Shelf Discovery Challenge Wrap Up Post

How did the time sneak up on me so fast?  Julie, from Booking Mama, created  a wonderful challenge to host –  all about the rediscovery of classic teenage fare,  and I hope she hosts a part II so that I can redeem myself a little! But more on that later.  Shelf Discovery, by Lizzie Skurnick is a great book to guide you back through the classics. I laughed all the way through it and disagreed with some of the assessments, but really appreciated the trip down memory lane.

I hosted a mini-challenge being nosy and asking all about how people were finding the books that they already read compared to books that they were reading for the first time.  Julie is the winner, after I picked a random number using  Julie gets the $10 gift certificate to the bookstore of her choice.  Congratulations Julie, and thanks you for being such a great host!

Now to see how I did.  You know what they say about good intentions…

Let’s take a look at what I planned to read, in black.  In blue, is what I actually did read.  Don’t laugh! I read both books in 2009, and then 2010 just galloped away from me.  Can you believe that it is the last day in April?

I managed to have a lot of fun, though.  Like I said, Shelf Discovery is a great book, and Julie is a wonderful host.   I had a lot of fun in the hashtag conversations on Twitter and reading all of the other book reports that the challenge participants were writing.  I even managed to cough up one of my own.

  • Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George
  • Island of The Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
  • Stranger With My Face, by Lois Duncan
  • An Old Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott
  • Caroline, Willo Davis Roberts

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Don’t I get points for trying?

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Find Out What’s In My Reverent Hands

Just before Aarti from Booklust launched the Spotlight Series, which I love, with Chris and My Friend Amy, I discovered her blog.  I can’t remember what it was that bought me there, maybe it was seeing her comment on another blogs or maybe it was the feature that she had going on at the time, Rosie Riveter’s, where she asked people to help her shine a light on strong women in fiction.  Rosie ran its course, and Aarti started a new feature about books that I  just LOVE, called With Reverent Hands!

After seeing all of the droolworthy recommendations that people were giving, I had to jump in with one of my own.  Visit Aarti at Booklust to find out one book that I think everyone should read.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

And if you aren’t already reading Aarti’s blog, you should.  I have found so many wonderful fiction and non fiction books there, that it’s becoming a problem.  Really.

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Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk, by Robyn Okrant – Book Review

35-year-old yoga instructor, graduate degree candidate and Chicagoan, Robyn Okrant, sets out to follow all of the instructions that Oprah Winfrey issues on her show, website  and magazine for one year.   Okrant proposes to investigate what living Oprah’s billionaire lifestyle will have on ardent followers with average and middle class incomes. Anything that comes out of Oprah’s mouth with a “do” or  “you must” and any advice articles in the magazine and on the web must be investigated and carried out.

Okrant also diligently watches each episode so that she doesn’t miss a thing that Oprah tells her viewers they should do, and even re-runs don’t let her off the hook.  She watches those too, much to the chagrin of her husband who has to suffer the financial, physical, and emotional effects that this experiment has on their marriage.

There are a rash of books out now from bloggers-turned-authors and this latest one had a premise which interested me.  I wanted to know how she would manage some of Oprah’s more extravagant requests, but I think that her basic premise is flawed in that, I hope,  most women are more discerning than to run out and bankrupt themselves trying to live above their means in an attempt to do everything that Oprah says to do.  I always view advice coming from any source, including talk shows, as a suggestion – and if it is appropriate and makes sense for my experience then I run with it. Hopefully we don’t just all run out and do everything we hear willy-nilly, but that is what Okrant chooses to do for the year, and oddly she doesn’t seem to credit most of Oprah’s audience with the sense to not do this.

The book was well-written and was mostly easy to read, but after a while Okrant started to wear on me with her constant money woes, which are of course exacerbated by the ridiculousness of what she has set out to do.  At the time of her project she is a yoga instructor who is also pursuing a graduate degree, so there are constant reference to how she doesn’t have the money to buy a new wardrobe, go see the movie, and buy the books that Oprah views as must sees and reads. Okrant substitutes her own recipes for the ones that “Oprah” has suggested with both rare and sometimes extravagantly expensive ingredients.  Her family gamely agrees to replace their beloved traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a meal from “O” Magazine, with results that are less than pleasing to the palate. Quality time with her husband and friends are  sacrificed to the endless research of Oprah’s proclamations and the ways she is trying to make them either fit into her budget, or the way that she knows they will exceed her budget.  She doesn’t seem to be very happy living life Oprah-style, but it is hard to muster up much sympathy when this madness is self-imposed.

