Have I Read the Books I Said I Wanted to?

Since I started blogging, more than five years ago, I’ve written various posts about the books that I want to read, have on my wish list or am excited about. But have I read the books I mentioned in the past? I scrolled through the content of my blog from 2016 until the end of 2020 and discovered nine posts (there may be more) focusing on the books that I had on my wish list back then. For the purpose of this post, I decided not to take into consideration the posts that I wrote this year, since not enough time has passed to make me wonder why I may not have read certain books yet.

 

“Huge Books on My Wishlist”

In the summer of last year, I wrote a post about the massive books I was planning to read. Although I’ve picked up all of the four books that I mentioned on that post since then, I didn’t finish reading all of them. I’m currently reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and became very fond of Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. But I ended up DNFing The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy early on this year.

 

“Books in Portuguese to Read This Year”

In 2020, I put together a list of six books by Lusophone authors that I wanted to read during that year. I’ve read in their entirety three of those books (not all within the time frame I had set) – O Irmão Alemão (My German Brother) by Chico Buarque, Quatro Contos Dispersos by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Gaveta de Papéis by José Luís Peixoto. I also started reading Lillias Fraser by Hélia Correia, but decided not to finish it. I still haven’t read A Maçã no Escuro (The Apple in the Dark) by Clarice Lispector and O Quase Fim do Mundo by Pepetela. Continue reading

New Instagram Account

News alert: I have created a new Instagram account to use only for bookish purposes. Until recently I had been using my personal one to occasionally share some pictures of books and to follow other creators. I faced a constant conundrum, though. On the one hand I didn’t want to inundate my feed with only pictures of books, because I used that account to interact with my real-life friends, but on the other hand I also didn’t want to share more personal photos there either, since I had set its visibility to public. The result was that I almost didn’t use Instagram at all anymore, despite loving photography.

To solve that problem, I’ve now made my personal account private (plus removed all followers I didn’t know personally) and created a new account to serve only as a companion for the blog, which will continue to be the main platform I use. A blog suits my need to share written opinions on books more in depth, as I personally don’t like reading long captions on Instagram.

What can you expect to see on my new Instagram account? My “plan” is to always share a picture of the book I’ve just reviewed on the blog, accompanied by a summary of my opinions (a couple of sentences) on the caption. Whenever I publish a post on the blog other than a review, I will also share a picture on Instagram that will serve as a recap of it in some way. Plus, at the end of each month, I want to post a picture featuring all of the books I’ve read with a caption focusing mostly on my favourite. Continue reading

Book Blog Post Ideas

It doesn’t matter when you decided to start sharing your passion about reading books with other people through a blog, it may have been months or years ago, the time will surely come when you will find it difficult to come up with new ideas for posts. The struggle is real and you’re not alone!

Recently, I’ve been trying hard to find new topics on books to write about. After staring at my shelves for hours (mandatory online hyperbole!) seeking inspiration, I decided to scroll through my blog to recall what I’ve written about so far. I can’t say that I was successful in having brilliant new ideas, but I came up with a list of possible types of content for those who are also on the lookout for things to write about.

 

Book reviews

If you decided to start a blog about books, it’s a given that you like sharing your opinions about them. Book reviews are the most obvious way to do so in a comprehensive manner. We use them to convey our feelings about the plot, characters, writing style, the pacing, the quality of the dialogue. Some decide to give books a star rating, while others do not. It’s also up to you whether you review all of the books that you read or just only the ones that you enjoyed. I personally write (and read) what can be considered negative reviews, but many bloggers do not. Continue reading

2019 Mid-Year Resolutions’ Evaluation

We are almost midway through 2019. Thus, this is the perfect time to evaluate if I’m fulfilling my bookish resolutions for this year. A couple of them are vaguer than usual, so it may not be easy to come to objective conclusions.

When it comes to numbers, my desire is to read at least 35 books. I’ve finished 17 so far and am halfway through another. It seems likely that I will achieve my goal, particularly because I’ve already read more than half of the total number of pages that I’ve read last year, according to Goodreads. I may end up reading less books than in 2018, but it looks like I’ll have read more pages.

