Books & Wine Monday & Being Bookish Productive

 

This self-isolation business…. I think it´s great. The time I´m able to spend on reading is incredible. Book blogging has crawled up the priority ladder. I´m finally able to get shit done since everything else has taken a back seat. I´m actually enjoying my healthy self in my little isolated bubble * knocks on wood 3x *.

So yeah, I´ve been reading.

3 books last week and 2 the week before that. I´m mostly finishing up on duets and trilogies and sneaking in a standalone, which I´m loving. This feels just like the old days when I used to constantly read.

There was a moment of weakness when I thought about picking up a hyped book but then decided against it. As much as I liked the idea of giving a hyped book a chance I just can´t jump over my shadow. Once a hyped book, always a hyped book. I´d rather reread my favorites than cave in and buy an overly praised book.

 Other than that I’ve been working on some book sleeves which I´m excited to feature this week. All I´ll say is: Making a book sleeve was an adventure.

So what else is new? Well, I bleached my hair by myself. Didn´t necessarily turn out the way I would´ve liked it to but okay. I´m at home. It´s not like people will get to admire the multi-shades of yellow. Kind of looks like I have a yellow helmet on my head. * sigh *

Ooooh! I also watched the Tiger King on Netflix. People said it was bad. I think it´s just one sad piece of film work as it doesn´t really focus on the problem at hand- Big cat ownerships. I mean, with all due respect… Does a guy with a mullet who wears glitzy shirts need 150 tigers? Does anyone need a tiger?
What can the human race learn from someone who calls themselves Joe Exotic? Nothing. The Tiger King was a huge miss for me.

I guess that´s it for now. Not much excitement in my neck of the woods but that´s okay. I´m thriving. Living off of books and wine!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks Books & Wine Monday. ❤

Sending out much bookish love,

 

Mug Monday Turns Into Books & Wine Monday

Hello, my dear book-loving-Padawans!

Today is somewhat special because I´ve decided to make one minor change to my very apocalyptic Monday post feature.

Sprummer has arrived ( Spring + Summer ) which means we´re enjoying April´s unusual but steady 26 Degrees ( 78 °F ). I can´t stomach another hot chocolate, not even if someone paid me. And since I don´t drink coffee or any other bougie café drink I thought I´d jump over to the next best beverages -Soda, water, and/or wine.

I know, I know. Hot chocolate and a book go hand in hand. But so does a glass of wine and a book. Don´t believe me?

 

 

So this is what we´ll be getting a lot of for the next 5-ish months. If this sort of feature is frowned upon then just keep in mind- This isn´t the worst idea I´ve had lately.

Speaking of ideas… Guess who came up with a new book blog addition last week? It was at the ass crack of dawn when I thought about all the short stories I´ve read. The short stories I haven´t reviewed because I had no flipping clue on how to write reviews for them. My reviews are usually just as long as some short stories are.
So, I came up with the Book Review Bar.

 

 

A once a month feature where I give 1-2 liners for a short story, or basically anything with less than 200 pages. Short stories are usually measured by words not by pages, but in my case, I don´t care because whatever is slim enough to get lost between all my other books is a short story for me. So, that´s another thing I´m looking forward to seeing on my blog.

 

As for other bookish news: I´m currently in a “Should I… Should I not…” reading mood. There´s one book I´m dying to read but I´m also petrified of starting it. 797 pages plus an Epilogue. That´s a commitment. I mean, look at the size of this puppy!

 

You wouldn´t believe how often I´ve pushed this one aside. Not only because of its intimidating size but also because it´s from Sarah J. Maas. Experience has taught me that the author’s books are either a total hit or total miss. Fingers crossed that I won´t be too disappointed. Fingers crossed I´ll start this one… soon.

 

That´s it for this week, my wonderful book squad. I hope you enjoyed.

Before I go…

Tell me: Have you read Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas? What are your thoughts on the book? What are your thoughts on wine and books? What have you been up to lately? 

