What I Read (1): Monique

So I thought after two years of blogging about books and writing reviews and posting stuff about books and basically talking about myself over and over again, it’s time to start opening the floor blog to some guests! Introducing my first semi-regular blog feature, What I Read.

What I Read

In What I Read, I invite a guest to talk about the books they read. Yes, yes, I know everyone does that in their own blogs, but I want to be specific this time. I believe all readers have very different tastes, and what might work for one might not work for another. There are certain things in certain books that could make us extremely happy or piss us off. There are also times when readers ventured out of their comfort zones and found something they really like or something they didn’t like and will mostly likely never revisit again. And I also know every reader has a guilty pleasure in the books they read — that too! :) I want to know all of that. This is a venue to talk just about that — to be as specific or as general as you want to be and not be judged for any of those little quirks that make us readers so different from each other.

The truth is, I’ve been really wanting to write something like this on my blog, but I never had the time until now, and then I thought: why not ask other readers about their own tastes, too? :)

So for the first installment of this feature, I would like to welcome one of my good friends in our Goodreads book club, Monique of Bookish Little Me. We call her Atty. Monique online because she’s a lawyer by profession, and she’s also a mom to a very, very adorable girl, Allie. Monique and I met online first, and she kindly sent me a copy of Ender’s Game when I complained about not finding a copy anywhere (interestingly, after I got what she sent me, I found copies of that book in so many bookstores). We often chat/gossip over Twitter about random things, and we push books to each other a lot. Not all our book tastes match 100%, but I like how varied her library is and how willing she is to try new books even if they’re not her usual picks. :)

Bookish Little MeIn ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

I am a diverse reader; I read anything.

In your most favorite genre, what are the things you like to read about? Any pet peeves?

Right off the bat, I have to say that I really don’t have a most favorite genre because I read practically everything, although I enjoy fiction much more than non-fiction. Majority of what I read, however, can be categorized into general contemporary fiction, which includes paranormal (Anne Rice, Deborah Harkness, Charlaine Harris), legal thrillers (John Grisham, Stieg Larsson) and, if you will allow me to sub-categorize, general-general fiction (Kazuo Ishiguro, Yann Martel, Neil Gaiman, Carlos Ruiz Zafon).

Some of Monique's favorite books

Some of Monique's favorite books - "Notice the diversity in genre. ;)"

As for pet peeves, I can’t really say I have any. If I like a book, then well and good; if I don’t, then maybe I’ll rant about how it was a waste of time, and that’s the end of it. Most of the books I pick up, however, come recommended by friends and bestsellers lists (and recently, by Goodreads people), so I’m happy to report that the batting average for the books that I like (as opposed to those I don’t) is pretty high. :)

List the shelves you look at when visiting a bookstore in chronological order.

When I go to a bookstore, it’s not usually to browse; more often than not, I have a specific title or author in mind that I want to check out, and that’s the shelf I head over to first.

However, if I do visit a bookstore just to browse, which is almost always the case when I’m at FullyBooked BHS, I always head over first to the bestsellers section/shelves. Since my taste in books is diverse, I tend to check out the top-selling titles over a specific period, and see which ones catch my fancy (depending, of course, on my mood).

I do, however, loiter around the fiction shelves more than the non-fiction ones.

What’s one genre you’ve never really ventured into? Would you ever try reading it?

The advantage of having diverse reading habits is that there isn’t a genre that you wouldn’t try venturing into. I’ve read YA, high fantasy, romance/chicklit, science fiction, historical fiction, classics, memoirs, children’s books, graphic novels, and yes, even erotica. So I guess it would be safe to say that there isn’t a genre that I haven’t read yet, and if there’s any that I’ve yet to discover, then I would gladly welcome the chance to read it.

Have you ever tried reading a book recommended to you that is outside of your comfort zone? Did you like it or not?

Yes, I have. For me, the most complicated genre – you know, the books that take a while for me to get into, or plots that take a while to get me engaged because of all the seeming peculiarities in the story – is dystopia, and I mean dystopia in general. So for purposes of “comfort zones” and going outside of it, I would consider dystopia as one genre that’s well far from the perimeter of my comfort zone, which is everything else.It doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t try to read dytopian-themed books, and there are in fact books from the genre that I’ve enjoyed, like 1984 and The Giver, to name a couple.

