Monday, September 14, 2009

BBAW: Rachel's Picks--- her Blog Favourites

I have been following Book Blogger Appreciation Week ( mostly on twitter)

My favourite part is how many new bloggers ( with some savvy reading taste ) I have discovered.

I am all for its altruistic intentions and the celebration of BOOKS!

Today the topic in the BBAW is the celebration of bloggers each individual hankers after.

Y'know, when you open up your google reader and there is the bold number of things unread and it is EXCITING especially if you scroll down and see that one of your favourite bloggers ( like a favourite author, per se) has posted?


So, I thought I would direct you to some of my favourite book blogs on the web.

Just for sheer eclectic taste and the fact that she reads (and mostly enjoys) my recommendations ( or at least pretends to ), my first favourite blogger is Courtney from Once Upon a Bookshelf.

Courtney's was the first book blog I ever read and to show my appreciation for her aiding in my conversion into the bloggosphere, I asked her a few questions. Please read and get to know Courtney a little better:

1. All-time favourite book if I could only choose one: is by far L.M. Montgomery's Rilla of Ingleside. There's just so much going on in it that it never gets dull - there's awesome heartwarming stuff, but then there's also the stuff that breaks your heart. And the it shows a snapshot of Canadian life during WWI. As a Canadian, I think it's really important for us to know our history - we're constantly bombarded by American history, because they're our southern neighbour and we get so much of their media (oftentimes more of theirs than our own) that we almost know more about what they've gone through than what we've gone through as a country. It's vitally important for us to take a look at important events that had a massive effect on our own country growing up, and knowing how it became what it is today, and this is one of the best books that I've discovered that shows what home-life was like in WWI Canada.

2. First chapter book that I remember reading was probably Roald Dahl's the BFG. I don't remember much about it, and I haven't read it since I was young, but at that point in time I loved it. I think it was the idea of good dreams being sent by such a friendly giant was enchanting.

3. Are you a physical reader? Does reading ellicit some sort of effusive reaction from you? Definitly a physical reader. I laugh out loud through books all the time, so have to choose carefully what I read in public. In elementary school when we had to read silently in class, it was commented numerous times that I made faces whenever something bad was happening in the book - scowling, etc. So yes, definitely a physical reader.

4.Where is your favourite place to read? I don't really have a favourite place to read, but I read best if I am curled up in a blanket - even in the middle of summer. In the autumn, the winter and the early spring, I need to have a cup of (usually herbal) tea with me. I can have background music, or people talking around me, but I can't read if the television is on - not sure what the difference is there, but yeah. And I'm usually reading a few books at a time. A lot of people tell me they can't, but when I do this the books are typically different genres so I don't mix up characters and storylines in my head... though a mashup of an Arthur Slade book with WWZ would be quite fun to read. Hmm.

5.If you could live in one book, what would it be? I've never thought about this! Oh wait, yes I have. When I was growing up, I was always looking for doorways into Narnia. So! If I could live in any book, I would want it to be one of the Chronicles of Narnia - not sure which one, though. I've always longed for the magic of talking animals, and finding doorways into new worlds. Of the possibility of coming across rings to bring me to the world between worlds, with pools to every different world. Of witches and magicians. Of fawns and centaurs. Oh!

6. If you could have lunch with one author (living or dead) who would it be? Where would you go and what would you eat? I could say L.M. Montgomery, but quite frankly I find her rather daunting. I'd never know what she REALLY thought about anything. I think perhaps Jane Austen. We can talk about the life of the single woman - compare the differences of how society treats single women between then and now - and then perhaps gossip about those sitting at the tables around us. "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?" As for what we would eat, my imagination is not that good, but perhaps a good cup of English tea would be in order.

Next in book bloggers I love, I have Otahyoni: who doesn't just talk about books; but speaks of them often enough. Her parody of Twilight has gleaned thousands of responses (many heated) and been quoted in online magazines. People still comment and reply.

I met Otahyoni in an online Richard Jury ( the detective in the Martha Grimes novels) about 6 years ago. Since then we have become quite close friends: even though she lives in a different country than I do. We have been pen "email" pals for years ---sending books across the border at one another; talking on the phone. Last year, we "met" in person for the first time when we took a trip together to New York City. We saw a bookish play on Broadway ( the musical version of A Tale of Two Cities); we went to the Strand--- we saw very literary things. Otahyoni and I share a lot of similar tastes--- but some of our best conversations ( as is the way with all literary folk ) is borne of the times we don't agree.

Here is what Otahyoni had to say about the questions I asked her:

1.) I know this question isn’t fair, but what is your favourite book? If you had to just pick one?

If I had to pick just one book, the one book I have the most affection for, the one that sparks the most warm fuzzies deep in my soul, it’d be The Man with a Load of Mischief by Martha Grimes. Not impressive on any sort of literary scale, no, but it’s been with me for over half my life, and the characters are near and dear to my heart. This is the warm chocolate chip cookie of books, as far as my soul is concerned.

