Kernels of Nonsense: End of the Year TBR

Kernels of Nonsense is an original feature on my blog where I talk about random bookish and blogging related topics. It’s been a good while since I posted one of these and I still have several in my drafts that I need to rework and/or edit. Today I’m talking about my end of the year TBR. I’ve stopped making monthly TBRs because I’m terrible when it comes to getting to all of them and then I end up feeling kind of guilty, but there are times when I find them really helpful. One of these times is now, when I think about the fact that there is less than two months left of the year and I have quite a few books I need to get to. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

I don’t have a specific order that I am tackling all of these in (just a vague idea), save for the buddy reads I already have planned. I’m crossing my fingers real hard and hoping a book slump doesn’t derail my plans (*knocks on wood*) because I would really like to get to all of these before January 1st rolls along. Let’s take a look…

1. Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

I am currently reading Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez for Latinx Book Club. I’m putting it on here since I am in the middle of it and I need to feel confident about this TBR, so I’m starting off with a book that I know I will finish. This is an MG about alternate universes which I am finding really fun and hilarious. 

2. Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

This is going to be my next read. I am literally waiting for my copy to come in the mail. I just finished a reread of Empire of Sand and Tasha Suri really knows how to bring me to my knees. If you haven’t read it, it is a must and one of my all-time favorite books. I’ve been dreaming about the companion novel Realm of Ash for almost a year and am ready to dive in. 

3. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

I am hoping to get to this one after Realm of Ash. I have an eARC and for some reason, I always manage to read these faster. On a whim I wished for this one on NetGalley and it’s the only wish I’ve ever been granted. It sounds really light-hearted and I love that “You’ve Got Mail” trope where two people fall for each other without really knowing they are falling for each other. Crossing my fingers I enjoy this one. 

4. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

I am doing a buddy read of this one with Jocelyn @ yogi with a book and Cande @ Latinx Magic. This is one of my most anticipated 2020 releases and I am so excited to read it with friends. It’s a Bolivian-inspired fantasy with an f/f romance at its center.

5. Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

I still feel really suspicious about why the third book in the Folk of the Air series is being released so early. I’m a cynic, so I’m wondering if Holly Black is planning to kill us all as an early Christmas present. I reread The Cruel Prince and read The Wicked King with Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories and we are continuing our tradition and reading this one together. At least I will have someone to cry with. 

6. Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

I know you know how much I love Anna-Marie McLemore. I was hoping to fit in their upcoming novel in November, but it looks like it’s going to have to wait for December. I’ve been enchanted by every single one of their books and have no doubt this one is going to sweep me away. 

7. Diamond City by Francesca Flores

The release dates for some of these ARCs are fast approaching and I am aiming to read all January and February ARCs before the year is out. Francesca Flores’s Diamond City sounds like an exciting fantasy from a debut Latinx author that I am really looking forward to tackling in December.

8. Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

You don’t even know how excited I am to read another Silvia Moreno-Garcia novel. You don’t even know how excited I was to receive on ARC of this one in the mail. I don’t even know how I’m going to get through this one without screaming in delight, but you know what, that’s okay. Sometimes screaming is needed.

I have several other books in my head that I would really like to get to, but don’t want to put them officially on my list because with my luck that reading slump I was talking about earlier may come to fruition. So, I’m just going to slyly bring up a few more books I will be aiming to get to:

  • Latinx Book Club’s December pick – I am hosting for the month of December, but don’t know what we will be reading just yet.
  • The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Have you read any of these or are planning to? Which books are you hoping to get to before the year is out? Let’s talk in the comments!

Kernels of Nonsense: Keeping Up with Comments

Kernels of Nonsense is an original feature on my blog where I talk about random bookish and blogging related topics. Despite the fact that I haven’t posted one of these in a while, I actually have a few sitting in my drafts. It’s just been a matter of finding the time to edit and finding where to fit them into my blogging schedule. Today I’m talking about something we bloggers don’t really talk about a lot. Comments! I’m talking the stress that comes with keeping up with comments, how time-consuming comments can be, and what I’ve ultimately decided to do at this point in my blogging journey.

When I first became a book blogger, I wanted my blog to emphasize engagement. I wanted other people to comment on my blog and I wanted to show support to them by commenting on theirs. I ended up signing a “bloggers commenting back” pledge to signal my commitment to commenting. You’ve probably seen the widget on my sidebar at some point. I’ve met so many great bloggers through my blog’s comment section and theirs. One of the most rewarding parts of blogging is the interaction we have with others and discovering like-minded people and those in general who make us think deeper about what we are reading. I’m at the point where I’m more likely to view a blog post’s success based on the number of comments versus likes or views.

I’ve always said book reviews are the number one hardest post to put together, but when it comes to time spent on my blog throughout the week, I spend the most time replying to comments and commenting back. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming when there are only 5 to 10 comments I need to catch up on, but there are times when I’m away from my blog for a couple of days and I accumulate dozens of comments. When you factor in the time spent creating posts and reading, there isn’t always a ton of time to get to all these comments. I end up putting off something else in order to make sure I stay up to date. You might have noticed lately that I haven’t been as committed to my comments section. I can go a week without getting to comments on a particular post and occasionally I haven’t replied at all. This is completely unlike me, but something I’m trying to let myself do more of.

Sometimes replying to comments and commenting back on your posts is the only “blog hopping” I get to do throughout a given month. I always feel like a bit of a bad blogger when I’m not initiating interactions with you, but sometimes it’s really difficult to find the time when all my free time is being sucked up by the various aspects of blogging. I wish I had more time to explore your book reviews, recommendation lists, discussion posts, etc. But time always seems to slip away.

So I’m going to be making the conscious decision to cut back on my commenting back. This doesn’t mean I won’t be commenting back. I will still be doing this, but I don’t want to keep stressing about it. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to catch up on comments and when a few days go by, I feel so overwhelmed trying to get a reply and blog visit plus comment in for everyone. If I don’t reply to comments on my blog, that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen them. I might end up resorting to the like button to show you I’ve seen you. I’m not exactly sure how this will all translate, but I do want you do know that I’m still committed to visiting back even if I don’t always do and even if I don’t reply to your comments here. I’m hoping this means I have more time to blog hop because it’s one aspect of blogging that I’ve always wanted to be better at.

I low-key worry about the bloggers who won’t comment on my blog anymore because they can no longer count on me commenting back on their blogs, but there is nothing I can do about that because this decision is about me and how much I believe I can handle.

Do you ever stress about comments? What’s your policy on commenting back? Let’s discuss in the comments.