Tag: GoodReads

Bookish Thoughts: Reading Challenges, Rereads, Goodreads Romance Week, Silver Silence by Nalini Singh and Amazon Fresh

Posted February 9, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 8 Comments


The last few years I signed up for a Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my reading goal at 200 books per year. Last year I fell short of that, but I’ve managed to meet or surpass it every other year. I get really frustrated with Goodreads, because reads aren’t tracked for the challenge unless the “date read” info is entered. Since I use the app 98% of the time, and there’s no “date read” option on the app, 98% of the time the challenge isn’t tracked properly. Last year, for example, because I did a lot of re-reading, Goodreads said I only read 33 books, when I actually read 124. It’s really annoying. Thankfully I create my own “200 Books in {year}” shelf, so I have an accurate total. I wish they’d fix that, however, so I could keep an accurate accounting.


In better Goodreads news, we can now log rereads and have them count toward our Reading Challenge. I do a ton of rereading, so I’m really excited about this. Of course, this means I need to start using the “Currently Reading” feature, but I suppose it’s a small price to pay.

How Do I Start Using the Rereading Feature?
Next time you decide to reread a book that you’ve already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle (if you have connected your Goodreads and Amazon accounts – click here to connect your accounts). We take care of marking it as a reread for you. Bonus, it will also automatically be included in your Reading Challenge.


Speaking of Reading Challenges, as an avid reader, I get pretty down on myself when it comes to how many books I read per month. Reading is life, right? So when I don’t read a lot of books in a month I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. But then I log on to Goodreads and see others have set their Yearly Reading Challenges at 10 or 20 – PER YEAR – and I realize I’m not doing so bad with my 12 per month. Not that I’m shaming anyone. Whether a person reads 1 book or 1000 per year, the fact that they’re reading is all that matters. I just tend to be hard on myself, when there’s no need.


It’s Romance Week on Goodreads. They have a list of the Top 100 Romance Novels on Goodreads (based on 4.0 ratings for adult romances on the site). I’ve read 44. I was really surprised at some of the titles listed, and even more surprised some weren’t listed. What do you think of the list? They’ve also broken down the top 10 Paranormal, Contemporary and Historical romances.

 

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Nalini Singh‘s most recent newsletter included a full chapter excerpt from Silver Silence, her upcoming Psy/Changeling Trinity book. It doesn’t release until June and she’s torturing us with an excerpt now? Ahhhh. I need this in my life. Even though I’m sort of anti-werebear. I’m willing to make an exception because I know and trust Singh. Plus, it’s Silver! And, Bonus! It probably means more Kaleb (rwar).

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.


In my quest to try more new authors, I’ve been randomly buying or downloading books from Kindle Unlimited and Prime reads. So far they’ve mostly been duds. Part of it is probably my reading taste, but it’s kind of solidified my choice not to subscribe to KU.


Not book related, but I recently tried Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service. For Prime Members the service is $14.99/mo and includes free delivery, sometimes same day (though same day doesn’t seem to be available in my area yet). I used the 30-day trial to test it out and I don’t think I’ll continue my subscription. I can get most of the items for the same price or less at my local grocery. So really I’d end up paying $14.99 for the convenience of delivery. Some items, like meat, were really expensive. Bulk items, too, were more spendy than Costco. Since I would still have to visit the store, I don’t think it’s worth the money. I might consider subscribing if it were a bit less per month, but at $14.99 I just can’t justify it. I’m all for anything that allows me to shop from home, but my thrifty soul won’t let me do it.

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How Goodreads Broke My Trust

Posted September 24, 2013 by Holly in Discussions | 24 Comments

GRI joined Goodreads in 2009. Prior to that, I didn’t keep a dedicated list of the books I read. I had a vague idea based on my reviews and my read shelf in my personal library (back then 90% of all my reads were print). Many of my friends tracked their reads each month and I wanted to do the same. That’s the whole reason I joined Goodreads and the whole reason I use it now.

On Friday, September 20, at around 11:00 am, Goodreads Customer Care Director, Kara, posted in the Announcements section under the Help banner: Important Note Regarding Reviews.

She states that after careful consideration, they’re revising their ToS and review policy and will be deleting reviews and shelves they feel don’t follow the “spirit of Goodreads”. These reviews/shelves are ones that review the author rather than the book. An example given of a shelf that wouldn’t be allowed is “author-is-a-jerk”.

I’m not necessarily opposed to a change like this at Goodreads. I think they made a mistake in not  addressing these types of problem at their inception. Like many others, I was initially surprised at how lax they were in monitoring the content posted there when I first joined. Then I got used to it and even came to expect it. Admittedly there has been a lot of negativity coming out of Goodreads lately. Authors abusing readers, readers abusing authors, etc. The sad fact is, the drama has ramped up so much many readers don’t want to even visit the site, much less review there. I think a policy change was needed after a group of authors created a website dedicated to “outing” reviewers and posting their personal information online, including phone numbers, addresses and places frequented by their families. Something needed to change, obviously.

