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text 2018-03-18 13:52
AVR Weekly News ~ 237th Edition

AVR Weekly News ~ 237th Edition



Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/avr-weekly-news-237th-edition.html
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text 2018-03-16 19:32
#32 Follow Friday with book bloggers: So it goes


Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Ella, a newbie blogger with an impressive library and an avid reader of many different book genres. 


Follow Ella's "So it goes." blog on BookLikes: http://ellamc.booklikes.com/



What are you reading right now? How do you like it?


I’m very slowly reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski  in a group read led by the author. I’m loving it and it’s very hard to stop myself at the points he covers, but I want to get input from the author, so I’m going very slowly. At his pace I’m not sure we’ll ever finish, but I’m determined to stick with his reading schedule.


On my own I’m currently reading In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, a memoir by Tom Malmquist. He’s a Swedish writer, so it’s in translation, but it’s incredibly sad. It’s basically about a man who suddenly loses his pregnant wife and is left with a baby. Sounds as sad as it is, but it’s also very good. Then again, I tend to fall in love with many good books as I read them. We’ll see in a year how I really feel about it.


House of Leaves - Mark Z. DanielewskiIn Every Moment We Are Still Alive - Tom Malmquist,Henning KochWe're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union


Also listening to We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union  (read by the author.) I can already tell it’s an uneven book, but it’s very fun. She reads conversationally and it’s a bit like sitting down with a girlfriend to catch up on all the gossip.



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early in my life. I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. I loved to read as a kid and family lore about my reading ability gets more incredible as I get older. I’ve been told I read in nursery school, but who knows? By the time I can remember, we had a big tree in the backyard. I climbed it with a book and stayed there all day. Nobody ever found me. I read every single Hardy Boys book from that tree, as well as the entire Little House series, Anne of Green Gables and many more.



You’ve mentioned you’re new to blogging. How do you like it so far?


I love the BookLikes community. I don’t really know how to review. (I keep meaning to read some articles about doing it), but I like to talk about the books. I hope I’ll remember a lot more of the books I read if I do it this way. My goal in joining BookLikes was to find a replacement for Goodreads, but it turns out to be so much more. I do find myself with an ever-growing TBR list, but that’s not a bad thing.




You’re blog name is "So it goes." Can you tell us more about that quote and why have you chosen it for your blog name?


The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 100-plus (maybe 106?) times. It appears every time there is a death. (Lots of death in a wartime novel.) He does it comically, tragically, every way you can imagine. By the end it conveyed to me both the randomness and inevitability of death extremely well, not to mention both the stupidity and extra meaning given to the act of dying in a war (like people have much choice about it.)


While the book is about war, I think the lesson can work for life too. We never know when death is coming, but we know it will eventually come. It’s not trivial, but it’s constant. If I was a better person, I’d tell you I think about it and it changes my reactions to humanity, but that would be a lie. For many years I thought I’d get a tattoo of it, but I’ve changed my mind about that. So when BookLikes asked me for a name for my blog, it was the obvious choice.



Why reading is important to you?


It teaches me about life. It also keeps my very easily agitated mind calm. It gives me a sense of perspective and allows me to learn more about the full experience of being human. At its best it stimulates me to think in a way I’d not previously imagined. I think that’s why books read as a teen or young adult leave such a huge impression. At its most basic, it means I don’t turn on the TV for many months at a time and I learn vocabulary words, if not always how to pronounce them. I find myself asking “is that how you pronounce it” fairly often because I’ve only ever read the word rather than heard it in speech.



What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?


It’s funny. I never really think I have a favorite genre. But when I started to catalog my books or use book websites, I learned that I do, in fact, have favorites. It turns out most of my favorite books live in a few categories: mystery, espionage, “literary” whatever that means, dystopian and fantasy. Also “realistic fiction.” So that covers almost everything, I guess. In college I was told I “read like a man” -- which I guess meant I didn’t always read what we’ve now call “chick lit” but I’ve read a lot of that through the years too, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of my boxed set of Ya-Ya Sisterhood books.


Why I like them is harder. I love spies. When I was little (in my tree), I read Harriet the Spy and followed neighbors around, carefully noting what they bought at the grocer and whatever I saw them doing. Only in later years did I learn everyone knew what I was doing, if not always why. When my sister explained that I was crazy and read it in a book, they just didn’t care!


I’m not all that genre-specific beyond my espionage needs. All of these are ways to live in a world that I’ll never actually inhabit, but that’s what books always are.


