Dreamer's Library

Dreamer, bookworm, blogger, geek...

Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”

 

So begins Tolkien's first published work - this sentence marks the beginning of the world's experience with Middle Earth. The Hobbit was originally published in 1937, and it was more than 15 years later before the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring would be released. It's nearly impossible today to recreate the experience of reading The Hobbit in a vacuum, but it's interesting to remember that at the time of original publication, The Hobbit stood alone as the window into Middle Earth.

 

It was also my personal first experience with Middle Earth. Tolkien wrote it as a story for children, and I was a child when I, first, heard it read to me by my mother, and later, read it for myself. When I read it as a child, it existed as an wholly self-contained entity, a single, simple, delightful fantasy about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. My perspective is quite different now - I read it as a more mature, and hopefully more thoughtful, reader, and I read it with the greater understanding of how it fits into Tolkien's larger universe. 

 

The first chapter introduces the reader to Gandalf, one of the most important figures in the entire mythology. He appears on Bilbo's doorstep like something out of memory or folktale:

 

“Gandalf, Gandalf! Good gracious me! Not the wandering wizard that gave Old Took a pair of magic diamond studs that fastened themselves and never came undone till ordered? Not the fellow who used to tell such wonderful tales at parties, about dragons and goblins and giants and the rescue of princesses and the unexpected luck of widows’ sons? Not the man that used to make such particularly excellent fireworks! I remember those! Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve. Splendid! They used to go up like great lilies and snapdragons and laburnums of fire and hang in the twilight all evening!” 

 

There are a couple of things that I want to say about this description: first, it makes Gandalf sound quite harmless - as though he is primarily known for magic jewelry, storytelling, and fireworks. This is a nice introduction, but it is wholly misleading. Gandalf is fierce - we don't see all of his fierceness in The Hobbit, but anyone who has read LOTR knows that Bilbo has little to no idea of whom he is talking to when he says these words.

 

Also, I think it is interesting that Tolkien uses the words: "about dragons and goblins and giants and the rescue of princesses and the unexpected luck of widows’ sons" to describe the tales being told by Gandalf. These are all touchstone concepts of fairytales that any child who encounters this book will recognize, right down to the widows' sons (i.e. Jack in the Beanstalk), and which tell the reader what kind of a story this is going to be - it is a fantasy, a fairy-tale, with Bilbo as the stand-in for the reader.

 

The interaction between Bilbo and Gandalf so discombobulates Bilbo that he finds himself asking Gandalf over for tea the next day, much to his surprise and dismay. 

 

We also get quite a helpful description of both Bilbo, specifically, and hobbits, in general in this chapter. Bilbo has a divided nature: there is his Baggins side, solid, respectable, unadventurous, which has predominated his behavior up to the moment of meeting Gandalf. Then, on the other hand, there is his Tookish side: unconventional and a bit fey (so fey, in fact, that there is speculation that at one time one of the Tooks may have taken a fairy wife). This divide appears again and again in this chapter, most importantly, when he listens to the dwarves singing about their golden treasure lost to the dragon. His Tookish side stirs, and he finds himself thinking about going on an adventure. No one is more surprised by this than Bilbo himself.

 

I'm going to mention this here, and then perhaps return to it later - when the dwarves descend upon Bilbo's hobbit hole for tea, their entrance reminds me of the way that Bilbo, Gandalf & the dwarves descend upon Beorn in a later chapter. Do they use the same stratagem with Bilbo that they use with Beorn? Why? Bilbo isn’t likely to eat them if they all arrive at once. Perhaps they are afraid that he will slam the door on their faces if they all show up at one time? Bilbo is rather like the frog sitting in a pot of cold water, maybe, and with each dwarf showing up in singles or doubles, the heat is turned up until he is totally cooked?

 

 

This post is already pretty long, and even though I could probably go on for paragraph after paragraph, I'll end it with some thoughts on the dwarves and their song. Tolkien introduces the song with this paragraph:

 

It was a beautiful golden harp, and when Thorin struck it the music began all at once, so sudden and sweet that Bilbo forgot everything else, and was swept away into dark lands under strange moons, far over The Water and very far from his hobbit-hole under The Hill. The dark came into the room from the little window that opened in the side of The Hill; the firelight flickered—it was April—and still they played on, while the shadow of Gandalf’s beard wagged against the wall. The dark filled all the room, and the fire died down, and the shadows were lost, and still they played on. And suddenly first one and then another began to sing as they played, deep-throated singing of the dwarves in the deep places of their ancient homes; and this is like a fragment of their song, if it can be like their song without their music.

