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...