Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy: Review

Soooo, right, life sucks and then you die Part Deux, only in England this time. At least the change of scenery is nice.

Jude "the Obscure" Fawley is an orphan (of course he is) with Big Dreams. He wants to be a scholar and has his mind fixed on reaching the place of Holy Knowledge, nearby Christminster. But life happens when you're making other plans. Jude finds himself with an unwanted wife. Don't feel too sorry for her, the old ball chain is quite a piece of work. How she got him to marry her is nasty business. Once she catches Jude, she finds he isn't what she imagined him to be and she sails off to Australia. So long sucker!

At this point, Jude does the happy dance and heads off to the promised land of Christminster. There he has the misfortune of meeting his tantalizing cousin Sue. Things are looking up for Jude, right? Riiiiiight?! Oh no, it's Hey Jude, he can't Get No Satisfaction. He just Ramble(s) On, because Yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away. And then finally he learns, If You Can't Be With the One You Love (honey), Love the One You're With.

Good Gravy, I thought Edith Wharton did bad things to her characters. I take it all back! Hardy is brutal. You can't even imagine what happens to Jude in this book.

Jude. Judy, Judy, Judy. He just sort of sails along. He really needed to be more forceful and take control of his destiny. He had lots of plans but for some reason or another *ahem, women* they didn't happen. What Hardy seems to say is that it's impossible to be unconventional in that stifling environment.

The women don't come off very well either. I can't decide who is worse: Arabella, who is self-serving or Sue who is neurotic. At least, Arabella is a survivor. I could admire her somewhat, even if she'd run over her granny to have her own way. Sue tries hard to have modern ideas but doesn't have the backbone to follow through.

I'm not sure how I feel about Jude the Obscure. The writing was beautiful but it was so angsty. And tragic. Ugh.

After the last 2 books, I need someone to "take me to the kittens."

Would I recommend it? If you like beautiful writing, but be prepared for some awful scenes.

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This Old Thing? Roughing It In the Bush

Roughing It In the Bush by Susanna Moodie is not a camping manual. It's part memoir, part novel of an immigrant's experience coming to Canada in the 19th century. The cover screams University Required Reading and someone did lots of underlining inside.

I'd love to read this one since I had many ancestors immigrating to the same area of Canada at the time that Susanna did. No doubt they had similar experiences. The only thing is it's quite long but for $2 at the library sale, it can hang out on the shelves for a little while.

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Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton (Audiobook): Review

If there is an upside to painting (and it needs one), it's that I can use the time doing this mindless activity to listen to audiobooks. I plugged in the old itouch and downloaded Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton.

The Bunner sisters troubles start with a birthday present, a clock, given to Evelina by her sister Ann Eliza. The sisters are two spinster ladies, probably in their thirties, who own a small shop which sells the kind of items ladies require- artificial flowers, ribbon, that kind of thing. They live a shabby existence above the shop, one that's neatly ordered and ridiculously dull. Just the purchase of the clock throws them into a tizzy, especially since the clockmaker is a bachelor. The sisters invite the man, Mr Ramy, into their lives and he manages to turn their world upside down.

Yet another Wharton story with a "life sucks and then you die" theme to it. Utterly depressing and yet I keep reading them. Every time I read one, I get carried along by her words. She has such an artistry that she could make the phone book interesting.

Wharton makes the mundane world of the sisters real. You can see the sad little shop and Ann Eliza's dusty old silk dress in the picture of words she paints. Ann Eliza and Evelina are two women perfectly happy with this life until Mr Ramy comes on the scene. Then we see how desperately each woman wants out of it. And Ramy is no smooth Casanova. A woman has to be desperate to want this guy.

The sisters are so naive and innocent, especially for two women who run their own business. You would expect them to be a bit more savvy but they fail to see a disaster when it's coming right at them. I did admire the strength of one of the characters. She is selfless though it doesn't do her much good.

I have a bone to pick with Wharton though. I do feel she is unnecessarily cruel to her characters. She has a chance right at the end to offer us some hope. A teeny tiny glimmer of light. But no, she yanks it right out from under us all with a "haha! So there, suckers!" Now I'm not a Happily Ever After reader but come on, Edith, throw us a bone would ya!

Recommended for fans of Wharton who are in a good mood and can handle it or a bad one and want to stay there.

Lazy Sunday Thoughts: Say What?

