Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Coffee

Questions, Conversations and Comments
Now that I'm getting my twitter mojo, I'm finding it interesting how the worlds of twitter and the blogosphere intersect. Comments spark conversations on twitter, and tweets drive traffic to the blog. Oh, and I finally started using tinyurl. Duh.

There were so many good questions floating around the blogosphere this week. For instance, the Literary Blog Hop over at The Blue Bookcase asked what place from a book or a story you would most like to visit. For days afterward I kept thinking about this question. As a child I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over and over, and I would have loved to have walked through the wardrobe into Narnia. And having just finished Kate Morton's The House at Riverton I wouldn't mind walking into the world of Edwardian England.

Do you follow hundreds of blogs?  I do. And I've decided I'm not un-following anyone. I use Google Reader, and skim through hundreds of blogs weekly. There are a few book blogs I read all the time, and I keep discovering more. Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm is a blogger who poses great questions, starts great conversations, and has taste on which I rely. Her post on How to Keep Book Reviews Relevant is worth checking.

Recently I found Robyn's blog You Think Too Much on the Literary Blog Hop. She's smart, and I like the way she thinks (too much). Her reviews always make me think (too much).

And at A Room of Her Own, Jillian has a wonderful post about reading like a reader.

I Love a Good Kerfluffle
Twitter conversations led me to an author's rant against the mediocre review her romance novel received from a book blogger.  Nothing like a good kerfluffle, especially one that is essentially meaningless.  It's hard to take seriously insults that are couched in pink prose.  I mean, literally, the whole blog was pink.  The writer seemed to be suffering from the impression that book bloggers are in the business of giving *good* reviews in exchange for free books. Advice to would-be authors:  read before submitting.  If you are submitting your book to a book reviewer (even a lowly blogger), better make sure you read the blog first. Don't send your book for review, and then make snarky judgmental comments about the blogger's writing skills after you see the review.

One of the comments the writer made (one that was seized on by the book blogging community) was that book bloggers are not writers; in fact, the writer asserted that book bloggers haven't written so much as a grocery list. So this writer asserts that blogs are not in fact written? Huh? And I think she is radically underestimating the power of the grocery list. For instance, after my first marriage ended, my grocery lists went something like this: toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, frozen dinners, 1/2 store-prepared apple pie. Poignant, isn't it?

What questions, conversations, comments or kerfluffles intrigued you this week?  Talk to me, readers.


Grad said...

Now I want to read the pink posting and the author's rant. Will you tell?

Robyn Ryle said...

Thanks so much for the mention. I read about the Kerfuffle (love that word) on another blog. I haven't gotten my twitter on, as I'm kind of scared of how much more of my time that might take up. How are feeling about twittering?

Stephanie said...

I am laughing out loud over your grocery list comment. I glanced at the rant on the pink blog, and I agree with your assessment of the kerfuffle. :-)


Kerry said...

Thanks for the link! I'm off to check out the other two blogs you linked to as well.

I keep hearing about this author's backlash, but haven't actually seen it yet. I'm with you that claiming bloggers aren't writers makes no sense. Now, they might not all be GOOD writers, but let's be realistic: not all authors are good writers, nor all journalists. Such is the nature of the beast.

Also, I second Stephanie in that I loved your assessment of the importance of grocery lists. It really does say a whole lot more than one might think at first pass.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I love Kerry's blog, too! Great thoughts on that site!

That whole debacle with the author was quite humorous. Seriously - she posts this long foot-stamping temper tantrum on her blog, there are 180+ comments on it when I was posting one, and then when I went back to visit the site again later that day, I noticed that she removed all the comments and re-posted a note that it wouldn't be welcomed anymore since there were comments left on the site which attacked other commenters. Which, by the way, I read all of the 180 comments before I posted, and I did not see one single person attacking attacking another. What an embarrassment for her and truly something that it will take quite a while before her reputation is repaired. Why can't she just own that she reacted poorly? Then maybe she could apologize to the bloggers and readers, and then maybe she could move on. Sad...so sad.

My grocery lists are unbelievable - I'm thinking of creating a blog that is solely dedicated to that only so that people can interpret one woman's life. As you mentioned, grocery lists can be incredibly poignant.

Ana S. said...

I devoted a lot of my attention last week to the same kerfluffles. Part of me didn't think it was worth taking serious, but at the same time it got me thinking about attitudes towards reading/reviewing and even inspired me to write a post.

Emily said...

Hmmm, that writer sounds rather . . . bitter. Maybe she should have had a 24 hour cooling off period before posting!

I love Kerry's blog, too! Off to check out You Think Too Much. Not that I really need to add MORE blogs to my bloglist :)

bibliophiliac said...

@Grad--I think the blog is called Authors Helping Authors. Can't even remember the writer's name. Her book was a romance novel.
@Robyn--the kerfluffle caused some funny twitter convos. I am now a twitter convert, although at first I couldn't figure out what it was for ;)
@Stephanie--good to see you in the neighborhood! Yes, a pink rant is by definition silly.

bibliophiliac said...

@Kerry--to me it was a tempest in a teacup, but the romance writer's outrage was real. Not very well reasoned, though. Then there were about 180 comments, and those were fun to read.

bibliophiliac said...

@Coffee and a Book Chick--I think this writer's best option might be the witness protection program ;)

bibliophiliac said...

@Nymeth--I don't think the writer in question is too representative of attitudes toward bloggers, but I'm going to check out your post.

bibliophiliac said...

@Emily--bitter doesn't begin to cover it!