I´m currently suffering from a lack of human contact so feel free to leave a comment below. I´d love to chat ( with anyone other than the people in my house ).

 

Until next week!

Much bookish love,

 

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

A few posts back I wrote a blog post on What I´d Like To See More Of In Book Boxes where I more or less give insight on what book subscription boxes are and why they don´t work for me. I also touched upon the fact that these magical boxes of bookish goods are a little expensive, which will be the main focus in this blog post-

 

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

Well? Are they? The short answer is- It depends on who´s buying. Personally, I think they´re overpriced, regardless of where you´re ordering from. Domestic orders aren´t as expensive as international orders ( damn those high shipping fees ) but they´re still not so cheap. With the majority of book box subscription providers wanting $29.99 per box, I´d say that´s just a * cough cough * rip off.

 

 

But that´s just my opinion. Of course, what I think isn´t world-shattering.

As I´ve mentioned in my other blog post, I´m not against these book box subscriptions. In a nutshell, the idea is fantastic. You pick & subscribe to a one month/6 month / 12-month book box plan and receive your monthly goods. It´s like seeing a beautiful shining object you can´t resist. The only problem I have is that the items in these boxes aren´t worth the amount they´re being sold for.

Let´s break this down a little to help paint out the picture a little better.

1 Book Box – $29.99 + shipping ( within the U.S. )

Contents of each box can vary but mainly consist of

  • book swag ( bookmarks, pins, magnets, pens, keychains, stickers, buttons, etc )
  • 1 paperback copy
  • samples of tea/cocoa, etc
  • a candle
  • item related to paperback
  • book/genre bound jewelry

Again- these items are usually in book boxes. Oftentimes boxes have fewer knick-knacks or are theme bound ( a fairy box, a bass-ass Heroine themed box, magical box, YA box ). Also, some boxes have mugs, fan art, or stationery sets ( depending on the box ). But for the sake of keeping this simple, we´ll just stick with what I´ve listed above.

So, with knowing this we can start to break down what these items are and where they come from.

  • book swag = often provided by an author
  • paperback = provided by author / publisher
  • jewelry = author/Etsy shop owner
  • candles = Esty shop owners
  • samples of tea & Co. = Etsy, Indie companies

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these items and the sources they come from… there is something wrong with the calculation. Things just don´t add up.

Swag is basically an advertisement. An author spends money on giveaway items to give away. For free. These items, in turn, travel and therefore bring awareness to their brand/name/book. Not every author says ” If you´d like my swag then it´ll cost you.” ( more about that topic in a future post )

Etsy shop owners who offer their creativity for these book box companies are also investing to make money. They use this outlet as a form of making people aware of their products ( unless they sell their products to book box companies. That´s also a possibility ).

 

 

Now, the most valuable product in these boxes would be the physical book. Let that cost around 12 – 20 smackers ( I´m being generous here ).

Wouldn´t it be easier and cheaper to order a book online? I can buy 2-3 paperback books for the price of one subscription box.

According to my calculations, each book box should cost little to nothing ( since most of the items are author donations and come from smaller business owners ). I´m talking peanuts/buttons/pennies… Sadly, it doesn´t work that way. There is more to this. Because I can´t imagine a company working for free, no matter what they say.

What am I paying for when a book box mainly consists of free stuff? $29.99 would be a tad excessive for a book and shipping, wouldn´t you agree? ´Cause, you know, swag is supposed to be free.

The truth is- You´re paying for the packaging. The box and every little detail that´s printed on it. One should also consider storage ( if one is used ). Common sense tells me that I´m not far off by thinking most of them are actually making some sort of profit out of all this. Why bother otherwise? Once fix costs are covered then there will definitely be some leftover amount.

Now, for shits and giggles- Let´s imagine I´m way off the charts with this topic. Let´s say that book subscription providers spend money on every single item in their boxes. Things still wouldn´t add up. Then the book box they´re selling would be too cheap and therefore, these providers would drown in debt sooner rather than later. So, there has to be a financial gain in order to continue.

