Sep 16, 2008

BBAW - An Interview with Michele

My interview partner for Book Blogger Appreciation Week was Michele at Michele - One L. Michele is a new to me blogger, and I had a lot of fun getting to know her through this interview. We decided to come up with a set of questions that the two of us would answer together. So if you visit Michele, you can see my answers to these same questions. To see more BBAW interviews, click here.

What made you decide to start a book blog? Did you stumble on one and liked an idea, or were you introduced to it by a friend, or--?

"I had been reading friend’s blogs for quite a while and felt an urge to start one myself. But I could never come up with an idea on what I would write about. I didn’t want to do one just on my kids and family life as I am not particularly funny or interesting in those areas. But then I came across some book blogs on Library Thing and that got me thinking what fun talking about books would be. And now, here I am!"

What are your two favorite genres of books to read? Do the two relate or are they completely different? How do they relate? Are your favorite to read also your favorite to review?

"For the longest time I read only mystery/thrillers, preferably books in a series. I just love reading about serial killers and the people who stop them. I do sometimes wonder what that says about me! LOL

I started reading what I would call ‘women friendship’ books a few years ago because of my book club and I just love those. They always make me want to get together with my friends, be a better friend, etc. And usually they make me cry for one reason or another and that’s normally good too.

The two types of books don’t relate at all and it makes me wonder about why I am so drawn to each of them. I am sure there’s something a good shrink would say about it but I don’t really want to know! :) "

I often see bloggers talk about how enriching book blogging has turned out to be, and I think that all of us who have been blogging for some time feel similarly about it. So I'm not going to ask you how blogging has enriched our life, but rather what the most unexpected consequence of blogging has been. What surprised you the most about the whole experience?

"I think there are two unexpected consequences of blogging for me. The first is that it’s forced me to think more about the books as I read them. I try to remember important details and how I feel about the different aspects rather than just shoveling them in like mind candy. The other unexpected is that I rather enjoy the writing aspect of blogging. I am not a writer, have always rather disliked writing but have really enjoyed improving my writing skills here. Am I being clear? Rambling on or making sense? I tend to write like I talk so maybe I’m even becoming more clear when I talk? I doubt it but I am enjoying the writing. "

Have you had any books that were hard to review? Either you didn't like them and didn't know how to say that in a nice manner or just didn't know what to say about the book even if you liked it.

"There was one book that I had contacted the author and asked to review that I truly did not like. I struggled with how to say I didn’t like it but thought others might while still being kind to the author. It was quite difficult. "

Do your family and friends read your blog? How do they feel about it?

"There are a couple of ladies in my book club that enjoy my blog (and I’m trying to get them to be guest posters but they are shy!). I have one friend that we’ve always talked books and I know she reads daily and comments frequently. I think the friends that do read other blogs, read mine but don’t make it a special effort to see what I am talking about lately. My mom is an email subscriber to my blog (cause I made her! LOL) but I don’t think anyone else in my family reads."

Do you blog about things other than books? Why or why not? If you do, what other things do you blog about? (This kind of relates to the why you started, who you think your audience we can include in that or not).

"I try to stick to posts mostly about books, but I do have to throw in a few picture posts every once in awhile. Another love of mine is photography and I have to just share some of the pictures I take, especially of my family. I also scrapbook and have considered putting some of that on my blog but haven’t yet. "

I was thinking that maybe it would be fun to name three books you haven't reviewed on your blog both would really recommend to our readers. And maybe you could explain why you'd recommend them in a sentence or two.

"Since I started my blog in late May, there are tons of books that I haven’t reviewed on my blog. The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney is one of my favorite women’s friendship books. The Yada Yada Prayer Group is the beginning of a series for Christian women and I just LOVED the entire series. Earlene Fowler’s Bennie Harper series that starts with Fool’s Puzzle is a great mystery series. And Caroline Leavitt’s Coming Back to me is one of my favorite books. "

How has your reading and/or reading choices changed since you started book blogging? Or have they not changed? Are you happy about the changes?

"My choices have grown more varied! Or rather, maybe I’ve found SO MANY more authors in the book types that I like that it feels like my choices are more varied. But I do know that I’ve been so excited to read what folks recommend!"

What are your favorite book blogger and favorite non-book blogger?

"I think my favorite blog that’s not related to books is Lisa Clarke’s Polka Dot Cottage ( Lisa started out writing about crafting with clay but has expanded to many other crafts and just day-to-day life. I enjoy seeing what she and her boys are doing!"

And finally, are there any tips you'd share with any readers that might be thinking of starting a book blog themselves?

"A friend of mine commented on my first post some very good advice. He said to write the blog for myself and not to try to attract readers. That way it’s a good representative of me and not someone else. I try to do just that – some times better than others – and I think the blogs that I truly enjoy also do that. "

I couldn't agree with this tip more. Thank you, Michele!


  1. Wonderful interview questions, Nymeth and thank you for the great answers Michele. Certainly blogging for ones' self is the best thing to do in order to not get wrapped up in trying to woo readers. It makes what could sometimes be a disappointing activity enjoyable because of the focus on doing what is fun for you. Hopefully that honesty and focus will attract other readers.

  2. Great questions! I'm going to pop over to Michelle's to see how you answered as well. Somehow I missed this feature of BBAW and I'm sad to not participate this round.

  3. This was so much fun! Thanks!

  4. That last question and answer were GREAT - excellent advice.

    I'm really enjoying all these interviews. :)

  5. I am happy to get to know Michele! Great interview!

  6. Great interview. I agree with Heather about the last q & a being especially good. Sometimes I struggle with the memes and all those things, because I know I'll get more readers if I participate in them, but maybe the topic isn't quite right for my blog. I end up being very selective in what I join in on. (I did do the blogger interviews, though, because, what an awesome idea!)

  7. great questions and answers and great idea.
    I am of looking for your answers Nymeth

  8. What a wonderful tip, Michele. Thanks for posting your interview Nymeth. I really enjoyed the questions.

  9. What fun! Can't wait to check out Michele's blog, and to read your answers, Nymeth!

  10. Really nice interview - that's a very thoughtful set of questions...
    Thanks for the introduction to Michele's blog (and for the peak behind the scenes!)...

  11. Wonderful interview. In accord with everyone else, that piece of advice is something to take to heart. :] It's nice to hear what other book bloggers have to say about blogging.

  12. Great interview, Nymeth! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. And I couldn't agree more in regards to your answer for the last question. :)

  13. Nice idea and great questions. I'm off to check out your answers.

  14. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the interview! Isn't Michele lovely?

    And Carl, very well said!

  15. I'm Michele's biggest fan! It's always nice to learn more about a friend and it was great to get introduced to Little Things Mean a Lot. Thanks to both of you for taking the time to post your interviews.

  16. Thank you for stopping by, Julie! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the interviews.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.