August 2022
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BBAW: Blog Status and Improvements

BBAW_Celebrate_BooksI’m going to give up on the fifty word limit right now, I don’t think I’m ever going to express where I think my blog is and where it’s going in that tiny little bit of space.  I’ll try not to make it too long though.

I also want to give a huge congratulations to everyone who won a BBAW award or was shortlisted.  I’ve been congratulating on twitter, but you all deserve a shout out here as well!

On to today’s topic: I’m not sure what I like about my own blog.  I don’t think I do anything better or different than anyone else and I often think of myself as just a little blog in the midst of a whole lot of awesome great ones.  I still think this is true (and I don’t mind either; I know I could put more work in but I’ve prioritized other things), but Monday made clear to me that a lot of you do like hanging around here and I’m amazed and pleased and grateful that so many of you mentioned me.  Even the breaking of my headphones couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!  Anyway, it seems like what I do best is provide info on historical fiction and history, so I’m happy about that.  I also think my reviewing has improved since last year; my reviews have gotten longer and I think I’m better able to express how I felt than I used to be.  I’ve been proud of a few of my reviews in the past few months and I don’t recall feeling that before.

What needs work?  Well, I want to expand what I do.  I know I review a lot, but I’ve often thought of coming up with my own weekly feature.  Not a meme, because there are so many of those, but something I can just have on my own blog.  I was going to do a weekly medieval feature, but then I got sick of my own classes pretty quickly and didn’t want to spend blog time thinking about what I spent all the rest of my time thinking about.  I still want to do something that’s historical, so at the moment I’m planning on reading more history and sharing some of what I learn here every week; something like Tuesday Teasers except from history.  I also was thinking of requesting guest posts from other bloggers on why they love historical fiction or their first historical fiction novel.  I know a few of the other historical sites feature authors, but why not bloggers?  My other improvement idea was to host a challenge, and so far that’s definitely a go, and I’d like to thank everyone who commented for their enthusiasm.  I’ll be posting a preliminary list of book choices in the next couple of months and the sign-ups will be in December.

So, that was a lot of ideas, albeit not too original ones!  If you’d like to be featured here talking about why you love historical fiction or history, shoot me an email at meghankk at gmail dot com.  I’m thinking posts somewhat like Keira did last weekend for her birthday.  If you have historical periods you’d like me to read about, again, send an email my way.  I have two libraries as of Monday and a whole lot of free time until I can apply for a more permanent visa, so I’m sure I can come up with something!


BBAW: Blogger Inspired Reads

BBAW_Celebrate_BooksToday, we are blogging about the books that other bloggers inspired us to buy and read.  This is actually a hard question because I haven’t been keeping track!  Almost everything I buy or take out from the library these days has been recommended to me by other bloggers.  I really need to make a list with notes of who recommended what to me, honestly, or at least where I’d heard about it.  I know which books I’ve seen on blogs and which books I’ve seen on, say, LibraryThing, but never just which bloggers are behind it.  I blame my memory.  Plus, I already made a list of bloggers I love and I don’t want to exclude anyone again!

So I thought I’d go back for a bit and instead list the books that I absolutely loved and would never have discovered without this awesome world of book bloggers.  If you’re reading this and you reviewed or talked about that book, then I can almost guarantee you inspired me to read it at least in part.

  • The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, and Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
  • Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
  • The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  • The Southern Vampire mysteries by Charlaine Harris
  • The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
  • Possession, A.S. Byatt
  • Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
  • The first 2 vols. of Bone by Jeff Smith

And that’s just books I loved, that I’d read again tomorrow, that I’ve acquired on my own in some way, since April/May.  It doesn’t include the 370 unread books I have, 3/4 of which I’ve acquired since I officially got involved in June 2008.  It also doesn’t include any ARCs.  Thank you, book bloggers!

What books have you discovered thanks to book blogging?


BBAW: Reading Meme

The goal is to answer all of these questions in five words or less.  If you prefer, you can instead answer one or two questions in detail.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?


Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of
writing in books horrify you?

It horrifies me.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

Adore bookmarks, but often open.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Definitely both.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Hard copy!

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you
able to put a book down at any point?

I find a natural stopping point.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Nope, I guess on context.

What are you currently reading?

God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield

What is the last book you bought?

Catching Fire and Dead to the World

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can
you read more than one at a time?

Depends on mood.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Anywhere quiet!

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?


Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Not particularly, tell me if otherwise!

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Alphabetically, author last name.


