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text 2017-12-15 16:23
#20 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Murder by Death [Nominated]

[Nominated by BLoggers]

Let's meet Jenn, our lovely BookLikes blogger, an amazing contributor and a great supporter. Jenn is a true mystery lover and an owner of an 8m tall TBR pile! Whoa! 

 

Follow Jenn and her blog Murder by Death: http://jenn.booklikes.com/

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


I think it’s always been part of my DNA.  My parents taught me to read when I was three; they claim it was in self-defense, as my favorite book was Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks.  They’d taken to hiding it, hoping I’d forget it and move on, but I’d search the house until I found it.  After finding it in the cookie jar on top of the high kitchen cabinets, they figured teaching me to read it myself would be the best solution.  (I still love Fox in Socks.)

 

How did your blogging adventure start?

With BookLikes and myself as a very unwilling participant, lol.  I was a GoodReads refugee, very unhappy with the Amazon buy-out, and the censorious turn their policies were taking.  I admit, when I first saw BookLikes platform, I thought “I don’t blog! I don’t want to blog! I just want to talk about books!”  But everything else was set up so well, and the staff was so responsive, I decided to dive in anyway; I told myself I wouldn’t post anything except book reviews. We can see how that turned out! Once we started coming together as a community, it was impossible not to post pictures of my cats, or the garden, or a holiday, or about my inability to police myself in a bookstore or book sale. But mostly, I try to keep it about books. 

 


 

Can you name three things that book blogging changed in your life?

My TBR pile, My TBR pile and My TBR pile.

Seriously, my TBR pile.  When I was on GoodReads my TBR pile wasn’t even a pile; it was 2 or 3 paperbacks that shared a fleeting moment in the vertical plane.  Since joining BookLikes, I have 342 physical books stacked everywhere. I’ve been on BookLikes half as long as I’ve been on GR, and have found 339 times as many books.

My reading horizons have expanded dramatically.  When I joined BL, all I read were cozy mysteries and maybe a science book once in awhile. Now, cozies make up less than half my yearly reading, with a lot more traditional mystery, urban fantasy, classics, and non-fiction: history, science, and memoirs.

My social circle. I get odd reactions when I’m having a conversation in RL, trying to talk about what’s happening on BookLikes and referring to friends named “BrokenTune” or “WhiskeyInTheJarLikesToRead”, but the people on this site are as much a part of my daily life and routine as my husband and my cats. I can’t talk about my day without talking about my BookLikes friends.

 

Your blog name is Murder by Death. Is it due to your love of the literary detectives?

Yes, and no.  Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say: Yes, and sort of.  I love the literary detectives – Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Whimsy, and Poirot.  But it’s also a reflection of my love for silliness and comedy.  Murder by Death was a 70’s movie that spoofed the classic literary detectives, and it perfectly sums up my love of both a mystery and a comedy. 

Murder by Death movie poster (via IMDb)

 

If you could measure your TBR pile how tall would it be?

This is an evil question!  Because I can’t leave a question unanswered, I had to go and measure them.  If they were all stacked into one pile, they’d be 26 feet, or 8 metres, tall.  Right before they all fell over and buried me alive. 

Yes, I googled:  about the length of a London bus, or a little taller than a giraffe.  And no, I do not have a book buying problem; obviously it’s very easy for me to buy books.  ;)

Jenn's cozy mysteries shelf

 

You read a lot of nonfiction and history books. Can you please recommend three titles of the genres that amazed you?

Ooh… that amazed me? The pressure!  I’m a relative new-comer to non-fiction so I’m in the delightful honeymoon phase, where I haven’t yet read enough of it to have high standards, but I think these three would appeal to most, and all of them left me with a sense of ‘wow’.  (The third is something of a cheat: it’s technically fiction because of the narrative construction, but since the vast bulk of the book is Einstein’s theories, I’m including it.)

