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.