Whaddup, guys, gals, and enby pals! How are your holidays going so far? Have you fallen into that post-Christmas, pre-New Year vortex of weirdness where you’re not sure if you’re still on holiday? Because I have. And I have fallen hard. It is literally a struggle to get up and take a shower, you know? I just want to spend the last week of the year cuddled up in bed with my cat, reading.
(Or maybe I’m just conserving energy needed for the New Year’s Eve festivities…?)
But! I made a commitment to Shealea’s #Project14Lists (read more about it here), and I stick to my commitments where Shealea’s concerned! And speaking of Shealea, today’s list is dedicated to her! It’s a part of my Christmas present (the rest will come when her, Cara, and I are all back in Manila, lol) as well as a blogging anniversary gift!
Read on to find out why you should be following Shealea and get her to 4K followers!
She is the best resource and inspiration for new bloggers.
I say this as someone who, just a little under a year ago, had no plans whatsoever to start blogging. I ran a tiny online diary that had no structure and no meaning, and met Shealea through that blog because a part of my little blog involved writing book reviews. I began toying with the idea of dedicating my blog to solely writing book reviews, and thus The Backwards Bookshelf was born. From that moment on, Shealea (and Cara, of course!) has been pretty much my guiding post in how to go about book blogging. She is just the best at supporting and uplifting newcomers to the book blogging community!
Girl is woke AF.
Post to check out: What it’s like to be a woman in 2016, How to read more books legally and for free – a list of alternatives to book pirating, Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018) – 101 thoughts while watching
Let me be honest with you: I have no interest in discussing books and publishing outside of a greater sociopolitical sphere. I believe that nothing, and especially not literature, is apolitical, or exists in a vacuum. I don’t believe in the toxic as hell “good vibes only” or “positivity only” mindset that is so prevalent when people don’t want to discuss things that make them uncomfortable. And I am so proud to say that Shealea is not like that at all. She’s willing to discuss colonialism, imperialism, racism, homophobia, elitism and classism, colorism, and whatever else the bookish community, as purveyors and participators in the recording and spreading of knowledge, should be discussing. Her opinions are always nuanced, and she always does her research. Not to mention, she’s always ready to bat for authors of color, disabled authors, queer authors, authors who aren’t as famous as big-time names, etc. Get you a book blogger like that!
Her recommendations are always on point.
Post to check out: Shealea’s Bookshelf
Shealea’s track record is amazing as hell! I’ve read so many books recommended by her that I ended up adoring: Jade City, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, The Bone Witch, Better at Weddings Than You, Start Here, Keep the Faith, Heart of Mist and its sequel Reign of Mist, Secondhand Origin Stories, and so much more. (Perhaps her only miss is In the Vanishers’ Palace, but she, Cara, and I were all taken in by its lofty promises of a Vietnamese retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so.) Honestly, if you’re looking for more Asian representation, need more fantasy in your life, or are just looking for a damn good book, Shealea’s blog is a great place to start.
She’s not afraid to post negative reviews.
This is something very important that I think the online bookish community as a whole still doesn’t do very well with. A ton of us still have this mentality of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – which, newsflash, is not how book blogging works. As book bloggers, bookstagrammers, or booktubers, we all have the right and responsibility to post our negative opinions of books, whether those books are well-liked or not. Our readers followed us because they value our honest, truthful opinions; and as long as we follow basic etiquette and don’t go out of our way to show those negative reviews to the authors, we’re well within our rights as consumers to leave bad reviews. And you can be sure that Shealea always, always tells it like it is.
Let me hear from you!
☕ If you’re not following Shealea yet, do so now! I promise you won’t regret it.
☕ Who are your fave book bloggers?
☕ What do you look for in a book blogger?