Happy Book Bloggers’ Appreciation Week! I will catch up with the festivities soon, I promise. Meanwhile, I interviewed Jenny who blogs at Take Me Away as part of the BBAW book bloggers’ interview swap, and I’m so happy to have found a new blog to read! My questions and her answers appear below.
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
- How did you choose the title for your blog?
- What made you decide to start a book blog?
- I see you have participated in several reading challenges this year, including the Brontë one I did as well. Can you talk about which one is your favorite and why? Why do you do reading challenges? What do you like about them?
- Do you set a rhythm or schedule for updates? If so, what?
- What is your favorite genre to read and why?
- Do you have a favorite book? Or a shortlist of favorite books? If so, what is it/are they and why?
- Do you use book blog reviews when trying to decide whether or not to read a book? What about Goodreads, Amazon, or the like?
- Can you talk about Throwback Thursday, the book meme you created?
- Who is the coolest author you ever met?
- Who are your favorite book bloggers?
I live in Central Florida with my husband and dog. I work as a social worker and am also doing an internship as a mental health therapist, so I’m pretty busy! And I love to reading and blogging. That’s pretty much it!
I wanted a name that was somewhat unique and that described what books were for me. I called it Take Me Away because that’s what I feel books do… whether it’s that I’m “literally” being taken away to another state, country, etc. or just that I’m being “taken away” from real life, stress, etc. In that sense, reading is an escape for me!
A few years ago I joined paperbackswap.com and started playing in the games forum. It was fun getting to “meet” so many other readers. There were a couple people on there who had book blogs and that was when I first learned of them. I thought it sounded like fun to write about the books we read. Plus, I tend to forget about books shortly after reading them, even if I love them (LOL), so I thought blogging would be a good way to document my thoughts that I can look back on and remember.
This is sort of a funny question for me…. see, I join challenges with the caveat that they will not stress me out—they’re more something I strive for. So it’s almost like the challenge is there and I join them but then don’t think much about them. In reality, I don’t ever choose books to read for challenges… it’s more like I read whatever and when that challenge ends I figure out how much of what I read fits in that category; though I’ll admit it is fun when I know a book I’m reading will meet the requirements for a challenge. If I had to pick a favorite I would say either of the “imprints” challenges like the Amy Einhorn one or the Reagan Arthur one… I think the ones that have the most eclectic choice of books to choose from are my favorites. Or the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die one because I feel like I’m reading some good, important books!
On a regular/good week I was aiming for 2-3 book reviews. I’ll substitute some type of bookish topic for a review if I have something to say. But lately my reading slowed down considerably (August was a rough reading month) so my posts were much more sporadic. I’m just now starting a new feature where on Fridays I am posting a review of a short story from an anthology of short stories that appeared in The New Yorker. So I think I will aim for 1-2 book reviews/posts other than that each week. And I pretty much try to separate all my posts by 2 or 3 days. I currently have 5 book reviews ready to go whenever I want to post them, but this is by far the most I’ve ever had prepared at once!! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up though.
I am truly an eclectic reader. I have favorite genres but even with those I feel like I have to make a departure from them every once in a while. I really enjoy women’s fiction, contemporary fiction of all types, literary fiction, and mystery/thrillers. Even with mystery/thrillers, though, I prefer the ones that are more literary in nature. I really like reading books that make me think about an issue and/or that can lead to interesting conversations. But then I also like fun, fluffy books every once in a while too!
Ahhh, my favorite books change all the time! Currently, I say my favorite is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. For a long time Wuthering Heights was my favorite. Strangely, one of my favorite books is Daughter of the Forest (the first in the Sevenwaters trilogy). I say strangely because I typically am not a fan of that genre! But I’ve read that one 3 or 4 times. I really loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls both by Lisa See. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb was absolutely fantastic and I considered it a favorite too but I’ve only read it once and haven’t had a chance to read it again to confirm it’s still a favorite. Some of my favorite “fluffier” books are Jemima J by Jane Green and Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I know there are so many other great books out there, though, that will become a favorite that I just haven’t had a chance to read yet!
Yes and no. If I see a book in the store that looks good and I haven’t heard about it before, I may buy it without looking into reviews. But definitely when I do read reviews for books I can be swayed into buying/reading a book as well as talked out of it. I sometimes use the user reviews at bn.com, but for reviews I usually refer to book blogs.
I created Throwback Thursday because most book blogs tend to focus on newer books and/or books that are only just now being ready by the blogger. But most of us have been readers for years and have extensive lists (physically or not) of books we have read in the past that still deserve recognition! I used to do the meme weekly but after a while had difficulty keeping up so now I have it on a mainly monthly schedule. I love talking about and remembering older books that I’ve read though!
Hmmm, coolest author…. I went to a luncheon/reading once for Jodi Picoult. There were so many people that even when having books signed we couldn’t really talk, but she sounded really intelligent when she gave her speech at the luncheon and was really nice. I met Kristy Kiernan at a local signing and she was sooooo incredibly nice and personable. I really liked her a lot. I can’t remember if there are many other authors that I’ve really had much of a conversation with (ahh hope I’m not leaving anyone out!!) I think Lauren Oliver is an awesome person based on her blog, and I have met her (at BEA), but my interaction with her was very short.
Oh, another very difficult question because I have so many! Jennifer with Crazy-For-Books who I consider a good blogging friend of mine… Michelle at Red Headed Book Child as well. The New Dork Review of Books is one of my favorites, as is The Five Borough Book Review. Those are seriously just a handful though because I have a loooong list of favorite bloggers! (I’m new to your blog but I’m really loving it too!) =)
Thanks Jenny for letting me interview you and for the opportunity to learn more about you! You can read Jenny’s interview of me at her blog.