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This is a pretty spontaneous post, but omg y’all!

400 of you follow us! I’m absolutely speechless about this. All of you are amazing. Thank you for supporting us as our blog develops and changes, and helping us grow on here, Instagram, and Twitter.

I’ve had a pretty bad day, so getting on to check things out made it a whole lot better.

So, thank you for all the likes, comments, and feedback on our blog. Thank you for all the laughs and insight you’ve given. Thank you for everything.

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Chantel’s Comeback Post

So, I’ve been on hiatus from the blog since the end of August. If you have followed us since then, hi there! I’m Chantel the other half of BW Reviews. Caidyn and I started this blog in March of 2017 and we are almost going on two years. However, I decided to take a break. A much-needed break. I took a break for the sake of my mental health. I’ve struggled with depression since I was a teenager and I’ve lived with it. I’ve had ups and downs and I didn’t even notice things were steadily going down for me. I’m doing much better now and if you take anything away from this post, just know it’s okay to take a break.

In general, I’m not a particularly motivated person. I never have been and I think that has continued into adulthood because I haven’t suffered any consequences as of yet. In school, I never failed because I was too lazy to do the homework. I understand the work but refused to do homework. However, when it would come time to work on essays outside of class I struggled.

The last time I went to college, I was overwhelmed by how much work outside of class I had to do. Not to mention I was working at the same time. Here’s the thing, I wish I was a driven person who did things she didn’t want to do, but I’m not.

I’ve taken a hiatus from the blog because I wasn’t reading and I was struggling mentally. My heart wasn’t in anything I was doing so I stepped back. Caidyn is a fucking hero for posting on the blog EVERYDAY while working on his Master’s and doing Practicum, oh and working too. I want to BE him when I grow up. I left at what was possibly the worst time to but I’m going to come back. I’ve missed blogging and being a part of a community.

I’m still not reading regularly, but trust me when I say I have plenty to talk about. The blog was always review based, but I hope to go beyond reviews and talk about things that are important to me.

I just want to share my thoughts with people who agree or disagree with me and have a productive conversation about it. Maybe I will sprinkle in a review here and there, but my plan is to write for the blog again.

Back to the grind

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If you’re reading this, that means that I’m back in my practicum. Most likely, if you read this right when it’s published, I’m in my car waiting for my day to start.

Not being in practicum for a month has been very nice. It’s been relaxing, in a way. Of course, I missed my patients. I love all the ones that I see and am excited to be working with them again for that reason.

I didn’t really make a big deal out of it on here, but my favorite patient passed away while I was gone. One of my coworkers (since we do work together, even though I’m a student) texted me to let me know he had gone. It had been peaceful and he had gone easily, but it was still hard. I saw him every Monday while his wife was out volunteering. We would talk about life and his experiences and anything else that he wanted to. He lived a very full life and, although I’m sad he’s passed on, he was ready to go.

So, I’m going to have to find some new patients to work with and adjust to any declines that happened over break. Still, it’s going to be really nice heading back and getting back in the swing of things.

With all that, I’ll be around a little less often. Still liking and commenting and posting, but I’ll definitely be busier again!

2018 in Review

Hello all! Today, I want to reflect on 2018, a year that had many highs and lows in it. I definitely experienced the worst of the worst and the best of the best last year. But, as a warning, I’m going to be discussing the death of an animal and surgery. Those are a part of my major hits, so I wanted to give you all a warning.

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Why We Should Stop Assuming a Blogger’s Gender: A PSA

This is going to be a different kind of post today, but it’s one I think is greatly important for the book blogging community. I consulted with Chantel before doing this because I know that this is a very sensitive area for me and isn’t for most other people.

So, we’ve had a recent influx of followers who may or may not have checked out our bio. I know I don’t check bios until I need to find something out, such as a name or, in the case of this post, gender.

Most bloggers that we follow here are women. Most of the bookish community that I’ve met are women in general. It’s a predominantly female area. Of course, there are some that aren’t. However, I’m not a woman. I’m a man with a name that’s spelled in a very feminine way.

That leads to people just assuming that I’m a woman and using female pronouns when identifying me in posts.

