Friday, August 09, 2013

The Opinions, Please! Weekly Link Round-Up

Another fun week has flown by. Denis and I went to see Jenn McKinlay last night at The Poisoned Pen, and she impressed my husband so much that he now wants to read one of her cozies. Who'da thunk it?!? When we left, I was carrying the last volumes of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell books in my red shopping bag. Having all the books in the series now is like having a huge pool of awesome to dive right into. I know y'all know what I'm talking about!

Jenn McKinlay & David Hunenberg entertaining us!
Before I round up those links, I have a question for you. I'm going to be changing around a few things on my blog. In the past I know several of you mentioned that you liked the LibraryThing widget on my sidebar that cycles through many of the books I've read and/or owned.

Here's the question: Which would you rather see on my sidebar-- the LibraryThing widget as it looks today... or a new widget that would cycle through 6-12 crime fiction books that I highly recommend? Or... do you even care? I know many of you keep up with Kittling: Books through a reader and don't even visit in person. Please leave a comment and let me know which you would prefer. Ta!

Bookish News & Other Interesting Stuff
  • A sad note for me to end the week. Barbara Mertz has died at the age of 85. Most of you know her by one of her pen names: Elizabeth Peters or Barbara Michaels. At one time, her books had the "honor" of being the most stolen books in this country's libraries, and when I was 12 or 13, I thought her book Ammie, Come Home, was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Rest in peace, Barbara. Spin some tales for the angels.
  • With my retail background, I wasn't surprised when I read this article stating that theft is five times higher in self-checkout lanes. I hate the things anyway because I always get the scanner that insists on early retirement, and then I can't find an employee to help me. Then an article in The New Yorker talked about how a Japanese retailer was experiencing great success by ensuring that their salesfloors were well-staffed with employees. Sometimes machines just can't beat good old humans, ya know?
  • I've just walked around the house checking. Nope. I don't have any rare history books being used as doorstops. Rats....
  • I've just checked my shelves. Nope. No copy of Frankenstein inscribed to Lord Byron by Mary Shelley. More rats....
  • Women led 58% of the book spending in 2012, and eBooks continue to increase. (Especially certain genres.)
  • After all the flap over Jane Austen's ring being purchased and then prevented from leaving the UK last week, this person has the right perspective on the matter.
  • A writer for The Guardian says that his Kindle has turned him off paper books. (Me? I refuse to limit myself. Why should I?)
  • I'm definitely going to be on the look-out for the latest Robert Redford film.

I  ♥  Lists

Book Candy

That's all for this week. I've got a slow cooker to start before I can take my cold drink and selection of books out to the pool for the afternoon. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you may be, and don't forget to stop by next weekend when I'll have a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure!


  1. I don't use self check-outs because I feel like it's a way for a store to give me less service for my money plus it takes a job from someone. With all this technology we desperately need human interaction!

  2. I'm not a crime fiction person; I read your blog once a week--for this post, so I don't care what you do with Library Thing.

    1. You've made me happy twice over. One, for liking this post well enough to stop by each week. And two, for letting me know that I'm not talking to myself. ;-) To be honest, I don't think most readers care what I do with the blog's appearance as long as I keep talking books!

  3. I think I'd like to see books you recommend rather than random books you own.

    Fun when an event is so good it captures a new reader.

    I was so sad about Elizabeth Peters.

    1. I agree with you about the sidebar. Besides, that LT widget is so old it probably has a bit of mold on it! LOL

  4. Cathy - Thanks as ever for the news and links. Such sad news about Barbara Mertz.. I'm glad you had a great time at PP. And I hope Denis enjoys his foray into cosy fiction :-)

  5. Really sad news about Barbara Mertz. A great talent lost. As for your sidebar, my computer (c. 2000) loads so slowly that I don't even look at sidebars normally. I'm just happy to see the blog post at all. :)

    1. My computer's a bit long in the tooth, but it's a young whippersnapper compared to yours, Barbara!

  6. Oh, wow. I'm sad about Barbara Mertz. Her website has indicated since early this year that she had another book in the process of being written/prepared, so maybe there's one more coming. I hope. One last Amelia Peabody.

    I really don't know what to say about the Library Thing sidebar. It's interesting to see the variety, which if you program it to show just the ones you highly recommend, there will be ones that don't fit that category that might still be interesting to find and read, but that's just me.

    1. The people who stated (a long time ago) that they loved the LibraryThing widget said much the same thing, Pepper. There are pros and cons, regardless which direction I go.

  7. Hmmm, on your sidebar, posting well-recommended books would be a good idea, as long as it changed sometimes as you're reading new ones.

    I appreciate your list of reviews as when I'm thinking about reading a book, I look up the review to see if you've read it and what you think of it.

    I'm not too much of a cozy reader but I love the reviews anyway, and since you read a lot of different types of books, I do get enough recommendations to add to the Mt. Kilimanjaro of TBR lists.

    And good luck to Denis on that cozy.

    It's interesting that 58% of book buyers are women. Wonder why publishers push the thriller, gratuitously violent, especially against women, huge body counts-type books so much. Most women readers I know don't like that. So who is buying them? A mystery to me.

    1. It must be that 42% that's buying all those, Kathy. I can take violence in books, as long as it makes sense to the story-- and I do have other limits to my tolerance of that particular "theme."

      The list of recommendations would change as I either add books from past years or add books I've just discovered.


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