Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Megan and Lauren @ YA Bookers

I’ve enjoyed following Megan and Lauren’s blog YA Bookers because we share a love for YA books. I also love a good fantasy novel and those book reviews always jump out at me and pull me back in to read. Their bookish discussions are so well written and you can tell that they are passionate about what they are saying! I must’ve been blind and dumb, but I didn’t realize that they were twins. TWO women who love books and can put their thoughts into words? Yes!! What a find! If you haven’t visited their blog, please do! The pretty graphics will be the first thing you notice, but what will keep you coming back is the thoughtful content. Visit their link below, but come back and read their interview!

YA BOOKERS

YA Bookers logo

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?
We are twins, and we both live in not-so-sunny England.
What is the view outside your front door?
Just a plain old boring English street. A little dull and, obviously, bad weather.
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Most blogs have a fun story of origin. Please share the story behind your blogs name and/or why you started blogging.
I can’t say it is all that interesting. We were sixteen, just starting Sixth-Form (don’t ask me translate that into the American school system, it still confuses me) and we saw all these amazing book blogs on Tumblr and kind of just joined that community (booklr). It is only in the last two years that we moved our platform primarily onto Twitter and WordPress and found a whole new supportive bookish community! Obviously, being twins, we decided to venture into a shared passion together. We get sick of each other sometimes, but we get over it because we really love books and we really love blogging.
Describe where you write your blog.
A shared desk, where we can never get away from each other. Poorly thought out. JUST KIDDING. We love working side-by-side, jotting notes in our notebooks, and it makes blogging and twitter chats, such as #UKYAchat, run a lot smoother when you can communicate so easily.
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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?
Megan: My stack is actually pretty small at the moment. I started Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann, which is a contemporary romance which I wasn’t really in the mood for. So then I started The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, a dystopia. It has been so long since I’ve read a dystopia read as they weren’t really in for a while. So far I am enjoying it. I’ve also got my Kindle there too, because I love reading on it and it is always handy having it close by where ever I go.
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The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.

The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.

Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. And Greta discovers her own quiet power.

Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

Claire Kann’s debut novel Let’s Talk About Love, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, gracefully explores the struggle with emerging adulthood and the complicated line between friendship and what it might mean to be something more.

Lauren: I usually read on my kindle because I get quite a bit of e-ARCs, but right now I’m actually  caught up for once so I’m reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (three years after I finished the first one!). The other book in there is a signed ARC of Bloodleaf which I won in a giveaway, and it’s the next book on my TBR! I’m never one to have a big book stack because I’m a mood reader so I finish a book, and pick up one I’m in the mood for. I’m never one for planning my TBR (or planning anything, to be honest).
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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets—a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith
A roar of a dark and luscious epic fantasy that’s layered with heady romance, bloodthirsty magic, and ghostly intrigue—an absolutely wicked delight.Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her. But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?
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?
Megan: I really love a good and well researched historical fiction. I’m a history graduate, so history has always been a passion of mine. I especially love historical fiction that feature angry and foul mouthed girls who go against the societial expectation of the time. One of my all time favourite books is Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein which features a stubborn and arrogant scotswoman called Julie who has been captured by the Nazi’s in wartime France, and a female pilot called Maddie who would go to the ends of the earth for Julie. It’s a brilliantly written and researched book that really tugs on the heartstrings.
Lauren: I definitely love a good fantasy when I’m having a bad day. There’s something about immersing yourself in a completely new world when the one you live in is getting you down. I’m not really one for re-reading books, but Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst would definitely be one I would go back to after a long day.

