A Haven for Book Lovers

I am just a girl who loves reading and talking about books

December TBR

November was a good reading month and I managed to read all but two books on my TBR for the month. Here are the books that I hope to read it December.

NetGalley ARCs

I have nine books on my NetGalley bookshelf and hope to read at least five by the end of the year.

  • Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
  • Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi
  • Lies by T. M Logan
  • Here and Gone by Heylen Beck
  • My Husband the Stranger by Rebecca Done
  • If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
  • House of Silence by Sarah Barthel
  • The Trophy Child by Paula Daly
  • The Hour of Daydreams by Renee Macalino Rutledge

Book club pick

My bookclub is reviewing this book on December 10th.

fine-balanceA Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India.

The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.

As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state


Personal Collection

I will be traveling home for the holidays and if I get some time then I hope to read all or at least one of these three books:

  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • Flawed by Cecilia Ahern
  • Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy


I am tired. I just feel exhausted like everything is taking too much effort including reading and blogging. In December,I hope to post my book reviews and perhaps participate in Top Ten Tuesday. However, I am taking a break from WWW Wednesday, Diversity Spotlight Thursday and Friday Finds until next year. I also plan to take a brief break from blogging  from around 20th December 2016 to January 10th 2017.

All by my lonesome!

Brace yourselves! A Rant is coming.

 I am a bit discouraged. I like blogging and interacting with other bloggers. However, lately I feel like that kid who invites people to his/her birthday party but nobody shows up… well apart from fam. It sucks. This blog has over 600 followers and I try to visit as many blogs as possible but its getting tiring especially since most times its one way.

I follow back everyone who follows me(even non-bookish blogs and some blogs that are not even in languages that I understand). I usually feel like if someone follows me then its just courteous to follow back.  Perhaps this is what I am doing wrong? I also follow other bloggers  who may not be following me but  I just like their content so I follow them regardless.

However,  I look at my stats and see posts(especially book reviews) that have 20 likes, 9 views and  0 or 1 comment and I have to wonder how 11 people liked the post without  opening it. Could it be that I am following and being followed by bloggers who just have different interests? Has anyone else experienced the same thing? Or is a genre thing since most people like fantasy and I review thrillers mostly and African Literature?Is it a thing with book reviews or do I need to change something like my format or perhaps use GIFs and funny images? I don’t know what I am doing wrong.

Anyway, maybe  I just don’t get this blogging thing and I am approaching it the wrong way.Perhaps I just need to get some sleep. I mean,I just don’t know.I am hella discouraged though.

I hope that you had a wonderful November. Happy December. Cheers!


34 comments on “December TBR

  1. Renee
    November 30, 2016

    I’m sorry blogging has become frustrating for you Diana. I can relate to following and commenting on others posts and it not being reciprocated but I’ve decided that’s ok and I move on to others who do enjoy chatting and sharing thoughts. I also don’t follow everyone who follows me if they don’t review books I’m interested in reading. I don’t at all think it’s your content because I also don’t read or review any fantasy. I think if you review and blog about what YOU enjoy and are passionate about people will read it. Some things I’m finding success with and that I really enjoy are my Throwback Thurs and Standalone Sunday posts. Those have been my most commented and viewed posts, even better than book reviews. Maybe changing up your weekly memes will inspire you. Also I don’t post daily which is working for me. I hope you’ll return to blogging after your break.

    • Diana
      November 30, 2016

      Thank you so much Renee. I think I will try and change how I have been following back everyone because that is really tiring trying to read so many different things just to be courteous. I like what you said about doing what I enjoy, that is one of the things that I will try and focus more on next year. Thanks also for the tip on trying out different memes. I have also noticed that I interact with more bloggers through memes such as WWW Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesday so I’ll try switch it up a bit.

      Thank you for your comment and all your support. Have a wonderful new month<3

      • Renee
        November 30, 2016

        You’re welcome and Happy December!

  2. faithrivens
    November 30, 2016

    I’m sorry that you’ve fallen into a rut, but don’t feel bad if you have to take a break. Sometimes we need to recharge and refocus our attention to rejuvenate our selves. Don’t get discouraged, my dear. Though it’s easy to do. I’ve faced similar dilemmas, and I understand the frustration, but I’ve learned to accept that not everyone is interested in the same things I am. And that’s fine. There are many people out there who like it and I write for them as much as for me and that’s what’s important. if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, keep doing it. I enjoy following your progress, and I’m sure others do to. But before anyone else, you have to be the one enjoying writing these blog posts!
    But you have to do what you feel is best for you. Sometimes taking a break can help bring us new perspective. Take care of yourself, my dear, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You’re a kind and good hearted person and I hope you receive all the happiness you deserve 💗
    Stay well!

