Oct 7, 2010

Bookish Discoveries: A Guest Post by Claire

Today’s guest post is by the lovely Claire at Paperback Reader. Claire has the kind of elegant and very erudite blog that would hugely intimidate me if it weren’t for the fact that she’s so very friendly and approachable. Also, let us not forget that she is, along with the equally lovely Verity, the host of Persephone Week, a favourite blogging event for me and for book lovers everywhere. Claire wrote an incredibly kind post about the book recommendations she got from me over the years, and although part of me fears it might seem self-centred of me to post it here, I couldn’t possibly say no after Claire had been so generous. So I’ll just have to hope that you won’t all think I’m horribly conceited, and that you know I’m equally grateful to many of my fellow book bloggers for all the wonderful books they’ve introduced me to.

Bookish Discoveries: A Guest Post by Claire

When Nymeth invited me to write a guest post for Things Mean a Lot I thought that I would rework this post that I wrote for my own blog a few months ago. We, as readers of Nymeth's blog, are on common ground: we subscribe to Nymeth's eloquent, passionate and analytical posts on books because we love and appreciate what she has to say. A new post from Nymeth always excites me as it will undoubtedly bring to my attention a book that had otherwise escaped my attention or make it appeal in a way it had not before; when the post is a review of a book I have already read then Nymeth often provides detailed insight and has me re-engaging with the text. Posts that are not book reviews are often thought-provoking and even academic in tone but with Nymeth's characteristic wit and passion.

Nymeth and I share many favourite books and writers and consequently I know that when she loves a book I am also likely to love it (athough there have been some notable exceptions in our past reading histories of having very different reactions to the same books). Blogging has been bad for both my wishlist and my bank balance but no other blogger has added to my wishlist quite as exponentially as Nymeth has; I am sure I am not alone in this statement. All of the above books are ones that Nymeth has reviewed or mentioned (even a couple that have been sent to me either by Nymeth herself or as a result of her recommendation) and that I have added to my to-be-read pile on the strength of her recommendation. Not pictured but worth notable mention is Paper Towns by John Green; I only discovered this unique author through Nymeth's praise and have proceeded to purchase his other novels after being delighted by Paper Towns..

I will admit though to storing up her recommendations and putting off reading them to a) the ideal time when I can devote myself to enjoying them to the fullest or b) indefinitely in the fear of not loving them in the same way Nymeth does and feeling disappointed in myself. Am I alone in this? Nymeth has built up a number of books that have appealed so much to me that I would be crushed if I ended up not likewise falling in love with them. However, I think that I have learned enough of Nymeth's taste in books by now to know what will work for her, what won't and what will work for us both; the above books are all ones that I suspect I will love on their own merit albeit at Nymeth's introduction.

I am so thankful for Nymeth’s influence as I have discovered so many wonderful -and off the beaten track- books and authors courtesy of her direct recommendations and the enthused and energetic way she blogs. I look forward to her return to blogging once she is settled into her new city and course and to personally meeting her later this year.

I would like to ask a question to close: what has been your best book discovery via Nymeth?

And I add my own question: what’s your best book discovery via any blogger?

15 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but just putting "Ana" and "conceited" in the same sentence makes me laugh ridiculously! Please Ana, do *not* worry there--you, my dear, may be the *least* conceited person I've ever known!

    And Claire, what a lovely, lovely post. I share your feelings nearly to a tee, though I never could have put them into words so eloquently!

    And while it may seem that my attention was unfairly drawn to this book because I appears right there in the photo, I assure you that's not why I mention it. Tender Morsels holds the place for the best book discovery via anyone. And yes, of course, it was discovered thanks to Ana. :) I can't even put into words what that books means to me.

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  2. What kind words about me too - and a lovely post from Claire. I love Nymeth's blog for the truly eclectic mix of things she reads.