I know this is a lot of information to process at once. It´s a little confusing if you don´t lay out everything neatly. Let´s get back to my original question:

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

I´d say they aren´t worth the money. You´re basically paying someone to put a sample pack together that so happens to include a book. You´re paying high shipping costs ( especially international people ) to get a box filled with items you could easily get in a store or at an author signing. You´re paying for the book, regardless. Might as well save some money and order the book online or purchase it in a bookstore.

What about limited stuff? Collector items? Sometimes book boxes come with cool objects. I guess one could treat the goodies that come in these packages as collector items. But then again, we´d have to go back to the “what is the value of these items” and all that. Unless an item is a one of a kind / never to be produced again object then chances are – There´s little to no worth, other than emotional value. That´s not nearly worth 30 bucks + shipping for me.

All in all, book boxes aren´t really as worthy as they appear to be. At least not for me.

 

 

Despite my reluctance to see the beauty in all this I still understand why these book boxes are appealing to others. I get it. And I would never disrespect anyone by saying they´re fools for investing their hard-earned money in these magical bookish boxes. To each is their own. ❤ It´s still interesting to lay all the details out and see if I´m getting my money’s worth.

On a kind note: Not every book box company functions the same way. Just the majority. Should you feel you´re getting your money´s worth with the subscription you´ve signed up with then I´m happy for you.

 

What about you? Are you subscribed to a book box? What are your fav/least favorite items? Do you think the book boxes are worth the money? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

That´s it for now, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to hit the like button if you did ❤

See ya next time!

Much book – love,

Book Review: Girl Defined – Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

 

 

In a Culture of Distortions, Discover God-Defined Womanhood and Beauty

In a culture where airbrushed models and career-driven women define beauty and success, it’s no wonder we have a distorted view of femininity. Our impossible standards place an incredible burden of stress on the backs of women and girls of all ages, resulting in anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. One question we often forget to ask is this: What is God’s design for womanhood?

In Girl Defined, sisters and popular bloggers Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird offer women a countercultural view of beauty, femininity, and self-worth. Based firmly in God’s design for their lives, this book helps women rethink what true success and beauty look like. It invites them on a liberating journey toward a radically better vision for femininity that ends with the discovery of the kind of hope, purpose, and fulfillment they’ve been yearning for.

Girl Defined helps readers

– discover God’s design for femininity and his definition of a successful woman
– uncover the secrets of lasting worth, purpose, and fulfillment
– be equipped and empowered to live out a radically better vision for womanhood
– gain personal insight through the chapter-by-chapter study guide

 

 

 

Here we go again…

Another book from the radical Christian authors Kristen ClarkBethany Baird. Only this time I´ve decided to get myself my own copy ( since no one from my social circle has bothered to buy it yet ) and read more about true Christian values.

This isn´t me wanting to mock this particular group of fanatics. I have a genuine interest in other people´s beliefs, even if I find these beliefs to be bat-shit-crazy. ( just thought I´d get that out of the way before I continue )

So, after I read `Love Defined ` and having gone through one hell of an emotional hissy fit afterward ( read review here), I thought I´d give these fine authors another try. Everyone deserves a second chance, amirite? Have Kristen and Bethany published other books? Ha! They sure have.

`Girl Defined: God´s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity,  for example. The one I decided to purchase. I wanted to know what `God´s radical designs` were. 

I´ve tried my best to stay within the respectful boundaries with my thoughts on `Girl Defined` but can´t seem to find respectful words to describe the nonsense I´ve read. The only thing that comes to my mind is Jesus H. Christ.

The depiction of their ” God ” is a glorified schmuck. And these ladies apparently see themselves at the gateway to the Almighty. The advice given by these Christian fundamentalists in this book can be summed up in 4 points.