 

Which is really evocative - dark lands, strange moons, deep places - in contrast to Bilbo's homely hobbit hole. It reminds me of the encounter between Lucy and Mr, Tumnus from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, where Mr. Tumnus takes up his flute and hypnotizes Lucy with his music. Bilbo, too, is mesmerized, until he is shaken out of his reverie by the sight of a fire being lit across the water, which reminds him of plundering dragons and, suddenly, he's plain old Mr. Baggins again. Tolkien puts a lot of his world-building into his songs, and the song sung by the dwarves is no exception - it tells the tale of the king under the mountain and the desire for golden things that lives in the hearts of dwarves and dragons.

 

And there is a lot of similarity between the way that the dwarves covet their golden things which they make from gold and jewels and the manner in which the dragon hoards his plunder. Ultimately, Bilbo thinks of treasure in connection with what it can buy: food, security, warmth. The dwarves and the dragons covet it for its glittering nature: beautiful and cold.

 

So much good stuff in this first chapter - I could go on and on, but I won't and will end  here.

Reblogged from Parajunkee:
Book Review Infographic
Book Review Infographic
— feeling wink

Ratings, or "Yes mom, if my friends jumped off a bridge I would too!"

Reblogged from Murder by Death:
— feeling wink

Did anyone else's mom say that to them when arguing?  "If so-and-so jumped off a bridge would you do it?"  Given that my friends did go bridge jumping the question was oddly but unwittingly appropriate (and no, I did not jump off bridges, I played lookout - I'm afraid of heights).

 

I digress.  My rating system:

 

Note:  Because I buy my books, I'm very, very careful about which ones I choose, so I don't buy a book I'm not confident I'll like.  That leaves my ratings rather skewed towards 3.5-4 stars.  I also don't use half stars for ratings under 3. My dislike has fewer shades than my affection, I guess.)

 

5 stars - The book was so good I'm hugging it and quite probably stroking the covers.  Mutterings of "precious" may or may not be heard.  If asked, I'll recommend the book unreservedly.

 

4.5 stars - I loved it but I'm not actually showing physical affection.  Would definitely recommend.

 

4 stars - I really liked the book although I probably found imperfections that I'd feel the need to mention should someone ask (or in my review).  Would recommend.

 

3.5 stars - Good, not sorry I read it, but I'm not going to gush about it.

 

3 stars - Ambivalent.  It was neither good nor bad.  I'm not sorry I read it but I wouldn't have regretted not reading it.

 

2 stars - The book probably had potential but was ruined by bad editing, bad writing, hateful characters or horrible plotting.  Not recommendable.

 

1 star - The book is, in my opinion, complete crap and I am irritated about the time I spent reading it that I'm not going to get back.  Too many obstacles to overcome to be redeemed.  Will actively tell people I disliked the book.

 

DNF - Because it's a waste of ink, OR, the story is just not working for me on a personal taste level.  Recommendations are made (or not) depending on which.

Imitation sincerest form of flattery?

Reblogged from Whiskey in the Jar Romance:

My review of The Arrow by Monica McCarty

 

Demetra Iliopoulos's review of the Arrow by Monica McCarty

 

My review of Lethal Consequences by Elisabeth Naughton

 

Demetra Iliopoulo's review of Lethal Consequences by Elisabeth Naughton

 

My review of If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries

 

Demetra Iliopoulo's review of If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries

 

Now, I'm not special, it looks like she copies and pastes from several reviews, except for The Arrow, where she basically just copied my whole review, she seems to only take a couple sentences from here and there.

 

I had a friend on Goodreads alert me to the plagiarism she did from my Lethal Consequences review and I appreciated it so much. It's nice to know that other reviewers have your back. I thought I would pass it along that this is someone to watch out for. She has a decent amount of friends and gets likes on her reviews (well, the Frankenstein reviews she cobbles together) so she is getting credit for other's words.

