Featured Book Blogger is a monthly interview series highlighting amazing members of the book blogging community.
Welcome, Allison! First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
Oh, where to start! As much as I love blogging, I do have a few other interests. There’s reading, of course, and traveling, which I do much more of now that work provides me with that opportunity. I’m also considering a run at public office so lately my time has been consumed with policy research, which is only exciting in certain circles.
Give us some insight into your psyche. What is your Myers-Briggs type?
I took the Myers-Briggs years ago and I was an ENFJ, very strong on the E. I think the combo holds mostly true today, but I sway closer to the “I” than I did back then.
How did you discover the book blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I started reviewing books to pass the time when I had open hip surgery back in 2010, but I got serious when I accidentally purchased hosting for a year (I thought it was month-to-month) after a couple glasses of wine. From there, The Book Wheel kept moving forward and I’m still trying to keep up with it.Q&A with #BookBlogger Allison from @TheBookWheel - Her Favorite Books + More!Click To Tweet
You’re known for your #30Authors blog series. Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to start it?
Jenny Milchman, one of my favorite people and authors, asked me to come up with an event that would connect readers and authors and a week later, #30Authors was in the works. The goal was to not only share what the bloggers were reading but what the authors they were reading were reading. The event has really grown and I’m blown away by the support it receives, including the generous publication of Legacy, an anthology based on the concept. Not that you asked, but if I had to pick my favorite part about the event, it’s seeing how often book bloggers have their finger on the pulse of the publishing industry. Most of the authors I invite are because bloggers (myself or others) are raving about them, so it’s fun to see those little-known authors achieve massive successes.
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book–such an impossible question! So give us your top three…or ten.
Oh, the dreaded favorite book question! I’ll do a top 3 and break them down by age range. As a kid, it was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls and I still read it every summer. In high school, it was Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, and more recently it’s A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
Time for some either/or…
Mac or PC? Mac
Salty or sweet? Salty
Print or ebook? Ebook
Fiction or nonfiction? Lately, nonfiction
Short story or epic novel? Epic novel, for sure
If you could share a meal with any famous person, living or dead, who would you pick and why?
Oh, this is tough! Part of me wants to choose John Irving because he’s a downright captivating author who isn’t afraid to shy away from political statements, but with everything that is going on in the world right now, I’m going to go with Malala Yousafazi. I had the privilege of seeing her speak about a year ago and in addition to being downright hilarious, she’s such an inspiration. It amazes me that a young woman with no name recognition could have such a wide-reaching impact. Like many people, I felt down after this past year’s election results but Malala is a reminder that one single person, regardless of their age or “qualifications”, can make a difference. She’s also a reminder that no matter how bad things get or how much the odds are stacked against you, you can persevere and come out better and brighter than you ever imagined if you stick to your values. It’s a message I (and we, collectively) need to hear.
If you could hop in a time machine and visit any time in history for a week, which era would you visit and why?
This might be harder than the favorite books question! I think I’d have to go with the 20’s. According to our family tree, F. Scott Fitzgerald is in it and I would love to have hung out on the French Riviera with all of the greats of the time, such as Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
What are some of the best books you read that were published in 2016?
Oh, dear. Trainwreck by Sady Doyle, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis, and Shelter by Jung Yun top the list but Settle for More by Megyn Kelly and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney are also worth checking out.
What are some of the books you are most looking forward to this year?
I’m still in denial that it’s 2017 so I’m not quite prepared for this question! I’m looking forward to checking out Why I’m Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin and Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller, but I’m also hoping that President Obama publishes his newest book before the year’s out.
If you could pick three books you think EVERYONE should read, what would they be and why?
Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein because it will change your outlook on religion, whether you’re religious or not.
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving because I can’t imagine anyone living life with the memory of Owen in their mind.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It’s a long one but so worth it, especially for people who enjoy philosophy but want it to be wrapped up in a great story that isn’t too tedious.
Honorable mention: Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Lightning round! Name your favorite…
Song: “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?” by Band Aid
TV show: This Is Us
Podcast: Candidate Confessional
Comfort food: Popcorn
Fictional crush: Mr. Darcy (but only the Colin Firth version)