Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Library Loot: September 29 to October 5

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

One of the main issues facing libraries, I guess around the world, but specifically in the US, is funding cuts, and there seems to have been lots of funding cuts over the last few years in particular.

I am very lucky in that I live in an area with a growing population and factored into our infrastructure are new libraries, but that doesn't mean I can't help the spread the word for those that isn't the case for.

One of our regular participants in Library Loot is Lady Q from Let Them Read Books, and last week she share a video that her local librarians have made talking about the cuts. It's a fun and creative way of getting a point across!

As for my loot this week, I picked up a few books this week:

Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter - This is the first book in her current series. The third book has just come out so I really need to hurry up and catch up.

Empire of Silver by Conn Iggulden - I thoroughly enjoyed the original trilogy about Genghis Khan, so when I heard that there was going to be another book, this time about Kublai Khan I added it to my TBR list straight away.

Away with the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood - I have borrowed this book numerous times and returned it unread, but it is still something of a surprise to realise that I actually haven't read any of the books in this series yet. It's not from lack of intent!

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber - I have heard such good things about this book.

Be sure to head over to Claire's blog to share your link to your Library Loot post.

We want you.....

Are you participating in Dewey's Read-a-thon on October 9? Would you be interested in hosting a mini-challenge? We are looking for people to host mini-challenges during the event. It is a lot of fun, and will bring lots of traffic to your site during the read-a-thon.

Either come up with your own idea, or browse through the mini-challenges from April at the read-a-thon site.

You can find out all the details at the Read-a-thon site.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty

My teaser this week comes from Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty. When this book came out earlier this year I won a copy of the e-book, but I don't really like reading on the computer so it just sat on the drive. Now that I have my e-reader (have I mentioned that?) there are a few books that I am going to be able to read finally!

This book so far is very enjoyable, not least because it is set in Salzburg and features musicians rather than the usual rich society people who inhabit Regency England, and who proliferate the pages of historical romance normally.

My teaser comes from page 177 of the book, mainly because I haven't actually worked out if it is going to be possible to choose a random page in an ebook and that is where I am up to in the book!

Mathilda dropped to the ground, her knees sinking into the topmost layer of fresh snow. The rough edges of marble lightly scored the pads of her fingers as she traced his name. She had imagined remorseful tears flowing freely, but none came.
Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Head on over to find out all about it, and how to join in!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mailbox Monday: September Acquisitions

Ummm, where did September go! I just got a bit of a surprise when I realised that this is the last Monday in September, and that means it is time to share my acquisitions for the month of September.

It's actually been a pretty small month in terms of the books I received.

I bought both The Hunger Games and Mockingjay, because I couldn't wait for Mockingjay to come into the library. I also already owned catching fire, so I figured I might as well buy The Hunger Games at the same time so I have a complete set of the trilogy.

I was also lucky enough to win one of the contests at A Few More Pages. I won a copy of The Virgin and the Crab by Robert Parry and also Love Finds You in Victory Heights by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss. The second book is really not my kind of book. I can't remember the last time I read a Christian novel, but the setting sounds very good, and I have thought about trying Tricia Goyer's books before because they actually do sound like something that I might enjoy, and they always have gorgeous covers, so I am going to give it a go!

I think that's it really! I managed to read 5 books I own so I my physical TBR pile reduced by one book. That has to count as a good month.

Mailbox Monday was originally hosted at The Printed Page, but now it is going on tour so this month it is being hosted at Bermuda Onion, so head over there to share your links, or to see what everyone else has posted about this week.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TSS: Did you hear me squeeing from where you are?

This week was a big week in Melbourne. It's school holidays, the Royal Show is on (think county fair type deal), it was grand final day yesterday (more about that later) and it was the boy's birthday yesterday. That means a full day out yesterday for a birthday party, and people coming for dinner tonight. I really haven't decided what I am going to cook yet so I should really be working on that instead of writing a blog post, but never mind!

