If you’re a regular here at Readers’ Salon, you may enjoy the imaginative opinions of our contributors, and their recommendations of resources available at Winnipeg Public Library (and elsewhere). Thanks for reading us!
Now, if you’re relatively new to the world of blogs, you might wonder what else is out there in the online hinterlands. Are there other interesting literary blogs, at your fingertips, that can help keep you an informed and satisfied reader?
Here are just a few examples of the kinds of literary-oriented blogs I’ve come across, and that you might want to give a try. They may not all fully measure up to our Readers’ Salon, but don’t hold that against them!
I was first introduced to Robert J. Sawyer, the Canadian science fiction author, a few years back, when I read his book Hominids. Imagine a parallel world exists that is dominated by modern Neanderthals, with their own history, society and philosophy. Now, imagine that someone discovers a way to cross into this other world… Sawyer once gave a talk at our own Millennium Library on science fiction writing. I remember him saying that all good science fiction is commentary on what is happening socially and politically today. What a fascinating and active mind! His blog keeps his fans up to date on his thoughts, life and writing. Enjoy!
Another author with a great blog hails from the U.K. Jen Campbell is a London-based comic writer and bookseller. Her blog is This Is Not the Six Word Novel. I love the quote she uses as her tagline: “When we read, we start at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out.” She blogs about authors she has met, books she has loved reading, and developments in her own writing projects, one of which is the series “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops”. Ready for a laugh?
Of course, you can always try other public library blogs written by library staff. One, that caught my eye, is Halifax Public Library’s blog, which is simply called The Reader. Many, if not all, of the books referred to are also available to borrow right here at WPL.
Online news outlets can be a great way to find other types of literary blogs. Next to their formal book review sections you can often find links to blogs where staff comment on stuff they are reading or reviewing. One that should not be missed is The Guardian’s Books Blog. The writers are top-rate, and the topics wonderfully varied. Last Friday, for example, contributor Damien Walter wrote about the irresistible attraction to time travel science fiction. I’m hooked. Speaking of which, given the anniversary of JFK’s assassination, it was timely for him to include a nod to Stephen King’s excellent novel 11/22/63, where time travel offers an opportunity to prevent that infamous event.
In a similar vein, the American culture and politics site Slate has a great forum for book talks. Parallel cultural comment site Salon also offers book discussions that are often provocative. New Yorker magazine has a blog entitled Page-Turner. Check today’s post on the auctioning of the first English-language book printed in the U.S. The price may be a little steep for most of us!
Turning to Canadian literary blogs, one example is Literary Tourist. It includes a recent entry featuring photographs of used book stores in Winnipeg! Literary Tourist is written by Nigel Beale, in Ottawa. He’s on a worldwide quest to photograph book stores and all things literary. Watch his TED Talk!
A great international fiction blog is Words Without Borders, which is currently celebrating it’s tenth anniversary. Read their story, and the best fiction, poetry, and essays from their first decade, much of it translated from other languages.
One last recommendation is Book Riot. This is a quirky site with equally quirky contributing writers from the U.S. and Canada. Their aim is “All Books. Never Boring”. And isn’t that something we can all get behind? Finding books that are not boring, and talking about them in a non-snobby way?