Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

The week is still young, but so far no politician has made a newsworthy gaffe. It’s a sad statement, I fear, that I may be dropping out of the political blogosphere. Consider, I’ve pulled out the cable. The only station I watch, nowadays, is TVOntario, and it doesn’t have commercials. I’m reliant on the kindness of strangers to get my fixes of Doctor Who, House and Battlestar Galactica, so it’s been a whole entire week and I’ve not seen a single second of political advertising. Not one jot.

I’m not sure if I should be in withdrawal or not, or if I should feel a sense of accomplishment that they’re having an election and I’m not showing up. But so far I’ve only been motivated to blog politically when a politician has made a newsworthily boneheaded political move, like when Jack Layton threatened to boycott the debates over Elizabeth May’s inclusion, or the Green Party’s director of communications kicked up a blogging hornets’ nest by threatening a blogger with a lawsuit over an embarrassing audio clip.

The good news? I’m not inundated with politicians begging for my vote, and thus my evenings are much more peaceful. The bad news? I’m not really paying attention to the issues. Are there issues in this election?

But instead, I’ll savour what I can of the sense of community being a blogger brings, and talk about things that interest me. In this case, books. I’ve learned that today is the start of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, so it’s time to focus on the other side of my blogroll: the blogs of authors and readers. Over at My Friend Amy’s Blog, I’m given an assignment:

Write a post thanking or highlighting the book blogs you love to read (be sure to link to them!).

Okay, let’s start with Arthur Slade, who runs a Livejournal. He’s an award winning author from Saskatchewan whose latest book, Jolted, was recently given a glowing review by the Globe and Mail. Jolted tells the story of Newton Starker, one of the last two surviving members of the Starker family, who have been systematically killed by being struck by lightning. Despite the dark underpinnings of this tale, Arthur’s writing is laugh-out-loud funny, and full of wonderful character touches. I loved the tension between Newton and Newton’s nemesis, Violet Quon.

Arthur has been blogging regularly, a feat that doesn’t come easy to some authors (“shouldn’t you be writing books?”), and his blog is an excellent window into how his mind works:

You could, just for the fun of it, build a deadfall trap at work. The key is finding the best location to dig your trap. You need a place where people gather in unsuspecting herds. The pop machine? The water cooler? The boss’s door to tell her how great her hair looks? Choose one spot and stay late after work. Cut a large square in the floor (an electric saw would be handy) and place a net below it. Cover the hole with carpet, then wait. Stay up all night if you must, and watch the trap (camouflage face paint is optional). You can spend the time fishing in the fish tank. At some point (be patient) someone will step into your trap — maybe even your boss. You can rush to the edge and shout, “Aha! See, I can be creative! I can think outside of the box! Do I get that raise?”


Yeah, that’s the mind of an individual I’d like to know better.

Another author blogger that I regularly read is R.J. Anderson, who has two books, the first one, entitled Knife or Spell Hunter, coming out next year, with Harper Collins Childrens’ Books. I met Rebecca through Doctor Who fan fiction, and she was one of those fan fiction authors you knew is going to go places (Cameron Dixon is another). Such is her love of writing in general, and her ability with it, I knew that nobody was going to keep that talent down.

She cautions that her journal is offline while she knuckles down on the edits of her second novel, Wayfarer, but other than that, she updates regularly, and the window on her workings is always enjoyable to read.

Then there is one of the best book review blog sites out there, Our Gaggle of Girls. This very active family of blogs covers the trials and tribulations of raising a large family. Fortunately, the family reads a lot, and you get to share in what they find interesting.

Then there is Defining Canada, Dundurn’s ambitious book blog, showcasing the latest news and reviews of all the various Dundurn authors. I’ve been listed, as has my mother.

Finally, all authors and wanna-be authors should be reading Editorial Anonymous, a snarkily written blog depicting the horrors of editing from the slush pile. If you are working on a query letter for your next submission to a publisher or agent, EA will show you what not to do.

I’ll do some more book blogging this week, I think. Unless the election campaign drags me back in, the most I’ll do politically is a series of riding profiles for the DemocraticSpace blog. I have been quite pleased at how my meme from Friday has gone, though, in illustrating that there is more to political bloggers than politics, so I’ll run another one this Friday. And I think you can guess what the subject matter will be.

Oh, and one other thing, part of the fun of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is that various bloggers will be giving away books as prizes. So, as per the rules, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, and will be drawing randomly from the people who comment on my blog between now and Sunday. One winner will receive a copy of my two books, The Unwritten Girl and Fathom Five. Happy commenting!

Further Reading

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