BBAW 2012 Day 2: Shining a Light on.. Cari’s Book Blog!

Day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week involves learning about some of the people behind each blog. I was paired with Cari of Cari’s Book Blog. I asked her a lot of questions, from what are her pet peeves, to the highs and lows of being a book blogger. This is what I’ve found out.

OK, the obligatory tell us about your blog question first. For people who don’t follow your blog (yet), what can they expect from Cari’s Book Blog?
I would like to think I’m not your typical blogger who does meme’s. I review books, I share what I’m reading at the time, post pictures from events I have attended, and host giveaways. One of my favorite things to do is interviews, because as a fan I want to know more about the author. There are no set rules to what my blog is, because it changes depending on who I am at that moment in time.

What book are you reading right now, and what drew you to it?
I normally only read one book and listen to one audio, but right now I’m listening to one book and reading three. The audio is The Book of Blood and Shadows by Robin Wasserman and narrated by Emily Janice Card. I heard about this from Maureen Johnson when she was in town promoting The Name of the Star.

For my bed time read: I started A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, because I love the HBO show so I really should read the books, but I’m a little intimidated by the 700 pages!

For my lunch time book: I’m reading Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry this one was sent to me by a publicity company and I went to see Melissa Marr at Murder by the Book and she mentioned it.

I also need to finish Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. I started the book last month and I’m half way done so I’m hoping to finish it in a weekend.

One of the first things that impressed me about your blog is the space reserved for your signed book shelf! I love it! How did that collection start?

Thank you! That picture is so outdated that my signed books have now taken over a second small shelf that holds about 100 books. A little over three years ago, I discovered that authors went on tour and that you could go and have your books signed! I’m lucky to live in Houston, TX, where we have great indie bookstores that bring events. I slowly started going to any and every event I could find and when an author I love doesn’t come to town I order from other indie bookstores and have them shipped.

Still on the signed books – I see a lot of copies of certain books. I am all for multiple copies (especially for books I love – I want the new covers). What’s the book you have the most copies of (and why that book)?
That would be any book by Maggie Stiefvater. I should explain I love hardcover copies so I have all of those. I also have the advance readers copies signed and a few paperbacks from the UK and US.  I might also have a few extras that I lend to people.

Your living space is on fire, and you have only enough time to grab 5 books and escape! What five books would you grab?
Ah yeah I would just about die. I think I’m pretty realistic and know that everything can be replaced but if I had to make a choice I would say:

  • Signed Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (everyone must read this)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone (signed advance readers copy)
  • Paperback Shiver that Maggie Stiefvater doodled in
  • The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting (signed first edition again everyone must read this)
  • Geektastic signed by Cassandra Clare, John Green, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Scott Westerfield, Sara Zarr, Holly Black, and Hope Larson.

You’ve been blogging since 2009 – a few years now. What’s the best thing about being a book blogger for you? What’s the worst?
Book blogging has opened so many doors for me. I had no idea that book blogging was even a thing and from it I got a job at an indie bookstore and I have made so many friends. I’ve been able to help debut authors by giving them a place to promote their books. I’m not your typical blogger who works with publishers so I always feel like I fly under the radar.

The worst is trying to stay positive when so much drama has surrounded the book blogging community. I think there will always be people who will try and bring you down but I just have to remember to put the blinders on and keep focused on my own blog and do it because I love it.

Do you have any bookish pet peeves?
Ah this is a tough one. I would say that if I lend someone a book I want it back in the exact condition and for it to be returned promptly.

Tell us 4 random things about you that people may not know.
This is really hard because I’m a very public person. I spill my guts on social media and I’m always at book events where a lot of people know me.

  • My favorite place to be on a Friday night is at home alone with books, tv, or organizing my closet.
  • I once took a picture of David Levithan’s butt. Ok so I was trying to take a picture of him signing a wall at the bookstore and I couldn’t get a clear shot. I promised him to never post it online!
  • I worry that people judge my grammar.
  • If you don’t follow me on twitter then you might not know I love fashion. I wear dresses almost every day to work and then to book events because I go straight from work.

Thank you so much for the fun interview Cari! I enjoyed meeting and learning about you. To find out what questions Cari asked me (and how I answered), you can check out her post here, and to discover even more book blogs, be sure to check out today’s BBAW event.

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BBAW Day 1: Appreciate!

Day one of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is about other blogs you enjoy reading. This is a tough one because there are quite a few blogs that I follow faithfully. Quite a few. So to make things easier this year, I’m going to take a page from Angie’s book and highlight two blogs that I discovered this year.

The first blog I have to highlight is Bunbury in the Stacks. We just so happened to meet online and followed each other on twitter since we seem to have an overlap in bookish taste (especially with YA Fantasy), only to find out that we shared a mutual friend in real life (who couldn’t figure out how we knew each other when he saw us talking on twitter). We have since used this mutual friend as a book mule to pass books along (it is the source of much glee that there are book mules in my life). Heidi also writes the most excellent reviews with these perfect gems of insight that have me pausing and wishing I had thought of that when I run into them. You should check out her blog, and check out the guest post she did for Seven Days for Sevenwaters today, too (it is lovely and perfect).

This next blog is one I found through Bunbury, and that’s Books Take You Places (I think they were fellow students of the library arts and are in the same graduating class – but don’t quote me on that?). Alyssa is also a friend on twitter, and she strikes me as one of those people who is genuinely enthusiastic when she talks to you. You can tell. She writes thoughtful reviews (I am a fan of those) of YA where she discusses major elements of the story like character and plot, but most importantly she explains how they affected her. I can always tell from her review what her personal reaction was and I love that she doesn’t hold back on explaining her emotions when reading a book.

Go check these two out if you haven’t already. I don’t think they have nearly as many followers as they should!

Oops, where was I?

Hello world. I seem to have taken a little break from blogging. It wasn’t planned. I was on vacation and thus lazy, plus I think there’s been stuff going on online that I wanted to breather from for a bit. I have been reading, but four of the books are coming out in October and I didn’t want to review them too early, and one of them is non-fiction which I don’t really review over here. 🙂 I didn’t plan very well, did I? I’m back now though. I swear! I am really well set for October!

