One of my favorite aspects of book blogging is writing book reviews. Maybe it speaks to my background as an educator–constantly evaluating and analyzing. Whatever it is, I love to write reviews and with the advent of the internet have gone beyond reviewing solely books. In addition to posting my reviews here, I also submit them to Amazon.com.
Last year I joined Trip Advisor (nat-n-ant) and have since published a few reviews of the hundreds of places we’ve traveled to during our annual summer road trips. Though Trip Advisor has been recently criticized for review integrity, I love the site and have found many wonderful places to visit and restaurants to try that I might have otherwise missed. I have notes on so many great places (pictures, too!) and fully intend to post more reviews when I have some free time.
I also write short book reviews and recommendations for my local library. Brevity is the key to those mini-reviews–written on an index card–something that can be elusive to a chatterbox such as myself! I love suggesting great books to other people and recently got some great feedback from a teen volunteer who read Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty at my recommendation. She told me that she loved the book and read the remaining books in the series to find out what happened to the characters.
At restaurants, I always fill out comment cards complimenting on the good and noting the not-so-good. When given constructively, feedback is a valuable tool for any company that deals with the public.
So, how about you? Are you a reviewer of books or other things on sites beyond your blog? Do you write for Yelp! or some of the others that offer public opinion?
Posted in Mad Ramblings
Tagged book reviews, do you write reviews, eating, food, Megan McCafferty, reading, restaurant reviews, Sloppy Firsts, travel, trip advisor, tripadvisor reviews, what do you like, writing reviews, yelp!
Jen Lancaster will be in NYC tonight and I had grand plans to attend but just learned my presence is required elsewhere (per my boss). Suffice to say I’m none too happy about this last minute turn of events.
Though an avid reader, I’ve only ever gone to three book readings and/or signings. Maybe I’m afraid that my inner-nutcase will shine through and I’ll get wild-eyed and start fawning in the presence of literary greatness.
As a child, I think I met Judy Blume at a “Young Writers” conference. I have a hazy memory of this and Blume is from New Jersey, which strengthens my case.
A few summers ago, before her meteoric rise to stardom, Jodi Picoult came to my local library and though I hadn’t read any of her novels, I went to check her out. She was a charismatic speaker, erudite and self-deprecating, and made writing seem like something any of us could do. I didn’t own any of her books but ended up buying Plain Truth and having her sign it.
The other reading I went to was at my local Barnes & Noble. Megan McCafferty, author of the Jessica Darling series, paid homage to her old stomping grounds at my B&N. Megan was so entertaining and thankfully I didn’t make a fool of myself when speaking with her. In my book, that counts as a success. I was sorry to miss Megan’s most recent book tour for the final Jessica Darling book–I was driving home from Florida when she had a signing in Princeton.
Do you go to many readings or signings? Who were some of the most memorable authors you’ve seen or heard? Have you ever made a fool of yourself while chatting with an author (or is that just my own special talent)?
Thanks to everyone who entered to win the Jessica Darling series. As a last minute bonus, I was also able to give away two copies of the first book in the series–Sloppy Firsts–as 2nd and 3rd prizes! Random.com selected the following winners:
Congratulations BOOKISH PATTY for winning the entire series! You’ll really enjoy these books.
Congratulations are also in order for Debbie of Suburb Sanity and Heather of Book Addiction who each won a copy of the novel that started it all–Sloppy Firsts.
Thank you to everyone who participated! Let’s do this again soon!
Posted in Giveaways
Tagged book addiction, book giveaways, book line and sinker, books, contest, Jessica Darling, Marcus Flutie, Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts, suburb sanity, winners
In 1981, Santa brought me a Hello Kitty diary; I was 7 and totally smitten with Hello Kitty (as evidenced by the infamous Hello Kitty Heist of ’81). This diary began my 25+ year love affair with writing longhand. Don’t get me wrong, we had a Commodore 128 and were hip to technology, but I loved to write by hand. I used this diary (albeit sporadically) until 1988, recording all my pre-teen drama and foibles for my future self to look back on with mirth.
When I went to high school, I stopped keeping a daily diary and graduated to the marble composition notebooks for vacation journals–notice the personalized one with the collage of pictures on the cover! Our family vacations are chronicled from 1989 straight through to 2008 (though now I vacation with my husband). I started using other types of journals because the composition notebooks didn’t weather all that well.
I love looking back on old vacations–especially with my family–because I wrote down the most august things that would have long since faded from memory. A family vacation to Long Beach Island, NJ in 1991…I was a chronic overpacker even at the tender age of 16!
Or how about a page (and doodle) from 2007’s road trip that took us to Livingston, Montana?
My point is that even though I love to blog, nothing compares to keeping a longhand journal of my travels. But I wonder if anyone else out there does the same? Is writing by hand a dying hobby?
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the complete Jessica Darling series HERE. Contest ends Monday, 4/20 at 10pm EST.
Posted in Mad Ramblings
Tagged books, contests, do you keep a journal, free books, Jessica Darling, journals, life, Marcus Flutie, Megan McCafferty, reading, travel, travel journals, writing, writing by hand, writing long hand