Category Archives: Book Blogs

LibraryThing: What’s On Your Bookshelf? Spring #Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge @Bloggiesta

Bloggiesta Badge text March 21 to 27

We Have a Winner in the Spring 2016 Bloggiesta LibraryThing Mini Challenge!

If you’re looking for a way to keep track of the books you own, the books you’ve read, the books you want to read, etc. Check out the  LibraryThing Mini Challenge, offered during the Spring 2016 Bloggiesta. The challenge may be over, but you can still find and friend book bloggers on LibraryThing. Although they can be hard to find, the Bloggers group is a good place to start looking.

picture of me wearing my LibraryThing t-shirtA nod to all the headless women on book covers

Congratulations to the winner, Florinda of The 3 R’s Blog! As it turns out, she was already a LibraryThing lifetime member, so her prize was $10 to be used in the LibraryThing store. Check out Florinda’s book collections on LibraryThing here!

If I offer this challenge again in a future Bloggiesta, I’ll be sure to offer a separate prize option for existing LibraryThing members!

It might be time to try LibraryThing (or give it another try, if you’ve tried it before.) There’s a new mobile app, too, but it’s still for iOS only right now.

LibraryThing is very non-commercial. I think of it as the public television version of GoodReads! It’s community-supported, rather than sponsored by a larger company, so it can seem a little clunky and earnest, but is also quirky and fun in an offbeat, nerdy sort of way. (Check out the LibraryThong in the LT store, for example.)

What Can You Do on LibraryThing?

  • Set up as many or as few lists or “collections” as you want. You can catalog your actual book collection, or keep lists of Books Read; Read, But Not Owned; Audiobooks Listened To, etc.
  • Poke around other people’s virtual bookshelves on LibraryThing (LT), but you can make your own library collections public or private.
  • Be “friends” with other people on LT, but you can also just note someone as having an “interesting library” or completely disable the setting to “allow friend requests” if you don’t want to get involved in the social media aspect of LT.
  • Join the Early Reviewers program (review required) and enter monthly book giveaways (review not always required).
  • Keep better track of your reading and reviews.
  • Add a LT widget to your blog (Mine links to my Currently Reading collection)
  • Join groups
  • Do challenges
  • Try out lots of other features

I have been a member of LT for almost eight years (LT keeps track of your Thingaversary for you), but there are many features of the site that I haven’t explored or don’t use much.

My collections are general, but you can add as many as you want and make them as specific as you want. I did add a “Rome Reading” collection to go with my trip planning last fall, but  I’m not good about remembering to cross-post my reviews on LT, and I’ve fallen behind in the Early Reviewers program and haven’t requested any new books lately, but I’m pretty good about recording what I’m reading on LT (to keep my blog “Currently Reading” widget up to date), and my LT lists help me when I’m compiling my year-end favorites or am trying to remember a book I read but didn’t review on the blog, etc.

I also try to use the private notes field to keep track of where I read the review that made me add a book to my TBR collection. (You can make a public or private note on any book in your collections.)

You can add tags to your books! This is optional, but if you do it, you can see your tag cloud to see what kinds of books you read the most. I usually only add tags to the books I’ve read (not to the TBR books) so my tag cloud is a good indication of my actual reading.

Mini Challenge

So what’s the challenge?

  1. Take the LibraryThing Tour (It’s short!)
  2. Sign up for LibraryThing / Log in if you’re already on it

Numbers 1 and 2 are the same for all, then it goes by whether you’ve tried LibraryThing before or not.

For New LibraryThing Users

3. Create your LT profile.

4. Set up your account settings (public/private, friend requests, email notifications, etc.)

5. Import your GoodReads library (You can set it up to sync with GoodReads (GR), so you can keep using GR as your primary tracking site and have new GR additions after this automatically go into your LT import queue.) OR  4. If you don’t have a GoodReads library, then start from scratch and add at least 10 books to your new LT library by title, author, or ISBN. (To add audiobooks, I always end up looking up the ISBN elsewhere first.)

6. Find me (baystateRA) and send me a friend request (Use the search feature and then look in the column on the left under Members to find me.)

