Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA Intro


I wasn't going to bother posting (thought I'd be lazy and read the Armchair BEA posts but not do one of my own) since I have a nasty cold. But, what the heck. Might as well introduce myself if I'm going to visit others.

I'm "arm-chairing" because BEA (Book Expo America, that is) simply didn't fit into my summer plans. Earlier this month, I had an opportunity to meet up with fellow blogger Care and author friend Cindi in Charleston, South Carolina, and we had a fabulous time. Later in the summer, I'll be traveling to two weddings, including that of my eldest son!

June 6 will be my 5-year blogging anniversary, so I've been around for a while. I've yet to make it to BEA, but maybe someday. We'll see.

A little about me. I am in floody Mississippi.

We've been in the news a good bit, lately (that's a Fox News camera) but I'm a good 5 miles from the Mississippi River, as the crow flies, so it has not caused us any trouble apart from the annoyance of reading inaccurate and/or overblown news articles. I am a BIG fan of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and grateful that their work has kept the flood from being a deadly disaster on the scale of the 1927 flood (in spite of breaking flood records).

My blog has always been a combination of personal and book blogging with book reviews, photos, anecdotes about family and my cats -- kind of a hodge-podge, although at times I just focus on books, for a while. I'm an extremely eclectic reader. It's actually easier to tell people what I don't read than what I do; and, even then . . . sometimes I do step outside my comfort zone, so I guess it's best to just say I avoid violence/gore, true crime and graphic sex. I read a pretty broad variety of fiction, history, classics, young adult novels and children's books. I frequently mention Simon Van Booy, a favorite author whom I've met, interviewed and been charmed by.

These two gals (Isabel and Fiona) get a lot of air time:

I tend to pepper my posts with photographs (some of which are obviously not so hot) and I'm kind of a free spirit. I don't necessarily follow along with the trends, so you'll seldom see things like "Mailbox Monday" or "Library Loot" updates on my blog, although I do take the occasional photo of recent arrivals. Still . . . you're more likely to see flowers, cats or the adorable children of total strangers, since my photos are generally added as decoration.

Plus, I love flowers, beautiful scenery, small children, cats, people walking dogs, looking into each others eyes with affection, reading (the lady in the background with the dogs is smiling -- I love friendly people):

My posts are a little more sporadic than normal, these days, and I'm attempting to keep them shorter because of the fact that I'm making some lifestyle changes that are cutting into blogging time. So, occasionally I'll disappear for a week or just not visit other blogs because I'm too busy. But, I always return. It's like an addiction. But, I prefer not to be cured.

The book I've most recently finished is Chime by Franny Billingsley. If you participate in the annual RIP Reading Challenge in the fall, I highly recommend you grab a copy of Chime. It's dark and atmospheric, beautifully written, massively creative and surprising. I love the way the author turns everything on its head at the end but manages to drop enough hints that the ending is believable. I'm working on a review of Chime, right now.

Happy Armchair BEA, everybody!!

Bookfool, aka Nancy

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. oh, who could resist leaving a "scathingly brilliant remark"?? i'm glad you decided to offer up an introduction post for us to come by and get a feel for your blog and who you are.

    and wow, 5 years! you're something of an ancient in the book blogging world. congrats on your blogoversary.

    btw, i love the photos you shared!

  2. Well, I like your hodge podge blog. :)

  3. Lisa,

    LOL Obviously, you are scathingly brilliant, if only because you stopped to say something. Thanks! Nice to meet you!

    Yes, I am a bit of an ancient, aren't I? Perhaps there's some wisdom I can impart to the youngsters. Hmm . . . can't think of anything scathingly brilliant. Maybe another day. ;)


    Why, thank you. :)

  4. It's great to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my blog as well! :)

  5. Your blog is my kind of blog. I love Hodge-Podge!
    Nice to meet you.

  6. Ariel,

    Nice to meet you, too!


    Well, then, you should feel right at home. I am way hodge-podgey. LOL Nice to meet you, too!

