Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with The Captain @ Captain’s Quarters

I love visiting the Captain’s site for her avast ye matey sang froid and to increase my own repertoire of pirate phrases. Even more interesting is the Captain’s insightful reviews and commentary. How does the Captain find time to read while sailing the seven seas looking for pirate’s booty? Well, I’m sure all Captain’s require an evening off occasionally to read a good book! If you’ve never visited the site Captain’s Quarters then ye should walk the plank, or just click the link below to check it out. Come back though, I don’t think you want to miss the Captain’s answers to my 10 questions!

Click HERE to visit the Captain’s Quarters!

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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 originally hail from the port of Baltimore in Maryland in the U.S.  I have “officially” lived in over 10 American states and in the jolly ol’ Port of London.  I currently be sailing the seven seas in search of adventure, treasure, and fun!

What is the view outside your front door?

Me glorious view be of nothing but winds, waves, and the wonders of the sea, matey!

Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.

The Story Behind the Captain’s Quarters…

What’s in a name? I am a pirate captain.  Me ship’s logbook is stored in me captain’s quarters.

Why did I start blogging? I started me blog on January 4, 2016 and have been happily continuing ever since.  It started as an online log for me to keep track of what I read and what me thoughts were on the various ports I visit.  I had no real expectations of getting followers but I have been pleasantly surprised that ye scalawags think me (b)log is of interest.

Describe where you write your blog. 

I write me log posts on me laptop in me cabin.  I’ll not be including a picture to protect me secrets.  Arrr!

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? 

Aye, matey.  I do have plenty of unread books on me ship.  In me cabin there be 117 books waiting for perusal.  There be 1180 un-owned books currently on me ports for plunder list.  I also have unknown numbers of books on library lists, me kindle, and in the hold.  I keep meaning to tally them.  But I get distracted . . .

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?

Me go to genres be fantasy and sci-fi.  They be the focus of the Captain’s Quarters.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

Well matey, the theme of me life be:

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I have a ship to sail, ports to plunder, loot to be counted, and scoundrels to be run through with me cutlass.  Arrr!  Me formal schooling days be over but I be a lifelong self-educator about whatever subject happens to capture me fancy.  Besides sailing the world, I do enjoy occasionally relaxing on a hammock on a deserted island somewhere.  Of course reading is one o’ me main pursuits.  Occasionally I catch a show when I be in port.  I do hope to see every Shakespeare play performed live at some point.  The tally currently be 18/38 (the histories be hard to find).

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What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? 

Well matey, me most fun post was when I wrote about readin’ the wrong book!  That book is currently holding the place for best book of the year despite it not being sci-fi or fantasy. (Click links to read)

Curiosities of the Deep – the seven husbands of evelyn hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

The Seven Husbands

The “correct” book review was also fun to write.

On the Horizon – the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle (Stuart Turton) – wherein I finally read the correct book!

Seven Deaths

But the post I be most proud of involved standing up against the use of rape as a plot point.  It burned bridges with a publisher for “author provocation” but me review be honest and heartfelt.  The fallout was nasty. I stand me ground.

Abandoned Ship On the Horizon – hidden sun (Jaine Fenn) – rant that contains spoilers

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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?

Well matey, I be unusual in this regard.  I have quite a few favourite authors but I don’t care to meet any of them.  I don’t want their personal details, usually politics or history of abuse, to make me unable to enjoy their work.

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?

Cake.  Yum.  I love Key Lime Pie and Classic Yellow Cake with chocolate icing.  Derby Pie.  Strawberry Shortcake with biscuits.  Pound Cake.  Smith Island Cake.  But not Fruitcake or Cheesecake.  Those Walk the Plank!  I would commandeer all the cake from the any author and flee to savour the goodness.  I suppose I could share with me crew.  Depends on how much treasure they have discovered since the last tally.  Arrrrr!

 

Oh my! After that list of cakes and pie’s I just had to include a couple of images, yum!

I love that the Captain included three of their posts for us to read. I, too was confused by the Seven 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! I read the first and not the second. I did hear that the publisher inserted the 1/2 into the first title to try to differentiate it from the other. I think they both came out at about the same time?

