Bloggiesta (Autumn 2016)

It’s Bloggiesta time! The challenge is running from 15th-18th September, and I have a short to-do list.

-Update my About page
-Finish three half-written posts and schedule them
-Go through old Classics Club memes and write responses to a couple that interest me
-Do one of the mini-challenges

I’m aiming to publish two posts a month from now until the end of the year. That might not sound like very much, but I’m very busy with my PhD and it’s still twice what I’ve been doing recently. Building up a stack of posts during Bloggiesta sounds like a good way to start.

Is anybody else participating?

Healthcare in Fiction

I recently became irked with The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughn. Although I mostly enjoyed the book, it definitely has its issues, including a hospital scene drawn directly from Holby City reruns. It is a little unfair of me to single out one book for this, though. As a registered paediatric nurse, one of my most common frustrations is when authors get healthcare wrong. There are so many nurses in the UK, and we love talking about nursing. Seriously, get any group of nurses together and we will be talking about catheters, the Bristol Stool Chart, and leg ulcers within thirty seconds (we are fun at parties). In light of this, there is no excuse for the stereotyped and factually inaccurate descriptions of hospital scenes that abound in book after book.

I’ve talked about this on the blog before in relation to specific books (ahem, Me Before You springs to mind), but I thought that sharing one nurse’s perspective on three common healthcare tropes in fiction might be an interesting read. Please note that this post contains generic discussion of hospital/healthcare procedures, including (successful and failed) resuscitation. It’s also not intended to be representative of everyone who works in healthcare! It’s just a few thoughts I have on the subject. Continue reading

20 Books of Summer 2016

Cathy at 746 books runs a challenge every year to read 20 books from 1st June to 5th September. This year, mostly because I like writing lists, I’ve decided to join in. I mean, I’m cheating a little bit, because I’ll be reading a couple for my book club already and I’ve included those. Even so, here is my fairly ambitious TBR (links are to the relevant Goodreads page): Continue reading

Podcast mini-reviews

Although I haven’t had as much time for reading lately as I would have liked, I have been enjoying other forms of content. In particular, I’ve been listening to podcasts as an incentive to get a bit more exercise. It took me a while to figure out what sort of things I wanted to hear, but I’ve settled on a handful that I now listen to regularly. Thought I’d share. Continue reading

BBAW Day 4: Only Connect

Today’s BBAW is all about how we stay connected to the book blogging community. Honestly, I don’t think I’m that great at it, and I was going to give today a miss until I read a reassuring number of posts from people saying the same thing. I love reading people’s posts, and even when I’m not writing regularly myself, there are a handful of people whose blogs I try to read regularly and leave thoughtful comments. A genuine question for people reading this, though—how in the world do you leave comments via Blogger? It must be possible, because I see other people do it, but I have never succeeded in commenting on a blogspot blog. It is not for want of trying. This is particularly sad because several of my favourite bloggers host their sites there at the moment, and I feel like I’m not letting them know how much I enjoy their posts. Disqus I can manage, WordPress is easy… but trying to comment using Blogger makes me go cross-eyed in confusion.

Other than commenting, I like Twitter very much for connecting with the community (also for tweeting slightly grumpy things about politics and enthusiastic things about #womeninSTEM, just so you know). It’s mostly through Twitter that I tend to find out about blog events. I’d like to engage more with events this year, as they inevitably introduce me to new blogs I really enjoy. It’s particularly satisfying to engage in things like Twitter chats during events, as they give me an opportunity for almost-instant communication with other people, most of whom are in completely different time zones. Of course, I have a long history of enthusiastically signing up for events or challenges and then totally failing to follow through, but I enjoy them nonetheless.

As for other social media—I do have a Goodreads account, though at present I have only three friends, one of whom is my mum. (When I log in, it cheerily says “3 friends, 729 books”, which always seems to be either a damning indictment or a pleasing summary of my social life, depending on mood). I have no idea how I should be using it to connect with people I don’t know! I mostly use Goodreads because I like to keep track of what I read; also I love intensely convoluted categorising of everything. I don’t have a Tumblr or an Instagram or anything else, and I’m okay with that. I started this blog entirely for personal pleasure, and though meeting other bloggers has turned out to be a huge chunk of that, I don’t want to load myself up with tasks that feel more like work than anything else.

I do want to give credit to Bex from An Armchair by the Sea, as I think that she puts lots of effort into connecting book bloggers with one another. I participated in the Ninja Book Swap last October and really enjoyed it; I had a wonderful time at the London Bookshop Crawl and met lots of new people (I will post about it soon, I promise); I’m also participating in the Little House Readalong, though at present my participation is exclusively in the form of tweets and comments. All of these are in some way associated with Bex, and have made it much easier for me to connect with the book blogging community. Thanks Bex (this is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, after all)🙂

That’s all I have to say, really–now I’m off to wander through other people’s blogs and find out how people who are better at this do it!