Category Archives: Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)

A Belated BBAW Interview with Such A Book Nerd

Yesterday’s book blogger interview swaps were so popular, the BBAW committee was contacted yesterday by a few individuals who still wanted to participate.  I agreed to help out  and so today I present you with an interview with Jamie from Such a Book Nerd (don’t you love that  name!?)

Here’s some info about Jamie:

I live in Chicago and read way too much.

Books are my favorite hobby, and I’m here to write about them, things pertaining to them, people who write them, and other things I think might be of interest to fellow bibliophiles.

And on to the interview!  To make things easier, my questions are in bold, Jamie’s answer are italicized.

 When did you start blogging & why? 
I started blogging while in college, largely because it seemed like a fun way to make a sort of  living diary.  It’s been years since then, and I’ve continued blogging about my life, but only recently have I turned my focus purely to book blogging, which has already been really rewarding and fun.

Has your reading style changed since you started blogging?
Blogging about books has definitely made me read more critically.  Also, it’s made me pre-plan what I’m reading, which isn’t something I typically do. I’m definitely a “Walk into Borders and grab what looks interesting” kind of reader, but now there’s a little advance planning involved. (Like with the upcoming Banned Books Week, I really want to read something from the most-challenged list.)

What’s a genre you typically don’t read and why?
I don’t read a lot of crime novels, and really – I’m not sure why.  When I do read them, I’m always riveted, but I guess by nature I tend to flock more to classics and non-fiction books.  (I’m open to suggestions, though!)

Name a book that you loved, but felt didn’t get the publicity it deserved.
There’s a really wonderful book about Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, and Lord Byron called “The Monsters.”  Granted, it’s about a small circle of literary people, so the niche can’t be that huge, but I think it’s so wonderful and no one’s ever heard of it.  Heck, I got my copy at a used book store for probably four bucks.
On the other side, is there a book you feel didn’t deserve the publicity it received?
While I understand it’s importance and Kerouac’s influence, I just don’t get all the hype around “On the Road.”  I read it, and understood that it’s well-written and must have seemed groundbreaking, but maybe I’m just of the wrong generation…who knows?

Looking at your blog, I see that you attend a fair amount of author events.  Which was your favorite and why?
Recently, Alison Arngrim from “Little House on the Prairie” came to speak at a Borders in Chicago, and  I attended. She was really funny, and I loved her book.  There wasn’t any sugar-coating when she talked. She’s blatant and hysterical and it’s great.

Do you read ebooks? If no, why?
I don’t yet – I love ink and paper. However, I’m probably going to wind up with a Kindle soon.  Purely because we’re running out of bookcase room in our apartment.

Care to share something that no one else knows about you?
I’ve never finished “Anna Karenina.” Sssh! Tell no one.

What are some of the books you are looking forward to?
Hands down, the book I’m most looking forward to is Sarah Vowell’s new book, “Unfamliar Fishes.”  It’s about the conquest/settlement of Hawaii as a U.S. State.  A) I love Vowell, and B) I just returned from Hawaii and have learned a lot about the mixed feelings that are still lingering over there about the whole being a state vs being a sovereign nation thing.

There you have it!  Be sure to check out Such a Book Nerd later today to see my answers to her interview questions!

BBAW Day Two: Interview Swap With JP From YA Urban

Today is day two of BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week) and today we’re participating in an interview swap with another book blogger. 

My swap partner is JP from YA, Urban, a YA book blog.  Here’s a bit of information about JP:

“I am an aspiring YA urban fantasy writer and I blog about books, authors, lit events and other YA lit things that I love. My WIP is Team Demon. @jpmsull on Twitter.”

Following are JP’s answers to my interview questions:

Jenn: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

JP: Some of my favorite books growing up were actually Chris D’Lacey’s clay dragon novels. They’re really good, and really creative. 

Jenn: Have you always been a book lover?

JP: Yes, I pretty much have always been the one guy who’s obsessed with books and writing. The minute I picked up my first chapter book, I was hooked.   

Jenn: When did you start blogging & why?

JP: I started blogging May of 2010. Why? Well, I wanted to write reviews of books on my own site, but used to be afraid no one would read them. I did some online research and proved that theory wrong! 

Jenn: What is your most memorable (exciting or embarrassing) author moments?

JP: Well…I guess this one time when I wrote a short story that was being read out loud, and the boy & girl MC’s liked each other, and the girl MC was named after the girl I liked in that class….

Jenn: What are some books you are looking forward to?

JP:  Wow. I love this question. Um, okay: ANGELFIRE by Courtney Allison Moulton; WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight; FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater; PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa D. (I don’t know how to spell her last name, hehe); and CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS by Cassandra Clare. 