  7. Books are a part of life, so why not put it all in the blog? I love the ones that mix it up. I have heard so many good things about Chime, I am going to have to get my hands on it!

  8. BooksNyarn,

    Exactly - they're just one part of life. It was books that got me into blogging but I tend to feel like my blog gets dull if it becomes only about books.

    Chime is very, very good. I almost abandoned it because the heroine hates herself and it seems so fiercely negative and dark, at first, but things are not as they seem. It's really very clever. I highly recommend it.

  9. I was worried about Erin in B.R., but since they opened the Morganza Spillway, that area will escape. Morgan City, well, that's another story.

    Love the pic of the bathing beauty in pink!

  10. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Smiling people are such a rarity in this part of the world! When I came to Canada from Fiji, I used to smile at everybody because in Fiji, people smile at total strangers - it's just a normal thing we do and then here everyone's stone faced. Unfortunately, I've become one of those blank faced people. Anyway, eclectic is good. I don't think one should limit themselves where reading is concerned. Sometimes the books you like will be the ones you least expect to. I'm glad you're safe from the flooding. It looks pretty scary in the news. And I actually have Chime on my to read shelf. I'll be making it a point to get it read as soon as I can. Thanks for visiting my blog. And oh, I hope your cold gets better soon.

  11. Everyone has so many good things to say about CHIME - maybe I should read it.

    Have a wonderful Armchair BEA!!

  12. Jenclair,

    I don't mean to downplay what those who have been and will be flooded are going through. It's really sad that the flooding has to be a trade-off, but it's truly amazing what controlled flooding and fierce patrols have done to save lives. I've been hearing about the 1927 flood for as long as I can remember and honestly believe we have a lot to be grateful for.

    Sadly, we did have a death in Vicksburg. You have to wonder how on earth it could have happened. The local police have been working their butts off doing extra patrols to keep people away from the water.

    Isn't that little gal adorable? I love the expression on her face!

    The bookwurrm,

    I've been through that! I lived in a place where people were very reserved, just for a year. It turned out they just had to get used to you and then they were really friendly, but you absolutely did not smile at people on the street. Here in Mississippi it's pretty friendly, for the most part. I do love that about the Deep South.

    I so agree about limiting yourself. On the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong with reading just a single genre, if that's what floats your boat. I personally like to challenge myself to read outside my comfort zone but without veering into ick territory (graphic sex and gore are just not for me). Really, Chime was a little out of my comfort zone. I'm not a big fantasy reader and the word "dark" tends to turn me off. But, wow, I'd have hated to miss that book! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    The flooding is really pretty awful. In our area, I think we've been very fortunate. Most of the people who've been flooded are in known flood zones and at least knew it was coming, although some just had to walk away from their possessions. We've been flooded and water destroys just about everything so I empathize with what they're going through. It's much worse than what we experienced, though. The water level will take weeks to drop and some people have already been out of their homes for quite a while.

  13. Manga Maniac,

    Chime really is an amazing book. I'll have to try to be careful not to say *too much* because I don't want to ruin it for anyone.

  14. I love your hodge podge style and your pictures. And Simon too, when it comes to that, although I'm assuming I will fall further in love with him when I hear him read his lyrical prose.

    Now, now. If our "news" teams can't blow up a looming disaster out of all proportion, what will they do? Make one up out of whole cloth?

  15. Carrie,

    Why, thank you, dear. I'm sure you will swoon when you hear Simon's amazing accent. And, the really amazing thing is that he is every bit as lovely as he sounds.

    Sigh. I suppose it would be asking to much for a little *truth* in the news. Even The Guardian printed an article that was wrong on so many levels I had steam coming out my ears, today.

  16. Oh, oh. I feel bad about using the word "amazing" twice. That's so very un-writerly of me. Lilting accent, surprising thing. Melodic accent, uncanny thing. I shall try not to be such a doofus in future comments.

