It’s Monday, February 23rd. What Are You Reading?



After a pretty treacherous drive back from Michigan on Saturday, it feels pretty great to be home. I didn’t end up reading as much as I’d hoped to on the trip, but caught up a bit yesterday and have a few new books for this week. My book club is reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I’m super excited about, and I’m also getting started on Gallileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger.

If you’re checking in from a feed reader, things are looking a little different here on the site. Stephanie from New Chapter Designs put together another wonderful blog design that captures just what I was looking for.

And finally, the situation involving plagiarism of content from this site (among many others) surfaced again over the weekend and there were hurt feelings and misinformation all around. Though I don’t find the behavior excusable or even understandable for any reason, the apology and subsequent discussions have led to some great dialogue, starting with Andi’s post on not being Wonderwoman. Yesterday felt really refreshing and it’s good to know we have the potential to turn something heavy into something positive. At the same time, as Kim mentioned yesterday, I hope this also prompts a discussion on how to better handle situations surrounding plagiarism in the future.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

  • I LOVED Half Of A Yellow Sun, Adichie is such a talent. Still got to read Purple Hibiscus, her debut. I love her! Galileo’s Middle Finger sounds intriguing, as long as it’s “accessible” as I’m not a huge science nerd (although I wish I was!) Look forward to your reviews as ever Shannon!

  • I love the new colour scheme *-* I’ve seen so many great blog redesigns recently, I’m starting to want one myself!

  • Kathryn Trask

    I love the black and dark peach or orange? Looks great. Love those colours, they appeal to me and of course love that you’ve kept the post area plain, hate black in post area! Plagiarism – heard little hints of the goings on, but out of the loop there. Good that it sounds like something positive has eventuated. Have a great week, sounds like you deserve it.

    • It’s actually navy, but a few people have said it looks black on their screens so now I’m wondering…glad it looks good either way!

      • Kathryn Trask

        Came back to have a look – I’m on a Mac. When I sit back it looks blackish. But when I skint up close I can see the blue and the black print on it.

  • Love the new design!! And hahaha that cover of Galileo’s Middle Finger cracks me up.

  • Belle

    I read Purple Hibiscus. It would be considered one of my best of 2014 (December). I definitely want to be reading everything else she has written. Your design is lovely too. Shannon, I have spent hours over here on your site. I hope you keep this lovely spot going for a while! I have the best reading list because of you.

  • Love the new design – the books on the header kind of resemble your old Richmond row houses – I like it! I saw those tweets over the weekend – wow…amazing how things can blow up on Twitter. I agree with your camp that plagiarism is flat out wrong and not excusable. Did you get into My Sunshine Away on your trip?

  • Amy Sachs

    I love your new design! I’m tempted to read Galileo’s Middle Finger just from the cover and title alone!

  • You’re making me twitchy for a new design ;) I love this, looks great and very much suits you!

    • Thank you! It’s always hard for me not to want a new design whenever I see someone roll out something, too.

  • Lindsey Stefan

    What a gorgeous new design! I really have to move past the template one of these days. Sigh….

    I’m interested to see what you think of Half of a Yellow Sun. I’m reading The Thing Around Your Neck this week and it’s my first book by Adichie.

    • Really excited to read another one of Adichie’s books, since I really loved Americanah. Curious to see how you’ll like her short stories!

  • Wesley

    Very pretty!

  • Love the new blog look! The colors are great, and I’m even thinking of pursuing a design for my own blog. <3 And yes, I'm so glad things SEEM to have taken a turn for the positive over the weekend. We'll see.

  • Another great design from New Chapter — I love the new colors and fonts. I’m thinking my next change is going to be to switch over to WordPress and Tweak Me, but I have to work up to it. I wish you a week of great reading to take your mind off all the not-so-good stuff.

    • I was really nervous about switching from Blogger to WP, too, but it was a pretty smooth transition. Stephanie actually adapted the Blogger template she did for me to fit with Tweak Me, so that was really nice.

  • Love the new look! And I agree that this was a rough weekend for the book blogosphere, but it seems like the tough discussions have led to more positive, constructive conversations. It will be interesting to see how the discussion of plagiarism will play out in the longer run.

    • I hope there is one eventually. I think things are a little sore right now, but I feel like the seriousness of the issue was kind of swept under the rug and needs to be approached again at some point.

