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Past Posts > 1st Birthday Wrap-Up - Happy Birthday AAB!

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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments We thought it would be a nice idea to share some of the highlights of our first year together - things we've enjoyed about the group - what worked, what didn't work - this is your chance to give some feedback...

You could also include here favourite books or readalongs, the book that surprised you by how good it was, most disappointing read, a new author you have discovered and you would like to read more of - etc, and this doesn't have to be anything recommended by the group - it can be anything you've read in the last year...

In short, this is for you to "wrap up" the last year and maybe even leave us some suggestions we can consider for 2015!

Over to you...

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I love this group and want to say a big thank you to all those who moderate and participate.

Not only have I read books I would never have read on my own (for example tackling Inferno even if I am a month behind!) and discussed books I loved and loathed, I also feel like I've found some friends. I genuinely look forward to chatting with everyone on here, something I have never found before on the internet. I love sharing the good news, commiserating the bad and generally having intelligent literary conversation on a daily basis.

No improvements for me, I think everything works well in this group and it is extremely well moderated.

My only suggestion for some of the UK folks (sorry to other members!) is that maybe we should try and get together for a real life coffee/book discussion at some point.

Apologies for the rather gushing post, I'll go back to being slightly cynical now...

message 3: by Tweedledum (last edited Aug 01, 2014 07:43AM) (new)

Tweedledum  (tweedledum) | 2030 comments I echo Heather's sentiments and, by the way would love to meet up with fellow AABs who live in and around London, Essex, Surrey etc.

Like Heather I feel the group has encouraged me to branch out a bit with my reading although that was always very broad. Maybe in my case it has sent me back to classics and spurred me on to complete some stuff I have had on the shelves a long time.

The AAB folks do feel like friends. Maybe it's because we are often able to pick up on others ideas or thoughts quickly. I have found it a restful place to hang out when my life has been far from restful and in fact very stressful... So thank you one and all.

A book that most surprised me was The Night Circus in fact I nearly gave up on this but comments of some AABs encouraged me to continue and I am really glad I did. It's a book with a dream like quality that flits around the edges of my consciousness still.

I also found that the weekend of the June Readathon was a bit of a lifesaver as that had been a particularly difficult weekend and returning every now and again to the Readathon was a solace. Of course I could have just read anyway but maybe would not have been able to without a sense of purpose.

So I for one am looking forward to a Year 2!
Thank you to all AAB folks but especially to those of you who notice when I chirp up and send me a direct message or comment and apologies for the times I miss these. A big big thank you to @Jean who has spent a long time chatting with and commenting with me. But Charbel, Shirley, LauraT, Leslie, Amber Dhanaraj, Alannah Heather and lots of other folks have often enriched my day.

I particularly enjoyed the My Reading Journey feature. That has been fun to be part of and to read others wonderful journeys.

Many thanks Moderators. You are doing a great job. I think that the relative smallness of the group means that it is possible for everyone to feel part of this online community and to keep some track of what individuals are sharing.

message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) I thought this group was cool. The Read-alongs (buddy reads) and Recommendation book swaps are fun. I discovered some new books through this group including the Light Between the Oceans which I had never discovered nor enjoyed if it wasn't for this book club. the My reading journey thread was cool too.

I actually enjoyed reading Nightmare Abbey as that was my first ever classic book which got me into reading classic literature besides my other reads and I also got into classic children's literature and more after that and a friend asked me to co-run her classic book club Tattered Tales after that which I currently moderate besides starting my own online book club this year here on goodreads The Reading for Pleasure book club that I started back on July 15th and have now gotten 65 members so far which is cool. We started our book club group reads today so if anyone wants to join, feel free to.

I like how we have our own threads that help us track the books we have read throughout the year as well. So far I have now read 62 books this year but we'll see how many I get to by the end of the year.

All in all this has been a pretty good book club to be a part of and I try my best to participate though I've been busy with my own book club. LOL. I've found some cool friends here as well too.

