BBAW: Our Blogging Inspirations

This week is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, a sort of weeklong group hug within the book blogging community. This year’s theme is “Cultivating a Community of Bloggers and Readers,” and each day during the week, bloggers are encouraged to write about a topic related to that theme. Today’s suggestion is to highlight some of the bloggers who make the book blogging community so wonderful.

We thought it would be fun to highlight the bloggers who inspired us when we began blogging more than three years ago. These are the bloggers whom we learned from, whose style and approach helped us see what we wanted our blog to be. All of them are still blogging, and we continue to look forward to their posts, and we still feel a little thrill when their names show up in our comments. If you don’t read these blogs, you must check them out.

A Work in Progress: Danielle has an extraordinary knack for ferreting out books we’ve never heard of (or have forgotten about) but that look like amazing reads. That talent is especially evident in her new “Lost in the Stacks” project, in which she checks out a worthy-looking, but not-much-circulated book from the academic library where she works and writes about it. Every now and then, Danielle also shares photos of her beautiful needlework.

Eve’s Alexandria: Victoria and Nic’s blog was a very early model for us: only the second book on our blogroll. They inspired us with long, thoughtful, well-written, analytical posts; engagement with the literature; flashes of humor; a feminist outlook; and a bright variety of reading that suited our taste. We never leave their site without something going on the TBR list. Dangerous? Maybe, but they are not afraid of snakes…

Juxtabook: When Catherine expresses enthusiasm for a book, it’s hard to resist her recommendation because she does such a marvelous job of explaining exactly what makes a book a success. Besides her detailed reviews, her blog also features bits of bookish news and her adventures as a used-book seller.

Of Books and Bicycles: Rebecca (previously known as Dorothy W) has wide-ranging tastes that include books old and new, fiction and non, popular and off-beat—perfect for us! Her reviews are always thoughtful and frank, and she consistently provides the kind of insights we seek to help us decide about books that are on the edge of our TBR piles.

Pages Turned: Over the years, Susan’s commonplace-book of a blog has been a delicious mix: good ideas about good books, thoughtful quotations carefully curated, and a glimpse into the life of one of the most cheerfully unregenerate book-buyers and library-goers blogging today. She’s recently been joined by her friend Wendy, and we look forward to getting to know her!

Random Jottings: We may have received more satisfying recommendations from Elaine than from any other single source, including E.F. Benson, crime fiction, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and the biography of L.M. Montgomery. She leads a rich life, and we’re lucky to be included in it.

So Many Books: Stef’s blog features one of the most amusing headers of any book blog we know, but we fell in love with her blog long before she added that image. Like most of our favorites, Stef reads a little of everything, but as a recent library school graduate, she has a special interest in books and articles about books, technology, and the information sciences. Her posts on these topics are always interesting and thought-provoking (and they keep us informed without our having to read books on these topics).

Stuck in a Book: Simon has the distinction, if you like to call it that, of leaving the first-ever comment on Shelf Love! His gentle, light-hearted blog has helped introduce us to Persephone and Virago, Richmal Crompton and Dorothy Whipple, Barbara Pym and lovely original drawings.

Tales from the Reading Room: Litlove is among the best bloggers we know at dissecting the intersection between life and literature. She turns personal anecdotes into book reviews and book reviews into musings on family, health, culture, and ethics. She’s also a wonderful model of generous, but rigorous reading; she can find something of value in just about any book she reads.

The Indextrious Reader: Melwyk is especially good at inspiring us to read Canadian literature. She pushes us beyond what’s obvious and helps us get to some fascinating, beautiful pieces that we would never otherwise have seen. Her Canadian poetry selections are particularly wonderful.

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49 Responses to BBAW: Our Blogging Inspirations

  1. Mel u says:

    Hi, I am stopping by to visit your blog via the list of posts for Day one

    Please Stop by My Blog if you Like

    You mentioned several new to me bloggers that sound very interesting-I will check them out-I hope you have a very good BBAW

  2. Of Books and Bicycles is the only one new to me *heads off to take a look*.

    It is nice to see so many UK bloggers on your list :-)

    • Teresa says:

      Rebecca’s blog is great! Glad to make the introduction. And any list we made would feel incomplete without some UK bloggers. It’s been marvelous to make so many friends all over the world!

  3. Simon T says:

    Aww, thanks! What a lovely blog post to write, especially since I read almost all of these blogs too :) I can’t believe how long we’ve all been blogging together – and all still going!

    • Teresa says:

      It is amazing that we’re all still blogging together! Longevity is such a rarity in the blogging world that it’s a pleasure to know that so many of our first favorites are still around.

  4. sakura says:

    I think I know about half the blogs so will be checking out the rest. Lovely to see what inspires you both:)

  5. Mystica says:

    Thanks for the blog list. I do visit quite a few of them often but a couple are new to me.

