Bloggiesta, Olé! It’s Bloggiesta Time Again Fall 2012

Bloggiesta weekend starts today! I’m going to be in Maine for all of Saturday, and have to work today, but we’ll see what I can get done on Sunday. Here’s my to-do list, short but extremely time-consuming. All but the first item on the list are repeats from my first Bloggiesta in the spring (#fail):

  • Move to self-hosting on WordPress (Eek!)
  • Start some personal “Best of 2012” lists (still undone from my spring Bloggiesta list)
  • Catch up on reviews (maybe by doing mini-reviews) (ditto)
  • Create a page of book lists and readalikes (ditto)

Bloggiesta is a weekend to devote yourself to spiffing up your blog. I believe it’s mostly book bloggers, but not restricted to book bloggers. Does it sound like fun? Want to join in? Sign up at There’s a Book.
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Ten Signs You’re Obsessed with Book Blogging and #Bloggiesta

Today is the last day of Bloggiesta, hosted by Suey (@sueysays) at It’s All About Books and Danielle (@the1stdaughter) at There’s a Book. If you’ve never heard of Bloggiesta, then you’re probably not obsessed with book blogging. But if you’re here today because of Bloggiesta, then see whether these signs of obsession apply to you. And, yes, #5 really happened to me this morning. (We haven’t been able to catch it, and the little thing gets bigger and more brazen every day!)Bloggiesta badge

Ten Signs You’re Obsessed with Book Blogging

1. You couldn’t possibly finish your Bloggiesta to-do list in a week, much less a weekend.

2. You appreciate when authors use initials instead of first & middle names (e.g. NK Jemisin) because it’s Twitter-friendly.

3. You’ve started to #think in #hashtags.

4. When you see a new book cover, you think about how good it would look on your blog.

5. You sit still so long with your laptop, commenting on book blogs, that a mouse strolls out from under the chair beside you.

6. You’ve signed up for so many book blog challenges, it’s a challenge to keep them straight.

7. You’ve stopped being jealous of other bloggers’ Mailbox Monday and In My Mailbox posts, and are just relieved you don’t get as many books to review in a month as they do in a week.

8. You pore over blogrolls, hoping for the thrill of seeing your blog listed.

9. Your family doesn’t recognize you without the glow of the computer screen lighting your features.

10. You barely have time for reading books.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day Five: Saying Goodbye to #BBAW

graphic for BBAW 2012Friday’s Topic for BBAW: What did you get out of this week? What will you take with you in the future?

Even though I could only manage to post on the first and last days of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I’ve visited and commented on a lot of new-to-me blogs this week.

Thanks to BBAW, I’m a new follower of all of the following:

Book Monkey (WP)
Book Rhapsody (WP)
Doing Dewey (WP)
Farm Lane Books (GR)
Following Pulitzer (WP)
JulzReads (WP)
Leonicka Valcius (GR)
Lit and Life (GR)
The Literary Omnivore (WP)
Necromancy Never Pays (WP)
A Novel Attachment (WP)
The Perpetual Page-Turner (email)
A Reader’s Journal (GR)
A Room of One’s Own (WP)
Shelf Love (WP)
Too Fond (WP)

I also caught up with some old favorites that have been languishing in my overflowing Google Reader queue. (Now even more overflowing after adding a few more.) I especially enjoyed the Day #1 appreciation posts and visiting everyone’s favorite blogs.

BBAW, now five years old, was started and organized by Amy at My Friend Amy.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day One #BBAW2012

graphic for BBAW 2012Monday’s Topic for BBAW: Appreciation! There are no awards this year, but it can still be hard to navigate the huge universe of book blogging. Share with your readers some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is a great time to find a new favorite book blog or catch up with an old favorite that you’ve lost track of. Every day, I realize how many more book blogs there are out there than I am aware of, or could possibly read weekly – much less daily – but here are just two of my current faves for book and audiobook recommendations that are a good match for my reading/listening type.

Beth Fish Reads — I admire the look of this blog and the detailed reviews of mostly literary fiction, but other types of books, as well. In working on this post, I realized that I never actually subscribed to Beth Fish Reads, and have just been visiting scattershot, so have now subscribed.

Devourer of Books — In addition to posting thoughtful, well-written reviews of mostly literary and women’s fiction (and beautiful baby photos), Jen at Devourer of Books reviews a lot of audiobooks. She also offers a regular Friday feature, Sound Bytes, that rounds up links to new audiobook reviews from other bloggers.

The Guilded Earlobe — Although I’m off zombie books for the moment, I still like to see what Bob at The Guilded Earlobe thinks about the latest in S/F and zombie lit in audiobook format. I’ve actually purchased a few audiobooks on his recommendation that were hard to find at the library, and that proves he is a bad influence and an enabler of my audiobook habit.

Read in a Single Sitting — Stephanie at Read in a Single Sitting shares her own bookish thoughts and keeps readers up to date on publishing news, literary scandals, outrageous online opinions, and other highlights of the week in the blogosphere. I also appreciate her excellent book reviews. She recently reviewed the audiobook edition of The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides so well that I doubt I will ever get around to writing my own.

