Tuesday Thingers ~ LT Authors

August 26, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Posted in LIfe | 5 Comments
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Today’s topic: LibraryThing authors. Who are your LibraryThing authors? What books of theirs do you have? Do you ever comment on an author’s LT page? Have you received any comments from an author on your LT account?

My LT authors are Olivia Brooks-Scrivanich (author of Fiscal Pear and Shimmer in the Call of River Whale), Libby Cone (author of War on the Margins), Sandra Gulland (author of the Josephine B Trilogy), Karen Harrington (author of Janeology – which just arrived in the mail today!!!!), Emmett James (author of Admit One), Phyllis Zimbler Miller (author of Mrs. Lieutenant), Penelope Przekop (author of Aberrations), and Caroline Comfort Shields (author of Surviving Ben’s Suicide).

I have had the great fortune to getting to know Karen Harrington through LT. We’ve both commented on each other’s pages. I’ve also been contacted by authors based upon my reviews. For example, after posting my review of The Witch’s Trinity, Erika Mailman sent me an email and we’ve talked for some time. I also have had some wonderful email contact with Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton.

I’ve only met one author in person, Lander Marks. She is the author of Artist’s Proof. When I was in Las Vegas on a business trip, she took me out to lunch. The whole experience was fabulous. I’m hoping to meet Philippa Gregory in person in September, but more on that in a later post.

How about you? With the exception of my experiences with the authors of a certain book, all of my interactions have been positive. I’d like to hear about yours.

Tuesday Thingers ~ LT Vs RL

August 19, 2008 at 6:35 am | Posted in LIfe | 10 Comments
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Today’s question: LT and RL (real life)- do you have friends in real life that you met through LibraryThing? Have you attended any LT meet-ups in your area? Would you be open to attending meet-ups or is LT strictly an online thing for you?

I have not met anyone that I’ve become friends with on LibraryThing in real life, although I would be happy to meet each of them. The downside of living in a small town is that there aren’t any LT meet ups. I do have a pretty successful history with online meetings, though. Back in 1994, I spent time chatting on a talker called Dreamscape. My nickname was ZenLauda. One day, through a conversation I started about Michael Stipe, I started talking with HoneyPoison. We met and fell in love. I moved from Michigan to Virginia to attend graduate school and to see if our relationship was just something that felt right when we visited each other. In October, we will have been married for 11 years, with two beautiful daughters to show for it. Not too shabby if you ask me. 🙂

How about you? Have you ever met anyone IRL who you met online? How did it work out?

Tuesday Thingers ~ Weekly Memes

August 5, 2008 at 6:48 am | Posted in LIfe, Reading | 11 Comments
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Today’s question is only marginally about LibraryThing but I thought it might be a fun question anyway. It’s more about blogging. Everyone who participates in Tuesday Thingers has a blog- some have a book blog, some have several, some have blogs that are more personal, etc.- and we’ve all chosen to participate in this particular way of networking to build traffic, get to know each other, etc. So my question is: what other weekly memes or round robins do you participate in? Is this the only one? Why Tuesday Thingers and not some other weekly Tuesday meme? Or do you do more than one?

Also, if you feel like you don’t have enough memes, you can visit The Daily Meme for even more blogging options for different days of the week. I know- like you don’t have enough to do! 🙂

I owe the fact that I participate in any memes whatsoever to Devourer of Books. When she started her blog she contacted me and I’ve been a faithful reader ever since. After several weeks of her responses to Booking Through Thursday, I was hooked and had to jump on the bandwagon. Again, when she was involved with the Early Reviewers’ Blogging connections from the beginning, I knew nothing about it until she blogged about it. She is always on the cutting edge and I’m a follower pure and simple. 🙂 I keep reading everyone’s Sunday Salon posts each week, but I’m still a little leary of taking on three weekly memes. I’m sure that I will eventually jump in because the water’s so warm.

I’ve had a lot of fun participating in these memes (mostly) each week. My only difficulty is writing the post early enough in the day. If I don’t get it done before work, my days are so unpredictable that it might be the end of the work day or later before I can post. Oh well. i’m also more able to comment on other participant’s answers after work. I hate having people comment on mine and not be able to reciprocate until much later in the day. I don’t know if that upsets people or not. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one who posts their meme later in the day, but does anyone else have that problem with leaving comments?