 

Someone else commented on one of her reviews about being plagiarized again, so she seems to be aware and not care. I guess the point of this post is just to try to alleviate some of my frustration (I know others have had this problem, I feel your pain and commiserate), let others know so they can check to see if she copied them, and maybe shame her into stopping her actions. 

 

Does Goodreads do anything about this if you alert them?

You Only Love Twice By Elizabeth Thornton 99 cents

Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance :
You Only Love Twice - Elizabeth Thornton

For three years she’s been a mystery even to herself—a young woman who awoke in a London convent bereft of her memory. But now Jessica Hayword knows her name, her birthplace, and one other thing: By some terrifying twist of fate, she has the power to read another’s thoughts—the thoughts of a man who has killed and will kill again.

Convinced that she must unmask the murderer before it’s too late, Jessica goes home to Hawkshill Manor—and discovers that no one is happy about her return, especially the dangerously handsome earl Lucas Wilde. What kind of girl was she, Jessica wonders, to have earned such scorn? And whose murder is it that continues to haunt her? The deeper Jessica digs, the more scandalous details are revealed. Yet even as the clues point to Lucas as the killer, Jessica can’t keep herself away from his embrace. And now all she can do is pray that the man she’s falling in love with isn’t the man whose deadly voice she hears in her dreams.

What I Love About You By Rachel Gibson $1.99

Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance :
What I Love about You - Rachel Gibson

GIMMEE A B-R-E-A-K!

Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-poms with the best of them. But she's paid for all that popularity—her husband's run off with what's left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn't.

GIMMEE A S-H-O-T!

Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he's determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.

GIMMEE YOUR H-E-A-R-T!

An Obsession With Vengeance by Nancy Haviland

Reblogged from Whiskey in the Jar Romance:
An Obsession with Vengeance (Wanted Men Book 3) - Nancy Haviland

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sydney has gotten herself into a dangerous situation and it is starting to look like she is in way over her head. When the cartel leader she is doing business with realizes she may not be adhering fully to their agreement, he pays her a little visit. Fearing for her and her son's safety, Sydney makes a call to the one man who can save her. Every time Maksim is in a room with Sydney he can't wait to get his hands on her but so far, she has kept her walls firmly up. When he receives a call asking for his help, he doesn't hesitate but he does prepare himself to keep business strictly separated from pleasure. The possibility of the Russian mafia and Mexican cartel going to war is almost as dangerous as Sydney and Maksim's feelings for one another.
 
You know how people say they "Dropped the mic"? That sentiment and action is how I visualize the author dropping off this manuscript on her editor's desk; this book is on point. From the characters, to their relationships, and to the world building (oh my readers, the world building!), I was engrossed into this story. This is the way books in a series should be interconnected, shaping and adding to the overall world but still focused on the couple that is supposed to be the star of the particular book. No info dumping but rather branches flowing out of the trunk that take the reader here and there, sometimes wrapping up a thread and sometimes leaving you lingering on where the story or characters are going to go. The Wanted Men universe felt real to me, this is no quick story but an experience.
 
This is the third in the series and if you want the full overall story arc and not feel left out at times, you'll want to read the previous two books (A Love of Vengeance & The Salvation of Vengeance) but if you just want to read Maksim and Sydney's story, you could comfortably start here. I was a fan of her first book and thought she tapered off in the second but am now recommending reading this whole series if only for the emotions that will hit you when you read how Vincente has to leave the room when Sydney's son hugs his "sister".
 
After getting a glimpse of Sydney in the previous book, I wasn't sure I was going to like her but she quickly developed into a woman I found myself cheering for. She first met Maksim when the club she owns had video footage his organization needed in book two of the series. They had an instant attraction but because she had been on her own so much, due to getting pregnant at age 17 and being abandoned by her parents and the baby's father, she has major trust and control issues. I would have liked a little more expansion on her struggle and past, especially on who her parents were since it was alluded to that they were very rich and powerful but this is a small complaint. Maksim was a character that made a big impact on me from the previous two books; the author delivered and gave me everything I wanted and more for his character. He had the darkness that comes with growing up in an extremely harsh environment but also the vulnerability of trust issues. Along with the trust issues, he also matched Sydney with the need for control. These matching issues provided some fantastic push, pull, and eventual giving in moments. Maksim and Sydney's playfulness had a great sexual vibe that managed to be both light and dark at turns and also sexy.
 
