Skip to main content

Featured Post

When you are LOST in a book | Weekly Snapshot

I have just spent a bulk of my past 24 waking hours racing through the book Big Little Lies. Gosh, it feels amazing to be so consumed by a book that all you want to do is read it at every small or big opportunity. It was hard putting the book down or not thinking about Madeline, Jane, Celeste, or their terribly convoluted lives when I was supposed to be doing something else.

Last Week We drove back from Nashville on Monday morning after two full fun days at the Gaylord resort and one morning at the Hermitage, President Jackson's house. The house itself was glorious (and huge!) - we all enjoyed a good amount of history that day. The resort was a feast for the eyes - all those trees and gardens inside the massive building!

On our drive back home, we had couple of hours to kill so we took the kids to the Dinosaur World in Kentucky. That turned out to be a good decision as the kids had a blast and the adults also had fun learning something new.

Currently This weekend is so far turning…

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!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.

In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …