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Hello Friday! Hello Follow Friday with book bloggers!
Meet BT, known and Broken Tune on BookLikes, a moody readers who's not afraid of exploring new literary lands!
Follow Broken Tune on BookLikes: http://BrokenTune.booklikes.com
What are you reading now? How is it?
I usually read several books at a time, all appealing to different moods or interests. At the moment I am enjoying I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong, which is a buddy read with our Flat Book Society. I have also started two biographies – one of Arthur Conan Doyle and one of Phyllis Bottome. I am not sure, yet, what to make of the ACD biography as it seems to be brushing over his biography rather than investigate it, but the Bottome biography is very interesting. It appears that Bottome is yet another author that had an extraordinary life but who has been largely forgotten.
When have you discovered you’re a book lover?
Very early on. My mother and grandmother have always had books around the house and some of my favourite early memories are of bedtime stories and falling out with my cousin when we couldn’t agree on which book my gran should read to us when we stayed at her house for weekends or holidays. To this day, I cannot stand Heidi (my cousin’s favourite choice), but still love The Count of Monte Christo and anything by Jules Verne.
As you can tell, my gran and my mom did not believe in restricting storytime to children’s books, and I am glad they didn’t.
In your bio you write “I'm an eclectic reader”, can you tell us more about your reading preferences?
I like the word “preference”. If there is anything I have learned from being around the Booklikes community, it is that there is not really any genre that I will not try. For example, I used to think that I do not enjoy books labeled as “Horror” because I can’t stand descriptions of gore or gratuitous violence, but then Char inspired me to try a few different authors, and I actually became a fan of one of them - Michael McDowell. (Seriously, check him out!)
So, while my preferences are now less defined by genre, and my reading is more diverse or eclectic in that respect, I prefer books that are intellectually engaging, that are plot driven, and that work magic with their use of language. And to keep things a little more contradictory, I like psychological plots but don’t like popular thrillers, and I like classic mysteries but don’t like books that try to copy classic mysteries.
How did your blogging adventure start?
It started mostly by curiosity. A couple of RL friends had sent me an invite to join GR some years ago, so I did. While my RL friends left it again quite quickly, I was intrigued by the facility to have a space to share thoughts on books with others.
The real joy of blogging came, however, when finding Booklikes. It was so much easier to compose and expand on thoughts about books and all sorts of other topics over here. And the Booklikes community is just fabulous – so welcoming and encouraging to share ideas and events, recipes, travel, and posts on random other topics.
Why reading is important to you?
Reading is important to me because I love exploring – whether it is new places, new ideas, cultures, different times, ... whatever the topic I will find something that catches my interest. Books are a fabulous way to explore the world within and around us. I mean, I love travel, too, but with books you can also travel through time, and to galaxies far, far away, and of course, there is fiction, too. ;)
Apart from a thirst for exploring, I also love that reading can completely change your state of mind – it can calm you down, and it can rile you up. It can offer an escape from your day’s events and it can draw you more into the world and motivate you to engage with other people. There really is something to be said for the idea that books are “uniquely portable magic”.
I am a huge mood reader. While I do have some set reading lists this year in order to chop down Mt. TBR and have a few reading projects going with the Suffragettes, Sherlock Holmes, and the ongoing challenge to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels, most of my day to day reading is decided on which mood I am in and which book appeals most.
The problem with this is that it can take a while to choose a book. I can literally stand in front of my shelves or stare at my kindle for quite some time before a book speaks to me.
What are you three favorite book covers?
That’s a tough one. I am way too easily swayed by gorgeous book covers. I don’t think I have favourite book covers, tho. Last December, I read Gladys Mitchell’s Murder in the Snow and I had to leave the book on my currently reading shelf for a couple of days after I finished it because I loved the cover so much. I am also very partial to the covers of Gilded Needles and A is for Arsenic, which may also be partly due my loving the books themselves just as much as the covers.
There is just something very pleasing about the simplicity of the covers.
We’ve spotted the 2018 Mt. TBR Project. What’s your reading plan for this year?
There isn’t that much of a plan. A plan doesn’t really work for me because my reading depends on my mood so much. However, I needed to do something about the stacks and stacks of physical books that I have at home. The book collection has long exceeded my shelf space, so some of them will need to go.
That’s why I decided to try and focus on reading the books I already have at home this year. I tried this a few years ago, and it helped to keep my physical shelves under some control. Last year, I decided to have a year of free reading and book buying...and I ended up with way too many books.
So, the Mt. TBR Project had to make a come-back this January. I can pick any of the books off the stacks, read them in any order, but the goal is to read them all by the end of the year...and not buy more than I read in the process.
You’re reviewed over 600 books on BookLikes. What’s your book review process?
It really depends on the book. It appears that I find it easier to write reviews for books that I did not like, while the books I love are the most difficult to write about because I know I will never do them any justice in a review.
I mostly make notes while I read that will remind me of quotes and ideas and thoughts that occurred while I read the book. Then it will usually take me a few days to gather my thoughts together for a review. I type the review, post it, and instantly remember another two or three things that I would have loved to write about... So it goes.
Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers?
I find recommendations very difficult because it really depends on who the recommendation is made to and what I know of the likes and dislikes of the reader.
However, I do find it exciting when I get to recommend books that are important to me or that have had a big impact on me. So, I am always thrilled when people try a book by Ali Smith or Ruth Ozeki or even one of the lesser-known travel writers like Ella Maillart.
With every recommendation, however, there is also some anxiety that accompanies the excitement – Will they like the book? Will they not like the book and wonder why I recommended it?
Recommending a book is just not that easy.
Do your read one or several books at a time?
Several. Always. I usually have a selection of different formats and different topics that I can pick up to respond to whichever mood I might be in.
How much time do you spend reading daily?
I probably read about 2 hours a day on average. If I travel with work, I read a lot more. There is nothing I like better than to read while being stuck on a train or a plane. And of course, the weather and time of year also have an influence on the time I spend with books. I hardly ever switch on the tv, so if the weather is “dreich”, a good local word, and I don’t have be somewhere I’ll turn to a book.
A paper book or an e-book?
Both! And let’s not forget audiobooks! I love all formats of books, but not all books will work in all formats. I prefer paper for non-fiction, but ebooks or audiobooks for fiction.
Three titles for a desert island?
Well, how long am I stuck on the island for? If it is for a long time, I may want to pack something practical such a survival guide by Bear Grylls... I am kidding. I have no interest in that, and his books generally aren’t long enough to be of use on a desert island.
I’d have to take The Count of Monte Cristo, because it is long and features an escape from an island. I’d also take a book by Ayn Rand, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged, because, again, they are excessively long and that might be the only circumstance that I would actually read them.
Lastly, I would take something like Ovid’s Metamorphoses or one of Homer’s books that can be read over and over and will still offer something new to be discovered.
Oh, so many... Let’s go with this one:
‘Right! Let’s do some good!’ she said, to the universe at large.
Terry Pratchett - Maskerade
If you could meet one author, who would it be?
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