Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA Interview

It's June, and I'm scheduled to go to the ALA conference later this month. New York City is so close . . . yet so far. Yet another year that I will be unable to go to BEA, when I will have to live vicariously through others and remember the year I went and then ran off to the airport, leaving my poor co-worker with several tote bags worth of swag . . .

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I am a reference librarian at a public library in Massachusetts. I've been blogging for more than five years, but I didn't get serious about writing reviews until about three years ago. I find that blogging allows me an opportunity to write critically, and sometimes about difficult topics, which otherwise I would not seek out. I've fallen a bit behind here lately in terms of reviewing (although I have certainly been reading); most of my recent reviews are posted over at the Lesbrary. My favorite genres are science fiction, fantasy, and romance (especially lesbian romance), but I have been known to dabble in mystery and have a soft spot for Victorian novels. I am responsible for ordering all the adult paperbacks and graphic novels at my library, so I am very interested in all that's new and popular.

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I'm currently reading Naomi Novik's Crucible of Gold, the seventh book in the Temeraire series. My favorite book so far this year was definitely Paladin of Souls, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Such a fantastic book featuring a conflicted adult female protagonist.

3. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I like to analyze romance novel titles for trends. See my Meditation on 2010 Romance Novel Titles, especially if you like bar charts. I'm working on a new one for later this month.

4. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

I love romance novels, and generally I write positive reviews. But sometimes what I love even more is poking fun at books. When I read certain books, I get the best of both worlds, as when I reviewed The Master's Mistress.

5. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

I started blogging more frequently when I started working full-time as a librarian. I wanted to make sure that I was reading more outside my comfort zone so I could be better at reader's advisory, and (somewhat to my surprise) I ended up liking a lot of the things I was reading--urban fiction, nonfiction, and even some literary fiction.

I look forward to watching the action from my cozy, cat-draped chair! I can usually be found on Twitter @helgagrace if you would like to chat!

Image courtesy of By Resonance african furniture (, via Wikimedia Commons


VikLit said...

Stopping by from Armchair BEA to say hello! It's great getting to meet so many fab bloggers - what a great post, and I will check out Paladin of Souls!

Ryan said...

I've heard wonderful things about Paladin of Souls and the rest of her work, but I've not read any of it. I feel like such a slacker sometimes

Hope you enjoy the rest of the week!

Valerie StuckInBooks said...

Gotta LOVE a good romance!!!

Thanks for participating!

Here's my intro


Chrystal said...

I actually enjoyed your breakdown of the romance title trends post. :)