It isn't until later in the story we get a bedroom payoff but that felt right for this couple. Their situation is dangerous and while they are both sexually attracted to one another, they are emotionally leery. As they spend more time together and get to know one another, their attraction expands beyond the physical. We then see Maksim slowly overcome his trust issues while Sydney loosens the grip on her need for control; this couple really does come together beautifully. I was chomping at the bit for them to get their bedroom scene and wished it had happened a little earlier as I thought the middle slowed slightly with a few sexually charged starts and stops and I definitely thought it took way too long for Sydney to tell Maksim about her child. Maksim is in Sydney's life because he is pretending she is his girlfriend/lover in order to give her the protection of his name/brotherhood so the cartel can't touch her, it was a little maddening how she kept quiet about her son, essentially not providing him with that same protection.
 
Even with those small complaints, I greatly enjoyed this book. The beginning with the build up and establishment of the story created a solid foundation for a truly absorbing story. I loved the deeper look into Vasily, the Pakhan or leader of Maksim's Russian mafia group, and all the other side characters. Past couples and future heroes are not merely trotted out for future book bait but are truly part of the story and world the author has created. The epilogue has me really looking forward to Alek's book and I'm really dying to read Micha's..no wait…Dmitri's…umm, wait…Lorenzo/Tegan's…yeah, let's just say I want to read about them all. This author has really hit her stride with An Obsession With Vengeance and with the world and characters she has created, I'm excited to see what she comes up with next.

A Playlist for Jane Austen's Heroines

Reblogged from Quirk Books:

 

Jane Austen in one of literature's most enduring and beloved authors. But what sort of music would go into making the perfect modern playlist for this literary A-lister? You’d need songs that explore class and social behaviors, courtship rituals, and the complicated corners of the female heart. Clever songs that reflect the author’s witty banter, ones with passionate cores for the emotional turmoil her heroines endure. Considering all the balls that are attended in the books, some catchy beats wouldn’t hurt either. And of course the songs would have to be female-powered.

 

Here's our suggested Jane Austen playlist: 

 

 

“Money Changes Everything” – Cyndi Lauper 
Whether it’s Persuasion’s Anne Elliott breaking up with Wentworth because his station in life was too low or the Dashwood sisters of Sense and Sensibility nervously living on a “barely-respectable” income, it’s only a matter of time before the topic of money is raised in the pages of an Austen novel. And it tends to be sooner than later. Which isn’t to say her heroines are shallow, because they do choose mates based on love, but let’s just say they value financial stability as well. Which makes this Cyndi Lauper song a perfect way to kick things off.

 

 

“No Cheap Thrill” - Suzanne Vega
Speaking of emotional and financial stakes…Vega’s songs about relationships abound in wit and sensitivity, so she’s a no-brainer for this list. While “No Cheap Thrill” likens love to poker, the game serves as a metaphor for what we risk when giving our hearts to others: 

 

“I’ll see you, I’ll call you, I’ll raise you
But it’s no cheap thrill
It’ll cost you, cost you, cost you
Anything you have to pay.”

 

 

“Dancing on My Own” – Robyn
From Pride and Prejudice to Mansfield Park, no better setting allows for social tensions to unfold like the ball. Where there’s a ball, there’s usually drama accompanying the dancing, and hurt feelings that must be masked amidst the party atmosphere. This is where you’d hear Robyn’s song of keeping her head high and her feet moving despite her broken heart. 

 

 

“Rumour Has It” – Adele
If there’s one thing Austen’s characters love to do, it’s gossip. From lies to betrayals to which couple ran off in the night to get married, the whispers abound. Adele could just as easily be referencing the Regency period when she sings, 

 

“People say crazy things,
Just ‘cause I said it,
it don’t mean that I meant it.” 

 

 

“Single” – Everything But The Girl
The chorus of this song asks, “Do you like being single?” Pose this question to the female characters of a certain author and they’re sure to answer with a resounding, “No!” Enough said.

