How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
I started CBR6 but only got a handful of books in before I fell by the wayside. I guess I’d almost consider this my first real CBR. I feel that I remember more of what I read now because I’m focused on the review, but I also extra hate bad books because it lingers with me until I get the review out. I’ve been a voracious reader my whole life, I’m grateful that CBR has me more carefully considering what I feed my brain.
What’s the first book you recommend to new friends?
I always always recommend Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. If you haven’t read it, it’s basically the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Book of Revelations. Beyond that, it varies by reader and it usually involves extensively perusing my Goodreads. Recent favorites include: Little Fires Everywhere, The Broken Earth trilogy, The Expanse series, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Pachinko, Station Eleven, and the Great Library series.
On the flip side, I do occasionally judge by the books people recommend. A friend suggested I read Dan Brown’s Origins and I no longer take recommendations from her.
You seem to read a lot of books that challenge you and expand your horizons, which leads to great reviews! Do you have any suggestions for those of us who fall back on comfortable favorites too often? How do you find stuff for your TBR list that’s outside your comfort zone?
I am forever indebted to my local public library—I keep my hold list full to the max and feel so free to explore all manner of books because they are, well, free. To keep that hold list full, I seek out a lot of recommendations (Goodreads, Buzzfeed, Vox, etc.) I also come from a family of readers, so I get suggestions from my mom and grandmother. I like being forced to remember that my experience is not universal and that the world is absolutely massive and teeming with stories. My fiction/nonfiction ratio is a little out of whack, but I just love me my novels.
Do you reread favorites, or think life’s too short and there are too many new things to read?
I read my first copy of Good Omens so many times the cover fell off, my full set of hardback Harry Potters travels from apartment to apartment with me, and I reread the book before each new season of Game of Thrones. We have favorite books for a reason.
Who is an author you would buy anything they write: no reading the blurb, no recommendation, hardback prices…you have to have it as it hits the shelves?
N. K. Jemisin, flat out. Also new author Erin Jones has her debut novel Tinfoil Crowns coming out next spring. She’s one of my best friends and super talented and everyone should read it. Shameless plug.
If you got to/had to participate in a TV reality show, which one would you pick?
Nailed It! I’m not talented or British enough for GBBS, but I can laugh at my own horrifying baking disasters.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am so grateful for CBR and kind of disappointed in myself that it’s taken me this long to participate. This community of readers is absolutely incredible in the breadth of books chosen and the depth of reviews. Thank you all for helping me find new books and inspiring me to reread old favorites!