Mug Monday & What I´ve Been Up To

Literally me every Monday

 

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to Friday´s unbeloved sister, Monday.

It´s been a minute since I sat down and did a Mug Monday feature. But I have a good reason for having neglected my favorite blog feature.

 

I´ve been mingling with the book crowd. 

 

As in- actually ditching my laptop and leaving the house to meet up with some bookish people.

I know. I know. Unthinkable, considering how much I love to stay in my PJs all day and do nothing but read. Oh, by the way- Mug feature ahead!

 

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Granted, not the most original mug to feature, but it´s still one, even if you can hardly see it.

So, yes. I´ve been busy with book socializing.

Somewhere around the end of September, I teamed up with my book bestie Brina@Brina and the Books to visit the RARE ´19 London book event. Then had the pleasure of being spontaneously invited to a book blogger meet up in Frankfurt shortly after the London event. And last but not least ( as I´m hoping this socializing train will continue to roll ) I went to an author reading.

I´ve noticed my need to nap has been greater than ever before. Damn, I forgot how much fun, yet exhausting socializing is.

With that being said- I´ve collected enough info on all accounts and am now able to present my observations and the things I´ve learned, plus to share the experience I had from the author reading. Let´s just say I have many many things to share with y´all.

As for being a tad blog absent: Thanks to the pre-scheduled posts I´ve worked on weeks ago I don´t feel the least bit guilty about having been offline for a few days/weeks. So, YAY for that.

 

 

I guess that´s it for this week´s Mug Monday. Be sure to stick around to find out how my bookish socializing went. All I´m going to say is: Be prepared. It´s been an enlightening ride.

As always, Don´t forget to share the book love because Lord knows there´s too little of that making its rounds. ❤

Enjoy your Monday, dear bookish Padawans.

Take care,

Feel hugged,

 

Morgana

 

 

Another Book Blogger Quit Book Blogging

 

The other week,  my ex-co-book blog-bestie contacted me on Messenger with this:

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” The fun times.”  she texted after sending me a poorly self-made banner we once used for our Facebook page. The fun times, indeed.

For those who don´t know- This isn´t my first Book Blog. I used to share one with 2 of my book besties years ago. Different interests were the reasons for us going our separate ways. To this day we´re still close as we were back during our glorious active book blogging years.

 

After her text, I called her ( to my shame – without considering the 9 hour time difference ). Because you don´t just send a random picture for no good reason, right? It´s been years since we´ve book blogged together and we don´t often talk about our first online baby. We did this time, though.

We talked about the fun times.

 

“We winged the crap out of everything,” she said.

 

How true. We didn´t have the slightest clue what we were doing but we made the most of it. We had a great laugh, as you´d have when going down memory lane. Then the laughter died down. We entered the phase of awkward silence. Then THE question was asked.

“So, how´s the blog doing?” Bah. How to answer that without killing the mood?

“It´s different,” I answered truthfully. “Things aren´t the way they used to be.”

It surprised me when she agreed. It surprised me, even more, when she announced she was quitting her book blog. When I asked her why she simply said:

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

A sad statement coming from someone who´s so full of book blogging goodness. This woman is more than capable of running a successful blog. She has it down when it comes to mingling with the book crowd. Out of all three of us, she was everyone´s darling. Authors adored her. Our followers loved her. For her to call it quits is heartbreaking. But, I understood. After she unleashed the tsunami of other reasons upon me I couldn´t blame her for wanting to quit.

 

“Reviews seem to be worthless,” she said.  Sometimes they feel that way, yes.

“I´m doubting my posts.”   Oh, I can sing a song about that.

“I´m making my husband read my posts, to see if he thinks they´re offensive before I upload them. “    Uhm, okay. I´m not that at that stage yet.

“Book bloggers aren´t what they used to be.”  * nod *

“The hate is unreasonable.”  * choke, cough * Unreasonable is a nice word.

 

All this boiled down to one thing: Things have changed. It has yet to be revealed whether this is actually the case or if we´ve simply overstayed our welcome in the book community. The bottom line is- A book blogger is quitting for alarming reasons.

 

I´ll admit- Just like my book bestie, I doubt my posts. I don´t doubt my ability to create content. I doubt the way my posts will be perceived. But I´m not at that stage where I won´t want to upload my posts, yet. Who knows,… If I have to create more graphic notes I might decide to hang my blog on the nail.  My bestie never doubted her content. Not once did she say anything about not being sure about blog posts. She´s not the type. But then again, neither am I, and here I am… doubting things. This is understandable.

