Book Blogger Appreciation Week, participating blogs were assigned interview partners, to get to know fellow bloggers and highlight their blogs. I was given the lovely Debbie from Genre Reviews to interview and so, without further ado, meet Debbie!
I started my first book blog, Genre Reviews, on March 28, 2008. One main reason I started it was because I don’t enjoy books that have a lot of bad language, graphic or gratuitous violence, or explicit sex. While I do read Christian fiction, I also enjoy secular fiction, so I thought I’d start a book blog to tell people with similar tastes which novels had what level of content in those categories. Of course, I also explained what I liked and didn’t like about the novel. Since then, I’ve also started pointing out other common pet peeves that I’ve heard people complain about.
Since there aren’t any book stores nearby to me, I also wished that someone online gave me the information I needed in order to feel safe buying a book that I hadn’t personally flipped through. That’s the reason I include short excerpts with my reviews. That’s not so much a problem now, though, since more online book stores are providing “Look Inside” features.
Anyway, after running my fiction book blog for a bit, I decided I’d like to put up reviews for my non-fiction reads (history, memoirs, social issues, etc.), too. But they didn’t fit Genre Reviews, so I simply made a new book blog: Different Time Different Place. And then I thought it’d be fun to run an online Christian non-fiction book club, so I made ChristFocus Book Club (where I also review books). But no more blogs for me: three are enough!
What is your favorite part of being a book blogger?
Due to the pitches I receive for review copies, I get to learn about a lot of books I wouldn’t otherwise hear about. I also have the chance to try new authors that I might hesitate to read if I had to buy the book. I enjoy having these opportunities…though knowing how many interesting books are out there can be a very bad thing for a book addict like me.
Care to share what you are reading now?
I’m currently reading 4 books. Usually I read books one after the other, but a review date got switched on me, and then a review copy came that I couldn’t resist taking a peek at (and then kept reading). That one is “The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story” from David C. Cook. It’s a picture Bible for children illustrated by Sergio Cariello in a comic-book style. It’s in chronological order and flows together like one long adventure story about how God relates to mankind. So far, I’m impressed, and I can hardly put it down! I’ll review it on my ChristFocus Book Club blog.
Any favorite books from this year you would like to mention?
From my Genre Review blog, I think "Disaster Status" by Candace Calvert was my favorite so far. It’s a suspenseful medical drama with some romance. A hazardous material spill brings together two people whose coping mechanisms--picked up from their parents and grandparents--threaten to destroy any chance of a lasting relationship.
Any book that was a favorite of others, or a bestseller, that you just didn’t “get”?
I don’t “get” most best-sellers. Most recently, I don’t understand why people—especially parents with teen kids—would enjoy reading “Hunger Games.” I grant that the novel is exciting, but anytime kids die (especially in large numbers and/or in cruel ways) in a novel, I really don’t enjoy the book.
If you could switch places with any literary character, who would it be and why?
There’s no way you’re going to get me to switch places with a character. Well, maybe if I can start at the “Happily Ever After,” but probably not even then. I like my life.
Do you have any particular indulgences when reading and reviewing books? (i.e. tea, special pillow, music, etc.)
Hmm, well, I tend to crawl into bed early and read for several hours before going to sleep. Yes, I even read thrillers right before sleeping! But that's one reason why I avoid horror novels. Also, since I live on the same farm as my parents, we eat supper together and then my mom reads a mystery novel out loud to us for several hours. I drink a cup of tea while listening to the story, and we all take turns trying to guess who-done-it.
I know that “Pride and Prejudice” is your favorite book (mine too!) but what would you consider your least favorite Jane Austen book and why? (I know, speaking ill of Jane!)
Well, I’ve never read “Lady Susan,” so perhaps I can safely say I don’t like it as well as all of the ones I have read. ;)
Outside of reading, what other hobbies do you enjoy spending your time on?
I’m a mentor, a hobby-farmer (garden, small orchard, chickens), and involved in prison ministry.
You’re packing for an indefinite stay on a desert island. Which 3 books? What 3 movies or tv shows? What 3 foods? What 3 daily “must have”s?
I’m taking you too seriously, but:
Books: The Bible, an “everything you need to know” book about desert survival, and a book about desert food gardening.
TV: I have a TV on the island? Um, the local weather channel and regional news? I don’t really watch TV or movies very much. (A note from Lori: Yes, in my fantasy desert island, there is electricity. I'm not much for roughing it!)
My favorite foods: Supreme pizza, burritos, and spelt bread.
Must-haves: fresh, drinkable water; a food supply; and a working satellite phone.
Summer, fall, winter or spring?
Fall. The trees have lovely leaves, the weather is cooler but not cold, and my outdoor work load slows down.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I don’t like the taste of coffee.
Physical book or e-book?
Physical books. I don’t have an e-Reader, so I find it too tiring (on eyes and body) to read books off the computer.
Facebook or My Space?
Neither. But I blog, I’m on Twitter (@genrereviewer), I use Goodreads, and I’m on several ning sites.
Edward Ferrars or Colonel Brandon?
Colonel Brandon (note from Lori: Me too!)
Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?
In terms of their portrayals of Darcy, I like Colin Firth’s better (though I really liked Matthew Macfadyen’s character in “Little Dorrit”). If you’re referring to screen appeal, I’m not particularly attracted to either.
Sum up your blog in 5 words.
Searching for well-written, clean fiction.
Thank you, Debbie, for taking the time to answer my questions - - and I'll even forgive you for not finding Colin Firth attractive (wink).
You can read my interview with Debbie on her blog Genre Reviews.
Thank you to Danielle Smith for organizing the interviews.
To my readers, celebrate BBAW by visiting Genre Reviews and giving Debbie a shout out. And feel free to leave comments here!