Friday, December 11, 2009

Introducing Jessica Miller: I READ TO RELAX

A colleague and friend of mine started up a new blog called I READ TO RELAX, so I decided to ask her a few questions about her blog, her library work, and her reading habits as welcome to the blogging community. Jessica works as the YA Librarian in New Britain Public Library in CT. We both acknowledge that we cyber stalk our favorite authors and love chatting about books.

Hi Jessica!

What made you start up your own blog?

I was inspired by many of the other blogs that I follow by authors, librarians, and even just for fun (like Sea of Shoes – great fashion, shoes, travel, etc!!), including your own blog…yabooknerd! I wanted to be able to tell other librarians, especially, about books that I’ve read because not only does it help me keep track of what I’ve read, but I also know how much I’ve come to depend on other librarians’ opinions and discoveries of books to help me in my ordering for the library. I’m hoping to pass on the wealth of knowledge so to speak, because it is impossible for any of us to read everything that’s out there!!

That is so true, I have a list of books I'm dying to read and it's always nice to see what someone else has to say about it.

What makes your blog unique, besides being a librarian blog?

Hmm…I don’t really know! It’s still new, but it focuses mostly on fantasy, sci-fi, and “paranormal” books (because that’s what I’m compelled to read) and so it can really help someone become more familiar with books in these genres, if they are not what they typically read. I’m also going to try and intersperse those reviews with fun things, like book trailers, commentary, and connections to other entertainment formats like movies, etc.

Will you have set days or specific posts? Like Waiting on Wednesday or Tween Tuesday?

I hadn’t really thought about that yet. So far, no…but I do like the Tween idea…twice a month we do tween programs at our library, maybe I’ll post about those programs or books in the tween age group. I’m actually getting new ideas from answering your questions, which is great!

Did you make the book trailer Rampant?

I did. It was my first attempt. I hope it came out okay! I just really loved that book, killer unicorns, come on, how could you not be intrigued by that? So, I decided I had to blog about it and wanted to try out the software. It was actually easier than I thought it would be…and more fun!

I think it's cute. It's one definitely one book in my pile to read.


Do you have a favorite type/genre of books?

I seem to be hopelessly hooked on fantasy/science fiction. Now, if you are a true fantasy/sci-fi reader, you know there is a difference, and there are many subgenres! I basically love all fantasies…high, low, dark, funny, etc., but I’m pickier about my science-fiction. I still want the book to be really character based (like Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card) rather than mostly technological. The sub-genres that I’ve really gotten into lately are dystopia (post-apocalyptic) like Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, steampunk (historical/futuristic) like Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, or paranormal like Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne. I’ll read almost anything you throw at me, but those are the books that I HAVE to pick up!

Do you have books you always recommend?

Different books for different audiences…I like to recommend Tamora Pierce’s books for their strong female characters, especially to tween girls that like fantasies. I like to recommend the Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale to teen boys looking for adventure. For girls looking for romance, I constantly try to recommend Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt. I recommend Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Feed by M.T. Anderson a lot too. With the current Twilight mania, I like to recommend the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine, Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill, and the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead to those looking for read-alikes.

Oh I adore the Rachel Caine series and the Chicagoland Vampires series and Vampire Academy. It seems like we have pretty similar tastes in reading!

How many books do you read in a week, month, year?

Between reading and listening to audiobooks (I have a 45min-1 hour commute each way to work) I average around 20 books a month. I love to read every day!

Nice! I get super grumpy when I don't have time to read.

Who’s your latest favorite author?

It’s funny…you actually recommended my newest favorite author. I am really into Maria Snyder’s books right now. With all of the teen fiction that is being pumped out right now, it’s easy to read some that have great plot ideas, but suffer in other ways. The characters aren’t developed or the writing itself isn’t that good, or the plot just peters off before the end. Snyder’s books are technically good, have interesting plots and twists, and have wonderful characters. I’m actually hoping to receive her Study trilogy for Christmas this year!

She's awesome. I'd love to meet her. According to her myspace blog, she just finished writing Spy Glass!

Where do you read best? Do you have a specific set up?

I love to listen to audiobooks whenever I’m alone in the car. I love the sensation of having a book read to me…especially children’s or teen books, because they are dramatized almost like plays. For actual reading, though, I like to read in my favorite corner of the couch on the weekends with a hot cup of tea or coffee and a blanket or I read every night for 30-90 minutes in bed. My husband is really forgiving of my constant use of the bedside lamp!


What do you like best about working with teens?

I like the energy that teens bring to any situation. You cannot be passive in your job if you work with teens…they make you move and engage constantly. I also really love that moment of true connection when you can have a full length conversation with a teen or when they come back to you because, “you recommend really good books!” It gives me the excuse to indulge that part of me that does not totally want to grow up.

I love that part too!

What’s your favorite type of program to host?

Hmmm…I love that I get paid to watch movies…no, I’m just kidding! Sort of. Anyway, I really love our “Tween Time” programs. We have a group of tweens that come every other Wednesday, so we mix it up with craft programs, book based programs, physical programs, and whatever we can think of to throw at them. My absolute favorites are ones where we can connect a book to cool activities and get the kids curious enough to check out the book!

Sounds really fun.


What awesome authors have you met?

Susan Beth Pfeffer. Natasha Friend. There have been a few others, but they were not as wonderful in person as these two!

Listing of your favorites:

Candy skittles

Pizza topping mashed potatoes (I know it sounds gross, but it’s part of a specialty pizza with three cheeses and ham…tastes just like a twice baked potato)

Genre of books ultimately…fantasy, but only by a small margin

Singer and/or Song cheesy, but right now it’s Ashley Tisdale, I like to bop when I’m listening to music, second is Clutch.

Restaurant Olive Garden

TV show /Movie America’s Next Top Model, Torchwood, Gossip Girl, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Enchanted, Ella Enchanted, Casino Royale, and many, many more…I love to zone out in front of the tube when I’m not reading!!

Color Any shade of blue

Shoe Ahhh…I have these gorgeous flowered heels by Steve Madden…

Video Game Wii Bowling!

Favorite Food Cornish Pasty (found in England)

Favorite Country I’ve Visited: Wales

Thanks for chatting with me Jess and be sure to check out her new blog!


Jessica said...

Thanks again Jen for interviewing me! Now I feel famous...

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