Featured Book Blogger is a monthly interview series highlighting amazing members of the book blogging community.
This month’s featured book blogger is Naz Hernandez from Read Diverse Books. Naz joined the book blogging community a little over a year ago and quickly made a big impact. If you’re looking for diverse book recs, his listicles are a great place to start.
Welcome, Naz! First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of books and blogging?
But books and blogging are such a huge part of my personality! Video games also play an important role in my life. Currently, I’m spending more time playing video games than reading. Mostly because the latest Legend Of Zelda game released and I’m literally obsessed and cannot stop playing! OK, I’m a huge book and video game nerd, but I love my life. I have job that pays well, have a loving partner, and never want for anything. Life is great right now.
Give us some insight into your psyche. What is your Myers-Briggs type?
I’m not big on personality tests, astrology, or anything/anyone who thinks they understand me based on a zodiac sign or some test. Apparently, I’m an ISFJ, but that doesn’t really mean anything to me.
How did you discover the book blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog of your own?
I really didn’t do much research into the book blogging world when I started. I just knew that I loved books and wanted to share that love with others. Little did I know there was a huge community who would welcome me and make me want to stay in the long run! My goal was to promote books written by marginalized authors, and I saw a blog as the easiest way to achieve this goal. I think my first year of blogging was rather successful and personally fulfilling, so I made the right choice.
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book is–such an impossible questions! So give us your top three…or ten.
I’ll just list some books that are special to me.
- A Thousand Splendid Suns
- The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Bluest Eye
- The Way Of Kings & Words Of Radiance
- The Secret History
Time for some either/or…
Mac or PC?
Definitely PC. I honestly don’t have anything against Apple, but over the past 8 years or so, I have stubbornly refused to get any Apple products. Until very recently! I had to get a phone for my new job and chose the iPhone 7, which is the very first iPhone I have ever owned. I’ve only had it for a couple of days, but I actually liking it a lot. Perhaps I shouldn’t have waited so long to try the iPhone.
Salty or sweet?
Salt is one of my favorite flavor enhancers, but I have an insatiable sweet tooth that will be my undoing one day.
Print or ebook?
Print, no question! I do buy ebooks if I can get a great deal, but I am building a personal home library and to me that means having lots of physical books lining my shelves. 2016 was an incredible year for my home library. I bought tons of books…many of which I have yet to read, but they sure look pretty and colorful.
Winter or summer?
Winters because I live in Texas, where the winters have been rather mild the last few years. The coldest it got in Austin this past winter was in the low 30s, which is cold but manageable with layers. And I’m usually inside reading if it’s cold outside, so I love winter. Summers in Texas are brutal. I’m already dreading the 100 degree weather that is sure to bring.
Short story or long epic?
I can certainly appreciate a short story or a novella, especially since I am a slow reader and reading a short novel/story makes me feel accomplished! But my favorite books are always long and substantive.Q&A with #BookBlogger @_DiverseBooks - Naz's Best Book Recs + More!Click To Tweet
If you could share a meal with any famous person, living or dead, who would you pick and why?
I’m going to treat this question as a fantasy I want fulfilled…so can I just have a “first date” experience with Oscar Isaac, please? Just dinner, conversation, and me staring into his eyes and talking about his movies! Hah. Why? Because he’s dreamy.
If you could have any superpower, what would you pick and why?
I want speed-reading super powers! My life as a book blogger would be so much easier if I could read much faster than I do now. I want to be a super reader! To me that would mean being able to read a 300 page book in 3 hours. I realize that some people can actually do this in real life, but it’s impossible in my case. Being able to read that fast or faster is definitely a real-world superpower.
What were some of your favorite books of 2016?
I read several incredible books in 2016. Some of my favorite releases from that year were The Mothers by Brit Bennett, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. They were all debut novels, by the way! I love discovering talented authors at the beginning of their long careers. The writers of these books have promising careers ahead, judging by the success of their first novel. I will definitely be reading whatever they write next.
Homegoing was amazing–by far the best frontlist book I read last year! What are some of the books you are most looking forward to this year?
I read Middle Grade, YA, and Adult fiction, but my picks are all going to be YA because there are some fantastic books coming out of YA the last few years.
- When Dimple Met Rishi – by Sandhya Menon (my most anticipated release of 2017)
- Girl Out Of Water – by Laura Silverman (read the ARC, it was perfect)
- Noteworthy – by Riley Redgate
- Want – by Cindy Pon
If you could pick three books you think EVERYONE should read, what would they be and why?
- Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe — Ari & Dante are precious and you will adore them. Their story will warm your heart and teach valuable lessons in empathy and the value of friendship.
- Homegoing — I will never stop recommending this book. It’s an almost flawless work of historical fiction that is engaging, educational, and important. This is an essential book.
- The Hate U Give — This YA contemporary became an instant classic. Everyone has been talking about this book over the past few months and the buzz will continue for several more. Don’t miss out!
Lightning round! Name your favorite…
Song: Can’t name one, sorry! I listen to Spotify and Pandora playlists and popular music because it’s fun and I like knowing what others listen to. But music isn’t a big part of my life or personality. So I’m lazy when it comes to music and listen to top 40 hits. Right now one of my favorites is “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran.
Movie: Don’t have a favorite movie, but one of my recent favorites is Moana. Watching that movie was such a joy. I’ll be buying the DVD this weekend so I can watch it as many times as I want!
TV show: I’m obsessed with Game Of Thrones. I’ve seen every season at least twice and adore the books even more than the TV series. I am very upset that we have to wait until summer for season 7. I am beyond ready to see the Daenarys in Westeros. I’ve waited 6 years for this, which sounds like a long time, but people who read the first book in 1996 have been waiting far longer.
Comfort food: Cakes of all kinds. Cheesecake, ice cream cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake, pound cake, red velvet cake…I like cake a little too much, I think. It’s such a beautiful food with endless variety. I don’t think I can ever get tired of it. When I have a long day or week, a piece of cake and cold glass of milk makes me feel a little better.
Celebrity crush: Oscar Isaac again! I didn’t mean to talk about him again…but I can’t help it. I will literally watch anything he is on just so I can see his face. He’s also a great actor and very smart, so he’s flawless and an absolute angel. You have no idea how excited I am to see him again in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.