Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jennifer from The Relentless Reader

Jennifer from the relentless reader

Please welcome Jennifer, who blogs at The Relentless Reader.


1.      NAME OF MY BOOK BLOG(S): The Relentless Reader

2.      I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: June 2012. My one-year blogoversary is tomorrow, the 28th. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by.

3.      MY EARLIEST MEMORY OF READING: I remember reading Green Eggs and Ham for show-and-tell in 1st grade. I thought I was such hot stuff.

4.      FIRST BOOK I READ OVER AND OVER: Alice in Wonderland, it blew my young mind.

5.      MY FAVORITE PLACE TO READ: On my tummy in bed. My elbows are a wreck. Reading injuries, who knew?

6.      MY BOOKSHELVES ARE: My dad recently built me some shelves and I’m working on staining them. I’m hoping to have a well-organized system once I’m able to shelve all of my books. Hoping.

7.   MY TBR LIST/PILE IS: Bonkers. I’m sure we all have a similar tale to tell. I’m currently on a self-imposed library ban until I get my tbr pile under control.

8.   A BOOK I DON’T LIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz wasn’t my cup of tea.

9.   A BOOK THAT INTIMIDATES ME: Les Miseralbes by Victor Hugo. It’s neither the length nor the subject matter that scares me. I’ve wanted to read it forever. I don’t know what the deal is but I’m nervous to begin.

10.   MY FAVORITE NON-BOOKISH ACTIVITY: Wait, what? Is there such a thing?

11.   MY BOOK BLOG STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD BECAUSE:  Is this where I get to toot my own horn? I review an eclectic mix of literary fiction, classics, and a lot of nonfiction. I feature a wide variety of books and I hope that I do it in a way that is accessible and fun! Toot toot!

12.   MY READING PERSONALITY ( IS: Exacting Eclectic

Your responses showed you fitting into two different groups - the exacting reader and the eclectic reader.

The expression 'so many books, so little time!' sums up your life. 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.

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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tif from Tif Talks Books

Please welcome the final co-creator of Book Bloggers International, Tif of Tif Talks Books!


What is the name of your book blog?

How long have you been blogging?
My first post went live in May 2007 and I have been writing ever since.

What genres do you write about most, and why?
I read just about anything and everything!  I tend to lean towards fairy tales, paranormal, and literary fiction, and the graphic novel format is quickly become a common theme!

What's your earliest memory of reading?
Reading in bed with a flashlight under the covers!  I had a tendency to revisit favorites, often including The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner or Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

What book have you re-read the most?
I think it is a tie between the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Where's your favorite place to read?
I prefer to read in my oversized chair, but I am truly happy anywhere that I am reading.

Do you have any reading accessories you can't do without?
.My favorite Harry Potter bookmark!  I can’t even remember how long I’ve had it!

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are... currently packed away into many, many boxes as we prepare for multiple moves in the next couple of years.

My TBR pile is... growing on a daily basis!!  So many books, so little time!!

One book you like that no one else seems to?
Wicked:  The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West -- I know that everyone loves the musical (I do too!), but I rarely meet anyone who loves this book as much as I do!  

How about a book that you dislike and everyone else seems to love?
Anna Karenina

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?
Hogwarts, of course!

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
My favorite hobby is going on adventures with my husband and kids.  I also love photography and writing.

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Hands down, the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
I review a little something for the entire family!  Being a mom to two and an eclectic reader in general, reviews and conversation expand beyond the usual genre lines.

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?
I regularly read a number of blogs, so this one is hard to narrow down!  Besides the blogs of Becca and Tasha, I also recommend We Be Reading, It’s All About Books, and There’s a Book.

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at
The quiz can’t even decide which I am.  This is the response that I got . . . “Your responses showed you fitting equally into all four reading personalities:  Involved Reader, Exacting Reader, Serial Reader, Eclectic Reader.”  What does this say about me REALLY?!?


Thanks for stopping by again today!  Feel free to share any comments or questions below!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tasha from Truth Beauty Freedom and Books

Today we welcome yet another co-creator of Book Bloggers International - Tasha of Truth Beauty Freedom and Books!  Keep reading to find out more about what makes Tasha and her blog unique!


