Showing posts with label BBAW 2012. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBAW 2012. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

BBAW Day 4: Pimp This Book!

Today's Book Blogger Appreciation Week challenge is to promote a book that you love, but other people don't know much about.  This was tough for me, because so many of my favorite books are well-known ("Oh wow, you love The Hunger Games?  HOW UNIQUE.").  However, I do have one fiction and one non-fiction book to highlight for you today!

My fiction pick: The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

I got this book on sale from B+N a couple of years ago, and got around to reading it last year.  If you like dystopian fiction, this is a phenomenal read.  The only reason I don't think it gets more attention (at least in the US) is because the author is Swedish and the book is a translation.  (Apparently there's only room for 1 bestselling Swedish author in this country.)  Anywho, whatever the reason, I think this book deserves way more popularity!

The novel follows Dorrit Weger in a fictional future Sweden, in which all childless women over age 50 and all childless men over age 60 are considered "dispensable".  Thus, they are sent to isolated units where their organs are essentially harvested to the more "essential" citizens that need them.  They are harvested until they die.  This has been a fact of life in Sweden for a while, but Dorrit starts to question if this is really the way her life needs to end.

This book captivated me from start to finish.  I was especially intrigued by how the author makes you contemplate the meaning of being "needed"...as in, are you really only "needed" in society if you have children? What about your siblings, parents, pets...can they "need" you in the same way?

Overall, I found this novel to be very unique, and I was surprised by the ending. The writing style makes it a quick read, but one that is guaranteed to stay with you for a while. I'll admit that my predominant emotion while reading was sadness...but that wasn't enough to keep me from wanting to find out what happened anyway.  READ IT!

My non-fiction pick: Field Notes From A Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert
I read this book a few years ago, and I still find it fascinating.  Kolbert did extensive research about global warming and climate change by traveling to various locations around the world (Greenland, the Netherlands, Alaska, etc) and explaining the specific ways that temperature shifts are affecting their environments.  These are real-life illustrations of how global warming is changing our daily life.  Kolbert also spends a bit of time talking about why many corporations and politicians are trying to downplay the effects of climate change.

I don't want to get all political on you, dear bloggers, but this is a politically charged book, no matter what side of the aisle you're on.  However, I recommend going into it with an open mind, because I think this book has important, down-to-earth information about an issue that is so often spoken of in generalities or impossible-to-understand data.  Read, learn, and reflect.  If any of you have read this, I am very interested in your thoughts!

What lesser-known books have YOU enjoyed lately?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BBAW Day 3: What Does Book Blogging Mean To You?

Today's Book Blogger Appreciation Week theme is to talk about what book blogging means to you.  As a newer blog, this is a tough subject to tackle, because I've barely had enough time to take in the whole blogging experience!  So instead, I'll touch on how reading and blogging fit into my already-crazy life..

I'll do a little Before and After to illustrate this for you.

So, Before.  As in, before I had my son in mid-2011.  I had many, many hobbies (I'm kind of a hobby whore), but reading was always the one that was given the most time.  I would read in the morning before showering for work. I would close my office door and read on every lunch break.  I would listen to audiobooks in the car.  I would read in waiting rooms and Starbucks lines.  I would curl up in bed on rainy Saturdays and just READ.
Actual photo I took as I was reading on vacation in 2010. Current me is all like, "MUST BE NICE"
'Twas a simpler time.

After.  I am not shy to admit that my son is now my favorite hobby.  Stacking blocks and singing Old McDonald are my new MO, and I do it like a boss.  However, over the last 14 months, I've had to figure out new ways to fit in my reading, because while I love flying my son over the dog like an airplane and making him laugh hysterically, I do so desperately want to read, as well.  And Lil Dude is only interested in reading Goodnight Moon so many times in a row.
That look means he has many burning questions about Moby Dick.
How do I do it?  Well, I still wake up a little early some days so I can read a few pages before my son wakes up.  On the days that I work, I still soak in reading time during my lunch.  At night, I'm much more likely than Before to read vs watch TV.  I used to just listen to audiobooks once every few months, but now I always have one--because my commutes are precious reading times as well.  And when most moms ask for "me time" at the salon or the mall, I usually take those times to go to the library, or go lay in bed with a book.

Is it harder to find time to read now?  Sure.  But I feel like I appreciate that time a lot more than I did before.  So in some ways, I'd say reading has become a more valued activity for me since my son arrived.

Now, you're probably thinking...why in the world did you start a blog if you already have NO time?  I don't have a good explanation, other than to say that the pull to start this blog was so strong, I couldn't help but just do it.  I've read book blogs for a long time, and always thought to myself, "I could do that...if I had the time...I would LOVE to do that."  Even before my son was born, I felt like book blogging was a natural fit for me.  I read a lot, I always write (albeit small) reviews on Goodreads, and I think the blogging community is a great thing.  But I never pulled the trigger because it was never the right time.

