Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Featuring Wendy (Literary Feline) of Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Today please welcome 
Wendy (Literary Feline), 
who blogs at 


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

I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs. I knew when I got my first house, I would get a dog. And I did. His name was Riley and he was my best friend. I loved him dearly. Then I took in my very first cat (because my husband is a cat person and I thought it only fair he have a cat if I had my dog). His name is Parker. Parker taught me to love cats too. Now I consider myself a cat and dog person. Don't ask me to choose because I do not think I can.

For years any e-mail address I signed up for in some way reflected my dog Riley. Riley's Lemming. Dash of Basenji. When coming up with the name for my book blog, I decided it was time to show my cat some love. Besides, Musings of a Bookish Canine just didn't have the same ring to it that Musings of a Bookish Kitty did.

I actually struggled with the "Kitty" part for a long time. I thought it was too cutesy. Sometimes I still feel that way, but after nearly eight years of blogging, I have grown used to it and wouldn't change it for anything.

How long have you been blogging?

I began blogging in July of 2006, with a big nudge from my husband who thought I might enjoy it. Little did he know how obsessed I would become. 

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

Musings of a Bookish Kitty is simply a place where I share my thoughts about the books I read and also a little about my life in the process. My reviews reflect how a book impacts me and how it makes me feel. I read through the lens of my own life and experiences. Reading, to me, is a very personal endeavor. How I perceive a book may not be the same way someone else reading the same book will see it. I am not overly critical and probably am more positive than some might like, but that's okay with me. Since I prefer to read books I think I will like and choose the books I read accordingly. That isn't to say I will not review books I end up not liking. I value honesty.

When I first began blogging, I wrote strictly about books and bookish topics. After having a child three years ago, the tone of my blog changed and I began inserting more personal posts as well. I blog a lot less now, maybe two times a week on average, but it works for me. I work full-time outside the home (in a non-book related field); so, with my career and my family, blogging is not as much a priority for me as it once was. I still love to blog and talk about books. I am just not as obsessed as I once was.

I guess the best way to describe my blog is that I see it as a kitchen table, where I invite friends to visit and enjoy a bit of chit chat about books, life, and family.

What genres do you write about most, and why?

Oh goodness! I review just about everything I read, and I read a variety of genres. I suppose I most read and write about crime fiction or mystery novels, with urban fantasy coming in second. I read and talk a lot about general fiction as well. I am partial to stories with historical threads and those about other cultures.

I also read and review literary fiction, high fantasy, Young Adult fiction, nonfiction, and more recently romance.

My reading is often driven by my mood and the fact that I like variety. I do not like to read too much of one genre at a time for fear of burn out.  

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

It depends. My father instilled in me a love for inscriptions. He insisted that any book he received as a gift, had to be inscribed. As a result, I am quite fond of them too. I have several books in which I have had the author autograph. But that's not what you mean, is it?

In general, I tend not to write in books, although when desperate and have no other option, I will sometimes make a light pencil mark next to a section I want to highlight.

That said, I have a book that used to belong to my grandfather and it has his notes all along the margins. I love that he wrote in his book, and that I am able to read his thoughts as he read. It's like following his footprints even though he is no longer alive.

So, I suppose I am not as hard core against writing in books as many others may be.

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

A little--no, a lot--untidy right now. When we first moved into our house three years ago, I spent quite a bit of time organizing the books perfectly on the shelves. Divided by genre, each book was placed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Then my daughter began crawling, standing and eventually walking. Books would inevitably be pulled off the shelves and put back in all the wrong places, sometimes not at all. I did not mind. That is what young children do. I have yet to go back and re-organize. Some day I will. Not today though.

(We won't even talk about what my daughter's shelves look like right now . . .)

My TBR pile is...

Not just a pile. The analogy comparing my TBR pile to a mountain is not too far from reality. I am sure most of you can relate.

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

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I know there are those who loved it, but most people I talk to didn't take to it quite as much as I did. I loved every word. I walked around in the fog of the book for days after finishing it. Beautiful.

A book I did not care for as much as others would be Gabriel García Márquez 's One Hundred Years of Solitude. It almost scared me off of magical realism for all time.

J.D. Robb's In Death series is another everyone raves about but I never could get into.

To DNF or not to DNF?

I am a reluctant DNFer. I hate to give up on a book, but I will if a book is really not working for me.

What's one book that intimidates you?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I loved Anna Karenina when I read it and really want to read War and Peace. I have tried three times now to start it and get bogged down by the size every time. I'm not willing to give up yet. I will conquer War and Peace.  

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

I am afraid I do not have a lot of hobbies outside of reading. I enjoy movies almost as much as I love reading books. I am one of those people who prefers to read the book before seeing the movie more often than not. There are times when I have no interest in reading the book a movie is based on though. And sometimes a movie piques my interest in reading the book. I am also not a reader who screams and cries and gets upset when a movie doesn't match the book entirely. I can appreciate a movie for the movie's sake independent of the book--on the condition the movie is well made. If it's not, well, then every little change grates on my nerves.

Something else I like to do outside of reading is going on outings with my family, be in to the park, library, the botanical garden, book fair, zoo or Disneyland. Spending time with my family is one of my most favorite ways to spend my time.

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

I am an Eclectic Reader, which, from the following description, I would say is true.

"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."


Thank you for joining us today, Wendy! 
Remember to check out Wendy's blog, Musings of a Bookish Kitty
and leave a comment or question.


  1. I enjoyed reading your interview!

    1. Thanks, Pat! It was fun answering the questions. :-)

  2. Great interview! It was fun getting to know a little more about you!

  3. Great post! I totally agree that reading is a very personal thing, each of us takes different things away from the books we read. And I like that Wendy describes her blog as the kitchen table where friends gather to talk. Nice getting to know you more!

    1. Thanks, Naida. I like to picture all of us sitting around that table just chit chatting about books. :-)

  4. Great post, Wendy!
    I enjoyed reading every word and of course get to know you better!! :)

    1. Thanks, Melody! I think you already know just about everything about me though. We've been friends for so long now. :-)

  5. Thanks for stopping by Wendy with such a great interview!!

    I still have The Historian waiting to be read on my shelf (or, rather in a box somewhere as we are preparing to move again!). I really need to get to that one soon!!

    1. Thank you for featuring me, Tif!

      I hope you like The Historian when you read it. :-)

  6. Lovely post, it was so nice getting to know a little bit more about Literary Feline or as I found out today Wendy.

    1. Thanks, Tracy! Thank you for stopping by and taking time to read the survey. :-)

  7. Love what you said about inscriptions in books! I only occasionally do that, but now, I'll make an effort to so. I only write in nonfiction books; it is fun to go back and see what caught my interest and why...and to note what catches my attention on 2nd and 3rd readings. In my books of essays, or gardening, or yoga this is especially rewarding.

    Great interview, Wendy!

    1. Thank you, Jenclair! I think it would be fun to go back and read your old notes when re-reading certain books.

      Inscriptions - I don't inscribe every book I give as a gift, but especially in books I give to my daughter, I find myself doing so.

  8. This was great Wendy, it was grand to know your thoughts. I must admit I love writing in the margins but always with a pencil. Somehow I cannot bear using ink in a book.

    1. Thanks, Neer. I can't bring myself to write in pen either, Neer. Unless it's an inscription.

  9. Great interview, Wendy!


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