What is the name of your book blog?
I have two: Truth Beauty Freedom and Books, and The Project Gutenberg Project

How long have you been blogging?
Hm, about five or six years I'd guess.

What genres do you write about most, and why?
I love romance and mystery, and some sci-fi/fantasy (as long as it has romance). I'm just really interested in romance and mystery, I don't know why.

What's your earliest memory of reading?
Probably my dad reading to me when I was little. My favorite book was The Aligator Song.

What was the first book you read over and over?
Either The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart or Here Comes the Sun by Emilie Loring. I would reread them every summer.

What book have you re-read the most?
No idea! I think it's a toss-up between Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters and The Secret Circle by LJ Smith.

What's your favorite place to read?

Do you have any reading accessories you can't do without?
A lamp? Probably my cell phone because I like to live-tweet books.

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

My TBR pile is...
Theoretically endless.

What's a book that's changed your life?
Maybe Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

One book you like that no one else seems to?
Every book? lol Probably The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn.

How about a book that you dislike and everyone else seems to love?
Seraphina. Sorry, guys, just don't get it.

What's one book that intimidates you?
Anna Karenina, or really any Russian tome.

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?
Tough question! I'd love to go to the Shakespeare festival in Utah, or Scotland.

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?
Mainly write or watch TV. I also love to hike and ski.

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?
I'm thinking Rebecca.

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?
Is it unique? Thanks! ;) Probably my posts on art is what makes TBFB unique; that and the different kinds of books I read. For the PGP blog, I only review books in the public domain and try to read ones I've never heard of, so there're a lot of "lost classics" on there.

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?
You should definitely check out Tif's and Rebecca's blogs!

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at
I'm an eclectic reader. Shocking!


Have you discovered Tasha's blogs yet?  Share your comments and questions below!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bloggiesta is Coming!!!!

Many of you may be familiar with Bloggiesta, but probably not all of you.  If you are looking for an event to better your book blog, this is one event that is filled with TONS of resources that you can refer to over and over again, so there is no way that we can exclude it from our blogging resources here at BBI!  Let's break it down into three easy parts . . .

What is Bloggiesta?

Bloggiesta is a 3-day weekend devoted to ultimately improving your blog.  It includes resources from bloggers from around the community sharing information on social media, tips on blog technicalities, planning and scheduling, and ultimately, being a better blogger in general.  This is a very quick explanation, so I recommend that you click on over to their About page for more information.

When is the next big day for Bloggiesta?

The amazing organizers behind this event have changed things up and have provided bloggers with resources on a more regular basis.  They are now doing monthly Twitter chats and bi-annual mini-bloggiestas, as well as the original big events twice a year.  Mark your calendars now for the remaining 2013 dates . . .

Friday, June 21:  Twitter Chat (That's this Friday!!!)
Saturday, July 20 - Sunday, July 21:  Mini Bloggiesta
Saturday, August 17:  Twitter Chat
Friday, September 20-Sunday, September 22:  Main Bloggiesta
Friday, October 18:  Twitter Chat
Saturday, November 16:  Twitter Chat
Friday, December 20:  Twitter Chat

For more information on the schedule, including times of the Twitter chats, refer to Future Bloggiesta Chats!

What are the specific resources shared during this event?

Every event has new challenges that you can take part in that reflect the latest trends, but don't forget to check out the past resources shared throughout the years that this event has been in place.  Click here for the FULL list of all challenges, organized by topic for easier navigation!

Did you mark your calendars?  Will you be joining in on the upcoming chats and bloggiesta celebrations?  And, for those who have previously participated, what have been your favorite parts about the event?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Becca from Lost in Books

Today we welcome one of the co-creators of Book Bloggers International, Becca of Lost in Books!  She is actually the one who brainstormed this brilliant idea and worked with Tasha and Tif to see it through to reality.


I blog at Lost in Books, where I have been blogging since 2009.  I also began Book Bloggers Do It Better, a discussion community on Google + exclusively for book bloggers (or both authors who are also book bloggers) this year.  I have been very humbled by its popularity and growth and I have learned so much from everyone.

