Armchair BEA 2014 Introduction

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Armchair BEA is a virtual conference for book bloggers who cannot attend Book Expo America in New York City.  Today we are introducing ourselves by answering five short interview questions.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

I’m an American blogger about to start her journey through grad school in the fall.  I began blogging with Krysta a little over three years ago.  We had previously spent several years writing book reviews that we shared privately with our friends, but began blogging when we realized there was such a great community of readers with whom we could share our thoughts and discuss books.

What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year?

I read a lot of fantastic books last year and revisited many favorites, including A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and Pat of Silver Bush by L. M. Montgomery.  Two of my favorite new books were Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis.

I reread The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien this year, which is my favorite book of all time.  If I have to pick a favorite “new to me” book for 2014, it’s Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? (Pinterest encouraged!)

My ideal reading place is a cozy home library.  It would have a classic look, with lots of wood bookcases and plush chairs.  There would be windows, with large window seats for reading, and plenty of natural light to read by.

Share your favorite book or reading related quote.

“People wonder why the novel is the most popular form of literature; people wonder why it is read more than books of science or books of metaphysics. The reason is very simple; it is merely that the novel is more true than they are.” -G. K. Chesterton

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why?

  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien: It’s my favorite book and always bears rereading.  It might also give me courage in dark places.
  • An encyclopedia: It will take a very long time to finish reading it, and I’ll probably come out of my solitude a highly knowledgeable person.
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature:  Is this cheating on the question?  Maybe.  But I’ll have tons of reading material if I bring this along.
  • Pen and paper:  Maybe I’ll finally find time to pen the great American novel while on this island.  (Is it American if I’m not on an American island?)
  • Sunscreen:  This island will not be much fun without it.
  • A first aid kit:  No need to get a nasty infection from a cut!

42 thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2014 Introduction

    • Briana says:

      I’ll be going for my PhD in English literature! I’m sure the amount of time I spent reading children’s books would baffle some of my professors/fellow students. 😉

      I thought of my Kindle. Then I thought it might just die on a deserted island.


      • Lisa LaVergne-Pottgen says:

        That is awesome. If it makes you feel any better, I am a self-educated professional in health information management, one of the youngest in a field that has typically been dominated by 50 something women. I think my colleagues would cringe if they realized how much I enjoyed reading Twilight and the Hunger Games.

        Well, on the Kindle, that is probably a fair point. With ready access to electricity, mine is still usually dead in a week.


        • Briana says:

          That’s awesome! I love that YA books have actually been slowly becoming more mainstream and accepted. However, my undergrad college did have a popular YA author visit and I was told that one of the creative writing classes tried to have a discussion about YA literature–and it couldn’t happen because no in the class read any (or would admit to it). A lot of pretentiousness in the world yet. But children’s books always remind me why I love reading, more so than many classics.


  1. Stephanie says:

    I am inspired by the old ass book, The Monk, being a favorite. It is on my reading list. I have been reading books out of the 1001 Books You Must Read… , a hit and miss thing, and I chose The Monk.


    • Briana says:

      I’ve been on something of a Gothic literature kick after a college Romanticism class that had a brief Gothic section We didn’t get to read either The Monk or The Mysteries of Udolpho, which are both giants in the genre, and I was so disappointed. The Monk has been my favorite by far. It does sensationalism so well!


  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    Ha ha, I picked the Norton Anthology too! I don’t think it’s cheating as long as it fits between two covers.


  3. theshabbyrabbit says:

    LoTR is one of my alllll time favorites too!! & I loved The Book Thief, but I hadn’t read any of the others! I’ll have to check them out.

    Nice desert pics too!!

    Where are you doing your grad work?


    • Briana says:

      Haha! That’s a good point! Now I’m imagining a little hut on a deserted island made entirely of books. And the looks on people’s faces when they finally come to rescue you.


  4. ki pha says:

    It’s great you found a partner to share your reading and reviews blog with. Plus they can come in handy in blogging. But I super love your list to bring on a desert island! Made me laugh. 😀

    Have a fun BEA week!


    • Briana says:

      Exactly my thought! I really wanted more fiction, but then I realized: This is the only time I would ever read an encyclopedia. I must make the most of it!


  5. Allison Bruning says:

    You have some excellent desert island picks! I love the mixture of the encyclopedia, dictionary and writing supplies. You have all the tools you would need to write a professional looking great American novel.


  6. DoingDewey says:

    You’re the second person to mention possibly bringing a dictionary and while I admire you for the idea, I don’t think I’d read the dictionary even if there were no other books to be had. Who knows though? Desperate times 🙂


    • Briana says:

      I, uh, may have actually read sections of dictionaries in the past, so it wouldn’t be entirely uncharacteristic of me to do it again. #awkwardnerdconfession 😉


    • Briana says:

      I haven’t seen the film! I couldn’t persuade anyone to go with me, and then it was out of theaters. Next time I’ll just forget everyone else and go alone! 😉

      So, I can’t comment on the film, but the book is brilliant, and I do think there are stylistic things that might not transfer entirely to screen. I would recommend it!


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