Thank you everyone for a truly wonderful year and thank you for bearing with me when my posting schedule became erratic and sometimes subject to change at the drop of a hat. If you are a patron, you will have heard about my grad school application woes, my move from New York back to Ohio, and various other bits of chaos that have kept me from getting reviews out on time. Despite the chaos it’s been a pretty great year in other ways. I completed my conversion to Judaism shortly before I moved back to Ohio and since I’ve moved back I’ve rekindled old friendships and my life feels the least stressful it’s been in the past two years of the pandemic.
This year has also been a really amazing one for this blog too. I got to work with Miri Castor and Leon Langford again, whose work I love, reviewing the new installment of Miri Castor’s “Opal Charm” series, “Melody of Astronomical Dusk,” and Leon Langford’s new novel “StarLion: Thieves of the Red Night”; classicist and historian Kathryn Stutz shared her expertise as a guest reviewer of “Lady Franklin of Russel Square”; and I just found an incredible amount of new authors and books that I adore, most notable among these being Craig Hurd-McKenney and his series “Some Strange Disturbances” (my beloved) and “The Unfinished Corner” by Dani Colman.
Looking toward the coming year, there are a number of new things on the horizon. The largest of which being: I am applying to grad school (again) and that will put new constraints on my time should I get in. Therefore, changes are coming to the blog and to my Patreon.
1. Early access is getting earlier! Which means that all patrons will now see reviews and monthly extras a full 48 hours before they are released to the public. This is to give patrons of all tiers something extra, because there is a high likelihood that grad school will force me to change the day of the week the review comes out based on what my schedule is like for any given week/month, which is itself based on what my schedule was like during my time as an undergrad. I want to make sure that early access is, well, properly early.
2. New, consistent extra content in the shape of quarterly behind the scenes book rec lists. I’m not only just trying to read more in general, but since grad school will be having me read a lot too, and the extra essays have somewhat fallen to the wayside, this felt like a nice way to bring something extra back to the blog. The list will include sections for finished books, books in progress, and, for patrons, books I read, but didn’t like enough to recommend/had major problems with/couldn’t finish.
These rec lists will be coming out every third month (March, June, September and December) and will release for patrons a full month before they go live for the public. Ex. The first post will go up on Patreon on Friday, December 3rd and release on the blog proper on December 31st. It will compile the books I read, and would recommend to others, from September to November. Any additional books read in December will be included in the March 2021 post.
3. Reshuffled reward tiers, now featuring physical rewards!
The $1 “Change Jar” tier has not changed. You still get:
1. My eternal thanks.
2. Behind the scenes looks at upcoming reviews, changes to scheduling and glimpses into my chaotic life.
3. Early access to all reviews and essays before they go live on the main blog.
4. Extra Snapchat images that don’t make it into the reviews.
The $3 “Please sir, I want some more” tier has become the $4 “I have opinions” tier. This is the previous $5 tier, but cheaper, that’s it. You get:
1. Everything from tier 1.
2. Polls to help me decide content for the upcoming months.
The old $5 “I have opinions” tier has been replaced with a new and exciting $7 tier called “Talk to me.” This tier gives you access to everything from the previous two tiers in addition to a quarterly letter from me with a personalized book recommendation.
When you back at this level, you will receive a link to a survey about your taste in books. Then, I will use your response to select a book/comic/graphic novel from my collection every three months that I think you might enjoy and write you a letter telling you a little bit about the book. The letters will go out on the same schedule as the book rec posts, with the first letter coming immediately after you back.
The letters will be written on a selection of fun/interesting stationary and will be sealed with wax seals. The increased cost of the tier is to account for the cost of new stationary, sealing wax and postage. I can send letters internationally, as long as your country doesn’t have shipping restrictions due to *gestures vaguely at the state of the world.*
As always, if you enjoy my reviews, essays and everything else, I would greatly appreciate your support, be that on Patreon or Ko-Fi, so that I can continue to do this. I run this blog because I love reading and I love sharing what I read and learn with others and the more support I receive the more energy I can put toward doing that. To that end, I want to thank recent Ko-Fi donor, Capt Megsy, for the support! Seeing that notification in my email made my day.
Of course, if you aren’t able to donate to my Ko-Fi or back me on Patreon, you aren’t able to. It’s not always feasible, I know that. I certainly don’t want anyone feeling guilty because they can’t support me monetarily. If you regularly interact with my posts, chances are I remember your icon and username and think of you fondly every time you pop up in my notifications. Steady support by way of being a regular reader also means more than I can say.
Knowing that people find enjoyment in what I do makes it worth it, even if I’m making a pittance doing it. And I’m realizing the irony of that statement, knowing that I’m gunning for a career in academia, where I will also make a pittance for sharing my knowledge with others. My theoretical future grad school stipend will literally be half of what I’m making right now, possibly less than half. Ah, well.
Thank you, once again, for coming with me through 2021. Here’s to an even better 2022!