Type “books” into Google’s search engine, and the result is millions of hits. Where do you start? It depends what you are specifically looking for, of course, but even with a relatively narrow focus the selection is apt to be (too) large. So we looked for you, and found some worthy blogs that have come to our attention. If you know of one you’d like to see here, tell us about it. We’ll check it out.
“One Woman, One Year, Countless Distractions” is the subtitle of this free spoken and amusing blog. She's from Vancouver, she’s a reader, and she’s got strong opinions. What could be better?
Afghan Women’s Writing Project
Americn author Masha Hamilton first visited Afghanistan in 2004, and came away appalled at the situation of women and inspired by their courage. As a result she started this blog that allows Afghan women to have a platform to the world that is not filtered by either male relatives of members of the media. Women volunteers are paired with Afghan women online to help them develop their voices and share their stories.
A Good Blog is Hard To Find
This wonderful blog is run by a group of Southern authors who share their thoughts on books and writing of all kinds. It’s also a lively one since every weekday brings something new from author interviews to essays to reviews. In addition, a number of visiting authors stop by to share their news and views.
Austin Public Library Blog
This Texas library started its own blog to talk about books, reading, news, events, tips, and curiosities and controversies. Even for non-Texas readers, there is some great information here from those who really know their books—librarians. A fount of information presented in a wonderful way.
Eclectic book art and illustrations are the focus of this fascinating blog, which showcases obscure imagery found in old books ranging from eighteenth-century anatomical and architectural drawing to occult and alchemical engravings and proto-Surrealist depictions of the horrors of industrialization. PK, author and owner of the blog, also provides details for each of the images.
Book Girl’s Nightstand
This is a charming blog that roams over the literary landscape. Two of my favorite parts are her “Friday Finds,” which are the books she’s found mentioned elsewhere and added to her wish list, as well as her extensive list of excellent bookish links. Also, be sure to check out her book art.
Patricia Storms is a humorous illustrator and cartoonist, bibliomaniac in Canada who has a fresh voice and a lovely sense of humor. Nothing erudite here, but a charming blog nonetheless.
This blog is “a guide to wanted and collected books. Included in the wonderfully written posts are explanations of why the book is wanted and what it is worth (within a range of selling prices) as well as “some trivia, apercus and bon mots, a few anecdotes, so called jokes and occasional rants.”
A blog about bookshelves and books and libraries and bookstores and reading lists, this wonderful blog is a booklover's haven. Erik Heywood shows more than he tells. That makes this particular blog noteworthy.
“I love the way books spread the story out, allowing you to return to it again and again,” Becca says, and you can believe it. Her unabated and uninterrupted passion for the written word is what fuels this top-notch and utterly delightful blog.
This delightful blog really does have a sense of “capturing days” in it. Cynthia’s posts are like being with her as she moves through her life and days—from sharing what she loves about the books she is reading to the “aaarrg!” feeling of opening up a new book package and finding a bent cover, from quotes that make her ponder to a writing group week. Reading this is a bit like poking, with open invitation, into one of the small beach houses pictured on her home page. Personal, witty, and as comfortable as a pair of old jeans. A good place to hang out.
A fantastic and beautifully designed blog devoted to—what else?—great books.
Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie
Lewis Jaffe writes a delightful blog on bookplates. He is passionate about his hobby as he is knowledgeable, and he has a sense of humor which can be seen in posts such as this: I suspect I am addicted to dust. My favorite method of bookplate hunting is to sit in an old bookshop blowing dust off covers, peeking inside, in anticipation of finding a bookplate treasure. The excitement of discovery that accompanies the search can never be replicated by eBay.
This is the blog of the National Book Critics Circle board of directors. The NBCC is the non-profit organization of book critics responsible for the annual National Book Critics Circle Awards. If you enjoy book criticism, this blog with its contributions from members, is fascinating and sometimes controversial. But, then, good book criticism is.
A Different Stripe
If you love the classics (as I do) or just want to explore new literary fields, this NYRB Classics blog from the New York Review of Books is perfect. It has several contributors and a simply beautiful appearance. And the writing and topics are enthralling.
Mark Sarvas, editor, travel agent, bass player, short story writer, book reviewer, and novelist, is the strong voice of this stylish blog where you will find reviews, commentary, giveaways and much more that is truly worth reading.
The Endless Bookshelf
Henry Wessells is a man with impeccable credentials for writing about books, and in this
He admits, he says, to be susceptible to “private eye novels, equalled by my interest in the quirky, erudite, or obscure, and surpassed only by my love of the literature of the fantastic.” Who couldn’t help but be intrigued by that statement?
Yes, the punctuation is correct. Travis terms this a “book publishing fan blog.” It’s located in Birmingham, Alabama, but he likes, as he says, “book, fiction and no-fiction.” He also keeps up with book-related events and news of interest to readers from all over as well as in his hometown.
I like the straightforward, unselfconscious intellect of this blogger who writes about whatever moves her passion. It’s mostly books, but sometimes it’s (unusually thoughtful) politics. She loves to read, and her reasons for are wonderfully articulated that you should read them too. I think you’ll find a reader-soulmate in them. This is simply one fantastic book blog.
For those who are driven crazy by “business signs that contain grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation errors,” this is the perfect place to come and share your frustrations. It’s hilarious, wonderful and perfectly snarky. Its only flaw is that the blogger posts relatively infrequently. (Come on, there can’t be that much perfection out there, can there?)
