Book Blogger Appreciation Week

The Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Compiled Daily Blogging Topics

This is going to be really long because I’m compiling my posts for the five daily topics. I just learned of BBAW 2012 last Wednesday, so please bear with me. For more info, please visit Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

Monday: Appreciation! There are no awards this year, but it can still be hard to navigate the huge universe of book blogging. Share with your readers some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why.

Most of the blogs that I enjoy reading are the blogs of my book club friends. Check out the link list at the left sidebar of my blog. I can’t say that I visit them daily because there aren’t daily updates on all blogs. Life gets in our way. But since this is BBAW, I’d like to focus on the blogs that have uhm, regular activities in the recent weeks to show our appreciation for the effort that they put.

And now, in alphabetical order:

  • The Book Hooligan – this is quite a new blog, around three months old. I enjoy reading it because it’s like watching a baby grow. No, not the blogger, Bennard, who is big enough to major in Political Science. I also like the books that he reads; our tastes are similar. I sometimes feel responsible for his book choices because he does follow recommendations. So if you enjoy reading about the books that I write about, check out his blog.
  • In Lesbians with Books – disclaimer: the blogger, Tricia, is not a lesbian. The blog name sprang from the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Visit her blog for more info. Anyway, she’s a nurse/freelance writer (I guess?) and she blogs mostly about books that make a person look cool, like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Chabon), graphic novels, and some YA.
  • It’s A Wonderful Bookworld – a wonderful blog about many books as the blogger, Atty. Lynai, is inclined to read books from various genres. Her choices strike me as surprising (and I can’t explain why I always feel that way). She’s recently having troubles with her web host, so she’s making a switch and moving over to a new one. Unfortunately, the blog is still down as of this moment, so please check it out some other time.
  • marginalia – formerly Bookish Little Me, this blog caters to a lot of readers. The blogger, Atty. Monique, whom I fondly call Buddy since we’re usually book buddies, is a fellow fan of David Mitchell and Kazuo Ishiguro. I also sometimes feel responsible for her book choices because she puts my 5-star books on her wish-list. The main feature of her blog is The Spark Project, which interviews bloggers about the book(s) that started all the reading and hoarding and blogging.
  • One More Page – this is probably the most exposed blog on this block. Tina, a computer scientist (although I sometimes think that she really is a press relations officer), is a very active blogger and a key person in the Philippine blogosphere. Her articles have been featured in a local YA magazine. She’s also a NaNoWriMo officer. She might be everywhere, but she is very friendly and approachable. She even interviews bloggers about their reading habits for her blog feature, What I Read.
  • reading is the ultimate aphrodisiac. – do not be fooled by the name for this is a blog mostly about YA. It’s a very active one that you can sometimes catch multiple posts in a day. Maria, whom I fondly call Chami, is a very honest reviewer. If she doesn’t like a book, she won’t flinch to say that she doesn’t like it. One time, she tried reading one of my favorite books and found it terrible. But still, we are very good friends.
  • A Thought on Each Page – a quiet blog by Miss Louize. Why did I say quiet? Because for some reason, I cannot add comments on the posts. But I still enjoy visiting her blog because I like her precise writing and her thoughts on the blog pages. Also, she sometimes posts random photos, which are mostly book-related but there are times that they are just really random.

Here are other Filipino bloggers that I met elsewhere:

  • Hello.Lenin! – formerly After the Dinner Party, this is a very smart and intriguing blog. The blogger writes about strong stuff, usually books with political themes. He also sometimes write about social issues.
  • KyusiReader – another popular blog about books from different genres. Peter, whom I met recently, also features the book shelves of his readers. Kyusi, by the way, is QC. Go try to figure that out.
  • The Misanthropologist – I share a goal with the blogger, which is to read all the Booker winners. H (not her real name), whom I met once, is very interactive online. She’s not a real “misanthropologist” though because she’s fun to talk to and has a volunteering heart.
  • Penetrated, By Chance – formerly Craziness Is A Warm Gun, it is a fun and intelligent blog. The blogger sometimes dabbles on college philosophy and shares music that they (probably him and his band mates) composed.

And here are more blogs that I visit regularly:

  • 101 Books – this is dedicated to reading all the books listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Novels. 101st book is Ulysses (Joyce).
  • Biblioglobal – a blog that aims to read books written or set in different countries.
  • Booker Talk – for the fans and followers of the Booker Prize.
  • cantadew – a minimalist blog with posts that have a calming effect.
  • The Classics Club – a club composed of bloggers attempting to read a huge chunk of classics within a defined time span (I also randomly visit blogs of some of the members).
  • The Complete Booker – this is actually a group blog about Booker winners. I’m a participant of this blog project, but I’m currently hesitant to contribute my Booker-related posts because I got one of the bloggers reeling with one of my “bizarre” write-ups.
  • Eclectic Indulgence – I like this because the books featured are the ones that I like.
  • Literary Exploration – a blog about lots of books and some book-related news.
  • Living with Literature – mostly about world literature, classics, and contemporary greats.
  • pulitzerschmulitzer – features Pulitzer winners for fiction.