Okrant’s documentation of her experiences didn’t go deep enough to satisfy my curiosity, and a topic as broad as this is probably far better followed on a blog where maybe more attention to the details of each undertaking can be explored.  Okrant takes Oprah to task for being inconsistent in her recommendations and having competing interests of materialism and being your best self.  Arguably the tenets that Oprah promotes the most seem to be inherently at odds with each other, but I wonder if a person exists who can be completely consistent while doing a television program 5 days a week for over 20 years. I struggle to figure out what I am about from day-to-day, much less twenty years.  The nature of humanity seems to be competing interests, which we then harness for our particular make-up, and Oprah the show is a business.  Implicitly trusting businesses without applying critical think is not a good move, ever.

Okrant also seems to be concerned with issues of privacy and becoming a public person, which seem naive at best when you take to daily blogging about one of the wealthiest and most famous women in the world -one who is known to have a rabid fan base.  I’m not sure what she was thinking, but it is a little hard to believe that she didn’t expect a project of this magnitude to garner any attention.  I found it odd that Okrant was criticizing Oprah on her transparency, especially when she mysteriously gets a book deal out of what she is doing, yet she doesn’t go into how that came about or when she started receiving money from it. While she says this was an experiment into the Oprah phenomena, she certainly benefited from it, which is fine, but I think that she should have been more clear about what those benefits were and put them put there while she is talking about how she struggled with her conscience about what she should do or not do.

In the end this was an interesting read for me, but only in spurts.  There were charts that detailed all that she had done at the end of each month, what it cost her, and some notes on what she felt about her experience – and those were fascinating and fun to read. However I didn’t feel that motivated to finish and I picked it up and put it down here and there.  When my mother, who tivos Oprah, asked if she should read it,  my answer was a shrug.  Great topic abut more depth was need to make it a compelling and worthwhile read.

As an Amazon Associate, I’ll make a tiny profit if you click on the book cover or link, and buy this book or another through one of my links.

Book Information: Living Oprah, by Robyn Okrant
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: Center Street – January 4, 2010 – Hardcover – 272 pages
Author Website & Other Resources & Links: Living Oprah Website
Source: Passed on to me from a friend

Read More Reviews At: Perfect In Our ImperfectionsBookgasm

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Hannah’s List, by Debbie Macomber – Book Review + Book & Visa Card Giveaway

Michael Everett is grieving the loss of his wife Hannah, whose death from Stage 4 ovarian cancer destroyed the foundation of his life and the plans made of happily ever after for himself and his wife.  Knowing that he would wallow and resist moving on after her death, Hannah entrusts her brother Richard with a letter to be delivered to Michael on the first anniversary of her death.  In her letter Hannah expresses how happy she would be if Michael were able to find someone else with whom to share and live a full life. She wants him to remarry.

Knowing her husband as she does, Hannah doesn’t trust him to do this on his own.  She makes it as easy as possible for him to abide  by her wishes when she  provides him with a list of three women, each of whom she thinks would make a suitable wife.  There was something about the premise of this book that I found intriguing.  I hadn’t seen this particular take on moving on after the death of a loved one, and I was curious because I wanted to see whom the widower would meet, how he would go about dating and whom his choice would be in the end.

Reading Hannah’s List, was like watching a Lifetime movie.  (I should know because I have watched quite a few of these movies with my mom, and she will indeed probably be the recipient of my copy of Hannah’s List.) There is a certain type of nostalgia that I experienced reading this because it reminds me of being home from college and relaxing with my mom in front of the tv, one Lifetime movie inevitably leading to the next before you look up and realize that you have spent the whole day watching those movies.  You know exactly what to expect, the characters that you will meet, and with whom they will end up.  You know that they will somehow mess it up and that they will somehow find their way back together again – and somehow, that’s okay.  There is a certain comfort in that, and that is what this book had.

