Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Blogger: Lori from Palmer's Page Turners

Today please welcome Lori, who blogs at Palmer's Page Turners.

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What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?

My awesome husband actually came up with the name Palmer's Page Turners! Obviously it's based off of my last name, but my goal is to write about books that I really love and that are "page turners." The nerd in me also loves alliterations, so the double "P" sound was a plus. :)

How long have you been blogging?

I wrote a blog off and on throughout college, but didn't officially start writing a book blog until March 31, 2014. As an avid reader, my friends were always asking me to recommend books, and several thought I should write reviews. I love to write, so I decided to start blogging!

What genres do you write about most, and why?

I write most about contemporary fiction and young adult fiction. Young adult is my favorite genre. The young adult age group is going through so many changes and learning so much about themselves and their identity, and I feel that YA books can help them process those changes and realize they're not alone in their struggles. It's also a great time to get them hooked on reading!

What's one book you think everyone should read?

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. An absolutely beautiful historical fiction novel. It's heartwarming, emotional, and so well written.

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

I don't write in my books. I rarely even wrote in my textbooks in college. If I like a quote or passage, I'll take a picture with my phone or copy it down into a notebook instead. 

What's your favorite place to read or blog?

This question could go two ways. Generally, my favorite place to read in my everyday life is on my couch, snuggled up with my puppy, kitties, and a cup of coffee. Ideally though, my favorite place to read is all that I just mentioned PLUS a view of the ocean. :)

Book shelfie time! Take a "shelfie" of your bookshelves and share it with us.

Check out my shelfie here!

To DNF or not to DNF?

I believe that leaving a book DNF is perfectly okay as long as you give it a fair shot. If I'm not into a book by 20-25% of the way through it, I'll move on to something else. Life is too short--read what makes you happy! 

What's one book that intimidates you?

The Game of Thrones series! All of them are huge!

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?

Hogwarts, of course!

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?

I pretty much ALWAYS feel like reading, but my other passion is dancing! I took dance classes throughout my younger years and throughout college, and absolutely loved it. Now as an adult, I take a dance class once a week. This year I'm taking tap! I also love to write, and cook, when I have the time!

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at http://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/)

I took the quiz and got:

The Eclectic Reader

You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You're open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.

I definitely think this is true! I love to learn and discover new authors!



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Thank you for joining us today, Lori! 
Remember to check out Lori's blog, Palmer's Page Turners
and leave a comment or question.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Welcome to Movie Madness March!


We hope that you have enjoyed our month of February Firsts!  This month, we are switching gears and hitting March with Movie Madness.  But it is not just any movies.  All movies this month with be literary in nature, books adapted to the big screen.  And, we will have a handful of great blogger interviews scattered throughout.  

If you are interested in being featured in a blogger interview, fill out the survey here.  If you would like to contribute to Movie Madness March, we still have a number of spots available.  You can email us at bookbloggersintl (at) gmail (dot) com or you can simply complete our survey linked above with a selection of Guest Post.  We will be in contact with you.

Enjoy Movie Madness March!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

February Firsts: Ryan of Wordsmithsonia - First Book Boyfriend

Welcome back to the blog, Ryan from Wordsmithsonia!



We all remember our first time.  It's a little hard to forget the way your heart sped up, or the way you forgot to breathe.  You had that tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach, you know the one I'm talking about, it was the one that wouldn't leave you for days.  You had to have more, and the idea of not spending time with him, made that feeling turn into painful disappointment.  You needed to hear his voice, gaze into his eyes, feel his arms wrapped around you, and no matter how much you desire it, craved it, it was never going to be.  For those of us who get lost in a book, falling in love isn't always as easy as asking for his number.  Every once in a while falling in love sucks.  There is no number to get, no flirtatious looks you can use to your advantage, it's a little hard to get the man of your drams when he only exists on paper.

Vanyel Ashkevron
The first man I met, that I knew I couldn't have, was Herald Mage Vanyel Ashkevron.  I was just out of college, and I hadn't really had a lot of time to explore gay fictional characters over the last few years.  In high school the only books I could find were what some would call the "gay classics," written way before me time.  They, for the most part, had depressed men, living sad depressed lives, and rarely had a happy ending.  So I ignored the works of Jean Genet, James Baldwin, E.M. Forester, Christopher Isherwood, and others.  I'm not saying they were all bleak and depressing, but I had enough of that crap in high school.  By this stage in my young life, I was hooked on fantasy and I got turned onto the Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey.  I believe it was one of my brief boyfriends who told me to read them, and once I started Magic's Pawn, I was hooked. 

