This is the twelth interview for Reader of the Month.
My furthest memory of Julie S. comes from freshman year at Baylor. I’d see her in “Large Group” lectures in World Cultures I of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC). It wasn’t until second semester that we were in the same “Small Group” in World Cultures II that we talked. Julie and I became fast friends who commiserated through some other hardest assignments sophomore and junior years. From that time, I heard Julie talk about her all-time favorite book (which she shares in the interview) and the favorite books of her high school friends, too. Since college, we’ve kept in touch a little bit and met up for dinner once when we worked near each other. Naturally, we talked about reading!
1. What’s the best thing you’ve read in the past year?
This year I read The Hunger Game Series. I don’t always buy into the “book of the moment” fads, but I am really glad that I picked up this trilogy. It was suspenseful, thought provoking, and pulled at my heart. I LOVED it! I also finally read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Angels and Demons was riveting. I was less impressed with The DaVinci Code.
2. Do you have any quirks when it comes to reading?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk or not, but I am definitely a book in hand kind of girl. I HATE reading on a computer screen and have so far refused to purchase an eReader.
3. What’s on your bookshelf or in your book bag?
My book shelves are full of the books that I will read over and over: my favorites from childhood, school yearbooks, textbooks from my Master’s program, and really nice history books from Time and National Geographic. My nightstand on the other hand is full of random books still to be read. Most of them are crime mystery types.
4. Who supplies your reading material?
My mom reads a lot and always gives me her books when she is finished. She is the one who talked me into reading The Hunger Games and who introduced me to the Stephanie Plum Series (which is fantastic!). Other than that, I have moved to browsing the shelves at resale shops for 50 cent paperbacks rather than buying from bookstores that charge $20.
5. What type of reading do you usually enjoy?
I am a history buff, so I really love historical fictions. I am also addicted to “Law and Order” type TV shows, so books with similar story lines are interesting to me as well. When I am in the mood for more mindless fun, I enjoy what I call “Bubble Bath Books”. These books, like the Stephanie Plum Series, are entertaining, lighthearted, funny, and can be read in one long bubble bath.
6. Who are some authors that you read regardless of anything?
I really like Ken Follet. His books are historical fiction adventures. I haven’t read all of his works (Pillars of the Earth is crazy long), but the ones that I have I LOVE. Jackdaws is a truly amazing story – something everyone should read.
7. What’s on your TBR (to be read) list?
I have heard good things about The Poisonwood Bible and The Kite Runner from my friend Sarah. My friend Kristen has recommended Assassination Vacation and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. On my night stand, I have two John Grisham novels.
8. Can you recall a book that changed your life? How so?
This may be an odd choice, but I was instantly enthralled with The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton when I read it in 6th grade. I have since read the book probably 20 or so times and watched the movie even more than that. I was bullied a lot between 4th and 8th grade, so I identified with the Greasers. It may sound ridiculous, but I have spent my life seeking the type of friendship shared by that group of guys. I believe I finally found my “Greasers” when I joined my sorority in college. Though we have drifted over time, those women are the “drop anything for you” kind of friends we all need.
9. What was something you enjoyed reading as a child?
My favorite book as a child was It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny. I also loved Put Me In the Zoo and Are You My Mother. As I got older (elementary school), I fell in love with Number the Stars, Muddy Banks, and The Outsiders.
10. Where do you like to read?
I try to read every night right before bed for 15 – 30 minutes. My bed is super comfy and reading before bed helps me to clear my head of whatever to-do lists and worries that I have for the next day so that I can sleep.
11. Other than reading, what do you like doing?
I love hanging out and laughing with friends, scrapbooking, watching movies, resale shopping, and going dancing.
12. Where can we find you online?
I have a blog at Losing 8, but I haven’t posted in a while. It chronicles my journey from queen couch potato to a legitimate jogger. I have been slacking for the past few months, so I haven’t had much to report.
13. Would you like to make a shout out to any other avid readers that are online?
14. What do you challenge people to read?
Gone With the Wind is LONG, but TOTALLY worth it! The story of Scarlett and Rhett is a true classic! Also, if you haven’t read The Outsiders yet you have not truly lived through a book. It is written at a 6th grade reading level, so it could be read in only a few hours. But, the story is so powerful that you will fall in love with the characters (my favorite is Dallas Winston) and they will stay with you (especially after you watch the movie and can imagine them in the bodies of the amazing cast).
15. How about sharing five random facts about you?
– I am the only person in my high school’s history to serve as Student Council president for 2 years.
– I jogged my first 10k in December, 2011
– I am a very proud Baylor Bear. Sic ‘Em!
– Salsa is the only thing I know how to make that turns out perfect every time.
– I take a lot of pictures! 🙂