BookExpo America (BEA) starts today, and unfortunately, I can’t be there. I will make the trip one of these years.
For those of us who can’t be there, though, there is Armchair BEA! To kick off this year’s from-the-comfort-of-our-own-homes conference, we have been asked to tell everyone a little bit about ourselves by answering five questions.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
For those of you who don’t already “know” me, my name is Heather and I currently live in Central Pennsylvania. I’m married to the greatest guy on the planet, and we have two children, two cats, and a houseful of books. My other passions are dancing (primarily in the living room when I have the house to myself); listening to music; learning, learning, learning; and playing with tech gadgets (an on again, off again relationship). I also own a blog called Heather’s Hodgepodge, on which I write sporadically about non-bookish topics; I am a contributor at TechFanatiX, a tech blog on which I haven’t posted recently due to a temporary disinterest in keeping up with the tech world; and I am a new contributor at 1Blog140: the verbose extension to #1book140, on which I haven’t posted yet but hope to start soon.
I have been blogging since January 2011. I’m currently a “stay-at-home” (I prefer “Domestic Goddess”); I needed something to keep my brain active and my writing skills honed. It didn’t take me long to decide that I should blog about the activity I love most: reading. I had recently discovered the world of book blogging and thought, ‘Hey! I can do that, too!’ and so it began. I have “met” so many great people through blogging–both book bloggers, and those who blog about other subjects–and all of them have kept this not-really-stay-at-home-material woman sane.
2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
I am currently reading eight books, which are listed in my sidebar. I have read a ton of great books this year, but my favorites so far are (not including re-reads): Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson, The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, Home by Toni Morrison, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, and In One Person by John Irving.
3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I have an aversion to belly buttons. Yes, you read that correctly. If something touches my belly button too hard (or sometimes even just touches it), my gag reflex kicks in. It has been like this for as long as I can remember, and it’s not some kind of weird health issue. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my belly button or the guts behind it. I have no idea why this happens. I have to wear low-rise jeans/pants, because if the waist gets too close to my belly button, it makes me feel miserable.
Because of this, I also have an aversion to other people’s belly buttons. I can’t stand to see someone touch their own, or to see a pierced belly button, or anything like that. Even just writing this is making me feel gaggy. Weird, huh?
4. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to have had dinner with David Foster Wallace. Heck, it needn’t even have been dinner–I would have settled for a conversation with him over soda and a doughnut (or a candy bar, as the case might have been). I fell in love with DFW and his writing last year when Robert of 101 Books read Infinite Jest. Robert’s blog posts about the book made me start doing some research, and I ended up watching every video of DFW talking that I could find. I read Although You End Up Becoming Yourself. I read Infinite Jest and it was one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had. I have the rest of his books on my TBR pile, but I’ve been putting off reading them because I don’t want that DFW reading experience to end.
DFW had such a beautiful, complex mind–he was a wonderfully complex person who was so intelligent, passionate, and well-spoken–and I believe it would have been one of the best conversations I could ever have with someone. And it wouldn’t have mattered what we talked about–books, movies, pets, tennis, life, whatever. Just a normal, everyday conversation with DFW would have been wonderful.
5. Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
My reading tastes haven’t really changed, but my reading habits have. I used to be a strict book monogamist; I never would have read more than one book at a time for fear of the characters in one book getting jealous of the characters in the other book(s). I know, I know, it’s a little strange. When I started blogging, though, I started joining online book clubs and read-alongs, and I was forced to read more than one book at a time. Now I can read a bunch of books at once and not feel icky about it.
Although my book tastes haven’t really changed at all, being a part of online book clubs and accepting ARCs from publishers has forced me to read outside of my comfort zone at times, and I’ve discovered some really good books that I wouldn’t have otherwise read.
(Banner design: Nina of Nina Reads; Feature image design: Sarah of Puss Reboots)