Bothari43, our intrepid newsletter editor interviews Mrs. Julien and kicks off a new Cannonball Read feature: Quick Questions with a Cannonballer Take it away, Bothari and Mrs. J!
Mrs. Julien, how many times have you participated in CBR?
This is my fifth CBR and HOLY CATS! I did not realise that. I missed the cut off for 2011 and wrote one screed of a review on my blog, but made it for 2012 which was, coincidentally, when my current kissing book obsession kicked in. I managed 33 reviews my first year and have increased my total every year since. I do get review burnout every few months or so and then have to frantically catch up, like now, for example, when I am really, really far behind.
What’s the first book you recommend to new friends?
I have bought Oldest Living Confederate War Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus for a few people. If they want a kissing book recommendation, I unfurl my questionnaire about eras, hero types, and comfort with [insert funky bass line here], but Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books are an excellent gateway drug and I am more likely to recommend authors (Courtney Milan) than specific books.
I know you’re shocked and stunned, but our prolixitous (yeah, I had to look it up too) Mrs. J had more to say.
Has being a participant changed the way you read? If so, how?
For most, but not all, books I do read with an eye to my review. If a book is a letdown or genuinely bad, I am very likely to finish it specifically so I can write a spiteful review. I will read it faster and, perhaps, I’m just sayin’, maybe jump ahead a bit if it is truly awful, but I do finish books I would ordinarily walk away from because of the potential for vitriol. Whether a book is good or bad, I will highlight text for notes of items I want to quote, reference, or remember; sometimes, I develop a review concept while reading or identify a recurrent genre theme I want to address. The reviews are more fun to write when they represent a creative outlet for me rather then a perfunctory effort. It’s why I created a joking kissing book review template as the summaries can feel a bit repetitive. I freely borrow Amazon plot summaries as well; however, I’ve noticed that if I am enthusiastic about a book or author I am less likely to plonk them in and will create my own.
What’s your favorite book-based movie?
Hands down, Sense and Sensibility although that’s mostly because it’s a classic movie and not because I like the original so much.
Favorite pizza topping?
A: Basil pesto, pine nuts, and feta cheese.
Thank you so much, Mrs. Julien, we can’t wait for more of your reviews. They always knock us off our feet!