It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing the end of Cozy Little Book Journal. I will no longer be reviewing, tweeting about, or blogging about books. Period. This means the end of all of my secondary blogs as well, I'm afraid.
I'm so sorry to all of the authors and publishers who were counting on me to promote the countless books they've sent me over the years, and I'm sorry to all of the readers who have come back to my blog again and again. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement and I'm so sorry to disappoint anyone. I assure you I did not take this decision lightly.
Most people don't realize this but I've not been well for several months now. I've had medical issues that have impacted my life in various ways and I really need to focus on my health now. For a long time, blogging seemed like a good fit for me. I could read and review books even when I was too ill to do much else. Lately, however, the stress of all of my book-related commitments, combined with feeling physically ill and emotionally exhausted, has made it a hobby that I dread more than I treasure. I've hated having reading turn into a chore instead of a joy.
Apart from health concerns, I've also gotten tired of a lot of other aspects of having a book blog. I'm sick of having authors' friends call me an idiot on Amazon because I didn't like a book. I'm tired of being sent dozens of crappy book files every month, despite repeatedly telling self-published authors that I'm in no way interested in their Christian children's books or their vampire YA. I'm tired of always being a few hundred books behind in my reading list, then feeling guilty if I choose to read a library book instead of one I'm "obligated" to read. I miss re-reading my favourite books just because I feel like it, instead of trying to speed-read the endless book files I have on my Kobo.
Don't get me wrong. I've loved so much about book blogging. I'd say I've loved it way more than I've hated it. I've loved being a part of a community of committed readers who discuss books with the enthusiasm of sports fans discussing a big game. I've loved interacting with authors, illustrators, publishers and publicists, the majority of whom have been the most amazing and lovely people. I've treasured the moments when my honest excitement for a book can make an author's day, and I've loved when they've taken the time to tell me that. I've been in awe of so many authors and artists and I've felt like I was backstage at a rock concert, getting to exchange letters and emails with my literary heroes.
I've loved sharing this experience with my daughter. She's five, but she never starts a new book without reading not only the title, but also the name of the author, the illustrator and the publisher. I didn't do that when I was her age. She's only a beginner reader herself, but she can already easily identify when a book is written or illustrated by someone she knows because she's come to recognize art styles, writing styles, and author photos. She thinks computers are mostly for downloading book files. I love that.
Nonetheless, I've decided that it is time to take a break from blogging. My daughter is starting school in a few days and I'm trying to stay healthy enough to share each day with her. Of course we'll still be reading and discussing all our favourite books. We just won't be doing it online.
Thank-you again to everyone who has supported and participated in my book blog, in every capacity, over the past four years. Unfortunately it's goodbye for now (possibly forever) but I really appreciate all of you. Thanks for understanding.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
The thing is, I want to love them. Every time I see the cover of one of these books, I have a momentary attraction to it, but I just can't connect with them in the end. I may end up abandoning the imprint altogether, to be honest.
To be fair, if you or your child connects with these pictures and love them, you'll probably love the whole book. My daughter and I just didn't love them quite enough to overcome our ambivalence about the story, which we both found a little hollow.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Of course the results still look like things made out of random garbage (you probably won't be showing off your results on Pinterest) but kids will like them.
And when it's raining for the fifth day in a row and school doesn't start for another month and your kid is complaining that she's borrrrrrrred, it's nice to have a book of handy ideas to
A wise investment for any parent who lives in a rainy part of the world and
Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun
Smart and Surprising Projects to Make with and for Your Kids
Author: Amanda Kingloff
Publisher: Artisan Books
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
View on Amazon
Because I requested it from a review site instead of browsing it in a store or library, I wasn't able to flip through it first to see if I liked the look of the projects themselves. To be honest, I'm not sure I did. They all seem easy enough (for the most part...I think I could handle the majority of them) but I just don't think they're to my personal taste.
There are a lot of old-fashioned "grandma's knits" types of things here -- bobbly baby booties, oversized mittens, big wool socks, drawstring bags-- that may appeal to some, but seemed dowdy to me. The photos are nice, but the projects just didn't seem current enough. Of course, if the same items had been photographed on a twenty-something wearing giant black glasses and skinny jeans, it might have at least captured some hipster appeal (not that I'm the target demographic for that either...).