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#1 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Jennifer's Books

 

Please welcome a new blog post series called Follow Friday with book bloggers. Reading and blogging isn't a solo activity that's why we're reaching to you, our lovely community and encouraging you to share your reading life insights.

 

The Follow Friday posts will be published every Friday - surprise, surprise! The new series will be accompanied with the notification announcement, we don't want you to miss anything!

 

We wish you a pleasant reading, and great exploring and discovery time!

 

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Follow Jennifer's Books: http://stellarraven.booklikes.com/

 

What was the book that made you a book lover?

 

I've loved reading pretty much from the moment I learned how. But a couple of books I remember from my childhood that really spurred my love of reading were Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. I read the former so much my book literally fell apart, and the latter I wanted because I was age 8 myself at the time. The edition I owned was a mass market paperback sized book, and I remember feeling so grown up, because to me it looked like the books I saw my parents reading.

 

Chocolate Fever - Robert Kimmel Smith,Gioia Fiammenghi  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary  

 

What made you start writing about books/book blogging?

 

I wanted a way to share my love of reading with others, and to find others who were interested in the same types of books that I am.

 

Did blogging have an impact on your reading life?

 

I would definitely say so. I've connected to readers around the world, and instead of just finding others who are interested in the same types of books I am, I've been introduced to other genres I might not have otherwise read.

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

I like too many genres to list, but I'd have to say my favorites are historical fiction, crime/mystery, and romance (historical romance, romantic suspense, and PNR romance). They're special to me—well, at least as far as the romances go anyway, because I can usually** rest assured that no matter what the main characters go through it will all work out in the end, and I'll get my HEA.

 

      **In my opinion, one of the biggest betrayals there is in a romance novel is no HEA, or at the very least a HFN.

 

On your BookLikes blog you’re regularly sharing weekly art post, can you tell the story behind the concept?

 

I love classic art, and I love reading, and I thought that a Weekly Art Post would be a great way to combine the two. I try to choose paintings (and a few vintage photographs) that feature the subject of the piece reading or ones that at least feature a book in some way. I'm in my second year doing this, and it's been great fun choosing which pictures to feature.

 

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What are your favorite book covers?

 

As I mentioned in #7, I love classic art, so my attention really tends to be attracted by     books that use classic art/paintings or at least have that classic art kind of feel on their covers. I'm also really enjoying the covers for that Harry Potter illustrated editions.       

 

            Here's a few examples:

A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander  Silent in the Sanctuary - Deanna Raybourn  

Blood Magick - Nora Roberts

 

On your blog page you write: When I do write reviews, they may be just a few lines or rather lengthy. How does you review process look like?

 

I don't know that I have much of a process. A book has to really affect me—either positively or negatively—for me to write a detailed review these days. When I do decide to review, most of the time I end up just posting a few brief thoughts about the book.

 

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Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

I generally don't recommend books all that often. I have this irrational fear of recommending something to someone and they end up utterly hating it.

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

I generally prefer to read in my bed. And since a picture of my bed isn't all that thrilling, here's one of me on my bed, covered up with one of my cozy throw blankets with a book in hand. Not that that's all that thrilling either, but still...

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I enjoy both, but do tend to prefer paper books. E-books are so much easier to take along, though, whether on my phone or my kindle, it's nice to know that I am never without something to read.

 

Three title for a dessert island?

 

Oh man...what a tough question. How about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, (actually any of the HP books would do), And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and this may be a rather unconventional choice, but if I'm stranded on a deserted island I'm going to need at least one romance with me, so how about Lessons From a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes.

 

A book that changed your life?

 

As I mentioned before, I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, but if I had to point to one book that changed that love of reading into a need to read, it would have to be The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. I was in 7th or 8th grade and was allowed to choose a book from the high school section of my school's library, because I read at a higher-than-my-age level. I absolutely fell in love with the book, and used to check it out from my school's library all the time.

 

Favorite quote?

I actually have two I'd like to share, it that's ok:

 

 

      “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” - Charles William Eliot

 

 

      “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” - Ponyboy Curtis (The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton)

 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter books. I am so awed by the entire wizarding world set up by J.K. Rowling, and McGonagall is by far and away one of my favorite characters from the series. I think it would be so fascinating to be able to meet and talk to her. I mean, can you imagine the stories she must have?

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

Ok, this is not the best picture, but my book shelf is located in a awkward spot. I pretty much had to be a contortionist to get a decent shot without too much of the door getting in the way.  And there's a whole shelf on the bottom that I couldn't even get in the picture. I also have a book cabinet which houses the bulk of my books. I didn't take a picture of it, because my organizational plan in there is pretty much “stack them in there in such a way as to fit in as many as humanly possible”.

 

 

I want to thank Kate @ BookLikes for asking me if I'd like to do this! It was fun!

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You can also find Jennifer here:

BookLikes: http://stellarraven.booklikes.com/

 

 

#ReadingNOW: 10 Books From Your Shelves

We've peeked into your bookshelves and found some nice summer book picks!

 

And guess what, you can do a nice book hunt as well! If you're curious what titles other book bloggers are reading, all you should do is to choose the Book Catalog from the drop down menu and scroll down until the Currently reading section. Click the book covers to go to the book pages where you'll find other editions of the titles and the book reviews.

 

Oh my! Our TBR pile is getting bigger and bigger, luckily, the virtual bookshelf is endless :)

 

 

 

10 BOOKS FROM YOUR CURRENTLY READING SHELVES

 

 

So many books, such little time. is currently reading:

 

A High Mortality of Doves - Kate Ellis A High Mortality of Doves by Kate Ellis  

1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity.
Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace.
During the war Myrtle worked as a volunteer nurse with Flora Winsmore, the local doctor's daughter, caring for badly wounded soldiers at the nearby big house, Tarnhey Court.
When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London, a man not only wounded in war but damaged in peace by the death of his young son and his cold, loveless marriage... read more

 

 

Story of my success is currently reading:

 

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth - Chris Hadfield An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield  

Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield's success-and survival-is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst-and enjoy every moment of it.

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness... read more

 

 

Debbie's Spurts is currently reading:

 

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel (The Queen of the Tearling Book 3) - Erika JohansenThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen  

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies—including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable—she gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy—and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne... read more

 

 

~~ Elsbeth ❤❤❤ MM-Romance ~~ is currently reading:

 

Imago - N.R. Walker Imago by N.R. Walker  

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.
Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.
But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bow ties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.
Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books... read more

 

 

Reading For The Heck Of It is currently reading:

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing: A Novel - Madeleine Thien Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien  

Master storyteller Madeleine Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations―those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and their children, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the center of this epic story are two young women, Marie and Ai-Ming. Through their relationship Marie strives to piece together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking answers in the fragile layers of their collective story. Her quest will unveil how Kai, her enigmatic father, a talented pianist, and Ai-Ming’s father, the shy and brilliant composer, Sparrow, along with the violin prodigy Zhuli were forced to reimagine their artistic and private selves during China’s political campaigns and how their fates reverberate through the years with lasting consequences... read more

 

 

theguywhoreads is currently reading:

 

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger by Stephen King  

A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake. Inspired in part by the Robert Browning narrative poem, “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,”... read more

