Announcements

Oops! An (Almost) 2-Year Update

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted a review! Almost two years, to be precise. I really didn’t mean to let it go this long. But between college and its ridiculous amounts of homework, 2-4 jobs (yes, there was a point where I was working 4 jobs), living on my own, getting a dog, and other adulty things, I just didn’t have the time to read.

Last year, I only read 9 books. (Yes, I am ashamed that I have to write that sentence. But it’s true. Only 9. Less than half of which were fiction and one of which was technically for school.)

The good news

I’ve graduated college (finally!), so I now have time to do things. Like pick up hobbies that I haven’t done in two years. So if you’ve missed me – and even if you haven’t – I’m back!

The changes

You didn’t think I could be gone so long and not make changes when I came back, did you? 🙂 I like to think it’s nothing major, but here’s what’s changing around here.

  1. The book grading system is going to go. It’s too much effort, and honestly it’s nothing I couldn’t put in the review text anyway.
  2. No posting schedule. I don’t need any more stress in my life, and trying to force myself to read and review one book a week is just going to take the enjoyment out of everything. I’ll post a review when I finish a book. (Which will hopefully be around once a week)
  3. More nonfiction. I know in my last changes post (admittedly in 2014) I said reviewing nonfiction was going to be a thing. Well, it’s going to be more of a thing now, since it’s a much larger proportion of what I read now. And self-improvement is going to be a big theme.
  4. Trigger warnings. Sometimes books have stuff that you might not want to read about, for whatever reason. In all reviews from here on out, I’m going to list trigger warnings for common triggers (such as violence, sexual content, abuse, and varieties of bigotry) so you know which books to avoid. I try to keep my reviews trigger-free, but if I accidentally include triggering content (or miss a trigger in a book), please comment and let me know!
  5. Everything is gay and feminist. Because I am 🙂 I’m putting more effort into reading distinctly feminist books (fiction and nonfiction) and novels with queer characters. That’s not to say that I won’t ever read something about The StraightsTM, but I’m prioritizing LGBT+ authors and characters.
  6. Picky, but in different directions. I used to be picky about profanity, sex, homosexuality, and anything that didn’t wholeheartedly support the Christian belief system. Those things don’t really matter to me anymore – now I’m more sensitive to misogyny and sexism, rape and sexual assault, and racism and ableism.

(I’m also going to be slowly working through my archives to make my review formats consistent, because I’ve changed formats at least eight times.)

I realize this is a massive change from what Jalyn Reads used to be – but I think I’ve reinvented this blog no less than four times already. Either way, I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

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Announcements

Finals are Over!

Especially in Indiana - it's been 80+ degrees all week.
Especially in Indiana. It’s been 80+ degrees all week.

As of yesterday, I’m officially done with my first year of college. Somehow. Still not sure how I survived some of those classes.

But anyway, tomorrow I will be home for the summer, (hopefully) working, and having a lot more spare time now that finals are over. Even though I’ll probably have more time to read, I’m going to continue my bi-weekly posting schedule and attempt to work through the backlog of books on my shelves.

In 2013 and 2014, I created special summer to-read lists – but I’m never very good at following those. So instead, I’m setting a smaller goal: read at least one of the three books left on my “Want to Read 2015” list.

My options:

  • Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Shadow Throne (Ascendance Trilogy #3) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • Data Runner (Data Runner #1) by Sam A. Patel

Judging by my last trip to Barnes & Noble, I’m most excited about Firefight (i.e. I squealed, confused my boyfriend by abandoning him for the display, and wished I hadn’t already spent so much money that day so I could afford it). But I’m pretty sure all three will be great.

Happy summer, everybody! What do you hope to read in the next few months?

Announcements

Changes at Jalyn Reads

Right now, I’ve been at college just over a month – land of homework, classes, and staying up until 1AM every single night. And in that month, I’ve managed to read 2 books.

So I’m making a few changes to my reading habits.

Ditching the 100 page rule

If you’ve been hanging around here for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with my 100 page rule: give a book 100 pages (75 if it’s short) to get good before I abandon it. But I don’t have time for that. I’m now following the “literary agent rule” – any point after the first five pages where I’m not dying to read on, I won’t.

Reviewing nonfiction

I’ve always read a little bit of nonfiction, just not enough to bother reviewing. But the proportion of nonfiction I read is going up. So I’m going to try my hand at reviewing nonfiction.

Not reading books I’m not absolutely thrilled about

Without a car and living on a campus within walking distance of nowhere, the only library I have access to is IPFW’s library of study rooms and reference works. The only novels I can get my hands on are review copies and ones I order online. So there will be very few “this looked vaguely interesting” reads.

Being picky

With a lot of books, I’ll run into something I don’t like early on, but unless it’s blatant, I’ll give it a hundred pages to see if I can suffer through. From now on, I’m not going to do that. If I find something I don’t like, I’ll stop reading. Period.

No pressure

It’s too much pressure to try to do all my homework and read and review two books a week. So I’m only going to post every other week in the forseeable future. I should be able to maintain that.

Quality over quantity

Life is too short to read bad books. So I’m not going to.

Announcements

Blogging Break (I’m Going to College!)

On Thursday, I leave for college. I’m going to IPFW (a joint campus of Indiana University and Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana), which is about two hours from where I live now.

I’ll be living in the on-campus apartments with three apartment-mates (but I’ll have my own room for the first time in 10 years!), do my learning in a classroom for the first time since driver’s ed, and basically going through the biggest transition of my life so far.

So I’m going to be taking a blogging break until the end of September, and when I return, I’ll be slowing down to one post a week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to maintain that, but everything’s kind of up in the air at the moment.

Enjoy the back-to-school season, and I’ll see you in late September!

Announcements

Welcome to Jalyn Reads!

I read my first novel at age six, and I’ve been reading obsessively ever since.  This blog is devoted entirely to my takes on the books I read.

Image by Jalyn Ely

I started reviewing books four years ago, but only started blogging about them last year, at Reader…Writer…Homeschooler.  When I outgrew that blog, I moved over to Jalyn Ely.  But I only realized after I set it up that there really wasn’t room for too many book reviews at Jalyn Ely.

So I started Jalyn Reads.

Here, I’m going to post my thoughts on the books I read.  Classic books, new books, old books, famous books, obscure books… I read them all.  And I have thoughts about them all.

And maybe my thoughts will help you find books to read.  After all, book blogs are where I hear about most of the books I read, anyway.