BBAW – the long list

OH MY GOODNESS — it has finally arrived! The week we have all been waiting for!! BOOK BLOGGERS APPRECIATION WEEK. This time last year I did not even know what a book blog was (I had heard the term “blogging” but just didn’t get it). My – what a difference one year makes. I am so very excited about this week and look forward to reading posts for old friends, and meeting new friends along the way.

Amy has encouraged us to spotlight some of our favorite blogs that did not make the short list, but are worthy of recognition none-the-less. I am thrilled to be a part of this BBAW posting. I read, on what I would say a very regular basis, a minimum of 50 blogs; I follow about 200. I am always learning something new from each and every book blogger and the length of my TBR list is visual proof. Here are a few blogs that I hope you take the time to check out this week, as I think they are fabulous!
Best Literary Fiction Review: while I find something to love about every single review that I read, there are three blogs that truly inspire me. Matt, at A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook – who uses his professorial calling to give each and every one of a literary education; and then two bloggers who live “across the pond” – Simon of Savidge Reads and Jackie of Farm Lane Books. Both of these bloggers challenged themselves to read the Booker Long List – and have posted wonderful, thought-provoking reviews for each of the nominees. These two bloggers not only challenge me to read more, but to read more works that challenge my intellectual curiosity.
Best Historical Fiction Blog: now I must confess that I have not read much historical fiction — yet, but Meghan’s Medieval Bookworm blog is so inspiring that I feel as though I have missed out all the years and need to make up for lost time. If you are not familiar with her site, then you simply must check it out. If you are familiar with it, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Blog: THIS is the genre that I most enjoy and the following blogs have offered such wonderful reviews – and introduced me to some great new authors – that I will always put their blogs at the top of my list: Lesa’s Book Critiques. Lesa is not only a librarian (so she obviously knows her books) but she is also a published book reviewer! Her detailed reviews are great, but when she transcribes an author’s visit – you feel like you are in the room with them. Bookish Ruth. Ruth ran a series of posts on Sherlock Holmes was that just amazing. I wish I had time to read more of his works, because Ruth certainly inspired me! and Pudgy Penguin Perusal. First of all Kaye’s animated and decorated penguins are enough to make me want to visit her blog everyday! But Kaye also loves cozy mysteries and writes great reviews for all of them. She even has amazing give-aways on a regular basis. You need to check her out!
Best Speculative Fiction Blog: this category has always scared me — just a little. I really don’t understand the whole alien, scifi, rich fantasy kind of literature. I am a realist – and I have a difficult time climbing outside that box. But Susan of You Can Never Have Too Many Books has helped me to ease into this genre. She writes with such passion that I can’t help but be attracted to the books that inspire her. It was this post that Susan really managed to explain this kind of literature in a way that I somewhat understand. I am determined to read more of these books and expand my horizons – thanks to Susan!
Best Blog Design: Melissa’s Bookshelf is a MUST see for this category (in my humble opinion). Once her page opens you instantly feel Melissa’s personality bursting forth! She is always so upbeat and bubbly – and it is a true pleasure to visit her site. In addition, Melissa offered bloggers many invaluable tips and tricks that she found to help create her site (including how to add tabs in the header!!). You can easily find her helping hints in a tab at the top of her blog.
Best Commenter: For me – personally – that would have to be Kim of Page after Page. Kim has left such encouraging and supportive comments from nearly the first time I posted to the web. We seem to be kindred spirits and I only wish that Washington state was not so far away from Kansas.
Funniest Most Humorous Blog: ok – this is a no brainer for me – Jenner’s of Find Your Next Book Here brings a smile to my face each and every time I visit her site! Her upbeat, positive attitude is evident by the profile picture posted of her giving a ‘thumbs up’. I love you, Jenners!
Best Meme/Carnival/Event: I am not sure if this counts for this category, but I want to mention her blog so I will make it fit…..Sherry at Semicolon runs a Saturday Review feature where bloggers from all over post links to their book reviews for that week. This is a wonderful compilation of reviews (better than the Book Review section of the New York Times as far as I am concerned) and I have benefited greatly from this weekly event.
Best New Blog: I am not exactly sure what constitutes “new” – but hopefully these blogs qualify – and if not, then let’s call this category, Molly’s special interest blogs. Joann of Lakeside Musing has a wonderful blog that I truly enjoy. I think a part of the reason is the header picture is always a peaceful, serene photo of the lake – and this instantly puts me in a relaxed mood. Joann and I are in similar places in life, and I always enjoy hearing her perspective. I also feel a kindred spirit with Margot of Joyfully Retired. Now it could be that I envy her place in life right now (how I look forward to being “joyfully retired”) – but I also enjoy her book reviews and thoughtful discussions.
Best Blog for Literary Education: ok, I made up this category but I feel that Ann’s blog, Table Talk, fits the description. She is a retired teacher and lecturer who has just recently returned to school to obtain another Master’s Degree. Ann writes wonderfully detailed posts about her Shakespearean classes and her book reviews always offer great perspective and detailed analysis. If you are unfamiliar with Ann and her “bears” you simply must check her out.
And while I know that we are all familiar with Amy and her incredible sacrifice, dedication and hard work on the BBAW celebration – I simply cannot post a Best Of……without mentioning her and her appropriately named blog, My Friend Amy. She truly is a friend to all, and we all appreciate her so very much.


