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May 28, 2013

Welcome to Armchair BEA Day 1: Introductions & Classics


Armchair BEA icon
Welcome to the first post in a series for Armchair BEA! If you're not sure what it's all about be sure to visit the Armchair BEA headquarters. They sum up the event with:

Armchair BEA is an online conference that runs in conjunction with Book Expo America in New York City. There are a large number of people around the world that are not able to join in the literary celebrations in the Big Apple, so Armchair BEA brings the celebration to you by allowing networking among other book bloggers, authors, and publishers as well as special coverage of the event, all from the comfort of your own comfy armchair.

Posted from Armchair BEA Registration is Open

I used to get really bummed out this time of year when I realized that once again I had not accomplished my goal of attending BEA. With Armchair BEA rapidly growing in popularity, I think I enjoy this more than I would walking around a giant convention center with thousands of people. This gives me the chance to save up my precious vacation time from work for more family-oriented events throughout the year.

1. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 

I am blogging from a small Illinois town outside of St. Louis, MO. I moved here in the fall of 2011 after my husband found better work here. As a born & bred Tarheel, with founding families on both sides, I am the first person in my family to move out of state! Fun fact: the town that I currently live in is actually the town that my husband grew up in before moving to North Carolina.

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?

My favorite book is a three way tie. I adored Stay with Me by Paul Griffin, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. I hadn't read any books by the first two, so they were first time authors for me. All of these books took my breath away and were very different from one another. Fans of Simone Elekeles will like Stay with Me, fans of Jennifer E. Smith will like Just One Day, and fans of gritty/heartwrenching/heartwarming realistic fiction will like If You Find Me.

3. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. 

I don't own a television. It's true. I sold my television in June of 2010 & haven't owned one since. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those "I refuse to have a television" types, it's just not been practical to own one for a long time. Now that I've adjusted to life without it, I happily enjoying watching my television programs at my leisure. I've been able to discover so many more shows since I got rid of my television thanks to Netflix & the public library that (since I'm all caught up) I can watch them online (more that 90% for free). Some of current favorites are: Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, Doctor Who, Revolution, Covert Affairs, Army Wives, Once Upon a Time, & Bones. All of those (with the exception of Doctor Who) air online within a week of the live airing & are held in a queue for approximately 4 weeks, so even if I miss a week, I can just let it roll into the next week & then I get two episodes!

4. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read? 

I'm going to kind of cheat on this one. If I had to direct you to a series of posts that I want everyone to read, it would be anything with the Genreflecting tag. I decided to do an educational experiment with genres & subgenres. One of my favorite (and most useful) tools when I did teen reader interest surveys was the Teen Genreflecting book. It contained the descriptions of the genres, the subgenres, & so many examples divided out. If my teen said they really wanted a book about survival adventures, I could pull this book out & give them a list. For each month of 2013, there will be a specific genre that will be analyzed. On Fridays there will be a basics post, a details post with author excerpts, and 2 reviews of books in the genre with a giveaway in the final post of the month. I'd love some input on your thoughts about genres, subgenres, & what they really mean for readers.

5. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why? 

I gotta say, I've had the great fortune to meet some awesome authors: Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Dessen, & Patricia Briggs just to name a few. Last year I said I'd love to meet Jennifer Echols, but this year it's a tie between Jackson Pearce & Rachel Hawkins. Both of these women are bada$$es for creating such incredible worlds for their books. Jackson Pearce has brought fairy tale retellings into a whole new ballgame. Her twists on the classics tales & the way she interweaves details connecting them all is incredible! Rachel Hawkins has a witty sense of humor that shines through her books so well. I feel instantly connected to her characters and enjoy their adventures. I was sad to hear that Hex Hall was ending, but ecstatic to hear that it got a spinoff in School Spirits.

As for classics, I am a lover of traditional classics & newer agey classics. While I wasn't thrilled with being forced to read & over analyze books in high school, I do appreciate the breadth that we covered over my four years. I loved Shakespeare from childhood, but found myself falling in love with the more contemporary books that I read in class like Nectar in a Sieve & All Quiet on the Western Front. For quite some time I hosted a feature here on Tattooed Books called Nostalgic Fridays where I covered a classic YA or middle grades book or series. While working on that feature I realized just how many classic books I had read that I really liked. From The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott to The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I even covered authors in general because I couldn't choose just one book to cover (Lois Duncan & Roald Dahl being my biggies).

I think what makes a book a classic to me is it's ability to be timeless. When I say timeless, I don't necessarily mean that it's so generic that it can't be pinpointed as belonging to a certain era; I mean that the premise of the story & the point of the story is timeless. The message that you take away at the end of the book & the way that it makes you feel should be always be able to happen no matter when someone reads the book. With that in mind, I have no qualms about calling some newer books (newer agey is my technical term) as classics. Things like Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Hate List by Jennifer Brown, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, & The Luxe by Anna Godbersen are all classic YA books to me. I cannot fathom a time when these books will cease to stir something within the reader. 

Now that I've give you my humble opinion, what are your thoughts? Do you stick with the traditional classics or have you expanded your definition to suit the changing climate of reading?

26 comments:

Ab Shepherd said...

I love the idea of your Genreflecting project. That would be so useful for so many people!

Hi - nice to meet you. BEA rocks.

Nikki H said...

I really like your Genreflecting posts! Great idea!

Thanks for stopping by Take Me Away...

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

Yay you love Doctor Who! That show is absolutely awesome. Honestly my BF and I have been thinking of getting rid of cable. I don't watch TV that often, it's all online now anyways. It's so great to meet you!

52booksorbust said...