Lost in Books is an eclectic blog, as I am an eclectic reader. One look at my Goodreads categories and you will see that much.  I read pretty much everything, although I most often find myself reading fantasy/paranormal, YA, mysteries, and world literature.  I am very big into world literature and world cultures fascinate me.  So much so, in fact, that I have a bi-weekly feature called Take Me Away Saturday in which I highlight a country or culture from around the world and share fiction, nonfiction, and children's books that give a glimpse into them. 

I love the book blogging community.  I have met some very cool people thanks to blogging, which is one of the inspirations for creating Book Bloggers International.  I wanted a place where book bloggers (and anyone else interested) could easily find each other and get to know each other better.  I discussed my rough idea with Tasha and Tif and they loved it. Then they each came up with their own amazing ideas for it and BBI was born.  They are awesome and I am extremely lucky to be running BBI with them, as well as to call them my friends. 

Now, a few fun facts about me:
  • I can sing.
  • I'm learning how to knit and I suck at it so far.
  • I am borderline obsessed with Egyptology.
  • I sketch.
  • In addition to loving world lit, I also love ethnic food- Indian, Thai, Japanese, Greek, Egyptian, Caribbean, Vietnamese, Brazilian, Mexican, Ethiopian.  I'm making myself hungry now.
  • I've been practicing yoga since 2002.  I don't do crazy contortionist things, but I keep myself flexible.
  • I wish I could get paid to read!


Thank you Becca for bringing us Book Bloggers International.  Please share any comments or questions you may have with her below.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ti from Book Chatter

Ti from Book Chatter

Please welcome Tina, aka Ti, who blogs at Book Chatter. Tina's blog is known for literary fiction reviews and posts about her crazy, fun life.



Book Chatter -


January 2008


Literary Fiction, General Fiction, Speculative Fiction and some Sci-Fi Dystopian mash-ups.


Age 4, sitting at a very large table at the Central Library in Los Angeles. Next to me, a gigantic stack of books. Me, holding my book upside down ;)


As a kid, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

As an adult, A Separate Peace by John Knowles.


A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (great book, funny as hell, soon to be a movie)


Too many to list but my absolute fave is probably in bed, with the door closed. Usually my daughter has gone to bed. the teen is doing his thing and the Hub is parked in front of the TV. This gives me a good hour before bed to settle in with a good read. Bliss.


My smartphone (to take notes or to look up a word)

A bookmark


Neat, and arranged in the order I plan to read them. Books I keep, are kept separately and not arranged any particular way.


My TBR pile is mostly in the form of e-galleys so my Kindle handles that for me. I have very few galleys in print. My TBR list is also virtual, in the form of Goodreads. There, I list the books I want to read and that list is well over 300 titles long. My physical TBR list probably has about 25 titles on it.


I've never been naive about anything but when I read A Separate Peace by John Knowles in college, it struck me that people aren't perfect. Being a perfectionist, I often killed myself trying to be perfect so seeing a protagonist who was less than that and quite possibly even more human that I ever could have imagined him to be... well, that was an eye opener for me.


Good question. I'll go with American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis. It was a gruesome book to read. Extremely graphic and disturbing and at times, utterly offensive yet I could not look away! It's twisted and dark and all over the place but I loved it and thought parts of it were even funny!


Easy. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. If I told you how many angry emails I get over my review of her book, you probably wouldn't believe it. I actually had to remove email notifications from Amazon because of it.


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

I know it's not long but another blogger told me it was a complete mind trip and hard to read because of some strange language used when writing it. Made-up slang to be exact. Plus, I saw a clip of the movie (the rape scene) and got sick to my stomach. I want to read it because I am very curious but at the same time, I just can't bring myself to pick it up.


Honestly, if I were fit and not a total pansy, I'd hike the Appalachian Trail. Ever since I read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods (soon to be a movie with Robert Redford!) I've wanted to hike that trail. If you haven't read the book, I implore you to do so. It's a funny, funny book. I loved it.


Sleeping. No kidding.


I have a few. Atonement was pretty good as was The Shining. Both good, for different reasons. My fave? JAWS!


This is a tough question to answer. I have been told that it's because the interaction is high. I do try to respond on a regular basis to the comments that come in and I do feel as if I know my readers but I hate to call them that. They have all become friends of mine. I know about their heartaches, their problems, all about their beautiful kids (if they have any), their loving pets, what they are reading, what they are doing, where they are going and so on. I feel that I am a good listener and usually can listen without judgement. I think people appreciate that the most.


