Today for Book Blogger Appreciation Week we are swapping interviews with other bloggers. My interviewer/ee was Kerri from BookEnds. We had a fine time asking each other questions, both practical and silly, about books and blogging and how awesome we both are. 🙂 Here are Kerri’s answers to my questions; my answers to hers are up at her site!
1. I recognize only a few of the books you have read this year. What genres do you read most often, and what draws you to them?
I find I read a real mixture of genres. Before I started blogging, I bought almost all of my books at Costco and my selections were always based on an eye catching cover and a good blurb on the back rather than a particular genre. If I found an author I liked, I would continue to buy his / her books. My genres have expanded with some of the challenges I’ve signed up for. I just completed the Non-Fiction Five Challenge, and that was about five more non-fiction books than I read last year.
2. I notice that there are some reading group posts on your site along with your reviews and memes and the like. How does that group fit in with your site?
I used to belong to a really great book club during University, but once we graduated we found it hard to find a good time to all meet so we dissolved. I was looking for a way to still have meaningful discussions on books, so a few times I’ve tried a reading group blog. We pick the book at the start of the month and post questions at the end of the month. Participants would reply to the questions in the comments section. We had some great discussion on a few books but it lacks the charm and face to face of a real book club.
3. You participate in blog tours and receive ARCs. Is this something you wanted to do when you started your blog? How did you get started?
I originally started a blog called ‘random’ because I wanted to work on my writing but I found after a few witty posts on pop culture I was running out of ideas and forcing posts. I started adding a few book reviews for fun and the blog turned into BookEnds very quickly. As I started following other book blogs, I found out about ARCs. I’ve reviewed a few great books and a few forgettable books. I only accept one ARC a month. I’ve had two really great authors contact me directly and that is the most exciting to me. My interview with author Nadine Dajani about her book Cutting Loose is one of my favorites posts.
4. I notice that most of your current challenges are of the random variety (A-Z, Take a Chance, Colorful Reading). How do these affect your reading — do you seek out new books or find unread books on your shelf to fit the challenge? Also, do you end up liking the books you pick?
My TBR pile is a bit large right now, so I always make an effort to find my challenge books there first – but you’re right – the random variety of the challenges has meant I’ve had to seek out some new books. Since I love to browse bookstores, I’ve put in a lot of effort to find books that fit the challenge requirements as well as seeming to be a book I would enjoy reading. This has not always worked out as planned, but for the most part I’ve liked the books I’ve picked. I’ve also read some authors and books that I LOVED that I never would have read had it not been for a challenge. My latest review of Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden is a great example.
5. You don’t use tags on your blog. Why not?
Well that is a good question that I don’t really have a good answer for. I suppose that brings more people to your blog? I’m going to read up on tags.
6. What is your favorite post that you have written?
I’m participating in the Take a Chance Challenge hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here. Challenge #9 asked you to write a book review in three different forms of verse: haiku, limerick and free verse. I spent a lot of time on this post as I hadn’t attempted poetry since High School, but at the end of the day it was so much fun. My review was of The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.
7. Where do you get most of your books?
I still love browsing the book section at Costco. The rest of my books have been coming from giveaways or ARCs. Ocassionally I’ll splurge at Chapters for a challenge book.
8. Have you always been a reader? What sort of books were you into when you were younger?
I have always been a reader, and I’m blessed with the ability to read in moving vehicles. Reading was the only way I could survive 8 hour road trips to my grandma’s and grandpa’s with two younger sisters. I liked books by Ronald Dahl – James and the Giant Peach in particular, Judy Blume, Choose your own Adventures, and then I moved on to Nancy Drews and Sweet Valley Highs.
9. Is there a book that, if it were the only book with you on a desert island, you would refrain from reading?
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Minstry – Oprah and my book club loved it. I could not stand it, the ending made me physically angry and it was about 600 pages to get there.
10. If you were, for some reason, not allowed to read books anymore, what would you do with that time?
I would happily give up reading if I could live somewhere warm and golf all day all the time. If I have to stay in Canada without books, I would be forced to watch more bad reality television and re-runs of CSI.