Bookish Radness

Instagram is My Jam

Even though my blogging has slowed down quite a bit, I’m still reading all the things and wanted to let y’all know where you can find more consistent book reviews and features!

Instagram Account Numero Uno (@jamielynne82)
I post at least once a week about books, but am trying out Instastories more. All that to say: BOOKS! (And occasionally my cat, my favorite humans and adventures.)

Instagram Account Numero Dos (@theinklings1926)
I haven’t told many folks about this yet, but I started an account dedicated to the Inklings. It’s a mix of quotes, mini reviews, fun facts about Tolkien and Jack, and sometimes pretty pictures of books.

And didn’t want to forget Goodreads! If we haven’t connected already, let’s!

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Book Reviews

How to Write a Book Review | Blogging Resources

There are approximately 9,000 different ways to write a book review. I know y’all know that and writing a post titled “How to Write a Book Review” seems so snobbish and that most definitely is not my intent. I love the variety of blogs out there, so this is just my two cents 🙂

I’ve written about how I blog a bit before, but I thought it might be helpful to chat a bit more details and things I always like to include and why. Of course this is my style and you have to find what works for you, but hey if it helps one person, then awesome!

– Make it personal. One of my favorite things in reading blogs, is hearing how a book impacted a person’s life or how it connected with them, so I usually try to incorporate that; like why I reviewed a golf book, a book on marriage (oops) or why I was crying my eyes out. As you would all agree, books are more than paper, so hearing their impact is lovely.

– Always include an image. Whether from the web or a creative picture you take, pictures make life better (can you tell I’m a little biased and a photographer? 🙂 It also breaks up the post and is more attractive to a reader.

– Include links of where to buy the book. Not only is this helpful if you are part of an affiliate program, but it makes it easy to buy the book, thus helping out the author.

– Make it easy to share. Whether it’s a helpful plugin (like Click-to-Tweet or any of the Share plugins. WordPress also has other ones built in too), this makes it easy for people to tweet out, share on Facebook, Pin, etc. Looking over stats, I’ve seen an increase in my traffic since I’ve incorporated them. Also, from personal experience, there’s been times I’ve wanted to share posts from blogs, but couldn’t find an easy way to share them, so I didn’t. Just think, if someone is reading this from their iPhone, will it be easy to share? If your goal includes growth in your blog, I can’t recommend this enough.

– If you didn’t like the book, share why. I don’t think anyone really likes writing these reviews, it’s never easy to type up something you know isn’t positive. Yet, once you start blogging enough, you realize it becomes part of the job. My biggest piece of advice? Share why. For example: “I didn’t like the book” vs. “I wasn’t a huge fan because the plot moved slow after we met the main characters and I found myself losing interest” or “There was language I wasn’t prepared for and it took away from the story.” Publishers, authors and fellow readers all appreciate it. I remember reading a review of one of my favorite books and another blogger (who didn’t like it) shared why and while I didn’t agree with their thoughts (different ideas of what’s considered language or not), it was helpful to see why they rated it low.

– If you loved it, don’t be afraid to go all out. Sometimes a girl’s gotta go ALL CAPS right? These are the most fun to write. I’m pretty sure readers know when I absolutely love a book and that’s definitely on purpose. If a book impacted me, then I for sure want to pass that along!

– End with a question or something to engage the readers. When I’m reading blogs, this makes it a bit more fun and I’m more willing to engage, especially if it’s a new blog to me. Plus I love engaging with my readers, so I always try to include a fun question.

– Tag away! If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to tag the author (and the publisher). Whether good or bad, I know it’s helpful for them.

One of the goals of my blog is to support authors. What they do is truly a gift and I want to be able to use this platform to chat, discuss and support. I’ve found these tips help me accomplish that goal!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a couple other blogs to check out with different reviewing styles. Of course I want to list like 50, but that might get overwhelming :), so here’s a couple!

Hope this was a bit helpful for y’all! What are some tricks you love to include?

Bookish Radness

Nostalgia Creepin In My Bookshelf

Please tell me they still have summer reading clubs at public libraries. Please!! I hope they do. All I can say is I rocked those. My mission each summer (besides running around causing outside chaos with my cousins and siblings) was to read a ton of books, so I would win prizes at the local library. I was ballin on a budget back then.

I’m moving in the next few weeks, so the OCD in me is already organizing and boxing up what I can. Going through my library, I came across the books I’ve kept from grade school and Jr. High. This discovery made me smile. I loved these books (I guess keeping them for 20 years says something). I think I might re-read them just for kicks. You know how those nostalgia days can go.

If you have young kids who are just getting into reading, I highly recommend these. Take them back a couple of decades.

Here’s the official Books and Beverages favorite Children’s book list:

My branding style back in the day

Do you remember any of these? What are some other 80’s/90’s classics?

Book Reviews, Photography

Some of My Favorite Photography Books

If you have had a chance to meander on over to the ever cleverly named tab “About,” you already know that along with writing about my favorite reads, I take pictures (in another life I was a wedding photographer). I love photography as much as I love reading. As I was going through my book inventory I found some favorites I think you’ll enjoy even without having to own a camera.

Cats of the Greek Isles – If you don’t like cats, then I don’t recommend this. But if you like cats and Greece, this one is a winner. It seems like cats there rule the streets and photographer Hans Silvester knows a thing or two about how to creatively capture them.

100 Photographs that Changed the World – Images have the power to speak thousands of emotions and story. This is a collection of some of the most powerful. Photojournalism at it’s greatest.

Bible Road: Signs of Faith in the American Landscape – I heart Jesus, I really do, so this book was a rather interesting and intriguing collection by Sam Fentress. Some people are creative in the ways they share about Jesus and if we’re being honest, some are rather strange.

Great Photographs of World War 2 – My passion in history can be thrown in with the rest of the reasons why I love being a nerd, but this books has hundreds of photos from the last great war. Some pretty powerful stuff.

Did I miss any?

Book Reviews, Inklings

Kicking it Off With Some Clive Staples | A Look at Mere Christianity

One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis. His creativity and writing style captivate me. I love reading the Chronicles of Narnia at least once a year. Powerful themes of life and love, yet incredibly enjoyable too.

I first read Mere Christianity when I was a teenager and while I remember enjoying it, I don’t really think I grasped a majority of it. So I figured it was time to read it again. I should have a better understanding at 30 right? I’m glad I did. While written in 1943 (and in Britain no less :)), there’s still so many provoking thoughts and ideas.

I’m not sure how any of these blog posts will go (let’s be honest, this is my second post), but I’m sure each one will look nothing like that last. So to kick off my first official “book review,” here’s some of the quotes I thought were worth highlighting.

“Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out—as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something much more than that. They mean that a real Person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago.”

“It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, knowledge and eternity.”

“Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also that only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.”

“Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next, the Apostles themselves, who set foot on the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

“If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”

What’s your favorite(s) of Mr. Lewis?