Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Interview with Jennifer from Books, Personally

Since I can't attend the Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention and rub elbows with peeps in New York this year, I'm thrilled to be participating in Armchair BEA this week. Today is round-robin interview day! Meaning someone interviews me (Jennifer from The Literate Housewife), and I interview someone else, and then the person I interview is assigned to interview another person, and so on... make sense? OK, let's get this party started!


An Interview with Jennifer from 
Books, Personally:

I'm honored to welcome Jennifer from Books, Personally to A Book and a Latte

Me: Hi Jennifer! It's wonderful to have this opportunity to meet and get to know fellow book bloggers from the comfort of our favorite chairs. Can you tell us about about your blog, and also a little bit about yourself?

Jennifer: Hi Jen! It's so nice to get to know you this week and thanks for hosting this interview! I blog over at 
Books, Personally and also contribute book reviews occasionally to The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog. I'm a mom (of two kids and very large dog), wife, avid reader, chief laundry-doer, and classroom volunteer.

Me: Do you have any pets? If so, any funny related stories to share?

Jennifer: We have a very sweet, very big, white, fluffy Great Pyrenees dog named Rosie. She's quite the local celebrity, attracting attention and adoration wherever she goes. I just consider myself lucky enough to be part of her entourage.

Me: Did book blogging change your reading habits, or the type of books you read?

Jennifer: Such a great question - it did, actually! I've developed a real interest in indie/small press short story collections since I started blogging. I love participating in #fridayreads on twitter each week, and at Valentine's Day Shelf Unbound Magazine put out a special collection of modern love stories for Friday Reads participants. There I discovered some very exciting new-to-me authors and books, and have become a big fan. 

Me: What is your favorite thing about book blogging?

Jennifer: I love the reading and writing of course, but have found getting to know other bloggers and even a few authors to be the most rewarding part. Collaborating with other writers and bloggers on guest posts and interviews has been especially fun- there are a lot of interesting, and talented people out there working hard on their blogs every day.

Me: What genre of books do you enjoy reading the most?

Jennifer: I have fairly eclectic taste, but tend toward literary fiction, now some small press/indie short stories. I also enjoy some mystery or suspense, sometimes non-fiction.

Me: Who are your favorite authors?

Jennifer:  Carson McCullers is maybe one of my all-time favorites, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter made such an impression on me when I was a teen. I'd like to reread it. I'm rereading The Member of the Wedding - her writing is even more moving than I remember. I also love Audrey Niffenegger, Kate Mosse. Newly discovered favorites from small press/indie publishing include Patrick Somerville, Matt Bell, and Alan Heathcock.

Me: What is your favorite book(s) from your childhood? How do you share your love for reading with your kid(s)?

Jennifer: We love reading aloud together. Kate DiCamillo's books (ranging from the irrepressible Mercy Watson to the moving Despereaux and Winn Dixie) are maybe my favorites to read to read aloud, but we read everything and anything, and, quite frankly, we all adore Captain Underpants as much as anything.

Me: What book do you wish more people would read, and why?

Jennifer: I had the chance to read/reread some Langston Hughes poetry in February while the kids were celebrating Black History Month at school.  He wrote some incredibly moving poetry- much uplifting, much sad, all insightful, all beautiful, all reflecting an important era in American history. Not to be missed.

Me: I love that you share some of your writing on your blog. You are so talented! I was genuinely moved by Exfoliated. How long have you been writing? Are you published, or do you aspire to be published?

Jennifer: Aw, thank you! When my youngest went off to full-day Kindergarten, I figured it was my chance to try, just to see if I could. Blogging is a great way to test the waters and practice putting oneself out there. I follow a lot of real, everyday, hardworking,  amazing writers on twitter - I'm humbled and inspired by them, and I'm nowhere near -much less in- their league. I sure don't have any plans to quit my day job.

Me: If you were stranded on a deserted island, which 5 books would you want to have with you?

Jennifer: Ha! Well, maybe some old favorites for comfort (Rebecca, A Catcher in the Rye), some humor to uplift the spirit (David Sedaris, the entire Doonesbury collection), and The Daring Book for Girls - because I think it has instructions for Weaving A Grass Hut Out of Palm Fronds as well as How To Send A Message To Passing Naval Ships In Morse Code and other handy survival tips.


Me: What are some non-bookish favorites? 

Music/song - 
Favorite music/musicians - Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle 

Food -
coffee, scrambled eggs on tortillas with salsa, Thai green curry. Not together. (I love curry too!)

TV Show -
Battlestar Galactica (the newish one) (me too, me too!)

Movie -
I worry it might be When Harry Met Sally. Please don't tell anyone. (such a good movie...)

Place you've traveled -
Japan, Ireland, the Caribbean (Wow!)


Thank you so much Jennifer, this was so much fun! Everyone, please go check out Jennifer's blog Books, Personally. You can also find her on twitter @occasionallyzen.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway I posted yesterday if you haven't already!


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