Discussion | Audiobooks: High Speed?

Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that I’m all for audiobooks and love using them to up my numbers and chip away at my backlist, but as of late there’s a lot of opinions cropping up about them. There’s always been people who take issue with whether or not listening to audiobooks is reading or not, but now the issue of speed has come up.

It’s been alarming, to be honest, seeing comments on people’s videos and posts that chide people for listening to audiobooks at more than 1x speed. There’s a lot of negativity and honestly hate, towards those of us that listen at faster speeds, saying there’s no way we could comprehend it, or that we’re not listening at all.

This, my friends, is not true. Now, not every audiobook can be listened to at faster speeds and not everyone can handle listening to them at faster speeds, it’s going to vary by person and/or by narrator. It’s true that some people can’t listen at fast speeds, everyone’s ears and brain are different and there’s nothing wrong with that. People shouldn’t be shamed for only listening at 1x and people shouldn’t be yelled at for listening at 3x. I often listen to audiobooks anywhere from 2.5-3x, but there have been some where I can’t because of the narrator. Each book is different and each person is different.

Honestly, I think the debating and shaming should stop – we’re all reading and enjoying books, why does it matter how we consume them?

So what do you think?

Happy reading!

Goodreads Reading Challenge | Check In

I know there are split opinions on the Goodreads Reading Challenge, some people feel like it is too pushy or that it’s like a status symbol, but I personally like to use it to challenge myself.

This year I set a goal of 200 books for myself. I chose this because I far surpassed it last year, so figured it would be a fair median. I always hope to read more, especially since I would like to get my TBR down, but I’d still be happy if I simply met my goal.

Currently I’m sitting at 90 books read this year, so I’m on track, even with the issues focusing as of late, I’m pretty confident I will be able to hit 200. Still, we’ll have to wait for more of the year to pass before we are completely sure.

Do you set one or do you not like the challenge? Either is fine as I think everyone should do what is best for them. How many books do you want to read?

My Favorite Books of 2020…so far

Somehow the first quarter of 2020 has passed us by and I know a lot of us (myself included) are having a rough time, so I thought that today I would talk about a few of my favorite books of 2020 so far. I wholeheartedly recommend picking up each of these books and they are definitely in the running for my top books of the year!

First I have to mention Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith. This one took my completely by surprise but I LOVED it. It tackles so many issues that are relevant in the gaming and streaming community, as well as in society in general. The friendships and relationships that Smith crafted were wonderful and there were so many beautifully crafted scenes in this book. I can guarantee this is going to be on my top books of the year as I don’t see many books being able to top it.

Next let’s talk about Poems to See By. This one was really interesting as it was comics created to accompany classic poems. Each comic is a different style that goes along with the subject matter or tone of the poems. While I knew a lot of the poems included already, this would be a great way for someone to be introduced to the poems themselves. It gives a new avenue for people to be exposed classic poetry with beautiful imagery.

Another poetry collection that I have absolutely loved this year was the latest installment from Amanda Lovelace, Break Your Glass Slippers. I’ve read most of her poetry collections and enjoyed them all to different degrees, but Break Your Glass Slippers was by far the best in my opinion. It shares themes with her other works, but this one really spoke to me. It’s definitely going to take a lot for her to top this one in my opinion.

Finally let’s talk about the book that was easily my most anticipated book of the year, Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa. This was the conclusion to the Shadow of the Fox trilogy. I knew this one was likely going to wreck me and oh boy, it did. It was an amazing conclusion to the trilogy even though it destroyed me. If you’re looking for a trilogy that reads like an anime and is a thrilling adventure, definitely check these out.

Do any of these sound good to you? If so, I’ve made sure to link to the amazon pages for each one. Check them out and see if they are new favorites for you too.

Happy reading!

Things To Do While in Isolation

I know things are uncertain for a lot of us right now with the pandemic. Those of us who are high risk are definitely feeling the anxiety and stress of the situation, but it’s hard for everyone. While in self isolation a lot of people could go a little stir crazy, so here’s some things you could do to take your mind off things.

Read! You knew this was coming. Start a new series, tackle your TBR, finish those books you are still in the middle of! I had a big plan for this weekend to do just that, but then I feel asleep – oops!

Keep an eye out for your local businesses – Since we’re self isolating as much as possible, local businesses that depend on walk in traffic are really hurting. And this doesn’t just affect the business itself, but it’s employees. If you need a new stack of books, check out if your local bookstores are doing curbside pickup or have special deals going on for online orders. Even though we are looking out for ourselves we also need to look out for everyone else too.

Break out the puzzles and games – These are great stress busters, especially if you have heightened anxiety over the situation. Spend time having fun with your loved ones and breathe.

Reorganize and clean – Ok, if you’re anything like me this probably causes a lot of nervous energy that you don’t know how to use. Either you do something or you’re going to end up crying your eyes out. I have plans in the next couple days to probably reorganize my bookcases, just because it is something I know will utilize that energy.

This is a fearful time no matter where you live in the world. Please be compassionate and caring towards each other, have empathy and remember that we all live on this planet. Don’t hoard products, just take what you need, don’t get in fights over things such as toilet paper when people are literally fighting to stay alive.

Keep safe and healthy!

Can’t Wait Wednesday 3/18/20

40276268 – vintage old pocket watch and book

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

This week I wanted to talk about The Mall by Megan McCafferty. I’m lucky enough that I received an ARC of this one and it’s super high on my TBR. All I had to hear about this one was that it’s set in the 90s in a mall, and I was there!

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

The Mall comes out from Wednesday Books on June 9th, 2020 so make sure to check back for my review!