As far as her third link, bravo! I am so bothered about how some authors use mistreatment of women in the wrong way. If it is needed to move the plot forward and the character learns, grows, and gets over it, great. However, it is not ok to use rape or other types of abuse and abusive relationships in the way the Captain mentions in their post. The one rant post I wrote was about a man who essentially stalked a woman from childhood, controlled her future, then married her and it was considered a romantic book! I was pretty horrified and said so in that post. (Everything for Her by Alexa Riley)

Even though the Captain was a little cagey in letting us see the vista out of their ships porthole, I do think I know them a little bit better and am thankful they wanted to take part in my Blogger to Blogger series.

Have you ever read a book that you didn’t agree with how a woman or women were treated? What was your response?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

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This Chicks Sunday Commentary: October Wrap Up!

Pumpkins and witches and little kids in costumes OH MY! I saw the funniest little guy in a dinosaur costume that I just have to share. Yes, I was filming and driving, but I was very careful! This is just too adorable.

Halloween is over, but I’m still eating Halloween candy! Picture me noshing on a Milky Way as I’m writing this recap of October on The Reading Chick.

October’s Favorite Reads on The Reading Chick- I did review more than these books, but these were my favorites for the month.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life and the List

I enjoyed experiencing life through Abby’s character and loved how quickly this plot moved. If you are looking for a one hanky lighthearted romance, I think this is the story for you!

Look The Part by Jewel E. Ann

Look the Part

I was immersed in this novel and incredibly patient with these characters letting the story build up in what felt like a natural ending with all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed. Look the Part is an apt title because not only did Flint look the part of Elle’s man and Harrison’s father, but this novel Looked the Part of a rock solid romance.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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I enjoyed this novel a lot. It was an easy read with a lot of humor. This families antics actually reminded me a bit of my own family and I wonder if everyone who reads it won’t see a bit of themselves in one of these characters.

BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES

I was excited to have two members of our Book Blogger community agree to participate in my blogger interview series.  Click these link’s to check out these fun and entertaining bloggers. Make sure you follow them too so you can check in on their blogs occassionally.

Jo @My Chestnut Reading Tree

Megan and Lauren @ YA Bookers

This Chicks Sunday Commentary!

My Sunday commentary is kind of a mixed bag of posts. It may be a tag or editorial, but I hope it’s always interesting! Here are October’s posts. Please feel free to click on the link if you missed them the first time around.

September Wrap Up!

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blogging

The Fall Reading Book Tag

Have you read any of the books I really liked? What did you think?

My Most Anticipated Read for November:

I don’t want to end this post without taking a quick glance forward into November. I am currently listening to the audiobooks for Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy series in anticipation of a novella that’s being released on November, 6. I am so excited!

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

If you’re looking for a fun tag, The Fall Reading Book Tag was fun and pretty quick to put together. Help yourself! If you do the tag, please let me know so I can read your answers.

Until next Sunday!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: The Fall Reading Book Tag

It’s finally fall in Nashville! The leaves are starting to change, the weather has cooled and I’ve broken out my boots! LOL. The stores are filled with pumpkin spice everything and my favorite Salted Caramel Mocha is back at Starbucks. Yeah! A couple weeks ago, Kelly from Another Book in the Wall nominated me to take part in this fun Fall Reading Book tag. If you want to see how Kelly answered these questions, click the link below, but come back and read mine too! I should also mention that this tag was originally created by Bionic Bookworm.

The Fall Book Tag/ Another Book in the Wall/Kelly’s answers

Let’s get started!

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CRISP FALL AIR / A BOOK THAT FELT FRESH AND NEW

The Tower

The Tower by Nicole Campbell

The Tower is a YA Contemporary novel with hints of magical realism. I found the fact that the teens were witches fascinating. They are not “magical” and don’t ride brooms or hover in the air or anything, although they do read tarot cards, make spells, and can heal spiritually. Each of them having a different talent. These talents are just a part of their characterizations and while their spirituality is within the story, the story does not revolve around witchcraft. I found that really refreshing in a book world where people having magical powers and saving the world is totally common.

