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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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photo 2017-12-14 14:04
SYMBIOTE: Coming December 25th

Symbiote: Book #2 of The Peradon Fantasy Series
is due for release on December 25th.


 

To save the one you love, be prepared to risk it all. Five years have passed since the fateful day that led to her husband’s demise. Violetta prays that her daughter never learns the truth, but that’s not the only thing she hopes never rises to the surface. With a mysterious storm blanketing Peradon, Violetta, Lord Jork, and Xyhoni set out to uncover its source.

The last thing they expected was for her young daughter to vanish. As troubling rumours swell, Violetta reaches her wits end. Now she must journey through the four realms to find answers and recover her daughter before it’s too late.


Be sure to pop in at our launch event (online- Facebook) on December 23rd,

from 10 am to 5 pm GMT.

 

Symbiote Facebook Launch Party (Dec 23rd.)


A
lso, be sure to check out our fantastic giveaway below:
Symbiote Official Bookish Giveaway

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text 2017-12-08 14:01
#19 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Wanda's Book Reviews

 

It's Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Wanda, a book lover who cherishes fantasy books and penguins! What? Read on to find out more!

 

Follow Wanda's blog on BookLikes: http://wandapedersen39.booklikes.com/

 

 

When did you discover that you’re a bookworm?

 

I guess I knew before I started school.  Our small town didn’t have kindergarten, so the June before we were to start Grade One, we had to go do some tests to see if we were ready to start school. I came home from those tests outraged because they hadn’t taught me to read!

 

How did your blogging adventure start?

 

I’m all about projects. When I turned 50, I started reading the NPR List of Science Fiction and Fantasy Finalists (https://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists). I decided to start a blog to keep myself on track. I discovered that I enjoyed the process and I have just kept on blogging about all of my reading.

 

 

You’ve completed your 2017 reading challenge!  Yay, congrats!  Reveal your secret—how did you read 250 books in one year?  It’s an amazing book total!

 

I don’t have as many demands on my time as other people. First off, I don’t have a spouse or children to take care of. But I also don’t own a TV and I don’t get the internet at home. I spend my workdays at a computer and don’t want to spend my evenings there too. I read, at least a little bit, every day.  If my friends cancel plans, I always have a book waiting for me at home. 

 

Wanda's reading chart month by month. Read more->

 

Wanda's reading challenges year by year. Read more->

 

 

You seem to be a fan of reading lists.  You’re reading the NPR sci-fi & fantasy list—can you tell us more about your favourite books in the genre?

 

I have always been a fan of fantasy and over the last couple of years I have discovered urban fantasy. I adore any books that have Fae/Fairy characters! I love the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews, as well as their Kate Daniels and Innkeeper Chronicles series. I’m a big fan of Seanan McGuire, especially her October Daye and InCryptid series.  I’d have to include Patricia Briggs and her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books. Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. The Invisible Library series by Genevieve CogmanBen Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. Suzanne McLeod’s Spellcrackers.com series.  I’m all about the magic, vampires, werewolves, fae, all that fun stuff.

 

Your bookshelf is very organized with the thematic shelves and yearly challenges.  Does the shelf reflect your personality?

 

More that I’d actually like to admit! I don’t really believe in astrology, but I’m a Virgo and they are reputedly very organized, detail oriented, and practical. In Oriental astrology, I’m an Ox.  Ox people are workers—we work for fun.  Put those two together and I’m willing to work at being organized and efficient, even at my hobby of reading.  Also, I have so many books that I’ve read or want to read that I have to maintain good shelves, or I couldn’t find them.

 

Wanda's reviewed books bookshelf

 

What are your three favourite book covers?

 

Aren’t these three pretty?  I haven’t read them yet, but I will just because the covers are so gorgeous!

 

Wild Beauty - Anna-Marie McLemoreSweetpea - C.J. SkuseThe Gallery of Lost Species - Nina Berkhout

 

 

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

 

In the year ahead, I’m looking forward exploring the work of Holly Black.  She has a new book coming out called The Cruel Prince. Another book I’m anticipating is An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. I’m also really excited to read Genevieve Cogman’s latest installment in the Invisible Library series, The Lost Plot

 

The Cruel Prince - Holly BlackAn Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret RogersonThe Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman

 

There are also two new offerings in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn and Macbeth by Jo Nesbø. There are so many exciting new books being published that it’s hard to choose. 

 

Dunbar (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Edward St. AubynMacbeth - Jo Nesbø

 

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

 

I usually read in my living room, in a recliner where I can put my feet up.  I have my trusty tray beside me for the cup of coffee or glass of wine necessary and I have my wonderful new blanket (but I have to be careful of it—it tends to put me right to sleep and I don’t get much reading done that way).

