The subject is crap but Dawid's comment makes it awesome so you have to see it.
AnHeC managed to make it on STGRB's brand spanking new BookLike's Sidebar of Popularity for no reason other than her Friends list.
Dawid's comment deserves All The Likes:
Pass this baby around.
You can also read mine, and MLE's reviews on our blog.
I couldn’t put this down, even on a work night I stayed up too late reading it. It was that good.
Zoey is back again, and she is not a happy girl. Riley has been missing in action, a no show for their second, first date, and when he finally does call, he comes with trouble. A paper pusher bureaucrat with a bad luck spell, and a bad attitude.
Now Zoey had enough in her hands with Maurice gone to see if he can patch things up with his wife, the leprechaun mafia in town, and a Pooka moving into her guest room with a penchant to walking around au natural. She really didn’t need a bad luck spell on top of it all.
Well with this all happening I just could not stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen next.
So this was a great second book, and after the ending I can’t wait for the next installment. Naquin does a very good job on leaving you wanting more, but not to the point where you want to chuck your book slash kindle across the room.
I hate telling this story. Just the thought of doing so, of exposing my past to even a handful of other people, makes me feel sick to my stomach. But with Goodreads' change in policy occurring and the word "bullying" being slung around so casually, I think it's time.
What I'm about to tell you might be hard to believe. Or maybe you'll believe it, and maybe it'll upset you. I won't lie; what I went through is likely to trigger some people. If you believe me. I'm always terrified people won't believe me. After all, I was gaslighted so hard, for years even I didn't know whether I believed me.
The thing to understand about me is that I'm autistic. What that means, on a very basic level, is that I have a good deal of difficulty both understanding, and presenting, non-verbal language such as tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. When I entered middle school at the age of eleven, I didn't know about this. Even if I had known, I don't think I could have grasped what it would mean for me.
I'd already begun experiencing difficulties with bullying and ostracization in elementary school, but what began as a small struggle turned into full blown hell when I entered middle school.
It started out okay, the first few days. The prettiest, most popular girl in my year asked me to vote for her for homeroom class president, and I gladly did. I tried to be nice, even though it was a little difficult at times. I didn't connect with these kids. My father had committed suicide a couple years before, forcing me to grow up fast in a lot of ways, and I couldn't relate to the problems and joys of the average eleven-year-old. I found a lot of it shallow and perplexing. But I tried to hide my feelings, because that's no good way to go about getting along with people, and I genuinely wanted to.
I suspect that perhaps my inability to control my non-verbal language is what gave me away. That perhaps what I really thought and felt showed without my knowing it. I don't know. Certainly it didn't help that I was overweight, that I wore cheap, worn clothes and the ugliest plastic glasses Medicare would pay for. It didn't help that I read constantly (and I know we get a bit tired of that trope in YA, but I was genuinely, literally the only person I knew who read). It didn't help that I was going through a period of poor hygiene common among autistics (and numbingly humiliating to talk about now). There were a lot of things that didn't help, but the sheer intensity of their hatred--that's why I expect the autism played a part in some way.
If only name-calling were the worst of it. They cornered me at all different times to harass me: At my desk in the morning when I was trying to read, at the bus stop, in the locker room while I was trying to change. I had rocks thrown at me when I was walking home from the bus stop. People I didn't know, who weren't even in my class, called me names in the hallways. The girls from my class had lockers surrounding mine, and would stand blocking mine until I was at risk of being late for class.
Very early on, I was under the naive assumption that someone would do something about this. No one did. Even when my mom butted in, the changes that occurred, the "arrangements" made to "protect" me--it took me ages to realize they were far more punishments than protections.
One of the things I had to do was something called "dailies." These were slips of paper that had to be signed by all my teachers in a day, then by my mother, and turned in to my guidance counselor the next day. This conflicted with another "arrangement": I had permission to leave classes a few minutes early to avoid the crowds, but I often couldn't because my teachers wouldn't get around to signing the stupid dailies until class was over. And my mother--oh, so proud she was of her job "protecting" me, but in truth she was a neglectful drug addict and often wasn't around to sign my dailies, so I got in trouble for not having them signed.
