Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA, May 23 - Who am I

This year was too soon to try to attend the real world BEA and Book Blogger Con in New York City, which made me sad, so I was ecstatic to see an armchair variation.  Today's daily topic is Who are you, and how do you armchair?  This might be too cutesy or a total failure, but I'm going to try to do that with my standard review template!

Title: Unabridged Chick
Author: Audra

Genre: I prefer fiction to non-fiction, although I do enjoy a lovely biography or memoir now and then.
Publisher/Publication Date: I began blogging at Blogger/Blogspot in January 2010.

Rating: Five million stars because I'm awesome??? ETA: Maybe I should acknowledge that I'm not a 'clean reads' person or anything like that.  I try to indicate in reviews if books are particularly risque or very mild but personally I don't mind a little sex in my fiction.
Did I finish?:  No, but I haven't quit yet either, so that's pretty fun!

One-sentence summary: I'm a 30-something married lesbian with a thing for literary fiction, historical novels, interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.
 
Reading Challenges: I'm not a fan of inspirational or religious fiction, as a rule, since I'm not Christian (even though I'm married to a former seminarian). 

Do I like the cover?: I'm pretty happy with my blog's layout for now, even if it's one of Blogspot's standards.  I keep trying to take artistic photos of my books to use as a new background but so far, I've not been very successful.

First line: Technically, the very first post in my blog was my review of Fay Weldon's She May Not Leave, posted in January of 2010.  I backdated entries to 2009 to 'bulk up' my blog.

Am... I going to my first author reading events this week?: YES. Inspired by Armchair BEA, I've decided to expand my book horizons from just reading/reviewing, and I am pretty psyched to say I'm going to see Emma Donoghue tonight (reading from Room) and China Mieville tomorrow (reading from Embassytown).

Do... I struggle without how to rate books I review?: YES.  That might be one of the hardest things for me.  I did stars for a while, but that just seemed sort of lame, and now I vaguely rank by love-like-disliked.  That translates a bit oddly when I put my reviews on social book sites but such is life.

Do... I give friends/family blow-by-blow accounts of the books I read?: YES. (Sorry friends and family.)  I can't help it -- especially if I know my wife or bestie isn't going to read the book I'm reading, I have to share all the awesome (or all the horror).  And to be honest, everyone on the subway hears about it, too, or coworkers who share the elevator with me.  I kind of can't shut up about the book I'm reading, whatever book it might be.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: I am a deeply passionate library fan, and when I started book blogging, my wife made me promise not to go nuts buying books to review.  Which I didn't!  I browsed my local library and picked up what looked interesting and that worked just fine.  Then she bought me an e-reader for my 30th birthday and ebooks are so ridiculously cheap that I've started buying.  (So it's actually her fault I buy more books now.)

Why did I get this book?: Or, in this case, why did I start this blog?  Post-college I had a Livejournal for a while, mostly personal stuff, which was fun and strange but eventually seemed too much.  I quit being online for a while but missed connecting with like-minded folks to gush about the things I loved -- mostly books -- and after keeping a private book journal, decided to try my hand at blogging.

Review:  I'm thrilled to be participating in the Armchair BEA (Book Expo America) this year (a first for me) and one of the big steps in my book blogging 'career'.  At this point, I've been blogging for about a year and a half, and I'm amazed at how I went from zero acquaintances and reviewing in a void to a lovely circle of blogger colleagues with whom I can share my bookish love.  It's been a pleasure and, frankly, the achievement of my life dream to have people send me books for free.

When I'm not reading, I love to cook/eat (my wife and I belong to a dinner club which is immensely fun), travel (our last great adventure was taking the puddle jumper from Barnstable to Nantucket), writing (aspiring novelist, of course!), and going to the movies (my friends tease me for this, but I'm a sucker for films in 3D).  I own fat cats who sit on my books when they think I'm not giving them enough attention.

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post, Audra! I'm enjoying your blog and getting to know you :-)

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  2. Melissa - Thank you! I feel a bit silly for going so overboard but I couldn't resist. I appreciate your reading it! :)

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  3. Wow, this is a great intro. You put me to shame! Your blog is one of my favorites. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Hi Audra, love the "buy, borrow, avoid" approach... nice to get to know you a little better, and happy Armchair BEA!

