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Blogger Appreciation

This week on the Book Blogger hop (hosted by Jennifer of Crazy for Books – click on the image for this week’s sign-up post) the question asks us “How many blogs do you follow?”

I know with Google blogs (Blogger, or is it called Blogspot?) there is the “follow” function, but that doesn’t apply to me. I’ve been using Google Reader which is very handy, though because I don’t get prompts by email I’m often late to blog posts. Anyway, there are quite a few blogs on my Reader, and some I “follow” more than others. At current count, it’s about 65 blogs.

I like to look at these Hop questions as a launching-off point for a bigger discussion, so, while I’m talking about the blogs I follow, I thought I’d take the opportunity to spotlight some of my favourites (though by no means all of them – time and space constraints, y’know – so I’m sorry if I’ve left you off, please know it’s not because I don’t like your blog or don’t read it!), especially because the best way of finding new blogs to love is through linkage on other people’s blogs. 🙂

I thought I’d start with my friend Chris, who I’ve known in person for several years – we met at a book club, and when he left it to start his own club he invited me along, and I was very happy to switch! His blog, Eclectic Indulgence … classic literature reviews, is a great place to read intelligent reviews of old and modern classics and find new book lists. He likes collecting leather-bound books and reading Hemingway and provoking me, and knows how easily I rise to the bait! 😉

Erika of Jawas Read Too! is a friend from LiveJournal and Goodreads as well; she reviews mostly Science Fiction, Steampunk, Speculative Fiction and Fantasy but also Historical Fiction and whatever else takes her fancy. I am in awe of her reviews – she writes awesome reviews and I wish I could write reviews like she does! She hosts monthly reading challenges (which, I confess, I struggle to keep up with) and games and giveaways, and when I leave a long rambling comment she always replies in kind and we have a great long-winded discussion about books and what-not.

Another friend from LiveJournal is Christina of Christina Reads! She reads a lot of books (99 to date this year already!), writes great reviews and adds way too many books to my TBR mountain. She also connects me with challenges and dishes out on adaptations, pet peeves and other fun things.

If there’s one blogger who’s wild, it’s Boof of The Book Whisperer. She makes me want to read all the books she reviews, when she loves them, try new authors when she interviews them, and her non-review posts are hilarious and engaging. There’s such a sense of energy and enthusiasm and Joie de vivre that makes me want to keep visiting like the best summer holiday.

As soon as I came across Chelle’s blog, Tempting Persephone, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit (I think we have multiple faces to our spirits, as there are lots of very different blogs I could say this about!). Chelle reviews mostly Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, YA, Speculative Fiction, Murder Mystery etc. and also posts her favourite artwork AND – this I love! – has a personal challenge to mention Richard Armitage as many times as she can! You can see why I’d love this can’t you 😀

Nymeth of things mean a lot is another reviewer who inspires me to write better reviews and read more unusual books. She hosts great challenges – like the 1930s mini challenge – as well as read-alongs, and ponders topics that generate so much intelligent discussion I don’t know where to start! She reads a wide variety, from classics to Fantasy to graphic novels to Historical fiction and more, and has one of the liveliest blogs I’ve come across.

There are a few Australian blogs that are like refuges for me, places where I feel like I can relax and use those words that I hold back in Canada, and people will understand me. One of those blogs is Dominique’s Coffee Stained Pages, where she reviews books I usually haven’t heard of, and makes me wish I could sew … or take decent photos. I always feel like I’m travelling to some exotic location, when I’m visiting her blog – the first time I read her blog, it was a review of a travelogue set in Morocco.

I came across Jackie’s blog, Farm Lane Books, a year or more ago – I forget how, but anyway I read her review of One Morning Like a Bird and promptly went and got a copy – her blog is like that for me, she reads a lot of recent releases and books I wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, and my TBR pile has grown accordingly. She also has great posts on tips for bloggers that have been very useful, especially when I switched to WordPress.

