Monday, 4 June 2012

Armchair BEA: Introductions

This is my first year of participating in Armchair BEA and I'm hoping to meet some great new bloggers.  The task for today is to introduce myself by answering some interview questions:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I'm Sam (the female kind), I'm 26 and I'm a primary school teacher from the UK.  I'm just finishing up my third year as a full time teacher and so far it's been a rollercoaster - I've come a long way but I still have so much to learn.  I'm studying astrophysics in my free time and I'm just coming up to my one year wedding anniversary.  I've been blogging for two years in August.  I used to have a livejournal and I got into book blogging when one of my livejournal friends started a book blog - Borough of Books.

2. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Ever since reading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, I've dreamed about visiting and touring Eastern Europe.  The furthest East I've been so far is Vienna, but one day I will make it to Romania, I'm sure.

3. What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I don't tend to stick to any memes - I do the Sunday Salon every now and again and if I've just bought a few books I might do the odd post to show them off.  My favourite feature is honestly reviews and that's what I look for on other blogs too.  In my Google reader I tend to skim past memes and hunt out the reviews.

4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I'm currently reading Agnes Grey by Charlotte Bronte.  I've read more classics since starting blogging and I am enjoying this one, perhaps because as a teacher I can relate to the role of governess.  My favourite read of 2012 so far is Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch.  It's set in Victorian London and is about a street boy who ends up as a sailor.  I knew nothing about it before starting so was shocked and caught up with what happens when there is a shipwreck.

5. Where do you see your blog in five years?

I hope to still be posting reviews about books I've enjoyed and connecting with other book bloggers.  I'm not bothered about switching to Wordpress or buying my own domain, I just want to carry on enjoying book blogging.

62 comments:

  1. Dude, Kostova did such a good job of making the places in The Historian appealing. She apparently read a bunch of old travel guides while writing it. Also I LOVE AGNES GREY. Anne: the unappreciated Bronte.

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    1. Oh, I know. I also wanted to visit Istanbul after reading the book, Kostova would be an awesome travel writer. I'm only a little bit into Agnes Grey but I really like it so far. The only Bronte I've not enjoyed is Emily, Wuthering Heights was just too much meoldrama for me.

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    2. Yessss I hate Wuthering Heights. But I think I read it when I was like 18, so I've been meaning to give it another try just in case it sucks less.

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  2. Eastern Europe is a good answer. I've been to Prague, but I would love to tour more extensively in that part of the continent.

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    1. One of my friends did a month long trip around Eastern Europe and the photos make it look so amazing. One day....

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  3. Hi Sam!
    I really liked Agnes Grey, although a lot of people don't. Congrats on your upcoming anniversary! And it is VERY AWESOME that you're studying astrophysics in your free time! I've been reading a lot of science-y books lately and I'm looking for a good basic physics textbook for self-study, since I'm not actually in college I just find physics (and quantum physics) fascinating.

    Anyways, Happy ABEA!

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    1. Hi Sarah :)
      Astrophysics is hard work, but so very fascinating. I've not touched on Quantum Physics yet but I've read a few books about it and it's just so mind-bloggling isn't it?

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  4. Enjoy your first anniversary! So much fun! I can't wait to get into Agnes Grey. I'm still trying to figure out if I am a Bronte fan or not... so I'll just keep trying to read them when I can!

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    1. Thanks Sarah!
      I am a fan of Charlotte and Anne Bronte, but I have to admit to not really liking Wuthering Heights by Emily.

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  5. Eastern Europe sounds great. I love reviews as well.

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    1. I don't mind the odd meme but I have to admit that I am a bit put off if a blog is all memes with not much review content. I love reading reviews and getting book recommendations from them.

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  6. Not a new one -- old follower here. Just saying "hello!" Kostavos' world is a great choice. I, too, tend to "hunt for the reviews" although I do enjoy a couple of the memes too.

    Have a great BEA! My BEA Post

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    1. Hope you have a great BEA too Annette :)

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  7. Hi Sam! Thanks for dropping by to read my Armchair BEA post. It's nice to meet you! I am a big fan of your home country. Haven't read Agnes Grey, yet. I'm working on reading fewer ARCs so I can get back to the books on my shelves, particularly classics. Eastern Europe sounds like a great place to visit. I've only been to Paris on the continent. I really need to branch out. :)

    Happy Armchair BEA!

