I Heart Book Bloggers [BBAW]

BBAWThere is no way I can create an exhaustive list of everyone who makes this whole book blogging thing brighter. We are a supportive group and we don’t shy away from proclaiming our admiration on any given day. You all already know I love you, right?

But one of the great things about book blogging is that there are always new players. They might be new to blogging or they might just be new to me. I am finding new bloggers all the time. It often starts with a random conversation on twitter about a book or a song or tv show and then the next thing I know, I am talking to this person every day, reading their blog, and picking up books they recommend.

So my take on today’s BBAW topic is to highlight a few bloggers who are new to me since last September.

  • Jen from Makeshift Bookmark (@makeshiftjen): Jen started her blog last fall but you would think she’s been around forever. She makes me laugh, understands my Michigan football obsession, and gives me AMAZING YA recommendations (like Shade/Shine).
  • Jamie from The Perpetual Pageturner (@pageturnerjamie) and The Broke and the Bookish (@brokeandbookish): I am pretty sure we first bonded over music the night I was drunkenly playing Apples to Apples while home for Christmas. See, that’s how memorable Jamie is.
  • Ginger from GReads (@greadsbooks): While we have been at least acquaintances for some time, it wasn’t until recently that I realized Ginger and I have similar taste in almost everything and should be BFFs. So now we are.
  • Sandy from You’ve Gotta Read This (@youvegottaread): I met Sandy in person at the UCF Book Festival in April. Now hers is one of the first blogs I read when I actually sit down and read blogs. Plus she is an awesome commenter.
  • Heather from Raging Bibliomania (@zibilee): Like Sandy, I met Heather at the UCF Book Festival. She is the Best. Commenter. Ever.

You should all know these ladies. If you don’t, you’re welcome. They are all awesome and have been a positive addition to my book blogging experience.

[Note: It’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week. I will be participating in a few of the daily topics this week.]

The Inimitable Jeeves [Audiobook Review]

The Inimitable JeevesTitle:The Inimitable Jeeves
Author: PG Wodehouse
Narrator: Jonathon Cecil
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1572705426
Pages: 272
Audio: 6.2 hours
Year: Originally published in 1923
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Source: Personal Collection
Rating: 4.5/5

My Thoughts:

The Inimitable Jeeves is a short-story collection but the stories are somewhat connected so it reads more like a novel than some of other Jeeves collections. Most of the stories involve Bertie’s pal Bingo Little who just can’t help falling in love with every girl he meets. Many hijinks and much hilarity ensues.

I never get sick of Jeeves. As mentioned in my other reviews, no matter how similar the plot structure is (Bertie and/or friend get into trouble, Bertie makes it worse, Jeeves comes to the rescue), I always find them entertaining.

And, once again, I recommend these stories on audio. They are so much more entertaining when listened to.

If you have yet to meet Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves, you are truly missing out on something special. Go to your library. Now.

[Note: I am skipping the “Others’ Thoughts” and “Buy It Now” sections for audiobook week only. They will return soon.]

 

Join the fun and head on over to Devourer of Books for all of the Audiobook Week goodness.

Nurturing Relationships = Join Twitter

Today’s topic is about nurturing relationships in this lovely little book blogging world. I’m putting a little bit of a different spin on it and using it as a chance to convince all of you nonbelievers why you need to be on Twitter. Because I really think that Twitter is where I nurture relationships. I find that I can sometimes go days weeks without checking Google Reader and during those periods the only way I stay connected outside of my own blog is through Twitter. It’s easy to check while you are anywhere and it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. When I am not reading blogs in my reader, I still click through links via twitter and read blogs that way. I chat about books and not books and anything I feel like chatting about. Someone is always game.

Which brings me to my biggest point: you get to meet the most AMAZING people. And it often starts with something really innocent and unremarkable. Some examples:

NOTE: I have many twitter friends that I love and talk to every day. These are the people that I specifically remember bonding with over a particular subject early on in our twitter friendship. And that one little conversation led to the solid blogger friendship we have now.

Jen/ Devourer of Books /@devourerofbooks
We bonded over: Books based in Ann Arbor.
Result: She is pretty much my best friend. Which makes my husband insanely jealous.

Jen / Makeshift Bookmark /@makeshiftjen
We bonded over: Michigan Football.
Result: She makes me read super awesome YA books.

Jamie / Broke and Bookish and The Perpetual Page Turner / @brokeandbookish
We bonded over: Music
Result: She cracks me up every day. She might be #1 on my Must Meet IRL List.

