Once again, it's Armchair BEA time! You can find the event page here and here are the answers to Day One questions:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.