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    1. That's something I am trying to do too - cut back on ARCs as there are so many books on my shelves I've been waiting for years to read. Agnes Grey is wonderful so far, I would highly recommend it.

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  8. I don't really stick to memes either but I love doing them :) New follower :) Check out my responses here

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    1. Thanks for visiting, off to visit your blog :)

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  9. I too need to gush about your reading tastes -- they're like mine, so thus, they're awesome! ;) I've started following you -- looking forward to your reviews and other posts -- I suspect you're going to cause my TBR to expand!

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    1. I love meeting bloggers who like the same books as me, although it's never good for my TBR list!

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  10. I'm the same way with Memes, although I do love seeing what people are reading with the It's Monday one!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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    1. You're welcome, thanks for stopping by mine :)

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  11. Studying astrophysics in your spare time is awesome and so confusing for my non-sciency brain to grasp.

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    1. To be honest, my brain is a bit non-sciency too, which is why I decided to challenge myself with astropshyics. It's fascinating but hard work!

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  12. I've never read The Historian, but touring that area would be SO awesome. Aside from a trip to Mexico, I've never been out of the US.

    I love classics and enjoyed Agnes Grey, but I never have time to read them anymore! I'm always so busy.

    Hope you have a great week! :)

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    1. What was Mexico like? I'd love to visit one day.

      I am really enjoying Agnes Grey, I think especially because I'm a teacher so it's easy to related to her.

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  13. You sound so casual about your astrophysics studies on the side. That makes my brain bleed a little to even think about it.

    I sooooo want to read The Historian. I think I even own it, but I have no idea where it is. And now I want to read Jamrach's Menagerie even more.

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    1. Inside, I am definitely not causual - it's a lot of hard work and it makes my brain ache at times. But it's interesting, so that makes up for the hard work.

      You must read the Historian!

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  14. I loved The Historian and think a trip through Eastern Europe sounds like heaven. I've always wanted to traipse through Bucharest and Budapest.

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  15. I never seem to get around to doing any memes. I see them posted on other blogs and think oh, I could write about that - and then I forget... Sometimes I find the meme themes really interesting - at other times, I just completely ignore them. I really want to read The Historian - it's been on my wish list for ages!

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    1. I am the same, I can just about keep up with my reviews, so any extra posting usually doesn't get done!
      Hope you do get a chance to read The Historian, it's a wonderful book.

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  16. Congrats on your upcoming wedding anniversary! I'm a little bit of the opposite with memes - I like them and don't read a ton of book reviews. But I like memes like Top 10 Tuesday, with a topic where the answer is related to books people have actually read and not just want to read all the time.

    Tanya
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting Tanya! I like Top 10 Tuesday too and have got some good recommendations from it. I don't do it myself, as I find it hard to think of 10 books for each topic - I guess my mind just doesn't work that way!

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  17. Hi Sam - Astrophysics seems like an unusual thing to study on your own time. Teaching is tough - I know I used to do it too! It was nice to learn a little more about you

    Thanks for visiting Book'd Out earlier - enjoy Armchair BEA!

    Shelleyrae

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    1. I guess it is a bit unusual but I've just always found space fascinating and it's nice to finally learn a bit more about it (my first degree is in psychology).

      And you're right, teaching is tough. Thankfully it's our half term break at the moment, so I can recharge my batteries a little.

      Enjoy Armchair BEA!

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  18. Oh I am so with you on Eastern Europe ;) I have been pretty much obsessed with that place since reading The Historian! I'm hoping next time I get to Europe to spend some time in Eastern Europe, and not just France. Happy almost 1 year wedding anniversary ;)

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    1. I hope you get a chance too, Kelly. Even though I live in Europe, there are so many places that I've not been too yet. One day...

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  19. Happy early anniversary! I think you are a brave woman, teaching young children! I am terrible with kids unless I'm left one-on-one with them for a while. I can't imagine facing a roomful of them alone!

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    1. I am fine facing a roomful of them alone, bizarrely it's when another adult is present that I find the job more difficult. It's an exhausting job, but can be very rewarding.

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  20. Hello...stopping by to say Hi. I'm not participating in the Armchair BEA, but reading all of the posts has been fun. It's always great learning a bit more about fellow book bloggers.

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    1. Hi Diane :)
      It has been fun - I've learned new things about bloggers that I've been following for a year or more.

