Book Blogger Q&A: Fluttering Butterflies

The 59th post in our Book Blogger Q&A series features Clover from Fluttering Butterflies.

Here are her responses:

Fluttering ButterfliesHow long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging at Fluttering Butterflies since January of 2006. So, just over 5 years. In all that time, it hasn’t always been a book blog. It started out as a very personal blog that was an excellent outlet for the things going on in my life at the time. I’d just given up my job and gave birth to my eldest son and needed some place to vent and work through some things. Because I’ve always been a big reader and very passionate about books, my blog gradually turned into the YA book blog that it is today.

Approximately, how many books do you read every year?

Unlike many book bloggers, I never really kept a detailed list of the books I’d read during the year. I only started keeping track from last year. Last year I read 188 books and this year so far I’ve read 124. I’m certain that book blogging has increased the number of books that I do get through during the year so, aside from my teenage years, I’m probably reading more books now in a year than I ever have before.

What were your favourite books as a child?

I’ve always loved books and I’ve been very lucky that I was always really well encouraged to love reading and books. My favourite book as a child is without a doubt, Charlotte’s Web by EB White. I carried that book around with me wherever I went and still have that battered and loved copy today. Other favourites included the Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, the Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery, books by Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl. I also really loved the classic books for children like The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just finished reading a really wonderful book that’s just been published, A Tangle of Magicks by Stephanie Burgis and I’m now reading Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur. Completely accidentally, I’ve been on a MG reading kick lately. Usually I plan a reading theme – I’ve recently gone through a phase of dystopic/post-apocalyptic novels and later in the year I’ll be doing a themed month for books by British authors, but this phase at the moment of books aimed at a slightly younger audience than I’d normally read came about as coincidence more than anything else.

If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

AHHH! What a difficult question! I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one, but how about three instead? Going Bovine by Libba Bray is just incredible. I found the mixture of the absolutely bizarre together with the hugely emotional aspect of the story was irrestistible. I love road trip stories in general, but this book just went beyond everything I could possibly imagine for it. I laughed, I cried, I was inconsolable when the book finished. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, which is a book that completely knocked me over with the heartfelt and beautiful writing, the amazing characters and this mystery of how the two different narratives come together. I’m a huge Melina Marchetta fan. And finally, I have to say Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck because it’s been such a long time since I found a highly addictive book like this one. I feel as though I put my entire life on hold in order to continue reading this book as well as the sequel, Tiger’s Quest. It’s so exciting and adventurous and romantic that I couldn’t bear to do anything until I’d finished the very last page and even then I wanted to go back and re-read it immediately.

Who are your three favourite authors?

I think the answer to this question changes on a fairly regular basis. But since you’re asking me today, I will say Melina Marchetta, Elizabeth Scott and Meg Cabot.

Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?

Wow, another really difficult question to answer. I’ve credited several books with saving my life, and while that may sound a little extreme I really do believe it. Books have had such a positive influence on my life, especially in times of despair and utter hopelessness. Several books have brought me back from the edge on different occasions and for that I’m really very grateful.  Without The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay and A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, things would be very different.

Which books are you most eagerly anticipating?

The books that are on the very top of wishlist at the moment are Tiger’s Voyage by Colleen Houck which isn’t published in the UK until November, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins published in September, and Kiss, Date, Love, Hate by Luisa Plaja, published in February of 2012.

Which book character is most like you?

I think I’m still on the look out for characters just like me. I think with every book that I read I can find some part of the characters that I can relate to but I’ve never really come across a character that everything about her felt like me. And some days I feel sad about that fact and would like to rally for a more diverse range of characters and topics within YA and other days it feels like it’s OK. I’m still looking for her, it’s an adventure…

If you had to invite some book characters round for dinner, who would you choose and why?

I think I would choose Frankie Landau-Banks, Mia Thermopolis and Lyra Silvertongue. No reason other than they are some truly awesome women and I think they would make for an interesting evening!

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

My advice for new bloggers … have fun with it, try not to feel too pressurised and remember that reading and blogging are both hobbies that you should be enjoying. But having said that, book blogging in particular is quite hard work and takes a great deal of time. I’d recommend having a few weeks of posts prepared in advance to give some breathing room and try not to fall into the trap of having too many memes crowding your blog space. I think the key to successful blogging is to keep providing useful and interesting content. Commenting and networking with other blogs of a similar focus is also quite handy and makes blogging more of a social element!

Which other book blogs do you recommend?

I read a lot of really great YA blogs … here are a few of my favourite blogs at the moment: Chicklish, possibly the first UK YA book blogs around, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory Book Reviews, Juniper’s Jungle, My Favourite Books and finally The Book Memoirs.

Thanks to Clover for taking the time to contribute to the Book Blogger Q&A series. If you haven’t done so already, check out her great blog and follow her on Twitter.

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