This last year was stressful. My personal life took a hit when my husband of 34 years took ill at the beginning of last year and passed away in October. That stress is reflected on the blog's content for late 2014 and 2015. However, although reading became almost impossible due to lack of concentration and blogging became an almost insurmountable challenge, I doggedly continued trying because reading is a part of me, and blogging has become an act of sharing I thoroughly enjoy.
I was away from the blogging community for months. When I finally returned, it quickly became clear that both the Romance and the SFF blogging communities were badly shaken and experiencing major ongoing controversies, changes, and challenges. It can be downright disheartening to witness such turmoil. And, just. . . damn, life is too short! But we need do what we love and love what we do. Fight for our beliefs and do it with heart. There are bloggers out there doing just that. . . from different perspectives, but all with conviction. Kudos to you!
Impressions of a Reader is a small reader's blog, a speck in the blogging universe. It is my belief that small reader blogs are the heart of different blogging communities -- Romance, LGBT, SFF, Fiction. But many small blogs are closing down. Today, I am going to play advocate for small reader blogs because it is up to readers like you and me to keep them around. Why? Large publisher backed, multi-reviewer blogs have much to offer. Some are downright fantastic and I follow a few them. They offer the latest news, show the latest releases, and showcase reviews by multiple bloggers (authors & readers alike). However, going by personal experience, nothing compares with the intimacy, candor, enthusiasm, and comfortable environment found in small reader blogs.
These are the places I seek out when I want to participate in a healthy book discussion or just want to read a review. I love the honesty with which bloggers express their pleasure or disappointment in a book. Additionally, once I get to know a blogger, it no longer matters to me whether our points of view match on a particular book because in the end I still respect his or her opinion. So, check out some small reader blogs, find a few places where you feel comfortable, where you can read honest reviews by bloggers with the same, or differing, points of view from your own. A place where you feel comfortable discussing books or heck just lurking and reading the reviews!
Okay, that is done. So what's next for me?
- For the rest of 2015 my plan is to continue reading and blogging as often as I am able. My reading pace has improved within the last couple of months. That's a step forward.
- I am not accepting ARCs until further notice (See Disclosure Page).
- I haven't been consistent in grading my reviews this past year, although I am still posting grades along with my end-of-month recaps.
- All of the above will be reassessed by the end of 2015. All will be updated by January 2016.
Top overall posts/reviews, listed by category
Literary Fiction: Drown by Junot Diaz (#1 overall)
SFF: Book Discussion: Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (Parts III & IV)
Overview: The Expanse by James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes #1, Caliban's War #2)
Overview: Old Man's War Series by John Scalzi (Old Man's War #1, The Ghost Brigades #2) - Picked up under References by Wikipedia (See #10 & #11)
Mystery/Fiction: TV vs. Books: A&E's Longmire vs. Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson
Urban Fantasy: Shadowfever (Fever, Book #5) by Karen Marie Moning
Romance: The Witness by Nora Roberts
The Endearment by Lavyrle Spencer
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh
LGBT: From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction ed. Charles Rice-González & Charlie Vázquez