weekly rewind // 9-18-20

weekly happenings

This week was honestly an emotional rollercoaster. I had something SUPER GOOD happen that I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about, but it is publishing career related and I have never felt more validated in my pursuit of a career in that industry.

However, I was also really stressed for most of the week and have been feeling that way since the library where I work announced we’re considering reopening again. I did manage to get more information about what our procedures will be, which made me feel somewhat better.

on the blog

what i’ve read & currently reading

This week I mostly read picture books. I’m also still in the middle of ONE TO WATCH, but I’m not going to share thoughts just yet because I’m a little over halfway through and EVERY TIME I say I’m enjoying a book in a post I then immediately stop liking it so we are beating that trend.

Good Readance 2020 sign up

Today I am announcing my intent to participate in Shealea’s event, Good Readance 2020, aka Spring cleaning in September for your books. I am very excited about this event, because I have been wanting to attend to all sorts of bookish related organizing and need to get my bookish sh*t together.

Throughout the month of September, I hope to accomplish the following goals:

unhauling

I have posted on Twitter a lot lately that I really want to unhaul most of my books. I have two shelves currently, one of read books and one of unread books. The unread books shelf has three full shelves and I want to really try to pare that down. I have books and ARCs from years ago that I know I’m never going to read, but I’ve been afraid to get rid of for various reasons. It is now time.

I also want to cull my books read shelf. Ideally, this shelf would only be reserved for collections and absolute favorites. If I have the book as an ebook, I will also consider getting rid of the physical copy. If I could halve my read books shelf, that would be fantastic. This may seem extreme, but as the time for my partner and I to move approaches, I am getting increasingly concerned about transporting so many books and it’s just not practical. Also, I want my shelves to start reflecting my bookish interests now, not from when I was a kid.

goodreads

There are multiple things on GR I want to do. Here is a list:

  • Remove tags by year. I have tried keeping track of books by tagging by year, but in addition to already being able to search that way without year by year shelves, I also grouped everything by “YA-year” which doesn’t include a lot of what I read now.
  • Update my ratings. I have always rated books really harshly, so I do want to go back on past reads and update my ratings
  • Make a professional GR account? I do want to keep track of the children’s books and picture books I read/want to read, but I don’t want that to be intermixed with my personal reading because I likely won’t review those on this blog. Having 2 separate accounts will make finding the books I want easier and not mess up my stats for the GR challenge since I don’t count my picture books.
  • Delete my eARCs shelves. These are also by year, but honestly that has proven not to be helpful. I think I’d rather have one shelf for NetGalley and one shelf for Edelweiss, or just one eARCs shelf.
  • Remove titles I’m no longer interested in. I would LOVE to cull my TBR to 100-200 books. It’s currently at 398, after a lot of previous deleting of titles. If I haven’t read the book 4 years later, it is probably not going to get read.

cataloguing

  • Create catalog/database of eARCs. My eARC situation is always out of control, and I want to do a better job at keeping up with them. I find I don’t actually use my eARC shelves on GR, so I want to try to come up with an updatable spreadsheet and/or bullet journal spread for my eARCs.

eARCs

Like I just said, my eARC situation is out of control. I have books from 2014 that I haven’t read. I have been hanging on to the ecopies for a long time because I always *think* I’m going to read them, but obviously I never am. Plus, if these books are available from the library or to buy, I don’t really need to hang on to them. I want to delete all eARCs from before 2019 on my Kindle, and keep a rule not to keep eARCs past a full year after their release date. If I really want to read the books after they’re released, I can buy it or check it out. I also want to delete eARCs from my Kindle that I can’t remember the author or title. Unfortunately, there are a few of these.

september readathon round up

Because there were so many readathons taking place in August, I did a readathon round up highlighting a few of them. I wasn’t originally planning on making this a monthly feature, but I did really enjoy researching all the upcoming events and getting hyped for them, so I am at least going to do it for another month.

