April Notes

As I write this post, it is the last day of April. I’m really pleased with everything I accomplished this month. When I decided I wanted to return to blogging this spring, I wasn’t sure exactly what that would mean to me or my life. I kind of forgot the work it involved to be a consistent book blogger, but now I feel like I’m truly blogging for myself. And I love it.

In today’s post, I will summarize my month in response to the goals and TBR I set in myself in my April Goals + TBR post earlier this month. I also share my schedule for the rest of this week!

Goals Revisited

Unfortunately, I did not stick with my blog goals for the month. Shortly after the publishing of my April Goals + TBR post, I realized I was in way over my head because I had not left myself enough time to write the posts I envisioned in the quality with which I would be happy. I realized that in order to not be overwhelmed with the amount of posts I had wanted to churn out that I’d need to plan well in advance and have a buffer of posts to protect me during weeks I was less productive.

Here are the goals I set for April:

  1. PUBLISH AT LEAST TWO BLOG POSTS PER WEEK: ONE BOOK REVIEW AND ONE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
  2. SHARE A WRITING UPDATE
  3. FIND AND SHOUT OUT BLOGS THAT I’M LOVING

Ultimately, I decided to focus on book reviews the first full month of my return to blogging. Book reviews were the reason I started book blogging in the first place three years ago now, and I had developed a complicated relationship to them as I struggled to remember why I liked doing them. This month I shared three book reviews (on Burial Rites, Akata Witch, and Sophie’s World) and I was progressively happier with each one I wrote.

I’m saddest that I neglected to start working on my third goal this month. It is still a primary long-term goal of mine. I will continue to think about what form it could take, what kinds of voices I want to share, and how I can blend it into my work week without my reading or writing suffering.

Despite my measly success this month, I still plan to set a new trio of goals for May. You can look forward to that coming out early tomorrow (5/1) morning!

What I Read

I had so much fun reading this month, I went far and above the modest TBR I set for the month in my April Goals + TBR post. I read a grand total of seven books, comprised of two books from my TBR and the first four books of the Harry Potter series. (The one book I did not get to, Spreadable Media, I’m just rolling over into next month.)

Here are the books I read this month:

  1. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (book review)
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  6. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder (book review)
  7. A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle (book review to come)

At the beginning of the month shortly after settling on my goals and TBR for April, I realized it was time to revisit the Harry Potter series again. It has been over ten years since the debut of the final book and as I had begun writing seriously again I wanted to see what I could glean from how Rowling crafted the wizarding world, the her characters, and her novel plots.

Since I knew it would be a hefty undertaking, I wanted to record my experience in some way for my blog. So I decided to write down some of my thoughts of the books as I read them anew with fresh, adult eyes. Next week I will be posting my two-part series of the notes I made while reading these books again! Part 1 will come out Tuesday (5/8) and Part 2 on Thursday (5/10).

End Note

I have quite the schedule of posts to share this week and I’m super excited to get them out. I’m also feeling quite inspired to do more than just book reviews at the moment, so there’s a lot of posts in the pipeline that I just need to sit down and write.

If you’d like to have another way to stay informed with when I will be posting new blog posts, I encourage you to check out my Twitter @betwinedlori. I’ve recently been doing a pretty good job of promoting my new blog posts there and keeping my followers up-to-date with my upcoming posts.

Here’s the schedule I pinned on my profile last night:

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

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April ’17 Wrap Up

Hiya!

I’m back to Betwined Reads today with my reading wrap up for April. Last week marked the end of all of my classes so now all I need to do is finish up some grading and my three papers due at the end of next week. Then I’ll be able to be more active online! Although I should be working on my assignments, I wanted to come on here and wrap up the month properly since I’ve finally had some reading progress to share.

This month I read three books, two of which were for class and one that I started mid-March during spring break. Looking back, I didn’t rate any of these books particularly high, although I did enjoy reading all of them to some degree.

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Feed is a young adult novel written in 2001 about a future in which people have technology put into their heads at an early age so that they can have a running feed in their heads at all times. The book was a very quick read (I think I finished it in one sitting of about 3-4 hours), and it was an interesting read in light of ongoing topics of the class in which it was assigned. However, it felt dated as social media wasn’t really a thing in this world.  ★★ 

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | The final installment of the Starbound trilogy was a little disappointing for me. Perhaps, it suffers because I now read Kaufman’s latest (superior) work in The Illuminae Files. My biggest critique is the book seems disjointed. Unlike the previous two, this one only allows us a short time with the two main protagonists before all the old characters return. The first book set up a really exciting world conflict and in this book it just fizzled so fast for me.  ★★★

I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobeck | I read this book for my the historical perspectives class I assisted with this spring and it was a really acerbic take on San Francisco and the tech scene from which major Internet companies arise. It provides some great historical background of exploited creators responsible for major intellectual properties we still see on the big and small screen today. My biggest critique of this book is that the author exaggerated and was unfairly reductive at times, which forced me to pull back a lot. There were laugh-out-loud moments, but just as often there were jokes fell flat. ★★★

End Note

This week will be spent primarily working on finishing up the semester strong. I have about a day’s worth of grading to complete for the three classes I assisted with this semester. But I’m nearly done with two of the three papers I have to write, primarily because those two papers have been somewhat scaffolded by the professor.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval on a research study I’ve been working on all semester! It involves an online survey of YA book bloggers, so some of you reading this may receive an email soon inviting you to participate. I’ll have a formal blog post explaining the survey soon on this blog, so if you’re interested stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.