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you so much for your kind words Faith<3 You have always been so supportive and I truly appreciate that.

      I think I will slow down now to ease the pressure and yes, I also hope the break will definitely help more. I do love blogging and I enjoy reading and reviewing books so I guess I will focus on that more. Thanks 🙂

      • faithrivens
        December 1, 2016

        I’m glad to hear it! Stay well my dear 😊

  3. Ali (@thebandarblog)
    November 30, 2016

    I totally understand the frustration. I get frustrated, too, but then we have to remember that at the end of the day we do this for ourselves, right? I’ve been trying to pay less attention to the stats and more attention to the people who are paying attention to me (commenting on their blogs, etc).

    I will say that it is possible the genre thing is accounting for some of that, especially if you follow a lot of fantasy/sci-fi/YA bloggers. I know that’s the majority I follow, and it works out for me because that’s what I blog about, too. I probably haven’t heard of 75% of the books you talk about on your blog, but personally, that’s why I enjoy following your blog. It may make it harder for other bloggers to quickly interact, you know (if they don’t want to read a whole review but want to discuss the book)? See if you can find more bloggers that blog about similar books so that you guys can get a conversation going about the books you love more often (:

    But honestly – what do I know? I’ve been doing this for less than a year, and it’s not like I can claim to have a ton of followers or anything like that. You have more than I do! You keep doing you, girl, because it may not be working exactly like you want it to, but it’s working!

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      I think you are right about the blogs that I follow. I used to think that its okay just as long as we are all book bloggers but I think I follow a lot of people who like genres that I don’t read like fantasy and New Adult romance. I try and read their reviews but its not the same as reading reviews for the genres that I actually like. So I guess its the same with them having to read reviews for thrillers if they don’t read genre. I will definitely try and find bloggers with the same interests as me. Thanks a lot for the idea and encouragement 🙂

  4. You’ve got quite the busy month ahead reading wise, Diana! I also understand you fatigue with blogging. It is extremely time-consuming and it can also be frustrating. I for one though love your blog and always look forward to reading your book reviews. Taking a brief hiatus isn’t a bad thing. It’ll give you time to refresh and enjoy the holidays.🤗

  5. Laila@BigReadingLife
    December 1, 2016

    Diana, I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated, but I empathize. It’s been hard for me to motivate myself to blog over the past few weeks, and I think it’s due to a lot of factors – post-election blues, Thanksgiving and upcoming Christmas holidays and activities and preparation, and binge-watching television shows for example! 🙂 I think it is good and fine to take a break when you feel overwhelmed and underappreciated. For me, personally, I can only post twice a week at most, sometimes just once a week, and that has to be okay for me. It’s great if you can post 3-5 times a week and not be burned out, but I know that for me I couldn’t sustain that pace. So perhaps just focus on the memes/themes/reviews that mean the most to you and then see how it goes?

    I also don’t follow back everyone who follows me. I take a look at their blog and see if I think our tastes might overlap. Or if they don’t write about books at all, I probably won’t follow back. I think I just have to value my mental energy and direct it where I will get the most fulfillment.

    I hope you have a good break. I am glad you’re blogging and I’m glad to have found your blog! Best wishes!

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you so much Laila:-) I think getting burned out because pushing myself so hard is what happened to me. I have been posting almost daily, 3-4 memes per week and 3 book reviews weekly yet blogging is just something that I do because I enjoy. I have an 8-5 job and I am in Uni so it all became too much especially when expectations were not met. I think I will try and slow down a bit and perhaps focus on other things. I also like what you said about following blogs that have similar content as mine. I am currently following way too many blogs on all sorts of things so its a bit hectic.

      I hope your blogging slump passes but at the same time, I hope that you are enjoying all the other things that you’ve been doing. Thank you for your comment 🙂

  6. Yvo
    December 1, 2016

    Great TBR! You have some interesting looking books on your Netgalley shelves… And I have been wanting to read Flawed for a while now. I hope you will enjoy your books and happy reading!

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you Yvo. Enjoy your books too. Happy reading 🙂

  7. Transhaan
    December 1, 2016

    I totally see where the frustration is coming from. A lot of things can explain why there isn’t too much traffic coming your way, but in the end, I believe its best to blog and review for yourself and the people that truly find interest in your content will pop up as time comes. I personally find that some of the books I review (for example, comic books) don’t attract as much people as mega popular Young Adult fantasy novels. As long you just check out other people’s post that interest you and do “you” for your own blogging project, you should feel less burdened. I hope the months to come will replenish you with joy and a lot of great reading! 😀

    – Lashaan

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you so much Lashaan. I am definitely plan to change how I have been approaching this blogging thing. I do enjoy reading and writing so I will try and focus on that and the bloggers that I click with instead of putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself 🙂

      • Transhaan
        December 1, 2016

        Yay! Hope it does fix things up for you! As for your likes/views issue, I think its cause followers can simply click on that like button from their “Reader” feed on WordPress. By doing so, it will count as a like for you, but not as a view (since they aren’t really on your website).

