Archive for Updates
With the news that Google Reader is on the outs, I (along with everyone else in the blogosphere) began looking into alternatives. I’m going to give Bloglovin’ a try, especially after I learned that you can comment directly from the interface, AND they grant pageview stats to my fellow bloggers when I read their posts. Score!
I created an account today and imported my Google Reader list in under a minute. Easy peasy. And now, I’m going to make this blog available through there as well.
It was my good luck that during Bloggiesta this weekend, The Picky Girl ran a mini-challenge around picking a new feed reader. Since originally posting this announcement, I have had the pleasure of using both Feedly and Bloglovin’ and so far I think Bloglovin’ is winning.
The first big drawback to Feedly is that I have to install it on each computer I use, which annoys me. Right now, for instance, I’m housesitting and don’t want to clutter my friend’s computer with my junk. The second drawback is the interface it uses. No matter how I play with the settings, I can’t get Feedly to display in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing or useful.
Bloglovin’s layout is much more similar to Google Reader’s, and that makes it more intuitive for me to use. Yes, it’s slightly annoying that you can only see a sentence or two of the previews, but once you click to read a post, the navigation bar that stays up top makes it simple to browse through the rest of my subscriptions, with the added benefit of seeing the posts on their actual sites. It not only grants a pageview, but it lets me see the post the way it was meant to be seen. We don’t spend all of that time formatting our posts for nothing, amirite?
Both sites have iPhone apps, and I have downloaded both. They work much the same, but I find Bloglovin’s app to have a smoother feel. The Feedly app doesn’t scroll so much as it jumps around and it is taking me some time to get used to it.
I haven’t totally given up on Feedly, and I’ll still play around with both for at least a few more weeks. I have a feeling this dilemma will sort itself out in time and I’ll find myself gravitating to one over the other, at which point I’ll delete the other app and go on about my business.
For those of you who do use Bloglovin’ please click below (or in my sidebar) to follow me!
I hope everyone had incredibly happy holidays and had a great New Year’s Day. I spent the majority of my holidays traveling, so I’m looking forward to some time at home the next few months!
In reflecting over the past blogging year, I took some time today to update my 2012 Challenge Index. Here’s a quick recap of how I did on my reading challenges:
2012 Goodreads Challenge: 50/100 books read
Compared to the 120 books I read in 2011, this is a pitiful number. I’m not sure why I read so many fewer books this year, but I think I simply wasn’t as motivated to power through so many review copies. I focused much more on library books and didn’t pressure myself to read quickly. I’ve adjusted my 2013 challenge to 75 as a “split the difference” strategy between my 2011 and 2012 reading goals.
Debut Author Challenge: 6/12 books read
I read far fewer review books this year. I even had my NetGalley account deactivated and changed my review policy so that I no longer accept advance copies at all. As a result, I read fewer debuts as their availability at the library is more limited than older titles, and I only purchased a couple of them. I probably won’t participate in this challenge anymore.
YA Historical Fiction Challenge: 6/10 books read
This is a favorite genre, so I’m not surprised I got closer to completing this one. I was derailed by finding lots more adult historical fiction this year, which doesn’t count for this particular challenge. I think I’ll try a less narrow genre challenge this year.
Get Steampunked Challenge: 3/15 books read
Yikes! I’m surprised I didn’t get through more of these. I have amassed a large selection of steampunk books this year, so now I need to get to actually reading them. I’ll be signing up for this one again.
Off the Shelves Challenge: 1/30 books read
At least it’s not zero! This was a challenge to read books sitting on my shelves, which did not happen (obviously). Because my book horde is approaching unmanageable proportions, this is a MAJOR goal of mine in 2013 – read the books I already own before I buy (or borrow) old ones. The library is proving to be the toughest competition, because I justify borrowing books because they are free, but doing so does nothing to increase the books read on my shelves. I am definitely doing at least a couple of TBR-oriented challenges this year to get my butt in gear!
Books Started But Not Finished Challenge: 2/6 books read
The idea here was to finish books from my short list of abandoned titles. It did not go well. There’s usually a reason I didn’t finish them, so most of these titles just didn’t appeal to me over shiny new books that might be the best book ever. I’ll give this challenge a miss in the future.
