Monday, September 14, 2009

BBAW #1 - The Deserving Dozen

How to begin listing favorite blogs? I cringe just thinking about this, because I know I will remember one more just as I hit the publish button. Perhaps if I explain my blog reading system (or lack thereof), it will help.

I discovered book blogs almost two of years ago, read a few for about a year, and then finally created my own blog and posted a review of The Painted Veil the day before Halloween last year (I had to check).

Slowly, I discovered more blogs and even got a follower or two. Thank you, Bellezza, for being the first! I decided to give 'following' a try. There are now 34 blogs that I follow, and I'm thrilled to see many of them shortlisted for awards. I love all 34 of these blogs...each in a slightly different way and for slightly different reasons.

Many, many more blogs are bookmarked and visited a couple of times a week. Updating my 'follow' list is a high-priority fall project! The idea of setting up specific folders for blogs to visit each day is appealing, too.

Google reader has been something of a failed experiment for me. I found that I missed visiting the actual blogs. The visual experience was more important than I'd realized. If you have blog visiting system that works and are willing to share, I'd love to hear it!

Today I've decided to list some favorite blogs I currently follow that were not shortlisted for awards.

My Deserving (Baker's) Dozen includes:

Bibliophile by the Sea - Diane reads a lot of books! In addition to the reviews, she lets me know when my favorite authors have new books coming out (she had me at the bookstore within hours of Richard Russo's latest release!) and features great audio reviews, too.

Book Psmith - I met Book Psmith through Short Story Monday, and she quickly became one of my best blogging buddies. She's introduced me to some great short stories (Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" stands out in my mind), and has added countless authors and titles to my tbr pile. As you can guess from her name, she's reading a lot of Wodehouse this year!

Books and Movies - It wouldn't be Saturday without Carrie's weekly links round-up. I may have missed something important, but she never does! Her periodic lists of favorites always have me adding to my tbr pile, too.

Dolce Bellezza - Bellezza's was on of the first blogs I discovered. She was also my first follower! I love her beautifully-written reviews and, thanks to her Japanese Literature Challenge, I will finally get me to read Murakami.

Farm Lane Books - Jackie writes great reviews...and lots of them! Her journey through the Booker list was nothing short of amazing.

Fleur Fisher Reads - I love the books Fleurfisher reads. She always manages to find just the right quote to make me add nearly every one to my wish list.

Kiss a Cloud - Claire has excellent taste in books! She writes outstanding reviews that are always enhanced by her skillful photography.

Letters From A Hill Farm - I adore my visit's to Nan's farm! Whether it's a book recommendation (Ethel & Ernest is my favorite graphic novel to date), a recipe (Maple-Oatmeal Muffins...yum), or photos of her garden and the changing seasons, there is something special every time.

Life in the Thumb - Have you seen Staci's new Six Sentence Saturday reviews? I look forward to it every week and, judging from the response she's getting, so is everyone else!

My Cozy Book Nook - Molly is a kindred spirit. We started blogging within weeks of each other, are at the same point in our lives, love dogs, baking, and books (of course). Her summer vacation reading challenge has been one of the highlights of my reading year... my virtual vacation in Italy!

Paperback Reader - I became a follower of Claire's blog the first time I visited. It's obvious she knows a lot about books! My education was very heavily weighted toward the sciences, but I always wanted to be taking the great lit classes. I love all the new things I've learned from reading her reviews!

Roses Over A Cottage Door - Darlene is another one of my first blogging buddies. She introduced me to both Alan Bennett and Dorothy Whipple, has beautiful photos on her blog, and occasionally treats us to the adventures of Deacon, her border collie. The account of her trip to London last spring was another highlight of my blogging year - it was almost as good as going myself!

The Betty and Boo Chronicles - Melissa is a newer blogging pal. We have similar taste in books (she prompted me to buy The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich) and are both mothers of twins. Melissa is a fabulous writer! I'm always happy when there's a new post for me to read.

If some of these blogs are new to you, I highly recommend finding a minute or two to visit each of them this week. New blog friends are waiting...


  1. How honored I am to be included in this post of yours. I had no idea I was your first follower, but I'm glad that we found each other! Your blog is a joy and delight to me; we have the same feelings towards books (and lakes)! XOXO

  2. I just wandered over from another BBAW post- I LOVE your header. I think I might never leave those chairs.

  3. Thank you, JoAnn; I'm touched.

    There are a few on your list that I now need to explore so thank you for sharing. I know that I am keeping good company :).

  4. One of the gift of this community is that we all come together with our thoughts and comments on our readings. It's where our reading histories converge. While we honor the blogs that inspire and exemplify, I believe we celebrate one another's effort to promote and preserve the literary culture. You have a list of honorable and respectable bloggers, and some of whom are new to me. Your blog also has become a daily dose for me in ideas for readings. And I'm so excited that Claire, Staci, Jackie, and Fluer are all on your list! :)

  5. Thank you so much! It is so nice to hear that you enjoy my blog. I know and love almost all of the blogs you mention, but I'm off to have a look at the couple I don't - thanks for the recommendations!

