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text 2018-04-13 13:26
#36 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Brenna M's Book Blog

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Brenna and her amazing book recommendations! 

 

Follow Brenna M's Book Blog: http://brennam.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

City of Hope by Kate Kerrigan. So far, I am enjoying this. It’s set in 1930’s in Ireland. Historical fiction always interests me., but I’m just starting off so we’ll see. The character is a strong female character who just loses her husband, and goes back to New York City rather than stay in small town Ireland.

 

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright. I’m just a chapter or 2 into this one as well, but I am liking this one a little better. Add a little mystery to the historical fiction, and my interest is peaked. A woman purchases an old house sight unseen and wants to renovate. And the mystery starts as she arrives to find it delapitated and with a lot of old folklore stories about it. 

 

The House on Foster Hill - Jaime Jo WrightCity of Hope - Kate Kerrigan

 

 

Which book made you a book lover?

 

The Cay by Theodore Taylor.  I was 9 years old and saw the movie with James Earl Jones and just had to read the book. Ever since then, my love for books and libraries started. I loved disappearing into the Caribbean in the Cay and that idea of disappearing into a book is just as strong. The thought of visiting a different US state or a different country sometimes makes me feel like I have actually been there. All of this just by browsing a shelf or two at the local library.

 

The Cay - Theodore Taylor 

 

 

How did your book blogging adventure start? What do you enjoy the most about it?

 

About 5 years ago, I saw something posted about a book giveaway. It was on Goodreads and I signed up for that one and a few others. I actually won 2 of them almost right away. I did not feel comfortable about not at least rating it. So for any book I have received either in a giveaway or offered from author, I rated it and wrote a  review. Some time later, every book I read was reviewed. One of the things I was and still am not fond of on the one site, though, is there is not a lot of interaction between myself and the friends list I had. And that meant fewer reviews that I read, and fewer recommendations from friends. I found Booklikes and started to share my reviews and a few quotes. I found it a lot more interactive when it came to having a strong feeling about a book and wanting to talk about it. I’ve met a lot of great people, and my “friends list”/followers list is a little more international as well.

 

 

 

You mention that you have Italian, German and irish roots in your family. Does it reflect your reading preferences?

 

It does reflect a lot more than I realized at first. My grade school was not very diverse but did encourage a lot of reading. The books that I tended to lean to and pick out myself always were in a different culture (i.e. a book set in the south or in England, or with the main character being from a foreign country).

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach. I loved this book and cannot wait to read more of Mr. Stambach. This was his debut novel, set in an orphanage for “gravely ill” children because Ivan was born with physical disabilities. Mr. Stambach has used humor, heartach, love and hope beautifully in this book with a not so “perfect” main character. I couldn’t help but love Ivan by the end of the book.

 

Tobit and the Hoodoo Man by E.S. Kraay  is another one I really enjoyed. This is a combination of historical fiction set during the Civil War and mystical realism. 3 dimensional characters through the book, good story telling, definitely I found it well written and I didn’t want to put it down. 

 

Tin Lily by Joann Swanson. Another debut author. I found this book short, yet captivating. This is a young adult novel, and the topic is a tough one from the first chapter when Lily witnesses her mom’s murder.

 

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko - Scott StambachTobit and the Hoodoo Man: A Mystical Tale from the Civil War South - E.S. KraayTin Lily - Joann Swanson

 

 

How do you find new books to read?

 

My more fun way to do this is, time willing, to walk up and down a few of the aisles of the library. The closet one has a library staff pick area, a seasonal area or a topic specific area (i.e. photograpy, gardening, politics, whatever), and even a teen pick on the endcaps of the aisles. Always fun going through those aisles. Used book sales are of interest to me, too. I love browing the books and seeing what pages have been earmarked or if the person put their name in it to see where it came from.

 

 

Are you an adventurous reader picking up new genres or are you loyal to your favorite book genres?

 

I am gradually getting better at being adventurous, but young adult and historical fiction still tend to be the go to genres.

 

Reviewed Shelf

 

 

How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

Unfortunately it’s not always daily. I try to get at least a half an hour in every day, if not more.

 

 

What are you three favorite book covers?