To show that I haven’t been a total miscreant, here is some stuff I’m involved in, and some stuff other lovely bloggers are involved in that you should check out:


I was asked to join the YAckers, which is an online book club with a group of mostly YA bloggers, and I’ve been a member since July. Every month the Keeper of the Book chooses a few books and the members vote on a YA book to read. We read, and discuss online and our discussion turns into blog posts. There are a lot of no holds barred personalities in this club and it is a lot of fun. If reading discussion posts and hearing how a book affects people differently is your thing, check us out. I’m the newest Keeper! Next we will be discussing Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken. This book bowled me over and I’m curious to see what the rest of the group thinks. Look for that discussion towards the end of September/early October. Until then, YAckers has discussed other YA books like The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.


This month a fellow YAcker who runs the blog Word For Teens is highlighting strong characters and I will be contributing.

“A strong character isn’t necessarily one that is kick-ass or rules the world or is, as a person, strong at all. A strong character is one that pops off the page and seems as real to us as we are.”


Also this month over at Book Harbinger, Holly is hosting “Seven Days for Sevenwaters, a week-long blog event dedicated to Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series”. Oooo, I am looking forward to this one. It starts next week, September 10th. I’ve read (and liked) Daughter of the Forest and I have MEANT TO pick up the next one and kept going. I really should do that one day. I have a feeling these upcoming posts will be the right kick to do so.


Book Blogger Appreciation Week is next week too. This year, the organizers have decided to go back to basics and not have BBAW awards. I think that’s a nice change. If you are a book blogger, there are things you can do to join in, like the daily blogging topics and interview swap (you can still register for that – it’s open till this Sunday).

And tomorrow, September 7th, it’s National Buy a Book Day! Ahem, all I need is an excuse, so I am very jazzed about it. You can spread the word with badges for your site, join the Facebook event, check out the website, and of course — this is very important — buy a book.

Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire

In the meantime, I am waiting impatiently for my copy of Ashes of Honor. I would like the world to know that Fedex Smartpost is the devil! What do you MEAN it arrived in my town at 6:41am today but it hasn’t moved since then?! T_T Do you know how often I’ve refreshed the tracking page? Anyway, as soon as is it is in my hot little hands, I will be having the fangirl squee incisive and thoughtful discussion with Chelle of Persephone Reads. It will be epic. Chelle has already read it and I don’t know why she hasn’t burst yet from waiting for me.

Melina Marchetta, Kristin Cashore, and Gayle Forman at Books of Wonder

books of wonder logo

Last Tuesday evening there was an Author Interviews Author event at Books of Wonder featuring YA authors Melina Marchetta, Kristin Cashore, and Gayle Forman. Luckily for me, I live close enough that I was able to go and attend the event after work!

I was good too — I took copious notes for the blog during the interviews. Here’s the lowdown of two hours of authorly goodness. Please note that I don’t write that fast, so this shouldn’t be considered verbatim — just the general gist of the conversation. And sorry about my blurry photos, I politely turned off the flash and I think my 5 year old camera just isn’t that great in with low light.

Companion Novels
All three authors (who are all friends) noted that they have one thing in common besides writing young adult: they all wrote “companion novels”. Companion novels aren’t true sequels because they were told from a different point of view from the first book in the same world, and in some cases, could be read out of order. All three authors had a similar experience with their companion novels–they weren’t planned. Gayle Forman said she had no intention of writing Where She Went, and Melina Marchetta said she didn’t know there would be a sequel, she thought she was finished when she wrote Saving Francesca. The same with Finnikin of the Rock. Melina didn’t like Froi at first, she just thought he was a tool in her story. She didn’t realize that Froi would get a book until the next year. On the other hand, Quintana was always going to be in a sequel, once she had written 500 pages for Froi and realized there was no way she could end it just yet.

Ways you can “screw yourself” doing things this way
Cashore had to slow things down in Graceling because her characters were moving too quickly, so she created an impenetrable forest, but in Bitterblue, when her characters had to move fast, there was the forest!
Marchetta had a tricky area to deal with because she had a character who loved musicals in one book, but in the other he flipped out over having to listen to Jesus Christ Superstar during a car trip. She says if anyone asks, she explains the discrepancy by saying the character grew out of liking musicals.
Forman says she wished she’d chosen a different name for Adam’s band.
Speaking of names, Cashore noted that names mean different things in different languages. Po means “butt” in German, and Katsa is Italian for penis.

Negative reactions from readers
Cashore talked about getting some backlash because her book Graceling was seen as anti-marriage and anti-having kids. She notes that the author is not the same as the characters (her phone has a picture of baby as the wallpaper and is “full of babies”), but while she got a lot of positive messages from readers, every so often she got abusive emails. Now she stays off goodreads and no longer accepts comments on her blog posts, and she also doesn’t have a public email address anymore. She decided to do this for peace of mind, but on the other hand, she met Melina Marchetta through an email, so she acknowledges she is missing out on the positive connections from having a public email.
Marchetta’s comment on reviews was that the author is not the audience of the review and that she keeps separate from the negative reviews.
Forman said that she got backlash from the swearing in her books. She says that her family swears at home, even her mother swears, but that doesn’t make them bad people.

Sexual Tension
This is where each of the three authors read a small passage from their books in which the sexual tension between characters was shown. Cashore read a very small scene from Bitterblue in which Bitterblue and Saf have a moment. Forman read a scene from Where She Went where Adam and Mia were wandering around New York together, and Marchetta read letters from The Piper’s Son between Tom and Tara. [note: for video clips of these readings, check out the recap on The Readventurer!]
Marchetta: With sexual tension, it is the insecurities and vulnerabilities that come through. The reader picks up on these and realizes that these characters are broken and are the only two people who can put each other back again.
Cashore: Conflict and the power dynamic are also important. These two people are the only two people who can take each other on. They go back and forth, but they are an even match. Also, what you don’t say is important.
Forman: an adversarial relationships heightens the sexual tension, there is a delicious dynamic.

