Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Expo America Week! Day One.

But for those of us - bookbloggers extraordinaire - who can't attend the ACTUAL Book Expo America at the Javits Center in NYC this week, we have the next best thing: Armchair Book Expo! This week BEA is the place for book people to meet and greet, but if you can't attend in actual person, then thanks to the gals at Armchair BEA, we can hang out at a virtual convention - from the comfort of our own armchairs. Check out the website link to see what cool things the gals at Armchair BEA have in store for us this week. Books rule!

Each day this week there will be different fun things going on. Book discussions. Questions to ponder. News to absorb. Giveaways. Etc, etc, etc.

Today's exercise is to introduce ourselves (as if you didn't already know enough about me already) by responding to the following question:

Who are you and how do you Armchair?

My name is Yvette and I am a woman of a certain age. (Better than saying I'm an old biddy.) I am a proud mother and grandmother. (My beautiful granddaughter has her first birthday today!) I am an illustrator currently taking a break from the working life for various and sundry reasons. But I am gearing up towards possibly opening an etsy shop sometime next year. I am bilingual - English and Spanish, but I only read and write in English and I admit my Spanish is getting more and more rickety with age. I was lucky enough to grow up in NYC in the 50's when Manhattan was nothing but a huge playground. 

I love to read, primarily mysteries, but I'll read anything that's well-written and engages my imagination. I admit I am very opinionated about what I read, but that's who I am. I love to laugh and if we disagree on a book, I'm hoping we can agree to disagree and laugh about it at the same time. Sometimes I feel as if I've read just about everything, especially when it comes to mysteries, but then I find myself being surprised by something new - that's life.

I've been blogging since last July (no matter what google-blogger says) and being, in general, a hapless techno-phobe, I am the most surprised person in the world to find myself with a blog. Who knew the internet could be this much fun?

As much as is humanly possible, I try to post something every day. I blog about books, movies (mostly vintage), art (and design) and really, just about anything else that catches my peripatetic eye. Eclectic is my middle name. (Or so I like to think.)

I love mysteries, thrillers, suspense and once in a while a good spy drama. Occasionally I read romance, science-fiction, fantasy and even so-called 'serious literature'. I've been known to read  steampunk, cyber-punk and the category-defying books of Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde.  I also read non-fiction, especially history, biography and travel. I am very fond of books set before and/or during WWII. I'm also fond of childrens' picture books and I have a nice little collection.

In general (unless I have a very good reason) I don't read YA (Young Adult) novels, although lately I've read a few I've liked so that may be changing. In general, I avoid books filled with teenage angst. I don't read horror, I don't read 'happy hitman' books. I don't read blood thirsty serial killer books. I dislike over-the-top violence unless the author convinces me that it's necessary and writes it in a way that doesn't make me cringe. I also have little if any interest in vampires, zombies or other variety/combos of  the undead. I'm not crazy about books written from a hundred (I exagerate) multiple viewpoints unless it is very, VERY well done. I don't read e- books unless ABSOLUTELY necessary.

And another thing: I rarely read books written in the present tense.. Don't like it at all. Don't understand why it's suddenly all the rage. Exception to the rule: I've just read THE HUNGER GAMES which is, more or less, written in the first person. (Review coming up later.) But only because a good friend insisted I do so. Sometimes, as you know, you just have to please your friends.

If you check out my blog's left hand sidebar, you'll see a listing of some of my favorite books beginning with my numero uno of all time: Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. After that, it's an eclectic mix.

I am a big fan of the Golden Age of Mysteries - authors like: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Rex Stout -  and you'll generally find a review of one or two of them mixed in with all the regular stuff I like to post about. Saturday morning, I post A Favorite Painting but I'm always ready to talk artwork and artists and I take any opportunity I can to post vintage mystery book covers simply because I love the graphic look of them. I'm also always ready to dish old movies, especially those from the 40's, 50's and 60's.

Okay, enough about me. What about you? I'm off to get acquainted with the other Armchair BEA bloggers and see what they're up to this week.

Thanks again to the gals at Armchair Book Expo for making all this come together in such a friendly and useful way.

illustration by Edward Gorey. To read about and see more Gorey work, please go here.


  1. I am so glad I found your blog! I am a Native New Yorker, now transplanted to Pennsylvania because of work. I love vintage mysteries too -- are you participating in the Vintage Mystery Challenge at My Reader's Block? I have my first Ngaio Marsh teed up for this summer!

  2. Of a certain age, I wish I could put that in on online stupid forms, .... and please, I confess my ignorance, but what is.. YA as in YA novels.?
    Thank you.
    "Life is but a daily quest for knowledge"

  3. Col: Thanks so much for dropping by. I am still participating in the Vintage Challenge at MY READER'S BLOCK. I finished my category and I'm now just adding titles as I go along. I LOVED this challenge. It was SO EASY! Speaking of Ngaio Marsh, I did a Marsh reading binge last year and read tons of her books. I hope you're going to love them as much as I do. :)

  4. Davo: Thanks for visiting. I'm sorry for the confusion. YA means Young Adult. It's an arbitrary genre category. The funny thing is that as soon as I wrote that I realized that I'd be reviewing a YA book today. Life is full of contradictions. :)

  5. Yvette, I'll be at BEA this week - partly representing my wife, the school librarian with the busted knee. This year, it's sharing the Javits Center with BlogWorld, which is always fun. And on Friday, there's a Book Blogger Convention tacked onto the end of BEA. Should be an interesting week! But I like the idea of Armchair BEA as well - no reason why online participation can't be available for those who can't make it physically!

  6. Les: Oh, I'm jealous. Have fun and remember to report when you come back. The last time I went was in 2003. It was lots of fun, but boy, I was exhausted by the time the day was over. LONG day. Don't think I could manage it now, though. Those days have come and gone. :)

    But I did enjoy picking up free books.

  7. Hi Yvette - Happy birthday to your granddaughter! I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time last year and it is now one of my favorite books of all time. I hope that you enjoy your Armchair BEA week!

  8. Kristi: Thanks for dropping by! And thanks for the birthday wishes for my little granddaughter. This coming weekend will be party central! Can't wait.

    I'm glad you enjoyed PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It's never too late to discover a classic.
    I'm looking forward to the week at virtual BEA. :)

  9. Omigosh, this may convince me to read P&P yet.

    This is a terrific idea. The questions are fun, and your answers are just great.

    I think my book dislikes are quite similar. (I spent the weekend reading two mysteries, one by Jo Nesbo, which was good, but a bit too graphic in the violence and a serial killer, to boot, not my theme of choice). And with the demanding Dachshund who wore me out. I'm still trying to figure out how an 18-pound dog can wear out and wear down an adult.

    I love the cartoon. If I can figure out how to copy it, I'll send id on. And the graphic is so true, a book and a dog, preferably a nondemanding one.

  10. Kathy: Obviously I'm back to commenting. :)

    Oh, you should definitely give P&P a chance. As I said: it's my favorite book of all time.

  11. Amazing. My sister loves Jane Austen. I never got that.

    I was reading Steinbeck, Dreiser, Maugham, Sinclair, even Zola in high school, while discovering mysteries.

  12. To each his (or her) own. :)


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