 

 

“The Mating Game” – Bitter:Sweet
This trip-hop duo’s flirty number is a perfect anthem to the merry-go-round of romantic pairings that occur in the pages of Austen’s books:

 

“Step right up you’re the next contestant 
In this sweet charade
Take a number,
wait while I twist your fate.”
 

 

 

“Caught a Like Sneeze” – Tori Amos
Lurking in the pages of Austen’s books are scoundrels, whether serial heartbreaker Henry Crawford of Mansfield Park or the duplicitous Willoughby of Sense and Sensibility. Luckily they are usually sussed out before irreparable damage is done to the heroine. Which is pretty much the theme of this Tori song. 

 

 

“I Won’t Kneel” – Groove Armada
The lyrics speak of being a victim of one’s pride and seeking forgiveness, but without losing sacrificing one’s integrity. That’s something ladies like Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse can surely relate to:

 

“I came for miles on a broken wheel
I came to see whether love can heal
But I won’t kneel, no I won’t kneel”
These gals may be humbled,
but their backbones always remain intact.

 

 

“Bachelorette” – Bjork
The sweeping orchestral drama of the music, with percussion reminiscent of a heartbeat, creates a soundscape perfect for the uncertainty that accompanies falling in and out of love. Bjork’s voice is equal parts passion and vulnerability when she sings lines like, “Love is a two way dream.”

 

 

“I Am In Love With You” – Imogen Heap
Don’t let the title of this one fool you. What begins as a song about being smitten takes a dark turn. “Split second and it’s all in smoke,” sings Heap, concluding with a final refrain that claims, “I’m not in love with you.” A perfect accompaniment to the emotional swings the ladies of Austen’s novels endure as they fall in and out of love.

 

 

“The Human Game” – Lisa Gerrard
Through social and financial obstacles, misunderstandings and obfuscations of the heart, Austen’s heroines earn their happy endings. Therefore, it’s only appropriate that this playlist end on a poetic, romantic note. This song by the angel-voiced Gerrard carries through the love-conquers-all theme when she sings,

 

“All of our love rises above
The human game.”

 

What other songs do you think should be added the soundtrack of Jane Austen’s books? Share your picks in the comments, or tweet us @Quirkbooks!

And below for handy listening, is a Spotify playlist for all the songs featured in this post: 

Guilty When Reading

Reblogged from Nemo @ The Moonlight Library:

I posted this on my blog but I figured we might as well have a discussion here as well.

 

AM I SUFFERING FROM READER'S GUILT?

 

Even now, as an adult and having completed a literature degree, I feel guilty when I read.

It may be leftover guilt because I was raised Catholic, and apparently we feel guilty about everything, but I’m pretty sure it stems from something deeper.

 

When I was a child, I wasn’t allowed to read during the daytime.

 

Why not? You may ask. What kind of parent doesn’t let their child read during the day?

My mother is a ‘keeping up appearances’ kind of woman. She always wanted her house to look like a magazine, but never wanted to put the effort in herself.

(Which she achieved when her adult children left home. Not only did they leave home, but they moved overseas to get away from her. Now the house she lives in is cold and unwelcoming, and not like a ‘home’ at all, but more like a temporary living situation.)

If my mother caught me reading during the day she’d assign me an endless list of chores.

Which I’m not complaining about because gee, I know just how hard it is to maintain a house to look like a flawless magazine, but there’s a reason my brother nicknamed me ‘Cinderella’.

That’s why whenever I heard her stomping down the house towards my bedroom, I’d hide the book under my bed and start cleaning my room, pretending I’d been doing that all along. Because if there’s one thing my mother loved more than a clean, tidy, magazine-style house, it was children who cleaned without being asked.

But it was pretty ironic that my mother didn’t want me reading ‘too much’, because she’s a big reader herself.

Even now as a grown up, I need to do housework before I can read or I’ll feel this swirling guilt I attempt to push aside.

 

Can one really read too much?

 

  • When your house needs cleaning.
  • When it’s beautiful weather outside and you should be outside being outside because apparently outside is better for you than inside, despite the fact that I am pale and burn easily and make it my life’s mission to stay out of the sun.
  • When you should be socialising with friends.
  • When your husband wants to watch a film with you.
  • When your cats are demanding attention.

