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Sunday Salon: Martinis and the consequences of a review backlog

May 3, 2009
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The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, everyone! Classes are over, and while I have a pile of grading waiting for me tomorrow, I’m giving myself a bit of a break this weekend, ready to plunge into a summer of frantically working so that I might one day in the not-too-distant future get my damn degree.

To that end (the break-giving, not the degree-getting), I threw a cocktail-drinking and Australia-watching party last night, which was good fun, and involved themed beverages and food.

Opal Ice (goes with the theme as some extremely high percentage of the world’s natural opals come from Australia, as I learned from reading Buried Treasure.)

– 1/2 oz. light rum
– 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
– 1/2 oz. Midori
– 1 T. lemon juice (I actually like it better with 1 t.)
Shake these with ice. Strain into a martini glass filled with crushed ice (important for making it look properly opal-y.) Float 1/2 oz. blue curaçao over the top. Kiwi garnish optional (but pretty, and tasty.)

Good times.

Recipe from Slurp, by Nina Dreyer Hensley, Jim Hensley, and Paul Løwe.

I’m still horribly backed up on reviews… I’ve got five to post (three of which I have still to write), and I don’t like it. Back in the day I would finish a book, immediately spend 45 minutes writing up the post, and then be done with it. Having a backlog just feels… weird. When I’ve got a bunch of reviews to write, I find myself not wanting to read, because then I’m going to finish it and it’s just going to be another review to write. That sounds more complain-y than I actually feel – if I weren’t enjoying myself, I wouldn’t bother to keep doing it – but it’s definitely more fun when I don’t have a backlog and can get my thoughts down soon after finishing a book.

What about you, readers? How long do you let pass between finishing and reviewing a book? How do you feel about having a backlog?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. liz (aka Conan) permalink
    May 3, 2009 10:54 am

    I hate backlogs, piles, even full e-mail inboxes. I try to take care of stuff right away then … well then I can enjoy the drinks! Opal Ice looks very pretty

  2. May 3, 2009 10:57 am

    I’ve got so many reviews to write it’s not funny! ;) Some of which will never get written because I have little to say about them (especially the series/sequels) but the rest… I keep firing up the write post page and… Then close it again 20 minutes later…

    I need to work my way through them though as I think the backlog is only feeding my procrastination! :D

  3. May 3, 2009 11:03 am

    I have a five book strong backlog. I’m still in the process of completing my classes and getting my dissertation proposal properly squared away so I can start proper work on it. While this doesn’t seem to have affected my reading, it has definitely affected how much I want to write. I really need to set aside a day and catch up, but it won’t be until at least next weekend. Oh well!

  4. May 3, 2009 11:04 am

    Great question and I look forward to reading the answers!

    As for me, I try very hard to post the review right away. I am like you – I do not like the feeling of being behind. However sometimes I have a difficult time formulating a cohesive review. I am currently behind on two book reviews because I can’t seem to sort out my thoughts. I think I need to start reading with the review in mind. That might help.

  5. May 3, 2009 11:26 am

    I’ve worked myself into a pattern of writing up book reviews for books read during the week each Sunday. This works very well for me. Occasionally, I wait two weeks if my Sunday is very busy.

  6. May 3, 2009 11:49 am

    I’m about 8 reviews behind…I even have some from March that still need to be written. It bothers me terribly, but like Bart I’m suffering from a bad case of procrastination.

  7. May 3, 2009 11:53 am

    Great question. I usually have to wait a few days to assimilate what I’ve read before I attempt a review. Some times writing reviews is difficult. I do not review every book I read, I just don’t have enough time

  8. May 3, 2009 12:40 pm

    Like you, I hate the backlog – I try very hard (and am usually pretty successful) to write the review within a day or two of finishing the book. Otherwise, I feel like I don’t even remember what I wanted to say! And I hate having reviews looming over my head….

  9. May 3, 2009 1:00 pm

    Sounds like fun! May have to give that opal ice a try.

    I hate having a backlog of reviews which is why I’m doing a post a day since I’m only almost out of February. Lately I’ve been writing up reviews after I finish reading them and just saving them until I finally get to it. It’s a pain but hopefully I’ll get caught up one day!

  10. May 3, 2009 1:20 pm

    I try to write reviews as soon as I finish a book. Kind of gives me a break between books. However, I am two reviews behind right now – and I don’t like it. I don’t feel I can give a review justice when I am engrossed in another book.

    I am trying to get caught up this weekend – so my Sunday will be filled with blogging instead of reading.

    That drink looks and sounds absolutely yummy – will have to see about getting the ingredients.

  11. May 3, 2009 1:26 pm

    That martini is hot stuff.

