Yesterday was the start of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, of which my favorite part is the blogger interviews. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to learn more about my fellow bloggers and discover new blogs that I'd never visited before. I also enjoy being interviewed because, as you know, I love talking about myself ;)
So this year, my interview partner is Darren from Bart's Bookshelf.
Hi Darren, welcome to SFF Chat!
Can you start off by telling me about your blog and the kind of books that you review?
Bart’s Bookshelf, developed out of my original but then just about defunct, personal blog. After a few years of really not reading as much as I would have liked, I decided it was time to do something about it and force myself to get back in to the habit of reading, and I was going to do this by setting myself some targets and reviewing what I read.
My reading is fairly eclectic, but is probably skewed to the fantasy side of things, and about 2/3 of the books I read could be classified as YA.
How long have you been blogging for?
January 20th next year will be the fifth ‘birthday’ of that Bart’s Bookshelf!
Wow, that's almost a decade in the book blogging world. That's pretty impressive!
So you must have seen a lot of changes take place in the book blogging community over the years.
Grown. Oh has it grown!
What has been your favourite blogging moment?
#TKONLG on Twitter AKA The Knife of Never Letting Go (by Patrick Ness) there was a group of us that started reading Patrick Ness’ trilogy over a period of a few months. Being convinced by, and then watching each everybody's enthusiasm for the book (and series) as they fell in love with it was pretty amazing. and knowing exactly then they hit a certain event in the book, by their tweets. ;)
What are some of the challenges of being a book blogger?
Remembering that it is meant to be fun. People often get caught up in posting/reading/reviewing schedules. Then struggling under the pressure to maintain it. I know conventional wisdom is that you should keep to a routine, once a week, twice a week of 12 times a week, it doesn’t matter, but keep to it. That’s probably important if you are running the blog as a business, but for most, book-blogging is a hobby, so if you need to take a break then do so, and definitely don’t feel guilty about it!
That is a sentiment that I very much agree with!
So what upcoming release would you recommend that we look out for?
The Book of Doom by Barry Hutchison. Barry writes books for the younger-end of the YA market, but that doesn’t mean all ages can’t enjoy his books. The Book of the Doom is the second book in his Afterworlds series of standalone books.
The first book in the series, The 13th Horseman, was released earlier this year and was packed with wonderful humour and likeable characters.
If you could step into any book which book would you choose and why?
Oh, I’m going to be pretty boring and say Harry Potter (post Voldy of course!) A lot of my favourite worlds in recent years, aren’t necessarily conducive to safe and easy life ;) So, I think a nice house and a quiet life in Hogsmeade, could be just the thing!
What do you think is more important in a book, a good beginning or a good ending?
A good beginning. If it doesn’t catch your attention early on, you’re less likely to still be there to be disappointed by a poor ending.
What has been the most surprising book that you've read during your time as a book blogger?
That’s a somewhat difficult question as a lot of the books I’ve really liked, while I’ve been blogging, have been because of other blogger’s reviews, so to be truly surprised doesn’t happen very often. But, even though I’d read a glowing review if it, by Chris (of Stuff Dreams are Made on) Green Angel by Alice Hoffman surprised me by just how much I enjoyed it.
Here’s how I ended my review:
An incredible little book that’ll drop you in the midst to the deepest pain, and draw you right back out again, filling you with hope. Definitely one that’ll stay with you long after you’ve finished it.
Hm, well I'm definitely intrigued now. I'll have to add Green Angel to my TBR list.
Has being a book blogger affected how and what you read?
Oh my, yes. One of the reasons I started blogging about books was to get myself back into the reading habit, and that has most definitely happened. :)
I have certainly read more YA books in recent years that I would have without book blogging, and many, many new authors!
And now for the question that I can never resist asking any reader... what's your favourite book quote?
Going to cheat and pick two! ;)
“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
“This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Great choices! I firmly believe that you can never go wrong with a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quote. And I just started The Fault in Our Stars, so I'll have to look out for this passage.
Thanks Darren for joining us today. It's been great getting to know you!
You can check out Darren's blog, Bart's Bookshelf, here. And while you are there you can read the interview that Darren did with me.