BBAW 2011: Readers

by Kim on September 15, 2011 · 40 comments

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Today’s Topic: Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!

I started out not knowing the answer to this question. Obviously, book blogging has impacted my reading in some way — how could it not? But I started writing this post with no idea how much.

My first impulse when I went to answer that question — How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? — was to go to my master list of books read in 2011 and see which ones I could directly attribute to blogging. I got through April before I realized this was going to take forever and probably be impossible because, at this point in my reading life, almost everything I read is a recommendation from somewhere.

Certainly, it’s not all bloggers. I picked up quite a few review copies from publisher pitches and recommendations, but I wouldn’t get those if I didn’t have a book blog. I get others from professional reviews or book sites, but I probably wouldn’t be reading those if book blogging hadn’t made the book publishing world so interesting for me to read about all the time. It seems impossible to split out my reading like that.

However, I can look at the list and come up with at least  few books that are directly attributable to individual blogger’s reviews or recommendations:

  • Blood Work by Holly Tucker — I read this one for a paid review, but I connected with Holly over an interest in medical nonfiction on Twitter first, which put her book on my radar in the first place. .
  • Reality Bites Back by Jennifer L. Pozner — I read this one because Cass (Bonjour, Cass!) made it sound amazing.
  • The Convert by Deborah Baker — I read this as part of Jen (Devourer of Books) and Nicole’s (Linus’s Blanket) BOOK CLUB, which I joined because Jen reached out and said she thought I’d be interested in the book.
  • Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley — I read this one because Rebecca (The Book Lady’s Blog) had such an enthusiastic review about it.
  • The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty — Melissa (The Betty and Book Chronicles) was excited about this book and pointed me to it when it was on sale.
  • Up for Renewal by Cathy Alter — Meg (Write, Meg!) recommended this one after I wrote a post about how much I love stunt nonfiction.
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin — Lots of bloggers (and non-bloggers) have raved about this, but I finally got my kick to finish it after Trisha (eclectic/eccentric) started posted about her progress reading the book and inspired me.

Like I said, that list really is a lot longer because of how much book blogging has impacted my reading. I can hardly go into a bookstore anymore and not see dozens and dozens of books that I’ve read a great blogger review of. It’s amazing my TBR shelves are not fuller than they actually are.

That said, I want to turn this post around a little bit: Readers, are there any books you’ve picked up specifically because of a recommendation that I made (either personally or just a review here on the blog)? I really curious about this one!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Unruly Reader September 15, 2011 at 6:46 am

Congratulations on your “Best Nonfiction Book Blog” win! It’s well-deserved!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thank you!

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Wendy September 15, 2011 at 7:19 am

Since I have been reading your blog for a long time, I am absolutely certain that I have picked up a book at some point that you recommended – but I can’t be certain which one now!!!

Congratulations on winning in the best Nonfiction blog category today! Well deserved – I did a little cheer when I saw it :)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm

It’s a hard question, it’s just something I’m always curious about. And thank you!

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Adam September 15, 2011 at 8:05 am

Congratulations on your BBAW win!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Thanks a lot!

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Kathleen September 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

I have Game of Thrones on my Nook and will move it up my list after hearing you loved it too. My book reading has definitely expanded from my book blogging. I used to read way more non-fiction and now I read a real variety of things, including YA, that I would not have picked up had it not been for a book blogger recommending it.

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I did really like it. I’m still formulating some thoughts for a real review, but on the whole I was impressed with how well Martin built up the world of the book and how it managed to tell a complete story while still leaving a cliffhanger. I loved the characters too — very multi-dimensional.

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Jenny September 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

I’m actually here to congratulate you for Best Nonfiction Blog! Well-deserved, and may you read many, many more in good health. :)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Thank you so much!

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Erin September 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

Many congratulations on your well-deserved award, Kim!

As for your question, the only one I’ve gotten to is Freakonomics (I think your review was of the sequel, but I picked up the first), which I really enjoyed. A couple of others I’ve gotten as far as buying (84 Charing Cross Road and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down come to mind). And your review of The Robber Bride made me really want to read more Atwood (which I’ve been doing, slowly, though I haven’t gotten to that one yet!). I have a crazy TBR, which I organize by genre and use to track not only books but where I heard about them (complete with links). You certainly feature prominently there! I do tend toward fiction, but your blog is one that consistently exposes me to nonfiction that I actually find myself wanting to read. So, thanks :-)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm

84 Charing Cross Road and The Spirit Catches You… are such good books! I’m glad you have them; I think you will like them. I wish I did a better job tracking where I heard about books when they go on the mythical TBR pile, but I’m not usually that organized :)

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Stephanie September 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

It’s so hard for me to remember which blogger influenced a particular book but I would say the vast majority of my reading comes from the recommendations of other bloggers!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm

It’s hard for me too. So many books on my books read list seemed like blogger recommendations, but I couldn’t be sure on many of them.

