Goodreads Challenges

Since learning about Goodreads and beginning to use it to track my reading and post my reviews, I have participated in the Goodreads Challenge. You choose an amount of books you would like to read within the year, and then log them as you go. I set a goal of 100 books each year, just to see if I can make it.

Last year I did pretty well considering everything that happened. I made it to within 13 books of my goal and read a ton of really excellent work.

2017 Goodreads Challenge

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Angel Picks: Best of 2017 (Read my favorites list from last year!)

This year I saw a dip in my reading due to my multiple changes in jobs and how difficult the jobs I took were. Despite this I feel like I put on a good show.

2018 Goodreads Challenge

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I might read a few more before the end of the year but honestly I’m knackered and just want to sleep the rest of 2018 away. I’ll set my 2019 goal back at 100 books and see if I can reach the bar next year. 🙂

My Angel Picks: Best of 2018 will be up tomorrow! Have a great day!

Sharp and Sweet

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of the top books lists and seeing a lot of Kirkus Reviews stars, and I got to thinking that I needed a rating system of my own so you could know when a book really knocked my socks off. Two thumbs up is taken, 5 star systems are overused and not clear, and of course stars in general are used across different platforms.

This May I shared an embarrassing story involving my misunderstanding of how pineapples grow. I got to thinking that the pineapple is a perfect representation of me: spines, round in the middle, and relatively sweetish-sour on the inside, and so it might be a great symbol to use for my reviews as well.

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In the new year, I will be applying a “pineapple” to any book that is fucking spectacular. Books that made me feel something, whether it be sweet or sharp, that I devoured because they were delicious. Pineapple reviews will be filed under favorites and can be accessed anytime by clicking on that tab in the menu.

If you see any books being released in 2019 that you would like me to test out first, please feel free to email me the title at angryangelbooks [at] gmail [dot] com or connect with me on Twitter. I can’t wait to read with you into the new year!

Angry Angel Gifts 2018

It is the season of gift giving, and as I bring my third year of Angry Angel Books to a close, I was able to send thank you packages to my Patreon angels! Each package included a snack, a book, and scented votive candles for each contributor. I’m looking forward to adding other small gift packages in 2019!

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If you are a regular reader of Angry Angel Books you know this is the time of year when you have an opportunity to show your support. Your support is not required though, and in fact the joy of simply knowing that there are people out there that enjoy reading what I vomit onto the keyboard is reward enough for me. You can continue reading what I write and never have to pay a penny. My website is ad free and free to all and I will always keep it that way. However if you would like to share the holiday spirit with an angry writer there are some options you can explore.

I maintain an Amazon wish list for my blog, and place books on the list that I have been unable to get at my local library or buy outright. If you love reading my posts and would like to send a book my way, please check out my Amazon list. It’s already set with a gift address so as long as you choose that at checkout it will come straight to me! (And I realize that Amazon is a giant monster company that is terrible and I would normally encourage buying from your local independent bookstore, but I can’t afford a UPS box/address yet to keep people from showing up at my house so I have to do it this way for now.)

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You’ll notice that many of the books on my list are between $8 and $12 each. If this is within your budget you may want to consider becoming a patron on Patreon. Patronages start as low as $1 a month and as I grow I am able to start offering more than just my weekly posts as content rewards for patrons. I am also not too proud to say that as often as my monthly patrons allowed me to buy new books or renew this website’s domain, they also saved my butt with helping me buy groceries or gas (especially in the lean summer months). Your support says you enjoy my work, and if you felt tempted to buy a $12 book, please consider becoming a $1 a month Patron instead. Join the angels!

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I am also aware that Patreon, along with the most recent craziness at Tumblr, is not everyone’s favorite website. In an attempt to accommodate for this, I have signed up for the free website Ko-Fi where you can support me “for the price of a coffee.” They make me pay for a gold membership to allow you to make regular monthly contributions, so if you’d like to give on a regular monthly basis please head to Patreon instead. If you’d like to show your appreciation for my posts and content in a one-time format, then please visit my new Ko-Fi page!

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Now if all these websites are making you sign up for an account or asking for info you’re not comfortable giving and you just want to throw $3 at me, here is my Paypal link and it’s super easy that way too.

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Remember though that even if you click on none of these buttons, I’m thankful for you and your readership. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your support and for helping me grow. We’re entering year 4 here at Angry Angel Books, and we’re glad to have you along for the ride. Happy holidays to you and yours. Let’s all hold tight to each other as me move into whatever fresh horror 2019 will be.