 

 

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea WulfDawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends - Mary McAuliffePlease Mr. Einstein - Jean-Claude Carrière

 

You’ve co-created the reading game of 16 Tasks of the Festive Season and set up the book clubs buddy reads. It seems that reading is a very social activity for you, isn't it? :)

It never used to be; I went for decades wondering if I was the only reader left on Earth because I never knew anyone who read for pleasure and enjoyed talking about books.  BookLikes changed that, and I find the only thing better than reading is buddy reading!  Whether you both like/hate the book, or you each have opposite views, the discussions add another dimension to the read.

 

My co-hosting of the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, with Themis-Athena, was a very last minute decision on our part; we wanted to fill in for Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue while they took a very deserved break – they’ve created some of the best  reading/book related games around.

 

But I have to admit, I was a late comer to the reading games; I’m such a mood reader I didn’t see how it could work.  Then my TBR started to get out of control and the games offered me a fun way to whittle down the mountain and now I’m a confirmed fan!  ☺

 

16 Festive Tasks posts

 

How do you choose your next read?

I stand in front of the stacks and wait for a book to speak to me.  Said like that it sounds a little … eccentric, but I really am a mood reader.  As I scan the titles in the piles, one will just ‘click’ with me and that’s the one I need to read.  Trying to read anything I’m not in the mood for is a sure-fire way of ruining for myself what might have been a great book.

 

Your bookshelf is full of nonfiction but also mystery and fantasy books. What’s your favorite genre?

Mystery.  It’s my first and true love. In fact, if you look closely at the books on my urban fantasy shelf, they’re all mysteries too, just with an extra sprinkling of vampires and weres.  ☺
 

What are your three favorite book covers?

The first one is a no-brainer for me – I bought it purely for the cover (thank goodness I liked the story!): 

 

 

The Muse - Jessie BurtonThe Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea WulfMy Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir - Meir Shalev,Evan Fallenberg


There’s a definite theme to my cover love; apparently I like them dark and flowery.

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers this winter?

Recommending?  I don’t know – I haven’t read them yet!  ☺  But these are three I’m really looking forward to reading myself this winter (or, as my husband pointed out to me as he proofread this - our summer):

 

 

Burn Bright - Patricia BriggsA Brush with Shadows - Anna Lee HuberHow to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say - Melissa Caughey

 

Laugh at that last one if you must, but I’m pretty sure my backyard chickens could tell me who has been nicking my figs, if only I could understand them.

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)


My library and my garden.

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?


Paper all the way.  I happily concede the benefits of an e-reader, but for medical reasons, I can’t use them, which is totally ok, as I prefer paper books anyway.

 

Favorite quote?


There are two:

"...the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

T.S. Eliot

"...all the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. ...with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not."

The Polysyllabic Spree

by Nick Hornby

If you could dine with one literary character, who would it be?


Easiest question of the lot.  There’s only ever been one answer for me:  Sherlock Holmes.  The answer will always be Sherlock Holmes.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

 

See you next Friday! 

 

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text 2017-12-14 20:50
6 tips for BookLikes newbies

 

If you like books, then you'll love BookLikes and its community (we love you, guys!). We're happy to welcome newcomers, new readers and authors. Welcome aboard! Let's have fun reading & reviewing. If you're still wondering how the hect BookLikes works, have a look at 6 tips for BookLikes newbies. Pssst, we think our regular bloggers will appreciate them too and will add their own tips too :)

 

1. Username vs Blog name

 

When you set up your BookLikes book blog you need to choose a username and a blog name.

 

Username: The address of your personal webpage on BookLikes will be: yourusername.booklikes.com

 

Consider using the name that represents you and will work as your www address. It can be your name, nick, your author name, pen name, book title (if you're a new author), publishing house name.

 

Blog Title: The name for your book blog

 

Make it personal; use your name, your company’s name or your other blog name if you're using BookLikes as your additional book blog. 

