Sunday, October 12, 2014

BBI is on the Lookout for an International Team Member!

We are looking for one (or possibly two) new team members at Book Bloggers International.  Our lives have each gotten much busier since we started BBI and we would love to bring on new team members to work with!

Since the three of us all live in the U.S., we are in particular looking for an international book blogger to join our team.  If you live outside the U.S. and are interested in being considered for our new opening, please fill out the form below!  

We will be selecting the candidate in the next month. 

We will also be back to regularly scheduled posts, soon, with both new featured bloggers, as well as theme months.  Thanks for being patient with us!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Now Featuring: Carolina G from A Girl That Likes Books

Today please welcome Carolina, who blogs at A Girl That Likes Books.

What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?
The URL (green mushroom) comes from the green mushroom on Mario that gives you extra lives, just like books do the same. The title of the blog itself, A Girl that Likes Books seemed like a perfect description of who I am, a person that really likes to read and share her thoughts about her reading

How long have you been blogging?
I posted my first post on June of 2011, but is was only in September of the same year that I started reviewing and posting regularly, so I guess we can say almost 3 years now.

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
I am still working on making it unique, it is not easy with so many amazing blogs out there! But I do try to always have constructive critiques/reviews as much as possible, and recently I started working on a weekly item: This week in the news, where I try to talk about book related topics that I didn't already heard about on the blogs I follow and this includes news from Canada where I live and Colombia, my country of origin.

What genres do you write about most, and why?
I know I gravitate mostly around fantasy, because it takes me quite away from my "work" reading which are mostly scientific articles. But since I joined the Sword and Laser bookclub I've been more in contact with SciFi and I've made myself a challenge to read all the Alfaguara award winners, a prize for Hispanic literature since I didn't want to loose the habit of reading in Spanish.

Every blogger feels pressure at some point. What's something you feel pressured to do or not do on your blog? How do you deal with it?
I think the biggest pressure I've felt is how to make my reviews original because you don't want it to sound like a book report but you also want to make it attractive to your readers. What I decided to do was to write it as I would talk to with my friends and get the feeling that it has made the reviews more fluid and even more approachable. At least I sure hope so!

What's one book you think everyone should read?
Oh I would say Momo by Michael Ende. Most people know him for The Never-ending Story, which is also a great book, but Momo was possibly one of my favorite books as a child and when I re read it as an adult all the magic was still there. I think a recurring theme in these 2 books is not letting go of your child wonder and the power of imagination. I think is beautiful!

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?
I personally can't. I even did a post on that ^-^. One reason being that I use the library a lot, and so you can't really do that to books that are not your, right? Then in the books I own, I like to keep sentences or moments that I liked marked with sticky notes but I can't get myself to write on them.

What's your favorite place to read or blog?
During summer I really like a rocking chair I have on our terrace, but living in Canada, reading outside is not a year-long option sadly. I have 2 favorite spots around the house: 1. a papasan in our living room, that sometimes I have to compete with my cat for; 2. a red chair that is in our office. If you want, you can see both on my reviews, I usually have a picture taken on where I've been reading each book.

Is the evil empire? Discuss.
That's a hard question, particularly with the recent Hachette situation. I think they have a business model that obviously work for them. they have cheap prices, and they have the convenience of getting stuff delivered to your door. That said, they offer this to any product, not just books, and to all of the sudden take the speech of "oh we are here for the readers", if you were you wouldn't block readers that might only have you as an option to get a book they are dying to read. You are there FOR YOU, is it evil? is it selfish? As most big corporations, it is. Right now, with the famous (infamous actually) letter they send out they are looking more ridiculous and greedy than evil. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Book shelfie time! Take a "shelfie" of your bookshelves and share it with us.

What have you learned from other bloggers or your readers?
I've learned that the best way to tackle a post is with full honesty. The community of bloggers and readers is so supportive that I don't feel bad saying: you know? I didn't like this books because X, Y and Z. We might disagree sometimes, but is has always been with the best of attitudes, and is such a nice thing to feel like comments and reviews are being fully honest :)

I've also learned that you should do your best to answer ALL comments, if they are reaching you should do the same. Sure, sometimes you loose track when you have a big day, but do your best to always answer.

Do you judge a book by its cover, or its lover?
None; while I am attracted to covers, it will be most of the time the synopsis that will convince me of giving it a try and as for their lover, since I strongly believe that a book is completely different to each person I can't judge the book by who liked it or who didn't.