 

As for reviews feeling like a waste of time: I see her point. Reviews are pretty much the same as they´ve always been, though. It´s the lack of response to the reviews that´s changed. And this makes reviews seem worthless. Personally, I´m not too worried about feedback for reviews because a review will always be read at some point. Somewhere down the line someone will need an opinion and will stumble upon yours.

 

I had to laugh when the bestie said she´s been forcing her husband to read her posts. Even if the reason itself is sad, it´s such a comical moment picturing her husband´s face. I´ve never asked my husband to check my posts but I can understand why the bestie asked hers. She´s afraid of discriminating a bookish group/an author/anyone. It´s easy to step on people´s feet in 2019. All it takes is a misunderstanding. We´ve trained ourselves to care too much of what people think that it´s influencing our personalities and messing with our minds. We have to remind ourselves that it´s not our fault if someone doesn´t agree with us. 

Pissing someone off ( even for the stupidest reason ) can cause a hurtful online backlash. We don´t want to start a war over our opinions, thoughts, or ideas.

 

“I`m tired of having to defend my posts.”

 

As for the unreasonable hate… * sigh * Yeah, I´ve seen content being attacked for no good reason. Hell, I´ve seen these attacks become personal. Never would I´ve thought the bestie would be subjected to this behavior and crumble underneath it.

 

“At first I didn´t react. Ain´t gonna waste my time with people who don´t understand what they read. But when the hate added up I wasn´t able to sit here and let it happen. Who the fuck are these people and why do they have internet access?”

 

Oh, ain´t that the truth. I had an easy answer to her question- People who´re living in a state of constant frustration. I imagine these people being those cringe-worthy folks you see on Youtube in one of those public freak out compilations * shudders *.  Angry, yelling, at a loss for reasonable words, lacking the ability to be civilized over stupid shit.

 

I cannot begin to tell you how gutted I feel that a wonderful person felt the need to quit her passion because of a few special members of the book community.. Because of the unnecessary building negative feedback, my ex-co-blogger bestie deleted her book blog.

 

“The community has become too vicious for my taste.” 

 

In what universe is this okay? If anyone feels the need to quit then it should be because of not being able to invest enough time or other things.

I´m more than pissed that people claim to be passionate readers but can´t seem to read and understand a blog post.

 

Our phone call lasted an hour. The bestie felt liberated and I was ready to open up a bottle of wine.

Here´s a sad fact: I´ve seen quite a few fellow book blogger friends quit in the last few months because of the same reasons.

 


So, there ya have it. Another book blogger resigned. How sad to see someone leave.

 


 

I´m pretty sure this post will have some people´s panties in knots so I´m not going ask questions on what all your thoughts are. I´ve already been accused of being the reason why book bloggers are quitting. “It´s because of people like you…” Not into another round of that. This post wasn´t about me. It´s about a close friend of mine ( who happens to be my ex-co-blog bestie ) quitting her book blog because of the actions from fellow book bloggers. If you´d like to add something useful in the comments below then I´d be more than happy to get back with you.


 

Thank you for reading this slightly depressing blog post.

XO´s

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Book Blog Mission: Organizing Blog Content

My mom used to tell me that having an organized system in my day to day life is half the rent. Now, what she meant by this was: If I kept my shit in the right places instead of leaving everything all over the house I would 1) find my crap again  2) I wouldn´t call her and complain about how I´ve looked “aaaaall day” for a can opener or a pen.

 

 

Fast forward 16 years-  Mom was right all along. Being organized and having some sort of organized system in life truly is half the rent. I find shit again. Took me a while but hey- wise quotes don´t have time limits.

Right now, I´m working on an organizing system for book blogging. Sounds terrifying, doesn´t it? I´m that person who has no idea what books I want to review next, what book to read next, what mug to feature for an upcoming Monday post, etc. * Am I alone with this problem? ( I probably am * sniffle * ) My brain is constantly book blog – fried ( pfft, who am I kidding? My brain burnt to a crisp already ).

At first, I thought this would be an impossible task to accomplish but then I started and couldn´t be more satisfied with the results.

 

Orga books

 

A genius attempt to live a more book blogger friendly existence. Just use a few IKEA storage boxes. Okay, that´s not so genius and I´m probably not the first person to come up with this idea but like I said- things don´t have time limits.

