Spotlight on Bookworming in the 21st Century




You might remember that a couple of weeks ago I featured Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century on Lights Camera Blog Action.


Well, now its my turn. Kristen has featured Page Turners on her Saturday Spotlight.

Check out the interview here.

Reading in Colour


Yesterday I was floating through the blogosphere, and I came across a post entitled Reading in Colour at A Striped Armchair.

I am big fan of Eva from A Striped Armchair and do my best to keep up to date with it as much as I can. The reviews are great, the books are varied and their are interesting book related discussions.

If you have a chance, please read the post - I think it is something that all bloggers should think about.

Here is the link to the post: Reading in Colour.

In it, Eva discusses her self realisation that most of the books she was reading were by white authors. She discusses the privileges attached to being a white person's society and the white-washing of the blogosphere. NB: This is a very summarised version of her discussion, which does not do it at all justice given the depth of though Eva put into her post.

This inspired a lot of discussion as you imagine, and some of that discussion was around the issue of how authors who are people of colour would feel about people reading their books just because they are a person of colour. This in and of itself is another interesting issue for discussion, and Eva dealt with this by having a guest blogger, author Silvio Sirias, discuss how he feels about this issue.

Here is his post: Leisure Time and Reading in a Shrinking - Yet Colourful - World.

I am almost ashamed to say that I had never thought of my reading in the terms discussed in this post. Not once had I ever given thought to where the author was from. I thought that all the points raised by Eva in her discussion, especially in relation to the privileges attached to being white, were extremely valid.

She inspired me to see how many books I read were written by POC. I only started blogging towards the end of last year, so my 2009 book list only includes books from April 2009 onwards (that's a far back as I tried to remember), and even then, it only includes those books that I could remember reading, so it is a limited snapshot of what I read. Even so, a quick glance over it shows that I read only 8 of 43 books by authors who are POC, about 5% of my total remembered reading.

I make an effort to read Australian fiction, and yet none of these books were by Aboriginal authors.

It's not great. I mean, I read a lot of good books last year, but all the same. I can't help but agree with Eva that there is something to suggest that this imbalance can be attributed to those invisible barriers in society that enable white authors to come to greater prominence than those who are not.

I don't know that I am ready yet to come to some specific commitment to read a certain proportion of books written by POC as Eva has done, but this has very much given me cause to reflect upon my reading habits and hopefully create some change in the future.

The Book Oscars!


The Book Shelf Project is hosting the 2010 Book Oscars!
The idea is, everyone votes for their favourite option in 5 different categories: Best Male Character, Best Female Character, Best Fiction Book, Best Cover Design and Best Book to Film Adaptation.
Please go to the site and vote in new Book Oscars!
If you hadn't heard of the Book Oscars then other people probably haven't too -
please spread the word by creating a post on your blog letting people know about these awards!

Lights, Camera, Blog Action!


This is a special feature dedicated to spreading the word about the other great blogs that are out there! I have found a lot of great blogs through such features and I want to be able to share some book blog joy too!
This week I am featuring Jessica from Cover to Cover. I discovered this blog when I first started blogging and I really enjoy it. I especially like reading about the creative writing course she is taking at university.
1. Tell us something about yourself
My name is Jessica and I'm a senior in college in Philadelphia, PA in the U.S. I'm a public relations student graduating in May and I'm interested in book publicity. Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to act as debut author Kristin Walker's publicist and promote her new book, A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL. I realized through this opportunity that I can combine my love of books and my love of public relations and hopefully turn it into a career.

2. What was your favourite book as a child or young adult, and why?
My favorite books as a child were the Karen series by Ann M. Martin. Karen is Kristy of The Babysitter's Club little sister. I just loved the books. I remember my mom would get mad at me because we'd go to the bookstore to buy one and I'd finish it that night. I literally tore through these cute stories. I also really enjoyed The Babysitter's Club.

3. Why do you love to read?
I love to read because it takes me to another world. I can leave behind the stress of real life and just get lost in someone else's story. Reading has always been such a relaxing activity for me and I love to read to unwind.

