Tag: Website: Blogging

Eclectictales.com’s Blogoversary!

Posted 3 February, 2017 by Lianne in Website / 24 Comments

The month of February hits a milestone of sorts for the blog (not necessarily the space as I moved recently, but just existence of the blog as its own entity): eclectictales.com turns TEN.

Not my gif, as always

Yup, you read it right: 2017 makes ten years of me blogging. It’s pretty surreal to think it’s been that long since I’ve started blogging (steadily; I think I mentioned in my About the Site section that I had a previous blog/domain but had to stop for offline reasons). And after ten years, one does learn a few things along the way… 😛

  1. It’s easy to follow what others are doing (format-wise, books read and reviewed that are popular right now, etc.) but at the end of the day it’s your blog: you do the thing that makes you happy.
  2. Blogging is an ever-changing process: you pick up new ways of formatting or presenting your thoughts and ideas, the focus of your blog shifts and changes…Gosh, just look at some of my posts circa 2012 compared to now. It’s normal, and it’s part of the fun.
  3. You don’t have to review every book you’ve read–I learnt that recently, actually. I use my blog as my book journal so to speak (as with the amount of books I read per year, I will have used up a lot of notebooks O_O) and for the last few years my approach has been to record my thoughts as much as I can on the books that I’ve read. But sometimes when you don’t have much thought about a book you’ve read, why struggle churning out what turns out to be a wee & generalised review? This is still a hobby at the end of the day, not your dissertation.
  4. Yeah, it’s dismaying when no one comments on an awesome book you’ve reviewed (or a review you’re particularly proud of having clobbered together), but it happens. It’s there, maybe one day someone will read it and appreciate thoughts in it. But as long as you’re happy with it and you’ve got it jotted down somewhere, it’s all good.
  5. On a related note, at the end of the day stats don’t matter, really. I mean, yeah, I too wish I got more traffic and more readers, but those that drop by and comment do make my day 🙂
  6. Being different has its benefits in terms of what you offer in your reviews and what readers come across in your blog. What do I mean? Well like my url suggests, I do read an eclectic range of books, perhaps a little more far out than what you may necessarily come across, and while perhaps that may contribute to a lack of traffic or comments at times, I do get the occasional comment saying they appreciated coming across this book or that that they had never heard of and want to check out now. I’m always happy to recommend titles to people!
  7. The book blogging community is a supportive place. Yeah, it’s had its weird drama moments from time to time but the friends I’ve made over the years through the community and the memes and the discussion are priceless. #hugsforall
  8. Scheduling blog posts = life saver.
  9. Blogging burnout happens–and it’s okay. I never thought I’d be one of those people who would experience it, and perhaps it’d be a surprise to you to know that I did experience it considering my blog posts are scheduled at a daily frequency, but the hiatus time I had back in December? Sure, I was experiencing headache after headache transferring my blog over to the new server but in the same vein it gave me the time to step back and take a break, which I didn’t realise I even needed. !
  10. I guess this reiterates #1 a bit but most of all? Have fun blogging!

As always I’m thankful for everyone’s support and friendship over the years of chatting about books and other things; I honestly don’t think I would’ve continued blogging for as long as I have (or perhaps with the same vigor as before) if it wasn’t for your guys.

Not my gif but this is for you all, this cute puppy in a bowl 😛

As a thank you to you all and in celebration of my blogoversary, I am hosting a book giveaway! Now, I’m doing it a bit different this year; rather than going by my favourite reads in 2016, I’m going to give you an option to choose any one book I’ve read & reviewed on my blog.

Now, this prospect sounds crazy daunting as I’ve written over 900 book reviews in the last 10 years (see tag; omg where to start?!) O_o But there’s a few ways to navigate through and discover/decide what book to choose:

This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. The contest will run until Monday, February 13th @ 11:59PM EST. Please make sure you use a valid email address when you enter (as the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will draw a new winner). You can read the rest of the terms and conditions with the Rafflecopter below 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that’s about it! In bocca del lupo! If you have any questions about the giveaway or any issues with Rafflecopter, please email me at webmaster [at] eclectictales [dot] com or comment in this post. Many thanks again for all of your support over the years 🙂

Eclectictales.com’s Blogoversary!