 

I’m not sure if I really have a favorite cover. I do check them out, sometimes the first impression with the title helps me to decide. But I usually don’t spend too much time on them. (sorry, front cover artists).

 

 

You write: My local library is one of my favorite hangouts. How often do you visit your library?

 

I try at least twice a week. If i take too long in getting back, the staff start asking where I’ve been!

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

It’s my down time, relax time. A way for me to get out of the stress related run on sentences runnig through my head after a long day at work. A perfect stay-cation kind of moment.

 

 

How do you choose your next book to read?

 

See # 6. For the official next book, I tend to read series books in order and close to gether. If not part of a series, it doesn’t always make sense how i pick them. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the cover, title, and blurb sounding interesting (sometimes this does disappoint, though). Other times it’s an author or subject i want to get back to reading.

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Paper book definitely. It’s a way for me to chill out away from electronics.

 

 

Three titles for a sunny spring day?

 

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt 

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote 

 

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion - Fannie FlaggTuck Everlasting - Natalie BabbittBreakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories - Truman Capote

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

It seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart”
― John Knowles, A Separate Peace

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Steaming hot green tea

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

ARCs

 

 

Signed by author

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

*

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text 2018-04-06 17:37
#35 Follow Friday with book bloggers: LILLELARA

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers. Meet a blogger behind the LILLELARA blog. If you're curious what the blog title means, keep on reading! 

 

Follow LILLELARA on BookLikes: http://lillelara.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

I started Yoon Ha Lee´s Ninefox Gambit, a confusing military science fiction novel. Not sure what to think of it yet and not sure if I´m going to finish it. I just finished Kerry Greenwood´s Cocaine Blues  and this one annoyed the heck out of me. And then I´m still listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This book will never be my favorite Harry Potter, since Harry and Ron are not on speaking terms with each other for a considerable part of the novel. But the narration by Stephen Fry is brilliant as always and I like the darkness of the story. And the final chapters are so sad, gripping and amazing.

 

Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha LeeCocaine Blues - Kerry GreenwoodHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry

 

 

 

How did your book love begin?

 

I discovered my book love about 7 years ago at the age of 30, when I purchased my very first Kindle. Suddenly I started reading in earnest and instead of 5 books per year, I read 50 books per year. Whenever I had some time to spare, I spend it with a book (an e-book) in my hands. But don´t ask me what has happened back then to ignite the passion for reading in me. I simply don´t know.

 

 

Your blog name is “LILLELARA”. Can you tell us more about the phrase?

 

Lille and Lara were the names of two of my adorable cats. I have always been responsible for naming our cats and I´m giving them the most nonsensical names. There was Musch, one of Musch´s kittens I called Præstegård (the Danish word for a parsonage) and then I named Lille as well (lille means small in Danish). We got Lara from an animal shelter, I obviously didn´t get to name her. But in the spirit of giving cats stupid names, I always called her pimsiwimsi, or abbreviated pims. As you can see, there isn´t a deeper meaning behind my blogname.

 

 

 

We’ve spotted a book-to-movie tag on your blog. Is movie watching your second passion next to reading?

 

I haven´t done a lot of book-to-movie posts, but they are always a whole lot of fun to do. I love watching movies, even though I´m not watching as many movies (and series for that matter) as I used to. I recently watched the movie adaption of Jeff VanderMeer´s Annihilation. I really didn´t like the book, the movie however is mesmerizing and visually stunning. I highly recommend watching the movie instead of reading the book.

 

Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer 

The book cover vs the movie poster

 

 

You live in Germany but you’re blog is in English. Do you read books in those two languages? If so can you tell our readers how the language affects the book experience?

 

Unterleuten: Roman - Juli ZehI try to read books in the language they are originally written in, which in my case is doable for German, Danish and English books. Books tend to lose some of their magic when they are getting translated. Just thinking about Juli Zeh´s Unterleuten makes we wonder, how someone could possibly translate this book into another language without altering the meaning of certain sentences. It´s a joy to read books by skilled German authors, who have a grasp on the language and know how to construct a proper sentence. If an author doesn´t have this skill, German can be an incredibly stilted language and those books become a tedious reading experiences.

