Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Weekly Review: Week Ending 6/13/2009

I know that I post a lot during the week and that sometimes you might miss some of those posts. So I'm going to start recapping the posts on this blog that I don't want you to miss as well as point out the other great stuff happening around the blogosphere.

This week, I reviewed In the Sanctuary of Outcasts a memoir by Neil White about his year in a prison that was housed in a leprosarium. That's right. Actually, in my review, I questioned why it took so long for the story to be published, and Neil was kind enough to email me the reason why. He has given me permission to post it here:

Thought I'd tell you why it took so long. First, I wasn't really sure I should ever publish it (as opposed to writing it). The publishing of the book and all that goes along with it -- publicity, applause, seeking of accolades -- goes quite counter to the lessons in the book. Hope I haven't made a mistake. Second, it took me nearly 13 years to fully understand the meaning behind the experience (I'm slow that way). Finally, I didn't want to let the story go until I had made it as perfect as possible as a tribute to Ella, Harry and the other patients. There are other reasons, too, but those are the main ones. Just FYI.

I was really thankful Neil took the time to email me and tell me and I completely respect the reasons why.

I also reviewed After the Moment and Ghostwriter.

I also posted the Summer of Hitchcock schedule and our first discussion of North by Northwest takes place tomorrow!

I asked what you think about the anticipation for books, wondered who your Oprah is, and asked what you think about a novelizations of movies and an author who novelized the movie sequel to her book--that she didn't write.

But alas, I'm not the only one out there blogging! Here's some other stuff going on around the blogosphere.


I enjoyed this post over at Jen Robinson's blog about encouraging kids to read at their grade level. I ponder this from time to time, because I definitely read books I probably shouldn't have read when I was too young to read them. I enjoyed books for my own level as well, but in the end, you can't stop a reader from reading whatever they get their hands on! But that's sort of off topic and probably suited to a post of its own.

Roger of Horn Book weighed in on the whole blogging thing...and I'm finding that I probably have enough to say on this topic to write my own post. But the truth is it will probably echo all the things I already always say here. But I think it's coming anyway.

Daniel of Boswell and Books talked about de-childing the teen section of their bookstore which I found fascinating. I love this blog for all the little insights it gives me into bookselling. Do you have a favorite or recommended bookseller blog?

Nicole of Linus's Blanket asks the all important question of whether or not you "disclaim" in your reviews. As you know, I do try to let readers know about what they might find offensive. I think this is something bloggers can do for our readers, and so why not? We all have different tolerance levels for certain things, and this is a much better solution than a rating system for me.

Jen shared a great post on the importance of procrastination by Katherine Howe. Procrastination is definitely something I can get behind!

More praise for Laurie Halse Anderson from Carrie who reviewed her book Twisted this week. Might want to check this one out!

Shelly shares a post about social anxiety from Jennifer Austin Leigh which you might find helpful.

Meanwhile, Angie shares some thouhts on being a rereader.

And words could never describe how much I love this post from Sassymonkey at Blogher. I get so tired, downright weary of genre discrimination and shame. I also, for the record, get tired of hearing disclaimers when people say they like chick lit. You don't have to call it mind candy, you don't need to say it's escapism. You really really don't. But you know what? This all sort of ties into that post I mentioned wanting to write earlier.

Books Bought Based on Blogger Reviews
Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci

Social Justice
Laura of Texas in Africa has been on a roll with this week with many thought provoking posts. You might be interested in this guest post about some of the current problems with Invisible Children.

The children's advocacy blog asks why we are still clueless about modern slavery. (Interesting thoughts)


Loved, loved, loved this Rabbit Room post, called The Crazy You Get From Too Much Choice. Using books as an example was perfect for my life at this time.

Found Rachel Held Evans in the comments section of Flowerdust and I'm so glad I did. She's really smart and I like the way she thinks. I loved this post that so beautifully articulates how we delight and bask in the joy of when the other side messes up and how really that says more about us than them.

Other News and Events
Wouldn't you know that the first time I come up with a catchy name for something it's for someone else's party? Natasha is hosting a blogging marathon next weekend to get all the work you need to get done on your blog done. Since pretty much every weekend is a bloggiesta around here, I will definitely be joining in! Read all the details at the Maw Books Blog.

Edward Champion is hosting a roundtable discussion on his blog and I'm taking part! The book looks really interesting to me and I'm happy to be part of an event that hopefully, you know, helps us blend communities a little.

Also, Colleen of Chasing Ray announced a One Shot Event where basically a bunch of bloggers post a review of a book from a certain region or by an author of that region on the same day. This time it happens to be Southeast Asia and it looks like a fun event to me.

I do feel like I'm wondering how in the world I'm ever going to do anything else with all the new blogs I've discovered recently.

Book Acquistions

I don't participate in Mailbox Monday, but I do like to talk about some of the new books I've bought from time to time. This week, I'm particularly excited about Shutter Island and Flash Forward. Shutter Island has been made into film (starring Leo Dicaprio Jen!) You can watch the trailer here. And Flash Forward is a TV show on this fall. Yay!

