52 in 52: Hosting for Charity

At the end of 2017 a lovely member of the Facebook group I am in (bitches gotta read) asked admins of the group if we had a pet project or charity that she could donate to in our names in appreciation for our work keeping the group safe and fun. No one has ever done this for me before, ever, and so I didn’t have one at the front of my mind. I hadn’t had time to vet a book related charity, but I knew that the ASPCA was a great organization that does a lot of good for animals. You all know that my furbabies play a huge role in my life,

 

 

so her $20 donation inspired me to do some good this year by sponsoring a year-long fundraiser for the ASPCA (#30). It is called Angry Paws and Claws and has a donation goal of $2,500 by December 31st. I have my fundraising page linked on Facebook and here on the website (see the left sidebar) and will be promoting it throughout the year.

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So if at some point this year you are reading my posts, enjoying the content, and wish you could show your appreciation, send some $$ to the puppers and meowers so they can be safe and warm and on top of the nearest book or Kindle that someone is trying to read. I would love it if you would share the site to your friends and family and ask them to support as well. The address is: https://secure.aspca.org/team/angryangelbooks

Two down, 50 to go! (Click to enlarge!)

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Week 1: Cleaning Out My Closet

 

 

No Book Nook: The After-Times Gazette “Stay Focused” Edition

Fire and Fury

I understand this book is very exciting. I admit that when I heard about the eating cheeseburgers in bed while watching TV bit I was equal parts horrified and jealous. Everyone loves a tabloid, a scandal, an embarrassing story about someone important, especially in The After Times when our president is who he is.

I will not be reading this book. I am not looking down on those who do, honestly do what you need to do to get through this garbage dump of a world we currently exist in. For myself I will catch what snippets I can through news outlets, Colbert, and Twitter, and leave my reading time for books that I will enjoy reading.

I already know all I need to know about this president, and my ears are open for more important info as time goes on. I apologize if you were looking for a review of it here. You won’t find it, but you will find many exciting new releases this year!

Mother Oprah

The speech that Oprah gave at the Golden Globes was inspiring and heartfelt, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed that each award recipient seemed to feel the need to pay homage to her when they approached the mic to give their acceptance speeches. There is something about Oprah that makes me feel like she has my back and I can rely on her whenever she is speaking.

Whether she runs for president or not is completely up to her, and to be honest I don’t have the mental capacity to think about the carnival that the next election will bring (I’m already cringing at the midterms riding over the horizon). One thing I do want to say, just briefly, is that it says something about the volume to which our national discourse has been cranked that we would cling to one of the most influential and powerful black women in the world and ask her to save us from ourselves.

It is America’s historical habit, for some reason, to want non-politicians to run the government, and I suppose at the heart of it, in theory, any American can run – that’s the idea. But the reality of the situation is that these are people we are asking to handle intense legal and financial issues for almost 400 million people of diverse backgrounds, and your aunt Clara just probably shouldn’t be put in charge of that.

For my health issues I want a doctor, for education I want a teacher, and for politics and government I would like people who are educated and familiar with the workings of politics and government to be voted into those positions. A nice side benefit would be that they share my values and actually care about my future and well-being, and perhaps have some coursework or background in finances as well. It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done.

Jake Tapper

Ed over at Gin and Tacos said it before and better than I could, but I feel like it’s past time where we just stop inviting people on these shows. It’s difficult because the trap that 24 hour news stations have set for themselves is to constantly be slave to the ratings monster, and what pulls eyes to the tv like watching a smart person own an unstable person?

I already know all I need to know about these people. Please, for the love of god, stop inviting them on your shows. We all know what they’re going to say, we know what’s going to happen, we can’t get any new info from them, only a spectacle. STOP IT.

***

If you stare too long at the bright lights, you’ll lose the ability to see at all. Be careful. Stay focused.

52 in 52: Cleaning out my Closet

Have you given in to the pressure to make a new year’s resolution? At this time of year is difficult to avoid making even the smallest promise to yourself about eating better, exercising, or being more organized. I have to admit that even in my own mind I’ve told myself that this is the year that I get back to 200 pounds, the weight that I was before I met the husband. We have gym memberships and have been eating very well already, so even though it’s like a resolution, it’s really just a continuation of what I’ve already been doing.

