Book events – Binges, Festivals and Carnivals

book bingeHere’s a fairly painless challenge, especially for those of you who would be reading anyway – MaryP is hosting her annual Book Binge during May. Details:

For the month of May, participants keep track of each and every book you read. At the end of the month, everyone will blog their list of books. Simple, no?

For simplicity’s sake, and to allow people time to hear about it and sign up if they want, we’ll start on Monday, May 5th. We will all publish our lists on June 1.

Other rules:

– You can include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between May 5 and 31.
– You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.
– You may only include books you read to your children if they are at least 125 pages long.
– Students may include textbooks (if they’re at least 100 pages long).

I’m already signed up. Please click the link or the button to join in at MaryP’s blog, It’s Not All Mary Poppins – and if you wouldn’t mind mentioning that you heard about it here, I’d appreciate it!


The LA Times Festival of Books last weekend was fun! We didn’t make a full weekend out of it like Literary Feline (Wendy) and Anjin did (I had hoped we would encounter each other wandering around UCLA, but no such luck, thanks to an e-mail misdirected to my spam folder and found too late – maybe next year! Wendy shares her Festival experience in her Sunday Salon posts here and here), but Tall Paul and I enjoyed browsing the exhibits and came back with a bunch of new books, as well as leads on a couple of area bookstores we need to visit if we’re in their neighborhoods (Santa Monica and Pasadena, respectively).

But aside from not crossing paths with Wendy, I think the only real disappointment was not getting to play along on the giant, audience-participation crossword puzzles – we just couldn’t find any (although the Franklin Avenue folks managed to). Perhaps next year we’ll take in a panel or two, and get some of our books autographed – it depends on the authors who are there, and this year we didn’t have any special favorites we wanted to see. But this is an annual commitment for us (unless it rains), so we’ll certainly be back in 2009 – and we’ll check out who else will be there then!

If you’re curious about what books I picked up at the Festival, I listed them in answer to Janet‘s comment on this post.

Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf does a lot to help build community among book bloggers, as well as those who blog about books among other things, like me. She originated the Bookworms Carnival last year. The current (April) Carnival features Latin American literature, and is up at In the Louvre, and the submissions deadline for the May carnival is coming up soon. Here’s the Carnival calendar for the next few months:

Edition 11 hosted by: Scooter Chronicles
Deadline for submission: May 9
Theme: Contemporary/Urban Fantasy (for suggested reading, click here)
To submit a post, email: srf at soundchaser dot org

Edition 12 hosted by: Nymeth
Deadline for submission: June 13
Theme: Fairy Tales
To submit a post, email: untuneric at gmail dot com

Edition 13 hosted by: Jenn
Deadline for submission: July 11
Theme: Relationships
To submit a post, email: jenn at mixedmetaphor dot net

*Edition 14 hosted by: Florinda
Deadline for submission: August 8
Theme: You’re Never Too Old – Children’s and YA Literature
To submit a post, email: 3.rsblog at gmail dot com*

Yes, folks, please note that the August Bookworms Carnival will be hosted right here! I chose the theme because I know that I’ve enjoyed quite a few books that are officially classified as “children’s” or “young adult” fiction (Harry Potter, anyone?), and I suspect it’s not just me. You could write about your all-time favorite kids’ book(s), book(s) you enjoy sharing with your children, or read and review a new-to-you YA novel. You could do all of those, if you like. I just wanted to give a heads-up about it, and ask you to help spread the word about the Carnival (all the upcoming editions, not just mine!).

Dewey’s newest idea is the Weekly Geeks Challenge, and here’s how that’s going to work:

1. Every week there’ll be a different theme. One week might be “catch up on your library books” week and the next might be “redecorate your blog week” or “organize your challenges” week or “catch up on your reviews” week. It’ll be fairly bookblogcentric, but not exclusively.

2. Everyone who joins agrees that they will try to check each week to see what the theme is, although they DO NOT have to participate each week, only when they feel like it.

3. Everyone who joins is welcome (encouraged, begged!) to send me ideas for weekly themes via email, comments, whatever. The more ideas, the better.

4. I will post the weekly theme each Saturday, but you can check in any time it’s convenient to find out what the theme is.

5. If you post about your progress with that week’s theme in your blog (whether you were wildly successful or didn’t get around to any of it) then you can come back and leave a link to that post in the comments for that theme.