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

We used to work in fast-food until recently when we were having a really bad day, enough of the long hours and bad pay and verbal abuse from customers and managers, and so we rage quit in solidarity with each other. So we are currently unemployed and looking for something better. But when we weren’t working or blogging we loved spending time with our niece and nephew, the literal light of our world.
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What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?
Megan: One of my favourite blog posts I’ve written is ‘”Contemporary YA is dead”. Really?’ In terms of reviews though, my favourite review I’ve written is for Sadie by Courtney Summers, one of my all time favourite books.
Lauren: I love looking for new, upcoming releases, and they always get me excited for the year to come. My favourite post has definitely got to be our ‘2018 Highly Anticipated Releases’. I’m already collecting releases for my 2019 list!
LInks:
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?
Unfortunately, we live in the North of England where authors rarely venture up here. If we ever met an author, we have no idea what we would say, probably incoherent babble. We are determined though to eventually make our way to YALC, the Young Adult Literature Convention, down in London.
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?
Megan: I would love to meet and sit down with Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity. I’d love to ask her about her writing and historical research process for her book! In terms of cake, I think it would have to be a really good Victoria Sponge. Yum.
Code Name
Lauren: Leigh Bardugo, for sure! I own all her books, and I love her Grishaverse. I’d have a million questions and so I wouldn’t be able to pick just one, but I would tell her to never stop writing! As for cake, I’d serve chocolate cake. Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cake?!

These two ladies may be twins, but their reading (and cake!) tastes definitely differ! Although the separation between historical novels and fantasy novels seems to be shrinking in some YA novels. I need to check out their blog to see if one of them has read My Lady Jane  and its sequel, books that are a definite mash- up of those two genres.

Doesn’t reading this interview make you even more curious about Megan and Lauren? I certainly am! It’s also abundantly clear why I follow these ladies. They are talented, well spoken, and truthful in their reviews and discussions. Qualities I admire in a blogger!

Do you follow YA Bookers? What surprised you the most?

Thanks for reading Blogger to Blogger!

Deb

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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 Amanda @Cover2Covermom

The first thing I noticed about the Cover2Covermom blog is that it has so much diversity! Amanda writes great reviews, discussions, book events and even has time to do a few tags! How a mom with two small(ish) children has time to read, write, and blog is beyond me. I don’t have kids and it’s tough to find the time and energy. Kudos Amanda!  If you haven’t checked out Amanda’s blog, please click the link below. You will find pages and pages of great content!

Amanda @Cover2Covermom

I was really excited that she could find the time to answer my 10 questions. Thanks Amanda! Here is how she answered them:

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 the United States, more specifically in Ohio.  As far as states go, we are nothing special. I’ve lived here my entire life.

What is the view outside your front door?  

The view outside my door changed this past December!  We bought a new house August of 2017, and after 5 months of renovations we moved in.  The view outside my front door is a typical neighborhood in the suburbs of Ohio.

You can see our front yard, which still needs landscaped – we are starting landscaping this fall – and you can see my sweet “Mom-ride” in the driveway.

If you look closely on the far right, you can see my Little Free Library that sits in my front yard.   It is fondly called the “Book Barn.”  Yes, I am THAT lady.  Since the view outside my front door is nothing special, I’ll share a picture of my cute front door.

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

I started my blog back in February 2016.  I have always been a big reader, but unfortunately I didn’t have anyone in my life at that time to talk books with.  I thought a blog where I could share book reviews & talk about what I was reading would help me find more bookworms like myself.   I am also a stay-at-home parent, so I needed some type of creative outlet that would give me that sense of productivity. Maintaining my own blog has been a wonderful way to feel like I have achieved something on days where I don’t feel very accomplished.

I decided on the name Cover2CoverMom because I thought it would make it fairly obvious what the blog was about.  “Cover to cover” is referencing reading a book from start to finish. I added the “Mom” portion because I am a mother, but also because I wanted to have a portion of my blog dedicated to children’s book as well.

Describe where you write your blog. Include a picture if you’d like!

I have a beautiful desk in my home office, but I almost never work on my blog there.  Since my husband started working from home this year, I’ve been forced elsewhere. He spends a lot of time on the phone, which I find distracting, so it doesn’t work out well to share a space.  I typically work on my blog sitting at my kitchen peninsula or when the weather permits – in my 3 seasons room.

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?

