Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Holly from Nut Free Nerd

 

I have always enjoyed Holly’s book reviews, they are insightful, fun and make great points about the books she’s reviewing, but I really became a fan of Holly when she went to school overseas and started writing her Holly Goes Abroad posts. There’s nothing like seeing and experiencing different cultures through another persons eyes. It’s why we read books, isn’t it? If you haven’t checked out Holly’s blog Nut Free Nerd, please click on the link below and check it out. She is worth your time, I promise!

Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

Nut Free Logo

Here are Holly’s answers to my 10 questions.

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in? 
I live in New England in the United States. I love where I live–it’s woodsy and pretty, yet close enough to cities, the beach, and the mountains. What more could you want?
What is the view outside your front door? 

The first thing I see when I look out my front door is my mom’s lovely garden. She’s been maintaining this garden since we first moved in nearly twenty years ago, so at this point it’s bursting with a plethora of pretty flowers in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Most blogs have a quirky name and a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blog’s name? 
My blog’s name is Nut Free Nerd, which accurately describes me in two ways: 1) I’m nerdy and 2) I’m severely allergic to nuts. I also adore alliteration (see what I did there?!) so when I first thought of this name years ago I was immediately hooked. It has stuck with me ever since!
Describe where you write your blog. 
When I’m home for summer or winter break, I usually write my blog posts at my dining room table. If I’m at college, then I most often write them at the desk in my room while eating breakfast in the morning. Blogging is definitely one of my favorite breakfast activities!
Most of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? 
The current stack next to my bed is made entirely of library books that I recently checked out: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo
 is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

DAY ONE: THE NAME OF THE WIND

My name is Kvothe.
 
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
 
You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean, and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah’s Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.

If you have had a bad day and want to spend an hour reading a book, what is your go to genre or favorite book that will lift your mood? 
My go-to book for any problem (homesickness, stress, heartache, etc.) is always The Hobbit or part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. These books always remind me of when I first read them in middle school, making them the perfect pieces of nostalgia to cheer me up when I most need it.
 
When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, play, school? 
During the summer months I work at a local non-profit writing grant applications, which I love. The rest of the year you can usually find me writing essays and reading articles at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where I attend university as an English major/Spanish minor. In my free time I love to write, knit, tap dance, and watch old Star Trek reruns.
My favorite blog post banner
What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? 

Oooh, such a difficult question! I think I’m going to cheat and say that my favorite KIND of post I’ve ever written are my Classic Couple posts, where I pair up classic and contemporary novels. It sparks such great discussions! Post:

 
Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? If so, what did you say to them? Looking back, what do you wish you had said instead? 
Yes! When I was in high school my best friend and I met Michael Grant, author of the Gone series. I asked him if he knew how he was going to finish the series, and he replied something like, “Not like how Lost ends.” I wouldn’t change anything about my question because I love his answer; not only is it cleverly vague, but it also involves one of my favorite TV series.
If you could sit down with an author for a slice of cake and a question, who is the author, what kind of cake would you serve, and what is the first question you’d ask? 
 
So many amazing authors to choose from! I think my answer to this is going to have to be William Faulkner because I feel as though I have an endless stream of questions for him. I would hand him a slice of cheese cake and ask, “What is the point of ABSALOM, ABSALOM!?”
Thanks so much Holly! I myself was an English major and a lot of what you said brings back memories. I also had to read Absalom, Absalom and I remember scratching my head over that one! LOL.
I hope you all enjoyed learning a little bit more about Holly, and more importantly will go check out her blog if you haven’t already.
Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!
Deb
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