the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘blogging

Hi Everyone!  This week is Bookblogger Appreciate Week!  They do a ton of themed activities, but the one I mostly participate in is the blogger interview swap.  Each blogger is randomly paired with another blogger, and you ask each other some fun questions, make some new friends, and the best part is that i get to discover a new blog that truly, I would have never found on my own. It’s like getting a random penpal. this is my third year doing Interview Swap, and I’m still in contact with the bloggers I was partnered with in previous years. How cool is that?

This year, I got lucky enough to get paired with Allison from On My Bookshelf. She runs the blog with her friend Holly, and they have all sorts of fun, reviewing novels of many genres, cookbooks, some crafty books, and children literature as tested by their young children. You might know Allison from the Stainless Steel Droppings R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) challenge a few years ago too. Make sure to visit On My Bookshelf for Allison’s interview with me. We talk e-books, vampires, and  scifi in pop culture!

here’s my interview with the super-cool Allison:

You run On my Bookshelf with Holly. How did you two meet? How did you two  decide to start a blog?

Holly’s husband and my husband went to high school together, so Holly and I met through them and found a mutual love (obsession) with books.  Our book blog actually started as a book club with a few other members, but Holly and I were the only ones who always read the book, and eventually, the blog was born.

 You review a lot of non-fiction too, like memoirs, cookbooks, and books on  crafts. How is reviewing a non-fiction book different than reviewing  fiction?

Reviewing memoirs is pretty much the same as reviewing fiction for me.  I’m looking primarily at the story being told, and how successful the author is at telling that story.  Even though memoirs are based on actual events, the art to choosing what to include, what light to cast, and what boring bits to skip is still the core for me. Cookbooks and craft books, on the other hand, are all about how well they convey instructions.  Although I read these books for enjoyment and inspiration as well, I’m reviewing them first based on utility, then noting beauty and style.

You review a lot of children’s books, often by seeing if your kids like  them.  How has your blogging (and being obsessed with books!) influenced  your kids?

hey you! Yeah, you with the teetering stack of books to read and the book blog that I read all the time.

I need to talk to you for a minute.

Your blog is an awesome way to promote the books you love. Thanks to you, my “books I want to read” list explodes weekly.  Thanks to you, I’m spending far too much money at the local family owned bookstore, demanding they carry the newest titles of my favorite authors, putting books on hold before they even hit the shelf. I’m sure you’ve done the same.

Bloggers.   Bookstores.  where’s the connection? 

Many of you already know about the rockin’ awesome project I’ve started with Elizabeth of Dark Cargo. Some of you have even already started participating. A few of you were even part of my little trial experiment a few months ago! It’s called Bookstore Bookblogger Connection, and it’s for bloggers (like us!) and bookstores (you know, those peeps we give all our money to!), to have a connection.

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The lovely Mieneke of A Fantastical Librarian interviewed me!  see my goofy answers and a photo of my sagging and unorganized bookshelves.

While you’re over there, check out the rest of her wonderful blogger query articles, and learn about more folks in our vibrant community. Mieneke also has a great giveaway going right now for James Maxey’s HUSH. You can learn more about HUSH and GREATSHADOW here as well.

and since it seems to be turning into a link soup type of post, how many titles from the Fantasy Mistress Works list have you read?


Why don’t I watch more tv? Television is easy, available, and often populated by handsome people. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t got a smidge of ye olde attention deficit disorder. I can curl up on the sofa reading and not move for three hours, but pay attention to a one hour tv show? Yikes.  Or maybe it’s all the insultingly stupid commercials.  there are some great TV shows out there, many available sans adverts on Netflix and other streaming services. So what the hell is my problem?  stay tuned for a drunken essay* on this.

If what we read has some connection to escapism and wish fulfillment, what the fuck is wrong with me? I crave ultra dark fiction, the darker, the stranger, and the more dangerous, the better. I’m not talking blood and guts or serial killers, I’m talking the dark, tragic and painful kind, full of betrayal and heartbreak.  If like me, you’ve been outed as someone who likes that type of thing, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  What the fuck is wrong with me? I certainly don’t want to live rough, bathe only when it rains, steal stuff, starve, live in a cemetery, climb drainpipes in the rain, sleep under bridges, fall off horses, have a price put on my head, get betrayed, get chased by unnatural creatures, chill out with hookers, get tortured, get papercuts, get paid to hurt someone else, get blackmailed by sorcerers, or run through the woods while barefoot. I’m as far as a person can get from being an antihero haunted by violence or regret.  I’m a slightly odd but very nice person with a cushy life, a steady job, and the best husband on the planet. I’m a total wuss who won’t even walk to the mailbox barefoot.  So again, WTF? or maybe what we read has nothing at all to do with wish fulfillment?

oh wait, I do have a regret: not taking more literature classes in high school and college.  Also, I played some really crappy cards the other nigh tin Ticket to Ride: India.  ok, two teensy silly regrets easily fixed by next semester’s community college course catalog and a board game rematch.
My overly cluttered apartment is driving me crazy. Time for some spring cleaning, which means some of these books have got to go. It looks like a library sorting room exploded in here. Me thinks there may be some give aways of gently read books happening here soon. stay tuned.