Switching points of view
Marchetta discussing how Froi arrived, talked about her friends and an long-running joke in which they play “You Raise Me Up” to her. She had just written a scene in Finnikin in which the captain and the guard had put people up on their shoulders, including Froi. Hearing the song soon after that, Marchetta realized that Froi was a player in the story.
Cashore: It was fun to write a book with Bitterblue, who is a character that is more aware of other people’s emotions. Katsa is more of a doer and doesn’t see things in the same way.
Forman: Switching point of view to continue a story is such a good way to do it because you learn things about the characters.
Cashore: didn’t realize how awful Leck was until she wrote his journals and in his point of view. It helped flesh out how horrible he is. Leck is the only character in all three books.
Marchetta says she didn’t understand why she was asked whose POV the book was from, because in Finnikin the book was mostly from his point of view. So she introduced quite early the different point of views in Froi of the Exiles so people wouldn’t be alarmed by the switches to multiple points of view.
Cashore: Switching points of view also helps with boredom. It’s more interesting with a different point of view.

Fantasy Contemporary
During the discussion it was revealed that Kristin Cashore is working on a contemporary story (!), and this led to a discussion on how the transformation happened between Fantasy and Contemporary YA and vice versa.
Marchetta was staying in New York City for two months after writing Jellicoe Road and she was in the subway one day when she saw a poster with a picture of a refugee camp in Africa. Everyone in the car was speaking a different language and she realized that so many people are not in their homeland. By 2007, she had a novel in her head, but she didn’t want it to be too political, so she decided to write it as a Fantasy. Her grandparents were immigrants and had always talked about going back to visit their homeland, so that became part of the spark for Finnikin. But she feels like Finnikin is not so different from her last novel just because it is a Fantasy.
Cashore said that her very first work was realism, and it was the characters that dictated the story and made it a Fantasy.

Q&A: How did you create characters that are abrasive and difficult to like and then make us love them so much it hurts?
Forman: Because you love them.
Cashore said her crankiest character is probably a librarian character in Bitterblue. When you are having fun, readers will pick up on it and like a character.
Marchetta: People start off not liking a particular character of hers, but they see that he uses the name “Anabelle’sbrother” online. This is a clue that he isn’t that bad. Marchetta uses little things like this as a promise that everything will come out right.
Cashore remembers at this point that her cranky librarian has a cat, which underlines what Marchetta just said.

Q&A: Most Helpful Advice from an Editor
Cashore: “Would you consider starting from scratch?” was what her editor said to her after an 800 page draft that took three years. The change of mindset made a difference.
Forman couldn’t come up with a specific piece of advice and says that her editor was key through edits.
Marchetta: “The word ‘said’ is a good word”. So don’t try to use “mocked” and other words like that when “said” will do. Also, “don’t be a thesaurus, use a thesaurus.”
Cashore: “Don’t let fear make your decisions.”

Q&A: Reviews
Forman: You can’t control anything in publishing except the book you are working on in the moment.
Cashore: The reviews that bother her are when the reviewer speculates what the author was trying to do. When people try to guess who the author is, it irks her.
Marchetta advises to stop reading a review when you read “I really wanted to like this book..”

Q&A: Creating Characters
Marchetta: the story begins with the characters. She waits for them to come to her and “observes” them and “listens” to their conversations with who they bring along.
Cashore: has a similar process to Marchetta. She observes. Some characters are easier. They’re talkative. Some aren’t, for example, Saf, who was taciturn. There’s a lot of conversation and dialoging that happens. You’re trying to reveal the characters through words.
Forman: You think you know a character up until you write. The process is endlessly surprising. Characters seem to have a mind of their own.
Marchetta: did not understand Quintana at first. Quintana changed her personality a lot, and Marchetta didn’t understand her for a year, then, during a walk with her dog, it came to her. Too much thought messes up the process — don’t fight them and try to make them into something they’re not.

Q&A: Intent of a book
Forman: It’s what she calls the Perfect Song Conundrum: she listens to an album and asks what the band/artist was thinking. Don’t they know they should do this and this to have the perfect song? there’s a chasm between the book you now it should be, and what it is. The best reading experience for her is cathartic, and leaves her different from how she was when she started.
Cashore: is trying to make a small, simple, emotional point. She tries to write for herself, writing as a writer, and later goes back as a reader. She tries to convey a feeling, and after a bunch of getting it wrong, in the end she gets to the place she wanted to.
Marchetta: Don’t think too much about it. The purpose is to entertain, but make sure you are always in love with the world. She knows it will work out when she’s still in that state when she finishes writing. Also she loves to think that she writes to make a connection.

Q&A: Worldbuilding
Cashore: With Graceling she didn’t build the world first. She did it as she went along, and she thinks this was something of a mistake. Fire is different — she used landscape more carefully in her second book.
Marchetta: Half-planned her world and half-didn’t. Froi hit the ground running because she had set it all up in Finnikin. Her personal travels gets used in her world building.

Q&A: What happened to Jimmy Hailer?
Marchetta: “I don’t know.” Jimmy didn’t come back to her. He was based on a real person, and when she knew him, he was an angry person, but now he is happy. You can’t force a character back to hear his story.

Q&A: Race in Cashore’s series
Cashore: The inhabitants of Dell seem darker skinned in Bitterblue, but not so in Fire. The reason is that in Fire, she made the characters darker-skinned, but she did it so subtly that readers missed it. Now that she has a chance to correct that in Bitterblue. Cashore feels like she failed a little bit in making the race difference too subtle.
Forman: Maybe you need to be less nuanced in Fantasy (about race).

Q&A: Cursing
The authors spent a little bit of time talking about cursing in Fantasy and how fun it was to make up swear words or to use quaint ones. Marchetta’s favorite was “swiving” and Cashore’s was “weaselbugger”.


So that was a really fun event, and I did run into a couple of other bloggers there (Catie from The Readventurer, Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks, Sasha from Sash & Em, and Grace from Books of Love). I also got a few books signed:

  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman – I hadn’t tried this author before and decided I would give the first book of this series a go. (bought at Books of Wonder)
  • Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore – I was sort of unsure of buying the hardcopy because my other two copies of books in this series are trade paperback, but I couldn’t wait. (bought at Books of Wonder)
  • Saving Francesa by Melina Marchetta – I am ready to try one of Marchetta’s contemporaries and this series appealed to me. Really wanted a copy of The Piper’s Son too, but couldn’t find one. (bought at Books of Wonder)
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – This book has been recommended all over the place and I WILL read it one day! (brought from home)

Other recaps (check these out for more pictures and other details of the event):
Bunbury in the Stacks
The Readventurer

Readercon Report, 2012

Readercon was just held this weekend in Burlington, MA. According to their website it is “an annual conference or convention devoted to ‘imaginative literature’ — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called ‘slipstream.'” and “A typical Readercon features over 150 writers, editors, publishers, and critics, attracting prominent figures from across the U.S., and from Canada, the U.K., and occasionally even Australia and Japan. They are joined by some 600 of their most passionate and articulate readers for a long weekend of intense conversation.”