 

 

Familiar Diversions is currently reading:

 

No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Osamu Dazai,Usamaru Furuya No Longer Human, Volume 2 - Usamaru Furuya 

Furuya's adaptation of No Longer Human takes place nearly seventy years after Dazai's original. Set in modern day Tokyo, Dazai's tale details the life of a young man originally from a well-off family from Japan's far north. Yozo Oba is a troubled soul incapable of revealing his true self to others. A weak constitution and the lingering trauma from some abuse administered by a relative forces him to uphold a facade of hollow jocularity since high school. The series is composed of three parts, referred to in the novel as "memorandums," which chronicle the life of Oba from his teens to late twenties. The comic is narrated by the artist, Furuya himself playing the role originally held by the author Dazai, who makes appearances at the start of each volume. In many ways, it could be said that Furuya has traveled a path that may be similar to Dazai's. Maybe that is what led these two together after 100 years... read more

 

 

Bookish for life is currently reading:

 

American Gods - Neil Gaiman American Gods by Neil Gaiman  

A storm is coming . . . Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own... read more

 

 

BrokenTune is currently reading:

 

Queen Lucia - E.F. Benson,Wanda McCaddon Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson

England between the wars was a paradise of calm and leisure for the very, very rich. Into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas - La Lucia, as she is known - a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the subdued formality of her class.
With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, Lucia upends the greats of high society: the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and all the rest of the small English town that the British rich call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, fine art, excitement, and intrigue into this cloistered realm
... read more

 

 

AUDIO BOOK JUNKIE is currently reading:

 

Ms. Bixby's Last Day - John David Anderson Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson  

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves... read more

 

And what are you reading now?

 

[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

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A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

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Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

How to do Book Clubs: 5 reasons to join book clubs + 6 book clubs for July

 

Jenn presents book club's insights and some useful tips and tricks for creating, customizing and maintaining a Book Club using BookLikes.

 

Out of many we've picked these

5 reasons why it's great to join book clubs:

 

1. You chat about books

Reviewing is great but it's refreshing to immerse into the book debate.

2. Deadlines

You know the never-ending TBR list, right? Having a deadline date is a great excuse to lock yourself in the room to actually finish up a book for the book club meeting/posting.

3. You read outside your comfort zone

You will open the books you would never read otherwise, e.g from the genres you though you wouldn't enjoy.

4. You make other people read your beloved titles

Here's your chance to introduce your faves to other readers.

5. You meet people

Who said that reading should be done solo? Book club reading is buddy reading. Let's do it together and have fun!

 

Please scroll down to find Book Clubs running at BookLikes in July. All readers wishing to join and participate in the buddy read(s) are more than welcome!

 

Let's do Book Clubs together!

 

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Post by Jenn from Murder by Death

 

Creating, customising and maintaining a Book Club using BookLikes

 

 

I’m still a novice myself at using BookLikes Book Club functionality, but I thought I’d write up something about how to set one up, make it your own and maintain it as well as share my thoughts about my experience so far.

 

I’ve created a fake group for the purposes of this post, and most of the screenshots will represent what the creator of a book club will see; I’ll try to note when there are differences, and I’ve taken a couple of screenshots from a non-admin user’s perspective as well.

 

Both as a user and creator, you can find the Book Clubs in the Dashboard menu, under, obviously enough, “Book Clubs”:

 

 

This takes you to the Book Club Discovery page, and you’ll see here a list of current book clubs:

 

 

I’ve highlighted two sections here:  the first, along the top, is useful for discovering new book clubs you might like to join, because it allows you to filter the list of clubs by the language the club is set up to use and to sort the results by club members (how many members the group has), Book number (how many books they’ve read so far), or date added.  Whichever of the three you choose to filter by you can further specify ascending or descending order - an up or down arrow is next to each choice.

 

The second section, headlined My Book Clubs, shows in the upper section the book clubs you’ve created, the link to create a new book club, and underneath, a list of those clubs you’ve already joined.  The next part of this post concerns creating a new book club, although anyone participating in a book club will find handy tips here too (I hope).

 

If you click on the Create a Book Club link you’re taken to the book club creation page:

 

 (This screenshot is a bit smaller, sorry - I had to shrink it to get it all in one shot.)

 

A lot of this is self-explanatory: Name is the name of your book club, of course.  But Picture might not be immediately apparent:  it’s the small picture that will display next to your book club name on the main club page.  Image size guidelines are listed; I definitely recommend adhering to the dimensional suggestions as the minimum size; I tried using smaller images and they didn’t look good at all.

 

Background picture is the large image that appears behind the book cover and user avatars on your bookclub page.  (An example of which is below.)

 

 

Description allows you to describe what kind of club you’re aiming at having:  non-fiction? science-fiction? mystery? romance?  All of the above?

 

Terms is the place you define the rules of your club - BookLikes has provided some basic ones there in the box, but if you want to add your own, you can.  Just be warned that when you start typing in that box, you’ll lose those suggested ones (that’s why they’re in the faded grey color).

 

Club language is the official language of the book club and BookLikes uses it to filter the clubs on the club page by language.  What you set here doesn’t have to be the only language welcome in the club, but it will be the only one the club will appear under.

 

Private allows you to make the group open to the public (No) or open to invitation only (Yes).  If you mark the club private, I believe it still shows up in the list, and people can request admission, so it’s private, but not hidden.

 

Choosing Yes for Public Voting for Next Book truly makes the club a group effort, and a democratic one.  Instead of one of the admins choosing the next group read, this allows an ongoing public submission for title suggestions and a voting function; the admin still has to set the next book and read dates, but can do so by public opinion. 

 

Once you’ve completed the form, click Create Book Club and you’re now the proud creator of a new book club:

 

 

(Clicking edit again, will allow you to edit the details of the club, or delete it - the delete club button appears in the lower right corner of the page.)

 

If you’re joining a book club, not creating one, the screen you’ll see will look like this:

 

 

Both screens have the tabs across the top:  Club, Members, Previous Books and Next Books.  The next section differs:  Admins can add next book and edit the group, while non-admin users can leave club if you find it’s not the right fit for you.  The leave club button is also located in the lower left corner.  (Creators can’t leave their own creation - Dr. Frankenstein tried that once and it didn’t end well.)

 

I’ve also highlighted one of the notification settings for book clubs - this one allows you to turn on or off the notifications for new members joining the group.  Notifications for new posts and discussions is on a different page.

 

If you chose to allow voting you’ll see, under the Next Books tab, the input fields where you can add books and vote on them (admin and non-admin members alike):

 

Add proposition is the field where you can suggest a book - it works exactly the same as the general book search - enter the title, author, or ISBN/ASIN, wait for the results, and choose your book.  If it’s a book you want from your BL shelves, wait until the search results appear, then choose the Search my shelves button at the bottom of the results.  Each book appears on the list, along with a voting button and a running tally of the number of votes each book has received so far.  If you added the book, BL assumes you’re also voting for it, so each book starts with 1 vote.

 

Admins will see a slightly different layout next to each book entry:

 

 

I believe clicking remove will remove a vote (?).  Select book will choose that book for the next month’s read (or any future read, you set the dates, so you can choose several books at once) and delete will take the book out of the voting entirely.  There is no ‘end’ date to voting, so don’t think of this function as a one-time polling as much as it is an on-going, revolving suggestion list that books can move up (or down) and off of over time. 

