Today is my favorite part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week- the interview swap!! But before I get to that, here is today's BBAW Book Giveaway: A Curable Romantic, by Joseph Skibell. Here's what it's about:
As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed—all by the tender age of twelve— he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history—pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife.
Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loë Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven.
A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat —a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.
If you'd like to win a copy of A Curable Romantic, leave a comment here and I will pick a name on Saturday, September 18 (US addresses only). Good luck!
And now to the interview swap. I was paired with Sandy Nawrot from You've GOTTA Read This!, which I was very excited about because I have read Sandy's blog before and really enjoy it. She is featuring an interview with me today on her site, and here is my interview with her.
Bio of Sandy from You've GOTTA Read This!: I was an executive six years ago and quit to stay home with my kids (aged 12 and 10). Therefore my jobs now are to take care of the house, pool, yard, be a slave to my kids’ schedules, volunteer at the kids’ school, and support my husband. I wouldn’t go back if you paid me a million dollars. I’ve been married for 18 years. I love to cook, I love to play golf (though I suck), and we love to travel. I am an audio book addict. I’ve been blogging since November of 2008.
1. You read and review a pretty wide range of books – thrillers, mysteries, YA, literary fiction. Do you have a favorite? How would you characterize your taste in books?
You are right, I am all over the place! And I love different things on different days depending on my mood. But if I HAD to pick one genre that I would take with me to a deserted island, it would be true crime. I love well-written mysteries (I’m currently besotted with Tana French right now), but knowing that the story is true blows my mind each and every time. Then I have to go browsing on the Internet for more information after I finish. (That makes me sound morbid doesn’t it?) If you look through my posts, though, you would never know. Some of my favorite books this year have been good old-fashioned literary fiction, and I’ve also been known to get obsessive over WWII novels as well.
2. How do you decide what you are going to read next – by a schedule, or more by what you are in the mood for when you finish a book?
I am a big mess when it comes to my reading schedule. Obviously I honor my blog tours and ARC’s first, though lately that has been cramping my style and I’ve been very selective on what I accept. I also attempt to pick away at my challenges, but that is starting to annoy me too. I am fickle, and would really prefer to read whatever has captured my interest at that moment. I’m going to make that a goal for next year.
3. When and where do you do your blogging?
I have a little netbook that goes everywhere with me. Usually it is set up at my kitchen table, so I can blog amongst the chaos (ha), but I will drag it outside by the pool, or to my comfy drinking/reading chair, or in the car when I am waiting, waiting, forever waiting. I think I am at my best during the day when it is quiet in the house, but I take any opportunity I can find.
4. Are you an e-reader fan, or do you like old-fashioned paper books?
I love them all! I am an equal opportunity reader. I love the feel and smell of a paper book, but I spend about half my time listening to audio books, and I also have a Kindle. Sometimes I wonder if I could squeeze any more reading into my day.
5. What do you do when you don't love a book – write a brutally honest review, try to focus only on the positive, or skip the review?
I definitely won’t shy away from a negative review. I try to find positive things to say along with the negative because not everyone is going to feel the way I do. But I will definitely make it clear why I didn’t love a book. And I have a rating system, which ultimately should remove any doubt.
6. What advice do you have for someone starting a book blog?
First and foremost, it should be fun! There are no rules, so you can do whatever you want. You can post once a week, once a month or every day. (Similar advice that you gave in your interview! I think I need to listen to my own words…) The other advice that I received from my sister when I started was to be sociable. Stop by and leave comments, and eventually others will come back and see what you are all about. It is kind of a shocker when you publish your first post and people don’t automatically come flocking to read your words!
7. What's the best book you've read this year?
I’m not sure I can give you one! I loved Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. I loved Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Then I have this general gushing love for Marisa de los Santos and Tana French. Anything they write is my favorite!
Thanks for the great interview, Sandy!