Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW Interview Swap featuring Janicu's Book Blog

I want to give a big welcome to Janice, my BBAW interview swap partner. Janice and I struggled a bit over the questions to ask, striving for a certain level of originality/creativity, but I think what we came up with gives a great look at our blogs, plus a little bit about ourselves. So, without further ado, I present the blogger also known as Janicu:

1. Tell us about yourself and your blog. 
Hello. I'm Janice, although I go by Janicu on my blog (pronounced Janice-oo). My blog is Janicu's Book Blog, although I'm seriously considering renaming it.  I live in Westchester, NY with my husband and our naughty cat. I started my blog back in 2007.  It all started because I had a new years resolution to read 100 books, and since I have an awful memory, I wanted to keep track of the books I read.  I mostly review speculative fiction, often with a romantic slant (I love happy endings), but I also review young adult and romance too (my favorites of these are the contemporaries).
I usually work on my blog in my spare time (end of the day, weekends). Probably in a given week I can spend 10-20 hours reading and working on the blog. Even when it's a couple of reviews, that's a lot of time, but I enjoy it. It gets kind of cathartic to have my thoughts on a book worked out and posted, and I always have that mental list of books I need to write a review for. I don't really do memes, but that's more because I am not sure I could keep doing it consistently than because of anything against them. I really, really suck at book challenges and have yet to complete even one. On the other hand, I love readathons. :) The best thing of course is the other people. I am sure everyone says this, but it's true. Meeting other book bloggers (or just plain book nerds - recognizable because they are excited to see you holding a book they liked), it's like Meeting Your People.

2. Tell me something a story that you are just a sucker for. What do you just plain love and look for in a story?

I'm a lover of:
  • fairy tale retellings
  • modern Jane Austen retellings
  • girls kicking butt in space
  • slow burn romances
  • animal sidekicks
  • cultures colliding stories. 
  • I also like characters with a good voice - especially if they have a bit of a sense of humor - self-deprecating, sarcastic, whatever, I like a touch of humor.

3. We've taken a look at each other's blogs, and I think there's overlap in taste. And I love book recommendations! What are three books you'd recommend I read, and why?
*rubs hands*.

Going Too Far Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) Tithe (The Modern Faerie Tales, #1)

I am not sure if you've already read these or not since I sort of guessed off Goodreads and your blog, but here goes:
1) Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols - I recommend this based on your liking The Duff by Kody Keplinger (a book I also loved), because this is another contemporary YA starring a girl who has a few problems that she is working through. In Meg's case, she's running away from her problems by acting out as a wild child, but when she gets caught trespassing and has to spend time with Office John After, things begin to change. I liked that the romance in this one slowly forms through conversations between two opposites.

2) Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews(Kate Daniels #1)  - This is a series I'll recommend because I see you liked the first couple of Kevin Hearne books. This has a similar sense of humor (the kind that is perhaps ill advised - in the face of possible death), and a protagonist that walks the reader through her thought process in a similar way. This series also has a doggy sidekick (in later books, and in a smaller role than Oberon). The world building is pretty interesting too - it's set in a futuristic Atlanta which experiences waves of technology and magic. One is up, the other goes down. And the authors use different mythology in each book of the series.

3) Tithe by Holly Black - This was a guess because you loved Twilight, and I remember reading this series around the same year or so that I discovered Twilight. I have fond memories of reading both. And it looks like you read her newer series (White CatRed Glove), but not this one yet. Of these three books (TitheValiant, and Ironside), Valiant was my favorite, although a lot of people didn't like the depiction of "drug" use in that story, it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I love. 

4. What are your go-to blogs that you visit most frequently to get inspiration for future reads?

Well there's a LOT of blogs that inspire me, but I think I'll have to restrict it to a couple I discovered in the past year:

1) Sabrina at About Happy Books - Sabrina reads a LOT. I am in awe of what she gets to in a week, and the good part is that she likes to just review books she liked. So if I see that Sabrina reviewed something, I already know she liked it. It makes things easy and she has great taste, especially in what she calls "chick lit that isn't too chick litty". She's gotten me more interested in reading British Chick Lit this year and I've discovered some books that have very complex characters that I've ended up loving. Sabrina reviews a lot of books I would have never found on my own, mostly because she's in Europe and she finds books that aren't published in the U.S. Combine her reviews with free international shipping from The Book Depository, or Fishpond and I'm pretty happy.

2) Chachic's Book Nook - Chachic is a reader from the Philippines who has similar tastes as I do and who is just one of the friendliest bloggers I know. I just looked it up - the first time she commented was September of last year, and already she's the top commenter on my blog because we keep having conversations in the comments! She's also pretty active in the Filipino Book Blogging community and has made me aware of some Filipino authors I'd like to try.  Her posts are full of enthusiasm for reading and for the blogging community, and it's infectious.

I can see that Janice and I do share some similarities in book picks. Many of the elements she listed above are ones that I like too, so I'm heading to Goodreads to stalk Janice's reading lists more thoroughly now.
Anyway, thanks to Janice for a great interview experience! And thanks to all of you for stopping by to check out this post :)


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh I just ordered Tithe just about a week ago. So I'm hoping to get it soon. :) And I have Magic Bite's here to start that series as well. :) Great interview. :) And so glad to see you over here as well Janice.

Chachic said...

Aww Janice, thanks for mentioning me in this interview! I had no idea I'm the top commenter on your blog. :P I love chatting about the books that we both read and I'm thankful that you always reply so end up having long discussions.

I second the Going Too Far and Magic Bites recommendations, love both of those books. :)

Holly said...

I've never looked it up but Chachic is definitely the top commenter on my blog too. Great interview, both of you. I like how you coordinated the questions.

Janice, now I'm curious as to what you'd change your blog name to. Do you have any ideas? I like your name btw. Janicu is a very cool and unique name.

Jackie said...

@Melissa - I love Holly Black's writing. I might have to get Tithe to read along with you! (Here we go again with the darn fairies ;)

@Chachic - Ok, you've convinced me to add these books to my TBR immediately. I've heard great things about Ilona Andrews, so I'm very curious now. Thanks for stopping by.

@Holly - I thought the link in the interview went to her name change or a post about it, alas, it did not. I'm anxious to find out too! Janice? Any hints??

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Now Jackie. That could be a wonderful idea! :) Another read along. Have you read Tithe yet? I had thought you had.

Jackie said...

@Melissa - Nope, haven't read it but really want to. I'm off to stalk you on Twitter so we can chat about it, lol.

Janicu said...

@Chachic - Yes, you are queen of comments! :)

@Holly - Good catch on us coordinating the interview. I think the questions were the hardest part for the two of us, but after that it was painless. Oh, I'm thinking of making it SpecFic Romantic, since I have something like that as my subtitle anyway. I grabbed the domain name and have it redirect for now. I haven't thought beyond this, because THINKING about the logistics of changing my blog name for reals exhausts me.

@Melissa & Jackie - Oh I hope I see reviews of TITHE from both of you soon. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Janicu - We will have to get working on it. :) I think we are going to catch up in December and see if we can get to reading it. :) Thanks!!

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