I have at least 20 must read blogs but if I can only choose 3, then here they are and why:

Most Like Me - You've Gotta Read This (we live very similar lives)

Funny & Honest - Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity (God, love her. So fun.)

Most Diverse in Content - Still Unfinished (music, books, movies, always has plenty to say)


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."

Pretty darn accurate!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ethical and Legal Image Use

bless my sponge bath

As bloggers, we love to use images in our posts. For one, they make your blog more attractive. For another, they help break up the text of your posts. And lastly, as we all know, no one reads on the internet anyway (haha, I kid. Kind of).

Anywho, you definitely want images in your post. But, just as with words, images are created by people and carry copyright. You wouldn't just copy and paste text into your blog posts, would you? No, that would be plagiarism, especially if you didn't make it clear another person wrote it. The same is true with images.

Before you freak out, keep in mind I've never heard of anyone being sued for posting copyrighted images on their blog (although I have heard of bloggers being *threatened* with a lawsuit, but quite frankly that's ridiculous. Even media companies don't spend the time and money to sue pirate sites; they just send a DMCA notice). Furthermore, there are tons of images you can use on your blog with absolutely no worries.

Before we go any further, there are some terms you should be aware of:

  • Copyright—The person (or company) who possesses the copyright owns the image. Usually it's the creator, but sometimes not. Most images carry copyright, but that doesn't mean you can't use them. That's because of...
  • Fair use—Fair use allows you to use images in certain contexts without permission from, or paying licensing fees to, the copyright holder. It extends to education, research, commentary, criticism (<----blogs!), and news reporting. For example, most book bloggers want to use book covers in their posts, yes? Book covers ARE copyrighted, but you can post them as fair use because you're giving commentary or criticism about the book. If you used the book cover to create the cover for own book, however, you'd be violating copyright. You can also use book illustrations as long as they're necessary for making your point. Things like gifs are fair use because they're less than 6 seconds long. Memes and LOLcats, etc., are murky territory, but that's for the owners of meme sites to worry about. For now, feel free to use them. If you still need help figuring out if an image can be posted under "fair use," this site is helpful:
  • Public domain—Public domain images carry no copyright whatsoever, and you can do whatever you want with them. If an image is on Wikipedia, it's probably either in the public domain or commercially licensed by Creative Commons.
  • Creative Commons—This is a site that allows people on the internet to license their work in different ways. Basically, a CC license tells people what the creator considers fair use. As a blogger, if you haven't registered your blog with a CC license, you should consider doing so. CC licenses can run the gamut from full copyright (you can't use the image without permission, period) to others can do whatever they like with the work, even for commercial purposes, as long as they acknowledge the original author. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these license types.
  • Commercial and non-commercial—If you have any sort of ads or affiliate links on your blog, it's commercial. If you don't make any money from your blog whatsoever, it's non-commercial. If your blog's non-commercial, your life just got a hella lot easier, because nearly any image use can be argued as fair use (note that simply because you CAN use any image doesn't mean you should; it's still really ethically icky to download other people's images off the internet and post them to your own site without knowing if they're cool with that or not). If your blog is commercial, you need to be more careful about posting images that are licensed for commercial use or fall under fair use. That's still a lot of images, though.

So! Lots to think about, right? Just remember yes, you can use book covers; and if you need other types of images, it's really easy to find appropriately licensed ones on Flickr Creative Commons Just go to search, type in whatever, then go to advanced search. Scroll down to the bottom where you'll see the CC logo. Select "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content." If your blog is commercial check "Find content to use commercially." If you want to modify the image in some way—say, to create a button—check "Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon." You can then search through the results and download the image you want, or use the html code Flickr provides that automatically links back to the copyright owner's page.

flickr image search
Search and click on Advanced Search

Search Creative Commons in Flickr
It's easy to search within Creative Commons.
flickr html code
Copy the html code into your blog and done!

