Monday 26 July 2010

"This Blog Has Heart"

Last Wednesday I received the most marvellous surprise. Mihai of Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews gave me an award: the "This Blog Has Heart" award. It aims to spotlight those five blogs that you think epitomise everything you want from a blog, that you go back to again and again, and want to recommend to all your friends.

Mihai said this about me:

Amanda started her blog in 2009, but from this year she is a constant and beautiful presence in the blogosphere. She’s got the looks, but she’s also got the brains and that is shown in her reviews and articles. She is also an avid reader and the number of books she reads puts me to shame.

It made me blush loads and go all girly! For what it is worth, Mihai's blog is also one of my go-to blogs, especially when it comes to fantasy art. His interviews with some of the wonderful artists producing fantastic cover work are indepth and well worth reading. Also, Mihai is great fun to follow on Twitter: @MihaiDarkWolf - he talks well about football and his beloved Barcelona, as well as about books!

Anyway, I wanted to spread the love further - this award is a lovely one, although it does make you feel bad for not being able to list all the many, many blogs that are worth following! Here are my five:

1. Stomping on Yeti - Patrick runs a great blog over at Stomping on Yeti! His reviews are articulate and concise, he is unfailingly honest whether he is talking about books or about the reasons why he is not managing to read all his books, he hoards books in a crazy fashion, and he was one of the first few blogs to step up and support me - a complete unknown - when I sent him an email. Top guy to follow on Twitter as well: @YetiStomper

2. Graeme's Fantasy Book Reviews - Graeme is another person who highlighted my fledgeling blog when I first started properly back in January, and I've always been appreciative of the readers he sent my way. Graeme shows a constant enthusiasm and love for all books, and I adore his mystifying ratings system (I know it drives some readers mad!) He also posts adorable baby pictures on his blog *grin*. Graeme is one of those folk you just know is exactly the same in person as he is on his blog, and I look forward very much to my first opportunity to meet him properly.

3. Walker of Worlds - Mark is one of the bloggers I've met in person. In fact, we spent a pleasurable day together at Alt.Fiction in June, and I just got on really well with him. I love his blog, because Mark is generally reading something that I've never heard of and describing it with such enthusiasm that I want to read it immediately! We also share a love for Peter F Hamilton (in particular, the Commonwealth Universe for me). He can be found as @markchitty on Twitter.

4. Iris on Books - Iris has been blogging about the same amount of time as me, and I love her posts. Her blog is so vibrant and friendly, and she will chat in a lively manner to anyone via comments on her blog and on Twitter as well (@irisonbooks)

5. Steve's Fantasy Book Reviews - My last blog is run by Steve, who writes intelligent, thoughtful reviews and has a very similar taste in fantasy to myself. He's been doing a nice turn in interviews and articles as well. The posts might not come as frequently as on other blogs but they are always worth a read.

Gosh, was that five already? I read so many wonderful blogs that it is spectacularly hard to narrow them down to just five.

I just want to mention one more blog - this one is brand new and shiny, and might well become a favourite in the future. Welcome to the blogosphere A Fantastical Librarian!

Suggest to me your top five blogs! I'm always prepared to add to my Google Reader. I don't always comment, but I lurk and I enjoy everything I read :-)


  1. Thanks for the kind words even if I don't believe them. I would argue my recent 2K word review would negate concise and about anything I write challenges articulacy in general. But at least you got the unfailingly honest thing right...

  2. That is so kind of you! And your words made me blush as well!

  3. *blushing furiously* Thank you Amanda! Shall try to live up to expectations :)
    And oh, I can do the cute baby pics too if Graeme ever runs out lol

    As for my five, since I guess I can't name you or Graeme or any of the others you named, they're the following ones, most if not all of which you already follow I'm sure ;)

    1. A Dribble of Ink, because he always has the awesomest cover art posts.
    2. The Speculative Scotsman, because no matter what Niall always makes me laugh. He's got a quirky sense of humour which comes through in his writing style and he's Scottish. How does that matter? Not really, but it's the accent see...
    3. Speculative Book Review, since they have a nice mix of reviewers. Yagiz was one of the first bloggers I added to my reader. Plus Victoria has this awesome experiment she's doing at the moment reading G.R.R.M.'s ASoIaF series.
    4. NextRead, I like his take on reviewing and his colour coding system :D
    5. Fantasy Book Critic, since again they have a nice mix of reviewers.

    So those are my five. Though I've got loads more in my reader, sometimes I drown in posts!

    I just realised... was I supposed to post this on my own blog?

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  5. Thanks very much for adding my blog to this list, and for the nice comments, I really appreciate it.


  6. Patrick, Iris and Steve - you're all most welcome!

    @Mieneke - you should also post these to your blog :-) I follow those five as well and agree that they are very good - but that is the challenge of coming up with just five!

  7. I wonder why your looks are even relevant?

  8. @Jessica - I'm pretty sure they're not at all, at least not to my book reviewing skills! Mihai was just being nice :-)

  9. Personally, it annoys me a bit when my looks are complimented in the same sentence as my professional skill. It just seems such a non sequitur.

    Male colleagues will do this to me because I'm a woman - I must LOVE to hear how pretty I am, It's practically all I think about! But it'd be seen as so weird if I introduced a man to a client saying "This is Alex. He's got brains AND beauty."