I found out about Readercon through Lunacon‘s program book (these cons seem to advertise at other cons), and since it was relatively near me (4 hours away isn’t too bad), the husband and I made a weekend road trip out of it – leaving Friday night and coming back Sunday afternoon. Husband spent his days on his bike and watching the Tour de France, I spent my days at the con. Unlike Lunacon, this was a convention that was distinctly all about the books, so everything in the program was on a bookish track, although I did see some panels that looked to be more for writers, and some panels that were more for readers (there was overlap of course). I went for the panels that interested me as a reader.

SATURDAY
The first cool thing after registering was that I got to meet Chelle from Tempting Persephone! Oh so very lovely in person, she was. We got to spend a good chunk of the day together, and it was really nice to have someone else to go to panels with and talk to about what we sat in on.

I suspect there were other bloggers there because I spied the Penguin classics bag (that I had too) that was given out at the Book Blogger Con at least twice, but maybe that’s just a popular bag? I was too chicken to ask people about it. 😛

Here are the panels and readings I went to. CAVEAT: I didn’t take any notes and it’s been a couple of days so these are going to be simple overviews of my general impressions. I was planning on posting to my blog, but I took a casual approach and just enjoyed what panels looked interesting without any real blog-y agenda.

Book Learning (Gregory Feeley, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Katherine MacLean, Kathryn Morrow (leader), Ann Tonsor Zeddies) – This was a panel discussing a 2008 article in the Guardian by James Wood about the nature of characters in books. I hadn’t read this article prior to the panel so I was a bit out of the loop for some of the discussion, but it was interesting. They talked about the idea of flat/cardboard characters versus well-rounded characters, and it wasn’t what you would expect. It was more about whether someone’s idea of well-rounded or flat was valid. At one point they talked about if people in real life ever grow or change. It was a very different approach than I as a reader take because I do like characters that feel like they have more depth (well my idea of depth that is). Felt like an interesting window into writing, and how some “flat”, “one-note” characters are used in the story versus characters that “grow” or “change”. (Here’s the link to the Guardian article).

[Interlude] This is where we popped over to the dealer’s room (aka Heaven) and wandered for a bit and had lunch.

Un/Orthodox Genre (Jeanne Cavelos (leader), Michael Dirda, Yves Meynard, Robert V.S. Redick, Peter Straub, Gary K. Wolfe) – This was a panel about genre conventions. The jumping off point was about how some books fit squarely into a genre, and other books don’t seem to quite fit inside a genre and that on one hand Lev Grossman says “Conventions aren’t a prison that genre writers are trying to escape” and the other Peter Straub: “I dislike the sense of necessary limitations lots of people go for. I don’t want to live in a dollhouse”. The talk sort of flowed around writing and working with conventions. What conventions were, how to write something original if you have these conventions, approaches by different writers and so on. I liked the way this one was organized, with questions from the leader and everyone in the panel putting in their two cents. Another interesting panel. My opinion as a reader: I always love the books that tweak at genre conventions or straddle more than one genre.

The City and the Strange (Leah Bobet, Amanda Downum, Lila Garrott (leader), Stacy Hill, Ellen Kushner, Howard Waldrop) – This was a really well attended panel. The room was packed and there were people standing because they were unable to get seats (and this wasn’t a small room). Definitely the most popular panel I went to at this con. This was a panel about worldbuilding, and specifically: cities. There’s the cities that are completely made up, and then there are the cities in contemporary and urban fantasy that do exist in our world, and then, there are cities where magic is out in the open, and cities where the strange is hidden from plain sight. With the books that try to capture real cities the panelists discussed the difficulty of capturing the essence of a place so that a local would recognize it, and how it’s difficult (if not impossible) to do that because everyone sees a place in a different way, but that if a book is set somewhere, a writer should try to add something to the story that is from that place, otherwise if you don’t remember what city the book is, what was the point? There was a discussion of why cities, how urban fantasy differed from rural fantasy, the idea of neighborhoods within cities, and collaborative cities (the Borderlands). I went away really wanting to read the rural fantasy Wide Open by Deborah Coates.

[Interlude 2] This is when Chelle and I had to say our goodbyes. There wasn’t much else I wanted to sit in on (and I was pooped with being in a crowd) until 8pm, so I went back to my room, read and relaxed and had dinner and then came back.

Book Covers Gone Wrong (Daniel Abraham, Liz Gorinsky, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Katherine MacLean, Lee Moyer (leader), Jacob Weisman) – This was a panel about book covers. It had 3 authors, a couple of people in publishing, and a cover artist. The panel began with everyone contributing their own horror story that had to do with a book cover. This ran from covers that had NOTHING to do with what was in the book (the biggest complaint), to 6 different fonts used, to arguments with the publisher, to the blurb from George R. R. Martin being extremely small and hard to see. On the publisher’s side there were the problems of time constraints and artists just not producing something that they wanted. I laughed so much during this panel, especially when Lee Moyer passed around some bad covers he’d printed out from the internet and when members of the audience brought out their examples of bad covers. A lot of the examples where just really CAMPY and dated (aka, so bad they become good again).

Dancing Around Time Travel. Athena Andreadis, Grant C. Carrington, Helen Collins (leader), John Crowley, Jeff Hecht – This was the brainiest of the panels I sat in on. There was some discussion about how time travel was basically impossible (one thing everyone seemed to agree on). So everything that has time travel in it could be, it was argued, not really Science Fiction, but instead Fantasy. And then there was discussion about if you were to put time travel in a book, how would you do it. A couple panelists said you could get yourself into trouble if you added too much science to the story and this can date it, and there seemed to be a few people in favor of putting as little explanation of time travel as possible and moving on (don’t look at the man behind the curtain). There was also a lot of science discussion (about what time actually was and how it behaved) that was fascinating but I couldn’t repeat it here even if my life depended on it.


image courtesy of Michael Janairo (posted here with permission)

SUNDAY
Sunday was a shorter day (I think programming ended around after 3pm) and I had to drive back to New York, so I only went to a couple of things before we had to check out and be on the road.

