Book Blogger Spotlight: Purple Jelly Bean Reviews

We’re excited to bring you our November Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with one of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favorite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with the delightful Natalie from Purple Jelly Bean Reviews. You can follow her on Twitter @nattiejean1969.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I have always been a very passionate reader, it wasn’t until I had been given an ereader that I discoverd reviews for books, I followed the trail to the Goodreads website and started checking out everyone’s book blogs, I asked a few questions to friends who added me and as they say “Bob’s your Uncle” my blog was born!

What’s your favourite reading spot?

My favorite color is purple (like I’m not obvious about that lol) and I found a huge purple leather chair that just happened to look like a jelly bean. Curled up in that reading is where you will most of the time find me.

Your favourite book in the last year?

My favorite in the last year is a series by Patti Roberts called Paradox The Angels Are Here. It is so far a 3 book series and I think 1-2 more coming out. I am on #3 right now. It is a must read series, Patti is from Australia and she is an indie author published through Smaswords.com and Amazon.

Favourite book of all time?

Oh wow that is a tough question, with all of the books I read it is really hard to narrow down which has become my favorite of all time. I think I will answer this question with a favorite book/series I have read many times if that’s ok lol. V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic I would say is one of my favorites to date, I’ve read that series probably 20 times now.

Favourite author?

I have a few of those, Stephen King, Sandra Brown, Christine Feehan, Beatrice Small and Philippa Gregory are my favorites that I just have to have their new books, incredible authors.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

The Green Mile, I have to say is my favorite adaptation of a book, I think I have watched that as many times as I have read V.C. Andrews!

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

I work in Health Care, I am a secretary for Seniors Mental Health and also for Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment Program in Nova Scotia. I have 2 children 17 & 21 but they still keep me very busy lol an amazing boyfriend and 2 cats Bubba and Missy and 1 dog, a Boston Terrier named Jack who I think has been sent to drive us all crazy lol, he is very entertaining though and a joy to be with (espically when he’s sleeping)!! The rest of my time is spent reading, and I love chatting with all my blogger/author friends on facebook or through email.

Bubba and Missy

Jack

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

Oh yes, I love getting others opinions of what I have read, my opinion is only 1 of many and it is nice to see how everyone elses perspective is different from my own, it lets you see things in many different ways wether I agree or not. It is a big part of why I blog I love the interaction with those who follow me.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

I have over 400 that I try to follow as best as I can, I always start with Simon & Schuster I review a lot for them, Cambria Hebert, Jason McIntyre, Patti Roberts, Rachel Firasek, Christine Feehan, simonreads.ca, harpercollinscanada, Dani Harper oh her blog is so awesome, they all are but there is so many to list.

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

Oh when I first started lol it was a mess, I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know HTML coding, trying to figure out what a gadget and a widget was almost gave me a nervous breakdown lol, but slowly and with the help of some amazing bloggers I had made friends with my blog has developed better than I had thought it would, which to me is amazing, I love blogging and reviewing for authors if I hadn’t of gotten an ereader for christmas one year I wouldn’t be talking with you today which I am so grateful that I am!

Book Blogger Spotlight: Serendipitous Readings

We’re excited to bring you our June Book Blogger Spotlight! This is where we chat with one of our bloggers, ask them to share some of their favorite authors, the books they can’t live without, and find out how they came to book blogging.

This month, we bring you our chat with Marci, from Serendipitous Readings. You can find her on Twitter @SerendipReads.

What made you want to start a book blog?

I wanted to see if there were people out in the blogosphere that had the same taste of books I had, as well as opinions – and how they differed.  I have come to find that not only are people opinioned about books they are just as or more than I am!

What’s your favorite reading spot? 

Favorite reading spot in the summer has to be outside – in a chair, on the grass, on the beach, have book will travel!

Your favorite book in the last year? 

I just read one called The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye absolutely could not put it down for the 12 or so hours it was glued…wait I was glued to it!

Favorite book of all time? 

I would have to say The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Favorite author? 

Just one ?!? I have so many!  Lawrence Hill, Philippa Gregory, Scott Westerfeld, Vincent Lam,  Andrew Pyper..the list could go on, and on and on!

Favorite movie adaptation of a book?

