On Friday Five series with a discussion about some of my experiences about being a flight attendant for one of the best airlines in the entire world and some of the things I tend to nerd out over. This week, I’m focusing on one of my long neglected passions: Reading. One of the things I have missed most is plunging headlong into other times, worlds, and galaxies. For someone who earned her undergrad degree in English, I am often wracked with guilt that I have neglected reading for so long. As the Literary Lounge within the Lil House of the Nerdy comes together, I am getting back into building good habits, including stimulating my brain!
Q1: What is your most prized book in your library?
A: When I was an undergrad, I switched from Telecommunications to English as my major. One of the most influential professors, Dr. Stephanie Smith in my academic career agreed to supervise my senior project as my focus was on creative writing, digital identity and literature. As a graduation gift, she gave me a signed copy of one of her books which I still have in my possession. She was the first professor in the English department to openly praise my writing, giving me confidence to pursue deeper study within that section of the department.
The other is a copy of poems by Paul Verlaine. It was given to my by my uncle and godfather, Gaëtan when I was in the ninth grade. At the time, I was taking French as my foreign language, and I was preparing for a county competition. When he learned that I was memorizing the poem “Il Pleure Dans Mon Cœur” (“It Rains in My Heart”), he gave me his personal copy of Verlain’s collected works for good luck. He thought simply having a photocopy of the poem was not enough for it to have meaning. Gaëtan’s reading nook had always been my inspiration for a home library. Many of the books in his collection were from my maternal grandfather and my great grandfather whom I never had the chance to meet. I hope that my own Literary Lounge will rival his one day, so when I read I can share my stories with him.
Q2: Why did you decide to join a book club?
A: I joined Books and Brews here in Orlando as a means to devour more paper and glue books and have some geeky conversations over beers with new friends. There are so many great bars in Orlando that I haven’t explored largely because I don’t know about them. What I love about B&B is that the conversations are lively, the book selections are entertaining, and the host businesses are welcoming.
- 01/05/16: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari at Rogue Pub
- 02/02/16: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline at BARTcade
- 03/03/16: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah at GuesthouseCocktail Bar
- 04/05/16: Reader’s Choice: Selection of Short Stories Dreamsongs Volume I by George R. R. Martin at Red Light Redlight Beer Parlour
Q3: Which authors do you have signed copies?
A: In addition to the copy of The Boy Who Was Thrown Away by Dr. Smith, I also have Extra Lean by Mario Lopez, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost!) by Felicia Day, and The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling. I would like to actually attend a book signing instead of ordering online or in the case of Mr. Lopez, picking my copy up the day after due to a work commitment.
One day, I wish to thank these fabulous ladies in person.
I also have some friends who have been published, and they’re promising to autograph my copy next time we meet! Interestingly enough, they are both gents from England. My friend Dobromir Harrison wrote Rachel, a vampire tale set on the familiar streets of Tokyo. Dob and I met while working for an English conversation school in Tokyo and although we were often assigned at different schools, we were able to build our friendship in our short time together and stay in touch after my returning to the U.S.
My talented friends inspire me daily!
I met Justin Carroll on a New Year’s Eve layover in London at a dinner with an gal pal from college. Later on, I would help him in quite possibly the Transatlantic proposal to win ALL proposals when he popped the question to that same friend! Even with living on the opposite side of the ocean, I have been fortunate to continue building the friendship with both him and his beautiful wife. I’m currently working my way through Everything’s Cool as well as eagerly awaiting the next installments of Hemlock Jones and The Angel of Death on his blog.
Q4: What is your stance on Audio Books?
A: Since buying my house, my commute is twenty minutes longer, so I spend more time in my car. I have found that one of the best ways to pass the time and dissipate my road rage is listening to audio books. Through my public library, I’ve been borrowing audio books via the OverDrive media player. I particularly enjoy titles narrated by the author such as Self-Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler, As You Wish by Cary Elwes, and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I prefer non-fiction and memoirs as its like having a conversation with a friend in the car.
When I lived in in NSB, I listened to podcasts while walking on the beach. I’ve learned that one of the best way to beat stale playlists without investing in new music is plugging into a good audiobook. Much like reading, when the story gains momentum, I find myself pushing the limits when in the throws of a great story. The key to a solid audio book is the narration, but I get frustrated when the narrator attempts silly voices or foreign accents as they do not always sound pleasant.
Q5: Are you participating in any reading challenges currently?
A: Currently, I am working my way through the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge. I turned to some of my friends and asked for book recommendations. Trying to select books that were new and unfamiliar were the greatest challenge for me, but I put together a list I am rather proud of. Currently, I am working on two of my twelve books.
- a book published this year (2015) The Only Pirate at the Party by Lindsey Stirling
- a book you can finish in a day – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery Hitchhiker’s
- a book you’ve been meaning to read – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller – Lock In by John Scalzi (recommended by Lila)
- a book you should have read in high school – Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
- a book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child or BFF – Uprooted by Naomi Novik (recommended by Christy)
- a book published before you were born – Dune by Frank Herber
- a book was banned at some point – The Naked and The Dead by Norman Mailer
- a book you previously abandoned – State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
- a book that you own but never read – The Boy Who was Thrown Away by Dr. Stephanie Smith
- a book that intimidates you – Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- a book you’ve already read at least once – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Answer Me, These Questions Three:
- What is your preferred format of reading books?
- Do you have a special place you enjoy reading?
- Which books and/or authors would you recommend I tackle?