The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs
Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff
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Buy *The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs* by Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff online

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs
Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff
Marion Boyars Publishers
254 pages
September 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Catheryn Kilgarriff’s favorite book blogger is a part-time nurse from Devon who calls herself Dovegreyreader. Although Catheryn finds her reading tastes are similar to Dovegreyreader, she wasn’t “bowled over by the start” when reading What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn. But it was Dovegreyreader’s praise of the story that motivated Catheryn to finish the book. By the end of the story, Catheryn found the writing “shining through” for her as well. And it’s a post from this same blog that has Catheryn eager to read books by author Amelie Nothomb. Dovegreyreader is just one of the over 140 book blogs mentioned in The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs.

While authors Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff have met some of the bloggers featured in this book, others have preferred to remain anonymous. But with blog excerpts on almost every page of their book, this book gives readers a sense about the people behind the blogs, all the while demonstrating how this diverse population of bookaholics is reaching out to celebrate books.

The twelve chapters in this book reflect the opinions and views of the many groups who are blogging online today. Publishers’ Blogs, Bookshop and Booksellers’ Blogs, and Book Blogs and Writers are chapters that focus on book bloggers who work in the book trade. Snowblog and The Friday Project are two blogs discussing independent publishing issues that the authors find useful and valuable to read. Posts on booksellers’ blogs like Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights and the Bookseller to the Stars give readers insight into the customers, the complaints, and the activities that surround the bookstore business. Blogs are being written by authors, as well. Authors are using blogs to interact with their readers and to promote their books. Toby Litt has a section on his blog called Askings. Under this heading, he lists questions he wants answered. Two examples of questions that were answered by readers of his blog were the meaning and origin of the surnames Magaryk and Calixte.

Other groups who are blogging include book fans, book clubs and literary groups. The chapter Fan Blogs, Obsessives and the Extreme references over 35 book blogs that focus on one author, genre, or character. Brontë Blog is devoted to “all things Emily-Anne- and Charlotte-related.” For readers who enjoy a particular genre, there are blogs that represent all varieties of literature. To find out what’s new in their favorite field, comic book readers can read Comic Book Galaxy and romance readers can go to Romance: By the Blog, or Romancing the Blog. Book club blogs are discussed briefly in the chapter Book Blogs and Writers. An excerpt from N16 Book Club is given, as well as a mention of “the largest free book club in the world.”

The Offbeat Generation, the Brutalists, the Riot Lit Collective and the Underground Literary Alliance are all groups highlighted in the chapter entitled Riot Lit and the Literary Groups Who Blog. Not content with mainstream publishing or current literature, they want to stir up the literature scene. Readers with an interest in edgier, more unconventional writing may want to refer to the blogs mentioned in this chapter.

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs ends with a look at bookselling and the Internet. The authors discuss how books are being affected, promoted and received online through, podcasts, audio books and e-books. In the future, Catheryn Kilgarriff would like to see book bloggers being heard and utilized more than they are now.

Rebecca Gillieron is an editor at Marion Boyars Publishers. She attended Cambridge University to study philosophy. Today she lives in Kent and enjoys playing a variety of instruments and singing for the bands Wetdog and The Ha-Ha Show. Catheryn Kilgarriff is the publisher at Marion Boyars Publishers. After attending Bristol University to study English and Philosophy, she went to the London College of Printing to learn typesetting and plate-making. She lives in London with her family.

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs is an easy read. Chapters include several subheadings, and the excerpts from the blogs are set apart from the main text with a smaller font. However, I would have enjoyed reading a chapter on librarians who blog and a chapter on blogs that feature children or young adult literature.

Book-blogging is even more varied and influential than I originally thought. Rebecca Gillieron and Catheryn Kilgarriff have written an interesting and well-researched book that bibliophiles will find helpful and entertaining. By the end of the book, readers will have a better understanding of book blogs - and their writers and readers - as well as the names and web addresses of some superb blog sites.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Tanya Boudreau, 2008

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