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Currently | Frozen in Real Life

currently february 22

Time and Place | 8:00 a.m. on my couch, with my warmest fleece blanket on my lap.

Reading | It’s been a really fantastic week of reading. I finished three books: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Americanah by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie. They were all great, in their own ways — I’m hoping to have reviews up within a few weeks. I just started The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson (out in March from Little, Brown). It’s delightfully weird so far.

Watching | The boyfriend and I went to see The Imitation Game last night. It was pretty good — excellent acting, but the script felt a little lacking.

Cooking | My favorite new Whole30-approved meal is a homemade marinara sauce with ground beef, served over spaghetti squash. I’ve eaten this almost every day for the last two weeks and have no intention of stopping. My plan today is to do another whole chicken in my crock pot and make more marinara sauce.

Blogging | This week I reviewed Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris (a biography of journalist Ethel Payne) and shared three podcasts I’m into right now.

Promoting | I’m starting a new feature over at Book Riot — IRL: Nonfiction to Read if You Love XXX. This week, I shared some nonfiction recommendations for Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, one of my favorite books in 2014.

Sharing | On the same day I posted about podcasts, both Shannon (River City Reading) and Heather (Capricious Reader) also posted about podcasts. Great minds think alike!

Hating | Right now, the actual temperature in my town is -17 degrees. With the wind chill, it feels like -44 degrees. That is just the worst.

Loving | This year I decided I was going to deliberately slow down my blogging, posting just three times per week (“Currently” on Sundays, with other content on Tuesdays and Thursdays). That more relaxed schedule has been great for me.

Contemplating | Earlier this week, a prominent book blogger who took her blog offline at the beginning of the year because she had plagiarized many blog posts (and guest posts for other bloggers), finally offered a public apology for her actions. I want to be really clear: I’m not sharing this because I want to contribute to a public pile on, for the plagiarist or the bloggers who were most public in bringing her plagiarism to light. I want to share it because the situation has brought up a lot of issues I think are worth talking about. How should we as a blogging community respond to someone who violates one of our core values? How do we “out” someone for behaving badly without it turning ugly? (A lot of what it seems went on behind the scenes — I certainly don’t know all or even most of it — was a result of individuals trying to avoid a public pile on, but maybe that’s what needs to happen…) And what is a correct response from someone who has stolen words from many other people? I’m still forming my own thoughts on these questions, and I hope our community can have some civil, generous, honest conversations about this in the coming weeks.

Anticipating | Despite the Hoth-like temperatures, I am still going to try to get to the gym today. My favorite sign there is the one used to show the direction for the walking track. It often feels like an odd day.

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bryan G. Robinson February 22, 2015, 8:41 am

    First, glad to see you’re continuing with the Whole30. My wife is doing another reset for Lent with Whole30. Second, while I have not much to add to the discussion on plagiarism, I am glad that you are bringing it up in a civil, honest way. That needs to happen. Unfortunately this is not the first time this has come up in the book blogging community and unfortunately it won’t be the last. Fortunately, people like yourself are willing to talk about it honestly and civilly. Third, I’m not reading anything today as I’ll be watching the Daytona 500 with a neighbor…okay, well, I am reading Sunday Salon posts and other bookish posts like yours today, but that’s about it.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:05 am

      Nope, this is not nearly the first big discussion on plagiarism. I think we’re at a point where it’s crystal clear that plagiarism is wrong, but it’s still not clear what to actually do about it. Book blogging is a diffused, online community, with no structure or hierarchy or mechanism to respond to issues when they arise. That’s part of why it’s wonderful, and part of why this is so complicated.

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) February 22, 2015, 8:54 am

    Oh my word, we were whining the other day because our wind chill was in the single digits. I can’t even comprehend -44 degrees!!

    I liked The Imitation Game too but did think it dragged some in the middle.

    I’ve thought of blogging only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – maybe you’ll inspire me to do more than think about it.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:06 am

      The more relaxed schedule has been wonderful. It’s made me feel less pressure to review every book that I read. And I feel like I can better manage and keep up with comments (as well as leaving comments on other blogs). I highly recommend it 🙂

  • Andi February 22, 2015, 10:02 am

    I love your new feature over at BR! We’re trying to do something similar at Panels and I’m having a terrible time coming up with comparisons.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 10:14 am

      Thanks! We should brainstorm together. It seems like I can come up with one good match easily, but finding the second takes some work. It’s a fun challenge though, and has gotten me picking up some backlist titles I’m curious about to see if they’d make good pairings.