The moderators are doing a good job too so Happy birthday to the All About Books book club and happy reading for pleasure to you all! :)

message 5: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments First of all, I like the internationl "flavour" of this group though I'm also glad there are other Italians because sometimes it is nice to chat about places we know, the weather, food or other things we immediatly understand seen that they are part of our background or daily living.

I'm really very very happy to have met Laura and Dhanaraj and I hope we will meet again. Of course I would be happy to meet everyone of the members but seen the distances it is nearly impossible. But I hope that the other members can organize meets in their country, it is a very deep and interesting experience and I hope that everyone can feel the emotions I had meeting two members of the group.

A big "thank you" to all the moderators for their good job!

Also a "thank you" to ALL the members because of this group I like also the kindness of everyone and the fact that we feel among people we can trust so we can frankly speak about personal problems or something that made us very happy. I like this feeling of mutual trust.

And thanks also to everyone to accept a person whose English isn't perfect. I know I make some mistakes and my syntax is weak and sometimes it mustn't be easy to follow what I want to say but nobody made me feel "stupid" or made me notice it. For me this was really very very important!

message 6: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments I have just loved being in All About Books. I was so excited looking forward to the day that it was being set up. I got up really early that morning so that I could join it!

I couldn't possibly list all the good things about the group. The Mods are great, the members of the group are great, and the books that I've read have been great (well most of them have been anyway!)

I have especially enjoyed the Poetry section. I have always enjoyed reading poetry, but I've rarely had anybody to discuss it with. So I've enjoyed discussing poetry with people, and also getting to know some new poets and poems.

Mods, you have done such a good job, including dealing with the occasional tricky situation! So a big thank you to you all!

I have enjoyed meeting all sorts of interesting people on here from lots of different countries. Thanks to you all also.
Highlights have included the occasional bizarre conversation with Jean on the chat discussion threads. They have been so funny! I think it must be that at our age, Jean,we feel we are entitled to have a conversation and let it go wherever it will! And also the meanderings and musings about a variety of topics, mainly relating to memory, with Jenny and Dhanarah.

I have read several authors who I had never even heard of before:
Christa Wolf
Nevada Barr
Stefan Zweig
Halldór Laxness
W.G. Sebald
Fernando Pessoa

That's been great!
And also several authors, who although I've heard of them, I've never got round to reading before.

The absolute highlights for me in terms of discussion have been the read-along of Paradise Lost and also the read-along A Model Childhood by Christa Wolf

So, Happy Birthday to All About Books, and I'm looking forward to the next year that we all have together.
Happy Reading!

message 7: by Angela M (last edited Aug 01, 2014 01:18PM) (new)

Angela M Here are a few things I love about this group :

1. It's such a diverse group - multiple nationalities and age groups are represented . There are such diverse tastes in reading preferences here that it's impossible not to find something interesting to read that you may not have found on your own.

2. I have found Interesting discussions and reviews here . I have only participated in one of the book recommendation swaps and I loved it . Looking forward to the book currently recommended to me . I have not participated in any of the monthly reads but have enjoyed read-alongs .

3. The people connections : At first I didn't think I'd be too interested in the chit chat but then somehow came to look forward to knowing what was happening with everyone .
The challenges of the younger students like Charbel and Allanah and Becca trying to keep up with studies and trying to get their pleasure reading in ; having Heather share her excitement about her move and being able to be with her boyfriend ; or sharing the get togethers of our members , and I love hearing about people's vacations and weekend get aways .

Mostly , I have been moved by the compassion that people have shared -most recently for Terri and Bette with their recent losses . I also love that we worry about each other when someone doesn't post for a while .

A big thanks to the moderators for all they do to make this possible and thanks to all of you for helping to make AAB my GR home base !
I'm working on the list of books I found because of people in this group .

I wouldn't change a thing .

Happy Birthday!

message 8: by Bionic Jean (last edited Aug 02, 2014 01:07AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) This thread is making a big lump in my throat. I agree with so many things friends have said here, about this wonderful group, but will have to comment for myself later. And I'm incredibly surprised and moved that some have even thanked me individually for various things; mainly on the other "birthday thread" - even if it is for being bizarre... LOL!

