I thought the best way to round off a week of appreciating other blogs and neglecting my own (prizes to come, by the way, once I’ve examined all those new-to-me blogs you recommended – still time to join in if you’ve got a great one up your sleeve) is to give you an A-Z of blogging delight. Most of these relate to individual blogs, but not quite all… If you’ve not featured, it’s probably owing to difficulties with the alphabet, rather than deficiencies in your blog! If you have the energy, why not have a go at this yourself, and spread the joy?
The rather awesome alphabet come courtesy of Bygg, for more info click here.
– whose blog Gaskella is friendly, eclectic and geeky in the best sort of way, also shared my first ever blurb mention. More on that below…
– the wonderful series of reprint novels, many of which were initially recommended to Bloomsbury by bloggers. Case in point, one of my all-time favourite novels, and almost certainly the one which gets mentioned here the most – Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker.
– and her lovely blog Roses Over A Cottage Door. Darlene chooses her reading wisely, and if there ever was a blogger to award honorary British status to, Darlene is that blogger.
is for Elaine
– as I commented yesterday, Elaine’s blog Random Jottings was the first bookish blog I ever read, and my acquaintance with this doyenne of novels and opera has even led to the phrase ‘doing an Elaine’ – when you first encounter an author and immediately devour all their books.
is for Farm Lane Books
– which is Jackie’s blog, and consistently features books I’ve never heard of – always a delight when it comes to blogging, isn’t it?
is for Gatherings
– I love that blogging has spilled over into real life encounters. Whenever I head around the country, I pop in to see various blogging folk – and there’s a second mass meet-up on Saturday 25th September (and still room to join us if you’re interested!)
is for Hayley
– who writes the blog Desperate Reader, and shares my love of sidelined gems, as well as knowing more about whisky than anyone I know (or should that be whiskey, Hayley?)
is for Illustrations
– I love blogs for the books and words, of course, but I especially appreciate bloggers who go the extra mile and throw in beautiful or creative images. Step forward Claire of Kiss A Cloud and Janice of Janice’s Reading Diary (especially if you scroll back to her scrapbook-based entries) – visually at the top of the tree, I’d say.
is for Jodie
– who puts my favourite animal into her blog title, at Geranium Cat’s Bookshelf. Once I stop staring at the cat, and whispering “Here, kitty kitty!” under my breath, I’ll read the excellent posts…
is for Karen
– the sort of blogger who makes you prepare yourself to say “Oh, of course, I knew Karen before she was famous.” Karen – aka Cornflower – writes about a wonderful mix of books, always in a charming, friendly, and generally lovely way – and she is equally lovely in person. AND she hosts a monthly book group on her blog. AND she writes a whole other domestic arts blog – a woman to be admired, indeed.
is for Lyn
– the lady who has most influenced my reading choices, by introducing me to an email discussion list which, in turn, accompanied me through university, and continues to do so. The only Australian blogger I know, you’ll still find few more knowledgable about English fiction. L could equally have been for Librarian, for that is the hat Lyn wears by day.
is for Margaret
– who is the blogger behind Books Please, one of the first blogs I started reading, not least because Margaret started writing hers a mere two days after I started mine. Both still going strong!
is for Novel Insights
– so novel are Polly’s insights that I’ll forgive her for me accidentally pressing Ctrl N, rather than Ctrl B, and having a new window leap out of nowhere… Polly’s reviews are often delightfully enthused, and she is another blogger who is just as nice in person as on the (web)page.
is for Oxfordians
– which is my cunning way of including Becca (Oxford Reaer), Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell), Sophie (Embarrassment of Frivolities), Verity (Cardigan Girl Verity), Kirsty (Other Stories) and Harriet (Harriet Devine) – and me! – under the same heading. Oxfordshire and London seem to be the blogging centres of the UK, which meant I could organise the next meet-up in Oxford and not feel too selfish.
is for Paperback Reader
– since a different Claire had already nabbed ‘C’. Claire’s blog is another of my absolute favourites with a very identifiable cheery tone. Claire’s also one of the bloggers I’ve met most in real life, and it’s always a great pleasure to do so.
is for quilts
– and other similar crafty things… as someone who has two left hands when it comes to crafty activities, I am in constant admiration of the talents which so many bloggers – such as Ruth – bring to the table.
is for Rachel
– known to the world as Book Snob, and one of those blogs I’ve enjoyed watching deservedly escalate in popularity. Rachel’s reviews are always thoughtful and thorough, as well as radiating her warmth and kindness. It doesn’t hurt that we love the same sorts of novels – I can usually expect to either agree or anticipate a new delight. Even if we’ve lost her to New York for the year – look after her, U.S.!
is for Simon
– but in this case, not me! It’s for Simon S. – the arrival to the blogosphere of the very witty and incredibly popular Savidge Reads has meant that I’m Simon T rather than just plain old Simon – and there’s noone more fun and bookish to have as a namessake. (I have to say that, I’m sleeping at his house this weekend!)
is for Thomas
– who, along with Simon, makes up my name… but is also my other favourite male blogger with his erudite and friendly blog My Porch. As well as sharing his favourite reads, Thomas often puts up beautiful paintings – and has given me a chronic case of Shelf Envy.
is for Unknown Bloggers
– which sounds a bit like ‘The Unknown Soldier’, but isn’t meant to. What I mean is – as you’ve all shown me with the post earlier this week – the fun of blogging is that there are always unknown wonderful bloggers to encounter, as well as people joining the blogosphere for the first time.
is for Vintage Reads
– this blog is Nicola’s fairly occasional, but always delightful, journey through exactly the sort of books I love, showing that vintage need never mean dated.
is for Work in Progress
– another one of the first I ever read, this blog is the work of Danielle, and is dizzying in its depth and breadth, as well as boasting the most thorough list of blog links I’ve ever seen.
is for eggs (ahem)
– you try thinking of something for X! This is a celebration of the baking side of bookishness. Here at Stuck-in-a-Book we love a cup of tea and piece of cake while reading, and I love baking – even more than that, I love encouraging non-bakers to give it a go, and reading about other people’s baking exploits (and, most amusingly, disasters – I’m never shy to share mine!)
is for Young, Angela
– the author of Speaking of Love, one of the first books I was sent to review, the first I was quoted on the back of, and one of myvery favourite modern novels – this superb book represents many of the things I love about blogging, and the opportunities it brings about!
is for Zero to pay
– another rather weak link, I’m afraid, and the astute amongst you will notice that this ‘Z’ is in fact just the N turned sideways. Apologies… but I just wanted to finish with a celebration of the fact that all the joy we get from blogging and reading blogs is entirely free! Sure, it takes time, but all this fun and it doesn’t cost a penny…. not directly, of course, but I doubt I’m the only one who’s spent a great deal more on books since he started blogging….