Read my full review of The Tower, click HERE.

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HOWLING WINDS / A BOOK THAT BLEW YOU AWAY

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs

The reason why I love this heroine so much is because even though she has this incredible power and could do and be pretty much anything she wants, she remains true throughout this series. She wants to have friends, love, and have a home with Curran. A home, not a castle, not as ruler, just as a woman wanting to be with her man. Magic Triumphs stretches Kate further than she’s ever been. As we have seen in the Oracles visions in past novels, Kate knows she will battle her father, Roland, which may cause her son or her husband Curran’s death. She will do absolutely ANYTHING to keep their deaths from happening. This was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful series.

Read my full review of Magic Triumphs – click HERE.

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LEAF FIGHT / A BOOK WITH NON STOP ACTION

Edge of Truth (Legionnaires #2) by Brynn Kelly

Edge of Truth

This novel started off quickly with a jail breakout and was running non stop until the end of the book. Did they defeat their enemies? You need to read this book to find out. I really enjoyed this story. Tess was her own brand of hero, finding a story and not giving up even though her own life came under fire. She and Flynn were not without their problems, but they were stronger together than they were apart. I liked their mix of brains and brawn that didn’t always fall down stereotypical lines.

Read my full review of Edge of Truth. Click HERE.

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COMFY SWEATERS / THE BOOK THAT GAVE YOU THE WARM AND FUZZY’S

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

Beard in MInd

This was a LOVE story full of trepidation, self awareness, and charm. It had a sweetness that was different than the other stories in this series. It didn’t have Duane and Jess’s sizzle, Jethro and Sienna’s humor, and Cletus and Jennifer’s oddity. It was singular in it’s own uniqueness and I enjoyed it a lot.

Read my full review of Beard in Mind. Click HERE.

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BRIGHT COLORS / A COVER WITH EITHER RED, ORANGE OR YELLOW

Why Stars Chase the Sun by C. R. Ellis

Why Stars

Both Emmet and Jade were truly nice people who’d had bad things happen to them in their previous relationships. The colors in the sunset above reflect fall perfectly, but they also represent that these two people are ready to find love again.

To read my review of Why Stars Chase the Sun click HERE.

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PUMPKIN SPICE / YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED READ

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

NIghtchaser

I thought Amanda Bouchet’s Kingmaker series was innovative and wonderful. This new series will be very different as it sounds like it is an action adventure/science fiction novel. I have been lucky enough to receive an ARC and even though the book doesn’t come out until January 1st I will be starting this one soon!

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I would like to tag the following people to join in this fun post! If you don’t have the time, don’t worry about it as this is meant to be fun, not a chore!

Jill’s Book Blog

YA Bookers

Perfectly Tolerable

Dreamy Addictions

Of course anyone else who see’s this and would like to participate please feel free to do so! Tag me so I can see your answers please and have fun!

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blogging…

Last year I set a fast and furious pace for myself. I was posting 3 reviews a week, had my Sunday Commentary post and filled in with a few bookish discussions, tags, etc. I religiously posted every other day. I did see my follows rise, but my energy level fell. To keep up that review pace I had to read 4 books a week, write religiously every weekend, and give up a little bit of my life. That second book I wanted to write kept getting pushed back as I slogged through trying to keep up the pace.

burn out

I didn’t want to quit blogging because I really love it! I just wanted to love other things too.

I know there are other bloggers out there who feel the same way I did, so I wanted to share a few things I did to get my life and my blogging back on track.

BACK OFF!– No! Not you guys! Me!! I needed to back down from this frantic pace I had set for myself. I backed down to two reviews a week (Tue and Fri) and made one of them my Friday YA post because a little YA just makes me happy. 🙂 I’ll confess, I do occasionally have three reviews in a week, but it’s usually because I have an Arc I forgot to read and review and I’ll throw one into my schedule to meet that due date.