 

As an admin/creator, once you’ve selected the book, it appears at the bottom of the page along with fields to enter the start/stop dates:

 

 

Clicking on the Start reading date and/or Finish reading date brings up the small calendar, allowing you to click to choose your dates.  Note that BL does require a Finish date and will error out if you try to leave it blank.  These dates are just a guide, however.  Make the reading time span as long or as short as you’d like.  Just remember that BL uses the dates to send notifications of upcoming reads, and moves the book from Next Read to Previous Reads after the finish date, but that’s pretty much the extent of it.

 

If you set up your club without the option of voting, then the Admin chooses the book or books using the select book search field and setting the dates in much the same way, they just don’t see the voting list at the top.

 

 

Each book (if you’ve planned ahead and chosen several, they will all be listed) has edit, delete and  show next to it for admins; non-admins just see the show button.  Edit allows you to change the dates, delete removes the book from the list, and show takes you to the main book club page

 

Now the book club is setup, the book is chosen and you’re ready to go.  From an Admin’s point of view, the only other thing you need to know how to do is, unfortunately, block members.  Spam happens to the best of us and when it does the best thing to do is quickly delete it, block the member and move on.  To delete a discussion thread or just a post, go into the thread with the spam:

 

 

If it’s just the post, use the delete post link that’s along the top of the post; if it’s a spam thread, use delete discussion, found at the top of the page.  After you’ve cleaned up the spam, use the back to club button to go back to the book club page:  

 

 

Click the Members tab:

 

 

Not incidentally, this is where you can invite new members to join your book club, but for blocking, click the manage members link.  This takes you to the membership information page:

 

 

From here you can see a list of blocked members, if there are any, and you can set admin notification for both new members and new discussions.  At the bottom of the page is a Members list, and, I have to say, I don’t know if it’s just my browser that does this (Safari/Mac) or if it’s the same with all browsers, but the layout of the members list is kinda wonky and can be hard to read; the avatars overlap.  But if you ignore that, you can see each member’s name and there are options next to each one: you can remove the user, block the user or switch on Admin functions for that user.  Admin functions include being able to delete discussions or posts but does not, unfortunately, allow them to block or remove other users.

 

The only other facet of the book clubs I’ve not yet mentioned it their link to a discussion group.  I found this a tad confusing in the beginning because all book clubs have discussion groups, but not all discussion groups are book clubs.  Book club discussion groups work exactly like the ‘other’ discussion groups and clicking on the discussion group link from any of the book club pages will take you to the book club’s discussion group.

 

The most important tip I think I can share is regarding discussions and notifications.  Maybe it’s just me, but I love the BL dashboard so much, I find I rarely leave it to go anywhere else.  I read my friends’ posts and reading status updates, and comment right then and there and it’s just too convenient.  It’s my personal theory that if there were some way to easily and gracefully incorporate discussion threads into our dashboards they would see a lot more activity.

 

But I digress; my point is that what does help is making sure your notifications are turned on for the posts and discussions you don’t want to miss.  The easiest place to do this from is the discussion thread itself:

 

 

For new discussions, you can choose all (email and dashboard flags), notification only (dashboard flags only) or none

 

For notifications about individual posts in discussion threads, you can use yes (not choosing yes means no - no notifications at all).  If you choose yes, you can then choose manual, which means you must turn notifications on in the individual threads you want to be notified of activity in, or you can use the all / notification only / none options, which work the same way as above, and apply to all comments in all threads.

 

The last feature I want to point out is one I really think is nice:  the book club page (the fancy one) collects all the recent club discussion posts and any recent blog posts book club members have made about the book and presents them all underneath the club roster and countdown.  It’s a bit difficult to get a screenshot that does it justice, but I’ve tried to, using a currently active book club, to give you an idea:

 

 

It really makes a nice one-stop dashboard for book club activity and updates automatically.

 

Well that’s pretty much it - as I said at the beginning, I’m still a newbie with book clubs but I think BookLikes has designed them really nicely, and they have great potential (especially if we get an option to integrate them into our dashboards!).  If I missed anything, and I’m sure I did, please mention it in the comments below.

 

Hope to see you all soon in a book club!  :)

 

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Take a tour and join Book Clubs this July

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN BUDDY READ

 

 TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Book to Movie Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Virtual Speculation Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Series Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN More historical than Fiction Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Mindfulness Books Book Club

 

Buddy Read starts today!

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf

It's July 7th and this means that the buddy reading for "The Invention of Nature" by Andrea Wulf starts today! Everyone wanting to participate in the read is warm welcome!

 

You can read more about the book on the book page HERE (or click the cover on the left) and in Jenn's, the buddy read's initiator, post HERE.

 

Please join the book club hosted by Jenn from Murder by Death to participate in the buddy read and to share your thoughts.

 

Click HERE to take a tour and join the Book Club for The Invention of Nature.

 

If you'd like to add a discussion post, look at the discussion threads created for each chapter of the book - they are HERE. Once you join the Book Club the discussion group will become automatically open for you.

 

Once you're a book club and discussion group member make sure to switch on the notifications on the top of the discussion threads to stay up to date with the book discussions' post.

 

Click HERE to look at the chapter discussions and join the club.

 

 

If you're using Facebook, you can also join the Buddy Read event. Click HERE to view and join the Facebook buddy reading event. To invite more readers, please share the event among your friends and family.

 

 

 

Buddy reading sounds like a lot of fun! Can't wait to see your discussions and reviews!

 

Happy reading!

Bye bye June, Hello July!

 

Six months checked and six still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers June reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge. Click the blogs' headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers.

 

Scroll down to view more June reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers. 

Happy reading!

Five months checked. Seven still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers May reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge.

 

Click blog's headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers. Scroll down to view more May reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers.

Happy reading!

Five months checked. Seven still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers May reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge.

 

Click blog's headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers. Scroll down to view more May reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers.

Happy reading!

 

 

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. MaasThe Hate U Give - Angie ThomasHim - Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) - Lauren Graham, Lauren Graham

9  books

31 total  

9  audio

2  ebooks 

1   library  book ... read more

 

 

A Morbid Taste for Bones - Ellis Peters The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart Nightshade for Warning - Bailey Cattrell Storm in a Teacup - Helen Czerski

12 books read in June.  Not my highest month, but respectable by any measure.

5,332 pages read for a total of 37,037 pages read so far this year.  At the halfway mark of the Reading Challenge I've read 144 books out of the 200 slated for the year.  My second half of the year is always a slower reading time, so I feel like I'm actually right on track.

Just the one 4.5 star read this month: Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski... read more

 

 One of Us Is Lying - Karen M. McManus If I Fix You - Abigail Johnson Dodge The Girl from Everywhere - Heidi Heilig Underwater - Marisa Reichardt

This year, June has been a month from hell...It started out with my birthday/Open House for my daughter, then a few days later her graduation ceremony, that all went okay...just very hectic.  Two days after my oldest daughter graduated high school, my youngest daughter and I went up the road a mile to Subway and came home and a car had driven into our house.  Like, seriously, drove through the front porch and the garage...then proceeded to go through the wall of the garage into the woods behind the house, where he hit a tree.  