There are other blogs that I’ve been trying to keep up with lately, where I can read reviews or just bookish conversation. These bloggers, in addition to the two I’ve mentioned already, have also been very welcoming to me in the blogging community at large. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few, but all of these bloggers are very faithful in their updates (much better than me) and I like to keep up with what they are reading and doing:

BermudaOnion’s Weblog — Kathy is so nice!
The Bibliotaphe’s Closet – Zara’s book habit is much worse than mine.
The Bluestocking Society — Who knew there were so many Utah authors?
Book Chatter — Ti tells it like it is…
Book Journey — No one can really keep up with Sheila!
Care’s Online Book Club — I never miss a post!
Coffee and a Book Chick — Natalie puts out a fun, literate blog.
Fyrefly’s Book Blog — Nicki’s TBR pile stats are phenomenal.
The Literate Housewife — Love Jennifer’s audiobook recommendations!
Popcorn Reads — Fun posts from Mk that I get in my email.
PubWrites — Caitie F. is reading her way through 1,001 books.
Readerbuzz — Deb is a cook as well as a reader!

There are so many others that I follow on Twitter (and check in on their blogs from there) that I know I’m forgetting to mention here. I should have prepared this post ahead of time! I’m sorry if I forgot you, faithful posters and commenters! Especially if you’re one of those super-organized bloggers with posts scheduled days or weeks in advance, because you won’t understand and excuse my unpreparedness for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. (I had the darn badge on my site for over a week; I thought I was doing so well!)

Thank you to Amy at My Friend Amy for organizing Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012!

So You Want to Review Audiobooks…

This post is for Day #2 of Listen Up! Audiobook Week June 25–28 hosted by Jen of Devourer of Books, with help from Jen of A Book and a Latte. Today’s discussion topic:

Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?

Badge for Listen Up! Audiobook Week 2012One of the most basic pieces of writing advice is, “Read it out loud and hear how it sounds.” Poor writing is much more noticeable when read aloud; you notice extraneous details and unnecessary conversations much more easily because you can’t hurry past them as you might if you were reading to yourself and not out loud. I tried to listen to a John Grisham book a few years ago (The Street Lawyer) so I could get an idea of why he is so popular, but couldn’t get through the first few chapters in the audiobook edition. The writing was just not strong enough to stand up to being read aloud.
On the other hand, sometimes an excellent audiobook narrator can carry a book with a strong storyline through any clunky spots in the writing so skillfully that you hardly notice them (e.g. The Help).
I find it hard to review audiobooks because I can’t flip back through them easily to refresh my memory of what I wanted to be sure to mention, so I often end up never writing the review. Also, I haven’t figured out how to highlight quotes or favorite parts, especially since I’m usually driving as I listen.
When I read audiobook reviews, I like to know primarily if the narrator was a good fit, doing real justice to the book or even enhancing it. (Accents can be tricky; I don’t know if I’ve heard an authentic Boston accent yet in books that are set in the Boston area. But a true Boston accent could be pretty annoying for the length of a whole book, so it’s probably best that most audiobook narrators tread lightly when it comes to accents.)
The other main thing I try to glean from an audiobook review is whether the reviewer recommends the audio edition as a superior format for the book. That is, does the narration do more than just provide a read-aloud version of the book, actually adding a layer of appeal through a stand-out performance? A prime example of narrators embodying the characters’ voices and nailing the sound of the story as the author intended it to be heard would be Jonathan Davis and Staci Snell’s narration of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Please let me know what you think, and keep the recommendations coming!

No Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year!

No Pulitzer Prize for fiction this year! — Post from The Bluestocking Society this afternoon

I missed seeing The Bluestocking Society as part of Bloggiesta, but discovered it just now during the Twitter frenzy that there is no #Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction this year.

Bloggiesta, Ole! — Update

My Bloggiesta to-do list isn’t looking as completed as a lot of the other book bloggers’ I’ve been visiting as part of this weekend-long blog fest. In fact, one of my crossed-off items I didn’t actually do, because I figured out it is part of the WordPress “theme” I am using, and there’s no way I’m changing that now. (It’s been fun to devote extra time to blogging, but guilt is starting to creep in.) I guess there’s always next year!

  • Start some personal “Best of 2012″ lists
  • Catch up on reviews (maybe by doing mini-reviews) – IN PROGRESS
  • Catch up and comment on blogs I follow through Google Reader – DONE
  • Create a page of book lists and readalikes
  • Learn how to put a darn home page link in my WordPress custom header and remove my RSS feed option that doesn’t work! – NOT DONE & NEVER GOING TO GET DONE

On the plus side, I did meet at least two of the goals of Bloggiesta: 1.) to connect with other participants through blog hopping or Twitter and 2.) to make new blogging friends.

Here are a few of the blogs I’ve spent some time on during Bloggiesta:
A Bibliotaphe’s Closet – I don’t know where Zara gets her energy, but she has been bloggiesta-ing 24/7 this weekend from what I can tell. Her posts are amusing and informative.
Book Journey – Sheila’s posts are personal and funny. She inspires me with her daily posts. (And I see she was brave enough to mess around with her blog’s theme this weekend.) We don’t always like the same books, but always enjoy her opinions.
Care’s Online Book Club – This Bloggiesta update wouldn’t be complete without un saludo a Care (@BkClubCare) who is always so welcoming and friendly. She is also the only book blogger I’ve met in real life.
Everyday I Write the Book – Gayle’s reading recommendations are always worth paying attention to, and she hasn’t steered me wrong yet!

A big thank you to Suey at It’s All About Books and Danielle at There’s a Book for hosting Bloggiesta!

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