Monday, September 10, 2012

BBAW: Day One. Where I Appreciate You All. :)

I'm really excited that BBAW is here again this year. I think it is a great event that brings bloggers together and allows us to reflect on an incredibly important aspect of book blogging: the community.

Today, we are asked to reflect a little on the people that matter to us-those readers who have inspired and pushed us, and those blogs that we return to over and over again.

Before I share some of my most favorite bloggers, I want to say something to all of you-Without your comments, insight, feedback, joy, and positivity, I am not sure I would be here, happy and whole. The last...four years of my life have been difficult as I have battled unemployment, a lack of passion, and so much more...but since blogging here at A Literary Odyssey, my passions have reignited. I owe my success and happiness to all of you. And I know my students are benefiting from all of those conversations we have had. So THANK YOU.

I decided to try and approach this list by numbers. I am sure that I left someone off, and for that, I apologize. But I truly appreciate ALL of you. 

One Kindred Spirit: A person who I respect and admire, and who seems to have so much in common with myself.
Jillian from A Room of One's Own
I met Jillian a couple of years ago when we were both diving into book lists and reading to improve our knowledge of classic literature. Over the last couple of years, we've both altered our opinions and stances, our book lists, and the way we approach what we do on our blogs. She challenges me to continue pushing myself to greater things. When I see her passion shine through in a post, it encourages me to keep going. There have been many times where a kind note from her has helped me get over a slump, and her insight and joy for literature is infectious. I love looking back to where we started and where we are today.

Two People I Want to Emulate: The two people I want to be like when I grow up.
Adam from Roof Beam Reader
Since I first stumbled across Adam's blog, I have been a bit in awe. He is so very much like the person I want to be! With a Master's in American lit, and currently pursuing a Phd, Adam is the intellectual I want to be. His posts are always thoughtful, deep, and intelligent. Every time I read one of his posts, I learn something new. He is also one of the kindest people I know. When I was looking for short stories by American writers last spring, he pointed me in the direction of many! I hope, that one day, I can be as inspiring and as intelligent as he is!

O from Delaisse
I believe O and I began reading each other last summer/fall. From the beginning, I felt like O was on to things that I wasn't. Through her dedicated personal projects (reading all of Virginia Woolf's work, to completing the Bible, to pushing through Shakespeare's complete works), she is always pursuing something. Going to her blog makes me want to try harder, read more, dive in deeper, and become a better writer. Her posts are always deep and meandering and leave me wanting to say something profound (I never do). I can honestly say that I push myself to higher heights because of what she does.

Three Supportive Partners: Three people who have been wonderfully supportive recently (and who I get to "work" with!)
Melissa from Avid Reader's Musings
Melissa's blog is one that I have been following almost since I began blogging. We have a lot of things in common, including our love of books. In the last year or so, I have found a great friend in Melissa, with her supportive tweets and comments. I know that if I ever need a little pick-me-up, Melissa is there and all over it. :) She makes me smile and continues to make me add books to my TBR. There are many, MANY classics that have jumped higher in my pile because of her rave reviews. And now that I get to work with her as a co-moderator for The Classics Club? Makes it even better!

Sarah from Sarah Reads Too Much
Sarah is actually a newer-to-me blogger. I stumbled across her awesome "Back to the Classics" Challenge last fall and signed up immediately. In the time since, I have found Sarah's posts to be some of my favorites. They are always interesting and diverse. As a bonus, working with Sarah for The Classics Club has been amazing. Twice I have had to ask for help to get posts written, and she was right there to step in and volunteer. She is a wonderful person, and I look forward to getting to know her better!

Heather from Between the Covers
Heather is a blogger I have been reading for some time, as I have always found her posts to be well-written. I also love conversing with Heather over twitter, and she is always there to cheer me on, or respond with something funny. :) Like Sarah and Melissa, I am fortunate enough to get to work with Heather for The Classics Club. In our conversations, she is always willing to jump in and help us propel the Club forward. Her insight and help is invaluable, and I cannot wait to get to know her more!

Four Diverse Ladies: Four awesome women who inspire and motivate me to be a better me!
Amanda from Pound by Pound
Amanda has long been a true blogger friend. She has stood by me and been a support in some pretty rough instances, and our e-mail conversations have always left me feeling like I am not alone. While Amanda doesn't review many books any more, I still find her blog to be inspiring and hopeful. Her weight-loss journey helps me get my own butt in gear, and I know that if I need to rant, she'll be there to listen.

Christina from Reading Thru the Night
Christina is another blogger that I "discovered" early on in my blogging career. From the beginning, I felt we had something in common. Her posts about her own students, and teaching in general, have helped keep me motivated. And, I have to give her props for being so passionate about what she does and who she does it for. In many ways, she is one of my teaching heroes, and not just because of her awesome classroom set-up. 

Andi from Estella's Revenge
Andi is someone that always shocks me, in a good way. :) She is always upbeat and pushing forward. She wrote that fabulous post about reading "what she wants, when she wants" that has become an inspiration for me in the last few months. She also has a super-awesome job, runs an e-zine, and has the cutest kiddo. I love how much she does, and how she pursues her goals with such drive and intensity.

Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity
If there really was a superwoman, I think it would be Trish. She is always coming up with these awesome projects to push different aspects of her life-from Operation Crockpot, to the Pin It and Do it Challenge, to Eating it Real, to touching on tough topics to do with parenting, I am always in complete AWE with how much she tackles!

