How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
Although I’ve lurked ever since the beginning of CBR, this is my second time participating (I was always too intimidated by the great reviews that everyone wrote, before deciding that life was too short for all that). It’s changed my reading in a couple of ways – I originally signed up as I hadn’t been reading as much as I did before life and work got in the way, and CBR has definitely helped in that regard. I managed just over a Cannonball last year and, spurred on by that, have already nearly equalled last year’s number. But, even better, CBR has improved the quality of the books that I read – the community has helped me to find so many great books that I would never have even considered previously, and this year in particular has gifted me with some fantastic urban fantasy recommendations that I’ve been devouring ever since.
Okay, I gotta ask…TheShitWizard?
Ha! Well, my boyfriend has a particular talent for mashing together words to make new insults and, in the middle of a spat, called me a fucking shitwizard. After I finished laughing my ass off, I decided it suited me rather well (this is probably TMI, but I also have an appalling stomach condition, so it felt rather apt!)
Which do you find easier to write, the 5 star or 1 star reviews?
Definitely the 1 stars. If I hate something, I could talk for days about all the ways in which it sucks (my problem then becomes reining myself in), whereas when I love something I often find it really hard to articulate why and usually descend into excited babbling instead.
How many chapters do you give a book to hook you before you give up?
Never give up, never surrender! I don’t think I’ve ever given a book up, no matter how much I hated it – I’m always wondering (hoping?) that something will happen to change my opinion and, if not, I start looking forward to giving it a proper kicking come review time. This doesn’t always go well for me – I once spent six weeks of utter misery slogging through the unabridged Les Miserables, despite wanting to club myself to death with it, and I think my eventual review detailing all the ways in which I hated it ended up going on longer than the book.
Which is most necessary for you to consider a book to be excellent: plot, characters, writing, other?
For me, it’s usually the character-driven stuff that really floats my boat. If you’ve written incredible characters, nothing could happen at all plot-wise and I’d still be in seventh heaven. One of my favourite series of all time is the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian, and at this point I love the characters so much that I could happily read about Jack & Stephen just staring at one another for 400 pages and still give it 5 stars!
Best place to read: in front of a cozy fire with piles of snow outside, or in a beach chair under the broiling sun?
No question, it’s the cozy fire for me. With added cats and copious cups of tea.
Anything to add?
I’m just incredibly thankful to be a part of such a wonderful community, who’ve improved my reading life immeasurably all while raising money for an amazing cause. Now that I’m here, I’m here to stay.