That’s actually a very sensitive area for me. As I’m a transman — and have written about it a lot on here — being misgendered really does hurt me. It puts me in a bad mood. I pass in person because I sport facial hair now. I can’t pass on the phone or in any video of any kind. And, the internet has always been a safe haven for me, so it makes me regret not having a more masculine looking name or not going by my middle name which is way more masculine.

Now, I’ve corrected some people before so I know that they’re not maliciously doing it or anything of the sort — they’re so apologetic and it makes me feel bad for getting upset And to those who have misgendered me in the past, I’m not mad at you! I’m really not. This is not me being a little asshole and calling you out.

However, as book bloggers that embrace and push for diversity, we should stop automatically assuming genders.

It erases voices that are already erased, such as transmen. Transmen, in general, don’t have large voices in any community whatsoever. (And, if you want to read more about that, you should check out Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green. Chantel and I also did an amazing Q&A review of it.)

And, as a diverse community, it’s harmful to just assume something about another person. I’ve always thought that the book community is amazingly diverse. There are so many different people who identify as queer or aren’t white or anything else. I love talking with these people and seeing their unique perspectives on books.

Yet, there’s the assumption that all bloggers are women or female-identifying.

So, what to do about it?

Read any blogger’s bio before putting anything about them! Or, if you can’t do that bit of digging or their bios don’t have that info, revert to gender neutral pronouns or phrases to refer to that person. [Suggest putting pronouns in bios etc. something good to do as an ally.]

This is my PSA/discussion post about something that has been on my radar for ages, but I’m finally writing about it.

Talk to me!
What other solutions could there be to this problem?
What do you think you could do alleviate this?

Survey for 2018

Hello everyone!

Last year, Chantel and I put together a survey where you all could give us feedback on the blog. We did it on Survey Monkey last year and had a lot about book recs for our book club.

This time, things are a bit different.

It’s only six questions, no book recommendations (unless you want to give them in a comment!), and most are optional. It’s super easy and you can take it right here on this post.

If you could please take a second and respond to it, that’d be great! I know that I want to take suggestions from you all and help tailor the blog. Everything’s anonymous, so don’t worry about me knowing what you said!

Thank you all! ❤

One semester down, three to go!

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I did it! I finished my first semester of grad school and I, honestly, can’t believe it. This year has gone by in such a flash. I was prepared for the increase in work, yet I was absolutely shocked at the same time. It was more that they were asking me to do more, not that it was harder.

But, I finished. I have a month long break that I’m taking full advantage of. Like the good social worker I aspire to be, I set boundaries with my practicum. I flat out told them that I’ll work on stuff for indirect hours, but I’m not coming in and I’m not going to see clients.

However, I’ll be picking up a lot of hours at work. It’s our busiest time of the year. I fully expect my feet to be aching but my paycheck to be large. (Which is good.)

Next semester, I have super boring sounding classes. I’ll be using any money I get this year for Christmas to pay for those textbooks, so I already know that I won’t be getting a lot for the holidays this year. Which is fine. My parents bought out the textbooks I rented for this semester, so I’m eternally grateful for that since they’ll be helpful my whole career. But, at the same time, it kinda sucks that I won’t have as many “fun” presents. The small sacrifices will be worth it in the end!

Still, I’m so damn happy that I’m done for the time being. I need the break.

Talk to me!
Who else is ready for a bit of a break?
Anyone have fun holiday plans?

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is November 20th and that means it’s a day that isn’t as talked about as I think it should be.

It’s the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

It’s the day where the transgender community remembers the people who were killed, sometimes brutally, this year.

Each year on this day, the dead are remembered. People get together and read the names out holding candles. I’ve never attended one of these, but I always try to remember those who passed away by lighting my own candle and simply looking at the list of the dead.

The list can be found here.

I encourage all of you to click that link and read. With the proposals that the Trump administration is coming out with regarding the conflation of gender and sex, it puts everyone at risk who don’t conform to the norms presented by society.

Please, read it and, if you can, share it. Being murdered is a fear and worry that I have in the back of my mind every day, even more so with all these proposals. It’s a scary time.