Book hauls, Sunday post

January stats Fever! Let's See What I Was Up To All Month

January has been both an exciting and very stressful month on the blog. I have experienced unprecedented blog growth (so much so, that I am not embarrassed anymore to display my follow numbers, hey!), but it has also been quite stressful, because time doesn’t just magically stretch when you need it to (don’t you wish it did, though?) I am still in awe that one of my posts is about to reach 200 comments as we speak, and I am so thankful to you all for the support and the love! I’m happy to be in this community, even if I was mostly on a break throughout the entirety of January.

Speaking of which… I have finally decided to write only two posts + a wrapup every week. Yay for making the decision! (I was literally trying to make it for three weeks. Overachiever much?) And now that I have, things are better and easier. I should be coming back to the blogosphere and being more active with you all soon πŸ™‚

So what has January been like?

  • I don’t really have a follower count from the beginning of the year, and I don’t know where I could check it, but I gained at least 60 followers, if not 80, so woot! Fastest growth in my neck of the woods for sure…
  • I also reached 1600 Twitter followers, which was just 1 person short of 1700 yesterday… I think I must’ve crossed over today!
  • Despite the lack of time, I have somehow managed to read 12 books?? I have no idea either! This actually puts me 6 books ahead of schedule o.o
  • I have had loads of karaoke fun this month, and I mean LOADS
  • My name and quote is on the second cover of a book, #lifegoals!!
  • I hope you don’t think I’m obnoxious for bragging about all these things thoughΒ 😂

Apart from that, the month has been relatively usual and nothing out of the ordinary. It’s February 4th, we have JUST packed up our Christmas tree, life is moving on and I am getting ready for the most birthday-dense month in my family (with no gifts prepared…), and that’s about it!

But since I read so many books last month, let me share them with you and let’s see what was good and what was… less amazing!

~ Miracle Books Read ~

Snow Flower and the Secret FanΒ The Girl in the Blue Shoes

Okay, so they’re both actually 4.5 stars, but they definitely round to the 5 star category. Both reviews are coming up in the next two weeks!Β The Girl in the Blue ShoesΒ is an amazingly written scifi-ish literary thriller by a self-pubbed author whose writing just completely mesmerized me, and I loved it so much that he even put my quote on the cover! AndΒ Snow Flower and the Secret FanΒ will be a buddy read review in a couple of weeks. It’s a tale about women’s lives in 19th century China,Β and I am shook.Β It’s not like I didn’t expect all those things, but reading about them and comparing it to the life today… It’s just hard to fathom. I have spent many hours sitting and reading this book in the morning when I should have been working (#PerksOfBeingFreelance?), and it was time well spent (I couldn’t really pry myself away, is all…)

~ Steady Good Books Read ~

The Wind in the WillowsΒ The Mermaid and Mrs HancockΒ Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux Rosie Colored GlassesΒ Ape HouseΒ The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist

Some of these even share a half star rating with the ones above, so you can see how it was hard for me to put them in a separate category! They form the best part of my month, you could say.Β The Wind in the WillowsΒ is a beloved classic, that might be a little sexist and classist, as is expected from a book from back in the day, but is nonetheless adorable and heartwarming, and it just puts you to a fitful sleep when you’re struggling with insomnia (which is precisely why it was my bedtime reading!) The Mermaid andΒ Mrs Hancock is a new released that you’ve all heard about by now, and it was a steady good read that I would like to go back to one day.Β Black Elk Speaks was a nonfiction book, detailing the tales of a native medicine and holy man, who talked about his heritage and the terrible things Indians had to endure in the 18th and 19th centuries, and ANYTHING I say about it really is nothing – so I’m just going to say that if you’re from America, you should read it. Even if it will bore you a little, maybe, you should still know what your ancestors did.Β Rosie Colored GlassesΒ is a very touching book based on the author’s true life experienced with a mother that suffered depression and substance abuse, and I will be reviewing it this month.Β Ape House was actually a backlight book by the author ofΒ Water for ElephantsΒ (which I haven’t read yet, sadly!), and it’s a very touching, but frank tale about how animals are mistreated in our cheap, entertainment driven society. You SHOULD read it. AndΒ The GirlΒ was yet another memoir about Marilyn, aimed at pointing out how misunderstood she was, and how she ultimately did a lot for women in the industry. It was a great book, and if you like Marilyn’s work just a tiny bit, this is surely a worthy read for you, I greatly enjoyed it.

