Happy New Year! Not that it’s really all that happy, but standard phrases and all that.
I kind of took my time getting around to this update because of headaches and general feelings of meh. As to what I’ve been up to for the past month, mostly just a lot of reading. (Well, listening, but you get it.) No new games or podcasts or even movies/shows, I don’t think. Didn’t do anything for the holidays.
Technically this is from January, but I need something for this post, so I have bird feeder news! I’ve got painted buntings! There was a smol green bird who showed up last winter and then again this winter, but this time she must’ve brought friends! And when a male showed up, I was finally able to confirm that they are definitely painted buntings, because the males are so gorgeous and colorful. (Not that you can tell from my awful picture, but I was lucky to get even that.)
Painted bunting! Painted bunting! I was right about what the little green birds were, and now a male has come to the feeder! All green and blue and red and vibrant! pic.twitter.com/sj6RyQT0Wy
— Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight) (@whykristenburns) January 4, 2021
Honestly that’s about it! Next month I’ll have some old updated art to share :-)
I don’t know what I want to do with my blog. It’s a lot of work, especially with health problems. And while I love blogging about books, it seems like the reward might not be worth the work anymore. Book blogs seem to mostly attract other book bloggers, so when you can’t be part of the community as much, and when you don’t blog about popular books, your blog traffic suffers. I do get traffic from other places, but that traffic doesn’t get interaction, and though I’m happy about all visits, I start feeling less satisfied without interaction. I’m also just tired of lots of things within the book blogging community. Nothing involving any specific bloggers, just widespread sorts of problems and frustrations.
So I’m considering a few options. I can do reviews but different to make them easier. I can just post full reviews to Amazon and Goodreads and do round-up posts with quick thoughts and links to the full reviews (though that might actually be more work than the first option, unless I make them super duper simple with no covers or tags). I can just not bother with reviews or links to reviews at all on the blog. Or I can stop blogging altogether, which I don’t think I really want to do.
Stopping blogging or stopping reviews on my blog would mean more time to do other things that might be more fulfilling. But it would also mean no more review copies (which is one of my frustrations, tbh, that publishers and authors don’t appreciate non-review posts), which means missing out on books I can’t afford. I managed to get a lot of books for free last year through the library and free trials, but those trials were temporary, and the library only has so much.
I don’t know. I might try making some changes and see how it goes. I might simply post less often. I do still have some already written recommendations, discussions, game reviews, and a couple book reviews I plan to share because I like them and it would be a waste not to, so I’ll see how I feel after those, I guess.
Books I Received for Review:
I got Wonderstruck by Allie Therin from NetGalley.
Books I Finished:
Listen, I have headaches and cannot link all these books to their Amazon page, so if you want to check one out (on the US site), do me a solid and just use my affiliate link to get there :-*
I went on a paranormal Christmas romance binge! I know this looks like a lot, but many were novellas, and a few short stories.
The Timekeeper Trilogy by Tara Sim – Amazing! This one made it onto my top ten books of 2020 list. It got so much more intense than I was expecting and gave me the feels. It’s in Audible Plus!
The Vampire’s Dinner by TJ Nichols – A fun vampire short story.
Dead Acre by Rhett C. Bruno – A freebie with my Audible Plus free trial. Didn’t leave a big impression, but I enjoy weird westerns.
The Letter that Doomed Nosferatu by Steve Berman – I didn’t get super into the story itself, but the writing. My favorite kind of writing that’s beautiful and quirky and flows in an an effortless way.
A Christmas to Die For by Jessica Frances – Gotta be honest, not for me. Too focused on sex without enough development of anything else. An oddly stiff, typical supernatural kinda POV voice for Santa. A unique take on Christmas though.
Snowed in with Santa by Helen Allan – A cute Christmas romance.
Those Bloody Christmas Elves by Emmi Lawrence – A kind of dark take on Christmas and lots of action, which made this pretty unique as far as Christmas romances go.
Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van – I loved this one! A super cute romance with Krampus.
Satan Claus is Coming to Town Series by Catherine Lievens – I read this and the next book, and both were cute Christmas romances, one with Satan, and one with the angel Gabriel.
A Vampire Carol by Tara Maya – A short story about a vampire. Only so-so for me.
All I Want for Christmas is a Faerie Assassin by H.L. Macfarlane – This was a really fun Christmas romance! Like an “I need a holiday date” romcom, but with a faerie.
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish – This was a sweet, lightly magical romance with a bit of focus on Hanukkah.
The Prince and the Troll by Rainbow Rowell – A short story. Just ok for me.
A Christmas Carriage Ride and Other Stories by Kitty-Lydia Dye – A collection of short stories set around Christmas, based on classics. I enjoyed but wasn’t super into it. Anyone who really likes classics would probably love it though.
My Christmas Spirit by K.C. Wells – A cute but silly Christmas romance.
The Vampire’s Club Series by X. Aratare – This was more of a serial than a series, and I really liked it! A good, somewhat twisty story with interesting relationships, found family, and great characters.
The Merman Series by X. Aratare – Couldn’t get super into this one.
Psions of SPIRE Series by Alex Silver – I read the first three books in this series in January (not including novellas) and enjoyed them! They have super healthy, communicative relationships and some great LGBTQIA+ rep and diversity, so far including open polyam, mlm, asexual, nonbinary, and trans.
Selkie Sea by Davis Lavender – A quick romance. Too instalovey for me, but I liked that it had selkies.
In Case You Missed It:
Here are the highlights:
– I shared the top ten games I played in 2020!
– And the best covers from books I read in 2020!
– And the top ten characters from books I read in 2020!
– And, of course, my top ten books and series of 2020!