Reading challenge page->



How do you choose your next book to read?



If it comes in at the library and I’ve put it on hold, I read it before it’s due. Only this year have I decided I must read the books I own and unless I’m planning to reread or loan, move ‘em out! I own literally thousands of books, which is way too many for my smallish home. Weirdly, that means I’m picking up a lot of books I have copies of that I actually hope to dislike. That’s insane, but true. I’ve already given a few away this year, and I always have a box filling up for donation. The problem is that I try to only buy books I hope to love, so the process doesn’t work as well as I planned.



What are you three favorite book covers?


Argh - This is an impossible question! I really love the basic Penguin original style, but I’m constantly replacing my old copies of things with the fancy new covers they now make. Here are a few I’ve purchased recently:


This copy of Paul Auster’s famous New York Trilogy  makes me happy. The best part of this is the back cover though.


The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster,Luc Sante,Art Spiegelman


I love these Vintage Classics covers. Here’s War and Peace for an example. They have quotes on the back covers and are beautiful.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear 


And I just paid way more for a copy of this one because I loved the cover so much. Gorgeous! Whole cover attached.


The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Mikhail Bulgakov,Christopher Conn Askew,Richard Pevear,Larissa Volokhonsky,Boris Fishman 



You’ve read over 70 books in so far, I mean in 2018 - WOW! What’s your reading goal for 2018?


It started as 30, so I could make sure I met it. I think I changed it too 100, but I’m honestly not trying to meet any goal beyond keeping track. I’d guessed I read somewhere around 200 books a year, but when I looked at my library list from last year (the USA keeps track of what we borrow,) it was closer to 500. As I looked at the list, I’d read a lot of what I borrowed, and I won’t tell you how many I bought.


I don’t speed read or skim. I do take tons of notes in margins or on paper. I just read fast. I’ve had many years of practice. I took a test once that told me I could read War and Peace in 12 hours. That seemed crazy to me. Recently I’ve been borrowing the audio from the library even if I have the physical novel handy. Audio is too slow, even at a high speed (I get pages ahead and tune it out,) but it’s a great way to “read” when I’m driving, cleaning or doing anything that doesn’t require my full attention. Now if only I could figure out a way to read when I’m supposed to be listening to other people!



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


Argh! Everyone should read what they want, when they carve out the time!  But I’ve picked up a few books from this series, so I’ll add a warning and give you some titles. WARNING: I liked it, but your mileage may vary!


I adore David Foster Wallace, and while I know Infinite Jest isn’t everyone’s cuppa, I’ll recommend his nonfiction, specifically A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again  . The book is worth the cost for the title essay alone. That essay finds David Foster Wallace, a socially-awkward introvert genius and hero of the American Literary Media Hype Machine, stuck on a cruise ship for a glossy American magazine. He also goes to a State Fair in this book (Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All,) sent by Harper’s Magazine, who called it “pure cocaine” - or at least I wrote that in my margin notes. He’s empathetic, kind, aware, wickedly funny, has a great BS detection system, writes detail beautifully and well - he was worth the hype.


The Secret History by Donna Tartt 


Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby 

Another great nonfiction book, but this one is about books and all of the things books are about. Hornby writes like you’re talking to a good friend, and his nonfiction is better, in my opinion, than his fiction. (Though I’ll never learn. I keep buying his fiction.)


A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster WallaceThe Secret History - Donna TarttTen Years in the Tub - Nick Hornby



Do you read one or several books at a time?


Several. Usually I have one essay or short story collection on my ereader, which fits nicely in my briefcase or purse, one audiobook on my phone and one physical “big book” in some sort of process which usually takes me a while because I can get a bit obsessive about looking things up and taking notes.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


Embarrassingly, I think I probably read about 8-10 hours a day. This is because I don’t sleep much. My best friend remarked, years ago, that it was unfair for me to have sleep trouble because I spent my sleeping time becoming “well read.” She’s still upset about this and we’re in our fifties now!


A paper book or an e-book?


I prefer physical, and I like to wait for the paperback copy. If I love a book, I buy the paperback copy even if I own the e-book. I’m weird like that.


Three titles for a desert island?


Infinite Jest  (purely because I think you could read it 100 times and find new things every time. Also, it’s time-consuming!)


Eloise: The Ultimate Edition  (this is cheating because the first four ‘real’ Eloise books are all in it.)


