Freestyle Friday

Hey Everybody, welcome to the second edition of Freestyle Friday, where I ramble about things that interested me during the week. Let’s get the ball rolling:

  • I am trying, yet again, to get back on a routine running program by following RunKeeper‘s Sub 65-Minute 10K Program. This program starts slowly and helps to build speed and endurance. I’m excited but I also know that I can easily get in my own way. Besides work and just plain laziness, I will sometimes avoid running in neighborhoods around my house because I’m afraid people I know will see me. (This is the exact opposite of my husband, who hopes that everyone we know will see him tearing down the street.) I thought I was the only one who felt this way, but this week I found this on the Mileposts blog: “I’m Embarrassed to Go Running.” I am not alone! Now I need someone to write an “I’m Embarrassed to Lift Free Weights in front of Meatheads at the Gym” post and I’ll be good to go. If you’re interested, you can read a bit more about my struggles with running here.
  • Eddie Izzard, people:

VISCO: Eddie, you do so much.  Would you say you’re superhuman?

IZZARD: Not superhuman. Actually, it’s that all humans can do more than they think they can do. So I think we can all actually be more superhuman than we think we can. 

  • Interesting article on the pressure authors face to get out and promote their books: “The Demands of Book Promotion: Frivolous or Necessary?” I know a lot of bloggers want to help authors as much as they can, but I also notice that quite often I will see a of of bloggers posting about the same book at the same time. Promotion and enthusiasm seems less organic than it was in 2009 when I started this blog, which makes me wonder if as bloggers we are overlooking authors who are less adept at promotion (or who are with a small press with a small budget.) Then again, part of book blogging is joining the conversation, so if we aren’t posting about the book-of-the-moment, we might risk people losing interest. Thoughts? Is this less true for “niche” bloggers who deal with specific genres, markets, or themes? Is it true at all?
  • Okay, this one probably deserves a full post, but I’ll mention it anyway: an opinion piece in the Washington Post about putting warning labels on books. Because I am currently reading The People in the Trees, which graphically features adults in precarious relations with children, I am divided. At the moment I think  maybe for books that feature up-close-and-personal trauma, maybe it’s a good idea? But then, who decides? Warning labels feel like a slippery slope to banning books. I don’t want to see that happen. I’m worried that labels take the responsibility off the individual, but then should readers have to closely research every potential book? I’m going to stop before I really get going…
  • If you’re a serious Mad Men fan like I am, then here’s a post about the Burger Chef restaurant where they filmed this week’s closing shot. Only one more episode this season. I can’t stand it that this show is ending.

Mad Men Burger Chef

  • But speaking of shows, we saw several previews during Orphan Black for In the Flesh and my husband suggested we watch the first season. We only watched the first season of The Walking Dead and am not generally a zombie fan, but we’re enjoying In the Flesh. Anyone else watching?
  • For fun, I thought I would show you all the books I added to my wishlist* this week (I am pretty sure this relates directly to my trouble with the TBR):

The Three, by Sarah Lotz

We Are Not Ourselves, by Matthew Thomas

An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay

Finding Florida, by T.D. Allman

The Divorce Papers, by Susan Krieger

Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, by Francine Prose

Off Course, by Michelle Huneven

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, US friends! Enjoy the long weekend if you get one!

*All book links are Kindle versions on Amazon. One click and any one of them could be mine! Links are unaffiliated, by the way. If you buy one, I bear no responsibility and receive no profit.

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6 comments

  1. I am personally okay with warning labels on books, if only in the form of ratings, like movies get. It’s only fair to warn readers there there is graphic content in a book, and if it’s not their thing, then move on. But, I wouldn’t want a list of warnings or detailed explanation of what all is there in the book. I worry that is spoiler-ish and would take away from the book’s enjoyment. Plus, like you mentioned, that opens up the possibility of book bans.

  2. Have you watched the fabulous Mr Izzard in Hannibal? He’s so good. We are saving all the Mad Men episode until we have the full season. Really looking forward to getting stuck in to it….

  3. I don’t run, but I’ve started doing yoga this year, and that’s something that I think would be really nice to do outside, but I’m extremely self-conscious about it. It’s not just being seen by people I know, but also being seen by strangers, especially since I don’t have the kind of body people think of as a yoga body (even though any body can be a yoga body).

    As for the book promotion conversation, I go back and forth between wanted to discuss the book of the moment and wanting to avoid all promotion. For the past year or so, I avoided getting review copies and read lots of older and somewhat less-well-known (but not necessarily classic) books. The books were good, but I missed the conversation that comes from reading what everyone else is. So I’m picking up some review copies again and trying to read a few more things when they’re still being talked about. Figuring out that balance is hard.

  4. Athira, on the one hand I can definitely see a purpose, but on the other, I wonder who decides what books get labeled and when? And then, yes, I worry about books being banned. It’s a big question.

  5. Teresa, it’s funny but I am far less self-conscious when we go run at the park where there are a lot of other runners. On that note, yesterday we were there for a run and I managed a spectacular face plant, so there’s that. When I run alone near my house, I just hate when people I know see me. I feel like it takes me out of the moment.

    I am right there with you on the promotion thing. Figuring out the balance is very difficult. On the one hand, I want to be “in” on the conversation, on the other hand, when everyone is reading the same books, we are less exposed to interesting titles that are being overlooked.

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