Blog Hop: Beyond the Book

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Other than book reviews, what do you feature on your blog?

Along with reviewing books, I sometimes review movies or TV shows, which I kind of consider the same thing…I mean, it’s all stories.  I also post updates about my own writing each Wednesday, and I do some kind of internet-community/reflect-on-books thing each Friday, generally either the Friday Face-Off or this Blog Hop.  I usually check each one and decide which prompt I like better that week!  I post quarterly about my reading challenge updates, and I was doing a Sunday spiritual quote that I need to get started back up.  Oh, and I post a LOT about my writing when I have a new book coming out soon!

So it’s all pretty story-focused one way or another…which is, after all, supposed to be the focus of this blog!  I have other things in my life, but this space is all about the stories. 🙂

Blog Hop: Bookish Identity

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  When did you first know you’re truly a bookworm? Did you lose sleep over a novel?

I think I’ve always known I was a bookworm…?  My parents took me to the library weekly since I was toddler-age, and I memorized The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree before I could actually read (so I count it as the first book I ever “read”).  I had a book bag all through my childhood that I’d bring home full of books from the library every week.  So this dates back!

Reading was so normalized that I don’t know if there was a point when I realized not everybody read this much.  Probably somewhere in elementary school, I imagine, when I noticed the divide between people who liked sports and people who liked books (I’m sure some people cross over but the two camps seemed clear to me at age ten!)  Ironically, perhaps, my clearest memory that should have told me I was unusually fond of reading is of reading a book (!) where the kids got points for prizes for each page they read.  I was politely incredulous of the very low numbers of pages they were reading and counting as good…

I can’t say I really lose sleep over books.  I stayed up late recently to find out the ending of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but the previous book I can distinctly recall staying up late reading was Jane Eyre, five years earlier.  And I don’t lie awake thinking about books in a worrying or angsting kind of way.  One thing I like about books is that they don’t make me feel that way!

When did you discover you were a bookworm?  Do other people often lose sleep over books?

Friday Face-Off: The One Ring…

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Leap Year – One Ring to rule them all – A cover with a ring

I had some trouble thinking of one for this.  Well, actually, I thought immediately of The Secret of the Ruby Ring, but apparently that’s only ever had one cover, and it doesn’t show the ring anyway!  And then I got curious about how many covers for Lord of the Rings actually showed the ring…so I’m going with the possibly obvious Fellowship of the Ring this week.

This one certainly puts the ring front and center…although it’s so simple that if you didn’t know about the One Ring, it would kind of just look like a glowing circle!

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: The One Ring…”

Friday Face-Off: Puffy Dresses

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Meringue – the puffy dress? – Lots of covers with ‘big’ dresses

What a fun theme!  I thought of several books with impressively puffy dresses, but they only had one cover each.  And then I considered that my Jane Austen Book Club is currently reading Pride and Prejudice – and that’s a book with many covers.  I’m not sure “puffy” is exactly right for Regency fashion, but sure enough, puffy dresses abound.

I suppose this is Elizabeth and Jane?  Movie versions tend to make Jane blonde, but the book doesn’t actually say – though there is a reference to Elizabeth’s “dark eyes,” so she probably is a brunette.

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Puffy Dresses”

Friday Face-Off: A Kissing Book

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Romantic – “thus with a kiss I die”

I thought a bit about different romances I’ve enjoyed, and then hit on the classic “kissing book,” The Princess Bride by William Goldman, beautifully brought to life in the movie of the same name.  One of the greats, and a book I’ve been meaning to reread.  And happily, there are MANY covers.

I kind of enjoy the swashbucklingness of this one, even if it’s put Buttercup in the classic clinging-heroine pose.  But…that’s not altogether inaccurate.

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Blog Hop: Reading for Therapy

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What is your opinion of bibliotherapy? Do you think this is a useful way of dealing with psychological issues? If you’ve used it yourself, or know someone who has, what books(s) would you recommend?

I’ll admit I had to look up “bibliotherapy” for this question, but it appears to mean pretty much what I’d expect: reading as a component of therapy.  It seems to be not so much about reading instructive books, but reading in general, often fiction.  Here’s an interesting article on the subject.

So, now that we’ve defined our terms–as a very definite non-expert on the subject, I think it sounds like a good idea.  I don’t think it would be a substitute for other kinds of therapy, especially for people with very serious things to deal with, but as a component it seems like it could be helpful.  I’ve long said that Terry Pratchett books are my favorite cure for gloomy days!  And with more seriousness, I think exposure to stories, especially ones that are uplifting or have good messages, can be very positive for mental health.

On the flip side, sad stories or horror stories could have a negative impact, in the wrong moment for the wrong person!  So it’s not quite as straight-forward as “read anything, it will do you good.”

I once attended a very interesting presentation at a sci fi/fantasy convention about using Harry Potter books as a component of therapy.  I unfortunately don’t remember most of it, but what stuck was an anecdote about using Professor Trelawney’s story to combat anxiety.

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Friday Face-Off: Year of the “Rat”

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It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: Chinese New Year – Year of the Rat

I thought I’d take this broadly/slightly sideways and look at a cover featuring a mouse–who would probably be offended to be called a rat!  I thought of Tucker Mouse, most famously from A Cricket in Times Square, but my favorite of the series is Tucker’s Countryside.  And it seems appropriate to pick the book with his name in the title!

This cover is fun–it’s an action scene and Tucker is front and center.  Though he’s not looking his best.  He may even look a bit rat-like!

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Year of the “Rat””