  • Vasilly

    I love your blog’s new look! I’ve been sick so I’m glad I’ve missed the drama. It is good that the discussion is taking a positive turn instead of becoming something really ugly. I’ve seen that happen in the blogisphere a few years ago. Galileo’s Middle Finger sounds interesting. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Glad to hear you’re feeling better! And yeah, it seems like these things keep popping up every once in a while…it would be nice if we had a better way to handle it when it does.

  • Ooh, I like the new design!

  • I love the new look, and I am so looking forward to reading Galileo’s Middle Finger. What a title!

  • Your re-design is gorgeous!

    I went through an Adichie phase last year and absolutely devoured The Thing Around Your Neck and Half of a Yellow Sun.

    The cover for Galileo’s Middle Finger sent me into a mild giggle fit.

    As someone almost 100% removed from this kind of blog drama, I’m glad to hear that things are looking up and that it’s managed to raise some really important points about how overwhelming maintaining a heavily-trafficked blog can be. It’s hard to admit (even to ourselves) when things are too much, and seeing everyone open up over the weekend was so refreshing. I hope we can carry those lessons with us as we continue to read, write and over-commit. :)

    • Definitely. I loved seeing everything that was being shared yesterday, especially the reminders that this is a hobby and it’s meant to be fun. I think it’s easy to get swept up in many things and turn the pressure on ourselves…when really, no one is telling us what we have to read or post or share.

  • First…beautiful new design. I’m still uncertain how to go about developing a design or a logo or something that feels like me. Any suggestions where to start?

    Second…I must have been living under a rock because I had no idea about the root of the plagiarism until I read the apology. I had heard something but not to that extent! I was shocked and quite disappointed because that is a blog that I thought or considered to be “successful”. It’s hard not to look at someone’s stats (when you’re a small blog like mine) and think you are doing something wrong and they are doing it right. Boy was I wrong! I am so sorry you had to deal with all that drama…I HATE drama…and happy that it’s out there in the open, not for pile on sake or gossip but to shed light on the people who really matter!

    • I wish I could say I did the work of this design on my own, but it was all done for me! I think it’s smart to check out the designers at the bottom of the blogs you do like, if you’re looking for a full design. If you want maybe a header or icon, Etsy is the place to start!

      As for everything else…yeah, I’m not a fan of drama, either. At all. At the same time, I think it’s something we need to be aware of when it happens…otherwise it’s easier for it to continue.

  • I loved your design before, but this one just… WOW! I’m not a huge fan of the color black on a website, but here it really screams elegance!

  • Ciska van der Lans

    Love the new look!! Have a great week and enjoy your reads.

  • Shannon! I LOVE the new look! Now I want one too. ::pout::

    The Galileo book sounds freaking awesome. Adding it to my list now.

  • I’m struggling through The Bookseller. It’s making me realizing that i need to stop having a knee-jerk must-read reaction to books with ‘book’ in the title. They may not be my cup of tea.

    As for the plagiarism drama- it’s a crime. Crimes should be reported or you’re an accessory. And while I love a good accessory, not when it comes to stealing content. And that is all I have to say about that.

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves

    I love the new look of your blog. What fun! Galileo’s Middle Finger looks like an interesting read.

  • Oooooh! I love your new design, Shannon! Can’t wait to hear what you think of Half of a Yellow Sun (I haven’t read it yet); I’m reading We Should All Be Feminists now :)

  • Kerry M

    Love love LOVE the new design! I hope Galileo’s Middle Finger is a better fit for you than for me–will be interested to hear what you think. I ended up abandoning it, though it is well-written and well-researched.

    I missed a lot of the back and forth on the plagiarism issues, but I agree that the conversation about not being Wonderwoman is an important one–both in the context of the apology and in the context of life in general.

  • I’m glad to hear that the plagiarism issue is over and that it has prompted a great discussion. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on Galileo’s Middle Finger. It sounds interesting!

    • Galileo’s seems like it’s going to send me running for a dozen other books, which is always the best type of read :)

  • Fantastic new design – extremely lovely!! Half of a Yellow Sun is high on my list after reading Americanah – I can’t wait to read more of her work. Enjoy!

    • Thank you so much! I’ve only read Americanah, too, so I’m really excited to get to another one of her books.

  • I’m glad some positive discussions could come from this negative event in the book blogging community! I’m reading Hausfrau… enjoy your reading. PS – Love your new blog design.

  • Neat design Shannon. Like it. I’m reading “Disgruntled” right now and just finished “The Uninvited Guests.” pretty good. Have a good week.