It took me some years to understand just how absurd it was. Dailies were meant for students who skipped class or didn't turn in their homework; I was not one of those students. There was no reason for me to be doing them. It took me years to see that many of these "arrangements" weren't about protecting me at all. Allowing me to leave class early? Getting me out of the way. Eventually getting me a doctor's note so I wouldn't have to go to gym class? Getting me out of the way. Eventually removing me from school altogether and giving me a tutor? Getting me out of the way. Everything was about taking me out of the equation, rather than punishing the people who were hurting me.
I didn't understand it. I came home crying and hyperventilating almost every day, yet the people who put me in that state never got in trouble for it. The only things I understood were: 1) There was no point standing up for myself, because any time I did, I got in trouble and 2) there was no point in telling anyone what was going on.
I'd become the perfect victim. I didn't tell about any of the things that were said or done to me. When a girl came up behind me in the locker room and punched me in the back, I said nothing. When that same girl approached me in the locker room a second time and shoved me to the floor, I told no one. I went to the nurse because my leg hurt from the hard floor and I cried, but I told no one why my leg hurt.
I remember very vividly an incident from seventh grade, yet another that I never reported to anyone. I was sitting in one of the basement classrooms, waiting for the teacher to arrive and doing what I usually did: Reading and ignoring my classmates. (Let this be a lesson to you: "Just ignore them, they'll stop" is the biggest pile of bullshit anyone will ever tell you.) I kept ignoring them. I ignored them when they surrounded me to tell me there was a dead fly in my hair (by this time my hygiene problems had changed, but their attacks had not). I ignored them right up until I couldn't anymore: When they sat around me, gleeful as hyenas with the corpse of a wildebeest, staring as the teacher tried to remove the dead fly they'd put in my hair. I remember my mortification as if it was yesterday. But I told no one.
Of course, this was seventh grade and by then, I knew why no one believed me: My bullies had managed to convince them that I was the bully.
I'd learned it in sixth grade, after yet another incident that landed me in more hot water than the person who instigated it. One of my bullies had broken a pencil into bits and kept throwing the bits at me. It was one of the rare occasions where I got fed up, so I grabbed one of the pieces and threw it back at him. He immediately turned and told the teacher that I'd been throwing things at him. The teacher separated us and turned to hiss at me, telling me nastily that she'd be keeping an eye on me. I was utterly bewildered, since I thought it was common knowledge that these kids bullied me, even though they were never punished for it.
Later, both of us were sent to the guidance counselor. I listened, confounded, as he described all the names I supposedly called him and his friends, all the swears I threw at them (never mind that, though I swear like I sailor now, I never uttered so much as a "damn" back then; I was perhaps alarmingly naive and innocent for my age). At one point, shocked, I opened my mouth to protest; the guidance counselor turned and viciously shushed me. I never had a chance to defend myself. In truth, I've never once had that chance. This was the first time I'd heard about any of this, because not a single soul had bothered to ask me if any of this had really happened; they just assumed it was all true.
Not that defending myself would have done any good. Even if I hadn't already absorbed the lesson of keeping my mouth shut, being autistic left me at a severe disadvantage. I struggle to look people in the eyes when I don't like or trust them, and you can bet I didn't trust a single one of the adults around me. I stood no chance.
Things should have started making sense then. That time the leaders of the bully pack came up to me to demand why I was spreading rumors about them being prostitutes, and I stared blankly back at them and said "What's a prostitute?"--times like those should have made sense. They'd been lying about me all along. But instead, I spiraled into a very dark time in my life.
I have a sharper memory than almost anyone you'll meet. It can be useful, but it's also a bit of a curse sometimes; trust me, there are things I'd love to forget. But back then, I'd already been punished so much for things I hadn't done. Instead of believing in my own innocence, I felt like my mind was breaking apart. I scrabbled desperately, for years, to retrieve the memories I'd clearly lost, to remember doing and saying the things I was accused of. I owned up to the small handful of times I started shit and the even smaller handful of times I stood up for myself, but I could not for the life of me remember being the bully. It didn't help that my sister and her friends bullied me at home, and that my incredible disappearing mom loved to tell me all the time that "that was just [my] perception of what happened, not what actually happened" about all of her neglect.
