Why Am I Always So Behind on Goodreads?

My Goodreads profile is always a long way behind my actual reading. I like my short Goodreads reviews to compliment my more in depth reviews here on my blog, which means I tend to write them at the same time. But…I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty useless at keeping up. I even have a column on my reading spreadsheet reminding me to write reviews, but I still manage to fall behind. It’s just not that easy to write a long, detailed review when life gets in the way, and that means I don’t update my Goodreads either. I’ve been having some struggles recently (and not so recently) that have thrown me way off base, and I’m struggling to know what to do next. I still read but my reading is marred by reality’s ugly head, and having the time and mental energy to review has seemed impossible. While I can think all to well about what I want to say, when it comes down to actually getting it done and dusted I seem stuck. And that blows. A lot.

Just today I moved 6 books from my current list to my read list. I still haven’t reviewed them, but my head seems clearer today than it has in a long time so maybe I can blast some out and get back on track. Just putting a rating and “review to follow” on my books has allowed me to shift them off the current list, and it means I’m catching up to my Goodreads target again. Now I just need to start writing before I actually forget what I thought of the books. For this very reason, I keep rough notes on my phone as I read, so that I can build on them more, but still, it can be hard to remember weeks later what you planned on saying.

We all have our ups and downs, and for the most part reading helps me through mine. I like to review my books so that, later on, I can look back and remember why I enjoyed it (or didn’t), so that I can see whether it’s worth it to reread. It would be nice if my reviews introduced people to books they’d never read too, though reading is so subjective and I always think that it’s better to read and form your own opinion on a book instead of avoiding it because others didn’t like it (or worse, feeling as though you have to enjoy it just because everyone else thinks it’s the best book in the world). Most of the time, writing a review is just part of the reading process to me. It helps me slow down and consider what I’ve just read, rather than running from one book to the next without breath, without remembering what I’ve read or how it made me feel. In these times though, when life itself seems such a chore, reviewing can seem almost impossible. I’m trying though. I hope it picks up. I hope I can get some done before the next wave hits. And maybe this time I won’t fall so far behind.

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Book Review: Hamster – Family Pet Guide by David Alderton

 I finished this one a while ago but haven’t had time to update it yet. Now, I don’t own a hamster so I can’t tell you exactly how much of the information in this book is needed or useful, and how much is just “extra” BUT I will say that this was a very informative book. It has sections on the care and choosing of both pet hamsters and show hamsters, and even a separate section on how to breed hamsters successfully. All major pieces of information are covered here: sexing; which hamsters can be kept together and which are solitary; taming; feeding; cleaning out cages; basic first aid; and important signs of illness to name just a few of the more interesting sections. There were also separate sections on each variety of hamster and its particular needs, all with clear headers.

This book also had some beautiful photographs (my favourites are definitely the ones depicting the different varieties of hamster – I never knew there were so many colours!), and the ratio of text to images is very well balanced. The layout of the book is good and easy to read. It would also be easy to just skim through the book and quickly find your chapters of interest by looking at the clear headers at the start of each section. The chapters too are well marked. Hamster gives you all the basic information you need to know before buying a hamster (and it even includes “non essential” information, as well as information about breeding or showing your hamster if that’s your cup of tea) without overloading you with info.

In short, it’s a brilliant little book and a very well written guide, and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of purchasing a hamster.

(You’ll probably note that this review is slightly shorter than my usual reviews, and I haven’t given it a rating. This is because it’s a non-fiction guidebook, and so I didn’t rate or review it as I would a fiction book, or a “based on a true story” book.)

Currently Reading

Hey everyone! I’m going to do a quick post about the books I’m currently reading – what they’re about, how far into them I am, whether I’m enjoying them, that sort of thing. I’m also thinking of starting to watch the TV show Grimm today, and possibly doing a “watch with me” type post, where I write about what’s happening in the episode and my thoughts, and we can discuss it in the comments? If that’s something that will interest you, stay tuned!

But now for my current reads. From top to bottom:
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Withering Tights by Louise Rennison – this is the first book in a series about Tallulah Casey, wannabe starlet and completely relatable awkward teenage girl. I’ve read this before but decided to skip through it again before reading the next in the series. Withering Tights is a nice, quick read with both drama and laugh-out-loud bits.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab – this is about two college roommates, Victor and Eli, who plan their dissertation around the hypothetical notion that, under the right “conditions”, people can develop supernatural powers. Their problems arise when they start exploring the…practical…side to their notion and not just the hypothetical side. I haven’t read too much of this yet, but it skips between Victor and Eli in college and Victor several years later, newly escaped from prison and attempting to find Eli. It seems really good so far, and I can’t wait to keep reading and see what happens.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult – an Amish teenager gives birth in the middle of the night and when she wakes up, the baby is gone. It seems that God has answered her frantic prayers…until the dead baby’s body is found. I love Jodi Picoult, and this book is no exception. Again, I haven’t read too much of it, but it’s intriguing and saddening in equal measure.

Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki – this is the first manga I’ve ever read, and it’s a pretty good one! It’s about an ex assassin turned bounty hunter, who’s attempting to track down a dangerous weapons smuggler. He is aided by his bounty hunter partner Sven, and a new allegiance with a burglar. This is going really well, once I got used to the different style of reading! I’m enjoying this a lot, and can’t wait to dive into some other manga too.

Finally, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – a teenage boy, haunted by stories and his grandfather’s death, travels to a little island off the coast of Wales to find out more about his family’s mysterious past. I’m enjoying this book, as well as the beautiful if eery photographs, and am looking forward to seeing what happens at the end. It’s taken me a while to get through because of numerous things getting in the way of my reading but hopefully now I’ll have the chance to finish!

So that’s all the books I’m reading at the moment. Hopefully now that my lectures are over, I’ll have more time to read in between my revision. I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them!