Armchair BEA: Day One Introductions

Monday, May 26, 2014

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Once again, it's Armchair BEA time! You can find the event page here and here are the answers to Day One questions: 
  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? I'm Katherine, a journalist living in Washington, DC. I've been blogging as Historical Fiction Notebook since 2010. I loved historical fiction as a teenager but drifted away to other genres during college and grad school. I started the blog to keep track of my thoughts as I returned to historical fiction as an adult. The title is a bit misleading because I also review history, literary fiction and a mix of a million other things: thrillers, cookbooks, biographies and current events. Since I live in DC, I also blog about author events and new museum exhibits that come to town as well as my travels to historic places. My "helpful" intern also makes occasional appearances on the blog
  2. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? This is so hard to answer - I loved Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and Eighty Days by Matthew Goodman. Technically I also read I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira last year in galley form but it was published this year - so I will count that as one of my favorites for 2014. I'm really excited about Jacqueline Winspear's The Care and Management of Lies - a novel about life in England during the Great War - that I read in galley form this winter and that will be released in July.
  3. Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers (doesn’t necessarily have to be book blogs/bloggers) I'll use this space to shout out to two bloggers I discovered during past Armchair BEAs - Unabridged Chick who has the most brilliant review format ever - I wish I had thought of it! - and The Relentless Reader who I envy for the wide and interesting variety of books she reads. For a solely historical fiction-focused blog, no one is better than Sarah Johnson at Reading the Past.
  4. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? There was a fun NPR Books Twitter hashtag months ago that asked readers to pick the three books that best describe them. I prefer that formulation to the impossible desert island books. I chose: An Unexpected Light by Jason Eliot (a work of travel journalism about Afghanistan. It was the first book I read about Afghans and the book I took with me when I traveled to Kabul three years ago). Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (a funny and moving book about writing and being a writer that I read as a teenager and constantly re-read) and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (classic literature, Russia, the 19th century - it combines so many of my favorite things and is an incredible novel).
  5.  What book would you love to see as a movie?I would love to see any of Sharon Kay Penman's historical novels turned into movies but I think The Sunne in Splendor about Richard III or Falls the Shadow about Simon de Montfort would make for the best movies! Penman has a very cinematic writing style and memorable characters that would translate well to film.

15 comments:

52booksorbust said...

I'm noticing that the southern US is a hot bed of blogging activity. I wouldn't have expected that necessarily. And does DC count as the south? Can you tell I'm not American?
Jennifer at Relentless Reader is one of my favorites as well.

Historical Fiction Notebook said...

What a good question! I was born in Texas but raised in Vermont so I don't think of DC as either north or south. I think most Americans would say it's just on the edge of being southern!

Sandy Farmer said...

New follower! I actually don't read too much historical fiction, but I love how when I do it makes history feel more real to me. History often feels very....abstract I guess to me. Historical fiction places me in the thick of things and I can often begin to relate more after reading a historical fiction book set in any particular time period. Great post.

Intro & Lit
Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

heather said...

I liked I Will Always Love You too.
My Armchair BEA Intro

Danielle said...

I've heard of almost none of the books that you've mentioned. That's a great thing about BEA- it's an easy way to find good books from a variety of bloggers. It's better than asking "What one book is your favorite?" The questions they ask allow for a really diverse selection from every person. (Well, yours is diverse at least. Mine wasn't haha, I'm boring.)

Kristina said...

Finding a lot of historical reading blogs today. Look forward to finding some new reads.

Kristen said...

Love the video of you cute intern! My husband has been bothering me about getting a cat, even though I am allergic, he also would like a dog but we are renting, so I told him we need to wait.

I will have to check out a lot of those titles. I don't read a lot of adult fiction, but always had a love for historical fiction. Thanks for sharing!

Historical Fiction Notebook said...

Hi Kristen: You might want to look into long-haired cats - my guy is part-Maine Coon and I don't have any problems with him. But when I get near short-haired cats my allergies act up. Hope I've helped you find some good new reading!

Sarah Johnson said...

Thanks for the mention - I always enjoy your posts and reviews, too! I agree it would be awesome to see any of Penman's novels as films.

I've had the Winspear on my Kindle for a little while (thanks to Edelweiss) and am hoping to find time to read it soon. Glad it was a good one!

ahz1 said...

Welcome to Armchair BEA. I am really enjoying seeing so many different blogs all dedicated to books and reading.

AH@badassbookreviews.com

Lindsey said...

Bird by Bird is a great choice for your deserted island reading! I love Anne Lamott's writing - you can sense how she really cares for people.

Cici said...

I am traveling to DC this summer for a conference, but will have a day or two of free time, so I will have to look more in-depth at your blog to see what I should see! I am beginning to really enjoy historicals a lot more lately! I hope you have a great time during Armchair BEA 14!

fredamans said...

Nice to meet you. I love The Relentless Reader too! I read Anna Karenina and just didn't love it like I hoped I would. It was actually a lot harder for me to read than I thought it would be.

Amber Lovell Boone said...

Haha. I was like, "No way! She has an intern?" Then I clicked your link. Priceless!

Historical Fiction Notebook said...

Hi Amber: I'm so glad you clicked on the link to see my "intern." :) He does that thing with books ALL the time! I wish I could see into his cat-brain to understand what he thinks he's doing!

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