Featured Book Blogger is a monthly interview series highlighting amazing members of the book blogging community.
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This month’s featured book blogger is Julia from Read and Live Well. Julia has great taste in books and her blog is one of my first stops when I’m looking for solid literary book recs.
Welcome, Julia! First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests outside of blogging?
I live in Queensland Australia, so naturally I love summer, the sunshine and getting outdoors. I enjoy taking the family dog to the beach and finding a quiet spot near the water to read. I work as a doctor so the last 10+ years have seen me spending most of my time and energy on my career and I did neglect my other interests for some time. Recently I have started taking up art, and love playing around with watercolors and mixed media. I did take French lessons two years ago and would like to pick that up again, and I love spending time with my spoilt only child, my cat called Tequila!
How did you discover the book blogging world and what made you decide to start your own blog?
I only discovered the book blogging world when a friend suggested I start a blog of my own. I started in October 2016, at a time when I was very run down and burnt out in my career and needed a little ‘passion project’ to work on – something to do, just for me, for fun and nothing else. I have always been an avid reader and loved writing, having had long-term but secret aspirations to write a novel, so it has been the perfect project for me.
I hate it when people ask me what my favorite books is–such an impossible question! So give us your top three…or ten.
As you would all understand, this list changes day to day!
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Neapolitan Novels, series starting with My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
- A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
- Life is Beautiful, the screenplay of the Italian film by the same name
- Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
- Between a Wolf and a Dog, by Georgia Blain
- Born Free by Joy Adamson
- Gorillas in the Mist, by Dian Fossey
- The Millennium Trilogy, starting with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
- The Marriage of Opposites, by Alice Hoffman
Time for some either/or…
Mac or PC? Mac
Print or ebook? Definitely print
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate!
Fiction or nonfiction? Fiction.
Short story or epic novel? Short story. If I read an epic novel, I want it to be really, really good!
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would duplicate myself, so that I could spend lots of time doing the things I want to be doing, but also getting the things done that I should be doing!Q&A w/ #BookBlogger Julia from @ReadandLiveWell - Her best book recs + more!Click To Tweet
If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go and why?
I love to travel and have visited 5 of the 7 continents so far, with South America and Antarctica remaining. Whilst I enjoy experiencing the big cities, I prefer going off the beaten track and seeing majestic wildlife in their natural habitats. My favourite moments so far would be trekking for the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and searching for the big cats across Africa! Antarctica is on my bucket list – the beauty, the wildlife and the isolation is something I want to see and experience for myself!
Tell us about some of the best books you’ve read so far this year.
Homegoing and The Underground Railroad were two highly anticipated books for this year and I loved them both. Gone with the Wind was a surprise for me. I did not think it would be for me, but I absolutely adored it! Half of a Yellow Sun was the first Adichie novel I have read and loved it as much as I expected, so I need to hurry up and read the rest of her work. I also loved Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, and am hoping it wins the Baileys Prize that is to be announced tomorrow (although I think The Power will… and by the time you are reading this we will all know if I am right or not)!
One little known book that has been a standout and has not left me since I read it in March is Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain. This is a beautifully heartbreaking literary novel about family, relationships, secrets, regrets and forgiveness. I wish more people would read this!
Way to call the Bailey’s Prize! The Power did indeed take home first. What new books are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2017?
I don’t have an answer for this – I have been making a conscious decision not to look ahead to upcoming releases. I have far too many unread books on my shelf that I really need, and want, to read so I am focusing on making some progress through those!
If you could pick three books you think EVERYONE should read, what would they be and why?
I strongly believe that reading, both fiction and non-fiction, is a powerful way to learn about those different to us, to improve understanding and increase empathy. A lack of understanding results in fear; fear of the different and of the unknown. All three of these books give a wonderfully intimate but heartbreaking insight into the lives of people who are in the minority in their community, simply because of how they look. There are some important lessons to be learnt from each of these books, and everyone will take something away from them.
Lightning round! Name your favorite…
Thanks for having me on your blog, Kate! xxx