Vanyel is not my normal type.  I generally stay clear of long hair on men, it's never done much for me in the past.  Nor do I like someone who can be so self effacing and arrogant, all within 5 minutes, but there was something about him that had me captivated from the start.  Through the course of three books, Vanyel went from a confused, lonely, sullen teenager to a strongly selfless man who was willing to sacrifice himself for those he loved.  What made me fall for him though, was that he's the perfect guy.  He's caring, intelligent, has a wicked sense of humor, hot as hell, has gifted hands, emotionally sensitive, physically strong, has the voice of an angel, and is as gay as I am.

He was the first openly gay character, from a non gay author, that I can remember coming across that wasn't a negative stereotype.  He was a fully fleshed out human being, who loved and lost, bled the same way we all do, and doesn't allow those around him to define who he is.  He was not only the perfect man to fall in love with, but he was the perfect example of what I wanted to be as an openly gay man.

I still visit him about once a year.  I still get those fuzzy feelings in my stomach when he makes his first appearance.  I still smile when he first deals with his attraction to Tylendel.  I still share in his anguish when his first love is ripped away from him.  I rejoice when his life is slowly put back together, and eventually finds himself fin the arms of Stefan.  And by the time I'm done with the third book, Magic's Price, I still have tears in my eyes, bereft at the sacrifice that they had to make.  I"m still a little in love with Vanyel, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Thanks for sharing, Ryan!!

Leave a comment for Ryan below!  Maybe share your own first book love!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Firsts: Kelly Rogers - First Graphic Novels

Please welcome Kelly from The Written World to the blog today!



Let's face facts... I used to think I was not a graphic novel person. I wanted to be, but I didn't understand how a graphic novel could be anything as wonderful as a full-length novel. And, it came down to finances. I read fast. How was I supposed to justify reading something that cost so much in less than an hour?

So, graphic novels just circulated around me and I held my wallet close. In 2006, I read what I consider my first graphic novels, namely Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. They were review copies, though, so I didn't feel as stressed about the financial side of things. And, I admit that I loved them! But, I still wasn't clicking with the medium. As a result it was not until 2009 that I finally braved the graphic novel world...

Every year for Christmas my 'big gift' is gift cards to buy books with... I decided this was the year that I was going to be brave and buy some graphic novels that I had been hearing good things about: Maus and Fables. (Now that I look back on that, those were two very different experiences to start with!) It didn't matter though
because it happened! It clicked! And, now I may be a graphic novel junkie. By the end of 2009, I was caught up with Fables. And, I consider it my first graphic novel love because it has been an on-going love. I still get excited with every release.

I am not sure if I would have taken to graphic novels if I had never started this blog. It was all because of glowing posts and pressure from other bloggers that I even ventured into the medium. And, even then, I was reluctant. But, it has lead to many other firsts and I hope it continues to inspire great experiences in my reading. Fables may be coming to an end this year; but it will always hold a special spot on my shelves and you never forget your first love....

Fables

Thank you for sharing today, Kelly!

Leave a comment for Kelly below!

Friday, February 20, 2015

February Firsts: Violet Crush - First Books That Hooked Me On Reading

Today welcome Violet Crush to BBI!  
I started reading when I was around 15. People often ask me how I became such an avid reader. My mom and dad enjoy reading occasionally but having 3 daughters didn't give them enough time to indulge in it. 
There was a girl who lived in the apartment above us who was my younger sister's age. We used to go to her house sometimes to spend time after school. One day she showed us a tattered copy of 'Round the World in 80 days by Jules Verne'. I took it home to read and finished it in a few hours. I loved it. As we didn't have any compulsory classic reads for English class, this was my first tryst with a full-fledged novel. I wanted to return it but she forgot and I didn't remind her either. I thought I'd read it one more time before returning but I never got around to it. 
After my first read, I became very curious and went to the school library to explore. I read a lot of Nancy Drew books sitting in the library. After a few months my dad gave me a book that someone had gifted him. It was 'The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn'.  A 500 page book published in 1973 on the Soviet forced labour camp system might have been a little too heavy for a 15-year-old but I read the whole book nonetheless. I've read a lot of books since then but these 2 books have a special place in my heart. 
  
I always tell people it's never too late to acquire a love for reading. Some people are lucky to have it right from their childhood and some are lucky to discover the world of books later on. It's just a matter of finding that 'one' book to get you hooked. Either way, all's well that ends well.
What book(s) got you hooked on reading?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February Firsts: Melody - The First Book I Bought as a Child/Teenager

Today, please welcome Melody, who blogs at Melody's Reading Corner from Singapore!