Graphic Novels Challenge: 0/12 books read
Another embarrassing failure. Because my graphic novel collection is precious to me, I don’t really want to take them out of my house. This means I don’t take them on the train, which is where I do most of my reading. Still, I plan to keep the same list and try again with this challenge. I can usually finish a graphic novel in a relatively short amount of time, so I need to pick a gloomy weekend this winter and get through a few at a time. Maybe that should be the primary focus of a read-a-thon?
Why Buy the Cow? Challenge: 0/12 books read
No freebies read this year. I also think I acquired very few (if any) of them. I have plenty of paid-for books to read, and I’m not really interested in glutting my Kindle with more freebies. Unless it’s a title I’ve been itching to read anyway, no thanks. After two years in a row of failing, I won’t be doing this challenge again.
Speculative Romance Challenge: 3/12 books read
This was another one that surprised me. I really thought I would read more than that in this genre. Instead of doing a strict romance genre challenge, I’ll be substituting the Seriously Series challenge, since I have so many UF/PNR series books in my TBR pile.
Dusty Volumes Challenge: 3/6 books read
Finishing half of my list is a definite step up from 2011, so I’m happy with that number. It’s entirely thanks to the Austen in August event hosted by Roof Beam Reader that I even got this far! I don’t think Midnyte Reader is hosting this again (so I’ll probably do her Authors After Dark challenge instead), but I’ll attempt a different classics challenge, since I have a good list in mind that I want to finish this year.
Outlander Reading Challenge: 1/6 books read
This didn’t turn out to be a big priority for me, so it fell to the back of the pack. I know I’ll get to the rest of these eventually, but I don’t need a challenge to do so.
1st in a Series Challenge: 9/12 books read
I did the best in this challenge, partly because I like starting series, and partly because it’s hard to find books these days that aren’t part of a series.
Finishing the Series Challenge: 1/3 series finished
I guess I got too distracted by new series to finish the ones I’ve already started!
Now, on to 2013!
In the coming weeks I’ll be posting challenge sign-ups and getting my 2013 index ready. It felt really good to update links and do, well, anything, blog-related. Maybe this year I can get around to posting my challenge progress bar widgets to help keep me on track.
You know that thing where you keep meaning to call/email someone, and then you forget, and then so much time passes that you know it’s going to take more than just a quick call/email to catch up, so you put off that phone call/email? And then more time passes and the next thing you know a month or two have gone by and now you’re embarrassed and wonder if it’s weird to call/email now? And then after a few more months you start to think that maybe you should just never contact them again because it’s going to be super awkward to pop back up into their lives?
This = that.
So much has been going on that I don’t even know where to start.
- I’ve been reading, but mostly adult and non-fiction books. A friend of mine just started a new YA book club, though, and the break from YA fiction has me energized to get back into it.
- I’ve been writing, but the process is slow. I just finished up an online course on Scrivener and another on YA Steampunk, and I started a 4 week workshop on Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I re-enrolled in the monthly Advanced YA Fiction Workshop that I had to miss during the summer session. I’m still hedging on whether to try NaNoWriMo again this year.
- I’ve been running my fool head off, and completed not just the planned one (Chicago) but TWO triathlons and two 5K races in the span of a month. I’m still training for the 15K in November, registered for a 10-mile race in May, and plan to run at least two half marathons in the spring.
- I joined the Masters swim team and a team fitness challenge at my gym. I am officially a workout junkie, and can happily report that I’ve lost 23 pounds since Memorial Day.
- I’m working on five different computer science/programming courses simultaneously on Coursera.org and edX.org. I plan to roll my sleeves up and dig into HTML5 and CSS3 when these are done.
In light of all the crazy listed above, the format of this blog is going to change a little. I love books, but they are only one small section of my life. I’d like to share more than just my reviews with you. If that’s all I have to offer, then I might as well close up shop and move to Goodreads, amirite? I realize some of you may not care about the cool bit of computer nerdery I cooked up, or whether I PR’ed in my last road race. But I’m a sharer. It’s what I do.
I hope to work out some semblance of a schedule in the coming weeks so you know when to expect what randomness will come out of this blog. There will still be reviews, probably of both YA and adult books, as well as the return of Writing Wednesdays. The other stuff will fill in the blank spaces.
It’s good to be back.