4. How do you choose your books?
I'll admit it. I judge a book by its cover. If it's pink or has a cute cover, I'll probably give it a chance. I also will read anything by an author that I previous read something of and enjoyed. Now that I blog about books and read lots of different book blogs, I take recommendations from the blogs I read. I have a huge list of books that I want to read that I found from other blogs.
5. If you had to narrow it down - who would be your 3 favourite authors and what would be your 3 favourite books?
Tough question. My three favorite authors are Kate Brian, Sophie Kinsella and Zoey Dean. To be fair, I'll tell you my three favorite books from each of these authors. My favorite Kate Brian book is Privilege. My favorite Sophie Kinsella book is Twenties Girl. Lastly, my favorite Zoey Dean book is Hollywood is Like High School With Money.

6. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my book blog in August. After finding Write Meg's blog, I fell in love with the world of book blogging and knew I had to create my own blog. I was reading so many books and I wanted a place to keep track of them all and to share my thoughts with others. I loved that through book blogging, I could meet other people who shared the same interests as me and find out about new books I wanted to read.

7. What do you love about book blogging?
What I love most about book blogging is the opportunities that have come from sharing my passion of reading. I created my blog to share my love of reading and through it, I've had the opportunity to work with an author on PR, read books before they've come out and I've gotten the chance to interview and talk with fabulous authors. I love meeting other book bloggers and learning about books and authors that I otherwise never would have discovered.

8. What tips do you have to offer to other book bloggers?
My main suggestion would be to find other blogs you like and comment on them! The best way to get people to read your blog is by making a genuine effort to read theirs and create friendships.
Thanks for participating Jessica. I hope everyone checks out her blog because it's very enjoyable.

Booking Through Thursday: Why I read


Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme with issues that I love to consider. Here is this weeks:

I’ve seen this quotation in several places lately. It’s from Sven Birkerts’ ‘The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age’:

“To read, when one does so of one’s own free will, is to make a volitional statement, to cast a vote; it is to posit an elsewhere and set off toward it. And like any traveling, reading is at once a movement and a comment of sorts about the place one has left. To open a book voluntarily is at some level to remark the insufficiency either of one’s life or one’s orientation toward it.”

To what extent does this describe you?

I don't know that describes me to be honest. It's very deep. I'm not saying that reading isn't necessarily a deep thing, but there is no way that I would describe why I read in this way. I talk about why I read in the "About Me" section of my blog. This is what I said:

What I love about reading is that it can transport you into your own world that seems so real. Reading for me is also a way of prioritising myself - you can shut off the 'real world' and live in your own alternate universe for a period of time. I love the power of language and what authors can do with it - I am constantly surprised at just how talented people are that can write novels and sometimes I wish that I was in their ranks.

I agree that movement is a movement - its a movement from one world to another.

I don't think that it necessarily is a comment about the place one has left and I don't think that it's in any way a remark on the insufficiency of your life. I don't think that to want to move to another world and have some escape means that you're life is insufficient in some way. It might mean that you are stressed, it might mean you have an imagination you want to exercise, it might mean a lot of different things.


If you have time to sit and spend time reading, I would suggest that you have pretty sufficient life. Think of all the people out there that are not educated enough to know how to read. Or all those people out there living in poverty that could never afford a book.

Reading is special, and there are many many reasons why I love it, but I respectfully disagree with Birkert.

70+ Followers Competition

Well, the 60+ Followers Competition is over and now it time for the 70+ Followers Competition.

The competition is the same as it has been in the past - when my followers reaches the number pictured above, I will use random.org to select 2 of my followers as winners.

The lucky winners will have their own Winners Page on Page Turners, where they have the chance to talk about their love of books and book blogging, and I will talk about why I love their blog.

So, right now, we have having the 70+ Followers Competition - when my following reaches 70 people 2 of you will be the lucky winners. Good luck!

Thoughtful Thursday: How important is the book cover?


Thoughtful Thursday is an opportunity to discuss things book and blog related. It might be an issue that has been mentioned in the media, or something about people's reading or blogging habits.

How important is the book cover?

I was thinking about I choose books, and it occurred to me that if I don't already know the title of the book, then I am most likely to pick up a book because I like the look of it's cover. Then it occurred to me that when I read people's book reviews I often have a look at the cover art and see what I think of that.