  1. Don´t have sex with anyone before marriage
  2. Equal rights are evil and should be banned from society
  3. Obey the male population. 
  4. To be a judgemental asshole is okay… As long as you´re a proper Christian

Do I find this helpful? I actually find this ridiculous. So much so that I had to call my mom ( who is a Christian, btw. Doesn´t share my nonreligious views but we were on the same page regarding this book ). How is it possible that there are people, especially women, who buy into all this? This book was designed to lure in innocent women into a cult.  This book has nothing to do with Christianity.

 

Bah, I´ve complained enough for now. It´s safe to say I won´t be giving these authors another go. I don´t think I´m able to handle more God´s word should always be above all shibaz.

I´m giving this sucker a solid…

 

 

Thank The Books It´s Friday

Hello and welcome back 

to

Thank The Books It´s Friday!

 

Boy, what a week it´s been, huh? Makes me really want to sit back and drink a whole bottle of wine alone and just think about how peaceful life is… offline. Let´s bring out the Friday squirrel to celebrate the weekend, shall we?

 

 

And while we´re at it, let´s hope no author on Twitter decides to make ungrateful statements for the next… I don´t know… 5 – 20 years? Possibly never again?

I´m sure you´ve seen the recent book Twitter shit-show created by the ( to me very unknown ) author Elizabeth Bear.

 

 

A kind reminder to people who tag authors in book reviews. How thoughtful. How ballsy. How generally rude.

Of course, I disagree on so many levels with this statement. The whole tweet is just a load of bullshit. It´s generalized and targets everyone in the book community. It´s also not specific enough. Are we talking all review posts or just the negative ones? I haven´t learned the art of sniffing out the specifics yet so it would´ve been slightly helpful if the author had been more clear instead of presenting a limited and highly unprofessional tweet.

This tweet caused quite a bit of a stir in the book-Twitter community. Book bloggers, authors, and even readers stepped forward to voice their disapproval. I can´t blame them. The tweet was a virtual slap in the face. Oh, speaking of face slaps… After having followed the thread for some time I spotted something even more disappointing.

 

 

Neil Gaiman, too?! Bitch, that burned.

 

This is, without a doubt, a touchy subject. It shouldn´t be, though. For all I know, the majority of the book blog community isn´t fishing for praises, compliments or even acknowledgment when tagging authors in positive review posts. Tags aren´t meant to cripple authors emotionally or piss them off.

I mean- sure. Authors have the right to voice their opinions. Go ahead and do your worst. But if that means pissing off a huge chunk of the book community then I´d say that´s not the way to win new readers or keep the ones that´ve been loyal ( indirectly waving at you, Neil Gaiman ).

A piece of advice for Elizabeth Bear: Try not to speak for all authors next time. Also-socializing is wonderful but not mandatory. A simple mention in your bio would´ve prevented a whole lot of backlash.

 

 

Uugh. See? A royal shit-show. People, we´re not even halfway through February and there´s already drama. I recently made a bet with a fellow book blogger on when the next literary shit will hit the fan… My bets were on late Spring, early Summer. * sigh *

 

So what else is new?

 

Oh! I´d like to give a loud Fuck you, very much to my daughter´s friend and their mom for giving me and the kids Scarlet fever. I´m on day 4 with a temp of 39°. I feel like I can fry eggs on my skin at this point. To be honest- I never thought adults could catch the Scarlet fever. I was wrong. I was also wrong to think this would pass quickly. As of now, I´m sofa bound with nothing to do but snooze off a few times during the day from being so exhausted and suffering during the night. Yes, dear friend´s mom… I hate you with a passion.

I decided to go online book shopping tomorrow. Deep down I know it´s just frustration shopping but at this point- I don´t give a rats ass.  * purposefully ignoring the stack of unread books next to me *

 

That´s about it for this week, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you didn´t suffer too much through this minor aggressive post. My apologies. I´m not feeling so hot. I´m actually burning!

 

Before I go: Did you watch the Twitter show? What are your thoughts on the author´s tweet? Should authors make such demands? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 

Sending out lots of health and great positive vibes!

Enjoy your weekend.

Much bookish love,