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  21. Oh, I loved The Historian! I'm hoping to make it to Eastern Europe to travel at some point as I think it would be a fascinating trip. There's so much history there and that book just gave me even more reason to want to go!

    Check out my intro here: http://bibliothec.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/kicking-off-armchair-bea-with-meet-the-blogger-all-about-me/

    It's nice to have met you and I'm always glad to see teachers and media specialists blogging!

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    1. Nice to meet you too :)
      One of my friends has actually done the Eastern Europe tour and she said it was a trip of a lifetime. We're saving to buy a house at the moment but as soon as that is done, I am saving for Eastern Europe!

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  22. I started relating to governesses in 19th-century literature a lot more after I became a teacher, too. Kind of strange how some things don't change, eh? Maybe someday I'll read Agnes Grey...

    It's lovely to meet you and I hope you have fun during Armchair BEA.

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    1. Tasha, you must read Agnes Grey as really, nothing has changed. The children could be children in any one of my classes. I'm very much enjoying it :)

      Nice to meet you, off to check out your blog.

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  23. I'm kind of with you on the memes ... if I see a bunch of them in my Google Reader and I'm pressed for time, those are usually the ones I skim over, too.

    Enjoy Armchair BEA!

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    1. Melissa, glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  24. Eastern Europe would be a neat place to visit. Although, I would want to wait until I find the area where my family came from (somewhere in Slovakia I think).

    Early Happy Anniversary!

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    1. How interesting that your family came from Slovakia - I hope you do get a chance to visit someday :)

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  25. Oh, Sam, for such a long time I've thought you were Sam the male kind :)
    Loved finding out so much about you, and loved the giveaway too.

    Please do visit my book blog, and if you like it, please follow. It's mostly reviews, hardly any memes.

    http://riversihaveknown.com/

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    1. Hehe, it happens more than you would think! I am technically a Samantha but I've always been just Sam.

      And I love your blog, I've been following it for a while :)

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  26. We visited eastern Europe last year, it was a fantastic trip although we didn't get to Romania. My family is all eastern European. I enjoyed The Historian too! Hope you get there.

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    1. I am officially jealous! Which places did you visit?
      My family is all from the UK, like me, so not much chance of exotic holidays!

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  27. I'm a little behind with the Intro posts for Armchair BEA. My day yesterday was interrupted numerous times to my frustration!

    You have had quite a buy few years with this blog, being a new teacher, a newlywed and studying astrophysics, which fascinates me!

    I agree with you completely about wanting to continue enjoying book blogging. The day I don't (more like the month or two!) I won't do it anymore.


    I can relate to your desire to visit Romania after reading The Historian. I've wanted to visit St. Petersburg, Russia ever since I read a biography of Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra many years ago. I haven't made the trip yet but I still have time! I hope you get to Romania soon!

    I love your blog, your book reviews are among some of my favorite in this community!
    Have a great week, Sam

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    1. It was a busy day on the blog front yesterday, wasn't it! Hectic, but lovely to meet so many new people and learn more about old friends too.

      I like to be busy, I've got the kind of brain that always needs something to do!

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  28. I want to carry on enjoying book blogging, too. Otherwise, there's not much point. I think your idea of going to Romania is great! Not only for the same feelings that The Historian inspired in me, but for Dracula as well. How about a trip this October? ;)

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    1. I would love to go on a trip this October! I'm sure my headteacher wouldn't mind letting me have a month or so off at the beginning of the new academic year :P
      Seriously though, one day I will go.

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  29. Thank you so much for visiting my blog- I'm very glad you did as I think we probably have very similar reading tastes. All the books on your giveaway are on my wish list (except the Jamrach one, which I've never heard of but immediately added to the wish list).

    And I hear you on the memes. I wish there was a way to block certain posts from showing up on the Google Reader. I understand that some people really like them, but I just am not very interested.

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  30. How are you liking Agnes Grey? It's sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I'd also love to visit Romania! But without the being chased or chasing a creepy vampire, I'm more of a tourist ;)

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  31. I'm sad that I didn't participate in Armchair BEA this year....I think I was just too disappointed that I didn't get to BEA itself!

    Enjoy this event!

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  32. I used to use Livejournal too. I haven't been on there in over a year though. Probably should just take down my journal. LOL Once I started my book blog I stopped writing on my journal. I used to write about everything there except book reviews. Go figure. ;)

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  33. Hi Sam: I'm happy to have discovered your blog through Armchair BEA. Thanks for stopping by mine!

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