the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

The other day I posed a random question on twitter, aimed towards book bloggers. it was:

how much time does “content creation” for your blog take? how many hours per week?

Responses ranged from “4-5 hours per week”, to “up to 8 hours per week”, to “it varies”.   But if you are a book reviewer, you’ve got to read the darn book before you can review it, right? so maybe 8-10 hours to read the book, and then 2-3 hours working on a review?

It takes me at least a few days to read the book, sometimes I’m lucky enough that the review practically writes itself in an hour, other times I agonize over a review for days.  So for me, let’s call it 8-20 hours per week. sometimes the book is a fast read, sometimes it takes forever, sometimes I even get two reviews done in a week!  twenty hours a week? Labor of love indeed.

So, to everyone else, on twitter and not, all kinds of bloggers – food/recipe bloggers, webcomic bloggers, TV/movie/anime bloggers, photo bloggers, parenting bloggers, people who  blog about their lives and adventures, people who blog about anything and everything, it’s your turn, and I do honestly want to know.

how much time do you spend, per week, creating content for your blog?


I recently had the opportunity to get to know Matt, from 52 Book Reviews, a little better. Father, scifi/fantasy fan, and all around cool guy, Matt is pretty new to the blogging community.  This is his first year blogging, but he’s been on GoodReads for ages, and I think he has more Goodreads reviews up than the number of books I own.   Matt has recently reviewed the newest short story collection from Saladin Ahmed, Wool by Hugh Howey, and has a very in-depth interview with Ken Scholes as well. have you bookmarked 52 Book Reviews yet? It’s cool, I’ll wait.

Here’s my interview with Matt:

LRR: your blog is fairly new, what made you decide to start blogging about books?

52BR: Obviously, I read a lot. I can’t think of a time when I haven’t had at least one or two books in process in the last ten years or so. What is not so obvious is that I have always dreamed of being a writer. After two abortive attempts at a novel, I decided to channel my need to write in a slightly different direction, and writing about books seemed the best fit. I already volunteer book recommendations to my family, friends, and strangers in the bookstore, so I thought why not do it online to a bigger audience of strangers. At least they won’t look at me funny, like some of the folks in the bookstore.

LRR: Your blog might be new, but you’ve got hundreds of books on Goodreads, going back years! I’m not on Goodreads, do you recommend it an online community that book bloggers should all be involved with?

52BR: To be honest, up until now I’ve only used Goodreads to keep a record of what I read. No one was more shocked than me to find out just how many books I’ve read. These days I’m posting my reviews on the site and have seen a small uptick in hits since then. But nothing beats networking with other bloggers in my experience.

LRR: What are your favorite genres to read and review?

Read the rest of this entry »

Hi Everyone!  This week is Bookblogger Appreciate Week!  They do a ton of themed activities, but the one I mostly participate in is the blogger interview swap.  Each blogger is randomly paired with another blogger, and you ask each other some fun questions, make some new friends, and the best part is that i get to discover a new blog that truly, I would have never found on my own. It’s like getting a random penpal. this is my third year doing Interview Swap, and I’m still in contact with the bloggers I was partnered with in previous years. How cool is that?

This year, I got lucky enough to get paired with Allison from On My Bookshelf. She runs the blog with her friend Holly, and they have all sorts of fun, reviewing novels of many genres, cookbooks, some crafty books, and children literature as tested by their young children. You might know Allison from the Stainless Steel Droppings R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) challenge a few years ago too. Make sure to visit On My Bookshelf for Allison’s interview with me. We talk e-books, vampires, and  scifi in pop culture!

here’s my interview with the super-cool Allison:

You run On my Bookshelf with Holly. How did you two meet? How did you two  decide to start a blog?

Holly’s husband and my husband went to high school together, so Holly and I met through them and found a mutual love (obsession) with books.  Our book blog actually started as a book club with a few other members, but Holly and I were the only ones who always read the book, and eventually, the blog was born.

 You review a lot of non-fiction too, like memoirs, cookbooks, and books on  crafts. How is reviewing a non-fiction book different than reviewing  fiction?

Reviewing memoirs is pretty much the same as reviewing fiction for me.  I’m looking primarily at the story being told, and how successful the author is at telling that story.  Even though memoirs are based on actual events, the art to choosing what to include, what light to cast, and what boring bits to skip is still the core for me. Cookbooks and craft books, on the other hand, are all about how well they convey instructions.  Although I read these books for enjoyment and inspiration as well, I’m reviewing them first based on utility, then noting beauty and style.

You review a lot of children’s books, often by seeing if your kids like  them.  How has your blogging (and being obsessed with books!) influenced  your kids?

hey you! Yeah, you with the teetering stack of books to read and the book blog that I read all the time.

I need to talk to you for a minute.

Your blog is an awesome way to promote the books you love. Thanks to you, my “books I want to read” list explodes weekly.  Thanks to you, I’m spending far too much money at the local family owned bookstore, demanding they carry the newest titles of my favorite authors, putting books on hold before they even hit the shelf. I’m sure you’ve done the same.

Bloggers.   Bookstores.  where’s the connection? 

