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Posts Tagged ‘BBAW’

Each day this week, Amy has asked us to write about a specific topic; I’ve been in bed since Tuesday afternoon (one of those crazy New England sinus infections stemming from weather in the 80s one day and the 60s the next.  TMI, I know, sorry about that … It beats “the dog ate my homework” for an excuse of why I’ve been MIA this week!).  This is today’s assigment from My Friend Amy: today take whatever direction you want. Share some of the new blogs you’ve discovered, things you’ve learned, what you got out of the week, or what you plan to do on your blogcation (I have one coming up…:)

The blogs, oh my!  I had 120 blogs in my Reader last weekend, I’ve added about another 40 since the week began.  What a great group of people – sharing ideas, book recommendations (of course!), interesting conversations about world events and how they affect us, author sites, even blogs that focus on genres I’m “not into” got added!  Thru the daily postings I was introduced to other readers and writers with similar general interests, but diverse enough to not be the “same old, same old.”

I loved the interviews that Amy arranged!  I haven’t worked my way through all of them yet, but I so enjoy reading them.  I always like to read/listen to author interviews, and hey, bloggers are just as interesting!  It’s fun to find out the back story as to why/how they started, challenges they’ve overcome, fun they’ve had, and the niche they cover.

The giveaways have been spectacular!  My TBR pile is so tall that I entered a limited few, but, boy were there a lot of books and other goodies to be had.  Amy made great connections with publishers, publicists, authors and other bloggers who spread the word and arranged many giveaways of their own.  What a generous group!

The awardswere well-deserved!  Many of these blogs were new to me, so they were dutifully added to my “must read” list as well.  The categories ran the spectrum and covered every nook and cranny of the book blogging world!  I think everyone who was nominated was worthy – maybe we need a “BBAW Nominee” button as well as the “winner” button, so the runners-up can show that off, too.

Since I’ve been under the weather this week I have been posting only minimally (and still have “homework” to catch up on, the “thank you” assignment and blogging tips will come over the weekend).  On Monday I had a review and giveaway of Kathleen McCleary’s House & Home (enter by midnight tonight!).  Tuesday was my interview with Amy and a wonderful guest post by Kathleen McCleary.  If you haven’t read Kathleen’s post, please take a minute to click over – she talks about the inspirations for one of the settings in her novel, combining IRL bookstores and her creative talents to form the Hole in the Wall Bookstore; it’s neat to read about the writer’s process.

Many thanks to Amy for being the creative force behind this eventful week, and to all the others who stepped up to lend such a huge helping hand!  From where I sit (and lay, and nap this week!), it’s been a phenomenal success.  I have a lot of reading and writing to catch up on over the weekend … Amy, enjoy your well-deserved blogcation!

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BBAW Interview with *My Friend Amy*

I’m so pleased to be matched with My Friend Amy for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week interview swap!  Amy is the powerhouse creative force behind BBAW, the one who brainstormed, e-mailed, posted, designed, contacted, organized, networked, etc. this amazing week of swapping stories, awards, giveaways, interviews, acknowledgements and camaraderie!

Amy managed to sneak away from the laptop for a little chat, here she is now …

She Is Too Fond of Books:  Sit down, make yourself comfortable, enjoy some green tea or fresh-squeezed lemonade, or whatever you’d like to go with these yummy ginger snaps I made for us to enjoy while we chat. 

I’ve had your blog on my reader for a few months now, and I’ve explored a bit more since we had this interview scheduled … I see that you’ve been blogging for about 3 years, and that My Friend Amy is not your only blog.  Can you tell us a bit about how you got started, what you blog about, and your other online ventures?

Amy:  I started blogging because I’ve moved around a lot and it seemed like it would be an ideal way to keep in touch with friends…unfortunately, it seems like someone gets the concept of  blogging or they don’t.  Many of my friends would rather stay in touch via facebook.  I’ve been blogging for three years and have met some wonderful people while blogging.  I enjoy it so much, that I agreed to help with the site Inspired to Action, which is a collaborative social justice blog.  The Friendly Book Nook came to be because books were taking over my personal blog.  Actually, I had a short lived book blog a couple of years ago, but I found that it was just easier to keep posting things on my main blog.  Other online ventures?  Um, I really enjoy LibraryThing and Twitter.

