Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kristin Shafel Omiccioli of my little heart melodies

Today please welcome Kristin Shafel Omiccioli, who blogs at my little heart melodies.


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

The title of my blog comes from one of my favorite poems, “The Dream Keeper” by Langston Hughes:

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamers,
Bring me all of your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

How long have you been blogging?

I just hit my four-year anniversary registered with Wordpress... although I only started being serious about regularly blogging (and blogging about books) in 2012.

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?

I think my blog is a little different than other book blogs because I like to include posts on my musical adventures in Kansas City, too, either about my orchestra performances or what shows/artists I've recently reviewed on KCMetropolis.org, Kansas City's online journal of the arts.

What genres do you write about most, and why?

I have been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately, but I also really enjoy narrative non-fiction on a variety of subjects, especially music, food, travel, history, and memoirs. I love when a book will make me contemplate a topic more, whether that's just learning facts or the history of something, or contemplating an ethical, political, or sociological issue, through fiction or non-fiction.

What's your earliest memory of reading?

This is maybe not my very first memory of reading, but probably the most vivid: I devoured every single Roald Dahl book I could get my hands on in my elementary school's library. I clearly remember exactly where they were in that library—back left wall after walking in, near the windows, lower shelf—sitting on my knees browsing and trying to choose the next one to read.

What was the first book you read over and over, or the book you've reread the most?

"1984" by George Orwell. I think I read that at least 3–4 times through 8th and 9th grade... (on my own—not assigned for class!)

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

No—not a fan. I don't care if other people like to write in their books, that's fine, but I won't do it. I also probably wouldn't buy a used book with markings in it. I like to form my own opinions about what I'm reading and notes from previous readers can be influential, I think.

What's your favorite place to read?

I'm not too persnickety about where exactly I read... but I do love to read outside with a cold drink in the summer, and inside curled up under a blanket with a hot drink in the winter!

Do you have any reading accessories you can't do without?

I have a lovely set of new bookmarks my husband got me last Christmas. I've used them all year!

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

... mostly filled with books I haven't read yet. We just moved, and my already-read books are still packed up in storage!

My TBR pile is...

... crazy huge, but thankfully mostly digital now (hooray for Goodreads!).

What's a book that's changed your life?

Wow—heavy question! Life-changing... hmm... well I would say that reading Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" opened my eyes to what and how I feed myself, and on the fiction side, "The Handmaid's Tale" hooked my heart and soul on Margaret Atwood's work.

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?

I don't think I've come across a book I like that no one else does, but a couple of books hyped as being hilarious were Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" and Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces" and I just didn't find them very funny... kind of mean-spirited humor to me, even. I liked Bryson's writing style and historical context in "AWitW" enough though that I finished and I'll read more by him in the future, but "Confederacy" is one of my rare DNFs.

To DNF or not to DNF?

I used to be totally against DNF, partly because I pretty much only bought books ("I spent my money, I'm going to make it worth it" mentality), and partly because I was lackadaisical about reading for fun when I was a student. But now that I'm done with school, love reading for fun, and have a backlog of TBR books, why spend the time with a book I'm not enjoying? And I am loving using the library more—less guilt for quitting a book since I didn't purchase it!

What's one book that intimidates you?

"Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë. Classics always intimidate me, but this one I got from my grandmother years ago—she said it was her all-time favorite—so I extra feel guilty about not reading it yet... but I keep putting it off... sigh.

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

The Cemetery of Forgotten Books (fictional)—I just read Carlos Ruiz Zafón's "The Shadow of the Wind" and loved the concept of "adopting a book" from this location! Of course, Barcelona (where the book is set) would be amazing, too.

I have been to Paris once already, but would love to go back after having read Julia Child's "My Life in France," and one day for sure Ireland (I should really read Joyce's "Dubliners" first, though!).

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

Lots of stuff! I love to go out on the town with my husband and friends, visit family, travel, cook, do yoga, and go on bike rides. Otherwise, I'm a classical double bassist and play in three orchestras, and I attend/review a lot of concerts!

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?

My favorite book-to-film adaptation is easily "The Godfather" (book by Mario Puzo, film directed by Francis Ford Coppola). I'm obsessed.

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?

The Relentless Reader
Words for Worms
The Book Wheel

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

I have the "Involved Eclectic" reading personality:

You don't just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase—discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.

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 to a limited range of authors.


Thank you for joining us today, Kristin Shafel Omiccioli! Remember to check out Kristin's blog, my little heart melodies, and leave a comment or question.


  1. Thank you for the interview! I had a lot of fun answering these questions. :)

  2. I love Langston Hughes. A++ blog name choice. And The Godfather is a quality adaptation, better than the book even.

    1. Thank you! :) And I agree about the Godfather—a rare occurrence for a film to be superior to the book. (Part III doesn't count... Hollywood trying to bank on nostalgia. Meh.)

  3. I love the poem your blog name comes from. So beautiful :) And 4 years, wow! Very impressive!

    1. Thanks :) After taking basically all of 2011 off from blogging I was really tempted to delete all the posts and start from scratch when I got back into it in early 2012 (blargh! some of those old ones are embarrassing) but figured they should stay. Have a great day!

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  5. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is a wonderful, wonderful choice!! And, I love Roald Dahl! I cannot tell you how many times I've read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my kids and I know there is more to come!

  6. Yeah! And I'm pretty sure my folks saved every copy of our Dahl books for their future grandkids one day... lol!


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