This was an easy read that tackled the issues of love, loss, and rebuilding life in a very straightforward manner.  The women in the novel seemed to be more fully realized than I found the character of Michael.  Grief  may have stricken the joy from his life and the character from his personality, and that could be why he was so blah all the time, but I enjoyed the stories of Leanne, Winter and Macy. All of the women have past entanglements that are preventing them from moving on fully to new relationships, and they were frustrating in the fact that they immediately ran off to tell their exes that there was a new man in their life.  I’m not exactly sure what they thought would be accomplished by that strategy, but there you go.

Macomber covers a wide variety of issues from coping with the loss of a spouse, our expectations of the grieving process of others, and the detrimental effects of the lack of trust and communication within a relationship.  She often makes wise observations through the characters about their own and others’ behavior, and while most times I wished for more depth to the story and for Michael to be more of a dynamic character, this just isn’t that type of book.  I did read Hannah’s List in little more than a day and found the book to be entertaining and light.  This is a comfort read, and there are no surprises.  If you are looking for something deeper – move right along, but if you sometimes have a bit of a sweet tooth when it comes to books, or like me have that leftover Lifetime movie habit that you just can’t shake, you might want to consider this for a treat.

As an Amazon Associate, I’ll make a tiny profit if you click on the book cover or link, and buy this book or another through one of my links.

Book Information: Hannah’s List, by Debbie Macomber
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: Mira – April 27, 2010 – Hardcover – 416 pages
Author Website & Other Resources & Links: Hannah’s List Website Debbie Macomber’s Website
Source: Review Copy Sent By The Publisher

Read More Reviews At: Giving Reading A ChanceTake Me Away

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Seven, by Jacqueline Leo

Are you a Debbie Macomber fan?  Looking for a an enjoyable comfort read?  Then enter to win some of the Debbie Macomber’s books.  One luck winner will also get some of her books and a $25 Visa gift card, good for anything, including more books and snacks! See the details below.

One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • Additional titles by Debbie Macomber with a $25 VISA gift card
  • Copy of Hannah’s List

Two (2) additional winners will receive a copy of the book!

Simply leave a comment to enter from today until Tuesday, May 11th 2010.

This book giveaway is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail.) Books are valued at $24.95 each.  No purchase necessary to enter giveaway.  Winner will be drawn at random at the close of this contest and notified via e-mail.  Books will be shipped by the publisher or their agent.  Good luck!

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National Poetry Month: Thoughts on Poetry & Your Ten Favorite Words, by Reb Livingston

Recently, Serena, who writes the blog Savvy Verse and Wit, was a guest on That’s How I Blog!  A poetry enthusiat, Serena chose a book of poetry for us to read. Well, really, I chose it.  She suggested three books, and the topic of the one that I finally picked seemed to be the most accessible.  It was about the battle of the sexes and the nature of the relationships between men and women.  My other choice, I believe, was a book of poetry on nature and the environment, but there is a reason that I haven’t read Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman.  Nature is also the chief reason that I had such a problem reading George Eliot’s Silas Marner.  I love nature as much as the next girl, but pages and pages of ruminations on trees and leaves do nothing to contribute to my normally charming personality being that they make me want to throw things, like this other book I just read.

So anyway, to make a long story short I picked Your Ten Favorite Words, by Reb Livingston to read for That’s How I Blog! Equally skeptical about reading poetry and of my patience and ability to interpret it, I thought that a book of poetry on the battle of the sexes might be more understandable and engaging.  Boy was I wrong.

The experience of reading these poems, much like the experience of viewing some  modern art, left me completely mystified.  It was very pretty to the ear when read out loud, but there were very few points in the book where I felt like I had a true grasp of what was going on.  There were a number of poems with references to cabbages – again, completely mystified. Some poems would start out with lines that led me to believe that finally stumbled upon a poem I could understand only to devolve into seemingly random musings on topics I couldn’t quite discern.  Other poems which started out making no sense would offer the odd coherent sentence with a gem of knowledge.  I read to understand, so reading this was a bit frustrating for me.

