I follow a lot of other book bloggers in the community, and I really enjoy reading other people’s posts. I love features on community topics, salty reviews, incredibly excited reviews, recommendations, list posts, and more.
Since I’ve read some really thought-provoking and fun blog posts this year, I thought it was finally time to do a round up of my favourites.
I keep coming back to this post because it’s such a good guide to places you can find free books (that are legal). Shealea’s explains what each resource is and the types of literature you can find there eloquently and in detail. I use this post reminder of the other outlets I can access for graphic novels, e-books, web comics, audiobooks, and more.
Fadwa’s discussion of the prejudices that POC face in the book community and the internalised biases that white readers all need to unlearn is open, honest, and a strong reminder that while we think we’re doing well at striving towards equality, we still have a long way to go. Fadwa explores the privilege inherent in the ARC system and why it’s so important for own voices readers to be given the same chance to receive ARCs that non-own voices readers are. She also reminds us of the stark reality that LGBTQ+ rep is often prioritised over representation of POC in books. This is probably one of the most important blog posts I’ve read this year and I’d urge you to go and read it too.
CW’s newly revamped blog has a really unique feature; she has four magical characters that are central to the blog’s theme and appear in almost every post. This post is a set of diverse anthology recommendations from Varian the Toadshifter, and I had so much fun reading it because there’s a whole short story (with YOU as the main character) before the actual recommendations. It’s complete with artwork too!
I read Mol’s gift guide soon after she posted it and it gave me so many ideas for possible Christmas presents. She covers everything from subscription boxes to fandom merch, including candles, stationary, t-shirts, beauty products, and so much more. Many of these online shops were new to me, and I found that a lot of them suited my taste in merch/gifts, so not only did I get some great gift ideas for others, but I also found things I’d like for myself. Mol’s post is perfect for this time of year when Christmas is only a few weeks away, and in case you were wondering – yes – she has done a Part 2.
Karlita has created a brilliant resource for pretty much every 2019 debut release you could ever hope to get your hands on. You can stroll through each month of the calendar and see all the debuts released on a particular date, and you can even add the calendar to your own so that you’ll never miss a release when you’re out and about.
Feeling Pressured to Read – Why the YA book community can be toxic by Cerys @BrowsingForBooks
In this post, Cerys talks about the financial privilege in the book community, elaborating on her own experiences of book buying, and the fact that on Bookstagram and other platforms there’s pressure on readers to own a lot of books. She describes how it it can sometimes becomes so much about the numbers (the number of books read in a month, number of followers, number of books hauled) that, in our competitiveness, we forget the true point of the book community: to share and enjoy books together. This is a great reminder of the fact it’s a privilege to be able to afford new books, and one we shouldn’t forget.
Negative Reviews: Why We Right Them by Hollie @Hollieblog
Hollie explores the importance of negative reviews, and why they can be as productive as positive reviews. She highlights the fact that a lot of people confuse negative reviews – critical examinations of a piece of fiction – with outright hate or personal attacks on the author, when in actuality, if done well, this is not what they’re meant to be. She also touches upon how members of the community have voiced critical opinions and been struck down for them, even though they This post is really worth a read no matter if you do or don’t write negative reviews, as it encompasses the upsides and downsides of them very well.
This post struck a chord with me because I read it just before I went to see the The Hate U Give at the cinema. Layla draws in her own experiences to discuss racial stereotyping and internalised racial bias and compares them to the realism of the film. She explains how important the film is to her and how realistic it is to the every day experiences of black people. This post is a powerful reminder we need to keep fighting and challenging racism at every chance we get.
In this post, Ashleigh describes her recent trip to Stratford, including visiting New Place, Hall’s Croft, and Shakespeare’s birthplace, where two performers were able to recite lines from any of Shakespeare’s plays on command. (Pretty impressive!) I really like Stratford, as it has an abundance of charm and character, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ashleigh’s post about the city, and I ended up cheerfully reminiscing on the last time I went to see Shakespeare’s houses a few years back.
Marie’s post on blogging cliches is so much fun. She talks us through some of the biggest cliches in book blogging and answers the questions on whether or not she herself does these things. I answered the questions as I read through the post and, yes, (unsurprisingly) it turns out that I am a book blogging cliche!
Jenn gives us a tour of the bag that she was taking to YALC in the summer and explains why each item was useful for the convention. This is a short, fun read, and I found it incredibly useful because it reminded me of a few things I’d yet to pack. I read it before YALC had begun, so it also increased my excitement for the convention itself.
Beth explains that, because she’s focused on tropes she dislikes in the past, she wanted to dedicate a full post to all the tropes she loves. She describes how, although tropes are inevitable and often cliche, lots of books create unique twists on the status quo tropes by turning expectations on their heads. She also discusses the fact that although tropes are cliched a lot of the time, it’s more than OK to still enjoy them. From epic redemption arcs to enemies-to-friends, this post covers some of my absolute favourite tropes (not to mention my favourite series) and I had a blast reading it.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading every one of these posts this year, but this is by no means a definitive list. There were many, many others I wanted to include, but this post would have been thousands of words long and you would have been scrolling for miles (and likely cursing me). I hope you’ll go and give these bloggers some love, as their content is excellent and deserves all the praise we can heap on them.
What have some of your favourite blog posts of 2018 been? If you’ve got a blog post you’re particularly proud of, I’d love to read it! Just drop me a link in the comments.