When I read the prompt for today for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week at The Estella Society, I did not realize we could be talking about bad books. So mine is a politer Thank the Blogger instead of Blame the Blogger. I made a list of some of the books I discovered on my favourite book (mostly) blogs and entirely loved.
1. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, discovered in March 2014, on Postcards from Asia. From my own review,
“The Golem and the Jinni meet by accident, and discover, instantly, each others’ true identities. After the initial fear and discomfort, a mixture of curiousity and loneliness brings them together and they become unlikely friends, exploring New York together, strangely free in the dead of the night. The Golem and the Jinni is an absorbing fusion of ordinary and miraculous.”
2. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, discovered in March 2012, on Vishy’s Blog. Again, from my own review,
“I think the book is worth reading. It is rather unique. It’s not long, though it sometimes loses momentum. If you like history, magical realism, dark fantasy, mythology, art, specifically grotesques, give The Gargoyle a chance.”
3. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, discovered in September 2012, on Nylon Admiral.
The Uncommon Reader is a charming little book woven around a simple idea – what would happen if the Queen were to fall in love with books? Among many dollops of wisdom on reading, the book gave me one of my favourite quotable quotes – “Authors are as much creatures of the reader’s imagination as the characters in their books.”
4. All short stories by Alice Munro, discovered in January 2014, on Viktoria’s Bookshelf (now One Sketch A Day)
This is my favourite discovery. I remember how blown away I was by the first Alice Munro story I read, only minutes after reading Viktoria’s post. I found the story Dimension in the New Yorker. I read it once, twice, rushed to buy a book by Munro, intro-ed her to the book club. Seriously, you haven’t experienced short stories until you have read Alice Munro.
5. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, discovered in October 2015, on Listen Watch Read Share
When I say You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, I am only saying it to keep the list consistent. What I actually mean is I discovered a lot of really good music on Denise’s blog. So You Have Been Publicly Shamed is a tough, scary book and I did appreciate it; but what you should be checking out is her blog, for all manner of fun things she writes.
The sweetest thing about BBAW is how it is making me stroll down memory lane every day. I have stuck to blogs that are still running here. But I stumbled upon so many I used to follow three and four years, old exchanges and emails and recommendations. I felt like I was in that scene in a movie, where I am standing still and the seasons change around me in fast-forward. Nice, but also sad. (The other thing this post established in my mind is how urgently I need to make a blog roll.)
The prompt also asks which books I keep pushing on people. Oh SO many. And ironically, I can’t think of a review I wrote or book I made someone read that got the anticipated reaction. Maybe three. However. It has not kept me from going on an on, yet!