  6. Ellen Rhudy says:

    I’m not sure that I’ve visited a single of the blogs on your list. I’m gonna be holding on to this page and returning when I have time to check out some new blogs – I find it hard to imagine I won’t love any blog you guys are recommending.

  7. Jeanne says:

    I feel the same way about Pages Turned. Sometimes I wish they could post more often, but I don’t really wish for them to do anything different, ever.

    • Teresa says:

      As much as I’d love to hear more from Susan and Wendy, I’m a firm believer that infrequent, high-quality posts are better than daily low-quality posts. I’d much rather they maintain their high standard.

  8. rebeccareid says:

    what a great list of bloggers!

  9. Trisha says:

    That’s a big list of mainly new-to-me blogs! That gets me excited, especially since they sound like such cool blogs.

    My list of influential bloggers, if you are interested!

  10. Wonderful list you got here!

    I had a hard time choosing. But I opted for totally unheard of blogs. Isn’t that the intention of community? To spread far and wide!!

    Here is my post:

    BBAW 2011: Community

  11. amymckie says:

    Ooohhhhh so many new-to-me blogs! Thank you :D

    Also – thanks for your posts, always inspiring me to think and read more!

  12. Danielle posts are so well written that I never get tired of reading them, no matter how long they are I read every word of it, and don’t just skim them.

  13. So many great recommendations here. I see some blogges I love already and some I actually need to re-visit. :)

  14. Parrish says:

    thanks for introducing me to what looks like a great group of bloggers, especially loving the chance on reading some Canadian poetry.

  15. Danielle says:

    This is so kind of you to include me in your list–I follow the other bloggers you mention (for many of the very same reasons!) and admire them all, so am honored to be named amongst them. There’s such a really lovely community of readers/bloggers out there and it’s great being a part of it!

  16. Juxtabook says:

    How kind! Thank you so much!

  17. Erin says:

    “weeklong group hug”…that’s perfect! I’m a bit aghast to find I don’t know any of the blogs on your list. I must remedy that! What would BBAW be without some excellent new blog discoveries, after all? :-)

  18. Stefanie says:

    Oh Teresa, thank you! You have really made my Monday, heck my whole week! I hope you know how awesome you and Jenny are and how much I enjoy Shelf Love. And thank you for making the book blogging community such a wonderful thing to be part of!

    • Teresa says:

      I’m so happy to bring a smile to your face because your new header makes me grin every time I see it. And thank you for being such a great model for us and for all your posts that get me thinking.

  19. Kristen M. says:

    What a fantastic list! I’m happy to have been reading your blog for so long. Now I’m off to check out some of your recommendations! Happy BBAW!

  20. Megan says:

    Great list! A lot are new to me, but I’ve been following Danielle’s blog probably as long as I’ve been blogging. She’s one of those bloggers who can make me want to read whatever she’s reading, even if it’s nothing like the books I normally read!

    • Teresa says:

      Totally agree about Danielle. She was one of the bloggers who got me interested in Georgette Heyer, even though Heyer looked exactly like something I’d hate.

  21. litlove says:

    Oh bless you, Teresa and Jenny, for including me in such stellar company. Many of the blogs you list are firm favourites of mine, and utterly lovely people, too. Your blog has been right up there amongst my absolute must-visits ever since it began and it’s a benchmark of quality for the rest of our community. Big love to you both.

    • Teresa says:

      Litlove, I think you know you’re one of my blogging heroes, and I’m so so pleased that you stop by here so often. It’s been wonderful getting to know you!

  22. Jenny says:

    Ah, that’s what I should have done, a post like this, what an excellent post idea! I was the shyest shy blogger ever when I started, and there are a few bloggers without which I never would possibly have ventured out of my blogging shell. :p

  23. Rebecca H. says:

    It’s taken me way too long to get over here, but I’ve been thinking about your post all week and it has made me quite happy! Thanks so much for including me on this great list, and congrats on your recent win! :)

  24. Victoria says:

    Oh, how lovely to be mentioned! I feel absolutely the same about all the bloggers you mention, and about Shelf Love too. I think we’re all bloggers of the same ‘generation’, starting to write about the same time and following each other for years since. I always look forward to reading your posts, and to reading your comments on ours. Yay! Blog-hug!

    • Jenny says:

      Blog-hug right back, Victoria! I’ll never forget the thrill I had back in 2008 when you (my heroine) said you’d put Shelf Love on your blogroll! :)

  25. Melwyk says:

    Thank you, thank you! I don’t know that I deserve to be in such good company, especially lately! I’ve been away from blogging and totally missed BBAW — now trying to catch up on some reviews (strangely enough, just posted a review of some Canadian poetry when I found your post) and catch up on blog reading as well! You have reviewed some fabulous books recently and I must catch up on my commenting — here and with all the great blogs you have on your list. So thanks again for saying such nice things :)

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