Whilst the boy was very excited about his present, which was his first mobile phone, I was more excited about the present I bought myself on Friday. I actually chose a bad day to buy it. I work on the edge of the city, and the store I bought it from is in the city centre. What I had forgotten was that there was a massive parade of the players who were playing in the AFL Grand Final. I should have realised when there were so many Collingwood fans wandering about the city, but I didn't. So I walked a few blocks and then caught the tram to the city centre, went and bought it, and then went to catch the tram back again, only to discover that they weren't running because of the parade, and so I had to walk all the way back to work. Made an already longish lunch even longer!

So, what did I buy?

I bought an e-reader! A Sony Touch e-reader to be precise, in red! I had been waiting for the Sonys to be released in Australia for a while now. I have been keeping an eye on various review sites for opinions etc, and had a bit of a play at the store, and then I was sold!

So far I am really impressed. Yesterday afternoon I sat out in the sun and read for a while and there was no glare. The e-ink screen is really clear, and it seems really easy to use, although I haven't tried to do a lot with it just yet. The touch screen is really good, and I was really pleasantly surprised at how fast the page turns are.  I also bought the cover with the light in because I do read a lot at night, so for a few more dollars it made sense to get that one, rather than the plain cover.

My main reason for choosing Sony in the end was that I wanted to be able to read in multiple formats, and I didn't really want to be tied to buying from Amazon. I am hoping to join the city library service, which has an ebook lending service, and I will be able to do borrow from them using this reader whereas I wouldn't have been able to on a Kindle.

I did struggle a bit not to get it out on Friday afternoon at work and have a play then, and I did manage to resist that temptation until one of my co-workers who I know is a fairly avid reader walked past, so I had to show her!

Last night we went to the drive-in movie theatre. The boy had a friend staying over and they wanted to see a movie that I had absolutely no interest in, and so I transferred over a book that I won a while ago and hadn't read because I don't like reading on the computer, and sat in the back of the car and read while the boys watched the movie! The movie sound got a bit distracting at times, but for the most part, they were happy and so was I!

I mentioned the AFL Grand Final. Everyone here was pretty shocked here when the Grand Final between Collingwood and St Kilda ended in a draw this year, which means that the two teams come back again next week to do it all over again! This is only the third time that this has happened. It does seem a bit crazy that there is no way of deciding a draw on the day, but it was very interesting to see the crowd and players reactions! Neither of those teams is my team, so I am kind of an impartial but interested observer.

What this means is that all of a sudden I have not only the 3 books that I was part of the way through in book form, but also now another book in ebook form! Normally I have two books that I am reading at any one time, but I am beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by having so many on the go. I think I need to just go and read and finish at least one of them. After I have decided what we are having for dinner and gone and bought the ingredients, and started cooking. Maybe I will get to read tomorrow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Books of a Lifetime

A couple of months ago as part of the Historical Tapestry's 3rd blogiversary celebrations, I shared my 'Books of a Lifetime' - those books that made a difference in my life at various stages. It was actually a lot harder than it sounds, and as I look at it now, I can't think why I didn't include a couple of Enid Blyton's books during the childhood years, let alone a few others!  When I started thinking about which books I would include on my list I would think that I had it settled, but then would think of another book which simply had to be included. So this is my list, but be warned, if you asked me again in a couple of months time, the list could be a little different.

Why I am I reposting over here now? Apart from the fact that I am really bad at cross posting, and always forget to do my historical fiction reviews that I post here over there, we are opening up the Books of a Lifetime series to other historical fiction bloggers. If you would like to participate then please email us at Historical Tapestry, and we will work out the details!


From a very early age, books were my escape, my sanctuary from everything in life! I would read at any opportunity and my family often used to say that I would read the back of a cereal box if there was nothing else available.

One of the earliest specific books that I have memories of reading is Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I have no idea what edition it was that I read, but I have clear memories of borrowing this book from my school library when I was about 6 or 7, and being so proud of myself because the book was so huge and I read it in no time at all (some things really don' t change all that much - I still love chunksters). The print must have actually been huge, or there must have been a lot of illustrations or something because it really isn't that big a book but I didn't realise it at the time.