So, here we have some of the readathons happening in September! If I miss one you’d like to see included, you are more than welcome to let me know in the comments and I can edit them in later on 🙂

short readathons

queer lit readathon–9/26-27

This readathon is hosted by @shan_no_nosays and @kathytrithardt. It is a weekend-long readathon with the goal of reading intersectional queer lit. Queer Lit Readathon is also hosted several times a year, so if you can’t make this one, never fear! Another event will be just around the corner.

sapphic saturday–9/12-13

Arin from Tomes of our Lives is hosting this sapphic (wlw) readathon in mid-September! You can check out her announcement post here. Sapphic Saturday (&Sunday) is a low-key readathon focused on consuming whatever sapphic media your heart desires. You can also check out this readathon on Twitter at  sapphicsaturday and post about it using #sapphicsaturdays!

nancy drew readathon–9/27-10/10

Nancy Drew Readathon is, you guessed it, a Nancy Drew themed readathon with prompts and task lists based on different Nancy Drew books/cases. It is hosted by @backinbookshelf. There are a lot of fun prompts, with about 4 “tasks” to complete for each case.

latinx readathon–9/15-24

Latinx Readathon is focusing on reading Latinx-authored literature! There are 5 prompts to help inspire your reading, which you can find here.

longer readathons

latinx book bingo–9/15-10/15

This is another Latinx Heritage Month inspired readathon hosted from mid-September into October! This readathon uses a bingo board for book prompts to inspire your reading. You can find more information on Twitter.

not safe for workathon–9/1-30

NSFWathon uses prompts based on some very fun but very not safe for work themes. You can find the prompts here. I’m also pretty pumped about the group book, which I’ve seen around on book Twitter a lot.

stranger things readathon

I just discovered this readathon and am highly considering adding it to my ambitious readathon schedule because I love ST (even though I never finished season 3). For this readathon, you pick a team and read books based on the prompts for that team. You can find more info here.

here & queerathon–ALL YEAR

Hello, shameless plug for my own readathon, the Here & Queerathon, which runs until December 31, 2020! The goal is to read books by queer authors and/or featuring queer rep. You can find more info on the Here & Queerathon tab on my main menu.

a touch of whimsy

A Touch of Whimsy is an Alice in Wonderland-inspired readathon that you can find more info about here. The prompts are all based on different elements of the Alice in Wonderland story for this round. A Touch of Whimsy is a middle grade book club.

august 2020 \\ wrap up

August felt like it went by in a flash, which is probably the only time a month has felt like that in all of 2020 so far. Hopefully that means things are picking up and feeling normal-ish and not as scary. Maybe.

what happened

This month went really fast for some reason and I can’t figure out why, though I guess maybe it was a bit busier than normal. I was also eagerly anticipating my trip home for my birthday, which I celebrated last week. I spent a long trip with my parents, which was nice and relaxing and a good change of pace from being stuck at home half the time.

I also feel like I’ve gotten used to sidewalk service at the library, and even though things are slow, I actually kind of like doing phone service because I feel a lot more confident about it now. I also finally got approval to change my name on my email and have it announced to people at work so I don’t keep getting deadnamed in emails, so that’s good. I also was invited to work on a project creating a training on how to be more LGBT friendly toward coworkers and customers that I am both excited and nervous for.

what i read

  1. kingdom of the wicked – kerri maniscalco
  2. two dark reigns – kendare blake
  3. now that i’ve found you – kristina forest
  4. grown – tiffany jackson

I did not read much this month even though my goal was reading 5 novels. My favorite book was definitely GROWN, even though pretty much everything I read this month was really good. NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU was my most disappointing read because the romance really fell flat for me and there wasn’t enough of a character arc, but it was still a 3 star read for me.

blogging highlights

On this blog:

Around the blogosphere:

  • Tessi wrote about book piracy, price, and privilege
  • Arin introduced a new event, Sapphic Saturdays, that I am very pumped for
  • Mieke ranted and wrote an extremely awesome and detailed review of MIDNIGHT SUN
  • Marta announced her booktube channel!
  • Meg discussed adults reviewing YA
  • Clo celebrated her blogoversary
  • Emme took a week away from social media and talked about the results
  • Sofia announced Latinx Book Bingo
  • Kay wrote about reviewing #ownvoices books from a biracial perspective
  • Tracy recommended books based on book twitter drama
  • Cielo announced the Diverse Clan, an exciting new initiative

how was your August? what did you read? how are you all doing during these strange times?

shiny new content plans!

