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Interlude-Interview With A Blogger

The blogger interview for the month of June is with my friend and fellow blogger, Becky from "Becky's Book Reviews," and also "Operation Actually Read Bible." She also has a blog for young readers, and she manages a Google reading book group, we are reading "Gone With The Wind" by Margaret Mitchell this summer.

1. Tell the story of how you came to start blogging?

In the summer of 2006, one of my professors started a blog. While I'd been slightly aware of what a blog was, I'd not really thought much about it before. But seeing her blog get started made me want to start one of my own. And in late August, "Becky's Book Reviews" was born. I've been blogging ever since! I've since started (and continue to maintain) two other blogs.
Young Readers got started in July of 2007. And Operation Actually Read Bible got started in June of 2008.

As to why I wanted to blog, I wanted to create a place to share my thoughts on books. I wanted a place to journal what I'd read. I'd never really kept up with my reading before so I have no idea how much or how little I was reading in a year before I started up my blogs :)
2. Who do you consider your primary audience to be with your blogs?

I'm going to guess book-lovers of all ages. It's a hard one to pin down. I want to speak to people who already love and adore reading. But I also want to reach out to the more reluctant readers. I want to encourage them to find the right book, for them, and maybe discover the blessed experience of pleasure reading. So I'm hoping for a diverse audience.

Becky's Book Reviews probably has the widest audience. I cover so many different types of books--middle grade, young adult, adult. And this is the blog where I do post about my challenges and such. So it picks up a following for that reason.

Young Readers is the site where I review board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books for the under ten crowd. I wish I knew how to grow my readership there. This blogs primary audience would be parents, teachers, librarians, grandparents and such. Adults who probably have young children in their lives and are looking for book recommendations.

My newest blog, Operation Actually Read Bible, or Operation Actually for short, is a Christian blog where I blog about my Bible reading, and share book reviews for Christian fiction and Christian nonfiction. It has such a specific focus that I doubt wide readership is possible. But I'm happy for a chance at a small community. It is my hope that through this blog friendships can be formed.

3. Do you consider blogging to be your ministry?

In a way, I think blogging has allowed me to discover my voice. I am extremely shy, a true anti-social introvert if ever there was one. Yet with blogging, I found a way to be comfortable being me. Or perhaps I should say comfortable sharing and expressing my true self with others.

Blogging isn't my only ministry, I hope.

4. What is your favorite book, it can be of any genre? Why is it your favorite book? It is okay if you name more than one.

I have so many favorites. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card opened me up to science fiction. And Orson Scott Card is probably my favorite living writer. It's a novel that was assigned to me in school. And going into it, it was definitely out of my comfort zone. But I loved it. And I've reread it every year since I first discovered it back in the fall of 2000.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is another that I'd consider my favorite. It's one of those novels that is all about what it means to be human. It is such a smart novel. One that makes you think. I love the monster's humanity so. His is such a tragic story. And I can't recommend this one highly enough!

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer is another one that I'd consider a favorite. In my top five--maybe even in my top three. It's a lovely little bleakity-bleak book about the end of the we know it. In journal format, we meet Miranda and her family as they experience the resulting hardships of life after an asteroid knocks the moon from its orbit and brings it too close to Earth changing Earth's environment forever. It sounds bleak, but it's a thought-provoking bleak. A novel that makes you cold and hungry.

Of course I love the Bible. It may not be obvious to all my readers. I don't blog much about it on Becky's Book Reviews and Young Readers. But I've been a Bible-lover from way back.

Favorite Christian books would include Putting The Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton, Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, Why One Way by John MacArthur, How You Can Be Sure That You Will Spend Eternity with God by Erwin Lutzer. I also love John Piper, but it would be hard to pick just one.

5. What is something about yourself that other people would never guess about you?

How about the fact that I love broccoli? I don't think it's apparent that I love broccoli as much as I do :)

6. What is your greatest pet peeve?

I'll go with junk phone calls. They don't just call during the day. You can get them in the evening--even after 9PM sometimes. If I have to hear any more "final, final" notices for car warranties that I don't have...well you get the idea. They're annoying. They're rude. They're irrelevant.

7. Do you have a favorite reading spot?

I read in bed. At night mostly. I make a nest of pillows and settle in for the night with a book or two by my side and a big stack by the bed. :)

8. Who has influenced you the most in your love of reading?

Definitely my mom. She read aloud to me my sister. A lot. And she read to us even when we had learned to read ourselves. It was a great way to spend time together. She loves to read. Loves it. And we go to the library together as much as we can. We have some of our tastes in common when it comes to books. And it's always fun to discuss books with her.
Becky's Book Reviews:
Operation Actually Read Bible:
Young Readers

"Books maybe the only true magic." Alice Hoffman

"It is books that are a key to the wide world, if you can't do anything else, read all you can."
Jane Hamilton

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." Erasmus

"I have never found any distress than an hour's reading did not relieve." Baron de Montesquieu

"Outside of a dog, books are mans best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Groucho

"A classic is a classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard.) It is a classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness."
Edith Wharton

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." Corrie Ten Boom