Goodreads Challenge

Do you all do these Goodreads challenges? Well, I had set myself the challenge of reading 212 books this year. Ummm, not even close. I lowered it to 200 and am still 7 books behind schedule, so I’m just throwing this year out the window. 200 is NOT going to happen and I don’t know what I was thinking!

Aha

I had an AHA! moment- I wanted to show my fellow bloggers some love and approached a couple that I had admired to ask if they would answer a few questions in a new series I had been mulling over in my mind. They said yes, my Blogger to Blogger series was born. I really enjoy getting to know all of the bloggers in our universe and seeing how diverse we are! It’s a fun little series that seems to be taking off and brings joy to my little blog!

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I walked my dog!- This seems like such a small thing, doesn’t it? But getting outside with my dog and my husband starts the day off right. I get to see the neighborhood, enjoy the weather, and get a goofy grin from my baby, Nash. Isn’t he adorable?

Nash pumpkin

Be social! I”m lucky because I live in one of the best cities in the US for concerts, Nashville TN! My husband, who is my best friend and willing participant, has agreed that we must DO THINGS! So I’ve put the book down and started trying to get out of the house and do non bookish things. This helps so much! When I have time to relax and I relish getting back to that book instead of forcing myself to pick it up.

Maroon 5 concert

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Salon@615 at the Nashville Library with Deborah Harkness talking about her newest novel in the Discovery of Witches series.

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The hubs and I at an NFL Titans game.

What did I learn???

Having fun in life means having fun reading and writing again, and yeah, don’t over schedule myself…. that is no fun at all!

Do any of you have the same kinds of problems? What did you do to get yourself back on track?

Thanks for reading! Until next Sunday…

Deb

This Chicks SundayCommentary: September Wrap Up!

Even though the weather is still warm the leaves are starting to turn in Nashville, making me feel like fall MUST be around the corner (my fingers and toes are crossed!). September is gone, gone, gone and that means it’s time for a monthly wrap up post. Here’s what happened on The Reading Chick last month.

I only gave one book a five rating last month but I enjoyed so many! Here are a few recommendations. If you’ve read them please let me know if you agree with my rating!

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

A Murder‘A Murder in Time is part mystery with a hint of romance. The Duke is not Kendra’s romantic partner, but instead it’s his nephew that she ensnares. The tension between the two of them is intense but really the story revolves around solving the mystery of who among their peers is the killer. This novel held my interest and truly I didn’t want to put it down.’

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List

‘This book made me reflect upon my own list of five people I’d like to sit down to dinner, dead or alive. Should I sit Jon Bon Jovi next to Abraham Lincoln or Margaret Thatcher? Or maybe I should ask Candice Bergen if she’s available? Regardless, I don’t think it would be as interesting as Sabrina’s journey was in this book.’

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan

The Hot Shot

‘I loved the slow build up of Chess and Finn’s friendship. I am a firm believer in being friends before becoming lovers and Kristen Callihan hit that trigger for me. Finn is a self described one night stand man and even though Chess finds him attractive she determinedly put him in the hands off category and Finn has his work cut out for him to make her see him in another light.’

The Changeling by Molly Harper

The Changeling

‘If you’re jonesing for a quick Harry Potter-esque novel I think you’ll enjoy The Changeling. At times I expected Hermione would walk around the corner of this girls school and join in the fun!’

This Chicks Sunday Commentary Posts: (click the link to read)

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: August Wrap-Up!

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Uppercase Box September ‘18 Reveal!

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: What? My Review got Blocked?

Are you familiar with my Blogger to Blogger series? I ask the same 10 questions to different bloggers and share their answers. Their words and the pictures they share have really surprised me! We all have this love of books but are all so different! You can really see that diversity in their answers. In September I highlighted 2 bloggers. If you didn’t get a chance to read their interviews, please click the link if you’re interested.

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Trang and Lashaan with @Bookidote

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Lynne @Fictionophile

I have noticed that the number of books I’ve been reading has slowed down. I think it’s a mixture of a busy schedule, moving into a new apartment, and just being generally exhausted. I have tried to give myself a break and not set such stringent rules on my reading and you know? I’m a bit happier with my life! I doubt anyone cares if I put out 3 or 4 posts a week. So I backed down by one and it’s so much more manageable and I’m back to enjoying blogging again!

