Blogs I follow (4)

Library card catalogues (credit: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-card-catalog.htm)

We come now to the fourth (but unfortunately not the final) instalment in the Blogs I follow mini-series. Here is where I list the last few of the sixtyish WordPress sites with a literary focus that I’ve kept a watching brief on. Previous posts have featured creative blogs (both image and word-based) and those that concentrate primarily on book reviews. This post looks at blogs with a bookish bent (some reviews but mostly writing and authors), while those of a more miscellaneous nature (lifestyle, travel, philosophy … you get the drift) I’ll leave for a final instalment.

Again, these are mostly in random order, though I do separate active blogs from those which only post intermittently or may be classed as zombie blogs (still ‘live’ but to all intents and purposes ‘dead’) — though some I prefer to think of as sleeping beauties, waiting to be woken.

Continue reading “Blogs I follow (4)”

Threads

http://thegraphicsfairy.com/vintage-clip-art-phrenology-head-in-color/

I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space…

I’m not great with self-imposed challenges, as you may have noticed: I didn’t complete an author alphabet challenge a couple of years ago, barely started on an attempt to read more authors not from an Anglo-American milieu, stalling on my task of reducing my to-be-read pile of books. In fact by instinct I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet, strolling from one random title to another, as the mood takes me.

Only, my randonneur leanings may not be as random as I thought.

Continue reading “Threads”

Blogs I follow (3)

Books wot i should (re)read

This, the third in my series about, well, Blogs that I follow, features book review blogs — given that Calmgrove is mostly about reviewing books. Here is where I list those WordPress sites that mostly discuss books and things bookish. I follow some blogs that review books occasionally, but I shall pop them all in another post just to make these jottings manageable. (And perhaps also — whisper it — to drag this series out a bit.)

As before, these appear in no particular order and therefore no ranking of any kind is implied.

Continue reading “Blogs I follow (3)”

Magic, literature and landscapes

An old photograph of Dunluce Castle, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland: the ruins are a possible model for Cair Paravel in C S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia

What is it about literary landscapes that makes some of us want to be there? And when the places are fictional how can we still put ourselves in those spaces?

Continue reading “Magic, literature and landscapes”

Retrospective

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re past the halfway mark in this, er, interesting year — some would say a tumultuous year. I’ve found that, when successive local and world events each seem to exceed the previous in horror or bizarreness, reading has always been found some sort of consolation, balancing the sense of powerlessness that I sometimes feel at those times.

And then, as an exercise in looking back at my reading habits over the last six months, I compiled some basic stats which, with massive diffidence, I now share with you.

Continue reading “Retrospective”

Halfway

I’ve arrived at another checkpoint in my 2017 reading challenge set by My Reader’s Block blogger Bev, the Mount TBR Challenge. You may remember that this involves reducing the mountain of unread books produced by tsundoku. My task was to achieve the summit of Mont Blanc, that is, to read 24 books from my to-be-read pile. That meant I had to have consumed twelve books by the end of June. Did I achieve this waymarked total?

Continue reading “Halfway”

Independent Bookshop Week

An unashamed plug for independent bookshops, to be celebrated this coming week in the UK and Ireland. Much of the following comes from the IBW website at https://indiebookshopweek.org.uk/

Independent Bookshop Week (24th June – 1st July 2017) is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland.  They do this with events, celebrations, reading groups, storytelling, author signings, literary lunches, even face painting!  Your local bookshop will have their own way of celebrating, and IBW encourages you to visit to celebrate with them.

For those active on social media the campaign has a Twitter account for updates @IndieBound_UK and also another account @booksaremybag for all things IBW and bookshops. BAMB is also on Instagram and Facebook.

We’re also told that IndieBound is their umbrella independent campaign, which helps “promote healthy high streets, shopping local and the benefits that a diverse high street — with a bookshop at its heart of course! — can deliver to a community.”  IndieBound was started by the American Booksellers Association in 2008 as a “marketing movement”  for independent bookstores, part of a campaign for “fiscal localism”.

After you’ve let your fingers do the walking, following the links and so on, it must be time to use Shank’s pony to wend your way to your local bookshop — though that’s assuming you still have one. But hurry! By patronising it you may help to ensure it continues to survive and thrive. Use it or lose it!