Just One Reader's Opinion!

Armchair BEA: Blogger Development and Genre Fiction

Armchair BEA is for us bloggers who can’t attend BEA (Book Expo America) in person! This is my first year participating, and I’m excited!

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Blogger Development

Today’s first topic is about blogger development. From Armchair BEA Central:

Have you branched out into your community? Do you partner with other bloggers?  Have you gone “pro” or begun supplementing your income through your blog?  Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years?

As I’ve mentioned before, it took almost three years of blogging here for me to really begin to reach out to other bloggers. I’m pretty shy and always overthink about things like social and online interactions, and so as in the real world, I sort of hung back in the blogging world.

Eventually, though, I decided I was tired of sitting on the sidelines of something that I was passionate about and decided to be more involved in the blogging community. I saw that Kathy at A Glass of Wine was organizing an Ottawa book bloggers meet up, and I took a deep breath and RSVPd. I’m so glad I did! The meet up was back in February and it was so great to meet other bloggers in person! We had some great discussions about books and blogging, and everyone was so nice and fun. It turns out I had nothing to be shy or nervous about because book bloggers are very friendly, fun people!

Since the meet up, I’ve been more active when it comes to chatting with other bloggers on Twitter, and have joined a book club – my very first! – which includes a lot of the Ottawa bloggers I met in February. I think we’ve only had three book club meetings so far, but I look forward to it so much and love being surrounded by people who love to read and talk about books as much as I do!

I make absolutely no money via my blog, and I have no interest in trying to do so, either. I don’t post ads, and I rarely request ARCs. I’d love to be able to build relationships with publishers and authors, so I’m very slowly and steadily investigating ways to do that. I’m totally grateful when I do receive something for review, whether I requested it or not, but it’s a nice bonus, not the focus of what I think I’m doing here.

If I had more time, I might like to try and go ‘pro’ with my blog, but alas, my day job keeps me too occupied to read and blog full time!

Genre Fiction

Oh boy do I love me some genre fiction! From Armchair BEA Central:

What draws you to a specific genre?  Do vampires, zombies, or witches float your boat?  Or, do you prefer the heat of romance?  Recommend your favorite genres and/or books and help build reader TBR shelves a bit more!

I am sooo drawn to paranormal/supernatural fiction. I am a particular sucker for ghost and zombie stories, especially of the YA variety. I can’t explain it, but I want to read all the zombie books that I hear about! I love reading a book that gives me a bit of a chill! If that can be combined with a great story and great characters, it’s even better!

I also love historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. I always say I don’t read much contemporary, but I think I’ve started to turn that around in the past few months. There’s just something that is endlessly more fun and interesting about fantastical, made up creatures or places than there is about the real world, and so when it comes to books, I’m less drawn to contemporary stories.

I’ve recommended some reads below, but some of them are likely to overlap into multiple genres:

Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

I love this duology! These stories are full of ghosts, ghost hunting, ghost fighting, some light paranormal romance, and terrific characters.  I seriously love these books.

The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing) by Libba Bray

This was some of the first YA that I read, and my first Libba Bray reads. These books made such a lasting impression on me. The story and its characters are beautiful, dangerous, and frustrating, and it’s set in a boarding school in England…pretty much everything I want in a great book!

These books are fairly hefty and I tore through them in what felt like no time. I read these back before I really even started blogging, but I still think about them. The ending to this series totally brought me to tears! If you haven’t read these books yet, run and get them now!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I am so freaking excited for the sequel coming out this year! I was swept away from the first page, totally absorbed in the story of Alina, Mal, the Darkling, and the dark, mystical nation of Ravka.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I love to read about video games, and this book spoke to that love like no other book has! Do you get a kick out of 80s pop culture references? Do you like to read about battles and quests? Then pick up this book!

