Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: A Challenge Taken to Heart

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event for bloggers and readers, a chance to socialize in a virtual way, to connect with other book lovers, make new friends and followers, and share an appreciation of books. Hosted by the brilliant Jennifer from Crazy-for-Books, this Hop lasts from November 12 until November 15, so there's still ample time to sign-up and enjoy the blogosphere's best BOOK PARTY! If you'd like me to visit your blog, please leave a comment.

Jennifer's Book Blogger Hop gets better each and every week! In addition to presenting a question-of-the-week, often submitted by other book bloggers, she posed a unique challenge last week. Admittedly, I was reluctant at first to take on her seemingly hefty challenge. To sum it up, Jennifer asked that we find a new blog and really get to know it throughout the week, to leave at least five comments on that blog, and then to post about the experience during the next Hop. Initially, I was not going to do this challenge, because I already have plenty to do, blogging-wise and other-wise. But I thought about it, and I realized that this was indeed the whole point of the Book Blogger Hop, to discover a new blog or two that you truly want to visit frequently. At that point, I decided to follow through wholeheartedly on Jennifer's challenge.

After some perusing, I decided to focus on Leslie's blog, Under My Apple Tree, which features mostly books, with a bit of nature, birds, flowers, food and photography, interconnected in an artistic fashion. These are some of my favorite things, so I thought this blog would be a good fit for me. I was undoubtedly also influenced by a book I recently finished reading, Heart With Joy. While I don't routinely read many young adult books, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, reviewed it, and even interviewed the gracious author, Steve Cushman. Anyway, in this book there's a wonderful character, "Old Lady Peters", who is an avid bird-watcher and teaches the main character in the story, Julian Hale, to also watch and care for our feathered friends.

To make things easy for myself, and to insure that I would, indeed, leave frequent comments, I added Under My Apple Tree to my blogroll (which allows me to know at a glance when a blog has published a new post). Throughout the past week, I visited this blog numerous times and left many comments. (Leslie may have wondered who I was and why I was suddenly leaving so many comments!) I will continue to follow this blog in an earnest fashion. Because really, as I've mentioned already, the point of blog hopping is precisely to discover sites that interest you in more than a superficial way.

Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me the push I needed, and for helping me to discover a very lovely book blog!

Each week, Jennifer presents a question for participating book bloggers to answer. This week's question is from Christina from The Paperback Princesses: If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?

Another interesting question! As a general rule, I do try to start with the first book in a series. For example, I've read all of the books in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith in order, although I have yet to read the last book in this series (it sits patiently in my TBR stack). However, there are definitely exceptions to the "rule". I read--and enjoyed--the well-crafted thriller, The Rembrandt Affair, which is a part of the Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva, without having read any of the preceding books. I should add that this book "stood alone" quite well.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I just checked out Leslie's Blog-her chicken soup recipe sounds great!

  2. What a nice surprise! Thank you for choosing my blog as your discovery on the Blog Hop Challenge.

  3. Mel, thanks for hopping by!

    Leslie, you're quite welcome! I feel fortunate to have discovered your wonderful blog.

  4. Hi there...stopping by via the hop. I need to start at the beginning and it's only on rare occasion that I don't. My full answer can be found here.

  5. I've also discovered many fascinating blogs/bloggers over at the hop.

  6. If I discover a new series, I always have to read them in order, though I am going to be breaking my rule soon for Moonlight Mile, by Dennis Lehane. This is like the umpteenth book in the Kenzie and Gennaro series, but I am not going back to read the first few before I start with this one. Luckily, I have heard it stands alone!

    Also, good for you for finding and supporting a new blog! I am going to have to get in on this soon!

  7. Awesome!! I'm so glad you decided to take on the challenge and found a new blogger that you love! That's really the point of the Hop, isn't it?! I had a blast getting to know my challenge blogger this week and reading her posts. And I may not have realized she was even out there if I hadn't spent the time to get to know her this week! So, kudos to you for taking the challenge to heart! I'm glad you found it worthwhile!

  8. Kristin, I will visit your Hop post soon.

    Petty, thank you for stopping by.

    Zibilee, thanks! The Hop is a friendly event and always lots of fun, and a wonderful way to make blog discoveries.

    Jennifer, thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your kind words. I really enjoy the Hop! :)

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great weekend!

  10. Hi Suko, I am like you, I always start a series from the first book. Thanks for stopping by while I was away. That was very nice of you and I really appreciate it!

  11. I can dive right into the middle of a book series if the series' story
    doesn't run chronologically.

    That is to say, if each novel in a series is a stand-alone story (like Lee
    Child's Reacher novels) then I don't feel the need to start with book one.

    On the other hand, a series of books (like Richard Hatch's Battlestar
    Galactica novels) can't be read out of sequence since each new book builds
    upon the story of the previous entry in the series.

    Happy Book Blogger Hop Friday!

    Howard Sherman

  12. Happy Friday!

    I always try to start series with book #1, too.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. Its great that you discovered a new blog and took time to comment throughout the week :)

    I also like to read the books in a series in order.

    Enjoy your weekend!!

  14. Hi! I am here from the blog hop. I am glad I found you. I enjoy connecting with people who enjoy the love of books. You have a great site!

    Happy Reading!

  15. I have to start with the first in a series! Can't ever start in the middle, drives me nuts!

    Girls with Books
    Teen Bookshelf

  16. if i wasn't in the middle of a busy theme month where nearly every day is already scheduled with something i would love to participate in this!

  17. I am going to check Leslie's blog too :)
    And yes, I also like to read a series from the book no. 1, but of couse have read many that are in betweens :)


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