 

And this is exactly the reason, why I´m reading more books in English than in German. It´s incredibly hard to find well-written German books among the masses of poorly written ones and my reading taste doesn´t align with the general taste of my fellow countrymen. I was looking at a bestseller list today and almost half of the list were crime books, set in a specific German region (so called Regionalkrimis). And most of these books are incredibly bad and poorly written. 

 

 

How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

It depends on my spare time, the book that I´m reading and my general mind set. I´m reading at least an hour a day, but it can be much more than that.

 

 

Your bookshelf is full of different book genres. What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

My favorite genre got to be science-fiction. I love learning about different cultures and technologies and how we sometimes can learn something about our own culture by reading a book set in a futuristic world. I have read some incredibly good books in this genre and I have so many more to explore. 

 

Besides science-fiction I´m reading almost anything. Classics, historical fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers, literary fiction, non-fiction. I´m willing to give at least every genre a try. Even fantasy and romance, which are my least favorite genre.

 

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

Reading is incredibly relaxing and it is my way to reduce stress. I´m an introvert and I´m working in a job where I´m talking to people all day long. Being alone with a book after a long day at work is liberating and reading is something I´m doing for me and not for other people.

 

 

What are you three favorite book covers?

 

I love this specific Mary Stewart cover of Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I look at it I want to sit in a cabriolet, driving through the mountains in France, heading towards an adventure of a lifetime.

 

The Penguin English Library editions are so pretty. They are all gorgeous, but my favorite is the edition of Far from the Madding Crowd.

 

And I really like the Patricia Highsmith covers by Virago, especially this one because of its simplicity:

 

Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas HardyDeep Water: A Virago Modern Classic (Virago Modern Classics) - Patricia Highsmith,Gillian Flynn

 

 

How do you choose your next book to read?

 

I´m one big mood reader. I choose my next book on a complete whim.

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich. It´s infuriating, harrowing, devastating, saddening and bloody fantastic.

 

Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future - Svetlana Alexievich,Anna Gunin,Arch Tait 

 

 

A book that changed your life?

 

My most dreaded question and I´m going to be a bore with this one. I can´t think of a book that has changed my life. I will name two books, however, that changed my reading life. Cloud Atlas and A Place of Greater Safety. These two books made me realize that there isn´t an English book out there that is too difficult to read.

 

Cloud Atlas - David MitchellA Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

A couple of years ago I only read e-books, nowadays I prefer paper books. There is something satisfying in holding a physical book in your hands and to see the progress you are making.

 

 

Three titles for a sunny spring day?

 

Three books from different genres, all of them exciting and fun to read. Perfect for a sunny spring day:

 

 

Love Insurance - Earl Derr BiggersThe Moonspinners - Mary StewartThe Martian - Andy Weir

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.”

Albert Einstein

 

If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?

 

Red wine. I really like red wine. If someone could invent a non-alcoholic beverage with the same taste as a good red wine, I would be in heaven. But since this drink doesn´t exist, I´m drinking ordinary water on a workday and treat myself to a glass of wine on the weekend.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

My first shelf contains all of my Christie´s, my read non-fiction books and my Harry Potter books:

 

Picture Christie-Shelf


My classics shelf:

 

My read shelf:

 

And my TBR-Shelf:

 

Thank you!

 

 

*

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:

#34 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Toni ->

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.

 

See you next Friday!

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text 2018-03-30 12:51
#34 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Toni

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! 

Meet Toni, a book lover with a big virtual library and an amazing dream home bookshelves. Check them out! 

 

Follow Toni's blog: http://toniosborne.booklikes.com/

 


What are you reading right now? How do you like it? 

 

Cosega Search by Brandt Legg. I like it so far, only 1/3 into it.

Cosega Search - Brandt Legg 


How did your book love begin? 

 

I don't really remember books were always part of my life even as a toddler....so many many years ago.

 


Are you a book collector or a recommender? 

 

Neither. I am a reader and reviewer and give all the books I can...
 

According to your Shelf you’re read over 500 books! How much time do you spend reading daily? 
 
About 2 hours a day....actually the 500 books are only those added since I joined BookLikes. 
 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?
 
Mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction, fiction and non-fiction. I can't honestly answer that question...maybe I love to be lost in the words....be transported wherever...
 

Why reading is important to you? 
 
Great pass time. I call the few hours my quality time....
 

Do you review every book you read? How does your review process look like? 
 
Yes I do, my process changes with the genre. A non-fiction will have more depth. The others I will usually have a short summary and my feeling: likes and what I don't. Rarely will I recommend books....
 

What are you three favorite book covers?
 
WOW, book covers that is a hard one but here are 3 books, I lately read:
 
The Terrorist Next Door (David Gold) - Sheldon SiegelThe Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin HarmelThe Good Liar - Catherine McKenzie
 

How do you choose your next book to read? Favorite authors, reading list, friends’ recommendations?
 
A bit of all: favorite authors, reading list, some recommendations but mostly I read books that are given to me by the author or through sites such as BookLikes, Goodreads, Librarythings, Netgalleys, Edelweiss. 
 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers? 
 
Historical fictions and non- fictions set during WW11 but I rarely do recommend books. See question #8 The Room on Rue Amelie for my one of them.
The Room on Rue Amélie - Kristin Harmel 

A book that changed your life?
 
None. 
 

A paper book or an e-book?
 
Mostly ebooks. 
 

Three titles for a sunny spring day? 
 
The Good Liar - Catherine McKenzieDark Waters (A Deborah Jones Crime Thriller) - J.B. TurnerThe Italian Wife - Kate Furnivall
 

Favorite quote? 
live for today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come
 
If you could pair a book with a meal, what would you cook to eat while reading your favorite title? 
 
Potato chips ....:)
 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
 
Haha, its digital in real life but I all my books were paperbacks it would look like this:
 

Thank you! 

 

*

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.

 

See you next Friday!

 
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text 2018-03-23 13:56
#33 Follow Friday with book bloggers: KOMET

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! 

Meet Komet who loves history, literature, and art. You can follow Komet's blog on BookLikes: http://komet.booklikes.com

 

 

What are you reading right now? How is it?

Among the books I'm now reading is "OLD SOLDIER SAHIB" by Frank Richards.
Richards shares with the reader his experiences as a British soldier in the UK and overseas during the early 1900s.  (He would later return to the Army upon the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and serve in France, where he made the acquaintance of Robert Graves, who later became a famous writer and poet.)

So far, I'm enjoying the book.


How did your book love begin?

I guess I've been reading books since time out of mind.  As a late Baby Boomer, I don't remember a time when I didn't read.  LOL.


According to your Shelf you’re read over 1200 books! WOW How much time do you spend reading daily?

I read every day - on average 4 to 5 hours daily.



Do you review every book you read? How does your review process look like?

I try to review all the books I've read.   In writing a review - whether it be for a book I did or did not like, I try to provide a general outline or summary of what the book was about without giving away any key elements of the story.    I am conscious that when I am writing a positive review, I want to, in effect, sell the book to the reader of my review.   I want the reader to go away from reading a positive review thinking to him/herself: "WOW!  This is a book I gotta check out."

 

 


What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

I enjoy reading historical fiction; biographies/memoirs/diaries, travel books, aviation books (I love airplanes), art books, historical mystery novels, and military history.

Each of these genres reflect the special interests that I have, many of which are rooted in history, literature, and art.


Why reading is important to you?

Reading is like breathing to me. I have a wide-ranging curiosity and interest in life. Living.  And I enjoy reading books that can take me across time, space, and all over the world. I've been fortunate to be able to travel overseas a bit: Canada, France, Mexico, the Caribbean, Italy, Brazil, and India.

 

Reviewed bookshelf



Your Planning-to-read shelf is…impressive! How do you choose your next book to read with 8K titles on your TBR list?

Frankly, I tend to choose my next book to read based on what's on my mind at the moment, usually after I've just finished reading a book.  For instance, if I've heard good things about a new novel (from a variety of sources - e.g. radio interviews and the NY Times Book Review)  that teases my curiosity, I'll give it a look-see on Amazon and see (if possible) if the novel is available in a local bookstore.   (I try to buy local when I can, because our neighborhood bookstores - especially here in the U.S. - need to be supported.)   That's how I ended up buying the Sarah Vaughan novel Anatomy of a Scandal, which I finished reading last night.  LOVED IT.

