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!

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

Readathon Updates

I haven’t been the best at getting my weekly updates finished the past couple of weeks. So, I thought I’d just take a quick minute to post an update on how my readathons are going this month. This month has been a bit of weird one so far when it comes to reading. Almost every book on my TBR has been changed because I’ve been focusing more on mood reading, which has been a nice change of pace. That being said, I’ve made some pretty good progress on getting the challenges finished. I’ve only got four books left to go, and I plan to finish one of them today (hopefully). Padwin has been doing a great job of finishing his classes at Orilium and only has two more to go to successfully complete this term of his magical education! Hopefully he’ll be able to pull it off.

Also, Happy Easter to all those who celebrate!

Magical Readathon Character Introduction

Today I’m excited to introduce you all to my character for the Magical Readathon. I participated in the novice path of this readathon back in September. I finished the path but didn’t get to the character creation prompts. I’ve been working on them over the last couple months, and everything is finally ready. This is great because there is a Gear Up mini-readathon this week, which will allow me to gear up my character to get ready for class to start at the academy. That’s right. I’m doing a readathon within a readathon. Two of the books I’ve chosen for Trope-ical Readathon will also be used for prompts in this readathon. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Padwin O’Sohkan, one of the newest recruits at Orilium!

Character Description & Background

Mood board I created for the character

Padwin is a young male Iltirian who grew up in the underground cities of Darkmeadow. He has spent most of his life roaming the halls of the Great Underworld Library, where his parents work as researchers cataloguing occult knowledge. Padwin is extremely shy and would consider books to be his closest friends. However, he has always been fascinated by people and often perches in the stacks of the library while in his crow form to watch others as they spend time together. Part of him longs to be included, but he finds others too overwhelming and unpredictable to be worth the effort most of the time. He has decided to leave home for the first time to attend Orilium in order to learn new secrets about magic that are available only to those who join one of the guilds. He is nervous about this new adventure, especially being above ground for the first time and the necessity of meeting so many new people, but he is also excited to learn new things, which is something he is passionate about. He hopes his time spent learning in the library and honing his shapeshifting will give him an advantage in his new studies.

Padwin recently survived the journey through the novice path. In doing so, he showed considerable skill and was invited to join the Mind Walkers guild. He’s pleased with his guild because he knows they can help foster his interests in psychology, while also allowing him seclusion and space when he needs it. He is particularly interested in learning how to access alternate planes of existence to escape to when needed where he can ponder the great questions of existence.

The books I read while creating Padwin’s character are listed below:

BackgroundUrban: Book set in a city or townAge of Ash by Daniel Abraham
ProvinceDarkmeadow: Read a dark academiaNinth House by Leigh Bardugo
HeritageIltirian: Book with a crow on cover or title, or a red coverObsidian by Sarah Daley

Gear Up Readathon TBR

Now that Padwin has made it to Orilium, he must get his supplies before classes start and choose the gift he would like to begin learning from his guild. He has chosen to wield a staff as his conduit for magic. He also desires access the astral plane so that he can learn how to easily retreat to a safe space when he needs to get away.

The books I plan to read this week to help Padwin gear up are listed below:

ConduitStaff: Book from a seriesThe Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart
Legacy GiftAstral Plane: Read a book set in a different world than oursForestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker

Are you participating in Magical Readathon? If so, leave a link to your character in the comments below!

One Year Blogiversary!!

I cannot believe it has been one year since my very first blog post. So much has changed in my life since then. It’s honestly a bit hard to fathom. When I started the blog, I was desperately searching for some type of constructive, meaningful activity because I’d recently quit grad school and was only working a few hours a week. I had lots of free time and felt directionless for the first time in a long time. Blogging has helped to fill that hole and helped quite a bit with the isolation of the pandemic, as well. So, I’m really grateful for the role it has played in keeping me sane over the last year!

I’ve accomplished a lot with my blog during the last year. I published 320 blog posts and reviewed over 140 books! I’ve found some great new authors, both indie and traditional, that I now love to read, and I’ve met so many other book bloggers whose posts I always look forward to reading. I’m happy with what I’ve managed to create on my little slice of the internet, and I hope those who visit it enjoy the content that I’ve loved writing.

As for stats, I’ve had almost exactly 9000 views in the last year with over 4000 visitors. There have been over 500 comments and 4000 likes on my posts. Never in my wildest imaginings would I have ever expected so much interaction with my thoughts about books. I’m super grateful for it and appreciate every person who has visited, commented, liked, and subscribed/followed.

In looking toward the future, I’m not sure what, if anything, I plan to change. I’m always looking for ways to improve the blog, but there’s nothing specific right now that I plan to do differently. I’ve changed a lot of things about the blog over the last year (looks, types of posts, etc.), though. So, I’m sure some stuff will change. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see more or less of in the future, feel free to leave some suggestions down in the comments!

Once again, thanks for a great year! I’m looking forward to many more years of great reading and interacting with you all. Now let’s look at some highlights from the past year!

The Book Recommendations Book Tag

Hello again, everyone! Today I’m participating in the Book Recommendations Book Tag. I was tagged by Tabitha from Behind the Pages. So, make sure to go check out her answers to the tag, as well. This tag was created by Ally over at Ally Writes Things, and it has the following rules:

  • Tag Ally @allypallystaken so she can see your recommendations!
  • Give at least one recommendation for each of the prompts below
  • If you don’t have a recommendation, talk about a book you want to read
  • Tag your friends
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