ABEA: Introduction

I'm kicking off my first year of participation in Armchair BEA with an introduction! | NewberyandBeyond.com

This is my first year participating in Armchair BEA, and I’m super excited about it! Since I’m unable to travel and go to BEA (Book Expo America) itself (at least this year–one day I’ll make it there), this is the next best thing. The next few days will be filled with book-related link ups, Twitter parties, and Instagram challenges. So let’s get started with an introduction!

1.  What is the name you prefer to use? My name is Monica, and this is my blog, Newbery and Beyond (or N&B for short).

2.  How long have you been a book blogger? Gosh, almost three years now? Hard to believe it’s been that long.

3.  Have you participated in Armchair BEA before? Nope, this is my first time! I’m excited to get started.

4.  What is your favorite genre and why? I am a huge mystery fan! As a kid, I was addicted to the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown. As I got older, I started adding Agatha Christie to my list, and now I’m into cozy mysteries and even thrillers. I just love how a good mystery can hold your attention and keep you guessing all the way through, and then feel so satisfying when you finally figure out whodunit.

5.  If you could recommend one other book blogger, who would it be and why? Jenny at Reading the End. Her reviews have introduced me to books I loved (and a couple books I hated), but I enjoy her reviews regardless of whether or not I think I’ll read the book. She’s smart, thoughtful, and funny.

6.  What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? I can’t wait to read Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (aka the Bloggess). I love funny memoirs, even ones about sad topics, and this one promises to be hysterical. I’m most intimidated by Les Miserables, because even though I loved the movie and the musical, there’s no getting around how doorstopper-y this book is.

7.  What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far? I work with kids, so I was fascinated by the information in Untangled. It shows the different areas teenage girls deal with and how parents and teachers can help them grow into strong, independent women. So good!

8.  If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why? Definitely Tommy and Tuppence because they are the sweetest, most fun couple I’ve ever read. Also Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles, because she’s funny and strong. And the Casson family (particularly Saffy and Indigo), because they are hilarious, flawed, and loving.


What are your answers to these questions? Are you participating in Armchair BEA?

Interview: Melanie

Me and my sister ice skating last Christmas
Me and my sister ice skating last Christmas

Today I’m interviewing my sister! She has been a guest writer on this blog several times before (see here, here, and here), and now she has volunteered to answer a few of my burning book questions, even though she’s currently overseas. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself!

Well, I’m terrible at describing myself, for one…

I’m currently in Bangkok finishing up my student teaching before I graduate in December. I’m also getting married in December, so I’m probably at least slightly insane for going overseas for two months. I cook and bake to relax, except when it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted, and then it’s stressful. I’m very indecisive, and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I love working with kids, and I really love school and learning in general.

What was your favorite book as a child/teenager?

The first book I remember being obsessed with was Naya Nuki.  I read and reread that book probably fifty times at least. There was something about the way the author described Naya Nuki’s journey and her struggle to survive by finding food, shelter, and eventually her tribe, that captured my imagination.

 How did you get into blogging?

Basically because of you. After you asked me to write a few reviews for your blog, I started thinking about starting my own blog. Of course, because of my aforementioned poor decision-making and student teaching and wedding planning, I haven’t actually started a blog yet.  It’s definitely coming, though. 

What was the first book you ever reviewed?

Let’s see, on your blog…*searches archives* it was Ender’s Game.  That was a weird book, man. It was good, just not at all what I expected from a YA sci-fi book. 

What book are you currently reading?

Currently I’m reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez. I read one of his short stories in a literature class, and I was interested by his use of magical realism, so when I saw this novel at McKay’s, I picked it up to read on my trip. So far, I’m quite enjoying it. García Marquez has this meandering way of letting the narrative unfold through languid flashbacks and multiple points of view, which goes with the Caribbean setting of the novel perfectly.

Do you have any “guilty pleasure” books/genres?

I feel guiltier about the books that I don’t enjoy but feel like I should. I read almost every genre, but most of the adult fiction I’ve read, even when it comes highly recommended by readers with similar taste, is just not very interesting to me. I’d much rather be reading a YA or middle grades adventure story, something fun and exciting that doesn’t require too much concentration. I can be a lazy reader sometimes.

