Today kicks off Book Blogger Appreciation Week but this is likely the only post I’ll do on it. And it is devoted to a few excellent blogs I discovered while narrowing down the longlist in two categories and judging the shortlist in another. There won’t be much more than that because I confirmed I’m too old, too male, too cynical or any combination of them to get much out of BBAW.
Maybe proof I’m a curmudgeon comes in that of the 38 books nominated for various “best books” awards, I’ve only read one and I wasn’t too impressed with it, Plainly, I’m not reading — or operating — in the same realm as others who are participating. Also, the blogging topics for the week aren’t necessarily ones I’d write about or, if they are, I’ve previously done so. I was pleased to see, though that the two blogs that tied at the top of my ballot in the Literary Fiction shortlist I helped judge were among the three finalists.
And that’s one thing for which BBAW deserves credit. I discovered some excellent book blogs (and some not so good ones). The blogs listed alphabetically below, were new pleasures and each has its own unique style. The common theme among them is good writing, something that goes a long way in my book, even if I’m frequently inept at it. No doubt this post and their appearance in my blogroll will drive ones and ones of readers to these blogs.
Dead White Guys: An Irreverent Guide to the Classics — While this new blog reflects an age difference between me and its author, it still is worth checking out. Written by young woman, her mission is simple and direct: ” approach the classics in a light-hearted, sarcastic, silly-but-never-stupid way in order to remind people that these books are worth reading because they’re super awesome.”
Park Benches and Book Ends — I was surprised how many UK blogs I saw during the BBAW process and this one, just nine months old, is among my favorites. Perhaps the unique twist is that it is written by a married couple, Jess and Chris. They don’t write joint posts or review the same book. As a result, we get a wide range of books, genres and subjects based on their individual tastes.
Sasha & The Silverfish — The subtitle of this blog, “a reading journal,” is a quite accurate. Sasha doesn’t so much review books as much as provide electronic marginalia or an electronic commonplace book. She also makes this a blog for readers, not a form of lit crit or analysis.
Shelf Love — Also a collaborative blog, this one is written by two women, Jenny and Teresa. Again, they don’t read the same books or write joint reviews. Started by Jenny some two and a half years ago and joined by Teresa a couple months later, the diversity is intriguing and enjoyable. It is a deserving BBAW finalist for Best Literary Fiction Blog and was added to the blogroll a couple weeks ago.
The New Dork Review of Books — While it has nothing to do with why the blog made this list, I was thrilled when I discovered that this nearly year-old blog was written by a guy. There tain’t many of us in the bookblogosphere. Here’s the real reason it made this list: it was a BBAW finalist for Best Literary Fiction Blog, Best Written Book Blog and Best New Book Blog. I’m please to say, though, that I added it to the blogroll weeks before the finalists were announced.
So, check out each of these blogs. They’re well worth the time.
Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.
Gertrude Stein, “An American and France” (1936)