I typically keep my library books & my upcoming TBR books on a stack next to my bed.  Currently those are…

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover *Contemporary/Romance

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate *Historical Fiction

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin *Fantasy

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco *YA Fantasy

A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir *YA Fantasy

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss *Fantasy

It Ends with Us Before We Were Yours are book club selections for August.  The remaining books I will be reading in September when I do a “Series September” and work on catching up with a few of the series I need to continue.

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?

When I am having a bad day, typically any reading will improve my mood.  My go-to genre used to be historical fiction, but lately I’ve been on a fantasy kick.  It switches back and forth. If I am feeling slump-ish, I’ll reach for a middle grade book every time.

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

When I am not blogging, I am a stay-at-home parent to two kids.  I have a 11-year-old son, and a 4-year-old daughter. Throughout the school year my daughter goes to preschool for 2 hours in the morning, but is my sidekick the rest of the day.  Basically my life consists of housework, school activities, sports practices, grocery shopping, cooking, homework, studying, volunteering, and chauffeuring kids around.  It really isn’t a bad gig. I’ve done the working Mom thing too, so I can say that working Moms definitely have the tougher job!

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What is your favorite blog post you’ve ever written? Please include the link!

This one is always a tough question to answer.  I’m going to go with my blog post sharing tips on how to get kids reading:Kids’ Corner: How to Get Your Kids to Read More. Children’s’ literacy is a big time passion of mine.  It is so important to foster the love of reading in children, but unfortunately it is harder than ever with all the technology available to them now.

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 been very fortunate in being able to attend so many wonderful author events.  I’ve met authors like R.L Stine, Cinda Williams Chima, Mackenzi Lee, V.E. Schwab, Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, Celeste Ng, Patrick Rothfuss, Mary Kubica, Lisa Jewell, Kristy Cambron, Mary Doria Russell, Edith Pattou, Maggie Stiefvater, Jenny Lawson, Mindy McGinnis, and Christina Baker Kline.  I’ve also seen Stephen King and Neil Gaiman speak, but did not technically meet them.

I’d probably say that hearing Neil Gaiman speak was my favorite author event I’ve attended, and meeting V.E. Schwab was my favorite experience meeting an author.  I didn’t really say anything profound to V.E. Schwab.  I awkwardly told her I loved her and handed her a banana… There is a backstory to the banana, I’m not a total weirdo.  She had posted on social media that she loved the food gifts that were given to her by fans while on tour, but wondered why it was always junk food?  Why not fruit every once in a while?  Hence the banana 🙂 At the time, I wanted to ask her about all the unanswered questions in A Conjuring of Light but I chickened out.  I now know that these might be cleared up in her spin off series set in the Shades of Magic world, Threads of Power.

AConjuring

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?

The easiest part of this question is the cake portion.  I would hands down serve my Mom’s famous carrot cake. Of course she would have had to make it because it never turns out like hers when I’ve tried to make it.  I have my doubts if she really shared the entire recipe or if she omitted something to sabotaging my attempts…

The author is the tough part to this question.  There are so many favorite authors I’d love to sit down and chat with.  I’m going to cheat and pick two authors: J.K Rowling and Nora Roberts.

J.K. Rowling is such a cliché answer I know, but I would love to sit down with her.  I’d ask her if she had ever considered in her wildest dreams that Harry Potter would have ever become the phenomenon it has been for the past 20+ years.   Knowing what she knows now, what would she have changed in the story in any way?  I would then proceed to thank her for creating something that has gotten children across the world so excited to read for the past 21 years.

Harry Potter

I have read a few Nora Roberts books and can say that I’ve never read one I haven’t enjoyed.  My favorite would probably be The Reef.  I am by no means a NR super fan, BUT I’d love to sit down with her and ask her how the hell she is able to write so many damn books?  And not just any books, books that are consistently good quality books across so many different genres. I couldn’t find an exact number, but the internet says she’s written over 225 published books… How is it possible?  Is she really human?

