Please welcome Lesa from Lesa’s Book Critiques who is guest posting here today. Lesa was the winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award and the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
What do you most enjoy about blogging?
I blog about books because it gives me the chance to share my excitement about books with other readers. I originally started my blog because it gave me a place to talk about books and authors. I’m on the eighth year of Lesa’s Book Critiques, and it’s still providing me with that opportunity. I enjoy comments from readers, and I’m always eager to discover what others thought about books.
Tell us a little about you
I’m originally from Ohio, but I lived in Florida for eighteen years, and I’ve been in Arizona now for eight years. I’m the Library Manager of the Velma Teague Branch Library in Glendale, Arizona. I’ve worked in libraries since I was sixteen. I’m passionate about books, my cats, and theater. I enjoy traveling, although last year was the first time in a number of years that I’ve had much chance to do it. Last year, I went to Santa Fe, New York City, Los Angeles, and home to Ohio twice.
You get through an enormous number of books a year, how many pages do you think you average in an hour?
I read 188 books last year. I don’t find that an enormous number when I know that Barbara Peters, owner of the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, read over 300. I average about fifty pages an hour.
Which authors inspire you?
Inspire me? That’s an interesting word. I normally read for entertainment, so I’m not looking for inspiration. Regina Brett inspires me with her two books, God Never Blinks and Be the Miracle. Now, if you ask who my favorite mystery authors are, I would answer Louise Penny and Chris Grabenstein.
You mention that you like mysteries. Is there any particular mysteries that you enjoy most i.e Hard boiled, cozies, thrillers.
I read a little bit of everything. I have a book cart sitting beside me at the moment, with books on it that I’ve read in the last three months. There’s a thriller on it, a police procedural, a suspense novel, a historical mystery, and a traditional mystery. However, I don’t read many thrillers or hard-boiled crime novels. I prefer traditional mysteries, police procedurals, and cozies. As I said, I read 188 books last year, and 105 of them were crime novels or mysteries.
Do you prefer to read books in print or e-books?
I prefer books in print. I want to hold the book in my hand, turn the pages, see and read the book jacket. I want to flip back to an earlier portion of the book. It’s much easier to review a book from the print copy because I can find the pages or passages I’m looking for when I write the review. I do own a Kindle. I use it to read some ARCs, and, once in a while, I will buy an e-book when I can’t find it in another format, or I want to read it immediately. Here’s one of my personal quirks about e-books, though. I like to know what page I’m on, and how far I still have to go in a book. I can’t do that with e-books. If I have a print book and an e-book in front of me, the same title, I’ll read the print book every time.
I do understand those people who prefer e-books because they can enlarge the type,
or it’s easier for them to hold because it’s light weight. And, I know travelers prefer
to only carry an e-reader rather than multiple print books. I’m still a print book
Have you done any author interviews that stand out?
My favorite interviews have been the ones with debut authors. When I find a new author and love their book, I have the chance to introduce them to readers on my blog. When their first books were published, I interviewed mystery authors Deborah Coonts, Stefanie Pntoff, Carol K. Carr, and Esri Albritten. Esri’s book just came out this past year, but all three of the other authors have already published second or third mysteries. And, one of my favorite interviews was with Beth Hoffman, author of the New York Times bestseller, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. I loved that book. I reviewed it for Library Journal. After I reviewed it, Beth and I became good friends. She came here to Arizona to visit, and took the time to appear at the library for me. But, she and I became friends. Beth just sent her second manuscript off to her editor.
What can we expect for 2012? Anything new coming up on your blog?
I host a series of programs at the Velma Teague Library called Authors @ The Teague. When I host those, I recap the programs, and I recap any programs I attend at the Poisoned Pen as well. So, recaps will be appearing on my blog after I host mystery authors Deborah Crombie, Hilary Davidson, Rhys Bowen, Cara Black and Libby Hellmann, as well as nutrition author Beth Aldrich. I’m running a little late, but I will have an interview with Kristin Hannah on my blog next month. And, just so readers know, I run a weekly contest on my blog, Lesa’s Book Critiques, in which I give away books. A new contest kicks off every Thursday night.
Thanks for visiting today, Lesa.
You can find Lesa at Lesa's Book Critiques. Hop on over and say hello.