First Lines Fridays (49) – May 20, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – May 2022

I’ve once again made some serious progress in the last month. I’ve read and reviewed more NetGalley books in the last month than ever before. I’ve been approved for quite a few new books, as well, but I’ve still managed to raise my feedback ratio by a bit. I read and reviewed NINE books, and I’ve been approved for eleven new books in the last month. This is the first month where I’ve been invited by publishers to get their books, which was an awesome feeling. Four of my new books were invitations, and one of them was a granted wish, which I didn’t even know was a legit thing until it happened. You can see where I was last month in my most recent check-in post. My feedback ratio thankfully managed to climb two percent to 70%. I’ve completed 54 ARC reviews out of the total 77 for which I have been approved. I’m hoping to keep my ratio in the 70’s or above from now on, but we’ll see how that goes. I now have 22 books available to review on my shelf, which is a slight increase from where I was this time last month.

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Meet the Book Blogger Tag

Hello, everyone! Today I’m doing a book tag. I feel like it has been forever since I took the time to do one of these. So, I’m kind of excited about it! Thank you to Dini @ dinipandareads for the tag!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you (See above)
  • Mention the creator: Lauren @Lala’s Book Reviews
  • Tag as many (or as few) people as you’d like
  • Have fun and get to know one another!

Introduction

INTRODUCE YOURSELF

My name is Chris! I’m in my mid-30’s, and I love books and all things reading, which shouldn’t come as much of a shock since this is a book blog. 🙂 I’ve lived my entire life in Louisiana, and even though the state ranks last in almost every good thing out there, it isn’t all bad because there is good food and interesting culture. I’m currently a house husband, which gives me plenty of time to read. However, I’ve got four degrees and have worked in multiple fields, including biomedical research and mental health. I’m just lucky to have an awesome partner with a lucrative career that allows me a lot of flexibility right now.

SOMETHING MOST EVERYONE WANTS TO KNOW…DO YOU HAVE ANY PETS?

I do! My partner and I have four pets. The first is a golden retriever and lab mix named Shelby. We’ve had her the longest for over 11 years. She’s getting up there in age (like us…lol), but she’s still a puppy at heart. We also have a lionhead rabbit named Pancakes. He is super cute and super fluffy, but he loves to chew through EVERYTHING. So, when he’s out of his cage we have to watch him like a hawk. We’ve lost a lot of cords and furniture to his nibbling. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t been electrocuted by this point since he’s been at it for almost ten years. Finally, we have two cats, Meesum and Cash. Meesum is the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet. Cash, on the other hand, is a bit of bitch, especially to other animals. They are both incredibly needy and revolt with incessant whining if they do not receive the required amount of snuggles per day. Here are some pics because I know that is what everyone will want…

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DRINK?

I feel like this was covered pretty thoroughly in my post from earlier this week about my Top 5 Drinks for Reading, but the short version is any type of Dr Pepper.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?

Winter. I love the cold and being able to bundle up. There’s nothing better than curling up in a blanket to read a good book, and I can only do that comfortably in the winter because of how hot it is during the rest of year. I also just really hate the heat and humidity here in Louisiana, which is present pretty much the entire year except for a couple months in winter.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TALENTS?

Not really. Unless you count being super uncoordinated. I’ve never played an instrument or been great at sports. I’m unable to carry a tune. So, I can’t really think of anything.

Blogging

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START YOUR BLOG?

I started my blog in March 2021. There were quite a few reasons I started blogging. I’ve always loved to read, but I don’t really have any close friends that read as much as I do. So, I wanted to join a community of like-minded people with similar interests. I also had recently quit graduate school because of the pandemic and my battle with cancer, and I needed something constructive to do with my time. Finally, I wanted free books. lol. I’m not afraid to admit it. Although, it has definitely backfired because I spend way more on books now than ever before even though I get lots of ARCs. I blame all the other bloggers for that because they make me notice books I never would have considered before.

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW ABOUT BLOGGING WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED?

I wish I knew how addictive and time-consuming it would be. The amount of time spent reading, writing posts, and interacting with others is a lot more than I ever expected. I’ve always been fairly obsessive when it comes to work of any kind… I’m a bit of a workaholic. So, if I’m not careful, blogging has a tendency to take over my life. There have definitely been times where it has started to feel more like a job or obligation. I’m wary of that because this is supposed to be for fun. When I start noticing those feelings creeping in, I do my best to switch something up or force myself to do something else for a while. It took a while for me to recognize that I don’t have to post every day or respond to every comment immediately, and I almost closed the blog down because of it. These days I just try to have fun with it, and I wish I had been less stressed about numbers and self-imposed deadlines from the beginning.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING?

The hardest part about blogging for me has been keeping up with everyone else’s stuff. I feel constantly bombarded by notifications, and it stresses me out because I want to read everything and support everyone. I’m also a super shy and introverted person by nature, and it makes interacting with others, even through a screen, incredibly exhausting. So, I’m usually super picky about what I comment on or interact with to keep from getting overwhelmed. If I interact with your blog/posts in any way, especially a comment, know that I love your work because that is a super rare occurrence.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF BLOGGING?

