Technically Speaking…

Reading: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (and now Ancillary Sword today) as recommended by Stefanie of the blog So Many Books and Sarah of the blog Sarah Says Read, also read Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder as recommended by Sarah and others.

Watching: Friends on Netflix as recommended, and reminded, by several folks on Twitter.

Listening to: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper as recommended by Pitchfork.

This past week I tried to read The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel but after about 70 pages gave up. I guess I just don’t have the self-control to finish it. Actually, I think it’s a bit more scientific than I wanted but what do you expect from a professor at Columbia? However, I had a similar feeling with Dataclysm when I first began it.

So why continue with one and not the other? Maybe with Rudder’s book, it was his ability to analyze the data and what it meant, or at least might mean, for me. As far as I had gotten with The Marshmallow Test, and from skimming the rest, I didn’t think he was going to get to the point of what it might mean for me. However, in fairness, I didn’t read the rest of Mischel’s work so I might be wrong.

With fiction, I don’t always have the same restrictions in regards to technical, or complicated or complex, language. For example, with The Martian by Andy Weir, I pushed through the more technical aspects to get to what I thought was the meat of the story: his attempting to survive. Similarly with Ancillary Justice, I didn’t, and still don’t know if I do, understand all the “world building,” as Sarah described it, that was happening. Leckie was establishing the different species and the nuances of the religion that would populate the story later. Again, I was able to push through, but this time because I didn’t understand what was going on but wanted to because the idea of an AI in several different bodies trying to tell the story was, and is, intriguing to me.

Maybe, no, I know, it’s because I don’t do a good job of focusing, which is why one of my words for this year is focus (with the other being equilibrium). Does this mean that I’m going to start focusing on more technical writing, especially nonfiction? Um…no, but when I do read more technical writing than I’m used to, I’m going to attempt to focus more than I have in the past and see if that helps. It may or may not.

So how about for you? Does technical writing, or complex or complicated language, in either fiction or nonfiction sometimes prevent you from reading a certain book or author? Or do you enjoy that kind of writing? Or do you just “soldier through”? And as always, what are you reading, watching, listening to this week?

YOUR Thoughts on Book Blogger Pressure

Sunday Salon 1-17-15

This week I thought I’d just highlight some of the comments that I received to my post last week out of the 30-plus comments I received. As Nancy of Bookfoolery said in one of her follow-up comments, “Wow, you certainly hit a nerve with his post! What a response.” To read all of the comments, visit

A few choice comments:

But writing reviews is still exciting–for me, reflecting on and writing about what I read is part of reading, and I like that posting those thoughts on my blog opens up the opportunity for conversation.

- Teresa from Shelf Love

I’ve never found the conversation but maybe because I mostly read older books. In short, more positive internal pressure as opposed to external pressure which I often perceive as negative.

- Andi from Estella’s Revenge


It all comes down to read what you want when you want and blog what you want when you want.

(repeat as needed until it sinks in)

- SuziQOregon from Whimpulsive

I blog for myself, and for my followers, but I also blog for my students, whom I hope read a few of my reviews then walk over and pick up a book off the library shelf that they just learned about from me. That makes all this effort worth it.

- Anne Bennett from My Head is Full of Books

I know many people who thrive on challenges and goals. I used to be them too. But life changed, stuff happened, priorities changed. Maybe someday I will be like that again. Now, as much as I like reading and blogging, I don’t want to revolve my life around them. This year, I want to take more vacations, go to more places, have more fun, do more things, and just read/blog when/if I can. I like this life better, because now I am doing something only because I want to.

- Athira from Reading on a Rainy Day

Yeah I just blog once a week too and I like it like that. I find it doable for me, and not a lot of pressure. I worked 15 years at a newspaper so that was pressure. But this is something I just do for fun and b/c I like books & movies & stuff. I try to keep it easy. If I miss a week, so be it. Cheers.

-  Susan from The Cue Card

I can relate to this since I worked for about 10 years for newspapers.

Personally, I don’t even like all of the stats posts that people post because it feels like a bit of a throwdown. “I read this much; did you?” I know that is not the intention, but that is how they make me feel.

- Michelle from That’s What She Read

Yep, right there with you.

I used to feel pressure when blogging, but ever since I became a father two and a half years ago, I really haven’t felt too much pressure.

- Jeremy from Beltwayliterature

Life puts things in perspective.

Nope. Not me. Probably because I know in my heart that I am just a little tiny, amateur writer and reader and blogger and I know I will never be anything else. And that’s perfectly fine with me.

- Debnance from Readerbuzz

…I have a ton of blogs…but I’m just having fun.

I do read more than I did before blogging, but not because I feel pressured, but because I am loving this post-retirement life and the freedom to choose what I do.

So, no, I don’t feel pressure. Pressure was what I felt in my previous life (thirty years as a social worker). That was pressure, and it wasn’t even fun…LOL.

- Laurel Rain-Snow of …well, 11 blogs

Lisa from Southern Girls Reads even wrote her own response to my initial post.

Separately, Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner wrapped up her own “Feelings on The State of the Book Blogging Community” on her Tumblr blog and Florinda of The 3 R’s Blog had not just one link roundup on what others perceive as troubles and trends in the world of book blogging, but two of them:

  1. Blog Talk: Troubles and Trends in 2015 (link roundup and discussion)
  2. Blog Talk: Your Blog is You (more links, more discussion)

Next week: I’ll attempt to get back to original thoughts, not just based on what others are writing, maybe even on reading (but no pressure) although I do like spreading the love to others.

So what are you reading this Sunday? Me? I finally have Dataclysm (Who We When We Think No One’s Looking)  by Christian Rudder on ebook from off the hold shelf at The Free Library of Philadelphia, but also picked up two science fiction novels from the library where I work: Ancillary Justice and its sequel Ancillary Sword, both by Ann Leckie. Stefanie from So Many Books mentioned she was reading the first one earlier this month so while I didn’t remember specifically that it was she who mentioned it, I think the seed already was planted to pick up the book. The thing is I might end up reading all this weekend as in addition to Monday, I also have Tuesday off as I took a vacation day.

The tag cloud in the image above was created with Tagul.