So I feel I have to thank you for that right now, as my personal thanks are a bit different from a birthday "wrap-up". Please know that I read all the posts in threads such as this, and appreciate it a great deal.

And my proper considered post will be after the weekend :)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments I found AAB via my book-twin Angela. Thank you, Angela, for introducing me to a new and now favorite reading and friendship world.

message 10: by Angela M (new)

Angela M I've got a lump in my throat now , Bette ! Thank you for your friendship, wonderful reviews , and great recommendations which I'll list in my other post !
I would not have found AAB if it wasn't for your encouragement to look for other groups when we dropped out of the group where people were rude to us ! We won't mention that group because we are not rude !
Thanks for your support !

message 11: by Erica (new)

Erica | 862 comments I really enjoy coming online to see what everyone's been reading and getting up to in everyday life. I particularly enjoyed the recommendation swaps and wish I'd been here when the bookmark swap took place, that looked like fun. I think it's great to have a place where people from all over the world (I myself live in little old New Zealand) can come and talk about books :)
Before I joined this group I thought I was a hardcore reader as I read 40ish books a year while most of my friends might read 5....but here I'm way behind! haha.

message 12: by Pink (new)

Pink Wow where to start with the highlights of belonging to AAB!

Like any good book group, I like the great organisation from the mods, lively group discussions, challenges and good book choices. Yet AAB has been more to me than just a good book group. Even though I've been absent for almost 2 months, it has still been in my thoughts during a difficult time when I didn't feel like posting.

This is my 'home group' where I feel like I know individual members and I like that we're spread around the world, with a mix of cultures and ages. It's been good to chat about books, but also to develop friendships and learn about each other's lives. I'd mention several people by name, but honestly the list would be too long to recount things I've enjoyed about chatting with you all.

I'm so glad that the mods decided to create this group and that it has thrived since the start.

One of the things I like most is how much of a group effort everyone makes. Not only to support one another on the chat threads, or to sort out any minor problems, but in the decision making of how things run. Better than just one mod making all the choices (such as closing the last group) and it makes us all feel part of things, just as it should be.

message 13: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7496 comments Mod
It seems almost silly to answer this since I've only been a member for one month, but this group does feel special; so I'll go ahead anyway. For one thing, everyone is so thoughtful in their comments. I haven't run across a single deliberately unpleasant post in the entire month!

Another thing I love (and several others have mentioned this) is the incredible diversity of AAB's members. That shows in the book recommendations and choices. I so enjoy having monthly reads that are new to me, but it's not only those. I had never heard of Sigrid Undset or Fernando Pessoa a month ago - I love being exposed to books from around the world! Slight digression: in response to dely's post regarding faulty English syntax, I am daily astounded by the incredible intelligence and even eloquence of post after post by so many including you who do not speak English as their first language. It is an inspiration to me! If I had to post in Spanish (the only other language I speak at all), you would all laugh at me!

One final thing - I love the Monday Poem and poetry threads! Since joining AAB, I have been inspired to read and re-read so many books of poetry. One day when my partner came home, he found me with a huge collection of poetry books around me all over the floor and the poetry bookshelf in shambles. What in the world is going on?, he wanted to know. Well, I was digging up all the translations of Chinese poetry I could find after Alice's Monday Poem post. So I'm afraid AAB is a bit infamous in my household now. And that was only the beginning! We've been together nearly 20 years (which includes the years of my last poetry craze); so he recognized immediately what was happening. Yes, I'm in the midst of a new one! Every week, loads of new books everwhere. That's ok, he's a sweet and tolerant guy; so we'll make it through. ;)

Thanks for inspiring me everyone, and happy birthday AAB!

message 14: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Greg wrote: "It seems almost silly to answer this since I've only been a member for one month, but this group does feel special; so I'll go ahead anyway. For one thing, everyone is so thoughtful in their commen..."