What is it about the cover? I know they say you shouldn't choose a book by its cover - but how can you not? There has to be something that makes you pick up that one book over all the others on the bookcases. If you haven't heard of the book before, it might be the title that grabs your attention or the cover... to me the cover is important.

Some of my books I really love the covers of - I have to admit to loving the covers of the Harry Potter and Twilight series. I also love the cover of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I think that if you are really attracted to the cover, then that can make you even more attached to the book.

What do you think? How important is the cover to you, especially when you are choosing a book?

60+ Followers Competition Winners Announced


Another milestone reached - 60+ Followers. I am very excited, and thanks to everyone new who has decided to follow Page Turners.

I have used random.org to select 2 winners, and they are:

AND

Fantasylover12001 from a

Both of these winner will receive a Winner Page on Page Turners. Congratulations. I will contact you both, but if you see this before your hear from me, please send me an email to pageturnersbooks@gmail.com


Commonwealth Writers Prize

I was very happy to read in the Sydney Morning Herald (19 February 2010) that Australian authors have done so well in the Commonwealth Writers Prize shortlists this year.

You can read the article here.

It was nice to see the names of some authors that I have never heard of, along with the old favourites!

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer


Book Details

Paperback
Pages: 497
Publisher: Atom
Published: 2007
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-904233-88-6

Book Review


I finally got around to reading the second in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. It was actually an impulse purchase at the Gold Coast airport as I was waiting to come back from my holiday a couple of weeks ago.

I have to admit to not enjoying it as much as I did the first book. It took me quite awhile to get into it, but once I got into the second half I did get a lot more involved in the story (people did warn me this would happen). I suppose all of the books in the series will be similar; a big long build up where nothing much happens, leading to the climax with a bit of action.


I don't know, I thought that I would really enjoy this series after reading the first book but now I am not convinced. All everyone seems to do in this book (particularly Bella and Edward) is talk about how much in love they are and the many problems not being of the same species creates for them. I am finding it a bit monotonous - don't they have anything else to talk about? And the teen angst - I'm finding it a little frustrating.

My only other difficulty is the writing, I just don't think it's very good. I know, I know, who am I to judge? I couldn't write myself out of a paper bag if I needed to. Maybe it's just that in my mind I am comparing it to the Harry Potter series, which far outstrips the Twilight series in story and the quality of the writing (in my humble opinion). Perhaps it's just that the book is written for teenagers and I am used to reading for an older age group. There's just something about the writing that doesn't seem good to me.


Reading over this review you would think that I didn't enjoy the book! Please don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoy the book. I finished it within 1 day and I definitely want to finish the series. The good thing about the book is that whatever problems you have with it, and however slowly it seems to move, it is a page turner; it sucks you in and you need to finish reading it. I do like the relationship between Edward and Bella, I love the sexual tension. I also enjoyed getting to know Jacob Black more in this series.

The book had be laughing out loud - especially at the part where Edward proposes to Bella. That was hilarious. She is dying (pardon the pun) for Edward to turn her into a vampire so that they can be together for all eternity - but woh, hold your horses - marriage?! She's too young for that sort of commitment. I couldn't stop laughing as I read this bit.


So all in all, I had mixed reactions to this book as you can, but I will definitely still continue with the series.

Summary


What kind of read is this?
Quick easy, young adult, paranormal.

Do I recommend it?
Yes, for as much as I have problems with it, it is still a good read.

Do I recommend that you buy it? I do recommend buying it if you have the rest of the series. I don't know about you, but I am someone that particularly likes to own a series if I have actually read it.


Star Rating

This is tricky to rate. Although technically I don't have a system for rating half stars, I am going with 5.5 stars.

I will give it the 6 star comment "Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it", except I am removing the comment "well written", thereby awarding it only 5.5 stars.


Musing Mondays


This meme is hosted by Rebecca from Just one More Page.
Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?
I know that this is not on a Monday, but I read this question and couldn't help myself but answer it.
The answer for me is yes, I do keep every book that I buy. Admittedly, since I started working full time after university 2 years ago, I started buying more books. But now it seems I have an addiction that I can't stop.
Like many people, I harbour a personal dream to have my own home library; a room where I can keep all my books on custom made book shelves that I can go in and use and let my friends and family borrow. The only way to realise this dream is to keep the books that I buy.
This also means that I very rarely borrow books from the library. Every now and then I think I should, and I toddle on down and borrow some books, but I can never maintain it, I just want to own all the books that I read.