Fast forward a few more years, and my books of choice were the Trixie Belden mysteries. For anything else I may have found to complain about my mother did buy me the whole series that was out at the time. I loved reading about Trixie and her brothers Martin and Brian, along with their friends who made up the rest of the Bob-Whites, especially Jim who was my first red headed literary crush, but not my last.

Another childhood favourite was Kings in Grass Castles by Mary Durack. This is a tale of a pioneering family who are trying to build a cattle empire in the isolated land in far north Western Australia. I have no idea how this book would stand up to scrutiny now, but I do remember loving it when I read it.

Teenage Years

It was in my early teens that I discovered Jean Plaidy, and I think that my love of historical fiction was cemented. I read through basically every novel that my school library had by Plaidy, and I particularly loved reading the books that she wrote about the queens of England. I couldn't tell you about individual books that I read, but my goodness, I devoured them as quickly as I could get my hands on them.

In my late teens, my aunts introduced me to the books of Noel Barber. He wrote romantic, angst filled sagas set against the background of World War II. Once again his books were chunksters, but I didn't let that stop me from reading them as quickly as I possible could. I particularly remember really enjoying The Other Side of Paradise and A Farewell to France.


There was a period of about 10 years where I really didn't read anything. It happened to coincide with a period of time where I was in an unhappy relationship and I really lost myself in a lot of ways. Not only in terms of reading but other ways too.

Whilst it wasn't the first book that I read once things started getting back to normal, I really credit Cross Stitch (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon for really reigniting my love of reading. I was given the first book in the Outlander series for my birthday. The book sat on my shelf for a few months until one day I picked it up and started reading, and pretty much did not put it down until I was finished. I went out and bought the next book and read it basically straight through from beginning to end, never mind that I was a zombie at work. In the end I had to restrict myself from buying the next book in the series until Friday night because I knew that if I bought the book during the week I would never get enough sleep to be able to survive. Definitely didn't hurt that this book featured another red headed literary crush! (NB: I expanded on these thoughts in my recent post about the Outlander series)

Reading the Outlander books and feeling the need to read more and more led me to some of my other favourite authors, particularly Paullina Simons, Sara Donati and Sharon Kay Penman, and in turn to Elizabeth Chadwick and many other authors I really enjoy reading now.

The next book that I wanted to mention is the book that started me on my blogging journey. I had been reading a few book blogs for a while, but then I listened to The Red Tent on audiobook, and I just had to talk to someone, anyone, about it! Now I look back at how terrible that first review I ever wrote was and cringe, but I am still blogging nearly 5 years so from that inauspicious start good things have grown, particularly as blogging has given me friends all round the world, including the ladies that I blog with here at Historical Tapestry.

Recent reads

Some times you pick up a book and read the first few pages, and you know that you are either going to love the book or that you really are not. Luckily for me, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley was the former. I knew within a page that I was going to love that book, and I did! Since then I have read a couple of the author's other books and really enjoyed them too, particularly The Shadowy Horses, but that first special read will stay with me for a long time.

So, there you have my Books of a Lifetime, for now at least!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winners of The Shadowy Horses giveaway

Wow, what a turn out! I want to thank everyone who entered my giveaway for two signed copies of The Shadowy Horses which I announced last week during BBAW. It is time now to announce the winners!

Congratulations to

Michelle from The True Book Addict

If you could both send me your contact details, Susanna Kearsley will sign your books and they will be on their way to you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Library Loot: September 22 to 28

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

I feel a bit of a fraud putting up my Library Loot post this week, not because I didn't have any loot, but because there are currently six items sitting on the Hold shelf at my library waiting to be picked up. I guess that just means that I have a guaranteed library loot post for next week!

This week all except one of my books are reloot, which is a bit sad!

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters - This book is one I have on my list for RIP V, although to be fair I think this is the third or fourth time I have borrowed it, so there's no guarantee I will get to it this time either.

Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland - Another reloot, and this one is on my list for RIP V too.

The Search by Nora Roberts - This one *might* count for RIP V, but it is definitely reloot too.

