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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

BBAW New Treasure - In which Wrapped in Foil talks about her Nanowrimo project, being a Cybils judge and many other topics over tea

It's the BBAW week! Yay! I know, how dumb of me to celebrate when we are already into the second day, but hey, it's still the BBAW week, which means we should still be celebrating - us! I missed the first treasure because I had too many treasures that I couldn't choose a few from that. So here I am, with the new treasure - interview swap! I interviewed the delightful Roberta from Wrapped in Foil today, and of course she interviewed me too (So if you want to check that out, check her blog.) While I'm on that topic, Roberta's blog was a new find for me and I very much fell in love with it! Her reviews are really insightful, and although I don't read children's books yet, I found myself reading her reviews with a lot of interest! I'll definitely recommend her blog to you guys!

Now, we shall move on to more interesting stuff, shall we? So, with a hot cup of tea (or coffee, if you prefer), let's find out more about Roberta and her blog, and *sshhhh* did you know she was a judge at Cybils award last year?

So, Roberta, Good morning and welcome to Reading on a Rainy Day, speaking of which I hope the rains come here soon *fanning myself hard*. I've noticed that you blog about children's books. How did you come about to start your blog?
Wrapped In Foil blog came about because of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), believe it or not. In November of 2008, while struggling to write 50,000 words of a mystery novel, I found myself keeping a blog of my experiences. In the end, I enjoyed writing the blog far more than the novel. It was much more fun and satisfying to report on the writing process than to keep track of my wacky heroine, who managed to get herself into one traumatic situation after another. You can find a link to the original blog on the About page of Wrapped in Foil.

As for why I chose children's books, it seemed to tie in nicely with my Growing With Science blog, which is about doing science and exploring nature with children. It turns out to have been the perfect choice for me. I love art as well as science and the two come together in nonfiction children's books.

I love how your blogging interests expanded. Also, I know exactly what you mean about finding the reporting/reviewing part much more interesting than the creative writing part. But, the satisfaction you get after writing a creative piece is priceless! So you've been blogging a long time! How would you say that blogging has changed you - in your reading tastes, interactions with other readers or bloggers, daily schedules, and life in general?
First of all, I admit I have become a blogging addict. The rewards have been many. I get to meet interesting new people (like you), and participate in carnivals and memes. I was a Cybils judge last year, which was a wonderful experience. Every once in a while there's the joy of finding a new book in the mail.

Sometimes I wonder if I live less in the moment, however, because I'm constantly mining my life experiences for blogging material these days.

I wonder that too - my online life is so much more interesting! Also thank you! It's been a pleasure "meeting" you too! In fact, I'm looking forward to more chatting! Since you've been blogging for a while now, I'm wondering what your main criteria has been for choosing a book, before you started blogging? What is your main criteria now?
With a few prominent exceptions, I often feel that books find me rather than vice versa.

Well said! *saluting* Since I'm very impressed with your reviews, please tell me and my readers about the points that you address in your reviews?
While reading the book I plan to review I try to focus on how child-friendly it is, what the reading level is, if it has been labeled appropriately, and how well the illustrations work with the text. I might not always comment on those things, but I always keep them in mind.

I also incorporate a bit of the flavor or voice of the book into the review. For example, if the book is light and humorous, I find myself writing in a light and humorous way. I think that gives readers another way to decide if the book is something they might want to pick up.

I love it that you make your review reflect the tone of the book! Now that's a tip I need to incorporate. (Not that I write a sleep-worthy review for a humorous book, just saying *wink*) So, let's see, where do you plan to take your blog over the next year?
That is actually a difficult question. When I first started out, I thought I would use the blog to help me organize my thoughts about writing, and particular about writing for children. It quickly went in a different direction when I started reviewing books. Through reviewing, I have learned a great deal about children's literature.