Uncanny Taxonomies (Daniel Abraham (leader), Ellen Datlow, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan, Jeff VanderMeer) – This was another panel about categorizing of books, but instead of the constraints/conventions of a genre, this was more about the idea of labeling books as being this versus that. There was a lot of discussion about the need to put books into genres, and since there were a lot of writers in this panel, there were comments about the writing process and how they don’t set out to write IN a particular genre, they write the story and then it gets placed somewhere. There was some discussion on how different books placed within the same genre could be and what makes a book put somewhere like in science fiction instead of literature. Kiernan commented that she would like to see everything just shelved by author instead of genre.

Reading: Margaret Ronald – So this was the ONE and only reading at Readercon I went to (and in hindsight I think I should have gone to more), because I had read and liked the first two books in Ronald’s Evie Scelan books (I have reviewed them both here). Book three is on the TBR (I spent an hour looking for this instead of packing on Friday and never found it. I bought another copy).
This reading was from “The Governess and the Lobster” from the online webzine Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The story can be found online here. It was delightful – a steampunk story about a city where some automatons have gained awareness and live side by side with humans. In this story a governess has just been assigned to the Cromwell children, who do things like hand their governess jars of spiders and mechanical lobsters. From what I could tell there are other stories set in this world including one about a brain in a jar? And a Professora? There is a book written about this Professora, but no news on a publish date yet. I would like this book please Universe.

And here’s the haul:

Picked up at the dealer’s room: The Best of Talebones, edited by Patrick Swenson (I recognized a lot of the writers in the anthology so I was curious to give it a go) and Rapunzel’s Daughters and Other Tales (what happens after the Happily Ever After of fairytales – I was sold on just the description of the Rapunzel’s Daughter story – about her daughters that inherited her uncontrollable hair and the consequences of this attribute).


The Husband wanted his copies of his Scott Lynch books signed but we missed the author’s signing and reading on Friday and I still don’t understand how Kaffeeklatsches work, so I was happy I found a signed copy of Red Seas Under Red Skies in the dealer’s room. The other three books are my copies of the Evie Scelan books (Soul Hunt bought at the dealers room).

Not pictured: the signed hardcover of The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald that I bought. I forgot to bring my personal copies of Sandra McDonald books to Readercon! Next time maybe I’ll bring them and try to get them signed. Lurved The Outback Stars. My favorite!

Highlights of BEA 2012: the Haul, the Bloggers, the External Events


OK, as a lot of book bloggers are aware, Book Expo America (BEA) is a huge trade fair for the book industry. Every year librarians, authors, book sellers, publishers, and other book-related professionals gather to network, attend panels, do business, and pick up new books.

Can you believe I’ve been going to BEA since 2009? That makes me sound like an old hand, but every year I get very excited the night before and can barely sleep. This year was the same, but at least this time I was able to sleep fine after day 1 (which was the BEA Blogger Con). I am clearly getting used to this. The one big difference for me this year was in the number of books I picked up at the BEA floor. I’ve finally gotten to the point where (gasp!) my willpower is stronger. I think in the past I’ve had the “well, it’s free and maybe I’ll like it” mentality. This year I was tough! I was strong! Most of the books I got were ones I was really excited to read, and so I think my average was 9 books each day. It was 20 books per day in the past.

THE HAUL:

Day one:

  • Because It is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin (signed)
  • Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch – One of my two impulse pick ups for the day. It was so shiny. “On one side of the Rift is a technological paradise without famine or want. On the other side is a mystery” — sounds vaguely dystopian.
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde – a YA by Jasper Fforde – I’m in!
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (signed) – like I’ve said, I’m a fan of the animated short that won the Oscar.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne  Valente (signed)
  • The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony – this was my other impulse pick up for the day. I just love the cover. It’s a historical fiction surrounding the illegal lace trade of the 1600s.
  • The City’s Son by Tom Pollock (signed) – The blurb sold me with these two lines: “graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Filius, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld.” – Mystical underworld? Cocky crown prince? Yes!
  • Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson – A new urban fantasy with a werewolf protagonist.


Day two:

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (signed)
  • Paris in Love by Eloisa James – this is a autobiography that was in the goodie bags at the Random House breakfast. I actually didn’t pick up a goodie bag (tough executive decision), but another blogger was going through their bag and gave this to me.
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin (signed) – one of my most anticipated fantasy books of this year.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (signed) – teenaged assassin fights as royal champion until a new royal assassin can be chosen.
  • Eventide by Tracy and Laura Hickman (signed) – Sounds like a fantasy version of 1001 Nights with a dragon instead of a king. Also – that’s right, I met Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance fame!
  • Breed by Chase Novak – Horror, so a gamble for me. Adore the tactile, rubbery feel of this cover though
  • Saving June by Hannah Harrington – YA roadtrip and loss story. I won this on Pirate Penguin’s Reads and Sandy handed it to me while I was at BEA. 🙂
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – Another book from last year’s BEA which Kate from Babbling about Books, and More brought for me (thanks Kate!)

TIME WITH BOOK BLOGGERS
While new books are nice, the highlight for me really was seeing old and new book blogger faces. I mentioned meeting some bloggers at the BEA Blogger Con, but unfortunately, while I kept tweet-asking certain people where they were, it was difficult to go find and socialize with them. Some people were simply going to BEA rather than the BEA Blogger Con. The way to go turned out to be exchanging cell phone numbers and texting people to find out where they were (and I’m thankful I have Verizon – better reception at the Javits than other carriers).

Can I point you guys at this awesome post at Book Harbinger that I feel captures the fun of meeting booknerds?


