How many times have you participated in CBR? Has it changed the way you read?
CBR11 will be my 4th go-round. My New Year’s resolution in 2016 was to do more writing and I thought this would be a fun way to tackle that, and I was right! I finished a Cannonball in 8, 9, and 10, but this year I have a different resolution–well, two. I signed up for a half-Cannonball, because I want to work on the quality of my writing this year, instead of quantity. And my other resolution is to comment more–it’s so fun to get comments on your reviews, and I’m ashamed to admit how often I skim past others’ work because the book they reviewed doesn’t catch my eye.
CBR has really changed the way I read. I am a huge fan of rereading, and before starting CBR I would say that at least half the books I read in a year were rereads. I do less of that now, because I’ve found that I prefer to review books that I’ve only read once or twice. I’m also a much more thoughtful reader. I never was the type to highlight passages or think too deeply about what I was reading, but reviewing books has encouraged a deeper reading experience. Now, I like to take a “brain vacation” once I finish my Cannonball and spend the rest of the year rereading.
Which is more important to your enjoyment of the story: plot or character?
The obvious answer for me is plot, since my favorite genres are typically considered plot-driven, and I truly hate almost all literary fiction. But when I think about my favorite books, it’s the characters I remember more than the plots. I think I like character-driven books in plot-driven genres (like the Inspector Gamache books) because they’re a nice mix.
You discover a new mystery series. Do you binge it all in a row, or space books out and savor them?
Definitely savor. I started reading Inspector Gamache during CBR8 and still haven’t finished the series. I’m only two books into the Flavia de Luce series after 10 months, and it took me an entire year to read the Hilary Tamar series, which is only four books. I’m a huge fan of delayed gratification when it comes to reading. I also really like to mix it up, and don’t usually read two books in the same genre right in a row unless I’m binging on children’s books or YA.
If a person likes or recommends a book you thought was terrible, does it change your opinion of them?
It more solidifies my belief that I will never find anyone who wants to be in my book club where we read nothing but public health nonfiction, cozy mysteries, and YA fantasy. Really, I can’t judge anyone else’s preferences as mine are sort of all over the place.
What’s your favorite spot to read in?
In 2017, my partner and I moved into a home that was big enough that we each chose a room to do whatever we wanted with. I turned our little den into my reading room. It’s just books, plants, a fireplace, quilts, and a comfy chair, and it’s basically the coziest room in the world.
Any suggestions for new Mountain Goats fans on where to start?
Start with their 2002 albums, All Hail West Texas and Tallahassee. And even though I won’t judge the books you read, if you don’t like the Mountain Goats then I don’t think we can be friends anymore.