Bookshelf Tour: Because of Blogging

More bookshelf tour fun! I’ve got a couple more books to share with you for my Bookshelf Tour series, my way of showcasing some of my favourites on my shelves and highlighting where I got them and why they’re important to me! Check out my previous posts that featured some Manitoba reads and books from my sister.

Because of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for almost 5 (!!) years now so I’ve made a lot of connections with authors and publishers in that time, and received some books too! For today’s post, it’s all about books I’ve received “because of blogging” that make me feel pretty special.

Cat Lady by Mary M. Schmidt

In my first year of blogging, I signed up on a blogger directory site that shares bloggers’ info with indie authors and publishers looking for reviews. I didn’t expect to get much traffic from that — alphabetically, my blog name is pretty low on the list and I don’t have a niche or focus on particular genres for my blog — but I was suddenly getting dozens of emails a day from authors requesting reviews! Turns out the site features new additions to the directory on the front page so authors didn’t have to go far to find me.

While one thing I learned from that first year of blogging was not to accept every review request that comes your way (cuz you just don’t have time!), I’m very happy to have received this one. The author, Mary, contacted me about her book, Cat Lady, and with a title like that how could I pass it up?

The title is deceiving and yet perfectly descriptive. This very short book is actually a long poem about a “cat lady”, an old woman who feeds the feral cats in Rome (and she can talk to them). She tells the cats of their friend, a cardinal, who has one last wish to reconnect with an old lost love as he lays in his death bed. A little magic and wonder makes for a very sweet story about love, and it’s a perfect bedtime story (from experience!).

After Zero by Christina Collins

I’ve talked about this one a couple times before (see my Shattering Stigmas post) so I’ll keep it short and sweet. I learned about After Zero at a Raincoast preview event and immediately requested it. I could relate to this MG about a young girl who felt anxiety around speaking in class, worried about saying the wrong thing or messing up. And then reading the book, wow! So, so happy to have found myself reflected in a book and to have learned more about myself in the process.

Antique Blues by Jane K. Cleland

The only one in my list I haven’t read yet! I can still remember when I first found Cleland’s Josie Prescott Antique Mysteries series, tucked away in the mystery corner of my neighbourhood’s library (they’ve since renovated and moved to a whole new building). This is the series I credit with my first interest in archives since reading these books made me really want to be an antiques appraiser. Took me until grad school to learn about how appraising plays a role in archives too!

I read these books back in middle school but never finished the series. When I learned a couple years ago that a new one came out, I reached out to the publisher saying I was a fan and they sent me a copy! Technically not an official connection to blogging but I did mention my blog when requesting so it may have played a role in the publisher’s decision. I’m working on a reread of the whole series now (at a slow pace thanks to on-again/off-again reading motivation) so that once I’m caught up I can read Antique Blues.

I have lots to be thankful for in my blogging experiences and books are a small part of it. One more week of my Bookshelf Tour to showcase a few more of my favourites!

Have you received any books from an author or publisher that you’ve loved?
Any other experiences with authors (in-person or virtually) that have meant a lot to you?

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