What I am opposed to is Goodreads deciding to delete user content without prior notice. This is where Goodreads violated my trust. They started deleting content before they made their announcement and without notifying any of the users whose content was being deleted.

**Delete content focused on author behavior. We have had a policy of removing reviews that were created primarily to talk about author behavior from the community book page. Once removed, these reviews would remain on the member’s profile. Starting today, we will now delete these entirely from the site. We will also delete shelves and lists of books on Goodreads that are focused on author behavior. If you have questions about why a review was removed, send an email to support@goodreads.com. (And to answer the obvious question: of course, it’s appropriate to talk about an author within the context of a review as it relates to the book. If it’s an autobiography, then clearly you might end up talking about their lives. And often it’s relevant to understand an author’s background and how it influenced the story or the setting.)

They caught a lot of flak for the policy changes but stood their ground.

To clarify, we haven’t deleted any book reviews in regard to this issue. The key word here is “book”. The reviews that have been deleted – and that we don’t think have a place on Goodreads – are reviews like “the author is an a**hole and you shouldn’t read this book because of that”. In other words, they are reviews of the author’s behavior and not relevant to the book. We believe books should stand on their own merit, and it seems to us that’s the best thing for readers.

Again, I am not necessarily opposed to a change of this nature. But Goodreads made a major mistake when they deleted content without notice. They realized that and apologized, but stated the content could not be reinstated long enough to allow the users to export the reviews or change them.

One concern that has come up in this thread is that the content was deleted without those members first being told that our moderation policy had been revised.

In retrospect, we absolutely should have given users notice that our policies were changing before taking action on the items that were flagged. To the 21 members who were impacted: we’d like to sincerely apologize for jumping the gun on this. It was a mistake on our part, and it should not have happened.

While we misstepped by deleting them without advance warning of the policy change, the reviews still violate our review guidelines and can’t be reinstated. If we could, we’d love to retroactively export the content, but unfortunately it’s already been deleted. (Message 2704)

As the thread continues (3000+ comments and counting) Kara continued to respond to questions in a vague and somewhat condescending manner. I did not read all 59 pages (at the writing of this post), but I have grave concerns about the direction Goodreads is heading after reading some of Kara’s responses.

For example, when asked how Goodreads is deciding what shelf names are offensive, her response was:

We don’t comment publicly on individual cases, but in general, what we do is look at a shelf and see how it is used in context. In any case where we have decided to remove that shelf, we are confident that the shelf was being used in a way to review author behavior. (Message 2679)

So initially it was shelves with names like “this-author-is-a-jerk”, but when confronted with the deletion of a shelf named “hormel”, she admits they’re profiling shelves? That doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like the idea that some nameless, faceless employee at Goodreads is looking at my shelves and deciding for me what I meant by naming/shelving as I did. The terms of the new policy are too broad. Users commenting in the thread are concerned about what they’re allowed to do and what they aren’t. I, too, am confused. Goodreads needs to be specific in what will and won’t be allowed.

The most glaring error on their part, however, is that there has been no official announcement about this policy change. They haven’t sent out an email to their members or made a front-page announcement. The only place this information is available is in the Help section under “announcements”. Goodreads has over 2 millions members and only just over 13,000 (at the writing of this post) have viewed that message. I don’t know about any of the other members, but this is the first time I’ve ever even visited the Help page. If I hadn’t been directed to the link by someone on Twitter, I wouldn’t have known about the changes at all. I’m afraid other members still don’t.

There are a good number of members who won’t care even if they do find out. But there are a good number who will. Why hasn’t Goodreads sent this to all its members?

Lots of people are jumping ship from Goodreads and heading over to sites like Booklikes, Libib and Library Thing.  I can’t say that I blame them. What about you? Will you be staying at GR and braving the stormy season ahead or are you moving your books and reviews elsewhere?

Here are a list of alternative sites. I’ve investigated most of these and admit I haven’t found one that’s as easy to use as Goodreads, but that could partially be because I’m not familiar with them like I am Goodreads.

LibraryThing

Shelfari

Libib

The Reading Room

Booklikes (this is the site most readers are currently migrating to. The system is running really slow at the moment thanks to the influx)

Riffle

Most of these sites give the option of importing your Goodreads library, including all reviews. I’ll update as I discover more sites.