Your blog is not just about books.  You also share insight about God and your faith, popular culture items such as television shows and movies, as well as personal travel experiences and the random thought that grabs you.  With such great diverse subjects, do you consider your blog primarily a book blog, or is it more “Amy’s World”?

I consider my blog to be a personal blog with a healthy dose of books. 😉  I do find that I enjoy reviewing books, talking about book related subjects and TV and movies, because they are common experiences for us all.  I am a person of faith, so everything in my life is filtered through that lens. 

Tell us a little more about the blog you co-author with your mom and sister

The Friendly Book Nook!  I wanted to have a blog that was primarily books, and really make it something special!  So I asked my mom and sister to help out with it.  We are all at different life stages and I thought we’d bring a unique perspective to what we read.  One of the things I love that we’re doing right now is a series called Saturdays in the Nook (I’m not terribly creative with names!)  where authors and other book bloggers come and share pivotal early reading memories.  We are passionate about reading, and want to celebrate the culture of reading.  I’d love to get celebrities and other people of recognition involved one day.. ha.  So if anyone is reading this, email me!

Where do you blog? Any special desk or place you take a laptop to write?  What about your favorite place(s) to read?

I have a laptop and I sit on my bed and blog!  I actually really enjoy reading out in public…at a coffee shop or restaurant as well.  But truthfully, I can read anywhere but in the car (if I’m not driving)

How long have you worked in adult literacy (and English language acquisition … is that the same as ESL?)  Do you work in a classroom setting or one-on-one?  can you share one “life lesson” you’ve learned from your work?

I’ve been working in adult literacy for three years.  Prior to that, I taught English in Japan for a short while.  I work one on one..and yes ESL is the same as language acquisition!  The most important thing I’ve learned for myself is that there is no shame in failing.  In fact, failing is an important part of the learning process.

Now, what everyone wants to know … how did you come up with your great idea for BBAW?!   When did you start planning it?  What has been the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of BBAW?

You know, I spend a lot of time on blogging and reading, and work really hard to try to do my best for both the authors whose books I review and the people who read my blogs.  I even feel stressed out about it sometimes, trying to get things done in a timely manner and still giving it all a good effort, while also learning about the technical aspects of blogging.  I know that other book bloggers feel the same way!  I stumbled across an online discussion that was criticizing the rise of blog tours that charge authors to organize the tour.  The discussion was a bit condescending towards blogs and wow did I ever want to speak up!  I was mulling over that conversation when the idea for BBAW came to me.  I don’t want to argue with the people who don’t see the value of blogs, but I do think book bloggers deserve to be recognized and celebrated.  For the most part, book bloggers do this on their free time and it takes significant time.  Yet, in a culture where reading is on the decline, book bloggers are taking things into their own hands…sustaining a culture of reading, developing community around our love for the written word…investing our hours and dollars into this hobby, I don’t understand the fear. 

I think I got the idea in May or June and started planting the seeds for it to other bloggers in July.  When the infamous Huffington Post article was published and being discussed everywhere,  I outright asked on my blog if other book bloggers would support the idea.  The response was really positive, so I went forward.  I’ve been blown away by the response.  It really has enforced how positive this community is.  Apart from a few minor things, everyone has been really supportive, helpful, and kind.  And publishers, publicists, and authors have come out in support of the idea as well, which is such a blessing.  I’m amazed at how many excellent book blogs are out there with so many different specialties.

I think the most challenging thing has been to keep up with email and my other blogs during the process.  I have to admit I was relieved once the nomination process was over so I could have time to read books and blogs again!

The most rewarding has been meeting so many fantastic new bloggers and seeing everyone really come together around this idea.  What a wonderful community it really is.

OK, grab another cookie while we finish off the rest of these quick questions:

  • How much time do you read each week?  Great question.  3-4 hours a day, so um, at least 20?
  • How much time blogging?  Writing my posts, responding to comments, and doing technical stuff…maybe 10 hours a week.
  • How much time reading blogs?  Too many!  1 hour a day at least.
  • How many subscriptions in your Google Reader // how many different blogs do you visit regularly?  This is mortifying.  I don’t read all of the blogs in my reader carefully, some I just like to keep up with now and then.  I also read blogs across a wide spectrum of interests.  Ok, having said that…368. 
  • What are you reading now?  I’m about to start The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen.  She is hands down one of my favorite authors.  And she’s a blogger, so she’s tops!
  • Your favorite book – so far – that you read in 2008–Ugh, I’ve read a lot of really good ones.  Can I pick two?  The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson and A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman.  Two totally different books!

