Sunday Salon 1/24/10: Bookmarking a Room of Your Own


Well, I’m trying again this year…it still may not happen, but I’d hate NOT to give it a shot. And I’m hoping you can help me do it!

I’ve submitted a proposal for a Room of Your Own session at the BlogHer’10 conference (New York City, August 6-7) dedicated to book blogging. Here’s the description:

Track: Passions

Some of us started blogging just to talk about the books we read. Others of us like to talk about the books we read, but don’t really want to build our blogs around them. Most of us probably expected we’d be mostly talking to ourselves – but we don’t, or at least not for very long. We find each other all the time, and great conversations result.

Some of the things book bloggers like to talk about:

  • Writing effective, informative, and enjoyable reviews
  • The pros and cons of getting review books, including publisher/author relationships and disclosure requirements
  • Issues in publishing, like e-books and cover controversies
  • Genres, subgenres, and crossovers
  • Reading challenges
  • Favorite books and authors (duh)
  • The book-blogging community!

This session would welcome those with dedicated book blogs, those who sometimes post about books, and those who like to read books and would like to make them a bigger part of their blogs.

I know some of you are planning to attend the Book Blogger Convention in May (also in NYC), and are more interested in that (and BEA) than a general blogging conference, but we’re still bloggers, right? The “Passions” track at BlogHer’10 is meant for focused, interest-driven blogs, and two of the six break-out sessions will be Rooms of Your Own (food, fitness, fashion, and art bloggers have the other slots) – I’d love us to see book bloggers in one of them! Even if you don’t think you’ll be there for it, will you help make that happen? (Thanks to Sassymonkey for helping already!)

You don’t have to be going to BlogHer’10 to vote for a session, but you do have to be a member of (joining is easy and free!). To vote, all you have to do is sign in on the site and click a link to indicate that you “would attend” the session described – it’s all hypothetical, and not a commitment. (And if you’d be interested in helping to present the session, click that link too!) Voting is open until February 28 (which is also the day that early-bird conference registration ends), and then the BlogHer’10 organizers will make the final call.

BTW, are you thinking about going to BlogHer’10?

BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report

Reviews posted since last report:
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of America’s Women from 1960 to the Present, by Gail Collins

Next reviews scheduled
Shanghai Girls: A Novel, by Lisa See (TLC Book Tours, Wednesday 1/27)
American Rust: A Novel, by Philipp Meyer (TLC Book Tours, Thursday 2/11)

New additions to the Wishlist:
Don’t You Know There’s a War On?: The American Home Front, 1941-1945, by Richard R. Lingeman

BOOKMARKS: Reading-related Reading

The discussion of the week: racial portrayals and “whitewashed” covers in YA literature. The author’s response; a publisher boycott proposal; an outside perspective; thoughts on reading consciously. Somewhat related: considering racial diversity in Fantasy lit

It’s probably the ultimate reading challenge for most of us: making time for it in the first place

A mom who is proudly not reading books for grownups

Speaking of Book Blogger Con and BEA (as I did earlier in this post), do you need a place to stay? Here’s one you may not have thought of

And, in the Self-Serving Links Department: Thanks to A Novel Challenge for including a mention of the Blogging Authors Reading Project!

Peter from Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations (where the books are so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime) has issued an Open Call for book-club recommendations:

It seems the book club community has recently discovered Flashlight Worthy Books’ book club recommendations. From the feedback, not only are the list very much enjoyed, but people are clamoring for more. That’s where you come in. While I’ve read plenty of books, I’m looking to book club members to contribute new lists — themed, annotated lists of highly discussable books.
He suggests a few ideas to get you thinking:
Can you name and describe 5+ flashlight-worthy, discussable books that follow a theme? Maybe “7 Great Books that Revolve Around Food”? Or “6 Women’s Memoirs That Will Start an Argument”. How About “5 Discussable Novels Set in Africa”?
(Personally, I kind of like the argument-starting memoirs idea, and can think of a couple right off the bat…)

Peter invites you to check out the lists already posted at Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations and think about what you might add. You can e-mail your ideas to him at Info AT flashlightworthy DOT com.

