It’s that time of year again when we all start thinking about Christmas presents. Should you get your loved ones silly jumpers, selection boxes or woolly socks? Why not go for an old favourite and get them something they’ll really like – a book. With thousands of new titles published each year, this week we look at the best blogs about books.
This new blog by the books editor of Image magazine, Jennifer Ryan, came about because she claims: “My room is full of books. As is the dining room, living room, car, several of my handbags and my head. Sometimes they don’t all fit, so I’m putting them here.”
What I love about this blog is the variety of books. Along with entries about the usual suspects, Ryan writes about rarer treasures such as The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York.
When Allen Lane had the brilliant idea of printing quality writing as cheap paperbacks in 1935, he started a revolution in the book industry. Seventy-five years on, Penguin is still considered one of the best publishers in the world.
This blog by Penguin staff gives us a lively account of the latest goings on at the publishing house. Despite some name-dropping (“I visited both bookshops with Nick Hornby”), it makes for an interesting read. I particularly like the entry by Jim Stoddart on cover designs, an art Penguin is famous for.
Children’s books are often neglected in the blogosphere, but Dublin-based David Maybury keeps up this witty blog while “trying to finish a book or two”.
With a mixture of interesting stories (see the entry on the Incredible train-riding boy), details of events, reviews and insights, this blog is a cornucopia of all that’s happening in children’s books in Ireland.
And if you can’t afford to buy presents this year, try winning them in one of Maybury’s three competitions.
A little confession: despite being a bibliophile, I am not a fan of Amazon. You think you’re getting a bargain and then you see the postage costs.
However, at the online shop The Book Depository the postage is included in the price, so what you see is what you pay. Its blog is also excellent, featuring lots of lesser-known books by independent publishers, while not ignoring the most popular titles and the classics, and diverse Top 10 lists from a variety of contributors.
By Deirdre Nolan
Photo: The A Word of One’s Own blog.