Spotty Service Due to Brain Melt

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

photo credit: :: gw1 :: via photopin cc

Just a quick post to say that reviews might be spotty the next week or two (and have been for the past week) as I’m having trouble finding the mental bandwidth to actually write the reviews. With work being busier than usual, Cat deciding to not sleep through the night for the past month, and having had extremely busy weekends the last two weeks, I haven’t really written up much of my reading as I generally feel like my brain’s melted by the end of the work day. Add in the additional curve ball or getting a call this week that Emma can transfer to a school closer to home and having to do all the arranging for that as well and… you get the picture. But as we’ll be adjusting to a new situation and dependent on how Emma copes, I might be a bit scarce for a week or two longer.

The good news is I have interviews and guest posts lined-up and I have been reading loads. So once I get back up to speed, there will be ALL THE REVIEWS!

A Fantastical Librarian Turns Four!

birthdayIf A Fantastical Librarian where human it’d be old enough to go to school today! I’m still amazed that I’ve kept writing all this time and how big a part of my life blogging and the online SFF community has become. Blogging has brought me more than I’d ever expected, something that was emphasised last week by the World Fantasy Award nomination I received for A Fantastical Librarian. To commemorate the blog’s 4th birthday, here are four things blogging has taught me.   Read More …

Blog Maintenance

menatworkI spent my afternoon watching the Tour de France and doing some long over due blog maintenance. I updated my review index, the series pages and the interviews page, so they are all current. I’ve messed about a bit with the side bar, tweaking the way you can browse tags.

But most importantly I’ve switched up my RSS delivery, moving away from FeedBurner, because you never now when it might go poof. So please update your RSS subscription to my new RSS feed linked in the upper right hand corner or by clicking here. I’ve also added the possibility to subscribe to A Fantastical Librarian via email, so you can get all my posts delivered straight to your inbox.  Read More …

A Fantastical Librarian turns 3!!

birthdayThree years ago today, I created A Fantastical Librarian. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep up with it, because I’m notoriously bad a keeping up with diaries and blogs etc. But to my complete amazement I found that I liked blogging about what I read and being part of the online SFF community immensely. I got to know some amazing people, fellow bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists, via Twitter and various blogs and I felt more and more at home. I was even lucky enough to meet up with some of my bloggy friends in London.    Read More …

Meanwhile on… The Founding Fields

TFF_logoToday I’m once again out and about on the internet, this time on The Founding Fields at the invitation of Shadowhawk (a.k.a. Abhinav from Angels of Retribution) where I’m writing about the trials and tribulations of reviewing. After having had some pretty harsh (to put it mildly) comments on a negative review Shadowhawk wondered whether he was the only who sometimes hard a hard time keeping this blogging lark fun and approached a bunch of his blogger friends to write guest posts. Today it’s my turn.

Shadowhawk gave me a rather glowing introduction – thank you AJ! – and let me ramble on about the things I have a hard time with reviewing-wise. If you’re interested in seeing how time-management, the ability to say no, and the importance of honesty are integral to keeping blogging fun for me, check out my post on The Founding Fields.

A Short Interruption of Your Usual Programming

redcrossJust a quick post to let you know that this week will be a quiet one on the blog as I had a shot to combat the tendinitis in my right wrist last Friday and I’m not allowed to use my right hand for a week. So while I was able to prep my review for last Friday and this post – as I’m writing this on Thursday. It’s time travel, yo! – I still needed to read the books I planned to review this week. Unfortunately this means, that other than a guest post I’ve written for a Bane of Kings’ writing blog, there won’t be any new content up. I’ll try to get a post up on Wednesday with a link to the guest post, but that depends on how much patience I have with one-handed typing after a day at work, otherwise I’ll throw it up here next weekend.

Hopefully, we’ll be back to our regular programming next week and the up-side is that I’ll have extra content then, because I may not type as well one-handedly, but I can read like a champ even with only one hand!