 

Anatomy of a Scandal: The brilliant, must-read novel of 2018 - Sarah VaughanA Man Called Ove: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

 

What’s the most surprising book you’ve ever read?

There's no one book with which I can answer the question. But A Man Called Ove was a pleasant surprise. A close friend gave it to me as a birthday present. I didn't think it would be good.   Thankfully, I was proven wrong.


What are you three favorite book covers?


Our Man In Washington - Roy HoopesBirds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs) - Jacqueline Winspear

A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel (Vintage International) - Orhan PamukLes Parisiennes - Anne Sebha

 


Your bookshelf is full of thematic and author named shelves. Are you an organized book hoarder?

I try to be an organized bibliophile.   I like to keep books in my library categorized on the basis of author and fiction/non-fiction.  Paperback and hardcover.


Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

I am always excited to recommend ---

i) The Morland Dynasty Series of historical novels (35) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.   Terrific stuff.

ii) The Cazalet Chronicles Series of historical novels (5) by Elizabeth Jane Howard.  (She deserves more recognition.)

iii) The Narratives of Empire Series of historical novels (7) by Gore Vidal, whom I once had the pleasure of meeting.  And I strongly urge any reader to check out Vidal's essays, too.    He was a true master essayist.   The insights he provides on a wide range of subjects are always illuminating, and he can be really funny, too.  LOL.

 

The Homecoming - Cynthia Harrod-EaglesThe Light Years (Cazalet Chronicle) - Elizabeth Jane HowardBurr - Gore Vidal

 

A book that changed your life?

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn 

 

A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present - Howard Zinn 

A paper book or an e-book?

A paperback book (Mass Market Paperbacks, preferably)

 

Three titles for a sunny spring day?

A Seaside Affair by Fern Britton 
Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran 
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado
The Holiday Home by Fern Britton 
London Transports by Maeve Binchy 

 

 

A Seaside Affair - Fern BrittonWomen Who Blow on Knots - Ece Temelkuran

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands - Jorge Amado,Harriet de OnísThe Holiday Home - Fern BrittonLondon Transports - Maeve Binchy

 

 

Favorite quote?


"... our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."  -- President John F. Kennedy

 

If you could meet a writer, who would it be?

John le Carré


Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

 

Thank you! 

 

*

Have you missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links below:

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.

 

See you next Friday!

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text 2018-03-16 19:32
#32 Follow Friday with book bloggers: So it goes

 

Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!

Meet Ella, a newbie blogger with an impressive library and an avid reader of many different book genres. 

 

Follow Ella's "So it goes." blog on BookLikes: http://ellamc.booklikes.com/

 

 

What are you reading right now? How do you like it?

 

I’m very slowly reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski  in a group read led by the author. I’m loving it and it’s very hard to stop myself at the points he covers, but I want to get input from the author, so I’m going very slowly. At his pace I’m not sure we’ll ever finish, but I’m determined to stick with his reading schedule.

 

On my own I’m currently reading In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, a memoir by Tom Malmquist. He’s a Swedish writer, so it’s in translation, but it’s incredibly sad. It’s basically about a man who suddenly loses his pregnant wife and is left with a baby. Sounds as sad as it is, but it’s also very good. Then again, I tend to fall in love with many good books as I read them. We’ll see in a year how I really feel about it.

 

House of Leaves - Mark Z. DanielewskiIn Every Moment We Are Still Alive - Tom Malmquist,Henning KochWe're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True - Gabrielle Union

 

Also listening to We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union  (read by the author.) I can already tell it’s an uneven book, but it’s very fun. She reads conversationally and it’s a bit like sitting down with a girlfriend to catch up on all the gossip.

 

 

When have you discovered you’re a book lover?

 

Very early in my life. I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. I loved to read as a kid and family lore about my reading ability gets more incredible as I get older. I’ve been told I read in nursery school, but who knows? By the time I can remember, we had a big tree in the backyard. I climbed it with a book and stayed there all day. Nobody ever found me. I read every single Hardy Boys book from that tree, as well as the entire Little House series, Anne of Green Gables and many more.

