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.
I'm a homeschooler, so I would love to see your school blog recommendations. :)ReplyDelete
I agree a lot with what attracts you to blogs. I like friendly bloggers, lists, and posts on books or films that I've heard a lot about but haven't read/watched. I also enjoy comparing my thoughts on books with other bloggers. Your blog is certainly one that matches my specifications!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your thoughts and your kind words, Lucy. You summed it up perfectly.Delete
Aw, thanks for the mention! And I'm so glad to have introduced you to The F Word. They're a great site.ReplyDelete
I pick blogs based on pretty much the same factors as you. The writing, the voice, their unique perspective, whether the content is a good match for my interests, and how drawn to the person behind the blog I am.
The F Word is a VERY cool site. Luckily I happened to see the link last time I visited your blog.Delete
I like your summary od how you choose blogs. Well said!
I mostly care about writing - I don't even have to agree with a person, but if they manage to write engaging, interesting things with sense of humour I appreciate, I'll definetly continue reading their work.ReplyDelete
I agree, Margaret -- well said! I really don't care whether I agree with a person. In fact I prefer that there be opportunities to respectfully debate, or at least disagree.Delete
Glad you and your daughter are feeling better.ReplyDelete
As for the psychos, I think Hannibal Lecter take the cake. I have a soft spot for him since Silence of the Lambs was one of the first horror flicks I saw as a teen. How is Red Dragon so far? I could barely stomach the film.
As for blogging favs, I like bloggers who write about 'nothing' as well. Your list pretty much sums it up. I enjoy reading posts where the bloggers personality shines right through. And when I like reading a blog, I'll visit on the regular. That's why you can't get rid of me :P
Thanks for your thoughts and kind words. I like what you said about a blogger's personality shining through. I really enjoy that, too.Delete
I'm liking Red Dragon so far. Very different from American Psycho. AP is literary, satirical, and downright freaking bizarre. :) RD is pretty much a straightforward thriller. I do like mysteries and thrillers. I'm actually enjoying this one more, though AP is more memorable, in some ways. Does that make sense?
I'm on the fence about whether to vote for Hannibal or Patrick. I keep waffling. :-P
How did I not know that you were the blogger behind Laughing Stars??? I've been wondering how you were doing and what you were up to. That is too funny! On blogging, I can never keep up so I've just kind of given up on the idea of being ahead ever. It just isn't going to happen. I'll never be able to read all of the posts that I want to or comment on everything that I want to. I try to comment when I can and I try to keep it all low key. Whenever I stress, is when I don't end up blogging at all :) I hope that you figure out whatever works for you!ReplyDelete
*Smile* Well, I did disappear from the blog circuit for a long time, for various reasons.Delete
You're getting at exactly the same thing I've been pondering -- finding the right balance. I think we both need to blog and visit bloggers when and how we can, without guilt or stress. :-)
I pretty much use the same criteria as you when it comes to choosing blogs to read.ReplyDelete
And Patrick Bateman is getting my vote in the Dueling Monsters. I need to work on my review … and scrub that book out of my head!
Thanks, Jenners. I was leaning toward the Bateman camp, but now I'm waffling. Hah!Delete
Looking forward to your AP review. I need to scrub the book from my brain, and paradoxically, I also want to see the movie adaptation. Go figure.
I love the sound of the 'Shenandoah Valley'. Just sounds like a beautiful place to me. Make sure you do get out there and enjoy autumn!ReplyDelete
One of my main criteria for following blogs is simply that I can follow by email because if I didn't get regular email updates then I would not remember to drop by. There are a few blog out there that I know and love but because I don't get email updates, I miss a lot of there stuff!
Pete, I understand what you mean about the e-mail thing. I'd be screwed without Google reader. :-)Delete
Good question, I tend to read fairly randomly, there are 15-20 or so I read regularly.ReplyDelete
I don't care about design on my own or other blogs. It's mostly about friendliness, shared interests, and content for me.
Excellent writing...it depends...I dislike eloquent writers who have nothing to say on their blogs.(I like to take at least one thing away from a visit that I hadn't already thought of myself)
"I dislike eloquent writers who have nothing to say on their blogs." That's definitely a fair point. A strong writing style doesn't necessarily make up for style and no substance.Delete
So sorry to hear about the dual sicknesses! That couldn't have been fun! Re blog addiction, I have a hard time giving up reading them, but what I have done to cope with the onslaught is to comment less. It isn't a great solution, but it frees up time to read more blogs!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jill. And I understand what you mean about less comments. It's a tricky balance.Delete
Wow. That's a tough question. I suppose content would get top priority, but good writing is important too. Since I don't do long reviews, or very many lengthy posts for that matter, I like reading blogs that post articulate pieces (that are generally longer than anything I post).ReplyDelete
Rapport with the blogger and/or shared interests are a bonus, of course. :)
I'm a pretty fickle blog reader. At the moment there aren't too many blogs that I'd consider addictions.ReplyDelete
Two weeks ago I had to take a break from this meme. Our one year old tuxedo cat had gone missing. It took us ten days to find her. Please come see what I'm reading now.
I think Lecter scared me more than Bateman. As for following blogs - I follow a LOT (hundreds) for one reason or the other. But I don't have a problem keeping up because I have Feedreader set to only display the title, and I don't read every blog post. I only open & read the ones that interest me and comment on those. And then I mark all the rest as read to clear the feeds.ReplyDelete
I tend to read a lot of blogs that are within my style of writing but have recently opened up to random blogs just to shake things up. Great blog and post :DReplyDelete
Congrats on 3 months!ReplyDelete
My number one requirement for blog addictions is good writing as well.
Ughh my stomach is doing cartwheels just picturing barf buckets. Glad you're feeling better now!ReplyDelete
I used to follow you on Laughing Stars, obviously I have impeccable taste following you again LOL. My feed reader got out of control long ago so I gave it up as a bad joke. Now the blogs I try to visit a couple of times a week I keep in my blog roll and of course I always get to catch up on other faves via Monday meme.
The bloggers I've established online friendships with are top of my list, writing of substance is a must, a sense of humour doesn't go astray and I really don't mind if we have different interests. Mixing it up is a good thing. Balance is hard because I do like to comment, I mean I like the sound of my own blog voice but I like it better if others are reading and commenting too ;)
My blog reading it sort of hit or miss depending on how my week's going and I finally decided that if I missed stuff, even on the blogs I thoroughly enjoy, I was going to just let it go (for an obsessive like me, this has been a hard thing to implement but necessary to my sanity). So I guess I can't say how I decide what I'll read each week but a lot of it is time dependent so some weeks, I'm lucky to post anything on mine, nevermind getting to read anything on anyone else's and other weeks, I can happily scroll through and read dozens of posts. And I guess I choose blogs to read about the way I choose books off the shelf: completely randomly. ;-)ReplyDelete