What if you find an image you really REALLY want to use, but you're not sure how it's licensed or it carries full copyright? It really doesn't hurt to ask. Most people will gladly let you use their images as long as you acknowledge them as the copyright holder and link back to their site. Even most companies, like museums or professional photographers, will usually let you use their images for free as long as what you're writing is definitely commentary or criticism directly related to the image—i.e., I want to write about your library's collection and would like to use the image of the library on your website. Just search for a media or press contact on the website (museums will usually have someone who specializes in image use) and e-mail them explaining who you are, what images you want to use, why you want to use them, and where they will appear. Also assure them you will acknowledge them as the copyright holder and link back to their site. An example of this is a post I wrote about a bookstore in Brazil named the Livraria da Vila for Book Riot: I had to get permission from both the photographer and architect in order to use those images, but it was a painless process and they were both very happy with the article once it was published.

Basically, just treat other people's images with the same respect as you would other people's written words, and you should be fine.

Questions? Let me know in the comments!

(Note I am not a lawyer. Everything I know about copyright I learned off the internet. Also, copyright laws vary from country to country, so keep in mind if you live outside the US none of this may apply, or you may have even stricter copyright laws. US copyright law is pretty lenient in comparison to the UK's, for example.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Negative Reviews: Constructive Criticism is the Key

I don’t think any of us enjoy writing negative reviews.  I can’t think of anyone who goes into it thinking ‘I can’t wait to put this author down!’  Doesn’t happen that way.  

Negative reviews, however, can be a constructive look at what a reader did not enjoy.  They give other readers an understanding of what to expect in the book and come to their own decision about whether it is something they like, dislike, or feel indifferent about.  It also gives authors an understanding of how to hone their craft by getting a variety of feedback.  But more on this in a minute.


Think about it this way: do you appreciate knowing a book had some issues for a blogger whose taste are similar to yours?  Are you interested in what aspects of the book were an issue for the blogger?  If you appreciate reading them, then so do those who come to your blog.

I’m not saying you HAVE to write them by any means!  It is up to you.  It’s your blog! However, if you do go back and forth about whether to write about a book that didn't impress you, it’s okay to do.

Readers on your blog are looking for your opinion on books to decide whether to read them or not, or whether to run out and buy it right now or wait it out.  If you don’t tell your readers this book missed its mark, how will they know?  If someone has very similar tastes as you and you read a book you don’t like then don’t tell them why you didn’t care for it, they could very well waste their time reading the same book. 

But we don’t want to just know you didn’t like it, we want to know why.  What aspect didn’t work for you?  Were the characters not believable?  Was the story boring?  Did the author tell you  instead of showing you?  Were there blocks of narrative in an otherwise dialogue-centric book?  Was the flow off?  Did the author just make you mad with a viewpoint?  Let us know specifics so we can determine whether what offended or bored you with the writing or story would be offensive or boring to us as well.


You may feel apprehensive about writing negative reviews because lately some authors haven't taken their negative feedback about their book well.  We get it, you know, it’s their baby.  But not every baby is cute and clever, and neither is every book.  

There are, of course, ways to word negative feedback that will come across as constructive rather than a bashing.  If you just write “I hated it”, “It’s awful”, “one crappy idea after another”, and that's it, all we know is you hated it, but that's all we know.  On top of that, it's not constructive.  It is the written equivalent to throwing the book across the room.  Everyone has a book they want to throw across the room (or have!) but sit back and think if that's what you want to put out there to the world, you know?.  Would you rather be the bash-it blogger or the professionally critiquing blogger?  

On the opposite hand, constructive criticism values the book as a finished product and gives positive feedback along with the negative feedback. There is something about the book that is good, whether you like a character, you like the pacing, you enjoyed the plot line- something worthy can be found.  When you are writing, write it in the spirit of friendliness- as if you were critiquing an acquaintance’s work- rather than in direct opposition- as if you are on Project Runway and you are looking to cut down to make it seem more dramatic. 


As a teacher we often have to give feedback to parents that is less than stellar.  The way we were taught in school to do this was the Sandwich Effect- sandwich a negative comment in between two positives.
You won’t be able to always use the Sandwich Effect, but it is in that spirit that you should write criticism.  The book is the author’s baby and their automatic reaction to it is to get defensive.


With that said, there is no pleasing some people.  It’s just a fact of life.  With some authors no matter what you say they will take it to heart and it will feel like you criticized their entire lives.  I, personally, cannot claim to understand that reaction because if they want to put their work out in the world they need to be prepared that not every single person will like it.  Even huge authors like Stephen King, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, and Philippa Gregory get negative reviews- it’s just a part of being an author. 