What you´re seeing is not an ad for IKEA ( boxes and that square shelf´s name I forgot ) but my book blog content corner. The left box is for books ready to review / ready to feature and in the right box are book-related items. Mugs, bookmarks, etc- Stuff I picked up during the week that I believe is worthy of sharing on my blog.

And guess what? This system works. It not only organizes my workspace but also keeps me focused on what to do next for my blog.

Since this picture was taken I´ve added two more boxes: 1 for DNF´d books and another for book cover discussions.

Voila! I´m a happy organized book blogger.

 

 

It´s the little things in life that bring us joy. ❤ It´s a few IKEA containers that can give things a new meaning. Hail IKEA  ( note: this is still not an IKEA ad )


 

Are you an organized book blogger? If so, what´s your secret? If not, why not? Do you think I´m going overboard? Let me know in the comments below so we can have a chat. ❤ 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It´s much appreciated.

Until next time, my dear bookish Padawans.

XO´s

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Popular Romance Authors I Don´t Read Anymore

What once was is no longer…

 

Do you have an author you´re devoted to? That one special writer who touches your emotions with their words? I have one. Actually, I have a few go-to authors. Unfortunately, I also have a list of writers who I don´t reach out for anymore.

A huge shout out goes to Jess @Fiction No Chaser for inspiring me with her post Am I Growing Out Of YA? 

May it be due to the simple fact that I´ve grown out of an author´s style or because an author´s style has changed… I don´t consider myself a dedicated fan anymore.

But before I continue I´d like to leave a little informative note.

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Here is a list of popular authors who I don´t read anymore.

 


 

Colleen Hoover

 

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Hands down, I was THE fan. I gave the word dedication a new definition when it came to CoHo´s books. Since then the author has celebrated great success with her emotionally-charged books. I was able to follow the author as a faithful fan until 2018 when `All Your Perfects` ( check out my review here ) was published.

The Problem:  I think it´s safe to say that the author´s books and I  aren´t meant for each other anymore. For me, things started going downhill after I read `Confess `. I tried pushing myself to read every new release ( because- dedicated fan here and all ) but I wasn´t able to see the same beauty others saw. With every book, I became more disappointed. I started weighing my options: Should I read another CoHo book? Should I give another one a try? That´s when I pulled the breaks. I went from superfan to try to be a super fan then ended up being a supportive fan. Now I´ve called it quits and just admire the author´s older works.  It´s time for me to move on.

 

 

 

Tarryn Fischer

 

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Tarryn Fisher is known for pushing emotional limits with her books and I´ve adored the author for exactly that. The author´s a master of her craft.  `The Opportunist` was what captivated me back in 2013. A raw story that kind of haunted me for days. My last Tarryn Fisher read was `Atheists Who Kneel And Pray `.

The Problem:  I developed a dislike towards the writing style. Every book published between the books I´ve mentioned was more a miss than a hit for me. I felt a strong attitude in the writing I didn´t enjoy. The rawness was taken to new dimensions. I wouldn´t necessarily say I´ve grown out of Tarryn Fisher´s books but I´ve definitely moved on and don´t feel an urge to drop everything to read the latest release anymore.

 

 

 

J. Sterling

 

j sterling bannerJ. Sterling used to be an author I occasionally checked in on. I´ve read the majority of the author´s books. I remember having received an ARC of one of her books ( can´t recall for which book, though. It´s been sooo long ). I was an on and off reader for a few years until my interest in the author´s books stopped.

The Problem:  My tastes changed. J. Sterling is a wonderful author and her stories are lovely but for me, they aren´t exactly what I´m looking for anymore. Although- I will say that I haven´t written the author completely off. If someone recommends a J. Sterling novel to me and it sounds interesting, I will check it out.

 

 

 

Christina Lauren

 

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Ooooh, I was a fan of Christina Lauren. I´m actually still a fan even if I don´t reach out to the author´s books anymore. My first Christina Lauren book was `Beautiful Bastard`. Gosh, I remember when I first saw the cover and thought it was the next best thing since Mark Wahlberg in the Calvin Klein ad. The writing was refreshing and sharp. Exactly what I was looking for at the time.

The Problem: Too many books were released within a short period of time. Now, I´m normally not one to complain about these things because I´m usually the person who´ll bitch about not being able to read the next release right away. But with Christina Lauren´s books, I just wasn´t able to keep up- Not with reading other books from other authors in between. Before I knew it I had lost focus on the whole beautiful series and then ended up hissing my white flag.

