Thursday 16 September 2010

A-Z of Blogging

I thought the best way to round off a week of appreciating other blogs and neglecting my own (prizes to come, by the way, once I've examined all those new-to-me blogs you recommended - still time to join in if you've got a great one up your sleeve) is to give you an A-Z of blogging delight. Most of these relate to individual blogs, but not quite all... If you've not featured, it's probably owing to difficulties with the alphabet, rather than deficiencies in your blog! If you have the energy, why not have a go at this yourself, and spread the joy?

The rather awesome alphabet come courtesy of Bygg, for more info click here.

is for Annabel
- whose blog Gaskella is friendly, eclectic and geeky in the best sort of way, also shared my first ever blurb mention. More on that below...

is for Bloomsbury Group
- the wonderful series of reprint novels, many of which were initially recommended to Bloomsbury by bloggers. Case in point, one of my all-time favourite novels, and almost certainly the one which gets mentioned here the most -
Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker.

is for Captive Reader
- amongst the many and manifold Claires of the blogosphere, Claire can claim 'C' for her name, her blog's name, and her country of residence Canada. Her lovely blog feels like wandering through a meadow in spring, and finding a secondhand bookshop and tearoom serendipitously.

is for Darlene
- and her lovely blog Roses Over A Cottage Door. Darlene chooses her reading wisely, and if there ever was a blogger to award honorary British status to, Darlene is that blogger.
is for Elaine
- as I commented yesterday, Elaine's blog Random Jottings was the first bookish blog I ever read, and my acquaintance with this doyenne of novels and opera has even led to the phrase 'doing an Elaine' - when you first encounter an author and immediately devour all their books.

is for Farm Lane Books
- which is Jackie's blog, and consistently features books I've never heard of - always a delight when it comes to blogging, isn't it?

is for Gatherings
- I love that blogging has spilled over into real life encounters. Whenever I head around the country, I pop in to see various blogging folk - and there's a second mass meet-up on Saturday 25th September (and still room to join us if you're interested!)

is for Hayley
- who writes the blog Desperate Reader, and shares my love of sidelined gems, as well as knowing more about whisky than anyone I know (or should that be whiskey, Hayley?)

is for Illustrations
- I love blogs for the books and words, of course, but I especially appreciate bloggers who go the extra mile and throw in beautiful or creative images. Step forward Claire of Kiss A Cloud and Janice of Janice's Reading Diary (especially if you scroll back to her scrapbook-based entries) - visually at the top of the tree, I'd say.

is for Jodie
- who puts my favourite animal into her blog title, at Geranium Cat's Bookshelf. Once I stop staring at the cat, and whispering "Here, kitty kitty!" under my breath, I'll read the excellent posts...

is for Karen
- the sort of blogger who makes you prepare yourself to say "Oh, of course, I knew Karen before she was famous." Karen - aka Cornflower - writes about a wonderful mix of books, always in a charming, friendly, and generally lovely way - and she is equally lovely in person. AND she hosts a monthly book group on her blog. AND she writes a whole other domestic arts blog - a woman to be admired, indeed.

is for Lyn
- the lady who has most influenced my reading choices, by introducing me to an email discussion list which, in turn, accompanied me through university, and continues to do so. The only Australian blogger I know, you'll still find few more knowledgable about English fiction.
L could equally have been for Librarian, for that is the hat Lyn wears by day.

is for Margaret
- who is the blogger behind Books Please, one of the first blogs I started reading, not least because Margaret started writing hers a mere two days after I started mine. Both still going strong!

is for Novel Insights
- so novel are Polly's insights that I'll forgive her for me accidentally pressing Ctrl N, rather than Ctrl B, and having a new window leap out of nowhere... Polly's reviews are often delightfully enthused, and she is another blogger who is just as nice in person as on the (web)page.

is for Oxfordians
- which is my cunning way of including Becca (Oxford Reaer), Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell), Sophie (Embarrassment of Frivolities), Verity (Cardigan Girl Verity), Kirsty (Other Stories) and Harriet (Harriet Devine) - and me! - under the same heading. Oxfordshire and London seem to be the blogging centres of the UK, which meant I could organise the next meet-up in Oxford and not feel too selfish.