 

 

You’ve mentioned you’re new to blogging. How do you like it so far?

 

I love the BookLikes community. I don’t really know how to review. (I keep meaning to read some articles about doing it), but I like to talk about the books. I hope I’ll remember a lot more of the books I read if I do it this way. My goal in joining BookLikes was to find a replacement for Goodreads, but it turns out to be so much more. I do find myself with an ever-growing TBR list, but that’s not a bad thing.

 

 

 

You’re blog name is "So it goes." Can you tell us more about that quote and why have you chosen it for your blog name?

 

The phrase “so it goes” appears in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five 100-plus (maybe 106?) times. It appears every time there is a death. (Lots of death in a wartime novel.) He does it comically, tragically, every way you can imagine. By the end it conveyed to me both the randomness and inevitability of death extremely well, not to mention both the stupidity and extra meaning given to the act of dying in a war (like people have much choice about it.)

 

While the book is about war, I think the lesson can work for life too. We never know when death is coming, but we know it will eventually come. It’s not trivial, but it’s constant. If I was a better person, I’d tell you I think about it and it changes my reactions to humanity, but that would be a lie. For many years I thought I’d get a tattoo of it, but I’ve changed my mind about that. So when BookLikes asked me for a name for my blog, it was the obvious choice.

 

 

Why reading is important to you?

 

It teaches me about life. It also keeps my very easily agitated mind calm. It gives me a sense of perspective and allows me to learn more about the full experience of being human. At its best it stimulates me to think in a way I’d not previously imagined. I think that’s why books read as a teen or young adult leave such a huge impression. At its most basic, it means I don’t turn on the TV for many months at a time and I learn vocabulary words, if not always how to pronounce them. I find myself asking “is that how you pronounce it” fairly often because I’ve only ever read the word rather than heard it in speech.

 

 

What are you favorite genres? Why are they special?

 

It’s funny. I never really think I have a favorite genre. But when I started to catalog my books or use book websites, I learned that I do, in fact, have favorites. It turns out most of my favorite books live in a few categories: mystery, espionage, “literary” whatever that means, dystopian and fantasy. Also “realistic fiction.” So that covers almost everything, I guess. In college I was told I “read like a man” -- which I guess meant I didn’t always read what we’ve now call “chick lit” but I’ve read a lot of that through the years too, and I can’t bring myself to get rid of my boxed set of Ya-Ya Sisterhood books.

 

Why I like them is harder. I love spies. When I was little (in my tree), I read Harriet the Spy and followed neighbors around, carefully noting what they bought at the grocer and whatever I saw them doing. Only in later years did I learn everyone knew what I was doing, if not always why. When my sister explained that I was crazy and read it in a book, they just didn’t care!

 

I’m not all that genre-specific beyond my espionage needs. All of these are ways to live in a world that I’ll never actually inhabit, but that’s what books always are.

 

Reading challenge page->

 

 

How do you choose your next book to read?

 

Randomly!

If it comes in at the library and I’ve put it on hold, I read it before it’s due. Only this year have I decided I must read the books I own and unless I’m planning to reread or loan, move ‘em out! I own literally thousands of books, which is way too many for my smallish home. Weirdly, that means I’m picking up a lot of books I have copies of that I actually hope to dislike. That’s insane, but true. I’ve already given a few away this year, and I always have a box filling up for donation. The problem is that I try to only buy books I hope to love, so the process doesn’t work as well as I planned.

 

 

What are you three favorite book covers?

 

Argh - This is an impossible question! I really love the basic Penguin original style, but I’m constantly replacing my old copies of things with the fancy new covers they now make. Here are a few I’ve purchased recently:

 

This copy of Paul Auster’s famous New York Trilogy  makes me happy. The best part of this is the back cover though.

 

The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster,Luc Sante,Art Spiegelman

 

I love these Vintage Classics covers. Here’s War and Peace for an example. They have quotes on the back covers and are beautiful.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear 

 

And I just paid way more for a copy of this one because I loved the cover so much. Gorgeous! Whole cover attached.