However, after recently closing out a personal blog of mine, I realized that it would NEVER be the "right" time.  Life is always going to be busy, so if I wanted to start this blog, I had to just do it and figure out how to fit it in as I went.  And that's what I did.

Now, three weeks in, I'm so glad that I did.  Yes, it has been very time consuming as I get started and work on layout, post ideas, etc.  I've had a few nights (especially while my son was teething, good Lord) where I should have gone to bed much, much earlier.  But it has been worth it.  I love having the opportunity to share more in-depth reviews than I did on Goodreads.  I think all the new bloggers I've made connections with are wonderful.  I am thankful for the opportunity to review ARCs in my blogging capacity.  And I'm getting excited for all of the new books I've heard about through the blog community.

Mostly though, I've realized that this blog is a natural fit for me.  I don't feel like it's an imposition on my time, or that it's a pain in the arse to sit down and write a post.  I look forward to it.  I get all giddy about it sometimes; I have to go lay on my fainting couch whenever I get a Twitter mention or a new post comment.
Me, reading on my fainting couch.  Oh my stars.
Bottom line: it's a good freakin' time.  And I am looking forward to sharing it with all of you as I keep calm and blog on.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBAW Day 2: Interview Swap with Joy's Book Blog!

I gotta say, I think this is the BBAW day that I have been looking forward to the most.  Today is Interview Swap day!  I was paired up with Joy from Joy's Book Blog, and we are highlighting each other's blogs on our sites today.  She makes an effort to mix her reading passions with health-conscious tips and discussions, which I think makes her pretty unique in the book blog world.  I had a great time communicating with her, and I'm excited to share her responses with you!  Read on:

Joy with her mother's copy of Little Women, inscribed from her mother for Christmas 1946...how cool!

1. Starting with some basics: where are you from?  What do you do (when you're not blogging, of course!), both professionally and/or for fun?
I grew up in the small Mississippi River town of Louisiana, Missouri and now I live in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis. I'm a librarian, not currently working in a library. I spend my time gardening, cooking, and writing. 
2. What inspired you to start your blog (especially the combination of reading and fitness posts)?
Once I was no longer working in a library, I started Joy's Book Blog to be part of the book blogging community as an outlet for talking about books. Readers' Workouts, the weekly meme for bookish people who exercise, was started by Mari at Bookworm with a View. I took it over because I liked the accountability. I've been rather amazed at how much we have in common as reading athletes, from the necessity of making difficult choices between books and exercise to always being on the look out for bookish ways to keep ourselves entertained while working out. 

3. If you had to illustrate your reading preferences in 3 books, which 3 books would you choose and why?
Let's go with Ireland Awakening by Edward Rutherfurd (http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2012/06/22/book-review-ireland-awakening-by-edward-rutherfurd/) to illustrate the books I read for fun -- novels that take me to exotic times and spaces. 
Why Calories Count by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim (http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2012/06/30/book-review-why-calories-count-by-marion-nestle-and-malden-nesheim/) can stand in for the books that support my healthy lifestyle.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2011/01/28/book-review-the-warmth-of-other-suns/) represents the books that my book club reads about race in America -- I have learned so much about American history, culture, and psychology from this book club along with making terrific friends!
4. What book has been on your TBR pile the longest?
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Now with all the controversy surrounding it, who knows if I'll ever get to it?
5. What were some of your favorite books in childhood/adolescence?
I loved mystery series starting with the Bobbsey Twins in third grade, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys around sixth grade, and Perry Mason in high school. 
6. What's your favorite blog post that you've written so far?
7. What's been your biggest challenge as a book blogger?
Time. But, then, that's my biggest challenge for everything.
8. Where do you hope to take your blog in the future?
I would like to build a larger community of health-conscious readers. I'm not quite sure how to make a book blog do that, so I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks for the interview, Joy!  Head on over here to discover Joy's blog, and read my interview!

Monday, September 10, 2012

BBAW Day 1: Appreciate!

Happy Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  Each day this week, participating bloggers will have a different topic to discuss.  Today's topic is appreciation: highlighting other book blogs that you love to read.

I have SO many that I could pick (seriously, sometimes my Google Reader gets more of a workout than my books do), but I decided to just mention three new-to-the-scene blogs that I've started following, because as a new book blogger, I love giving props to fellow newbies!

First up, Rinn Reads.  She's a UK book blogger who just started up last month, and already has like triple the GFC followers that I do.  IMPRESSIVE, girlfriend!  She's jumped right into blogging with some great reviews and memes.  I think Rinn is going to be around for a long time!

Also have to mention Nouveau Novels, run by two lovely bloggers (Meg and Liz) and also just started last month.  (Should we start an August 2012 debut club?)  They already have some good books posted, and their review system makes me giggle (each book gets its own...their latest earned 5 Spirit Bears!).

Final new blog mention goes to The Readdicts, two best friends from India who are "truly, madly, deeply in love with books" and it shows!  I like that they are including reviews from Indian authors that I might not have heard of otherwise.  Welcome, ladies!

So, tell me--what book blogs are you appreciating these days?
 
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