One of Lesley's incredibly beautiful photos.
Your name: Lesley Scher
Name of your blog or blogs: Lesley's Book Nook, Kiss the Cook, and Lesley's Photoblog
1. In a few sentences, describe your blog(s)
Lesley's Book Nook is essentially comprised of my book reviews, lists of favorites (i.e., historical fiction, coming-of-age, epistolaries, etc.), and the occasional personal post or photograph.
Kiss the Cook is very straightforward, made up mostly of my collection of tried and true recipes. It's not the sort of cooking blog that includes personal anecdotes or chit-chat. It's pretty much an online recipe box.
Lesley's Photoblog is where I post my favorite photos. Some are new and some are from my archives. I enjoy posting series of similar objects and have designated Fridays as my "Friday Florist" post.
2. How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for a little over three years and can't imagine ever giving it up.
3. Why do you blog?
I'm passionate about reading and have always enjoyed chatting about books. In addition to working in a bookstore, I've belonged to online book forums and face-to-face book groups for several years. My book blog has brought me great enjoyment over the past three years and I've met some wonderful people who share my enthusiasm for reading. But it's more than just talking about what we've read. I've made some great friends, most of whom I've never met, and yet they're as close to me as many of my face-to-face friends. We've shared joys and sorrows, swapped books and advice, and even exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts. I honestly can't imagine my life without these lovely friends. Whenever I get a comment on one of my book reviews, it's like a little gift of love from a dear friend.
4. What's the most positive aspect of blogging? Most negative?
I believe the sense of community among book bloggers is the greatest aspect of blogging. However, it's not just about books. I've seen a tremendous amount of love and compassion over the years. Folks reaching out to those who might be grieving or facing a life-threatening disease. While I have not personally known any blogger who has passed away, I know there have been a few since I started blogging, and the outpouring of love and sympathy for the families has been incredibly touching.
I suspect the only negative aspect of blogging is the self-induced demands it puts on one's free time. I wish I had more time in the day to visit all the blogs I love, not to mention post more than just once or twice a week. But I've learned to ease up on myself and do what I can without feeling too guilty for not doing more.
5. What inspires your blog entries?
Since my book blog is devoted to reviewing the books I've read, it's those books that inspire me to post. Every so often I'll post a Thursday Thirteen list or participate in a meme, but that's fairly rare. If I've discovered a new recipe that turns out to be a "keeper," I'll post it on my cooking blog. The weather and seasons typically provide inspiration for my photoblog, but I'll occasionally go back through my archives and share a series of favorites from various vacations or outings.
6. Do you compose posts ahead of time, or do you write "on the fly"?
I compose my posts ahead of time, let them percolate for a few hours or a day, go back and massage them a little bit before, I finally post them. I admire those who can sit down and write off the cuff!
7. What blogs do you read on a regular basis? Please list up to three or four.
Only three or four?! Surely you jest. 😉 I have my favorite book blogs that I try to visit every day, but I also follow a few cooking blogs and blogs that I think of as "feel good/down-to-earth" sites. The latter are typically women who are extremely talented in cooking, gardening, crafting, and parenting. They tend to be excellent writers and photographers. Maybe I should call them the Renaissance bloggers! So, you wanted a list. Here is just a sampling. Please visiting my blog roll for more!
8. What have you been reading lately? Do you read books, ebooks, or both?
I've really been on a roll this year. Not necessarily with quantity, but quality. My favorites thus far are The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Little Bee by Chris Cleave, Still Alive by Lisa Genova, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, The Likeness (and In the Woods) by Tana French and The Laws of Harmony by Judith Ryan Hendricks. Glad you didn't ask for just a list of three or four! 😉
I have not taken the leap into ebooks, but I wouldn't be surprised if that changed within the next couple of years. My husband really wants a Kindle and if he should ever get one, I wouldn't be opposed to giving it a try. But I already have so many unread books, and I've been very good about not buying any new ones (although I do seem to acquire quite a few ARCs from work, authors, and publicists), so it would be a bit silly at this point to buy one for myself.
10. What music do you listen to? Any favorite artists or genres?
I rarely listen to music when I'm reading, but I always have a cd going in the car or while I'm puttering around the house. Some of my favorite artists are John Hiatt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Jack Johnson, Lyle Lovett, Cold Play, CSNY, and of course, Kris Kristofferson.
12. Are you reliant on any technical devices (iPod, Blackberry, etc.)?
I'm pretty much a Luddite. I have a cell phone (we gave up our land-line a few years ago), but I rarely use it. Can't remember the last time I sent (or received) a text message! I have an iPod but haven't used it in quite a while. I used to take it with me on my daily walks, but now that I take Annie-dog with me, I gotten out of the habit of listening to music. I'll use the iPod in a dock when we have a dinner party, but when I'm in the house, I still listen to cds on my Bose! The only technical devices I'd really miss are my computer and camera.
20. Have you ever met a celebrity? Who, and when?
This is probably cheating since he's my cousin (first cousin, once removed – I think!), but I've met Kris Kristofferson on several occasions. I've also met Rita Coolidge (when she was married to Kris), Joan Baez (she was at a family wedding I attended), David Crosby (he was staying at the same resort in Telluride as I was), and members of Lyle Lovett's band (riding the gondola down from the resort in Telluride, to the Bluegrass Festival).
I met Mary Doria Russell, Lorna Landvik, and Jill Ker Conway at a small literary conference in Cleveland in 1998. I've met other authors at book signings, but these three spent more time with our group than is typically ??
21. Do you watch television? Favorite programs?
I rarely ever watch "live" tv anymore. We prefer to rent dvds of our favorites programs so we can watch them back-to-back without commercial interruptions. My favorites? House, Grey's Anatomy, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Carnivale, The Sopranos, Foyle's War, and As Time Goes By.
28. What do you do to relax?
It's probably pretty obvious that reading would be at the top of this list. I love to stretch out on the couch or, weather permitting, out on the deck or front porch, with a good book and a glass of wine. I also like to walk and generally get out a couple of times a day with our dog, getting in about an hour altogether. When the weather gets nice, I like to head to the lake and spend an hour or so out on my kayak or go for a long bike ride on one of the beautiful trails in our community. I also find cooking very relaxing, that is as long as I have plenty of time and energy. After a long day at work, cooking is one of the last things I enjoy doing! I love to entertain and one of my favorite times to relax is right after a meal, sitting around the table with my husband and good friends, talking and laughing over dessert, wine and a silly game such as Apple to Apples, Cranium, or Trivial Pursuit.
32. If money were no object, where would you live?
That's easy. I'd live somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Probably on one of the San Juan Islands. I love Friday Harbor and Sidney and could easily envision living in either town.
35. Any plans for your next vacation?
Well, as it happens, we're going to the Pacific Northwest ! We're going to spend a week visiting my folks in Depoe Bay, Oregon . Another great location. You can add that to my list of places to live, too! 😉
Thanks for asking to interview me for your blog, Lisa! I'm quite honored.