How to make a good book list – visit your library!

I’m surrounded by books at my library job and, as I travel through the stacks, I’m inspired by the many books on display. I also do a lot of book talking with my work friends and with people who come up to the desk. Yesterday, I walked over two miles and the sights were good!  Here’s a list of the books I’ve seen or heard about during my recent travels.

Take a look and be sure to check out the linked reviews by our fellow WordPress bloggers – it’s a great way to connect with readers!


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – reviewed by HappymessHappiness
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – reviewed by Bookshelf Fantasies
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate – reviewed by Traveling with T
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata – reviewed by Cover to Cover
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reis – reviewed by Jenna Bookish

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly – reviewed by Dressed to Read
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – reviewed by Hannah and Her Books
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – reviewed by Ally Writes Things
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward – reviewed by By the Book Reviews
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson – reviewed by BooksPlease

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – reviewed by Simone and Her Books
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – reviewed by Angie Dokos
There There by Tommy Orange – reviewed by I’ve Read This
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger – reviewed by Rainy Days and Mondays
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – reviewed by Fictionophile


Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery – reviewed by Shelf Love
Hunger by Roxane Gay – reviewed by Taking on a World of Words
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren – reviewed by Kavish and Books

I’ll be reading Lab Girl for my book club and I know I’ll get to the rest one day – just a matter of time! What are you reading right now? What do you recommend?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Welcome Book Blogger Book Club Mom

I’m so excited to be featured on Jill Weatherholt’s blog today, where I share my book blogging experiences. I hope you will visit and join the conversation! I’ll be over later today to reply. 🙂

Jill Weatherholt

Today I’m excited to welcome a fellow blogger whom many of you know. I can’t recall if we met through Word Press or Twitter, but she is definitely one of my favorite people. I’ve invited her to talk about her journey as a book blogger. Please welcome Barbara Vitelli, whom many of you know as Book Club Mom!

Book Club Mom – one book blogger’s evolution

My WordPress blog turns 6 years old this summer, but I started writing book reviews much earlier than that. I’ve been in a book club for 18 years and, after a few rounds of books, I wanted to find a way to keep track of not just those books, but everything I read. I was a lot younger then and had a better memory, but I was also raising little boys and I knew I’d never remember if I didn’t write something down. I…

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Book blogs and reviews – the good, the bad and the ugly

Image: Pixabay

Do you like everything you read? The answer for all of us is, of course, no. That would be impossible. If we liked everything we read, we would all be bland, with no opinions. And then no one would be able to distinguish between good, great, really great on the one side and average or not so good on the other side.

Social media has given readers a voice. Book blogs, Amazon, Goodreads are all places we can express our views about the last book we’ve read.

Everyone likes to gush when they love a book. And on what we could call the dark web of book reviews, many readers like to rip a book apart if they didn’t like it. These reviews are often nasty and don’t have much substance. And once posted, they sit out there, attached to the book for all to see. That’s hard on authors, especially new ones.

As readers, we tend to pick books we know we will like. With limited time, why read a book you know you won’t enjoy? But even when we select what we think will be winners, not everything works. As a book blogger, what to do?

  1. I could choose not to review the book.
  2. I could give it a positive review anyway.
  3. I could give it an average rating, point to the good things and let the rating speak for itself.

Option three works a lot for me, but every now and then I have to choose between that and something else: Option four:

  1. I could give it an honest review and explain why, without being harsh.

Yesterday I posted a review and gave it 2 bookmarks. Ouch! I thought about it for a long time. Could I do that? Did it deserve only 2 bookmarks? For me, yes.

If you’re in a book club, you know that very rarely does everyone like the book of the month. In my group, some of our best discussions were about books that some people hated and others loved! We are able to laugh about it and tease each other.

Can you do that on a book blog? I think so. My goal here is to develop a brand so that people who read my blog know my tastes and can choose based on them. We have to have a personality or it isn’t real!

So here is my idea for the future, and I will start with yesterday’s review of Exposed by Lisa Scottoline. If you are a Scottoline fan and want to tell me about her best books and why you like them, I’m inviting you to either make comments below or on the review linked above, or be a guest blogger on Book Club Mom. Email if you are interested.

Because isn’t it best to reach across the book aisle?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Something new for Book Club Mom – Book Talk on YouTube!

Hi Everyone,

I’m trying something new, a supplement to this blog, because it’s never good to get too comfortable with the status quo, right?

So today I launched a YouTube channel and posted my first bookish video. I’ll be posting once a week and hope you’ll take a look here:

It’s a little longer than what I hope to post in the future, so if you get bored, remember that I’ll be cutting my next post by a minute or two!

I hope you’ll consider subscribing to my channel!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!