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Jul 29, 2012

Sunday Salon: Drowning in Books/Embracing the Blogosphere (Swap List!)

Hello blogosphere! (It's been two years since I've done a Sunday Salon. There's a lot to catch up on!)

What a month it has been! SO many changes.. so many mini and mega dramas have been going on in the blogosphere that I have decided to step away quietly and make a firm decision to curtail the 'review' requests etc that have become a major part of my life. When I began the blog in late 2008 it was because I wanted to share my thoughts on my new love of British history related books. My father had just passed away suddenly and I needed a hobby fast to get my mind otherwise occupied.

I loved blogging.. and I met some fellow like-minded historical fiction fans and things were awesome for a while. Soon enough there was a Drama Mama everywhere I went and I stopped the social aspect but continued reviewing as my love for reading never stopped. Then the review schedule took my life OVER. EVERYTHING in my free time was (still is) balanced against the publication schedule of my review books. The review books have piled up. They have mocked me. They have given me nightmares (almost).

I mean, really, this is horrible. Seriously.

I have not even read Penman's latest. (*And I got the ARC way before pub date. And it sits.) WTF is wrong with me, right?

Turns out there is more to life than the Plantagenets and the Tudors, and I have been happily reviewing Christian historical fiction as well. So that means there are EVEN MORE books *I MUST* read. (Someone slap me!)

Which means once again, I overextend myself, and take on more than I can handle. This has been going on for the longest three years of my life. And as my 2012 Updated Review policy states, I am so sick of it. Of my schedule, the reviews, the pesky dramas, the misguided world..etc.

Longest story short (impossible).. it is with a clean conscience that I am stepping back from review requests and I cannot wait to get to my massive pile of accumulated books that the blogosphere has recommended to me over the last three years. I am back, and as a blogger. Out with the reviewer status, and happily embracing the blogger status. I am going to read and review still... but I am not going to be active out there feeling like some robotic tool for various publishers and authors. I am not going to be any one's free marketer any longer. And I am not going to be mean and snarky, I will just be honest, and if that's snarky, awesomeapplesauce cuz I don't care. There are still commitments that I have personally made to review certain books at certain times in the next few months. I will still honor those if I can, but I am gleefully ignoring all further requests till I get that stack done and over with and then will continue to ignore requests because I am going to be on Goodreads and Facebook and booktalking with bloggers instead of being a book marketer. So get used to me, cuz I'm joining in on your fun too! Read alongs! Yes!

Since it's the end of the month I figured I would share my reading stats. Maybe I'll do that every month like a Monthly wrap up post.

According to my fave bookish site, Goodreads:
I've read 48 Book this year so far, with a total 17,803 pages.
For 2011, my year's total was 52 books and 20,084 pages.. so I think I can manage to knock those numbers out of the park this year, eh?

Some great books I have read so far in 2012. The majority were 4 stars, with 14 being 3 stars and 9 being 5 stars. As you can tell, as long as it keeps me happy and reading, I give it a pretty good rating. It doesn't take much. I do wish Goodreads would implement the .5 star rating though, since I use those in my review ratings and would probably skew things a little more critically for me. But no biggie.
And now to the good stuff...

The other reason I am here.. is to swap with you!
Do you have four million ARC's that you don't know what to do with? I do! Ok, I am exaggerating, but I am seriously running out of room in my 3200 square foot house. Yea, it's freaking horrible. I even have books in the warehouse that I would like to unpack someday. That's where the title of this blog post comes in.. drowning in books. Out with the old, in with the new!

This week I saw at Katie's Christian Fiction blog that she hosts a monthly bookswap. Since I don't have a lot of that genre that I want to give up, I decided to post my own books that I am willing to trade for (after I happily snagged 4 books from the swap at Katie's). I do want more of that genre in my library, but I just didn't have enough to offer her readers to logically post my list on her site. So, I'll do it here.

Here is Katie's swap post at A Legacy of A Writer which I totally stole the idea from (with permission). If you like Christian Fiction, CHECK THIS POST OUT! 

What I have to trade (most of these you can find in my Master Review List unless it was a Historical Novel Society Review to be posted later):

Christian Non-fiction:
I Love You to God and Back by Amanda Lamb (used paperback)

Christian Fiction:
Bees in The Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang (used ARC)
Need You Now by Beth Wiseman (used PB) contemporary

In A Treacherous Court by Michele Diener (new pb)
At The Kings Pleasure by Kate Emerson (book #4, these are stand alone; this is a new pb copy)
The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson (book #5, signed, used ARC)
Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth (used ARC)
Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (used ARC)

Other Royal-related:
Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith (used ARC)
For the King by Catherine Delors (used ARC, one that came bound with that black tape)
Confessions of Catherine de Medici by CW Gortner (used ARC)

Royal Non-fiction:
Notorious Royal Marriages by Leslie Carroll (older ARC & has a little stain on cover even though I never read it)
Sister Queens by Julia Fox (good non fiction if you are interested in these two Queens; Used ARC)

Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange (small book, an ARC)
Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell (used ARC)
A Darcy Christmas by Grange/Lathan/Eberhart (used ARC)

Historical Romance:
The Wildest Heart by Rosemary Rogers (used ARC, this is 736 pages and a LOT of fun)

Historical Fiction:
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (used ARC)
The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan (used ARC)
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran (used ARC)
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie (used pb)
The Irish Healer by Nancy Herriman (used ARC)
A Parliament of Spies by Cassandra Clark (used ARC)
Come a Little Closer by Dorothy Garlock (used pb)
Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach (used ARC, she wrote on it, put my name etc)

General Literature/Women's Fic:
This Must Be The Place by Kate Racculia (used ARC)
Mothers & Daughters by Rae Meadows (used ARC)
The Darlings by Christina Alger (used ARC)
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (used pb)

Others: (no reviews, I haven't read and won't get to these this lifetime)
The Land of Painted Caves by Auel (ARC)
The First Assassin by John J Miller (ARC)
Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones (ARC)

If you are interested in any of these books and have something you would like to offer in trade, you can either email me, or comment on the post. I can reply via comments as well for initial questions or offers.

There are many different books I would be interested in, so I am not going to post a wish list & further expand this humongous blog post. To get an idea of things that are on my wish list, see my Goodreads wish-list shelf, My Very Old Amazon Wish List, or my paperbackswap wish list. Or, just show me what you've got! (*USA only, please).

Even if you do not see something here that you like, please feel free to also post a swap list of items you have (w/Email addy) so others can contact you, or link to a post of your own if you would like to do it that way. My thanks to Katie for letting me snag this swap idea.

If I happen to have Historical books left over I will be offering some as part of the Partial to the Past Blog Hop Giveaway that Holly is hosting at Bippity Boppity Book on August 24. See you there?