These days, I know logically that I didn't do what I was accused of, but sometimes my mind starts skidding down a slippery slope to what feels very much like madness. I find myself grasping once more for memories that simply don't exist because they're of events that never happened.
That's why I hate telling this story. Sure, it hurts to bring up those days, to relive moments that traumatized me so badly, I can't walk into a school building without having a panic attack. But it's all those years when I couldn't even believe myself that scare me. I'm terrified that people will think I'm a liar, that of course I was the bully because it was all those kids' word against mine. That children can't possibly be that awful, that they wouldn't think to team up and tell the same lies about a person. Children damn well can be that awful, especially when they're never taught better, when they always get away with it. And there will always be a part of my mind that is so fragile because of it.
This nonsense with Goodreads has made me think about those days. I may not always agree with everything my fellow Goodreaders do, but I have never, never had an ounce of patience for Stop the Goodreads Bullies. Their tactics remind me of my tormentors: lying, twisting truths, roping in people for whom it's convenient or desirable to believe what they say. I've been on GR since before STGRB showed up, I was around when the instigating drama happened. I largely stay out of these conflicts, but I watch them all go down.
STGRB isn't a band of innocent vigilantes out to protect poor beleaguered authors from the depredations of trolls and bullies. They are the trolls. They are the bullies. I was there for the doxxing and the stalking. I've been there every time one of their asshole followers has waltzed onto someone's review to throw a shitfit. I was there every time one of them and their 12+ sockpuppets got deleted from GR. I've been around, watching, seeing every lie, every threat. Their nonsense about this not being about reviews? Feh. It's always been about reviews, ever since Melissa Douthit thought she could storm around, self-righteously telling everyone how to behave, and didn't get her way. That whole mess started because of a review that she walked into, and it wasn't even her book that was being reviewed. It didn't start with GR users, it started with her. Just like it generally does.
And you want to talk abuse? Look at the comments on your average post on STGRB and you'll see it in spades. Ageism, ableism, classicism and misogyny so vile, it will make your stomach turn. Please, someone explain to me how "bba" or "stgrb-supporter" is so much worse than "she's clearly mentally ill" or "she's pretty young for being such a little bitch" or "Tranny Manface Creature" or "rancid psycho-bitch" or "three-hundred pounds with greasy unwashed hair" or any of a number of other truly disgusting things you can see being said about Goodreaders on STRGB.
Goodreads have become my teachers and guidance counselors, bowing to the bullies and letting them get away with whatever they want. Why? Maybe because they think it's easier. Maybe they're trying to sell something. Maybe they drank the STRGB koolaid. It doesn't matter why. What matters is that GR is censoring its most valuable users. What matters it that GR, once home of readers and reviewers, have decided it's more important to protect author egos than the people who made them what they are today. You're Goodreads, not Goodwrites, GR. You're reader space, not writer space. Why don't you care about that anymore?
As a writer, I believe very strongly in reader space. One day, even though I love talking to other readers, I'll likely do so much less, because I believe that published authors should have a care how much time they spend in reader space. It's valuable to them. If the people at STGRB had any sense, they'd realize reader space is valuable to writers, too. A reader's ability to talk freely about book is important to the industry as a whole.
As a victim of bullying, I think Goodreads is wrong and they need to undo this harmful change. As a victim of bullying, I doubt they'll bother to listen.
*Depending on what theme you have, this can turn out pretty useless (generate problems that in this case don’t exist, I know, I've tried, but that may be a story for another post).
If you have chosen the first theme, but decided to change your banner picture, you probably ended up with this:
And that’s just sad :C In this tutorial I’ll give you a few tips, so you can end up with something more like this:
Two "Add" functions are available on BookLikes from today: add books manually and add book covers.