7. Send me a message on LibraryThing that you have completed the mini challenge, and I will enter you in the giveaway! (A winner will be drawn at random from all valid entries and will be contacted through LibraryThing!)

For Lapsed LibraryThing Users

3. Retrieve your LT password, if necessary, and log in.

4. Update your LT profile.

5. Do at least ONE of the following:

6. Find me (baystateRA) and send me a friend request (Use the search feature and then look in the column on the left under Members to find me.)

7. Send me a message on LibraryThing that you have completed the mini challenge, and I will enter you in the giveaway! (A winner will be drawn at random from all valid entries and will be contacted through LibraryThing!)


Prize Giveaway

So what’s the prize? Because I love LibraryThing so much (Yes, I even bought a T-shirt!), I’m giving away a free annual membership ($10 value). (It’s free to join LibraryThing, but if you want to add over 200 books, you need to become a member. Lifetime membership is only $25, if you fall in love with LT after trying it.)

Bloggiesta Is March 21–27

Some of you may be wondering what exactly is Bloggiesta and/or when is it?
In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing.
Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music, and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!
— from For more click here.

Thanks for Telling Me! Recommended Audiobooks Day 3 @BBAW #BBAW

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is an annual event originated by My Friend Amy in 2008 that ran for five years, and has now been brought back after a hiatus by The Estella Society.

Day 3  What have you read and loved because of a fellow blogger?

Book blogger buzz makes me add so many books to my virtual TBR pile that I decided to post about a few favorite audiobooks today, to make it a more manageable-sized list.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, narrated by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens CD

Oops, I thought Care from Care’s Books and Pie recommended this hilarious audiobook to me, but it turns out I recommended it to her! I don’t remember a particular blogger’s recommendation, but I used to get a lot of audio recommendations through the weekly Sound Bytes link-up (which, sadly, is no more) at Devourer of Books, so I may have caught the buzz about Beauty Queens there.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton

Ready Player One CD

I definitely listened to this story of a do-or-die gamer quest because of book blogger buzz during Audiobook Week. (I think there may be a Wil Wheaton fan club subset out there.) but again, I’m not sure if it was anyone in particular. I loved it so much I never wrote up my review, but it made my list of Better on Audio.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, narrated by Scott Brick

cover image of audiobook on CD

I thought this book about a grouchy bookseller would be too cutesy, but book blogger buzz convinced me to try The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (even to buy my own copy because I couldn’t get it from the library!) although, again, I can’t pinpoint a particular review. Read my review, please, and then beg, borrow, or steal buy the audiobook!

If one of these avid audiobook listeners recommends an audiobook, I usually listen! (I hope I’m not forgetting anybody!)

Candace at Beth Fish Reads
Sheila at Book Journey
Care at Care’s Books and Pie
Bob at The Guilded Earlobe
Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelves
JoAnn at Lakeside Musing
Jennifer at Literate Housewife

I also refer to AudioFile Magazine reviews a lot to decide whether to read or listen to a book. Did you know you can subscribe by email to four different FREE AudioFile newletters?

I need to start making notes and keeping better records of who recommended what for the next BBAW!

And now that Andi, Heather, and the gang have brought back BBAW, who else wants to bring back Audiobook Week this June?

Click on the image below for the Linky List of Day Three posts!BBAW2016

Chatting with Care: Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day 2 @BBAW @BkClubCare #BBAW

Interview Day! I promised in my BBAW Sign-Up post that I had been matched up with the most fun book blogger I know for Interview Day. It is Care from Care’s Books and Pie! (formerly Care’s Online Book Club)

Care is well known in the book blogosphere for her clever (over)use of tags; her love of pie (in her reviews, instead of stars, she awards slices of pie); and for her generosity in commenting. (She consistently shows up on my end-of-the-year stats as a top commenter on my blog, which I really appreciate!)