Oh, Greg, if it turns out that you know more Chinese poems than I do, I would have to find a hole to bury my head, haha!

message 15: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7496 comments Mod
Alice wrote: "Greg wrote: "It seems almost silly to answer this since I've only been a member for one month, but this group does feel special; so I'll go ahead anyway. For one thing, everyone is so thoughtful in..."

LOL, I certainly don't Alice! But you did inspire me to go find and read more of them!

message 16: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments What to say about the group?

Reading the comments above made me emotional; made me to relive the moments in which certain discussions were very popular or about caring for the other in his/her difficulties or about sharing with the other in the moment of happiness (Birthday celebrations) or about teasing in a light manner the other with the friendly right. That explains everything. We are a family of friends. And of course it is a multicultural and multilingual and very much international. We are proud of our diversities and remain one family at the same time.

A big thanks to moderators. The ship (AAB) is bigger than Titanic and our moderators are better navigators.

What I enjoyed the most of our group?

1. The Monday Poem Thread - I love poetry. It is relatively short and dense with meanings. To read a good poem is always a pleasure. And every Monday, I was surprised with the selection of the poem chosen by the members. It could very well hold you for the entire week. I still remember vividly the poem MID TERM BREAK by Seamus Heaney shared by Shirley.

2. The Readalongs: The readlongs were a real highlight for me. I am usually a person who organizes my own time table for reading. And so, the readalongs were initially seen with apprehension. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Readalongs helped me in my pleasure of reading. I was hounded by multiple opinions and leisurely let my mind to be hounded. As Gill said in her comments the Readalong for Christa Wolf's A Model Childhood was a memorable experience.

3. The AAB Friends' Meet: AAB brought me many friends. I am grateful. The virtual friendships materialized in reality for two times. And those occasions are still fresh in mind. Thanks to the efforts of Jenny and Laura T, we met and spent two days together in Rome and Perugia. To meet the friend in person and to share the enthusiasm or to see that person expressing the opinion live is a different experience. It cemented the bond. This was the first encounter of friends.
The second time Dely and I met in Assisi, the land of great friends (St. Francis and St. Clare). Dely had already spoken of it in her comment and I have nothing to add.
This was possible because we are AAB members. Proud to be an AAB member.

About the Best Books that I read:

There are many. But I limit myself to saying few names of books or authors.
The authors that I fell in love with is Sigrid Undset. Whatever book that I have read of Sigrid, was a real gem. I may be biased. Because I am yet to read her well known masterpieces. But then I will challenge anyone to try out Gunnar's Daughter or Jenny (relatively her smaller and little known works) and be content not to try another book by her. In fact, I am happy that many in the comment had observed Sigrid as the new author to be tried out.

The author that I admire with motherly reverence is Christa Wolf. According to me her quasi autobiographical novel A Model Childhood is a must read book for everyone.

The author whom I consider as a wizard of words and execution of the plot is Italo Calvino. If you are a lover of reading books/a dedicated reader Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler should not be missed.

The other authors that I read and greatly admire are: W.G. Sebald, Willa Cather, Marilynne Robinson, Czesław Miłosz, Wisława Szymborska, Bruno Schulz, Franz Wright, Antonio Tabucchi and Primo Levi.

Happy Birthday to AAB.

message 17: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2671 comments My favourite part of this group is the people. You're all a terrific bunch. You guys made the last twelve months an absolute blast.
I'm grateful to meeting such amazing people, many of whom I've grown incredibly fond of. I've learnt a lot from all of you, and I'm really looking forward to this next year with both old and new members.
Here's to the mods for creating the best group on this site!

