First the Idle Chit-Chat:
- Fall is hitting its peak here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and I NEED to get up in the mountains. I hope we get some terrific weather this week. We moved here for the scenery, dammit -- it definitely wasn't for the job market :-) -- I might as well get out and enjoy it.
- My daughter Trisha and I just recuperated from being sick this week.There were "barf buckets" and general misery involved. That's probably already more than you wanted to know.
- As of October 1st, On Page and Screen has been in action for 3 months. Of course, the archives go back much further, because we moved over book and movie reviews from our old blogs, including Aspergian Sarah (Movie Reviews) and Laughing Stars (aka Stark Raving Bibliophile). It seems like a good time to re-evaluate things a bit. I'm giving some thought to changes we may want to make in the content and format of this blog between now and Christmas.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris -- I do like a good mystery, and I'm enjoying this so far. The big question, of course, is this: is Hannibal Lecter a better psycho-whacko than Patrick Bateman?
Reminder: Speaking of Mr. Bateman, There is still time to enter the drawing for a $15 gift card, which is part of the review of American Psycho I posted as part of Banned Books Week. Everyone who includes an e-mail address in a comment is entered -- the drawing will be held Oct. 31.
Posts This Week:
Review of Genus by Jonathan Trigell (5/5 Stars) -- Dark, dystopian fiction. Suitable for pre-Halloween reading. Unlike most reviewers, I didn't find it totally bleak.
20 of Our Favorite Coming of Age Movies -- Part 1 & Part 2
Links to Share: I forgot to keep track of some of my favorite posts this week, but I do have a few links to share:
- Stevee's Movie Biography on Cinematic Paradox is a must-read. If I've done my math right, Stevee is about 17, and her film blog is amazing. Her movie biography series is a nice blend of personal writing, movie discussion, and a peek at the evolution of a film buff.
- An interview with Jonathan Trigell about Genus at 3:AM Magazine -- He talks about socioeconomic class, religion (he's a hardened atheist who beliefs humans have a deep need for religion, which is what I'd guessed while reading the book), and other themes he explored in the novel. It's a great read.
- I just added The F Word to my feed reader, after seeing a link at Things Mean a Lot. In case you're wondering, the "F Word" in question is "feminism." It's a UK-based feminist magazine with a multicultural flavor. I am loving the article titled "I'd rather sell my c*nt than my paintings" -- you have to admit it's a fabulous title ;-) -- which reviews two intriguing documentaries.
- Speaking of Things Mean a Lot, I almost missed Ana's thought-provoking article, based on her data analysis study, titled "Gender Balance in YA Award Winners Since 2000."
While considering potential changes in this blog, I started thinking about my relationship with my feed reader. There are so many amazing blogs out there -- it's impossible to follow even a fraction of them. I find myself ruthlessly gutting my list of subscriptions, paring it down to my very favorites. Then I still don't have time to read everything, of course. And I keep finding new favorites, plus rediscovering old ones, and it starts growing uncontrollably again, demanding attention. :-)
I am confident I'm not the only blog addict who struggles with this.
I've been thinking about this question this morning. I think for me, it comes down to 3 things (in no particular order):
- Excellent Writing -- My main reason for reading blogs is to be l
ed astray when I supposed to be working... er ... avoiding housework... I mean to enjoy good writing and expand my knowledge and understanding of books, film, unschooling, or whatever I'm reading about. So obviously, content is important to me, but I've become hopelessly addicted to bloggers who write about nothing in particular. The real hook for me is articulate, thoughtful writing. As a writing teacher by trade, I am confident there is no "best" way to write -- it's largely a matter of personal preference. I can't really define what kind of writing I like -- as the supreme court justice famously said about porn -- "I know it when I see it." Though humor is always a plus.
- Shared Interests -- I mostly read blogs in 3 categories: film, books, and homeschooling/parenting (more or less in that order). A shared interest -- whether it be in literary fiction, unschooling, obscure indie or foreign movies, or the broader world of books and movies -- is a big lure. Sometimes, it's the opposite. I'm sometimes drawn to a blogger who is different from me -- different reading tastes, a parenting style and worldview that differs sharply from mine, or a passion for something I wouldn't ordinarily read about. Or I might be drawn to someone from a different culture. I do love to expand my horizons a bit. In any case, I still need to love the writing.
- Rapport with the blogger -- Sometimes I know the writer in real life, but more often this rapport develops commenting back and forth and -- to a lesser extent -- Twitter-, Facebook-, and e-mail-chat.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.