  6. Feeling very warm and fuzzy at the moment! Thank you JoAnn. I remember that you were the first person to comment on my blog that I didn't know. With great excitement I called my husband to come and look at your comment, after that I would just shout to him "there she is again!". As soon as I discovered that you'd been to 'Bawth' I knew we'd be friends. And here we are!

  7. First of all, I completely forgot to become a follower! I'm new to the blog world, so I suppose things like that are bound to slip from my mind. I promise you that I will attempt to figure out how to become a follower and will proceed to become one. I'd like to add that I'm enjoying your blog immensely, and look forward to every one of your posts. You'll see you've been added to my blogroll. I'm thankful for this list and I assure you that I will click every link-other than Bellezza's, as I'm already checking hers at intervals. I'm eagerly anticipating exploring your blog further and commenting more than you'd like me to. (Haha.) I'm so glad I discovered the book blogging world. It's the simplest way to connect with people who enjoy reading as enormously as we do, if not reading the same books. Keep blogging!

  8. Thank you so so much, JoAnn, for thinking of me! I adore your blog, too. Your reading tastes are so similar to mine! I must add that one of my fave things about visiting your blog is that I feel like I'm vacationing by the lake. :) XOXOXOXO

  9. Thank you so much. I am all smiles. We have some of the same favorite blogs and I will be checking out the ones that are new to me. I went back and read your first review. I have watched the movie but can't decide whether or not to read the book. I have enjoyed a couple of short stories by Maugham, so with your review I am leaning toward a read. Then my heart stopped when I saw the post underneath. Does that snow make it down to Pennsylvania in October?

  10. Bellezza - Yes, you were my first follower (I was afraid I would never have any!). Your blog was also one of the first I found, and remains one of my favorites. Thank you.

    Lisa - Welcome and thanks for stopping by! I love to spend time in that's the most soothing, relaxing spot I know!

    Paperback Reader - You are very welcome. I look forward to my daily stop at your blog.

    Matt - So well said! Of course your blog is one of my favorites, too, but I only included those not short-listed here.

  11. Jackie - You're very welcome. Hope you like the 'new' blogs

    Darlene - I don't even remember how I found your blog...perhaps from a comment you left on another? I was immediately drawn to the roses, tea, china, knitting, Deacon and, of course, books. The rest is history...

    Madeleine - You're off to a fantastic start! Thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I'm looking forward to seeing where blogging will lead you...and feel free to comment away!

    Claire - You're so welcome. I really trust your reviews and value your your blog is such a pleasure to look at!

    Book Psmith - The Painted Veil was actually one of my favorite books last year, and it was a fairly quick read, too. It's a rare October that we don't get a little snow, but I doubt you'll get any ...maybe not in November, either. You can relax a little while longer ;-)

  12. Thank you so much, JoAnn! I am honored to be on your list. :)

  13. I see some of my favorites here and some new ones to check out.

  14. Thanks so much, Joann, for the kind mention. Many of the blogs I follow as well, although you have introduced a couple that are new to me - so I must go check them out right away :)

    Happy BBAW!

  15. Thank you so very much! I am honored, truly, to be mentioned here with such great company. As you know from my post, you are not only on my subscription list but you are among my favorites.

    And like you, I also have my frustrations with Google Reader and would love to find a simpler way to be able to visit the actual blog. I miss that, too.

    Thank you, my friend, so very much.

  16. Thanks for this list. I follow Bellezza and claire religiously; several others are marked as faves. But, as always, there are new fun places to check out. Yippee!

  17. Carrie K. - You're welcome :-)

    Nise' - I've loved having so many new blogs to check out today!

    Molly - You're welcome...and I met a few new friends from your list, too.

    Melissa - Glad to hear I'm not alone in the google reader frustration. I'll keep looking for a better way, but will still be visiting your blog daily :-)

    ds - Isn't it fun having all the new blogs to investigate? Yours has been one of my favorite (very) recent discoveries!

  18. Joanne...Thanks so much for including me with your favorites; you know how I feel about your blog :)

    You have mention somme other favs of mine, along with a few new blogs for me to check out--so thanks.

    I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed blog hopping, and fear I'll miss some good stops along the way :(

  19. Can I just say how shocked I was to see my name on your list!! Thank you so much!!! (((hugs))) I love the other bloggers that you listed and there are some new ones that I really need to check out!!!

  20. Diane - I sure understand that overwhelmed many new places to explore...I'm on overload!

    Staci - Aww, don't be shocked...I look forward to my daily stop at your blog ;-)

  21. Great list!

    I use google reader. Haven't come up with a more sane system yet.


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