Bruce’s Shelfies: People Are Strange When You’re A Stranger…(and Changes to My “Self-Published” Review Policy)

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It’s housekeeping day around the shelf and therefore it’s time for me to announce a change to my review policy regarding self-published titles.  I’ve also decided that it’s time I shared with you all some of the people drifting in the blogosphere whose work I thoroughly enjoy, in the hope that these strangers will become much less strange to you…and possibly even become your new (second) favourite blogs!

But first! Self-published tomes.

Up until now I have been happy to accept review requests from self-published authors but the time has come for me to announce that I will no longer be accepting review requests from this quarter.  The main reason for my change in policy stems from the fact that I am now receiving many books for review from major publishers as well as having established myself on Netgalley.  I no longer have a lot of time to read through requests from self-published authors, especially as many of the requests I receive are not relevant to this blog or my interests.  I am under no delusions that because I have made this announcement, self-published authors will now stop requesting reviews from me.  I am certain they will still ask.  I just hope they won’t be quite so surprised when they receive no response.

Right, with that out of the way, it’s time to introduce you to some of the blogs that I frequent and thoroughly enjoy.  Please click through to these blogs if you have the inclination because I can vouch for their quality and humour and general feel-good-ishness.

Two of the colonial oppressors staunchest allies of the Shelf are Ste J from Book to the Future and middle grade author Jemima Pett.  On these two blogs you will find reviews, conversation, musing about book jackets, writing challenges, obscure ancient tomes from Oxfam and flying, time-travelling guinea pigs.  You have been warned.

A blog that I certainly wouldn’t have expected to become addicted to over time is Sunlit Pages.  This is, for all intents and purposes, a book blog, written by a lady in the US who also happens to be a wife and mother of four small boys.  The author of this blog (Amy) seems like an absolute superwoman – she writes out and enacts summer goal lists with her children, shares all manner of interesting reading adventures that the children encounter, discusses ways to overcome slumps and reluctance when reading with children, and generally presents like a reading and mothering guru.

Makes you want to vomit, right? Well, that’s what I thought originally.  Except Amy somehow manages to write in a way that absolutely avoids even the slightest hint of that “I’m a better/more resourceful/more creative/more engaged parent than you” stench that permeates so many other mummy-type blogs.  Instead, her posts are actually quite inspiring.  And I will admit to feeling very contented to know that at least someone is having enormous success (born of effort) with their children’s reading adventures, even if I am far too lazy to enact the same with the mini-fleshlings in this dwelling.  And therefore, I am addicted to her blog.  Here you can also find podcasts about reading, reviews of children’s and adult fiction and general updates about the family’s life.

A more recent favourite of the shelf is the work of Clay at Terminally Nerdy (formerly Page Turners Inc.).  When Clay started his blog, it was focused on book reviews.  Now, the focus is more on video games, with the odd book review here and there.  Apart from the blog being a fun read, I have grown to love the fact that I read Clay’s current posts and have absolutely no clue what the hell he’s talking about, being that I am only a surface dweller in the sphere of gaming.  I will admit to deriving a strange enjoyment out of regularly reading a blog whose content is almost completely irrelevant to my hobbies and subsequently living vicariously through another. *Oh yes, Reddit, defrag, MMORPG, Noooooooooob!*  Go on, branch out! It’s fun!

One of my all time favourite book blogs (and one I have a serious blog-envy for) is Read it Daddy!  This one is based in the UK and run by a father and daughter reviewing team.  If you have any interest AT ALL in picture books to middle grade reads, then you are missing out if you are not following Read it Daddy!.  As well as hilarious and informative editorials, these guys present a book of the week (weekly, obviously) and I have such trust in their bookish opinions that I have, on multiple occasions, immediately purchased new release (hardback, no less) books on the strength of their reviews.  And never once have I been disappointed.

Finally, and probably the biggest blog I follow, is Part-Time Monster, a US blog that features everything from personal life updates to feminism to in-depth features on international monsters.  There’s a lot going on throughout this blog, including the Weekend Coffee Share link-up (which I don’t participate in, but quite enjoy reading) and the Throw-Back Thursday link up that allows bloggers to link posts that are more than 30 days old, to garner some additional love.  This is the blog that has helped to spark my interest in Japanese mythology, through its Monster Monday feature.  This one was my favourite and this one was my (terrifying) second favourite.

So there you are.  I do hope you pay some of these blogs a visit.  Are there any blogs out there that you would like to introduce me to?

Until next time,

Bruce