From now on it doesn’t matter if you want to shelve unpublished books or self-published or from a local bookstore, now you can put on your Shelf all books ever existed. It’s called manual book adding. We have it online!
If you don’t find a desirable book in a search box you can easily ‘create’ a book from the scratch.
Click on “Add new book” after no results were found and fill up the necessary information of Book Title, Book Author, Book Cover, Book Description and ISBN. Click “Add Book” and add it to you bookshelf or create a post.
Second “add” function is about missing book covers. If some books on your Shelf lack covers, you can add them manually too. Click on a green book (no cover) and ‘Add cover' underneath it. Then choose image from your computer and voila. The book looks perfect with cover of your choice!
So what book will you add first?
This was so disappointing, I was looking so forward to it.
The story was just so trite I could see pages in the future, by the third chapter I had pretty much the whole plot figured out. I really didn’t like what I was seeing.
I have never like books centered on cheaters, and I don’t care what the main character says what he was doing WAS cheating. If you are with somebody, and find yourself wanting somebody else…leave. Just leave. You are just hurting the person you are with, and who you want.
So in saying this I really started disliking the main character. I don’t care that he thought he was doing the right thing by standing by his man, cause if you don’t like him anymore then really he isn’t your man anymore.
So fuck this book, I wish I never bought it.
Half a star.
This is what you'll get:
In this post I'm going to show you how to change the Followers and Following sections on your pages into something creative like Minions and Masters.
For adding another server, Book Likes. It has gotten much faster now. Also, imports are moving faster. Also, they are working on a iOS app. The CEO is super kind.
I think I am starting to like it here.
I forgot what it felt like to have somebody care about my input as a site user and reader.
It feels nice.
We're happy to see so many avid readers, authors, reviewers - all new members on BookLikes. We hope you'll feel comfy here and that you'll find BookLikes engaging and enjoyable.
We've prepared several points that will help you in discovering and exploring BookLikes. Here are some of our hints and guidelines:
Read more in post Your Blog on BookLikes - Custom-Made
Each BookLikes member is administrator and has access to admin mode of his/her webpage and Dashboard once he/she signs up and then logs into service. Public view of webpage is available with individual address yourusername.booklikes.com. You can also use your own domain with no fees.
Dashboard is a place where you see writings and bookshelf updates of people you follow.
Read more in post Dashboard - A Place Where All Bookish Things Happen.
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You can publish review, text, photo, video, URL of your choice and complement it with a book/books (up to 10). Inspiring and well written reviews are always encouraged, welcome and may be promoted.
You can create posts and publish them on your webpage, however, if BookLikes members find it assaulting or violating they can block the user who might be removed from Follower list. This means that the person with inappropriate texts might receive lower priority and may not be presented in Explore page where we present BookLikes Community.
Read more in post Followers, Book Blog Directory Reminder & Import Updates.
No text, review or any other post will be removed from personal webpage. Inappropriate and assaulting texts can be hidden from BookLikes Community Dashboard but will stay on personal public blog. Remember that opinions in posts are those of the post's author and not BookLikes.com.
Comments under posts can be moderated by author of the post. Author of the post can delete comments if he/she finds comment inappropriate.
Read more in post Comments Open For All & Add Shelf in Book Pop Up.
You can import books from Goodreads (export your library to csv file), LibraryThing (export your library to csv file), Lovely Books and Lubimy czytać in Settings/Import. You can also sync your Goodreads account with your BookLikes profile - then books and reviews published on BL will be also visible on GR.
Read more in post BookLikes -> Goodreads Synchronization.
BookLikes Team releases new feature once a week every Thursday. All updates and news can be followed on BookLikes Blog and our social media. If you have any questions, requests, suggestions or concerns, just mail us. We're open to new ideas and appreciate all the feedback.
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BookLikes Welcomes New Book Lovers :-) And now let's start reading.
