“Next to excellence is the appreciation of it”

William Makepeace Thackeray

In honour of the day (even though we don’t celebrate it), I thought I’d thank some of the people around the blogosphere who have provided me with a bounteous harvest of entertainment throughout the last year. But since a lot of the fellow book reviewers I follow turn up fairly regularly throughout the year on TBR Thursday posts, I’ve decided to highlight some of the other people – the ones who create stories and poems, introduce me to art, make me laugh, and generally remind me that there are other things in life than book reviews. If you don’t already know these bloggers, I hope you’ll enjoy visiting some of them…


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Jilanne Hoffman‘s blog is difficult to categorise. She writes about writing, reviews books that are somewhat off the beaten track, gives us occasional posts about art and sometimes lets us share a bit of her life. Her posts are always beautifully written and illustrated, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and usually great fun too. I loved this recent post of hers, when she reflects on the passing of time and how it changes us – or doesn’t…

On “O” Rings, Dumping, and Speeding

Thanks, Jilanne!

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“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” Benjamin Disraeli

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Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist is a crime novelist and has the most encyclopaedic knowledge of crime fiction of anyone I’ve ever met. She writes incredibly informative posts on crime fiction, is fatal to the TBR, and occasionally sets us fiendishly difficult quizzes that tax my guessing powers to the limit. But from time to time she also gives us one of her original short stories, where she manages in a very short space to pack in strong characterisation, a great plot and often a clever twist. Here’s one of her most recent ones…

One Man, One Hour

Thanks, Margot!

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“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

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Fran Pickering of Sequins and Cherry Blossom is also a crime novelist, whose books are based in Japan. But her blog is an exploration of all things Japanese in London – with the aid of her own fabulous photos, she lets us share her trips to the many art exhibitions, shops and galleries, restaurants and parks in the capital that have a Japanese theme, and her knowledge of Japanese art and culture shines through every post. I wish I’d known her blog when I lived in London! Here’s one of her recent posts that I particularly enjoyed…

A Japanese/English autumn garden in Regent’s Park

Thanks, Fran!

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“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha (Buddha? A likely story…)

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PorterGirl at the Secret Diary of PorterGirl has created a fictional world based loosely (or perhaps closely!) on one of our fine old English Universities, and peopled it with a bunch of true English eccentrics. She tells her quirky stories in serial form so it can be a bit tricky if you jump in halfway through. But fortunately she has just started a new story so this is the ideal time to get to know her world. Well-written, great storylines, original characters, and loads of humour – this has become one of the blogs where I eagerly wait for each new post…

Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes

Thanks, PorterGirl!

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“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks…” William Shakespeare

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Marina Sofia at finding time to write is a writer and reviewer, amongst other things. Multi-lingual, she regularly introduces us to books from far-flung places, sharing her wide knowledge of literature spiced by her own experiences of different cultures. She entertains us too by searching out and sharing some wonderful pictures of perfect places for reading or writing. But she’s also a fine poet, whose poems have moved me to both laughter and tears over the months. Here’s one of my particular favourites, which addresses a recurring theme in Marina Sofia’s work – the sense of displacement that comes from exchanging cultures…

Homecoming? You’re Not From Around Here…

Thanks, Marina Sofia!

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“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” AA Milne

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No list of my favourites could possibly be complete without a mention of my dear blogging buddy, Professor VJ Duke of The Punchy Lands. I am at a loss to define his blog – it truly defies categorisation. In fact, it defies description! Sometimes stories, sometimes audio skits, sometimes brilliant video Ripping Movie Reviews – part of the joy is that you never know what you’re likely to get! But whatever it is, it’s guaranteed to be fun. The Punchy Lands is home to the weirdest bunch of characters on the planet, including my beloved Schwarzy, the most adorable man in the blogosphere. He impersonates loons, you know, you know. Difficult to pick a favourite post but I’m going to go with the brilliant but wicked Daddy Olmes solving the fiendish mystery of The Blue Carbuncle, since the Prof most kindly dedicated it to me on my birthday… remember to listen out for my Schwarzy!

Daddy Olmes: The Blue Carbuncle (Punchy AurToon)

Thanks, C-W-W!

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Thanks, too, to all the other people whose blogs I visit regularly – you brighten my day, and I’m sorry I didn’t have room to include everyone.

“For all that has been – thanks. For all that shall be – yes.” Dag Hammarskjöld

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51 thoughts on “Thanks…

  1. I honestly just made a funny noise out loud when I saw this!! I am completely honoured and deeply chuffed at the mention. You are someone who obviously reads a huge amount of literature and to know that you look forward to my posts so much… well! It very nearly brought a tear to my eye, I can tell you. Thank you so much. And great to see VPJ getting a well-deserved mention – he is a hero!

