Random Thoughts: “Book Buzz”

Recently I mentioned in another “Random Thoughts” post that one of the things that saddens me is that there are these great books that only get their 24 hours in the limelight. Once they’ve been read and reviewed, it’s on to the next book.

As I am a blogger I don’t have time to join any book clubs that would allow me to further discuss the books I love each week. I have books to review and books that I just want to read in a timely manner, so unfortunately I can’t participate in a group read of just any book.

I try to read as many blogs as I can so that I can see what others have to say about books I’ve read and loved, or books I’ve read and didn’t. I am a book lover. I love hearing all things book-related and try to comment when I can or if I feel like I have something to bring to the table or add to the discussion.

My blog is mainly a review blog. I have other features which highlight or promote upcoming books and sometimes I create one of my rambling “Random Thoughts” posts to discuss any ideas that are floating around in the vast wasteland that is my brain, and of course I also have the giveaways.

I absolutely love to write reviews, but I always try to keep them within a certain, somewhat traditional, format. But once my review is done, there are times when I would still love to talk about a book I’ve read, in a less formal manner, discussing what I’ve heard about the book from friends and family, around the blogosphere, on Twitter or on Goodreads.

These are the “buzzworthy” books that make me think, or make me want to voice an opinion that may be similar or different to what is out there. I love books. I love to discuss them. And one of the great things about having a blog is that it doesn’t just have to contain reviews. (If it did, I’d be in real trouble. I am not a speed reader.)

So, I’ve been thinking about adding another weekly or bi-weekly feature that I’m going to call “Book Buzz.” It may end up really being more like a book ramble, but that doesn’t sound as clever a title for the feature.

These would be very different from my “Book Watch” posts. In “Book Watch” I find a future book I’m looking forward to, spotlight it, and discuss why I want to read it, and what I find interesting about it.

For my “Book Buzz” posts, I want to continue the discussion of books that are either recently released, soon to be released, or were released some time ago but are still being talked about (or that I want to talk about).

I would love it if these posts promote discussion and I would also welcome suggestions of books that readers would like to talk about. And if they’d like to talk about them on their blog and leave a link, I’d love it too.

I’m not sure how successful this might be, but I’m going to take a gamble. If I find that it turns out to be a slam fest rather than a discussion then I might dump this feature in the large “ideas that didn’t work out” pile.

These posts are just my opinions and observations. I will only be talking in generalizations about things I’ve seen and not pointing out specifics aside from the fact that I’d seen it on the blogs, on Goodreads or on Twitter. I do not claim to be all-seeing or all-knowing and do not claim that I have visited every site or source when I state my observations.

An example of a book I might want to discuss is Bumped by Megan McCafferty. It was hugely buzzed about prior to release. In fact, the buzz was so loud that it made me immediately add it to my Goodreads TBR list, pre-order it on Amazon for my Kindle and slightly envy every single person who had an early copy. It seemed that everyone was talking about the cover and when it was released on NetGalley for review, those who weren’t immediately approved by the publisher were devastated.

But as the reviews started pouring in, they were quite mixed. All over the map really. And shortly after release I stopped hearing about this book altogether. Typically I hear some echoes of a book one to two weeks beyond release as people finally get around to buying and reading their copies. But with Bumped, things got quiet pretty quickly.

So, because of what seemed to be an early dismissal of a book and because the opinions about the story were so different, for me, Bumped became one of those books I would love to discuss further. But I also think this is a great book for further discussion because I thought there were some really interesting elements and layers to this story whose meaning was not always so obvious and the subject matter itself could be seen as rather controversial for younger readers.

I always find that books with a wide array of opinions are the most interesting for discussion purposes. Especially for new books or series and new authors. (The discussion of books in a lengthy series is a whole other matter altogether and really just turns into a brawl with name calling instead of a true discussion.)

So, I’m field testing this idea right now, rather than going live with my first “Book Buzz.”

I would love to know what you think about this feature and would love to know if there are any books that you think are “buzzworthy.” Comments are always welcome and I try to respond to each and every one.

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