Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hello there.

I didn't expect to be gone quite so long. I've been up to a few things since my last appearance here.

I've been on a fabulous trip to Boston. Oh, how we loved Boston. It fit us to a T. And we rode the T. Ha! If you get a chance to go to Boston you won't want to miss taking a tour with this gentleman. He works for the Freedom Trail Foundation.

We ate A LOT of seafood. Here is the rundown for me (my goal was to have seafood for lunch and dinner every day):

lobster roll x 2
crazy good lobster bisque
clam chowder x 2
my first raw oyster (I don't think I get the appeal)
some whitefish

Yum! And The Girl discovered that she loves mussels. Who knew? I mean, she wouldn't try a hush puppy but she eats mussels.

I spent a lot of time volunteering at school.

I did quite a bit of cooking; here is a sneak peek. This was one of my proudest moments as a home cook. I even told my husband to 'be more effusive'.

I went to the farmers' market. I never got to take photos some weeks but here is my most recent trip:

Isn't that kale pretty? Too bad it went to waste. I never did figure out what to do with it (that my family would eat).

I did a fair amount of reading.

Last week I met my new best friend.

Come here, lover.

I also spent some time thinking. Thinking about this space and what to do with it. Thinking about what has been bothering me about blogging and the like. Being put off by the popularity-contest aspect of it all. You know what I mean.

In addition, I am not a writer. I don't want to be a writer and writing is not why I'm here. I'm here because I love books. I came across a brilliant post last week at Kiss a Cloud. I identified with so much of what Claire wrote, especially this:

I would really rather spend more time with my children, read my books, read your thoughts on your books, than write.

Ahhhh. So true.

So what to do? I decided I wanted to come back to this space but I think it will be in a slightly different way. I think most books I read will get more of a 'blurb' and less of a review, and the really special books that stand out to me will perhaps get a highlight post. Or something like that. We'll see. Most of all, I know that if I'm going to do this it needs to be for me, a journal for ME. Not to please someone or to advertise for anyone. Not to generate traffic or more followers. Just for me.


Lezlie said...

There are a lot of versions of your final sentiments going around these days, me included. It will be interesting to see the changes around the book blogging community in the coming months.


bermudaonion said...

I am totally jealous of your new best friend! LOL

Cath said...

Funnily enough I've reached the same conclusions as you about blogging. I enjoy it, but just can't write a long review of everything I read any more. I'm going down the same route as you, shorter reviews and a longer one if something is very special.

The other thing I agree about is your comment on popularity contests. That aspect of book blogging has really started to bother me. When I finally bucked up the courage, got my Blogspot book blog and joined the lovely bloggere here, I never expected things to go in that direction a year or so later. It's disappointing because book blogging should be about the books and about meeting nice people, not who's popular and who isn't. Anyway, it's so nice to see you back, Tara.

Staci said...

So glad to see you had a great time in Boston!! You know a lot of people are feeling the exact same way you are Tara. I'm working on making my thoughts shorter and more concise, cutting back on ARCs, and just enjoying my reading. I have always enjoyed reading any of your posts, regardless if they're about books or not!

Bybee said...

That time away did you good -- it clarified your thinking. Love your photos.

Thomas Hogglestock said...

Well, I for one am glad you are back. I loved reading about your Boston quest for seafood.

My book reviews are really just blurbs but I call them reviews anyway. And although I am glad a few people enjoy reading them, I mainly started writing my "reviews" was because I realized there were a lot of books that I don't remember a thing about.

You say you are not a writer but I think you have a fun perspective and sense of humor that comes through in your writing. So, like it or not, you are a writer.

The best way to hide Kale in open sight: soup.

JoAnn said...

That sentence of Claire's really struck a chord with me, too! I've never been so far behind on reviews and would rather read, etc. than spend time agonizing over them. We'll see...
Glad you enjoyed Boston. I love seafood, too, but will take a pass one the kale ;-)
It's good to 'see' you...

zetor said...

That food looks delicious!

Ti said...

My mouth is watering over your seafood talk. Tell me though, what is that a picture of? The finished dish. I am on a coffee high and I fear that I am unable to focus on it properly to tell what it is!

There are so many bloggers right now that are either calling it quits or taking an extended break. Why do you think that is? I felt a bit down after read-a-thon and I'm not really sure why. I had a great time during the event but I crashed afterward and it wasn't even from lack of sleep. It took me a few weeks to get back into the swing of things.

I adore your new friend. I just got a BlackBerry but it was only because I cannot get good coverage with AT&T where I am. I'm liking the BlackBerry though but since I sooo prefer Apple products I know the iPhone would be much more to my liking.

Tara said...

Lezlie, I don't know if I realized will be interesting to see.

Kathy, imagine, I have my wish list AND my librarything stuff with me all the time!