With the spiffy blog, i’m always feeling pressured to read new things, which means my favorite rarely get reread.  Other blogger buddies, how do you solve this?  Do you reread at your whim?

Speaking of wish fulfillment,  if you attended a scifi-fantasy convention, how likely would you be to attend a panel about blogging?

*you’ve been drinking, so it seems like the most amazing piece of writing in the world. And then you wake up and read it sober, and wonder what the fuck were you thinking? Those aren’t even sentences! Is that even English?

I’m happy to say, 2011 was a hella awesome year for me:

– Was my first full calendar year blogging, in which I posted 104 reviews

– I joined Twitter

– I got my first blurb on a book

– I got a promotion at work (ok, not blog related, actually, blog detrimental, but still cool)

– I got really inventive in finding new places in the house to stash books (such as inside the TV stand).

– I participated in two read alongs. We read Dune over the summer, and The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy this autumn. If you’ve never participated in a read along, they are great fun!

I hope all my bloggy friends had a wonderful 2011 as well, and here’s to all of us having an even better 2012!


But did I reach any of my reading and blogging goals for this year? What about those pesky bookish New Years Resolutions? Way back in December of last year,  I proposed that 2011 be the year of “reading what I’ve got”.  Fewer trips to the library, fewer trips to the local bookstore, and more trips to the bookshelf for titles I’d purchased once upon a time, but never read.  I must have had some time on my hands, because I managed to count up everything I owned, and figure out how much of it I’d read.

So, did I make any headway on reading more books that I owned?  Does buying a ton of books and getting some ARCs in the mail skew the results? Cuz I bought a metric sh*t-ton of books. and got a handful of ARCs.  I’m not going to count everything I own again, but we can look at the stats of what I reviewed:

of the 104 books I reviewed in 2011:

20 were off my bookshelves
28 were purchased (either new or used)
36 were borrowed from the library or borrowed from friends
20 were ARC’s received from publishers or authors

That New Year’s resolution to “read what I got” instead of buying and borrowing new-to-me titles? Can you say Epic Fail?  It’s not my fault tho. . .  all my bloggy friends posting reviews of books that looked awesome that I just HAD to read! and with Valente and Kent and Rothfuss and Hodder and Stephenson coming out with new stuff like every five minutes, what’s a girl to do?

I better come up with something more realistic for 2012. Like join a gym (ha! like that’s gonna happen!).

So what are you gonna be up to in 2012?

If you’re a book blogger, know a book blogger, read a book blogger, or simply think that book blogs are cool, post this as your status.  oh, wait, this isn’t facebook?  😉

but it’s still Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

My favorite book blogger appreciation week event (and actually, the only one I participate in) is the interview swap.  It’s super fun and easy, you sign up, and they partner you up with another awesome blogger to chat with a bit.  kinda like, but for bloggers, and like, not romantic?  My partner this year is the hilarious Alison from Piling on the Books.   You can read her interview with me on her site, and while you’re over there, make sure to check out her Wizard of Oz blog posts. Alison is teh soopah cool. and i got to interview her!

It must be heaven working in a library, surrounded by all those books!  How has being at the library affected how you blog and what books you read?

Oh my word, I have got to stop working at a library (not really!).  I did a post about a month and a half ago about thirteen booksI had brought home from the library after cataloging them, and I’m just about ready to put up another one!  That’s crazy but also good, because for a while I was only reading books that I had already read a review of, and I find it very exciting to delve into a book without someone else’s opinion coloring my view.  It’s also fun to be the first person to read and persuade others to read an awesome book!

more with Alison, after the jump!

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Good news everybody!

scrolling through the blog for the last few weeks, I’m not seeing much of my favorite thing: book reviews.

do I love books less? no!

do I love scifi or fantasy less? hell to the no!!

has my personal schedule gotten a little out of control lately? ummmm, yeah.

here’s the personal post I promised myself I would never put out there, but if the face of this blog is going to change, I want you to know why. because I’m a damn egotist, that’s why. And because this is my little corner of the infinite interwebs, and I can do whatever the hell I want with it.

Say it like you’re professor Farnsworth and your pants are pulled up to your armpits and you’ve already forgotten which drawer you put the doomsday device in: Good News Everybody!

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.