 

 

loram.booklikes.com

 

 

 

2. Make your BookLikes official

 

If you're an author or a publisher you can request an official webpage. Official author accounts receive a verified badge, an author tab in settings and a direct link on the author catalog page to your blog page. 

 

 

If you're an author or a publisher, please mail authors@booklikes.com to request the official account. If you have already mailed us but still not received the verified badge, we'll get back to you shortly. 

 

 

3. Personalize your webpage

 

The site tells all about you so make sure it looks great. In order to choose a desirable blog design, go to Settings and choose Blog tab, then click customize.

 

Chose a layout that works for you and customize its look with the possible options, e.g. change background or flip columns.

 

 

 

The customization tab has also spots for your social profile links and Facebook/Twitter widgets. 

 

 

 

4. Write write write

 

On BookLikes you can choose from 6 different writing templates: text, review, quote, photo, video, url.

 

 

Each template allows you to add up to 10 titles - the book cover(s) will be added to your post automatically, just select the book(s) on the wooden bar. 

 

 

 

 

5. Explore and discover

 

The best way to be discovered is to discover others. Thanks to BookLikes Explore Page you can easily find and follow other book lovers with similar reading tastes.

 

 

 

 

If you find an interesting blog post, follow the blog -- then you'll see the blogger's reviews and bookshelf updates on your Dashboard. 

 

 

The bloggers will follow you back and that can be the start of your own community and new bookish friends. Staying active will help you in gaining new followers and spreading your book love. 

 

 

6. Interact, discuss, win giveaways

 

Interact with the site and its community, add posts and reviews, like and reblog posts published by other bloggers, add comments, join discussion groups, book clubs, and win giveaways.

 

 

 

Set up your book clubs or join the buddy read:

 

 

Win new books and run your giveaways on the Giveaways page:

 

More tutorials can be found here, or click the link: http://booklikes.com/tag/tutorials

 

See you next Thursday!

Happy reading!

 

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text 2017-07-07 13:57
Buddy Read starts today!
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf

It's July 7th and this means that the buddy reading for "The Invention of Nature" by Andrea Wulf starts today! Everyone wanting to participate in the read is warm welcome!

 

You can read more about the book on the book page HERE (or click the cover on the left) and in Jenn's, the buddy read's initiator, post HERE.

 

Please join the book club hosted by Jenn from Murder by Death to participate in the buddy read and to share your thoughts.

 

Click HERE to take a tour and join the Book Club for The Invention of Nature.

 

If you'd like to add a discussion post, look at the discussion threads created for each chapter of the book - they are HERE. Once you join the Book Club the discussion group will become automatically open for you.

 

Once you're a book club and discussion group member make sure to switch on the notifications on the top of the discussion threads to stay up to date with the book discussions' post.

 

Click HERE to look at the chapter discussions and join the club.

 

 

If you're using Facebook, you can also join the Buddy Read event. Click HERE to view and join the Facebook buddy reading event. To invite more readers, please share the event among your friends and family.

 

 

 

Buddy reading sounds like a lot of fun! Can't wait to see your discussions and reviews!

 

Happy reading!

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text 2017-06-06 13:55
I'm the one in the corner, reading a book
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts - Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr Seuss, Steve Wozniak - that we owe many of the great contributions to society.

 

My lovely boss and fellow introvert lent me this book. Our department recently had a two-day team-building exercise (words that strike fear into every introvert's heart) and she and I took many deep breaths and gave a presentation on introverts in the workplace. We showed Susan Cain's TED talk, and oh boy did I relate to what she was talking about.

 

 

Now if I could just get the organizers of the next team event to ditch that ridiculous "let's all go round the table and tell everyone a bit about ourselves", I'll be ecstatic.

 

 

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text 2017-06-04 13:42
I really have finished it this time
In His Majesty's Service (Temeraire, #1-3) - Naomi Novik

It's amazing how much more sense the opening chapters of book 4 make, when you actually read the final 14% of book 3. Sigh.

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