Bree of All the Books I Can Read is another Aussie blogger I’m thrilled to have found. I love reading her reviews – they are more fun than reading the books! Her words flow, her ideas come smoothly, her criticisms are entertaining to read as much as they are insightful. It helps that we share reading tastes, but she’s helped me find books I wouldn’t otherwise have known about, and yes, my TBR pile is groaning!

I expect there aren’t many book bloggers in the blogosphere who haven’t visited Eva’s blog, A Striped Armchair, at least once, and I’d be even more surprised if they didn’t revisit it. Aside from being The Fastest Reader I’ve ever come across, she reads a huge amount of obscure and foreign (non-English-language or non-Western countries) books, and writes some of the most thoughtful, intelligent and knowledgeable reviews around. Her posts on topics – everything from audio books to the word “vagina” – generate intense discussion; she has an incredible ability to get people passionate on topics they hadn’t even thought about before.

A blog I found thanks to the Book Blogger Hop is Jessica’s On a Pale Star, where she reviews and discusses Fantasy, Science Fiction, Speculative fiction etc and topics like non-white Fantasy heroes, though her list of top ten favourite books shows how widely read she is. I love reading her reviews and thoughts on these genres, and feeling excited and reinvigorated in the genres again.

This is one of my most recent finds, though I can’t in all honesty say I “found” Steph, because she found me! Her blog, Bella’s Bookshelves (named after her middle name) is a feast of sophisticated, well-written reviews, her dreams of owning her own bookshop and the fate of indie bookshops, and interviews with publishers! That’s right – who else do you know who actually talks to independent publishers?! Also, she’s Canadian and we think alike, so I can see her blog becoming like a second home. 🙂

Jess and Chris prove to us that married couples can work well together on creative things (and not fight over books!) on their blog, Park Benches and Bookends. They read a wide variety and there’s always something new to read about, plus they’re not afraid to read outside their comfort zones. Their book-related discussions are thought-provoking and aside from all the other things that’s great about their blog, I love their header!

Another favourite of mine is Rachel’s blog and the plot thickens – which is a fantastic blog name! Now, she reads a lot of thrillers and murder mysteries, which is one genre I can never get into, but that doesn’t put me off – besides, it’s all about “sticking your neck out and reading something new”, yes? 😉 Besides, she writes great reviews and links our bookish experiences together – ruminating about her experiences watching The Wizard of Oz, reading Wicked and seeing the musical, for example. She’s active on the Hop and I hope you visit her too!

Now, I have to end this somewhere and get back to writing reviews, so I’ve picked one more blog to gush about (it was hard not to keep going and gush about them all, and I’m sorry to have missed yours this time around if you’re not here, but this probably won’t be the last time I do this).

Simon of Savidge Reads is another popular blogger who’s done a great deal of damage to my TBR mountain – every time he reads a great book I want to go out and buy it! He’s a UK blogger, and between him and Jackie I get the dish on great new UK releases that I can order online, that I wouldn’t otherwise know about. His posts on the new books that have arrived in his mailbox leaves me drooling (and results in yet more books arriving in my mailbox!), he interviews new and established authors, and he posts delicious discussions on all sorts of bookish and travel-related things. Plus he’s going to Brazil soon, which really adds flavour to the tone of his posts! I confess I’m quite jealous, and if I ever wanted to put a book-buying ban on myself, I’d have to stop visiting his blog. Which I don’t see happening any time soon.

___________________________________________________

So, there’s a few of the blogs that I follow. You may know some of them, you might not, but I hope I’ve spread a bit of love because they ARE blogs I love! 😀 Have a great weekend, and I will be around the blogosphere this weekend.

26 comments to Blogger Appreciation

  • Just hopping by to say, hi.
    Kelly Bookend Diaries
    http://bookenddiaries.blogspot.com

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Kelly, Hi Kelly, thanks for hopping by! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Wow thanks so much for the mention Shannon! 🙂
    Some of the blogs you’ve featured I follow, others I don’t think I’ve visited before, so thanks for giving me some new ones to check out. 😀

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Dominique, You’re welcome – you know as I was putting this list together it occurred to me how like a family it is (awwwww :D)

    [Reply]

  • You are so sweet mentioning me here, Shannon! I admire your reviews, too! You not only write well, but you always give your honest opinion. And I want you to know: that’s appreciated, a lot, especially (well, mostly) because it’s written so well. 🙂

    Also: I love how diverse your reading tastes are, too. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Erika, I couldn’t imagine lying in a review, could you? Even fudging a bit to downplay negatives makes me uncomfortable with myself.