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan


This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

This was such a fascinating book, because the main character is not necessarily planning to fight for her life against the horde of undead. Really recommended for people who may be looking to just dip their toes into the zombie-infested waters.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

This is, for me, one of the best zombie books I’ve read because it’s so broad in its scope. I know it’s going to be a movie starring Brad Pitt, and I know that the movie will likely barely resemble the book, but I’m still going to see it. If you want some full-on zombie reading material, this is the book.

I hope that I’ve persuaded you to check out some of these books, if you haven’t already!

20 Responses

  1. It’s great to meet other bloggers who are near you. When i lived in Toronto i new a few other book bloggers and it was great to see them at events. Now I’ve moved to a new city and need to get myself out there again.

    1. I’ve been reading more contemporary YA lately, but my love will always be genre fiction!

      I hope you love Anna Dressed in Blood! I heard that it’s going to be a movie, which I’m pretty excited about.

      Thanks for the follow! 🙂

  2. I’ve only read a few paranormal books so far but I have to agree with you, Anna Dressed In Blood and Girl of Nightmares were both amazing books. I am so glad those were among my first reads in the paranormal genre.

    1. Ooh, if you like those, I would also recommend Kenneth Oppel’s ‘This Dark Endeavour’ and ‘Such Wicked Intent’. Great series, young Frankenstein with a paranormal/supernatural element. I love love love them!

  3. I thinks it would be a cool idea to meet up with other book bloggers in the real world, but I’m afraid I’d be too intimidated. I’m a big fan of zombie books too. I’m not sure why – but they are fun.

    LLM – ABookGeek

    1. Zombie books will never get old for me!

      I was totally intimidated to meet other bloggers, but I’ve been working really hard all year to try and put myself out there more and that was one of the times I had to push myself to do it. It was worth it!

  4. Good for you for branching out! It’s touch, as i’m just starting to do it. And it’s nice to meet a fellow Canadian blogger 🙂

    The Gemma Doyle trilogy is what got me into reading YA basically. It will forever be a favourite of mine. And Siege and Storm was fantastic! You’re going to love it.

    Have you read Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry or The Enemy by Charlie Higson? Both are zombie books and my boyfriend is obsessed with zombies so I got him those and he loved them!

    My day 2 post

    1. Yay Canadian bloggers!

      Ooh, you read Siege and Storm already?? Jealous! 🙂

      Rot and Ruin is on my TBR but I haven’t heard of The Enemy. I’m off to check it out! Thank you for the recommendation!

  5. Wow, over three years blogging!! That is amazing, congrats!

    I can be shy too, and sometimes I will write a tweet to someone and then delete it, haha. I’ve gotten a bit better at it though. I’m so glad you took the chance and got to meet up with local bloggers (I’m an Ontario blogger too!), that sounds like a lot of fun!

    Haha, in a year I’ve made 60 cents from a Book Depository affiliate link! I too would love to build relationships with publishers, but with that comes the responsibility of reviewing more and more books, and on a timeline. So for now I’m sticking to NG and Edelweiss 🙂

    Anna Dressed in Blood, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (someone told me they are making a movie? Could be mistaken) and This is Not a Test are all on my TBR list. I love paranormal and historical fiction too!

    I also blogged about my development as a book blogger and genre fiction.

    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks! I can’t believe it’s been that long.

      Yeah, getting ARCs can lead to pressure to read and review, given my limited free time, and then I worry about neglecting my library books, never mind the books I’ve actually purchased and haven’t read yet!!

      I would LOVE to see a movie based on the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I majorly love that series. I hope you like the Anna series, and This is not a Test! Those are some of my favourites!!

  6. I have to read all those books you mentioned! I backed away from paranormal because of the insta-love and the way that all the books blurred together except with different characters. I sort of just got tired of it, but I think I’ll start choosing more carefully now.

    I’ve been blogging for a year and it’s cool how we kind of have the same objectives anyways! 🙂

    Leanne @ Escaping With Books

    1. Yeah, I’m not really a romance fan, especially of the insta-love variety! But there are some very good books out there that fall under the paranormal category, and the ones I like the most are pretty light on romance 🙂

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