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?
The Book Girl ( once reviewed and giveaway a copy of Jersey Angel. Her review made it seem like a very nice YA, non fantasy book. I was lucky enough to win a copy...and I was struck by how much I disliked the book. I can't even...

To DNF or not to DNF?
Most of the time I always finish my books, particularly library ones. I feel really bad when I DNF a book, but hey! sometimes we just don't click me and the book and I see no point on making us both miserable.

What's one book that intimidates you?
Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett. My bf read it but it took it over a year, is so dense! He said it was a very good book, but I look at them and I feel like I won't be able to read it.

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?
There is a lot that I want to see in the UK since a lot of books that I have loved have taken place there. Then there is Sweden due to all the noir novellas I've read recently that I loved!

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
I cook, mostly bake. I was playing a lot of WoW too with the bf, but he is finishing his thesis now, so I am waiting for him to be done to start playing again.

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
LOTR, the movie version by Peter Jackson for favorite.
For least-favorite...I have to say that while visually I quite enjoy it, I have to go with The Hobbit by Peter just went so over the place with CGI and 3 movies...Sigh!

What are 3 favorite posts or reviews you've read by other book bloggers?
Why I’m Not Reviewing Self-Published Books at River City Reading
Personally: Amazing What a Haircut Can Do at Estella's Revenge
Grown-Ups and YA at Books Without any Pictures

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at
The Involved Eclectic

Thank you for joining us today, Carolina!

Remember to check out Carolina's blog, A Girl That Likes Books, and leave a comment or question.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Featuring: Jenny from Reading on the Farm

Today please welcome Jenny, who blogs at Reading on the Farm.  She's a newbie so be sure to welcome her to the community!

What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?
I live on a 10 acre farm with a lot of animals - cows, goats and chickens not to mention my indoor pets. So when I was looking for a name to express my love of reading and also show how much living on a farm is a part of my life, Reading on the Farm just seemed to fit.

How long have you been blogging?
It's been about 5 months now. I didn't even know about the book blogging community before the beginning of the year, which is surprising considering i've been an avid reader for so many years. When I discovered all these great book bloggers that were so excited about sharing their love of reading, I knew I had to become a part of that community. And it's been wonderful. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive and i've really been enjoying myself!

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
I really want a visitor to come away from my blog with the idea that I take reviewing books seriously. I really take my time trying to give a reader an honest look at what worked and didn't work for me with a book. When I started reading book blogs, what I was looking for was recommendations. I loved this book - what should I read next? So I hope i've set up a place that's easy to use, where you can find the next book you would like to read.

What genres do you write about most, and why?
Mostly Young Adult books, although lately I've been doing a few New Adult here and there. I feel like YA books are focused on such a pivotal point in a person's life. There's so many things that you experience for the first time at that age, and it's a time where the direction of your life and how you feel about the world is getting developed. There's also such a wealth of wonderful authors writing for that genre.

Every blogger feels pressure at some point. What's something you feel pressured to do or not do on your blog? How do you deal with it?
Hmm, I've gotten myself into the idea that I need to post 5-6 days a week every week, and some weeks that's not realistic. I have a family and a lot of things going on outside of blogging, as I'm sure everyone does, so some weeks it's just not possible. I just try and remind myself that I started this to have fun and connect with other bloggers and readers. No one's going to be mad if I miss a day or even a week of posting!

What's one book you think everyone should read?
I am a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater. I grew up riding horses and the first book of hers that I read was The Scorpio Races. I recommend that book to everyone ever, whether you like YA or not. I just connected with that book on such a personal level. Also, she is such a wonderful writer and I'm always blown away by her books.

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?
Ummm NO! It just feels like such blasphemy to me! I'm the kind of person who doesn't even bend corners to save her place so writing in a book is definitely off the table!

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?
A lot of people seem to love The 5th Wave and I just . . .kind of hated it. I didn't think the writing was that great, and I just couldn't get into the story. Kind of makes me feel like the odd one out, but it wasn't for me!

To DNF or not to DNF?
I used to say no to DNF'ing a book. But as I've gotten more and more books on my TBR pile, I do DNF a book occasionally. I just don't have time to keep reading a book that I absolutely hate. I will give every book a fair shot though, I read at least 30% before I DNF.

What's one book that intimidates you?
A lot of the classics still intimidate me. I read a lot of them in high school but I see a lot of people still love to read them now, and I haven't picked one up in years. I'd like to try and read some Jane Austen within the next year or so.

