Featured Book Blogger is a monthly interview series highlighting amazing members of the book blogging community.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
This month’s featured book blogger is Taryn from The Overly Attached Reader. Taryn joined the book blogging community in early 2015 and has been a prolific reviewer ever since. I love how thorough and engaging her reviews are. And she has a great Instagram!
First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
My other hobby is quilting. I thought I hated sewing after a terrible experience in high school Home Ec, but I fell in love with quilting about a decade later. It’s a nice complement to my career as a graphic designer because I get to work with color and shapes, but it gives me a much-needed break from computer screens. I also love cooking and biking.
I just took the online tests and my results were INFJ (The Advocate) & Type 9 (The Peacemaker). Based on the brief descriptions, I’d say the results are very accurate. I’m extremely conflict-averse!
How did you discover the book blogging world and what made you decide to start a blog?
I started a book blog because I realized that I couldn’t recall a single detail from many of the books I’ve read over the years. Reviewing has done wonders for my retention and has even increased my appreciation of books that I didn’t love! I found the book blogging world after I started blogging. It’s been a joy to discover fellow book enthusiasts and to learn from the wide variety of experiences and opinions.
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite book is–such an impossible question! So give us your top three…or ten.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
- Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- All the Names by José Saramago
- A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
- A Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Time for some either/or…
Print or ebook? Ebook. The screen light, easy highlighting, and Overdrive pulled me to the dark side!
Ice cream or cake? Ice cream, but I love the cake flavors the most.
Fiction or nonfiction? I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction, but I’d give a slight edge to fiction.
Happy or tragic ending? I don’t wish terrible fates on my beloved characters, but tragic endings are generally more powerful for me. I love a good bittersweet ending!
Short story or epic novel? Epic novel. It generally takes twenty to thirty pages for me to get fully immersed in a story, so long-form writing generally works better for me.
If you could have any superpower, what would you pick and why?
Healing. That’s obviously great for mankind, but my reasons are selfish. I’m a clumsy person with hobbies that involve sharp blades and hot irons!
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
Tell us about some of the best books you’ve read so far this year.
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui – Gorgeous graphic memoir. Thi Bui looks to the past to understand her parents. It’s the story of a single family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, but it’s also an thoughtful examination of family, home, & identity.
The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid by Will Bardenwerper – Seriously fascinating! It’s about the surreal assignment of guarding an infamous dictator and the emotional complexity of leading someone you’ve bonded with to their death.
Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo – Sometimes love just isn’t enough. An emotional story about societal expectations and the disintegration of a relationship. This one tore my heart in a million pieces!
The Accusation by Bandi – A haunting collection of short stories about life in North Korea. The story behind the publication of this book is amazing! It was smuggled out of North Korea and is the first time a work written by a dissident still living in North Korea has been published.
What books are you most looking forward to this fall?
- Artemis by Andy Weir (November 14, 2017)
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (January 9, 2018)
- Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (January 16, 2018)
If you could pick three books you think EVERYONE should read, what would they be and why?
I’m very enthusiastic about these three books! I think they appeal to a wide range of readers.
Kindred by Octavia Butler – I’m so glad I finally made time to read this one! It involves time travel, but even people who don’t enjoy sci-fi will be able to appreciate it. It was first published in 1979, but it addresses so many issues that are relevant to modern readers.
Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino – It’s so inspiring and gave me a whole new appreciation for the planet we get to live on.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – I love a book that can make me both laugh and cry! Trevor has a way of explaining complex issues in a down-to-earth way. You don’t have to know much about Trevor Noah or his career to get something from this memoir.
Lightning round! Name your favorite…
Song: Every month it seems to be a different song from Hamilton! I’ve had “Right Hand Man” on constant replay lately.
Movie: This is as hard as picking my favorite book! My favorite movies this year are Get Out and Logan.
TV show: Drama – The Americans & Comedy – Parks & Recreation
Comfort food: Mashed potatoes and brown gravy.
Celebrity crush: He’s often ranked last on the lists of Hollywood Chrises, but Chris Pine is my favorite Chris!