Anyway, the above reviews and posts are the highlights of my blog for the past month. I hope you all have enjoyed this September Wrap Up.

Keep reading, writing and living life to your greatest potential. Most of all be HAPPY!

Deb

 

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: What? My Review got Blocked?

Google+ has become a very important medium for my blog. I have 2,231 followers nationwide on my page and sometimes when I share my blog posts from The Reading Chick onto my Google+ my views spike tremendously. I haven’t yet figured out a rhythm of what works and what doesn’t, even after 574 posts. However, I see the significance that posting on that medium makes and I take the time to share each post to relevant pages, hoping to spread my bookish words.

If you are curious and want to see my page This Chick Reads, Reviews, Writes and Comments, click HERE.

This past week I had the pleasure of having my review of Kristen Callihan’s novel The Hot Shot blocked on Google+.  I was really surprised! It only said it was blocked due to content, so I have to guess as to why that particular post got chosen out of the 550+ that I have shared on that site?

  • I scanned the review for curse words. Yes, even though I try to keep my review PG-13, every once in awhile I forget and cuss. Nope, no curse words!
  • Did I talk too much about sex? No, actually I only mentioned the two main characters growing relationship. Although I did say the word “firm”. Maybe they misunderstood the context?
  • Was it the title? The Hot Shot, doesn’t seem too salacious. It could refer to a personality trait, a really good businessman, or as in this case a really hot guy. Hmmm. I can’t believe that’s why it would get blocked?
  • Maybe it was the book cover? The Hot Shot does have a good looking man laying face down with a bare chest, slightly arching his back. There is not a woman laying underneath him, and I’ve seen a LOT more books with sexier covers. I actually admired the restraint of the publisher on this one! I think that might even be a yoga pose. Not that I do yoga but isn’t that a plank pose, or something like that?img_1246Really this cover is not any different than a number of other covers with naked male chests, and those reviews made it onto Google+ just fine! (see examples, below).

I am so tempted to just keep adding and see if I can get it blocked again! But, you get my point. They are all pretty much the same, aren’t they? With the exception of The Hot Shot laying face down. Maybe that is too suggestive.

Anyway, here’s my question to you! Have you ever had one of your reviews blocked for content? Or for another reason?

I’m curious! Please let me know.

Until next Sunday,

Deb

Oh! If you want to read my review of The Hot Shot. Click HERE!

 

 

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Lynne @Fictionophile

When I visit the blog Fictionophile I need to make sure I have the time to jump around from page to page. She has numerous topics and reviews ranging from Mysteries to Art. It’s so easy to get caught up in Lynne’s writing! If you haven’t visited her blog, then please click the link below to check it out. But come back! You’ll want to get to know Lynne a bit better by reading her answers to my 10 questions.

Lynne @Fictionophile

Now for her answers!

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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?

CANADA

What is the view outside your front door? 

My view varies greatly according to the seasons.  I live in a suburban area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. When I look out my living room window, I see houses, streets, and off in the near distance, a lake. For seven months of the year, when I am at home, this is my view:

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For the other five months of the year, when I am at the cottage, this is my view:

Fictionophile 2

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Most blogs have a quirky name and a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name?

As I read mainly fiction, I just changed the word ‘Bibliophile’ to ‘Fictionophile’.  Not too exciting or inventive…

Describe where you write your blog.

The photo above shows where my computer is at the cottage.  The photo below is a picture of my desk at home.

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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?

Although I have hundreds of books at home, my ‘stack’ or ‘TBR’ is on my Kindle.  I love that I can take my TBR with me everywhere I go.  As you can see from this photo, I have 634 titles loaded on my Kindle as of today…

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A sample from Lynne’s TBR:

Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase

As the sun rises, a wealthy young woman – Samantha Seabrook – is found drowned in the ornamental fountain of a deserted Cambridge courtyard, the only clue – an antique silver chain wound tightly around her throat.