I totally get what you're saying about not having a TV. I don't either, but I do watch a lot of netflix and catch shows on line. It's the wave of the future.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I enjoy your Genreflecting posts, though I doubt I've commented on them before... I love the idea of having that master booklist on hand for when a student wants a certain type of book. Great to know more about you!

Super Librarian said...

We still own a TV, but we don't have cable. We always get strange looks when we tell people we cut cable. Who needs it when you have Netflix, Amazon Prime instant video, and library DVDs?

I'm doing Armchair BEA too. I had originally planned to go to BEA and ALA both this year, but then I got a new job and I'm not able to take any vacation days until the 6 month mark (August).

Stormy @ Book.Blog.Bake. said...

I don't own a TV either, and I probably watch MORE shows(and enjoy them more, because I pick when I watch), than when I had a TV. It's just so easy with my laptop. I also love Supernatural & Doctor Who--probably my two favorites right now.
You're genrereflecting post sound really interesting--will definitely be reading them soon!

Katy Manck, MLS said...

I'm not much of a TV person either. We do pop into the Weather Channel first thing in the morning (vital for construction projects), a little Wheel of Fortune later on, then a whole lot of Texas Rangers baseball!

Like you, I'm a huge YA fan, so I've concentrated on books beyond bestsellers, debut authors, and smaller presses on BooksYALove = you can take the librarian out of the library, but... I still get requests from former HS students for great book recommendations!

Thanks for visiting BooksYALove, and Armchairing BEA together.

Julie S said...

I know several people who have gotten rid of cable and catch up on their shows using a computer hooked up to a TV, so it makes sense for you to go one step further and cut out the TV as well. As long as you can still watch your favorite shows, and I'm 100% with you on Supernatural (best show ever!) then there's no need for a TV. I'm gonna have to check out the genreflecting topics you have posted, it sounds like a really cool idea.

ahz1 said...

I'd love to have dinner with Patricia Briggs! Love her books. That's so cool that you don't own a TV. We don't have cable, just what comes in over the air and really, it's enough.
Welcome to Armchair BEA!
AH@Badass Book Reviews.

Chris Wolak said...

All Quiet on the Western Front is one of my all time favorite classics, too! A coworker and I bonded and became friends over that book. We even had our own WWI reading club going for a while. Glad to meet another blogger from Illinois, and especially one who has done ABEA before. :)

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

That's really cool that you don't have a tv. Every once in awhile, I think about giving mine up but I have yet to!

Alyssa Susanna said...

I've never read anything by Gayle Forman or Emily Murdoch! Will look them up :D

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Book Savvy Babe said...

there is a certain appeal these days to not owning a TV. Most of the shows are online anyways :) Anyhow, thanks so much for stopping by my blog today, happy BEA! Book Savvy Babes

Katrina Marie said...

I love your Genreflecting Project. That is seriously awesome. I rarely watch tv shows. I'm so behind on everything just because I don't have time to watch. I'll have to check out the Gayle Foreman book. I always see it in the stores, and almost pick it up. Now I need to. :D Thanks for stopping by my blog!

loreleimarsh said...

Thank you all so much for your positive feedback about my Genreflecting feature. It's nice to find fellow minds when it comes to tv shows. This kind of stuff is why I LOVE ABEA. :D

Crystal Brunelle said...

I have definitely expanded my idea of classics. Something doesn't have to be old and dusty to be a classic. It just needs to be timeless.

Jessica said...

Oh-wow-the Genreflecting project sounds amazing! In this day and age, owing a TV is sort of obsolete since you can get your fix in other formats. All Quiet on the Western Front gets me all the time especially the ending.

Have a great week participating in Armchair BEA. :)

Cici said...

We are slowly trying to get rid of the tv, but I feel a little insecure about not having instant weather. We moved from a little town outside of St. Louis (Smithton, IL) in 2010 back to Oklahoma. I hope you are enjoying a lot of what St. Louis has to offer! I look forward to seeing you around the blogosphere!

ablightedone said...

I loved Just One Day, too! The Genreflecting project is so interesting! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting! I'm jealous that you've met Maggie, I hope to meet her sometime!

Livia @ Butterfly-o-Meter Books said...

Oh yeah, online TV shows rullz. Once a week as TV will have it just frustrates the beejesus out of me. I'd love to not watch for like 6 months and then see however many episodes at once I'd like. Sigh.

I like your definition of classics, I agree. And the Genreflecting idea sounds awesome :D

Barbara Bartels said...

Wow. That's quite the introduction! I just got up. The print is small. I kept reading genuflect for genre reflect. I like your project. We are big fans of Justified here. Have always loved Elmore Leonard's books. Love Raylan Givens -- and his hats.

CeCe said...

I have a TV but we don't have cable. We watch shows online now when we want. I don't miss it at all. I'm going to go check out the genrelflecting project now : )

CeCe @ Steaming Mug of Books

Kristin said...

Isn't Maggie Stiefvater hilarious?! I've had the privilege of meeting her twice. The second time we spent a solid five minutes discussing our love of red appliances. My sister rolls her eyes every time I tell that story. My husband and I don't have TV either. He was just saying yesterday how his colleagues don't really believe him. I find it freeing though - more time to spend on activities like reading!

fredamans said...

Thanks for stopping by Freda's Voice earlier. I follow along to your blog now and it was nice getting to know you.

Happy Armchair BEA!

My anxious life said...

I admit ... no TV is crazy to me. Or maybe I am just too into TV. It is on right now in the background. I watching the last episodes of Merlin. I am about to check out your Genreflecting post now!

Angie