I admit that after awhile I read quickly, and with goal of finishing. I suspect  that these might start to read better with more care and constant re-reading, but I’m just not interested enough by this type of poetry in general (nothing particular against this book or author) to do that.

While this book flew right over my head (repeatedly!), it did lead to a fascinating conversation with both Serena and Anna, who writes the blog Diary of an Eccentric.  We talked a lot about how some poetry seems to be deeply personal and has its own vocabulary and context.  I often felt when I was reading Your Ten Favorite Words that there was a code or something going on to which I wasn’t privy, but would have unlocked the poems for me.  The type of poetry I found in Livingston’s book seems to be more about audience to me. There seems to be more gain in being invested in the author’s world view and in the way that she uses language.

Just an fyi – I don’t consider this a review because I really don’t read enough poetry to give any type of guidance on it that might be useful. These are just some thoughts I had when reading and thinking about this book.  For more comprehensive reviews of Your Ten Favorite Words, I refer you to Anna and Serena.

As an Amazon Associate, I’ll make a tiny profit if you click on the book cover or link, and buy this book or another through one of my links.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Seven, by Jacqueline Leo

Take a look at  more stops on the blog tour Serena has been hosting for  National Poetry Month all this month.

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Just One Thing: 3 Ways I Plan To Power Through 100+ To-Do List Items in 7 Days or Less

Last year I read Seven, by Jacqueline Leo and was intrigued by what she had to say about multi-tasking – the ways that it can re-wire your brain, and how the majority of people of a certain age aren’t even equipped for it in the first  place.  I also read an article in Scientific American that explained human beings were capable of keeping track of two things at a time only when there is a worthile reason to do so. Anything over that leads to poor decision making, and I suspect that watching my favorite tv show while working on a project, checking e-mail, and being on Twitter are not as worthwhile for my brain to track as I might think.

Being an inveterate multitasker, my brain might be wired for it, but I still have the sneaking suspicion that I would be much better off if I chose a task and focused on it until completion, or at the very least worked on it without distractions until the allotted time I have assigned is up, and it is time for me to move on to something else.  In a  rare off Twitter discussion with Jen, I mentioned that I thought I had given myself a version of technology induced attention deficit disorder.  My concentration and attention span are shot.  Jen and I decided to devote a week to testing out unitasking, and in her Sunday Salon post at Devourer of Books entitled “One Thing At A Time”, she laid out her goals for the week.  Here is what I am thinking:

  • Make Lists My Friends – I love to make lists and I am often guilty of recreating the same list more than once.  I am not so good at revisiting my lists and actually checking things off.  I might check off a few items and then the list is quickly abandoned.  I have also been known to make a list just for the pleasure of feeling accomplished and checking the thing I just did off of it.  Crazy!  I know.  This week I am making lists related to certain projects and will add to, check off and use the same list for each and every time.  This scares me, but this week I will do it.
  • Hulu Must GoI heard that they are making it a subscription channel, and I won’t pay for Hulu, so this is just as good a time as any to wean myself off of having a window open with some show playing in the background.  If I am going to watch TV or a video, I will commit to taking the time to sit and do just that.
  • Assign Time & Find More Time – Time is always an issue and I think it will be less problematic for me if I set aside the time to do specific tasks. The big things on my list to investigate the efficiency of unitasking are my hugest time sucks – Twitter, Google Reader and E-Mail.  They will each get their time to shine and after that I have to move on.  I also won’t do these things while I am doing something else.  If it is urgent and I feel like I might forget to e-mail or tweet about it, then I will write it down on my to-do list so that I can take care of it at the right time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day so I won’t get all crazy and say I will do more.  I’m starting out with my focus on the list I have created above, and I will see if I should give serious though to kicking multitasking to the curb.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Seven, by Jacqueline Leo

How do you feel?  Does multitasking work for you?