One of the reasons I decided to participate in these interviews was because I feel this particular blog is getting stagnant. I am looking for ways to move it forward, looking for new directions to take. Reading blogger interviews from last year and visiting other book blogs has been incredibly enlightening. I haven't made any decisions though.

Not one of the easiest questions to answer, really! Heck, I have no idea where my blog will be next week. I keep talking of plans but my lazy brain curls up and goes to sleep! Anyways, let's spice things up a bit, shall we? Here's some rapid fire questions for you! Sad we don't have a buzzer.
How many books do you read at a time?
Can you be a serious reader if you don't juggle at least four or five at a time? :-)
Amen, sista! You speak for me and almost every other reader! What's on your nightstand?
Yesterday I was reading an adult nonfiction tome, Fire Ants by ant scientist Walter Tschinkel. Amazingly, it made me laugh out loud in places. This morning I was reading the much more serious Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed, a young adult nonfiction book by Sally M. Walker. I will probably have a review of it up on Monday. I am also reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult and Log From the Sea of Cortez, by John Steinbeck.

In addition to the nightstand, I keep a cheerful basket of kid books in my home office that are in a queue for review.
*distracted* Oh sorry, I was just unconsciously adding those books to my TBR. You know how that happens! Your favorite author? Your favorite book of all time?
Adult: A Country Year by Sue Hubbell is my favorite book, although several of Barbara Kingsolver's books also strike a chord. She seems to be ahead of the curve in many ways. Did I mention Bill Bryson? Okay, I can't pick just one. :-)

Children's: The original Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne
Did you know that Winnie the Pooh is my favorite cartoon character? I dream of decorating my home in Winnie the Pooh style! What is the one book you want the whole world to read?
Although I definitely have read important books that spoke to me in profound ways, I hesitate to recommend one single book to everyone in the world. I will list two books I found inspiring (because once again I can't stick to one.) Both these books offer solutions to difficult issues.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton and illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler (children's picture book)
And finally, on a rainy day, which book would you prefer to cozy up with? Or which genre of books?
Rainy days? Here in Arizona we don't get many of those. :-) In the middle of summer when it is way too hot to leave the house, I read a lot of nonfiction. Often I read aloud to my son, although this year is the first year he seems to be reading mostly on his own (sniff). Our house favorite is science, particularly biology. I also read biographies and poetry.

Well, that's it! Thank you so much, Roberta, for taking the time to answer my questions! I'm so glad to have "met" you! BBAW has been so much fun!

Also, m'dear followers, don't forget to check out my interview!



Interesting post, thank you! I am SO lagging on BBAW stuff since this week is CRAZY for me at work! Such a lagger...
Liked this a lot. Wonderful interview!

Here is my BBAW: Interview post!
Ash said…
I'm a Winnie the Pooh fan as well! My blog kind of stemmed out of NaNoWriMo too, looking forward to it in a couple of months!
Karen M. Gibson said…
Nice interview of my favorite cousin. I learned some things and even added a couple of books to my TBR list!
bermudaonion said…
Great interview, but I have to confess to being a one book at a time gal. I wish I was smart enough to make my review reflect the tone of the book!
Athira said…
Helen, I am not caught up either. I'm just starting now.

Gautami, thank you so much!

Ash, yay to Winnie the Pooh!

Karen, yay! I'm glad to hear that!

Kathy, sometimes I wish I was a one book at a time gal - at least I would finish a book sooner.
Library Cat said…
I love having a book I am reading in every rook of the house. Thanks for a great interview.
Marce said…
I am loving how she asked you about your childhood books, very unique question for her blog.

Still can't believe you guys can read more than 1 book at a time.
Valerie said…
I'm a more-than-one at a time type of reader, too, but they are almost always different genres. That probably makes it less confusing!

Nice to read about a new-to-me blogger.
Athira said…
Library Cat, I'm with you - I like having a book in every room of my apartment!

Marce, I loved that question too! It was great!

Valerie, I get confused if I mix similar books. I did that unknowingly a couple of times and the result was disastrous!