 

 

 

Jodi Ellen Malpas

 

JEM bannerJodi Ellen Malpas was an author who could do me no wrong. Whatever that woman wrote- I inhaled it. First J.E.M. read: ` This Man  `. I´ve abused the `This Man Trilogy` and the `One Night` books to a point where the pages started giving away. If there ever was a go-to author then J. E. M. was it for me.

The Problem: My inner fangirl aged ( sounds so much better than admitting that I´ve aged ) I still love the books I have but I can´t muster up enough excitement for the authors’ other works.

 


 

Such big names in a little ol´ post. I´d like to add that I have nothing against any of the authors mentioned in this post. Remember- This is about their products, not about the people behind those products. All the mentioned authors are probably wonderful human beings with hearts of gold.

 


On a kind note: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher aren´t exclusively romance writers. Since they´ve written romance novels I´ve read I have included their names. Also: I did NOT read all the books in the featured images, only the majority and some I haven´t displayed.


 

Let´s chat: Who are your go-to authors? Do you have authors you don´t reach out for anymore? Feel free to drop some names in the comments below. ❤

 


 

Thank you for reading this post. I fully appreciate it.

I wish you all a wonderful day,

Many hugs,

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Switching Book Genres

Reading slumps- You can´t avoid them no matter how hard you try. And trust me- I´ve tried.

 

 

But you can prevent them from happening too often. I´ve gone through all the household tricks to overcome a reading funk but none have helped me as much as a genre swap.

 

The good old mixing genres trick.

 

I don´t know about you but I´m that person who will get annoyed really quick when reading too much of the same. Thoughts like  “Uugh, not this again.”  or the occasional  “For fuck’s sake” will slip out of my mouth, along with loud groans and even louder sighs when I get to the stage of having read too many romances.

 

It gets a little one-sided when I stick to one genre.

 

As much as I love my romances I do tend to find them boring as hell sometimes. Yes. I said it. You read that correctly. I get bored with romance. I can´t, for all that´s pink and fluffy, stand to read 10 from-friends-to-lovers / from-enemies-to-lovers romances back to back. The same would be impossible with thrillers or historical fiction.

I bet you´re thinking  “Why doesn´t she just read a different romance?“. Good question. Not easy to answer, though.

You see, as it is with any other genre, there are sub-genres. Romance is just an umbrella term that covers all bases. I don´t consider sub-genre changes to be helpful because no matter the sub-genre- A romance basically stays a romance.

YA college romances carry more or less the same theme as a second chance romance do. Erotica novels are literary pornographies but at the end of the day, they´re still romances. It´s all about the drama and fluff. There´s a common goal. The only drastic difference ( for me ) is the writing.

(NOTE: This is just my take on the subject. These are by no means facts.)

So, in order for me to keep myself from slipping into a reading slump and to maintain a healthy level of appreciation for books, I swap book genres.

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I like to compare reading with having meals. If you constantly eat the same dish night after night you´re bound to develop a certain reluctance towards the dish. As much as I love lasagne I couldn´t eat it every day. As with everything else in life: overindulgence can have a negative effect. I guess you could spice up your lasagne nights by changing ingredients but that won´t change the dish. A lasagne is still a lasagne. There´s no difference for me when it comes to reading.  A romance is still a romance no matter the sub-genre.

 

 

For me, it´s all about keeping a healthy balance when it comes to reading. Switch things up a bit by jumping from romance to fantasy or horror then back to romance. This not only prevents reading slumps from happening but also gives a reader the opportunity to get back to their favored genre with a clear head.

 

” I´ll have a roomie romance today and fairies dancing in a meadow next week.” 

 

This “technique” has helped me loads.

 

I know book bloggers who don´t have problems with sticking to what they prefer and what they love. They read and review for a specific genre that works for them without giving other genres another thought. These bloggers claim they love one genre and one genre only. I admire that. I think it´s great when readers stick to their guns.

 

Of course, I could just put a book down and call it a day when I´m in a mood. But where´s the fun in doing that? I figured out that it´s not always a matter of needing a break. A simple genre swap can be just as effective.


 

What do you do when you´re in a reading slump? How do you get back to reading when you´re in a funk? Tell me your secrets. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope this was somewhat helpful and if not, at least enjoyable.
Sending out many bookish hugs,

Have a wonderful day.

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