Book Reviews

Armchair BEA 2012: The Blogger Interview

It’s a mega book blogging week in New York this week apparently –  hundreds of bloggers, authors and publishers, are in the Big Apple for the second Armchair BEA event.  Since I can’t join them in person I’ll participate from the comfort of my own armchair.  The organisers have asked us to introduce ourselves with a self-interview so here goes…..

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m Karen and I live in Wales, UK. Much of my life is connected with words in one way or another.  I  was a journalist for many years, reporting on everything from murder to political scandal with a bit of sport thrown in even though I never really managed to understand the rules of cricket.  Today, I work as a communications manager for a multinational company; helping managers to convey their vision to employees. In my leisure time I am in the finishing stages of gaining a second degree in English literature. I started blogging about reading because I kept forgetting what I had read or wanted to read. So this was one way of helping my memory. But I was also conscious that there were gaps in my reading, particularly some of the classics and those deemed as the best of their kind (prize winners like the Booker or the Pulitzer etc)

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I usually have more than one book on the go at any time. Right now I am reading Treasure Island (in preparation for my course on children’s literature) and A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor. She’s not an author I’ve come across before but there seem to be many bloggers highly recommending her so thought I would give her a go. As for my favourite book of 2012, so far it has to be the one I’ve just finished – The Siege of Krishnapur by J G Farrell.

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Until a year ago my answer would have been Wordsworth’s cottage near Grasmere Lake in the Lake District. But I achieved that ambition while on holiday nearby – and it was superb. The curators have been careful to keep the ambiance intact so you see the chair Wordsworth sat in to write and the terraced garden he and his sister created with its quiet nooks. A tiny place but full of atmosphere. 

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Now that’s a tough one – Jane Austen because hopefully her keen observation on human nature means her comments on fellow guests would keep me entertained ? Or maybe George Eliot so she could explain how she wove so many different ideas and concepts together in Middlemarch?  I’ll be greedy and go for them both…

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

It’s a bit early on in my blogging adventure to notice any radical changes. But I’ve already been introduced to authors that I have not read previously so I expect that will continue. Maybe I might even get to like fantasy literature (hmm, that could be a stretch)


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

3 thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2012: The Blogger Interview

  • Hi Karen, I just signed up for the event, too. My mom visited the cottage years ago and thoroughly enjoyed her time there.

  • I use my blog in the same way – as a memory aid. It has also expanded my reading horizons, not to mention meeting wonderful people. Hope you enjoy ArmchairBEA?

    • I’m not really sure how an event like this works Tami but wish I could be there just to experience it…..Mind you I would probably end up buying even more books to add to my pile that are still waiting to be read…


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