May 28, 2013
Welcome to Armchair BEA Day 1: Introductions & Classics
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?