BBAW: Interview with Lexie of Poisoned Rationality


Today, I’m lucky enough to feature an interview with a great blogger that I only just discovered thanks to Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  Lexie of Poisoned Rationality and I were assigned to interview each other and since then, I have become a subscriber of her blog and discovered tons of new books to add to my wishlist.  So it goes!  If you’ve never met her, I hope you’ll enjoy your introduction to Lexie and her blog, and if you read her blog already, maybe you’ll learn something new!

Meghan: First, maybe you could tell us a little bit about you!  What do you do in your real life besides read?

iconKHR14--bianchiLexie: Wait there’s stuff to do in life besides reading?!  I never knew…XD I joke I joke…While reading takes up a lot of my time I’m also in the process of getting my degree in paralegal studies.  Which also involves a lot of reading, but of a more staid and dry kind.  Then also I’m a part time nanny with an agency, so I do that when the need arises.  Oh and I cook for my family.  Kind of more improvise and pray it all turns out well, but its mostly edible 85% of the time.  There’s also my boyfriend, who demands attention, my friend Melissa who I am slowly addicting to anime and L3D my friendship circle.  (L3D stands for ‘Lexie, Liz and Lisa + Des’ 3 L’s and one D!  Why yes we’re big dorks).  They also like to nab attention and aren’t keen when I prefer reading to socializing (luckily Liz and Des live in Texas and Lisa is busy with her nurse job XD)

M: What are your other hobbies?

L: Video games!  Such as Kingdom Hearts, .hack//G.U., Persona 3 and 4, Shin Megami Tensei, Phoenix Wright, Animal Crossing, Tales of Vesperia…oh of course classic games.  Bubble Bobble, Mario Brothers, the Original Zelda as well as Ocarina of Time.  Between my brother and I we have 11 game systems ranging from a working NES to our newest system the PS3.  We had 15 but we got rid of our Sega systems when our sister’s cat went to the bathroom on the box holding the systems (my original Sega Genesis…::cries:: ).  I also like to bead, though its mostly for patience endurance.  Writing (doesn’t everyone?), watching anime and asian dramas…sometimes walking XD

M: What got you started blogging about books?

L: I used to blog about books on my personal journal over at Livejournal, but none of my friends were that interested.  I’d get comments like ‘Oh geez Lex…um I guess that’s good?’.  So then I branched into a separate blog to gush over books without worrying that I have a bunch of angsty RL stuff clogging it all up.

M: What is your favorite thing about book blogging?  Least favorite?

L: Connecting with the authors and readers.  I’ve found myself a little bit less scared of talking to authors and approaching them because I (stalk)follow so many of their blogs and twitter feeds and respond to them.  I’m still nervous in RL mind you, but I’m not scared to death clutching the books to my chest like the first time I met Maria V. Snyder at least!

Least favorite…I’m kind of a socially anxious person–RL or online.  Its easier to cover up online ’cause no one can see the panic attacks I have or have red-faced I’m getting, but I respond the same way.  Sometimes when I get e-mails or comments that are…less then polite I freak.  Since blogging is meant to be a fun thing for me to do to escape my normal day to day stresses, I hate that I have those sorts of responses.  It makes it less like a fun escape and more like a new kind of torture for me.

M: Share with us your favorite review or post.

L: Actually its a series of posts I did back in February called ‘Linnea Sinclair Book-A-Day’.  My original intention had been to take all of her previously published books and read a new one each day to celebrate the release of her latest novel (Hope’s Folly).  Sadly RL got in the way as I had just begun my classes…but when I told Linnea about it, she was so touched and she said it made her day.  That made me smile hugely to know that someone I admire so much was touched by something I did.

(here’s the link to the post set:

M: Do you remember the first book you ever read?  What about your favorite book as a kid?

L: I got no idea what the first book I ever read was.  I got theories based on what my dad has said, but no true clue.  I’ve been reading since I was three years old or so–but my memories don’t really begin until I’m closer to 5.  The first one I remember reading loving so much I had to read it again that same week was ‘The Girl With Silver Eyes’ by Willo Davis Roberts.  I was about 10 years old and struck with the chicken pox.  My mom got me a stack of books from Goodwill to compensate me not being able to leave my room.

My favorite was…hm.  Either The Girl With Silver Eyes or Little House in Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

M: What are your favorite genres?  Why?

L: I mostly stick to three–fantasy, Young Adult and Historical Romance (emphasis on Regency/Victorian time periods).  Now if you were to sub-categorize those…well there’s a lot of sub-genres I read within those.  Fantasy has always been my turn to for escape.  Its so much easier for me to slip into a world where a birthmark on your arm means you might one day bring destruction to the world (or save it) then for me to understand the complexities of dating.  I’ve recently gotten into Young Adult again (after not liking it that much at all when I was a young adult) because of my sister (who’s 16) and historical romance because of my grandmother who loved romances.

