Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scene of the Blog Featuring Jennifer of The Well Read Fish!

Once again I tracked a comment back to its source to find this week's featured book blogger. I have to admit that the name of Jennifer's blog-- The Well Read Fish-- immediately tickled my fancy, but as I began scrolling and reading through the posts, I quickly realized that there's a lot more to Jennifer's blog than a catchy name.

Just on the first page of her blog, you'll read posts about her love of travel books, her recommendation of Laura Lippman's writing (I'll second that recommendation), and a review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks-- and that's just scratching the surface. If you've never paid a visit to Jennifer's labor of love, The Well Read Fish, I hope you take this opportunity to do so. Please don't be shy: say hello while you're there!

If you're visiting from The Well Read Fish-- Welcome! If you'd like to see any of the photos in this post in a larger size (so you can read the book spines, for instance), just click on them, and they'll open in new windows. If you'd like to see the blogging spaces of previous participants, click on the Scene of the Blog tab at the very top of my header. There are two ways to search: by blog name or by location. Jennifer's ready to give us a tour, so let's not keep her waiting!

Jennifer's desk
I would love to say I sit at my desk diligently writing, but really, my desk is a mess (see photo) and I find myself curled up in bed, or on the couch with my cuddly cat. (I'm willing to bet that the majority of book bloggers have a feline companion. They just seem to go well together.) Aren't so many of us like that? We insist on having an office but then do most of our work on the couch or in bed in cozy clothes.

Much more comfortable than sitting at the desk!
A little about me as a reader: As a kid I was bullied all the time. I was a ragamuffin that didn't like to wear shoes, desperately wanted to be Japanese, and didn't brush my hair. As such, I was made fun of. . . a lot! I was the kid at recess in the steps reading a book. The kid in the car getting carsick because I insisted on reading every possible free moment. So retreating into books has always well needed escape. My parents and I would head to the local bookstore. My dad would go his way, my mom toward romances and I'd be off in my corner picking out the latest Christopher Pike or R.L. Stine. Today I continue these obsessive reading habits, though I'm a bit more socially able (just a bit!).

Some of Jennifer's books
Six years ago I wanted to start the Well Read Fish as a one spot literary meeting place - online book club, interviews with writers and readers, message boards, etc. When I finally got around to it blogs had taken off as the vehicle of choice. It started and I intend to always bring it back to this as a way of grouping books. What do I mean by that?

If I read a book that takes place during a massive rain storm in New York during the 1850s, the story might be a murder mystery but sometimes I am so taken by the setting (New York at the time of the Civil War) or an ambient element (a huge rain storm) that I often go in search of other books that provide the same setting or feeling. For example: When I read Erik Larson's Devil in the White City I became fascinated in the circus-like world of "way back when" and followed up with Carter Beats the Devil and Water for Elephants. Make sense? Do you do the same?

More of Jennifer's books guarded by a friend
The Well Read Fish blog has expanded to include other various literary pursuits, but I'll still try to bring it back to these groupings once in a while. I could talk about books all day so it's wonderful to meet others (virtually and otherwise) who share the reading passion.

Thanks for visiting this fish's fishbowl! Come back anytime and stay a while!

Chance, the cuddly, polydactyl cat

Jennifer, after putting this feature together for over three years, I think I can safely say that book bloggers are about evenly divided when it comes to cats and dogs... with a few like me who don't have any pets at all at the moment. Loving, furry creatures and reading just seem to be made for each other!

I would also imagine that many of us can empathize with being bullied or at least teased unmercifully as a child; I know I can. I got no peace because I had no father in an era where single mothers were almost unheard of where I lived. It also didn't help that I was head and shoulders taller than everyone else for years. And--of course-- having my nose stuck in a book didn't help much when it came to fitting in with my classmates. What's that old saying? That which does not kill us makes us stronger?

I've also been known to go off on tangents with my reading: a PBS drama can have me reading up on World War I, something else triggers my reading about hurricanes... and on and on and on!

What a wonderful thing reading is! Not just the act itself, but the fact that it can quench our thirst for knowledge, for self-awareness, and-- with the help of something called the Internet-- bring thousands of people together from around the world who are passionate about books. It was so much fun to see your blogging spaces, your books, and Chance. Thank you so very much for joining us!

Don't forget to stop by next Wednesday when I'll be featuring another book blogger from our worldwide community!


  1. aww...when I saw those bookshelves..and the pile of books...I felt so at home!

  2. OK, I'm amazed that the large tower of books doesn't topple over. That takes skill! LOL

    Chance looks like a cat that we once owned named Jonathan. He was a great cat.

    Nice to meet Jennifer and I totally understand about running off on tangents after reading about something specific. Isn't that fun?

    1. That stack of books is actually a vertical bookshelf! (from CB2!)

  3. Jennifer - I love that you come from a family of readers, too. It's so nice to be able to have people around you who understand the obsessive need to read. (And I was totally making myself sick in the car reading when I was young.) :)

  4. I can totally relate. I was one of those odd kids with her nose in a book all the time too. The disease has just worsened with the years. ;) Love the six-toed cat. I love animals too but we haven't had pets for years except for the feral tribe of cats I fed for quite a while. They appear to have moved on.

  5. Thanks for the post! And thanks to all who stop by the fishbowl. The internet has been a wonderful invention to find like-minded people! I'm happy to chat about books anytime!

  6. Very nice spaces and companions! I am a dog person and have 2. I do not come from a family of readers but Mom did read to me when I was little and I have always been a big reader and so are my sons! Nice to meet you!

  7. Cathy, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for introducing me to Jennifer - I LOVE The Well-Read Fish!

    1. You're very welcome, Debbie. I love bringing book bloggers together! :-)

  8. I do think many readers can relate to Jennifer! I love all her books. I'm one of the dog lovers who blogs.

  9. Thanks for the peek into your world!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd out


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