The Reef

There are so many things I want to comment about in this post! First, the Little Free Library. I have one too!  I love to promote reading and I’ll admit, it’s also a great way to pass along all of the books I get every year! I’m excited to share Librarian status with Amanda, even if it’s just our LFL’s. Second, I am totally jealous of your 3 season room. My room is one season and the view doesn’t really vary. LOL. Third, it is NOT cliche to pick J.K. Rowling. I think we all have a questions we’d like to ask her and my fourth comment is What??? You didn’t include the recipe for your mom’s carrot cake? That is one of my all time favorite cakes! Thanks Amanda, for participating!  I am again, amazed and thankful that you found the time.

Would YOU like to take part in my Blogger to Blogger series? Give me a shout!

OR would you like me to feature a blogger that you love? Let me know who and I’ll reach out to them.

Until Next Sunday,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Will These Genre’s Get Me Out of My Book Rut?

What do you do when you are in a book rut? I’m not in a slump. I don’t have trouble picking up a book and reading it, I have just felt like nothing has made me think lately and I hate that. Maybe I need to try to read outside my comfort zone? Lately, I have split my reading between romance, urban fantasy, and YA. Do I need to jog myself out of this pattern? I still love those genre’s but I think I need a little stimulation. I want to take a look at some other genre’s and get your opinions on these books. Have you read them? Do they look interesting? Do you have another suggestion of a book that moved you to think about it long after you’ve read it?

Mystery: I love romantic suspense novels, but haven’t recently read contemporary mystery novels. I do love a great historical mystery and have enjoyed a few of those but of the many books out there, which books are people saying are awesome?

Woman

I have seen some many reviews about this book, and it’s definitely on my radar. It came out in January, so isn’t brand new, but the mystery has yet to be spoiled for me. I’m intrigued by the family that moves across the street and isn’t what they appear to be…

give-me-your-hand

Ohh. Two ex best friends, a secret, and a competition for a new job. Sounds like it could be thrilling! Has anyone read this novel?

Non-Fiction: Admittedly, this genre kind of scares me. Unless it’s a funny autobiography I typically steer away from non fiction books. However, there are a couple that are tempting…

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Is anyone else out there a reality TV junkie? I am a fan of Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You can Dance, Amazing Race and have watched past episodes of the Real Housewives of practically any city. This novel may open the window into just how scripted these “reality” shows may be. OK, I’ll admit to being curious about this one, anyone else interested?

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Who doesn’t want to read behind the scenes of the making of Caddyshack? I can’t even imagine the hijinks, craziness, and maybe some bruised ego’s that could make this book fascinating. I didn’t even know this one was out there! Is anyone else curious?

Horror: I shudder to even think there could be a horror novel that could interest me. However, I do like supernatural novels that sometimes lean towards horror. I’ve been known to enjoy a Dean Koontz novel, althought typically I steer away from Stephen King. When I was younger I really enjoyed the occasional scary movie, but as I got older maybe it all got too real?

The hunger

The Hunger seems to be a horror/historical novel written about the Donner Party. This was on the list of one of the most anticipated horror novels for 2018, but the threat of cannibalism may keep me from reading this one…  Has anyone else read this novel? What did you think?

Bad-Man

A little boy goes missing in the grocery store when his brother looks away for a second. He spends the next 5 years searching for him. When he takes a job in the grocery store where he goes missing he realizes that there is something wrong with the people, his boss, and the whole place. This one looks really creepy! I’ll admit I’m intrigued. Has anyone read this? Is it more thriller than horror? Or is there an element of the unreal?

Other than that last book possibly scaring the crap out of me, will any of these novels make me think, feel, and well, linger?

Do you have any suggestions for a great book that will get me out of my comfort zone?

I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: My Secret Life…

When you are asked what you like to do when you’re not working, at school or wherever, how do you answer? I’m sure as a book blogger we should be big hand wavers when it comes to admitting that we love to read. However, when I do, I find it fascinating to see how people respond. Is it abnormal to like to read as much as I do? Gageing from some of the wide eyed looks I get sometimes I feel like that must be true.

