Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013: Introduction



Like last year, we have been asked to answer five questions to introduce ourselves. Rather than simply repeat what I said last year I will answer different questions this time around. You can find links to other blogs taking part here.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 

Hello, my name is Sue and I am a book addict! :D

That seems a little too short to describe me, so I will try to add a little more information to paint more of a detailed picture of me and how I ended up here in the blogosphere. I was born and raised in Lancaster, England, and gained a BSc in Biology from the university there. After graduating, I moved to Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with my husband-to-be and taught Biology and Chemistry for thirteen years before I retired in order to maintain my sanity. I changed to offering private tuition and spent several happy years helping eager pupils to improve their academic performance whilst I studied Classical Studies courses with the Open University. Luckily I completed my BA before my husband got a job in Maine, in the United States, which is where we live now.

I have been blogging seriously for about a year and a half now, something that I never thought I would do, but I had reached a point where I wanted to share my love of reading with as many people as possible. It all started with my discovery of Not Your Ordinary Book Group at my local library. As well as making some wonderful new friends I discovered that I love reading books along with other people and discussing them. I was introduced to a lot of interesting authors and finally to a book that made me want to go out and push it into peoples’ hands: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. This book was the real reason for starting this blog, although I struggled at first to get to grips with the blogosphere itself. I had some wonderful help, which I will discuss in tomorrow’s post about Blogger Development.


Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 

I always blog from my iMac, which sits on the debris-strewn table that we have in the area next to our kitchen, so that is where I am right now. This would be in the house in Maine that we bought in 2008 when we arrived in the US. This area of the house has under-floor heating so I always have toasty warm feet in the winter!

Random facts about Maine:
99% of all US blueberries are produced here and 90% of all US toothpicks
Steven King has a house in Bangor, Maine with exceptionally cool gates
It is illegal to stroll down the street while playing a violin in Augusta.
It is illegal for a tenant to bite his/her landlord in Rumford.
It is to step out of an airplane flying over Maine's airspace.
It is illegal to blow one's nose in public in Waterville.



Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 

I took part in the event last year and enjoyed discovering other blogs and reading about other bloggers. I was drawn to the event because attending BEA is not really an option for me, so this is a very good alternative. In fact, having spoken to some people who attended BEA 2012, I think the Armchair event is probably much more helpful for stimulating the Blogging community and encouraging us to keep writing and sharing our thoughts. Of course, we do not get several suitcases of free books, but I bet that most of them are left unread anyway, so that is not as much of a loss as it seems.


What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 



At the moment I am feverishly reading Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington. I finished the previous book in this series, Midsummer Night on Friday last week and simply had to keep on reading the series. I am also working my way through Robert Jordan’s newly completed Wheel of Time series as part of a Read Along with some other equally crazy individuals. We are just starting Book 4: The Shadow Rising, so we only have eleven more titles to go . . . as I said, we are a little crazy! :D



Other memorable reads so far this year have been:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant
A Season for the Dead by David Hewson
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The Wee Free Men & A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett  


Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s). 

This is a really difficult question to answer, because I do not want to offend anyone. However, there are some bloggers who have been exceptionally welcoming to me and have encouraged me to become part of the community. They have introduced me to wonderful authors, welcomed my thoughts on a wide variety of questions and have generally made me feel like I am not simply shouting into the dark. Their blogs are well written and interesting and I have come to trust their recommendations and opinions.

nrlymrtl at Dab of Darkness

I also have to give a special mention to Kristen at Fantasy Cafe. She has been instrumental in helping me grow as a blogger, as you will see in my post tomorrow, and continues to be very supportive.


20 comments:

  1. YAY MAINE! I covertly mentioned Maine in my intro post. I hope you can attend BEA at some point! It is totally an option, you just have to make it happen :)

    Which is what I should be telling myself, right? But I have a month until I turn 18, so, not this year!

    I'll go visit Kristen's blog! I've never heard of her.

    Welcome to Armchair BEA!

    Check out my intro post!

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    1. You're not even 18!!?!??! I feel so old! :(

      Kristen is a great advocate for Speculative Fiction and also for women authors in that genre, so she has some very interesting posts. She is also a very nice person and extremely generous with her time and support.

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  2. I also really liked Cinder, and Stardust is one of my favorite books! BEA sounds like a whirlwind; I'd like to make it some day but I am also fine looking in from afar at this point :)

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    1. I'm not sure I could cope with BEA itself: I'm not great at crowds and the idea of being locked in a throng of crazy book people all trying to get ARCs and free books gives me the creeps! :D

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  3. I have to admit, I'm a wee bit jealous of the heated flooring! I'm always cold.

    Cinder is such a great book, have you read Scarlet yet? I'm kicking myself for not waiting, because it's going to be a looooong time until Cress is out. The Handmaid's Tale is an old favorite of mine...you just reminded me I haven't read it in a while.

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    1. I finished Cinder and downloaded the Kindle copies of the short stories and Scarlet straightaway, but I have had other things to read since then. However, I will be returning to them very soon and I agree: it is going to be a very long wait until book 3! :)

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  4. I can so relate to the debris strewn table by the kitchen. That's what I am staring at and cursing those people who have clean surfaces all over their homes.

    Welcome to Armchair BEA!

    AH@Badass Book Reviews.

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    1. Yep: that's why I didn't post a photo! :D

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  5. Thank you for the shout out! Now I feel totally guilty that I haven't been posting as many book related posts recently as I want to. :(

    I'm traveling this week, otherwise I'd be BEA Armchairing with all the cool kids. Armchair BEA is such a brilliant idea, since going to the actual BEA may not be a possibility for many of us. But logging from our home 'puters? we're already there!!! :D

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  6. I'm reading Cinder right now :) Wow how can I get heated floors too? I'm always in socks and slippers lol

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    1. I'm afraid they came with the house . . . :D

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  7. I love the interesting tidbits you added about your home state! Keeping your sanity is paramount and I'm really glad you found an outlet in blogging. I LOVED The Handmaid's Tale, it was one of the first feminist fiction books I read on my own (not required school reading). Welcome back to all the ABEA fun! Tattooed Books

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    1. I'm not sure that I would say that I loved The Handmaid's Tale, simply because it is so difficult to read, but it is a book that I think everyone should read - and it has a happy ending in Maine!

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  8. I also started participating last year, and I loved finding new people! :D I can't fly all the way to New York because my parents won't let me, so Armchair BEA will have to do. :)

    Leanne @ Escaping With Books

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    1. It is a great way to find new blogs, and I'm not sure that I could say the same about the actual BEA! :)

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  9. In my many discussions with my #2 son I bring up old laws...I will certainly have to share Maine's! I hope you have a good time at ABEA this year!

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    1. SOme of them are really silly . . . I would love to know why they were drawn up in the first place! :D

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  10. I lived in Glasgow for a year. I did a postgrad degree there at Glasgow Uni in history and miss it. I don't miss the rain though! LOL! That's so cool to meet someone who has lived in Scotland before. Ah Cinder keeps calling my name but I haven't had a chance to read it.

    Have a great week participating in Armchair BEA. :)

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    1. Scotland is certainly is interesting place, but 20 years of grey skies and rain were enough for us! :D

      Cinder is a really great read and I hope you get a chance to try it for yourself.

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