Tuesday: Interview Swap/Self-Interview

  • Do you snack while you read? – No. I don’t want to get my hands greasy and mess the pages of my books.
  • Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? – No no no!
  • How do you keep your place while reading a book? – Bookmarks! I prefer using any piece of ribbon because I have this habit of marking both my current page and the page that I’m supposed to reach at the end of the day.
  • Laying the book flat open? – No! I try my best to leave the spine uncreased.
  • Fiction, nonfiction, or both? – I can read both, but I prefer fiction please!
  • Hard copy or audio books? – Hard. I only turn to audio books if I feel like revisiting a favorite book.
  • 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 used to be a by-the-chapter reader, but somehow, I got rid of it. And I think it’s a good thing.
  • If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away? – No. I just rely on context clues.
  • What are you currently reading? – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (nonfiction) and The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass (fiction).
  • What is the last book you bought? – Scroll down to check them out.
  • Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time? – I used to be the former, but now I can alternate between two books. I don’t know if it’s a good thing though.
  • Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read? – Late night. The bedroom.
  • Do you prefer series books or stand alone books? – Stand alone books please!
  • Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? – Yes! It would be David Mitchell because I feel that he has a great appeal to a wide range of readers. I would also like to recommend Jose Saramago, but his books are too strong to be handled by some readers.
  • How do you organize your books? – I used to do it by author’s last name, but now I just group the books by rating. Unrated/unread books are just, well, there. I just make sure that books of the same height stand together in order to place extra books on top of them.

Wednesday: What does book blogging mean to you?

  • October 2009 – I started Book Rhapsody as a reading journal. It was an attempt to separate my book-related posts from my personal blog. My first posts were about my readings of Death at Intervals (Saramago) and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (McCullers). Then life got in my way. I shut it down after a few months. I even deleted all those initial posts.
  • January 2011 – I revived my blog with a new format. I decided to blog about books that I have read in the past. That meant I would not immediately review books right after finishing them.
  • June 2012 – I changed my mind about not immediately posting my thoughts on the books that I have finished recently. My memory is becoming a bit unreliable because of the growing number of books that I’m reading.
  • Present – Book blogging is ultimately my way of sharing the thoughts and insights that I gained on the books that I’ve read. It is also a very good medium to interact with fellow book lovers all over the world.

Thursday: One of the best parts about book blogging is the exposure to books and authors you might never have heard of before. Pimp the book you think needs more recognition on this day. Get creative! Maybe share snippets from other bloggers who have reviewed it or make some fun art to get your message across.

I want to rave about my favorite book, Hunger by Knut Hamsun. Since book reviews on different book blogs can be searched thanks to Google, I will share a couple of quick thoughts from my nonblogging friends instead. Coincidentally, they are also the only friends who have read the novel.

“As hunger gnaws on Hamsun’s narrator, all other elements–time, truth, morality–are tossed down it, the bottomless well. Hamsun’s narrator holds out obstinately, desperately and in the end, depending on the reader’s interpretation, succumbs or succeeds.” – Emir

“By Jove! This novel is beautifully depressing! It is beautiful because of the way it is written: magical stream-of-consciousness style with the meager plot and with no misplaced or excess words at all! It is depressing because of the theme: hunger. It is not hunger for love or something. It is the hunger that most Filipinos know: hunger for food.” – KD

Friday: Share a highlight of this year’s BBAW. Whether it’s a blog you discovered or a book you’re going to read or a way you felt refreshed, this is the day to celebrate the week!

I don’t really know what to highlight, but I just want to share the joy of discovering a new author. At the Manila International Book Fair, I found these books by Mark Z. Danielewski:

MIBF Loot!
MIBF Loot!

House of Leaves has been sort of recommended by two bookish friends, Aldrin and Kristel (I say sort of recommended because I’m pretty sure they haven’t read it yet). I wonder what’s with this book (and I wonder when these two friends are going to resume their book blogging). When I found it yesterday at National Book Store aisles of the Manila International Book Fair, I was immediately drawn to it, like an iron to a magnet. It’s very experimental. And so is Only Revolutions. I hope these two are worth the money that I spent on them.

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Thanks to all the book bloggers out there who keep on doing what they do. Somewhere out there, there’s a reader who’s secretly enjoying your posts. I’d like to raise a toast to all the good books that we’ll read and write about. :)