A long time ago, I signed up for a chain bookstore's newsletter, one of those promotional thingies you find in your inbox telling you about the latest deals going on at the store. Part of this marketing gimmick is an occasional email with a suggested title related to my past purchases: "If you liked blank, you'll love blank." Most of the time I've already bought the book they suggest and don't pay much attention but this past week was such an odd one it made me say, what?

"If you liked Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, you'll love Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult."

Err, huh? How are these two books related? Is it because they are books written by women in the last couple of years? Or had their books turned into movies? That's like saying, "If you liked The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy, you'll love The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks." These writers have radically different styles. Kinsella writes funny, quirky stories about young single women. Picoult writes emotional, ripped-from-the-headlines stories about families torn apart.

I'm sure this title wasn't handpicked for me by someone with a great love of literature, possibly working in a special department at headquarters wracking their brains trying to find that perfect book for their customers. More likely a computer algorithm designed to sell more bestsellers. Does it work, I wonder?

That is one of the disadvantages of buying books online. I do it, of course, but I don't get the warm and fuzzies while I'm typing in my credit card number. And say what you will about brick and mortar chain stores, at least you get to talk to a real person. If you live in a small town and go there often enough, they would have to get to know you simply by your repeated presence. At least, you can ask, "What do you think...?" when trying to buy a book.

It doesn't surprise me that word of mouth is so important in the publishing industry. Readers are asking other readers for recommendations: their friends, bloggers, buddies on facebook and twitter. Everyone wants to get on Oprah because her opinion means so much to many people and those books go on to be best sellers. You want someone whose opinion you trust to offer you a suggestion, not a computer.

You can, I know, like both Kinsella and Picoult but I wouldn't pick out Vanishing Acts for someone based on the knowledge they bought Twenties Girl. I would at first suggest another Kinsella novel like Confessions of a Shopaholic. Or the quirky The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson. What would you suggest?

What do you think of promoting books in this way, if you get those emails? Do you ever buy the suggested title?

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Locavore by Sarah Elton: Review

Locavore (noun): one who eats foods grown locally whenever possible. -Merriam-Webster

In continuation with my farm/gardening kick, I picked up Locavore by Sarah Elton at the library. Mostly because I liked the outfit the lady on the cover was wearing. It looks like what I would wear gardening.

I've read books about the local food movement in the United States and even a revolution in Japan but Locavore was the first book devoted to the movement in Canada I've seen. Talk about local. Sarah Elton started researching the movement in Canada after a cookie her daughter bought turned out to be manufactured in China. Where had all the local bakeries gone? And for that matter, where were all the farmers who could produce the ingredients?

Sarah discovered the abysmal state of the family farm, once a Canadian institution, now an endangered species. Economic hardships drove most farmers to sell their land to developers. Those few who are left have difficulty selling their produce to local markets who buy cheap food from other countries.Very few young people are choosing agriculture as a career, unwilling to take on the struggles of traditional farming. This left Elton feeling fearful for the future of farming in Canada.

But there is hope! Farmers are starting to approach farming from new angles. The old ways aren't working. They use new technologies and techniques, join co-operatives, go organic. Many are getting to the consumer directly by selling at farmers' markets. They are creating unique, healthy food and new ways to sell it. Elton speaks to not only farmers but restaurateurs, economic and agricultural experts, and artisans. People who are tackling the problems of growing and eating local produce.

Consumers play a big part in creating a new food regime. We're asking questions: where did this come from? How was it grown? How was it raised? We're choosing different ways of obtaining our food, even growing it ourselves. Some are raising chickens in their backyards right in the city!

What I liked about Locavore was that she travelled across the country, coast to coast, talking to the people most affected by industrialized farming. She stood in their fields and spoke to them face to face. It humanizes the debate in a way I hadn't given much thought to before. She also recognizes that the current locavore movement has it's flaws. She seeks out experts grappling with the problem of creating a two-tiered food system, one where only the wealthy can afford to eat the best produce (interesting ways around that!) and offers caffeine addicts some relief. She doesn't believe in the 100 mile diet, just be a better consumer and buy things like coffee and orange juice from a sustainable source.

Of the books on the subject I read so far, Locavore is one of the best. Very conversational, very personal. Sarah Elton also blogs at locavore.ca. Go take a look.


Borrowed from library.