        – Lashaan

        • Diana
          December 1, 2016

          Oh, now I get it. That used to get me mixed up. At first I thought there was something wrong with the stats. Thank you 🙂

  8. Lilyn G. (Sci-Fi & Scary)
    December 1, 2016

    This blogging thing can get discouraging. I get so frustrated when my stats slump and I can’t seem to figure out why!

    I do know that Young Adult Fantasy is like *the* genre right now, so that’s where a lot of book reviewers are focusing all their time. I kind of went into it knowing that reviewing science fiction and horror I wasn’t going to get a lot of ‘attention’. But I made my peace with that as much as possible.

    I try to remind myself regularly that I review for 2 reasons: 1.) Free books, because my wallet hates me not getting free books and 2.) Helping indie authors out.

    I don’t get a lot of interaction on the site, but honestly between working full time, reading as much as I do, and having a 7 year old with a serious illness.. actually interacting with people tends to take a back seat for me.

    I wish WordPress had a ‘favorites’ type thing where I could mark people’s blogs that I’m most interested in, and have them show up at the top of my reader. A lot of times I don’t get to blogs I am interested in when I’m interacting because by the time I’ve been through like 20 of them…I’m done!

    Don’t get discouraged, you are not alone 🙂 and I love to read thrillers. I just haven’t happened on one I want to read lately.

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Yeah I have noticed that the YA fantasy books do get a lot of attention and quite a number of bloggers are focusing on them. I like what you mentioned about focusing on the reasons as to why you blog. I think I need to sit down and write down my reasons so as to help me focus on the right thing.

      The favorites thing would definitely help. I try and go through the Reader but I always end up missing some of my favorite bloggers especially due to the differences in time zones and the huge number of posts on there. Emails have also got out of control with thousands of unread mail hence it is hard to sift through them.

      I really like your blog and how you have remained true to yourself and the genres that you like. The blog also looks quite professional. You are doing a great job. All the best to you and your family. Thank you Lilyn ❤

  9. Annie
    December 1, 2016

    Okay, so I completely understand how you feel, but I need to tell you right now that you’re not doing anything wrong, in fact you know you’re one of my favorite blogs ever, I think your selection of books are amazing and also love your memes. You’ve discovered me tons of “diverse” books that I want to read one day.

    It’s funny because the stats thing has also happened to me. How can you have more likes than views? lol Some people are weird if they like it without even opening.

    I’m not following back any more blogs (with a few exceptions of people who actually interact with me), it jsut go out of control and I want to be able to read and comment , like you always do.

    I used to follow and comment on some blogs who never read me me or didn’t even answer my comments. And I stopped following them, because what’s the point of this if you don’t get to interact? I don’t know, I love blogging because of all the conversations we get to have and I don’t like how some people take it from granted.

    Anyway, get your rest and we’ll be here when you come back, of course. I hope you don’t get more overwhelmed by this.

    Happy December and best wishes ❤

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you Annie, I appreciate your comment and all your support. You have always been encouraging and interacting with you has been super awesome:-)

      The stats thing is weird and I will definitely try not to take it to heart though I feel like its better not like a post instead of liking it and not opening it. It really is weird lol

      On following back everyone, that is one thing that I need to change. I have discovered some people just follow a blog even if they have no interest in the content so that is why I ended up with so many followers yet I only interact with a few. I think I will change that and stop following back everyone automatically and also stop following people who don’t want to interact. Its weird kinda like unrequited love to be commenting and visiting posts for a blogger who sort of ignores you. I will definitely change that.