Thank you, JP, for participating in this interview swap with me! I’ve discovered yet another fantastic YA book blog! Everyone, be sure to check out YA Urban today!

BBAW Giveaway Post #1: ARC Prize Pack!

I receive an insane amount of ARCs (advance reader copies) on a weekly basis.  Adding to my piles are the duplicate ARCs I receive.  Rather than letting these duplicates pile up, why not pass them on to another reader?

The winner of this giveaway will receive the following ARCs:

  • The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle (LOVED this one!)
  • Summer of the Geek by Piper Banks
  • Mothers & Other Liars by Amy Bourret
  • The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
  • Hollywood Savage by Kristin McCloy
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
  • Think of A Number by John Verdon
  • Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
  • One Flight Up by Susan Fales-Hill (finished copy)

To enter, please fill out the form below.  Since I will be handling the shipping, and I’m feeling a bit generous, this contest is open worldwide!  The winner will be announced next Monday, September 20th!

Keep an eye out for more giveaway posts this week! I still have quite a few stacks of ARCs to go through, so whatever I’m unable to review, I’ll pass on to you! Good luck!!

It’s Time to Start Planning for BBAW 2010!

The Third Annual Book Blogger Appreciation Week will take place September 13-17!  Are you as excited as I am!?

Here’s a bit more information:

What:  Book Blogger Appreciation Week is a week long festival celebrating the community of book bloggers and their contribution to preserving a culture of literacy through book reviews and recommendations, reading reflections, and general bookish chat.  BBAW also includes an awards component.  For more information on the BBAW 2010 Awards and how to participate, please visit the BBAW 2010 Awards Blog.  BBAW events include daily blogging topics, blogger interview swaps, special guest posts, and so much more!

Who:  If you self-identify as a book blogger, this festival is for you!  We have been excited to welcome participants from all over the world for past BBAWs.

When:  September 13-17, 2010.

Where: At the Book Blogger Appreciation Week blog.  You can participate in the comfort of your own home and the convenience of your own time zone. 

Why:  Because book blogging is a fun and time intensive hobby that has created communities around books and played a crucial role in the continuing evolution of what books mean in our society.

How Can I Participate?
You can participate by filling out the registration form for BBAW 2010. Subscribe to the blog’s feed and follow BBAW on Twitter to keep up with all of the developments!

Still need some more information? Tune in and listen to a special episode of That’s How I Blog, all about the history of BBAW!  Ann Kingman and Candace of the 2010 BBAW Executive Board will also discuss some of the changes for this year’s BBAW.  Have questions about your registration? Email and be connected with a BBAW volunteer!

So what are you waiting for!? Go sign up!

BBAW Bonus Interview with Dawn from She Is Too Fond of Books!



I can admit it.  I’m in denial that BBAW is over! I want to continue the blogger love and appreciation we all celebrated that week! Ok, now that I see that in print it does sound a bit cheesy.  Anyway, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to interview Dawn from She is Too Fond of Books.  I was lucky to have met Dawn at BEA this past May.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to hang out as much as we would have liked, but that’s something that will definitely change for BEA 2010!  Dawn also forced encouranged me to join the Game On Diet Challenge, and I’m forever thankful to her for that!  So, without further ado, my interview with Dawn!

Jenn: First, can you give a little background info about your blog (i.e. how long have you been blogging, etc)

Dawn: I started writing She is Too Fond of Books in May 2008.  We had an out-of-state move about a year earlier, moving not only the kids from their playmates and school chums, but moving me from Upsilamba the women’s book group I had belonged to for seven years.  We discussed mostly nonfiction, and the group members ebbed and flowed over the years.  We had lively discussions, often agreed to disagree, and knew that, like Vegas, what happened in book group, stayed in book group!  I did start a book group in our new neighborhood, here, and it’s still going strong, but we’re a bit lighter in our conversations.  The blog is a way for me to explore a little more deeply my reactions to what I read, and to connect with others who might also be too fond.

Jenn: Describe your blog in five words.

Dawn: Honest. Personal. Varied. Family-friendly. Connections.

Jenn: What are the most memorable books you’ve read since blogging? Why?

Dawn: Oh good, I re-read the question … I thought you were looking for one book, and I wanted to write “impossible to choose one!”.  OK, the most memorable books I’ve read in the past 18 months or so include Beat the Reaper (laugh out loud funny on audio, definitely R rated), Blame and Last Night in Montreal (literary fiction with themes that really make think … and stay with you), The Middle Place and The Center of the Universe (raw, honest memoirs), To the World of Men, Welcome and It’s Beginning to Hurt (outstanding collections of short fiction).

Jenn: If you were stuck on an island, which five books would you like to have with you?