The Accidental Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren - a few weeks ago I just about tore my house apart looking for the first book in this trilogy. Now that I have read it, this is the second book in the trilogy.

No Line on the Horizon by U2 - A couple of weeks ago I bought tickets to go and see U2 in concert at the beginning of December. Then I realised that I actually hadn't listened to their new music at all, so I figured I should probably at least familiarise myself with some of their more recent songs. Only problem is that I have discovered that I am more of an old school U2 fan!  There is something weird going on with this item from the library too. It is not showing on my checked out list, but rather is still showing as waiting to be picked up. I will sort that out when I next visit the library, maybe some time tomorrow.

So what loot did you get this week? Leave your link in Mr Linky, so we can all come and check it out! And, then, just because I can, here's U2 (old school) with one of my favourites from them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The anticipation of the release of Mockingjay was huge, and I succumbed and ordered it from the internet rather than wait for my library to get their copies in. I often find it difficult to fit in reading books that I bought as opposed to those that I borrow from the library or that I am sent for review, but I tried to make an exception for this book. I am only a couple of weeks behind everyone else then!

My teaser comes from page 90:

My ongoing struggle against the Capitol, which so often felt like a solitary journey, has not been undertaken alone. I have had thousands upon thousands of people from the districts at my side. I was their Mockingjay long before I accepted the role.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Head on over to find out all about it, and how to join in!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Songs that should be played more on the radio

I did hear this song on the radio on the weekend, but the last time before that would have been years ago.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a video that was relatively good quality that could be embedded!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TSS: Endings

I finished a book this week where the ending had me scratching my head. In that case, the reader was left not knowing what had happened to four or five of the main characters, there were lots of unresolved questions, and after 800 pages the ending felt rushed and incomplete.

Whilst in this case, it wasn't a cliffhanger ending in terms of the shock ending on the very last page,  but it was cliffhanger enough for the fans of this series. Worst thing about this particular ending? This author takes anywhere between 3 to 5 years to produce her next book, so it is a VERY (or verra if we were using the parlance from that novel) long wait to find out what happens next!

Reading this book did however leave me pondering the nature of endings, particularly cliffhanger endings.

First, here is a definition of cliffhanger ending from Wikipedia:

A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction. A cliffhanger is hoped to ensure the audience will return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma.

Depending on which genres you are reading there are certain things that a reader can expect from the ending of a novel. If it is a standalone romance novel, then you can expect to get some indications of a happily ever after (even if it isn't the normal marriage and children that happen so often in the epilogue). For a crime novel it is fair to expected to have the identity of the perpetrator revealed as well as some explanation of the whys and hows of the particular crime.

What about for other genres though, and books with future books coming in the series? For example, Patrick Ness's YA novel The Knife of Never Letting Go ends in such a way that I as a reader was left almost gasping and yelling at the book - "You can't end a book like that!". If I already had the second book in the house, I would have had to pick it up there and then to find out what happened next, which I guess is the whole point of it.

To me, it does seem as though there does seem to be a lot more of these cliffhanger style endings. They seem to be right up there with love triangles as a way of continuing story lines from one novel to the next. A well done cliffhanger can leave you wanting more. Other times I feel a bit emotionally manipulated by them.

So, as readers, do we like cliffhanger endings? Feel manipulated by them? Seen too many of them? Are there particularly well written cliffhanger endings that you read that left you gasping for more? Do you think they are an overused technique?

Let's talk endings!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday night in Melbourne town

Not sure exactly why but when we go to concerts we always seem to see people behaving in ways that definitely qualify as a bit odd. There was the girl who fell asleep at a Rob Thomas concert, the people who got so drunk when we went to see Matchbox Twenty that they had to leave before the band came on, the people who I think had sex in the seats being us at Soundrelief in full view of everyone, and the latest instalment happened at the Jet and Powderfinger concerts that I went to last Saturday night.

The first was more annoying than odd - a bloke who was standing directly in front of me who couldn't leave his girlfriend alone. He was constantly groping her - inside and outside her clothes! By the end of the night I just wanted to slap his hand and tell him to leave her alone. Maybe I am getting old, but seriously, leave her alone mate - or at least wait until you get her home!