When I look back on my life and it’s big events I do remember how I had to find time to read. When I met my husband we immediately clicked and spent every moment together. I remember having to explain to him that I had to read the last half hour of my day in bed before going to sleep. I HAD TO. Well, we are married now, and he gets it! For awhile, he would read beside me quietly- until notebooks came out and he spent the end of his day surfing Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I, however, still read and he loves me anyway!

Single

When you start a new job and go out for a glass of wine, lunch or whatever with your new co-workers, do you confess to the amount of time you actually spend reading? The conversation goes something like, “So, Deborah, what do you do when you aren’t at work?” I say, “well, my husband and I like to try out new restaurants, I love taking my dog Nash for walks, and umm, I read 4 hours every night.”  Confession time. I probably do read about 3-4 hours every night. I know! But don’t you do that too? I certainly DON’T admit that to my friends though. Is that bad? Somehow, I feel like if I admit to reading that much they’ll look down on me like I don’t have a life or something. Why is reading considered a bad thing?

Reading

OK, that picture above is pretty funny (and kind of gross) but as Book Bloggers we SHOULD be screaming to the world that we LOVE to read! We need to encourage others to read, that enjoying books is a wonderful thing. Sharing a great book and talking about it with your friend or family member is one of the best feelings ever. I would like to convey my love for a good book to a child and encourage them to read every night for a half hour before sleeping like my own mother did for me. It helps me shrug off a bad day, encourage fantastic dreams, and helps me sleep. That’s not a bad thing.

Benefits of reading

So Book Bloggers, share your love of books outside your blog. Take off your mask and reveal your true identity and shout it out to the world!

I, Deborah- The Reading Chick love to read! How about you? Join me!

Until next Sunday,

Deb

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: Re-makes, Re-tellings, and Repeats

Have you noticed that re-makes, re-tellings and repeats seem to be a trend? If it was done well the first time why would you try to make a better version? Is it even possible? Bad 70’s TV shows have been made into movies and were those movies any better? The only movie I can think that may have surpassed the original show would be 21 Jump Street and that is in large part due to Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s chemistry. Charlie’s Angels, my favorite campy TV show is being re-made with the third set of angels.  How successful does the first re-make need to be to make a re-make of a re-make?

It seems to be pretty normal for a great story to be re-told in a more modern manner. Jane Austen’s books have been re-told a great number of times. From the movie Clueless to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane’s stories are re-invented into fantastic new tales and genres quite frequently. Does anyone every get tired of all of these re-tellings and classic re-mixes? I’ll admit, unless the original title is quoted I usually miss the tie-in and just enjoy or hate the new story on its own merits. Maybe I’m not the most sophisticated reader/watcher…

Pride

In the past couple of years fairy-tale re-tellings and re-imaginings have gotten to be very popular in fiction. Do I like them? I have read a couple that have been well done and now that I’m looking back on them I think it’s because they didn’t stick to the story verbatim. As I mentioned above, I was able to forget it was a re-make and lose myself in the story.  I’ve also read a few that didn’t win me over because they stuck too close to the original and didn’t improve upon it. Should they have left well enough alone?  I know, that’s kind of harsh, but why re-create something that was done so well in the first place? It’s like on American Idol when someone chooses to sing a Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston song and they just weren’t as good as the original. Doesn’t the judge tell them that they were taking a huge risk? Yes! I believe the same thing applies to iconic stories like Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, etc. I do give them points for trying though.

Why can’t originality become a trend? That’s kind of sad isn’t it? Our world has so many talented, creative, and clever individuals who want to be noticed for their own originality. I want to help them rise to the top! Let me just finish this one last fairy-tale re-make…

 

Do you agree or disagree with my opinion on re-makes?

If you’ve read a re-telling that you think is just fabulous, please share! I love a good recommendation, as long as it’s not a re-telling of Star Wars or something….

Until next Sunday!

Deb

 

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

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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

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.
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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