Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation Week - Interview with Book Gazing

This year for BBAW I decided to sign-up to participate in an interview swap with another book blogger.  I was paired up with Jodie over at Book GazingThanks to Jodie for answering my questions.  Enjoy!

Tell me a little about yourself Jodie.
Agh I hate this bit, I always make myself sound really dull. I’m a 25 year old woman who lives in the West Midlands in England. I work in the marketing department of a small IT firm. Ooo, the excitement! I don’t have a partner and I don’t have pets, but I do have a group of close friends who I wouldn’t be without. I like to travel and took one of my dream holidays two year ago when I went on safari in Kenya. Being a history graduate I am concerned about the way employers react to humanities students when they enter the workplace. I have seen a lot of bands this year and think the advantage of getting older is that it costs less and less to see the bands you grew up with. I have (touch wood – an yes I actually touched wood as I typed that as I’m a little superstitious) a long life to live yet and a long life list to achieve before it’s over (sadly ‘see Oasis live’ will have to wait until they regain their senses and get back together).

If you had to describe your blog in five words, what would you say?
Critical, friendly, fun, wordy, thoughtful

When and why did you start book blogging?
I started blogging just under two years ago. I’d been reading a lot of established book bloggers for years and finally decided I wanted to join in. So I spent ages trying to think up a clever title, decided everything had been used already and plumped for Bookgazing.

Did you read when you were a kid? Which is your favorite book from your childhood?
I was a big reader when I was a kid and I used to reread books over and over. My favourites were all kind of predictable stuff, big name series like Narnia, Harry Potter and Redwall and books by Jacqueline Wilson and Enid Blyton. I think one of my favourites that’s a little less well know was ‘The Exiles’ by Hilary McKay. Four sisters get shipped off to Big Grandma’s house for the summer. Maybe it doesn’t sound so special, but the individual characters of each sister and the strange, group dynamic they form make this book so much fun.

Are you participating in any book challenges this year?
I’m trying to scale back my challenge involvement this year, but I am taking part in the TBR Challenge, RIP V, the GLBT Challenge and The Year of Biodiversity. Any other challenges I signed up for seem to have fallen by the wayside.

Beside blogs, what other sources do you use to discover new books?
I read Bookslut regularly and the Times arts supplement at the weekends. I like Waterstones catalogue, even though I tend to skip all the features and jump straight to the employee reviews. I return to some publisher websites regularly like Snow Books. The majority of the books added to my TBR list do come from blogs though.

What are your hobbies other than reading?
A couple of years ago I’d have had something to say here, but right now reading is my only hobby. I like to go out with friends, but drinking is not really a hobby and neither is concert attending. Hobby wise there are more things I’d like to get back into like crafting and swimming, than things I’m actively doing right now.

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island alone for the foreseeable future, what five books would you want with you?
So hard and unnecessary because clearly I would be on a ship with a library and I would have time to rescue all the books:
‘Captivity’ – Debbie Lee Wesselman
Jane Eyre’ – Charlotte Bronte
Small Gods’ – Terry Pratchett (but really I should take ‘Nation’ for practical survival tips)
Who will Run the Frog Hospital – Lorrie Moore
Wolf Hall’ – Hilary Mantel
I’m already second guessing that list.
What are your top reads for 2010 so far?
I’m going to limit myself to five because I’ve read so many great books this year already:
‘Devil’s Kiss’ – Sarwat Chadda
‘The Windup Girl’ – Paoulo Bacigalupi
‘Crossing’ – Alexander Xia Fukada
‘The Still Point’ – Amy Sackville
‘Liar’ – Justine Larbalestier

Name a book you recommend to anyone and everyone and they always love it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever managed that, but I think ‘A Wish After Midnight’ by Zetta Elliot would be pretty hard to dislike. It manages to teach readers about a hard time in history, while remaining an enjoyable story.

Check out Jodie's post with my answers as well!


  1. I always recommend AWAM too! And I'm beyond pleased that Devil's Kiss makes it as one of your top reads of 2010 list :)

    I would like more details and pictures of the Kenyan safari please ;) Concert-going is so a hobby.

    Lovely interview both of you, thanks!

    Janel, I really liked your question about how else Jodie discovers books besides blogs. As bloggers I think sometimes we forget that we can get recommendations from other sources. haha.

  2. Clearly, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital has to be my next Moore read.

    These were good questions, and it's fun to find out more about Jodie. She has such a way with words--I just had to read out loud to my husband the bit about the advantage of getting older is that it costs less and less to see the bands you grew up with!

  3. Lovely interview - I came via Jodie's blog and lovely to find more about the person behind it!

  4. Thanks for being such a patient interview partner Janel - I was so flaky this year. I hope we can keep in blog touch over the next year :)

  5. I always love reading about what books people would take with them to a desert island.

  6. Hmm, I haven't heard of "A Wish After Midnight"; will have to look up that one!