Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BBAW: Interview with Bookish Ruth

I had the privilege of being partnered with Ruth of Bookish Ruth for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week interview. It was a perfect match considering it was not that along ago when I first discovered her wonderful blog. This was a great opportunity to get to know her better and now you can too!

Literary Feline: Why did you decide to start blogging?

Bookish Ruth: I toyed with the idea of doing book reviews off and on from the time I started my LibraryThing account. It wasn't until I enrolled in the Early Reviewer program that I starting writing, though. I worried that it might take some of the enjoyment out of reading since I absolutely loathed writing book reports in school. But once I discovered that not only did I enjoy writing reviews, I was also getting more out of my reading by doing them, I was hooked!

LF: What is your favorite type of book to read?

BR: My favorite genres are young adult fiction, mystery, historical and literary fiction. I read a little bit of everything, but those are the genres that keep me coming back for more. I'm also a big fan of the classics. It's very rare for me to walk out of a bookstore without at least one classic among my purchases.

LF: Who are some of your favorite authors? Books?

BR: Authors: Jane Austen, Michael Crichton (The first "adult" book I ever read was Jurassic Park; I've been hooked on his stuff since), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes is quite possibly my all-time favorite literary character), Agatha Christie, Patrick Carman, L.M. Montgomery (Interestingly, I've read all of her books except for the Anne books. Does that disqualify me as a Montgomery fan? I think it might...), Charles Dickens, Naomi Novik, C.S. Lewis and Phillip Pullman.

Books: This is the not-so-short short list. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Timeline by Michael Crichton, A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie, The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman, The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery, Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, and Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (This was my childhood favorite, and it's still incredibly dear to me).

LF: Is there any type of book you prefer not to read? If so, why?

BR: I'm not big on romance novels. I tend to prefer plot-driven books, and the few romances I've read have been much more character-centric. I'm not anti-romance at all, though. I just don't enjoy the genre as much as others do. I will read romances if they pair up with another of my literary interests, though. For instance, I love stories that involve time travel, so I have The Time Traveler's Wife and Outlander on my TBR list.

LF: Share a favorite reading memory.

BF: One of my earliest memories is of being about two years old, snuggled up on the couch with my mother as she reads to me. She read to me before I was even born, and she is definitely the reason I love books so much.

LF: How many books are in your TBR pile?

BR: I have over 250 books tagged "unread" in my LibraryThing account. I try not to think about that too much, though, because it quickly becomes overwhelming. (And it would make me feel more guilty about trips to the bookstore!) My physical TBR pile is usually about five to eight books. I keep a stack of books on my nightstand and won't stack them above the height of the switch on my reading lamp. I did that exactly once; the ensuing avalanche of books that happened while I was fumbling for the light convinced me to never do it again.

LF: What five characters would you invite to lunch if you could?

BR: Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and Amelia Peabody. (I think I've seen Murder by Death a few too many times.)

LF: Do you have any reading rituals (taking notes, favorite reading spot, etc)?

BR: My favorite reading spot is definitely my bedroom. I love curling up with a good book at the end of a stressful day. I take lots of notes so I always have a good pen and a yellow legal pad nearby. I also need to have some kind of noise when I'm reading. It's difficult for me to concentrate in complete silence, ambient noise is a must.

LF: Do you prefer to read one book at a time or are you a multiple book reader?

BR: I'm always reading more than one book. Sometimes I divide my time equally between them, but other times, I tend to focus on one book more than the others. It really depends on my mood and what I'm reading.

LF: Are you the type of reader who has to finish what you start or do you sometimes give up on books that don't appeal to you?

BR: I tend to finish a book once I start it, but I do employ the 50 Page Rule on occasion. If what I'm reading is for pleasure and it's not really grabbing me, I'll pick up an ARC and hope for better luck. I may or may not come back to the first book.

LF: What qualifies as a good book for you?

BR: Would I read it again? Did I feel something for one or more of the characters? Did I learn something from it? Did I have fun reading it? Would I readily recommend it to someone else? If one of more of those questions can be answered with a yes, odds are it's a good book in my opinion.

LF: What are your book turn offs?

BR: Poor grammar is my biggest book turn off. I'm the target audience for Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I cringe when I see run-on sentences, fragments, or sentences that end with prepositions. Misplaced punctuation makes me crazy. It's definitely not a good sign if, at page three, I'm already wondering what the book's editor was doing instead of editing the book.

LF: Who or what inspires you?

BR: Authors that can move me -- who really make me feel something through their words. Language can be so powerful and so intimate. I often come away from a good book feeling the same way that I do after I listen to beautiful music. There's something awe-inspiring about the perfect combination of words: a silent symphony on the page.

LF: Thank you, Ruth, for taking the time to answer my questions!

Isn't she brilliant? Do stop by Bookish Ruth if you have not yet. Also, if you are interested, head over to read Ruth's interview with me.


  1. Wendy, thank you so much for the great questions! I really enjoyed our interviews. It was a fantastic way to get to know you better!

  2. Great interview! I enjoy both of your blogs and am glad to get to know you both better.

    Now - how in the world do you keep books straight when you read more than one at a time????

  3. Cool! We have lots in common!

    I love: Sherlock Holmes, Elatris, good grammar.

    And I'd totally have lunch with Holmes and Watson and Poirot - what fun would that be?!

    I'm off to add Ruth to my Google Reader right now!

  4. Great interview. I'm a regular reader of Ruth's blog.

  5. Nice interview! I'm normally reading more than one book at a time (usually a nonfiction plus a fiction, so I don't get confused) plus a book with my kids. I sometimes get a little mixed up between the kid book and my own--I'll pick up my own book at night and wonder where the dragon went, LOL.

  6. This is another great interview, and of the ones I have read, I am intrigued by how many jane austen fans there are!

    I just added Ruth to my bloglines.

  7. Great interview - Ruth's blog is new to me, but I've just added it to my Google Reader feeds. It was nice to get to know her - and I loved her interview with you as well, Wendy!

  8. Great interview! I like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Timeline and L.M. Montgomery also! Although I haven't read The Story Girl, I will have to find that one.

  9. Great interview! I've just started reading Ruth's blog not too long ago so this is fun to get to know her a bit more.

    I like her fantasy lunch - I wanna meet those sleuths too :)

  10. How sweet that you can remember curling up and reading with your mom at such and early age (2). I wish I could remember that far back, but alas I can't. My husband has the mind of a steel trap though, and he can. So, that said, I'm really hoping my two little girls will follow in daddy's footsteps in that regards.


    P.S. Thanks for sharing this interview with us. :)

  11. Lovely interview. I love Ruth's eclectic list of favourite authors. And I love the questions you came up with!

  12. Thank you everyone for stopping by! I enjoyed getting to know Ruth better--she is such a good person, and so articulate too!

  13. That's a great interview, Wendy!
    I enjoyed reading this post because it allows me to get to know Ruth more. :)

  14. Hi Wendy, thanks for interview with Ruth! I really enjoy reading about her choice of books and authors. I have a box set of Sherlock Holmes on its way to me and the bookstore confirms that the delivery should be by tomorrow. I like that photo of hers too!

  15. I'm slowly making my way thru all these interviews; I'm so glad Amy organized them for BBAW!

    Wendy, your questions were great, and Ruth, I enjoyed getting to know you better.

    Have you read *Confessions of A Jane Austen Addict*; it fits your enjoyment of time travel and Jane Austen.

    I, too, am a HUGE Lynn Truss fan! (Yes, I used "thru" earlier in this comment, this is a more relaxed atmosphere, right?!)

  16. Thank you, Melody, Alice and Dawn!

    Dawn - I really enjoyed Truss' book too. Although you can't always tell from my own grammatical errors, I am known around my office as the go to person when it comes to stuff like that. :-)


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