The second definitely counted as odd. There was a group of people who were sitting a row in front of us and to the left. When they pulled out a pillow we thought it was a bit odd (and that maybe they should have made friends with the sleeper from Rob Thomas), but when they started pulling the stuffing out of the pillow and throwing it around, that was even stranger! What was that about?

Jet and Powderfinger were awesome. I had such a great time, and left the concert with such a buzz that it took me about three hours to be ready to sleep!

This is Powderfinger's final tour. I had tried to get tickets when they went on sale but wasn't successful. On Thurday one of my friends sent an email around asking if anyone wanted a ticket and I jumped at the opportunity, and I am so glad I did!

One of the highlights was definitely hearing Bernard sing Nobody Sees whilst playing the guitar - just him, the guitar and a spotlight - sent chills up my spine. Another highlight - the whole crowd singing My Happiness! I am trying to decide if I want to buy the recording of the concert that is available. It is certainly tempting.

The only slightly odd thing from the concert was that the song that was played over the loud speakers as we were leaving was Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough. Whilst the sentiment was definitely relevant, it is slightly strange to leave a Jet and Powderfinger gig with a Depeche Mode song stuck in your head!

Friday, September 17, 2010

BBAW: Impromptu blogger interviews - Part (iv)

This is the final instalment in the impromptu blogger interviewThank you to everyone who volunteered for this! I had a load of fun doing it!
First up is Alibird from Flirting with Fiction. Alibird said in her comment that she spent all morning reading the interviews and wishing she had signed up! I am a big Fforde fan myself, and think her secret is very cute!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

Flirting with Fiction-- I like to think that I build relationships with the books I read. We come to understand each other, give gifts, play with emotions, and then there's that warm fuzzy feeling I get when I think about a book I really cared about... I call my blog a 'Flirtation' because I don't 'fall in love' with books terribly easily-- they have to be really remarkably special to get to that point. I do, however, have multiple book-'flirtations' going on at any given time.

What kind of books do you like to read?

All kinds? I'm a grad student in Post-Colonial Literature so my 'long-term, formal relationships' tend to be with African and Middle Eastern lit. When those relationships get too stressful, however, I have guilty 'affairs' with YA lit, literary detective fiction, and even romance novels.

What is your favourite recent read?

I came across Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series a couple weeks ago and just went crazy over it. I ran out and got all 5 books and gobbled them up in a week. So much fun!!

Where is your favourite place to read?

There's an adorable coffee shop a couple blocks from my house. They have a front-porch swing that is absolutely covered in cushy pillows. I like to grab a mocha, bury myself in the pillows and swing away.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I'm a former ballroom and Latin dance instructor. Sometimes, when I get bored, I use my fingers to create little people and have them practice their dance steps across the table.


Next up is Zee from Notes from the North - the north in question being Sweden! I always enjoy chatting with her when we happen to be on Twitter at the same time!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

Notes from the North. I live in northern Europe and I make notes :D

What kind of books do you like to read?

A lot of everything really but right now mostly classics and mysteries, with the occasional non-fiction book (primarily biographies)

What is your favourite recent read?

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

Where is your favourite place to read?

My rockingchair or my friends hammock

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I'm quite shy in person but I hide it by talking incessantly which I know sounds contradictory but it is the truth


And now one of my favourite people in the blogging world! Eva from A Striped Armchair

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

A Striped Armchair: I like the blog name formula a/the + adjective + noun (it's what I used for my study abroad blog too), and when I made it my favourite reading chair was in fact striped. Kind of random, and sometimes I wish I'd put more thought into it, but I was just too impatient to start! lol

What kind of books do you like to read?

Fiction: classics, mysteries, fantasy, international
Nonfiction: international studies/culture, women's studies, science, travel (just getting into reading more about religion too)

What is your favourite recent read?

I just finished Small Island by Andrea Levy yesterday, and it blew me away. But if we go back a month, Diana Wynne Jones' Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Vol. One has me head-over-heels in love.