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
Well, most of the time I'm running around with my kids. But I love to knit and crochet even though i'm not great at either, and I love spending time with my animals. Living on a farm requires a bunch of upkeep, so generally I'm trying to fix fences or clean out the chicken coop. I don't watch much tv, the only show I've really been able to get into was Game of Thrones, and that's only because I started reading the books a long time ago.

What are 3 favorite posts or reviews you've read by other book bloggers?
Cuddlebuggery Review: Throne of Glass
Perpetual Page Turner - You mean I have to work at this?
Jenna Does Books - Make it a Movie Monday

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at
The All-Rounder

Thank you for joining us today, Jenny! Remember to check out Jenny's blog, Reading on the Farm, and leave a comment or question for Jenny below!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Now Featuring: Rachel of Purple Owl Reviews

Today please welcome Rachel, who blogs at Purple Owl Reviews!

What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?
Purple = Favorite Color
Owl = Favorite Animal
Reviews = Blog Purpose

How long have you been blogging?
I really didn't pick up blogging until the April 2014 Dewey Read A Thon. I'd done a few failed blogs previously (baking, my own short stories), but it wasn't until I found the online book community that I was able to find my voice.

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
My blog is 90% book reviews. The remaining reviews are for games, puzzles and recipes. 

When I do write book reviews, I tend to focus on how the book made me feel. If the book energized me, you will read that in the review. If I just couldn't connect to the book at all, you will pick up on that. I don't bash books, no matter how much I dislike them. I say what aspects of the book left me unsatisfied and offer constructive criticism on improvements. 

As a result of this, you won't read any spoilers in my reviews and very few quotes.

What genres do you write about most, and why?
My favorite genres are, essentially, everything except Romance and Historical Fiction. Everything else is fair game. I'm more likely to read science fiction or dystopian books but that's probably because those were the books that really got me into reading.

Every blogger feels pressure at some point. What's something you feel pressured to do or not do on your blog? How do you deal with it?
I hate, hate, HATE, writing bad reviews. I've had to do one for a guest review already and I STILL feel bad about it. But I suck it up and always be honest. Critiquing is one thing, I never bash the author. And that's the thought I hold on to when I write the bad reviews.

What's one book you think everyone should read?
This is a tough one because there are so many books that I've wanted to scream at people "YOU NEED TO READ THIS!" 

The most recent one would be Grim Hearts by J.D. Fitzegerald. The longest lasting one would probably be Beowulf.

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?
Hell yes! Well, let me temper that with "situation dependent". For some books, it really helps me out when I'm going back, looking for important plot points. For other books, they are far to precious (or borrowed) for me to want to besmirch. For other books, it's already been done for me (Thanks S!).

What's your favorite place to read or blog?
I don't really have a "favorite place". I have a small apartment. But I do have a favorite time. I love to read/blog while watching the sun come up with a cup of coffee in my hand :)

Is the evil empire? Discuss.
Big doesn't always equal evil. Then again, I don't work for them. I think they are successful. But they are, to me, still working on finding the balance between successful and good. I don't see them becoming Wal Mart, but again, I don't work for them.

Book shelfie time! Take a "shelfie" of your bookshelves and share it with us.
Unfortunately, because of the smallness of my apartment, all my books are in totes....

What have you learned from other bloggers or your readers?
1-Follow up on comments made on your blog.
2-Be nice, and people will help you out.
3-Read what you love.

Do you judge a book by its cover, or its lover?
Before I got into blogging, yes, I judged by the cover. Now that I'm in the book blogging world, I go more by the lover. It's really a matter of knowing more people to make recommendations.

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?
And my brain goes to Twilight. I was told by a friend who had loaned me several books already that I would LOVE Twilight. Ultimately I thought it was "meh". But once it started showing up everywhere, it became annoying. Especially when the Twilight lovers started assuming that I loved it because I love books.

To DNF or not to DNF?
If it's for a guest review, I'll always finish. If it's for personal reading, sometimes I just have to give up.

What's one book that intimidates you?
War and Peace. Either that or a philosophy book I had to read for a class that was so terribly dense that I have forgotten its name...possibly for my own sanity.

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?
Xanth. I'd LOVE to go for a swim in a wellspring.

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I bake, sometimes I do jigsaw puzzles, sometimes I play video games.

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Least Favorite: Either Beowulf 3D (adapted from Beowulf) or Troy (adapted from the Illiad). I still cannot think of either of these movies without becoming enraged. It took every ounce of strength I had NOT to throw something at the screen when they were playing. If I think too much on them, I may vomit!