  17. I've already added Chime to my wishlist :D And what made me smile more than anything was that I knew all of this stuff about you already :p

  18. I loved reading more about you, even though I've 'known' you for five years. Your photographs are always a special treat to view in your posts, and I love your sweet spirit. (Working on a kitty photograph here, but the only ones I have of her are her squinting when the flash goes off. Will that make you smile?)

  19. Chris,

    I had to reread because you knew everything and that made me wonder what I'd written. Blame it on the cold. I am totally fluffy. Fuzzy. Something like that. Wahoo! So glad you added Chime to your wishlist! I want to discuss that sucker with you. Hurry up and get a copy, would ya? Oops, I'm enabling. But, I just have a feeling in my bones that you'll love this one.


    I'm sure you knew absolutely everything I wrote, just like Chris! LOL I've had fun reading Armchair BEA posts by people I've known for years, though. It's oddly comforting to think, "Of course I knew all that," isn't it? You are a lovely friend and I cannot wait to meet you in person. I'm gunning for a meet-up in Vancouver in 2012. What do you think?

    Oh, yes, yes. Squinty kitties are just as lovely as wide-eyed ones. Fiona is batting something around on the floor, at the moment. I have a sneaking sensation it's alive. Eeks!

  20. This was such a good intro post! I wish I was going to BEA too but I guess some other time.

    I don't participate in a lot of the daily/weekly memes either and not sure why really. I like reading them but I guess I just never really plan right!

  21. Iliana,

    I'm okay with being home, this year. Last year it bugged me so much not going that I avoided other blogs. This year I made the decision not to go because I had too many other fun places calling to me. Kind of a fun reason to miss out, I think!

    I love the way you blog. It's refreshing *not* to see the same old meme-ish things, here and there, you know?

  22. 5 years! Where does the time go? I've been a follower for almost all those years. I love your photography. That shot of the little girl is precious!

  23. Congratulations on your upcoming Blogoversary! Your photos are absolutely amazing. And I love your cats.

    Sorry for all the rain you're having (and the cold). But it's perfect to be indoors reading and attending BEA from your armchair.

    And I will definitely take a peek at Chime. It's still in my TBR, but sounds interesting.

  24. Christina,

    I know! We've known each other eons in blogger years!

    Thank you! Isn't that little girl a doll? I love happy, smiling little ones! Such uppers to look at, aren't they?


    Your name makes me feel a giggle bubbling up. Thank you and thank you! I can't believe it's been nearly 5 years, blogwise. It went whoosh.

    My cats are youngsters and therefore terrorists. I can hear them doing damage as I write. I'm terribly crazy about them.

    Oh, we're actually very dry! Isn't that wild? The river is flooding but most of that water has come from waaaay north. Our temporary cold was awesome. Back to the 90s we go. It's a good time to be reading indoors (and Armchairing).

    Chime is simply amazing. I can't bear to part with my copy. Oof, I forgot I was working on a review. Oh, well. Head is exploding. I'll get back to it, tomorrow. Stupid cold is killing me. I was a hermit for 2 years. One day of shaking hands and mingling and the germs attacked. It's so very wrong for them to knock me down, just as I'm emerging from my shell, don't you think?

    Nice to meet you! I hope to get to know you better, this week!

  25. I love eclectic taste and blogs should definitely be fun and random!

  26. I'm glad that you are a safe distance from the flooding. I love that you include your cat photos so much since I really am a cat person.

  27. I already know and love you and I'm so glad you're participating in Armchair BEA with us. :)

  28. Heidenkind,

    I totally agree! Thanks for dropping by!


    Thanks. I'm glad we're well away from the flooding, too! It's been quite interesting. I'm told CNN hosted a "crest party" to gather people to interview. How funny. They ignored the story for at least three weeks and then arrived just as the river was cresting. I suppose it doesn't matter, since the flooding will continue for several weeks (it's dropped a foot but the river is still 6 feet over flood stage in our area).

    Hi Amy!

