Posts Categorized: Meta

Quick Classics Club Update

January 20, 2017 Books, Meta 6

This is just a quick little post to let y’all know that I’ve updated my Classics Club page. It now includes my original list, arranged by title with color-coded categories, and two other arrangements: by time period, and by geographic origin.

And because I’m apparently completely bonkers, I’ve already been working on future Classics Club list(s)… with well over 200 titles to play with (and growing), I felt like I needed to be a bit more organized! Hence, the multiple sorting options.

I’m still debating on whether I ought to call for peanut gallery opinions on future CC picks. Or maybe I should publish the list(s) ahead of time to provide opportunity for comment. What do you think?


Overambitious Plans for 2017 and Beyond

December 31, 2016 Meta 12

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends!

I don’t typically make resolutions at this time of year, but I do think it’s a convenient period for reevaluating what I’ve got going on here at this lil’ ol’ blog of mine.

Take a look at my Current Projects page, where I’ll be keeping track of of my progress towards some of these goals.


Challenges:

Wizard of Oz Read-Along

I’ll be reading L. Frank Baum’s 14-book Oz series starting in January. Want to join me? Sign up HERE.

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Wheel of Time Re-Read-Along

I will also be reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (+ Brandon Sanderson) over the next 15 months. You can join me on this epic journey, too.

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Foodies Read

This will be the 3rd year that I’ve signed up for this reading challenge. It’s being hosted again in 2017 by Heather at Based on a True Story. I’m going with the “à la carte” option because I’m just not sure how many foodie books I’ll have time for this year, but I still want to participate and read other foodies’ reviews too.

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Back to the Classics Challenge

Several bloggers that I follow have done/are doing this challenge, and I thought it would be a nice tie-in with my Classics Club reading goals (below). If I stick to my reading plan, I should be able to accomplish at least 6 if not 9 of this year’s categories. This challenge is being hosted by Karen at Books & Chocolate.

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Classics Club Catch-Up

I signed up for the Classics Club back in 2014, but I’m not even halfway through my list yet. One of my goals for this year is to really buckle down and prioritize these books. You can see my full list here.

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Movie Musicals Challenge

Even though this challenge is only supposed to take up 1 year, I’m nowhere near finished with it — but I do think that these films are interesting and culturally important, so I’m going to go ahead and extend this into 2017.


Blogging:

Post at least 8 times per month

I’ve been posting kind of inconsistently since I started blogging here a little over 5 years ago. Sometimes I would try to follow a schedule for a month or two, but I would soon run out of ideas or blogging mojo and would start to slack off again.

For the past couple of months I’ve been brainstorming and planning and drafting posts with the intention of building up a “hope chest” of ready-made blog posts + creativity-sparking ideas. Fair warning — some of these blog posts will be a little more personal in nature rather than bookish.


Reading:

Do a better job of noting where/from whom I heard about a book when adding it to my TBR

I haven’t been in the habit of tracking the details of recommendations — my usual method goes something like:

  1. See an interesting title (“Oh, shiny!”)
  2. Add it to my to-read list on Goodreads (“Gimme gimme!”)

So… yeah. I need to remember to give credit where credit is due, not least because this might help me figure out where I’m getting most of my TBR titles from.

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Develop a more diverse to-read list

One thing that quickly became obvious to me when I took a closer look at my Classics Club list earlier this year is that I need to work on consuming a more diverse reading diet. I’ve already started working on my next CC list (yes, even though I’m nowhere near finished with my first one — I just like making lists, OK, shut up) and I’m seeking out more books from women, non-white, non-English-language, and pre-19th century authors.


Miscellaneous:

Work towards meeting those 30-by-30 goals

My deadline for my 30 by 30 project is coming up pretty soon (/gulp). Although it’s clear that I’ll never be able to manage some of the goals at this point, there are still a few things that I don’t want to leave undone. Wish me luck!


2016: The Year that Was

December 29, 2016 Meta 8

WE ARE ALMOST DONE WITH THIS HELL-SPAWNED YEAR, Y’ALL.