 

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Mini Review: Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein

Posted January 5, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

This was one of the free books that All Romance eBooks was giving out this year during their 12 days of Christmas. I thought it looked interesting and last night when I had a bit of free time (cuz the kids were gone – woohoo *ahem*) I put it on the old EZreader and read away. 
When Kate agrees to a mad experiment with something as insane as time travel, she expects exactly what Professor Waites had suggested: dystopian nightmares and possible barbarians.

So when she finds herself in a future where women no longer exist and the men have no idea what they’ve been missing, she can’t seem to catch her breath.

Especially when the men in question—the darkly handsome Tem, and his starkly beautiful companion Aley, are so curious and so ready to learn everything she has to teach—including all the past pleasures they never knew existed
The story is about Kate who is basically a guinea pig for a man who has created a time machine. He decides to send her to the year 3033 (from 2010) not knowing what to expect but it will be her job to report back on what’s going on in the future. He’s expecting humans to be small misshapen trolls – not sure where he got that thought but it’s a bit scary for her.
She ends up in a room with a gorgeous man, Aley, who is shocked when he finds out she’s a woman – women have been instinct for more than 600 years! As Kate keeps getting sent back again and again she meets Aley’s roommate, Tem, and starts to having feelings for these two incredible and terribly innocent men.
I’ve got to say that I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a sci-fi/time travel erotic read (which I’m not usually a fan of) but it had just the right blend of the unusual, the innocent, the humorous and the erotic to really appeal to me. On Goodreads I saw that this book is listed as Desire Through Time #1 so I’m hoping that there will be more about Kate, Tem and Aley in the future. I’d love to see what ramifications Kate’s time travel has on the future.

Rating 4.25 out of 5

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Earth Day Celebration: Win an e-book!

Posted April 22, 2010 by Holly in Giveaways, News | 17 Comments

To celebrate Earth Day, I’m giving away a book from my Goodreads Library. Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. The only catch? I’m giving away e-format only (sorry for those non-converts out there). There are 302 books in my Goodreads Library at the moment..and any one of them could be yours! Comment now! Contest ends tonight at 11:59 p.m.

You can also enter to win by @ replying “WANT” on Twitter, or leaving a comment on Facebook.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted March 8, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 24 Comments

Greetings and Happy Monday!
I hope you all had a great weekend.  It rained here on Saturday and I was without a car so the girls and I had a lovely day of laundry, house cleaning, playing games, listening to music, dancing and reading.  I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all.
We had a busy week this week.  My oldest made a science project for the science fair that was very cool.  She did a great job on her display and I am very proud of her.  Here’s the video of the project entitled Egg in a Bottle.  (Since my oldest burned her finger the first time she lit the match she had my hubby do the fire part of it for the video.)  Unfortunately we couldn’t find a bottle that had a good opening for the egg and no matter how many times we did it the egg would break while going in, rather than going in whole. Bummer.
Here’s a picture of her project display:

This past Friday my little Taekwondo master had yet another belt test.  She passed!  She is now a purple belt and I’m pretty sure she can now officially kick my ass.  They never reveal the score of the tests but I think she got a relatively high score.  She knows it all like the back of her hand but was really nervous this time because it was the first time she’s had to break a board during a test (with a side kick).  Because she was so nervous she choked, slightly, when demonstrating her Hapkido (prior to breaking) but she got through it!  Yay!  Here’s the vid of her breaking the board and her accepting her belt.

The Game of Tag answers – and no one guessed the correct 2:

  1. I was born in Germany. Incorrect: I was born in Illinois but 2 of my siblings were born in Germany.
  2. I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle. Incorrect: I’ve never ridden my hubby’s motorcycles but I used to ride on my brother’s cycle when I was younger.
  3. I lived with my parents until I was 26. Correct: Yep, except for college I lived with my mom and dad until I was 26.  
  4. I went to college in Oklahoma. Incorrect: I went to college in Kansas
  5. I’ve been pregnant 5 times. Correct: 3 miscarriages and 2 kids.  
  6. I was on the All Star Softball team in high school. Incorrect: I played softball in high school but never made any All Star team.  If any of you had seen my right hand throw at the time you’d know why. lol
  7. One of the many places I’ve lived was Palm Springs, CA. Incorrect: I’ve lived many places in CA but never Palm Springs.
  8. I’m the only natural born child in my family – my siblings were adopted. Incorrect: All of my siblings are natural offspring of my mom and dad.
  9. I’m allergic to milk. Incorrect: I’m allergic to wheat, eggs and tomatoes, but not milk.
  10. I almost chopped my index finger off in the garage door closer when I was 10. Incorrect: Although very close to the truth!  I did almost chop off my finger this way but I was 5 or 6 at the time so anyone who picked 10 wasn’t far off!  Brothers suck and they get you into all sorts of trouble!