My second goal is to reread at least one of the books that I remember as old favourites, meaning books that I constantly mention as being favourites of mine but that I’ve read both before having this blog and started using a rating system. I’m currently rereading O Ano da Morte do Ricardo Reis (The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis in the English translation) by José Saramago. Continue reading

My Blog’s Search Terms

I’ve recently read a post on Ally Writes Things in which she unveiled some of her blog’s search terms. That aroused my curiosity to take a look at my own. Most people visit my blog via the WordPress reader, but search engines are also responsible for a meaningful number of views (in the context of my tiny blog). Although the vast majority of the search terms are unknown, some aren’t. I selected a few that I consider interesting and will now try to guess which posts those visitors read.

 

“The role of the miniaturist in the miniaturist”

I’ve mentioned The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton countless times on my blog, so I’m not surprised that someone visited it after searching the terms above. They probably read my review in which I touched on the possible reason behind the title, despite the miniaturist not being one of the main characters.

 

“Sophia de Mello Breyner poems in English”

Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen is one of my favourite poets. I haven’t reviewed any of her poetry collections yet, but I’ve mentioned them on an author spotlight that I wrote about her. That must have been the post that the person who searched for these terms ended up reading. In case you’re interested an anthology of her poetry has been translated into English. It’s titled The Perfect Hour, if I’m not mistaken. Continue reading

Regrets of A Blogger

Have you ever written something that you wish you hadn’t? After two years of blogging, I’ve put into words quite a few thoughts, opinions and reading plans. However, some of those are no longer true. My major writing regrets are not related with book reviews or ratings. Generally, I wish I hadn’t said that I was going to read or buy specific books. I feel like, in a way, I may be betraying someone’s expectations, although I’m pretty sure no one besides myself remembers that I wrote certain things.

Last year, I published a post about the books featured on the 2017 Man Booker Prize longlist and selected the ones that I wanted to read. But, almost a year later and after reading more reviews on them, I realised that I had changed my mind and no longer have any desire to read some of them, because they don’t appeal to me after all. That is the case with Days Without End by Sebastian Barry and 4321 by Paul Auster.

While revealing some of the books that I took from my shelves last year, I got carried away and said that I was going to buy the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, reason why I was giving away my copy of Hamlet. Afterwards, I came to my senses and realised that I would never ever read all Shakespeare’s works. Most of all because I have no interest at all in some of them. I just want to read a couple of more plays. Thus, I’ve decided against buying a book featuring all his works, seeing that I’d never read them. The worst thing about all this is that I don’t own a copy of Hamlet any longer and will now have to buy a new one. Continue reading

My 2-Year Experience as a Book Blogger

Last Sunday was my second-year blog anniversary! So, I decided to look back on my book blogging experience and share some thoughts about it. To be honest, when I first started blogging, I wasn’t 100% sure about what I was doing and had no real expectations. I had written content for websites before (just not about books) and had tried to start a travel blog some years previously (which was quite silly, seeing that unfortunately I don’t really travel that much), thus I knew my way around content management systems. But what was I going to write about?

At the time, I was watching loads of BookTube videos and had just started reading some book reviews. That made me want to discuss the books I was reading with other people. But, as my friends are not massive readers, I couldn’t really do that in real life on a regular basis. It was then that I decided to start this blog! Some months before I had read The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and had some thoughts to share. So, my earliest post was a review of that book, when probably it would have been wiser to write an introductory post first.

Before writing that review, I came up with a kind of structure for the blog. I wrote an ‘about’ page and established a set of categories that I thought encompassed the types of posts I was planning to write – reviews, favourites and author spotlights. Soon I realised that I needed a new category which embodied features on a variety of subjects that didn’t fit in with the other ones. It was then born the ‘other bookish content’ category. After that, I also started doing book hauls and, more recently, have introduced a new category focusing on bookish places. Continue reading