And probably the complete Shakespeare, because if I’m stuck on a desert island, I may as well read all those plays I “should” read.


Infinite Jest - David Foster WallaceEloise: The Ultimate Edition - Kay Thompson,Hilary KnightWilliam Shakespeare: The Complete Works - William Shakespeare



Favorite quote?


“I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey


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


Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh or Bernard Sampson from the ten-book series by Len Deighton. I simply cannot choose between the two.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)


They are coming! Stay tuned! Leave a comment and we're notify you they're online!


Shelfies are here :)


Ella wrote: Shelfies following from home as soon as I get there -- or maybe we’ll have to do without, which would be sad because people would be very heartened to see my horrendously disorganized boxes, piles and other mess. (I seriously have books on my kitchen counter.)


Thank you! 



Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:



You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!

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text 2018-03-11 14:51
AVR Weekly News ~ 236th Edition

AVR Weekly News ~ 236th Edition


Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/avr-weekly-news-236th-edition.html
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text 2018-03-09 19:36
#31 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Broken Tune

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet BT, known and Broken Tune on BookLikes, a moody readers who's not afraid of exploring new literary lands! 


Follow Broken Tune on BookLikes: http://BrokenTune.booklikes.com



What are you reading now? How is it?


I usually read several books at a time, all appealing to different moods or interests. At the moment I am enjoying I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, which is a buddy read with our Flat Book Society. I have also started two biographies – one of Arthur Conan Doyle and one of Phyllis Bottome. I am not sure, yet, what to make of the ACD biography as it seems to be brushing over his biography rather than investigate it, but the Bottome biography is very interesting. It appears that Bottome is yet another author that had an extraordinary life but who has been largely forgotten.


The Flat Book Society Book Club



When have you discovered you’re a book lover?


Very early on. My mother and grandmother have always had books around the house and some of my favourite early memories are of bedtime stories and falling out with my cousin when we couldn’t agree on which book my gran should read to us when we stayed at her house for weekends or holidays. To this day, I cannot stand Heidi (my cousin’s favourite choice), but still love The Count of Monte Christo and anything by Jules Verne.

As you can tell, my gran and my mom did not believe in restricting storytime to children’s books, and I am glad they didn’t.



In your bio you write “I'm an eclectic reader”, can you tell us more about your reading preferences?


I like the word “preference”. If there is anything I have learned from being around the Booklikes community, it is that there is not really any genre that I will not try. For example, I used to think that I do not enjoy books labeled as “Horror” because I can’t stand descriptions of gore or gratuitous violence, but then Char inspired me to try a few different authors, and I actually became a fan of one of them - Michael McDowell. (Seriously, check him out!)


So, while my preferences are now less defined by genre, and my reading is more diverse or eclectic in that respect, I prefer books that are intellectually engaging, that are plot driven, and that work magic with their use of language. And to keep things a little more contradictory, I like psychological plots but don’t like popular thrillers, and I like classic mysteries but don’t like books that try to copy classic mysteries.




How did your blogging adventure start?


It started mostly by curiosity. A couple of RL friends had sent me an invite to join GR some years ago, so I did. While my RL friends left it again quite quickly, I was intrigued by the facility to have a space to share thoughts on books with others.


The real joy of blogging came, however, when finding Booklikes. It was so much easier to compose and expand on thoughts about books and all sorts of other topics over here. And the Booklikes community is just fabulous – so welcoming and encouraging to share ideas and events, recipes, travel, and posts on random other topics. 



Why reading is important to you?


Reading is important to me because I love exploring – whether it is new places, new ideas, cultures, different times, ... whatever the topic I will find something that catches my interest. Books are a fabulous way to explore the world within and around us. I mean, I love travel, too, but with books you can also travel through time, and to galaxies far, far away, and of course, there is fiction, too. ;)


Apart from a thirst for exploring, I also love that reading can completely change your state of mind – it can calm you down, and it can rile you up. It can offer an escape from your day’s events and it can draw you more into the world and motivate you to engage with other people. There really is something to be said for the idea that books are “uniquely portable magic”.



How do you decide what to read next? I’ve spotted you take part in numerous reading projects, like The Suffrage Movement, Sherlock Holmes buddy read, Reading Agatha Christie


I am a huge mood reader. While I do have some set reading lists this year in order to chop down Mt. TBR and have a few reading projects going with the Suffragettes, Sherlock Holmes, and the ongoing challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of my day to day reading is decided on which mood I am in and which book appeals most.

