Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers! Meet Alicea, an avid reader and blogger who lover the non-fiction literature.
Follow Reading For The Heck Of It blog: readingfortheheckofit.booklikes.com
What are you reading right now? How do you like it?
I’m currently reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and while I’m enjoying it it’s quite a heavy read and I don’t always want to pick it back up. :-/ It’s actually one of the 100 titles from the Great American Read list (I’m using it for inspiration to read books I might not necessarily pick up on my own.).
When have you discovered you’re a book lover?
I think it was pretty clear by the time I was in middle school that I was a big book lover. I would always carry books around with me and when everyone else was watching TV I’d have a book ready to read during the commercial breaks. Also, I was the only kid in my high school that continued the Accelerated Reader quizzes just because I enjoyed taking the tests. That’s when you know you’re a book nerd!
Why reading is important to you?
I love learning about new things so nonfiction books are especially interesting to me. And I don’t think I’m unique in saying that reading is a great escape from reality so if you need to de-stress what better way than picking up a book and losing yourself in a character’s life?
Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?
This answer changes quite frequently but right now there are 2 that immediately come to mind. The first is The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford which is all about the death industry in the United States. Funeral industry practices as well as the stigma surrounding death in our culture are extensively discussed. It totally blew me away.
The second book I’m excited to review and recommend is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer. Told entirely through correspondence the protagonist of the story, a female writer, is immediately drawn into the story of a small town ravaged by the effects of WWII and the book club that came into being as a result. Utterly captivating, heart-wrenching, and hilarious this is a book that I think anyone would love.
I actually just thought of another one right before I finished these questions. This one came across my desk to be shelved and I couldn’t stop myself from taking it home to read. I am SO glad that I did. The book is called The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition by Jim Trelease and it’s the perfect resource for anyone with kids, around kids, or working with kids. It talks about best practices and procedures for nurturing lifelong learners plus includes an extensive treasury of books at the back.
You’re a Librarian this means you have unlimited access to all kind of books! WOW Is that intimidating or encouraging to pick different titles?
It’s completely overwhelming! Hahaha Because I have access to so many titles I often bite off more than I can chew. If I sent you a picture of my desk right now you’d be absolutely horrified. I have 5 piles of books and a postage stamp sized space for my laptop. At the same time, if I’m ever in a book rut I can just go to the shelves and pick a random book to read which more often than not draws me right back into gobbling up a zillion books at once. My co-workers are always laughing at me because 4 out of 5 days in the week I have titles on request coming in for me to pick up.
Do you read one book or several at a time?
I generally stick to one book at a time because with the amount of books I have to look through at work and as a book blogger I get a bit scatterbrained. As it is, I keep a notebook handy to make notes about what I’ve read so that when I get set to review the book I actually remember details even if it’s weeks later. (I’m always backlogged.) The exception is when I read a book at work and then take another one to read during my commute (usually a graphic novel or audiobook since they’re faster).
Do you review all books you read? How does your review process look like?
The only ones I don’t review are the picture books that I read for storytime here at work and that’s because it would take me FOREVER to review all of those. Otherwise, yes, I review every single one that I read. I generally jot down page numbers as I’m reading so that I can reference back when I’m taking down notes later. Because I don’t review the books immediately after reading them I tend to take rather detailed notes so that I can reference back and get a well-rounded picture of what I thought of the book like its tone, characters, etc. I try to post every Mon/Tues & Fri to keep a consistent schedule. It can be hectic with my full-time job and the long commute that I have (2 hrs each way) but I’m passionate about it so I try my best to stick with it.
A library or a bookstore?
This is an impossible question! I love them both for very different reasons. Libraries to me are magical places and I have very fond memories of visiting my town’s public library as a child. Bookstores like the Strand in NYC are equally amazing because they not only have new titles but used books which might be out of print. (I tend to favor used books over new ones these days.) I love out of the way bookstores especially if they have a lot of ratty books lining every conceivable space. There’s a bookstore in Carnforth, UK which is absolutely BANANAS. Here’s their website because you’ll definitely want to go if you’re into unique bookstore experiences: http://www.carnforthbooks.co.uk/
Your favorite genre is nonfiction (especially science). Why non-fiction books are so special?
If you had asked me 5 years ago what my favorite genre of book was without hesitation I would have said sci-fi. I have a fascination with the future of science and how it could be used to either further our species or utterly destroy it. It was only natural that my interests in that topic navigate to the real deal of nonfiction science. I’m especially intrigued by Artificial Intelligence (I’m terrified of it) and Environmental Sciences (SO fascinating that I’ve thought about getting a Master’s in the field).
What are your three favorite book covers?
I don’t know if these are my favorites of all time but I really, really like them right now so…
I preferred the UK cover to such a degree that I bought it from a UK distributor. So simple but so perfect…not sure why I love it so much but I really do.
I liked this cover so much that I went to the illustrator’s website to see if it was available as a print. (In case you’re wondering here’s the site: http://peahart.tumblr.com/post/158472539301/hey-guys-i-had-the-opportunity-to-paint-the
I saw this book cover and chose it almost entirely because I thought it was beautiful. This was right around the time I was getting into Cosmology and Astrophysics so it checked those boxes as well.
A paper book or an e-book?
Paper although if an e-book is the only available option I’ll suck it up.
Three titles for a holiday break?
My first choice is a book that I read over a Thanksgiving break and so I’ll forever remember the experience as being associated with a trip to Disney. It’s Russell Brand’s second nonfiction book, Revolution, and much like his first book the writing is excellent and the points he makes are solid and thought provoking. Highly recommend.
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins is a graphic novel with a really powerful message. It’s meatier than the majority of graphic novels that I’ve read and I was so impressed by it that after I checked it back in at the library I bought myself a copy. The illustrations are DELIGHTFUL.
My final choice might be a tad unconventional but for those wanting to know more about philosophy or who want a book they can really sink their teeth into on long-haul journeys Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder an excellent choice. It’s a middle grade novel that follows a girl who receives philosophical lessons from an anonymous source in her mailbox. This book is one of the reasons I fell in love with Swedish authors.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. - Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, Dune by Frank Herbert
If you could pair a book with a drink, what would you prepare to sip while reading?
I don’t generally drink while I’m reading but when I do it’s usually a hot beverage like tea or coffee.
Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)
I’m including all but one of my shelves because it’s an absolute mess and I couldn’t be bothered to clean it. Hahaha
#1 is less of a shelf and more of a semi-organized pile that sits in my living room.
#2 is a shelf that runs along one side of my bedroom and holds a lot of hardcovers and books sent to me by publishers and authors for review.
#3 contains my Harry Potter collection, Doctor Who/Torchwood books, and some oversized hardcovers. The messy piles on top of the shelves are mostly review copies sent to me by publishers (which is why there are so many hardcovers).
#4 and my final contribution contains my C.S. Lewis, Jane Austen, & Charles Dickens books. Also, my little Pop figurines from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sherlock, Fantastic Beasts, and Doctor Who.
Thanks again for including me in the bloggers that you interview. I really enjoyed the experience! :)
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