Sunshine Blogger Award Tag

img_0334Back in January Shell at Books By The Cup nominated me (and others) for the Sunshine Blogger Award, and now I finally have a chance to answer her excellent questions. The award is given from one blogger “to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.” Thanks for thinking of me, Shell!

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last 6 months and why?

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton, because he blew me away with his strength, forgiveness, and positivity in the face of unimaginable oppression.

What’s the worst book you’ve read and why?

I suppose this is in the last 6 months, not all time (which would be Billy Budd by Herman Melville because it pissed me off so badly when I had to read it in the 10th grade.) Hmmm… this is hard to answer because I don’t finish books I don’t really like. I did not care for Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker. That was my most recent DNF. It wasn’t the book for me, but I can see how some people would love it. It was just way too much information for me and I realized I didn’t actually care about wine to that level of detail.

What book have you read recently that’s outside your comfort zone?

51flpz8fm5lProbably A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. It’s a straight-up contemporary romance with steamy sexy parts in it. I haven’t read very many of those at all. But I really enjoyed it and found it to be smart and feminist with a page-turning plot.

What has blogging taught you about yourself and others?

It continually teaches me to stop comparing myself to others! (A very valuable life lesson for me.) It’s taught me to follow my OWN path and believe in who I am right now, just as I am. It has also taught me that book people are the smartest, most encouraging and compassionate people on the internet!

What format do you read the most in?

Paper books. I do not prefer to read on screens because I am in front of a computer at work all day, and I concentrate better reading than listening.

Why is reading an important part of your life?

Why is breathing an important part of my life? 😉 Reading provides me so much: knowledge, vicarious experience, empathy, escape, joy, fun, satisfaction, excitement… it truly is the thing I geek out the most about and the pursuit I can’t imagine my life without.

How many unread books do you have?

Ha! Well, I just did a recount for the #unreadshelfproject2019, and I have 63 unread books in paper or e-book form at my house.

What book would you reread every year (if you like to reread?)

Anything by Jane Austen or Barbara Pym.

What is the most memorable bookstore or library you’ve been to?

toronto-public-library
Toronto Public Reference Library

The Toronto Public Reference Library is so unique and HUGE!

What’s your favorite genre?

Mysteries and thrillers. I like mysteries on the more realistic side but not totally gruesome or disgusting.

What advice would you give a new blogger to improve conversation and engagement?

Find the blogs you enjoy reading the most and comment consistently on those. Don’t try to follow or comment on a million blogs. If a blogger doesn’t comment back regularly on your blog, then maybe you don’t need to expend a lot of energy on theirs in return. You will find your core group of bloggers over time, and they will bring you so much joy and good energy – and introduce you to so many interesting books!

I enjoyed answering these questions! I’m not going to tag anyone but here’s a question you can answer in the comments if you like:

What’s the book that’s been sitting on your bookshelf unread for the longest time and why haven’t you read it yet?

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blogger Tag

I was tagged WAY back in May by the lovely Erin @ Feel, Learn, Wonder and I’m just now getting around to writing this tag post! But I thought it would be a nice diversion from my 20 Books of Summer and Classics Club reviews that I haven’t yet written. If you haven’t checked out Erin’s blog, please do give it a look!

img_2523Where do you write your blog posts?

At my desk in my living room. It’s an old hand-me-down desk from my father-in-law, not an antique, just old, with peeling paint and stickers that my son has put on it over the years. We have talked about buying a “grown-up desk” but it’s not a high priority so we haven’t yet done so. We DID just buy a new office chair, though, and it’s so comfy!

 

How long does it take you to write a book review?

Ha ha! Well, once I actually SIT DOWN to do it, probably about an hour. It’s the sitting my behind down in the chair that’s the issue.

When did you start your book blog?

December 31, 2014. I can’t believe I’m coming up on four years already. My first blog post didn’t even mention that I was starting this blog – it was just a list of my reading resolutions for the coming year. I guess I really didn’t even know what I was planning to do with this or for whom I was writing. (Do I know these things now? Ha ha!)

What’s the worst thing about having a book blog?

Is there a “worst” thing? I suppose it would be the same affliction I have on all social media platforms, which is comparing myself to others. Others write such in-depth reviews! They post so much more frequently! Their blogs look nicer than mine! Blah Blah Blah. I’ve always compared myself to others, even before the days of computers, so it’s just one of my bad habits. I’m trying to quit.

What is the best thing about having a book blog?

Without a doubt, it’s YOU GUYS. I am so happy to have “met” so many interesting, smart, curious, and supportive people from all over the world through blogging. You all save my faith in humanity sometimes! And you all have such good taste in books too!  🙂

What post have you had the most fun writing so far?

I don’t know – they’re all fun once I get going! But I’m gonna share a post from way back in 2015 about a picture book that I love and think you all should know about. Most of you weren’t regular readers of mine back then so here you go:  https://bigreadinglife.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/sidewalk-flowers-by-jonarno-lawson/

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

Lately I love the Five Sentence Reviews I’ve started doing, and also the Library Checkout meme that Bookish Beck introduced me to.

When do you typically write?

At night when my son has gone to bed and my husband is still at work, around 9:00 pm.  Sometimes if it’s super slow at work on a Saturday I’ll start a rough draft of a post.

How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of tea or coffee? With Netflix? Cuddle up with your fur-baby?

Well, I usually put on a Pandora radio station – I write best with music. Lately it’s the Sylvan Esso station, sort of dreamy electronic/pop/dance music. Sometimes I drink a glass of wine. Sometimes I eat Twizzlers. Sometimes I just write.

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Sylvan Esso

When do you write book reviews – right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

Um… lately it’s been OVER two weeks after finishing. When I’m on the ball it’s usually a few days after finishing.

How often do you post?

My goal is 2 posts a week. 🙂

I don’t want to tag anyone else but if you feel moved to put this one up on your own blog, please do. How do you write your blog posts? With snacks? On a laptop in bed? With the TV on? Do you also like Sylvan Esso? Tell me in the comments.