We’re excited to bring you our April Book Blogger Spotlight! This is 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.
What made you want to start a book blog?
As a Teacher-Librarian, I’m talking about books all day. I love discussing new releases, old favourites and current series. I also encourage my students to blog their responses to books all the time, both for class and for fun. Finally, one of my students looked at me in exasperation and asked me why I wasn’t online blogging; it was time to practice what I preached. I couldn’t think of a reason why I wasn’t blogging, so I started my own.
What’s your favourite reading spot?
I love to read pretty much anywhere – at home in the sun on the couch, out at the local park, in a coffee shop, in bed before sleep. I’m very fortunate that I can read pretty much anywhere, and I can close off everything when I do. I must confess to loving a cup of coffee or pot of tea beside when I read though
Your favourite book in the last year?
I loved the Scott Westerfeld trilogy of Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath, and while it was wonderful to finally read the third book in the trilogy, it was sad to conclude the series. I’m part of the group that loves the current post-apocalyptic and dystopian kick, so I’d have to include Blood Red Road by Moira Young, Divergent by Veronica Roth and Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari.
Favourite book of all time?
Wow – there are sooooo many.
When I was younger, the best picture book for me was Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel (yep, I was a tomboy!) In elementary school I loved Charlotte’s Web, and I suspect now you would have to pry A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Anne of Green Gables and The Time Traveler’s Wife from my cold dead hands. My favourite book list is always growning though – too many amazing new authors!
Oh, no .. please don’t make me pick just one! It changes depending on the season and that last amazing book that I read. I tend to read in waves; when I find an author whom I adore, I’ll read their entire back catalogue until I’m full. Having said that, I always look forward to the next books by Lisa Lutz, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Jennifer Weiner, Jim Butcher and Michael Ondaatje.
Favourite movie adaptation of a book?
I thought the recent adaptation of Hugo by Brian Selznick was inspired. Certain images in the movie were directly taken from the book, and the attention to detail was extraordinary. I am very picky about book-to-movie adaptations, and it’s pretty hard to find good ones that keep my interest. I’d also recommend the twentieth anniversary edition version of The Outsiders – not, I repeat, not, the shortened original version!
What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?
I read! I love it, and I read for a variety of organizations beyond my blog. I have a number of reader friends living nearby, and we often get together at author events, and just for fun to socialize. I have four nieces between the ages of thirteen and twenty-three, and we often hang out and do things together (two of them are huge Doctor Who fans, and they all love books). Finally, I am a teacher, so I spend a lot of time planning and organizing things for my school library.
Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?
Connecting with other readers and bloggers about my posts both on my blog and on Twitter is an incredible perk of blogging. There are some fascinating discussions out there, and I’ve met some amazing people online – bloggers, authors and publishing people. Getting the chance to chat with authors and their books connects me to what they are writing; I’ll often pass along comments made by certain authors to my students and that gets them excited to read that particular series of books. Of course, the added bonus of engaging with readers is that I’ve had some fantastic books recommended to me by others.
Do you read other blogs? Which ones?
There are a tonne of amazing bloggers out there, and I love reading what they have to say. The Ontario Blog Squad has a list of some fantastic Ontario-based bloggers and it’s worth checking out. On a larger scale, I always check in with:
How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?
At the very beginning, I was pretty hesitant to put my views on books out there. I felt that there were many writers and readers who had more to say, and who would likely say it more effectively. I’ve become more confident about sharing my work, mainly through my contacts on Twitter who have encouraged me and invited discussion. Sometimes 140 characters isn’t enough to get your point across, so I’m finding that the blog has become a great way to develop shorter ‘Twitter-sations’ into longer and more reflective posts about the books I’m reading.
I love that my blog is allowing me to share opinions about newly published books as they are published, and that I’m getting more and more comments from other bloggers.