First, tell us a little about yourself. Well I’m not that interesting honestly! I have a degree in English Literature from Capital University here in Columbus. While I was in college and for a little while after I graduated, I was shooting live shows and working with bands as a photographer. I hurt my back about 2 years ago and that put all of that on hold. When I got released from therapy, my fiancée and a friend got me my nook and started chatting with authors while I was reading and it’s really from all that my blog was born.
What is book blogging? It’s basically raving about books! It can be positive or negative and how you present it depends on the person really. I pride myself on being honest. If I love a book, you’ll know it. I’ll seem not to know where to start when I’m writing about it. I might have to redo a review because I gave too little away because I really wanted the reader to read it for themselves. If it’s negative, I try to be very professional about it. I’m not gonna tear into someone’s written baby. Plus I like the authors that are willing to invest their time and faith in me. I want to help them learn and grow as much as possible.
What led you to being a book blogger? I’ve always read everything I could get my hands on and when I got my e-reader, I started meeting a lot of independent authors with really amazing stories. I also realized that people seemed to listen to my recommendations. Out of it popped up a recommendations group on Facebook and the more authors I got to know and the more books I read, the more I saw that I had the ability to do more. So I did and from it came The Top Shelf. That’s now expanded to guest blogs, featured reads and book trailers.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
Why do you like to read? It gives me the ability to experience adventure without leaving my safety zone. For example, I would probably never climb a mountain because I’m afraid to, but I can read about someone who does and in a way experience it through them.
Do you have any preference for eBooks or print books? Before I got my e-reader, I was like man I’m not giving into that. I’d miss the feel of the pages and the smell of a new book! I’m over that now. The space saving properties of an e-reader are just such a plus for me. I can kill entire 300 page books in a day so I was bringing home sometimes ten books from a bookstore and I had been doing it for years so space now is a huge issue.
Do you read fiction, nonfiction, a mix of both? Fiction, nonfiction and since I’ve become a reviewer I’ll be brave and say yes I even read erotica! You should try it, it’s pretty interesting and not just the sexual aspect. I read a 48 page short story from an erotica author and I was amazed that she, in the first 20 pages, set up a whole alien culture with a few different races, a slave trade and relationships between characters. It surprised me big time!
Do you like reading multiple genres or do you stick to only romance, mystery, inspirational, etc.? Multiple genres. I think closing yourself off to one genre starts to create a safety blanket where you’re afraid to venture outside that comfort zone. You might miss something! I don’t wanna miss anything!
Do you read a book over again? I have a crazy memory when it comes to books but I’ll read them over again if there’s a new book in the series coming out or if I just want to re-visit it.
What makes a book “special” in your opinion? Characters that make you care about them, an immersive story and a plot with lots of twists. I think the most memorable books to me are the ones that made me gasp in surprise or make me wanna read while I’m eating dinner or doing the dishes (book ended up being in the sink ). The ones that get your heart going because you’re just so into it. Those are the ones that are special.
What were your reading experiences like as a child? Did you have favorite books or authors? I was really into the classics as a kid. I Loved Robinson Crusoe, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It went from there to Fantasy when I read The Neverending Story. Although in third grade I read John Grisham’s The Client and I think that really is where my love of thrillers started. Kinda branched out from there to Stephen King later on.
What books are on your summer reading list for those lazy days at the beach or relaxing in a hammock? Oh wow..I have almost 2,000 books on my TBR list now. Some of them review books and some of them for pleasure. I’d like to revisit The Client again because the version I read so long ago was a Reader’s Digest condensed version. I’d like to read the new Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver called Carte Blanche. There’s a few paranormal reads I wanna get into like Guardian by Elita Daniels. Even a few YA books are on my list. I just finished Anathema by KA Tucker and it was just so amazing some of the concepts she came up with. I had just never seen them before.
Do you like to browse books in the bookstore or do you like to shop online? I like to get out and go to the bookstore usually. It’s nice to be able to just look around and see what’s out there while sipping on a cup of coffee. With my back injury though, it was easier to shop online and now I’m just used to it. Although I still wanna go visit a bookstore.
What draws you to a book if you are unfamiliar with the author and/or you don’t have any recommendations? I’ll check out the sample. Sometimes I’m a compulsive cover / blurb shopper. So I’ll take a chance and so far I haven’t been wrong.
Do you have an all-time favorite book? I don’t have an all time favorite book. There is no ultimate have to read book for me. There’s a list and it’s really really long!
Can a happy ending also be true to life? I don’t see why not. Life is like a story. It’s full off good people and bad people. It has a plot for each of us that our decisions have an effect on. I don’t think there can ever really be a sad ending to life. Just sad times and they always pass.
Have you ever read a book and thought it would make a great movie? A lot of indie books I’ve read would make great movies! I think Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham would be an awesome movie. The Cloud Prophet Trilogy by Megg Jensen would be a good one too. I also think Bloody Little Secrets by Karly Kirkpatrick would be a fun summer movie.
On the other hand, have you seen any movies based on books and thought the book was better? ALL OF THEM! He he!
Have you ever read a book and “seen” specific actors/actresses playing certain roles while you read? I’m more of a plot reader and I don’t know if this is weird. I think I might subconsciously get an idea in my head of the characters as I’m reading but my consciousness is focused on what they’re doing. Later on when you ask me I might be able to think on it and come up with someone but if you ask me while I’m reading, I’ll just stare at you blankly.
Have you ever thought about writing a book? YES! I have several ideas floating around in my head. I don’t think I’m ready for that yet though. I’m pretty content with being a reader right now and reading what all is out here.
For more from Misty, visit The Top Shelf.