So, to wrap up, write those negative reviews if you want to.  Don’t let bad behavior intimidate you.  Just be constructive in your feedback and point out the good parts of the book, too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Melody from Redeeming Qualities


Please welcome Melody, who blogs at Redeeming Qualities. Melody's blog is known for classic novels.


NAME OF MY BOOK BLOG(S): Redeeming Qualities. I started it with the intention of reviewing books that were, objectively, not very good.

I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING SINCE: March 2007, after reading Marie Conway Oemler's A Woman Named Smith for the first time. I recounted the plot and my thoughts on the book to probably four different people before I realized that no one cared. And then it occurred to me that I could probably find people who cared on the internet.

MY BOOK BLOG STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD BECAUSE: I primarily review public domain books that are available as free e-texts. It probably stands out less than it used to, because there are a few similar blogs around now, but I think that's a great thing. It's been really nice to see more people delving into the mostly forgotten, frequently super weird fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries over the past few years.

FIRST BOOK I READ OVER AND OVER: Probably a picture book, but the thing that comes to mind if the abridged version of David Copperfield I read 13 times in a row when I was nine or ten (I've since read the full version four or five times. I am nothing if not a rereader.) Later that year I did the same thing with Gordon Korman's Our Man Weston, which at this point I have almost no memory of. I think there was a particularly funny bit about a dog?

THE BOOK I HAVE RE-READ THE MOST TIMES: David Copperfield probably wins if I count both that abridged version and the original. I reread most of my favorite books once every couple of years, so the ones I've loved since I was a kid are the ones I've read the most -- The Pushcart War, An Old-Fashioned Girl, Trumpet of the Swan.

MY MUST-HAVE READING ACCESSORIES: My Kindle. I used to feel like I had to defend myself for buying an ereader and failing to support the publishing industry, but I don't read that many new books anyway, and when I got my first Kindle it was because I didn't want to cart my laptop around in order to read the Project Gutenberg etexts that were already almost all of what I was reading. And I actually buy more new books now that I can have them delivered directly to my Kindle.

With paper books, I'm a bit of a bookmark packrat: I start with one -- often a paint sample -- and it breeds, so that by the time I finish a book it's full of receipts, business cards, and torn pieces of newspaper. And I love opening up a book I've read before and trying to remember where the bookmarks came from.


MY TBR LIST/PILE IS: Multiple? I have physical piles on my shelves and my floor and TBR lists on my phone, my Gmail tasks list and my Pinboard account. And then when I'm choosing something to read I often go looking for something I've never heard of before.

A BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IN SOME WAY: Middlemarch, by George Eliot. I love it for many reasons, but the biggest one is that everyone in it seems to have their own interior life, their own way of looking at things, and their own perfectly reasonable rationale for doing the things they do. Thinking about it helps me remember that people I disagree with aren't being willfully stupid, and I think that's made me a (slightly) nicer person.

A BOOK I LIKE THAT NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO: Joseph Vance, by William de Morgan, and it's less that no one else likes it than that no one else has read it. That's true of the majority of books I review, but this one is particularly disappointing because contemporary reviewers and I agree that it should have been a classic.

A BOOK THAT INTIMIDATES ME: Whatever's the most recent thing I've failed out of. Currently The Car of Destiny, by A.M. and C.N. Williamson. I haven't turned on my Kindle in weeks because I don't want to finish it but I also don't want to admit defeat. As long as I don't read anything else on my Kindle I can pretend I'm still reading The Car of Destiny.

MY FAVORITE NON-BOOKISH ACTIVITY: Ugh, I don't know. What else do I even do?

MY FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION: I never know if this counts, because it's actually a miniseries, but: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre. I love the book, but most of the time I love the 1979 BBC miniseries more. It makes the right decisions about what to leave out and what to reorder, and includes some great performances, including Alec Guinness doing about fifty different awesome things with his face. If you want to hear me rant sometime, ask me about the unimaginative, antifeminist 2011 movie adaptation.

I can also be found on Twitter (@glassglue) and on Pinboard (

Thank you for joining us today, Melody! Remember to check out Melody's blog, and leave a comment or question.