Today is Day 1 of the week-long Armchair BEA, a community event for book bloggers not attending Book Expo America this week. Each day we will post on a different, pre-assigned topic, visit each others’ blogs and just generally share our enthusiasm for blogging about books. Today’s topic is Introductions; instead of pairing bloggers for interviews, we’ve got a set of questions to answer for ourselves and read about others.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
I'm Lisa Guidarini and I've been blogging about seven years now, six of which have been here at Typepad.
Blogging began as my personal outlet, mostly for talking about what I'm currently reading but also about authors I've enjoyed, or met, or interviewed. I'll also occasionally post something more personal: either family related or my life outside reading. Now my blog stands in partly as my writing resume. I refer editors here when applying for editing or other writing jobs.
What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
How much time do you have for me to list it all?!
Okay, I'm currently reading – just started – a book called Niceville by Carsten Stroud. It's centered around a community in which some really strange and macabre things happen, truly unexplained things like a child disappearing literally into thin air, showing up later in one of the most gruesome places you can imagine. I won't tell you where, though, because that kept me breathless. At the same time, it's a funny, quirky novel, if you can imagine that. It's gripping. I wish I were reading it right now!
Also, I write and lead book discussions at BookBrowse.com and for that I'm reading Mercy Train by Rae Meadows. It's a generational novel about mothers and daughters. Next up for BookBrowse: Gold by Chris Cleave (author of Little Bee).
Also, I'm working on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad for the Classics Book Group I attend here at the library.
Today I rec'd the new biography of James Joyce, which I ordered from Amazon. I'm going to start reading Ulysses on June 16 so I'm trying to get a little background before I start.
Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I'm pretty open on my blog, probably too much so, but I guess something my readers don't know is I'm deathly afraid of "big things." I mean stuff like hot air balloons, those power-generating windmills, an over-sized flag we have just north of my town… I can't explain it but they just terrify me. The St. Louis Arch was torture when we visited there on a family vacation!
What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?
I'd have to say book reviews, followed closely by book interviews. Then talking about author events I attend, interacting with the authors, etc. And I know I exceeded the scope of the question!
Where do you see your blog in five years?
Woof. Tough question. I always think it could be better than it is and keep shifting my position between wanting to go more professional or have it as a hobby/books and life beyond books blog. I'm always looking at other book blogs for ideas to try.
Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
Oh, gosh! Maybe one of my interviews, like the one with Billy Collins – former poet laureate. Was I ever petrified talking to him on the phone! But for a really outstanding interview I think the one with Frank Delaney went really great.
If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
David Foster Wallace. I know what really deep depression is like and I'd like to somehow give him solace. My heart broke when he committed suicide.
What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
Hogwarts! That's because I love gothic settings and would be in heaven wandering around such a magical place.
What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I love the diversity of it, the blogs dedicated to one topic and those who are all over the spectrum. I can't think of anything I want to see changing. I love it as it is, with all different voices chiming in. It's the best thing on earth and I love surfing through other people's blog rolls.
Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
I used to read much less contemporary writing than I do now. Classic literature was my favorite for about the first 35+ years of my life. I've spent the last decade catching up, getting to know different modern authors, etc. I used to think nothing modern could possibly be any good. How wrong I was!
Looking forward to reading the other intros.