~ Okay Books Read ~

Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles #3)Β S.N.U.F.F.

Herding Cats was enjoyable enough, as the art and the content never fails to entertain and be relatable! However, I felt like the collection was put togetherΒ “from whatever didn’t fit other volumes”. The pieces didn’t seem to have much of a connection, and only the second part really had a theme. Nonetheless, if you’re a fan, you’ll certainly enjoy it! AndΒ S.N.U.F.F.Β was just too much of the same – if you’ve read Pelevin before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Despite being well written, it was just drenched in mock-intolerance of any minorities you can think of, and while I can see that it was intended and planned, I did not enjoy it for the same reason of it just being vulgar and painful to read. I will not be reviewing these two on my blog, but I have linked the book names to my goodreads reviews!

~ Totally Meh Books Read ~

Release from Stasis: The Future is Now (The Future is Now #2) House of Shadows

I shouldn’t even be putting this book here. By my saying “I hated it SO much” I’m already giving it too much attention. Some of you might decide to read itΒ just because it was so bad! And it was so bad, that frankly, I refrained from reviewing it on Amazon, because my review would have been the ONLY review there, and I couldn’t let myself be the only asshead with a bad review! Just trust me that it was awful, but if you care to know the reasons why, my Goodreads review can be found here. And whileΒ House of ShadowsΒ was an alright story on its own, and doesn’t really belong with the likes ofΒ Release from Stasis,Β I still can’t forgive the wholeΒ damsel business and the way the love interest pounced on a hurt girl, sex solved everything and that was alright. Just no. You can read the reasons here.

~ The Stats! ~


january 2018 stats

It looks as though setting low goals IS the key! I am doing well so far, and it’s mostly cause I have been listening to a lot of books this month. It does wonders for eye strain and housework πŸ˜€

~ On The Blog In January ~

I am reducing the number of posts as of February, but January was still fun of fun! Lots of these posts areΒ #NewBloggers 101Β content which you seem to be enjoying a lot, and sharing too (thank you so much for all those shares!)

Β creatures of will and temperΒ Β My Favorite Book bloggers

requesting arcsΒ Β Β dumplin

a good edelweiss or netgalley profileΒ  Β feel good books

plague charmerΒ  Β the mermaid and mrs hancock

get commentsΒ  Β the king of bones and ashes

review policyΒ  Β j.d. horn

~ Next Week ~

Next week we have a review of a really wonderful bookΒ The Girl in the Blue Shoes,Β as well as Part 2 of theΒ Productivity series:

girl in the blue shoesΒ  Β writing and scheduling posts

~ Books Hauled ~

No Sad Songs Tomorrow Factory: Collected Fiction Doorways in the Sand Chasing Eveline
The Ways of My Grandmothers The Girl in the Blue Shoes Tess and Tattoos Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico
The Meifod Claw: A Comedy Dragon's Future (Dragon Courage #1)Β The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles #3)

Have any of you read any of these? I have finished and enjoyed several of them so far, but not the rest. The good thing though, is that this month I both read and hauled the same amount!

~ #New Bloggers 101 Content On Other Blogs! ~

I also wanted to bring attention to these posts by other bloggers who have helped the #NewBloggers cause:

Simant @ Flipping Through The Pages wrote a guide on how to write a good About page

Jennie @ Jenniely wrote about how to self-host and get your own domain name

Speaking of which, Daniela @ Nocturnal Devices wrote a similar piece about how to rebrand your blog

Continuing our topic of commenting, Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books talks about how and why you should blog hop often

And last but not least, Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight tells us more about how to use Goodreads more efficiently

Austine @ Novelknight talks about how stats are important, but you are MORE important

As usual, I’m linking up withΒ Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday post, also with Stacking the Shelves at Tynga’s ReviewsΒ and Mailbox Monday, Feed Your Fiction Addiction. This would be the right time to say I’ll be joining these challenges for the whole year!