Dawn: Is this where I say that if I had a Sony e-reader with me, I could have hundreds of books at my disposal?  And Sony will be so pleased with the endorsement they’ll send us each a comp unit to test-drive, review, and thus reduce the number of books overflowing the bookcases?  Oh, I probably won’t have bookcases on the island ….  I’d have a blank book (a journal); a book of poetry (something huge, covering nursery rhymes to classics); an NIV study Bible (I’ve never read it through, so this would be as good a time as any to really dissect it); and since I’m on an island UltraSimple Boat Building would be handy.

Jenn: Most interesting/strange thing that has happened to you since creating your blog?

Dawn: I can’t think of anything strange; I’m kind of a Pollyanna that way!  Tons of interesting things, though – going to BEA and meeting lots of other bloggers, feeling comfortable talking to my author idols, trying new things (new genres, new activities, Game On Diet), seeing life through blog-goggles, always looking for an angle.

Jenn: Name one book that has gone unrecognized so far and deserves more recognition.

Dawn: Islands of Divine Music by John Adieggo.  It’s a series of linked short stories, telling the story of a family through several generations.  There’s a bit of magical realism in it.  I’ve done a lot of primary source research on my own genealogy, and I’d love to write even one short story that gives a snapshot of an incident in an ancestor’s life.

Jenn: Since blogging, have you been turned on to a type of book you haven’t read before? (i.e graphic novel, non-fiction, etc.)

Dawn: I’ve read only one graphic novel (The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley), which I loved.  I’d definitely read more, just haven’t added any more to my library yet.  I’m enjoying YA books, too, although I still struggle with reviewing them (an issue at my end, not the author’s).  Oh, and short fiction; I’m reading more and more short story collections (and “novels in stories” or linked short stories).

Thank you, Dawn, for stopping by Jenn’s Bookshelves!  Everyone, please check out my answers to Dawn’s questions on her blog, She is Too Fond of Books!

BBAW Giveaway #2: Book Lover’s Gift Set

The winner of my next BBAW giveaway will receive a book lover’s gift set, which includes the following items:

click to enlarge image

  • Assortment of sticky-notes
  • Note card set
  • Sticky-note book mark
  • Bookmarker Pens (so thin, they double as a bookmark)
  • Hardbacker, magazine or graphic novel size

To enter, please comment below. For extra entries, please tweet/blog about it.  Link to tweet/blog post must be included in your comment.  Comment must also contain email address.

Open to US/Canadian residents only.  Winner will be announced on Monday, September 21st.

BBAW Interview Swap: My Interview with Hilda from The Dip-Files!

My interview partner is Hilda from The Dip-Files.  Before we go into the interview, here is some basic information about her from her blog:

dipfilesI’m a young Venezuelan girl living in Shanghai who has been lost to books. I love emerging myself into those crazy worlds only ingenious Authors can create and I am now exploring all the different genres of literature but remain faithful to vampire stories. I’m also an aspiring novelist and have just recently discovered the wonders of blogging. – – This blog is dedicated to bloody vampires because I just can’t get enough of them! – -

Now that you have a little background information on Hilda, on to the interview!

Jenn: When did you begin blogging? What made you decide to create a blog?

Hilda: I started blogging not too long ago. About two months ago, actually. I had been following some book blogs and blogs of my favorite authors and I thought it would be a good idea to share my own experiences, too.

Jenn: Describe your blog in five words.

Hilda: New, bloody, bookish, experimental, red.

Jenn:  If you were stuck on an island which five books would you like to have with you?

Hilda: That’s tough. The genres I read depend on my mood. This week I feel like reading Paranormal, but two weeks ago I was reading Romance. However I do have some faves I’d like to have with me. The Demonica Series by Larissa Ione, there goes three, Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris and Surrender to the Devil by Lorraine Heath.

Jenn: Name one book that has gone unrecognized so far that deserves more recognition.

Hilda: Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera. It’s like an autobiography but it’s an amazing story. Very touching.

Jenn: You obviously love vampire novels. Which one is your favorite?

Hilda: Phew, how to answer this. I love anything about vampire. Novels, TV Shows, movies, photos, anything. It’s hard to choose one novel because each has something the other doesn’t. It’s pretty impossible for me to pick one. But Interview with the Vampire was my first vampire book, the one that got me hooked, so I guess it is my favorite. And I’m irrevocably in love with Lestat *grin*

Jenn: Who’s your favorite Author?

Hilda: Uh, that’s easy, if you’ve been following me you already know who it is. Larissa Ione. =)

Jenn: What’s your favorite thing about the blogging community?

Hilda: The fact that I can read different points of view and different perspectives and it’s like I experience their experiences along with them. It’s also great to have and meet online buddies that share the same interests as me.