The problem with this is that it can take a while to choose a book. I can literally stand in front of my shelves or stare at my kindle for quite some time before a book speaks to me.



What are you three favorite book covers?


That’s a tough one. I am way too easily swayed by gorgeous book covers. I don’t think I have favourite book covers, tho. Last December, I read Gladys Mitchell’s Murder in the Snow  and I had to leave the book on my currently reading shelf for a couple of days after I finished it because I loved the cover so much. I am also very partial to the covers of Gilded Needles and A is for Arsenic, which may also be partly due my loving the books themselves just as much as the covers.

There is just something very pleasing about the simplicity of the covers.


Murder in the Snow: A Cotswold Christmas Mystery - Gladys MitchellA is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup



We’ve spotted the 2018 Mt. TBR Project. What’s your reading plan for this year?


There isn’t that much of a plan. A plan doesn’t really work for me because my reading depends on my mood so much. However, I needed to do something about the stacks and stacks of physical books that I have at home. The book collection has long exceeded my shelf space, so some of them will need to go.

That’s why I decided to try and focus on reading the books I already have at home this year. I tried this a few years ago, and it helped to keep my physical shelves under some control. Last year, I decided to have a year of free reading and book buying...and I ended up with way too many books.


So, the Mt. TBR Project had to make a come-back this January. I can pick any of the books off the stacks, read them in any order, but the goal is to read them all by the end of the year...and not buy more than I read in the process.


Reading list: BrokenTune's 2018 Mt. TBR



You’re reviewed over 600 books on BookLikes. What’s your book review process?


It really depends on the book. It appears that I find it easier to write reviews for books that I did not like, while the books I love are the most difficult to write about because I know I will never do them any justice in a review.

I mostly make notes while I read that will remind me of quotes and ideas and thoughts that occurred while I read the book. Then it will usually take me a few days to gather my thoughts together for a review. I type the review, post it, and instantly remember another two or three things that I would have loved to write about... So it goes.


Reviewed Shelf



Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?


I find recommendations very difficult because it really depends on who the recommendation is made to and what I know of the likes and dislikes of the reader.

However, I do find it exciting when I get to recommend books that are important to me or that have had a big impact on me. So, I am always thrilled when people try a book by Ali Smith or Ruth Ozeki or even one of the lesser-known travel writers like Ella Maillart.

With every recommendation, however, there is also some anxiety that accompanies the excitement – Will they like the book? Will they not like the book and wonder why I recommended it?


Recommending a book is just not that easy.




Do your read one or several books at a time?


Several. Always. I usually have a selection of different formats and different topics that I can pick up to respond to whichever mood I might be in.



How much time do you spend reading daily?


I probably read about 2 hours a day on average. If I travel with work, I read a lot more. There is nothing I like better than to read while being stuck on a train or a plane. And of course, the weather and time of year also have an influence on the time I spend with books. I hardly ever switch on the tv, so if the weather is “dreich”, a good local word, and I don’t have be somewhere I’ll turn to a book.



A paper book or an e-book?


Both! And let’s not forget audiobooks! I love all formats of books, but not all books will work in all formats. I prefer paper for non-fiction, but ebooks or audiobooks for fiction.



Three titles for a desert island?


Well, how long am I stuck on the island for? If it is for a long time, I may want to pack something practical such a survival guide by Bear Grylls... I am kidding. I have no interest in that, and his books generally aren’t long enough to be of use on a desert island.


I’d have to take The Count of Monte Cristo, because it is long and features an escape from an island. I’d also take a book by Ayn Rand, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, because, again, they are excessively long and that might be the only circumstance that I would actually read them.

Lastly, I would take something like Ovid’s Metamorphoses  or one of Homer’s books that can be read over and over and will still offer something new to be discovered.



Metamorphoses - Denis Feeney,Ovid,David Raeburn


Favorite quote?


Oh, so many... Let’s go with this one:


‘Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.


Terry Pratchett - Maskerade




If you could meet one author, who would it be?


Oh, this is a tricky one, too. If we are narrowing this down to living authors that I have not met yet but would like to, I would have to say Ruth Ozeki or Stephen Fry.



Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)



Thank you! 


Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:
#30 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jodi's Classroom Favorites ->


You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.


See you next Friday!


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text 2018-03-04 13:29
AVR Weekly News ~ 235th Edition

AVR Weekly News ~ 235th Edition


Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2018/03/avr-weekly-news-235th-edition.html
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