It’s the March feature of Book Blogger Spotlight, where we chat with some of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favourite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.
This month we’re hearing from Darlene of Darlene’s Book Nook.
What made you want to start a book blog?
Accountability! I was always an avid reader until I had kids. Life became very busy and reading adult literature fell by the wayside because I was always reading books to the kids. From 2002 to 2010, I read only three adult books! One of my colleagues recommended a book to me (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) and told me that I simply *had* to read it. The library had over 100 holds on it, but no one had requested the Audio CDs. With my thrice weekly commute to work, I knew I could get at least three hours of listening time in a week so I thought I’d give it a shot. Since then, I have been hooked on audio books and they are a great way for busy moms like me who have little sit-down time to read and the need to multi-task while reading. I raved so much about the audio book that my husband bought me an iPod for my birthday that same month so that it was easier to listen while on the go. That was in November 2010, which is when I started my blog. I thought that blogging would give me the accountability that I needed to ensure that I always made the time to read adult literature. I always have, and still do, enjoy reading books with my kids but it is nice to read books that are just for me. I started joining online reading challenges and I’ve been hooked ever since!
What’s your favourite reading spot?
Since I prefer audio books, my favourite “reading spot” is while walking or driving. My favourite “sit down” reading spot with a conventional book is curling up on the couch or in bed.
Your favourite book in the last year?
That’s a tough one because I read so many great ones last year! I cannot name just one. These are the ones at the top of my list: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, Still Missing by Chevy Stevens, and Crossed by Ally Condie.
Favourite book of all time?
That’s another tough question! I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Another favourite is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My all-time favourite author is Dean Koontz. I love his psychological cat-and-mouse games, which have a way of getting under my skin and keeping me up all night! Other favourite authors include Stephen King, John Saul, James Patterson, J.R. Ward, Tess Gerritsen, and Lisa Jackson. My list wouldn’t be complete without J.K. Rowling!
Favourite movie adaptation of a book?
I absolutely loved Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! More often than not, I feel that the movie falls short of the book but not so in this case. Other movies that I thought were well done are The Silence of the Lambs and The Shining, both of which were just as creepy as the books! I’ll be looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is slated for 2013.
What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?
When I am not blogging, I am either working or busy with my kids! I also love wildlife, so I am always putting food out for the critters that visit our yard.
Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?
I love to read comments from readers! I participate in primarily two weekly features hosted by other bloggers called “In My Mailbox” (where we share what we received during the week – including those books bought, won, received as gifts, review copies, or library books) and “Waiting on Wednesday” (where we pick a pre-published book that we are anxiously waiting for). We share the link on the host’s blog, and then we can read the posts from other bloggers. I enjoy seeing what other bloggers are reading, and I am always adding to my never-ending “To Be Read” list! I find that other bloggers often give the best book recommendations, so I am definitely influenced by the comments I read.
Do you read other blogs? Which ones?
I do enjoy reading other blogs whose literary tastes are similar to my own. Some of the blogs that I enjoy reading include: Alaskan Bookie, Rabid Reads, My Overstuffed Bookshelf, and Parajunkee’s View.
How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?
When I first started blogging, it was just for me. As I mentioned earlier, it was to give myself some accountability in making time to read. I had no followers, and no one even knew that I had a blog! I posted my reviews on my blog as a way of keeping track of what I had read and what I liked. I never did it because I thought that people would read them! As I found more online reading challenges and started visiting other blogs, it opened up a whole new world to me (book blogging) that I didn’t know existed! In May 2011, I started to publicize my blog through online communities and participating in weekly memes. I also started my own weekly feature called “Spotlight Saturday,” where I will feature an author with either a guest post or an interview along with a giveaway of the author’s book. I slowly started gaining followers, and I found some wonderful blogging buddies!
Reading challenges are still very important to me because they help me to branch out of my comfort zone and read books that I wouldn’t normally pick up. Something new for 2012 is that I thought I would try hosting some reading challenges of my own! A new blog design is also in the works.