What do you do when you’re not reading?

I bake a lot, mostly cookies, but I also enjoy baking bread and pretty much everything else. I also try to plan my wedding, although I’m not sure if that counts since it’s temporary. I do have a mile-long list of movies and TV shows that I hope to watch eventually.

What question do you wish people would ask you?

Right now I’m trying to decide what kind of blog to do, so if people would beg me to write about cooking or books or something else, that would help me narrow it down. Otherwise I’m going to have to decide for myself, which, as I’ve already established, is not in my skill set.

Thanks again for agreeing to be interviewed, Melanie! I look forward to your future blogging.

31 Days of All Things Books by NewberyandBeyond.com

Interview: Nikita

Interview with Nikita | NewberyandBeyond.com

I’m so excited to be featuring some great book bloggers and authors during my Write 31 Days series! This first interview is with Nikita of Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff and Njkinny Tours and Promotions. Check out her blogs for some great book and movie reviews, recipes, beauty tips, and more, as well as promotional services for authors!

Q1. Tell us a little about yourself!

This is such a tough question. How do I tell a little about myself? Well, I am a Software Engineer by qualification and a passionate reader by choice. I love writing, reading and now, blogging and hope to gather the strength and publish my own novel someday. I also love gardening and can be seen puttering with my plants at any time of the day when I am not engrossed in a book or fanatically writing posts on my blog!

I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new places both in my mind (through the books I read) and by travelling to them physically. Drop by my blogs, Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff and Njkinny Tours & Promotions and I’d love to get to know you.

Q2. What was your favorite book as a child/teenager?

I enjoyed too many books as a child/teenager to name a single favourite. I hopped genres frequently and enjoyed reading mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Carolyn Keene, Alfred Hitchcock etc.; fantasy like Harry Potter series, Twilight series and Narnia series; classics like Railway Children, Secret Garden, plays by Shakespeare etc.

Q3. How did you get into blogging?

I came into blogging accidentally when a few of my friends suggested I share my view about books through a blog because whatever I was reading, no one else was reading around me! LOL So I started writing a blog called Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff which had been initially made by my room partner in College just for fun but I had never used it until then.

I started writing at the end of May in 2013 and have never looked back since because I have come to enjoy each and every moment of blogging and now write on a variety of topics ranging from Books, Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle, Gadgets, Personal and even Fiction of my own.

I came to enjoy Blogging so much that I started a Promotion Service to help authors. Njkinny Tours & Promotions is my attempt to get word about authors and their books out and have helped many Bestselling authors both Indie and non-Indie get publicity about their books!

Q4. What was the first book you ever reviewed on your blog?

I reviewed A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle on my blog and really enjoyed penning down my views on this amazing and timeless mystery. View that post here.

Q5. What are some of your favorite posts that you have written?

I loved writing a short story named “My Platinum Day of Love”. I laughed, cried and fell in love again while writing it. Do check it out here.

I also enjoyed writing a short story on a serious topic called ‘The fateful day when I left behind “The Best Disguise”! Read it here and do leave your valuable comments.


Q6. What book are you currently reading?

I am not reading any because I am going on vacation to Mauritius tomorrow and have promised my husband that this holiday I will spend all my time with him. 🙂

Q7. Do you have any “guilty pleasure” books/genres?

I simply adore fairy tale based books, serious mysteries that test my “little grey cells” and romances that are rich in emotional play but have a happy ending.

Q8. What do you do when you’re not reading?

I enjoy experimenting with food, do some freelance work and enjoy gardening.

Q9. What question do you wish people would ask you about your work as a blogger?

I wish people would not just assume that since I have left my “paying” job, I am free and then ask me what do I do all day? Guys, I have so much work to do that I am never free! I am doing something I love and getting enough to stay afloat so just stop assuming! Instead ask me how I am trying to better my blog!

Follow Nikita aka Njkinny on her blogs at Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff and Njkinny Tours & Promotions. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads. Thanks again for sharing your love for books and blogging with us, Nikita!

31 Days of All Things Books by NewberyandBeyond.com
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