I don’t know if I can name every person I saw and met for the first time so I’m sorry in advance for forgetting some people. I enjoyed texting with Sandy of Pirate Penguin’s Reads while both of us were commuting in by train and finally meeting in line for an autographing. I ran into Memory (Stella Matutina), Grace (Books of Love), Jessica (Read, React Review), Jane (Dear Author), Ana and Thea (The Book Smugglers), and Elizabeth (Gossamer Obsessions) a few times. Holly from Book Harbinger and Angie of Angieville and I had a good bowl of ramen after the BEA Blogger Con, and I saw them a couple more times on the floor. I also spent a few hours with Kristen of Fantasy Cafe – just sitting and relaxing for a bit. Later we had an adventure walking in the rain with a bunch of books and one umbrella. I finally got to meet Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks (texting – the way to go) while we were in line for N. K. Jemisin’s signing (and discovered we were in at least 3 other lines together). I met a few people at the Apocalypsies event as well. I reconnected with Romance lovers Kate (Babbling About Books and More), @nystacey, @KwanaWrites, and @marireads. Christine from The Happily Ever After came into the city and carved out time for a snack with Kristen and me before we had to head out for the NYPL event. And I also finally met Lisa of Starmetaloak at the Random House Breakfast and got to mingle with her there. I also met new-to-me bloggers Donna (Bites) and Grace (Books Without Any Pictures).

RANDOM HOUSE BREAKFAST
On Wednesday morning was the Random House Power Reader Breakfast. I have to say I was really impressed. The event space was really lovely, and the food was amazing (there was even a coffee station) – I couldn’t help comparing it to the breakfast at the BEA Blogger Con, and Random House came out looking better by leaps and bounds. There were short speeches by Nate Berkus (The Things That Matter) and Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit). I thought they were both speeches that were respectful and not pushy towards book bloggers. There were probably 100 book bloggers there and we got to socialize amongst ourselves as well as talk to Random House authors, editors, and publicists. I took several pictures, but Random House has a more lovely set on Pinterest here.

READINGS AT THE NYPL
Wednesday evening the New York Public Library hosted a “Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Musical Improv” from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The website said: “Join Lev Grossman for an evening of literature and lyrics, featuring readings by Kristin Cashore, N.K. Jemisin, Naomi Novik, and Catherynne M. Valente”. Thank you to Kristen of Fantasy Cafe for giving me a heads up on this! There were a few things going on in the evenings after BEA but this was definitely on my to-go-to list.

I was expecting a crowd but the auditorium had a surprising amount of empty seats given who was speaking! It was a really nice evening. Lev Grossman introduced the authors after a nice speech in honor of Ray Bradbury’s passing, and then we were treated to readings set to live improvised mood music! Kristin Cashore, N.K. Jemisin, and Catherynne M. Valente read from their just released or to-be-released books (Bitterblue, The Shadowed Sun, and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland respectively), and Naomi Novak chose to read from the first of her Temeraire books (His Majesty’s Dragon). Afterwards, there was a nice question and answer session. I really enjoyed it and am still not over the fact that there weren’t more people there!


And those were the highlights of Tuesday and Wednesday of BEA for me this year. I went back to work on Thursday so I missed that day, but.. yeah, I am spent.

My Thoughts on the BEA Bloggers Conference, 2012

[Note: If you aren’t a book blogger, feel free to skip this post. It’s long and probably only interesting to a certain group of people who read my blog]

I have been an attendee at the Book Blogger Convention since the very first one in 2010. My posts on these can be found under the “book blogger convention” tag, otherwise look at:

Usually I’ve enjoyed the Book Blogger Convention (BBC). It’s been an event surrounding book blogging and I’ve meet a lot of bloggers there and had a chance to listen in on panels where different book bloggers discussed a particular topic. Sometimes I don’t agree with something a panelist says, but that’s to be expected. I still felt like I came away with a better understanding of how others blogged about books and felt more rejuvenated about book blogging. It was also a fantastic deal: $90 for the first book blogger con, $120 the next.  This included a pass to the BEA floor for the rest of BEA. The first year registration was with Paypal and the organizers set it up so BEA issued me a pass, the second year I was instructed to sign up directly through the BEA website, where I was identified as Non Editorial/Media when I signed up with the Book Blogger Convention.

This year, I didn’t have the same positive experience.

REGISTRATION HELL
I think my discontent started early, with registration. At the end of January, it was announced that Reed Exhibitions had bought the Book Blogger Convention. This was a surprise to many, and bloggers wondered what it meant to the BBC. I didn’t have any expectations one way or another, but I was soon feeling the repercussions of the buyout. I was on twitter right after the announcement, and another blogger was complaining about issues with understanding how to register. Thinking I’d be helpful, I tried to register myself. I went through the BEA website, through the regular registration, as I had last year. I selected Book Bloggers Convention, and the form said the early bird rate (before May 17th) would be $72 and “This does INCLUDE a BEA pass”. I also said I was Non Editorial Media, which I assumed I should, like last year, on another page during the registration process. Here’s a screenshot I made for part of that:

I was shocked when I got to the payment part of the process and it said I owed $65 for the BBC, and another $159.00 on top of that for being non-editorial/media, for a grand total of $224.00, which is almost twice how much it cost last year. On top of that, why did I have to pay the $159, when the BBC is supposed to include BEA? Other bloggers on twitter informed me they only paid $65 for their registration, but they had registered before the announcement that the BBC was bought. I thought that there had to be a mistake.


So then I located the number for customer service and called them. I explained my issues and wondered why I had to pay for being non-editorial/media on top of the BBC cost, when it said BEA was included. I asked if I should have gone through the press registration (which was on a different part of the website), because apparently that would have been $0 on top of the BBC cost. The woman I spoke to wanted to know how big my blog was – how much traffic did I get? I told her it shouldn’t matter because I was still a book blogger and last year, my traffic wasn’t an issue to getting into a conference about book blogging access to the floor was included in the price. I also told her: book bloggers are people who post their opinions on the Internet. They will not be happy if BEA was saying a big blogger got to pay less for an event and a small blogger had to pay more. She said she would talk to someone, took my number and promised to call back before the end of the day. She never called. This was Friday, and customer service was only available during working hours, so I got to stew all weekend before I could contact another representative. I also loved how I had to call while I was at work myself.