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  5. Teresa - You are too sweet -- thank you! I blame all the coffee, and nerves, for the gigantic intro -- it's probably overkill, but I'm not one for restraint! ;)

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  6. I love the format you took with this post! I love that you have so much fun with serious literature (and life too, it seems!):-)

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  7. I actually love this format for your intro. I'm stopping by while Wiggles is asleep. I've subscribed via email, so I can at least read if not comment on all your posts.

    Have a great Armchair BEA and see you around!

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  8. Nice to find out a little bit more about you Audra. Have fun with the Armchair BEA.

    I also love the book blogging community, it's such a great place with like-minded people!

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  9. I love the background for your blog-old books always look so lovely! The way you set out your introductory post was great too!!

    The Cait Files

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  10. What a creative intro post! I too have tried to take book photos (for my header) in the past and eventually gave up. I hope you have better luck with your future book photos than I have. :)

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  11. That was a fun way to do the post. I wish I was more creative sometimes. Like this morning I thought I should have done a little intro video. But I didn't and by the time I get home I won't look pretty enough for the camera.

    Girl Who Reads

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  12. Hi Audra! You have no idea how intensely jealous I am that you're going to see Emma Donoghue read tonight! I read Room a few weeks ago and I am now a tiny bit obsessed with it/trying to make everyone read it! Excited to see the rest of your Armchair BEA posts :)

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  13. Love the layout for this post - such a great idea!

    It's great to meet you.

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  14. Lovin' Armchair BEA already because I found this blog. One of my goals was to get out there and into the world of adult fiction...this blog looks FANTASTIC---enjoy the author visit tonight.

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  15. cute idea for an intro post. i'm a fellow non-fiction, memoir, and biography lover, so i'll definitely be adding you to my list of bloggers to check back with!

    it's so great that Armchair BEA is here for us to take away the BEA blues, and to give us a chance to mingle with all the wonderful bloggers out there. i hope you have a great week!

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  16. This was a great idea! Too bad I didn't think of it myself, because I too have a unique reviewing "template". :)

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  17. @Everyone -- thank you for the comments -- I'm quite giddy -- so this, combined with coffee, has me very bouncy and especially excited for Armchair BEA. Can't wait to read the posts from everyone else -- I appreciate all the new follows and I hope I don't disappoint in the future! :)

    (I apologize for the mass reply, too!)

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  18. Great intro and a very interesting blog! Thanks for a visit!

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  19. Great post, Audra!

    It's fantastic that you will be seeing & hearing Emma Donoghue and China Melville. I haven't read anything by Melville yet but have read good things about her books.

    I talk to anyone who'll listen about the books I'm reading esp. when something really irritates or amazes me.

    I hope your trip to Nantucket was fantastic, it's my favorite place in the world! I used to spend a lot of time there growing up & I lament the many chages to the island but still love it.

    I hope you have a great week!

    I completely understand what you wrote about rating books. I have issues with how to rate them and am unsatisfied with gicing books a # out of 5. I wwant to come up with something better.

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  20. Now thats an intro! Thanks for the visit and I hope to chat with you during BEA week :)

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  21. I've been reading your blog for the past couple of weeks and like what I've seen so far. I like bloggers who have a voice and yours comes across clearly for me. Does that makes sense?

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  22. Hi Audra! I came across your blog on the Armchair BEA site. I really like your reviews, and I think our reading tastes are similar. I'm definitely a follower...can't wait to read your reviews in the future. The format you took for your introduction post is very refreshing. Nice job!

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  23. I love how you kept your "about me" in line with how you typically blog! I think you pulled it off well. I am sort of jealous of this dinner club you spoke of - sounds awesome!

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  24. Really enjoyed this post Audra :)

    I laughed when I read the part about your wife being to blame for you buying books via the e-reader. That's what happened when my husband got a Kindle -- he keeps saying, but they're so cheap, why not buy them!

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  25. What a great intro!! On behalf of the Armchair BEA organizers, we hope you have a blast this week!

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  26. Great post! Nice to get to know you, and always happy to find other people from the area!

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  27. I love the creative way you introduced yourself and your blog. Thanks also for visiting my blog. It's great meeting you.

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  28. Intros are always fun :) Do you still have a livejournal by any chance? I'd love to friend ya there.

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  29. What a great format for your introduction! I'm glad I found your blog (thanks for visiting mine earlier in the week). I'm going to start following yours as we seem to enjoy similar books. :-)

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  30. Great intro... I'm enjoying Armchair BEA and having a good time finding out more about the person behind the blog.

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