Cookie with your reading?

cookiesAs you might have noticed if you’re reading this post from the site and not from an RSS-reader, I now have a cookie policy in place. It’s not by choice, but because last year the Dutch government, like the rest of the EU, decided that websites needed to inform their public of the sort of cookies they used and get consent. Now in most EU countries, this consent can be implied, so either just a page with a policy or a banner like I had before stating cookies were used was fine, but the Dutch government took it one step further and made it law that consent had to be explicit. Hence the new lovely diamond thingy in the lower left corner and the pop-up if it’s either your first visit or you elected not have your decision remembered.

It’s still not completely where I want it and need it to be, as it doesn’t actually block the cookies Jetpack implements, which is how I track my stats and which enables the comments and sharing. So for now, I’ve disabled all the sharing buttons except email and printing as those don’t throw cookies at you, but I’ve left the stats up. I’ve put in a support ticket with Cookie Control, so hopefully I can get the blog all set-up as it needs to be soon.

So that’s why I have the pop-up and sharing is disabled for the moment!

Edited: I actually put the sharing stuff back in, as the cookies showing up weren’t connected to them. They only start throwing stuff at you if you click them I think, so for now, unless proven otherwise, they’re back. Have I said that this whole thing is a headache, by the way? Because… aaaarrrggg!

More Sad Goodbye’s

goodbyeIn the past week there were two influential blogs that closed their doors. I wanted to take a moment to say goodbye here on my blog.

John Ottinger III was the first to announce the retirement of Grasping For The Wind. This one came as a surprise, though it shouldn’t have. Grasping For The Wind was a wonderful genre resource, featuring not just wonderful reviews, but Geek Media Round-ups and interesting interviews as well. It will be missed. But as John is calling it retirement instead of closure, perhaps we will see a return at some point in the future.

The other site, which closed its doors on New Year’s Eve, is My Favourite Books. Besides Floor to Ceiling Books, which closed last year, My Favourite Books and its team, Liz, Mark, and Sarah, have perhaps been some of the biggest influences on my beginnings as a blogger. Besides being incredibly supportive of a newbie blogger, their passion for books and reading was an inspiration and kept reminding me that perhaps my reviews aren’t as eloquent, erudite, or brilliant as I’d like them to be, but as long as I’m passionate about the books I read and promoting reading in general, then I was doing a good job. In addition, Liz, Mark, and Sarah have become friends I love chatting to on Twitter and other places and if possible to meet up with (though opportunities are rare and I haven’t actually met Sarah yet!) and I’m glad they’ll be around to chat with even if MFB has closed its doors.

For all of them, John and Team MFB: Thanks for everything, most importantly exploding my wishlist to gigantic proportions with all your reviews! I wish you guys all the best in future endeavours and hopefully we’ll see you around the online community!

A Sad Goodbye to Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Yesterday Graeme announced he was closing up shop over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. I was really saddened by the news and I wanted to take a moment to mention it here on the blog. Graeme’s was one of the first blogs I started following way back when and he’s actually one of the few bloggers I’ve met in person. He’s a lovely bloke and I’ve had numerous fun and interesting Twitter convo’s with him on books, life and other stuff. If nothing else Graeme can always be counted on to commiserate with me when I’m sleep-deprived and in need of coffee. He’s turned me onto a number of writers I’d not have discovered without him, Charles Stross for one, and I’ll miss his reviews.

While I’m sure we’ll still be chatting on Twitter and Facebook and I’ll hopefully get to meet up with Graeme at a signing next time I’m in London, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review will be missed.

So, so long Graeme and thanks for all the reviews ;-)

Welcome to my new home!

Moving Boxes

Tada! Please excuse the dust. I made a bit of a mess moving in. And there’s still some work to be done, but I’m really pleased with my new abode. Don’t worry though, other than a new address and a new look, A Fantastical Librarian will remain much as you’ve come to know it, with lots of reviews, with Blogger Queries, Author Queries and more…

Have a look around and excuse me, I have some more decorations to put up!