  • Meghan

    Molly, you are so sweet! I can't tell you how happy it makes me that I inspire others to try historical fiction. It's really my goal in life to inspire others to love history as much as I do, no matter what I end up doing, and I'm so, so thrilled that my blog is doing its little job. Thank you! I hope you love the historical fiction you choose to read!

  • farmlanebooks

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so pleased that Simon and I inspire you to read more challenging books!

    I recognise almost all the blogs on your list (you have great taste!) but I've spotted a few new ones, so I'm off to have a look.
    Thank you!

  • Kaye

    Wow, Molly, what a list. I am honored to be included. I'm glad you like the penguins because some days I wonder if it is too silly. They make me laugh anyway!

    Lesa's book critiques is my first go to for mystery reviews. She is so well informed and writes the best review for mysteries.

    Melissa's bookshelf – you are so right. Her blog just makes me smile.

    Jenners is one of those people you would love to invite over for tea and cookies. She seems so down to earth and I love her sense of humor.
    There are so many wonderful blogs out there, my list is endless.

    Have a great week and happy reading. Enjoy your first BBAW celebration.

  • Susan

    Thank you, Molly! So much! I did make the long list, but ran out of time to enter in my posts to continue on – I misread my email – such is my luck this year! So that you mentioned me again is far more than I deserve!

    and congratulations again on getting a nomination in your first year of blogging. You have made a wonderful blog and you have thoughtful reviews that I really enjoy reading.

    Now to go check out the new blogs you mentioned, there are some that are new to me!

  • Jenners

    You really outdid yourself on this post! Amazing job! And thanks for thinking of me … I'm glad I make you laugh — and I love you too!

    I'm definitely going to check out some of these blogs … I mean, if you like them, I'll like them! I can see already that BBAW is going to bust my Google Reader!!! ACK!

  • Matt

    I have to congratulate everyone of having a work well done, regardless of whether they make it to short-list or not. And Molly, your blog has been a pointer to my reading ideas. Thank you for all your thought-provoking posts.

  • Alyce

    I like the way that you did the layout for this post. I didn't list the awards by categories because it was too hard to decide (well that and I was being a little bit lazy). Great choices of blogs!

  • Trish

    Great great list, Molly! I only recognize a handful of blogs here, but I agree that Meghan and Jackie have great reviews. And Melissa's design is great! Hope you're having a wonderful week so far.

  • Literary Feline

    What a great post, Molly! You seem like such an old pro at blogging. It's hard to believe you haven't been blogging for years.

    I enjoyed reading through your post about some of your favorite bloggers. Many are familiar to me, but some are new as well and I look forward to visiting their blogs.

  • Table Talk

    Molly, thank you for compliment, The Bears and I are blushing wildly! The best thing for me about blogging is the chance to make new friends I am very happy to be able to count you as one of them.

  • Kim

    Thank you for the shout out, Molly. I am just getting caught up with my favorite blogs– I have always loved your blog and was thrilled when I found you. Your mention of my little blog means a lot to me–I very often feel like a very small fish (guppie, really) in a very large pond.

    I did not get to get going with BBAW week until yesterday, really, and feel bad. But life is so overwhelming right now that blog time has been at a premium.

    I am so looking forward to the readathon next month. Hopefully I won't be sick this time, like I was in April. 🙁 Are you going to participate? I hope so!

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