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Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt – Book Review

Cover Image Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt

Cover Image Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary SharrattBess Southerns can remember a time when the old religion was practiced, when she was young and beautiful, food was more plentiful and everyone was just a little bit more prosperous. As an older woman she has seen England torn between Catholicism’s practices and rituals of the old, and the new and more austere Protestant religion – which doesn’t suffer belief in the old religion lightly.  Amidst religious intolerance and suspicion, Bess not only meets her familiar spirit but also comes into her powers as a “cunning woman” – using knowledge and incantations of the old ways along with traditional herbs and cures,  she quickly becomes a respected healer of both people and animals in spite of her poverty and humble beginnings.  It’s when Bess teaches her daughter, granddaughter and best friend her skill that the life they had managed to build begins to fall apart.

The notion of witches and past practices of  torturing innocent people for supposedly practicing witchcraft has always been a thing of interest for me, so I expected that I would enjoy reading Mary Sharratt’s latest novel, Daughters of The Witching Hill. I grew up with cartoon references to witches, read about them in my favorite books as a child, and as a teenager learned about the Salem Witch Trials and studied The Crucible, by Arthur Miller in English class.  Witch stories are familiar to me. However, I was totally unprepared for just how deeply ensconced I would immediately become in Daughters of the Witching Hill.

Reading historical fiction can be a powerful learning experience when you are reading a novel that has done it right, and I definitely got that feeling here. Religious and social history were woven seamlessly into the story and crystal clear were the details of  life that villagers in 17th century England led based on their social class.  More than from any other book I have read in recent memory, I learned about how poverty operated at this time in the different villages. Seeing Bess and her daughter set out to do a full day of back breaking work in return for a modest meal, if they were lucky, but more often than not a crust of bread, really brought me into the story. Sharratt made their circumstances tangible and dealt with the realities of how they lived, addressed the issues of their cleanliness, and examined how they were perceived by other more well to do inhabitants of their community.

Sharratt creates a palpable relationship with her audience, and her words are to be savored.  I enjoyed reading what she had written just as much as I did engaging with the characters.  There were many paths of thought that this book encouraged me to explore – the religious freedom that I often fail to think about on a day to day basis chief among them.  I am also very grateful that for the most part we no longer live in a world where we can be accused of witchcraft just because someone who spoke to us last should get a cold, or have a stroke or heart attack.  Back in the time of The Pendle Witches, bad timing and another person’s ill health could land you in a lot of hot water or cost you your life.

If you enjoy reading historical fiction, are interested in the history of witchcraft, or love stories with well-written and strong female characters, then I can’t recommend Daughters of the Witching Hill highly enough.  I was into this book in a big way from the moment I picked it up, and I was both absorbed in the day to day life of the characters and anxious too see what would happen next, and just how their story would end.  The dilemmas that these Pendle Witches and friends faced in order to survive and the hard decisions and acts of betrayal they considered against friends and family were riveting and this thoughtfully rendered take is not to be missed.

Highly Recommended.

As an Amazon Associate, I’ll make a tiny profit if you click on the book cover or link, and buy this book or another through one of my links.

Book Information: Daughters of the Witching Hill, by Mary Sharratt
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – April 7, 2010 – Trade Paperback – 352 pages
Author Website & Other Resources & Links: Mary Sharratt’s WebsiteIn Search of the Pendle Witches, by Mary Sharratt
Source: Review Copy Sent By The Publisher

Read More Reviews At: Jenn’s BookshelvesMommy’s ReadingBooking Mama Peeking Between The PagesReadin’ and Dreamin’ – Terra’s Book Blog – Bookworm’s Dinner

Want More Like This? Try: The Witch’s Trinity, by Erica MailmanThe Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,   2009   Jan 2, 2010

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An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott – Book Review

In An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott, Polly Milton visits her wealthy cousins in the city over the holidays and stays over the course of a few months.  A country girl, her mother has raised her with many simple and wholesome virtues, preparing the girl to become  a woman who cares about not only her family, but also about the plight of others.  Polly laments the fact that she doesn’t see the same depth of character and goodness in her cousins, Tom and Fanny.  Tom mostly harasses others and is careless of anyone but himself, and Fanny is not only shallow, but runs with a fast crowd – often deceiving her parents about her activities.

Her cousins’ relationships with their families are strained – the father distant, the mother nervous and strange, and the grandmother ignored and shoved up in a room upstairs.  Polly sets about cultivating relationships with each of the family members and restores the adults in part to the children.   The first half of the book ends when Polly returns home after brightening all the lives that she touches.  The novel resumes when Polly returns to make her own living by giving music lessons, and once again this old-fashioned girl sets out to make changes in big city lives.

