Goodreads Voice: Anna Heinemann

By Goodreads Staff | Published May 14, 2013 05:29PM

Member Name: Anna (

Joined Goodreads: September 2010
I was a late adopter, but I'm oh-so-glad
I finally did!

Number of books shelved: 731

Things Anna Likes: "I like it when a dude has to teach a girl to fight...and then they fall in love!
What do you do?: I blog about young adult literature. I tend to take a sillier stance on things, from making stick figure videos to a series I call "Awful Drawings of Things I Like in Books." What can I say? I'm not afraid to get creative!

I volunteer at an amazing organization called 826CHI, created by author Dave Eggers, that encourages kids to write. Anna Reads was somewhat inspired by that—but with the angle of "Why not encourage them to read, too?" Of course, with so many adults (like me) reading young adult literature these days, it's more of an all-ages blog, but that was my original trigger.

Plus, it's pretty selfish: I'm hopelessly passionate about books, and it's nice to have met so many readers and bookish friends who 100 percent get what that's like and are willing to talk books any time of the day.

Perks of the job: I have met so many authors since I started this blog that I've devoted an entire page to the pictures documenting it all. Truly, I feel very blessed for the opportunities blogging has afforded me. I've met Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Cassie many of my favorite authors.

Anna with Jennifer E. Smith
The first author I met after starting the blog was Andrea Cremer, whose book Nightshade had just been released. She told me I looked like her main character, and I remember being so flattered and struck by how lovely it was to get to put a face and personality to the author's name. It's spurred on many similar meetings since.

My most recent author encounter was at a book release party for This Is What Happy Looks Like last month. Jennifer E. Smith has always been very generous with me in terms of guest posts, kind words, etc., so it was a treat to get to meet in person. I'm a major fan.

Best Goodreads discovery: My biggest Goodreads "win" to date has been discovering Angelfall by Susan Ee. It wasn't widely published, not a book I'd really heard much about—yet reviews kept popping up in my feed. When I finally clicked over, it had thousands of reviews and a nearly five-star rating. Trusting the Goodreads masses, I got a copy...and fell in love! I think my review said something super professional like: "OMG I NEED MORE NOW." I was a little overexcited to have found a book so unexpectedly and to have enjoyed it that much.

Favorite childhood book: My favorite childhood books were, by far, any of the Sweet Valley books (Team Elizabeth!). I was the younger sister by three years, so I always felt like I was stuck reading the "baby" version of these books (Sweet Valley Twins, Baby-sitters Little Sister, etc.) while my big sister got to read the "real" ones. I was quite young but a voracious enough reader to want more of a challenge, so I very distinctly remember sneaking around the library to check out Sweet Valley High books, hoping my parents wouldn't notice me. I was so nervous they'd stop me because they were too risqué for my age. I felt so daring!

Anna with friends at Anderson's Bookshop
Favorite local bookshop: We're blessed here in the Chicagoland area to have Anderson's Bookshop nearby in Naperville. It's a hefty drive out from the city after work, but so many brilliant authors come by that it's absolutely worth the trek.

Favorite place to read: Coming from the Midwest, I don't get to do it a lot, but when I have the opportunity, my favorite place to read is the beach. Aside from one tragic incident involving a trip to the Bahamas, a poorly timed reach for my piña colada, and a Kindle that was very much broken for the rest of the trip, it's quite blissful to read while the sun shines down and the waves crash in.

Unexpected favorite: Verse novels have always scared me. It's quite unreasonable—I love poetry—but I never quite "got" what they were about. Then again, I'd never tried them until Lisa Schroeder's The Day Before. That book was such a great whirlwind of a read—it really opened my eyes to trying new types of books. No more automatically writing them off!

Go-to recommendation: Always and forever, my go-to recommendation is Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I've sort of become known around the blogosphere as an evangelist over it, but I'm not exaggerating when I say it encapsulates young adulthood better than any novel I've ever read. The series follows Jessica Darling from freshman year of high school into her mid-twenties—sort of "new adult" before that ever became a thing. And now there's a "prequel" of middle-grade books coming out. It's one of the most heartwarming, realistic, hilarious stories I've ever read, and I don't think I'll ever be able to put into words just how much and why I love it so. Just trust me on it!

Tags: 2013-may and meet-member

Comments (showing 1-30 of 30) (30 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Angie (new)

Angie Great post! I follow Anna's blog and love it!!

message 2: by Erica (new)

Erica Yay! Go Anna! I love her blog.

Ashley (yAdult Review) YAY! Anna!

message 4: by Krissy (new)

Krissy I'd like to add a YAY here. Anna is the best :)

message 5: by Annie (new)

Annie Oooh, go Anna! You're the BEST!

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol Weston Fun to read this! I'm the author of Girltalk (which I wrote in Evanston) and have been "Dear Carol" at Girls' Life Magazine since 1994. I'm glad you are getting kids to read! I made a youtube called Turn Your Kids Into Readers, and my next novel is about Ava -- whose name, like yours, Anna, is a palindrome...
--Carol Weston

Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books) Wow really cool that they picked Anna!! Her blog is fab :)

message 8: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (The Lost Book Reports) So cool to see Anna on here, I love her blog!

message 9: by Wkocher19 (new)

Wkocher19 What a shock to open my YA Goodreads newsletter and see a familiar face! Such a blast from the past and since we obviously share a similar taste in books (I was an obsessed SVH reader & Elizabeth's biggest fan), I will be checking your blog out ASAP. Fun!

- Whitney (aka 'red sweater girl' LOL)

message 10: by Emmah (new)

Emmah I love the Sloppy Firsts series. And I have the other books you mentioned up in tabs to check out.
It was weird to see Jamie on here in a picture with you, because I follow her on twitter and follow her blog!

message 11: by Nadia (new)

Nadia Who knew opening my YA newsletter would help me
discover a fantastic blog? Anna is awesome! I love her
posts and quite honestly she shares the same tastes as
me! YAY!! =D
SVH rules! Go team Liz!!
I will be keeping track of Anna's posts! Totally fun!!

message 12: by Lisette (new)

Lisette Brodey Hi, Anna!

Loved reading this! You're awesome!

Happy Reading! Happy Blogging!


message 13: by Marita (new)

Marita That's my girl....

message 14: by Netta (new)

Netta love sloppy first series!!!! doing inner happy dance to news of prequels. So excited. will defintly check out your blog

message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah A great verse book is Heartbeat by Sharon Creech. A read for elementary school kids, but still, it's great. Have you read it, Anna?

message 16: by Janice (new)

Janice Ok, I'm really going to read Sloppy Firsts.

message 17: by Azain (new)

Azain amazing!! i love it

message 18: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Tally I was obsessed with Sweet Valley books as a child as well! :) Love this.

message 19: by Angelique (new)

Angelique Price I am a 39 year old mother of 6. They know me by sight in the young adult section of our local library. I read several YA books per month. Love them.

message 20: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Albrecht First time I've read your post but not the last. Loved it.

message 21: by Asheley (new)

Asheley This is fun, Anna!! :)

message 22: by Sadie (last edited May 20, 2013 05:52PM) (new)

Sadie Carrieri I love your blog. Keep it up. I am Sadie Carrieri, an aspiring YA novelist at the age of 70. The newest name new adult novel rather fits me better. Anyway, I love reading your posts and will continue to check in.
Good Luck with your projects.

message 23: by Lolo (new)

Lolo Hi Anna, and Sadie Carrieri, I'm glad you brought this up. New Adult has definitely become a new genre -- the British call these books Steamies! -- and maybe Goodreads should take the lead and recognize it. They're not quite Chick Lit, not quite Romance, yet recognize today's truths: that today's teens are having sex, and that today's "girls" 20 to 30, are reading books that acknowlege it. My new trilogy "Exploso" is only one of many "New Adult" books.
But where can people click on it?
Lolo Harrison

message 24: by Sadie (last edited May 25, 2013 02:07PM) (new)

Sadie Carrieri Thanks Lolo, I like the word STEAMIES, I guess the publishers have not caught on to this yet either. Am I right?

message 25: by Piko (new)

Piko Aplo dari mohamed
n tèl : : 0213+791067342

message 26: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Carrieri Some of my recent favorite reading? Go to my new blog:

Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading* Loved the answers - and the pictures. Never heard of Sloppy seconds but it sounds good, adding it to the wishlist.

message 28: by Jibril (new)

Jibril Layinka Adult literature is another leap to comtemporary happenings..Keep it going.I love it.

message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I love the Jessica Darling series too!

message 30: by Giordana (new)

Giordana Hi Anna, if you would like to experience a different kind of reading roller-coaster ride (it's very quick):
It's a very quick read! It's not a steamie - it's more of a stormie!
Cheers, Giordana (author)

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