The best thing about all of these memes is meeting new bloggers and readers. Whenever someone new visits my blog and they are a blogger, I add them to my Google Reader. It’s a great way to find people and content. I just love that.

What about your memes?

Tuesday Thingers ~ Recommendations

July 22, 2008 at 7:04 am | Posted in LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 11 Comments
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Today’s topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT’s recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the “special sauce” recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?

LibraryThing Recommendations are a wonderful thing and that was one of the first features I played with when I joined LibraryThing.  I’m not sure what “special sauce” recommendations are, but I’m going to have to find out!  The most fun I had with the Recommendations feature was using the Unsuggester.  What I find when I go there is 1) my library is very ungodly (90% of books on the first few pages are Christian in nature) and 2) that I really need to look into Neil Gaimon.

Despite the glories of LibraryThing Recommendations, the best place to get turned on to some great reads is through other book blogs.  When people comment on add them to my Google Reader and I get a wealth of new reading ideas every week.

I haven’t really been able to act upon any of the ideas I’ve come across with the Recommendations tool because of my ever increasing ARC pile.  I started out the month of July determined not to reply to any new ARC offers so that I could read “what I want, when I want.”  Well, my resolve lasted about a week.  I have been offered some really wonderful books and I couldn’t say no.  The truth is that I am still reading “what I want, when I want,” it’s just not from the books already on my crowded bookshelves.  A reading life is a wonderful life. 🙂

Tuesday Thingers ~ Book Swapping

July 15, 2008 at 11:34 am | Posted in Books, LIfe | 9 Comments
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Today’s topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT’s book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

I do not officially swap books using Bookmooch or other services.  Currently I do share a fair amount of my books with other people.  I’ll send them off if I think someone else will enjoy them.  In fact, I brought my copy of Aberrations in to work today because I know one of my co-workers will absolutely love it.  I know I don’t have nearly as many books as others do, but I have limited space.  I have to be somewhat selective about what I keep.  I have been taught early on in life not to expect a book back once you’ve borrowed it – or at least not in its original condition.  If a book means something to me, I would be more inclined to buy a second copy to lend out to others.

When I am in retirement, I would love to do something like what I saw in Kit Kittredge: An American GirlJoan Cusack‘s character ran a lending library from her truck.  I don’t really know how I would pull it off, but how wonderful would that be?  So, I guess you can say that I aspire to be book swapper some day. 🙂

Tuesday Thingers ~ Vacation Time

July 8, 2008 at 10:17 am | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 6 Comments
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Since we’re past the Fourth of July and the summer season has officially started, what are your plans for the summer? Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you’re going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?

We took our main vacation this year in May. We went to the Smokey Mountains and split our time there between my family and staying at a chalet with my best friends in the world, who just happen to be married and have children whose ages fall smack dab in the middle of Emma and Allison. I brought several books with me. I finished The Lady Elizabeth, Last Night at the Lobster, and Trauma during my vacation. From this point forward, I don’t intend to take any more vacations this year. Since Emma starts kindergarten in less than two months (how can that be???), I am saving the rest of my time for Christmas and her spring break. My vacation time runs 4/23 – 4/22, which makes things tricky from a scheduling stand point.

I also read a lot when I travel out of town on business. Last month I spent five nights in Las Vegas, got a lot of reading done (Songs for the Missing, Mrs. Lieutenant, Have I Got a Guy for You, and Matrimony). I also met my first author, Lander Marks. It might not have been a vacation in the truest sense, but it was a touch of fantasy land for this reader.

I’ve never thought of reading local literature during a vacation, but it sounds like a fabulous idea! I’ll definitely be checking out LT Local whenever I travel, which will most likely be for work. I’ll be heading to Boston for the first time at the end of October. I’m sure that there will be a great deal of options for me while I’m there.