Let’s close with the most rewarding experience you’ve had in regard to your blogging 

I think the most rewarding experience has been to meet so many other people who love reading as passionately as I do, from many different walks of life, and areas of the world.  I think the most surprising thing has been how accessible authors are and how down to earth (usually) and very nice and gracious.  I’ve met some wonderful authors via e-mail like Julie Lessman and Pamela Binnings Ewen who have absolutely made my days with their kindness and the fact that they answer email!  Let me be clear…I’m not surprised that they are nice, just that they take the time to really know you.

Amy, thank you so much for taking the time to sit with me, I know how busy you’ve been with planning all the BBAW events.  Please let me extend my thanks, on behalf of the hundreds of bloggers whose lives you’ve touched!

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I’m posting my Week Ahead a day earlier than usual this week – it’s going to be a busy week!  There’s a lot happening here and on other book blogs in conjunction with Book Blogger Appreciation Week … check out this partial listing of what’s going on in my little corner of the world:

Monday 9/15 – I’m starting the week out as a tour host for Kathleen McCleary’ novel House & Home, working with TLC Book Tours.  I’ll have a book review and themed giveaway posted today!

Tuesday 9/16 – A bonus guest post by Kathleen McCleary, which will also serve as an early Spotlight on Bookstores this week.  If you’ve read the novel, you may be curious about the origins of “The Hole in the Wall” bookstore …

Also, I’ll be announcing the winner of Joshua Henkin’s Matrimony today (enter by midnight on Monday 9/15 for your chance to win an inscribed copy of the paperback!)

And, if that’s not enough … today is the day that BBAW intereviews with bloggers will be online.  She Is Too Fond of Books will have a VIP guest that I’m thrilled to interview; now it’s your turn to get to know her better …

Wednesday 9/17 – BBAW award presentations begin today!  Click over to My Friend Amy’s blog for the complete schedule (her blog should be on your “Favorites” or in your Google Reader … read early, read often!).  I can’t wait to watch all the award-winners walk the red carpet … will Joan Rivers be there critiquing what everyone’s wearing?

Thursday 9/18 – I have a few reviews to post this week, look for The Madonnas of Leningrad and Guernica.  Interesting connection between these two novels, each has a story line that involves removing art from museums in order to protect the masterpieces during a war.  Read the Comments below to find out which museum and which war in each case.

Friday 9/19 – I’ll have my weekly Friday Finds post, sharing the books that have come into my life over the week.

And, ahoy, matey!  September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (I’m not kidding!)  Practice your “yo ho ho”s and “arrr”s while reading one of our favorite children’s books, How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long and illustrated by the ever-amusing David Shannon.  You can translate any phrase into pirate-speak at the official site of Talk Like a Pirate Day; try it, it’s fun!

OK, time for me to put my feet up and relax for a bit before the week begins 🙂  I’m going to just sit back and crack open a book …  What are you most looking forward to this week?!

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The final countdown is on!  In just two days, Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) will start!  That’s right – Monday thru Friday will find all kinds of extra fun stuff all over the book blogging world … you thought it was great before, just wait until you see what My Friend Amy, the brain behind this big event, has in store for you, here’s the official BBAW Giveaway List:

Daily Raffles:
Monday–Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha’ Readin?
Tuesday–Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy
Wednesday–Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy
Thursday–Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha
Friday–Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy

Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit!
Do you find it’s your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don’t know what books to offer up for the next month’s selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.

One lucky winner of the kit will receive:

* A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
* 5 great book group books to vote on for your group’s next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
* 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
* 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone’s favorite passages
* 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!

TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!

A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
From Avon Foot Works
~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes

A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!

A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!

BOOKS
Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
John’s Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
Isolation by Travis Thrasher
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
Mike’s Election Guide by Michael Moore
War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
Border Lass by Amanda Scott
Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
Pure by Rebecca St. James
He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
Move On, Move Up by Paula White
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
by George by Wesley Stace
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
Dead Boys by Richard Lange
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced

Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.

So, set your alarms for Monday morning, brew a big pot of coffee, fire up that laptop, and let the games begin!

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