Currently: February 24, 2013

by Kim on February 24, 2013 · 19 comments

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Time //11:40 a.m.

Place // At my desk.

Eating // Homemade chocolate chip cookies, the breakfast of champions.

Drinking // Whittard of Chelsea English Rose Tea, a tea I actually brought back from London when I studied abroad there about five years ago (I know, it’s ridiculous I still have it). But, I’m down to my last few bags and am feeling really sad about it — this is delicious tea, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to get more!

Watching // The boyfriend and I have been watching Homeland. I also loved this weeks episode of Parks and Recreation.

Reading // I just finished Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell and John R. Bruning. It was an incredibly sad, disturbing, inspiring, important book. I’ll be reviewing it Wednesday as part of a TLC Book Tour.

Thinking // About how to get my reading and blogging mojo back after a string of middle-of-the-road books (minus Outlaw Platoon) and an unpleasant reaction from an author to a review I posed this week. I’m feeling a little gun shy about review writing, but I’ll get back in the game this week.

Listening // To the audio book of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness which, despite being rather silly, has been keeping me entertained for the last few weeks.

Hoping // That I can get at least one other book finished today, plus reviews/posts written for the week. I’m also hoping to get organized enough to post about a super informal read-a-long that I’m planning to co-host next month.

Anticipating // A quiet day with few responsibilities so I can read and write without pressure.

Reflecting // On the great time I had at the Prairie Gate Literary Festival this weekend. I got to see poet Ed Bok Lee and author/blogger Patti See give readings, which were refreshing and thinky. I’m going to end this post with the last few stanza’s of Lee’s poem “Whorled” from his most recent book (also called Whorled, and the winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award in Poetry):

In the beginning, there was a word, but it got lonely
So it prayed for brothers, sisters, and neighbors, and yes,
love was born, but along with it came shame, passion, greed, more
love, benevolence, and need

And soon some of the words became flowers and trees
And others animals, and eventually some were human beings;
Queens and Workers,
Kings and

Thieves

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanne February 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Wow, that was quite a string of song from the peacock lady. I’ve seen more unpleasant reactions, but few so relentless.

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Melissa February 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Ah, yes … Sunday, also known as The Day to Get Caught Up On All the Book Blogging Brou-Hahas of the Week. (I missed this previously.) Yee gads. Don’t blame you for being a little gun=shy after that exchange. The irony is that you generally overall LIKED the book.

I had started to re-evaluate my “positive reviews only” stance, but … yeah, maybe not so much.

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Kim February 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I think there’s an important place in the broader book reviewing world for negative reviews… but they can be intimidating to write, especially as a blogger where you’re just sort of on your own if there is backlash.

I don’t write a lot of overtly negative reviews because I usually stop reading books I don’t like, but I think you can enjoy a book and still have some critiques of it too.

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Laurie C February 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Whoa, yeah. I missed the earlier exchange, too. Someone needs a little primer on Internet etiquette from her publisher’s publicity department! It made me nervous just reading the author’s overly long “comments”. I was surprised to have an audiobook narrator comment on my blog the other day, but I had called him a “star-quality narrator”, so he didn’t seem to mind my review of the audiobook which wasn’t 100% positive. ;) It’s bound to happen eventually; I hope you can shrug it off and not take it personally. Your review was excellent and very balanced. Please don’t give up reviewing books!

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Care February 26, 2013 at 7:54 am

Yes, to what Laurie says here :)
I was struggling to figure out what to comment, first at the memoir before I read through all he comments here, but I like what Laurie has to say. Your review was generous AND fair, imo. Shrug it off, breathe and remember your opinion is worthy and valid for being YOURs. :) CHEERS!

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Kim February 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Thanks ladies :) It was just a tense day or so as all of these comments were coming in and I tried to not get defensive about it (which I didn’t entirely succeed at… I’m only human). But I’m certainly not going to stop reviewing books — I love the conversations with all of you too much!

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bermudaonion(Kathy) February 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Wow, I’d missed those comments before. Don’t let them get to you. Your reviews are always thoughtful and well written.

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Alex in Leeds February 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I have to confess you were more generous with her comments that I might have been – I’d have edited out the half that was a sales ad with links to her preferred reviewers especially since your review was mostly favourable and entirely coherent. The tea sounds good too, we have a Whittards in Leeds I’ll have to have a look for it. :)

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Kim February 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I thought about that, but ultimately decided it was just easier to let it all go and let the review and comments speak for themselves (whatever they were saying :) ). I’m so jealous you have a Whittards — I got some excellent tea from that store when I went to London.

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maphead February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Something tells me come Monday morning a representative from a certain publishing agency will be having a little chat with a certain author concerning the finer points of Internet etiquette and how best to handle differences of opinion.

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Ali February 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Wow. I get the impression the author honestly didn’t realize how overbearing her comments were. I thought you wrote a well-rounded and interesting analysis of the book, which made me want to check it out for myself.

Homemade chocolate chip cookies do indeed make a delicious breakfast, second only to pie, in my opinion.

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Care February 26, 2013 at 7:54 am

Ali said PIE!

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Sheila (Book Journey) February 25, 2013 at 7:26 am

Good morning Kim! The tea looks delicious and now I want tea this morning ;) Looks like you are enjoying a good book. I too listened to The Discovery Of Witches on audio but don’t think I enjoyed it as much as you did.

Have a SUPER week!

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Charlie February 25, 2013 at 7:46 am

I saw that comment from the author, and to be honest I considered not commenting on your review because of it. Your review was very good and fair, you brought up a good point that I’d say many people would also wonder about.

I actually forgot to come back afterwards, I see she addressed me and Kathy. Don’t let it get you down, your reviews are informative and you’re not obligated to be positive.

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Kim February 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm

That’s part of what frustrated me about it — those comments really served to shut down conversation on the review from anyone else. I didn’t want to respond, and I think other readers may have just avoided it too. I think that’s disappointing.

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Vasilly February 25, 2013 at 10:20 am

Wow! That author was pretty relentless. There’s no way in hell I would ever review any of her books. Ugh! Authors need to learn that if they don’t get a favorable review – which she did – let it go! Don’t let her stop you. I hope you get your reading and writing mojo back.

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JenM February 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Chocolate chip cookies are perfectly appropriate at all times of day!

I read your review last week in my reader, so I had no idea that the author had commented (at length, twice). No wonder you are feeling a bit hunted at the moment. The sad thing is that she is so oblivious about how inappropriate her comments are. Hopefully this won’t happen to you again any time soon.

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Nikki Steele February 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I think all of us backed away from that post, feeling a little bit like, -oh no, Daddy’s getting drunk again- awkward. She did herself no favors, despite her sea of linkages by posting on your site. If anything, I’m sure she made your very loyal band of readers certain that they will never pick up one of her books.

That being said, I really love the honest reaction you give about books and feel like I can always trust your recommendations. Keep on even with the awkward authors, because you provide a great service to so many of us out here.

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Kim February 27, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Lol. “Daddy’s getting a drink again awkward” is my favorite comment on this post :) And thanks for the rest of your comment — it’s nice to hear good things after feeling uncertain for a few days.

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