Tag Archives: book blogs

Talk Me Down: I’m on the Twitter Fence.

Thank you to everyone for their comments, advice, and direction.  I’ve made my Twitter decision–you can see if I’m going to ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ or not HERE.

Last fall, I started hearing some noise about Twitter; I ignored the hype and continued my little life blog, thinking nothing of it.  Fast forward to March 2009 and my new book blog:  Twitter is all the rage over here in book-blogging land!

To be honest, I briefly considered joining Twitter after Christmas to keep up with my life blog buddies, but it seemed too absurd.  My blog was enough of a time suckage; I don’t have Facebook for that very reason. 

With my introduction to book blogging, Twitter seems to be an invaluable tool–I miss many discussions and buzz because I don’t ‘tweet’ or ‘follow’.  (I don’t even understand the lingo!!!!)

Could you please take a mo’ and argue FOR or AGAINST Twitter?  Do you use it?  How does it help or detract from your book blogging?  Why do so many book bloggers love it?  Will joining improve my book awareness or something? 

I’m on the Twitter fence and have to jump one way or the other.

Way back when, WHY did you start your blog?

In December 2007, I stumbled upon a few blogs and discovered an online society I never knew about.  After following two or three blogs for a few days, I decided that blogging was something I could do too.  And so, without much thought or direction (evidenced by my early posts), I started my own life blog. 

18 months later I have two blogs that I love, an ever-widening circle of ‘blogging buddies’, and have had more fun than I thought possible.  I’ve received packages of candy, goodies, books, and more from blogging friends.  I’ve gotten support when things were dicey and have laughed more times than I can count.  I love the sense of community that blogging creates.

Since debuting Book, Line, and Sinker on March 1st, my circle of blogging friends has expanded exponentially.  In addition, I’ve read some really terrific books and have written several reviews. 

What started as a whim–a “Hey, I can do this too!” idea–has blossomed into so much more.  Now, what I really want to know is:

How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?

TLC Book Tour: Precious by Sandra Novack

preciousTitle: Precious

Author: Sandra Novack

Genre/Pages: Fiction; 288 pages

Publication: Random House; 2/17/09

Rating: 4.5 BOOKMARKS

I’ve been thinking about Precious ever since I finished it late last month; Sandra Novack’s lyrical prose had a profound impact on me, hence the longer-than-usual review—this book deserves it! 

Set in rural Pennsylvania in the late 1970s, Precious tells the story of a family falling apart from the inside out.  Unable to find balance in her roles as mother, wife, and woman, Natalia Kisch is tired of feeling overwhelmed and runs off to Italy with a lover.  Shockwaves from Natalia’s decision ripple through her family, neighborhood, and community, fundamentally and irreparably damaging her children and spouse.    

Eldest daughter Eva’s anger is tinged with fear and humiliation and sets her on a self-destructive path of promiscuity.  She is powerless and can’t control anything except her own actions, which ultimately lead her to a heartrending decision. 

9-year-old Sissy exists in a hazy world, hovering between fantasy and reality.  She harbors guilt over her mother’s abandonment and over the disappearance of a former friend and neighborhood girl.  Avoidance is the only way she can cope.  At several points during the book I feared for her safety because she was so lost in her private, dreamy world.

Frank, father of the girls and Natalia’s husband, withdraws from his children, unable and unwilling to navigate the rocky waters of his emotions.  He’s ill-equipped to handle the anger, embarrassment, and pain that comes with his wife’s betrayal and abandonment.

Novack’s use of figurative language and characterization actually gave me pause at several points during the novel.  The simplicity and beauty of her diction helped to make this book one of the best novels I’ve read in the last ten months.   Themes of abandonment and loss resonate on each page.   Imagery is vivid– especially in the following passage—making Sissy’s terror palpable: 

“After Eva leaves, the day grows as long as a shadow.  By four the house will begin to feel ominous.  In the kitchen, the basement door will become a gateway to a place filled with cobwebby terror, unspeakable dread.  In the living room, Sissy will be certain someone lurks just outside the window: a mystery man, a murderer.  Upstairs, the shuttered closet in Sissy’s room will suddenly hold too many secrets; each slat will cause her to worry.”  (Novack, 22.)

I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.  It’s worthy of so much more praise than it has garnered.  I hope that with the exposure from TLC tours and book blogger word-of-mouth, it will finally receive the accolades it deserves.  Thank you to Lisa and Trish of TLC Book Tours for inviting me to host Sandra Novack’s Precious—it was truly my pleasure.

Cooking Up a Good Book Blog: What’s the recipe?

I subscribe to about 65 book blogs and over the last 8 weeks have been reading and researching to help me find balance over here on my own new book blog. Is the ‘recipe’ 2 parts reviews, 2 parts bookish-themed posts, 1 part giveaway; shake and serve over ice?

I’m working on creating a ‘recipe’ that produces a blog that’s:

  • not too dense (too many long reviews each week)
  • not too fluffy (not enough posts each week)
  • not too sweet (reviews that are afraid to critique for fear of backlash)
  • not too bitter (too many negative reviews that aren’t substantiated)

I have yet to do a ‘Sunday Salon’, ‘Teaser Tuesday’, ‘Wordless Wednesday’, or any of the other variations even though I like to read them on other blogs.

Posting 3 to 5 times each week seems to be average and since I write two blogs, it’s all I can do to keep up with that schedule. Generally, I’m going to host one review or book tour each week and will post a monthly calendar on my sidebar–‘The Crystal Ball’ (tag line: Look into the Future) detailing upcoming events.

Little by little I’m hoping to tweak and develop my book blog into one that people enjoying reading and visiting. Quality reviews, interesting posts, pictures, questions, and giveaways are the things I hope will generate interest, help my blog stay fresh, and keep readers coming back for more.

What do you think are the key ‘ingredients’ to a good book blog?

*Thank you to my dear friend EP for pointing out my mixed metaphors.  I reference baking, mixing drinks, and cooking all in one post.  Just call me Martha.