Tag Archive | online

Bloggiesta? (reflective) – gearing up for book blogging challenges ahead

Where did the first quarter of 2012 go?
How can it be time for TWO back-to-back blogging challenges to start already?
Bloggiesta to the rescue! (love that logo)

Time to make sure BooksYALove is ready for the full-speed blogging journey ahead, so I’m doing some Bloggiesta mini-challenges this weekend.

My To-Do List:
1. Set up my first giveaway! Decide whether or not to use Rafflecopter – using Competitive Bibliomaniac’s tutorial/mini-challenge here
2. Add pages of titles & review links with big themes (dystopian, romantic, funny, etc) as another way for readers to connect with books – as noted in Charlotte’s mini-challenge – some done, more to come!
3. Add policy page about accepting books & formats, contest rules– thanks, Squeaky Books.
4. Prep every post for April with title, tags/labels, cover image & book info – put in queue for proper release day A-Z
5. Write & save tweets for each daily post to add to Bufferapp queue on night before post
6. Start investigating SEO (search engine optimization), with help from Good Books & Good Wine’s mini-challenge
7. Make sure it’s easy to find my contact information on the blog.

Whew! That’s plenty for one weekend, but should help me be ready to roll on the AtoZ Blog Challenge which begins Sunday, April 1st!
Stay tuned…

Ready, set, blog! (reflective) – blog challenges ahead

Did you ever get a “little set in your ways”?
Is it time to push your writing muscles a bit?
A blog challenge may be just what you need!

With over 150 book recommendations, BooksYALove heads into its 12th month with a wow, as I participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge in April.

Rather than just posting 3 books a week, I will be posting on 26 of April’s 30 days according to the Challenge’s alphabetical schedule, starting with A on Sunday, April 1 (no fooling).

Naturally, trying to align the alphabet with the stack of great YA books that I want to recommend isn’t as easy as I’d hoped. Using book titles would be simple – if I had some that began with X or didn’t have multiple titles that all start with the same letter. Ditto for authors’ names, last or first. So, there will be a few entries that get shoehorned into a letter slot because of their subject or a major character.

But why do a blog challenge in the first place? You’ve heard that it takes 30 days to acquire a new habit, so a month-long challenge with a set framework and some coaching will make your success more likely, as will being accountable to the challenge organizers and fellow bloggers as we exercise our blog-writing ‘muscles’ and encourage each other.

On April 30th, my blog’s first birthday, I’ll take another deep breath and plunge into the full 31-day Wordcount Blogathon, with a big thank-you to its host Michelle Rafter. Yep, I finally began blogging so that I could participate in the 2011 Wordcount Blogathon. Lots of excellent advice, a forum to share our posts, guest post exchange – you should sign up for the 2012 version, too! It’s free, you won’t get any sales pitches, and your blogging muscles will get great exercise. Sign-ups will begin soon, so I’ll remind you!

Ready, set, April!
(photograph of lichen on oak branch (c)2012 H.B. Massingill Jr. – thanks, Dad!)

Insanewiches, by Adrian Fiorino (book review) – super sandwiches, creative cooking fun

Fun Friday and ready to make your lunchbox the envy of everyone at the table with Insanewiches, an amazing album of edible art that you can make at home.

Wildly inventive sandwich artist Fiorino brings us clear instructions on how to design and construct A+ sandwiches from teeny Cutecumber ‘Wich to gigantic Quadruple Down. Grab your edible ink markers and amaze your lunch buddies with your own Insanewich.

Equipment and tools needed? Cataloged.
Best breadstuffs for intricate cut-out shapes? Listed.
Hunger-inducing color photos for each Insanewich? Absolutely!

If anyone can make a better sandwich than the Cordless Mousewich with USB Cheesestick or popular Rubik’s Cubewich, it’ll be Fiorino!
Be sure to check the Insanewiches blog for new recipes, contests, and other funny stuff.

Book info: Insanewiches / Adrian Fiorino. St. Martins Griffin, 2011 [author’s website] [publisher website] [book trailer] [Review copy and cover image courtesy of publisher]

My Book Talk: If the sandwiches in your life are boring, square, or blah, you need Insanewiches! No ho-hum PBJs in this collection of yummy toteables created for breakfast, party time, dessert, and even lunchboxes.

Try breakfast on a stick with Pancake Popwiches or open wide, wide, wider for the amazingly tall morning stack-up entitled The Breakfast Club (sandwich artist Fiorino advises that you eat no more than these per day – it’s that big!).