The books. I’ve found so many books I would have never read otherwise, especially a lot of great indie books. So many, in fact, that I’ll probably die buried under my massive TBR pile. Oh well. Surely there are worse ways to go.

DO YOU WRITE YOUR POSTS AHEAD OF TIME OR WRITE THEM THE DAY OF POSTING?

I’ve changed my mind about the special talent. I think it will have to be procrastination. lol. I’m always waiting until the last minute to get things done, including my blog posts.

Reading

WHO ARE YOUR TOP 5 FAVORITE AUTHORS?

This is such a tough question to answer! I love the work of so many authors, but if I have to narrow it down to five, I think I’d pick these awesome people:

  • TJ Klune
  • Fonda Lee
  • Adam Silvera
  • Claudia Gray
  • Alice Oseman

WHAT GENRE DO YOU READ THE MOST?

I definitely read more fantasy than anything else. Although, I also read quite a bit of LGBT+ YA.

WHAT GENRE SURPRISED YOU BY HOW MUCH YOU LOVE IT?

Romance. I didn’t think I’d ever really enjoy this genre that much. I refused to read it for the longest time, but now I love it and always try to include at least one romance read a month. If the romance is LGBT+, fantasy, and/or historical, I’m almost guaranteed to love it.

WHICH POPULAR BOOK DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE FOR YOU?

The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. This book was all over Twitter back when it came out last year. It seemed everyone only had good things to say about it. I didn’t like it very much. I thought it was boring and found the main character to be super annoying.

WHO ARE SOME POPULAR AUTHORS YOU HAVEN’T READ?

There are so many!!! These are just a few that I have on my bookshelves but haven’t had a chance to read yet:

  • Holly Black
  • Chloe Gong
  • Brian McClellan
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Jim Butcher
  • R.F. Kuang
  • Pierce Brown
  • Olivie Blake
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Lev Grossman
  • Tracy Deonn

WHAT UPCOMING RELEASE ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ?

Once again, there are so many!!! Here are some of the ones I’m looking forward to the most:

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE READING?

Nope. Anything with noise makes it really hard for me to concentrate while reading, which means no music or TV playing in the background.

WHERE ELSE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?

Twitter: @biblionerdrflxn
Goodreads: biblionerdrflxn
Tumblr: @biblionerdreflections (I rarely do anything extra besides my WordPress content here)

Tagging

I don’t think I’m going to tag anyone specific in this one. If it looks like fun and you’d like to participate, consider yourself tagged. Just be sure to link back to this page so I can see your post!

First Lines Fridays (48) – May 13, 2022

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
Read More »

WWW Wednesday (1) – May 11, 2022

Hello, everyone! I’m excited to be trying something new today that will hopefully become a weekly occurrence here on the blog: participation in WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. I’ve really enjoyed reading other bloggers posts each week for this meme. So, I decided to give it a shot myself! I’ll be answering the following questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?
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Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Drinks for Reading

Hello everyone! Welcome back for another Top 5 Tuesday! The prompt for today is my top 5 drinks for reading. In general, I’m pretty basic when it comes to what I drink. So, this is going to be a pretty boring list. lol. I detest tea with a passion. I don’t particularly like coffee that much either, but I’ll occasionally drink it if it has lots of sugary stuff in it. I also don’t really drink alcohol anymore. I’ve never really cared for the taste unless it is drowned out in some sort of delicious cocktail, and I only drink cocktails when I go out, which hasn’t happened in a couple of years at this point. After the cancer surgeries and treatments, I honestly just sort of lost interest in alcohol. So, it is not making this list either. What does that leave? Read on to find out! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted at Meeghan Reads!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2022

Hello, everyone! How is it already May? April was a pretty good month. The first week or so I was still recovering from oral surgery, but I’m grateful there were no complications. I’m feeling better now and am all healed up. I also went on a short vacation over the Easter holiday, which was nice. I haven’t left the house much since COVID started. So, it was nice to have a change of scenery even if it was only for a few days. Unsurprisingly, the other major thing that happened this month was that I read A LOT. I participated in two readathons and ended up reading even more than usual. Scroll below to see all the details!

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Exciting Announcement About BBNYA 2022

Hello, everyone! Today’s post is short but very, very exciting. I’m happy to announce that I’m a panelist for the 2022 Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award! I’ve been lucky enough to participate in the blog tours for some of the past participants and winners, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a panelist myself this year. I’m looking forward to reading lots of fantastic indie books and getting to know some new bloggers as part of this process. If you would like to learn more about this competition, you can visit the BBNYA website. Sign-ups are still open for both panelists (until May 14th) and authors (until May 28th). So, if you fall into either category and want to participate, be sure to sign up soon!

Badge created by Jenn @JennieLy from Jenniely.com