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with so much of what's been said already. I love AAB! The diversity and compassion of this group know no bounds. The Mods do such a good job and are very much appreciated. Things I treasure about this group:

1. The Monday poem and the seasonal poets. I've never had anyone to discuss poetry with before, and it's an amazing experience.
2. My Reading Journey has been fascinating. I love the insight into others' reading history.
3. The variety and quality of the books I've read because of this group.
4. Jean's sense of humor and always articulate comments.
5. The hard work Bette puts into This Day in Literary History. I always learn something from this thread.
6. The friendship and closeness I feel to so many of you.
7. I've said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating. This group was a godsend to me when I lost my son last April. The emotional support I received helped me survive.

Happy Birthday to all, and here's to a fantastic Year 2!

message 19: by Tweedledum (last edited Aug 02, 2014 03:50PM) (new)

Tweedledum  (tweedledum) | 2030 comments Terri wrote: "I agree with so much of what's been said already. I love AAB! The diversity and compassion of this group know no bounds. The Mods do such a good job and are very much appreciated. Things I treasure..."

Hi Terri,
I am so sorry I had no idea about your son. I was unable to get onto Goodreads for several months so may have missed your sad news or may have dipped in and out of the chit chat room so fleetingly I just didn't pick it up. But I am so glad the group has been a place you can come to and feel safe. I have been through a very difficult year with a member of our family struggling with mental health and I too have found great solace in the group when I have been in some dark places.

Looking forward to getting to know you and everyone in the group better in Y2!

message 20: by Colleen (new)

Colleen  | 345 comments I can't believe it's only been a year! And a great one! Thanks to you all,

message 21: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) What more can I say? You've said it all, and so much better than I would ever hope to say. It's been my honor and privilege to have come to know such an incredibly kind, well-read and broad-minded group of people. And like so many others have already pointed out, what makes this group so unique is the diverse cultures and backgrounds that members come from, who are drawn together like a family for just one reason: to find company and inspiration in the world of book reading. For many of us, we are also blessed with the serendipity of finding warm and genuine friendship here.

A big round of applause to the hardworking moderators who make this site such a wonderful place to hang out! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

message 22: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13217 comments Mod
Charbel wrote: "My favourite part of this group is the people."

You're right. Definitly right. The only thing I said when starting to organize this along with the other moderators was that this is not "our" gruop: it's the groupof everybody who comes in in, once a day, once a moth, once every now and then.
That's what renders it so special and varied: everybody can feel at home here, everybody feels he/she has somethig to say worth listening to. And it's like this: all voices together have made this a special place.

message 23: by Gill (last edited Aug 06, 2014 08:31AM) (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Hi, Mods

Here are some flowers for you all, to say 'Many Thanks!'
for everything you've done this year.

A BIG Thank you!


message 24: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments Gill wrote: "Hi, Mods

Here are some flowers for you all, to say 'Many Thanks!'
for everything you've done this year.

A BIG Thank you!


What a nice idea, Gill!

message 25: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments dely wrote: "Gill wrote: "Hi, Mods

Here are some flowers for you all, to say 'Many Thanks!'
for everything you've done this year.

A BIG Thank you!


What a nice idea, Gill!"

I'm hoping someone else will bring the cake!

message 26: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments Something fresh seen that it is summer: strawberry tiramisù.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

message 27: by Charbel (last edited Aug 06, 2014 10:58AM) (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2671 comments That's a lovely gesture Gill.
And Dely, you just made me hungry!!!! That Tiramisu looks delicious.

message 28: by Gill (new)

Gill | 5720 comments Charbel wrote: "That's a lovely gesture Gill.
And Dely, you just made me hungry!!!! That Tiramisu looks delicious."

Yes, the tiramisu looks great. I'm sure we still have room to eat more things though, and lots of other gifts for the mods.

message 29: by Alice (new)

Alice Poon (alice_poon) Wow, that looks yummy. Thanks, dely! I thought Tiramisu only comes in coffee flavor with a tinge of liqueur? I do like this strawberry version though, a lot!

message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments My eyes are teary so this will be short! Thanks for all the wonderful comments & the flowers & dessert :)

As many of you have already said, the people are what make this group so special to me. I love the fact that despite a variety of nationalities, languages, and cultures, we still all connect as people. This is just as I had hoped it would be when we first thought about starting the group!

message 31: by dely (new)

dely | 5214 comments Alice wrote: "Wow, that looks yummy. Thanks, dely! I thought Tiramisu only comes in coffee flavor with a tinge of liqueur? I do like this strawberry version though, a lot!"