Anyway, my reading hit a bit of slump (as in I found it hard to concentrate on reading and listening at all), with everything going on lately... read more

 

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig Ghost Box: Voices from Spirits, ETs, Shadow People & Other Astral Beings - Paulette Moon, Chris Moon The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales - Mark W. McGinnis The Furthest Station - Ben Aaronovitch

I can't believe June is over already! Where does the time go? I must be getting old. Or working too much.

I finished 5 books this month. 4 of them from Netgalley, oops! I seem to have lost control again and have 6 more from them to keep me from my A-list reading, but 3 are cooking and craft books and they go fast... read more

 

June was an excellent month of great books, and my second 5.0 Star read this year!
With all the activity going on this month in real life, I hadn't been sure if I'd have much time to read.  Lots of excitement with relatives visiting and a wedding... life was pretty hectic.  And then, on top of that, I STILL haven't gotten back into my normal sleep schedule.  Everything is off, I'm waking up at weird times, sleeping at weird times... not getting enough sleep...
And it probably doesn't help that I've been reading mysteries before going to bed... read more

 

If you've missed June wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, and feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

June Wrap-Up by Tannat ->

If you've missed May wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

Book Bloggers May Reading

Book Bloggers May Reading->

April in books ->

2017 March Reads ->

Look back at the February books->

January wrap-ups! ->

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

[Guest post] Spiritual Writing: the most read genre of all

 

We're happy to welcome Nataša Pantović Nuit, an author of 9 mindfulness books and spiritual researcher and trainer, on BookLikes blog. Nataša introduces the subject of spiritual writings, and we have to confess that we've learned a lot form this short piece. We wish you all inspiring and spiritual reading. And writings!

 

All readers are invited to join Nataša's Giveaways.

 

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A guest pos by Nataša Pantović Nuit.

Follow Nataša's on BookLikes ->

Nataša Pantović Nuit's author page ->

 

If you are into “Spiritual writings” you are probably already pre-warned and have experience more than a few expectations and accusations instantly associated with this amazing genre. To be fair, throughout the history this was the most read genre of all. Remember the “eternal” classics such as: Bible, Koran, Baghavagita, to mention just a few, that have earned the reputation of the “best sellers” of all times. Whether in English speaking countries or within the countries of the East, the books that took the attention of the millions were “Spiritual” writings, talking about eternal love, happiness, or damnation.

 

Even within the ancient marketing, it was clearly understood that if a book is written by God, it stands a much better chance to win huge audience. Paradoxically, if you are a believer, all the books are by force written by God or influenced by His or Her Majesty, cause God as an Omni-potent entity must surely encompass the world of writing, yet a claim that the words are directly channeled by Holy Spirit (a messenger of God) is quite a popular one. Yet the competition within the world of Holy Spirit followers is quite tough, surely such experiences must be unique and sacred, so the other people’s assentation of the same, was at times guarded by deathly sword.

 

Within the competition of who is more “enlightened”, and closer to God, only “the best” could possibly survive. Some tradition have decided to keep this “spot” reserved only for the karmic few, by birth given rights, some others chose a complicated hierarchical process that after the completion give their God representatives the full trust.

 

Moving a step away from the Holy Books, and mind you this was not easy, there were times when only Holy Books were readily available for folks around the fire gathered to read, the written word was once “sacred”. If it is “written” then it must be true. Pope Innocent the VIII (we are talking 15the century) embraced a book written by two German Dominican Monks, called the “Malleus Maleficarum”, the Witches' Hammer, the hunting manual and blessed it, giving to the Inquisition all the power and tools needed to act against this so-called evil, called: women, resulting in killing some-say millions.

 

The Malleus Maleficarum - Montague Summers,Jakob Sprenger,Heinrich Kramer All wickedness, is but little to the wickedness of a woman. ... It is written in the manual.

 

What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colors... Women are by nature instruments of Satan - they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation.

 

A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

This book was printed and re-printed many times in the centuries to follow, “the  Witches' Hammer became the bestseller, the hit amongst different classes, and was passed from hand to hand, read aloud in Churches, and on the village squares, stored in special places, with the Bible, consulted in the dark corridors of the torture chambers. The best Hunters would know it by heart, reciting it as a deepest wisdom against poor women. Printed, reprinted and translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, it outsold all other books except the Bible!” (a quote from A-Ma Alchemy of Love, my spiritual historical fiction book, that explores the 17th century China).

 

Note: Personally, I have a deep interest for this amazing time: the 16th and 17th century when the printed books became available and we finally entered the era when our ancient scripts are readily available for us to read, compare, and thoroughly research.

 

Back to the modern times, did you know that within the world of our most powerful Internet, the words that still win the most of our “human” interest are: God, sex and love. I bet this does not surprise you!

 

Writing and talking about “enlightenment”, “love” and “God”, we ought to learn our reputation either as an eligible representative of a religious structure or as a “Spirit” filled individual that allows this “Divine “ force to flow within ones life.

 

Detaching the “psychological” tools from the religious connotations is always a difficult process and it risks "charlatans" invading the space of Gurus, Philosophers, Sages, Priests, and Spiritual Researchers promising an "instant happiness", a "curse" or a "pink pill" that cure all the diseases and bring immense wealth.

 

Whether you approach your spiritual writings with the “mind” or with “heart” filled with “Divine” flow, this will not be an easy journey, yet with the "Rightful Effort", under the shade of inspiration, and within the worlds of a constant ever-expanding self-development training, working with Virtues, Creativity, Changing Habits, etc., you might be able to truly “break” into this most amazing market.

 

Giveaways!

 

ENTER TO WIN ->

 

ENTER TO WIN ->

 

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Artof4Elements (htttp://www.artof4elements.com) is a Mindfulness Training and self-help Publisher that publish books, audio, and video materials in areas of Mindfulness, Meditation, Self-Help, New Thought, Alternative Health, Nutrition, and Conscious Parenting.

 

In March 2014, Artof4Elements developed and launched the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Series of 9 fiction and non-fiction books, authored by 7 authors, focusing on spiritual growth, creativity and mindfulness.

 

Nataša Pantović Nuit is a Maltese Serbian Author of 9 mindfulness books, a spiritual researcher and trainer, whose work focuses on spirituality, alchemy, conscious parenting, and self-development.

 

You can find Nataša Pantović Nuit on BookLikes:

Follow Nataša's on BookLikes ->

Nataša Pantović Nuit's author page ->

 

5 Reading tasks for your bookish Summer

It's reading Summer time, let's keep ourselves busy - with reading! Discover these amazing reading lists and book clubs ready to make your Summer even more bookish. Join and keep on reading!

 

Buddy Read Open Invite

via Murder by Death

 

The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea WulfLillelaraBrokenTuneSusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady, and myself are all going to participate in a buddy read of The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf starting on July 15th (or very close to - subject to library availability).

 

If anyone would like to join us, we welcome everyone.   :)

Read more and join ->

 

 

Bookish Delights blogger shares Summer books you can't miss!

Summer is coming.