Where is your favourite place to read?

In my new (to me, got it used) overstuffed grey reclining armchair!

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

Ohh...this one's tricky. Maybe that I watch quite a bit of TV? And I'm a total fangirl about certain series!


And now for a fellow historical fiction lover! Amy from Just Book Reading

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

The name of my blog is Just Book Reading. I noted this is another post earlier this week so I’m going to do a little cut and paste job --- When I decided to stake my blog claim I picked the name — Just a Book Reader — which I was very happy with. It left me a bit of anonymity and I felt it described me pretty well. After all, I was just a book reader…well, one with lots of opinions but one just the same. A day later, and a Google search later, it turns out that there was another blog out there with that name. It was defunct but I still felt weird about it so I shortened the name to Just Book Reading because it was close to the original name and easy enough to change without jumping through too many hoops. And, thus, that is how I became Just Book Reading. What I learned was to get my Google fu on before setting my heart on a name without a more thorough search. Will not happen again. So there you have it, true confessions.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I read a lot of historical fiction but I’m also a big fantasy fan. I haven’t been reading much of it lately and I want to get back into it.

What is your favourite recent read?

This is easy. The Road my Cormac McCarthy and The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America by Lorri Glover and Daniel Blake Smith.

Where is your favourite place to read?
I can read almost anywhere but I like to curl up on the couch.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

Well, readers probably don’t know a lot about me since I tend to keep personal info out of most of my posts but I can offer this one up --- I grew up in Pennsylvania and I make excellent pizza.


And my final mini-interview is with Serena from Savvy Verse and Wit, who among other things, co-hosts a totally awesome challenge called War Through the Generations!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

Savvy Verse & Wit and the inspiration was just the poetry I love the read, the humor I hope to impart, and my love of the word Savvy.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I like reading all kinds, especially poetry, but I'm really not into westerns, self-help, or cheesy romance.

What is your favourite recent read?

Favorite recent read would have to be Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran. That book has stayed with me for months.

Where is your favourite place to read?

I love reading on the subway and outside on the porch (well what the apt. complex calls a patio).

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I adore photography and I'm crazy in love with my dog!

BBAW: Impromptu Blogger Interviews - Part C

I snuck in at lunch time to post, but then didn't end up posting! Whoops!

Here are the next few people who volunteered to be part of the impromptu interviews when I put out the call a few days ago!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

My blog is called everything distils into reading. Becos whatever I am doing I end reading all kinds of stuff!

What kind of books do you like to read?

I read almost everything except paranormal erotic fiction and YA! I love crime fiction and poetry!

What is your favourite recent read?

A tie between Still Missing by Chevy Stevens and Stolen by Lucy Christopher.

Where is your favourite place to read?

My living room.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

For that you come and read BBAW: Self-Interview post! Yes, I interviewed myself!

Next up is Mary, who said she wasn't organised enough to join in the BBAW fun this year. Mary's blog is new to me, but I will definitely be adding it to my feed reader!
What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

My blog is Bookfan. The name is what I am - a fan of books.

What kind of books do you like to read?

I like fiction: historical, current, romance.

What is your favourite recent read?

I have two recent favs: The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle; The Life You've Imagined by Kristina Riggle.

Where is your favourite place to read?

I love to read in our small library/parlour. It's the reading room in our house.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I'm a former teacher - music in the classroom setting and piano lessons at home. I 'retired' from the classroom when my kids came into the picture. I stopped teaching piano lessons when my kids' schedules got busy during prime piano lesson times.


Next up is Heather from Tales of a Capricious Reader (or as I know her, Heather who has been known to change her blog template a lot! ;-). Heather is one of my favourite bloggers, and I have been reading her blog for years now! Thanks for playing along Heather!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

It's called Tales of a Capricious Reader, or Capricious Reader for short. It was originally A High and Hidden Place, but I never really liked that, it was just something I picked because I couldn't think of anything else! But about a year ago I decided I needed something that reflected ME a little bit better. I love the word capricious and feel it describes me and my reading pretty accurately, so, I picked that!

