BBAW: Unexpected Treasure

Much as Teresa and I love giving recommendations to other people (including each other), one of the things we’ve really loved best about this community has been trying things we might otherwise not have tried, thanks to the recommendations of other bloggers. While both of us have very eclectic tastes, both of us also have pretty strong opinions about books (I know, you’d never have guessed) and can sometimes be hard to please. It’s all the more exciting, then, when we find someone whose taste we trust and who sparks our interest in something really great.

Jenny: Of course I can’t restrict myself to just one book I’ve tried thanks to someone on another blog. Rebecca Reads’s Classics Circuit got me to read several things I might have taken much longer to get to otherwise, including the wonderful North and South and The Custom of the Country. I’d never have tried Sonya Hartnett’s bleak, beautiful, fantastic prose if it hadn’t been for A Devoted Reader (alas, on hiatus, for the moment.) I read about the delightful Saffy’s Angel on Jenny’s Books, and the even-more-delightful Daddy Long Legs (review forthcoming) on Books I Done Read. There are fifty times this many on my TBR list. This sounds kind of trite, but I wind up feeling like a bee, sipping here and there and getting all the benefit of the hard work those tulips put in!

Teresa: My TBR list these days is built almost entirely from blogger recommendations. Tons of bloggers, but most especially Stuck in a Book and Nonsuch Book, have been singing the praises for the Bloomsbury Group books, which seem to fly completely under the radar outside the blogosphere, so I have the blogging world to thank for the hilarious Henrietta’s War by Joyce Dennys. I’m also sure I never would have heard of the dark and compelling Once Upon a Time in England by Helen Walsh were it not for the reviews at Gaskella and Reading Matters. Certain bloggers have a knack for helping me get over my cynicism about particular books. For instance, on the surface, Georgette Heyer’s books look like nothing more than formulaic Harlequin-style romances, but glowing reviews of Heyer’s books at A Work in Progress and Random Jottings caused me to cast my suspicions aside and finally read A Civil Contract. And reviews of Rosy Thornton’s Crossed Wires at Tales from the Reading Room and Vulpes Libris helped me see past that book’s ghastly pink cover. These books are just a tiny sample of the delights I’ve found through book blogs—I know there are many, many more to come!

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30 Responses to BBAW: Unexpected Treasure

  1. You listed some great books here!

    Here is my BBAW: Unexpected Treasure post!

  2. Laurel Ann says:

    Glad you discovered Georgette Heyer. She is a delightful surprise.

    • Jenny says:

      Yes, I thought I “didn’t read romance” until I tried her books. I should know by now not to make generalizations like that.

  3. Eva says:

    The Classics Circuit has totally wreaked havoc on my TBR list too! There are days when I contemplate spending a couple months reading only ‘old’ books (maybe pre-1950?). Perhaps I”ll end the year that way: it sounds so appealing!

  4. winstonsdad says:

    some new names to me ,I love frances blog ,she has such depth of reading ,all the best stu

  5. Jeanne says:

    I have always dismissed Heyer pretty much the same way. Now you’re making me reconsider.

    • Jenny says:

      You really should. They’re wonderfully written and deliciously fun. Not deep, but I don’t always need deep. I have thoroughly enjoyed both books I’ve read of hers so far.

  6. Jenny says:

    Book blogs are so good for making me reconsider. I tend to dismiss books for silly reasons, and book blogs are always enumerating far better reasons to read those exact books. Plus of course they are forever introducing me to new books–I’d be listing practically every book I’ve read for the past year if I tried to list them all! :p

  7. I completely agree with Jenny- book blogs are great for making me stop and consider books I would have ordinarily passed over.

  8. Iris says:

    I started writing a comment but I ended up agreeing to almost anything you two said and it was as if I was trying to repeat this whole post. So can I just say that I recognised so much of my feelings towards blogging and certain bloggers in this post?

    • Jenny says:

      Some of my favorite bloggers are the ones who read very different things than I do, just so that I get my horizons broadened.

  9. rebeccareid says:

    The Classics Circuit has got me to read a lot of things I may not have gotten to otherwise as well! I can really relate.

    • Jenny says:

      I actually think everything I read for the CC would have stayed out of sight a lot longer (or maybe forever) if it hadn’t been for the necessity to read it. I was so grateful for that.

  10. Susan in TX says:

    I, too, discovered the Bloomsbury Group books from fellow bloggers and esp. enjoyed Henrietta’s War and Miss Hargreaves. Eva over at A Striped Armchair can always be counted on for title way outside my normal fare. Ya’ll have collectively talked me into trying Heyer, I just haven’t picked one up yet. Lots of good titles in this post!

    • Jenny says:

      Oh, Eva’s blog is just this big wonderful smorgasbord of stuff I want to read (and she and I are mystery twins, we have the exact same taste.) So much good stuff out there!

  11. softdrink says:

    I first heard of Daddy Long Legs from Nymeth. It’s a great book!

    • Jenny says:

      I just read it this weekend and was TOTALLY charmed by it, right down to my socks. I wish I’d read it as a child, not because I think children would like it more, but because I think no one should grow up without this one!

  12. Shelley says:

    You’re so right. My writing depends on Internet word of mouth (word of mouse?)–and there’s nothing like the power of readers talking to one another.

    I think that’s why the Internet was invented!

  13. The Classics Circuit got me to read quite a few books I may not have read otherwise.

    • Jenny says:

      I like to think I would have gotten around to them eventually… but probably when I was a white-haired old lady. I am so glad I read them now!

  14. amymckie says:

    Wow, wonderful lists of bloggers and books there! Lots to add to my wish list too.

  15. litlove says:

    Thank you SO much for the mention – I appreciate it enormously. And you list many of the blogs there that I love and visit regularly. This is a wonderful corner of the book blogosphere!

    • Jenny says:

      Yours was one of the first blogs I found and began to visit (and wanted to emulate if I could, which I find I can’t, I’m not clever enough.) I love it with all my heart. Thank you for writing it!

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