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May 17, 2011

Book Blogospheres

The most important thing I’ve learned about blogs since I’ve been thinking really hard about them in the last six months is that there is no such thing as “the blogosphere”. (Also interesting, if unsurprising, is that the first person who said “the blogosphere” meant it as a joke.) Instead, there are many blogospheres in separate orbits, all oblivious to the other bodies sharing the same outer space. This fact is not entirely understood in the mainstream media, however, which also has the impression “blogger” and “political blogger” are synonymous terms. They also publish stories with shocking headlines such as “Canada’s political bloggers are predominantly male”. (Do note: so are Canada’s political everythings.)

Anyway, I have spun out of my own orbit. The point of this post is that I need help. Even the book blogosphere is broken down into many, many sub-spheres– reviewers, fetishists, librarians, collectors, scholars, writers, illustrators, designers, etc. etc. etc. What are the spheres you like to read? Who is writing the best online reviews these days? What are your favourite book blogs? Please share your favourites (and all links are welcome, though an emphasis on Canadian sites would be most helpful to me). Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Book Blogospheres”

  1. Ruth Seeley says:

    I think we actually need to create a Wiki for this project – and I’d love to help you with it. Why is it so hard to get book bloggers to self identify in a searchable Excel spreadsheet?

    I’ll raid my past projects blogger media lists to make some suggestions as well as my ‘literary folk’ list on Twitter. @bookgaga, @janetsomerville, @auntnancis, @melwyk, Kevin from Canada, Aaron Brown – just to kick things off….

  2. I’ve wondered the same thing lately – a lot of my former favourite bloggers have stopped blogging lately, or have changed the tone of their blog sufficiently that I don’t enjoy it much anymore. I know new bloggers have cropped up in their place, but I’m not sure who or where!

    My “regular read” list these days is short: you, Nathalie Foy, Steph @ Bella’s Bookshelf, Quillblog & the Afterword. KIRBC when it updates. That Shakespearean Rag when he updates… um, and isn’t writing reviews. I also appreciate the excellent content at Book Madam & Associates, but honestly since it/they have become a big composite site, I find it more daunting to visit and read.

    I’m one of those followers who doesn’t really enjoy reading reviews – I prefer notes on book culture, publishing, issues, etc. So a large number of the blogs leave me a bit cold.

  3. ms.mildred says:

    I agree with Charlotte. A lot of my former reads have seemingly stopped posting, or have resorted to giving lists of books borrowed, bought, TBR, etc., interspersed with some (not very critical/helpful) reviews. I tend to get a lot from twitter these days. @bookladysblog, @MsRebeccs, @maudnewton (whose blog I also check in with, @The_Rumpus, @quillandquire, @cbcbooks, and @Wendy_Mc.

    I do enjoy the eclecticism of this guy, in England:
    and get a kick out of this American woman who hits only the classics and keeps it real, with some humour:

    I do find myself very turned off by bloggers who participate in whatever meme is doing the rounds. I don’t care. Boo.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Niranjana says:

    My absolute favorite is blogger LitLove of Tales from the Reading Room (

    She is a professional literary critic (a British academic) and her blog consists of very accessible literary criticism. And she writes like a dream! She doesn’t read much Canadian lit. though–mostly French.

  5. Finn Harvor says:

    “This fact is not entirely understood in the mainstream media, however, which also has the impression “blogger” and “political blogger” are synonymous terms.”

    It may be that journalists are seeing the situation in a slightly myopic way because pol-blogs are themselves forms of journalism.

    Personally, I like books, like blogs about books, but also like politics. Am not sure why the two can’t peacefully co-exist.

    Re: blogs visited most often, two come to mind immediately:

    The Reading Experience

    That Shakespearean Rag

    But speaking personally, I find it’s often the comments threads as well as posts at the blog sites proper that end up pulling me back. In other words, some good blogs are to no insignificant extent group creations.

  6. Ruth Seeley says:

    How could I forget Jeanne Duperreault’s site?

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