So last night, I decided to reopen my Tumblr account and to clean up my existing blog there. I have never been a Tumblr kind of girl, and to be honest, I find WordPress to be much, much more user-friendly. I still don’t quite know how to navigate my way through the site, but I recently acquired a strange interest in Tumblr-published poetry.
To make the long story short, I’ll be using my Tumblr blog as a small online portfolio for my poetic attempts and short excerpts. Maybe even a few drabbles here and there. This does not, however, mean that I will stop sharing my original literary pieces here. I still will. It’s just that I feel compelled to create a separate, independent platform for my written works so that people can read them easily, without having disruptions from book reviews, lengthy posts and discussions. I hope that makes sense.
Anyway. To visit my online literary portfolio, head over to shutupshealea.tumblr.com.
If you know of any Tumblr blog that shares beautifully written and refreshingly poignant poems, I would really, really appreciate it if you would leave blog recommendations via comment. Additionally, if you have your own Tumblr account, let me know in via comment so I can check your blog out and follow you!
Next agenda. I just want to get this part over with. Last August, That Bookshelf Bitch garnered 1,000 followers! In my celebratory post, I asked for a few questions from, well, you guys. I know this is incredibly overdue (roughly four months, I think), but I’m finally answering those questions today!
Here we go.
From Allie @ A Literary Wanderer: What about blog content? How you do your book reviews? How [do] you choose what to post?
Re: book reviews
Well, just like almost every other blogger, I have my own rating system and review policies — all of which is specified on this page. I even included a brief description regarding the format and style of my reviews.
For the format, my reviews can be segregated into two general classifications: full-length reviews and mini reviews (note: a batch of mini reviews consists of relatively shorter reviews for 3 to 5 books). This was done in order to better manage my time (as writing one full-length book review typically takes an hour or two — I have a tendency to be quite the perfectionist when writing) while simultaneously ensuring the quality of my reviews.
I typically write full-length reviews for the following:
– popular and/or hyped books
– ARCs and books submitted and approved via review requests
– ARCs and books that received a rating of 4 stars or better
– ARCs and books that received a rating of 1.5 stars or worse
Meanwhile, I include the following in my mini reviews:
– ARCs and books that received a rating of 2 or 3 stars
– ARCs and books that are either “meh” or “could be better, could be worse” reads
– ARCs and books I read a long time ago that I don’t fully and clearly remember
For the style, my approach varies from book to book. Generally, however, when I find a certain element that I really liked, I tend to emphasize on it. On the other hand, when I spot something I particularly disliked, I try to be blunt in an entertaining way without unnecessarily hurting anyone. Really, when it comes to reviewing, I mainly follow my gut and write what feels right.
Re: blog content
How do I choose what to post? If I said I didn’t care about what my readers think of what I write, I’d be a huge liar. Projecting reader response is not only a natural thing to do as a blogger but also an essential key to building a loyal readership. Having said that, yes, I occasionally ask myself, “Will my readers appreciate this? How will they respond to it?”
However, for the most part, my mindset is conditioned into asking, “What about me?” Because personally, by the end of the day, all of it — the followers, the site views and visits, the number of likes and comments I receive, the readership — is secondary. This is not to say that I don’t find these things important. I do. But they aren’t as important as being able to fully and freely express myself in whatever and in however I choose.
With that said, whenever I write content, I ask myself, “Would I reread this?” In the event that everyone abandons my blog (though I hope that never happens), the only visitor I’ll have left is myself. And if I wouldn’t take the time to read what I write, who else will?
From Anushka @ Living in Pages: Who is the most important person in your life? A book that made you cry the most or made you emotional? Pet peeves?
The most important person in my life is myself. I know that it’s a selfish answer.
A book that made me cry the most? I’m going to give two titles for this one. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. Arguably the most epic, heartbreaking and powerful ending I’ve ever come across. It was so daring and refreshing and unbelievable I just couldn’t stop myself from bawling. There’s also Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I cried not because I loved it but because I was thoroughly heartbroken by the turn of events.
Pet peeves? Here are a few:
 When people shorten my name (e.g. Shea, She, Lea) or when people christen me with nicknames without my approval.
 The incorrect use of you’re/your, their/there/they’re, this/these, anyway/any way, and so on.
 Lang Leav’s poems
 “besh” and “beshie”
 When people resort to ad hominem during intellectual discourses
From Bea @ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic: What is the best and most disappointing book you’ve read this year (so far)?
I’m sorry but I’m going to cheat a little here. The best books I’ve read this year are C.L. Denault’s Gambit (book review) and Nicola Yoon’s The Sun Is Also a Star (book review). I loved Gambit because I am generally a sucker for fantastically written sci-fi, dystopian stories with brilliant worldbuilding and fiercely independent heroines. On the other hand, The Sun Is Also a Star continues to haunt me because of its unique storytelling and equally captivating narrative. I really, really loved how the romance was pieced together.
For the most disappointing books I’ve read this year (so far), I’m going to give two titles as well. First one is Remembering Everly by J.L. Berg (book review). I adored the novel’s predecessor, Forgetting August, which caused me to build high expectations for the sequel. Sadly, it did not deliver. I found the novel quite underwhelming because characters were left underdeveloped, most elements were predictable and the resolution was ridiculously rushed. My second most disappointing read is Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On. To put it simply, the book did not live up to the hype. Also, it was my first Rowell book which makes it even more disappointing.
From CW @ Read, Think, Ponder: What is your all-time favourite book? What is a book you want EVERYONE to read? What is a book that changed your life?
My all-time favorite series is Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series; of those four books, my all-time fave is The Iron Queen.
One book I’d want everyone to read is Call Me Hope by Gretchen Olson. It’s technically a middle-grade novel, but it’s an exceptionally crafted story of an 11-year-old girl going through verbal abuse. One of my favorite reads when I was in elementary, but I think the morals of the story transcend time and age themselves.
The third question is particularly hard because so many books have touched my life and influenced who I am as an individual. But anyway. I’ll go with Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Also from CW @ Read, Think, Ponder: Why is Shealea so awesome? How can I be awesome like Shealea?
I don’t even know how to respond to this one, to be honest. But aww, thank you! Too sweet.
And that’s it for this post. Thank you for the lovely questions. I hope I answered them well. Happy holidays, you guys!