PS- For a nostalgic look at farming in Canada, I highly recommend the memoir My Grandfather's Cape Breton by Clive Doucet.

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This Old Thing?: Bluebeard's Egg

File this one under cover doesn't match the text. It gives the impression that Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood is a fantasy about a fairy who really loves a blue egg. Or maybe she's really hungry. Mmmm, frittata. But no, it's a collection of short stories about relationships between men and women. The title story is about a woman with a dumb husband.

Another library sale find. I'll add this to my "I'll get to it someday" pile.

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The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (audiobook): Review

It's been a long, long time since I listened to The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde, in fact, it was during the last Read-a-thon. Jen at Devourer of Books is hosting Audiobook Week (June 21-25) and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to finally review it.

So during the Read-a-thon, I really needed to fold my laundry and various other household drudgeries, but I didn't want it eating up into my reading time. Darn you, real life! So I downloaded The Canterville Ghost onto my iTouch from the Free Audiobooks app (Traveling Classics), which I highly recommend to you book loving iTouch owners.

Why did I choose The Canterville Ghost? Well, I love Oscar Wilde and the narrator, David Barnes, had le sexy English accent. And it was FREE!

In The Canterville Ghost a wealthy American family purchase an English estate. The local people are terrified of Canterville Chase because it is haunted by an angry ghost with a history of frightening people into madness. The Americans are unperturbed and rather pragmatic about it. They clean up mysterious blood stains with Pinkerton’s Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent and offer to oil the ghost's creaky chains. Sir Simon, the ghost, is increasingly frustrated with his inability to scare the Otis family. Soon the family gets tired of his antics and set about haunting him. The only family member who has any sympathy for Sir Simon is 15 year old Virginia who makes it her duty to find him peace.

Wilde satirizes both the Americans and the Brits in the story. The Otises and Sir Simon are caricatures of the cultures they represent. They are over the top. I can see why The Canterville Ghost has been adapted for film and stage. There is a great deal of physical humour and sight gags. Great for watching, not so much for listening. I found some of the antics of the Otis twins and Sir Simon tedious.

The second part of the book involving Virginia is much darker and sombre. The story becomes a lesson in understanding and compassion. Sir Simon is seeking forgiveness he believes he can never have.

The audiobook is short at about an hour and a half. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. If I had a choice between listening to this or The Picture of Dorian Gray, I'd go with Dorian Gray. It's a much more mature piece of work.

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Reading Together: Anne of Green Gables

Well over a month ago, I started reading Anne of Green Gables to my daughter at bedtime. I figured it would be nice for her to know the story before we take a trip to Prince Edward Island this summer. Since Anne is everywhere over there, it would enhance the experience for the girl to know who this person is and why all the fuss.

If you don't know, the gist of the story is an elderly brother and sister send away for an orphan boy to help them on their farm. When the brother, Matthew, meets the child at the railway station, he finds an 11 year old  girl, Anne, instead of a boy. He takes her home to Green Gables where his sister, Marilla, is annoyed at the mistake and intends to send her back to the orphanage. However, Matthew lobbies to keep Anne as he's completely charmed by the talkative red-head. Matthew has his way. The rest of the book chronicles the next five years of their lives at Green Gables as Anne grows into a young woman.

Sweet. An absolutely sweet story to read to your child. I can't say she understood everything. Montgomery doesn't use a small word when she can use a ginormous one and purple prose doesn't quite cover some of her descriptions. My girl loved Anne and how much she talks. Anne reminds me of her; she only stops talking when she sleeps. She also giggled every time Matthew said, "Well, I dunno..." which was often.

I enjoyed reading all those funny moments again: Anne dying her hair, Gilbert and the slate, Diana and the raspberry cordial (though I had to explain what drunk meant). She enjoyed those stories too. There was one part I was dreading reading, and if you read it you know the part I'm talking about, there is death in Avonlea as well as life. It was very hard to read that section of the story but I managed it. My daughter's reaction was subdued, all she said was, "Why do books have to have sad parts?" Maybe because the sad parts make the happy parts all the more sweet.

Anne was definitely a hit with the chicklet. Hopefully, someday she'll read Anne of Green Gables on her own but I'm glad I got to share with her first.

Highly recommended.

PS- Will now have to find the Megan Follows film version on DVD.

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Happy Father's Day

It's a little blurry but that's my Dad holding me as a baby in my Grandfather's barn.