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Meg September 15, 2011 at 11:49 am

Oh, I’m so with you: at this point in my reading life, it’s almost impossible to separate out what I’m reading based on a recommendation and what I’ve just picked up on a whim. In fact, I don’t really pick up anything “on a whim”; it’s all as a direct result of someone else’s review, recommendation, etc.

I hope you like Up For Renewal — I’ve started reading more non-fiction this year, especially memoirs, and am really enjoying that exploration! You’ve taught me to me to not be afraid to get outside my fiction zone, and I’m very appreciative of that. :)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

It’s so hard for me to pick up a book without some prior knowledge of it. Sometimes I like that, but other times I miss the random bookshelf browsing that brings in unexpected books.

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Gwen September 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Congrats!

As to your question…looking back, we do have a few books in common, but I can’t remember what the impetuous was for me to read them. What I did find intriguing while I was looking at your archives was how even though we both read NF, we choose vastly different genres under that umbrella. Cool, there is something for everyone!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I love that about nonfiction — you can love it but read totally different things. The same is true for fiction, but it seems like there are better names for how it separates out.

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Kailana September 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I know I have picked up non-fiction books you have suggested, but I can’t remember specific titles off the top of my head.

Congrats on your award!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Thank you! And I’m glad I helped suggest some books :)

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bermudaonion (Kathy) September 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I think other bloggers influence us so much because they have truly become friends.

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Very true. If I get a recommendation from a blogger that I trust, I will almost always try the book. My blogging buddies know my reading taste very well.

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Amy September 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I specifically came by to congratulate you on your BBAW win. Congratulations, I think it’s fantastic, Kim! Your blog is a new one for me in that I have only been reading it regularly for about 2 months and I’m excited to know you’re the blog to go to for nonfiction! I am excited to read about the nonfiction books you read and review in the upcoming months!

Recently you reviewed The Glimpse Traveler by Marianne Boruch and so did Avis at She reads and reads. The book really interested me so I listed it on my tbr list and my bookstore list for the next time I bought books. I was lucky to win Avis’ giveaway and I am looking forward to reading it when I receive it. So thank you, Kim!

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Thank you, Amy! I’m probably not the blog for nonfiction, but a good blog. The other nominees also have great recommendations :)

I hope you like The Glimpse Traveler!

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Amy September 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Hmmm I’m SURE I’ve picked up books on your recommendation but I can’t think of any right off the top of my head. Narrative nonfiction reads though for sure :)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I <3 narrative nonfiction :)

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Trisha September 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Congratulations on your win! You definitely deserve it.

I picked up Lost in Shangri-La The City and the City for sure. I added 27 books to my to-read list from your reviews. And you inspired me to dust off my copy of The Things They Carried. :)

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Wow, that’s a specific number! Super cool, thanks Trisha. And yay for The Things They Carried — amazing book.

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Grace Fonseca September 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Definitely book blogging has changed my reading habits a lot more than I thought it would. I mean some of my favorite books were recommendations from my fellow bloggers. New follower. Come visit me over at Livre De Amour-Books of Love Blog.

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Yes, same here. It’s great. Thanks for stopping by!

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Maphead September 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Congrats on being named Best Nonfiction Book Blog ! You are more than worthy of the honor !
-m

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Kim September 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Oh thanks :) You are too.

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Joy Weese Moll September 15, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I still have your stunt memoir post in the back of my head and will be tapping it in the future for books to read.

Congrats on your BBAW win!

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Kim September 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

Awesome! There have been some fun stunt memoirs recently that I’ve liked a lot.

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Anastasia September 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I read News to Me because of your review! :D And, actually, I got a review copy of it because the author saw my comment on your review. Haha!

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Kim September 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

Woohoo, even better! I liked that book a lot.

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Jeanne September 16, 2011 at 4:04 am

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. It’s every bit as good as you said, and more people should read it!

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Kim September 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

Yes! Awesome book! I want everyone to read that book.

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Florinda September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I used to note who recommended a particular book when I added it to my LibraryThing Wishlist collection, but I’ve fallen out of the habit. I’m sure you’ve steered me toward several nonfiction works during the last couple of years, and I KNOW I bought The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down – which I haven’t read yet – based on your say-so.

Oh, and I picked up a few books at BEA thanks to your guided tour through the booths of a few of your favorite nonfiction publishers :-).

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Kim September 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

That’s such a good idea. I wish I was more organized and did that with my TBR pile. I had an idea that I’d do a Tumblr that was just books with links to where I read about them, but I never got that going.

I forgot about nonfiction touring at BEA. That was so much fun!

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