is for Paperback Reader
- since a different Claire had already nabbed 'C'. Claire's blog is another of my absolute favourites with a very identifiable cheery tone. Claire's also one of the bloggers I've met most in real life, and it's always a great pleasure to do so.

is for quilts
- and other similar crafty things... as someone who has two left hands when it comes to crafty activities, I am in constant admiration of the talents which so many bloggers - such as Ruth - bring to the table.

is for Rachel
- known to the world as Book Snob, and one of those blogs I've enjoyed watching deservedly escalate in popularity. Rachel's reviews are always thoughtful and thorough, as well as radiating her warmth and kindness. It doesn't hurt that we love the same sorts of novels - I can usually expect to either agree or anticipate a new delight. Even if we've lost her to New York for the year - look after her, U.S.!

is for Simon
- but in this case, not me! It's for Simon S. - the arrival to the blogosphere of the very witty and incredibly popular Savidge Reads has meant that I'm Simon T rather than just plain old Simon - and there's noone more fun and bookish to have as a namessake. (I have to say that, I'm sleeping at his house this weekend!)

is for Thomas
- who, along with Simon, makes up my name... but is also my other favourite male blogger with his erudite and friendly blog My Porch. As well as sharing his favourite reads, Thomas often puts up beautiful paintings - and has given me a chronic case of Shelf Envy.

is for Unknown Bloggers
- which sounds a bit like 'The Unknown Soldier', but isn't meant to. What I mean is - as you've all shown me with the post earlier this week - the fun of blogging is that there are always unknown wonderful bloggers to encounter, as well as people joining the blogosphere for the first time.

is for Vintage Reads
- this blog is Nicola's fairly occasional, but always delightful, journey through exactly the sort of books I love, showing that vintage need never mean dated.

is for Work in Progress
- another one of the first I ever read, this blog is the work of Danielle, and is dizzying in its depth and breadth, as well as boasting the most thorough list of blog links I've ever seen.

is for eggs (ahem)
- you try thinking of something for X! This is a celebration of the baking side of bookishness. Here at Stuck-in-a-Book we love a cup of tea and piece of cake while reading, and I love baking - even more than that, I love encouraging non-bakers to give it a go, and reading about other people's baking exploits (and, most amusingly, disasters - I'm never shy to share mine!)

is for Young, Angela
- the author of Speaking of Love, one of the first books I was sent to review, the first I was quoted on the back of, and one of myvery favourite modern novels - this superb book represents many of the things I love about blogging, and the opportunities it brings about!

is for Zero to pay
- another rather weak link, I'm afraid, and the astute amongst you will notice that this 'Z' is in fact just the N turned sideways. Apologies... but I just wanted to finish with a celebration of the fact that all the joy we get from blogging and reading blogs is entirely free! Sure, it takes time, but all this fun and it doesn't cost a penny.... not directly, of course, but I doubt I'm the only one who's spent a great deal more on books since he started blogging....


  1. What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for the gorgeous description of my blog and for granting me the letter C - it is my very favourite letter, perhaps because it seems to come up so very often in my life (it's also the first letter of my last name and of the city I currently live in).

  2. Ah, a wonderful tribute to many of my own favorite bloggers -- thank you to all of you for keeping my bookshelf full and my piggy bank empty! :)

  3. This is such a lovely way to connect book bloggers and readers, both new and old. I'm looking forward to clicking some of the names I don't know.

  4. What a wonderful post - and yet more new blogs to explore. I love those letters. Many thanks for the kind mention - It was a real honour to be a fellow blurbee - I hadn't quite started my blog then, and was contacted by the publishers after posting a review on Librarything.

    See you at the Bookbloggers meet soon!

  5. Oh, Simon ...!
    What a lovely post, and you've made my day.

  6. Simon, do you not know of xBlog?

    I think you will like it!

  7. What a fantastic post! I love this idea. I didn't realise that so many bloggers lived in Oxford - I look forward to meeting them all next week :-)

  8. That was, without a doubt, one of the loveliest posts I've ever read. I burst out laughing when I read about the honorary British status (should we inform the Embassy?), is it really that obvious?.

  9. Oh good. More blogs to keep me from the household chores.

  10. This is a fantastic post Simon - a great tour of the blogosphere and thank you for mentioning me - although it feels a little odd to be in the Oxford list after having been in London for so long!
    Thank you for making me feel welcome in this new city!