Required Maintenance

I’m not sure if any of you saw this happen before I shut down comments, but someone using an encrypted email account created a WordPress account and began making foot fetish comments on my posts. They were disgusting and sexual and with the help of WordPress support I was able to block the individual, shut down future comments, and edit all of my past posts to shut off commenting there as well.

Taking care of all of this took about two hours, but now I know how to shut it down faster and I can keep a look out for other issues.

On Tuesday I received an email from WordPress that the user involved with this and their wordpress page they had created around my site (and feet) had been removed and permanently suspended from WordPress. I was going to appeal to you all to report the site, but contrary to how I have heard other platforms handle this kind of harassment, WordPress was on the ball. I am thankful.

In the past week I’ve been followed by students from the school I left in October on Twitch, causing me to have to delete my account, had my email account entered for several newsletter and info subscriptions (although no accounts were created, thank goodness) and several attempts to hack my email, and now this. I have my suspicions about what is going on, but I’m just continuing to document what’s happening and dealing with it as it comes.

This is my first really disturbing internet happening, and it’s worth mentioning that people WAY more famous than me deal with HUNDREDS of people like this every day. I can’t even imagine that.

Anyway, that’s why comments are turned off. If you want to interact with me you can always email me or meet me on Twitter. Onward!

Stayin’ Alive

Hello angels.

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting recently. I know some of you look forward to my angry rants and my book recommendations and life in general. I love communicating with you through the internet in this way and it brings me a lot of joy.

At some point in October my mother found my blog and began making snarky comments. I marked them as spam and deleted them, but I would be lying if I said that didn’t affect me. At that point, I felt gun shy about posting at all. If you look at my website you’ll notice that things slowed down significantly in October and November, and as of today it has been a couple weeks since I’ve posted anything at all.

I’ve heard the horror stories about writers who face trolls commenting on their websites, but at the young age of 3 I figured my blog wasn’t big enough or mainstream enough to attract them. Goodness knows that I don’t write in a way that would take advantage of any Google algorithms or SEO platforms. But nothing could have prepared me for how I would feel when a woman I have asked to leave me alone began commenting on my posts.

I’ve finished books and I have reviews ready to go. I have a few essays on life in general just sitting in drafts. I hate to admit this, but my anxiety held me back. It takes so much energy for me to get through each day lately that I couldn’t face having someone shit all over something I love and have grown over the past few years. So avoidance crept in, fear crept in, and I waited.

But you, dear reader, cannot wait. You are a friend and a confidant, and reaching out to you each week gives me strength. I cannot allow this to stop me from being me. I can block people and pretend they died but this is still the internet and those people can still find me elsewhere. That is reality. If I want this website and this writer life, I have to put on my strong woman pants and do it anyway.

Depression is a liar and anxiety is too, but as we all know we can’t always be strong enough to resist the lies. I am making a very strong effort to get back on track and I look forward to giving you some enjoyable posts through the holiday season. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.

 

Thankful Reading

A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of books that I had put on hold at the library as a result of looking at some of the best of 2018 lists.

I’ve already finished Elevation by Stephen King. Waiting at the library for me are The Incendiaries and The Great Believers, as well as Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. She also wrote Uprooted and His Majesty’s Dragon, and Spinning Silver has begun popping up on many of the best fantasy book lists for 2018.

While I’ve been on Thanksgiving break and waiting for these books to come in I’ve been reading the second book in Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series, Legendary. Caraval (#1) was dark, mysterious, and beautiful and so I wanted to see what book 2 had to offer. I’m also a sucker for books who show us women who escape convention to shape their own destinies. Waiting for me in my newly organized office is the SFF epic Dune, but I have to admit that my brain seems to be avoiding it as much as it avoided Stephen King’s The Stand for the same reasons – it’s a book I should  read but it’s fucking HUGE and right now I just want to read 300-400 page books about cool stuff.

Our Thanksgiving was pretty good. Photos of my food efforts can be found on my Twitter timeline if you’re interested. If you haven’t clicked a follow there yet please do. I’m not an influencer or anything, it’s just that sometimes I post things there that don’t get a full post here and if you’re interested in me you might be interested in that too.

I am thankful for you. Thank you for being here.