Care and I even met in person a couple of times, before she migrated southward, to North Carolina. Care snapped this group selfie at the Boston Book Festival in October 2012:

group selfie of three of us

Care and I both started reading Stephen King late in life, and we’ve done at least one read-along together (#ShineOn). I missed the Italong, but her enthusiasm for the audiobook version of King’s scary clown/scary small town story read by Stephen Weber convinced me to listen to all 45 hours of it!

photo of Care with big red clown nose on
Chatting with Care

Q: I love the new name! How did your blog name, Care’s Online Book Club, originate and why did you decide to change to Care’s Books and Pie?
A: I first started my book blog as an idea for my long-distance family to have a book club – a place we could meet and chat about books. If Facebook had been then like it is now, I probably would have done it there but since I already had a personal blog, I thought I might as well create a book blog, too. Unfortunately or fortunately, the people who stopped by to chat were other bloggers and wa la! I got caught up on the book-blogosphere community and have never looked back.

Q: How/when did your pie baking hobby begin?
A: I can’t quite recall when the pie obsession happened exactly, but it has been a long time. I just started experimenting with unusual pies and it evolved into wanting to be really good at pie pastry and then it became a goal to make a pie every month and then I started collecting pie recipe books and pie plates and being expected to bring pies to food events which turned into creating every pie in the book A Year of Pie by Ashley English in 12 months. That was 2013.
I thought it would be cute to rate my books with pie slices instead of stars. I have morphed into being a book and pie gal, I guess. Branded myself, so to speak.
I do get excited when I read about pie in a book, usually dropped into a scene. Stephen King usually has pie in his books, I’ve noticed. Now I try to keep track.

Q: Don’t you also have the hobby of letter-writing? How does it dovetail with your book blog?
A: Yes, I do love to write letters. In 2012, I set a goal to write a letter every day. I love stationery and pens. I find that book bloggers like to send and receive letters and many of my penpals are bloggers. Probably because of Twitter, to be honest, and now Instagram. How fun is it to get a letter then take a photo and brag about it?! while thanking the letter writer that their missive was received.
Books are great subjects in letters. “What are you reading? Here’s what I’m reading.”

Q: How many of your virtual book friends have you met in real life?
A: I met a ton of book bloggers at the 2010 BEA/BBC event! I roomed with Sheila of Book Journey; along with Kim the Sophisticated Dork and Esme of Chocolate and Croissants!! I mostly hung out with Jill who no longer blogs about books or seems to be online ever anymore.   Google's Loudly Crying Face
I have two exciting meetups to share:  Nancy the Book Fool and Judith (Leeswammes) all the way in the Netherlands!
I took a leap of faith or daring and crashed/stalked Nancy’s vacation to Charleston. SC. Then she came to Mass to visit me and we met Simon Van Booy… Not just MET SVB but had tea with him.  It is my top author-rockstar geekout fest memory.
photo-care-simonIn 2013, I had the opportunity to visit Europe, and Judith of Leeswammes’ Blog graciously agreed to meet me in Amsterdam. A true highlight of my trip!
And now, living in North Carolina, I can happily say I’m friends with Amy and Heather the Capricious Reader and Becca of I’m Lost in Books!

Q: What is the ONE biggest positive you can name for blogging?
A: Connections that have gone long past chatting about books and become what I hope are lifelong friendships. It is just awesome that our our book-blog-world is so positive and not nasty. I appreciate that everyone is so nice. Perhaps our discussions don’t go as deep for that, but I appreciate it anyway.

Q: Are you surprised at how blogs have evolved to include Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, etc? (This question and, except for the first three questions above, all the other questions, Care came up with and we both answered, so you can see my answers today on Care’s Books and Pie.)
A: I love Twitter and I hope hope hope it doesn’t get away from what I love about Twitter with algorithm-controlled feed display or whatever the latest threat was about. I attempted Tumblr but didn’t have the time to really ‘get it’, maybe. Facebook is for family. Twitter is just awesome, and we will see what the future does to blogging. I’ll keep writing snail mail letters (no offense meant to the lovely postal workers I do not mean to refer to as “snails”.) Not sure if I answered my own questions but we need to wrap this up, am i right?!


Book Blogger Appreciation Week is an annual week-long event originated by My Friend Amy in 2008 that ran for five years, and has now being brought back after a hiatus by The Estella Society.

BBAW2016Click on the image for the Linky List of Day Two interviews!