Aug 1, 2009

The Sunday Salon ~ More Fodder From My Thoughts

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon we are supposed to talk about Books. I also use it as a sort of weekly The Burton Review Newsletter type thing where I spout off about whatever I want to since I don't do that at any other point in my regularly scheduled blog programming. Warning.. I'm a rambler.

I haven't gotten too far in putting a dent in the To-Be-Read Pile. I have been dropping off to sleep the moment my brain relaxes and therefore have fallen asleep with the book in my hand soon after happily jumping in bed. Then I wake up and mutter about losing my spot in the book. Which was another 5 pages along. Last week I had read Phillippa Gregory's "The White Queen", the story of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen to Edward IV (a blubbery mess of a long review and a quick giveaway posts reallly soooon). Read last week's Sunday Post on more of That Woodville Woman if you missed my meanderings. I then jumped into "The Tudor Rose" by Margaret Campbell Barnes which is about the eldest Plantagenet Princess, Elizabeth of York, who becomes the next queen of England marrying Henry Tudor, Henry VII. The writing style is very different, being 50 years apart and the tones are different. I am enjoying the read, although for some reason I keep falling asleep. Hmmmm. It's been a long week with a cranky toddler, and its the hubby who has had the brunt of it. Some sort of virus the toddler/demon magically got while being secluded in the house. LE SIGH

I have an enormous Mailbox Monday post coming to you on Monday. My book orders have come in!! YEE-HA!! My astute daughter finally asked me why I keep getting all these books. I don't think she paid attention to my long answer. This week of Book Galore has tipped the scales. I am enjoying looking at my wonderful bookshelves, 98% of which I bought myself I must add and you'll see why. All mostly bought at a used price, via Alibris.com or Biblio.com. Love them!! Last year I bought mostly from Thriftbooks.com but they always come with these big stickers on it and I am sick of the big stickers on the spines. While I'm here I must also tell you that the awesome site BookDepository.uk (free worldwide shipping!!) has now opened a Book Depository USA.. YEE-HA.. which touts the FREE SHIPPING ALWAYS ... So that means we can stop using Amazon for new books. All right Y'all let's hear a YEEEEE-HA!!!!! {For instance, the award winning novel Olive Kitteridge is $6.99 at The Book Depository, and Amazon has it for $12.39 PLUS SHIPPING.}

On a side note to the ARC biz, yes I've received lots of Review Copies. I don't feel obligatory towards them. But I have just decided to not request or accept a single book (*unless it is Plantagenet or Tudor related or previously requested!) for the month of August. I have so many reviews that I have to do in the next two months that I am not going to get a chance to read one of the 20 books that I just bought the last two weeks! So we'll see how it goes, and if I don't put a dent in my review stack during the month of August, then I'm extending my ban on ARC's for September also. I hate that I might be missing a good read, but Enough is ENOUGH. I have to let go of the fear that I am missing out on something awesome if I turn down an ARC offer. Granted, I think I have a few more books still to show up that I have previously requested LE SIGH so that will still keep my Mailbox Monday posts busy for a little while still. I don't think my mailman likes me very much either, he would prefer it if I would put a large wagon in the place of my dinky little mailbox. One day last week I was AMAZED that he fit FIVE books, wrapped separately, plus miscellaneous bills in my little box. ALL SMUSHED in there and I had to fight to pull them out. Guess he decided that he WAS NOT getting out of his little jeep and walking up my driveway that sunny day. LE SIGH.

I came across another little "Book Blogger Controversy" in the blogosphere. For lack of a better word, or it could be a movement. I read a well thought out post written by Marie of Boston Bibliophile (call her the Boston Marie, and I'm Texas Marie). I had no issues with her post, it was well-put and she was reacting to something someone else had said about book bloggers receiving ARC's and if we are remaining true to our opinions in the review. Something about psychological mumbo-jumbo a commenter stated. I enjoyed The Boston Bibliophile's thoughts on this and reading all the fun comments.

