I’ve been toying with the idea of running another blog, one that provides a way of putting people in touch with the kind of blogs they most like to read and that celebrates the richness of our book blogging community. The idea at the moment is that it would be a kind of sorting house, much in the way that students arriving at Hogwarts are sorted into the Gryffindors and Slytherins and so on. It was tempting to use Hogwarts categorizations but I think we may need more than four. I was considering six:
Blogs that do just book reviews
Blogs whose authors have some academic or intellectual leanings
Blogs that are writer blogs with bookish interest
Blogs that post mostly short reviews
Blogs that post a real mix of stuff that is nevertheless book-related
Blogs that post reviews plus personal pieces
The idea is to have a link for each of these categories that will take you to a permanent page and bloggers sign themselves up to whichever category suits them best, including a couple of lines of description of their site and a link to a favourite/exemplary post.
Then it might be possible to run other things on the blog, the occasional carnival, featured bloggers, guest posts and maybe a fairly regular discussion on hot blogworld topics.
But I am just thinking about this at the moment and would welcome suggestions and ideas, particularly for the categories which are a nightmare to decide upon. I won’t be getting this up and running before the Christmas vacation so there’s plenty of time to work out what would be most useful.
In the meantime, here’s a shout-out to some parts of the blogworld that have particularly impressed me lately.
Baker’s Daughter Writes is a recent discovery for me and I’ve yet to read a post I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. The quality of the writing is just stunning.
Changing Lives Changing Minds – I just love these people, and everything they do and everything they stand for. It’s a collective blog written by people using literature to help and support criminal offenders, who have to study books as a condition of their probation. An early study showed that those who completed their program were far less likely to re-offend. Some of the posts are by the teachers, some by the students. Way to go, I say.
The Online Literary Magazine:
I’m probably the last person in the blog world to catch up with Open Letters, but isn’t it fantastic? Monthly publication and stacked full of brilliant essays. I particularly enjoyed this account of Elizabeth Smart’s novella By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept. Again, more hope for me that literary criticism is in transition from the complex texts of the university enclaves to sensitive and insightful readings that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves reading.