Hello dear readers!
Last January, the idea I have every year popped into my brain again, “I would like to start a book blog.” And like every year, I thought of how difficult it is to read that many books and also write about them. So I thought I’d ask my friends to join in. I knew Alyssa would be with me, but what about everyone else?
We’ve have some great contributions to Coven Book Club over the past year and we are very grateful to our guest bloggers for showing up and recommending great books by women. The TBR grows weekly! Our biggest milestone came in March when we found Nicola, or she found us. I don’t even remember exactly how it happened now, it feels like she’s always been with us and we quickly became a trio. As time went on, it became clear that CBC is a project of love between Nicola, Alyssa and myself and we slowly started shifting into what has become our regular three-day-a-week schedule. It’s been such a rewarding journey and I’m so happy to share this space with so many people I love.
Today, we want to say Happy Birthday to ourselves and share a little about why we love CBC and some of our favorite recommendations that we’ve written and read.
Allison: Nobody has ever influenced me to read as much as you two. Whether it’s been in our private chats (we almost always have a chat going on Facebook!) or in the recs you write, I’ve read some really great books because you gals talked them up to me. I don’t know if I would ever have found The Remnant Chronicles if you two hadn’t suggested them. The Heart of Betrayal was one of my favorite books I read last year.
Alyssa: Thanks so much, Allison, for starting Coven Book Club! And thanks, Nicola, for joining us in March! Being part of a group book blog is very important to me. For years (as a bookseller) I’d been meaning to blog about all the books I was reading, but I struggled with having enough time and motivation. I love that I’m not blogging on my own; that I’m part of a team. It’s very inspirational and an excellent support system. And I’ve written so much! And it’s been FUN! When I was a student and college teacher, writing and reading lost some of that fun factor. It’s great to be doing both as part of a blogging community. While I still write short recommendations for the Boulder Book Store (where I worked for more than a decade), I love that I’ve gotten into the routine of writing longer, more extensive book recommendations for CBC. I really enjoy the social media aspect, too, and that writing for CBC has introduced me to a larger community of readers, bloggers, authors, and publishers.
Nicola: I know exactly what you mean about writing and reading losing its fun when you’re at college, Alyssa. That’s one of the things I appreciate so much about our bookish discussions, because it’s reminded me why I studied English lit in the first place: because I love to think – really think – about the books I’m reading. You both give me so much to think about in our discussions, either on Facebook or our CBC posts, and it’s such fun!
I’m so glad to have found Coven Book Club – and both of you, of course! In some ways I can’t believe it’s been almost a year already since I found the site and met you, and in other ways I feel like I’ve known you forever. Your recommendations are all so spot-on; you’ve both expanded my TBR so much and I’ve found some new favourites, like An Ember in the Ashes and The Wrath and the Dawn, thanks to you.
Allison: Both Wrath and Ember are some of my favorites from last year as well and I probably wouldn’t have read them if Alyssa hadn’t recommended them first. One of the best things about having bookish friends is hearing about what they’re reading, but it’s not often that you find bookish friends who also have the same taste as you. Between the two of you, I always know that I’m going to find something good to read next.
It may be nostalgia speaking, but my favorite recommendation I’ve written on my own was my first (for The Night Circus). Coming in a close second though was our discussion of Queen of Shadows. Our readers can’t know this, but we talked for weeks about the book between ourselves before we even got to the post, so it was really fun to turn that private conversation into something we shared with everyone. What were your favorite books you recommended last year?
Nicola: Ooh, that’s difficult. I’d say my favourites are probably The Falconer/The Vanishing Throne, just because I love that series so much. I also loved recommending The Winner’s Curse; I’m in awe of the way Marie Rutkoski weaves emotional tension throughout the narrative. As for my favourite discussion, I’d have to say it’s the one we had on A Court of Thorns and Roses; I loved hearing what you ladies had to say on Feyre and faeries.
Alyssa: Some of my favorite posts have been our discussions! Our post about the blurry lines between YA and adult fantasy is perhaps our most thought-provoking. And I loved going into more depth about some of our favorite series featuring kick-ass heroines, such as A Court of Thorns and Roses, Queen of Shadows, and A Darker Shade of Magic. I also really enjoyed recommending books together that have a similar theme, such as my post on YA literary horror, my post on cross-dressing heroines in YA westerns, and my post on YA time-traveling adventures. And my first recommendation ever, for All the Bright Places, will always have a special place in my heart!
Allison: I agree that our conversations have been some of my favorite parts about CBC. We have many more planned in the coming year. I know I speak for all three of us when I say a hearty Happy Birthday to Coven Book Club, as well as a heartfelt thank you to our contributors and readers. We love you all tremendously. We’re so happy to have such a positive platform to discuss our favorite books.
This is a labor of love for us. With busy schedules and other commitments, CBC isn’t our job, it’s an extended love letter to all the books and authors we appreciate so much. We thank you again so much for joining us, and cheers to another trip around the sun.
In book magic and mayhem,
Allison, Nicola and Alyssa