6. The next week, when I announce the new theme, I will also post a mini-carnival-like blurb, with links to everyone’s progress posts. Either way, you’ll have a link to your blog every week you participate, which will hopefully help other participants find their way to your posts.

If you’d like to join in on this one, click the link above to go sign up!

The first Weekly Geeks challenge is in progress right nowDiscover New (or New-to-You) Blogs Week ends Friday, and the new challenge will be posted on Saturday. It’s easy to join in on this one:

1. Look through the list of blogs on the Mr. Linky in Dewey’s post (link above) and see if you can find five that are new to you. If you can’t, find as many new blogs as possible and then some you don’t read super regularly.

2. Visit those new blogs. A comment would be nice; people like comments.

3. When you’re ready, at some point by Friday if you want to be included in the blurbs next week, write a post in your blog featuring those new blogs you visited.

4. Don’t forget to go back to Dewey’s blog and leave a link to your post for the blurb!

I visited Somer at SomeReads (returned her call here), Nymeth’s book reviews at Things Mean A Lot (she’s hosting the June Bookworms Carnival, as mentioned above), Tanabata of In Spring it is the Dawn, Cara at The Curvature, and Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-a-Holic. I’d seen the names of some of these bloggers mentioned on other blog posts and comments, but hadn’t read any of them before. This was a great way to get the Weekly Geeks off the ground, and I’m always glad to find new blogs to read!

And by the way, thanks to everyone who stopped by here as one of their Weekly Geeks challenge visits – glad to have you, and hope you enjoyed yourself enough to come back!

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  • I might take a look at the book binge. I’ve been lax on my reading lately, that might help.

    I already know the book, or books, for your hosting gig. Make sure you remind me. 🙂

  • Since I already keep track of what I read, I might have to consider participating in Mary P’s May event. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I’m glad you and Tall Paul enjoyed the festival. Do you think it’s possible to come away from there without a bunch of new books? 🙂

    I meant to mention before that I’ll be curious to know what you think of Carolyn See’s book when you get to it. Have you read anything by her before? I heard her speak on a panel a couple of years ago alongside her daughter (who I was really there to see).

    I’m so glad you found Nymeth, Tanabata and Stephanie! They are among my favorite bloggers. Somer and Cara are new to me but I’ll definitely be visiting them more.

  • Mike – Definitely sign up for Book Binge! You don’t have to commit in advance to exactly what or how many books you’ll read, but having committed, it may give you the nudge to get back into it.

    And don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll post several reminders about “my” Bookworms Carnival. I don’t want it to get no entries and be a bust! 😀

    Literary Feline – I hope you’ll sign up for Book Binge too, Wendy, since I don’t think you’ll have to do anything different at all in order to participate! 🙂

    No, it’s NOT possible to leave the Festival without new books! Not for me. anyway (and you too, I’m sure).

    I didn’t realize that Carolyn and Lisa See were mother and daughter until this year’s Festival. I haven’t read any of Carolyn See’s books before (or Lisa’s, for that matter, although Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is in the TBR collection).

    One reason I chose to visit Nymeth, Tanabata, and Stephanie is because I see them commenting on your blog all the time, so even though I hadn’t been to their blogs before, they weren’t really strangers.

  • I LOVE children’s books (used to be the children’s book supervisor in a bookstore) and I love how reading children’s books has become more acceptable.. there really is some great, great kid’s books out there!

  • Michelle – I agree! That’s why I picked it for my carnival theme. 🙂

  • I’m sure I’ll take part in your event in August. With so many teens in the house, we have a lot of YA fiction kicking around, and while I’ll steer clear of the vampire stuff (ugh), there’s quite a few that have peaked my curiosity. This will be my motivation to read some of it!

  • MaryP – I do hope you’ll participate in the Carnival! I’ll post more info about it during the summer, as it gets closer.

    The theme may actually serve as my excuse to check out the vampire books :-), but I haven’t decided yet.

  • Florinda,

    I’ll have to stop by more often. You are so good about posting.

    I was at the LA Festival of Books, too. Looks like you got some great books. I loooooove Anne Lamott and Carolyn See. I keep hearing about Francine Prose, but haven’t yet bought any of her books. Thanks for reminding me though.