BBAW (Book Blogger Appreciation Week) has begun! The second day consists of the New Treasure-Interview Swap.
Welcome Jennifer from Snapshot to Rundpinne!
Tell me a little about yourself and your blog?
I live in Connecticut with my husband, 6-year-old son, and 12-year-old daughter. All of us read, although saying my son loves to read would be a stretch. We’re still working on him. I’ve been blogging at Snapshot for over 4 years. Two years ago I started the 5 Minutes for Books site, which is a team blog.
When I first starting blogging, the kidlit blogging community was one of the ones I enjoyed following, so I started blogging about books. Now I still blog about the books that the kids and I are reading on my personal blog, but the bulk of my reviews are on 5 Minutes for Books.
I always enjoyed reading. I was one of those kids who always had a book in her hand, I read all the way through high school and college (where I majored in English). After I entered the “real world,” my reading slowed down some, but blogging and specifically joining Callapidder Days Fall Into Reading Challenge back in 2006 when I really picked up that beloved past time.
How do you fit reading in? Do you schedule what you will read in advance or take it a day at a time?
I fit in reading, because I love to read. I read in the evenings while my husband watches sports, and I read on the back deck on a sunny day. I don’t need an excuse to read. I also enjoy audiobooks and listen to one to three a month, while driving or cleaning house.
Without thinking what is your favourite book?
I really don’t have an all-time favorite, so if I were to say without thinking, recent books would come to mind, such as Shilpa Gowda’s Secret Daughter or Justin Kramon’s Finny (linked to my reviews). They will always be on the short list of books I rate with 5 Stars, but I’m sure if you ask me in 6 months what my favorite book is, it would be a book I’ve read more recently.
What is the first book that really took your breath away?
Again, I have a short memory when it comes to books. A book that just sucked me in from the beginning and then left me speechless at the end was Thrity Umrigar’s The Weight of Heaven. I had to sit down and write the review as soon as I finished it, and even then I started it off with “I just finished this book, and I’m speechless.”
What are a couple of books that you’ve enjoyed that show the diversity of your reading preferences?
I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult literature lately, and really enjoying it. I just “met” John Green through his book An Abundance of Katherines, and though I’m not a high school kid, and even when I was in high school, I wasn’t like most of the kids portrayed in YA books, there’s something in these stories that resonate with me. I enjoy well-written non-fiction such as Searching for Whitopia, but I’m also drawn to traditional women’s fiction by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner.
What do you look for in a book review? What do you not like to see in a book review?
I don’t like heavy plot summary, because I like to go into a book not knowing much about it. I think that a book review shouldn’t be literary criticism (as the NY Times seems to think it should be). That’s fine for book clubs, but the reviews I like are ones that tell me what the reviewer liked about it, and how she connected with it.
Do you rate books when you review them? If so how do you decide the rating?
I don’t rate them on the blog (except we do designate our “5 Star Reads,”), but I post reviews on amazon as well, where I have to rate them. For me, a 5-Star read is one that really affected me, that I enjoyed, and that I connected with. 4-Stars is highly recommended. 3-Stars is okay – I enjoyed it, but might not have loved it for one reason or another, though someone else might. 2-Stars are books that I would not recommend, and weren’t really worth my time, and 1-Star is a book I really wish I hadn’t read at all.
Point us to one of your very favorite reviews (that you wrote):
I’ve linked to several reviews above, and I think that they show my reviewing style, and in most of them I reviewed them in the way that I like to read reviews.
Head over to Snapshot to read the interview Jennifer did with me.