What kind of books do you like to read?

A little bit of everything. I'm an equal opportunity reader.

What is your favourite recent read?

The Little Stranger. I just finished it and I am head over heels in love with it.

Where is your favourite place to read?

In a nice, hot, relaxing bath in my calm, quiet house. As you can imagine, that doesn't happen often.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I ♥ comments. ;Þ

BBAW: Impromptu blogger interviews Part 2

Here are the second batch of impromptu interviews! Thanks to everyone who responded. You can see the first three interviews here.

First up we have Erin from Erinreads, who came too late to BBAW to be able to sign up for the interview swap.

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

My blog is called Erin Reads. When it came time to choose a name, I tried to think of something witty, but every idea I had felt wrong. I wasn't sure what my blog would become, only that it would be based on my reading and my love of books. That's what it still is!

What kind of books do you like to read?

I enjoy fiction most, both contemporary and historical, YA and adult. I love unique and engaging narrators. If I'm not reading fiction I'm probably reading a memoir or well written miscellaneous nonfiction. I also listen to a lot of audiobooks.

What is your favourite recent read?

Two recent books have really stood out to me. I read them back to back:

The first is "The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia" by Mary Helen Stefaniak. It's told from the perspective of a young girl named Gladys (who is a wonderful narrator) and tells the Depression-era story of what happens when Miss Spivey comes down from up North to teach in the one-room schoolhouse of tiny Threestep, Georgia.

The second is "One Amazing Thing" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. When nine strangers are trapped in the visa office of an Indian Consulate by an earthquake, they turn to storytelling to pass the time and connect with their fellow survivors. It's a lovely book, the kind that gets stuck inside you and stays on your mind long after you've read the last page.

Where is your favourite place to read?

For me, it's not so important where I'm reading. I tend to get so absorbed in my book that I don't even notice where I am anyway. Instead, it's how I'm sitting; I'm only comfortable enough to settle into a book if I can pull my feet up. I've even figured out how to do this on an airplane!

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I grew up in the US, but my husband is from India. I visited his hometown for the first time earlier this year and feel like I've found my second home. It's already starting to influence my reading choices!


Next up, SuziQOregon, from Whimpulsive. Love the story of how you came up with your blog name, and where you like to read!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

My blog is called Whimpulsive. The inspiration is that I may have made up the word. Shortly after we were married I was doing something silly just to annoy The Hubster and when he asked me "Why are you doing that?" I replied "Lack of whimpulse control." We giggled about it and have use the words 'whimpulse' and 'whimpulsive' as if they were real words. When I decided to rename my blog I used Whimpulsive because it best describes both my reading and my blogging habits.

What kind of books do you like to read?

My favorites tend to be mysteries, thrillers and suspense stories. I also love historical fiction. I do tend to be a genre jumper and bounce around between many genres routinely.

What is your favourite recent read?

I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series via audio book and it's been a pure delight. As for other books, my most recent favorite is 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan because it's a wonderful blend of two of my favorite genres - crime fiction and historical fiction.

Where is your favourite place to read?

Someplace where I can see and hear the ocean and enjoy a glass of wine along with my book.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I spent a semester in Italy when I was in college and it was the best learning experience of all my years in school.


Charlie from The Worm Hole was also too late to sign up for an interview swap, so here are her answers to my questions!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

My blog is called The Worm Hole. On my personal blog I found myself constantly trying to write clever or witty titles as my posts and the concept stuck when it came to name my book blog. I thought of book worms and then played around with the idea in my head.

What kind of books do you like to read?
I'm open to reading anything, but my favourite genre is historical fiction. I love to get absorbed into a world that I never could otherwise.

What is your favourite recent read?

Definitely Alex Bell's The Ninth Circle. I had come to it thinking it was a thriller and a bit of a mystery but never expected the heavy theological content, which, being very interested in religion, was like Christmas arriving early. I liked it so much I devoured Alex's other books and started a series of posts to promote her.

Where is your favourite place to read?

