Category Archives: armchair bea

Armchair BEA Interview with Laura of I’m Booking It

Meet Laura of I’m Booking It, a stay-at-home mom and long-time book clubber who used to work in high tech. I’d never been to her blog before so I had a fun time looking around and writing interview questions. Besides at I’m Booking It you can find Laura on Twitter and Goodreads.

Introduce your blog. How did you get started blogging and what kinds of book do you like to read?

My blog is simply a collection of my thoughts about the books I read and other bookish related chat.

I’ve been a reader since I was a child.  I’ve gone through phases at various points in my life where I specialized in different genres, but at this point, I really like a variety, and I read a little of everything except Westerns and Self-Help.  In particular, I try to make sure I get a little mystery, romance, speculative fiction, YA, women’s fiction, literary fiction and non-fiction each month.  Beyond that, it’s a little more random.

I started my blog more as an exploration of the technology than anything else.  I tried to figure out what I could write about that anyone else would want to read!  I already ran two book clubs, and still had more to say, so I thought books could work.  I didn’t even know there were other book blogs out there!  (I guessed there would be, but I hadn’t found them yet)

Has the focus of I’m Booking It, the posting frequency, and/or your reading tastes changed since then?

My reading tastes haven’t really changed, but I have dropped in posting frequency– I was posting about 8 posts a week for a while, and it was too much, and I had to back way down for a bit. I’m at about half that now, and I think that is sustainable.

You’ve organized two book clubs since before you started your blog. Has blogging changed ed how you run them or nominate/vote for book club books and if so, how?

It hasn’t really changed how I run them, except that now I have plenty of books to nominate.  I used to threaten that if no one else submitted nominations, I’d google “Book club books”, and we’d read every third books in the results.  Now I simply say that if they don’t have anything they want to nominate, I have plenty of good suggestions :-).

You are an extremely prolific book reviewer, posting several if not 10+ book reviews per month. Do you review everything you read, or if not, how do you choose what to review?

I read about 16 books a month, I review around 12.    My priority list goes something like

  1. books received for review
  2. book club books
  3. other books that I want to talk about
  4. whatever is left that I can find something to say about!

You are a stay-at-home mom to a teenage daughter. What does she think of your blog, and does she play any part in your reading choices?

My daughter is mostly amused by my blog.  She’s a reader herself, and now we’re getting to the point where we enjoy some of the same books– we each wrote a top ten books of 2010 list, and we actually had two books that made both of our lists.  I’m trying to get her to write more for my blog, we’ll see how that goes.

You read a good mix of fiction, literary fiction, mystery, romance, scifi/fantasy, nonfiction and young adult. Are there books you can recommend indiscriminately from these genres and what are they?

The two books that I recommend more or less indiscriminately are The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (mystery) and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (YA Science Fiction).  For non-fiction, I’d recommend The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean to anyone with even a little bit of interest in science.

Besides posting book reviews, I see that you do Mailbox Monday, wrap up, and other thought posts. Are there any other memes/blog events in which you participate and which posts are your favorite to write?

My favorite posts to write are the general chat about books kind, but I haven’t come up with an idea for one of those in quite a while!  I participate in Mailbox Monday regularly and the Book Blogger Hop irregularly.   I’d actually be interested in picking up another weekend meme, but I haven’t been grabbed by one recently.

To which aspect(s) of a book are you most attracted – plot, characters, setting and/or the writing itself?

The characters are what is likely to make or break a book for me.  Next is the plot.  Mostly the setting stays in the background, and I just want the writing to deliver the story and stay out of my way.

When you’re not reading, blogging, or running your book clubs, what else would we find you doing in your spare time?

I volunteer in my daughter’s classroom (yes, even in middle school.  The kids don’t even mind– it’s that kind of a school). I drive her to and from rhythmic gymnastics and dance practice, and travel for her competitions:

And then I play Farmville and other fun time wasters!

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be and why?

I never have any idea how to answer these questions!

Do you have any goals for your reading and blog this year and/or in the future?

Mostly I want to maintain what I’m doing now:  Reading a good variety, including lots of genres; fluff and challenges.  I am making an effort to read at least one non-fiction book a month.  I want to keep writing about 12 reviews a month.  I’d like to find better ways of engaging my readers, but I don’t have any concrete ideas with that.

Lastly, describe yourself and your blog using two titles from books you read this year.

From books read since this January:
Happy Ever After
Promises to Keep

Thanks very much for interviewing me!

And thanks to Laura for answering my questions. To learn more about me, check out my interview over at Capricious Reader.

Armchair BEA: Best of 2011

Some of my favorite reads so far this year:

The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan (review)

The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan (review)

Unsticky by Sarra Manning (review)

The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn (review)

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar (review)

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (review to come!)

That’s 2 urban fantasies, 2 contemporaries, and 2 historicals (3 young adult, 3 adult), and 1 published this year.

What about you? I’d love to add some great books to the TBR and hear about the BEA books you’re pining after. Link to your posts in the comments.

Armchair BEA: Me + Photos

Today’s theme:

You’ll probably be getting a lot of new visitors to your blog this week, so introduce yourself in a post! And if you specialize in a particular genre, share what it is and why you love it. Also, tell us how you’re doing Armchair BEA – where you are, what you’re excited about, what you hope will happen this week.

Hi, my name is Holly and I run Book Harbinger, which just had it’s first blogiversary(!) I started blogging a few days before BEA (Book Expo America, the world’s biggest book trade show) 2010 and had even heard of Armchair BEA that year but didn’t participate. It looked like a lot of fun though so I was very excited to have the chance to sign up for this year’s Armchair BEA. I’m crossing my fingers that next year, when my new baby will be a toddler, I’ll be able to head to Manhattan, but for now I’m happy to be at home enjoying BEA from my bedroom. (Click to enlarge)

Besides being a blogger, I have a DH, am mom to a boy and a girl and work part-time at my city’s library in Utah. I mainly read young adult, scifi/fantasy, urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and a little bit of chick lit and historical fiction but am always up for almost anything. What you won’t find me reading is graphic romance or westerns. But I like nonfiction when I’m in the mood and some of my favorite books of all-time have been classics, fiction, or literary fiction.

Feel free to look around. I’ve added tabs to the navigation bar called Book Art (one of my regular specialty posts) and Challenges (with my first reading challenge) specially for Armchair BEA as well as two different blog buttons. I also pride myself on my book release calendar and my playlist for indie music lovers.

This week I’m excited to be posting an interview, writing up a few of the other theme posts, and hearing what I am and am not missing by armchairing it this year. One of my goals is to do a little networking, so leave me a comment – I’d love to stop by your blog this week. :D