And that’s it for my January! What about you? Share your links with me in the comments!

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Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan
3 years ago

Good evening.
Japan is eight afternoon on 4th,
Thank you for a wonderful newsletter. Always waiting forward to.
The snow festival of Hokkaido Sapporo is held.

Vani | Off-Color Lit
3 years ago

Omg your quote will be on the back of a book girl congratulations!! That is SO exciting!

Thanks to my comment on your interview after King of Bones and Ashes, they’re going to send me a copy so I’m SO excited πŸ™‚

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages

Nice wrap-up post Evelina! I hope that this decision of posting three times a week proves beneficial for you. I can understand the often, writing posts are overwhelming. Truth to be told, even I was sad yesterday, thinking about all the things I need to write though I have no time πŸ™ Well, let’s see how it goes. And woah girl, 12 books? How did you manage to do this? But I am glad that you read so many good books. And your book haul looks interesting. Actually, I got rejected for Chasing Evelyn, lol πŸ˜› I do hope you… Read more Β»

Maureen Bakker
3 years ago

Congrats on getting more followers. That’s awesome. January hasn’t been the best month for me blogging wise. But I’m trying to be okay with it. LOL!! It’s hard sometimes though.
Have a great week and happy reading.

Sophie Eloy
3 years ago

You had a very productive month!!!

3 years ago

Yay for the blog community and congrats on your stats! I co- read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan with my sister many years ago and it was really good, it’s a moving book.
Enjoy your week!

DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

Congrats on all the blog achievements for January! Talk about the best way to start off the year! And your quote of the book is so freaking great!!! Can I ask what book it was? πŸ™‚

DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

Lol! Yes, sorry! I mean β€œon” the book; not β€œof” the book πŸ˜‰

Jennifer | Book Den
3 years ago

Great month! I think it’s great that you will be posting the amount that is best for YOU.

Michelle @Because Reading

You had an amazing month! I hope Feb is just a amazing!
Have a great week, Evelina! Happy Reading! πŸ™‚

Kari @ Kari Reads and Writes
Kari @ Kari Reads and Writes
3 years ago

Congrats on the great month, the book haul, the books read, the posts written, the followers– yay! I’m one of your newer followers this past month since I came back to book blogging. However many times you post a week is your personal decision and you have to enjoy it here or it’s not worth it. Have a good week!

Cahleen Hudson
Cahleen Hudson
3 years ago

I like almost all of Lisa See’s books, but Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is my favorite so far. I’m glad to see your recommendation for the indie book because I tend to avoid those unless someone I trust recommends one. Congrats on all the blog growth! You work hard and deserve it.

Cahleen Hudson
Cahleen Hudson
3 years ago

I read Tea Girl and liked it, but Snow Flower is still my favorite. I’m excited to see your review now! Shanghai Girls is another good book of hers, and the sequel is good as well. I actually happen to have another book of hers, Peony In Love, right here. It actually doesn’t have the best reviews on Goodreads, but I know a lot of people who liked it and the premise sounds cool, so I’m going to give it a chance.

Love your reviews!

cahleen @The Alt Story
cahleen @The Alt Story
3 years ago

OK, now we both have to read Peony!

Jenea's Book Obsession
Jenea's Book Obsession
3 years ago

Congrats on the new followers and the very productive month! Enjoy all your new additions and upcoming week too!

Stephanie Jane
3 years ago

Congrats on all your new followers. I’m enjoying being one of them πŸ™‚

I loved reading Snow Flower And The Secret Fan too. I remember it being quite an emotional book to discover.

Chloe @ Book Dragons
Chloe @ Book Dragons
3 years ago

I’m so behind on reviews, I still have 6 outstanding haha it’s just finding the motivation to write them I guess. Congrats on your stats jumping up though! And you read so much last month…I read 6 books which is decent. I have yet to read anything this month haha, I’ll get there eventually πŸ™‚

3 years ago

I have no idea why, but January always seems like the busiest month of the year But it’s so awesome that you managed to read that many books, while growing your blog and twitter on the same time!