Now, after I've made that trying- to-be ASoIaF reference, it's time to talk about books! This time of the year is all about light. easy, enjoyable read no matter if you are somewhere on the beach with salt in your hair or lying in your aparment under the air conditioner.
I loved and utterly enjoyed every book listed below and highly recommend you read them!...

Read more in here->

 

 

COYER Summer Vacation 2017 Summer Reading List

 

This is Tea, Rain, Book's summer reading list. As per the rules, 30 books to start; for every 5 books read and reviewed, 5 books can be added to the list.

For rules and to sign up, please go to http://coyerchallenge.com/2017/05/20/coyer-summer-reading-list-sign-now-challenge-starts-june-17th/.  

Join and read on->

 

 

Top 20 Best New Summer Reads Coming July

What a line up of talent.  Someone "lock me in" with no interruptions!

Check the best July beach titles ->

 

 

TOR Monthly Free e-Book

Once a month, publisher TOR offers a free e-book. Let's read it!

Read more ->

Which country reads the most? Travel guide for book lovers [Infographic]

Summer time made us think of summer travels. Travels and books go well together, right? And what's a better place to visit than the one filled up with people alike, other book lovers? Lets read on and pick your summer destinations based on global reading habits.

 

So, where is your next summer stop?

 

Infographic via Global English Editing

Source: http://geediting.com/blog/world-reading-habits

Bloggers write: Why I love circus books

 

A guest post by Lora from

 

Every child is enchanted by the idea of the circus at some point in their young life. For me, this began with the story of Toby Tyler, by James Otis, alternately titled Ten Weeks with a Circus. The story was also made into a movie called Toby Tyler as well as a radio dramatisation.

 

As I became an adult, I learned that the way animals were treated in the real life circus could be brutal at times and the big cats, whom I loved most, spent their lives in cages the size of a train car. Circuses are actually not legally allowed to keep animals in the UK. So, for me, the magic of the circus is relegated to fantasy; to the world of books.

 

While fiction satisfies my fascination with life behind the scenes of the circus, some non-fiction books are also very interesting, relating what this life was really like in the days when there was no regulation to speak of to keep the activities of circus folk completely legal. While circus is primarily a performance profession, there was a time when 'hooch tents' and violations of prohibition played a significant role on the seedy side of traveling entertainment.

 

Some stories relate this side of circus life as openly as the non-fiction books, like Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The author did her research well and many incidents, including a very amusing situation involving an elephant stealing lemonade, came from real anecdotes from circus people. There are some sad incidents concerning animals in the annals of real circus life as well, but these I try to avoid.

 

Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus - James Otis Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

 

Circus books are my fantasy circus, where animals are never mistreated and it's all about the magic of entertainment. I am, however, fussy about authors doing their research properly. I have an aunt who traveled with the carnival in her youth and she taught me the differences between the circus and the carnival. A fast way to get me to abandon a book is to write in a carnival setting and mention a Big Top or to refer to circus people as Carnies.

 

These worlds have a few things in common, but distinct differences. I loved how Stephen King got around all that in Joyland  by setting the story in an amusement park owned by someone who had worked for both the circus and the carnival sometime in his past.

 

Joyland - Stephen King Mr. Stubbs's Brother: A Sequel to Toby Tyler (Illustrated Edition) (Dodo Press) - James Otis

 

I recently found another book by James Otis on Amazon, Mr. Stubbs's Brother: A Sequel to Toby Tyler. It was even free! Naturally this is high on my tbr, but I want to re-read Toby Tyler again first. These circus stories bring out my inner child and for just a little while, allow me to enter a world where it's all about the magic.

 

A Spark of Justice - J.D. Hawkins Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus - Bruce Feiler The Advance Man: A Journey Into the World of the Circus - Jamie MacVicar

 

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If you missed the Book Love Story blog posts by BookLikes bloggers have a look here and join. Can't wait to read and re-post your book love stories! Remember to add why I love tag to your book love story.

 

Giveaways: win free books and give your titles away

If you have books to spare, want to promote and popularize you titles, give your books a second reading life, please do! With the giveaway program you can give the titles away as well as win ARCs and review copies right now.

 

Hey, I want to create a giveaway!

 

If you haven't visited the Giveaways page yet, it's hight time. Let's start with setting up a new giveaway and them we'll move on to winning some free books.

 

The giveaway can be started by all BookLikes members, readers, writers, publishers. To make you giveaway happen press the upper menu and choose Giveaways.

 

 

The very first giveaways page presents available books. Let's leave the free books aside (what?!?) and proceed to the next tab called Create your Giveaway:

 

 

The giveaway form is short and easy to follow, let's have a look at the specific spots with short descriptions:

 

Search the book title -- this will save your work and time. Once the book is found in the BookLikes catalog almost all book information will be filled up automatically (based on the details available on a book page): a book cover, a title, an author, a description note, and a book language -- they will pop up once the book is found.

 

If the book is not in BookLikes catalog, you can fill up all the date manually and upload the book cover image.

 

Fill up the giveaway dates -- the start date and the end date.

Please have in mind that if you choose a future date, you'll schedule the giveaway to go live accordingly to the start date, until then it will stay hidden and invisible for the readers and guests.

 

We've noticed that the giveaways lasting 2-4 weeks are the most effective but it's up to your how long your giveaway will last.

 

Copies -- how many books do you want to give away? 

That's easy. Decide how many books copies you're willing to share.

 

Select winners -- who will pick the winners: you or BookLikes?

If you appreciate when the hard work is done for you, choose BookLikes algorithm. This means that BookLikes will choose the winning readers based on the bloggers' reading history, BookLikes activities and other attributes. 

 

 

If you wish to create more personal bonding with the winners, choose me.

This means that when a reader requests your book he/she will have to answer the questions "Why do you want to read this book?" and you'll receive all the notes and when the giveaway comes to an end you'll be able to choose the best answers = winning readers. We highly recommend the me option :)

 

Book format

All book formats are available, you can giveaway paper books (hardcover, paperback, mass market), e-books and audiobooks. Make sure to choose a right format for your giveaway.

 

If you wish to give away the title in different formats, please create a separate giveaway for each book format.

 

Let's move on:

Book ISBN: to make sure which book edition you're giving away, add the ISBN number.

 

Book language: the language will be added automatically if you searched the book via BL book catalog, if it won't be added, select one.

 

18+: Make sure to notify if the book is restricted to adults only. then the giveaway entry will receive a special note:

 

 

Comment & Video comments: tell the readers more about the titles, add your own insights and a video link to engage more readers.

 

 

Available for countries: This spot is important manly when you;re giving away paper books -- before choosing the countries the book(s) will be available for you should take into consideration the shipping time and costs (remember that it is the giveaway creator who is responsible for the shipment)

 

Book categories: select up to 5 genres the book falls into.

This information will help readers decide whether the title is for them. 

 

 

Before making your giveaway public, read the terms, tick the agreement and Save.

 

Now you just have to confirm your giveaway and it's all ready - your giveaway is on! Congratulations!

 

By the way, did you know that you can share the Giveaway news by using the giveaway widget (menu->Goodies->Widgets)? The widget can be added to your BookLikes webpage (copy the code and paste it in the customization tab in the Widget Area) or any other www webpage of yours.