Hello, bookish friends! Today, I’m going to be sharing some new content plans that I’ve been cooking up. I’ve been thinking about starting a few new features here on Cotton Candy Book Witch, and I would like to share them with you all.

bookish news is good news

This is going to be a news feature sharing good news in the book community. The current plan is to share information such as new features by book bloggers, exciting book deals, releases to keep an eye out for, upcoming readathons, virtual book events that are happening, and other book-related happy news that is announced. This feature was originally going to focus more on explaining what people were subtweeting about on book Twitter in a given week because half of my TL is people subtweeting and the other half is people asking what is going on, but I realized I really want to focus on bringing more positivity to the book community, at least on my blog. I still might do a kind of “ICYMI” Twitter account for that, but for now this feature is going to focus on good news in the book community.

I’m also debating doing a bookstagram featuring this news. I really like the format of another bookish news related instagram, Bookish You Should Know, and I’d like to do something similar with Bookish News is Good News. I did start a Twitter account for Bookish News is Good News, @NewsBookish, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maintain it because I’m focusing on growing my own Twitter following.

Please let me know in the comments if you would be more interested in a Bookish News IGN Twitter account or Instagram.

book blogger highlights

I’m not sure about the name of this feature yet (if you have ideas, feel free to share in the comments!) but I’ve really liked discovering new book blogs and blog hopping lately and want to give back to the community. This feature will spotlight new book blogs, other blogs I discover, posts I like, and cool blogger features.

weekly wrap

I had been doing the Sunday Post for a long while now as a weekly wrap up, but stopped doing it because I wasn’t sure if the host blog was even still active, didn’t see others still doing it, and didn’t like posting on Sundays. If I do another wrap up post every week, I’d prefer to do it on a Friday or Saturday, so I can include books read on a previous weekend and have that be my weekend post.

anticipated schedule

As for the first two features, Bookish News is Good News and Book Blogger Highlights, I want to make those biweekly features, so every other week I’ll do one of them. I could probably do Bookish News weekly, but I want to have room for other content and the posts would have more to feature if I used newsworthy items every two weeks, so that remains the current plan.

Anyway, those are some exciting new features to look forward to on Cotton Candy Book Witch! I am really excited to begin putting these together and am confident I have a lot of great content to share for both.

a list of book blogs compiled for your reading pleasure

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my tweet asking for links to new WordPress book blogs started in 2019 or later. I was not expecting to get a lot of responses, but I was pleasantly surprised to end up with a long list of new blogs to peruse. Today, I want to share some of the book blogs I discovered because of that tweet and list those and a few others I’ve discovered lately here for your personal reading pleasure.

If you are reading this and responded to that tweet but don’t see your blog listed, fear not! I’m planning to make a new feature highlighting new blogs and blog posts that I like to help others find new blogs and give back to a community that has given me so much.

Without further ado, here are some of the blogs I’ve discovered recently:

A Little Shelf Righteous

I was so happy to discover Meg’s blog because her recommendation posts are especially killer. She has written recommendation lists on a variety of topics, including books for Folklore fans (ft. one of my childhood faves, THE LUXE), books by Black authors, reads featuring the rich & famous trope, and more. I even managed to discover some new titles I hadn’t heard of through her blog that I quickly added to my TBR list, and I’m sure you will, too!

Rae’s Reads and Reviews

What immediately stuck out to me about Rae’s blog was the uniqueness of her content. Her posts are extremely creative, from book tags (including this one based on the new Chloe X Halle album) to book recs based on Gospel songs.