For those interested in these things (mostly me), I just thought I’d note that this is Post #1100.
And the post count probably won’t grow by much this week – I’m not in much of a blogging mood, frankly. (Most of this week’s Salon post was composed in bits and pieces over the last several days.)

I’m very sad to tell you that I had to have my dog Gypsy put to sleep this weekend. She was 13 years old, and had been with me for over eleven years. It’s going to take a while to get used to her not being around…and I may not be around as much for the next little while, either. Thanks for understanding.

(This post was originally published earlier this morning. I reformatted it to move this part to the end and posted it again, because this was probably not the best way to start it off if I really would like you to read the whole thing. And to everyone who has commented so far, thanks so much for your kind words and condolences.)

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  1. Diane, Kathy (Bermudaonion), Heather – Thanks so much for your condolences. I'm working on a memorial post about Gypsy, but I don't know if I'll be ready to put it up this week or not, and I'll talk more about her then. But as you can imagine, this was a very hard decision to make, and I miss her very much.

  2. I must admit that I found it very difficult to read beyond your first paragraph (perhaps I will come back and try again). My heart is breaking for you, Florinda! My pets are my life and I know that what you had to do was the right decision for Gypsy, but that does not take the pain and sadness away.

    I wrote a memorial post to my sweet Mia two years ago when she suddenly died at the age of three. It still brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.

    Take all the time you need to emotionally heal and know that there are many of us out here who totally sympathize with you.

  3. Ditto on your loss. Having lost several pets myself, I know it isn't easy. We have a cat now and although he's only 4, I still think about how we're going to outlive him — and for that reason, try to forgive him when he's a PITA like right now, pawing at the blinds in my home office as I am typing this.

    On a separate note, just FYI, I wanted to let you personally know I've "killed" my blog, Just A (Reading) Fool, but will still do book-related posts over at my blog, unfinished person ( once I rediscover my reading mojo. I've lost it somewhere along the way as I haven't even read one book this year anyway.

  4. I am so sorry about the loss of your Gypsy. It is never easy losing a loved one, and a pet most definitely counts as a loved one. My heart goes out to you in your time of grief.

  5. Molly – I reformatted the post after your comment; it probably wasn't the best idea to start out with that. Thanks for your sympathy – I really appreciate it.

    Trisha, Michelle, and Chris – She was a big part of this family. Thanks for your condolences.

    Bryan (Unfinishedperson) – My husband reminded both me and the kids about that; if you bring a pet into your family, you'll most likely outlive them and have to go through this.

    I saw that you were stopping the book blog and updated my Google Reader accordingly. Hope you get your reading mojo back soon!

  6. Oh Hon

    🙁 I am so sorry about your dog! I just saw your Twitter a couple minutes ago. I haven't been very good about my blog jogging and I hadn't heard till now. Gosh, it's been well over a year, and I am still missing my Elvis, so I know how you are feeling. ((((Florinda))))

    Sending you good thoughts.


  7. Carly – Thanks. I know it wasn't all that long ago that you were in the same place. I think it will be a while before we get another pet, but the house feels a little less like home today.

  8. I'm so sorry to hear about Gypsy. I know for me, the first thing I missed were the sounds of my furry friend running through the house, the jangle of the collar, etc. It made me quite sad but as with all things, time helped.

  9. Readerbuzz – And I certainly hope they will be!

    Jill (Softdrink) – Thank you, on both counts :-).

    Ti – I'm missing the sound of jangling tags, definitely. But the biggest thing right now is looking at the places where her bowls and bed were, and not seeing them. That, and not seeing her at the door when I come in.

  10. More sympathy about Gypsy. I know what you mean about looking at places where things used to be; I finally reached the point where I could clean up some of the mess my departed parakeets left on my window and wall yesterday…a month after they departed.

  11. Jeanne – Today was the first day I came home from work to an empty and silent house. It feels strange, but I think it would feel worse if we hadn't put away her dishes and her bed. Thanks for your sympathy – and I get what you're saying about the parakeets.

  12. I'm so sorry to hear about Gypsy, Florinda. I lost my beloved cat, Thelma, just before Christmas, so I know how you feel. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. Avis – Thank you. I have a big post about Gypsy planned for early next week. It was difficult to write it, but also helpful at the same time.