3 years ago

Wow! You are on fire! That is awesome. It’s always so satisfying to enjoy the fruits of your labor. In your case, lots of followers and a blurb on the cover of a book (that is really incredible). I admire your ability to have a full-time job, keep up with the blogging community, and still have time for karaoke. I was looking at No Sad Songs, and will be eager to see what you think.

Laurel-Rain Snow
3 years ago

The Girl looks good…I have read and enjoyed several memoirs about Marilyn. I also love the look of The Girl in the Blue Shoes.

Congrats on your growing follower list! Enjoy.

Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

3 years ago

Congrats on the amazing blog growth!

And, now, for what’s truly important . . . . what is your go to Karaoke song? πŸ˜‰

3 years ago

That’s a tough ballad to sing!

3 years ago

Congratulations on all your new followers Evelina, that is exciting news along with your name and quote on a cover πŸ™‚ I hope that with you posting three times a week you will have some time to enjoy the little things and not feel overwhelmed, it is admirable that you’re making these changes for you πŸ™‚

You had a wonderful reading month and hopefully February will be just as good.

3 years ago

Congrats on the name/ quote placement! It’s okay to brag a little πŸ™‚ you deserve it- after all blogging is time consuming and it’s nice to be recognized! Plus your new blogger series is awesome so kudos for that. πŸ™‚

Yay for the followers also! And karaoke!!! Fun…

I’ve never read The Wind in the Willows. Huh that’s weird…

Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

Congrats on getting more followers! I hope you have a lovely week!

Anna @ Read and Repeat

Congrats on the blog growth! That’s awesome! I feel like I should go down to one post a week + wrap-up because that’s where my life is right now, but I know there’s a balance between too few and too many posts a week to write– it’s easy to forget about blogs if their posts don’t pop up a couple times a week in my feed! So we’ll see.

JJ @ This Dark Material

Ahhh, so many awesome achievements in one month, congratulations Evelina!! (Not that I’m surprised in the slightest!) I’m so happy you’ve found a posting schedule that works for you πŸ™‚ And 12 books readβ€”whoa! I managed half that in January, which I was perfectly happy with, but to be honest I probably need to pick up the pace a little to stay on schedule this spring…

Have a wonderful week! β™₯

3 years ago

Congratulations on getting more followers and overall blog growth! I am quite an irregular blogger and I’m afraid it shows but I don’t always have the time to blog. I enjoyed Herding Cats but now that you mentioned it, it did feel like some parts were not all that connected to others. Have a wonderful week and happy reading!

3 years ago

Yay for such a great, successful month!! Thats awesome that you had so many important things happening with the blog! Hope February is just as amazing!

Cricket@ Little Library Muse

I can understand how it can get overwhelming. I just decided not to put too much pressure on myself for my blog because those first few years I was swamped. You look to have had a great month and hope this month is even better.

Barb (boxermommyreads)

Congrats on the growth and you’ve had a lot of great content this month. Glad you finally found a schedule that works for you. Hope you have a wonderful February!

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

It is great when you start to see your blog grow isn’t it?! Congrats on having a great month for followers! A big congrats on being quoted on a book! That is absolutely amazing!

You got a lot of reading done in January and it looks like the books were read were mostly good ones. Have a great week!

3 years ago

Omg great recap!! I’ve missed so much of your posts T_T Got to find time to catch up <3 AND YAYY FOR THAT GROWTHH CONGRATS LOVE πŸ˜€

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Congrats on the blog growth! Even though I’m not a new blogger, I love your new blogger posts. Reading 12 books is impressive. I wish I could do that in a month. Have a great February!

3 years ago

Yay for a decision ! less is better, if it means being more active πŸ™‚
ahhh also congrats for the new followers, you totally deserves them ! all the way !

Im eager to see if you can lend me some tricks in the next “What tool can help me be an organized blogger” !

Cricket@ Little Library Muse

Congrats on the followers and I can understand wanting to have a set schedule that is manageable. Great post.

3 years ago

I really enjoyed Snow Flower and the secret Fan too! I learnt so much about another culture!