 

The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) - Mikhail Bulgakov,Christopher Conn Askew,Richard Pevear,Larissa Volokhonsky,Boris Fishman 

 

 

You’ve read over 70 books in so far, I mean in 2018 - WOW! What’s your reading goal for 2018?

 

It started as 30, so I could make sure I met it. I think I changed it too 100, but I’m honestly not trying to meet any goal beyond keeping track. I’d guessed I read somewhere around 200 books a year, but when I looked at my library list from last year (the USA keeps track of what we borrow,) it was closer to 500. As I looked at the list, I’d read a lot of what I borrowed, and I won’t tell you how many I bought.

 

I don’t speed read or skim. I do take tons of notes in margins or on paper. I just read fast. I’ve had many years of practice. I took a test once that told me I could read War and Peace in 12 hours. That seemed crazy to me. Recently I’ve been borrowing the audio from the library even if I have the physical novel handy. Audio is too slow, even at a high speed (I get pages ahead and tune it out,) but it’s a great way to “read” when I’m driving, cleaning or doing anything that doesn’t require my full attention. Now if only I could figure out a way to read when I’m supposed to be listening to other people!

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?

 

Argh! Everyone should read what they want, when they carve out the time!  But I’ve picked up a few books from this series, so I’ll add a warning and give you some titles. WARNING: I liked it, but your mileage may vary!

 

I adore David Foster Wallace, and while I know Infinite Jest isn’t everyone’s cuppa, I’ll recommend his nonfiction, specifically A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again  . The book is worth the cost for the title essay alone. That essay finds David Foster Wallace, a socially-awkward introvert genius and hero of the American Literary Media Hype Machine, stuck on a cruise ship for a glossy American magazine. He also goes to a State Fair in this book (Getting Away from Already Being Pretty Much Away from It All,) sent by Harper’s Magazine, who called it “pure cocaine” - or at least I wrote that in my margin notes. He’s empathetic, kind, aware, wickedly funny, has a great BS detection system, writes detail beautifully and well - he was worth the hype.

 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 

 

Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby 

Another great nonfiction book, but this one is about books and all of the things books are about. Hornby writes like you’re talking to a good friend, and his nonfiction is better, in my opinion, than his fiction. (Though I’ll never learn. I keep buying his fiction.)

 

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster WallaceThe Secret History - Donna TarttTen Years in the Tub - Nick Hornby

 

 

Do you read one or several books at a time?

 

Several. Usually I have one essay or short story collection on my ereader, which fits nicely in my briefcase or purse, one audiobook on my phone and one physical “big book” in some sort of process which usually takes me a while because I can get a bit obsessive about looking things up and taking notes.

 

 

How much time do you spend reading daily?

 

Embarrassingly, I think I probably read about 8-10 hours a day. This is because I don’t sleep much. My best friend remarked, years ago, that it was unfair for me to have sleep trouble because I spent my sleeping time becoming “well read.” She’s still upset about this and we’re in our fifties now!

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

I prefer physical, and I like to wait for the paperback copy. If I love a book, I buy the paperback copy even if I own the e-book. I’m weird like that.

 

Three titles for a desert island?

 

Infinite Jest  (purely because I think you could read it 100 times and find new things every time. Also, it’s time-consuming!)

 

Eloise: The Ultimate Edition  (this is cheating because the first four ‘real’ Eloise books are all in it.)

 

And probably the complete Shakespeare, because if I’m stuck on a desert island, I may as well read all those plays I “should” read.

 

Infinite Jest - David Foster WallaceEloise: The Ultimate Edition - Kay Thompson,Hilary KnightWilliam Shakespeare: The Complete Works - William Shakespeare

 

 

Favorite quote?

 

“I'm sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be?

 

Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh or Bernard Sampson from the ten-book series by Len Deighton. I simply cannot choose between the two.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

They are coming! Stay tuned! Leave a comment and we're notify you they're online!

 

Shelfies are here :)

 

Ella wrote: Shelfies following from home as soon as I get there -- or maybe we’ll have to do without, which would be sad because people would be very heartened to see my horrendously disorganized boxes, piles and other mess. (I seriously have books on my kitchen counter.)

 

Thank you! 

 

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