WordPress Book Bloggers – Help Out!

Hey Everyone,

Are you a book blogger? Do you blog about other things but still read books?

I know a lot of you use different blogging platforms, but if you use WordPress I would appreciate your help.  Please add your voice to my “idea” in the WordPress Ideas forum: “Customizable Goodreads Widget.”

If you’ve ever tried to add a Goodreads widget to your wordpress.com site you know you can’t do it. They (rightfully so) don’t allow iframe or javascript, and they did finally build a widget, however it’s slap-dash and has no customization. I mean look to the right – I can’t be the only one who thinks it looks odd. The coding is similar to that provided by Goodreads so it wouldn’t take much editing for WordPress to make this possible.

I’m not sure if anything will come of it, but it’s worth a shot. So click here and add your thoughts, please!!!!

Thanks!
Geoff

Book 329: A Jane Austen Education – William Deresiewicz

Deresiewicz, William - A Jane Austen EducationWarning: Goodreads rant – skip to second paragraph. I’m not sure what jumped up everyone’s butts on Goodreads (I shouldn’t really be surprised), but this book doesn’t deserve as much vitriol as it has received on the site. So many people trashed it without even finishing the book, many obviously had read the synopsis (Amazon Affiliate link) and yet were shocked at what they read.

The book definitely deserves a lot of the criticism, but it doesn’t deserve the pure vitriol that Goodread’s reviewers thew at it. Sure, I wanted to smack Deresiewicz for being an insufferable grad student, but it’s very clear in the synopsis that the book was going to be full of naval gazing. He made a couple of questionable sexist and classist comments and he may have reduced a lot of Austen’s genius down to basics, but it would definitely work for people who are not familiar with Austen. Seriously, if you can’t find the good in a book, why bother finishing and trashing it? Just move on to the next book.

Click here to continue reading.

Book 327: What Matters in Jane Austen? – John Mullan

Mullen, John - What Matters in Jane AustenNeither a bad end to 2014, nor a bad start to 2015, this was well worth the read. It wasn’t all I thought it would be, but considering it was a galley I got ages ago (2012 I think) and never read (Sorry!) I’m glad I finally read it. I think I’m going to spend a lot of time with Austen this year. A few friends and I are doing a Jane Austen book club and I have quite a bit of non-fiction I’m looking forward to reading about Austen and her life. I hope everyone sticks with me throughout! I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and received nothing in return for my honest response.

What worked best for this book was the selecting of 20 themes and then talking about them across Austen’s novels. I’ve read all of her novels at least once and a few of them much more. You can look at the chapter titles to see the themes, but the ones that stood out most to me where when Mullan spoke about Austen’s mastery of novels and groundbreaking skills as a writer.

“She did things with fiction that had never been done before. She did things with characterization, with dialogue, with English sentences, that had never been done before.”

Click here to continue reading.

December (And Year!) 2014 Recap

2014 12-08 Washington MonumentWhat a busy and exhausting month December was! It’s been almost a full week into the new year and I’m struggling to get a recap together so it’s going to be pretty basic. I did a lot of traveling from a birthday trip to DC (right) to my annual winter trek down to NC, with a side trip to Virginia where I completed my 30×30 list with a literary inspired tattoo, and topped off the month and kicked off the new year with friends in Charlotte, NC and a wedding in Omaha, Nebraska! I’ll do a separate December/January Culture Corner to do a recap on my traveling to DC and Omaha as I went to so many museums and traveling in itself is a type of culture!

I’m going to do a quick monthly recap in the next paragraph and then after that will be my yearly recap and a couple of small changes you’ll notice in the new year.

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30 x 30: #15 Finish reading Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal

2014 08-27 Harry Potter en Español!I did it! And now there are only two items left on my list, both of which will end/happen on my birthday! I bought this book when I was still taking Spanish classes regularly and was like oh what a great way to test myself. (I think I have a copy of Roald Dahl’s Matilda floating around in Spanish too somewhere.) And I’ve finally read it.

I’ve tried multiple times in the past to read it and gave up within the first few chapters and I almost did this time too. I started it back in August read two chapters and promptly stopped again. I was trying to look up every single word I didn’t know or recognize and took me a couple of hours for the first chapter (less than 15 pages) and I got super discouraged. So I let the book sit on my bedside table for almost four months and when I got to the final five items on my list I knew I needed to seriously get to it, especially as I’d completed my re-read of the Lord of the Rings.

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30 x 30: #13 – Re-read The Lord of the Rings

2014 12-09 LotR Cover ShootIt took me a lot longer to write this recap than any of the others because I’ve been so busy living life. One of the things I really wanted my 30×30 list to do was to restart my excitement for life and the little things and it’s done exactly that! At the same time I’m also glad I waited as I got to add the cool picture below to this post!

I added this to my list because let’s face it I needed to re-read it. The last time I read it was in high school just before Peter Jackson’s trilogy was released. I read them quickly and didn’t really take them in (I was still in my “I only read Star Wars novels.” phase. I remember the second book being such a struggle because it felt like it took SO long to read. It did take me a month to read, but looking back there’s no telling what that reason was. This time, however, I flew through all four of them in less than a month and I read books between the them! You can read my reviews of the books:
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30 x 30: #18 – Participate in NaNoWriMo

2014 12-01 NaNoWriMo TotalI knew when I made this list that there was no way I would be able to do 50,000 words in a month and boy was I right. However, that’s why I said PARTICIPATE in NaNoWriMo instead of complete! (I’m wicked smaht, right?)

It wasn’t for lack of time after I made it through the 15th, so much as lack of desire to sit in front of a computer and write and even though I came in just under 20,000 words I’m still really proud I got that much done. I was shocked at how easy it was to write the story I chose and am excited to finish it. Looking at the graph, you can see I wrote the what I did in three quick spurts with the final one being where I wrote nearly 12,000 words in one go.

Click here to continue reading.