Becky from The Bookette, a fantastic blog focusing on YA and children’s fiction, kindly agreed to answer some of my questions about her favourite books and authors. In doing so, she became the first person to take part in the Book Blogger Q&A, a series of posts which I hope will become a popular feature at The Book Base.
How long have you been a book blogger?
I started blogging in August 2009. So one year and eight months. It seems longer.
Approximately, how many books do you read every year?
I think I read about 100 books a year. I tend to read between two and three a week. I challenged myself on Goodreads to read 100 books this year and so far I’m on target.
What were your favourite books as a child?
Winnie the Pooh was a childhood favourite. As was The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. My favourite fairytale was The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I just loved the idea of dancing all night long and hoodwinking your dad, I guess.
What are you reading at the moment?
I just finished Becoming Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty last night. I am rather in awe of said author. I am considering applying to run her fan club. I can’t decide what to start reading today. I am in an indecisive mood.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?
What sort of question is that?! How can one choose just one book? If I have to choose, it would be Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I feel in love with the ‘star-crossed’ lovers storyline. But it isn’t necessarily the best book but the one I loved the most. That doesn’t make sense. The best book would be Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty. As I have already mentioned, I feel as if I am in the presence of greatness when I read her novels. I don’t usually read contemporary fiction though. My best fantasy read was Firebrand by Gillian Philip. Fantasy is my favourite genre. I am an escapist reader.
Who are your three favourite authors?
Jaclyn Moriarty and Simone Elkeles who I have already mentioned. I also love Rick Riordan the author of Percy Jackson. I have always wanted to discover I have a special power.
Which book has influenced you the most?
Wow. I wish I knew. I think that’s a subjective question. My instinctive answer is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. That book opened my eyes to the world and made me a reader. But I think I should mention my favourite poem here: On the Pulse of Morning by Maya Angelou. I feel as if that peom speaks what I feel about the world and so it hasn’t necessarily influenced me but it communicates everything I believe.
What is your favourite book about books?
Yikes! I am not sure I have one. I certainly have books that are about books but I don’t really read them that much. So I am going to pick a book about writing books: On Writing by Stephen King. That book made me actually get on and do some writing. I am much more organised about writing now.
What advice would you give to new book bloggers?
Oh wow! I could write an essay for this. This is my advice for newbies in a nutshell:
- Enjoy it! Blogging is fun and a great way to meet like minded people.
- Review your favourite authors and show them they are appreciated.
- Be yourself.
- Try to decide early on what types of books your blog is going to focus on: YA? Fantasy? Crime? Historical?
- Get involved in memes and challenges – this will help you get to know other bloggers.
- Join Twitter – this will help you to connect with bloggers, authors and publishers.
- Review with sensitivity – if you rip an author’s work to pieces, they will most likely find out and they will be hurt. Authors are people too. So write honestly but with consideration.
- Don’t be afraid to ask more experienced bloggers for advice. I know I am always happy to help.
Which other book blogs do you recommend?
Wondrous Reads – I love Jenny’s blog. It was the first British blog I found and I always think of it as the original and the best.
Portrait of a Woman – I should say I am a little bias here. Caroline is my friend and I met her through blogging but I do love her blog. I always think of Caroline’s blog as intellectual and her reviews are so funny.
The Tales Compendium – This is my favourite Aussie blog. I love Aussie fiction so Jess is one of my sources for finding new titles.
Confessions of a Book Addict – Christina is my book twin. She lives in the US and we love the same books. I follow her recommendations and she costs me a fortune importing US titles.
The Book Zone – Darren’s blog is all about books for boys which is really helpful for me in my capacity as a children’s librarian as I find out all about books I wouldn’t personally be interested in.
Presenting Lenore – Lenore has the coolest themed months. I just really love her blog. I’ve been following her since I started blogging and I think she is the voice of experience and reason.
I could list many more but these are varied highlights from my personal favourites.