    You're so sweet. It's been fun reconnecting with a few old blog friends I haven't chatted with in a while. I'm loving Armchair BEA. Love you right back! Hope you have a terrific week! :)

  29. What a great post! I also feel like it's easier to tell people what I don't read, rather than what I do. I don't really like romance, mystery/thrillers or too much science fiction, but I will read anything else! I had been hoping to attend BEA this year, but it didn't seem to work out for me, so I am hoping that next year I will make it there. I know that there are a lot of us that aren't able to go this time around, even some bloggers who have gone in years previous. Though I am bummed about having to miss it, I am hoping that everyone has an amazing time over there!

  30. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Your cats are so cute!

  31. Zibilee,

    Yay, another eclectic reader! I love variety, don't you? Mysteries and thrillers are a category I pretty much burned myself out on, but like almost everything else I'll still read one, now and then.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to go to BEA. It was a trade-off for me. I'm so happy to have had the opportunity to meet friends in Charleston that I don't feel bad about missing BEA at all. In years past, I've been so envious I often just disappeared for a week! Not so, this year. I'm thrilled with my travel schedule. Maybe next year, though. ;)


    You're welcome! It's nice to meet you! Thanks. Funny, it seems like every time I've responded to a compliment about the cats they've been on a terror streak, this week. I just heard a crash noise . . . again!

  32. Short on time, didn't get to read all the replies. What's an Armchair BEA? lol

  33. Is it best to post all photos on the blog at once that you are going to use? When I post one on my blog... type something and post another, it goes up at the top for some reason and then I move it.. and I can't click on it so it expands once I've posted the blog for some reason... do you know how to fix that?

  34. Andrea,

    BEA stands for Book Expo America. It's a way for publishers/publicists to show off their upcoming releases and discuss publishing. A lot of bloggers go in order to get together, discuss blogging/publishing, meet authors and publicists and collect mounds of advanced readers.

    As to the photos . . . when you load photos, the latest goes to the top. So, if you want to put them in a particular order, you can either load them in backwards order or go into "Edit HTML" and copy/paste the HTML for each photo exactly where you want it. It used to be easier to drag and drop photos, but I can't seem to do that, anymore, so I usually end up going into HTML mode to move photos around.

    As to clicking on the photos to get a larger view . . . I have no idea. Some of them work, some don't. I don't know what the deal is.

  35. I, too, fail to understand why some photos are clickable (will enlarge) and some aren't. Even worse, old ones that used to enlarge now WON'T, for some reason.

    I dropped by to tell you I "worked the network" in today's post by telling the world about three of my favorite bloggers and their blogs. You, dear heart, are one of them.

  36. I should have left this link to the post where I wrote about you and your blog today:

  37. Bonnie,

    Why, thank you, dear! I've left a comment. I appreciate the link! :)

  38. You visited me, now I am visting you and I discover you like photography! Me too! I look forward to seeing your photographs on your blog.

  39. Helen,

    Yes, I do love photography. I need to get to know my camera better. I've had a few too many major screw-ups, lately. Thanks for visiting!

  40. A wonderful introduction!! Even though I've gathered many of those things throughout the past four years that I've been blogging. ;) And we're glad that you can't be cured. The book blogosphere just wouldn't be the same without you.

    And I've always loved your photographs. Love love love.

  41. Trish,

    Thanks! You have to know all of that stuff, by now. The "babble" part of my blog name is nothing if not wholly accurate. ;)

    Oh, thanks. I'm actually very unhappy with my recent photography. I need to study up. I've been a slacker, not paying attention to settings.

  42. N,

    I hope you get to go to the BEA in the future!

    Thank you ma'am for the answers. I'm enlightened :)


  43. Andrea,

    Thanks! Maybe someday I'll get to go. I'm happy with this year's travel plans, though - not envious at all of those who went.

    You're welcome! I'm glad that was helpful. :)

  44. I love the pic of the ladies reading on the bench!

  45. Paula,

    Thanks! That's a Charleston photo. Doesn't it look fun to go sit and read with a friend?


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