Here are her responses:
How long have you been a blogger?
My blog, Amaterasu Reads, just turned 1 last July 22nd. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a year. Time surely flies fast when you’re having fun! It still feels like the first few days I’ve started the book blog, mainly because I love reading and I want to share my thoughts about the books I read. Despite being around for a year, I’m still learning and still finding out a lot of great things in the book blogging world.
Approximately, how many books do you read every year?
I don’t really keep count, but thanks to Goodreads, my average is about 70-80 books a year. I’m challenging myself to read 100 books this year, and it’s only August, but I’ve already surpassed the number of books I’ve read last year. I’m not sure how I did it, with work keeping me busy and then book blogging and reading on the side, but I think 100 will be my new quota after this year.
What were your favourite books as a child?
Some of Roald Dahl’s stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a book I remember reading, growing up. But I never really got into reading until the Harry Potter series came along. I still feel a bit nostalgic when I think how it has ended, since it’s been a big part of my childhood. And then came Sweet Valley High as I grew a little bit older, and I just love that series.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading through three books right now. First is Catherine Bruton’s We Can Be Heroes, for a blog tour. The second one is Cara Lynn Shultz’s Spellbound, which I am really loving as I read more. And Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, an exquisite Australian novel. All three are review books. I read faster and better when I’m under pressure, so I often set deadlines for books I need to read. It sounds weird, but it works for me.
If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?
This is hard. I’ve read quite a few that made a big impression on me as a reader, but if I have to pick, I have to say it’s The Hunger Games trilogy. I have no idea who Suzanne Collins was until I’ve read her books. Her books made me love the dystopia genre and reinforced my love for reading. I was looking for another great series after Harry Potter and this was it. Divergent deserves a mention as well, another dystopia book that deserves all the hype and praises it has gotten and is still getting, and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series, which made me fall in love with the paranormal genre. I’ve shed quite a few tears because of these books.
Who are you three favourite authors?
I have so many that it’s not easy to pick just three. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorites. Her books will always be the ones I’d recommend to a reluctant reader who wants to discover great YA contemporary novels. Simone Elkeles became one of my favourite authors after reading Perfect Chemistry. She just writes honest, good and intense contemporary books. Lastly, another contemporary writer I love is Deb Caletti. Her books are just filled with great insights and wisdom alongside the romance.
Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Recently? I’d say it’s Deb Caletti’s Stay and Sarah Dessen’s What Happened To Goodbye. Stay is a book that tells readers about the dark side of love, and it provides such great lessons and insight. I felt wiser and yet it still makes me believe in love. What Happened to Goodbye is more of a personal read, something I was able to relate to in so many levels, like I was reading my own story.
Which books are you most eagerly anticipating?
I have a lot! There are tons of 2012 releases that I am eagerly waiting for, and the last quarter of this year also has a few more great books waiting to be released, like Stephanie Perkins’ sophomore novel, Lola and The Boy Next Door which releases September 29th, 2011. I loved her first book, Anna and the French Kiss and I am eager to find out if Lola is as wonderful as Anna. Another is The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder, releasing December 8th 2011, The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg to be released January 17th 2012, and lastly, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, which will be released January 2nd 2012.
If you had to invite some book characters round for dinner, who would you choose and why?
I’d love to have Four and Tris of Divergent over for dinner and just talk to them about Chicago during their time, and maybe get them to talk about their factions a bit. I’d also love to have Luca from Lisa Bergren’s The River of Time series and Puck from The Iron Fey series. Those two would probably make me laugh all night with their jokes and tricks. And then all three Fuentes Brothers from Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry series, but they’ll most likely distract me and I won’t be able to focus on dinner at all. We can all eat at a safe strip of land somewhere in Nevernever. I just hope no one gets lost there.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Just have fun blogging. Do not think about how many hits you’ll get, or how much people will follow you. Just go enjoy reading and sharing your thoughts to your blog’s readers and everything else will follow. Also, remember that book blogging requires dedication and hard work. It’s not going to be easy. Lastly, don’t forget to be yourself and be honest! You are your blog. You can do whatever you want with it. Don’t be afraid to interact with fellow book lovers, readers and bloggers. It’s a big world, and it depends on you how you will carve your own little piece in the book blogging world.
Which other book blogs do you recommend?
Many thanks to Kai for taking the time to answer our questions.