Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Introducing Valerie from Life is a Patchwork Quilt

Participants in Book Blogger Appreciation Week were paired up to interview each other. My interview partner is Valerie, a blogger in Colorado who also quilts. Her blog Life is a Patchwork Quilt includes posts about quilting and her life but mostly she posts about books. When I was notified that we would be interview partners, I checked out her blog and was happy to see that we had a lot of books in common. As a liberal Texan, I love that when she posted about Steinbeck's Travels with Charley that she pointed out a comment he made about Texans and secession threats--such an embarrassing truth about some Texans, including our current governor, even today.

Her blog has an extra feature that I never even thought about creating, but I wish I had. She has a Books page, which is essentially an alphabetical index of the books that she has reviewed or mentioned in reviews. The titles in the list are linked to her posts. What a great feature! Her list includes a good mix of fiction and nonfiction books. Her reviews are always interesting and helpful to readers. I definitely want to read Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy after reading what she thinks about it.

Here's my interview with her:

Why/when did you start blogging?
I started blogging In January 2008, and at that time it was a general blog that covered family events, my art quilt projects, some recipes I'd try out, and about books I read. Eventually I blogged less about family (I found facebook to be a better place for updates). I tried to do a seperate blog about food and recipes, but it was too much work. Quilt-related posts enced up being too far apart. So it seems like I ended up mostly blogging about books!

What are your favorite books/authors?
Oh, there are so many I like! It's hard for me to say whether I have favorite authors, because I tend not to read authors that churn out several books. I have several books by Edith Wharton but it's been a long time since I last read one of her works. I also have, and enjoyed, several by T.C. Boyle. I love "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth, and I wish more people would read it, but I think the size scares most people off!

Do you do reading challenges?
Only a couple at a time. I know some people love doing them, but enforced deadlines are hard for me!

Do you read more than one book at a time?
Oh, yes. Usually 3-4, but they are different types: one book might be a short story collection, one might be on poetry, one would be a novel, and one non-fiction book.

Is there any kind of book that you won't read?
I say "never say never", but generally I don't read romance, science fiction, fantasy, or true crime.

Do you review books for publishers? Library Thing?
I'm a member of Library Thing, but in the year or so that I've been a member, have only received five books to review. I'm very picky about which books I request; I do not want to have an endless list of ARCs I need to read. As for books from publishers, so far it has been just a couple; and again, I'd be very choosy about which books I accept. I've also recently had a lucky streak recently and have won a few books through blog give-aways, but again I only enter the ones where I have a real interest in the book.

Do you participate in any kind of rewards program like Amazon's? (I'm not sure what it's called.)
I do have an Amazon Associates account, and I try to remember to link titles to amazon, but it's really more for the reader's conveinence because I've made zero profit from it :-)!

Do you mostly borrow books from the library, or are they purchased (and of those purchased, are they primarily new or used?)
I purchase my books--many are used--because I have a hard time trying to meet library due date deadlines (even with renewals).

Are your TBRs mostly on a list, or collected and waiting to be read?
I have both a list, and an ever-growing pile of TBR books. One reason why it's been growing is because our local library has had a lot of good books for sale-- paperbacks 25 cents, hardbacks 50 cents. This is currently a half-price sale; soon it will go back to 50 cents for paperbacks and a dollar for hardbacks. I found a pristine hard-cover copy of "What is the What" by Dave Eggers there for only 50 cents. Still waiting to be read!

What are your earliest memories of reading, and do you remember what book(s)?
I've been reading since I was about two years old, but my earliest memories are the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder; I don't remember myself reading picture books (if I ever really did).

I hope you will go to Life is a Patchwork Quilt and look around. If you're a Texan, make sure that you check out her post about Steinbeck's Travels with Charley. While you're there, you can read her interview with me too. :-)


Valerie said...

This interview swap was definitely fun to do. It's nice that BBAW gave me the opportunity to discover your blog.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that Valerie mentioned A Suitable Boy, because I've seen a couple of comments this week about how it's so thick it's intimidating!

Great set of interviews!