Eleanor Sophie

Eleanor Sophie is a literary/lifestyle blog that I enjoy for the variety of topics she posts about! I especially enjoyed her post about her first impressions of Folklore (#sorrynotsorry for all the Folklore post hyping). I’ve also gotten a lot out of reading a bunch of her smart, detailed reviews, which are often of books that weren’t on my radar before.

Rin’s Reads

Erin migrated over to WordPress and started a new blog last month! If her early content is any indication of what’s to come, I’m definitely going to be a long-time follower! I’ve especially enjoyed her review of BOYFRIEND MATERIAL and her wrap up post for Reading Rush, in which she also discusses the hosts’ problematic actions.

The Diverse Clan

The Diverse Clan just came to be this month, and I am so pumped for it! They were founded with the goal of boosting content by marginalized bookish creators. They already have some great features on their blog, including a diverse bookish creators masterlist, information on important issues happening globally, and a place you can apply to be a contributor! I am excited to see content from a variety of creators about diverse books and can’t wait to see what they come up with!

August Event Sign ups

Yes, we need a whole post for August event sign ups because I am being an overachiever and signing up for multiple readathons and events this month because I have no self control. Hopefully I have a good reading month this month and don’t fall into a slump, because I have a LOT of reading to do!

Here are the events I hope to participate in this August:

dewey’s readathon: reversathon | august 7-8

I am so excited about this event! I have loved participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon events in the past, but haven’t been able to read for more than a couple hours of the past few. I am hoping to change that with reversathon and read the majority of the time, and maybe even stay up late reading, which I have not done since college, which is now almost five years ago, lol. Reversathon is different from other Dewey events because usually the 24 hours goes from 8am to 8am, but this time it’s from 8pm to 8pm.

diversify that shelf | august 10-19

This readathon, focusing on reading diverse books, is being held from August 10-19 by Noura. I wasn’t sure if I’d participate in this one initially because I’m not as good at short readathons anymore, but I may just try my best during the actual 9 days and then extend it to the whole month. There are prompts for this readathon, which I’ll make a TBR for closer to the event.

arc august | all month

I haven’t participated in ARC April or ARC August for a couple years, but I plan to change that this month! ARC August is a readathon happening from August 1-30 with the goal of knocking out some ARCs from your TBR! I plan to use it to read some upcoming ARCs that I want to read before release date. This readathon is hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat.

latinx readathon

Latinx Readathon seems to be being mostly hosted on Twitter, with the goal of reading more Latinx literature! I’m not sure how many books I’ll end up reading for this one because most of the ones I have access to to fit the prompts aren’t ARCs, but we’ll see.

This is my tentative, smol TBR for the Latinx Readathon:

subtle asian book club

I wasn’t sure if I’d participate in this at first because I am already participating in so many, but the book club pick is THE POPPY WAR, which I already started reading a bit at the very end of July, so I figured I may as well participate since it’s for a whole month and the reading of it is broken up and doesn’t have to be done in a couple days or a week. I’m looking forward to seeing the discussion on this in the facebook group.

August readathon roundup

Hello, and happy August! Last month, I really enjoyed participating in the Pop Culture Readathon, and was very excited to motivate myself to read through more readathons in August. The problem was, when I started looking for August readathons to participate in, there were just. So. Many. And even though I’d like to participate in all of them, one must not make oneself crazy over the number of readathons they are participating in.

Still, there are A LOT of great events happening this month, so for this post, I’m going to highlight a few of the ones I found really appealing and tell you about them and how you can sign up. So, without further ado, let’s get on to the readathons!

Short readathons

Diversify That Shelf – August 10-19 – Host: Noura – The goal of this readathon is to read more diverse books! There will be prompts for this readathon to help you pick your reads, but Noura says in her intro post that she wants it to be pretty low-key, and you can use the same book for multiple prompts! To sign up, just tag Noura in your TBR.

