Tag: novellas

ArmchairBEA 2014: Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas/Short Stories

Posted May 28, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 24 Comments

abea

 We are back for day three and today’s topic is Expanding Blogging Horizons and Novellas/Short Stories. So, let’s kick off with Expanding Blogging Horizons. This is a topic I think a lot about; what will I be doing in the future? I would like to think that my blog will still be going but I’m always looking for ways to evolve and improve. I want to be seen as a book critic and to do that, I need to work towards improving myself; see my book blogging manifesto for information about how I plan to do this.

I also need to think about how blogging is changing and what I can do to continue to make my own blog interesting and exciting. I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be involved in a podcast, but I love the idea. I think a good podcast needs two or more people that interact well (I’m too introverted) and has differing opinions (I have that). There is also vlogging or the terrible name ‘book tube’, I’m not bubbly or interesting enough to ever consider that option, but I hope to see more vloggers out there that do something other than YA.

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I like to think there will always be a place for book bloggers; I would love to see more male book bloggers and some diversity. I tend to worry when everyone is reading the same books, almost makes me not want to read that book. I understand new books are always appealing and we all get excited when we receive a book in the mail that looks great. I guess I worry about all the books that get missed. Life is short and we all have too many books to read, better get back to it.

As for novellas and short stories, I’m trying to make an effort to read more short story collections but I’m often not too sure how to review them. If all the stories are a little different then writing a very general view can be difficult.  Novellas are easier and I love novellas, there are so many great ones out there that come to mind.

Great novella examples

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Button by Sarah of Puss Reboots


How to Deal with Reading Slumps

Posted November 23, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 16 Comments

I’m currently in a reading slump and about to start another semester of university. This is not a good combination; I don’t want to struggle through my reading while trying to get good grades. This is not the first time I’ve fallen into a slump and I find it so frustrating and stressful. When I finally do break out of a slump, it is so refreshing and I feel so relieved.

So I want to talk about slumps and see if there are other ways to manage and break them. I’ve looked around and have found some peoples hints and maybe I am missing something. We will find out what works for some and open a dialogue about reading slumps here. So here are some suggestions I’ve found.

  • Read something light: I recently tried reading Moon over Soho which was light and enjoyable and made me want to read the next in the series, if I read the next book does that mean my slump is over? What would happen if I try something heavier?
  • Read a favourite genre: This can be problematic because I’m a literary explorer and sometimes not too sure what my favourite genre is. Maybe it’s hard-boiled crime but this sounds similar to reading something light, assuming they are talking about reading genre fiction.
  • Try something short: Short stories, novellas and short books might work, this way you are not spending too much time in a story and feel like we are making progress. I’m not sure if this works, I’ve never tried it.
  • Recommendations: I’m really don’t think this will work, I’ve got plenty of books recommended to me sitting on my TBR just waiting to be read.
  • Take a break: While this might be the answer, the idea of not reading at all does not appeal to me.
  • Revisit a favourite book: This could work; I do need to reread Frankenstein for this semester of university, so if I break that out now and start reading it, will I get out of the slump? At least I know the book is great.
  • Make time: I’m not sure this would work, this feels like forcing myself to read when I struggle. The stress is already there and being forced to read doesn’t sound like a way to reduce stress.
  • Read a classic: This could work, classics are normally great books, so reduces the likelihood of reading a dud.
  • Try non-fiction: Someone suggested trying some non-fiction as a way to break the slump, instead of looking for a great novel to break the slump, maybe learning something new might help. This is a suggestion from my local indie bookstore, so I’ve been trying it out.
  • Put all books on hold and just read whatever looks appealing: This is what I’m trying at the moment, I had a few books on the go and they have now been put aside and I am just picking up a book that looks appealing. I’m willing to put it aside if it’s not working but at the moment I’m trying to work my way through The Martian and NW.

Now I’ve talked about solutions, I want to see if I can work out the root cause. Is there a way to avoid this in the future? I don’t think so, sometimes life gets in the way or you read too many below average books at a time. For me, I think what caused my slump this time was the fact I read some great books like The Bell Jar and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler followed by some books that I felt were less than average; The Tale for a Time Being and Harvest, followed by some novels I needed to finish in a limited amount of time (due back to the library or for book club).

I don’t think I can avoid average or bad books, but I should try and be better with abandoning books. I’ve never been good at quitting a book, but I’m getting to a point in my reading career where I feel like I now have a good baseline for judging books. I don’t want to fall into a slump again, and now I know the signs of it coming on maybe I can avoid it. How do others manage slumps and try to avoid them altogether.