Help Wanted!


On each of my reviews I have given my book a rating out of 5 stars. You can see my rating system on the side bar.
I am currently in the process of revising my rating system, I am just giving out too many 3's!
What I want to do is have an image to rate the books, rather than use the little asterisk's. I have seen that some bloggers rate their books with the number of shot glasses or beers or roses or flames etc equivalent to the rating that they give the book.
Can someone tell me where these images comes from or how you create them? Thanks

Teaser Tuesday: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday Teaser is great meme hosted by Should Be Reading and is a great way to find out about new books.

Here are the guidelines:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (ebook)

"I brooded by the hour together over the map, all the details of which I well remembered. Sitting by the fire in the housekeeper's room, I approached that island in my fancy from every possible direction; I explored every acre of its surface; I climbed a thousand times to that tall hill they call the Spy-glass, and from the top enjoyed the most wonderful and changing prospects."
This is exactly where I am up to in the book, and I can't wait to read on!

Great Authors: Bryce Courtenay

Great Authors is a fortnightly feature I have started to discuss my favourite authors.

Bryce Courtenay
Bryce Courtenay is possibly one of Australia's most popular Australian authors. I think the first Bryce Courtenay book I ever read was The Power of One (which I read in high school), and there is no doubting it - it is absolutely amazing. I think that I can honestly say that is the only book that I have never been able to re-read. I have re-read every book on my bookshelf at the very least once (except for my newer books obviously). I have tried to re-read The Power of One and just haven't been able to because it is so powerful and emotional that I have never felt up to tackling it again.
I quickly moved on to the sequel, Tandia, and from there just started reading the rest of his books. I remember at one stage when I was still in high school, I went to a book signing at the local shopping centre with Bryce Courtenay. I remember feeling quite star struck, and he said to me "Don't take shit from anybody". It has had a lasting impression on me.
I own many of his books:
  • The Power of One
  • Tandia
  • Jessica
  • Tommo and Hawk
  • Solomon's Song
  • White Thorn
  • The Potato Factory
  • The Persimmon Tree
I have also read April Fools Day, which is a special book Courtenay wrote about his son's battle with hemophilia and later AIDS as a result of a blood transfusion. It moved me to tears on several occasions.
What I like about his books are that the stories he writes are totally epic. You are completely drawn into the story until you can't get out.
I do have to be up front though and say that over the years my enthusiasm for his works have waned almost completely. I would not buy a book of his again. In fact, the last few books of his that have come into my possession were because they were gifts. My problem is this - he releases at Christmas time each year almost without fail.
Whilst when I first started reading his books it felt as though he was writing for the love of writing, now it feels as though he is writing for the love of money. Perhaps I am just being a bit too cynical - but what perfect timing - releasing a book each Christmas like clockwork which he knows will sell well because of his popularity. It is this element of Bryce Courtenay that has completely turned me off him.
Having said, I would encourage people to read some of his works, particularly The Power of One and April Fools Day. Both of these remain special works despite my opinion of the author.

Bryce Courtenay has lead an amazing life, including being banned from his native country of South Africa for starting a school for Africans. His life is worth worth reading about. You can read about him here at his website.

Have you read anything by Bruce Courtney? What do you think? Please leave a comment.
If you would like to share something about your own favourite author on your own blog, just leave a link in the Mr Linky below so that everyone can have a look.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


Book Details

Ebook
'Classic Novels' iphone application

Book Review

I don't know why, but it feels a little bit hard to review this book. I think that everyone knows the story by now; the March girls and their adventures in Life and Love. I did really enjoy the book (or ebook as I read it). All the March girls are very special in their own way, all have their strengths and weaknesses, but all of them love each other very much and try so hard to be good people that you can only hope but to be like them. As a child, I always wanted to be Jo and the feeling is still the same.

I particularly loved Mrs March. She is the type of mother I hope to be some day. The mother who lets the girls make their own choices and live their own lives, giving them enough freedom to be themselves, whilst at the same time always being there for them whether it turns out for the good or the bad.