What are 3 favorite posts or reviews you've read by other book bloggers?
Fallacious Fat by Bibliognome
Book View: Missing May by The Book Monsters
Review: 9 Years Gone by Chris Culver (thriller) by Daily Mayo

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at
The All-Rounder
Your responses showed you fitting into three different personalities:

Exacting Reader: You love books but you rarely have as much time to read as you'd like - so you're very particular about the books you choose.
Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin and eagerly await the next in the series.
Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

For once a personality quiz that is so true :)

Thank you for joining us today, Rachel! Remember to check out Rachel's blog, Purple Owl Reviews, and leave a comment or question below!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Translation: The Art of Reconstructing a Text - Guest Post by Melissa, The Book Binder's Daughter

Today Melissa of The Book Binder's Daughter shares with us about the trickiness of translations!  Welcome, Melissa!

The first word of Homer’s Iliad in the Ancient Greek is menin, which translates to “anger” or “rage.”  Most translations of The Iliad in English do not begin with this word.  This has always bothered me because in an epic the first word is the most important as it sets the tone and the theme for the entire work.  When an epic is translated and the original Greek word is not used as its first, an important element of the epic seems to be lost.

Translation is really an art form and when given a text to translate no two people will come up with the exact same translation.  When translating from an ancient to a modern language it is impossible to come up with an exact, one to one translation.  My first reference to the Iliad is a good example of this.  Some have translated the word menin as “anger,” some have translated it as “rage” or “wrath”.  All of these choices are possible and none of them are the most “correct.”  But they are the closest we can come to giving the modern reader the feeling and tone of this Ancient Greek word.

When I am first going over a translation with my students, I try to get them to stay as close to the original Latin texts as possible.  This leads to awkward translations that most people would fail to comprehend.  Sometimes I have them write their translations on the board in class and then point to it and ask, “Tell me in your own words what this says.”  Silence ensues.  Cue the cricket sounds.  I then have them do what I call a “modern” translation of the text that is accessible to any reader, even one who is not familiar with ancient literature.

So how do we get to a translation that captures the spirit of the original work yet also appeals to modern readers?  This is something that is really hard to do.  In my experience a good translation is one which maintains the themes and nuances of the original work.  And of course this is always changing and evolving as our own language changes and evolves.  What appealed to someone as a good translation in the early 20th century will sound awkward and archaic to those of us in the early 21st century.

I was thrilled to see a new translation of Euripides Bacchae offered on Edelweiss.  This is one of the more difficult Greek tragedies to get a modern audience to understand.  It centers around the Greek god Dionysus and his attempt to transform the citizens of Thebes into becoming his devoted followers.  The young King Pentheus is conservative and is opposed to a religion that allows its members to free themselves from the normal restrains of civilization and embrace their natural desires.  In my opinion, the translator’s word choice and sentence construction (or should I say reconstruction) has captured the themes and subject matters of this tragedy, thereby making it intelligible to the 21st century reader.  

Thanks, Melissa!  Have a question or comment for Melissa?  Leave one below!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Was Raised Victorian: Guest Post by Brenda of Daily Mayo

Greetings! I am Brenda from Daily Mayo. Classics are some of my favorite books, since I mostly read just classic literature growing up. I am excited to be able to share this guest post with you!

When I was young, my favorite books in all the world were the most classic of Victorian titles like David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Anne of Green Gables, Ruth Fielding, Peter Pan, Little Women, the Secret Garden, and Sherlock Holmes.

Born into a family of 9, my siblings and I were largely left alone to make our own choices about what to read, where to go, and what to do. I chose to spend most of my time and energy reading Victorian novels.  

Through the pages penned by long-dead authors, I not only absorbed the information written there, but I also became the subjects of each book. Reading a book was not simply the experience of reading words on paper, but also a complete immersion into a different world.

I nearly drowned with Anne, chased down criminals with Watson (I never presumed to become Sherlock), uncovered the key to the secret garden with Sarah, and flew to Neverland with Wendy.

I read so much Victorian literature that it began to affect my everyday life. I wanted to wear long, swishing skirts; put my hair up in a bun; and ride horses through the English countryside (no matter that I basically lived in the desert). I wanted to BE Victorian in every way possible.

My childhood obsession with the Victorian lifestyle was so deep, that when I grew up; I didn’t want to be a doctor, an astronaut, or a rock star. I didn’t even want to be a princess like many other little girls.

No, I wanted to be an orphan.

Or, since I found the issue of getting rid of my parents complicated and impractical, I was all right with simply being given away to be raised by rich relations.  

