Armchair BEA anyone?!

So who knew this was a thing! But what a wonderful thing it is 🙂

Armchair BEA. For those who can’t attend (and are eaten up with envy!) the real BEA (which, for those of you who don’t know, is Book Expo America! A place to schmooze and meet like minded bookish people and publishers.

So seeing as I live in England and there’s pretty much no way I’ll ever get to visit the real BEA, I thought I would join in and enjoy it from my armchair (well, PC chair …). There will be different activities each day, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to join in everything, but Day 1 was yesterday, and we were given some questions to answer, so here goes!

Tell us a bit about yourself: How long have you been blogging? Where are you from? How did you get into blogging?
This is a tricky one to answer! My first blog was on Blogger and I really don’t know how long ago I started. My blogs have gone through many transformations, but I guess the ‘serious’ blogging has been in the last 5 years. My blog started off as a way to record and share my artwork with friends on a forum, but it changed with my habits and is now pretty much all about reading and books with the occasional cooking/arty thing thrown in! And I live just outside London, though I was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in South Africa!

What does diversity mean to you?
Diversity is such a big buzz word right now, and this is no bad thing! To me, diversity in books is reading about other cultures, other countries, genres you wouldn’t normally read. Something that might put you out of your comfort zone a little bit. For me, reading is an escape, and what better way to escape than to enter a diverse world that you’ve never visited before?! This is why I started my Global Reading challenge and I hope to be transported to many different cultures and countries!

What book are you reading right now?

evemist
I am currently reading The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, an author from Malaysia. I am really enjoying it -who ever thought I’d enjoy a book about a Japanese gardener living in Malaysia!

What is one book everyone should read?
3273I have a stock answer for this … Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. This book deserves more attention! First of all, how gorgeous is that cover? Just beautiful! I would link to my review, but I see that I haven’t actually reviewed it! That’s a bit shocking! It is a historical fiction (not usually my genre) set in Hawaii and focuses on a young girl who contracts leprosy. It is heartbreaking and wonderful. It has been a while since I read it, actually, and I think will put this on my re-read list. Read it!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what author would you want to bring with you? Why?
Even though I am 43 years old, I would bring the complete works of JK Rowling. Just so I could escape to Hogwarts. Who wouldn’t?!

An A to Z Book Tag

I’ve been thinking about my blog and how I can get posting more regularly and have a few little tweaks and changes in the pipeline.  One of my aims is to blog more about books generally, not just reviews and monthly wraps ups, but something a little bit more personal.  So when I stumbled upon this tag via @ABookandTea on Twitter, I thought I would give it a go.  She did this tag in a post on her lovely blog and invited anyone to have a go if they fancied, so here goes!

A.  Author You’ve Read the Most Books From
I had to check my Goodreads for this, but I should’ve known really!  It is Patricia Cornwell.  I’ve read 14 of her Kay Scarpetta novels.  I loved the first 10 in the series, but then it tailed off a little for me.  I’ve not read her latest few, but I think I might delve into this forensic world again.

B.  Best Sequel Ever!
This is a tricky one.  Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins was a great sequel.

C.  Currently Reading
I’ve just started The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons.  I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s good so far!

D.  Drink of Choice While Reading
Diet Coke.  Or Coffee.  Rarely tea.

E.  E-reader or Physical Book
I have a Kindle which is loaded with books, but I’m ashamed to say I rarely pick it up.  One of my reading goals for 2015 is to read at least one book a month from my Kindle … so far I’ve failed miserably!

F.  Fiction Character You Probably Would’ve Dated in High School
Ok, well, I was a total wallflower in school, shy and awkward, but if I could’ve I would’ve dated Ron Weasley!

G.  Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling.  I was a fully fledged adult with a small baby when this was first published, and I saw it as a children’s book, but I’m so glad I picked it up!

H.  A Hidden Gem Book




Moloka’i by Alan Brennert.  I read this book a few years ago and I loved it so much, and yet I don’t hear it talked about much, if at all.  It is a beautiful historical fiction set in Hawaii, focusing on a family struck by leprosy.  It is fabulous and I recommend it to everyone I meet!










I.  Important Moment in your Reading Life
Probably discovering Goodreads.  I love keeping track of the books I’ve read and the books I own.

J.  Just Finished
Last night I finished Fear the Dark by Chris Mooney.  I’m on a bit of a crime thriller spree at the moment!

K.  Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
YA Romance.  No thank you!

L.  Longest Book You’ve Ever Read
… checking Goodreads again (see why I love it so much?!) … The Passage by Justin Cronin at 963 pages.  I love big books!  The Passage was a great read, though I’ve yet to pick up the sequel, The Twelve.

M.  Major Book Hangover
I’m not really sure what this means, but if it means a book that killed your reading habit for a while, it is (on checking Goodreads) The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  I’m not sure why, but after finishing this book, which was beautiful and heartbreaking, I didn’t read another book for 3 months!  I’m not sure if it was the book’s fault, or if it’s my cyclical reading habit that’s to blame …

N.  Number of Bookcases you Own
I have two bookcases in the bedroom (much to hubby’s annoyance) both of which are ‘double parked’ and overflowing, along with a pile of books on the floor.  Downstairs in the living room I have two shelves on a unit with my Penguin Modern Classics and red spine Vintage Classics, and two shelves of cookery books in another unit.

O.  One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling.  Actually, the whole of the Harry Potter series.

P.  Preferred Place to Read
My new reclining armchair!

Q.  Quote that Inspires You
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Albus  Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling.

R.  Reading Regret
I don’t really have any reading regrets.  I wish Goodreads had been around when I was younger so I had a fuller history of the books I’ve read.

S.  Series You’ve Started and Needed to Finish
Sorry, boring answer, the Harry Potter series of course.

T.  Three of Your All Time Favourite Books

U.  Unapologetic Fangirl
Not sure if this means for an author of a character, so I’m going with character.  I unapologetically claim undying love for DI Tom Thorne in the books by Mark Billingham.  And Ron Weasley.

V.  Very Excited for This Release
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee.  Who isn’t excited for this one?!

W.  Worst Bookish Habit
Hubby would say leaving piles of books lying around the house!  Others might say my spine-breaking habit.  I don’t think any bookish habit is a bad one!

X.  X Marks the Spot; Pick the 27th Book on Your Shelf
HHhH by Laurent Binet – Hitler, World War II, fiction but with real characters.  I haven’t read it yet.

Y.  Your Latest Book Purchase
Second Life by SJ Watson.  I enjoyed his first novel, Before I Go To Sleep and hope this one is just as good.

Z.  Zzz … Book That Made You Fall Asleep
Controversial, I know, but I thought Gone Girl was a big pile of poop.  I usually don’t carry on with a book if it’s not grabbing me after 50 or so pages, but I persevered with this one because of the hype and I hope it would get better.  It didn’t!

So there you go!  A little peek into some of my bookish thoughts and habits!  I’m not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you want to, go ahead and do this tag!  Leave a link in the comments so I can check out your answers!