  • Literate Housewife February 22, 2015, 11:47 am

    I will not complain about the cold here. 🙂

    I do think that the blogging community needs to address plagiarism. I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts. It’s a complicated topic and hopefully something that can be discussed when all of the emotions die down.

    Enjoy your day!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:04 pm

      Yeah, I think everything needs to simmer just a bit before we can have some good conversations about this. I’m sad it’s come up again, but I hope we can do something good now.

  • Rory February 22, 2015, 12:02 pm

    I will not complain about the weather now, despite the foot of snow that fell overnight, because it could feel like -44.

    And I love posts along the lines of if you like this book, read that, especially for books like Station Eleven.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:05 pm

      Dealing with snow is tough — you have my sympathy there!

  • Vasilly February 22, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Stay warm, Kim! I can’t imagine living somewhere that gets so cold! I’ve been out the loop on the whole plagiarism thing, but it’s not surprising that people do it.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:06 pm

      When it’s beautiful in the summer, I forget it can get this cold 🙂

  • Shannon @ River City Reading February 22, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I’m with you in thinking quite a bit about how we respond to plagiarism in light of this. I don’t think this was handled perfectly (I know there were things I wish I had done differently), but I think blogging does put us in a tough spot without official avenues to take. The thing that concerns me the most is the idea that everything needs to be handled privately. While I think it’s definitely the starting point, I do think that the community needs to know when plagiarism has occurred…and that’s where things get tricky. Hopefully, we can figure out the best way to bring these situations to light without going down these ugly roads.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:09 pm

      I agree with you more and more on the private/public issues with identifying plagiarism. On some level, it’s an issue that has to be addressed publicly… it’s just hard to know how to do that. So many questions.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel February 22, 2015, 1:28 pm

    YES, YES, AND YES. That’s about all I have to say about all of this 🙂

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:09 pm

      Thanks Allison 🙂

  • Anita February 22, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I grew up mostly in the St. Louis area, typical mid mid west winters, but nothing like what you’re dealing with. I’ve been in FL for 30 years now, and I’m a giant wimp!!
    I appreciate your thoughts on the plagiarism issue. There seem to have also been two camps, both in agreement on the wrongness of such an act, but a separation in forgiveness or still being angry. I felt much hostility as I forgave her and asked her to apologize and move in. The public apology took a long time, shame and embarrassment do awful things too. Our community is not just the few of us that know and support each other, it’s become huge, and yet as a whole we need to support each other when we feel overwhelmed and to find a good pace for our blogging. I have never been a 5 day a week blogger, only once in a while. I kind of do what I want.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:19 pm

      Twitter makes things like these hard. It’s hard to watch someone who did something wrong be congratulated for apologizing for the wrong thing, even if those congratulations are intended primarily as support for a friend who did a difficult thing in taking responsibility. This seemed especially true in a situation where a member of our community made decisions that directly hurt other members of our community, not “just” professional or outside sources. I hope in time, and with lots of open conversation, we can all improve how we treat each other.

  • Laurie C February 22, 2015, 5:10 pm

    I was shocked to hear about the plagiarism thing happening again. I’ve only just heard about it recently. It’s sad. I can see how a blogger would be reluctant to put out an apology right away because of being afraid of receiving harsh comments, but there does have to be some sort of public acknowledgement, I think, to be fair. Have a great week! I love the idea of cooking a whole chicken in the Crock Pot!

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:21 pm

      The more I think about it, the more I think a public apology is necessary before a conversation about a specific instance of plagiarism can end. Plagiarism doesn’t just affect the individuals who had content stolen and that needs to be considered.

  • Kailana February 22, 2015, 6:14 pm

    I have heard similar things about The Imitation Game from other blogs. I am thinking I will wait and rent it. 🙂

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:22 pm

      That’s a good idea — it’s a fine movie to watch at home with a glass of wine 🙂

  • Christine @ BookishlyB February 22, 2015, 7:05 pm

    I cannot even fathom what negative anything feels like. We’re down in the sixties this week and everyone is busting out the sweaters and scarves. In fact, it’s 68 in our house right now and my husband is whining about needing to put on thermals. I’m not even kidding. We would die if we lived back east. Stay warm! Spring is near(ish).

