TBIF: Thank Book/Blog It’s Friday!

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report

Book reviews posted:
None since July 20(!!). Conferencing, and following it up with a lot of writing, took a serious toll on reading time! I have good intentions to get back on the train in August, though – at least partly spurred by review obligations that actually have due dates – so wish me luck with improving my record!

Upcoming reviews:
Wife of the Gods: A Novel, by Kwei Quartey (for TLC Books Tours)
The Last Bridge, by Teri Coyne (for LibraryThing Early Reviewers)
The Weight of Silence: A Novel, by Heather Gudenkauf (also for TLC)

New additions to the LibraryThing “To Read” collection:
For review –
Mercury in Retrograde, by Paula Froelich (from publisher)
A Circle of Souls, by Preetham Grandhi (from author)
The Summer Kitchen, by Karen Weinreb (from Nicole at Bookreporter.com)
Lift: A Memoir, by Rebecca K. O’Connor (ARC, from author)

For me –
I See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass
The House on Fortune Street: A Novel, by Margot Livesey
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson
The Silver Linings Playbook: A Novel, by Matthew Quick (won from Chartroose at Bloody Hell, It’s a Book Barrage!)

Books added to the wish list:
Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, by Lizzie Skurnick
Oxygen, by Carol Cassella
This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper (seconding the recommendation)
The Brontë Project, by Jennifer Vandever
The Unlikely Disciple, by Kevin Roose
How to Buy a Love of Reading, by Tanya Egan Gibson
The Widow’s Season, by Laura Brodie
The Mercy Rule, by Perri Klaas
Lucky Girl: A Memoir, by Mei-Ling Hopgood

Have you heard about the Book Blogger Aggregate cluster of book-blog feeds created by Mari of Bookworm with a View? It’s an easy way to stumble across new-to-you book blogs, or keep up with favorites if you don’t use a feed reader (or, alternatively, you can load the whole thing into your feed reader). It’s also very easy to add your blog (or request to have it removed). Disclosure: this blog is included in the aggregator, but I’m mentioning it because I just think it’s a cool idea and wanted to spread the word.

Tuesday Thingers, hosted at Wendi’s Book Corner: “A Thinger Three-fer”


I’ve missed a few weeks’ worth of Tuesday Thingers, the weekly meme originally created as a way to network with other bloggers and to learn more about using LibraryThing. Fortunately, I can provide pretty short answers to all of Wendi’s questions, so I’m going to get caught up now!

If you have ever participated in the Early Reviewer program (and even if you haven’t), you can now check the books you have received and (hopefully) reviewed against the list that ER thinks you should have. The list will also allow you to mark a book as NOT received, so that it will not count against you when you request additional Early Reviewer books.

Questions: Have you checked out your ER list? Is it accurate? Did you need to mark any books as not received?

My Answer:
My list was correct – there was only one book I never received, and I was given credit for all of the reviews I’ve posted. I’m really only delinquent in reviewing one of the books; that was a paperback edition of a book that was heavily reviewed when published in hardcover, so I’m not sure how “early” any reviews via the program really would be anyway. My other unreviewed book is an ARC which was just published in July, and I usually don’t review those until they’re actually available – it’s frustrating to find out a book that sounds great, but you can’t buy it yet! – but it’s on my to-do list for this month (see “Bookkeeping” above).

Nicchic over at Obsessed With Books had a great comment last week, and was wondering if other LT members found the Local section useful.

Once you have set up your location in your profile, you can go to the Local tab and see different venues (bookstores, libraries, etc) and events (book signings, book readings, etc).

There is a trick to using the local tab! SOMEONE has to put the information in there.

Questions: When you click on the Local tab, do you see any information? Do you find the information you see useful? Have you added any information? If you don’t already use the Local tab, is it something you would use more often if there were more events listed?

My Answer:
There are lots of venues listed on my “Local” tab, but not many of them seem to be adding events, and many of the events listed stretch the definition of “local.” (Then again, I live in Southern California, the urban-sprawl capital of the world.) However, I did add a few good, but not quite nearby, bookstores to my “favorites” – hopefully that will bring up more local-event info, because I definitely would use the Local feature more then.