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
3 years ago

Yay for blog growth!! Also looks like a great reading month too. 12 books is great!! Have a lovely week!

Aimee (Aimee, Always)
3 years ago

Hooray for an awesome January, Evelina!!! All those new followers are totally well-deserved, because you churn out some incredibly helpful advice and discussion posts. <3 I've also been posting only twice a week now, and it's still stressful for me because it's my final sem in high school and the workload is crazy, but I'm getting back into the swing of things.

Here's to a fabulous February for us both! <3

3 years ago

I’m so happy you found a way to make your blogging experience work for you! And that’s amazing you read 12 books in January! I had plans to read around that number, because of winter break, but then I helped do a BETA read and that took a lot longer than planned. But it was a lot of fun, so I’m happy I got to do it. πŸ™‚ And a HUGE congratulations for all of your blogging accomplishments! That’s so amazing!! *hugs*

Ivyclad Ideas
3 years ago

Oh cool, I always wondered where the review quotes on books came from.
Have a great February!

3 years ago

So many good blogging things have happened to you this month. Congratulations on every one of them. You write great discussion posts – so jealous!

Cee Arr
3 years ago

200 comments?! What black magic ritual did you have to perform for that? πŸ˜‰


3 years ago

Sounds like you had a great reading month, for the most part anyway.
And sometimes we need the break. Good for you on making a decision on how much you post. πŸ™‚

3 years ago

Damn girl, you are on a roll. I am so happy for you and your stats. Finally you will be showing off your blog followers right? On a side note, I just posted my review of Herding Cats as well. Yay, I will check out your review (on Goodreads??)

Good going.

Danya @ Fine Print
3 years ago

Sticking to a specific number of posts per week can be hard, but three per week is a solid sweet spot! Ain’t nothing wrong with talking yourself up when you’ve had some great accomplishments — congrats. πŸ™‚ I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan before I started blogging and absolutely adored it, so I’m really happy to hear that you loved it!

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

Congrats on the spectacular blog growth! That is impressive. I also think 3 posts a week is a great balance too, so as not to get too overwhelmed. Hope you have a great week!

3 years ago

Congratulations on the blog growth! That is amazing! And congratulations on having your name and quote on a second cover! That is amazing! I’m trying to find a good balance between blogging and my personal life and I think I want to aim towards 3 posts a week. I usually try to do one every day but I can’t keep up anymore.

I hope you have a wonderful February!!

3 years ago

You are doing so well with your blog! Congrats! Hope February is a good month too.

Olivia Roach
3 years ago

Congratulations on all of that blog growth! That is a brilliant job to make and it can be hard to keep up with sometimes but you can do it. Also, it’s brilliant to be quoted on book covers so congratulations again!! Posting 3x a week is still a lot, but it’s good to have your schedule. I feel lucky if I post once a week >.>

Literary Feline
3 years ago

It’s awesome that you have so many followers and commenters. I confess though, I don’t think I could keep up with such high volume of commenters. It’s hard enough for me to keep up with everything right now! What a great feeling for you though! I think it’s wonderful. I am so glad to hear you loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It is one of my all time favorite books. I hope you have a great February!

Di @ Book Reviews by Di

I’ve kind of been on a break for the year to date – so I get what you’re saying!

HUGE congrats on your blog growth – what hard work you’ve put into everything and it’s showing! Although AHEAD of books schedule? Now THAT is showing off!! Ha ha.

Hopefully I’ll be all caught up soon and ready to actually blog properly this year – but you know… I’m not putting pressure this year either and I just want to enjoy and do what I really want to do.

3 years ago

Congrats on the new blogging acheivements and the hard decision you took – plus getting your name and quote on a book, so cool!!

The Girl in the Blue Shoes sounds like my time of book – I will definitely check it out, this year I barely read any sci-fi and I miss it!

I feel like January is always a good reading month – maybe it’s the new year energy but I read a lot of books too. I have yet to read the new Marilyn Monroe biography but it’s on the list!

Danielle Hammelef
Danielle Hammelef
3 years ago

Congrats on all your new followers. You read 12 books? That’s impressive to me. January sounds like it was a great blogging month for you.