Avatar: The Last Page Turner – August 1-14 – This is a readathon themed around the show Avatar: The Last Airbender. There are 4 teams based on the type of bending (Water, Air, Fire, Earth) and prompts that go along with each. Check out the announcement video here.

Galleyathon – August 10-16 – The goal of this readathon is to clear your NetGalley (and Edelweiss) TBRs! There are prompts you can follow listed on their Twitter account. To participate, tag your progress tweets with #galleyathon

Dewey’s Readathon: Reverseathon – August 7-8 – I used to love participating in Dewey’s Readathon, a 24-hour readathon that usually happens in October and April. I haven’t been able to read much during it for the past couple years, but I really want to give their reverse readathon (meaning it starts at night instead of in the morning) a try this year. You can sign up here and even if you only read for an hour of the readathon, you still count as a participant!

Month-long readathons

Tropeical Readathon – August 1-31 – Registration closes August 8! This readathon is all about tropes. Tropeical Readathon is genre-based with boards and prompts for different genres of books. You can find more info here.

Meteor Shower Readathon – August to October – This readathon, which you can find at the handle @MeteorReadathon on Twitter, is being hosted to celebrate the release of MISS METEOR by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia by reading all their books leading up to MISS METEOR’s release!

Magicalathon – August 1-31 – Found at @Magicalathon on Twitter, this is a fantasy-based readathon. You can choose a team such as school of fae, school of assassins, and more, and read based on the prompts for that team.

Here & Queerathon – ALL YEAR – Oh hi, of course I have to plug in my own readathon. We are reading queer books either by queer authors or with queer rep ending on December 31! You can find more info on signing up under the tab for forms.

Latinx Readathon – August 1-31 – This is, of course, a readathon all about reading Latinx lit! They have a board with different prompts, which you can double up on, and you can sign up by filling out this form.

This is by no means a complete list of readathons happening in August because there are A TON, but I hope it’s enough to get you inspired and reading!

why i’m contemplating starting 2 new blogs

Don’t worry; I’ve now decided that I do want to still keep posting here on Cotton Candy Book Witch. But I have more ideas of what I want to post about and how to create content that reflects me even more/in addition to how I show myself on this blog.

The blogs I am thinking about creating are as follows: 1) Mel in the Stacks, which would be my professional blog about librarianship and reader’s advisory. I have written about library stuff on this blog in the past, but I feel like that content isn’t really relevant to what I’m trying to portray with this blog, and I also want to have a blog I can put on my resume and not be concerned about having stuff that’s too personal there. I basically want a professional space where I can show my knowledge of librarianship and stand out to potential employers and start making a name for myself in my career.

2) Wilder Reads, which would focus more on queer books and books by diverse authors in general. I already do promote a lot of diverse books on this blog, but for a lot of reasons that I’m going to go into in a second, I feel like it might be better to have this blog separate from the witchy stuff.

Here are some thoughts on why I want to start a second book blog:

  • This blog mostly gets views for witchy content. My top viewed posts on this blog are actually not even about particular books, minus my review of WICKED SAINTS, but about witchcraft in general. I guess I shouldn’t be terribly shocked by this, because witchcraft has been growing in popularity over the past few years and my posts about it have pretty good use of SEO, so it makes sense that most of the traffic goes there. But if I want to be known as a book blogger, it’s not great because my bookish posts aren’t that popular and don’t get a ton of views here.
  • I’m thinking about how I want to do content in the future. One of my goals this year was to experiment with doing basically my own mini blog tours where all the content on my blog for a week is about a specific book. So far I’ve done this for 3 books, and I’ve really enjoyed coming up with the witchy/bookish crossover content for my fave reads. So my thought is to focus on doing that type of content on this blog and more general queer/bookish content on Wilder Reads.
  • This blog feels more personal. Because this blog deals with my interest in witchcraft, it feels a lot more personal than any of my other book blogs ever have. But I’m also questioning whether it’s the first thing I want to promote about myself in the book community. I also talk a lot about my mental health struggles on here, which is something I’ve started to question whether I should do, and I’d kind of like to have a space that’s just queer and bookish.