Also notable: I had to point out another huge error in their registration pages – the BEA website said the Children’s Breakfast was on Wednesday, the registration had it listed on Thursday. They fixed this quickly, but as for my registration? It took me almost 2 weeks and several phone calls and emails to Reed. As I said, this was during my work hours, and it did impact my mood and productivity to be calling BEA or waiting for them to call me back. In the end, there was so much confusion that they had to make an announcement on their BEA news blog. The price would be $135 for book bloggers, and this would cover the BEA pass. But since when I had tried to register the price was wrong, and that since I saw the price as $72, that’s what they would charge me. I had to jump through an extra hoop, filling out a form and faxing it to them (I ended up emailing them a PDF because who has a fax?) in order to get this price. I know I could have argued for $65 since I saw that too, but I was tired. I honestly debated just paying the $135 everyone else seemed to be, but after all the grief I had gone through and images of my mother smacking me for not knowing the value of money, I took the discount. At this point, I considered writing up a post on how to register for the BBC (at that point rebranded as “BEA Bloggers Conference”), but I thought BEA had fixed most of their issues and I didn’t want to revisit the whole thing because it just annoyed me thinking about it. I had people tell me that they saw the issues I was going through (I was ranting on twitter for some of it) and it made them wait till Reed had their registration straightened out.

STRANGE PHONE CALLS, ASKING FOR STATS, and the UNCON
On March 20th I got a voicemail message on my home phone. It was from a PR representative asking me to blog about a religious/spiritual book. I was shocked that anyone had my home phone number to market a book. The only place I could think of that I gave my number to in relation to book blogging was BEA, but in the past I’ve only gotten junk email because of signing up. I wasn’t sure it was BEA who passed along my phone number, and when I asked on twitter if anyone else had this experience, no one replied that they had. I was half-tempted to call the PR firm back to ask where they got my number, but didn’t. I saw a post somewhere where BEA denied they gave out bloggers numbers, so I didn’t pursue it. Last month I heard more that more bloggers were getting calls, and they were told the PR firm got their number from BEA. I went to look for the post I thought I saw, I couldn’t find it. I pointed a fellow book blogger at an opt-out I saw on the BEA form I filled out. I still don’t know what to think about the phone call I got and if BEA really handed out book bloggers contact information to PR firms.

Around the same time this was going on, there was a little brouhaha because bloggers who had registered for the BEA Blogger Con got an email asking them to fill out a form for the attendees list, which also asked about their stats. I think Jessica of Read, React, Review gives a great overview of the reaction to that and the general discontent. Again, I thought there was a post in response to this issue from BEA (it may be the same one that mentions the phone calls), but I can’t find it. If anyone can confirm this, please let me know.

From the comments on twitter in March and April I saw a lot of people were having issues with registering. People who had registered as press were being rejected 2 months after they had applied. These included big name blogs. The very first BEA I went to in 2009, I went as press and had no problems whatsoever. I wasn’t asked about stats and got into BEA for free. Of course I have no problem paying for BEA and the Book Blogger Con, and I have for the past 2 years — as long as I was paying a reasonable price. I don’t like the idea of different prices for different people just because you were lucky enough to register before the announcement that the BBC was bought, or that you have a blog with some number of hits that the organizers thought was an acceptable number.

Because of my experience, I was considering the Book Blog UnCon when I found out about it. An “uncon” to my understanding is a convention where there is a free-flowing structure and attendees create the panels. This appealed to me, but after all the trouble getting registered for the BEA Blogger Con, the thought of calling Reed’s customer service again to cancel my registration made me recoil. I decided to try to forget what I’d been through and just see how the official BEA Blogger Convention was.

THE BEA BLOGGER CON ITSELF

Arrival and Breakfast
I arrived a couple minutes after 8:45am because I went to the wrong wing at first. When I arrived there were goodie bags and some books for the taking. I believe the books in the bag were by the authors who were at the author networking breakfast and lunch. This is what I got:

The breakfast was continental (muffins and bagels and some fruit). I looked at the networking list for breakfast and saw no authors from the genres I usually blog about. The closest thing was Dystopian, but I felt that YA bloggers would rather have those tables than me. They didn’t distribute the authors very well either.  Few tables had 4 authors (see table 9), some had 3, and these were grabbed early. Many tables had just 2. When I got there, I realized that there were probably over 30 tables and there were only 24 tables in the list, so many tables didn’t have authors at all. Thankfully, I was enthusiastic about meeting William Joyce because I had watched and loved his short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, and it just won the Oscar for Short Film (animated) this year, so I ended up sitting at a table that he would be visiting and thoroughly enjoyed meeting him, despite the short visit. I also liked the other author who stopped by, Lee Woodruff. Even though her book sounded like it is a heart-wrencher, I appreciated hearing her thoughts about why she herself enjoys reading that type of story, even during hard times.

Also thankfully: I did manage to sit with bloggers I know (Angie and Holly), and their company saved a lot of the day for me. Holly is a blogger I talk to a lot online, but never met, I also was able to meet Jane from Dear Author, Jessica from Read, React, Review, and Elizabeth from Gossamer Obsessions for the first time, and I saw Ana and Thea from the Book Smugglers, Charlotte from Charlotte’s Library, Kate from Babbling about Books, and More, and Kristen from Fantasy Cafe. I met a few other new faces at our tables and would have liked more time just meeting other book bloggers, but this was difficult to do during the author networking.

Opening Keynote:
I think the best thing would be to have the video of Jennifer Weiner’s keynote and her Q&A here:

The text of Jennifer Weiner’s speech can be found here.

Blogging Today: What you need to know and what’s next
This was a panel moderated by Zoë Triska, Associate Books Editor of the Huffington Post. Speakers were: Erica Barmash, Senior Marketing Manager at Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks, Patrick Brown, Community Manager of Goodreads, Jen Lancaster, author/blogger of jennsylvania.com, and Candace Levy of Beth Fish Reads.

Only one of these speakers (Candace Levy) is a book blogger, which I thought was odd. This proved to be a foreshadowing of things to come. Here’s a good set of notes about the questions and the main points taken from the answers the panel gave. My overall impression of this panel was that it didn’t feel very specific. “What you need to know” is subjective. Overall it felt like a meandering discussion that sort of had to do with what other people who weren’t necessarily book bloggers, but have blogs, thought of book blogging. I tensed a little when one of the panelists called review copies “free books” — please, can we stop calling them FREE?  The moment of the conference was when one of the panelist said that she would not want to work with a known plagiarist. I came away from this one most impressed by Patrick Brown of Goodreads, who had some of the most interesting comments (for example – advice to book bloggers to not alienate readers of their blog who aren’t book bloggers, his experience with Facebook is that people there love infographics, and Goodreads’ policy is not to allow reviews that have been paid for).