The controversy & conflict between some authors and reviewers has been growing for some time leading to several fairly well publicized clashes between the two. Much of the ruckus seems to have been centered around Goodreads and what each side considers to be “bullying” behavior on both parts. While I absolutely support a reader/reviewer/consumer’s right to interpret a book and express their opinion almost any way they want to outside of directly attacking an author, I haven’t really gotten directly involved in much of the heated debates. However, with the recent updates to Goodreads policy in their attempt to control the accusations of bullying on their website, I thought it would be a good opportunity to weigh in with my opinion which will probably be as scattered and rambling as most of my thoughts are so please excuse if this post is a bit all over the place.
The Goodreads policy change that seems most questionable to me is that they will be deleting content focused on author behavior, maintaining that the book should stand on it’s own merit and that an author’s behavior is irrelevant. I do not agree with this for several reasons.
I actually think that readers have the right to be made aware of the type of person they would be supporting so that they can make an informed decision. An extreme example of why this is so important would be the book The Secret of Cant by K.P. Bath. This author is a convicted pedophile who is writing children’s books according to THIS ARTICLE by Bryan Denson of the Oregonian. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why this author’s behavior should be a factor in choosing whether to support their work.
Of course, as I said the above is an extreme example, but there are others that I also feel strongly about such as when popular author Emily Giffin, upset about a negative review of her book, basically encouraged her fans & husband to attack the reviewer who had the audacity to think her book was crap. And when the reviewer in question began receiving death threats from irate fans, Giffin’s response was to advise that if she doesn’t want death threats, she should remove the negative review and stop talking about it. This kind of thing is absolutely appalling behavior, and while it hardly represents the majority of authors, it IS, I believe, relevant information that potential consumers should be made aware of.
I am not going to dispute that there has been reprehensible behavior on both sides of the equation. Undoubtedly, there are reviewers whose reviews seem to be an attention seeking attack on the author instead of an opinion about the book, but I believe that the average reader can spot a BS review and overlook it. And it kind of comes with the territory, which doesn’t make it right, but it is the reality of putting yourself in the public eye. I equate authors with celebrities and I know many actors and musicians constantly have their work & personal lives spoofed, judged, ridiculed, and otherwise talked about. But when they lash out at the media for this, it is THEIR brand that is harmed, it is their public image that comes under fire. I don’t think that snarky shelves or reviews is bullying any more than those Star news articles saying that XYZ celebrity gave birth to a 3 headed alien is bullying. I think that authors are being more in the public eye than ever before because of social media and they have to adjust to that, just as a singer or an actor that suddenly finds themselves & their work prone to public scrutiny & opinion.
I hate that Goodreads is making these changes because I felt that initially, this site was a social media site geared toward the reader. A place for readers to catalog and discuss books among themselves and rate them however they want to for whatever reason they want to. I always felt like if a reader wanted to, for example, rate 1 star every book with the color blue on the cover, they should be able to do so without having to justify or explain it simply because that is how they chose to catalog their books. They could create groups for other people who hate books with blue covers and discuss the atrocities of the color blue. They could create shelves named “Would Rather Be Gang Raped With a Garden Gnome than Read These Blue Covered Books” and “Books With Blue Covers Should Be Burnt” and nobody would do much more than roll their eyes and block them if it bothered them too much. Now, it seems that Goodreads is becoming more of a marketing site and geared more toward promoting the author and so the content of the ratings and reviews are now being censored. And I personally don’t think it’s a good decision.
I do want to say that I do not condone threats against anyone, author or reviewer and that is a completely separate issue. While I don’t think that shelves with creatively horrible names are a problem, I think shelves that could be construed as threats are inappropriate and should absolutely be removed. But I think that removing shelves and reviews that allude to author behavior or how the Goodreads member feels about the author, whether right or wrong, is, indeed, censorship. I don’t think that this solution will effectively address the problems although I honestly do appreciate that Goodreads is trying to find a solution. I just wish they would have chosen a better way than censoring their members in this way.