This blog used to be a place where I sort of journaled out things I was thinking through and wrestling through in my faith. I don't really feel one hundred percent comfortable doing that here anymore, but I still find myself often wanting to write about those things. I've been thinking of setting up a separate blog for it. It would just be a small blog where I could think out loud and anyone who wanted to read could. I'd probably not even update it every week. My question is...does anyone care? I mean, would you read it? I think some of you who have read from the very beginning might be more interested in that than the books. In any case, if you have some feelings about it, let me know.



Talismans said...


Anonymous said...

Amy you continue to amaze me - you are a book devouring reviewing machine! :)

The Old Silly From Free Spirit Blog

Tasha said...

Shutter Island is the only Dennis Lehane I have read, though I want to read more. Leonardo DiCaprio has been my one and only celebrity crush since the 8th grade (although Justin Chatwin is coming up in the ranks!), and I'll admit, it was hearing that he was in the movie that made me want to read the book. I don't regularly read thrillers, but I enjoyed the book.

Tasha said...

Oh, and I forgot to answer your question. I think that if you'd feel more comfortable discussing your faith on a separate blog, then go for it. I would be interested to read your thoughts, as I also have questions and things I struggle with.

My parents and sister's family (inc. 3 young kids) attend Baptist church regularly and discuss God, faith, and church A LOT. I often attend with them, but I feel like more of an outsider for a variety of reasons. So, yeah, I'd love to hear what you're going through.

Faith seems like a subject that could open you up to a lot of extreme comments, both positive and negative. I'm a relatively new reader of your blog - have you found that discussing your faith in the past has led to any strong responses by those who feel differently than you do?

Anonymous said...

Totally can't wait for the roundtable discussion! Good to see some "blending" going on! :--)

Jen Robinson said...

I laughed when you said: "Since pretty much every weekend is a bloggiesta around here, I will definitely be joining in!" because that was exactly my response, too.

Thanks for linking to the reading levels post. That one is generating a lot of discussion, so I think I'm going to write some more about it over at PBS this week.

As for starting another blog for your musings, I think it makes sense, and I've definitely seen other people do that (Becky from Becky's Book Reviews, for example). You could even make the other blog invitation-only, and only share your thoughts with people you know, if you wanted to do that. My two cents, anyway.

Angiegirl said...

Amy, thanks for the link! Rereading is a topic near and dear to my heart. It's lovely to hear how and when other people go about it.

I love Dennis Lehane. I haven't actually read SHUTTER ISLAND, but I love his Kenzie/Gennaro series. Thanks for the info and recap!

Literate Housewife said...

I don't think there is any reason why you should change what you write about here. I enjoy it all, not just one subject. I say do what you want. I would follow another blog, too.

Michelle said...

Amy, my friend, how do you have time to sleep? And work? And eat? LOL

I'm continually impressed at your capacity to be involved. It is truly amazing.

I'm going to comment on your last paragraph by stating that sometimes it's not about what others want but about what you want. I think *you* might feel like something is missing if you don't have a place to share your thoughts on issues surrounding your faith. So even if you're only speaking to yourself it might be a worthwhile endeavor to create that journal and post in it when you feel you want to.

BurtonReview said...

Amy.. If you write it .. I'll read it.. if it's on one blog then that makes it easier. IMO :)

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love the fact that Neil White took the time to explain his actions to you...what amazing insight into the man behind the story!

I follow a indie bookseller's blog, a friend of my sisters in St. Paul. He doesn't post alot, but when he does I take something from it. I've gotten some great recommendations from him and intend to visit him when I visit my sister! His site is at:

As for a smaller, more personal blog, I think it is a great idea. There is truly nothing more healing than to write your thoughts down. Journals are great, but they don't talk back, like blogs do! I think you would find yourself in good company!

Anonymous said...

i adore the idea of recapping your week's posts and giving a nod to others. thanks for tweeting about my embosser--you have no idea the traffic your tweet generated! i have been on the twitter fence for so long but see that it has the potential to open me up to new blogs and readers! thanks. :)

Annette said...

Great idea to recap your postings, thanks.
Another blog to "express" yourself through writing is a great idea. I do it. Sometimes I feel a little naked, meaning posting my feelings and life happenings out there for the world to read makes me exposed and yet freeing at the same time.

Jen said...

Thanks for the link to the Shutter Island trailer. Looks creepy but good. And of course I can't wait to see Leo in it!

Jen said...

Oops, forgot to answer your question about the new blog. My first reaction is that you should just put it on this blog but I totally understand what you mean about not feeling comfortable with that. I'd be interested in reading your thoughts on faith.

Lana said...

I really like the idea of a weekly recap - particularly these nods to other interesting posts out there. I found a bunch of posts to go check out when I should be studying! Thanks :)

Jenners said...

Thank you for doing this recap!!! I do have trouble keeping up with blogs that post a lot (and so many book bloggers do -- I don't know how!!!) and so this was very very helpful and just chock-full of information. Wonderful idea!

Becca said...

I just noticed your link to Sassymonkey's post on chick lit. I was just inspired to write my own post about book snobbery and my own personal issues dealing with being a book snob. You're actually mentioned in the post. Love it if you'd read it and let me know you're feedback. Thanks! :)

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