I finally earned enough reward points on epollsurveys.com for a $25 Amazon.com voucher (only took me, erm, three years...) One of my purchases was Blogging for Bliss - Crafting Your Own Online Journal, a Guide for Crafters, Artists, & Creatives of All Kinds by Tara Frey of the lovely blog Typing Out Loud. I had been fondling this book in Barnes & Noble for a couple of months, but hadn't purchased as I've been trying to watch my spending.
This book is serious eye candy. There are tons of examples of real, beautiful creative blogs complete with interviews with the bloggers, combined with some basic but functional information on the technical and artful sides of designing and writing for your blog. Tara also includes useful links, including to Smitten Blog Designs, where I purchased the fab new template you are currently feasting your eyes on for the princely sum of $5 (Smitten also has a ton of free options).
All in all, I'm very happy I spent some of my hard-earned survey reward points on this book. If you already have a working knowledge of basic blog html, photography and design, the technical information in Blogging for Bliss may be too elementary for you. Nevertheless, the blogs featured within are still sure to inspire. If you're new to blogging like I am, check it out, fondle it in Barnes and Noble, and tell me what you think!