Lunch:
Lunch was another networking affair, and unfortunately we were unable to get any of the tables we wanted to sit at (here’s the list of options). The table we ended up with was one with 2 authors coming by, and one didn’t show. One was a non-fiction author (WordPress for Dummies was the book) and one was a fantasy/genre fiction author (Larry Correia) I appreciated the latter because at least he writes in a genre I read, and he actually showed up, but the rest of the lunch was awkward wait until his arrival. There was a strange mix at the table and I didn’t relate to the people there to learn about wordpress that weren’t book bloggers. I wondered if people had wandered in from the Blogworld conference because it was in the same area as the BEA Bloggers Conference.

Afternoon Breakouts
At this point we finally moved out of the room we were in and had the choice of 2 panels from 1:45 to 2:45, and then again from 3:00pm to 4:00pm

From 1:45 to 2:45 I had the choice of Critical Reviews or So You Want to Make Money? — Other than being an affiliate, I have no plans to monetize my blog, but I was curious about the money panel, so I went to that one. The moderator was Scott Fox of ClickMillionares.com, and speakers were Rita Arens, senior editor of BlogHer, Ron Hogan of Beatrice.com, Thea James, co-founder of The Book Smugglers, and Sara Pitre, blogger at Forever Young Adult. Again, the moderator was not a book blogger, and took the opportunity to promote his book (questions would be rewarded with a copy). They started off with why they monetized their blogs. Rita Arens made a good point about wanting to see more people in book blogging think about being paid for their time. Most of the panelists use Blogads, no one used Google Adsense. This had to do with being able to customize the advertising on their blogs. Thea told people to sweat the small stuff: investigate what was out there, look at your blog and choose a theme that has room for standard ads, consider the number of ads you want .  I sort of got the impression that it is difficult to make a lot more than “ramen money” (covers just the cost of running the website with a little bit more for ramen) with book blogging. When question time came by, the first to the come up was a website owner, and non-book blogger which made me again wonder if we had BlogWorld attendees wandering in. The second was another author who took a moment to self promote. I forget what her question was.

From 3:00 to 4:00 the choices were Creating Community & Driving Engagement, and Demystifying the Book Blogger & Publisher Relationship. I chose the latter. The moderator was Derek Stordahl, Global Publishing Expert and Blogger, Jenn Lawrence, blogger at Jennsbookshelves.com, Lucille Rettino, Vice President, Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster, and Lindsey Rudnickas of NetGalley. I don’t know whether it was the length of the day or if it was because there was a panel like this in previous years, but I found myself not really paying much attention to this panel, so I sort of missed it when a panelist said that a “mature” blogger had to do more than review – they had to do other promotion on top of that, like covers and Q&As. But I did catch it on twitter since my tweetstream sort of came alive for a minute there. I did get the impression, like The Book Smugglers commented in their write up, that this panel was a what can book bloggers do for publishing — and maybe this was because there was just ONE book blogger on the panel to represent the group.

I skipped the closing keynote. I just didn’t want to hear another promotion.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:
My mood shifted throughout the day. It went from cautious optimism to general disappointment.

I was OK with the author breakfast even though only 2 authors came by, and it was them promoting their book because they only had so much time with us. I was OK with Jennifer Weiner’s speech, even though she did seem to be self-promoting a lot in it. By lunch I began to feel a bit more awkward because there was more promotion. At the breakout panels, when the moderators promoted their to-be-released book and there were at most 2 bloggers in a 4 person panel (and the usual number was 1 blogger per panel), I started to get tired. When people would go up to ask “questions” and then hijacked the conversation to promote their book, it grated on my nerves.

I thought this was a book blogger conference, but there was a shocking number of people who weren’t book bloggers or who weren’t in the book industry at all. Maybe BlogWorld being nearby caused a mixup and we had people from that conference waltzing into ours, or maybe Reed thought “book blogging” and “blogging” could be mixed without issue, but I didn’t go to a Book Blogger Convention to meet someone with a blog about the environment. There didn’t seem to be a cap on the number of non-book bloggers present, which I feel affected the conference. I am very curious how many people there that day were book bloggers, how many were authors, and how many were publicists.

Hearing perspectives from other parts of the industry is one thing, but I didn’t go there to be marketed to and to be told how to be a better cheerleader for publishing.  In previous years, there were complaints about things said at panels, but at least there were panels full of book bloggers.

There is talk amongst the book bloggers about sending Reed constructive ideas for making the event better next year. I am always optimistic, and this is Reed’s first try, so I hope the event will improve. But next time, I am waiting a bit before I register. I’m going to have to see what they have planned before I come back to this conference.

Next I’ll post about BEA itself, which I had a much more positive reaction to.

24-hour readthon, April 21st, 2012


Another 6 months, another readathon. I was debating whether I was really going to do this, but I haven’t missed one in a while, so even if I’m only going to read for a bit (and my max stay up time is 2am, because I can’t do all-nighters), I always have fun. These are my possible reads. This readathon will be all about the library books:

the extraordinary adventures of adele blanc-sec vol 1unearthly by cynthia handUnearthly is the next pick for my readalong group (man, we’re doing these readathons on a regular basis now — I love it).

And then I have a couple of books on my Netgalley pile:

Seraphina by Rachel Hartmanunspoken by sarah rees brennanThen there is of course, the huge, huge, huge, TBR pile with plenty of books I could be reading.

Guest Posting for FantasyCafe’s Women in SF&F Month

Today I am over at Fantasy Cafe talking about some of my favorite women authors in SF&F – actually my favorite female speculative fiction authors that write in the science fiction side of the spectrum. I think these are some authors that could lure you over to the dark side one of my favorite genres. Like all genres, I think it has plenty of variety, so if you look, you just may find something you adore within it. Take a peek at my post and check it out! I have highlighted books that…
 


…are gateway books for romance readers to be introduced to some space opera/science fiction…


…are books I think urban fantasy fans could get into…


…are character driven, coming of age stories…


.. amidst war and other trials and tribulations…


… or just cross genre boundaries.

Bloggiesta Wrap-up

This year I felt like I got more done for Bloggiesta, although it possibly doesn’t look like it when you take a look at this blog, I did a lot!

All in all, I’m very happy with this Bloggiesta. There is still a lot I want to do with the blog, but I feel like this event kick-started my actually doing those things. So it was a successful weekend!