This week, Wendi said:

Another off-topic (to Library Thing) topic this week. I’ve recently become aware of a new program through Amazon (played with it over the past month or so) called the Amazon Vine. It is “Amazon Vine™. The Exclusive Club of Influential Amazon Voices.”

Basically, Amazon allows some people to sign up for the program who have posted reviews on their site. Based on your interests and your reviews, they will offer you items to review, completely free of charge! All you have to do is review 75% of the items sent to you (I’ve done 3 books and 1 electronic/home item so far) before they will let you order more items from the Vine Newsletter.

One day, I logged in and simply had an invitation on my home page to check out the new program, and it gave me the option of signing up.

Questions: Have you had an opportunity to check out the new Amazon Vine program? Have you signed up? Is this program something that interests you? How do you feel about the reviews posted on Amazon in general (not counting the ones that have made the news)?

My Answer:
I think the Vine program has been around for awhile, but was revamped not too long ago, and that may have been when it was restricted to Amazon reviewers. When I tried to check into it, I got this message:

We’re Sorry. Looking for information on Amazon Vine? Vine is currently an invitation only program. You can increase your chances of being selected for Vine by providing helpful and honest customer reviews on Amazon.com

I’ve only recently begun cross-posting my book reviews on Amazon, so I may be waiting for that invitation for quite some time – although if it ever comes along, I’ll probably accept it. I don’t really rely much on Amazon customer reviews for book recommendations any more, to be honest – I’d rather get those from book bloggers – but I have found them helpful for other purchases, especially when there are enough of them to form a consensus.

Booking Through Thursday: “Seriously Funny”

btt button

Once again, I’m catching up. I skipped BTT last week, but answering this week’s question seems to require a response to last week’s as well, since they offset each other. In reverse order:

What’s the most serious book you’ve read recently? (I figure it’s easier than asking your most serious book ever, because, well, it’s recent!)

I think it may have been Carolyn Jessop’s memoir, Escape (reviewed here in June 2009). There’s not much lighthearted in her depiction of life inside a polygamous family, or her efforts to free herself and her children from it.

It depends on how you define “recently.” I did read a Christopher Moore book last month, Fool (reviewed in July 2009), and “funny book” goes with “Christopher Moore” like popcorn goes with movies. (Actually, I usually get soft pretzels at the movies, but my husband must have popcorn and a Coke.) But Marie Phillips’ imaginative novel Gods Behaving Badly (reviewed in March 2009) may be the funniest book I’ve read so far this year.

Friday Fill-ins #136

1. Berries (especially strawberries and blackberries) are my favorite summertime fruit (even though you can get them for most of the year these days).

2. My favorite John Hughes movies is The Breakfast Club (although parts of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off score pretty high too). (I think the ’80’s are officially over now.)

3. My dog’s clean, silky coat is something I love to touch (which reminds me…I think she’s due to visit the groomer soon!)

4. The full moon usually means a few days of cooler weather.

5. I’m waiting for the pizza right now.

6. When daylight fades I turn on the lights.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to seeing what might happen, tomorrow my plans include enjoying this unusual cool weather (maybe we’ll take a drive up the coast?) and Sunday, I want to drive down to the O.C. and meet up a with a few of my fellow book bloggers!

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  1. Isolated Existence – I wrote these up last night while we were re-heating some leftover pizza for dinner. It was pretty good for the second time around :-)!

  2. Aren't you planning on watching Psych?! That's all we have planned for tonight. I have to work this weekend, again.

    I think my Favorite Hugh's movie is Uncle Buck. I love that movie. The Great Outdoors is up there too. He didn't direct it, but he wrote it.

  3. Jess – I'm not sure how soon I'll get to it, but thanks for letting me know about it :-).

    Gautami – I hope that once you do, you won't be disappointed!

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – Thanks for the great review that told me about it :-).

    Mike – No Psych, but we are recording Monk, since this is the final season and all :-).

    I actually haven't seen either of those John Hughes movies…don't hate me.

  4. does the full moon really mean that? I'd never noticed!

    The phrase, Mercury in retrograde always reminds me of a Boston astrologer that used to be on WBCN back in the day, Daryll Martini 🙂

  5. Janet – I'm not sure it actually does mean that, but it was one of those bits of wisdom from my mom that I've noticed seems to be true more often than not.

    And I'm glad you made it by this week!