What’s your reading guilty pleasure? Come on, I know you have one. :P

Monique's shelves -- some of them, anyway. :)

Okay, I have to confess: there’s more than one. :D

There are days when I just feel that urge – the need! – to splurge on books, and I usually give in to these urges. Amazon, FullyBooked, Book Sale. Oh thank goodness for these stores. :)) I’ve been trying my best to remedy my book-hoarding ways because I always feel guilty not being able to have enough time to read all the books that collect dust at home (and even in the office), but there are just times that I couldn’t help it; it’s like bingeing on chocolates when you know you’re on a diet. You do know what I’m talking about, right? :D

Another guilty pleasure: buying brand-new copies of books of my favorite authors, even if I know I could get them secondhand.

Another one: I can’t not cover my print books with plastic before reading them, and write/stamp my name on the inside covers, too. Haha. :)

Thanks for your time, Monique! Last time I saw her was last weekend during our discussion of George Orwell’s 1984. I liked hearing her insights on the book, and I was impressed that she actually wrote notes on her Kindle copy and they weren’t the type of notes that I would usually write, too (e.g. OMG THEY DID THAT??? and Okay, where did this come from?). I always enjoy reading her reviews, even if they’re books I haven’t read or even ever plan on reading. :)

I’ll be featuring 1-2 readers every month for What I Read, depending on how busy I am. :D If you’re interested, you can drop me a line through the contact form or by sending an email to hello[at]tinamats.com. :)

11 Thoughts on “What I Read (1): Monique

  1. Thank you Tina! You made me sound more interesting than I could ever be! :) It’s an honor and a pleasure to “guest” on your blog.

    Regarding our books in common, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but practically all my YA readings are books from your library. This is because I look to your reviews when I want to read YA: Jasper Fforde, Sarah Dessen, John Green (with Aaron), and of course, Patrick Ness’ “A Monster Calls”. Right now, I have “The Thief”, “The Sugar Queen”, and “Frankie Landau-Banks” on my office cubicle waiting to be read. All bought because of your recommendations and excellent reviews. :)

    Again, thanks, Tina! And I still haven’t read Ender’s Game, either. (I’ll read it before the movie comes out, haha!) Have a nice day. :)

    • You’re welcome, Monique! Thanks for saying yes, too. :)

      Now that you mentioned that about YA books…you’re right. LOL. :) Thanks for allowing my reviews to influence your readings. Oh, and I hope you enjoy the ones waiting on your cubicle. :)

  2. Cheers to one of my favorite book buddies!

    Tina, this is nice. You should be paid for this. Or get super high page rankings. Or something. :D

    • Yay! Thankies! I’m so kilig, haha. :P

      Tina, may I suggest Angus for your coming guest posts? I know he reads classics and not YA, but this series isn’t limited to YA readers, right? :D

    • Angus: Haha, if only I get paid for blogging. (Oh wait, I sort of get paid because of the ads. haha)

      Monique: Good idea! Nope, this isn’t limited to YA readers. Or bloggers, for that matter. Aaron is the next this month, I need people for March. :D Ahem Angus wait for an email soon. :D

  3. Weee! Nice one, Monique! And congrats to Tina too for this very interesting blog feature. Although I have read this sort of Q&A features in other blogs, it is still way much interesting to read a post about people you personally know. :)

    And I agree with Angus about high page rankings for this one. :)

  4. I really enjoyed the questions and Atty. Monique’s responses–both fun and insightful! Good job to both of you. :)

  5. Hello, Tina!

    This is an awesome feature! Another great reason to visit your blog often! I’ve always wondered what Monique’s reading habits are like, and now I finally know, thanks to you!

    By the way, I hope you can join us again for another book discussion. That best and worst event at Libreria last year was fun, no?

    • Thanks, Peter! :)

      Yes that was fun! I’ll try to attend one of your book discussions — I’m very curious to see how you guys fight about discuss books. :)

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