I had my pleasant little comment back, stating I do not specifically request to review ARC's just to get free books as was implied by the someone who started this whole fiasco. We've been down this road and I'm not going there again. The End. mwahHAHAha

Then I see this creepy thing cropping up about Blogging With Integrity. Basically a couple of non-bookish bloggers set up a Website where bloggers in general can solemnly swear that we blog with integrity. IF we believe that we do, then we can sign up and get a graphic badge to place on our own blogs. JOY. Almost makes me want to throw up. Okay maybe that's a bit far but .. really. Yet .. I've seen a couple book bloggers that are saying that they are joining the club. I would just like to not feel like I am being scrutinized by others who have no idea who I am and what I am about. If you want to know something about me and my integrity spend 5 minutes and read my blog and you'll gather your thoughts about me, and I don't think having that Integrity Logo is going to put me higher up on your rating scale. Honestly, I am one of a million bloggers out there and I will happily be lumped into the Simple Book Blogger Category. I don't want to be part of another group of have's and have-not's; I think I reacted harshly to conforming principles in high school too. (I am not smiling in my senior photo. I disliked the majority of my schoolmates and the life I was doomed to. So I moved halfway across the country to TX. Yee HA, Y'all!)

TO YOUR OWN SELF BE TRUE

Yeah I think that's a little overboard this whole pledge stuff. I am not a sorority girl. What comes to mind is those who know me, know me well, and those who don't...
Every week I do a Mailbox Monday post that states exactly where each book came from, whether I bought it, won it, it landed from the sky or if it is a review copy. I am not going to go through all my Mailbox Monday posts and do a ratio count of books. Do you care? My current readers know I am honest. In the harsh reality, I sincerely doubt that there is a book blogger out there who is dishonest in a review and it is only the jealousy of the "PROFESSIONAL" or "CRITICAL" press reviewers who are afraid of the Book Bloggers Power. Why are we jumping through their hoops? Why are we giving credence to their paranoia? This is slightly off topic but reminds me of a recent post at Historical Boys titled "Don't Defame The Dead" regarding Historical Accuracy within Fiction. More "academics" not enjoying the competition it seems. Same theory with the Blogging with integrity schmutz.

TO YOUR OWN SELF BE TRUE

I would so much rather put a badge on my site that says Book Bloggers Unite.. or the Power of Book Bloggers.. Stamp Out BlogoControversy.. Why Can't We All Just Get Along? If you're interested I can make one! And I just might make something corny just for the fun of it.

If I don't put a Badge of Integrity on my site does that mean I don't have integrity?? Just like in high school and I didn't buy the GAP Jeans simply for that cool logo, now I won't put a badge on my site either. Non-conformist Marie does it again. Yee-Ha.

TO YOUR OWN SELF BE TRUE

Sometimes it just makes you wonder if all the politics is worth the blogging experience. Me-thinks I'm a little sensitive when someone assumes I don't blog with integrity because I don't have a logo saying so on my blog. LE SIGH

For those who are contemplating this, just because you put the badge up on your site does not change my opinion of you. If you feel better by having it up there proudly displayed on your site I hope it works for whatever it is worth. I either read your blog or I don't, it's pretty simple. There's a lot of blogs out there and no one is going to read them all. I firmly believe we read the blogs that are most similar to our own (speaking in book-blogger-genre-terms). I have my few loyal followers, and sometimes you don't even read ALL of my blog, you just email me. And I still love you.

Now what I really ask... if I don't sign up for the Blog With Integrity Logo, are you going to stop reading my reviews? I am just wondering..

The previous Why I Blog posts that I have written previously can be found here and all ties into this one thing which means I am not going to rehash it for all my regular readers. Thank for letting me get this off of my chest. I Love to Vent.

I Love you ALL and I appreciate each and every one of you, bloggers and non-bloggers alike. I appreciate the camaraderie and the ever growing to-be-read pile due to your reviews and recommendations and the bloggers' insightful reviews and the commenter's comments. Keep 'em coming.