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Basically I think the reason I read so little in comparison to most of my blogging friends – despite having a literature degree, despite being a bookworm, despite buying dozens of books a year – is that I still harbour some kind of guilt that reading is a luxury I need to earn by doing other non-solo things. That despite my immense enjoyment of reading, it’s a time suck. That sometimes, watching the film adaptation takes less commitment because it’ll all be over in two and a half hours.

Oh my god. Did I just blaspheme?

Does anyone else feel guilty when they read?

How can I overcome this reader’s guilt?

Riding High By Vicki Lewis Thompson 99 cents

Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance :
Riding High (Sons of Chance Series Book 14) - Vicki Lewis Thompson

There ain't a rider that can't be thrown. And large-animal veterinarian Regan O'Connelli was thrown hard when he discovered his fiancée with his best friend. Now he's starting his life over at the Last Chance Ranch, run by the tightly knit Chance clan. But damned if his libido hasn't perked up over the spirited redhead who looks a lot like trouble…. 

Lily King is the queen of anti-structure. Turns out, that makes running a horse sanctuary a challenge. Regan's help is exactly what Lily needs—not to mention the seriously sexy sparks that are flying between them. Now she just has to convince this fallen cowboy to dust himself off and get back in the saddle…and into her bed!

The Color Purple By Alice Walker 9 Cents! Really 9 Cents!

Reblogged from Cat's Books: Romance :
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
Celie has grown up in rural Georgia, navigating a childhood of ceaseless abuse. Not only is she poor and despised by the society around her, she’s badly treated by her family. As a teenager she begins writing letters directly to God in an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear. Her letters span twenty years and record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through the guiding light of a few strong women and her own implacable will to find harmony with herself and her home.

The Color Purple’s deeply inspirational narrative, coupled with Walker’s prodigious talent as a stylist and storyteller, have made the novel a contemporary classic of American letters. 

This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
— feeling hungry

BookLikes revolution launching now - Feel Invited! BookLikers share tips & tricks for newbies

Reblogged from BookLikes:
— feeling hungry

There's been plenty of revolutions out there and it's high time to start our own. Now it's time for social revolution on BookLikes! Are you in??!? 

 

Last week was a milestone for our team, we've announce the farewell of Thursday's releases on BookLikes (if you've missed the post, click here) but promised not to leave you empty handed. And we won't. Our brains work on the highest level, our mugs get never-ending coffee refill, and the office fridge gets frightfully empty (it is true that brain work strengthens appetite!).

 

Our excitement peaked when we spotted how supportive and devoted to BookLikes cause you are! We can't thank you enough for your constructive criticism, enthusiastic moves and creative initiatives. The power of community, BookLikes community, is genuine and amazing. Remaining in high spirits, we'd like to introduce you and remind about the initiative that popped up several days ago thanks to group of trending bloggers on BookLikes.

 

The outcome of this common drive is a discussion group Find New BookLikes Blogs To Follow set up by Hunger For Knowledge.

 

 

Hunger For Knowledge writes in the group description:

Find new people to follow, let new people to find you.

This group is dedicated to finding new people to interact on BookLikes.

This is a group for everyone and anyone. This is a result of good community and great teamwork. Let's connect. (go to the group)

 

 

The group is open for all welcoming BookLikes newbies, rising up bloggers, regular and part time BookLikes members, authors, publishers -- long story short, all book lovers on BookLikes. Feel invited to join, share your ideas, show your stand, interact with our team and other bloggers. Show yourself, discover and be discovered. 

 

The discussion threads are divided into several sections giving you the opportunity to give the shout out to other bloggers, meet international personalities, share your brainstorms in the Think Thank discussion, and share your advices and suggestions.

 

 

We've spotted some cool suggestions for BookLikes newbies

in the Think Thank section, have a look:

 

 

Familiar Diversions:

 

- Check out the "Hot Reviews" and "New and trending" sections on the Explore page. Those are good places to find active bloggers.

- Add books to your shelves. I don't know about others, but one of the first things I do when I'm considering whether to follow someone who's followed me or who has commented on/liked one of my posts is to check what they've read and how they've rated it.

- Comment on posts. Don't be shy. :)

 

Charmingly Euphemistic:

 

To find people to follow: Pick a book you adore (preferably a kind of obscure one) and go look at the blogs of people who reviewed it.