Tuesday Thingers ~ Popularity Contest

July 1, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 4 Comments
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Here is the Top 100 Most Popular Books on LibraryThing. Bold what you own, italicize what you’ve read. Star what you liked. Star multiple times what you loved!

I don’t typically do well in popularity contests, but here goes. 🙂
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (32,484)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling (29,939)
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) by J.K. Rowling (28,728 )
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling (27,926)
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling (27,643)
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling (27,641)

7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (23,266)
8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (21,325)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling (20,485)
10. 1984 by George Orwell (19,735) ***
11. Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics) by Jane Austen (19,583) ***
12. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger (19,082)
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (17,586) ***
14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16,210) ***

15. The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (15,483)
16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (14,566) ***
17. Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (14,449) ***
18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (13,946) ***
19. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (13,272) ***
20. Animal Farm by George Orwell (13,091) ***

21. Angels & demons by Dan Brown (13,089)
22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (13,005)
23. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (12,777) ***
24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah’s Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (12,634)
25. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,276)
26. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (12,147)

27. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (11,976) *
28. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,512)
29. The Odyssey by Homer (11,483)

30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (11,392) *
31. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (11,360) *

32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (11,257) ***
33. The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,082)
34. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (10,979) *
35. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (10,823)
36. The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (10,603)
37. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (10,537)
38. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (10,435)
39. The lovely bones : a novel by Alice Sebold (10,125) ***
40. Ender’s Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (10,092)
41. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (9,827)
42. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (9,745)
43. Dune by Frank Herbert (9,671)
44. Emma by Jane Austen (9,610) ***
45. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (9,598 )
46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bantam Classics) by Mark Twain (9,593) ***
47. Anna Karenina (Oprah’s Book Club) by Leo Tolstoy (9,433) (different version)
48. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (9,413)

49. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (9,343) ***
50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (9,336) ***
51. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (9,274) ***

52. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,246)
53. The Iliad by Homer (9,153)
54. The Stranger by Albert Camus (9,084) ***
55. Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (9,080) ***
56. Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (9,027) ***

57. The Handmaid’s Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (8,960) 58. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (8,904)
59. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (8,813)
60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery – (8,764)
61. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (8,421)
62. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (8,417) *
63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (8,368 )
64. The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition) by John Steinbeck (8,255)
65. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8,214) ***
66. The Name of the Rose: including Postscript to the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (8,191)
67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (8,169) ***
68. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (8,129)
69. The complete works by William Shakespeare (8,096) *
70. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (7,843)
71. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (7,834)
72. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (7,829)
73. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare (7,808 ) *
74. Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck (7,807)
75. A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (7,793) ***
76. The Alchemist (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (7,710)
77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (7,648 )
78. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Oscar Wilde (7,598 )
79. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk (7,569)

80. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (7,557) *
81. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman (7,534)
82. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan (7,530)
83. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (7,512)

84. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (7,436) ***
85. Dracula by Bram Stoker (7,238 )
86. Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions) by Joseph Conrad (7,153)
87. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (7,055)

88. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (7,052)
89. The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman (7,043)
90. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce (6,933) ***
91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Milan Kundera (6,901)
92. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (6,899)
93. Neuromancer by William Gibson (6,890)
94. The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer (6,868 ) *
95. Persuasion (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (6,862) ***

96. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (6,841)
97. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (6,794)
98. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (6,715)

99. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (6,708 )
100. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (6,697)

Tuesday Thingers ~ Uniquely Mine

June 25, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Posted in Books | 3 Comments
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Last week I asked what was the most popular book in your library- this week I’m going to ask about the most unpopular books you own. Do you have any unique books in your library- books only you have on LT? How many? Did you find cataloging information on your unique books, or did you hand-enter them? Do they fall into a particular category or categories, or are they a mix of different things? Have you ever looked at the “You and none other” feature on your statistics page, which shows books owned by only you and one other user? Ever made an LT friend by seeing what you share with only one other user?

