Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW Day 2: Interview with Shauna at Reading and Ruminations

Please join me today in welcoming Shauna from Reading and Ruminations.  It was a pleasure interviewing her.  I have found a new-to-me blogger who shares many of my interests.

1. You've been blogging since 2005. Wow! Can you tell me what led you to book blogging and how you combat blogger burn-out after so many years?

I started my book blog over on LiveJournal as a part of a New Years Resolution in 2005, but it didn't become Reading and Ruminations until 2008. I started because a good friend had likewise started a book blog, and I'm a bit of a joiner sometimes. Back then, though, book blogging wasn't like it is now. I just posted about the things I was reading- usually classics I was reading for school. I've always been a bit of a sporadic poster, and that actually helps combat the burn-out quite a lot. If I don't feel like blogging, I don't post. I used to apologize all the time for it, but I don't now. I also don't accept many review books. That helps as well.

2. What is your go-to genre--the genre which you know almost every book you pick up you will like? What makes this genre your top choice?
I love classic literature. I love reading stories that are time-tested, that people have read for years and years, and even with the changes to society in the meantime, they still endure. I also love literary fiction and stories that get down to the nitty-gritty of human nature. And my third kind of go-to genre is, like you, historical fiction, and for some of the same reasons (learning more about a previous time, even if there are some inaccuracies). History means so much to me; in a lot of ways, I feel like it gave me a future. I studied it in school, and I'm pretty sure if I had studied almost anything else, I would have eventually dropped out, especially given some of the things that were going on in my life at the time. And I'm the first person on my dad's side of the family to graduate from college, so I'm glad I didn't drop out. 

3. If you were to branch out from your reading comfort zone, in what direction would you go?
Hm. I used to read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, but I think I've grown out of those and wouldn't go back. I think I'd try to read more non-fiction. History books are pretty much the only non-fiction I currently read, but I'd like to try to learn more about music and a few other things. Actually, I've been interested in learning a lot more about feminism and women's studies, so I'd probably read a lot more about that. 

4. Can you give me your top three favorite books of all time?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my number one all time favorite. I know it's cliched to say that, but I feel like it really opened me up to literature, and not just mass market fiction. It also ended up being a way for meet people online- people I've been friends with for more than eight years now, and who I value and cherish immensely.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas I think is probably my second favorite. There are only four books I was assigned in high school that I remember fondly, and this is one of them. (The other three are To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms). I own copies of all of them now- and The Three Musketeers is the one that's dog-eared to the point of falling apart.

I had a hard time deciding on my third, but I think it's Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I don't remember how I first came across it- I think I found it browsing the stacks at the library where I was working at the time, and I was intrigued by the cover with the white gloves. The first part was slow going and a little Dickensian, but then as I kept reading, it really made me sit up and pay attention. It was riveting, and I adored it. I recently recommended it to one of my close friends, and she was complaining about it going slow. I kept telling her to just keep reading- and I couldn't resist the urge to say "I told you so" when she sent me a text message at one in the morning a few weeks ago that said "Fingersmith just got reeeeaaaaallllllyyyyy good!"

5. Tell us a little about your life outside of blogging.

Hm, let's see. I'm a lifelong California girl who lives about half an hour outside of Sacramento. I work as a paralegal for a single-attorney firm (that probably does the volume of work of a bigger practice)- I'm the litigation paralegal, so I spend a lot of time drafting legal documents. I'm single, no children, and I live with a roommate and her cat. I have a cat of my own, but she's not really an indoor cat so she lives with my parents. My non-blogging, non-reading hobbies are crocheting, vegging in front of the TV and rooting for my favorite teams: the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.  I'm also on Twitter as @shootingstarr7.

6. How about a little this or that?

rock or country?  Rock. Always. 
cats or dogs?  Cats, but just barely. I love dogs, too.
Fall or Spring?  Fall. Sweaters, scarves and pumpkins.
coffee or tea?  Tea. 
cake or pie?  Cake. 
Queen Elizabeth I or Marie Antoinette?  Elizabeth I
classic/horror mash-up or classic retelling?  Classic retelling
Jane Austen or Charles Dickens?  Jane Austen. She's my all-time favorite. 
read-a-thon or reading challenge?  Read-a-thon. I fail at reading challenges. 
reading or breathing? (I couldn't resist!)  Hehe. Breathing by a nose. 

Thank you for joining me today, Shauna! I have enjoyed learning all about you and I'm looking forward to reading your blog on a regular basis. =O)


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. It means so much.

I apologize for word verification, but as soon as I changed the settings from only users with Google accounts, I started receiving a ton of spam comments...within one hour of changing the settings. The bots are on high alert apparently.

  1. Thanks so much for interviewing me! I had such a blast, and we do have quite a bit in common. I'll be following your blog going forward as well.

  2. I wish I felt like you about classics. I have such a hard time getting into them!

  3. You've been blogging forever - so inspiring! I am very impressed!

  4. @Linda- There are some classics that are harder than others to get into. But there's just something about them that I love. I think it's the timelessness of the human story. Socially, things may not be the same. But some basic human behaviors never change, and that fascinates me.

    @Amused- If you include the personal blog I had over at LiveJournal, I've actually been blogging since 2001. So I've been at it quite a long time. But I really love blogging, even if I don't do it all that consistently.

  5. Nice interview. Great questions too. I'm terrible at reading challenges. I never reach my goal.

    Thanks for sharing a new blogger. Happy BBWA!

  6. Fun interview. I still want to read Finsersmith, so this gives me added reason to.

  7. I cannot imagine losing interest in Thriller, Mystery etc wow.

    I keep saying I want to try Fingersmith, I should go for it.

  8. It sounds like Shauna and I like similar genres! I'm rediscovering the classics after avoiding them for too long. Nice interview, I enjoyed meeting a new (to me) blogger!

  9. Hear, hear for sporadic blogging and Fingersmith. I shall definitely be checking out your blog!

  10. I was glad to see your answer about blogging sporadically. I do tend to be pretty consistent but if I miss some days I don't feel guilty about it anymore. At the end of the day this is a hobby and as such shouldn't be running your life!

    Nice to meet you!

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