Hello Melissa from Bookmark Dragon!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! I’m Melissa – reader, writer, list maker, Beatles lover, chocolate and Thai food eater (not together), and keeper of Bookmark Dragon. I was born and raised in southern California, and have since lived in Massachusetts, Italy, and Indiana, though I currently live in none of those places. My husband and I and our adorable, squishy, 1-year-old daughter currently call Salt Lake City home. One of my dearest wishes is that our next home is located in a part of the world that does not snow.
We talk mostly about books and book-to-film adaptations over at Bookmark Dragon, but in case you want to know a little more about the woman behind the blog… I like card games, MarioKart, black nail polish, interior design, organizing things, Shakespeare, the corner pieces of the brownie pan, I got my bachelors and MA in literature (I really like this stuff) and have never lost a limbo contest. I also have not participated in a limbo context in about a decade, but that’s hardly relevant.
How did you end up here in the world of book blogging?
Short Answer: Bookmark Dragon launched in October 2013! Woot woot!
Long Answer: I read bookish blogs for several years before starting my own. I love reading book blogs! I’m an avid reader and writer myself, so it seemed like a natural fit, and I considered it many times but could never bite the bullet. You see, I have very high privacy settings, personally, and the internet is a very public place. I’m one of those people who you spend months and months getting to know before opening up and talking about the deep stuff. And it seems like the most popular book blogs are the blogs with very transparent authors. So it took me a while to balance my yearning to talk about books and reading with my desire to keep my private life private. I’m so glad I decided to try it, though. I may not post pictures of my daughter on my blog, but I’ve found there are plenty of things I still feel comfortable talking about! During National Poetry Month (April) I was able to talk about a poem that helped me through a miscarriage and all the physical and emotional pain that accompanied that experience, for example. So I’ve found ways to share more vulnerable parts of myself without feeling like I’m exposing too much for comfort. It’s been a wonderful experience and I love being an active participant in the book blogosphere rather than just an observer from the sidelines.
What types of books do you enjoy reading?
ALL OF THEM.
But especially fiction.
And especiallier YA and adult fiction with a lot of action/adventure and social commentary.
(Fantasy, dystopia, paranormal, historical fiction, fairy tale adaptations, and sci-fi are surefire winners, but lately I’ve been known to dig a good contemporary. Romance for the sake of romance isn’t really my cuppa, but if there’s also a great plot involved in the story then BRING ON THE SWOONS.)
What do you bring to the world of book blogging? What’s unique about your perspective of books?
The Sesame Street song “There’s Just One Me” just popped in my head after reading that question. So… my penchant to sing Sesame Street at random and probably inappropriate moments?
Here’s a better answer: I think one of the more unique things about my blog is the cast lists I post when I cast fictitious films of the books I read. In my next life I think I’ll be a casting director, because I really love it.
Do you have any helpful hints about blogging?
Be kind! I once read that the number one emotion on social media is anger. Sad, right? How about putting positive vibes out there instead. Be helpful and encouraging on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blogger, or whatever else you use. I’ve found you’ll never regret kindness, but you might regret anger. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Be kind.
This is in no way helpful if you need more technical blogging tips, but it’s still the best hint I’ve received so I thought I’d pass it on.
When you go to the library (or bookstore), you bring a list of books to get or do you browse to find your next book?
Library: I put books on hold online and the library emails me when they’re ready and I just swing by and pick them up. It’s great!
Bookstore: I just browse and smile and sigh and enjoy and pick up way too many books all while muttering under my breath about MY PRECIOUSSSS. It’s great! (Though might scare other bookstore patrons.)
What books do you constantly recommend to other people?
I feel like I’m always pushing Rainbow Rowell onto some unsuspecting soul. I also recommend Sharon Shinn a lot. I love her writing, and feel like so few people know about her. I’m also a huge fan of Marissa Meyer, Cinda Williams Chima, Veronica Rossi, Shannon Hale, Caitlin Horrocks, Markus Zusak, Rae Carson, J.K. Rowling, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Leigh Bardugo. The top three adult books I find I’m always recommending are probably:
-Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
-Life of Pi by Yann Martell
-Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The top three YA books I find I’m always recommending are probably:
-Troubled Water by Sharon Shinn
-The Giver by Lois Lowry
-Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for hosting this Behind the Blog series! I love hearing a little more about other book bloggers, and am so excited to participate myself!
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