M: What about your favorite books or authors?

L: Hmm…the short version is…um…I call the fifth since there’s not really any way for me to choose without listing out for pages.  I’m currently obsessed with Brandon Sanderson (to an almost scary degree) and I’m learning the love that is the Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I have a long way to go, but so totally worth it.

M: Share one fact about you that your blog readers would never have guessed.

L: Umm…hm.  This is hard.  Oh second to my love of books (and related things) is my love of Joss Whedon.  If its possible to love a man’s brain and nothing else, I love his brain.  He can be somewhat smug in commentaries by himself, but I can’t deny the man knows how to please my fandom buttons better then just about anyone else I know.  It used to be reserved for Sam Raimi, but I can’t forgive him after Spider-Man (though Legend of the Seeker? Great way to try and make it up to me).

M: Do you have a favorite book memory?

L: Shortly after my parents’ split up I went over to my grandma’s, where my dad was living at the time, with my brother and sister to see him.  I guess he had gone to the used book store in Cranbury with my Uncle or something because on the table was a paperbag.  Inside was a copy of every single Anne McCaffrey book the place had.  From her Pern series to her Acorna to her Tower and the Hive books he got one of everything in paperback.  I was so gloriously happy that for a time I forgot all about their divorce and how much I missed having him live with us.

M: Has book blogging changed anything about the way you read?

L: I try and pay attention to the smaller details because I can’t just publish a review that says ‘OMG SO GREAT READ IT!’ even if that’s my intial feelings on the matter.  It can be something of a chore for me to remember details when the book is NOT in my face and I’m not in the middle of it honestly, once I finish a book, unless I begin to re-read it or I read another book in the same series, I file all that information away so that I can make room for the next new book.  It was kind of a problem in school actually for book reports XD But now that I’m blogging I have a better understanding of how to retain that information (or at least remember to write it down).

M: Anything else you’d like to share?

L: Nope thank you for having me!


BBAW: Recognizing Blogs I Love

BBAW_Celebrate_BooksI’m willing to admit that I was a little surprised when the Book Blogger Appreciation Week shortlists came out because I thought they were missing a ton of amazing blogs that I love.*  I obviously can’t share all of these blogs with you because we’d be here all day.  After all, I have over 300 blogs in my Google Reader, and I love them all or I wouldn’t be reading them.  You are all my favorites.  I do, however, want to recognize a few bloggers from a variety of genres who make my day a little brighter every time they post.

  • Devourer of Books – Jen’s was one of the first blogs I started reading way back in the day.  Our tastes are so similar that I know that if she likes a book, I’m going to like it too, which is a fabulous gift.  Sometimes I feel like we use the same theme for a reason!
  • The Burton Review – Marie and I are shortly going to be sharing the same last name (no relation though), so how could we not love each other’s blogs?  I discovered her blog a few months ago and just can’t get enough.  And she loves history too!  I’m only sorry I didn’t find her sooner.
  • Heidenkind’s Hideaway – Tasha is one of the friendliest bloggers I’ve ever met and I have loved practically every feature she introduces!  I also love her honest reviews and the versatility of her blog.  Museums, art history, regular old books; you’ll find it here.
  • Literate Housewife – Jennifer is another blogger I have been following since I found book blogs, and there is a reason.  She’s a wonderful writer AND she makes the cutest bookmarks ever.  What more could you want? ;)
  • Love Romance Passion – I just featured Keira on my blog yesterday and with good reason.  I love her blog. She’s always bringing up great issues in romance, featuring other bloggers and authors, hosting great interviews, and telling it like it is with her reviews.  She’s incredibly friendly and helpful, too.
  • Passages to the Past – Amy is a fantastic historical fiction blogger.  She reviews the most interesting releases and always points me in the direction of great books I want to read.  I can’t tell you how much my wishlist has grown thanks to her.
  • Stella Matutina – I am so pleased that I’ve been following Memory’s blog since it first started.  I love her style of reviewing!  She also reads a lot of fantasy and I really need to read more fantasy these days.  Her blog is where I get all my dangerous ideas!

I encourage you to visit all of these blogs if you haven’t already!  Don’t forget to take this opportunity to recognize your own favorite blogs who, for whatever reason, didn’t make the short list.  I’m sorry I couldn’t include everyone, but if you’re reading this, I bet I love your blog too!

*Many of my favorites DID make the short lists, but they’re getting recognition!