Take a “Don’t Eat Like a Bird” sandwich featuring a two-tone bread birdhouse shape in your lunchbox or assemble a sad, sad Flatbread Fred with delectable vegetable eyes and nose for a quick lunch at home.

Get adventurous with an East Meets Westdog (sushi + hotdog!) or the Cold Cut Cage Match (complete with wrestling arena on top!). King Me with the ham and cheese checkerboard, try to lift the Sumo Sandwich, or go all out with a Crazy Canuck Sandwich – dinner will never be the same again… Satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert-worthy Banana Splitwich, a clever Coffee ‘n’ Cakewich, or The Curious Carrot Cake Sandwich.

With 101 ideas for amazing, crazy Insanewiches to choose from, you’ll always have the tastiest plate in town, plus well-explained food-assembly techniques for making your own sandwich dreams a reality.

50 Jobs in 50 States, by Daniel Seddiqui (book review) – 1 year to find perfect job

Months of fruitless job-searching left USC grad Daniel exhausted and his parents unhappy that he’d had to move back home. But he decided to act on a seemingly wild idea to work in each of the 50 states, meeting their people as he tried out one of the jobs unique to each place. This Fun Friday feature is an autobiography that roves across America, in search of more than just a job.

You’ll want to read for yourself how he persevered in his dream, rising above his parents’ disapproval, the logistics of finding the right job in the right area during the right time, and the immense difficulties of funding travel all over the USA. Yes, Daniel wanted to do this challenge on his own terms, not bound to a corporate sponsor‘s restrictions on which jobs he could try or how many times he had to tout their product in his blog.

Along the way, he met more supportive people than naysayers, tried his hand at skills that he never knew existed, and learned more about himself than he ever imagined.

Coal miner? Did it. Amish woodworker? Satisfying work. Baseball scout? Lots of dreams and talent out there – like our roving pal, who shares the high points and lowest lows of his adventure with us, in a conversational way. I guess “Inspirational” should be Daniel’s new middle name!

Book info: Fifty jobs in 50 states / Daniel Seddiqui. Berrett-Koehler, 2011 [author’s website] [publisher website] [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: After many interviews yield no job, Daniel decides to hit the road and work his way across the USA – one iconic job in each state – to find out what he truly wants to do with his life.

You’d think that good grades in college and a great resume would guarantee a job after graduation, but that’s not always true. But instead of giving into despair and taking a minimum-wage job, Daniel turns his back on the months-long, frustrating search for a position in economics and hatches the idea of traveling the United States to discover where he should really be and what career would use his talents best.

It took four months to set up his first short-term job and even longer to scrape together some funding to travel. His parents thought he was wasting his time; his on-again-off-again girlfriend thought he was crazy – Daniel knew that he had to do this to find his way in the work-world.

Rodeo announcer in South Dakota, corn farmer in Nebraska, landscape architect in New Mexico – he met helpful people, learned new skills, faced trials and setbacks. Meatpacker in Kansas winter (frozen fingers), bartender in New Orleans during Mardi Gras (lotsa kinds of crazy), peanut sheller in Georgia (allergic reaction) – Daniel never gave up.

Sharing his adventures through the media and his own blog, this young guy from California inspired many folks facing challenges and job losses to keep on trying. Enjoy this talking-to-your-buddy autobiographical travelogue through all 50 states as you root for Daniel to find his niche and to find someone to share his journey through life. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

The contents, not the container

Terry Border makes weird things – Bent Objects, to be exact. And he concocted this still-life at the behest of his publisher. Yep, a book publisher asked for a sculpture that showed eReaders zooming way beyond printed books… anyone else see the ‘huh?’ in that??

Of course, it is the contents of books that we crave – the drama, the emotion, the relationships, the information, the humor – and sometimes the container doesn’t matter at all.

If I’m looking for a map of the Lewis and Clark Trail, I don’t care if it’s online, in a National Park Service guide, or in a library book.

I’ve read numerous books in bite-sized pieces delivered to my email by Daily Lit, as Advance Reader Copies through NetGalley, and in whole works through Project Gutenberg (and have even helped proofread some new digitizations there).

But our brains just don’t read text on the screen the same way that they read text on a page, according to researchers, as Thomas Larson notes in his overview of several recent books and studies on the two methods of reading.

I still love print books best for fiction, curled up in my chair, with a cat or two on my lap. No batteries to run down, no cords or mice (sorry, kitties), no overheating (laptops can be lapscorchers). The tactile experience of turning the pages of a book contributes to our reality of the reading experience.

I like real.