Jennifer / The Literate Housewife / @lithousewife
We bonded over: The Decemberists and being Michiganders
Result: I cheated here. Jennifer and I were friends long before the bonding at issue. But I think it took our twitter friendship to the next level and I now consider her one of my very best blogging friends.

Lessons:

(1) Twitter is TOTALLY worth it
(2) I really like people named Jennifer (+ a Jamie)
(3) One little conversation can spark a more meaningful friendship.

AND, for those of you who still aren’t convinced, you get to talk to authors and publishers and bloggers all day long. And when a favorite/famous author tweets you, you get to squeal with delight like the fangirl you are. Yes, I am talking to you R.L. Stine. You made my day a few weeks ago.

Join Twitter. Use Twitter. Follow me.

Interview with Lisa from The Little Reader [Armchair BEA]

I signed up for Armchair BEA ages ago. Then I forgot to check the site until last week. It was then that I realized I missed the Interview Swap signups and and assignments. Since this was my favorite part of BBAW, I really didn’t want to skip it. So, as always, I turned to twitter. And Lisa from the little reader came to my rescue. Which thrilled me even more because I love Lisa and I am so glad that I get to feature her on my blog today (you can find my interview on her blog). So enough from me for the day, meet Lisa.

1. How did  you become a book blogger?

i started a personal blog years and years ago on LiveJournal and found myself writing the occasional book review (which my friends mostly ignored, the poor fools). i stumbled upon a few more serious book bloggers, thought it was a great idea, and decided to spare my friends from any further babble about books. with a little bit of help from my book bloggy friends, i started a separate blog just for bookish stuffs at the little reader in early 2010.  although i had no idea what i was getting myself into, it’s been a lot of fun, and i wouldn’t have done a thing differently.

2. Where is your favorite place to read?

definitely the beach. the light breeze and sunshine, combined with the sound of the waves is my absolute favorite.

3. Where is your favorite place to blog?

i’ve recently gotten in the habit of carrying a notepad with me everywhere, which means i’m always brainstorming about bloggy stuff.  when it’s time to get to it, i mostly write from my desk at home, but i do love taking my laptop to a quiet little corner in a coffee shop with a book and a cup of hot tea.

4. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?

if you’d asked me this a year ago, i would have said literary fiction. but, something happened somewhere and i’ve become obsessed with non-fiction lately. i don’t know if i can say that my reading tastes have matured, but they’ve certainly evolved.

5. How do you balance blogging and reading with your self-described “hobby problem?”

well, that’s funny actually, since i’m just coming back from hiatus. i’m apparently not so good at the balancing thing because when life got too crazy with grad school, i had to take a break from blogging. as a grad student and triathlete, it’s sometimes difficult to find time to eat and sleep, let alone read or write.  but, to help balance it out a bit, i have learned to incorporate audiobooks into the spaces where it will fit, like when commuting on the bus or training for longer runs. also, since i am in the English grad program (albeit not in literary studies or creative writing), i do occasionally find that i’m able to incorporate some of the same topics i’m studying into my blogging.  really, my main goal is to keep it fun and interesting for me and my readers. otherwise, what’s the point?

6. Do you have a few favorite bloggers?

Vasilly, at 1330V: one of the sweetest bloggers and best twitter buddies around! and for me personally, her reading tastes are just superb. she’s always introducing me to great books, readalongs, and other bloggers.

Mark, from Absorbed in Words: he doesn’t write often, but it’s always worth the wait when he does.

Dolce Bellezza: she writes beautiful and elegant reviews, has wonderfully eclectic tastes, and hosts the Japanese Literature Challenge each year.

7. What do think would be the best part of BEA if you could attend?

the best part would most definitely be getting to meet the people that have had such a huge impact on me and my reading.  with time zone differences and the geographic barrier of massive body of water, living in hawaii makes me feel so distant from the blogging community sometimes. it would be great to just put faces to the many wonderful bloggers that i’ve met and gotten to know over the last couple of years.

8. What kind of reader were you as a child?

insatiable. i remember vividly those library reward programs where you read books to accumulate stickers to earn free personal pan pizzas at Pizza Hut.  yeah, i ate a lot of pizza as a kid.

9. What is the best book you’ve read this year?

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (review)

10. Should I move to Hawaii?

yes! i’m from florida originally, so i can confidently say that moving from florida to hawaii is absolutely a great idea.  oh, unless you like doing things that require money, because in comparison, jobs pay less and the cost of living is higher than most other places in the country. but, for people who can live a simple life (or for those that are independently wealthy, in which case i’m accepting sponsors), then yes, it’s an amazing place to live and play.