Judge a Book by its Cover
Book covers of the truly hideous kind by a public librarian who has seen them all. Definitely snarky and very funny.
Kim, a voracious reader who is passionate about book-related gadgets began this blog to help others like herself find wonderful toys and tools of special interest to bibliphiles. She does a marvelous job, sharing her home and life as well as places and things. A wonderful site courtesy of a fascinating blogger.
“It’s all about the books.” That’s the subtitle of this wonderful blog that offers “ concise reviews of books that we feel are interesting, and worthy of a strong latte and a warm comforter.” In other words, books you won’t find reviewed in too many other places.
A blog with multiple contributors, The Millions is fun, opinionated and humorous. C. Max Magee, upon starting it, wrote: “I recently realized, though, that I am singularly qualified to write a blog about books. I work in a great little book store and therefore, in pursuit of my paycheck, I see with my own eyes the hundreds of books that come out weekly and I read reviews in dozens of newspapers and magazines. Finally, I have always loved books and I have always loved telling people about books.”
New Pages blog
The blog for New Pages describes itself as focusing on “literary magazines & publishing, alternative media, links to good reading.” Denise Hill, who writes the blog and runs the fabulous New Pages website with her husband, writes a truly excellent blog that all writers and most readers ought to put on their daily reading list. It’s smart, amusing, touching, and well done, loaded with information you didn’t know you wanted to know until you read it.
This blog is courtesy of the Orwell Prize (Britain’s pre-eminent prize for political writing). It is publishing George Orwell’s domestic and political diaries as a blog on the same days exactly seventy years after the original entries were written and exactly as they were written.
A wonderful blog owned by a nameless woman who uses a quote from Joyce Carol Oates—Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul—as her motto. It sums up the blog’s offerings very nicely. Well written, satisfying, amusing—and especially recommended for readers who are cat lovers.
Any blog that emanates from the New York Times would be high quality, but this blog is also fun to read. The various contributors always keep it lively and up to date. You’ll find news, opinions, interviews, and what they term “regular raids on the archives.” Paper Cuts is what all blogs should aspire to be, though few will be able to achieve it.
Sonia, who lives in San Francisco, likes taking pictures of people reading books in public. She says she began the blog because she was interested in what makes a good book and why people read what they do. It’s an unusual perspective for a book blog.
She is an “avid reader and book collector” who is always on the lookout for new authors and titles. What makes her posts (and blog) exceptionally interesting is their detail. She doesn’t just whip off one hundred or two hundred breathless words about how she loved a book. Rather, she carefully reveals the storyline (but not too much), then explores what she felt and thought (and why) about the characters, elements, plots, overall story. You come away with a strong sense of the book and enough information to judge its worth for yourself.
Ready When You Are
C.B. James began this blog as a local political one but when, as he says, “I found politics to be a very heated kitchen and if you can’t stand the heat . . .” he turned to book blogging. And a good thing for the book community he did. His posts are literate, well-written and intriguing. In addition, he is a book artist and, most amusing of all, he tracks the books his dog, a book-loving basset hound, eats.
Seven Roads: Gallery of Book Trade Labels
Seven Roads is a blog devoted to the small labels that publishers, printers, binders, importers, distributors and booksellers used to paste into the endpapers of books as a way to advertise their contribution in bringing the book to market. New finds are added around the first of each month.
Washington Post Book World editors take turns contributing to this blog on a daily basis with thoughts, questions, ideas, news, reports on trends and gossip all on books, reading and the publishing industry. It’s an excellent blog that reports things of literary interest to general readers rather than industry insiders.
Very Short Novels
An unusual and unusually fascinating blog in that each post is a “novel” of 299 words. For years, David has written them, sent them off to literary magazines and occasionally read them in public. He would explain them as very short fictions of 300 words each. During one of those readings, someone asked if he meant precisely 300 words and he flippantly replied, “No, they are 299 words.” Which they have been ever since that night.
will read for food
Nicki Leone, BiblioBuffet columnist (“A Reading Life”) and Managing Editor, calls her blog “an exercise in shameless self-indulgence.” She writes as the mood moves her, but her posts often include a running commentary on her current reading; descriptions of libraries, bookstores and memorable rooms full of books; and general literary meanderings, “I became a bookseller because I loved to read,” she writes, “but also because I loved to talk to people about what I was reading, and hear what they were reading. An important part of my reading life happens after I close the book and start to think about what I’ve just read. Inevitably, I want to talk it out with someone.” She does here—and wonderfully.
The Wooden Spoon
This blog, by publishing professional, founding member of the Boston Poetry Union, and writer Daniel Pritchard, will be of particular interest to poets, but it will also appeal to anyone looking for intelligent work. Unlike many blogs, The Wooden Spoon (“a blog of literature, culture, publishing, and life”) offers up serious brain food for thought.
The Written Nerd
A delightful and witty blog by a bookseller in New York City’s SoHo district who loves her day job but admits it cuts into her blogging time because she has to be available to customers every minute of the day. “Even if I do have a long-term computer project going,” she wrote in her first post, “I will drop it at a moment's notice to help someone find the book they're looking for. If there's not a customer at that moment, there's receiving, shelving, sorting, display work, and in my case, keeping an eye on the other sales floor folk to make sure they're being attentive to the customers as well . . . I think this is why there are so few bookseller blogs.”