 

If they read stuff you like and post stuff you want to read, follow them.

 

 

Char's Horror Corner:

 

Commenting on posts is how I've found most of the people I follow.

One of the first things I look at when I'm considering whether or not to follow someone is their shelves. Empty shelves will almost always make me click off and be on my way, without following.

If the shelves are stocked, I will poke about to see if I agree with the blogger's ratings, or I will see if they have read or are reading books that I'm interested in-if they are. I'm followin'. :)

 

Where to find more blogs to follow?

 

If you're looking for new bloggers to follow visit Explore page (under review now, some changes coming), Book Catalog page (go to book pages to look through reviews and shelves), Reading lists (in Apps), Book clubs and discussion groups, including the new one Find New Booklikes Blogs To Follow sections with heated discussions by BookLikes members.

 

Here are some rising up bloggers worth your attention,

you can also spot more in the Shout-out for Newbies discussion:

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

View blog & follow if you like it 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

View blog & follow if you like it 

 

View blog & follow if you like it 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

You can also use the Compare books option which will show you how compatible the blogger with your reading taste is. To compare the shelves go to the blogger's blog and click the stats icon or go to Apps in the main menu and choose Compare books tab. 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

View blog & follow if you like it

 

 

The BookLikes team is always here to listen to your suggestions and react to any hiccups in the service.

 

 

If you'd like to share your ideas or you'll notice something we should know about, drop us a line or leave a post in the official BookLikes discussion group threads: Feature requests or Bug reports.

 

Reblogged from Rebekah Reads Books n' Stuff:

This. Way too often.

The rompiest romp in Rompfordshire.

Reblogged from Oliviate:
Something About Emmaline - Elizabeth Boyle

I have not read a classic frothy Regency like this in some time, and it was nice to get back to what I originally loved most in the genre. The plot is an absurd tissue of implausible events that exists only to help the characters sparkle; this would be a problem if the characters here weren't so much fun to watch. We have a stuffy-but-secretly-not-so-stuffy duke hero and his pleasantly mooching best friend, we have social-climbing villains and highwaymen-turned-coach-drivers and butlers with a penchant for games of chance; we have a surfeit of my favorite Regency trope: terrifying old ladies with gimlet eyes and secretly stalwart hearts.

 

And we have Emmaline. Oh, it's lovely to have a con-artist heroine who is shamelessly chaotic and charismatic and who never has to atone for her past to meet the hero's standards. She's bouncy and witty and completely frank about her weakness for handsome men in the sex department -- it's a combination that makes for pure delight.

 

It's not a perfect story by any means, but it was a hell of a lot of fun.

Synchronize Blogger blog with your BookLikes webpage

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

So many activities, so little time. There are times when you don’t have time or possibility to blog and stay active on all your platforms and social media. Your preferences also matters, for example you love your BookLikes webpage but you have a second blog on other platform you got used to and don’t want to get rid of it. Now you can connect your two blogs and publish on both. Don’t forget you can take advantage of other synchronization on BookLikes: with your social media, your Goodreads account and Kindle e-reader.

 

If you have a Blogger blog and would like to share your posts on BookLikes and Blogger this new synchronization feature is for you! To make it easier we’ve prepared a special option which allows you to synchronize your blogs and post to your BookLikes and Blogger with one click. Here’s how.



7 Steps to Synchronize your Blogger blog with your BookLikes webpage

(BookLikes -> Blogger)

 

1. Go to your Blogger blog’s Settings. Choose Mobile and e-mail tab.

 

2. Fill up the blogger e-mail address. Add secret/unique words in this address and choose Publish immediately if you wish to publish a blog post online.

 

3. Save Settings in your Blogger blog’s Settings.

 

 

4. Go to your BookLikes Settings/Blog and add the blogger address. This is really crucial as the ability to cross post depends on it. Make sure to add the same e-mail address as the one in your Blogger’s settings. Thanks to this secret e-mail you’ll be able to post from BookLikes to your Blogger blog.