It’s Tara Thorpe’s job to discover what happened to Miss Seabrook – but the case becomes personal when she learns that Samantha had been receiving death threats… rather like the one that landed on Tara’s doorstep the night the woman died.

Together with Detective Inspector Garstin Blake, Tara tracks the killer to the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of the city. But there’s something Tara can’t quite admit to Blake about her past – and it could make all the difference to whether they live… or die.

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction, and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.

In a novel full of twists, turns, and dark secrets, Michele Campbell once again proves her skill at crafting intricately spun and completely compelling plots.

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?

Probably literary fiction – though I read a lot of thrillers as well.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

I have been retired for over two years now.  Before retirement I was the fiction cataloger for a large public library system.  Now I enjoy reading, walking, crocheting, swimming, and spending time with my family.

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What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

Wow, that’s  a hard one…  Maybe: My personal canon.  This post caused me to reflect back on my own personal reading history.  According to WordPress, my most popular post ever was my review for “The Lilac Girls” which got 11,635 views in total.

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?

I have met some terrific authors including Ian Rankin, Kathy Reichs, Giles Blunt, Maureen Jennings, and Peter Robinson.  I can’t really remember what I said to them – other than that I own some of their work and I admire their writing.

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?

I’d probably serve carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  As to the author, that is another difficult choice as I have so many.  P.D. James and Ruth Rendell (both deceased) and for authors writing now: Fredrik Backman, Sharon Bolton, Catriona McPherson, and Peter May to name just a few.

Lynne, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my 10 questions! I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that if I had that view of the lake I’d have trouble getting through all of those books on my kindle too! It’s truly gorgeous!

When I was checking out Lynne’s blog before putting together my post, I read her post titled Public Libraries today you’ve got to love them! She gives some great tips on some apps that you can download to check out free ebooks, music, movies, magazines and more!  I am familiar with Overdrive but a couple of the other one’s were new to me so check it out, it’s really helpful for those of us on a strict book budget!

See what I mean? I was sucked into that great content!

Do you want your own blog featured? If so, please let me know in the comments. Or would you like to nominate another blogger whom you love? Please do!!

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deborah

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Kelly from Just Another Book in the Wall

The first thing I noticed about Kelly’s Another Book in the Wall book blog is that it is filled with great content! Her thoughts transcend her youthfulness and when I read her discussion posts her point of view crosses all age groups. She and I share a love for fantasy, romance, young adult and gosh I could just go on and on about what types of books we have both connected with. When you hop on over to Kelly’s blog, take note of her pretty graphics (sample art below!) and incredible writing style. I know you’ll get lost in the great content, but come on back here and read her interview when you are done!

Kelly @ Another Book in the Wall

Another Book logo

Here is how Kelly answered 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 was born and raised in the United States, and have never once left the lovely state of California. Thankfully, this state offers a wide range of environments, so I’ve been to deserts, beaches, mountains, etc. But, I’ve always dreamt of travelling, and hope I’ll be able to do so in the future!

What is the view outside your front door?

Another ViewMost blogs have a quirky name and a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name?

I’m not entirely sure how the idea for my blog’s name wandered into my thoughts, but it’s a play on the classic Pink Floyd song, “Another Brick in the Wall”. I simply replaced “Brick” with “Book” and thought it had a nice ring to it. Lo and behold, my blog was born! Haha.

Describe where you write your blog. 

 I do the vast majority of my writing in the comfort of my bed – often with a nice, steaming cup of chamomile tea. My bed is far too relaxing. Why sit on a desk, when I can cuddle with pillows?

Another PhotoMost of us have a stack of books sitting next to our couch or bed waiting to be read. What books are in your stack? (Include a photo if you’d like!)

 I primarily read e-books on my Kindle, so I mostly have a digital to-be-read pile. Although, I do have an empty shelf at the top of my bookshelf, that has a few books that I plan on reading soon.

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?

 YA contemporary novels never fail to put me in a great mood. They truly help me wind down and relax. I love the simplicity of them and enjoy falling in love with the light-hearted story and characters. These fluffy, sugary novels will always have a special place in my heart.

When you aren’t blogging, how do you spend your time? Work, Play, School?