Ehem. Sorry about the all caps, it’s just that… well, 2016 has been super weird and not in a cool way, right?

That’s not what this post is about. There are plenty of thinkpieces out there on this topic that are probably more eloquent than I can hope to be on this subject. But really, I’m just happy about finally being able to tell 2016 to get the eff outta here.


This is actually a wrap-up post for 3 different challenges:

Foodies Read

I ended up reading 8 books for Foodies Read this year:

Introductory Post

  1. The Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury — Reviewed 18 June 2016
  2. Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson — Reviewed 27 Feburary 2016
  3. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt — Reviewed 31 January 2016
  4. Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm — From Scratch by Lucie Amundsen — Reviewed 9 May 2016
  5. Wine Folly by Madeline Puckette and Justin Hammack – Reviewed 4 September 2016
  6. Community Cookbooks of West Texas – Special Feature, 19 November 2016

My favorite of these was probably Locally Laid by Lucy Amundsen, but Wine Folly and The Food Lab both tie for a close second — and, of course, the community cookbooks have a special place in my heart.

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

I didn’t do as well with this project as I’d intended, but I honestly don’t feel TOO bad about this. After all, 10 books is better than 0 books.

Introductory Post

  1. Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury — Reviewed 18 June 2016
  2. Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson — Reviewed 27 February 2016
  3. The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt — Reviewed 31 January 2016
  4. Foundation by Isaac Asimov — Reviewed 29 January 2016
  5. In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall — Reviewed 26 March 2016
  6. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle — Reviewed 22 December 2016
  7. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum — Reviewed 23 December 2016
  8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Reviewed 6 March 2016
  9. Wildlife of the Concho Valley by Terry Maxwell — Reviewed 16 December 2016
  10. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind — Reviewed 13 Feburary 2016

The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt was definitely my favorite of these. Wizard’s First Rule was by far the WORST book I read this year and it makes me mad every time I see it on my bookshelf. (Still debating whether I ought to take it to the used bookshop for credit or just trash it like the true piece of garbage it is.)

Women’s Classic Literature Event

Again, I wish I’d read more books that counted for this project — but again, something is better than nothing, right?

Introductory Post

  1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – Reviewed 9 July 2016
  2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin – Reviewed 2 July 2016
  3. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell — Reviewed 19 June 2016
  4. In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall — Reviewed 26 March 2016
  5. Middlemarch by George Eliot — Abandoned!
  6. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys — Reviewed 17 September 2016
  7. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman — Reviewed 6 February 2016

It’s really hard to pick a favorite of these. All of the fiction books were wonderful in their own ways, so I’m going to take the easy way out and say that Jane Goodall’s science nonfiction book In the Shadow of Man might be my favorite.


A few other things also happened this year…

I gots me some capital-P Plans for the coming year, too — more on that tomorrow.


Conference

October 26, 2016 Geekery, Library Life, Meta 4

I’ve been kinda MIA due to a conference that my library has been hosting this week. It’s been a really interesting, fun, nerve-wracking, AND rewarding experience… but I’m also pretty dang exhausted right now.

But I’ve got a few posts in the pipeline and some big plans bubbling on the back burners right now, so stay tuned!

Beautiful final evening at #SCCMLA16 #Galveston

A photo posted by Louise (@bibliothekla) on


Summertime Intermission

July 17, 2016 Meta 4

I have a confession to make:

I haven’t been reading.

Shocking, I know. Please, take a moment to breathe deeply and calm yourself. Smelling salts are available for a small fee at the concessions stand.

Truth be told, I’ve been dealing with some personal issues lately. Nothing life-threatening; no need to reach for those smelling salts again. But various factors have combined to make me uninterested in books… well, not just books, but almost everything I’m usually interested in pursuing during my leisure time.

Just about the only thing I’ve been consistently interested in has been perfume, of all things. So don’t be surprised if you see a post or two about perfume here on my lil’ ol’ blog. Hey, I only ever said this is a mostly-bookish blog, not an ALL-bookish blog, right?

