Category Archives: BBAW

BBAW: Reading and Blogging


I’m actually combining yesterday’s topic and today’s. I just never got around to posting yesterday’s, even though I had a decent start on it. I got home after work and got started doing stuff around there and just forgot. I did make some delicious zucchini bread though.

So, reading and blogging. It’s actually rather sad. I read less now than I did when I began this blog. Some of my reading time has been taken over my computer time. On the other hand, that’s a good thing, since I get to talk more about the stories I love or hate and books in general. I guess most things are a trade-off.

I definitely read more “new” books now, and books that aren’t as mainstream. In the past, most of my books came from the library, and, while some still do, now I get ARCs, galleys, recently published books galore. And have added three times that amount to my to-read list. I’ve tried new authors I probably never would have heard of, and new genres too, like the occasional graphic novel.

I’m trying to think of three blogging tips that are tried and true, at least for me.

  1. Have fun! That’s the most important for me. Enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise why do it?
  2. Schedule ahead. I don’t manage it very often, but I do like to have posts scheduled in advance. It takes away some of the pressure.
  3. Read other blogs and comment. There are so many benefits to this, from forming friendships with other bloggers, finding books you’ll love, to learning new things or finding suggestions/ideas that really grab you.

I don’t think I’ve adopted any new tools recently. Actually, I’m trying to do a “Where I’m Reading” map on Google, but haven’t gotten it to where I’m willing to share yet. I also really like the idea of week-long events- now if only I could come up with some creative ideas for one.

What about you? What tips do you have to share?

BBAW: Community, Part 2


Today’s BBAW top is Community.

The world of book blogging has grown enormously and sometimes it can be hard to find a place. Share your tips for finding and keeping community in book blogging despite the hectic demands made on your time and the overwhelming number of blogs out there. If you’re struggling with finding a community, share your concerns and explain what you’re looking for–this is the week to connect!

I don’t really do community well, at least compared to a lot of bloggers. To be honest, I just have so much going on, between family, friends, church, work, I need more time in a day. I use Google reader, but too often I have to give up, mark all read, and start over. I think I need to organize it better, set up folders, maybe. I think better organization across the board, blog, money, time, is something I need to work on.

I do try though. I make comments on the blogs I visit, at least most of the time, and always visit those who visit me- it might take me a little while but I get there eventually. Sometimes I respond to comments here on my blog, but not always. There’s no real rhyme or reason, sometimes I’m in the mood to, sometimes I’m not, sometimes I have something to add, sometimes I don’t.

I’m on twitter (@carolsnotebook) and Facebook (Carol Evans), but I’m not as consistently there as I am in blog world. Once again, it comes down to time.

I’m not involved in any real “niche” community. My tastes tend to vary and so do the blogs I read. I guess I’m hit and miss as far as “community” goes, but that’s one of the nice things. There’s room for all of us.

BBAW: Blogger Interview


I “met” the lovely Grace a few weeks ago, thanks to being paired up for the BBAW interviews. Thanks to her blog, Books Like Breathing, I’ve added several romances to my to-read pile.

Grace was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. I have to say that I’m impressed with her daring to follow her dream.

1. Tell me a little about yourself and your blog.

This should be easy. My name is Grace, obviously. I am 26 years old. I was a librarian and currently spend most of my time baking cupcakes (starting my own business). I’m hoping to open a storefront in the sometime in this lifetime future.

2. Where is your favorite place to read? How about the oddest place you’ve ever read a book?

I have this awesome orange comfy chair that I’ve been reading in since I was a baby. I swear there is nothing on earth as amazing as my ugly, orange comfy chair. I can’t even think of replacing it.

Oddest place I’ve ever read. That’s actually kind of difficult because I’ve read just about everywhere. I think the oddest place I’ve ever actually pulled out a book and read was at my cousin’s wedding reception. I was bored stiff and, aside from drinking myself into a stupor, I had no other options. I am not the best wedding guest on the planet.

3. If you were hosting a dinner, which five characters would you invite? Why?

  1. Anne Shirley- I love her. She would likely cause some sort of trouble and make things interesting.
  2. Severus Snape- He’s quite intelligent and I have a feeling he can be quite funny and charming when inspired. I also want him to call me a dunderheaded girl just once before I die.
  3. Peeta Mallark- I think he is a sweetie and I want him to bring the dessert. And maybe teach me how to pipe. I am so bad at it. Although, in my mind, he still looks like Hunter Parrish.
  4. Jamie Fraser- I have a thing for ginger haired men. I would just look at him.
  5. Elizabeth Bennet- I would never have a dinner party without inviting Lizzy. I love her too much to leave her out.

4.  I mentioned this interview to my daughter who wants to know what the most exciting thing you’ve ever done is.

I think the most exciting thing I have ever done is pause my career as a librarian and decide to make my hobby (baking) a career. I’m scared witless. There was also a rather exciting episode with an angry taxi driver on Broadway. Don’t get in the way of a girl who is late for class.

5. A few quick book questions:

    What’s your all-time favorite book? Anne of Green Gables. Pride and Prejudice does not even surpass this one. I read it for the first time when I was 7 years old and have read it yearly ever since.

    What book did you hate? The Da Vinci Code. There are no redeemable qualities. The writing was terrible. The story was terrible. The fact that people keep telling me to read it even when I’ve told them I already have and think it’s utter dreck is terrible. I don’t understand why people love it. Read The Name of the Rose instead. If you want good historical fiction, read that. I think I’m done ranting.

    What book are you looking forward to? I have a 20 page list of romances I am looking forward to so it’s easier to tell you the YA books I am looking forward to. I am most looking forward to The City of Lost Souls, Clockwork Prince and Silence.

    What book do you think everyone should read? A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries. I have loved this book since I read it after I saw the movie. I LOVED it and I don’t think it gets the recognition it deserves. I also think everyone should give the Outlander series a go at least once. It’s an experience.

She was also kind enough to send pictures of her bookshelves. Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

I am amazed by how many books, and shelves, she has. And they’re organized!

  • The Anne Shelf and Randomness Shelf-the shelves that hold all of my L.M. Montgomery books and assorted randomness. The only part that is organized is the L.M. Montgomery section.
  • Classics Shelf holds all the older books. Not necessarily classics but older books that I either love or had to read for school. Not organized at all.
  • Fiction Shelf-Newer fiction and books I don’t like. No organization at all.
  • Jane Shelf-Holds all of my Jane Austen books and sequels. Also has a pretty Jane Austen figure and bookshelves that my Uncle made for me. Somewhat organized.
  • YA Shelf
  • Romance Shelf-All of my single author romance books and non-favorites. Not organized.
  • Favorite Romance Shelf-All of my favorite romance novels and author collections. Organized by author and series.

Thanks, Grace! It was nice getting to know a little more about you. And good luck with the baking business!

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