Sunday, June 3, 2012

Armchair BEA, 2012: Intro!

Last year was my first year experiencing Armchair BEA and it was a hoot. One of the best perks of book blogging is the wonderful community I've met and Armchair BEA has allowed me to get to know other bloggers better -- so I'm thrilled to participate again this year! Last year, I used my review format as my introduction but this year, Armchair BEA has a prepared intro interview for folks.  Without further ado...

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I'm Audra, a 30ish married lesbian living in Boston.  I work full-time doing non-book related work, and blog around the edges.  My first review was posted in January of 2010, a review of a Fay Weldon novel about a nanny that messed me up so much I still have PTSD from it! I started blogging because I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I was reading, to geek out with other book lovers. Before 2010, I had kept a Livejournal with book reviews but wanted to move off that platform to something more blog-y.

What is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

HA! I can't ever pick one favorite. So far, in 2012, reads I've been totally enamored of include Rashad Harrison's Our Man in the Dark, Jane Harris' Gillespie and I, and Mary Roberts Rinehart's When a Man Marries.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

Me!
I am a tarot addict. I've been reading tarot for nearly 15 years and I've got about 300 decks. I adore collecting them. For a while, I read as a way to get extra cash while in college but these days, I mostly read for friends or as a meditative exercise.

What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I love doing author interviews -- it's an unexpected perk of book blogging, getting to pick the brains of these folks. Such a treat!

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Questions like this are the worst! I have so many qualifiers. Living author: Penelope Lively, I think. Deceased author: H.D. I can't even begin to think of which character I'd like to have for dinner -- I'd need a cafeteria or dining hall to fit them all!

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

The other book bloggers. I have met so many friendly, smart, classy, interesting, and warm people through book blogging, folks I'd be honored to call friends, and it has been a delight to get to gush about books and publishing with other book bloggers. If I were to change anything, it would be with my own blogging, in that I'd like to bridge the gap from reviews-with-a-fringe-of-personal-stuff to sharing more personal things. I'm always surprised that my throwaway personal blog posts garner more comments than my reviews!

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

I'm reading so much more popular and commercial fiction since I started book blogging, mostly due to the fact I review for a number of blog tour companies. It's been very exciting to walk into a bookstore and know that I've read most of the books on their new releases table. I've also found I'm reading more award-nominated fiction, but that hasn't been intentional, just a result of being on tours with really fantastic books. I also read more because of my review schedule -- and that has made me find more time to read in my life. It's pretty marvelous -- I feel like an 8 year old again, staying up all hours of the night because I just can't put a book down.

*** *** ***

Share your introductions if you've done them, and feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments so I can learn about you!

33 comments:

  1. Wow, so interesting about the tarot! And I love it also when I can't put a book down - such fun!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being in the grip of a good book -- that's just the best feeling!

      Delete
  2. Tarot cards are always so beautifully designed! And I agree with the reading more commercial novels and award-nominated fiction since I've been a blogger. Not a bad thing! Enjoy Armchair BEA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been so exciting to be 'in the know' for once -- I'm the cool kid who gets to be all 'oh [novel name] was so delicious' a month before it comes out! I'm only a tiny bit insufferable! ;)

      Delete
  3. Have already found so many interesting titles in just a few minutes! Nice to *meet* you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping by -- you can't go wrong with any of those three novels! :)

      Delete
  4. It's nice to meet you. Seems like my personal posts (I call them "my musings") get more attention than book stuff too. Wonder what that means...

    Have a great BEA! My BEA Post

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh man, livejournal. I've still got one of those. I love that damn platform.

    And hah, tarot! Fantastic. There's some incredibly detailed Harry Potter tarot deck that's been floating around online, but the creator can't sell it because of copyright or something. Blast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love and miss Livejournal but it's just not where I'm at these days!

      I have had fantasies of doing a Mists of Avalon tarot but stopped myself because the idea of doing all that work and have it go nowhere because of copyright issues. Le sigh. Taking my favorite works and tarot-izing them is a favorite activity of mine -- I'll have to look for the HP one b/c I love that idea!

      Delete
  6. I adored Gillespie and I and it was the book I listed for my favorite read of the year, but how did I miss your review of Mary Roberts Rinehart book. I "discovered" her last year and have been devouring every book I can get my hands on. Going to go read your review now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't she marvelous??? I am so smitten with her -- was delighted to read When a Man Marries -- so adorable, so mischievous, so fun! I'm so sad G&I didn't make the Orange shortlist.