 

I’m kind of nervous about the prospect of starting another blog because I’m seriously a perfectionist when it comes to my blogs, and I don’t really have the funds right now to do all the stuff I’d want to do like go self hosted and buy the perfect theme and commission a header. I’m also worried about building a following all over again since it’s taken me 2 years to get to 600+ on here. I’m hoping I can just go for it and start creating good content anyway because that’s what really matters, and I hope some people who follow me on here will also join me in my new blogging pursuits!

Things that happened & what i read during quarantine

Today’s post is going to be something a little different. I almost did a traditional wrap up for May-June, but I decided I’d rather talk about things that happened and some highlights of what I’ve read.

  • I went home to see my parents. Actually, I saw both me and my partner’s parents over quarantine once the stay at home orders were lifted. I was really proud of myself because I drove 5 hours by myself, which is the most I’ve driven alone since I moved to where I am now. I was really happy to see my parents because I hadn’t seen them since December, and I always find it so relaxing to go home.
  • My partner’s parents got a really cute dog. Normally, I am NOT a dog person, but this is the floofiest, cutest puppy I have ever seen and he really liked me and cuddled me and I am a fan of that dog. He will grow up to be a Good Boy.
  • I read FELIX EVER AFTER. Aka, the best queer book this year. Honestly the best one I’ve read in a while. This book is about a trans boy who gets outed at school and catfishes the person who he thinks is responsible to get revenge. There are a million and a half things I loved about this book, one of the top being that Felix keeps questioning his gender identity throughout the book even though he’s been “out” as trans and has a best friend who accepts him and is so respectful about asking what his new pronouns are. It’s also the first time I’ve seen demi rep in a book. I just felt like I saw myself so much in this book and in Felix’s struggles and joys and I simply loved it.
  • My parents got me an iPad. I am in love with it. I had suddenly started thinking about getting an iPad before I went home, and then my mom offered to get me one for an early birthday gift, and it has honestly made quarantine so much more bearable.
  • I read I’LL BE THE ONE by Lyla Lee. This book, like FELIX, was one of my most anticipated books of the year. It’s about a plus size girl who goes to compete in a k-pop competition and falls in love with a semi-celebrity. I thought the fat rep in this one was really good, and so close to my own experiences being overweight. I really related to Skye at some points. I was also thrilled to see a bisexual character not end up with someone of the same gender because I feel like that’s so rare in bi representation and it’s something I look for because that’s what happened to me, and it was nice to see a bi character attracted to a boy and not feel ashamed or be shamed for it by other queer characters.
  • I contemplated starting 2 new blogs. I don’t know why this was considering I wasn’t even blogging on one blog. I think it was mainly because I was so unmotivated by blogging and have been feeling really disconnected from witchcraft because I haven’t been doing something daily to practice it like I normally do, so having a witchcraft themed blog felt kind of pointless. But, I also wanted to start a professional library-related blog that I can put on resumes, because I’m starting to worry about putting a blog with so much personal stuff on a resume.
  • Oh my god, Twitter started being really draining. I’ve thought about deleting my account there a lot, but there are some bookish friends I only talk to on Twitter, plus it’s responsible for me and my partner getting together. But it’s been a minefield lately for me with people QRT’ing transphobic stuff all over the place and abusers being outed and reminding me of painful and traumatic experiences I’ve had. It just seems like it’s something new every day and it is too much sometimes.
  • I read A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow. This was pitched as a #SayHerName novel about two magical Black girls (including one siren!!) I loved all the mythos in this book and the relationship between the two found family sisters. This was such a powerful story that I think would be empowering and validating to a lot of young Black girl readers, and I’ll definitely be pestering our teen librarian to request it for our library when we’re buying materials again because it’s SO GOOD.