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text 2018-07-19 23:08
3 ways to fill up your BookLikes profile information

BookLikes is a blog platform for all book lover. Thais means that when you register you set up your own book blog with an endless virtual bookshelf (YAY!). Here are three places to add your details in order to fill up your BookLikes profile information and to present yourself to other readers and bloggers. 

 

1. Settings

 

When you log into BookLikes you see Dashboard -- your feed, a place where you see the  blogs' reviews and bookshelf updates. Remember that in order to add a blog to your Dashboard you should start following the blogs! If you're looking for new blogs to follow, go to the Explore page (menu->Explore), click the blog name and click FOLLOW in the upper right corner.

 

Remember that all your actions done in your Settings and in your Dashboard view will be presented on your blog page (your account on BookLikes IS your BOOK BLOG). The Dashboard view is internal and will always stay the same. 

Your blog page on BookLikes is: yourusername.booklikes.com.

 

Let's get back to Settings. So once you're on Dashboard, you gonna view one menu button in the upper left corner. Click it and go to Settings. In Settings, select tabs to add your details:

 

Settings: add your photo and username, e-mail, change password, select language and e-mail notifications, connect your social media

Settings/Blog: add your blog name, your short bio, select comments settings, and a blog theme

Settings/Import: import your books & reviews collections from Goodreads and other book social sites

Settings/Pages: add a new subpage to your book blog

Settings/Affiliate Programs: add your affiliate IDs to earn on your book blog

As you can see, each Settings tab let's you fill up your personal information.

Make sure to click Save once you add new information. 

 

 

2. The Customization tab

 

Your book blog needs personalization. Make sure to visit the Customization tab to select a blog's layout and add your social profile links.

 

To enter the Customization tab view, go to Settings/Blog, scroll down and click Customize.

 

 

Here you are! Add your short bio, your social profile links and widgets. You can also select a new blog theme and customize the color and layout. 

 

Remember to Save all the changes and check how your blog looks like (your blog is at yourusername.booklikes.com). 

 

 

3. Add a new Page OR new links

 

If you prefer to add a new sub-page with your longer bio, you can do it in Settings/Pages. 

 

 

If you wish to add links, to your other webpages, you can also do it in Settings/Pages. 

 

 

Your new pages and links will be visible in your Settings/Pages:

 

 

Remember that all your actions done in your Settings and in your Dashboard view will be presented on your blog page. Your blog page on BookLikes is: yourusername.booklikes.com

 

 

You may also want to check our previous tutorial and how-to posts:

 

How to start a book blog on BookLikes 

6 ways to blog about books

7 tips how to write a book review on BookLikes

BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

BookLikes How to: book search tips

It's time for a reading challenge!

 
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text 2018-03-28 15:49
M. M. Kaye's mystery "series"
Death in the Andamans - M.M. Kaye
Death in Berlin - M.M. Kaye
Death in Zanzibar - M.M. Kaye
Death in Kenya - M.M. Kaye
Death in Kashmir: A Mystery - M.M. Kaye
Death in Cyprus: A Novel - M. M. Kaye

Reading Victoria Holt's India Fan brought to my mind M.M. Kaye, who is best known for her massive, sweeping epic romance of India during the twilight of the British Raj, The Far Pavilions. Along with that book, she wrote two additional pieces of rather massive historical romance – The Shadow of the Moon and Trade Winds. In addition to those three books, she wrote a brief, entertaining series of mysteries set in exotic locations.

 

While this is now nominally marketed as a series (Death In . . . ), each of the books is 100% stand-alone, with different characters entirely. There is a slight overlap between Death In Zanzibar and Trade Winds, which is really only interesting for fans of M.M. Kaye.

 

I remember reading at least Death in Zanzibar and Death in Kenya as a teenager. I first read The Far Pavilions, which was one of my favorite books for many years, probably very soon after it was published in 1978, when I was 12. I would estimate that I took off of my mother’s bookshelf at around the age of 16, because I read a lot of historical romance of varying quality during those years, and had a definite affinity for epic historicals. After reading the three historical romances, I definitely picked up a few of Kaye’s mysteries. The covers would have been very different from Minotaur’s bright colored, almost Picasso-esque covers – something more like this:

 

 

Like Georgette Heyer, who also wrote at least a few mysteries, Kaye seems to be primarily a writer of romance, so all of her mysteries have a strong romantic sub-plot. In each, the main character is a young, unmarried, attractive woman who finds herself embroiled in a murder case in some capacity. These pairings tend to be quite regressive, and often involve the sort of interfering, (some might say controlling) overly-protective male love interest that is seen in other romance novels of the time period (Death in Kenya, the first of the mysteries, was published in 1953, while Death in the Andamans, the last of them, was published in 1960). This can be jarring to readers who’ve grown up with fiction (and reality) where the relationships are far more egalitarian.