 

Let's go back to the main Giveaways page (menu->Giveaways) and let's have a loot at the other tabs:

 

 

Giveaways tab: the main page where all BookLikes giveaways are listed

Create your giveaway: a short form to create your own giveaway

Giveaways I've entered: a list of giveaways you take part or you took part (if the giveaway came to an end it will have the finished  note in the upper right corner.

My giveaways: the giveaways you've created, i.e. books you're giving away to other readers

 

Important! When your giveaway comes to an end you'll receive a notification that the winners are ready to be picked. Click the link from the notification or simply go to your giveaway and select the winners. Once it's done you'll receive the winners contact information on the very same giveaway page.

 

Now all you have to do it to send the books and set up a new giveaway!

 

 

Hey, I want to win free books!

 

The main Giveaways page presents the sneak peek into each giveaway with some core information. You can also use the filters and sorting options or just scroll down to look for a perfect book match.

When searching the giveaways, remember to pay attention to the countries the book is available for. If you've found your next read, press Enter to win.

 

 

The next steps depend whether the book is a paper book or not.

 

If it's a paperback/hardcover/mass market paperback you'll be required to fill up the postal address and hit Request button.

Please add your correct data, otherwise the author won't be able to mail you the book you've won.

 

If you've chosen the digital copy (e-book or audiobook) you'll be asked to confirm your e-mail address (the same as the one your BookLikes account is created on). Hit I want this book and Request if the e-mail address is correct.

 

Please make sure to use the correct and up to date e-mail address. Otherwise, the author won't be able to send you the book you've won. If you want to update your e-mail address you can do it anytime in the general Settings (menu->Settings).

 

 

Important! If you won the book you'll receive a notification (Congrats!), the author of the giveaway should inform you how you can collect your free book. Your e-mails and addresses are visible only to the author and cannot be seen or used by anyone else.

 

Now all you need to do it to visit the Giveaways page, choose your next read and wait for it :D

 

 

Happy reading!

Author Talks: Chasing the elusive book review + Giveaway

Rod Raglin shares his insights on the book review long wait from the Indie Author perspective. Let's read on. And review.

 

Those of you who are interested in receiving the review copy of Rod Raglin's newest novella The Rocker and the Bird Girl, please request the titles on the giveaways page. Read & review here.

 

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A guest post by Rod Raglin,

Follow Rod Raglin's blog here

 

The Local Rag - Rod RaglinMy first novel was published seven years ago followed by six more with the most current one, The LOCAL RAG, released last October .

 

Over that period of time I've had a total of about thirty reviews - that's for all books combined, non-duplicated. They've appeared and can actually be read on Amazon,

Goodreads, and Library Thing.

 

I've had a few other reviews on personal blogs, and there may even be more out there I'm not aware of.

 

I confess I actually paid for three on Reader's Favorite Book Reviews, but never again. Despite the assurances from paid for review sites that the fee does not guarantee a positive review I can't reconcile this practice with my own conscience.

 

So how does an indie author get honest reviews since reviews apparently sell books?

 

I say apparently because I don't know otherwise. My experience has been a few reviews equal a few sales. Would a whole bunch of reviews translate into a whole bunch of sales? I can't say for sure because...well, you figure it out.

 

As a journalist I was trained to not to assume anything and take nothing for granted. I strongly urge other indie authors to do the same. As far as unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims, the charlatans in the  writing/publishing industry rank right up there with those affiliated with miracle cures and get rich internet scams.

 

But I digress. How does an indie author get honest reviews?

 

I've tried book giveways here, on LibraryThing, Goodreads and StoryCartel. I've offered my books as pre-orders, discounted and free. I've uploaded them to sites like WattPad and Inkitt. I've sent hundreds of free e-books attached to personalized e-mails. I keep an up-to-date website, tweet everyday and even blog, as you are no doubt aware.  

 

I have yet to establish any link between WattPad, Inkitt or any social media site to reviews or book sales, unless after reading this you decide to buy one of my books and post a review (let me know if you do).

 

Media reviews or other established review outlets like Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal seem reluctant to review your book unless it's successful(?) or at least traditionally published.

 

In desperation I checked out a site called The Indie View. If you're inclined to read and subsequently write reviews of the work of independent authors you're invited to add your name to their list, which is quite substantial.

 

If you're an author and fishing for reviews the site provides you with the name of the reviewer, their website, their preferences, guidelines, where they post their reviews and the date this information was last refreshed.

 

Abandoned Dreams - Rod Raglin Keeping all this in mind I sent about a dozen review requests with an e-book of  my novel Abandoned Dreams months ago. So far nothing. No reviews, no responses.

 

However, here are some interesting things I discovered.

 

A least twenty-five percent of the reviewers listed on this site are closed for reviews due to a backlog. I take that as not a good sign.

 

Quite a few reviewers state they will not post a review of a work they cannot rate as at least three stars. I imagine they do this out of consideration, however misguided, thinking a bad review can pull down an author's average rating.

 

Depending on why you write, you may be of the opinion, as I am, there is no such thing as a bad review. First and foremost I want to become a better writer - money and fame, well, I'll accept those too - if you insist. Critical reviews, especially those that are specific, point out where I've let the reader down and allow me to consider how to improve in those areas.

 

If you're in this game for ego, if you some how think you can fool all the readers all the time than I can understand that a bad review really sucks.

 

But not for me.

 

If someone hated my book, well, that's okay. I'm just glad they read it and took the time to review it.

 

For the most part, they're obviously not doing either.

 

Read & review -- review copies of The Rocker and the Bird Girl

available here:

 

Bloggers write: Why I love reading

 

A guest post by Chris from Chris' Fish Place

 

I know that these posts are supposed to be genre based, but that's not goint to work for me.

 

For me, reading is life. I know it is for many of us on sites like this or Goodreads or LibraryThing.  Pick your position. You have more books than you know what to do with. The e-reader is the book haul. Your bedroom or house is simply a place where you sleep or live with books.  It's library with an alternate function.

 

I was, am, never the out going one. I am the shy one, the quiet one, the one with her head in the book because the best thing about human race in many class is literature.  At first, books are an escape.  There's magic.  There's horses.  There's dragons.  The underdog wins.  The unpopularity doesn't matter because the book doesn't care.  You meet people like you in books.  The characters don't give a damn what your hang ups are, and they don't betray you - at least not in the real world way.  You can forget, submerge, be on Mars, Krynn, MIddle Earth, Medevial France, the Tudor Court, a mole in a hole.  

 

And you can stop reading. You are in control and not in control.  It's a good feeling.

 

Because books are there. Once, you just needed a library card. Now, you need a phone or computer.  

 

The Hero and the Crown - Robin McKinley Then you get older, and you realize that books teach you. That Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown didn't just teach about story telling but about being a woman. That non-fiction is worth reading too, even if it is about those long dead people.  

 

Non-fiction boards your mind. Fiction does too.

 

It keeps you sane because it is the rabbit hole and the ruby slippers. The way out, the way back. It can protect you from those other humans, yet educate you about them too.

 

It is a way to make friends.

 

One of my oldest friends is my friend because we both loved The Hero and the Crown. Today, we have many books in companion, and some we don't. I went to my first protest with my book club. Every friend I have on a site like BookLikes or GoodReads is there because of books. Books aren't about life; they are a key to life.