So instead of resolutions this year I decided to try out something that I read about on Facebook (and that definitely doesn’t make me feel like I’m a crazy grand-aunt). You make a list of 52 things that you want to do. They can be chores, trips, donations, self-care, whatever, and you try to do one each week. Here’s mine (click to embiggen):

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For week 1 I decided to clean out my closets and drawers and donate clothes to Goodwill (#35). Writing this post now I wish I had taken pictures of my closet beforehand because everyone loves before and after pictures, but I didn’t and so you get pictures of the four bags of clothes I cleaned out and the after. As you can see, I don’t own a lot of clothes.

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I got rid of anything too small for me that I’ve been holding onto and anything too big for me that I don’t look good in. There are not a lot of affordable, well-fitting plus-sized clothes, so these are the clothes I wear.

Luckily this will make the next move easier to pack for, and goodness knows laundry isn’t a chore, so hooray for cleaning out my closet!

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Next week I’ll be introducing you to the drive I’ll be hosting for charity! Have a great weekend!

No Book Nook: Patreon, New Releases, Rewards

Last year a few of my followers asked me to create a Patreon so they could support my efforts. Right now the money I receive via my one patron (shout out to Pookie!) goes toward a fund that I use to

(1) buy new releases not available at the library or via an advanced reader copy.

(2) maintain this website and keep the site ad free.

and

(3) pay entrance fees for conferences (this year AWP and Miami Book Fair) that I share with you.

This year I would like to begin to purchase more new releases, which would then result in more giveaways for followers as well as more up to date reviews. I want you all to be hearing about the books that are 2-zero-one-eight not 2-thousand-and-late.

SO

I have set up some rewards on Patreon to entice you to set up at least a $2 per month patronage to Angry Angel Books. I am working on finding a good printer for some stickers, bookmarks, and coffee cups, and as I mentioned before, patrons will have priority access to giveaways of books that I have purchased and reviewed. $2 a month is $24 a year and that’s at least a good hardcover book. You know you’d be buying that anyway. 🙂

If you would like to support what’s growing here, take a look at Patreon and see what you think. Remember though, that your continued readership is what matters the most to me, so if you do not become a patron I still love you as much as I did before.

Read, be brave, stay angry.

 

Auld Lang Syne

2017 was a disaster year not only societally but for me personally. I struggled through forced professional transition, financial stress, familial estrangement, scholastic endeavors halting, and a literal hurricane. Basically everything I touched got ruined in 2017.

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While 2018 promises to be a continually blazing dumpster fire of embarrassment and greed on the political stage, in order to move forward I had to make some goals and find some things to look forward to in the upcoming 12 month period.

52 Weeks of Achievement

Everyone gets a trophy! I found this idea on the internet and since I don’t do Pinterest I made a physical list instead. The idea is you make a list of 52 things that you want to get done this year and do one of them each week so you feel like you did something. These items can be personal, professional, chores, fun, giving, etc. but you do only one each week. I can totally respect this because any more than that during 2017 and I would have felt overwhelmed and given up on it. In 2018 I will hang my hat on some of these as something I did other than wishing I was dead or screaming at the tv in despair.

Traveling and Learning

I have two events on the schedule for 2018. Apparently BlogHer has given up on the all-encompassing conference and has instead given the community a smaller Health conference in January this year, so that’s out. (and to be honest I don’t think that was for me anyway-shhh)

AWP

I will be attending the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Tampa in March. Samantha Irby, an Angry Angel Books author favorite, will be presenting at two sessions there, and I’ll be attending a few more specifically catered to writing book reviews. I am looking forward to exploring what this organization has to offer, because they also run some writing mentorship programs and other similar things throughout the year that I might want to get involved in eventually. This conference seems much more my speed than Blogher was anyway.

miami book fair

The Miami Book Fair is held every November at Miami Dade College, and this past year Joe Biden was there promoting his “I’m TOTALLY not running for president this is just a book I wrote *WINK*” book and I wanted to go because I LOVE Uncle Joe but I just couldn’t. This year I am going to book a hotel, take the days off, and enjoy author presentations along with the book sale. I have never been to Miami; maybe I can convince the husband to come with me. Probably not though, getting him to take days off is impossible.

Traveling and Relaxing

Pat's Pizza

2018 may also be the year of my pilgrimage to Mecca a.k.a. Pat’s Pizza/Dysarts Truck Stop in northern Maine. Being from Maine means that some part of me must return to the River Styx to be dunked in the waters of a) long, endless highways lined with trees, b) lobster, and c) the restaurants around the University of Maine-Orono to restrengthen my resolve to then return, immortal, into the vast outside world. I’m like the Achilles of the Northeast.