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  3. My bank balance has definitely improved in Ana's absence. It is lovely to see these wonderful posts, but I do look forward to seeing her back. Claire,you have done an amazing job and described how we probably all feel about Ana and her book choices.
    I would never have discovered Stella Gibbons, if it wasn't for Ana.I also didn't realised I liked Victorian Gothic novels either until Ana paved the way.

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  4. I agree that Ana's posts and recommendations are some of the best out there, and it's very rare for me not to add a book to my wish list after reading one of her erudite and intelligent posts on it. There are many times that I go out and purchase the book in question just minutes after reading one of her reviews, and I have never been steered wrong. I love the fact that she speaks so passionately and thoughtfully on the things that she reads, and I consider this site a little treasure that I am lucky to have found. I am also really looking forward to her return and can't wait to hear about what she's been reading!

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  5. "Best" book discovery? Hell, I don't know. But my book discoveries via book blogs in general and Ana's blog in particular have been numerous. It's overwhelming at times to have so many fantastic book recommendations, but it makes my reading life better.

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  6. What a great post Claire - you're going to make all us guest posters jealous that we didn't think of it :)

    I can think of lots of books that I've bought or added to the TBR because of Ana (I am almost at the end of my quite large TBR notebook and Ana's recommendations must make up a tenth of its contents). Most memorably her interest in John Green inspired me to read Looking for Alaska (which was fantastic) and to buy Paper Towns, which I have great hopes for.

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  7. Being only a recent follower of Things mean a lot I cannot yet name any books I discovered (and read) through this wonderful blog. But since I found in the archives that Ana loves many of my favorite books, most notably Ursula Le Guin's fantasies, I have added an enormous amount to my TBR list.

    More generally my best book discovery via book bloggers: probably the Canongate myth series. Plus of course the confirmation that I should REALLY read all those classics that I mean to read already for years.

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  8. Lovely post, Claire. And I certainly agree that Nymeth has been very influential in adding to my wishlist. I, for one, look forward to her discussion/rant posts as much as her book reviews. Love them.

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  9. wonderful post Claire ,erm Knna has influenced me a lot in recent months she seems to read similar also Richard Caravana de ,all the best stu

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  10. What a lovely post! I too have enjoyed reading Nymeth's blog and can say I've put "not a few" books on my reading list because of her reviews. Two favorites that I've read because of Nymeth's praise are Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan and Paper Towns by John Green. LOVED them both.

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  11. I can only pick one?!?! Heh. Thinking about it, most of the books Nymeth reads end up on my wish list, but I don't end up picking them up much because they don't often become available on wish list. I have an Angela Carter here though and I have a feeling it will be the best, once I read it :D

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  12. Lovely post.

    My book recommendations are largely based on book bloggers. Cannot narrow it down to just a few though. so many new authors and new books for me.

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  13. I agree with everyone else: this is such a lovely post!

    Best Ana recommendation... hmmm... I'm a bit like you in that I tend to procrastinate on her recommendations in case I don't love them/can't discuss them in as intelligent a fashion as she does, but I have discovered a few particularly notable titles around these parts. I think I'll go with Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series, which I read and loved last June. I added the books to my wishlist solely based on her recommendation, and I couldn't put 'em down until I'd read the last page.

    Although, now that I think about it, I also loved the hell out of DRAMACON by Svetlana Chmakova...

    As far as other bloggers' recommendations go, I've got a few favourites. I'm indebted to Shanra of Libri Touches for introducing me to Elizabeth Knox. I loved THE VINTNER'S LUCK, but I think THE ANGEL'S CUT may very well end up in my Top 10 after I've reread it. I'm also grateful to both Shanra and Tia of Fantasy Debut/Debuts & Reviews for pushing me to read THE MAGICIANS AND MRS QUENT by Galen Beckett.

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  14. Thank you to Ana for her kind words in return & for the comments that contribute to the post. Ana's blog always makes me feel such a part of the blogging community.

    @Amy, if it is Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter then it is her best!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.