 

5. Save Settings in your BookLikes Settings.

 

 

6. Write a post and mark Blogger icon (green = active) to publish the post and review on both of your blogs.

 

 

7. Post your text, it will be published on BookLikes and Blogger.

 

 

On BookLikes

 

 

On Blogger

 

Your BookLikes blog post title will be your post's title on the Blogger blog. The text will be cross posted including the images and links. Some basic formatting should be also applied to your Blogger post automatically, including rating stars. Bare in mind, however, that some differences in the post’s look can happen because of different blog themes and synchronization restrictions. Some minor delays may also occur.

 

Synchronizations with other platforms are in progress.



Do you remember about other synchronizations on BookLikes?

 

BookLikes and Your Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)

You can cross post links to your texts to your Facebook and Twitter profiles by connecting your social media profiles in Settings and activating social icons in the writing box (green = active).

 

 

BookLikes and Your Goodreads

You can also synchronize your Goodreads and BookLikes accounts. The sync can be switched on in Settings/Import -- when connecting open your Goodreads page in the second tab and authorize the app, only then the synchronization will be switched on.

 

BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization allows you to update your shelf, post reviews, add ratings and shelves. The synchronization works one way from BookLikes TO Goodreads, this means that when you add a book to your BookLikes shelf, post a reviews on your BL blog, add/edit rating starts or add a new shelf all those activities will be mirrored on your Goodreads account.

 

The BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization works only one way and cannot be performed for your past activities.

 

Goodreads synchronization is a different mechanism than book import of a csv file from Goodreads. We recommend switching on the BookLikes -> Goodreads synchronization after the book import is completed.



BookLikes and Your Kindle

The synchronization with your Kindle lets you post your reading progress updated on your BookLikes blog straight from your Kindle. Switch on the connection in Settings/General -- first connect your twitter account and switch on the Kindle synchronization.

 

To post on BookLikes via the Kindle follow the schemes  "...%"    or    "...% and your comment".

Have a look at the examples:

 

* If you write and share percent only, e.g.:     10%     on your Twitter from your Kindle, your book progress will be updated on your BookLikes Shelf.

 

** If you write and share percent and your comment, e.g.:     10% so far I love it!     on your Twitter from your Kindle, your book progress will be updated on your BookLikes Shelf and a post with "Reading progress updated" and your comment will be published on your BookLikes blog.

When shelving new titles, show your bookish mood - emotion status is now available for books

Reblogged from BookLikes:
— feeling happy

Share your bookish mood with your friends and followers and show how do you feel about books you're reading! Now when you shelve books, click Finished! or set any other reading status you can supplement the shelving information with the emotion status. 

 

To add the emotion status to a book you're shelving, search the book or click the book cover as usual and go to the advanced pop up with the additional shelving options: 

 

 

Answer the question How do you feel about this book?

 

 

 

The emotion status will be visible in the book pop up and on Dashboard: 

 

The emotion status in the advanced book pop up 

 

 

Book emotions on Dashboard

 

 

Why to use emoticons when shelving and reviewing?

 

Emotion statuses and emoticons won't replace full length reviews, they can, however, complement the text with an enjoyable mood addition.

 

Some scientific surveys revealed that our brain reacts likewise when we see an emoji and a human face -- this means we pay the similar degree of attention to the smiley face as we do to real face. And attention is what we wish for when we write or share the book news, right?

 

What's more, emojis tend to enhance our memory skills and have a highly positive influence on getting the message across -- they make a happy news more enjoyable and negative more approachable. 

 

Being just an addition and another mean of conveying the message, emoticons can be a fun supplement to your texts, and a way of expressing yourself and how you feel about your books. In a short and tips-like manner. Why not? :-) 

 

 

Updates

 

  • Emotion statuses are now available in Draft views. This means that when you write a text, add an emotion status and click Save as Draft, the emotion status will be attached to your text and visible in Draft view (to see your Drafts, click Blog from the upper menu and Drafts in the right column). 

 

  • Emotion statuses are visible on your public blog pages. This refers to reviews, posts and 3 BookLikes design templates only (Gentle Spirit, Notebook, Smart Casual).

 

If you have a different blog theme, a customized blog look or if you have edited your blog's HTML code, please have in mind that this update will not be visible on your public blog page. To make the emojis visible on blog pages, please follow the instructions on Theme Docs (in the footnote) and add the changes to the code or contact your designer. 

 

 

Emotions on public blog pages