Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Virginia Voelker from The Literary Brigand

Today please welcome Virginia Voelker, 
who blogs at The Literary Brigand.


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

I liked the visual of somebody laying in wait deep in the library to ambush people with books. And a cutlass. You have to have the cutlass. Possibly held between your teeth.  

How long have you been blogging?

Just over two years.  

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

I'll read pretty much anything. If I think it's interesting in some way I'll review it. Genres and age don't deter me. As far as I'm concerned a well written book is a well written book, and even a badly written book can be very interesting.      

What genres do you write about most, and why?

Fiction, Mystery, and Science Fiction are the genres that seem to draw me the most. I think I tend towards those areas because they can be the most formulaic but also the least formulaic.  

What's your earliest memory of reading?

I had a fourth grade teacher who handed us a reading list at the beginning of the school year, and pointed us toward the library. We had to give him a certain number of oral book reports by the end of the year. I was horrified. I don't think I'd ever read a chapter book by myself before. Then "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" captured my imagination, and I never looked back. Best assignment ever.  

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

"Little Women" was the first book I read over and over, and is probably the book I've reread most over the years. "Anne of Green Gables" has to be a close second. I had a friend in elementary school named Kristen. She got me started on the Anne series, and so many other books. She also taught me all the etiquette that goes with borrowing books. No bent pages, no spills, no broken bindings. She was a life saver even at 11. It's so hard to be a reader in a family of non readers. I'm pretty sure she lent me my first bodice ripper in high school too. We lost touch long ago but I always expect to run across her book blog one day. She had great taste.  

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

Yes, but only if you're loaning it to someone, and only in pencil.  

What's your favorite place to read?

Curled up in bed. Three pillows, one sheet, one blanket, one glass of wine, and stack of books.  

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

Besides my library card?   

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

lagging behind their work load.  

My TBR pile is...

two feet four inches tall at this moment. Which is good because my bedside table has a functional height limit of three feet two and a half inches. Please don't ask how I know that.  

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

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This was probably the first "classic" that I picked up and read on my own rather than for a school assignment. I have read many others since then. But this one was my gateway drug, if you will. It made a lot of other books seem like they might be interesting. Without Doyle I never would have read H. Ridder Haggard, or Dumas, or possibly Austen and the Brontes. And that would have been sad. 

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

The whole Ya Ya Sisterhood thing left me cold. Twilight too.  

To DNF or not to DNF?

I'm a big fan of the skim. I'll at least look at the last few pages.  

What's one book that intimidates you?

 "A Hundred Years of Solitude" by: Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Actually really all of Marquez. I have tried. I just can't.  

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

The Gladstone Library Bed and Breakfast in England. Trying to talk my husband into it someday soon.  

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

Mostly right now I knit, and I play video games. There used to be more, but being a parent has focused my energy.  

What's your least favorite book to movie adaptation?

Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". I hate it with a passion.  

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?

Lady with Books
Scandalous Women

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

Eclectic Reader. Not really surprised by that.  


Thank you for joining us today, Virginia Voelker! Remember to check out Virginia's blog, The Literary Brigand, and leave a comment or question.


  1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your blog with us today! I love the visual you paint for the name of your blog. Now, I want a cutlass!! :)

  2. I love that image, too! :-D I can just imagine some poor unsuspecting high-school student slouching in because he has to find something for a book report, and suddenly he's being pelted (gently, I'm sure…probably with paperback copies instead of hardbacks…I mean, we don't want to give him a concussion, right?) with books.

    "The Martian Chronicles! Read The Martian Chronicles!"
    "Nay! Pride and Prejudice! 'Tis the first romantic comedy!"
    "Ursula K. LeGuin!"
    "Kurt Vonnegut!"

  3. I love the story of your nightstand. "Don't ask me how I know this." haha


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