Armchair BEA is Over!

Wow!  It was a wild week.

So many people writing and thinking about the state of book blogging.  I was lucky to get to read blog posts and comments and see ideas begin to bubble. I watched videos and saw pictures and envied those who actually attended. I missed out of the twitter parties mostly because I have never seen a way to mange participation in them. There was so much energy and kindness.  It truly reminded me that the Internet could be a community.

Now having said all of that there was one thing missing.  Where were the books?  Other than Day Two the posts where about blogging.  I liked that.  I did.  But I missed the books. I am not sure how to fix it.  Keeping up with posting is hard enough without suggesting more than one post a day.  But I would have like to hear people talk more about the books and a little less about how to get ARCs or how they can get ARCs or how they can make money at this blogging thing.

Now that said there are some people who I will be keeping my eye on.  People who seem to blog for the joy of the book not for the sport of the numbers and the ARCs. That is what I will leave ABEA with, a community which is just the tiniest bit larger.


Experts Say…. ABEA

So what do the experts say? I am not sure. I know that I am not an expert but I can tell you what I would like to see on blogs.

1. Site Design – I hate to be a snob and I know that everyone is not an expert but site design is hugely important to me.  I am constantly tinkering with my design so that it includes the things/widgets I think will interest people but also remains “clean” looking.  Maybe it is just me but I tend to have a hard time with cluttered blogs.

2. While I appreciate the need to generate numbers so that bloggers can request and get ARCs, I hate when there are 200 steps in Rafflecopter before you can enter.  I don’t want to follow you 400 different ways merely to artificially boost your numbers and get your giveaway, I want to follow you because you produce great reviews and interesting posts.

3. This leads to my last suggestion, great reviews and interesting posts. I know that I am lacking in both lately and I am the pot calling the kettles, etc.etc.  However, post about books; ones you love, ones you hate, ones you love to hate.  Post about trends and opinions and things you have gotten to do. Post about how you have not posted because you had a baby or went back to school or life just got you down.  But post interesting things and I will follow you.


Beyond Your Blog – ABEA

I have never viewed myself as a writer; I am a reader who likes to talk about books.  But because when I started this blog I knew few people who read in the same genres as I do, I needed somewhere to talk about books where like minded people might come.  So a few years later here we are.  I blog about books.  I review books. I do book memes.  And this year I am hosting a challenge (1). For me blogging is mostly about wanting to make connections to other bloggers who feel as passionately as I do about books.

I have rarely received ARCs, but the one I have gotten was a doozy.  I am still so glad I got to read The Magician King early. For my birthday I received a Color Nook.  I am hoping that I will be able to up my e-ARCs through both NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Finally, I have been pretty open about the fact that I am an Amazon Associate.  Most links to books will result in my getting a very small cut if your purchase.  Other links to authors and other products are not monetized in any way.

And if nothing else … Blogging has brought me here to participating in and volunteering for ABEA!

(1) Poorly so far due to a crazy last minute job teaching which ate my life from January until June.

Let’s Talk Networking (ABEA)

This topic is hard to write about for me because I have done almost nothing to network in the real world. I am living in a small city, a very small city, where there are few book stores and those stores have very few events.  Of the events they have almost none appeal to my reading preferences.  So I am fairly insular in my blogging.  The one thing that I have done, once, was write a review for the local paper.  I guess I never saw that as networking so much as a favorite to a friend.

One thing to take away from ABEA this year, is more news reviews and sometimes we need to step away from the computer and step into the world.


Ideas so far from reading other posts:

  1. Meetups for readers
  2. Book Retreat
  3. Cards

Best of 2012

According to Goodreads I am 6 books behind my pace for meeting my goal.  I think much of that is a result of picking up the adjunct position which kept me from blogging most of the Spring.  Let’s hope that this summer helps me catch up.  Driving to Florida in a few weeks will definitely help since I can read in the car.  And that is a lot of in the car.
So far I have not read things which have blown me away that way that last year’s answer to this question did.  There is no The Magicans on my list this year.  That said there are a good number of 5 star reads just none that made me wish there were 10 stars.
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)
There were so many things that I loved about this book.  But mostly I loved its main character, Katsa and her relationship with Prince Po.  This book I hounded my daughter to read since the bad/good guy romance triangle is in so many of her books these days.  I want more of them and their strong adult relationship.
Zombies vs. Unicorns
Zombies Vs. Unicorns
Good stories and great commentary.  I rarely give anthologies 5 stars but this one got it on the commentary from the editors alone.
Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book One
Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles, #1)
Oh do I have a weakness for snark and Atticus is full of it.  There are echos of Dresden here which make it very good in my opinion.  Also it is a paranormal without the romance.  Now while I certainly like a good romance, it is nice to see people write something else every once in awhile.
Death Masks: A Novel of the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, Book 5)  Blood Rites: A Novel of the Dresden Files  Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8)
Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5); Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6); Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8)
I listened to all of these on my 2+ hours a day in the car on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays last semester.  While I hated the commute, James Marsters reading Harry Dresden certainly made it easier.
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale
Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)
This one was a reread for my book club but it had to be included because Holly Black is a goddess. Between this series, the Curse Workers series, Spiderwick, Bordertown, and so many more she is quickly earning a place ay my dream writer’s dinner.

ArmchairBEA Interview

1. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I read a lot.  I have a problem with reading one book at a time.  I find I can’t keep one book close enough to my person to not have to go searching when I have 5 minutes to read a few pages. So I scatter books throughout the house and cars and always have something in arms reach.

I am currently reading: Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Three by Kevin Hearne, Pandemonium (Delirium) by Lauren Oliver, The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter and finally for non-fiction I am currently reading St. Brigid: Patroness of Ireland by Joseph A. Knowles and an article titled “Rainbow for a Reign: the Colours of a Queen’s Wardrobe” by Jane A. Lawson.


2. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

The reason I chose a medieval motif for my blog redesign was that I have for the past 3 years been involved in The Society for Creative Anachronism.  My daughter wanted to join and I joined with her.  I am having so much fun and I have met some wonderful people, some of whom have become good friends.  I am learning about Tudor and Elizabethan garb making, archery and  arrow-making as well as other other Arts and Sciences.


3. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

A good friend of mine and I play the Dinner Party Game. Who would you invited to your dinner party.  You have room for 5 people.  I recently, after reading Lev Grossman’s AMA on Reddit, decided I needed an authors’ only dinner.  Included at this dinner would be:

Lev Grossman

Neil Gaiman

Jim C. Hines

Catherynne Valente

David Sedaris


4. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

OK, I admit it.  I am a fantasy whore. I would go just about anyplace, any setting with magic and wonder.  But I also have a very soft spot for learning if I had to pick one place it would be a toss up between Hogwarts and Brakebills.

5. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

I have since I started making lists and blogging moved more and more into Young Adult paranormal books. Part of the reason for this is because it is a genre I can share with my 12 year old.  There will be plenty of time for us to not share hobbies and interests but as long as she wants to recommend books to me I will read them.