Blog Views and Other Obsessions – WordPress Story Update and Thoughts

Here’s an interesting follow-up to my post last week in which I talked about the new story feature on the Jetpack app. As an experiment, I tried it out and this is what happened:

My experimental story has gotten more views and likes than any other post so far this month. Isn’t that weird? Does anyone know if Jetpack stories boost blog performance?

I just posted another story, to see if that’s the case. After this, I promise I’ll stop talking about Jetpack!

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

Blog Views and Other Obsessions – some techy observations

I’ve noticed a few new things on the WordPress editor, have you? First, let me say that I have fully transitioned to the block editor and I like it. A lot of what they’ve done makes sense to me. I thought it was going to be like the editor I use at work for our email marketing platform (Constant Contact), but I was totally wrong!

As for the new things, I feel like WordPress just sneaks these things in on us, however I admit I don’t study the features at night. It’s the same way with Canva. Things change all the time over there, but I love Canva so much that I like to see new things.

Recently I got frustrated that it wasn’t as easy to resize images until I discovered this little icon in the upper right corner (see below). I don’t know what you call it, but it opens up the sidebar so you can edit.

I’ve made a mess of my resuable blocks—my fault, but while trying to sort it out, I noticed that the Resuables feature also has a new icon.

Do you have the WordPress app on your phone? I use it all the time, never to write posts, but to check stats and reply to comments when I’m out and about. I’ve also used the widget for a quick look at stats, but I recently noticed that it was really slow to update. Weird. It used to be great. Then I got a notification to download the Jetpack app because it will be taking over these features on March 8. Now I use that and it’s great.

One of the new things on the Jetpack app is the ability to post a story. Well I guess it was just a matter of time. You may have seen a random post from me go out on Thursday night because I was playing around with the story feature. I deleted it because I thought it might work like Instagram, but it created an actual post. I’m going to post a story right after this post, so you can see what I mean.

So just a few techy observations. Have you noticed these changes and features? Leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

Book Club Mom’s Valentine’s Day Link Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you to these recent followers! I hope you’ll check them out and give them a follow 💝

Kimberly Wenzler is a writer of women’s fiction. Her books explore the various relationships that define women and make life so interesting: parent/child, friendship, self-acceptance, and of course, true love. If she can make you laugh a little and cry even more, then she has done her job.

Sadie loves to write. Loves reading and has read almost every genre of literature, except horror. Her other interest is diet and health. She writes about keeping good physical and mental health and different forms of diets.

Valerie Ormond is a writer living in Maryland.  Her fiction and non-fiction stories have been published in books, and her articles and poetry have appeared internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Besides her writing, Valerie is a Navy veteran, owner of Veteran Writing Services, LLC, and a horsewoman.

Mary Anne Edwards is the author of the Charlie McClung Mysteries, set during the early 1980s in a small Georgia town. Mary Anne provides the latest news about herself and on the Charlie McClung Mysteries.

Stine Writing is a blog that shares book reviews, poetry and promotes positivity and connecting.

Paula Light is a writer in Orange County, California. Her interests include fiction, poetry, movies, painting, and cupcakes. Her most recent novel is Ghosted.

Bachir Bastien is a life coach and trainer for millennials and early and mid-career executives throughout Asia, the Americas, and Europe.

Anne is an avid reader living in Yorkshire. She recently retired and reads a variety of fiction genres including crime, fantasy, romance and literary fiction. For non-fiction she reads history and biography with a few true crime books thrown in as well.

Grace Blair is a self-help and motivational author, and the author of Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure. She lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband.

Joni Caggiano writes about her personal struggles and offers her blog as a venue in which to share her own thoughts, stories and path to recovery.  Her hope is that by doing so, others may be helped along the way.

The Nerdy Mom started this blog from her need of sharing her passion, views, thoughts, and reviews in connection with the books she reads.

Amani is a prolific blogger who shares her thoughts on books and entertainment.

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

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:


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!

Book Club Mom’s Holiday Link Love

Happy Holidays! Here are some blogs I enjoy. I’ll be sharing more links during the next few weeks. Take a look and join the Holiday Link Love!

Belinda Grover Photography: “I wanted to combine my love of the outdoors with the challenge of photography and record the ‘stops along the way.’ With a camera in hand you tend to look at the world differently; light, shadow, framing can make the common extraordinary.”

Carla Loves to Read: “I have been a reader all my life, but recently began reading and reviewing books on Goodreads. Shortly after that, I was introduced to NetGalley and have been reviewing new books on a regular basis. I wanted somewhere to review books where people could come and look at them as well as see them somewhat categorized.”

T. W. Dittmer: “I suppose I could try to weave some tale about the burning desire, the urge that drove me to near insanity until I just HAD to put my thoughts into words. Or I could tell you some epic story about the tragic events that led me to write. I’d rather just tell you the truth. And the truth of it is, I just want to tell a story… hopefully the kind of story that makes a reader think… makes them smile or makes them cry… maybe jerks them around a little bit and makes them go ‘Huh?’ I just like to write.”

Graffiti Lux Art & More: “My name is Resa McConaghy, and my site, “Graffiti Lux and Murals”, was originally dedicated to showcasing & documenting Graffiti Art and Murals in Toronto and Winnipeg. However, I now find I am featuring the Street Art of other cities around the globe through travels of mine, and guest contributors.”

Priorhouseblog: “Priorhouse blog has morphed a lot over the years – yet the main themes have stayed the same: photos, art and a little bit of lit (and hopefully some encouragement).”