I’ll probably be reading plenty when we head to Chicago in the near future, but thinking about which books to pack is already stressing me out a little bit. Anyway, I also have a handful of half-done bookish posts to finish up and publish eventually.

I suppose that if one must go on hiatus, the summer is a pretty good time to do it. Summertime is basically made for intermissions, isn’t it?


Welcome to the New Digs

May 31, 2016 Meta 2

If all went well during the little switchover, you should now be seeing my new site! (Or at least seeing this post on it, if you’re following via RSS, if I did the feed update correctly, haha.)

Please feel free to poke around. Many pages are the same as they ever were, but some have been updated. I’ve tried my best to redirect old links as needed, but you might still hit that 404 page if you find one that I missed.

Want to follow along? Subscribe by email (see the form in the sidebar) or find Lone Star on a Lark at on social media: Facebook & Twitter. You can also follow me on Instagram & Tumblr, although for me those platforms are less bookish / more of mishmash of personal things.

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Comments on old posts were not ported over properly, and I’m working on replacing them. Your previous comments are not lost forever, I promise.

You may notice that some old posts are missing. Sorry about that. I took this opportunity to restructure some stuff, which took a lot of time and finagling and I’m sure lost a couple of things here and there.

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Find a problem? Please feel free to contact me about it here!


Whither goest thou, Louise?

April 17, 2016 Meta 0

This is just a quick note to let any followers know that I ATEN’T DED* yet, friends.

Yes, I’m still working on the behind-the-scenes upgrade/migration. And yes, I’m still reading and reviewing. But my afternoons these days are mainly spent out on the back porch, enjoying the lovely weather with a book and my dog and a cup of wine to hand… and it’s been so lovely and worthwhile.

I promise I haven’t disappeared — I’ve only gone outdoors for a while.

 

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*all apologies to Granny Weatherwax and Terry Pratchett


Blog Ahead Challenge 2015 Wrap-Up

November 1, 2015 Meta 0

Blog Ahead Challenge

Well, October is officially over. And so is this year’s Blog Ahead Challenge! How’d I do?

I “only” got 23 blog posts written and scheduled. Putting “only” in sarcasm quotes because that’s actually about 23 more posts than I actually would have written if I wasn’t trying to meet the challenge goal.

I wrote 1 book review, 6 challenge-related posts, 6 posts for discussion series, 5 posts for non-series discussions, and 5 family history essays.

You know, I’ll never be one of those bloggers who can churn out interesting daily posts (or even boring daily posts, or even just more than one post a week). But I’ve learned that if I can find the time to just sit down and brainstorm/write, I could probably publish here more often than I have been over the past few years.

Visit my Blog Ahead Challenge tracking page for more details.


Blog Ahead 2015 Challenge

October 2, 2015 Meta 0

Blog Ahead Challenge
I’ve decided to join the “Blog Ahead Challenge” hosted by the Herding Cats & Burning Soup + Caffeinated Book Reviewer blogs. Hit that cute logo up there for the official event post.

The goal: 31 posts written and scheduled by October 31.

Why?

Well, you know how you come up with cool ideas or funny thoughts while driving to work, watching a movie, taking a shower, walking the dog, or whatever? And you scramble to write them down on a napkin or crumpled up receipt or, worse, think you can just try to remember it? And then you toss out the scrap or completely forget about your idea by the time you’re sitting down in front of your computer, completely out of ideas for your writing projects or blog?

Yeah, that happens to me a lot. Like A LOT a lot. So my hope is that doing this challenge will help me be more organized with my ideas and more prompt about actually getting them out in semi-coherent text form.

I’m going to concentrate mostly on book stuff, of course, but I might try posting about some other stuff… this blog isn’t only a book blog, after all. There’s plenty of space for food stuff, science stuff, library stuff, home stuff, etc.

Some of the posts I’ll be writing — probably about half, going by my current tentative plans — will be for the blog portion my private family history website. I’ll still keep track of them, but they won’t be posted publicly. But they still count!

See my official Blog Ahead Challenge page here!