Although my family and friends probably thought I was nuts for wearing my hair in braided pigtails for two years and choosing to wear skirts in middle school, it was during these experiences that I realized what I wanted out of life. I wanted the ability to make people feel the way that I did about my beloved books. I wanted to become a writer.  

As I grew older, I began to read stories that fell outside of the Victorian period. I realized that, perhaps, I didn’t have to live like a Victorian to experience the best side of writing.

But that didn’t mean I left all of my past experience by the wayside. Much of my opinions on writing and literature are based around the stories that captured my youthful imagination- and to this day, I feel happiest in a long skirt.

Of course, if my 11-year-old self knew a career in writing is 80 percent rejection and 20 percent coffee- she might have chosen a different profession. Professional horse racing, maybe.

I was raised Victorian, but I don’t regret a single minute.

Bio: Brenda is crazy in love with books and runs the book blog Daily Mayo, where you can find all things book-related and fun. I particularly like to write about fun ways to bring books to life, create quote graphics, and make book lists to help you find your next favorite book! You can keep up with the fun by subscribing to my newsletter, following me on Twitter, or following me on Facebook!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Pickwick Kind of Summer: Guest Post by Melissa of Dear Mr. Dickens

Please welcome Melissa of Dear Mr. Dickens  to the blog!  Melissa is (obviously) a big fan of Dickens. Today she successfully explains why you should give The Pickwick Papers a chance.  No, really! Check it out:

When you think of summer reads, Charles Dickens doesn't instantly spring to mind. Titles like “Bleak House” and “Hard Times” don’t conjure up beach towels, water parks and picnics by the lake. Their average length, too, would make taking most of his works on a summer outing more akin to weight training than than a leisurely stroll to the beach with a paperback.

So why am I recommending Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers as your next summer read?

Because it’s awesome.

Yes, the title might remind you of legal proceedings or something equally dry, and I’ll be the first to admit that the first chapter isn't exactly riveting. Heck, it even took Dickens’ contemporary readers a while to warm up to the work. But I can think of several great TV shows whose early episodes weren't stellar either. Stick with it and I guarantee it’ll be worth it.

And while we’re on the subject of TV shows, this book is less like a TV drama, and more like a 19th century sitcom. Think Charles Dickens meets Three’s Company. The ever-cheerful Mr. Pickwick and his friends find themselves in a series of situations that start out innocently enough but which have a tendency to become hilarious misadventures in the blink of an eye. One evening at an inn, for example, Mr. Pickwick loses his way trying to find his room after some serious carousing. He finds it eventually and falls asleep, only to be awoken by the arrival of a very proper lady who begins preparing for bed. He realizes he’s accidentally gone to sleep in the wrong room and spends the next several pages trying to sneak out in his nightgown without alerting her to his presence.

Heavy drama this ain’t. 

I will also admit that the book’s length (almost 1,000 pages) is intimidating as hell. The fact is, however, most of Dickens’ works were published in monthly installments of a few chapters each – they were meant to be read in short, entertaining interludes. The Pickwick Papers was Dickens’ first full novel, written when he was in his mid-twenties, and it was published from April 1836 to November 1837. It probably won’t take you 18 months to finish, but the point is that you can pick it up whenever the mood strikes without worrying about forgetting what was happening or who said what to whom, because the characters are memorable and there isn't much of a plot. You can even go off and read another book or two in the meantime – Mr. Pickwick will be happy to see you when you return, and he’ll cheerfully take you along on his next adventure.

Before I embarked on my self-inflicted Dickens project, my reading was about quantity more than anything. Not only did I want to finish whatever book I was reading quickly so I could get on to the next one, but I was often impatient when a story didn't immediately get my attention and hold it. But Dickens isn't like that. He forces you to slow down and breathe, to enjoy the play of language and the subtle social satire, to appreciate the humor in the smallest of everyday activities, and to glimpse the day-to-day world of early 19th century England.

This is definitely one of those books where the journey is more important than the destination. Here, characters can sit around a crackling fire and tell each other stories, and as one of Pickwick’s guests, you get to listen in. Does the short story move the plot forward? Not at all! But have I enjoyed spending time in the Pickwick Club’s company? Absolutely.

Many of Dickens’ books serve up full, five-course dinners of drama, tragedy and masterful plotting, and I love them for it. The Pickwick Papers, though, is more like an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet of comedic episodes. Eat as much as you want, go back whenever you’re hungry, and appreciate that, although bacon isn't filet mignon, bacon is also excellent in its own right.

And yes, I will wrap up this recommendation by equating a work of Charles Dickens with bacon.

Mmmm, bacon.