Summer Ramblings

Now that Wimbledon is over*, I figured I should do a post to prove I’m still here.  And I do actually have a couple of things to talk about!

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Lois McMaster Bujold (finally) moved her blog from MySpace and is now posting on Goodreads.  As a result, you get LMB-related linkage:

An interview at Amazing Stories – I liked this part where she talked about her writing style:

Paragraphs have their own internal structure and rhythm, like little prose poems, flowing out of what went before and pointing to what’s next. Sentence length gets varied for cadence and effect.

1416728Also LMB-related – her book SHARDS OF HONOR (the first Vorkosigan book)** is part of the current SF ebook Humble Bundle (four more days to go).  If you haven’t heard of the Humble Bundle concept, key points: pay what you want, DRM-free ebooks, a portion of the proceeds go to charity (you can choose the percentage), and pay more than the average (currently $10.48) to unlock six additional books.

I bought the first Humble Bundle, but am still pondering this one – I already have two of the books and the others aren’t really that appealing to me, but I love the concept and want to support it (though with 51,000+ bundles sold, they probably don’t need me).  There is another SF bundle at StoryBundle (slightly different rules but same concept – not sure when this one ends), but I like the Humble Bundle selection better.

LMB and some of the other authors in the Humble Bundle also did a Reddit AMA (hint: click on the poster’s name if you want to see all of his/her replies).  Is it just me or are Reddit AMAs becoming more popular as a promotional tool?

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I did a bit of a blogging experiment during June, which you may have noticed – I accepted several ARCs for review.  I’ve done that before on a very occasional basis, but this was the first time that I had more than one at the same time (which may make me a rarity in the book-blogging world?).  I was trying to shake up my blogging habits a bit, and was wondering whether focusing on reviews/ARCs would change my sporadic blogging patterns and inspire me to blog more.

Ummm… no – I think I came out with a new-found respect for those bloggers who regularly post reviews.  While I selected books that appealed to me, it still felt a bit like homework – I would turn on my Kindle, the NetGalley arc would be sitting there, and I’d feel guilty if I chose to read something else.  I feel the same about reading challenges – as soon as I have to read a specific book within a set timeframe, I start finding excuses not to read it.  And even though I gave myself a decent amount of time to get the reviews up, I ended up cutting it very fine.

Conclusion?  While I’m glad I did it so I can now stop wondering if the reviews/ARCs route is something I want to pursue, it’s not something I’ll repeat anytime soon. 

While on the subject of blogging, two posts I liked:

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*Tennis-related thoughts:

**I liked SHARDS OF HONOR and it is the first book in the series, but I tend to recommend THE WARRIOR’S APPRENTICE as the gateway book into the Vorkosigan series (though I do know lots of other people suggest SHARDS).  I think it’s because of my personal experience: I read SHARDS (as part of the CORDELIA’s HONOR omnibus) first, and while it was decent, I wasn’t hooked on LMB’s books until I read THE WARRIOR’S APPRENTICE.  At which point, I promptly went out and bought every single remaining book in the series.

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6 thoughts on “Summer Ramblings

    • Ha! It’s a funny one – I think non-Brits were cheering on Murray the person, not what he represented, whereas it was a mix of both over here.

      Am looking forward to the US Open now!

  1. LOL, “Yay Murray!” that sounds like me 😛

    Accepting ARCs is hard 😦 To always be on top of things – having read the book, actually writing the reviews… Lots of pressure 😦 Not the route I would take either to get back into blogging. Seriously, just blog what you feel like blogging 🙂

    Those two posts that you linked to are pretty much spot-on I think as to many bloggers’ woes. I hoped they weren’t though… I don’t like how things have changed, sigh.

    • Yes, I think it called for a bit more discipline than I have blogging-wise. It was a useful way to help figure out how I felt about reviews!

      Like I said to Holly, I think it’s because it’s summer (and actually sunny) is the reason why I’m blogging less frequently nowadays… on the other hand, I’ll probably use Christmas as my excuse in the run-up to Dec 😉

  2. Li, we miss you. I think we are all taking it slow this summer blogging-wise. Congrats to Murray. 😀

    RE: ARCs? It’s a sickness you know. The same thing happens to me. As soon as the ARC arrives I want to read something else, then I feel guilty that I’m not reading the ARC. I’ve learned how to push myself and read them, it usually pays off since I only read what I like anyway. 😀

    FYI? I remember you recommended that I start the Vorkosigan saga with The Warrior’s Apprentince and instead I began with Shards of Honor. Sigh… I should have listened to you because I haven’t been able to get through the second book yet. I may skip it and just go on to Apprentice.

    • I feel vindicated now 😉 Seriously, I hope you do go on to APPRENTICE, because I’d love to find out if it works for you (and therefore if my approach to rec’ing this series actually works!).

      I think I know what you mean re BARRAYAR – there *is* this scene in the book, which made me think “I really need to continue with this series”, but it’s quite late on. A couple of years ago, I was at my parents’ house and going through my old books (as you do) and actually found a copy of BARRAYAR. So I’d obviously read that book way back when (as a standalone) and it didn’t leave an impression at all. Which added to my ummm… dubiousness about the 1st two (prequel-ish) books as an intro to the series.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way about ARCs, btw! It is exactly that feeling – even if it’s a book that I really want to read. Weird.

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