    [Reply]

  • That you for linking me! 🙂 It does seem I read a lot of thrillers and mysteries lately… hhmm must be the mood I am in! I didn’t even realise until you pointed that out. I think I need to broaden my reading habits!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Rachel, Oh I wasn’t complaining!! We read whatever we feel like reading, nothing wrong with that! But you must let me know if any good new Aussie fiction comes your way… please? 🙂

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    @Shannon, I don’t read nearly enough Aussie fiction. I will keep my eye out and let you know if I find something good!

    P.S. Exciting night here in Australia 😉

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Rachel, What? What happened? (Or maybe you were being sarcastic, but I haven’t turned the radio on this morning – oh wait, is it election time? What’s the update? They’ve been talking about Australia a lot on CBC radio lately because Vancouver got Boat People…)

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    @Shannon, Election night. Greens won Melbourne for the first time. Labor are at 70 seats. Liberal are at 72. There are four seats left to count. Very close. Looks like we may have a hung parliament.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Rachel, Yay for the Greens!

    Ouch that IS close! Keep me posted please?

    [Reply]

  • Thank you! 🙂 If I made a list like this, your blog would definitely be on it as well!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Christina, It was fun putting it together, like a way to say “thank you for your great blog and keeping me sane!” 😀

    [Reply]

  • I felt the same way when I found you! 🙂 An added bonus: This post was a shot in the, ah, rear – I’d say it’s about time for a Richard Armitage post! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Chelle, RICHAAAAAAAAAAARD!!!!!!!! 😛
    Don’t suppose you can put together a list of all the stuff he’s been in? I’ve only ever seen him in North and South *swoon!* (I’m such a girly-girl when you bring up RICHAAAAAAAAAAAD!!) 😀

    [Reply]

    Chelle Reply:

    @Shannon, Oh, I can so do that! In fact, I may do two posts: one about the stuff I’ve seen him in and another about the shows/movies I’ve yet to enjoy. And you so need to watch his turn on The Vicar of Dibley!! I’ve practically worn out my DVDs from going over my favorite scenes time and again. (He talks books! And kissing! And…it’s soooo good! Better than good!) 🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Chelle, Aww it’s been YEARS since I’ve seen Vicar of Dibley! And I missed lots of episodes, maybe the entire last series too – think that was when I moved to Japan. Which series is he in? I might be able to find it online.

    So looking forward to your posts! 😛

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for mentioning my blog! 🙂 I love posts like these, you get so many opportunities to check out new blogs and find new little goldmines!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Bree, I like them too, so I thought it was about time I did it myself! I’d say 99% of the blogs we “find” we find through other blogs, not Google searches, so I’m always happy to “spread the love”! (okay that’s way too corny an expression for me … where’s my coffee?)

    [Reply]

  • Came here via blog hopping/Follow me. Have a blast hopping to/following new blogs!

    Do check out my blog, everything distils into reading. I too am an eclectic reader!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @gautami tripathy, Hi thanks for visiting! I’m popping over to check out your blog 😀

    [Reply]

  • Aw – thank you so so much for the kind words 😀 I’m flattered to be included among such great company!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Nymeth, You’re welcome 🙂 You should definitely be proud of your blog!

    [Reply]

  • Thanks for the mention Shan. I’m a little behind in reading your blog because it’s not updating in my Google Reader. Strange.

    http://eclectic-indulgence.blogspot.com/
    http://twitter.com/ClassicBookClub

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Eclectic Indulgence, Ugh, yes, it’s very annoying. What you have to do is delete me from your reader, then add me by using the link in the right sidebar, at the top there. You can choose your reader that way too. It seems to be the only way to get it working properly, for some reason.

    [Reply]

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