I have cataloged three books that are uniquely mine so far as LibraryThing is concerned. The first is a book I purchased in Berlin that contains pictures of the Berlin Wall art before the wall came down. Since the Berlin Wall fell during my senior year of high school, I feel a connection to that event and that made me an easy sell for that book. 🙂 The other two books, Dragonmede by Rona Rondall and Henry VIII – A Study of Power in Action by John Bowle. I bought both of those books at a library book sale. I pick up a lot of older historical fiction and non-fiction about the Tudors that way. I’m wondering now if Dragonmede is any good… Maybe someday I’ll find out.

I find the You and No Other feature on LibraryThing the most interesting. I love that feature. I own a book of postcards from Grand Rapids through the years and only one other user owns that. I figure that this user must have some connection to my home town, but he or she never responded to my comment. That being said, I’ve made quite a few LT friends based upon more than one book in common and that’s the most important thing.

Tuesday Thingers ~ All About Popularity

June 17, 2008 at 11:41 am | Posted in Books, LibraryThing | 9 Comments
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Today’s Question: What’s the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What’s the most popular book you don’t have? How does a book’s popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

The Most popular book that I own is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This is also the most popular book on LibraryThing as it is owned by 32,529 members. I haven’t read that book even though I own the entire series. I have many people at work who are encouraging me (in some cases badgering me) to read the series, and for whatever reason, I’m just can’t work up the motivation to get started. I typically don’t read fantasy, but I think I’m more hesitant because it’s just so darn popular. At this point, who would really care if I said that I’ve finally started the series? I’m quite probably the last person on earth who hasn’t.  Do I really want to read these books just to say that I have?  Do I want to wait and read them with my daughters (5 and 3) when they get old enough?

The most popular book that I don’t own is The Da Vinci Code (23,291 LibraryThing owners).  I tried to read this at one point because my sister loved it and asked me to, but I couldn’t get past the evil monk flogging himself.  There was something about it that just felt off to me and I stopped reading it.  The Jesus and Mary Magdalen controversy doesn’t do anything for me.  Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” explored this in a really meaningful way.  If I did want to read about that, I’d pick up The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis off of my bookshelf and read that.  I have absolutely no desire to revisit The Da Vinci Code.

In general, I don’t think that a book’s popularity affects me other than the hype surrounding it.  If there is a really hot historical fiction book, I’ll pick it up and read it in a heart-beat.  Even if I don’t end up liking it, I’m almost always glad I read it because I enjoy the discussions around it.  The Da Vinci Code and Eat, Pray, Love are examples of books that were/are really popular that turn me off.  In both cases, I didn’t finish the book and wished that I had followed my instincts and never picked them up in the first case.  In those cases, if they weren’t popular I wouldn’t have been given copies of the books in the first place.

How about you?  What’s your history with popular books?

Tuesday Thingers ~ All About Tagging

June 10, 2008 at 8:14 am | Posted in Books | 6 Comments
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Today’s question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

I am most definitely a tagger.  My relationship with tags evolved around the same time I changed the standard way that I published my book reviews.  When I started this blog, I just named the posts with the number of the book I had read in 2007.  After a very long while a couple of things dawned on me: the number means absolutely nothing to anyone but me, and how in the world would anyone find a book I’ve reviewed with that system?  I still use the number in the post name, but I also include the book title.  Now, I also tag the book title and author’s name as well.  I want people to read my reviews, and I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for them to be found.  I think I’m doing a better job of that now.

One of the things that is so appealing to me about tags is that they are specific to the post.  With categories, once you add one, it’s always there to scroll through.  It’s just too much.  Tags provide me the freedom to use them as they fit into my current post.  I don’t really follow any standards with my tags although I may include some of them by default.  When I post my reviews on LibraryThing, I do include both my categories and my tags in the Tags field.

Based on my Tag Cloud, it looks like Books, Culture, Historical Fiction, Reading, and Secrets and Lies are my top 5 tags in LT.  This makes me think that I need to go in and remove all of my books and reading tags from there.  In LT that’s pretty darn redundant.  Those are more appropriate for my blog.  The Historical Fiction tag is there with good reason and shows my ever growing enjoyment of that genre.  Culture and Secrets and Lies are pretty generic and not very informative in and of themselves.  Hmmm…

Perhaps I need to do some rethinking of my tags.  How do you use yours?

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