Look what came in the mail!

Weeks ago, someone from Celadon Books asked me if I would like a copy of a book to read and review. I usually say yes, but I was excited when I heard who the author was! I had read one of her books before and loved it. Of course I said yes!

I waited and waited for the book, and it arrived Friday. It came with a trading card in a little white envelope. Two bookmarks. It also gave instructions about how to enter a contest for the whole set of cards.

I hope to get it read this week. The review will be posted here when I finish it.

Book Reviews

Professional Reader

I joined Netgalley.com this week. I have three books to read and review for them. As I review more, I can request more books to read and review. I am hoping it works out the way I want it to. The books I have received so far seem very interesting, and I got the badge that I posted above. Time will tell!

What Are You Reading Wednesday – January 1, 2020

Audiobook: My Brilliant Friend – chosen for bookclub for the end of January.

Kindle book: This Is How It Always Is – recommended by my cousin months ago.

Book Stack book: The Living Is Easy – fills the Bookclub and Bookstack requirements.

Library book: This Is How It Always Is – Fulfills the Kindle requirement, too.

Bookclub book: The Living Is Easy – Chosen for Bookclub 1/5

Kindle Unlimited book: Kingdom Keepers – Been sitting in my Kindle Unlimited account for ages. The Paper Magician, and The Wendy should be up soon

Audible book: Gentleman in Moscow – Chosen for Bookclub 1/8

ARC: Us – a new author asked me to read it in exchange for a review. Corporate Catharsis and Angels in the Mist were written by a friend, and I’ll be working on those, too.

3 star reviews

I have finally come to realize that not all books deserve a five star review. The rating system on Goodreads is 1-5, with 1 being hated it, and 5 being loved it. A 3 review is just ok.

I used to rate the books as 5 if I liked them. Then, I read an ARC that wasn’t my typical genre and I wasn’t thrilled with it. The book was written well enough, but just wasn’t to my liking. I couldn’t give it a 5 star rating because I really didn’t love it. There was nothing really wrong with the book itself, but it just didn’t speak to me. In the ARC instructions, it is requested that we email the author before giving a poor rating. I realized that a 3 star review isn’t really a poor rating, and it was honest. I got a thank you message from the author for the review. I didn’t feel like I could be fair to the author, since it’s the genre and not the writing that I disliked. I decided that I would no longer read her ARCs, but I sent her a friend of mine who loves that genre and the friend will read the ARC in the future. Problem solved.

I am not feeling guilty about giving less than 5 stars. I do think a long time before giving a 1 or 2 star rating, though. What didn’t I love about the book? If the answer is, “it wasn’t my style,” I give it a higher rating. And, yes, I have given 1 & 2 star ratings, but they are well thought out and I always write about why I disliked it. I feel like I’m being fair to the author.

Hating an ARC

I now have 4 authors who ask me to read and review their ARC books.  One, I recently started reading, having never read any of her previous books.  I absolutely hated the book.  It wasn’t a genre I usually read, and at about chapter 4, I realized that I wasn’t ever going to finish the book.

Part of what bothered me what that she had sent me a quick excerpt of the book, before it was published, and I emailed her back with a couple of typos to correct.  She did not correct them, and published them as is.

I had a hard time with the typos in the book, and I had a few other complaints, but decided to not stress myself out.  I have to move on and read things that aren’t going to cause me stress.

My next step is to decide if I am going to email to be taken off the ARC list for her, or just be thrown off for not meeting deadlines.  I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t be reading any more of her work.

Another ARC

I had another author ask me to join the ARC team for his books.  These books are all history and mythology from all over the world.  I will be learning a lot, since these are two of my weakest subjects.  I still find it fun to receive free books in exchange for an honest review.  I am happy to have another author trust me to help out with this.