 When I’m not blogging, I’m often at school, but since it’s now the summer, I’ve currently been searching for a part-time job. Fingers crossed that I’ll find one soon! I have been able to occupy a great deal of this free time with reading (naturally), so at least I’m being productive! I also love playing piano, so I try to play as much as I can when I have a spare moment or two.

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What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

My favorite posts that I write are typically discussion pieces, and this one is no exception. I wrote a post about Sensuality in YA Literature a little while ago, and I really enjoyed sharing it because it’s a very personal topic. I was scared to post something that I knew others may not agree with, but it felt so cathartic, and I heard so many great opinions on the matter in the comments section!

https://justanotherbookinthewall.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/lets-talk-about-sensuality-in-young-adult-literature-is-it-appropriate

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, actually! I met Marissa Meyer a few years ago when her book, Winter released. At the time, I recall being a babbling fool, so I don’t wholly remember what I said to her. It was a short meeting and signing, but she was super sweet. I believe, I thanked her and told her which book was my favorite at the time. I wish I would’ve asked her if she had names in mind for the future children of all my favorite couples in the book. Haha!

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?

I would love to meet Markus Zusak, since The Book Thief is my favorite book of all time. I’m not a huge fan of cake, so I would probably opt for a key lime pie. It’s one of my favorite desserts, and I’m sure everyone would love it. If not, well … more for me! Haha. I would ask him if there were any plot points in the story that he wished he had changed.

The Book Thief

I really enjoyed Kelly’s answers! I myself am a cake person, but I do also love Key Lime Pie! Has anyone else not read the Book Thief? I know I need to, I’ve heard it is so good! There is something that has been holding me back and Kelly isn’t the only person who has loved it.

If you haven’t read Kelly’s favorite blog post about Sensuality in YA novels, pls do, she makes some great points and it’s a perfect example of her POV and her friendly and frank writing style.

Thanks so much for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

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

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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.
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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

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: A Mother’s Love for Books

Mother’s Day is one day in the year that we set aside to specifically celebrate, honor, and love our mothers. Yes, we do love our mother’s every day but we don’t always remember to tell them that we love them. I am not a mother myself, unless you count my dog and cat as children, but I do have a special place in my heart for my own mom. After all, she is the reason why I love books as much as I do!

My love of classic musicals came from watching them with my mother on Saturday afternoons at a really young age. I fell in love with Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz and their dancing and singing down that yellow brick road. My mother decorated my room in red gingham (yes, I know Dorothy’s dress was blue!) and started giving me copies of all of the Oz books by Frank L. Baum. I still have some of them sitting in my bookcase.

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She would read these books to me at night starting my long love of fantasy novels and transporting myself to other magical worlds. I had an older brother and sister who were reading “older” books and soon began asking for her to read books I knew they were reading like Robert Jordan and J. R. R Tolkien. She read the Hobbit to me every night for a year, a memory that lingers with me. I can hear Golem’s “precious” in my own mothers voice. In 1990 my mother gave me a bound copy of The Hobbit because she also loved that same memory.

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I can envision trips to the library with my mom where I would check out 5 books at a time. I had a small bookcase built into my closet that was filled with library books. A precursor to today’s book filled shelves and kindle! I have since wondered how often my mom had to pay the late fee’s on those books. I can’t remember returning them, although I’m certain we must’ve, but I can certainly remember the wonder of checking them out and the greed of having them awaiting me on my shelf.

Today, I am honoring my mother for showing me her love for books and passing that love on. She may have come to regret it because I am always asking her if she’s read such and such and what did she think, or pushing a new favorite into her hands. I think my mother should feel proud because she did such a great job in passing on that love. So, I want to say “Thanks Mom”! My life wouldn’t be the same without my journey through Oz and Rivendell. I’ve followed my own yellow brick road and it leads to a mountain of books that I have yet to read. When you’re ready to talk about that next book, you know where to find me…

XOXO and much love!

Discussion: What books did your own mother read to you? Do you have any special Mother’s Day book memories to share?

Until next Sunday,

Debs

fullsizerender-3 My mom.