      Thank you so much. Hugs from Kenya ❤

      • Annie
        December 1, 2016

        Yes, that’s exactly it haha I feel stupid when you always comment on someone’s post and they never do it. I hate that in real life (when you’re the one that always chases down a person) and I promised myself I’d never do that, real life or Internet life lol 🙂 Hugs from Barcelona ❤

  10. doddyaboutbooks
    December 1, 2016

    I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated. Your content is fantastic so please don’t change what you’re doing! Blogging multiple times a week is hard work and I hope you return from your break refreshed. 💙

    • Diana
      December 1, 2016

      Thank you so much. I do hope slowing down and taking the break will help me refocus ❤

  11. cleopatralovesbooks
    December 1, 2016

    Diane, I’m going to echo other comments here by saying you have to enjoy blogging otherwise there is no point. I suspect but don’t know that likes from the reader count but not as views if they don’t open the post. Maybe reserve your precious time for those who do respond and bloggers who read similar genres to you.
    As to the books – I have Trophy Child and A Fine Balance is also on my TBR but each time I look at it, I don’t feel in the mood.
    Have a good Christmas break at the end of the month x

    • Diana
      December 2, 2016

      Thanks Cleo, I have changed my approach to blogging by taking up the suggestion about focusing on bloggers who I interact with and those who have read the same genres that I do. It was exhausting trying to do so much. Thanks for advice too

      Trophy Child does look great. I hope to read it nearer to the publication date. Have a wonderful December.

  12. Donna
    December 2, 2016

    I also have 9.. well, since this morning 10 ARCs on NetGalley and from authors that I will try and tackle in December and January. Good luck with yours 🙂
    I totally understand your point regarding blogging. I noticed a drop in my stats a few months ago despite an increase in followers. If at first, I followed back every blog that would follow me, I soon realized it was never gonna work. Plenty of bloggers only hit the button to get stats and never visit or interact. I have chosen to focus on blogs talking about what I enjoy and written by lovely people who also take the time to chat and share with me. It is already difficult enough to find the time to visit all those wonderful blogs, I would never go back to real life if I had to commit to every blog who never tries to get a connection with you. I haven’t been on WP every day because life is crazy, but I always come back to my favorite and leave comments on posts I have missed 🙂 Still, I hope to finally catch up and find time for blogging a bit every day! I’ll keep checking your blog because it’s a favorite and you’re awesome 🙂

    • Diana
      December 3, 2016

      Thanks Donna :-)Based on your comment and what others have said,I realize that trying to follow back everyone and visit so many blogs is quite draining so that changes now.I’ll also try and slow down abit and focus on bloggers who I interact with.
      My ARCs and now 16.They were supposed to be reducing but that didn’t work out.All the best with yours 🙂

      • Donna
        December 3, 2016

        Good luck with regaining control of your feed and blog focus 🙂 I’m still trying to find the right balance myself.

  13. Kerry
    December 2, 2016

    I have been thinking about this post since I read it yesterday. From one aspiring book blogger to another, I understand your sentiments. I realised some things: Blogging, scratch that book blogging is HARD especially in the age of Snapchat, periscope etc because people are most likely going to tell you TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read). But I believe that as long as you keep on doing what you doing out of love ( with blood+sweat+tears), all good things will come.

    I mean Maria Popova of BrainPickings.org has a unique style of blogging ( she calls “annotated reading”) and she does not feature NYTimes Bestseller books on her website and after blogging for close to 8 years, she now has at least 5 million readers per month. You will also note that book blogging is also not as popular in our part of the world for reasons which I am still trying to grapple with. But I know that there are more Kenyan bookworms out there. So continue reaching out to people.

    For me, I used to get so wound up about statistics….but I also I have met people who visit my blog but don’t comment… So put numbers in the back and focus more on the interactions that you get and how you take them to them to the next level.

    Virtual hugs from Nairobi.

    • Diana
      December 3, 2016

      Thanks girl :-)You are so right about Kenyans and book blogging. I used to share my posts on Facebook but soon realized that I wasn’t getting any support so I figured that perhaps most of my pals are just not into books so I stopped trying.I do enjoy blogging so I’ll def. focus on that.I need to check out Maria,she’s inspiring.Thanks for sharing ❤

  14. 1happywhale
    December 7, 2016

    I understand how you feel… I have been blogging for a few months now and so far have a total followers count of 16 people… 🙂 I am not to fussed though and am still super proud of my blog & get so much enjoyment out of posting that I think “Why stop doing something I love just because nobody else likes it?” Sure, at the start I was desperate for people to view my blog but now… Well, not so much. I think your blog is super cool and you always bring my attention to such interesting & diverse books. I know you are already sort of doing this, but the only thing I can suggest is maybe taking a break from all of the memes and writing more posts without constraints or boundaries… that way your blog may become a little more ‘unique’ and hopefully you will get more enjoyment out of writing for you rather than everyone else…? As a side note, I am so happy that you are finally getting around to reading Looking for JJ, I know you’ll love it! 🙂

  15. Pingback: Happy Holidays | A Haven for Book Lovers

  16. Cheryl Petersen
    January 1, 2017

    Thanks for book reviews. I’m an avid reader. Now reading “Funny in Farsi” by Firoozeh Dumas

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2016 by in Bookish Post, Monthly Wrap up and tagged .
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