Saturday 26 November 2011

Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany

I am not best pleased, as the post I spent 45 minutes writing just disappeared. Darn it darn it darn it. Well, I'll try again, but I might be a little less insouciant than usual...

Firstly, I have yet to reach the end of the tunnel when it comes to comments. Apparently some of you can't see other people's comments - curiouser and curiouser! I think this might be people using Internet Explorer - can I recommend the all-round-nicer Firefox! I'm going to keep the new comment format for the next few days, and if the problems don't clear up then I'll probably change back...

EDIT: well, it wasn't working, so we're back to the old way of commenting for now... well, it's teething at the mo, but we'll be back to normal by tonight. I will keep trying!

But enough of these shenanigans! It's the weekend, it's already been miscellaneous, that can only mean that it's Stuck-in-a-Book's Weekend Miscellany!

1.) The blog post - is over at Tales From the Reading Room, and a fascinating discussion about Why Write Reviews? This isn't quite the same as Why Blog? A few bloggers noticed that full-length reviews tended to get fewer comments than other posts, and also themselves were often more reluctant to read full-length reviews than bookish-chatter type posts. Which led Litlove to write an interesting analysis of why she writes reviews - and, of course, the comments box is filled with conversation on the topic, including my tuppenyworth.

2.) The question - (for there is no link this week!) is on similar territory. I was wondering what you thought of the post Claire and I co-created on One Day? A few of you commented - most of you (of course!) did not. What did you think of the conversation format? Do you think it worked? Those bloggers amongst you - would you like to have a go yourself? I'd love to know your thoughts. (If the comments box doesn't work, email them to me!)

3.) The book - is The Outward Room (1937) by Millen Brand, which New York Review of Books Classics gave to me a while ago. I forget quite why I asked for it, or where I heard about, but I'm even more excited about it since I spotted in an old interview with Persephone Books that they had it forthcoming. Those plans must have been shelved, perhaps because of the NYRB edition, but a Persephone stamp of approval doesn't go amiss. Since I've yet to read it, I thought I should at least give it a mention. It's about a woman, Harriet Demuth, who escapes from a mental hospital and goes on a journey both of New York and of self-discovery. That synopsis puts me in mind of Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, which is no bad thing - and it sounds as though it might have been rather revolutionary for 1937.

Ok, that's it for this miscellany - have a good weekend, everyone.


  1. I really liked your one day conversation. I've neither read the book or watched the film so couldn't really comment but thought the conversation format was a great way to talk about it.

  2. Ooohhh a book that should have been a Persephone - that has to go on my wish list!

  3. I'll see whether blogger will accept this comment - I'm one of the people having loads of trouble with all the blogger accounts at the moment. Thank you so much for the mention, too! You know you've made it, when you get a link on your weekend miscellany! :-)

  4. Hi Simon, I did enjoy the review of the One Day with Claire and would be enjoy reading more posts in that format. I read the book last year before all the hype and I am more in your camp. I liked it a lot. Re: Litlove’s post, you surely have a lot of lurkers who read your blog (like me). I read all your reviews and enjoy them, even if I rarely comment on them. :)

  5. I loved your One Day conversation, I thought it was a great idea. I'm also going to read the reviews vs chat debate as I've wondered the same thing. Sometimes I write a review that takes quite a whjile & get no comments. Then, a post about my favourite book covers (or pictures of the cats) get heaps of enthusiastic comments. Often the review posts have had lots of hits so are people reading & not commenting or reading the first line, realising it's a review & leaving? I don't mind but I'm interested in how/why people read my blog. I often comment on reviews on other blogs if I've enjoyed a book or of I agree with the blogger or if I enjoyed the review & want to read the book straight away.

  6. I liked the One Day conversation,and I bet it was a popular post. I don't think that conversation posts or interview posts bring in comments though. I did my series of 'Reading With Authors' shed loads of people read it, hardly anyone commented.

    This links into why review when they don't get as many comments. I love comments, but a little bit selfishly I blog for me (in fact this was a big conversation myself, Kim of Reading Matters and Gav of Gav Reads had on a blogging special of The Readers which will be out on Monday) and so if people read and comment thats lovely, but on the whole its a diary of what I have read and then my thoughts on bookish bits and bobs as I go. The commenting and people reading is just a wonderful bonus when they choose to do it.

  7. I really enjoyed your review with Claire, I meant to comment at the time but was in too much of a hurry... I liked the different format and I particularly liked not only that you had different responses to each other but that you drew each other out. So I'd hope you'd do something like this again.

    Litlove's discussion is really good isn't it? (I linked to it too!) Everyone, go and read it!

    Word verification is 'ginge', which seems rather direct... ;)

  8. I've spent some time writing a comment and then not getting my password right that I've given up!

  9. Hi, Simon---I'm just checking that I can comment! I can see everyone else's comments, but I do find I have to sign into my Google Account FIRST, if I want to see the word verification box. I am using IE, Firefox is far too technical for me, never got the hang of it!
    Anyway, love your new look blog.

  10. For the record, I *did* really like your co-written One Day post. Yes please, more! The conversational style allowed both of you to say more, I think. And it was something a little different which was nice. :) Keep up the good work...


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