TBIF: Thank blog it’s Friday! This week in memes and books, 2/27/08

Mailbox Monday, hosted at The Printed Page

I have it on good authority – that would be Marcia, founder of “Mailbox Monday” – that this meme is meant for mentioning any new arrivals on your bookshelves, whether they came through the mail or not.

I have two newbies from a trip to Borders last weekend. We were actually not there for the usual reason; we were looking for some reading glasses for Tall Paul, who doesn’t need as strong magnification as I do, and the ones that Borders and B&N sell start at +1.00 (the lowest we found in the drugstore was +1.25). But of course, I had to check out the bookshelves too, and I came across two titles from my wishlist:

Love and Other Natural Disasters, by Holly Shumas; and
Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone, by Beth Lisick.

Good timing, too. Since we entered the season of Lent on Wednesday, I am making my usual attempt to give up buying books till Easter, so I won’t be back in Borders for a while.

Acquired any good books – or books you hope will be good – lately?

Tuesday Thingers: Questions for LibraryThing users, hosted at Wendi’s Book Corner

Today’s question: Do you have a specialized blog where you only review a certain genre or type of book? If so, what is your favorite thing about that type of book? If not, what is/are your favorite genre(s)? What makes that genre(s) a favorite?

My Answer: As far as fiction goes, I’m not really a genre reader or reviewer. Most of what I read is general  fiction – it’s not usually all that highbrow, so I hesitate to call it “literary” – but it may have elements from one or more genres. I like novels about relationships, but not if they’re clearly identifiable as romances or “chick lit;” I like some suspense and action in the plot, but I don’t read mysteries or crime fiction. Historical fiction is tricky for me; I prefer a writing style that doesn’t feel historical itself, but anachronisms drive me crazy. I think that I’d sum up my preferences by saying that I prefer to read fiction that doesn’t fall strictly within the conventions of a particular genre, but elements of genre can add to my experience reading general fiction, if that makes sense.

I’m more genre-specific with nonfiction. Other than the occasional book of essays or something with a sociological bent, I tend to stick with memoir and biography. But if the subject matter sounds interesting and the writing is engaging, I’m happy to branch out and try something different.

Are you a genre specialist, or more of a generalist?

Teaser Tuesday, hosted at Should Be Reading

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

This week’s Teaser comes from a book that is currently sitting on my husband’s nightstand:

“‘So, you lived through the night?’ said Oswald.
“‘Of course, why wouldn’t I?’ I asked.” (page 198)
Fool, by Christopher Moore

I haven’t seen too many reviews of this one yet – one who loved it, one who didn’t – but it’s a must-read in our house regardless.

Booking Through Thursday: Collectibles

  • Hardcover? Or paperback?
  • Illustrations? Or just text?
  • First editions? Or you don’t care?
  • Signed by the author? Or not?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I really don’t view books in terms of collectibles. To me, a collectible is generally something that sits on a shelf or in a display case; you don’t use it, because using it would take away from its value. There’s no question that I enjoy acquiring books, but I acquire them to read them – although it might take me a few months, or even a few years, to get around to doing that. The books that I’ve kept after reading, for the most part, are those that I can foresee reading more than once. If I don’t think that’s going to happen, I’ll usually try to find the book a new home – unless it’s autographed. I’ve been fortunate enough to receivesome signed copies of books from authors since I entered the book-blogging world, and those will remain with me permanently, regardless of their format or read status.

Since I don’t consider myself a book “collector,” I prefer books in trade paperback format, because I find that the easiest to read. If someone else is giving a book to me, though, I won’t turn it down if it’s in hardcover. I generally prefer books without illustrations, with the exception of maps and diagrams if they’re appropriate.

Since I’ve started book blogging, I’ve received a few books that are technically first editions, but time will tell if that’s meaningful; they’re not something I’ve ever sought out, and that’s not a reason for me to get review books. (It brings up a question, though: is an ARC a “pre-first edition”?)

Are books collectibles to you, or are they something you use?

Friday Fill-ins #113

1. I’m rushed, I’m anxious, I really need to relax!

2. Why do I have small feet and not good eyesight?

3. How does this iPhone thing-a-ma-jig work, anyway?

4. Every morning, I put cinnamon sugar on my oatmeal.

5. I consider myself lucky because I am married to someone who makes me laugh every day.

6. One day we’ll see things we can’t even imagine right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to TV catch-up time with my family, tomorrow my plans include my nephew’s birthday party at the go-kart track and Sunday, I want to do some reading, some writing, and some de-stressing!

What’s on deck for your weekend?

I know I’m asking y’all a lot of questions today, but that’s the hazard of putting all of my memes in one post :-).

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  1. Madeleine – It’s pretty nice :-). Actually, we make each other laugh, and I like to say that most of the time, it’s on purpose.

    Serena – I hope so. Of course, knowing me, I may not know for sure until at least next year :-).

  2. Wow….new to your blog and I loved this post, so thank-you! I, too, am married to someone who manages to make me laugh regardless of my mood (I loved that comment- great one!) The books that you picked up are also on my to-read list, and “Fool” is on my to-be-read shelf right now. Have a great weekend!!!

  3. I am kind of genre specific; mostly SciFi and horror, as you know.

    The iPhone works by way of magic. That is all you need to know. 🙂

    Are you going to get to race the go-carts? Sounds like a blast!

  4. Stacy – I’m not much for audiobooks myself, so I don’t think that would work for me either. My husband’s going to be reading Fool before I do – maybe I can convince him to post a review. Nah, probably not :-).

    Janet – I keep telling him that :-). But I think we both may have gotten it right the second time around.

    Jonita – Welcome, and thanks for introducing yourself! But you should know that there’s no guarantee that any new books in my house will be read in the near future :-).

    Mike – Yes, I am aware of your genre preferences :-). I’ll watch SciFi (movies or TV), but I really don’t read it much. You’ll have to talk to my stepdaughter, the Dean Koontz fan, about horror.

    I am afraid of the iPhone. I won’t touch my husband’s.

    The kids will be go-kart racing tomorrow. But my husband’s work group went to the same place for a team-building exercise earlier this week, and he LOVED it – he’ll be going back there with some of his co-workers one day next week at lunch.

  5. 🙂 I really enjoyed reading your response, although I did find myself wondering how you find your books. I generally feel in the mood for something and go to that genre. You seem to avoid the genres and focus on the story-line or description of the book. Yeah!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I’ve got the post up for this week. ~ Wendi

  6. Wendi – That’s pretty much true. I find out about books by reading about them, mostly :-); most of the book blogs I follow aren’t overly genre-specific themselves.