Happy Father's Day!

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Ava Comes Home by Lesley Crewe: Review

How can I describe Lesley Crewe's novels? Let's see. They resemble warm fuzzy socks or a steaming cup of hot cocoa. They make you feel good on a miserable day. Total comfort reads.

One of the things that bother me about many books set in Atlantic Canada is how the characters aren't living, they're just waiting impatiently for death. This strikes me as odd because having lived here all my life I can't imagine a livelier bunch of people. Sure we've had more than our fair share of hardships but we love to have a good time and we're definitely wacky.

Crewe once again captures that wackiness in Ava Comes Home. Not that bad things don't happen, of course they do, where would the plot be if there wasn't? There is plenty of tragedy but as you turn that last page you aren't reaching for a bottle of pills to dull the pain; instead, you sigh, "Aw, that was nice!"

Ava Harris is an Oscar winning actress but what most people don't know is she was born and raised on Cape Breton Island. Ten years she's been in LA living the glamorous life but one phone call sends her rushing back home. Her family know her as Libby MacKinnon and they've no idea why she took off one day, leaving the love of her life, Seamus, behind. Now that's she's back in her hometown, she has to face the secrets in her past, ones she's kept hidden even from herself for years. Her family don't know how to reconcile the movie star in their midst to the girl they used to know. And then there's Seamus. Can he ever forgive her for leaving him?

What makes Ava Comes Home so enjoyable is the characters. The story centers around Ava but her crazy family and friends are delightful in their quirkiness. Aunt Vi, Lola, Maurice and Harold. All such fun supportive characters. They played off each other quite well. Some of the funniest lines come from the conversations between Aunt Vi and Uncle Angus.

Crewe successfully builds the tension throughout the novel. What was Libby's secret? I had to keep reading to find out and I was shocked by some of the revelations.

One of the things I loved most about the book might not be considered an asset for other readers. There are a lot of localisms which of course I understand but I wonder how readers 'from away' would view them.

What do you think? How much local flavour do you like in your books?

If you  like a little humour, a little tragedy and a little romance, you'll enjoy Ava Comes Home.


*Bought book at book signing. Met Lesley, she's a nice lady.

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This Old Thing? Doctor Arnold's Ambition

Doctor Arnold's Ambition was a library book sale purchase. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. It's an old, old school Harlequin romance. The funny thing is it was 50 cents new in 1968 and I paid 50 cents used for it in 2010. That darn inflation!

Anyway isn't it a beaut? Love her old fashioned nurse's hat and the Beav's Dad hanging out behind her. Sooooo sexy! Oh Doctor Arnold! You scamp!

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Attention Twitterers: BBlog Chat

Some of you use Twitter and some of you think Twitter is all about telling people what you had for breakfast but meaningful conversations can be had on Twitter. No, really! It's true.

For example, Followreader and Litchat are weekly hour long discussions related to publishing and writing that happen in real time on Twitter. I've learned a lot from these conversations. Now book bloggers will have their own opportunity to discuss topics near and dear to them with BBlog. BBlog is the brainchild of My Friend Amy. She wrangled a few of us into hosting this twice monthly event, starting with myself.

My topic is Reading Challenges and since this is the first discussion, I'm feeling a bit nervous. Please join us on Twitter tomorrow, June 16 with your questions and comments. It would really help me out!

Here's a few things to do to prepare:
  • Check out the BBlog Central blog.
  • Sign up or log in to Twitter on June 16, 8 pm EST (that will be 9 pm my time).
  • Follow me: @chrisbookarama.
  • Use the Hashtag #BBlog (this means typing #BBlog at the end of your comment so that people can follow the conversation).
  • Sign in to Tweetchat to follow the conversation more easily for that hour.
  • When the conversation starts, don't be shy! Jump right in.
 Hopefully I'll see you there!

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The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte by Daphne du Maurier: Review

Oh thank goodness I'm done this book! It took me forever. If you notice my lack of review posts, this book is the reason why. It's not Daphne du Maurier's fault. I have to give her props for attempting to make Branwell more interesting than he was.There isn't anything particularly special about him other than his last name.