I couldn't remember the exact time I first started picking up a book (probably when I was in Primary 3), but I could remember very well the first book I received as a gift - Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

Books are considered a rare gift in my family, not that my parents didn't encourage reading but books are considered expensive in those days (well they still are) and most of all, I could always go to libraries for books. To earn more income for the family my mother became a babysitter (or a nanny) to a family with two young children (during those days it was very common for middle-aged housewives to be babysitters. These days, however, is hard to even find a nanny since most would rather employ foreign domestic helpers as not only they could help take care of the children but they could do household chores as well.)

Anyway, the children's mother worked full time in an office and as a child she gave me the impression of a modern woman who is generous and knew how to dress well. And every Christmas she would give my younger sister and I presents. I remember there was one time in which she asked me what I wanted for a Christmas present, and without hesitation I told her I wanted a book. I wish I have a picture of the edition I owned but it was lost during the move. I googled it and the picture below is the edition I used to have.
Black Beauty is a great classic, and now looking back I can understand why this book makes a great gift to children and adults alike. While this book is written in the style of an animal autobiography, it is also very much a story that teaches its readers to be kind, sympathetic, and respectful in general, be it people or animals.




By the time I got into secondary school, I decided to use some of the money I saved to buy books. Nancy Drew books remain my favourites and I bought my first Nancy Drew's -  "The Mystery of the 99 Steps." Imagine the exhilaration I felt for getting my hands on it! My reading horizons have also expanded during that time, since the secondary school library has so much varieties as compared to the primary school's. Barbara Cartland's, the Sweet Dreams series of numerous standalone teen romances (such wonderful memories as I think they are all out of print now) were my favourites too.



It is no surprise I later signed up to be the school librarian (I'd participated in playing volleyball and was a cadet with the school's St. John Ambulance but being a school librarian remains the top.) Looking back, I am glad my passion for reading continues through adulthood. After all, reading is not only a form of communication but also as an escapism; to promote creativity and analysing things from different perspectives. And last of all, reading is fun.


Thanks so much for sharing today, Melody!

Leave a comment for Melody below!

Friday, February 13, 2015

February Firsts: Tamara - Susanna Sigelbaum

Welcome Tamara from Traveling with T to the blog today!



When Rebecca  put out the call for guest posts for the February theme February Firsts- I at first thought I would write about the first book I loved in the women’s fiction category. Or my first Southern Lit book. Or…. And then.. The book gods smiled upon me and gave me an idea- where I could get a little soap-box bookish and take a trip down memory lane….

Do you remember the Scholastic Book Fair coming to your school when you were a kid? I vividly remember it! Now, if you know me at all- you know it’s been well established that I love the BSC books as a kid and my mom kept me well stocked in them, so I used my allowance at the Scholastic Book Fair for other books. Some were duds. Some were not. But this book was def not a dud. And it’s got some lessons for life- if you are willing to embrace them.

What is this book? It’s SUSANNA SIEGELBAUM GIVES UP GUYS by June Foley!

Being in the 4th/5th grade at the time when I got this book, I was already beginning to see that the smart girl didn’t necessarily get the guy. Why that was I could never figure out- but the jump from lower elementary to upper elementary didn’t just change the recess schedule- it changed the structure in our class.  I was smart (not like super-genius smart- just smart. Like straight A’s smart).  I was already seeing that, a girl, I was expected to downplay my grades to be more appealing and it hurt- because who wants to repress a side of themselves? So, I opted to be smart. To do the best I could in class- to not worry about being popular. Already being known as the bookworm (another ghastly sin), I often wondered why the girl can’t be both smart and popular?

Then Susanna Siegelbaum in her fictional glory entered my life.

The cover shows a pretty girl with a knowing smirk. The cover doesn’t even do justice of revealing what is inside the book. Within the first chapter or so- June Foley has Susanna talking about Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights. The Bronte’s!  And so much more! Susanna was smart AND popular- she dated! She didn’t just date the nerdy guys- she dated the jocks, the regular guys, the hot guys!
And hold on to your hat: SHE LIKED TO READ.

In fact this is a quote:
“In fact next to boys and Cassidy and my family, I liked books better than anything.”
I felt like I had found my soul mate. There was someone out there who knew it was possible for a girl to be smart AND popular. That reading books was not a bad thing.

Did this knowledge help me in my day to day life? Ehh, not so much. But I knew that someone out there knew smart and popular could coexist in the same girl- that there were people out there in the wide world that knew this- and I knew one day I would find these people.

So, thank you Susanna Siegelbaum for being smart and popular. For letting this small town girl know that it was ok to be smart. It was not something to be ashamed of. To hide. To downplay.

Thanks to Becca and Book Bloggers International for letting me talk about the first book that showed a girl who was smart, liked to read, was popular and dated!



Thanks so much for sharing, Tamara!

Please leave a comment for Tamara below!