Happy reading!

How I Listen to Audiobooks

I tend to read a lot of books and a huge contributor to that is listening to audiobooks. I’m able to listen to them at work depending on what I’m doing, so that ends up helping a lot. Also, depending on the speed of the narrator’s speech, I almost always listen at 2x speed or faster.

I use a few different apps to listen to audiobooks, here are the ones I use the most.

Libby – I use Libby to access my library’s catalog. It does sometimes take longer cause I have to put books on hold, but my library has a pretty good selection overall.

Scribd – I know Scribd has had some issues in the past with clear messaging and that put a lot of people off, but it’s one of my favorite apps to use. No you can’t constantly listen to super new, super popular books and the selection does get narrowed as you listen to more books before the monthly reset – but I’ve never not had audiobooks to listen to, just a smaller selection. Plus it’s a great deal considering all the content it has.

Audible – For a long time I was only subscribed to the Audible Escape program (formerly Audible Romance Package) but I recently got a full subscription again. With that and access to the Escape package there are a huge amount of audiobooks I can access. Yes, it is the more expensive choice, but they are reliable in what they carry and I can almost always find what I’m looking for. Plus, if you have Kindle Unlimited there are a number of books you can listen to the audiobooks to through Audible.

While I know there are more apps out there that a lot of people enjoy, these are the main ones I enjoy using.

What apps do you use? Happy reading!

Kindle Deals 3/16

Since a lot of people are having to stay inside while we weather the current pandemic, some people may use some of that time to pick up some new books. So what do you do if you can’t go out and buy them, but need something to read now? You can pick up some kindle ebooks for low prices! As a general disclaimer I am in the United States and these prices could change at anytime, so double check before buying.

Most of these I haven’t read, but I thought they sounded interesting or I had heard of them. Also, I’ve made sure that if they are part of a series that only the first book is included.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
Price: $3.99

History is filled with stories of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. Toil & Trouble features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic to create, to curse, to cure—and to kill.

The Fever King
Price: $0.99 (or Kindle Unlimited)

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The Will and the Wilds
Price: $4.99 (or Kindle Unlimited)

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Price: $1.99

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different—reality itself seems different.

Hopefully some of these seem interesting to you and you have something to read while being home.

Make sure to stay safe, everyone! Happy reading!

Flashback Friday Challenge: Update 1

So it’s been a little over a month since I concocted this challenge. I was hoping to finish four a month, but that didn’t quite happen. So I’m going to update you on what I was able to read, which was two of the four books I picked.

First I read The Forever House, which I hadn’t read since I was a teenager. It definitely isn’t as teenage me remembered it, but still entertaining. I didn’t remember it taking so long to really get to the action. Now would this stand up today? Maybe. It’s definitely white washed, which was usual for the 90s in a lot of ways. Plus, some of the descriptions of characters probably would be frowned upon. My nostalgia definitely made it a fun book but my perception of it has definitely changed.

Next I picked up The Clue of the Broken Locket. I always love Nancy Drew books. To me they are classic and timeless and I know that part of that is because I’ve read and re-read them multiple times. Nancy Drew books are always great when I’m in a reading slump or just need something to cleanse my palette.

So that’s the update for now, I still have two more books left from the original pick, and I’ll pick more after that. It’s fun to revisit these and see how my feelings change towards these books.

Happy reading!

Behind the Blogger Tag

I was looking for something to post today and found this Tag over at Love for Words and thought it looked fun, so here we go!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

I really wanted to carve out a place for myself in the book community and not only talk about books but my writing. Booktube was a little too anxiety inducing to me, so I decided a blog would be the way to go.

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

Probably reviews or blog tours. I do really enjoy interacting with publishers or the authors themselves. Having said that I really do enjoy writing about my writing journey, even if it’s to admit temporary failure.

What are your top 3 favorite posts?

My Review of Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

The start of my Flashback Friday challenge (update coming soon, I swear).

All my wrap ups where I get to talk about my stats.

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

Well, definitely reading haha. If I had to pick things other than reading I would say writing, gaming and watching something mindless.

What are three of your favorite things?

My floofy baby – Calypso, have you met Calypso? You probably have, she likes to show up in my book hauls and wrap ups. My Nancy Drew collection and my boyfriend. 😛

What are your proudest blogging moments?

Getting contacted by authors and publishers and just getting to interact with people in general. It’s a very validating feeling and also makes this introvert feel accepted and seen. ❤

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

We’ve already covered writing – I also like to make jewelry in my spare time, though I haven’t in a while. Also there’s music which is my other love.

Describe your personality in three words.

Loyal, Shy, Honest

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

People interrupting – I’m not talking about the accidental merging of voices, I’m talking about intentional talking over.

People answering a question with a question, such as me asking where someone wants to go and they respond asking me where I want to go. I know they are being courteous, or think they are, but it’s just a trigger.

Negativity/Poor attitudes – I know we can all get down, I suffer from anxiety and depression myself, but when someone is negative about something every single day for the sake of being nasty? Yeah, not ok. I’m extremely empathic and that stuff affects me horribly.

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

Hmm. There’s a ton as I haven’t talked about a lot of personal stuff on here, so there’s so many things I could go with.

Ok, here goes, come closer, closer *whispers* I have an insane amount of penguins in my house. I love penguins. I have penguin plushies, art, figurines, socks, slippers, etc. My boyfriend feeds this addiction as he often contributes to said collection.

So that’s it! I’m not tagging anyone specific, so if anyone decides to do it from my post please just link back so I can take a look!

Happy reading!