I would have to say The Soloist by Steve Lopez.  Some or most of the political issues weren’t included in the movie, but still a fabulous book!

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog? 

I take our dog Remington out for walks, I talk about people about books, I am on twitter, facebook, and because I’m a single parent, doing all of the running around that needs to be done!

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors? 

I do seek reader engagement.  I believe that everyone has a valuable opinion and it usually doesn’t affect the ideas – thoughts I have about books and authors.  When I’m reading a book for review, I try not to read other reviews until I am finished.  I don’t want their interpretations of the same book I’m reading to skew my opinion.  Even on social media websites there is the occasional scuffle which either includes a blogger, an author, both or something /someone else.  In the beginning, it was exciting to hear all of the drama (right?) Now I’m more of the thing about all of us getting along and supporting one another, trying to work things out.  Life is too short, wouldn’t you agree?   But, there have been times when an author has gone all up and down someone and I thought wow, how can I make this not happen to me or to someone else? Or what has made the author so angry to make them explode on a public forum like that, it must have been bad if they have gone and done that!

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

Sure I do, mostly when there is a book I haven’t heard about or a geek blog such as Mashable, Good E-Reader.  Like I had said earlier, I don’t really read book blogs unless there is a book that I haven’t heard of, or it has had a fantastic review of one I have already read and adored.

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

I guess in the beginning it was all new and exciting, I created a blog on Blogger.  After about a year or so after that I moved to WordPress and just last year I created my own site now that I pay for out of my own pocket, which I hope that will stay as relevant as any other blog out there.  I try to look beyond what the person is trying to say in the comments or when they send me an email about an issue I have covered and try to help them as much as I can.  There are the usual ups and downs, but I try not to let that get to me.  Everyone has their own opinion and they are welcome to share it, even though I may or may not agree/disagree with it.

Indie Bookstore Spotlight: Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe

The independent bookstore is a cultural and community hub – authors are introduced, works read aloud to an audience and ideas are shared.

Each month, we will be featuring an independent bookstore from across Canada, proving what a special role these shops play in fostering authors, community and a love of reading. For March, we are featuring Greenwoods’ Bookshoppe.

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Book Blogger Spotlight: Cindy’s Love Of Books

It’s the February 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 Cindy of Cindy’s Love Of Books.

What made you want to start a book blog?
I have always been a reader and always recommending books and it was only when my son started kindergarten (4 years ago) that I realized that I wanted to start documenting what I read and thought of books. Someone I knew had recommended doing it online so I started researching and stumbled upon other people who had a passion for reading doing the same thing. So I figured why not, I have time on my hands to do it while he was at school.

What’s your favourite reading spot?
My favorite reading spot currently is the living room, curled up on the couch. Although that will change once we get our family room renovated in a few weeks. I will have the back section where I will have my books placed in a new home on wall to wall bookcases and a nice comfy chair in front to sit and read.

Your favourite book in the last year?
I read so many great books last year that I don’t think I could pick just one. I read and enjoyed The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher, Holly Black’s White Cat and Red Glove (can’t wait for the new one to come out) and so many other great books.

Favourite book of all time?
My favorite book of all time is Wuthering Heights. I read it when I was in high school and to this day its the only book that I can re-read over and over again.

Favourite author?
I have so many favorite authors and probably too many to list but hands down favourites are James Patterson, Sophie Kinsella, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare. This list grows everytime I discover a new author.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?
I usually don’t watch a movie adaptation of a book but the one that I really want to go and see is Hugo. I borrowed the book from my son’s school library and enjoyed it so I am curious to see how it will play out.

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?
When I am not working on my blog, I am probably reading, helping my son with his homework, or taking him to hockey or curling. I have just started knitting so that is something else I do when I am not blogging.

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?
I love when my readers stop by and comment on my blog. I am like a little kid in the candy store when I go into my blog to discover a new comment from a reader. It’s really exciting and it makes you feel good knowing that someone takes the time to do that. I have to admit that I am a little bad at commenting on other blogs. That is my new year’s resolution though.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?
Yes. I read so many blogs and try to read them all but its hard so I make the effort to at least read them weekly. My favorites are read daily.