Read with Me: “I’m Jolie and I am a bookworm. I’ve written book reviews since I started blogging. I figured, ‘Hey, I like reading and I like blogging so let’s combine the two.’”

Words from Manneli: “This blog is a collection of ‘blurbs’ from life as I see it. Sometimes the blurb involves a funny little story, sometimes a photo or two, sometimes both. I enjoy interacting with my readers so please don’t be shy.”

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

Blog Views and Other Obsessions – What’s new?

Here’s a mishmash of my current blogging experiences:

In my last post about blogging, I announced that I was tentatively happy because my spam comment problem seemed to be resolved. You may remember that my blog had been inundated with spam and it was even spamming email accounts connected to blogs that follow me. That was horrible. To fix it, I turned off pingbacks and trackbacks and closed comments after 30 days. IT’S WORKING! What a relief. Now I don’t have to spend time deleting spam. If you are having problems with spam comments, I highly recommend you turn off pingbacks and trackbacks and close comments after 30 days.

Have you noticed that the fonts have changed in draft mode? It doesn’t affect the final post so not really a big deal, but you know…change.

How’s everyone doing with the block editor? Are you using all the features? Have you converted your old posts from the Classic format? I’m doing pretty well and don’t find it hard to use, but I don’t use nearly all the features. I do like using the “Resuable” blocks when I write a post, though, and forced myself to learn how to create them. It saves a lot of time. As for converting from the Classic format, I have had mixed results. I’m not on a mission to change them all, but if I’m linking to an old post, I like to update it.

Did you notice that the Reader layout is different? At first, I thought, “Whoa, WordPress, enough with the changes” but I actually think it’s an improvement. IMO it’s easier to get an idea about the post and honestly, everything looks more attractive.

Now here’s something that I wish would happen. When I link my blog to something else, I have to manually set the link to open in a new tab. I would love that to be a default setting. Does anyone else think about this?

That’s about it for me. What are some of your recent blogging observations? I hope you’re having a good Saturday!

Thanks for visiting—come back soon!

In case you missed them! BCM post recap October 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts in October.

I read five books this month – all good reads!

Girl in the Rearview Mirror by Kelsey Rae Dimberg – 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book which explores the always-interesting theme of truth versus public persona in politics. A series of twists leads to an ending I did not expect and ties in nicely with how image is everything.

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy – 4 stars. Don’t be put off by the title. This is a fast, engrossing read, written in humble humor. It’s not the typical celebrity memoir in the sense that McCurdy focuses on her own battles and does little name dropping.

Fatal Rounds by Carrie Rubin – 4.5 stars. Wow, I really enjoyed this tightly-written story, Rubin’s latest medical/psychological thriller, the first in the Liza Larkin series. I loved getting to know Liza, a first-year resident who struggles with schizoid personality disorder. Why is a well-known trauma surgeon in the background of so many family photos?

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke – 4 stars. I love when I discover an excellent older book. First published in 2012, this is a suspenseful murder mystery set on a former sugar cane plantation in Louisiana. Made even better with well-developed characters and themes.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – 3.5 stars. A very readable historical fiction set in the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s and 30s, during the Great Depression, years of drought and continuous dust storms, and later in California during the great migration west. Not as good as The Grapes of Wrath, but still worth reading.

Miscellaneous posts

Book cover eye candy – similar, very similar, confusing, pretty and more book covers

Who’s That Indie Author? Priscilla Bettis

My Kindle is loaded!

A repost of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – 5 stars

The Great Depression and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

A repost of “The Oblong Box” by Edgar Allan Poe

Updated About Page: Read this, not that!

I hope you all had a great month. I’m still working on my “loaded” Kindle. New review on its way!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Updated About Page: Read this, not that!

Hey Everyone,

After a too-long time, I’ve updated my About Page. If you’re interested, you can check it out here:

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

In case you missed them! BCM post recap September 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts in September.

I reviewed three books this month. I just finished Girl in the Rearview Mirror by Kelsey Rae Dimberg so look for that review and a new YouTube video in the next couple days.

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue – 3 stars. I was disappointed in this story about a fictional African farming village, Kosawa, and their fight against Pexton, an American oil company. My main complaint was that it was too heavy with its message and a little boring. It got a lot of hype. I should have known!

Love Marriage by Monica Ali – 4.5 stars. This one was a winner! Set in London, it follows the lives of a young Indian woman, about to be married, and her fiancé, whose family background is much different and who comes to the relationship with a burdensome secret. I think the best part of the book is how what seems to be a simple story develops and reveals complex problems within and between its characters.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith – 5 stars. Another winner and an oldie but a goodie! Totally enjoyable mystery featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe who opens a detective agency in Botswana. The first in a series of twenty-two novels.

I made two YouTube videos and in one of them, I’m playing more Bach! I know, maybe Bach isn’t your guy but he’s fun to play! I have some ideas about how to make my piano videos more interesting, so stay tuned. My other video this month is another episode of Read React and Decide in which I select random books from the library, react to random lines from them, then decide which to read.

Book Club Mom is playing more Bach

New Episode of Read React Decide

I introduced two indie authors and published updates on two other indie authors this month. Make sure you stop by and read about their writing experiences!

J.Q. Rose

Heather J. Bennett

News from Leon Stevens

News from Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Miscellaneous posts

Thank you to these superstar commenters!

Books to relax with on Labor Day

Youngblood Hawke playlist on Spotify!

Blog Views and Other Obsessions – tentatively happy 🙂

Page to Screens I want to watch

Banned Books Week, challenges and bans

Free or For Free???

I hope you all had a great month. On to the next book!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!