Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Book Blogs and Web Sites

I spend a lot of time on line reading about books. I used to spend a lot of time on Amazon, browsing their reviews and lists, but recently I’ve been reading book blogs and also library Web sites.

Book blogs are a mixed bag. Many of them offer multiple contributors, interviews with and articles about authors, and straightforward reviews. Some also publish news about the publishing industry, and about trends in literature. I find most of the ones I’ve visited bland and interchangeable. I also feel that this kind of information duplicates what's available in any good newspaper or magazine, and indeed the professionals are usually better at the task than the bloggers.

I enjoy book blogs where you get a sense of the blogger's personality. I recently found a kindred blogger at Another52Books. She’s got a lot of good reviews, and some funny peripheral kinds of content, such as an on-going series of posts about bad book covers. Like me, she reports a TBR pile that is growing faster than the rate at which she reads, and she's a fan of travel writing, and the occasional romance novel, along with mainstream fiction and mysteries.

Another good book blog is The site is mostly a guy’s blog about life, his kids, his hobbies, etc. but he is a serious reader, and has a booknotes page with lots of reviews. He doesn't tolerate junk, and I especially like his sidebar list of “Recently abandoned books.” And, I like him because he is a record keeper, like I am: check out his list of every book he’s ever read!

I also like Zia Munshi, at Nom de Plume, who has a book category on her general-interest blog. Our reading lists seem to overlap a lot, too, and the same things irritate us (check out her post on the New York Times Best Book of the Last 25 Years).

The Madison Public Library has a blog called MADreads that is updated daily by different branch librarians. It always has fresh content, and I’ve been visiting it every day. I’ve found a few other library sites that are worth visiting:

The Morton Grove, Illinois public library maintains this page with links to lists of books organized by genre. I like these kinds of lists for when I’m in the mood for a specific kind of book, but am having trouble finding just the right one.

My favorite site, however, is run not by a library, but by a librarian, Nancy Pearl, the author of Book Lust, and the model for the librarian action figure (which I can’t believe no one in my family has yet purchased for me). Her reviews are succinct, and she is a great source of information about new fiction.

I'm adding all these links to my sidebar so they'll stick around.


Maxine Clarke said...

Hi Becky, I found you via 52 Books. My blog is called Petrona and it is largely about books I have read. I started my blog last december and here is an early post of mine on the topic of TBR piles:
I also discovered Jo at Another 52 books quite early on in my blogging life, see

I will add your blog to my blogroll as you seem to have a very interesting one, please do come over and have a look at Petrona sometime, and meet some of the other book bloggers and weird folk who hang out there!
All my best

Lee said...

And now I've found you via Maxine. A suggested site is Jenny Davidson's Light Reading, always intelligent and quirky.

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