      Delete
  7. I also love author interviews! I was honestly surprised at how personable and genuine so many authors are. I'm not sure what I was expecting - mythical creatures, maybe?

    Pleased to meet you! Here's my Armchair BEA Intro Post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly -- I felt the same way -- but it's been awesome -- everyone has been so cute and gush-y!

      Delete
  8. I've always wanted to have a card reading but I've always been wary of asking to have it done. I don't know why LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's definitely nothing scary or demonic about tarot readings, whatever weird websites might say, and any reader who tries to scare you is doing it wrong! It's a wonderfully fun way to look at your life -- sometimes it helps to see things in a different light!

      Delete
  9. I think people always like personal posts because they're like different from the things you always see, ie reviews. And just cause it's nice to get to know people better. Like in this post! Hey! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. So happy to have "met" you through Armchair BEA! I'm already a follower - I love the format for your reviews and have already put a couple new titles on TBR list because of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the many perks of Armchair BEA -- new blogs for me to follow!! Thank you for popping by -- can't wait to see how you make my TBR grow and I hope I can do the same for you! ;)

      Delete
  11. oh tarot card reading sounds really interesting! I agree about the other bloggers, it's amazing how most people are so supportive, generous, and all around the nicest. Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the photo of you with the painting! I read far more popular fiction than I used to as well (especially women's fiction). My reading used to consist mainly of science fiction and nonfiction, with occasional forays into historical fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't know you were a Tarot addict! How interesting is that, and 300 decks? You must be good at it. Love the fellow book bloggers, too, and it was nice to meet you through one of my give-aways this year.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So glad to have "met" you through blogging. The bloggers that I stick with, are the one's that speak to me as if I am right there in the room with them. The ones that don't hold back, and you are one of them!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much for stopping by. I think you will really enjoy both Overseas and The Age of Miracles. They are really different from each other but both so good!

    It is interesting that you do tarot readings. I've never had one done but it is one of those things that I'm curious about.

    I know what you mean about trying to get more personal stuff into your reviews. I've been trying to add some more personality to my blog by doing posts other than just book reviews including Wordless Wednesday (photo posts).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello Hello Hello! :) Librarian from Missouri over here! I've had my tarot cards read one time - it was pretty interesting. I don't know how real it is but it was nice thinking I was going to find love soon - We'll see! Here's crossing my fingers!


    It was wonderful "meeting" you :) Armchair BEA @ the Brunette Librarian

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your idea of filling a cafeteria with authors to have dinner with. Seriously, we should get on that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very interesting about the tarot cards :) I'm reading a book right now called Sepulchre, which has some sort of mystery going on right now that has to do with a missing set of old tarot cards. Don't really know the whole story yet though, because I'm still reading it :)
    If you're comfortable with it, you should totally do more "personal" posts. I love reading them because you learn so much more about the person behind the reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yep, I can never pick just one favorite book anymore. We are getting to read so many great ones! I will say that since I've been blogging my tastes have totally changed.

    A little known fact about me is that before blogging, it was James Patterson, Janet Evanovich and more of that mainstream fiction, simply because I had no clue where to go outside that box I'd built for myself. (Plus I was busy with babies and my brain was mush).

    Out of the blue, in the Fall of 2008, a co-worker gave me The Other Boleyn Girl and that was the END OF MY LIFE AS I KNEW IT.
    I had to google the heck out of those Tudors and the World of Blogs were found. =)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I get the same way, all squee-like when I walk into the book store and see that I've read the new release on the table or in someone's hand. I want to run up and say "I read that like a month ago, aren't I awesome?!" except they'd probably just look at me all strange-like and call security...
    I've always been interested in what tarot cards have to say about me. :)
    Thanks for stopping by The Bawdy Book Blog!

    ReplyDelete
  21. The book blogging community is really one of the best parts of the whole book blogging thing. Well that and knowing all the hot new books before everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Its been awhile since I popped over to your site as I've been reading in my reader. I like your book photos! I did not know that you read tarot cards. That is pretty interesting! I'm glad you enjoy the interviews because you really excel at them.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That's cool about Tarot. I love that feeling of walking into a bookstore and thinking "oh, I've read that." It makes me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I read Our Man in the Dark as well and really, really enjoyed it. I haven't found much historical fiction covering that time period.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love tarot. I do not have the attention span to learn it myself though I tried. But I love the cards and their meanings. My BFF did a reading for me in college and I keep meaning to go and have a reading done by this lady that lives around the corner from me. Perhaps your mention of tarot will give me that little push I need. :)

    ReplyDelete