 

I love reading because it helped me find my voice.

 

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If you missed the Book Love Story blog posts by BookLikes bloggers have a look here and join. Can't wait to read and re-post your book love stories! Remember to add why I love tag to your book love stories.

 

BookLikes How-to: Advanced Shelving Options

If you still have any doubts how to +Shelf your books on BookLikes the following guest post should dispel all your doubts. Worry not, read on and keep on shelving! You can also get back to the previous bookshelf posts anytime:

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A guest post by Jenn from Murder by Death

 

BookLikes has asked if I would talk about the Advanced Shelving Options window, and how to get the most use out of it. Most things on BookLikes can be accessed via at least 2 different paths and the Advanced Shelving window is no different. 

 

The first, less obvious way, but very useful if you use your shelves as your command center, is through the list view of your bookshelves.  If you’re unfamiliar with the list view, or on how to set which columns you see, check out this quick tutorial.  It’s not step-by-step, but it should get you where you need to be. 

 

To access the Advanced Shelf Options from the list view of your bookshelves, you need to make the ‘date read’ column visible; once you see it, you can click on 'add date':

 

 

The second way to access the Advanced shelf features is the most accessible, as you can reach it from every book cover on BookLikes, no matter where you’re at on the site: if you see a book you want to put on your shelves, click the book cover and when the book’s popup window comes up, use the +Shelf button  (if you’re on a book page, the +Shelf button is already there, just under the book cover image). 

 

 

Off topic, but important to note:  If your green button says something different, that means you’ve already shelved the book: 

 

Read:  You’ve already marked this book as Read. 

 

Currently Reading:  Um, yeah, I’m sure you know you’re already reading the book.

 

Planning to Read:  At some point you’ve marked your interest in reading this book (along with about 1,000 others if you’re like most of us).

 

On Shelf:  This is the one most likely to cause confusion.  If you’ve put the book on one of your custom exclusive shelves, but not marked it as Read, Currently Reading, or Planning to Read, the button will just say On Shelf.

This can also happen if you’ve removed the book from all your shelves but not actually deleted it from your shelves.  This is easy to check from here:  click on the button (On Shelf) and scroll down your list of shelves; if there aren’t any checkmarks, you have a floating book with no sense of shelf, wafting about in the ether.  If you want to keep it, choose a shelf for it to live on; if you want to exorcise it from your shelves for good, give it a home anyway, then go to your shelves and use ‘delete book’, or the ‘X’ at the far right end of your shelves in list view.

 

Whichever path you choose, you’ll get the Advanced Shelves popup window.  Here’s the bare basic version of this window, for a book that has no status and no shelves: 

 

 

We’ll get into each feature in detail, but as you can see there are options to mark a book Read, Currently Reading, or Planning to Read, a link to add it to shelves, and/or exclusive statuses, followed by the option to express your feelings, mark the book for your wishlist, as a favourite and/or private, and add a private note.  But there’s a lot more that you can do from this window, depending on the book’s status.

 

If you’ve already marked a book Planning to Read, what you see in the Advanced Reading window isn’t any different to the above, except that the 'Planning to Read' button is green.  So, we’ll start with the Currently Reading Advanced Shelf:

 

Take a moment to check out the differences.  I’ve labeled some of them, but from top to bottom, left to right, here’s a detailed list of what you can do from here:

 

If you click on the cover thumbnail, you’ll be taken to the book’s page on BookLikes.  Clicking this link will load the book page in a new tab, so you won’t lose any changes you might have made. The popup window will remain open in it’s browser tab, waiting for you to come back.

 

If you click on the Title of the book, you’ll be taken to the book’s page on BookLikes.  BUT clicking on the title will load the book page in your current tab, so if you’ve made changes in the Advanced shelf options already, DON’T CLICK THE TITLE - you’ll lose your changes and have to start again.

 

Clicking on the Author’s name will take you to the author’s BookLikes page.  This link will also load in the current tab, so the same warning applies here - don’t click this link if you’ve made changes in the advanced options window unless you like doing things twice.  ;-)

 

The Book page link is another link to the BookLikes book page and it, like the cover, loads in a new tab so it’s safe to click this link if you need to check something and come back.

 

 

You can change the book’s Big Three statuses on the next line:  clicking any of the Read, Currently Reading, or Planning to Read tabs will change the book’s status, and that button will turn green.  Depending on which tab you select, the options directly underneath the tabs may change.  

 

Note: If you’ve read the book once but want to read it again, you can change the status to either Currently Reading, or Planning to Read without losing your read dates (assuming you’ve recorded dates).

 

If the book is marked as Currently Reading, as above, you’ll see a place to enter the date you started reading and, optionally, a place you can enter how many pages you’ve read so far.  Notice it says: “I’ve read/listened to: ___ out of ___," with a pull-down menu right after.  This is a built-in over-ride; if your shelved book’s page numbers don’t accurately match the book you have in hand, you can adjust it here. The text field takes pages or minutes (for audiobooks). The drop down menu allows you to choose pages, percentage (for ebooks), or minutes and is used in the Currently Reading widgets on your blog and dashboard.  This allows you to make sure your progress is tracked as accurately as possible (although BL can’t do anything about all the filler at the end of some ebooks).

 

The next section is for shelving - you can see in the graphic above that I’ve already shelved this book on two shelves: Books about Books and History.  If I want to change the shelves the book is on, or add it to more shelves, I can click on ‘Edit Shelves’ (or ‘Edit Exclusive Shelves’ - they both open the same view) and see this:

(Yours, of course, will list your shelves, not mine.)

 

Notice the two fields at the top of each list - you can add new shelves here by entering the new shelf name, and clicking ‘enter’ or ‘return’.

 

What is an exclusive shelf?  The easiest way to describe an exclusive shelf, I think, is this:  An exclusive shelf, or shelves, are for the books you never intend to read.  For example:

• dictionaries or encyclopaedias

• cookbooks

• gift ideas for other people

 

These are the type of books you might want to track using shelves, but not track using the Read, Currently Reading or Planning to Read statuses. Creating exclusive shelves allows you to do that.

 

The next line of options includes some possibly overlooked features that let you add an additional level of organisation, and a little personality, to your shelving.  You can share your feelings about the book using the dropdown menu to choose an emoticon that comes closest to your thoughts (alas, there is no ‘meh’ emoticon).   And then, to the right of this menu, are three checkbox options:

 

Wishlist - This creates a very exclusive shelf that you can use to keep track of those books you’d like to someday own or borrow.  I say ‘very’ because it’s one of the shelves you cannot edit, like the Big 3 statuses.  Use it as a shopping list for yourself, or list those gorgeous but pricey books and share the list with someone looking for gift ideas.  ;-)

 

Favorite - Another very exclusive shelf, this one creates a list of those books you adore; maybe they’re part of your personal literary canon, or the books you’d take in the mythical deserted island scenario, or maybe they’re the books you think everyone should read at least once.

 

Private - The ultimate very exclusive shelf, this checkbox allows you to shelve books secretly and invisibly, useful if you’ve discovered your mom is following you or found your blog online, and you’d really rather her not know about the racy stuff you read.  If you have books you’d just rather keep to yourself, mark them as ‘private’ and nobody can see them on your shelves except you (and whoever else has access to your BL account password).