The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte is a biography of the famous Bronte sisters' brother. Right from the beginning the Bronte family hung their hopes on Branwell, their golden boy. Dad Bronte kept him home to educate, possibly because he had some mystery illness. Branwell had dreams of being an artist but, poor Branwell, he was not wanted at art school. And that first failure was one of many. By the end of his short 31 years, he was a drunken, drugged out loser borrowing money from friends and wallowing in self-pity.

If Daphne's intention was to inspire pity from the reader and have us believe Branwell was just misunderstood, she failed with me. I did feel that that the Bronte family put a lot of pressure on Branwell to do well. He was expected to carry the family on his shoulders but he was qualified for nothing. They believed he was some kind of genius. I can just imagine the 3 girls looking up to him like he was a the sun. Was this too much for him? Maybe, but it was the 1800s and wasn't that how all boys were treated?

Branwell set his sights super-high and gave up at the first disappointment. He sent mediocre poetry to William Wordsworth and Blackwood's Magazine, trying hard to emulate his idols. He might have had better success if he had just been himself. Here is where being a girl was an advantage. No one expected much from Charlotte, Emily or Anne because they were female. There was no pressure to be great writers. They wrote what they liked.

Charlotte, Emily and Anne would build upon the world- the infernal world, they called it- they created with Branwell as children. In this make believe place, there were dashing heroes, villains, and damsels in distress. The siblings traded plots and characters like baseball cards. It was fertile soil for Heathcliff, and Jane Eyre. Branwell's biggest accomplishment was his contribution to his sisters' stories. Without his imagined world would there have been Wuthering Heights?

Although I wasn't very sympathetic to Branwell, I did come away from The Infernal World with more respect for Charlotte. If she had had Brawell's attitude, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey may never have been published. Where he would have given up, Charlotte kept pushing, sending their manuscripts on to other publishers. She was one determined chick. I have to wonder if she would have been so pushy had Branwell succeeded in keeping a job. She might have felt less desperation to get the family a steady flow of cash.

Daphne du Maurier certainly did a lot of research for The Infernal World (read Daphne by Justine Picardie for a fictional account of Daphne's search for the real Branwell). She somehow managed to piece together his correspondence to give us a sense of his state of mind. It doesn't always work. She makes many speculations. I could have done without his poetry too. Still, she did what she could with what she had.

If you are like me and have an interest in the Brontes, then you might enjoy The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, otherwise skip it.

Bloggiesta: Day Three

Day Two of Bloggiesta wasn't as productive as Day One. The weather was so sunny and warm I just couldn't stay inside in front of a computer. Instead, I spent some time with my family outside. I did spend the evening working on some blog posts.

I started working on my BBAW registration post. I think I have my 3 best review posts for the past year but can't decide on my 2 miscellaneous posts. Do I want to pick an opinion post with lots of comments? A post unrelated to books? I'm not sure. Not that it matters, I don't think I have much of a chance against so many other great bloggers.

And what niche am I? Eclectic? I think so because I read a lot of different genres. What do you think?

For before the end of Bloggiesta, I want to finish that post plus a couple of others and do some more blog cleaning.

Depending on how the day goes. ;)

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Bloggiesta: Day Two

Hello again, Peoples!

Day two of Bloggiesta is starting. I put in about 7 hours of blog fixin' yesterday. I got a few things accomplished.
  • Write a couple of blog posts- one review of The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte.
  • Take photos for future posts (the sun is out!)
  • Fix my favicon. I never did change it.
  • Reply to comments and links on the Daphne du Maurier Challenge review blog.
  • Update my About Page.
  • Try to find an easy way to combine all my reviews onto one page.
  • Do some sidebar cleaning.
  • Back up blog.
  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Blog maintenance. 
Let's add:
  • Write BBAW registration post.
  • Google Reader
Besides the items I crossed out, I also cleaned out my email and put all those Intense Debate comments back in my April posts (still have March to do. ugh).

Anyway, I hope to get more done today. If you're participating too, good luck!

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Bloggiesta Begins!

This is it! The start of Bloggiesta. I have no idea what I will accomplish this time around but I have a tentative list. It's the kind of list made on the back of envelopes, quick and messy.
  • Write a couple of blog posts- one review of The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte.
  • Take photos for future posts (the sun is out!)
  • Fix my favicon. I never did change it.
  • Reply to comments and links on the Daphne du Maurier Challenge review blog.
  • Update my About Page.
  • Try to find an easy way to combine all my reviews onto one page.
  • Do some sidebar cleaning.
  • Back up blog.
  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Blog maintenance. 
So that's my list. What's yours? Make sure you grab the RSS feed for all participants. Good luck!