Five New Friends: Great bloggers that I am just discovering...and who you need to read!
Jenna from Lost Generation Reader
Jenna's blog has quickly become one of my favorites in recent months. Her posts range from contemporary to those dusty old classics I love, so of course, there is lots for me to love there. And her awesome Harry Potter Readalong? Yeah, I've been busting through those bad boys like it's my job in the last week or two! I can't wait to get to know Jenna more!

Claudia and Alexis from Lit Hitchhiker
These girls are just plain AWESOME. Both of them dove right into The Classics Club with an insanely awesome, detailed post about the books members have chosen. Since then, I have been continually impressed with the beauty and depth of their posts. I can't wait to get to know both of them through their continued involvement in The Classics Club.

Chinoiseries from Always Cooking Up Something
This is a blog that I only discovered due to typing in all those member names on The Classics Club Member List. I was immediately intrigued and have become HOOKED. It also helps that we are both reading Harry Potter for Jenna's readalong. I foresee lots of great conversations and posts in our future!

Fanda from Fanda ClassicLit
I was super lucky about a month ago because I got to interview Fanda to be The Classics Club first ever Classics Clubber of the Month. Her blog is truly inspirational. She writes in two languages to inspire others to try the classics and is always pushing herself.

Cassandra from Literary Stars
Technically I have been reading Cassandra's blog for a few months, but it is quickly becoming a favorite. She is so driven to know more about everything....I just love that kind of enthusiasm towards classic literature! Her posts are always thoughtful and positive. I always leave with a smile on my face.


  1. Thank you, Allie! You're wonderful. I'm honored to be working with you on The Classics Club, and I really enjoy reading your blog.

    1. And of course, I enjoy chatting with you, too. :)

  2. Thank you for mentioning me! I will (shamefully) admit I didn't even know BBAW was this week. I feel very behind with my blog after just getting home an hour ago from my five-day trip. Hopefully I can spread the love with BBAW as well before the week is out. Thanks again, and I can't wait to get to know you more as well!

  3. What a fantastic list! This is a more extensive list with a majority of my favorites, as well. Such a great group of people & talented group of bloggers, all of whom deserve this recognition! And Kudos to you for presenting them in such a personal, warm way!

    Thank you for your kind thoughts about me and my blog, too. I consider you a very special blogging friend (and co-worker? weird!) and I know you're going to acheive all that want to in life!

  4. Allie, it's a pleasure to have your posts remind me of the joys to be found in reading the classics; I can't believe i've ever let a period of time slip by when I didn't. They are the greatest foundation of my reading pleasure and I'm so glad for the impetus you provide to keep them in the front of one's shelves.

  5. I LOVE the way that you've set this up Allie! It's so hard to narrow down the lists of bloggers to include in a BBAW post so I so appreciate being included among these wonderful bloggers.

    Oh Allie--you have such a spirit about you and I so love your honesty and insight and introspection. I'm grateful for all of the focus you've brought to the blogosphere surrounding classics. We need more bloggers like you!

  6. You rock, Allie! I'm really glad to get to know you better through the Club too. We are lucky to ave such a tea group to 'work' together with on the project.

  7. Thanks for introducing me to some new blogs to follow.

  8. This is a fantastic list and I love your numbers! So many new-to-me blogs that I can't wait to visit. Have a fantastic week!

  9. Wow! It sounds like you have really made a lot of friends in the blogging world! Great for you!!
    Here is my list!


  10. I'm so happy to know my little notes have encouraged you when you needed it. Yours have me too -- and I'm so happy I met you. Your blog and enthusiasm for the classics made mine what it is -- honestly.

    You feel like a kindred spirit to me too. I was actually just thinking that the other day. xx

    Also, I love how you set up your list!! So many GREAT bloggers mentioned! I follow them all. :-)

  11. Thanks Allie for mentioning me! You're one of my inspirations to create an exclusively classics blog, so it's quite a surprise when you sent me the interview email last month... :D

  12. It's great to be part of the book loving community, so thank you for the introduction to some more blogs to explore.

  13. Thank you, Allie. This is my first BBAW where I'm completely on the sidelines, so it feels strange to me to see all these posts. Even last year, while I didn't officially participate, I still wrote up posts on some days. I don't feel like I'm much part of the book world anymore, so it was nice to hear what you had to say.

  14. I feel the same Allie! It's funny how you feel like you just click with some bloggers. I've always been grateful I found your blog almost as soon as I started blogging. You and your journey on the blog have inspired me so many ways! Thanks for thinking of me. I'm completely out of the BBAW loop this year because we're just on our way home from our road trip, but I hope you know how much I appreciate you!

  15. Thank you for your list! I know some of the blogs you mentioned but not all.

    This is my first BBAW and I'm like a giddy little school girl! I've been meeting some great people and exploring new-to-me blogs. What a great event :)

    Happy Reading!
    The Relentless Reader

  16. Allie, thank you for those very kind words :) And great list, looking forward to look at the other blogs I don't know!

  17. You've written so much on each person, it's wonderful. I know of quite a few of those bloggers but not all so thank you for introducing them to us.

  18. This is a lovely list and a wonderful way to organize this. Thanks so much for participating.

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  20. There are so many amazing bloggers on here and some new-to-me bloggers. If the rest of the list is any indication, then they're ones I need to get to know asap.