  11. Oh Simon! How lovely of you! This is such a fun, kind and appreciative post that shows just how enriching and warm the world of blogging is!

    Thank you so much for your generous words! I could give them all right back to you! I'm sad I won't be at the next meet up, but, you know, there is the compensation of being in New York...

  12. Such a lovely post, Simon. Both you and Teresa of Shelf Love have written such touching things about me (and put me in good company!) this weekend that I feel guilty my blogging has been so sporadic of late.

    How I wish I could be a fly on the wall this weekend when you and Simon gush over every bookish subject! Have fun (hope you both avoid his local 5 for £2 charity bookshop!)

  13. Lovely lovely post Simon - thank you for the mention, I should say that Whisky is scottish Whiskey is Irish - Just so you know:)

  14. What about A-Z blog?

  15. As I scrolled through the alphabet I had my fingers crossed I would make the cut and that a T wouldn't be hard to pull off. It is quite an honor to be included and be in such good company.

  16. Wonderful post Simon - & not just because I have my very own letter! I'm looking forward to visiting some of the blogs I don't know yet.

  17. "I" could also have been for interactivity, given that comments are a key characteristic of blogs. Unfortunately, "D" could also have stood for diversionary or distracting - I really should get back to that job application I am supposed to be working on! :-)

  18. Ha what a brilliant post - I might have to quote your thoughts on Savidge Reads somewhere!!

  19. This is so clever--I love it! I think you are surely one of the most creative book bloggers I know! And it's very kind of you to include me...I am rather fond of it that obvious? :) I think I am already pretty familiar with the rest of the alphabet but must check out the few that are new to me.

  20. Claire - you're welcome :) I've never thought about a favourite letter myself, but I did deliberately choose my blog name because I wanted it to begin with the same letter as my real name.

    Susan - that just about sums it up, doesn't it! Life is enriched, and bank account definitely isn't...

    Kate - thanks! Yours was one of the blogs I wanted to include, but the alphabet got in the way... sorry!

    Annabel - Thanks :) And aren't the letters brilliant? I was considering doing it myself, then realised I would fail horribly, and was pleased to find the fonts online instead.

    Karen - you're welcome! Sorry you can't make it this weekend, hopefully see you before too long.

    Peter - thanks for the link - I don't know the blog, and it doesn't seem to want to load for me, but I will return later...

    Jackie - yes, we're quite a bloggy place, considering how small the city is! See you soon!

    Darlene - aww, thanks! And yes, I'm afraid it is obvious from your blog name onwards ;-)

    Susan D - send my apologies to everyone who will suffer from unperformed chores!

    Naomi - Oxford's got you now, and we're not letting you go!

    Rachel - thank you, and you're welcome! I like to remember how very wonderful the blogosphere is, how much we are blessed by having it all for free.

    Claire - I did avoid that bookshop (although I have been before) - I think Project 24 would have been sorely tested!

    Hayley - I knew one was one and one was the other, but didn't know which...

    A-Z - thanks for the link... I need to brush up my, erm, Arabic I think?

    Thomas - fingers were crossed to good effect! Of course I wouldn't miss you out!

    Lyn - thanks :) Enjoy all the links!

    David - yes, you are very right - I realised whilst I was doing this that it was mostly (well, entirely) about bloggers' blogs, and I need to do a post appreciating all the commenters - who are unbelievably awesome :)

    Simon - thanks! Feel free :)

    Danielle - that's nice of you to say :) I need to get my creativity for sketching back, though, as I was realising how few seem to get on my blog at the moment... And I'd be surprised if you didn't know all the blogs already, but hope you find one or two new-to-you!

  21. Aw, thanks for mentioning me Simon! A full-time job in the NHS puts paid to my hopes of ever blogging more than once a week, but I do enjoy interacting with other bookish types.

  22. Sooo belated a visit, but thanks so much for the kind words and what a brilliant idea. I love the book-letters too!!

  23. What a wonderful tribute! I missed BBAW but it seems like everyone had a great time. Thank you so much for the mention. How fitting that I should have an illustration up just now!

    Much love to you!

  24. What a wonderful tribute! I missed BBAW but it seems like everyone had a great time. Thank you so much for the mention. How fitting that I should have an illustration up just now!

    Much love to you!


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