Many of you already know about the rockin’ awesome project I’ve started with Elizabeth of Dark Cargo. Some of you have even already started participating. A few of you were even part of my little trial experiment a few months ago! It’s called Bookstore Bookblogger Connection, and it’s for bloggers (like us!) and bookstores (you know, those peeps we give all our money to!), to have a connection.

Read the rest of this entry »

The lovely Mieneke of A Fantastical Librarian interviewed me!  see my goofy answers and a photo of my sagging and unorganized bookshelves.

While you’re over there, check out the rest of her wonderful blogger query articles, and learn about more folks in our vibrant community. Mieneke also has a great giveaway going right now for James Maxey’s HUSH. You can learn more about HUSH and GREATSHADOW here as well.

and since it seems to be turning into a link soup type of post, how many titles from the Fantasy Mistress Works list have you read?


Why don’t I watch more tv? Television is easy, available, and often populated by handsome people. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t got a smidge of ye olde attention deficit disorder. I can curl up on the sofa reading and not move for three hours, but pay attention to a one hour tv show? Yikes.  Or maybe it’s all the insultingly stupid commercials.  there are some great TV shows out there, many available sans adverts on Netflix and other streaming services. So what the hell is my problem?  stay tuned for a drunken essay* on this.

If what we read has some connection to escapism and wish fulfillment, what the fuck is wrong with me? I crave ultra dark fiction, the darker, the stranger, and the more dangerous, the better. I’m not talking blood and guts or serial killers, I’m talking the dark, tragic and painful kind, full of betrayal and heartbreak.  If like me, you’ve been outed as someone who likes that type of thing, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  What the fuck is wrong with me? I certainly don’t want to live rough, bathe only when it rains, steal stuff, starve, live in a cemetery, climb drainpipes in the rain, sleep under bridges, fall off horses, have a price put on my head, get betrayed, get chased by unnatural creatures, chill out with hookers, get tortured, get papercuts, get paid to hurt someone else, get blackmailed by sorcerers, or run through the woods while barefoot. I’m as far as a person can get from being an antihero haunted by violence or regret.  I’m a slightly odd but very nice person with a cushy life, a steady job, and the best husband on the planet. I’m a total wuss who won’t even walk to the mailbox barefoot.  So again, WTF? or maybe what we read has nothing at all to do with wish fulfillment?

oh wait, I do have a regret: not taking more literature classes in high school and college.  Also, I played some really crappy cards the other nigh tin Ticket to Ride: India.  ok, two teensy silly regrets easily fixed by next semester’s community college course catalog and a board game rematch.
My overly cluttered apartment is driving me crazy. Time for some spring cleaning, which means some of these books have got to go. It looks like a library sorting room exploded in here. Me thinks there may be some give aways of gently read books happening here soon. stay tuned.

With the spiffy blog, i’m always feeling pressured to read new things, which means my favorite rarely get reread.  Other blogger buddies, how do you solve this?  Do you reread at your whim?

Speaking of wish fulfillment,  if you attended a scifi-fantasy convention, how likely would you be to attend a panel about blogging?

*you’ve been drinking, so it seems like the most amazing piece of writing in the world. And then you wake up and read it sober, and wonder what the fuck were you thinking? Those aren’t even sentences! Is that even English?

I’m happy to say, 2011 was a hella awesome year for me:

- Was my first full calendar year blogging, in which I posted 104 reviews

- I joined Twitter

- I got my first blurb on a book

- I got a promotion at work (ok, not blog related, actually, blog detrimental, but still cool)

- I got really inventive in finding new places in the house to stash books (such as inside the TV stand).

- I participated in two read alongs. We read Dune over the summer, and The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy this autumn. If you’ve never participated in a read along, they are great fun!

I hope all my bloggy friends had a wonderful 2011 as well, and here’s to all of us having an even better 2012!


But did I reach any of my reading and blogging goals for this year? What about those pesky bookish New Years Resolutions? Way back in December of last year,  I proposed that 2011 be the year of “reading what I’ve got”.  Fewer trips to the library, fewer trips to the local bookstore, and more trips to the bookshelf for titles I’d purchased once upon a time, but never read.  I must have had some time on my hands, because I managed to count up everything I owned, and figure out how much of it I’d read.

So, did I make any headway on reading more books that I owned?  Does buying a ton of books and getting some ARCs in the mail skew the results? Cuz I bought a metric sh*t-ton of books. and got a handful of ARCs.  I’m not going to count everything I own again, but we can look at the stats of what I reviewed:

of the 104 books I reviewed in 2011:

20 were off my bookshelves
28 were purchased (either new or used)
36 were borrowed from the library or borrowed from friends
20 were ARC’s received from publishers or authors

That New Year’s resolution to “read what I got” instead of buying and borrowing new-to-me titles? Can you say Epic Fail?  It’s not my fault tho. . .  all my bloggy friends posting reviews of books that looked awesome that I just HAD to read! and with Valente and Kent and Rothfuss and Hodder and Stephenson coming out with new stuff like every five minutes, what’s a girl to do?

I better come up with something more realistic for 2012. Like join a gym (ha! like that’s gonna happen!).

So what are you gonna be up to in 2012?

2014 Hugo Awards

I reviewed some Hugo nominated stuff. Click here for the list.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.