Cath, I so agree with what you've said in your secondn paragraph. I felt the same way. I think when readers realized that blogging could bring in free books, they began blogging too, and it became more commercial.

Staci, I have the same goals as you, it sounds like. And thank you for your kind words!

Bybee, I think it did.

Thanks, Thomas! My reviews have always been more thoughts than reviews - but I think they'll be even shorter than before. I appreciate your generous words, and advise about the kale! I'll just have to cut it up quite small...

JoAnn, it's nice to hear from you too. It sounds like many are feeling the same way.

Zetor, thanks!

Ti, those are baked beans -from scratch -dried beans, yummy! Why do I think bloggers are leaving. Hmmm. What do I really think? I think some got into it to get free books or self-importance. The free book situation starts to feel like a job though, from my perspective, having to review on a timeframe and worrying about saying the right things. Sounds like work no? I am happy so far with AT&T; we've been happy with sprint for years, but I really REALLY wanted the iphone and the time was right for us. Also, we get a discount through my hubby's work. Nice!

Nan said...

My little blog is so quiet, and so under the radar of the book folks that I only rarely get a request to join a blog tour or read somebody's book. And that's great with me. I can't even tell myself I am going to read a certain book next let alone join a challenge or promise to read someone's book. :<) Now for Boston. Tom and I were chaperones for Michael's 5th grade trip on the Freedom Trail. We had five little boys and we were running to keep up. :<) Tom and I went to college there and lived for five years in the city. We were glad to come back to country life, but nonetheless, it is a great, great city. Too bad you couldn't see a ball game at the wonderful Fenway Park. Ah, something for a future visit, and maybe we'll join you!!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Your new best friend, is actually one of my best friends as well. An amazing device indeed.

BTW...I enjoyed Baking Cakes in Kigali---was not sure I would but it worked for me.

Have a great week Tara

Andi said...

Amen, sister! Especially to the "blogging for me' sentiments. So much to comment on in this post: yum seafood! "Be more effusive" cracked me up, and the farmer's market haul is stunning as usual. Really should get off my lazy duff and explore my own market more often. Cheers!

Rebecca Reid said...

I'm glad you found a new lover, looks very pretty too!

And I'm right with you on the blogging for me. My blog is going to be rather quiet the next few weeks but I'm still going to be in the community! And I'm definitely still reading!

Tara said...

Nan, I don't think your blog is very quiet, in that you have a lot of people who love your posts. Lucky you to have lived in Boston! Our friends lived a few doors down from the new Statehouse. Very cool. Yes, we would love to go back and would especially love to see you.

Diane, excellent! Isn't it a dream?

Andi, YOU crack me up! Thanks for stopping by.

Rebecca, I love it more each day!

Danielle said...

I'm happy with whatever you want to write about--I always enjoy your posts! I find writing about books hard actually, and my posts are almost more for me as I want my blog to be a sort of reading journal where I can look back and recall what a book was about and how I felt about it. I sometimes feel like I talk more about books I want to read than those I actually Am reading, but that's okay as sometimes those are the posts that generate the most discussion! It's the conversation that I enjoy that comes with blogging and seeing the personality behind the posts--whatever happens to be the topic! I'm glad you'll be back posting regularly again.

Tara said...

Thanks Danielle! I like to read whatever you have to say, as well. I enjoy all your posts, from reviews to your lists of books, which can be dangerous!

Iliana said...

It's great to see you back, Tara! My blogging has been a bit spotty lately so that's why I'm a bit late here. I definitely understand your sentiments regarding blogging. That was wonderful what Claire said too. I have been doing quite a bit of thinking on that subject as well and I just know that I want to write about books because I love them but I want to write about the books I want to not because of ARCs, book tours, the book of the moment, etc. Anyway, looking forward to whatever you have in store for us :)

Tara said...

Thanks Iliana! I am still making the rounds to say hello, myself. I so agree with your sentiments.

Les said...

Hooray for seafood! Whenever we visit my folks in Oregon, I try to order clam chowder, shrimp, salmon, etc. as often as possible. Love, love, love it! I've never tried raw oysters, though, and doubt I ever will. ;)

Your new BF is adorable. My daughter has had one for a couple of years now and loves it. I might have to get one when my current cell phone dies. Unfortunately, the AT&T coverage in my neighborhood is a bit spotty. Maybe they'll sort it all out by the time I make the leap.

I'm in complete agreement with everything you've had to say about blogging and the whole popularity issues. I've been ignoring the ARC offers from publishers and am trying to focus more on the books I own and want to read. I'm also trying not to worry too much about how often I post on my blog. If I lose readers due to my sporadic posts, oh well. That's life.

Tara said...

Les, I didn't think I'd ever try raw oysters either and frankly, I think one was enought! I so, so agree with your last 2 sentences. That is my new attitude!