Some of you may recognize this feature from 25 Hour Books. I was in the market for a feature to showcase the book bloggers I simply can’t live without, Tara usually lets me do whatever I want if I pester her enough, and Who Am I Stalking? seemed appropriate. Win-win. But please, no restraining orders are necessary. Here’s what happens: every month, I choose a new victim and bombard them with six interview questions: five standard questions, and one specifically for the blogger the giraffe shifters and I are stalking. Then I share their answers with you.
I think Kristilyn was a blogger whom I first started connecting with on Twitter. (i.e., I’m not really sure how we first met. Bout of Books? I’ve lost track of these things, unfortunately.) Kristilyn and I enjoy talking about blogging philosophies (and blogging in general). And she’s Canadian! We all need to love our Canadian book bloggers a little more, don’t you think? And she SINGS FOR US! Her Musical Saturday feature is a lot of fun, especially if you’re a fan of music (I know there are a lot of you out there). Anyway, Kristilyn is celebrating her blog’s birthday THIS MONTH and when she asked me for a guest post, I decided that we could do an interview swap. Since, you know, I stalk her. And she stalks me. We’re one big happy stalking blogging family! *throws confetti*
1. Describe yourself in six words.
Canadian book lover and distraction finder
2. What has been your most exciting moment as a book blogger?
I think one of my most exciting moments as a book blogger was that instant where I felt like I finally “got it.” I spent a few years having my book blog, but not really knowing what to do with it, so I just posted the odd review. I had no idea there was a whole community out there. So when I “restarted” my blog last October and found the community and started to find my stride with blogging and with social media, I felt like I finally knew what I was doing. I only wish I had known all of this when I first started blogging in 2009.
Another exciting moment as a book blogger was forming the Edmonton Book Blogger Group and meeting other book bloggers in real life. From meet-ups at bookstores to meet-ups at book signings, it’s wonderful to actually talk with other bloggers in person! About books! With that comes meeting authors, which leads to another exciting moment (note: someone obviously missed that the question asks about a single moment, not plural): meeting a few of my favourite authors, Beth Revis and Veronica Roth. I was starstruck!
3. What are the best books that you have read in 2012? The worst?
I have read so many amazing books this year it’s unbelievable. For someone who spent so many years not really knowing what kind of books they even liked, I feel like I can finally make sound judgment about the books that I read.
That being said, here are my top 5 favourite books read this year (and it pains me to narrow it down this much!):
And, with the best comes the worst, so my top 5 least favourite books of this year are:
- The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1), by Julie Kagawa
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith
- Swoon (Swoon, #1), by Nina Malkin
- Tempest (Tempest, #1), by Julie Cross
- After the Snow, by Sophie D. Crockett
4. Why is reading important?
I think there is only so much learning that can happen in our day-to-day life that doesn’t involve reading. I mean, obviously to have street smarts you’re going to have to EXPERIENCE things, not just read about them in a book.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
But reading is more than just losing yourself in another world or feeling like you can live someone else’s life through their stories; it’s about learning new words, visiting new places, and understanding social situations.
Sure, people could see all of this in a TV show or in a movie, but with reading you get so much detail and actually get to witness pages of FEELINGS and EMOTIONS. An emotional scene in a movie is so much more in a book.
And, really, with books come friends, even if they’re imaginary. In the loneliest of the Canadian winter months when I’m curled up by the fireplace with a good book as the snow falls outside, I’m not alone.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot
5. What are some of your favorite reviews (or memes, features, discussions, etc) that you have written for Reading In Winter?
Here are some of my favourites from the blog:
Favourite feature: Musical Saturday
Even though I don’t do this every week, it’s still fun to come up with a bookish song to share with my readers. I wish I had the time – or the imagination – to do more of them! My favourite song for this series has to be my song about things I like in books:
I also really like the vlogs that I’ve done for In My Mailbox. I only have a few of them up, but when I look back at them I can see how enthusiastic (and slightly crazy) I am about books.
6. Regular readers of your blog know that you’re a singer/songwriter, as you’ve written and performed a few bookish songs for us. Your about page says you have too many favourite artists to name, so instead I want to ask: how do books influence your music? Do you find there is a strong link between books and music for you?
I think that there is a definite correlation between books and music. We learn about the world through books and about different emotions and feelings. We meet new people, visit new places, and form connections that we might not be able to make in real life. While I’ve always said that anything can inspire music, books are what help make the language – the words we read help us form the words we write. For example, books of poetry or verse can help a musician form the verses of song. By feeling the flow of words in a story, a poem, or a play, it’s easier for a musician to then mimic that ease of words when writing music.
For me, writing a song is like writing a story. I want my listeners to be able to listen to a song and see pictures in their head. I want to take them on a journey. When I’m writing a song, I want to be able to find the right words to convey the emotion of that song. The words can make or break a song, and I find that having a healthy appetite for books and reading helps build that dictionary in my brain.
Some of my favourite songs that were inspired by literature include:
- Wuthering Heights, by Kate Bush – a song about the book by Emily Bronte
- Resistance, by Muse – a song that was inspired by the underlying theme of love in George Orwell’s 1984
- Dust Bowl Dance, by Mumford & Sons – a song that was heavily influenced by the setting of the Great Depression in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath
- Exit Music (For a Film), by Radiohead – a song inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
- Me and Jerome, by Sarah Slean – a song based on a dream Sarah had about meeting the reclusive writer J. D. Salinger
Books also help readers form intelligent thought. The more we read books, the more we talk about books and the more we talk about books, the more thought we put into what we’re saying about the books we’re reading. The same goes for the music I write. I find that the reading and talking I do about the books I love helps me better understand my songwriting, thus helping me talk about my own music in a more cohesive way. This means not only do I spend the time thinking about the words I’ve read in books, but I also pay close attention to the words I write in song. I think about the story of the song more and actually want to have a story unfold to my listeners.
Find Kristilyn here: