By Goodreads Staff | Published May 14, 2013 05:29PM
Member Name: Anna (AnnaReads.com)Joined Goodreads:
I was a late adopter, but I'm oh-so-glad
I finally did!Number of books shelved:
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 Clare
...so many of my favorite authors.
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!
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