Not only are these changes clearly changing Goodreads to cater to the author, they are taking the hand-holding to the point of being patronizing to authors who are well aware how to conduct themselves in a public venue. Apparently when an author clicks on a negative review, instead of a comment box – this message appears:
I’m sure the majority authors are more than capable of conducting themselves like reasonable professional adults and this really should not be necessary. The fact that Goodreads feels that something like this is required says everything about the type of people they are catering to with these new policies.
When deciding to write this post, I actually questioned maybe 10 of my Facebook friends who are readers but who are not an active part of the online book community such as Goodreads and have no idea about the current conflict, whether they thought author behavior was relevant and would it affect their decision to purchase the book & support that author. The answers were about 50/50 with half saying that they do not think an author’s behavior has anything to do with the book and it would not be a factor in their decision to buy. The other half said that it would certainly be a factor. Here are some of their responses.
“Not at all. A good books a good book. Whether or not the author's a good person.” – BreeAnna Ford
“It most def would. If an author acts a fool just cuz someone doesn't like their book means that if they cant accept constructive criticism then i don't wanna buy their book. If an author is that shallow that they cant understand people have different opinions then i probably wouldn't give it time of day.” – Paula Rossotto
“No if its good writing I'm gonna read it anyhow. I wouldn't have half the friends I do if I didn't support asshats lol” – Tawnya Bowman Miller
“Yes it would effect my decision to buy. Anyone who is educated enough to be an author should be able to accept criticism and realize not all people are going to enjoy their work. Criminal history: no, everyone makes mistakes, is entitled to voice. But I think inevitably a consumer is not going to buy from an author who has political, or religious views they don't agree with. Nor would I bother buying a book from someone with a questionable public image.” – Carla Davidson
“I would say no. Actions don't affect writing ability.” – Lindsay Miller
“I would probably still read it at a latter date and time...like from the library..but yeah no I wouldn't buy it. People are idiots they don't realize without their fans they wouldn't make the money they make.” – Rebecca Ford
“No to all. Just like with Mel Gibson, Martha Stuart or Miley, these peoples lives have nothing to do with their work and personally I could care less “ - Biliegh Berrie
“Hmmm very good question and unfortunately I don't have a clear answer. It would all depend. And maybe just by saying that the answer is yes. But it would be pending in the case. Ie: I love Stephen King. If he were a little crappy to a fan on occasion I would expect it. I wouldn't stop reading. However if he got in his car and ran a fan down? I would stop reading. I am pretty forgiving to someone proven. For someone I had not read that I knew was a cult leader or murderer no remorse, cut throat and writing to make a buck. No way. Would but the book. Does that help? Guess I sum it up to I would not support a criminal trying to make a buck. But would back someone up for a mistake.” – Sherry Gerych Marion
Ultimately, I DO believe that an author’s behavior matters. I will not support an author who attacks reviewers because of their opinions and/or ratings or has a childish tantrum on a social media site if they feel like their book has not been treated fairly. I maintain that reviews are for readers and are under no obligation to give an author constructive criticism or offer ideas on how to improve. That is the job of their beta readers or someone else they hire specifically for that reason. Reader reviews don’t have to be logical, rational, or worded in a certain way. Reader reviews are a reaction, opinion, and/or interpretation of what they have read and therefore cannot be right or wrong. While I completely understand an author being passionate about their book, it is NOT their baby any more than a song is a singer’s baby or a movie role is an actor’s baby. It is put out there for public consumption and the public can and will react to it in a variety of ways, just like a song or a movie. An author needs to be prepared for that and be able to handle it professionally and with an eye to their public image and brand. When they lash out publicly, it will affect my opinion of them and I will choose not to support their work and I think that readers should be able to inform other readers about the type of author they would be supporting. As with anything in life, there are consequences for your actions and an author should be held just as accountable as any other celebrity when they have a public meltdown over a negative review or rating. This is another reason why I think that it is wrong for Goodreads to censor reviews in they way they have chosen to.
What do you think? Do these changes affect how you feel about Goodreads? Do you think that these changes are a step in the right direction in resolving the author/reviewer conflict? Does an author’s behavior affect your decision to purchase their book? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this even if they do not agree with my own opinions.