Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Interview: BBAW Day 2 (And A Side Note About Tuesday.)

I was matched up with Suzi at Fashion Piranha to give each other an interview about are blogs and mainly reading for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day Two, I know I forgot to so Day 1, so I'll try to do it in another entry later this week. So here it is! Check out my interview with Suzi on her awesome blog also, it's kind of cool, I think, but its kind of strange to see your writing on someone else's blog, you know?

Me: So, Suzi, to start off. Tell us a little about yourself.
Born and raised in San Jose, at the heart of Silicon Valley, I am the biracial product of the Bay Area’s melting pot. My mother is a teacher and my father is a computer engineer; they both used up so much dedication and determination to succeed in this world that when their marriage produced offspring the ‘hard work’ gene had become so weak that it failed to manifest in either child. My brother is an actor in love with the stage and I am an artist who delights in bringing physical reality to thoughts. I do not take school very seriously, but I do read a lot, so I thought it might help my writing discpline if I had a project like Fashionista Piranha (http://fashion_piranha.livejournal.com) to work on.

Me: I've lived in numerous places in California also, my mom and brother were even born there, it's a beautiful place, but anyways, how long have you been reading for?

Well, certainly as long as I can remember! I'm twenty-four now, so at least twenty years now..?

Me: Wow, that's WAY longer then me. So, what's the first thing to attract you to a book on a shelf?

I'm superficial and not afraid to admit it: if a cover is pretty or has a very clean, uncluttered layout that is the book I will pick up. Once it is in my hands, it’s all up to the description on the back cover to convince me the book is of interest. But isn’t that a boring, typical way to decide?

My boyfriend has a special method for gauging book-worthiness. He reads the first sentence of the first chapter, and the last sentence of the final chapter, one right after the other. If they gel together in a comedic way, the book may be worth further investigation. A book this method works well with is Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I truly wish I had a copy of this book in front of me so I could demonstrate.

Me: What's your favorite genre to read from today? Why?

I try to read a good variety, but I'd say my favorite is either fashion/art history or historical fiction. I guess you could condense that down to history if you wanted. But I also read a lot of fantasy, “literary” fiction, and religious books. Right now I am currently reading:

  • The Fire and the Light by Glen Craney
  • Nana series by Ai Yazawa
  • The Intellectual Devotional by David Kidder
  • Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
  • NIV Study Bible
  • Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff by Lori Baird
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (audio CD)

As you can see, it’s a bit random. I usually have between 6-10 books going at one time.

Me: What's your favorite book? Favorite author?

I don’t have a single favorite book. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to formally narrow my favorites to even a “Top Ten” list. But off the top of my head, a few of my favorites from a variety of genres:

  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
  • Perfume by Patrick Suskind
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Fables by Bill Willingham
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  • On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

    Favorite authors that are not mentioned above would include Roald Dahl, Michelle Moran, J. K. Rowling, Rumiko Takahashi, Joss Whedon, C. S. Lewis, Andrew Lang and William Shakespeare

Me: What got you into book blogging? How long have you been reviewing your books?

Unofficially, I’ve been reviewing for at least ten years. I like to make notes on the books I read, because I go through so many of them that at some point in high school I would pick up a book and be unable to recall whether I’d read it before. So whenever I’d read a book from the library or borrowed from a friend, I’d jot down some notes so I could refer to them when I was fuzzy about reading a book.

In 2004 I discovered BookCrossing.com, so my book notes became available on-line. Two years later I joined Librarything.com, and through them discovered the magical world of ARCs. Since I was reviewing the books anyway for Librarything and my personal use, I figured I should centralize them on a single website that I could show publishers when making book requests. In June of 2008, Fashionista Piranha was born as a book blog.

Me: Wow, that's a much better story then mine. Oh, and can I take the time here to tell you how much I love your blog name? Back to the questions. How do you construct you book reviews?

I try to summarize the main plot thread or purpose of the book first. After all, if it’s a book on a topic the reader doesn’t care about, they aren’t going to care much about my opinion of it, so better they know right away! Then I just share any thoughts or impressions that come to mind. What I liked about the book, or didn’t like, and who I think might want to read it is usually written. I try to be fair; if I don’t like a book I make sure to say why instead of blindly announcing “The book SUCKS.” But I do have a streak of nasty that pops up when I feel a book is really, truly bad.

Me: Hehe, I feel the same way. Where's your favorite place to read?

Anyplace quiet, really. I read at my desk at work, on my bed at home, and in the back seat of my car between classes.

Me: I love the quiet, but sadly, there's not much for me here. So I try to cancel out the random noises with music on Pandora.com. Well, speak of the devil, here's a random question for you. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?

I actually really love Northern California, and I would never want to move away permanently. But I would love to spend an extended period of time in different cities all over the world! An ideal job for me would be one that would allow me to live four to six months overseas in the world’s cultural centers, and the rest of the year at home in San Francisco Bay Area.

Thanks so much Suzi! It was a pleasure working with you! San Francisco is so beautiful, and cold, but, hey, I shouldn't be complaining, I live in a place where I have 2 feet of snow on the ground from the end of November to the end of April, literally. But go check out Suzi's blog, The Fashion Piranha, and tell her how sane you are from reading. (Pun intended.)

Oh, and P.S. I will not be posting my Teen Tuesday post on my blog here this week, to much stuff already is going on, but it is up on the Teen Tuesday blog, so check it out, here and read the other post also! Also, no Teaser Tuesday this week, I feel like I'm being smothered with all the blog post this week, but you will see it up and set next Tuesday!


  1. What a wonderful interview. You have so much energy and enthusiasm, Kelsey - it's contagious. And did you say your mom did the graphics for your blog? I love your layout.

    I popped over here by a roundabout route - I am a regular reader of Apprentice Writer, who featured Fashionista Piranha as part of BBAW. So I discovered your dueling interviews, which I really enjoyed.

  2. Hey Kelsey, great interview! I WISH WISH WISH that there were book blogs when I was your age.

    And by the way, you have the BEST month for a birthday - mine is November 4 and I just love it! I'm doing a big book giveaway in honor of my birthday, so be sure to stop in and enter (when I get the details up, which won't be for a while yet).

  3. It's so fun getting to know the people behind the blogs a bit!


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