    I’ve had a backlog for quite a while now, and it actually doesn’t bother me too much. It means that I’ve always got something to post, even if I’m working my way through a chunkster that’ll suck days out of my life. :) I hope to read a book a day in May, though, so I’m going to have to get cracking on some of the backlogged stuff. I’ve already reduced it to two reviews, so that’s not too bad. I’ll try to write them today.

  12. May 3, 2009 2:26 pm

    Backlogs don’t bother me at all. Sometimes I never write about a book I just read even if I loved it. I view my blog as a reader’s journal for my own enjoyment and an opportunity to share in a reading community, but I never allow it to become yet another responsibility in an already over-crowded life. All about the fun! Maybe I will mix up some of your cocktails today and skip the rest of the blogging I had planned.

    Today I am reading the new Laurie King book The Language of Bees, and hosting a book giveaway for The Crimes of Paris. Happy reading!

  13. May 3, 2009 3:22 pm

    I don’t like having a huge backlog, but I like having a few books read already so that I can write a review whenever I have time. So generally I have a few books I’m reading, a few reviews that I’ve already written that are schedule to post, and a few that I haven’t written yet. I guess that’s just where my comfort level is.

  14. May 3, 2009 3:31 pm

    Sounds like a fun party and the Opal Ice sounds delicious.

  15. May 3, 2009 5:19 pm

    Yummy recipe! I’m dying for one!

  16. May 3, 2009 8:41 pm

    I try to write the review within a day or two of finishing the book. I hate having a pile of books waiting to be reviewed – I usually end up skipping the reviews altogether cause I feel too pressured.

  17. Dirty Martini permalink
    May 3, 2009 10:00 pm

    I watched Australia sans martini and it was not as enjoyable as if I’d been drinking this blue wonder. Thanks for the recipe! Don’t worry about the back log – sometimes we all need a bit of a running start. Just think how great you’ll feel when you get the mountain of work done. :)

  18. May 3, 2009 10:50 pm

    You described exactly how I feel about my review backlog & not wanting to read. :-)

    I’m currently 6 books behind. Sigh.

  19. May 5, 2009 8:51 am

    liz – I try to take care of stuff as it comes in… but resolutions to that effect tend to last a day or two at most.

    Bart – I’ll do that “open the new post, stare at it for a few minutes, fill in the author and title, stare at it for a few minutes, close it” thing all the time!

    Meghan – Yeah, I’m expecting a severe blogging drop-off when I actually get around to writing my dissertation… only so much writing one can do in a day!

    Molly – I do kind of read with the review in mind, and I’ll come up with things I want to say while I’m reading… but then fail to write them down and draw a blank when it comes time to actually write the review.

    Debbie Nance – That’s great that you have a system! I think if I tried that, though, I’d run into a string of busy Sundays in a row and be totally screwed.

    softdrink – I just wrote one from the middle of March. Procrastinators unite!

    Gavin – Some books I need to let sit for a bit, and some I flip the last page and immediately have seventeen things to say.

    Elizabeth – I agree – waiting more than a day or two usually means the book starts disappearing from my head.

    Ladytink – I don’t mind the backlog of posts, but all the way from February? Wow!

    Kara – I agree… Once my brain is into another book, it can be hard to conjure up the details of the previous one (or even further back.)

    Memory – Two reviews is not bad at all… and I hear you about the chunksters. I’ve got a few that I’ve been a little leery of starting for fear of the concurrent blog silence.

    Frances – It’s true, I do have to remind myself occasionally that this is supposed to be fun… but taking my laptop out to the porch swing with a cocktail will usually take care of that. :)

    Alyce – That sounds like a good balance, especially if it works for you!

    bermudaonion – They were. Trust me, they were. ;)

    Sher – The party left me with just enough Midori for one or two more… I’ll hoist a glass for you!

    Carrie – Ah, self-inflicted pressure is the worst kind, isn’t it?

    Dirty – I saw Australia in the theaters sans martini, and I still enjoyed it. Not a great movie, but definitely an enjoyable one.

    Kelly – You can beat it, I’ve got faith! Go write a review!

  20. May 5, 2009 2:44 pm

    The drink is so pretty!!

    I hate having a backlog of reviews but sometimes it’s just unavoidable. I’ve got three reviews to write and no time to devote to it until the weekend.

  21. May 7, 2009 2:27 am

    I am thirty books behind in reviews. It’s actually kind of scary so I am trying not to think about it! lol

  22. May 8, 2009 11:21 pm

    lisamm – Drat that pesky real world getting in the way of our blogging!

    Kailana – Holy crap! Wow, that makes me feel a lot better about my comparably tiny backlog. I’m impressed that you can remember enough about a book you read thirty books ago to write reviews – my memory’s nowhere near that good.

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