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Here's My Card

Look! I bought Moo Cards. Now I'm ready for...um...something. But I'm ready! 

They come in a sturdy little holder (at the top of the photo). I made 4 different designs. I think the blue bookmark is my favorite. Now I just need to find people to send/give them to.

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Mercury by Hope Larson: Review

After Chris (Stuff As Dreams Are Made On) reviewed Mercury by Hope Larson, I immediately requested it from the library.

Mercury, a graphic novel, is told from two points of view: modern teen Tara and 1850's teen Josey. Tara's old family home has burned down, a house Josey once lived in, and she's living with her relatives until her mom gets settled out west. Tara is dealing with a myriad of teen issues on top of her burnt home: her parents divorce, fitting in at school, and boys.

Josey lives on the homestead with her family when a strange young man named Asa Curry arrives. He makes a startling revelation; there's gold on their land. Josey's father is all for the scheme of gold prospecting but her mother has suspicions regarding Mr Curry. Meanwhile, Josey has fallen quite hard for the young man.

The two stories run parallel to each other with both girls balancing the needs of their families with their own desires. For Josey, it's the love of Asa Curry while for Tara it's her wish to stay in the town where her family has roots. The two story lines eventually meet in the conclusion of the book.

Hope Larson is 'from away' but manages to capture an authentic Nova Scotian voice in Mercury. Tara has a parent working in another province which is a fairly common occurrence these days. Larson also incorporates local folklore into the book with forerunners and treasure hunting lore. It's quite magical!

I'm amazed at the ability of graphic novelists to create fleshed out characters with so few words. Tara and Josey are completely believable teens. I understood their angst and their frustrations. I grew to love these girls.

As for the illustrations, they were a joy to look at. Just stark black and white drawings but filled with detail. Take a look!
So glad I read Mercury. I hope you will too and enjoy a little piece of Nova Scotia.

Highly recommended.

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Lazy Sunday Thoughts on Blogging Business

My run is today but I hope to be lazy for the rest of the day. I'll probably be on the couch with an ice pack.

During Armchair BEA, I had a chance to post my own and read other people's thoughts on blogging and the business of blogging. I've had interesting conversations with them here and on Twitter about branding. Michelle is even changing her blog in an effort to brand herself. She's changing her blog name, design and everything. It's a big job but I'm excited to see what she's going to come up with.

If you've got any big plans for your blog, you can carve out some time for Bloggiesta to do it. I did quite a lot during Bloggiesta last time. I don't have a lot on my agenda this time around so I'm debating whether or not to join. There is one thing I've been thinking of doing: changing my blog title.

I've had book-a-rama as my title since 2007. Since then I've discovered several online stores using bookarama somewhere in their name. I even found a blog post from a guy saying not so flattering things about a 'bookarama' (not me). I'm fairly established as Chrisbookarama online so I was thinking of making book-a-rama into Chrisbookarama. Just to differentiate myself from the rest.

The issue is I don't know how this effects technical thingamajigs like Feeds, Rakings, etc. I did a search and found very little info on that.

Just for kicks, what's your take in me changing my blog title?

In other news, in an effort to makes some moneys I signed up for a couple of affiliate programs (in the sidebar). I'll tell you why I chose the ones I did.
  • Book Depository: I haven't tried it yet but I will soon. I love the idea of free shipping worldwide. When I order online, it often costs more to ship than I paid for the item. Canada has ridiculous rates. Don't get me started!
  • eHarlequin: I have fond memories of Harlequin. When I was a kid, my mom belonged to the Harlequin books of the month club. We always had tons of them around the house and my mom always had one in her hand. I wanted to be a reader just like her. Plus, they are a Canadian company and have started the writing careers of women all around the world. Yay Harlequin!
  • BookCloseouts.com: I've been a customer of BookCloseouts for years now. It's like the Overstock.com of books. You can get great bargains on books. They have a great classic books section and I've gotten many of my book club reads from them.
So if you feel the pressing need to buy some books, you can use my conveniently placed buttons to do your shopping.

I have no idea if these will work any better than Amazon which has made me $0 in actual cash in my pocket thus far.

Anyone else try these programs? Do they work for you?

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