Posted 4 February, 2015 by Lianne in Website / 52 Comments

My domain URL may be new but my webspace isn’t, and today it is celebrating 8 years on the internet! 🙂 (yeah, I’m pretty old on the blogosphere, haha xP) It’s been another wonderful year on the blogosphere, chatting with bloggers about books and television shows and all kinds of stuff, both here and on Twitter 🙂 I’ve “met” a number of new bloggers thanks to Armchair BEA last year and other blogging events such as read-alongs, as well as plenty more via Twitter and through other blogger friends. I’ve also learned a lot as a blogger, discovered new tools to connect and present my blog posts in a more organised manner. And of course it was a fantatic year in reading, as evident by the end of the year book survey I filled out back in December 2014 🙂

According to WordPress stats, here are my top 5 visited posts from the past year (barring pages and sign-up posts to last year’s reading challenges that I hosted):

I’ve noticed there’s been ups and downs in the book blogging community in the last year, and it affected us all at some level; heck, there are times when I do find myself wondering why I blog, why I bother posting my thoughts on books and whatnot. But then I re-read a few of my book reviews (the lengthier ones–the classics or on the books I really loved 😛 ) and I remember that it’s about my love of storytelling, of books, of talking about books with others. Sure, some reviews don’t get as much attention as others (alas), books I push aren’t for everyone (it happens), but I’m ever grateful to have this medium to channel my thoughts and interact with others who also love to read and understand, appreciate, and approach books in a somewhat similar manner as I do xD

So I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you very much to all my readers, commenters, fellow bloggers & friends for being awesome, for commenting, for the discussion, recommendations, encouragements, and feedback. I’m still working on getting back to comments at a timely manner, but your comments make my day 🙂

As a little thank you to you all, I am hosting a giveaway with an opportunity to win one of the following 8 (hehe) books I read in the past year and enjoyed. I tried to keep it as eclectic (hehehe) as possible so that there’s something for everyone 😉 This giveaway is open internationally as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.

  • Robin Oliveira’s I Always Loved You (review) *
  • Lucy Clarke’s A Single Breath (review)
  • Jonathan Tropper’s This is Where I Leave You (review)
  • Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (review)
  • Alice Munro’s Hateship, Friendship Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (review)
  • Miranda Hart’s Is It Just Me? (review)
  • Rachel Bach’s Fortune’s Pawn (review)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas (review)

* = this will be a pre-order

And that’s about it! The giveaway will run until Saturday, February 28th @ 11:59PM EST. Please make sure you use a valid email address when you enter and just read the rest of the terms and conditions with the Rafflecopter 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you again, and here’s to a lovely 2015 (with my shiny new domain url, lol)! 🙂

Winners of Blogoversary Book Giveaway Contest

Edit (2 March 2015): Thank you to everyone who entered my book giveaway! I used random.org to select two giveaways for this contest. Congratulations to Wattle and Lark: I hope you guys enjoy the books you selected! Thank you again for celebrating with me 🙂

Armchair BEA: Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas/Short Stories

Posted 28 May, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 24 Comments

Expanding Blogging Horizons

I find that my blog and my blogging is constantly changing, expanding, shifting over the years. Not necessarily in a unique way, I think–I haven’t branched out to vlogging or podcasts. While my blog has become predominantly book-related over the years, I still post up my thoughts and reviews on movies I’ve watched, television shows I follow (however few they are; right now I’m posting my thoughts every other week on the latest episodes of Orphan Black), the articles I’ve written for other publications. Over the past year I’ve branched out and taken part in more book blog tours (courtesy primarily of France Book Tours), which is another wonderful way to connect with bloggers and authors and great books.