This will sound incredibly odd but I like to read in the bathroom at home. I'll just go in and sit against the bath because the closed door means I'm not likely to be disturbed. I don't stay there for long though because though I like the peace it's a bit silly really.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

I'm bad at just writing a post and publishing it, especially in the case of reviews I'll go over what I've written a dozen or more times. If I haven't posted for a while, 50% of the time this is the reason.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BBAW: Impromptu blogger interviews Part I

Earlier this week on the interview swap day, it looked as though my blogger swap wasn't going to happen, and so I put out a call for anyone who wanted to answer a few questions to take part in an impromptu interview! I was really pleased, and a bit overwhelmed, with the response. This post is the first instalment highlighting the bloggers who responded!

First up we have Janicu who blogs at, who said in her comments that she intended to sign up for the interview swap later, and then forgot! I've been there before!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

It's janicu's book blog ( Which is because my name is Janice and one of my nicknames is "Janicu". This is because in college I had a couple of Japanese roommates and they decided the way to make my name cuter was to add an "oo" to the end of it. By the way it's pronounced "janis-oo", not "janik-oo". Anyway, that was the best I could come up with when I started my blog.

What kind of books do you like to read?

My taste is a little eclectic, but my favorites are in genre fiction. I like science fiction, fantasy, romance, and Jane Austen and fairy-tale retellings.

What is your favourite recent read?

I JUST read BAYOU MOON by Ilona Andrews which is coming out soon. It is so great. It's set in a place called the Edge, which is sort of an overlap between our word (called the Broken), and a parallel world where magic exists (called the Weird). There's a wolf shapeshifter who is trying to track down an agent and kill him, and he runs into a girl with a sword who's family has been threatened by the agent. The girl has a very big, crazy family, the setting is a gigantic swamp, and the fight scenes are like something out of NINJA SCROLL.

Where is your favourite place to read?

I love to read in bed, but I have to read in the living room. The cat is not allowed in our room and if I leave for bed a little too early he gets very whiny. My cat is quite spoiled.

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know.

Um.. when I was a kid I had a few pet squirrels. Actually they were called squirrels but they looked more like chipmunks. They don't have the same kind of squirrels that they have in the US in the tropics.


Next up is Katherine from one of my favourite recent blog discoveries!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name? 

My blog is called Historical Fiction Notebook. It was inspired by the stacks of half-finished journals I have lying around. Each one has lists of books I've read, books I want to read, favorite quotes from books and little jotted-down notes about aspects of historical novels I liked or didn't like. I thought it was time to bring it all together in one place!

What kind of books do you like to read? 

For historical fiction, I like anything that takes me into someone's daily life - royal or non-royal. I love detail - chances are that if I liked a book, it's because the author was able to seemlessly integrate detail into the narrative. I love European and American history.

What is your favourite recent read? 

Definitely Sally Gunning's Satucket novels set in Colonial Maasachusetts. Even if you don't think you're interested in that time, you should give them a try.

Where is your favourite place to read? 

I recently picked up a grey-green recliner on Craig's list - I have it set up in a corner by a window and have decorated the space with framed paintings and plants. It's perfect! I can't wait to get home from work and settle in!

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know. 

In my professional life as a journalist, I've specialized in the history and culture of Afghanistan. I produce a weekly TV show that airs on the largest channel there.

I have been wanting to read those Sally Gunning books for a while. Looks like I need to make an effort to find them!

How gorgeous is this blog header? We are just coming to the end of a long winter, and so these colours are just screaming spring to me!

What is your blog called? What was the inspiration behind the name?

Gerbera Daisy Diaries -- because they are the flowers I had for my wedding.

What kind of books do you like to read? 

Anything really, but current fiction and historical fiction mostly. With some biographies throw in there too!

What is your favourite recent read?

Still Alice by Lisa Genova -- knocked my socks off!

Where is your favourite place to read? 

Anywhere my kids are NOT!

Share one thing about yourself or your blog that your readers might not know. 

That I used to be a lobbyist in Washington DC -- a lifetime ago.

Stay tuned for more blogger interviews tomorrow!


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