I think that it would have been better to read the book before watching the movies, but I am so familiar with the movie now (the Winona Ryder version) that as I was reading i was picturing the movie unfolding. This took some of the enjoyment out of it for me.

I also enjoyed the closer look at Meg and John Brooke's relationship that the book provided. It is nice to see that the problems they experience as newlyweds and new parents are the same as those that are experienced in this day and age. How do you balance your own wants and needs with that of the other, and how do you then balance your relationship with the challenge of raising a child? Some issues are timeless it would seem. And yet at the same time, it is clear that attitudes to marriage and gender roles are very different in modern times.

What I think that I am trying to say is that for me, Little Women made me to some extent reflect that despite societal changes in gender roles and other such things, the practicalities of many of the daily experiences of these things has not.

Summary

What kind of read is it?
It's a children's book, but it's a lovely story with many morals to share.

Do I recommend it?
Of course. It is so sweet and the lessons it has are timeless.


Do I recommend buying it?
That's a hard question to answer. I think that borrowing it would be fine, depends on how much you love it.

Star Rating


Really enjoyable and well written. I would recommend it.


It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday, what are you reading? is now hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It is a chance for us to share with other book bloggers what we have just finished reading, what we are currently reading and what we are reading next.

Just finished

I think my just finished list is the same as last weeks, although I can now add Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, which is really good and worth reading as an adult. I think you can appreciate it in a whole new light.

Just thought that I would add, although technically I didn't just finish it, I finally got around to reviewing Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I really enjoyed it.

Currently Reading

The Secret River by Kate Grenville
I am still reading this book and I am enjoying it. Its an easy read, not as dense as some of the Australian books I have been reading lately.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
I am reading this on ebook and it is a lot better than I expected it to be, I am finding it really exciting. Usually ebooks are just something I read on the side when I get the time, but this is one that I am actually finding that I want to read as I would a normal book.

Up Next

I think the time has come to read Eat Love Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have a heard a lot of good things about it, and am starting to see reviews of the sequel, so I think its time to pull it out of retirement.

A Blast from the Past: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

A Blast From the Past is a weekly meme where I intend to review book that I read in the past that has had some form of impact upon me, whether it be good or bad.

Join in by leaving a comment or leaving a link to a post at your blog about your own Blast From the Past.


I purchased The Princess Bride on a whim from a local book shop because I loved the movie so much. Has anyone not seen the movie? It is amazing, so when I saw the book I couldn't help myself.

The story is hilarious; a tongue-in-cheek fairytale involving the handsome hero Wesley, the beautiful Princess Buttercup forced to marry the evil King, the Spanish drunk sword fighter ("My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" - that is the best line in any movie ever!), the giant Fezzik who likes making up rhymes and a whole host of other characters and mythical beings. The Pit of Despair being one of my favourite creations of the story. Each character has their own goals, whether it be to avenge their father's death, start a war between two countries or save their love from the clutches of the evil king.

The author claims to have abridged a lengthier version by Florinese write S Mortenson, a clever way to write a book in and of itself. The whole book is very special, so funny and cleverly put together, including notes from the author whenever he claims to have removed some of the more boring content the original author included.

This book is lots of fun and I highly recommend it to all. Its a fairytale for adults and a real page turner. I will be the first admit I still slightly prefer the movie to the book (shock intake of breath here) but I think its because of my childhoodassociations with the movie.

Please give it a try if you are looking for something fun to read.

Winners Page: Gilion from Rose City Reader



Gilion from Rose City Reader was one of the lucky winners of my 50+ Followers Competition. This is her Winners Page.

Why I love her blog

I have only recently discovered Rose City Reader and I am really enjoying reading it. What I love about it most is that Gilion's book choices come frome 'lists' and she has links to a whole range of various lists of books which I have had a lot of fun looking through.

Her reviews are well written and always interesting, and although this might seem a bit silly, I love the shade of green she uses as her background. I love green and there's something about the bright green that I really love!

Questions and Answers

1) Tell us something about yourself

Although I wish I could spend most of my time reading books and writing about them on my Rose City Reader blog, I spend my days practicing law and my evenings playing with my husband, who makes up the other half of our two-lawyer household. I am a compulsive "list" reader -- prize winners, Must Reads, Big Reads, Top 100s -- if it's on a list, I'm tempted to put it on my TBR list. If I really like an author, I'll add the bibliography to my list of lists. And once I read a book, I add it to my Books I've Read list. Yes, I burn up valuable reading time playing with my lists. I know this.

