BBAW 2010: First Treasure

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is upon us, folks, and none too soon–the buffer of scheduled reviews I built up over the summer is no more. This year’s theme is “A Treasure Chest of Infinite Books & Infinite Blogs”, which essentially boils down to a treasure theme. I started The Literary Omnivore in October of last year, so this is my first Book Blogger Appreciation Week–I’m looking forward to it!

Today’s prompt asks bloggers to talk “about a great new blog you’ve discovered since BBAW last year” and, if you’re new, share “the very first book blog you discovered“.

My book blog roll is pretty small; since I don’t have the time to look over a broad cross-section of the fabulous book blogging community, I try and devote my time to blogs I absolutely love. I’ve also only been blogging for eleven months, so technically, all the blogs I follow are new to me since last year’s BBAW. Asking me to choose only one to feature makes me feel like choosing between my purely hypothetical children. While I did select one blog to look at today, each blog featured on my blog roll is just as fabulous and wonderful as the one I’m talking about today.

With that said, I’ve decided to feature Dreams and Speculation, as run by the fabulous T. J.!

I first encountered Dreams and Speculation when it was Book Love Affair the winter I started The Literary Omnivore–in fact, it’s only about nine months older than my blog. Book Love Affair initially caught my eye because of the lovely layout (which featured books that would actually change every so often!) and, most importantly, because of T. J.’s voice as a blogger.

She’s witty, fannish, and objective, three traits that I like in anyone, quite frankly, but they make her reviews both fun and informative. Her reviews are never too short or too long; in the words of my beloved high school director, they’re like miniskirts–long enough to cover everything but short enough to keep things interesting. Every Monday, she discusses something pertinent to books or speculative fiction at large, which almost always lead to interesting discussions. She’s got me rethinking my distaste for paranormal fantasy, and that, my friends, is not an easy thing to do.

But the reason I decided to feature Dreams and Speculation is how much it’s improved over the last eleven months. Like any good creative, T. J.’s writing has gotten better and better, not that it was ever in need of improvement. While Book Love Affair was an eclectic blog, like The Literary Omnivore, Dreams and Speculation is focused on purely speculative fiction. Being passionate about something is key to its success, and you can definitely feel how passionate T. J. is about speculative fiction at large.

And even its layout and organization have improved. Book Love Affair was hosted on Blogger, whose comment form I loathe, but Dreams and Speculation is hosted on WordPress, who has a great comment form. It’s clean and streamlined, and, most importantly, organized. There’s no clutter and reviews are easy to find. Each review starts off with some technical information on the book, but it’s never obtrusive. It’s just a well-designed and streamlined blog, and, combined with the solid core of T. J.’s reviews and writing, that makes it one of my favorites.

I can go on and on, especially about all the fun challenges T. J. hosts and how awesome a person she is (the copy of Luck in the Shadows that I’m reading right now came from her), but you should really just head over to Dreams and Speculation and enjoy it right now.

And, as an added bonus, please enjoy Muse’s “Starlight”, as I occasionally think the chorus includes the words “dreams and speculation” but is, in fact, “hopes and expectations”. Still, it never fails me to remind of Dreams and Speculation (and also Star Trek, but there’s neither here nor there).

20 thoughts on “BBAW 2010: First Treasure

  1. I’m actually so flattered that I don’t know what to say! I’m not participating in BBAW this year (I’ll be vacationing for the whole second half), but posts like this make me wish I was because I love the blog-to-blog connection and love.

    Really, though, I’m speechless. I love your blog as well, even if I too often forget to stop in and comment.

    Also, I hope that you’re enjoying Luck in the Shadows! I look forward to your thoughts, positive or negative. 🙂

      • Fantasy names are such traps–much like the use of “fantastic” words or devising a new language. Either they’re too weird (full of too many consonants and apostrophes), too normal, or–what I think is worst–somewhere in between. Nothing annoys me more than when an author changes a letter to make a name “fantastic.” (The most recent offender of this was Rowena Cory Daniells: Byren, Elina, Lence…)

      • Sometimes I wonder if people remember which vowels make which sounds- you can’t just replace them with each other willy nilly! (This angers me to no end.) I think, though, my favorite thing about fantasy naming is the liberal sprinkling of accents and umlauts, which rarely make much of a difference.

        Also, Lence? That just sounds downright silly.

      • Umlauts! There needs to be more umlauts in fiction. Anywhere and everywhere. (And hey now, umlauts totally change the sound. They were the bane of my existence when learning German. 😉 )

        I had a rough time with Lence, to be honest. I had to mentally substitute “Lance” just to take him seriously.

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