On a more technical note, the only major thing I’ve been focusing on in terms of expanding my blogging horizons is actually working towards a redesign here, lol. I recently bought this awesome theme from Creative Whim; I was having so much trouble formatting and customising free themes and I’m no longer patient when it comes to learning how to format my own layouts but this theme is pretty promising in terms of what I can do with it. I hope to do a bit more than what I currently have going on here in the coming months. I also hope to change my url next year to something a little more bookish, but we’ll see 😀

Novellas & Short Stories

In the last two years, I found myself reading a lot more novellas and short stories. Still not a lot, mind you, but reading them every now and then is a nice change of pace and I find that whenever I’m in a reading slump, it really helps me through that blahness. They’re also a great place to start if you’re looking to start reading a series or read some books from a particular author or want to continue reading stories set in a particular world that you’ve enjoyed.

For some novellas by classic authors, I highly, highly recommend Meville House’s The Art of the Novella series. The selection is fantastic, and the covers are simple but very elegant and appealing–very nice to have on your shelves! Many of these titles, depending on their copyright, are available free online or elsewhere, but if you’re a collector or are just looking for a starting point, definitely check their selection out. Some notable titles worth checking out (in my opinion ;)):

  • Christopher Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels & The Haunted Bookshop
  • Sholem Aleichem’s Stempenyu: A Jewish Romance
  • Prosper Merimee’s Carmen
  • Anton Chekhov’s The Duel
  • Aleksandr Pushkin’s Tales of Belkin
  • Ivan Turgenev’s First Love
  • Edith Wharton’s The Touchstone

As for fantasy and science fiction, Tor.com has always been my go-to place for short stories from various fantasy and sci-fi authors. Every year they release a small anthology to download featuring select titles. They’ve been fairly hit and miss for me, but it’s some place to turn to for short stories from the genre. Other short stories–such as the novellas set in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels and Brandon Sanderson’s novellas–are both entertaining and interesting in what else it reveals of the worlds they’ve created, and definitely worth checking out.

There’s also one author on my to-read shelf whom I would talk more about in this section but I haven’t read any of her works yet: Alice Munro. I’ve heard good things about her work (and she’s Canadian–whoo-hoo!) and of course she’s pretty notable lately because she won the Nobel Prize for Literature so I’m looking forward to reading her short stories 🙂

And now I turn it over to you: How have you expanded your blogging horizons in the past year? Or if you’re a new blogger, what’s your experience been like so far? Do you read novellas and short stories? If so, what are some of your favourites? If you don’t, has my post convinced you in checking out a few titles? 😉

List: Alternatives to Google Reader

Posted 14 March, 2013 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

By now the entire internet has heard that Google Reader will be closing on 30 June 2013. Which absolutely sucks because I finally got around to using it to keep track of all of my friends and fellow bloggers’ entries! *facepalmsmack*

So! Like many, I’ve been wandering around a bit for some alternatives that’s easy to use and aesthetically pleasing (yes, this is important to me, I don’t like cluttered-looking feeds xP). This is what I ended up checking out:


I found out about this site through a friend on Twitter and decided to check it out (This is me over there if you want to follow me). I like the layout, it’s very simple but organised and kind of reminiscent of Google Reader in a way. I’m still learning how a few of the features works but I suspect that I will be using this site the most (unless something changes or whatnot; see this entry from the creators).

The only drawback at the moment is that the server’s working rather slow, probably because of the migration over, but thankfully there aren’t as many blogs on my subscriptions feed on Google Reader so I was able to do it manually.


Another website that’s been recommended in place of Google Reader and one that’s gotten quite popular in the past 24 hours. Aesthetically it’s quite wonderful, giving you the choice of themes and a selection of layouts to present the latest blog entries from magazine layout to a full coverage of the entries. There’s also no server issues of lagging time. I haven’t used it as much yet but for the most part it’s just as easy to use as the Old Reader.

The only drawback I have about this website at the moment is that I can’t seem to delete the categories. It says you can delete certain items through a drag-and-drop system but I can’t find the option to delete it anywhere. If you’re using Feedly, do you know how to do it?

There are also other alternatives out there (including app-only readers but I did not include those in the list), although I haven’t used any of the following:

So what RSS reader have you migrated to or have checked out? What are the pros and cons about that program for you? Would you recommend one that I did not list here in my blog?