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:23 pm

      Yeah, if 68 means you need to pull out blankets, life in the Midwest would be tough right now 🙂

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf February 22, 2015, 9:35 pm

    Beautifully stated, Kim. Your post and your responses above. Just want to echo everything you wrote, because words have failed me on this whole thing.

    • Kim February 22, 2015, 9:38 pm

      Thank you, that’s really kind 🙂 I wish I felt like I had some better answers or suggestions, but for now I just need to ponder.

  • Belle Wong February 22, 2015, 10:16 pm

    It’s been a really really cold week here, too. It felt strange to walk a few blocks and have my nose be so cold it felt like it was burning! I have, however, come to a new appreciation for my winter boots, which kept my feet toasty warm through all of it.

    I have only just caught up with the whole plagiarism thing. It’s sad when it happens, and I agree, the public/private aspect of it is challenging.

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes February 22, 2015, 10:24 pm

    This winter is truly the worst. I hope you’re staying warm despite the ridiculous temperatures!

    Your “Contemplating” is so well said. I think it will be important to return to the plagiarism discussion once some time has passed, everyone has cooled off, and we can talk about the issue without it being about this incidence.

  • Kelly February 22, 2015, 11:27 pm

    Because you linked to it and I read it, I’ll just say that I was kind of impressed by the blogger’s apology. It was brave of her and eloquently put. If only she trusted in the power of her own words rather than plagiarized and if only she was brave enough to say, at the time, that she needed to take a break — this all might not have happened.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 12:24 pm

      I agree with you there. It takes guts to make an apology and I give her credit for that and for stepping up to make it.

  • Jeanne February 23, 2015, 7:55 am

    So odd. What does someone think she’s going to get out of stealing words from other people in order to look like she has something to say all the time? Eventually, I believe, the truth will out, as it obviously has in this case. The more something like that is made public the better. (The private part is about the person, of course. The public part should be sharing the name of the blog.)

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 12:25 pm

      That’s the tricky part, for sure — make sure the publicizing a thing focuses on the action, not the person.

  • Melinda February 23, 2015, 9:06 am

    Everything you said under Contemplating – I agree with every word. It was a difficult thing for everyone involved, but we as a community can only move onwards and upwards, I hope.

  • Marisa @ The Daily Dosage February 23, 2015, 10:20 am

    The IRL feature is wonderful since I am terrible about finding NF that I can stick with. I just picked up On Immunity and excited to read it. I must have been under a rock about the whole plagiarism thing because I knew nothing and then when I read the apology I was shocked. I think while it is important to not incite a public pile on, we still need to watch each others’ backs, which is what seemed to have happened. 🙂

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 12:27 pm

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy On Immunity — it’s now a quick read, despite the short length, but very interesting given some of the big conversations happening around vaccinations right now.

  • Jennine G. February 23, 2015, 10:21 am

    Well stated contemplation section Kim! We too are real life Frozen right now. Off two days of school last week and this week is looking at big wind chills, so probably two hour delays for schools. Craziness.

  • susan February 23, 2015, 5:46 pm

    You must be freezing there, Ouch! Even Canada is warmer! I look forward to your thoughts on Being Mortal which is a book I’m looking to possible read. It got a lot of recognition last year. I think plagiarism in blogging is very strange. I’m not exactly sure I get the point. Blogging is for oneself and of oneself to discuss things with others. I just dont know why you’d do blogging otherwise. hmm. I’m a bit at a loss.

  • Kerry M February 24, 2015, 7:57 am

    Love the idea of the IRL feature, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for that over on BR. Keep warm out there… it’s -3 here and I thought *that* was bad!

  • Christy February 24, 2015, 7:45 pm

    Dang! That’s cold!!
    I’m curious about the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve been all about the self-improvement reading the last few months.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 12:28 pm

      I did a bunch of self-improvement reading in December and January. And I think I will be doing some here in March when the updated version of Getting Things Done comes out on March 17!