tackle in this neck of the woods ( such as self published authors and their sky high book prices ).

 

ATTENTION… again

Hurt bookstagrammers, offended book people and the literary sheriffs are able to collect their pitch forks again. Make sure to direct yourselves in the direction of your usually prefered hangouts to discuss this matter in private. Thank you.  

 

Should you be like me and feel utterly annoyed by this issue ( tbh- it´s bugging the shit out of me ) then feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Imma dying to see what your thoughts on fake coffee are and if you think it´s okay to point fingers at others publicly.

And and and * waves hands enthusiastically * IF you´re against fake coffee, and you´re willing to have a civilized conversation about it, then please give us annoyed foot folk some insight on what exactly annoys you about the subject. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

With that being said…. I bid you all a farewell, my dear bookish Padawans. May the literary force be with you.

Much love,

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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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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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