BBAW: Reading - Tall Story

Book Blogger Appreciation Week continues and where as yesterday's theme was Community, today's prompt is about reading habits; specifically, has book blogging changed your reading habits?

I will be surprised if any book bloggers answer that question with a no.  (And if you're a blogger who feels your habits have not changed at all, leave a note below because I'd love to hear your thoughts!)  From the pressure of completing books and writing reviews in a timely manner to the explosions of my very own Mount TBR - which is now officially a volcano due to the massive amounts of recommendations I've gained from others.  But the change to my reading habits that I love the most comes from discovering books that I would never have heard of before all because of other blogs and their great bloggers.

Rather than expand on this topic, I want to share a review that I recently wrote for one of my favorite reads of the year so far - a book that I read all because of Enbrethiliel over at Shredded Cheddar.  (And since BBAW is all about really awesome book blogs, pop over and check out her writing - that girl has serious talent and if I were in charge of the BBAW awards Shredded Cheddar would have won a handful!!) I won Tall Story by Candy Gourlay in a contest at Shredded Cheddar spotlighting books about the Philippines - it came highly recommended and lived up to all the high expectations I had for it!

Amandolina (Andi) knows her life is in for a change when she learns that her half-brother Bernardo is moving from the Philippines to live with her and her parents in England. People have always said Bernardo is "tall" but at eight feet he towers over everyone - taller even than Andi's hero Michael Jordan. Andi dreams of sharing her love of basketball with her brother but doesn't expect the culture shock he has to deal with adjusting to a new country.  In his home village of San Andres in the Philippines, Bernardo's height is considered a mark of good fortune. Though he longs to reunite with his family, he fears leaving his superstitious neighbors behind.

Tall Story is a tale of friendship, family, wishes, and curses with a twist of folklore blended into a story of growing up and fitting in. The book is told in alternating chapters by Andi and Bernardo and author Candy Gourlay does a remarkable job giving each character a unique perspective and voice. Though their situations are original they both face awkwardness and adjustments that any young adult can relate to, but the heart of this story is a theme of love and family that will charm readers of any age.

In short, (no pun intended) I read Tall Story because of Enbrethiliel, and because I love to expand my horizons of reading through input from book bloggers.  Whether it's a recommendation about a classic that I missed reading in school or a work about a country, culture, or time period that I could really stand to learn more about, I highly value the insight that other bloggers provide about books I should read.  I think we'd all nod our heads at the statement, "So many books, so little time" so I'm glad to have blogs that help me vet out wonderful choices from among the masses. 

Also, I wanted to include my review here, not only to give new visitors a taste of my style, but because last year during BBAW I raved about my love for the young adult book Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby; and I was thrilled to find that other bloggers cited me for recommending it to them when they loved it as much as I did. Tall Story is one that touched me almost as much as Hurt Go Happy and I would love to see more bloggers embrace it for the wonderful work that it is. 

If you're looking for a great new-to-you book to read, check out Tall Story; and if you're looking for a great new-to-you blog to read check out Shredded Cheddar; and if you have the time be sure to do both!

12 Response to "BBAW: Reading - Tall Story"

  1. Jen says:
    September 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    I like your calling it Mount TBR --- I compared mine to the huge monster plant from Little Shop of Horrors (keeps growing, and getting scary). :)

    Tall Story sounds like an interesting read -- might grab it from the library!

  2. Enbrethiliel says:
    September 15, 2011 at 2:55 PM


    Hi, Lisa! Thank you so much for your kind words! I haven't been writing much lately, but I hope to fix that soon. It certainly helps to know that other people think reading my stuff is worthwhile. =)

    I'm also glad to read that you liked Tall Story! My quasi-professional reputation as a recommender of books was riding on your reaction. ;-)

  3. Meredith says:
    September 15, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    I'm over here giggling at the idea of "Mount TBR." I can just picture this massive tower of books threatening to fall on top of me as I try to read as fast as I can.

  4. Kailana says:
    September 15, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    I totally have a 'Mount TBR', but they are on shelves... I justify it that way...

  5. Jen at Introverted Reader says:
    September 15, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I'm so glad you mentioned Shredded Cheddar! I always come away from her posts with something new to think about. She always points out things in a new way and makes me see them with new eyes.

  6. Erin says:
    September 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    Mount TBR...I like it! I love getting recommendations from other bloggers, too. Thanks for sharing yours!

  7. Amused says:
    September 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    I have a huge Mount TBR and as much as I work at it, it just keeps growing. But it's a good thing and I love all of the recommendations bloggers give me to add to it :)

  8. Beth D. says:
    September 16, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Is the Mount TBR the shelf that has also morphed itself into stacks all around it, or is it the 5 page list that is kept in my note book? lol, I know it is one or the other.

    Beth ^_^

  9. Sheila (Bookjourney) says:
    September 16, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    I am off to check out Shredded Cheddar.... what a great blog name too!

  10. Anonymous Says:
    September 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    This is the beauty of book blogging. You heard about Tall Story from another blogger and now I'm hearing about it from you and want to pick it up. 8-foot tall Filipino? Gotta look into that, being a shorty from the Philippines myself.

  11. Candy Gourlay says:
    September 20, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    you book bloggers rock! thank you so much for recommending Tall Story - it's such a tough book world out there at the moment and i think many a generous book blogger have rescued an undiscovered title. what would we authors do without you guys? i totally agree about shredded cheddar - discovered her blog after she reviewed my book. the blog reveals a fine insight and warm personality - as does yours. thank you again.

  12. lisa :) says:
    September 20, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Thanks to all for the great comments! Mount TBR for me is more of a virtual mountain and is the list of TBR books in which I seem to add three titles for every one I cross off.

    For those that plan to read Tall Story please stop back and share your thoughts when you are done! I really hope you love the book as much as I did!

    Ms. Gourlay - I'm honored to have you stop by my blog! I am thrilled to play whatever part I can in spreading the word about Tall Story and I'm already excited about your 2012 release Shine!

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