2.) what is the first chapter book you remember reading and why?

Oh, I don’t know! Probably the Boxcar Children. I remember carting home loads and loads of books from the library as a kid. Marguerite Henry, The Three Investigators, Walter Farley. I read the first few Sweet Valley High books before I got bored; same with the Babysitters Club. But I don’t remember the really early chapter books. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, maybe? I have a feeling I went straight from picture books, Dr. Seuss, and the Berenstein Bears to stuff like the Boxcar Children.

3.) are you a physical reader--- in an effusive way---? Meaning, do you clap when something gets good (if you are alone ) is there some sort of reaction: a squeal or a “Tsk Tsk” when you are absorbed in a story?

Mildly. I do laugh out loud on occasion, but I only get really effusive if stuff is bad. Good stuff I just smile, giggle quietly to myself, then read it over again a few times before moving on. Bad stuff, though, has been known to make me go, “AHH!” I cry sometimes (which makes it very hard to read). I’ve even, on two occasions, thrown my book because it made me so angry. Once the first time I read Julie of the Wolves (real life schmeal life! she should have stayed with the wolves!) and the other when Lupin and Tonks died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, even though I knew it was coming. It still upset me, book got chucked at the other end of the couch, and then I immediately scrambled after it so I could finish the book.

4.) what are your reading habits? A.) where is your favourite place to read b.) can you have background noise? C.) do you read more than one book at once?

a) My living room, with its squishy furniture. I sit either on the squishy couch, propped up in a corner or lounging in the middle with my feet on the coffee table, or I sit sideways in the squishy armchair, my feet dangling over the side.

b) Yep. I read with music on a lot, and when I’m at my parents’ house, I read through TV and movies all the time. Conversation, TV, music, traffic – as long as it’s not directed at me, I can tune it out completely.

c) Not usually, but right now I am, for possibly the first time. I have THREE books going right now – crazy. Reading an uber-long classic novel in fits and starts between other novels and a nonfiction book on my lunch breaks at work. Then there’s whatever novel I’m on at the moment.

5.) if you could live in any novel which would it be?

Either an Austen novel – but not as a main character. As a peripheral character. I just want to wander about and write letters and go to balls. Or The Man with a Load of Mischief, on the off chance I could get Melrose Plant to fall in love with me. I’d prefer not to be a murder victim, however.

6.) if you could have lunch with any author dead or alive who would it be? What would you talk about? What would they order? What would you order?

That one’s hard. I’d say Austen, but she kind of intimidates me, and I’m afraid she’d find me vapid and shallow. Maybe Catherine Webb, because I have a feeling we’d get along quite well. We could talk travel and writing and the theater and London, and I could try really hard not to fangirl over Horatio Lyle and Matthew Swift and fail utterly. Probably we’d hit up some hole-in-the-wall Indian or Thai place and have ourselves some curry, then pick a West End show for after.

See, book bloggers, if there is someone you have connected with on the internet, you CAN be friends in real life.

The sweetest part of the story? While in New York, Otahyoni and I wrote a collective "round robin" letter to Ms. Martha Grimes: the author who brought us together, thanking her for her work and the fact that because she wrote, we met. Martha responded and we both squealed at each other over the phone...for hours.

I really ADORE ( and I don't use this term lightly) Raych from Books I Done Read.

She is a fellow Canuck an all-around good egg and the smartest, funniest blogger on the internet. Bar none. She is fresh and funny and I would buy a book of her collected reviews and make other people buy it as well. She is giddy joy incarnate. READ HER

I also really like Kailana from Kailana's Written World. Kailana hails from Maritime Canada( one of my favourite regions of my fabulous country) and has an eclectic taste as well as a great sense of community.

From the publishing spectrum, my favourite blog is The Savvy Reader updated by the wonderful folk at Harper Collins Canada.

I am always excited to hear what is new in books, film and television when I visit My Tragic Right Hip.

oh yah! And authors too! I LOVE AUTHOR BLOGS!

Sometimes, as in the case with Libba Bray and Meg Cabot, I enjoy their blogs far more than their books. Strange, eh?

For what is new in Christian fiction, I often head over to Relz Reviews: though be ye warned... She rarely reviews in detail. Her blog is more an overview of what is up and coming.

And, as always, there is the great Catherine Webb: YA novelist extraordinaire who blogs under the pseudonym, Kate Griffin.

Finally, the following people need to have a blog now:

Derek Landy of the Skulduggery Pleasant Series

Lynn Austin ( to tell me how she writes things )

Enjoy Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

Happy Reading.


Amy said...

Lots of fun this book blogging world and lots of new to me blogs. ;)

Kailana said...

Very fun way of doing this! I love your blog, too. Every random post is a suprise treasure. You never know when they are going to appear! :)

Heather said...

visiting via BBAW. Love your 'how we met story.

Jess said...

Aw. I feel love-ded.

Court said...

Hey! I know those people you interviewed! That Otahyoni person is so super awesome.