Thank you, Lisa, for stopping by the blog today. Don’t forget to check out the little reader.

Pull Up a Chair for Armchair BEA

Armchair BEAHello, fellow Armchair BEA participants. While many of our friends have traveled to New York City this week for BEA, I know we are going to have some fun on our own from the comfort of our homes (trust me, our backs and feet will be so much more comfortable than theirs) (also, we don’t have to worry about trying to hail a cab from the Javits Center – a virtually impossible feat).

For those of you who are new to the blog, welcome to my books. my life. I read a little bit of everything but I would say my main genres are literary fiction and dystopian and paranormal YA (I like to think the lit fic balances out the YA). I review everything I read but not necessarily in a timely manner. Have a look around, read about me, or check out the books I’ve read this year.

I did attend part of BEA and the Book Blogger Convention last year. You can read about my experiences here, here, and here. This year is full of other traveling so my work schedule and bank account just wouldn’t let me swing it.  I hope to attend again next year, but until then, I am happily Armchair BEA-ing with you.

BBAW: Forgotten Treasure – Simon Singh’s Big Bang

Today’s Topic:

Thursday – Forgotten Treasure
Sure we’ve all read about
Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

My recent reading life is so blogger-driven that I had a really hard time coming up with a book to feature today. Sure, some books I read are not as well known as some, but none of them seemed appropriate for this. So I’m taking you all the way back to October of 2007 when I was assigned a book for law school (don’t ask how this is law school appropriate) and fell in love.

Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh tells the history of the big bang theory in a very interesting and easy-to-understand manner. I will admit that I am partial to books about The Universe, but I think anyone with any interest in learning how we got to our understanding of the history of Everything would enjoy this one. I don’t have a science background but I found it very readable. I have at least one more of Singh’s books and I really should get around to reading them.

I hope you check out Big Bang if you have any interest in the subject matter. Please let me know how you like it if you do.

PS – I think this book might be the beginning of my attempt to explain to Ben how when we look far away we are looking back in time. I think he might finally understand it.

BBAW: Look What You Made Me Do

Today’s Topic:

Wednesday—Unexpected Treasure
We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

Me (while thinking of how to answer this question): What book did I only read because of a blogger’s recommendation?
Ben: EVERY book you’ve read this year.

He has a fair point (although he said it with some amount of disdain in his voice). Most of my reading is formed by other bloggers. It’s how I know what’s out there and worth reading. As a result, I can’t single out ONE book that I tried because of a blogger’s recommendation. Instead, I am going to discuss two to knew genres and one new series I tried because of bloggers. I never was very good at following directions.

(1) Fantasy

I’ve read some light fantasy and young adult/middle grade fantasy but before this year, I had yet to read a real, adult fantasy novel (wow, “adult fantasy” give you the wrong idea, huh?). My IRL friend and sometimes book blogger, Susan, gave me The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan a few years ago, but it was Heather from Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books who finally convinced me to read it. She picked it as her That’s How I Blog book and I figured that was as good a time as ever to finally sit down and read it.

Well, I tried to sit down and read it and it didn’t work out. Heather’s show came and went and I still hadn’t read it. But I did pick up the audio from the library and even though it took me months (that’s a LONG time to stick with an audiobook) I finally finished it.

What did I think? Um, I didn’t really like it. You can read my full review here. But I am glad that I tried it. That’s part of the fun of reading, right? Figuring out what you like and what you don’t. I’ve gotten very good at picking out books that I’ll like but I still like to push myself a bit.

(2) Graphic Novels

Another genre that I had neglected as a reader was graphic novels. When Nymeth from Things Mean a Lot gushed about Blankets by Craig Thompson, I couldn’t resist. I grabbed it for the spring readathon, devoured it in a couple hours, and decided that graphic novels were my new favorite thing.  I then promptly forgot to read any more of them and still haven’t to this day. But I want to. Because I loved Blankets. You can read my full review here.

(3) Betsy-Tacy

In my Favorite Books of 2009 post, I said that I will remember 2009 as the year I discovered Betsy-Tacy. It was a combination of Emily from Books, the Universe, and Everything and Jen from Bookclub Girl that finally got me to give these books a try. And, while I haven’t read them all yet, I love what I have read. I think part of me doesn’t want to finish it because it’s that good.

So there you have it, three new things I tried because of a blogger. What new books/genres have you tried this year?