 

Kaye had a fascinating life – she was born in Simla, in British India prior to Indian independence – her father was a British officer in the Indian Army. She married an officer in the British army as well, and spent her marriage in 27 different postings over 19 years, many of which she used as settings for her novels. She wrote a multi-part autobiography, which given how fascinating and insightful her fiction is, appears to be well worth checking out.

 

Since 2017, I’ve reread all of Kaye’s crime fiction and enjoyed them all with varying levels of enthusiasm. Over time, I’m sure that I will get reviews posted for all of them – they are well worth reading for people who enjoy romantic mysteries set in exotic, faraway places.

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text 2017-04-24 20:43
Books set in real places
Against the Paw - Diane Kelly

I was just talking with a coworker about this book. It's set in Fort Worth, Texas, where my coworker used to live. I had thought maybe the neighborhood where the book's peeping tom was operating was a fictional neighborhood shoehorned into a real city, but my coworker managed to find it on a map. So now I'm wondering if the residents of that neighborhood know about this book, how they feel about the peeping tom aspect, etc. I could see living in a specific neighborhood referenced in a book (particularly a contemporary-set one like this) being both cool and weird.

 

At the moment, I can only recall reading maybe three books set in places I knew well. Two of those were set in my home town - one dealt with an area of town I didn't know much about, and one made me laugh because the author had clearly also grown up in the same area (we had the same grumpy childhood complaints about having to come up with Halloween costumes that worked well with winter coats).

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review 2017-01-27 19:15
Margaret Atwood: The Heart Goes Last
The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood

I read this over Christmas, so only about a month ago, but it turns out I'd already forgotten half the plot. After briefly refreshing my memory, here's what I've got.

 

It's the near future and most major industries have collapsed due to an unspecified economic breakdown. Stan and Charmaine are living out of their car, working odd jobs and trying to make ends meet. When they are offered a safe(ish) life in a walled-off experimental town, they don't hesitate for long. The only catch: every other month they have to leave their artificial 1950s bliss for a stint in the town's prison. Meanwhile, alternates take their place – and soon throw their lives into turmoil. 

 

There are a few things about this novel that are just off, for lack of a better word. The main thing I couldn't get over was how naive and uncritical Charmaine was made out to be. Of course she was meant to be a foil to Stan (and her other, more secret self with Max) and a mirror of this whole 1950s aesthetic and how false it is, but come on: I opened the book at a random page to refamiliarise myself with the novel, and there she is, not even saying, but thinking: "Dang it to heck, I dropped a stitch."

 

You'd think a woman who has survived economic collapse and post-apocalyptic wastelands would get to swear inside the safety of her own head, but no. It's meant to be satirical, but it just kind of falls flat. And this assessment holds true for a large part of the novel. 

 

Then there's the respectability politics. Charmaine and Stan are not doing well, but at least they're not those people. Charmaine might be a waitress at the beginning of the narrative, but she can still sneer at sex workers. Stan doesn't have a job and no prospects of getting one, but a life of crime? Unthinkable. 

 

Margaret Atwood has always had certain blind spots (and penned some remarkable novels nonetheless), but in this book it was especially noticeable that what happens in the world is not a dystopia until it happens to formerly affluent, mentally and physically healthy, heterosexual white people. (For whom else were the 50s a grand time, anyway?)

 

All of this could have worked, and Atwood tries for an over the top, black humour approach, but it just doesn't, in the end. Work. By the time the last quarter of the book rolled around I was waiting for a very specific twist that might have made it all worthwhile, perhaps, but even that didn't happen. It was just sad to see a great author so out of touch. 

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review 2015-03-01 00:00
Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters
Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Li... Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters - J. Lenni Dorner I wrote it, so of course I love it!
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