Happy New Year from Book Club Mom!

Hi Everyone,

During my blogging break and with the new year approaching, I’ve thought a lot about my blog. To be honest, I’ve lost a little bit of interest in it. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been doing it for a long time or if I’m just busier. I was a stay-at-home mom when I started my blog and now I have a part-time job and my kids are nearly out of the house. So in many ways, I have more time, but…that’s the I don’t know part.

This is my tenth year of blogging (my actual anniversary is six months from now). Some of you have been following me from that first post in June 2013, in which I reviewed Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Since that post, I’ve made plenty mistakes and experimented with different features and formats. I’ve also made A LOT of blogging friends, truly the best part!

I think it’s really important to stay fresh and try new things, but I’ve felt like my blog has been in a rut. So with 2023 a day away, I’ve made some changes for the new year.

First, my header

I never really liked my most recent header. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I created it. And I’ve experimented with other banner designs over the years. I don’t like switching things up too much because I think it’s important to stay consistent, but because of other changes, this seems like a good time. So, I hope you like it!

Next, my review format

From now on, I’m only going to formally review 4- and 5-star books, books I highly recommend. I’ll combine everything else I’ve enjoyed during the month into one post, with shorter reviews. I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about my 3-star reviews, why not 4 or 5 stars? Don’t misunderstand, these are books I also liked! I follow the Goodreads format (see below). And, it’s my opinion, to reflect my reading tastes. I feel strongly about expressing an authentic opinion, so you know who I am and what I like.

In case you’re interested, here’s the Goodreads format:

5 stars: it was amazing
4 stars: really liked it
3 stars: liked it
2 stars: it was ok
1 star: did not like it

Who’s That Indie Author and BCM’s Author Updates

These have always been popular features and I’ll continue to post these. I’m working on new interview questions and a more interesting format for Author Updates, so stay tuned!

What’s That Book? Blog Views and Other Obsessions, Short Story Reviews, and Books on my Radar

I’ll also continue with these and other occasional features:

YouTube

I enjoy making these and will continue to share them on my blog.

So that’s about it. I’ve been reading a lot over the last few weeks, so you’ll see some new posts about those books coming in January. Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great holiday season!

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

51 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Book Club Mom!

  1. My mom and I never did the author interview. 😦 I think it was hard because it was a pdf, or something? I remember my mom saying she couldn’t write in it, or couldn’t do it on her phone, or … something. I was surprised that the questions didn’t have much to do with the books we wrote. We expected it to be more of a way to share about and promote the book. Hopefully we can retry this year!?

    1. Oh, so sorry…I sent it as a MS Word document. I can paste them into an email if that’s easier. I’m sorry you were surprised about the questions. They’re open-ended enough that you can share your book, if that’s what you’d like to do. It’s meant as a way to get to know the authors. I’m going to do new questions for 2023, if you’d like to wait, but they will be similar in tone to prior ones…

  2. Happy New Year Book Club Mom. I can’t imagine my blogging experience without you. Please don’t leave but please do make sure you do whatever makes you happy. With much love and best wishes for next year 🧡

    1. Hi Charley – I thought about it, but honestly it’s bloggers like you who keep me wanting to stay. I think I just need to shake up my blog a bit. Happy New Year 😊🧡

    1. Hi again, Derrick – I just hopped over to your blog and see that you’re moving. I’m looking forward to visiting you on your new site – Happy New Year!

  3. Happy new year, Barb! I love reading your reviews, and keep the book titles for future reference. Thank you for sharing ❤

  4. It’s odd, but I can’t remember your old header. I love this one. It’s graphically artistic.

    Interesting about review ratings. Three-star reviews aren’t bad, I agree! Since I pick most of the books I read, I tend to pick authors I like or a book in a new-to-me author’s collection that looks good. So I often end up with 4- and 5-star reviews. There’s also the case when I don’t like a genre, force myself to try it again, and still don’t like it but could tell it was written well. I usually end up adding a star for the benefit of the doubt. Reviews are just… hard!

    Happy New Year, Barbara!

  5. Happy New Year, Barb. Your new format looks great. Congratulations on ten years of blogging. Tomorrow marks my 7th blogiversary. I look forward to continue following your posts. See you there!

  6. Happy New Year, Barb! The old year ending is a good time to evaluate. You are brave and wise for making changes.

    We are practically blogging twins. I began blogging in February 2013, so I’m coming up on ten years too. A decade is a long time to come up with fresh ideas. For example, I started blogging twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Then when I began my first memoir, I cut down to once a week, on Wednesdays. Now I’m soon to launch the sequel, memoir #2. I have thought about blogging every two weeks at some point in 2023. We’ll see.

    Congratulations. You shine! 😀

  7. Happy New Year, Barbara.
    Change is good. It’s important to refresh things now and again, otherwise you will get bored with it, and then that’ll come across to your readers. So this is all good stuff.
    Hope 2023 is a good year for you.

  8. I do like the new header… and color scheme… very… hot chocolate! But I enjoy your blog so whatever you do, I’ll be happy when you get time to post!

  9. Happy New Year, Barbara! I empathize with your lack of blogging interest, as I have felt the same over the last few months. That said, I hope to overcome the blahs and start blogging more often in 2023. I hope you don’t stop because I love your blog! ❤️

    1. Oh thank you, I got over the blahs, but honestly, when I’m busy with other things, I don’t feel like getting on WP, not the way I used to. I’ve accepted that it’s normal and will keep the blog going. Happy New Year – I just wrote that in another comment to you 🙂

      1. I hope so, too, Jennifer. The friends on WP are what keep me coming back. I guess my interests have changed over the years. I’m not as busy in the same ways as I used to be, but I’ve added things to what I like to do in my free time. It’s a balance, I think. Also, I tend to start the week out strong, then I work til 8 on Tuesdays and also work on Wednesdays, so I lose a bit of interest during the middle of the week and sometimes it’s hard to get back into it.

  10. I think it is good to change things up a bit now and then. Ten years is a long time to keep a successful blog going…congrats on that! And I am glad to hear you aren’t going to stop blogging. I was afraid of that when I read the beginning of this post!

    1. Hi Ann – I had to step away for a bit, mostly because I was busy during the holidays. But it was a good time to rethink what I want to do with my time. Thank you for stopping by and Happy New Year! 🧡

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