The blog interviews for Armchair BEA is one of my favorite things to do during the week! It is so much fun to meet book bloggers, to discover those who are just as passionate as myself about books. The person I was hooked up with to interview this time around is Helen from Helen's Book Blog, and I am so excited that I have discovered her! Just read her interview and I know that you will want to follow along on her reading adventures. I am now!!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog, Helen's Book Blog.
I live in Santa Barbara, CA and taught high school World History and American Government for 14 years before earning my Library Media Credential. I have been a high school Teacher Librarian for three years and am really enjoying the change. It's great to combine reading, books and technology with teaching. I started a book review blog when I took over the library so that our students could read reviews about books they may not have heard of. But, when I discovered memes and read-a-thons I realized that I didn't want to post all of that and personal information on a school blog so Helen's Book Blog was born.
I see that you are currently reading Blindness by Jose Saramago. This is one of my favorite books! What are your thoughts so far? What are a few of your favorite books?
Oh, you caught me, I haven't started it yet! All I've heard is that it is a bit creepy (in a psychological way). Some of my favorite books are Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams, Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games series, Shilpi Somaya Gowda's The Secret Daughter, and Mitali Perkins' Bamboo People.... Oh, I've got to stop because I could just keep listing wonderful books.
You mention on your blog that you love to travel. What has been one of your favorite travel adventures?
I always love going to Britain since that's where all my family is (except my parents with whom I share a home). But one of my favorite adventures has to be when I went to Cambodia. After experiencing the horrors of the Khmer Rouge the people are still so happy, friendly, and at peace. The country is beautiful, especially the wats (temples) up in Siem Reap. I was really lucky to go there before many tourists did.
I see that you are a part of two book groups. Will you share some detail about the group(s), including format, how discussions are lead, demographics, etc.? What have been some of your groups' favorite reads?
My first book group started in 1991 and is now all women. We meet once a month for pizza, salad and discussion. Whoever hosts chooses the next book, which is usually contemporary fiction. I'll confess that we often talk about life as much if not more than the books! It is too difficult for me to name favorites since we all have our own.
My second group has been going for just two years and is made up of moms who have kids at the same elementary school. We usually read non-fiction and find ourselves reading books that trigger great discussions (Mornings in Jenin, Little Princes). We meet every 6 weeks.
If you were given a choice between the following items, which would you choose? Fiction or Non-Fiction? Adult or YA? Pride and Prejudice or Anne of Green Gables? Harry Potter or Twilight? Dr. Seuss or Mo Willems? Jodi Picoult or Stephen King? Bookmarks or Dog-Ears? Ebook or Physical Book? Hardcover or Paperback?
Let's see... this is difficult! Fiction, YA (but maybe adult, sorry can't choose on this one), Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, Dr. Seuss, Jodi Picoult, bookmarks (of course!), physical books, and hardcover
If you had to choose just one book to recommend to all my readers, which one would it be and why?
Just one book? That's cruel! I am going to cheat and choose two books. For an adult book I choose Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver because it has great characters, culture, and story. It's one of the only books I've re-read. For YA I choose Mark Haddon's The Incident of the Dog at Midnight. Recently I've recommended it to about 30 students and all but one loved it (and most were boys!)