This week is going by so quickly, and the pacing of Armchair BEA is particularly intense. I haven’t gotten a chance to respond to everyone’s comments, but I will get to them as soon as I have a chance. I’m incredibly touched by how many of you are visiting and sharing books and stories. It means a lot to me.
Today’s Instagram challenge is Best of 2013. I’d have to say that “The Emperor’s Soul” wins that one, hands down. The other books in the photograph are some of the books that I’ve read recently and greatly enjoyed. Actually, despite my hiatus, this has been a good reading/blogging year for me, because I’ve loved almost everything I’ve picked up.
The first discussion topic for the day is ethics. For me, the question of book blogging ethics is inexorably tied to advance review copies. I’ve seen a lot of discussions on the subject in the past few days at Armchair BEA. One one hand, they introduce book bloggers to new and pre-release books. On the other hand, they can lead to blogs becoming more of a marketing tool for publishers than a creative outlet for bloggers. It can be a challenge to find a middle ground. My way of reconciling the two is by not hosting giveaways/interviews/promotional posts of books that I haven’t read and reviewed first. I don’t mind sharing promotional material about books on occasion, but I want my focus to be first and foremost on reviewing. I also don’t want to be the type of blog that only reviews ARCs–I want to discover old and forgotten gems and share them with people who would love them as much as I do.
What are your opinions on ARCs? What challenges do they present for bloggers?
Today’s genre discussion is nonfiction. During the past few years, I’ve rarely read nonfiction, but there was a time in my life when I read a lot of philosophy. Nietzsche, Locke, John Stewart Mill, Rousseau, Marx, Aquinas–you name it. I was in Lincoln-Douglass style debate in high school, which exposed me to political philosophy, and it started me on a several year reading tangent. Pair that with my fascination with Russia, and I ended up reading a lot of primary sources from the time leading up to and following the 1917 revolution so that I could get some idea of the intellectual climate of the time period. Eventually the pressures of school and work caught up with me. My Russian history/philosophy research started to make my brain hurt, even though it was extremely fascinating. Looking for something a bit more escapist, I re-entered the world of fiction.