December 2013
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Winner Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2008
Shortlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2009, 2010
Longlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2011 Shortlisted Best Written Book Blog - 2010



Where the heck did 2013 go? Here we are on the cusp of 2014…another new year. And with a new year, comes a time for reflection.

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately. It has grown stale for me. I lack the energy for it I once had. Recently I made the decision to close down The Orange Prize Project and The Notable Books blog. I am also stepping away from the Chunkster Challenge (although the challenge will continue under the leadership of Vasilly). My reading fell drastically in 2013. There was a time that I was reading over 100 books a year. But that has not happened now for two years.

This blog has been a book review blog since 2007. That is a long time to be focused on one area. I don’t intend to stop reviewing books or talking about everything literary. But I will be expanding my scope in 2014 and there will be some big changes in how I do business here.

Perhaps the biggest change is that I will no longer be accepting books for review from publishers, publicists and authors with VERY RARE EXCEPTIONS. I may do a book tour and giveaway from time to time, but I will not be tracking review books every month and scheduling my reads for the most part. I have probably close to 500 to 700 physical books. Maybe more. I haven’t counted them. But what I know is that if books stopped arriving at my house this moment, I would have enough reading material to last a long time.

And all those books? Well, at one time I was excited about each and every one of them. I was dying to read them. But they’ve been gathering dust and cluttering up my space for years…and it is time I started reading them. So my focus will not be on the newest books, but on the books that I already own. Books that arrive unsolicited may be gifted to others, donated to my local library or join my stacks…but I won’t be logging them in my files and scheduling them to read.

I will be keeping my book journals page – I love the literary prizes and will continue to track those and read from those lists as I want. I also enjoy keeping a book journal each year and want to continue to log links to my reviews.

I’m have also deleted my reading challenges page because I am not planning to join challenges. My personal challenge to read books from around the world has been moved to my Projects Page.

Those of you who have stuck with my blog over the last two years have probably noticed I am rather addicted to sewing and quilting. And those posts of my projects will continue. I am planning to update my creative ventures page soon as a way of journaling my creative work.

I also will be posting about a variety of other subjects as inspiration dictates: travel, animals, photography, food, movies, music, etc… All those things that I enjoy as part of my larger life. Because, I am not all about books. I have a lot of interests and I’ll be sharing those as I wish. I won’t promise weekly posts or set memes. Things are going to get looser here. Less stressful. More fun.

I hope you’ll stick with me through this transition. I hope that moving my focus a bit away from books will not disappoint you. But in the long run, this blog began as a personal blog, one where I was free to express myself without rules and schedules. And I think it is time to get back to that…at least for now.



  1. December 21, 2013    

    I long ago stopped only talking about books on my blog. Lately on Thursday I post pictures of my cat… lol I used to only blog about books and it gets boring. I don’t really feel like reviewing sometimes. So, if I only blogged about books my blog would be dead. (Which, admittedly, happens even if I try to be eclectic.). So, I think you are doing what a lot of bloggers are doing and it will still be a wonderful blog. 🙂

  2. December 21, 2013    

    Good for you, Wendy! You should always do what works best for you.

  3. December 21, 2013    

    I hope the new changes are good for you and keep your interest alive! Because I would miss you if you quit blogging. My blog is still mainly book-focused but I’ve dropped a lot of things I used to do years ago: the memes, wondrous words. Remember when blog awards used to go around? I never see those anymore- or maybe I just don’t get any nowadays, ha ha.

  4. December 21, 2013    

    Sounds like you’ve got a terrific plan in place – a way to continue to love blogging. And I read your blog because I enjoy you and your writing – not just the book-related content, so I won’t be going anywhere. 🙂

  5. December 21, 2013    

    Good for you! I love when bloggers take a more personal approach and talk about a bit of everything 🙂

  6. December 21, 2013    

    I get where you’re coming from. I’ve stepped back a little and quit posting on weekends and it’s like a weight has been lifted.

  7. December 21, 2013    

    Hi Wendy. QuilterinMotion (from TB) here. I think your changes will be great for you. I’ve been blogging for three years+ and I am always amazed that my readers love the variety of things I blog about. Sometimes I do a book review; I always share what I’m stitching on; I tell about things in my quilt guild; I talk about our swaps on TB, I mention family things and momentous occasions. My readers have always been very gracious and they keep coming back. Yours will too. Do what feels right to you; if you are pleasing yourself, you’ll be pleasing others. Hugs, Marsha

  8. December 21, 2013    

    It’s always important to occassionaly step back from what we are doing and reassess our purpose. Creative energy is a delicate thing and we book bloggers have to protect our freedom to change direction, change focus and to relax. The moments we have to read are precious and for those of us who like to share our reading experience through our blogs, we must protect our “space” and follow our natural flow when and where we can. Thank you for your excellent blog!

  9. Lu Lu
    December 22, 2013    

    I think this is a lovely idea! I stopped accepting review copies in a similar way not too long ago and it was such a relief. I pick up the ones that sound amazing or that I was planning on reading anyway, but other than that I just read what I own or buy and I love it. The only problem I had with that way of reading was that apparently I don’t own a very diverse library, so I’m trying thus year to make the books that i get from the library or buy new this year are coming from a diverse group of writers about diverse cultures. I’m so excited to read more about what you are interested in and see how your blog evolves in 2014!

  10. December 22, 2013    

    I think that’s awesome! My favorite bloggers are the ones who infuse their personalities and their “regular” life in along with bookish stuff. I am working on finding a way to make that happen for myself, too.

  11. December 22, 2013    

    I think you’ll be much happier with this idea. I think the stress of scheduling reviews has gotten to many of us over the last several years. I’ve pared down the challenges I participate in significantly the past few years…and I want to keep the poetry focus on my blog, but the review copies are slowing down…and for the better. The National Poetry Month tour will continue this coming year…and I hope I still get participants.

  12. Mary Mary
    December 22, 2013    

    Sounds like 2014 will be a good year for you… The opportunity to embrace joy whenever and wherever you find it!

  13. December 23, 2013    

    Yep, blogging feels a bit stale these days for me, too. My past two posts were photo essays. I hope to catch up on my reviews after the New Year, but I may just start fresh. We’ll see. Glad you’re sticking around! Merry Christmas, Wendy!

  14. December 23, 2013    

    I’ve only been blogging a short while, but appreciate your perspective. Good Luck with your changes!

  15. January 1, 2014    

    I love this idea. I long ago realized I love blogging and I love books, but I couldn’t blog only about books. I am a slowish reader and I would just have a review a month with a whole bunch of memes in between.

    I like the idea of a blog changing and growing along with the author, and I am excited to read the different kinds of posts you”ll be putting up.

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