It’s been a while between blogs but this week I am happy to bring you the next blog in our Blog Love series. Amanda from That Book You Like… has been been caught up in real life quite heavily since we started the feature but finally we have managed to sit her down long enough to answer our questions.
Hi Amanda, welcome to Beauty and Lace and thanks for talking to us.
How did you get started as a book blogger?
Firstly, I should say that reading has always been one of my favourite things, and I’ve collected books for as long as I can remember. Becoming a book blogger was really a natural extension to that, but it wasn’t until I had an ‘excuse’ to take a break from my corporate day job that I had time to turn my reading hobby into a writing hobby.
A little over three years ago, not long after the birth of my second son, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As you’d imagine, it required a lot of treatment, and also meant that I had to scale back my paid job a bit for a while. This gave me more time at home, more time with my kids, and more time to read. Along with that came the chance to establish my book blog That Book You Like… It started off small, and has grown into an amazing community of book lovers from around Australia.
In short, That Book You Like… is my silver-lining, and gives me a wonderful reason to read and do lovely things with my kids and family, and then to share them with others.
What is your background?
My education was all about literature and writing, but once I started working I found myself following a slightly different path. For most of my working life I’ve been working in education, firstly as a teacher and then as an education manager. Whilst taking a break from my full-time role, I’ve been focused more on editing, writing and web design – all of which I’ve loved.
On the home front, I’ve a lovely husband and I’m mum to two boys. They’re both at school now, and we’re having a ball watching them grow and learn more each day.
Tell us about your blog?
Essentially, That Book You Like… is a place to discover and discuss all things bookish. And, it’s not just limited to books. Although reading is my first love, I also adore arts, films, events and all things lovely. As such, readers can find TBYL getting involved in a pretty interesting range of activities and trying out a lot of different goodies.
The blog features stacks of reviews, author interviews, and competitions. I aim to include a bit of something for everyone and I also hope it helps take some of the guess work out of choosing what to read next! Our spin-off group, the TBYL Book Club is also an excellent place to connect with other book lovers and to chat about shared reading experiences.
Is blogging a hobby or a job for you?
The blog itself is a hobby, but the TBYL Store (our online store) is a little more commercial and links closely to the blog… what better way to find out what book to buy next than to read all about it?! We’ve also just recently started running events, and you can check out the latest TBYL Events on our website at www.thatbookyoulike.com.au.
What is your favourite book of all time?
Like most bookworms, I’ve got many, many favourites, but if I had to pick my favourite of all time it would be Tom Robbin’s ‘Jitterbug Perfume’. The story is absolutely magical, it’s complex and quirky and the tale is visceral, romantic, and beautifully mythical. It’s also just a little bit ridiculous. I love it!
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading two books at the moment, firstly ‘Madame Bovary’ by Gustave Flaubert. It’s one of the new Pink Popular Penguins, all of which I’m looking forward to adding to my collection when they’re released later this month. I’m also reading ‘Forged with Flames’ by Ann Fogarty and Anne Crawford. Next up is the new Jodi Picoult novel.
Which author would you most like to meet and why?
I would absolutely love to meet Doris Lessing. Her books were a huge influence on me when I was younger, and she strikes me as a fascinating, intelligent and talented woman. I would also love to chat with Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) and Alice Walker (The Colour Purple)
What book would you like to see made into a movie?
Mmm, this is a tricky one. I read Gillian Mears’ ‘Foal’s Bread’ last year, and think that’d make a pretty beautiful film – very Australian, quite heartbreaking. This novel reminded me very much of my grandparents, and I’d love to see if the film would too.
What future plans do you have for your blog?
Essentially I’m looking forward to doing more of what we’re doing, and seeing our readership grow. The team of TBYL Reviewers is growing, and I can’t wait to keep adding new voices to the blog – more reviews from more great readers. I’m also really excited about our latest initiative TBYL Events: book it in… and I hope to be able to bring great authors to our bookish community face-to-face and online.
Name 3 of your favourite blogs?
In short, I love it. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to share my love of reading with a great community of people. The conversation day-to-day is wonderful, and I can’t imagine being without it. I love being able to share reading ideas with people, and hope that maybe I can encourage others to take a little time out to read a good book, see a show, look at some art… just to slow down and spend a little time doing something lovely.