The one with coffee (I have never added liqueur) is more famous but the one with strawberries (or also other fruits) is fine too and better for the summer, it's more refreshing.

message 32: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13217 comments Mod
dely wrote: "Something fresh seen that it is summer: strawberry tiramisù."
Next time you come bring it alog!!!!

Gill wrote: "Hi, Mods

Here are some flowers for you all, to say 'Many Thanks!'
for everything you've done this year.

A BIG Thank you! "

Thank you! You're a sweet

message 33: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) LOL nice pun, Laura - I'm so pleased you got the correct translation there and didn't call Dely a "dessert"! ;)

And I'll get on to my post now I'm back :)

message 34: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) "The internet isn't real life!" "Friends you make on the Internet aren't real friends!"

How often do we hear those two sentences?! Yet I would challenge both of them, and it's all down to this group. Almost the first thing I do every day is get on to Goodreads; so it is real life, for me. And I have made some true friends in "All About Books". Where else in my life can I find people who share my passion for books, who enjoy my enthusiasms and share their own, who - wonderfully - may even read a book at the same time as I do - who indulge my literary dislikes and share some of their own, and all on a daily basis. Not only this, but friends here will respond to the tragedies and joys in each other's lives, the elements large and small which make up our lives, as fellow humans who genuinely care about one another. It is an amazing place to be, and an amazing group.

Like Gill, I was in at the start, itching for the phoenix to rise from the ashes. And what a stupendous bird it has proved to be! Everything people have said here is true; I can echo so many sentiments. The praises heaped on you are well worth it. The group has affected many people in many ways. Its strength lies in its diversity, of culture, language, age, gender and experience. We all have much to offer, much to learn and much to enjoy. And the moderators have created a wonderful space which allows us to do precisely this. Their "hands-off" approach, which I personally think must be a direct result of learning from the mistakes of the previously over-directed group, is just perfect. Initiatives come from moderators and members alike, and that is very unusual. Anyone with an idea is encouraged to pursue it, anyone with a problem (literary or not!) is encouraged to ask; we are all encouraged to "be ourselves." And it allows for such personal diversity. I love my "2014 reads" and my "Personal Dickens Challenge". Nowhere else could I create those, except in my own little world on my own computer. But here I additionally have so many others' valuable input. And I can look over your shoulder and sneak in on yours too!

Some of the areas we go into are unusual in a general group, such as the poetry, as mentioned by Greg and Dhanaraj, and also the philosophy (and yet again I apologise for inflicting Bertrand Russell on you all, especially Pink...!) and the plays.

Here's an example of how the group could spin off and generate new areas of discussion and exploring. I started a chat thread about mysteries, and straightaway lots of people commented. It very soon became clear that this could develop into continuing readalongs, by themed genre within mysteries. If I had wanted to, I know I would have been encouraged to do this, and many would have joined in enthusiastically. (I decided not to, but if anyone would like to unearth the thread and develop the idea, please feel free to do so!)

I love this relaxed, informal approach best of all, I think. Dhanaraj puts it perfectly, "We are a family of friends. And of course it is a multicultural and multilingual and very much international. We are proud of our diversities and remain one family at the same time." I erased what I just put, because Dhanaraj's poetic image encapsulates it so much better!

Because of our diversity, we learn so much from one another. I was surprised to learn, when we had our first Daphne du Maurier group read, of "The House on the Strand" that many people in the group had never read her. Some even seemed to consider her to be a romantic novelist, so that spurred me onto starting the "continuing Daphne du Maurier readalongs" which are extremely relaxed and fluid! I was extremely happy when one planned read ("Rebecca") became so popular that it migrated into the monthly fiction choice. And this is just one example of how, for some, they have been introduced to a new author, for others, a chance to reread a favourite author, yet others, a chance to dip into the discussions, contribute and maybe learn a little.