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

So far, I just read paper books. But I can see where an e-book reader would be handy.  One of these days I will have to learn how to deal with this technology!

 

Three titles for a boring social party?

 

If it’s boring, don’t linger there! Just head for home & your book nook!

 

A book that changed your life?

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg LarssonWould you believe that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson changed my life? I used to read a lot of books with my mom. We would both read them & discuss them, our own little book club. When she & my dad were killed in a car crash, I pretty much quit reading because I couldn’t talk books with her anymore.  It was ten years later when a coworker lent me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I whipped through in 2 days) that I realized how much I missed reading. I lost a lot of reading time that I’m still making up for, but I am enjoying it even more now. Now I have BookLikes friends to discuss things with. 

 

Favourite quote?

 

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” - Mark Twain

 

 

 

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

 

Jane Jameson, the children’s librarian turned vampire, from Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson series.  She has a snarky sense of humour, she owns a great bookstore, plus she has a great friend, another vampire called Dick Cheney, whose antics amuse me.  I’d love to attend the book club meetings at her store.

 

Shelfie time!  Please share your home library photos. 

 

I didn’t get a picture taken before I decorated for Christmas.  So you can also see my growing Christmas penguin colony!

 

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

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

 

#18 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Leigha's Little Library ->

#17 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Lost Girls Reviews -> 

#16 Follow Friday with book bloggers: OBSESSION WITH WORDS ->

#15 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Bookish thoughts!!! ->

 

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 2017-12-07 14:05
Sneak Peek at Book Bloggers' November Bookshelves

 

Eleven months checked, one still to go. Check out book bloggers' November reading lists and let us know how did you do in November!

 

Click the blogs' headers to go to the blog pages and read more from the fellow bloggers. Follow the blogs you enjoy reading - go to the blog pages and click Follow in the upper right corner to view the bloggers reviews and bookshelves updates on your Dashboard. 

 

 

Hey everybody! I have got a few new followers thanks to the interview I did on the Booklikes blog. I thought I would share with everyone my reading wrap up for November. I read a lot, so the video is long. Feel free to put me on double speed. I do that all the time to be honest, because there are so many great videos and so little time... watch the video

 

 

A Christmas Cornucopia: The hidden stories behind our Yuletide traditions - Mark Forsyth The Chosen - Chaim Potok A Burnable Book - Bruce Holsinger

This has been my slowest reading month all year, with 12 books finished.  November and December have always been a crazy time of year for me, but now I know why the creators of Christmas chose December: in the Northern Hemisphere it's winter and there's nothing else to do.  In the Southern Hemisphere it's spring too, so all the busyness associated with warmer weather is compounded by the upcoming holidays.  Which means I spend November and December throwing a lot of longing looks at my books as I'm rushing past them... continue reading

 

 

Holy smokes I cant believe we only have one month left of the year. This year just flew by way to fast. But I read some pretty awesome books this year. I discovered Sarah J Maas books which was a life changer reading wise. For November I got a couple ARCs done finished Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy Series and started Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I also finally got around to put reviews for the Throne of Glass series up which I had sitting here and never got around... continue reading

 

 

November was definitely the slowest month for me in reading and blogging all year.  I barely posted anything, and read a total of 6 books.  I had ambitions for this month, I promise, but things just didn't work out and now I've got a lot more books on my TBR that I'd been hoping to finish before the end of the year... all crammed into December... continue reading

 

 

By Sharon Kay Penman The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III (1st) - Sharon Kay PenmanCremains of the Day (A Tallie Graver Mystery) - Misty SimonBetween Two Fires: A Novel - Mark NoceDark Winds Rising: A Novel (Queen Branwen) - Mark Noce

I read seven books this past month. Not my best or worst month. The star of the month was by far finishing The Sunne in Splendour.  By far.  Just an excellent book. Artemis was also enjoyable. Cremains of the Day and Cheddar off Dead were my weakest reads. I read mostly on my Kindle. An adjustment I am trying to make having such limited shelf space in my apartment... continue reading

 

 

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermidBooks Can Be Deceiving - Jenn McKinlayQueen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas

Just popping in for a quick update.  I’m swamped at work.  And furiously busy with teen and home related things, not to mention the toddler-dog who needs constant supervision unless he’s crated or sleeping.   So, JL’s Bibliomania is on semi-hiatus. A few quick updates on what I read during November:... continue reading

 

If you've missed November wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

 

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