I looked over my Goodreads lists this weekend to try and figure out exactly how many series I had to finish in order to complete my Finish the Series project that I gave myself for the month of March.  Holy Shit is all I have to say.  I have way more series to finish than I thought – the list was more than a little daunting.  I may have to make this a project for March and April…maybe May as well!

So…what I read this week:

First on the list was Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop.  Such a great book!  I just loved this story as I do all of Ms. Bishop’s books.  The continuing story from The Shadow Queen involving Cassidy and her reign as Queen in Dena Nehele – only one of the members of her court is trying to push her out and replace her with a nasty ass Queen.  We get a lot of Saetan, Lucivar, Daemon and Jaenelle as well as Kindred in this book and it was amazing.  I read this one for The Book Binge and will let you know when my review posts.  5 out of 5

Next I read Catch Me If You Can by LB Gregg.  I adore this book, I gotta tell ya.  Just a wonderfully funny, sarcasm filled story with a great whodunit and a lively romance.  I can’t wait to see what’s up next for Caesar and Dan.  You can read my review here. 5 out of 5

Next up was Wicked All Day by Liz Carlyle.  I really enjoyed this book…to a point.  There were parts of it I loved and then other parts when I just wanted to crawl into the book, sit down with the heroine and have a little talk with her.  If that didn’t work I’d slap her. lol  The heroine is caught en deshabille with her closest friend and is forced into an engagement with him.  He wants to do the right thing but is hopelessly in love with another woman and is miserable.  Heroine is starting to have feelings (or more like acknowledging the feelings she’s had for years) for the friend’s older brother but is trying to do the “right” thing where everyone is concerned.  It’s a good book, yet, a little heavy on the saintly acts for my liking.  3.5 out of 5

Bareback Cowboy by Carol Lynne was my next read.  This is a story about a man who takes a vacation from life by going to a working ranch in Montana.  He falls for one of the hands but he’s only there for a week.  His father is an extremely rich man and is insistent on his son’s goal in life – the problem is that father and son have very different goals.  I read this one for The Book Binge as well and will let you know when my review posts. 3.75 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read – as well as one of the books that I read as part of my Finish the Series project – was Dark Lover by Brenda Joyce.  This is book 5 in the Masters of Time series and the 3rd book in the Rose Trilogy.  We joined Sam Rose as she was put on assignment to cover Ian McLean.  He is the son of a Master of Time and has plenty of white power.  The problem is he’s out of his time – as he should be in 1527 – and he’s using his power to be an art thief.  He’s now come into possession – by thieving – of a page from a very powerful book. He’s going to sell it to the highest bidder unless Sam can stop him.  Besides this Ian and Sam are incredibly attracted to each other and trying to stay away from someone they know is not good for them doesn’t seem to stop them.  This was a good trilogy ender and I enjoyed it.  I think that the good guy who’s had a horrible past who’s can be redeemed is one of my favorite tropes and I think Ms. Joyce did a great job with this book.  4 out of 5

I finally got to the manga that’s been sitting on my shelf for too long.  I’m in the swap and apologize to whoever’s been waiting for it.  I finally pulled it out and I really liked it.  They were Crimson Spell volumes 1 & 2 by Ayano Yamane.  She does a fantastic job with the graphics and the fantasy story.  Wizards, dragons, cursed swords – it’s all part of the story.  I’m looking forward to reading volume 3 when it finally comes out.  4 out of 5

Then it was the yaoi novel Body Language by Aki Morimoto.  The first few pages of this book were almost enough for me to put it down.  One of the men was known for treating women really badly and it was a huge turn off for me – but since I knew the books was about 2 men I persevered.  The one guy is complaining that he hasn’t had a date in 2 months so his best friend offers himself up – since he’s been in love with him for a couple of years.  But the best friend hasn’t ever had sex before.  The 2 start a relationship but the best friend keeps thinking that it will end soon and when he misinterprets something he sees it almost does end.  This was good – not great, but good.  I had some issues with some things but overall, not bad. 3 out of 5

Last on the list was Something About You by Julie James.  I loved this book.  I love her writing and I hate that we have to wait so long between releases! lol  This story was just fantastic.  Cameron – an assistant U.S. Attorney and Jack – the FBI agent who believes that 3 years earlier Cameron had almost ruined his career.  Now Jack’s on a case that involves Cameron who ear/eye-witnessed a murder.  But Jack and Cameron don’t really hate each other as much as they say.  I think what I like about Ms. James’ writing is that yes, the h/h started off with some angst between them but the story is mostly external turmoil.  She didn’t write a story that had the suspense part of it as well as h/h’s who had internal issues with say…past relationships, hating women/men, never going to get married, etc.  It was just a great romance along with a great suspense plot.  I also very much enjoyed the fact that we know whodunit right off the bat – we just don’t know what’s going to happen because of that. 5 out of 5


Happy Reading!

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