I could go on so long, but everyone here is so articulate, and have picked out the brightest stars in "All About Books"'s constellation already. And I think it is a group made up of stars! Shirley did ask us to say what didn't work, and everyone is so impressed with and grateful for this group, that nobody has said anything negative at all! Not even newer members, with ideas of their own! It is hard, I know, to think of a criticism, or a fault. As Angela said, "I wouldn't change a thing." But I am trying hard to think of something that "went wrong" as when we acknowledge that, then we can grow even better.

I do think it would be a mistake to "advertise", as some newer members have suggested in their enthusiasm. "All About Books" is quite big now, but not one of the biggest groups on Goodreads. And I saw what happened when one group suddenly expanded. It caused problems, which the moderators found difficulty in handling properly. Better to grow naturally, I think. Then you can be sure new members are genuinely interested in what they have discovered for themselves. They can always read this thread! LOL

The only things I can really think of are a few blips, things like poetry copyright which had not been thought of at first. But it would indeed have been miraculous if a new group had got everything covered - even one which has learned from a previously existing one. The subject was got onto straightaway, discussed, and a fair policy clearly expressed.

Another is sockpuppets. I was taken in by one, as Leslie will attest! It makes me very angry! Yes, this took a long time to deal with, and the reason for that? All the moderators are just too NICE!! LOL

When someone breaks the rules, such as self-promotion, it's dealt with straightaway, and I assume a courteous message is sent to the self-promoter too. Very occasionally, someone causes trouble. Actually, only once, that I can remember! That member did cause ructions; his coarseness greatly offended some members. It took quite a while to get rid of him. Nobody wanted to "do the deed". See what I mean? Too nice! I'd suggest a "three strikes and you're out!" policy, and stick to it, or something similar. Mods could take it in turns to keep a special watch-out, so no one person has to be Big Brother, but on the other hand someone is always on the alert, rather than hoping another mod will deal with it. When teaching, in one school it worked well to take it in turns to do detention duty, as pre-teens are quick to assess who is the "ogre" and who the "soft touch"!

So I've tried to be constructive here, although I do feel more like doing a eulogy, in keeping with all the other tributes. The friends I've made here are true friends. It is wonderful how some meet in real life, and when you do, I feel I am with you all the way too, when you post about it. I love to see what people look like - "just curious" as I now know my American friends would say! I know some prefer to use avatars, (though I don't really understand why. I'm no oil painting myself!) So it's lovely to see what you look like when you occasionally post pics in the threads, or on your profile page. Even our younger members here are not overly concerned with the artificial "looks" promoted by the media, as so many youngsters feel pressured to be nowadays. (Mind you, some of you are real stunners anyway!) It's just nice to see what you look like, just as it would be nice to hear your voices.

We all care about each other, and when I am away from the keyboard I find I think about you all, as many of us do. I can't name you all! I've been friends with all the mods right through the stressful demise of the previous group, and the blossoming of this new one, and made many new ones. Realistically, where can you go, in so-called "real life" and be sure that someone will respond so quickly? Even a private message is usually responded to asap and if you post on a thread, someone will comment almost straightaway. So I consider you my true friends, and value your opinions, advice and help beyond measure. What more would a "real-life" friend have to offer? And if I can help someone here out in any way, large or small, literary or non-literary, then that makes us both feel good.

But although I thought it's maybe unfair or impossible to pick people out, I do have to put a special thank you in for Jenny. Jenny helped get me back on track when things got a bit wobbly. I knew something wasn't right; I thought it was probably me, and Jenny spent a lot of her time, wisdom and care sorting me out, despite being even more busy than usual professionally, as I hadn't realised she was on tour at the time. And of course, she was the soul of discretion, not shouting her own trumpet about it, as none of you knew that until I just said now! You are incredible, Jenny; I will always remember your help :)

People maybe don't use the "L" word enough, but there's an awful lot of love in this group. There you go, I've said it. Put me down as an old hippie if you like, but it's what I think. What else can I say, but an enormous thank you, to everyone.