I have to get a beef/onion/mushroom double dough pizza and some mozzarella sticks at Pat’s, eat breakfast at Dysarts, see my grandmother and get a cheap lobster down on the islands. Three to five days in Maine does it for me for about three to five years. The last time I went was in 2013, so it’s almost time to once again recharge the batteries at the source.

Space Coast

I have never been to Cape Canaveral and we’ve lived in Florida since 2010. 2018 may be the year to visit both the Space Coast and St. Augustine to expand my knowledge of the state in which I live. Good excuse for a beach hotel too, and I won’t ever pass up that opportunity if I can afford it.

Unlikely, But Possible

I’m just not sure if that podcast is coming back. Every time I think about doing one I get equally excited and discouraged. I think “OMG MY OWN RADIO SHOW” at almost the exact same time as I think “omg I don’t have the energy for this, I’d rather just sit here and stare at MSNBC.” I want a podcast, I like talking about things, but I don’t have a large enough following to make the effort to do BOTH the blog and a podcast right now. But maybe 2018 will bring a boost to my followers and open the door. We’ll see.

I started writing a women’s fiction novel with fantasy elements during NaNoWriMo this year and I was like, “woah, I have this entire story in me, I just don’t have the time to write it” so I was like “well maybe I’ll write a little bit each week in 2018 and see how far I get” but again, too much pressure or I fall behind and I get discouraged. I’m not saying I’m NOT going to do this, but I’m also not speaking my intentions out into the universe just yet.

***

May you find a way to end 2017 in a positive way and to approach 2018 with hope. I am doing my best to try the same. Let’s face it together. Keep reading, stay angry.

Randomization

2017 is off to a great start! Some quick updates on how the blog might be changing a bit over the next couple of months.

  1. Random posts: you’ll notice a slight change from the Tuesday/Wednesday clockwork. I still want to share two books each week, but they will be coming when I finish them. Since I’m reading books as they are released, some are more substantial than others and need a little extra time. So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me as lockstep as I have been posting, I’m still here.
  2. Web address: at some point I am going to buy a domain name for this site, at which point the web address will change a bit. I am not sure how this affects your access to the site, but when that happens I will give a heads up.
  3. I may try to weasel in a “No Book Nook” where I share news and happenings from the real world that are of interest to me, but I haven’t really cemented that yet but be on the lookout.

Thank you for being a reader here and I hope you are enjoying my reviews. Onward and upward!

-Amanda

Angry Angel Gifts

As we move through the holidays and closer to the new year, Angry Angel Books is making plans for the future. It has been a fantastic year seeing this blog grow, and I have definitely mastered the art of the holds list at the library.

There were obstacles, mostly in the fact that I am admittedly poor and had to wait on those new releases from the library instead of purchasing them straight away. I read at the speed of Lucille Ball trying to shove chocolates into her mouth, but the supply of chocolate was not quite as fast.

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I’ve been brainstorming and while I know many blogs go for straight donations, that didn’t feel right to me since my blog isn’t very far reaching right at the moment. My mind kept returning to how thankful I was about your readership and the library for helping me to have access to so many good books, and came up with this idea.

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Angry Seraph Amazon Wish List

I created an Amazon wish list with some upcoming 2017 releases. If you would like, click the link above and take a look around. I’m going to be keeping a very close watch on popular books in 2017 and keeping this list updated. If you are interested in a book you don’t see on the list, just message or post on Angry Angel Books on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

So how will it work? If you enjoy my reviews and want to contribute to my site, choose a book to purchase or pre-order and the site will send it directly to me. When purchasing or pre-ordering make sure to leave a gift message to indicate one of three things.

  • This is a gift! Buying a book for me to either keep or donate or gift as I will. I love books! Please include your address so I can send a thank you note. gifts
  • Send it back to you so you can read it! Want me to read and review it first? Great! Want the book you bought for yourself afterwards? Fantastic! In the gift message please give me your name and shipping address and I will send to you right away once the book has been read. return-to-sender
  • Donate! If you would like this book to be donated to a specific organization or library, even if it’s near you, please include the info in your gift message or DM me on Twitter or Facebook and it shall be done.

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This is something I want to continue through 2017, and whether people use this or not I will be continuing to review and enjoy books that I hope you enjoy as well. There are more new additions in the works, but this was the first one I could share now. 🙂 Happy Holidays!