Heart Enlargement

This morning, after sleeping off the 5 hours full of stress, fear, and anxiety from the drive that finally saw me safely to my hotel last night, I filled myself with free breakfast, called for my rental car from the valet, and attempted to drive through downtown Miami to the parking garage on the Miami-Dade College campus where the Miami Book Fair website claimed my parking would be free, provided I arrived early enough. I arrived at the start time of the fair, 10am, and was able to get a spot.

After I took the elevator down to the street and turned out of the parking garage, I then proceeded to walk three blocks in the wrong direction. After fumbling with Google Maps I turned back around and walked the four blocks back to the streets that had been closed for the Miami Book Fair. I arrived when it opened, and I was so early that some vendors were still setting up shop. There was a religion street and a children’s street, a writer’s row and a food vendor square, and straight down the middle of it all was a selection of new and used books from various vendors, including the most prominent independent bookstore in Miami, Books and Books.

I walked down the children’s book row first (not realizing they were themed) and by the time I hit the end and began walking back, I was starting to feel a bit discouraged. I drove 5 hours and paid for a hotel for this? The equivalent of a street book sale? And why was it so crowded right at opening? There were children EVERYWHERE. Little kids, high school kids, groups of kids following adults with signs and silly hats. I had arrived not at a book fair but at a field trip convention. Every public school English/Language Arts teacher from every surrounding school had gathered their 10-30 student max and set off to get them excited about reading at a street book fair with children’s books and meat on a stick.

And then the Grinch thought of something she hadn’t before. Maybe the Miami Book Fair, wasn’t just books brought out on the street by the stores. Maybe the book fair, perhaps, means a little bit more.

I turned at the end of the street and looked around. There were children of every color and every age. Dancing in the street and having a good time. Speaking different languages. Some bounced from booth to booth, looking for their favorites, others quietly moved between the tables, lightly opening the covers of those books they thought looked interesting. At one point I passed a booth of middle grade books, and approaching from the opposite direction was a herd of small boys. The one at the front suddenly screeched “DIARYOFAWIMPYKID” and it was like a dam breaking – they all sprinted past me in one excited wave to get at the books.

Reader, I felt my heart smile. I felt…joy, maybe? I almost turned around and bought them each one book of their choosing. When I returned to the main thoroughfare and began to look through the booths that were more my speed, I saw kids there too. Older ones to be sure, but they were tentatively looking at adult books, and it seemed as though they were trying to gauge if they were ready. If the jump was one they could make. Watching them all discover books they loved was more enjoyable than finding books for myself.

There is a moment in the beginning of LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring that I love very much. Gandalf is arriving for Bilbo’s birthday at the beginning of the movie, and he is talking to Frodo about Frodo’s suspicions that something is up with Bilbo. As they trundle down the road in the horse cart, the children from the nearby houses (holes?) come scampering out and run in a little cluster behind his wagon yelling “Gandalf! Gandalf!” When he doesn’t turn around or wave to them, they stop running and let out a despairing “awwww Gandalf?” and hang their heads. Frodo raises his eyebrow, Gandalf looks at him, and then suddenly a small display of fireworks bursts from the back of the wagon, and the children erupt into elated cheering and clapping. Frodo and Gandalf chuckle as they continue towards the town.

The way I feel every time those kids get excited about those fireworks is how I felt at that book fair, seeing kids get excited about books. Books are old friends that we can get excited about and will always provide us enjoyment, and for these children to learn this and for me to be able to see it happen in real time is like seeing Gandalf set off his fireworks to cheers. I’m old. I’m tired. There is so much darkness. But time should still be taken to bring joy to the young.

I wish I could go back and buy that whole table of Wimpy Kid books for those kids. Think of the fireworks!

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Also, in case you were interested, I ended up buying two books for myself.

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Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (She has a more recent release, Monday’s Not Coming, but I wanted to grab this one first.)

I wanted to get several more – a copy of The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White was one of them, but the hard and fast truth was that there just isn’t enough money for me to buy books. The two I bought totaled $30, and thus were your November Patreon contributions spent. THANK YOU SWEET  PATRONS, YOU MOVE ME TO PLACES I COULD NOT GO OTHERWISE. I AM SENDING YOU HUGS.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending a few author panels and attempting to get some books signed and then it’s back to Tampa. Keep your fingers crossed for me; the journey here was not kind. Let’s hope the journey home is smooth.