And if you've got a lump in your throat, then just maybe you agree with me.

message 35: by Pink (new)

Pink Ahh Jean, I wish there was a 'like button' for comments as I'd be clicking it now :)

message 36: by Angela M (new)

Angela M If there was a hug button , Jean , I would have pressed it ! There isn't so "hugs !"

message 37: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 537 comments Happy Birthday AAB. Really enjoy the club - can'ttype too much as I only have one free hand (recovering from elbow replacement right arm) which isn't up to much. Will be updating etc when I have 2 hands to use!

message 38: by Charbel (new)

Charbel (queez) | 2671 comments @Jean, that was beautiful!

message 39: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) That was a great comment Jean! ^_^

message 40: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7496 comments Mod
@Jean, I echo Charbel on that - beautiful!

message 41: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments @ Jean: Thank you for the lovely comment.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely thoughts, Jean!

Maggie, I hope you are more free to type soon!

message 43: by B the BookAddict (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments @Jean, what a tremendous post and I think you have elucidated what AAB is all about.

For my own part, AAB provides a wonderful start to every day for me. I was recently widowed (as a lot of you know) so I live alone now and I wake horrendously early, usually around 3am. AAB goes hand in hand with my first cup of coffee. All of you are the first people I speak to each day and I would be lost without that contact. Because of the time differences, members in most other countries are online so there's always a book to talk about, a discussion to join, a game to play, music to listen to or poetry to read. And I can prattle on and no-one has told me to shut up so far:) Thank you AAB for your company each morning.

message 44: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Yes Bette - isn't it great that there's always someone online, because of the time differences? Your morning sounds very like mine (although I'm not an early riser, I must say! LOL)

Thanks to all my friends who have read and agreed with my post. I think I may have just been echoing what many of us think, really :)

Maggie - Take care, heal well and until you feel more flexible, do lots of reading of good books. Not to mention these threads... :D

And I do hope we get some more mods saying what they have enjoyed most about the last year. You are all suspiciously quiet. Are you making a hitlist if we say something controversial? ;)

message 45: by B the BookAddict (last edited Aug 07, 2014 02:06PM) (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 8315 comments  photo aabanniversay_zps63a29f75.jpg

Happy Anniversary All About Books!

message 46: by Diane S ☔ (last edited Aug 08, 2014 02:00PM) (new)

Diane S ☔ Love those Bette. Just wanted to say that I have met some amazing people and have made many new friends I. this group. Love all the varied books everyone reads as well. Have read many books on my Tbr in buddyreads that would have remainder on my list being put off, I'm sure. That is another thing I love about this group, ther3 are more buddy reads than in any other group I have been in.

Mods thanks for all you do to make this group a place for so many different people and readers to feel comfortable and welcome.

Jean wonderful words and sentiments. You have a unique talent for expressing yourself in quite a wonderful way. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.

message 47: by Greg (new)

Greg | 7496 comments Mod
@Bette, it must be frustrating to wake up so early, but I'm glad you have the coffee & chat!

message 48: by Tweedledum (new)

Tweedledum  (tweedledum) | 2030 comments Jean wrote: ""The internet isn't real life!" "Friends you make on the Internet aren't real friends!"

How often do we hear those two sentences?! Yet I would challenge both of them, and it's all down to this gr..."

Thank you for your thoughtful comments Jean. You have a great way of putting things.

message 49: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13217 comments Mod
Bette: they're delicious!!! Even if I've not tasted them!
Jean: no words - and if I have no words something really special has happened!!!!

message 50: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 537 comments Jean wrote: "Yes Bette - isn't it great that there's always someone online, because of the time differences? Your morning sounds very like mine (although I'm not an early riser, I must say! LOL)

Thanks to all ..."

thanks, I have read lots and will continue to do so! love those cakes on next post!

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