Have you ever read a book that you frustrated you so much and that you disliked so much that it calls into question everything you have ever felt about other works of the same author?  An author you thought you loved?  This is that book for me and it is totally unexpected. I’ve read quite  a few of Louisa May Alcott’s books growing up.  I loved Little WomenLittle Men and Eight Cousins. The heroines have never ended up marrying whom I wanted them to, but I have found a way to make peace with that. I’ve read Little Women as recently as college and still enjoyed it, but An Old-Fashioned Girl, which in all honesty probably isn’t that much different from the books I’ve mentioned loving, made me want to throw things.

It is so preachy and full of moralizing that I couldn’t even take it.  And that goody two shoes Polly, is a thousand times worse than Melanie in Gone With The Wind.  She’s not just good herself, but hopes and dreams for others to be good.  I wanted to beat her up.

“I don’t know much, and that’s the reason why I’m grateful for your kindness to Will.  I don’t care what stories they tell about you, I’m sure you won’t lead him to trouble, but keep him straight, for my sake.  You know I have lost one brother, and Will takes Jimmy’s place to me now.”

The tears in Polly’s eyes as she said that made Tom vow a tremendous vow to himself to stand by Will through thick and thin and “keep him straight for Polly’s sake,” feeling all the time how ill-fitted he was for such a task.”

“I’ll do my best, he said heartily as he pressed the hand Polly gave him with a look that assured her that he felt the appeal to his honor, and that thenceforth the country lad was safe from all the temptations Tom could have offered him.

Gag me!

I really don’t have that much to say.   I suffered through a whole book full of quotes like the ones above, and far from inspiring goodness and kindness in my heart, they put me in one of the foulest reading moods I’ve ever experienced in a lifetime of reading. I rolled my eyes so much that I gave myself a headache – several times a page sometimes.  I think I even caught myself grinding my teeth, and I definitely had to make myself relax my jaw.

A morality tale that I might have been been enamored of as a child strikes me as treacly and annoying as an adult.  Don’t read past the age of twelve.

As an Amazon Associate, I’ll make a tiny profit if you click on the book cover, and buy this book or another through one of my links.

Book Information: An Old Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: Puffin Books – Reissued November 1, 1996 – Paperback – 345 miserable pages
Book’s Source: From my personal library collection.

Read More Reviews At: Books Love Me

Reading Challenges: Shelf Discovery

Related Reading From My Library: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott – Little Men, by Louisa May Alcott – March, by Geraldine Brooks – Louisa May Alcott, by Harriet Reisen – The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, by Kelly O’Connor McKnees

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,  2009   Jan 2, 2010

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That’s How I Blog! Half A Year Talking to Bloggers Who Blog About Books

Last night I was chatting with Brooke from the Bluestocking Guide about books and her blog on That’s How I Blog! and I realized that she is the 25th blogger to appear on the show, and that when I chat with Philip (or King Rat) from Rat’s Reading, he will be my 26th guest, and I will have been interviewing blogger for half a year already!  Hold on!  I need to sit down.  Time has gone by astonishingly quickly.  Philip’s appearance on the show will mark the first time that I will have a male guest on That’s How I Blog!  That hasn’t been for a lack of trying, ny the way, but interesting timing.

When I sat down for my first chat with Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and hadn’t thought past the first 12 guests, much less the first 26! I have to say that I have had a blast getting to chat with the guests on my show and the That’s How I Blog! challenge participants. Have I mentioned that the grand prise will be a reading wedge pillow.  Oh, I haven’t yet.  I am waiting until I post the MckLinky for reviews to do that.  I have to think about what I want to do to celebrate my half year of the show.

Chatting with bloggers about books, blogging trends and what the effort that goes behind their blogs has been fantastic. Make sure you check out the stories behind these awesome bloggers and blogs, if  you missed them the first time around.  And e-mail me, because you want to come on show!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Catching Fire, by Suzanne  Collins

Edited to say that I can’t count, and that Brooke was indeed my 26th guest!  Philip is lucky number 27.

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