 

Note about Private status:  It marks the book private so it cannot be seen by anyone else from your shelves; if you create a post about a private book, or write a review of it, that’s going to be visible to all.  Posts cannot be marked private (and by extension, neither can reviews).

 

Speaking of privacy and your books, the next bit is the part where you keep private book notes.  If you click on 'Add Private Note' you’ll see:

 

 

… and you can write any notes to yourself about the book (or feeding the cats).  These notes are ALWAYS private; they are not visible to anyone but yourself.

 

Last but most importantly are the Save buttons. When you’ve finished making changes to your shelving, you have three options:  You can decide to click ‘Cancel’, which undoes the changes you’ve made since you’ve opened this Advanced Options window.  You can click ‘Save’ which saves your changes and takes you back to whatever page you were on when you accessed the Advanced Options, or you can click ‘Save and write a review’, which saves your changes and immediately opens the 'Create Post' page. 

Note that this does not work quite the same way as the ‘Update’ function does on your dashboard: it will not automatically populate the title bar with “Reading Progress: I’ve read x of x pages”.

 

And that’s everything you can do with the Advanced Shelf Options… or is it?  I honestly can’t believe how long this post is, but if you’ve made it this far, wait! there’s more!

 

If you use the Advance Shelf window to mark a book as 'Read' there will be even more options.  Mark a book as Read, and your window will look like this: 

 

 (The screenshot is cut off at the bottom because it ran off my screen.)

 

We’ll just cover the new stuff:  Once a book is read, you can rate it from the Advance Shelf window; hover over the stars to select anything from 1/2 to 5 stars.  When you see the rating you want, just click your mouse or trackpad to save it.  If you accidentally clicked before you meant to, or changed your mind, click ‘remove rating’ to clear the stars and start again.

 

Note:  Rating your book from this window and then clicking ‘Save and write a review’ will copy your rating over to the Create New Post page, and automatically mark your post as a review. 

 

The next section is mostly self explanatory - you can set your reading dates.  Start date and begin date, and both are optional, but note that you must have a finished date set for the book to be recorded in your yearly reading stats and reading challenge (if you’re participating).

 

If you re-read, and many of us do, and you’d like to record those re-read dates, just click ‘add new date’ to get another set of date selectors.  If you’ve hit ‘add a new date’ by accident, clicking ‘remove dates’ makes them go away.

 

 

I think that’s everything.  If you’re taking advantage of BookLikes powerful shelving features, the Advance Shelf window really is command central in so many ways.  Hopefully if you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, you’ve picked up a handy hint or three that will make using BookLikes easier and more enjoyable.  If I’ve managed to confuse you, please do not hesitate to tell me so –or ask any questions– in the comments below and I or the BookLikes team will endeavor to clarify.

 

Happy BookLiking!

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Thank you Jenn! <3

Book Bloggers May Reading

Five months checked. Seven still to go. Have a look at BookLikes bloggers May reads and let us know how are you doing in your 2017 reading challenge.

 

Click blog's headings to visit the blog pages and follow the reviewers. Scroll down to view more May reading relations from BookLikes book bloggers.

Happy reading!

 

The Lawrence Browne Affair - Cat Sebastian Rebels Like Us - Liz Reinhardt Goodbye Days - Jeff Zentner Allegedly - Tiffany D. Jackson

It's already a couple of months into the year, but I like seeing other people's monthly wrap-ups, so I've decided to join in. Better late than never.

I read 27 books this month which is a lot more than I would have guessed. Of the 27 books, 7 were graphic novels and 11 were audiobooks. While I had a handful of bad reads, the majority were pretty great... continue reading

 

Crucible of Gold (Temeraire Series #7) - Naomi Novik Scarlet - Marissa Meyer Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo Under Witch Moon - Maria E. Schneider

I'm happy I have more to list than will feature in the 10 + we can link at top of post. I only had one DNF (and one that I stopped so soon I don't even consider that starting). Unusually for me, I discovered quite a few new authors. I didn't read a lot of straight-up science fiction of the sort with spaceships, new worlds, aliens and robots (except for Scarlet which sort of counts by having cyborg and lunar colony if you can get past how the spaceship piloting resembled bad teenage clunker-automobile parallel parking the way they zigged it about in earth's atmosphere with immediate corrections ...).  I need to correct that next month, but I'm pretty caught up on my SF series... continue reading

 

 

The Thing About Love - Julie James Blind Obsession - Ella Frank Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane Juliet Takes a Breath - Gabby Rivera

Usually, i write reviews for few books there are few more books that i read which goes unannounced.  For those i have come up with an idea of doing monthly wrap-ups where in i list out the books i read in that particular month and may be share a few thoughts about them because according to me every book is importance in its own way. So,  this month after a long time I’ve finished 5 books... continue reading

 

May has been good to me as far as reading is concerned, mainly thanks to two weeks holiday and a broken car (or we would have been out exploring). Here goes... continue reading

March - Geraldine BrooksIdaho: A Novel - Emily RuskovichThe Girls: A Novel - Emma ClineAll Our Wrong Todays: A Novel - Elan Mastai

 

If you've missed May wrap ups by other BookLikes bloggers, have a look at the following posts, feel invited to read and join :) If we haven't included your post link, let us know in the comment section below.

 

 

BookLikes book bloggers' previous 2017 reading challenge posts:

Bloggers write: Why I love science fiction and fantasy books

 

A guest post by Debbie from Debbie's Spurts

 

Once upon a time, a child's moving neighbor asked if they wanted any books before donated elsewhere.  Duh.  I was an avid reader of whatever variety of stuff found in school library, borrowed from friends and sporadic yard sales.  These boxes included authors like Lester Del Rey, Andre Norton, Robert A. Heinlein, Alan Dean Foster, Mercedes Lackey, Andrew J. Offutt, John Wyndham, Ron Goulart, J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey ... devoured, never looked back and have been hooked ever since by these greats of SF/Fantasy.

 

If it can start with "what if," "In a faraway," or "Once Upon a Time," count me in!

 

Oh, the possibilities.  The potential worldbuilding.  The "what if ..."  The potential "other," diversity or alien-ness for characters.  Societies and sociological switch-ups.  The exploration of furthest reaches of space, science and imagination.  The huge tapestry in which an author can create.  Escapism for me, please, but with a logic inherent to whatever the author has imagined.  Take me along for the ride and for a brief moment let me live in the world you made with your stories and your characters instead of mine,

 

Moon of Mutiny - Lester del Rey The Stars are Ours - Andre Norton,James J. Campanella,Uvula Audio Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein  Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey  

 

Web Of The Spider - Andrew J. Offutt,Richard K. Lyon  The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham  The Panchronicon Plot - Ron Goulart  The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien  

 

Yes, those few unwanted boxes launched nearly 50 years of book love.  No genre beats the scope and elements of an excellent SF/Fantasy book.

 

Squee!  I'm a dancing fan poodle unable to write a good post about it.

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If you missed the Book Love Story blog posts by BookLikes bloggers have a look here and join. Can't wait to read and re-post your book love stories! Remember to add why I love tag to your book love story.