Jenn: What is the best thing you’ve discovered about the blogging community?

Hilda: Blogging is a constant learning experience. Whether it’s books, movies, TV Shows, or simply life, you’re always learning something new. I’ve learned that I have to be more dedicated in what I do in order to accomplish anything I wish.


Thank you, Hilda, for stopping by! Be sure to check out her blog later today to view my answers to her questions!

BBAW Giveaway #1! The Book of Your Choice!


What better way to celebrate BBAW than with book giveaways?  And to kick off my week of giveaways, I was going to do a giveaway for one of my favorite books.  Instead, I’ll let the winner choose!  The winner of this contest can pick the book of their choice (limit of $20 USD).  Winner can choose book from (US residents )or (US or International residents). Contest is open world-wide!

To enter, comment below with the title of the book you would like to win.

For multiple entries:

  • Become a follower of this blog (either via email or RSS feed).
  • Blog about it.  To be counted, must be an actual blog post, not a sidebar item.  Please include link to blog post.
  • Tweet about it. Please be sure to include @jennsbookshelf in your tweet.  Include a link to your tweet in your comment.

Winner will be announced Monday, September 21st.  Good luck!!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Can You Feel the Excitement?

I think I’ve drilled this into your heads already, but Book Blogger Appreciation Week is coming up soon: September 14-18, 2009. Nominees for the various categories have been nominated and I love the excitement I see on twitter when people tweet what category they have been nominated for. The enthusiasm is overwhelming!

Well, Jenn’s Bookshelf has been nominated for Best Reviews! I woke up to find the email waiting for me. I’m suprised, humbled, and honored! Thank you to whomever nominated me!

I also have to thank the awards committee that has been spending a tremendous amount of time sending out these notificiations. It’s a lot of hard work, and we all appreciate your dedication to spreading the excitement about book bloggers!

So, I have until midnight tomorrow (Friday, August 21st) to come up with 5 posts that most reflect my blog and this category. It’s going to be a lot of fun to go back and reflect over the posts I’ve done over the past year, and to see how much Jenn’s Bookshelf has grown and matured.

Be sure to keep following the BBAW blog and be sure to vote for your favorite blogs! Voting starts Monday, September 7 and ends on September 12 at 11:59 PM EST.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Meme!

Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) is just a little over a month away! Have you nominated your favorite blogs yet? The deadline is August 15th, so nominate now!

I created my blog in March of 2008, and unfortunately I didn’t learn about BBAW until it was over. This year, a little meme was created to spread the excitement about BBAW.
1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?

Without a doubt, I’d say the community. I’ve met a number of amazing people since creating my blog. This includes other bloggers, but also authors and publicists as well. It was wonderful to know that there were other people out there who appreciated reading as much as I do.

2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?

Where do I begin? Well, the first blogger I followed was Becky from No More Grumpy Bookseller. She and I both reviewed for Bookbitch and she was definitely an inspiration to me. She gives the best book recommendations and has introduced me to a bunch of “new to me” authors. My book collection has grown tremendously since I started following her blog.

In addition to Becky, there are dozens upon dozens of other bloggers who have helped me improve my blog and my blogging experience. Here are just a few:
  • Kathy from Bermudaonion’s Weblog-Kathy was one of the first to comment on my blog. She’s the commenting queen!

  • Beth from Beth Fish Reads-We both swear we are long-lost twins, separated by time and space.

  • Julie from Booking Mama-Her blog has introduced me to a wealth of great books for my boys.

  • Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?-Trish offers the best suggestions when it comes to improving and enhancing a blog. In addition, she was my roomie at BEA, and I truly enjoyed the time we spent together and the conversations we had.

  • Amy from My Friend Amy-Another blogger that offers great advice when it comes to books and blogging. She alleviated my nervousness about attending BEA for the first time always has the best responses/solutions when drama pops up in the blogging world. She and I don’t always have the same opinion, but hers is one I definitely value.

  • Dawn from She is Too Fond of Books-Dawn is an amazing monther and woman. I love when she features receipes on her blog. I always try them out. They aren’t always a hit, but the experience is unforgettable. Dawn also inspired me to join the Game On Challenge, an experience that forever changed me and my eating lifestyle.

  • Michelle, aka Galleysmith- Michelle gave me the great idea to create my Virginia is for Lovers feature. She also supported my Supernatural addiction by lending me two seasons-worth of DVDs :). Michelle is a true bibliophile–her book shopping extravaganzas relieve the guilt I have after buying a few books.

Ok, I know there are a gazillion other bloggers I’d like to thank, but for fear of this post turning into one of those never ending award acceptance speeches, I’ll stop for now.
3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?

Short, easy answer: How on earth do you only select one blog to nominate from each category!?