Some of the ones I read all the time are:
Tina at http://bookshipper.blogspot.com
Lucy at http://moonlightgleam.com
Kathy at http://bermudaonion.net
Sheila at http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/
Marci at http://serendipitous-readings.com/
Marie at http://lazydaisy0413.blogspot.com/

These are just a few of the ones I read. There are so many more!

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?
One of the things that has changed since I first started blogging is the look. I have changed that so many times and I think I finally found something that I truly love. I know my reading taste has changed dramatically since blogging. I have opened up and tried so many genres and authors that I wouldn’t have before. I think I have grown more as a person and so has the way I write.

Book Blogger Spotlight: Daisy’s Book Journal

It’s the January 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 Marie of Daisy’s Book Journal.

What made you want to start a book blog?

A number of years ago, I stumbled upon a publisher’s page on MySpace.  During one online conversation about books, the marketing representative asked me if I had a book blog.   I had posted a few things about life in general on LiveJournal, but didn’t write anything about the books.  As I started looking around at other book blogs,  I fell in love with the idea of being able to share my thoughts about the books I was reading.  That’s where it started.   As for the name of my blog, I get asked all the time why it’s called “Daisy’s Book Journal” when my name is Marie.  The name  Daisy comes from my love of gardening.  It’s been my online name for years.  When it was time to pick a name for the blog, I still wasn’t comfortable using my real name, so I opted for my online persona.

What’s your favourite reading spot?

This spring we converted some storage space on the 3rd floor of our house into a library.  There’s still some finishing work to do (painting, flooring, etc.), but the books are all on shelves and I have a nice comfy chair to sit in.  I don’t read there all the time, but it’s my favourite spot in the house.

Your favourite book in the last year?

I read so many great books last year that I couldn’t possibly just pick one.  Here are a few that I’d highly recommend: Map of Time by Felix D. Palma, Room by Emma Donoghue, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson.

Favourite book of all time?

Again, there are so many.  Just when I think I’ve found “the best book ever” I read another one that’s just as good, if not better.  Here are some of the more recent ones that I’ve loved:  The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Buchanan, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian, We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Favourite author?

Some of my favourites include: Lionel Shriver, Vikas Swarup, Chris Bohjalian, Lawrence Hill, John Verdon, Julie Hyzy and Alexander McCall Smith.  Much like my favourite all time books, just when I think I’ve found my favourite author, a new one comes along and I change my mind.  I love discovering new (or new-to-me) authors, so I’m constantly looking for  new ones to try.

Favourite movie adaptation of a book?

Other than the Harry Potter series, which I really liked, I haven’t seen that many movie adaptations.  There are a number of recent ones that I’d like to see (The Help, Water for Elephants, Hugo, etc.) but I haven’t done so yet.

What do you do when you’re not working on your blog?

I consider myself “retired” from the computer industry.  When I’m not working on my blog or reading, I like to take photographs, do all kinds of crafts, surf the web, cook and garden.

Do you seek reader engagement on your blog? If so, how does this affect your ideas about books and authors?

I love comments, especially on my reviews, and would love to get more of them.  However,  I don’t really seek them out.   I’ve tried a few times to get a conversation going about a particular topic or book, but so far I’ve only had a couple of bites.   I love it when someone pops in and comments about a particular aspect of the book that I hadn’t thought of or recommends a book that is similar.  That’s just awesome!  I love hearing/reading different views on things and love book recommendations.

Do you read other blogs? Which ones?

My Google Reader is overflowing with so many good blogs.   Some days I don’t have time to read that many, but I always try to keep up with the following:

Tami at Just One More Thing…
Heather at Book and Quilts
Karen at Quilts…etc.
Colleen at Lavender Lines
Marci at Serendipitous Reads
Judith at Leewammes’ Blog
Cathy at Kittling: Books

My apologies if I left someone out.  It was unintentional.

How has your blog developed or changed since you first started?

I’d like to think that my reviews are better.   In the beginning, I had a list of questions I used to answer.  I’d throw those answers together in a post and call it done.  I’ve now abandoned those questions and just write what I want about the book.   I’ve also starting posting more photos and a little more about myself and my life.   I hope others have noticed (and like) the changes.  Right now, I’m planning a few things for new year to spice things up a bit.