2) What was your favourite book as a child or young adult, and why?

Flat Stanley was my favorite book as a child. Why? BECAUSE HE WAS FLAT. He could go places where you had to be one-inch thick to fit into. How cool would that be? I was never a YA -- that designation came after my time. I was a kid, an adolescent, and then a teenager, and somewhere in there I became obsessed with Trixie Beldon. I read the whole series over and over and over. I wanted to solve mysteries and be a tom boy and have friends who had honey-colored hair and fathers who were "millionaires."

3) Why do you love to read?

I love to read because each book takes me somewhere new, makes me think of something I didn't think of before, and leaves a layer of idea dust in my mind. I can't remember the plot and characters -- or even the big ideas -- from every book I have read. But the accretion from the thousands of books I have read in my life makes up much of who I am as an adult.

4) How do you choose your books?

Like I said, I am a compulsive "list" reader. Books make it onto my TBR shelf because they made it on to someone's list of books that should be read. So on a "macro" level, I chose books because they are on one of my lists. On a "micro" level, I have an idiosyncratic method that makes me look like a nut: My TBR books are arranged alphabetically on the shelves. When I am ready for a new book, I choose one from the first shelf. The next time, I chose one from the next shelf, and so on through the shelves. My rule is that I can choose any book on the designated shelf, but I have to choose from that shelf. So if I am in the mood for a prize winner, I can chose a prize winner -- or a mystery, a book by a favorite author, a book I’ve been meaning to read but keep putting off. Whatever the mood is, I chose a book to fit that mood -- but only from the one shelf.

5) If you had to narrow it down, who would be your 3 favourite authors and your 3 favourite books?

Kingsley Amis, Jim Harrison, and Anthony Powell. I guess I prefer mid-century, male authors with drinking problems. Actually, I have no idea if Powell drank, but Amis and Harrison drank enough for three. At least. My three favorite books (as of today) would be The Road Home by Harrison, which should make any short list for Great American Novel; A Dance to the Music of Time by Powell, which is really 12 separate novels, but if the Modern Library counts it as one book on its list of 100 best novels of the 20th Century, I can too; and Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, because it is a brilliant literary one-off. Amis is a favorite author, but I give the nod to Pale Fire over any of Amis's individual books, no matter how much I like Lucky Jim.

6) When and why did you start your blog?

I started Rose City Reader in March 2008. I had finished all the books on the Modern Library list in September 2007 and had turned my attention to other lists, like the competing Radcliffe list, Booker Prize winners, and others. I was using List of Bests to keep track of my lists, and LibraryThing to keep track of my reviews, but I wanted one place to keep all of my book stuff. So while goofing around on google, I saw the button to create a blog, clicked it, started following the instructions, and WHAM-O, 12 minutes later, I had Rose City Reader.

7) What do you love about book blogging?

Book blogging satisfies my need to organize my book habits. That is what I love about it and why I keep at it. But I have been very please to find other bloggers who share my book obsessions – both generally and with regards to specific books and lists. Other bloggers are very friendly and clever and I do like the idea that people besides myself read what I write.

8) What tips do you have to offer other book bloggers?

How can I give tips when anything I can think to say is something I have messed up on myself? "Always proofread because a typo makes you look like an amateur." Yeah, well, many a typo has made it onto my pages. And we are amateurs! The $5.79 in my amazon partner account isn't letting me retire any time soon. So all I can say is to remember that blogging -- for most of us anyway -- is a hobby, not a job. It is supposed to be fun. Blog without obligation.
I can very much identify with what you say about yourself. I am a lawyer as well, and I know the feeling about not having enough time to read (and blog as well!). I don't have a lawyer husband, but mine does shift work as an electrician so we need to spend as much time together as we can when we get the chance. I also love the organisation of having a book blog where you spend hours sorting everything out and recording everything, I find it very satisfying - perhaps its the lawyer in us.

Congrats on winning the competition and I hope everyone visits Gilion's site!