    I am thankful for your reviews, even ones that inspire me to read books that anger me… Catchpool is all I shall say 😉

  2. *Blush* Thank you very much for the kind mention. That means a lot to me, and so do you. Your blog is one of my must-visits, and I love your honest, witty, helpful and thoughtful reviews. And the little green men. And the portentine. And Mr. Darcy. 😉

  3. Awww, I’m so moved by this – thank you for taking the time to mention us (and for introducing us to each other, if we don’t know each other). May I return the compliment? I always look forward to your reviews and thoughts!

  4. Yes, what a lovely gesture – I always look to your excellent opinions to gauge whether a book is worth adding to that teetering TBR pile (and Lady Fancifull, Cleo, Rebecca, Marina Sofia and yourself are partly responsible for that teetering state!) My intention in starting to blog was to GET THROUGH all these books; instead they’ve just increased…But really I wanted to say, “Thank you!” For blogging related advice, blog friendship (what a lovely bunch of people bloggers are!), and, of course, for introducing me to the fretful porpentine…;-) x

    • Thanks, Crimeworm – lovely comment! Yes, lots of these reviewers are fatal to the TBR – and it doesn’t get any easier the longer you blog, I can tell you! It’s just as well I have such iron will-power… 😉

  5. What a heart-warming, lovely, generous post.

    Not to mention an absolutely scrumptious picture of autumnal goodies. I am happily imagining shrinking myself to wee mousie size, and indeed, into wee mousiness, and working my way through the brimming basket, a little nibble of grape here, a snuffle at apple there, and perhaps creating a lovely little nest inside a gnawed out squash, making sure no wild furry clawed felines are on the prowl

    PS – I cannot help but note you have been a L O N G time with ‘Gutenberg’ on your being read shelf – now this was one i decided to pass on from NG having investigated some reviews. Was I right? The time on being read does rather suggest that your interest hadn’t been welded to its pages, but was getting prised away into other things…

    Okay , time to get back to perfecting a new concoction for invisible ink, and the crafting of a wild selection of false moustaches……………………..

    • Thank you! 🙂

      Yes, even I could be persuaded to forego chocolate (for a while) for some of those goodies…

      To be honest, it’s not the book – it’s me. I started it and then got distracted and haven’t got back to it yet. I’ll be reading it properly next week, but from the little bit I read I think it might be good. Still going through a bit of a reading slump at the mo, which always means I end up reading loads of crime and light stuff, and the fiction gets pushed to one side.

      Don’t forget to tie the belt on your trenchcoat and pull your hat-brim down mysteriously over one eye…

  6. What a fantastic idea for Thanksgiving and it’s good to see that you have picked some of my favourite bloggers in your list 🙂 I really didn’t know what I did with my time or how I ever found books to read before I joined this very special group of book bloggers who inspire me daily.

    • Thanks, Cleo – yes, we all tend to move in roughly the same circles after a while, don’t we? I reckon I used to watch a lot more TV before I found the blogosphere – now I’m so backed up with books I rarely have time to switch the thing on…and of course it’s a great excuse to delay starting the housework… 😉

  7. What an absolutely lovely post, FF. and in the spirit of that post, thank *you* for your blogging goodness. Couldn’t agree with you more about the inexhaustible Margot Kinberg and I will seek out some of your other recommendations.

  8. I was so busy with the turkey, dressing, et al yesterday, that I missed this lovely post. Thank you for the kind and generous mention!

    I, too, am very grateful to my blogging friends. Without you, life, literature, and lounging would be far less informative and entertaining. I will be investigating those I don’t already have on my “frequent visit” list.

    In the aftermath of yesterday’s gluttony, our family is reading, playing board games, and occasionally snacking. However, we forgot to consume a wee bottle of champagne yesterday, now destined to be uncorked sometime during our weekend’s festivities.

    I will raise a glass in your honor! Cheers!

    • My pleasure! 😀 Hope you and your family had a lovely day. British turkeys remain safe for another few weeks (except the frozen ones…)

      Mmm…champagne! Just the thing to compliment a nice box of chocolate liqueurs…Cheers!

  9. Now look here – don’t you think I have enough to read? I’ve just come home to a laptop full of e-mails, a fifty-two page policy paper (and could they have my comments by Wednesday, sorry for the short notice) and now this. Something will have to be done, it really will! 🙂

  10. Oh wow!!!!! Thanks so much, FEF. I’m so honored, I’m not sure what to say. I’ve been surprising myself as of late. I should send you a turkey…would you like one?

    Funnily enough, I was having speak with a fellow guitar dude the other day, and we both agreed that we hate turkey. Something must be done about this holiday’s fare.

  11. I’m looking forward to discovering some great new blogs as I’m only familiar with Jilanne’s of the ones you listed and hers is so great so I know I’ll like the others. A great way of spreading the joy! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

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