Every week, Figment features a blog that we think is all kinds of wonderful. This week, we’re featuring April and Good Books and Good Wine!
I started Good Books & Good Wine in July 2009 after becoming friends with Kristen of Bookworming In The 21st Century through a Goodreads Group called Wild Things: Adult Readers of YA. It’s sort of like the game telephone. I saw Kristen’s blog, loved the sense of community I felt, and decided to start my own blog. I love reading young adult books and pushing people to check out books they may not have bothered to check out before. I’d like to eventually hit 500 reviews, right now I think I’m at 256, so half way there. I also like to build a sense of community, by responding to every comment and going back to check out the blogs of my readers.
1. You primarily review Young Adult books, though you read across all genres — you’ve listed your favorites as ranging from A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot. Can you tell us more about why YA is your preferred genre to review? Do you see your reviews expanding to more genres?
I love YA because I relate to it. Much of what the characters are going through — first love, friendship, college applications, family ups and downs — I’ve been through. I think most of us can relate to the thrill of holding the hand of your crush for the first time. Or better yet, the first kiss. I love that in YA books there’s this undercurrent of hope.
I do see my reviews expanding to more genres. I believe that most people don’t simply read one type of book and that’s it. As they say, variety is the spice of life, and I lead a very spicy reading life. I believe a good book is a good book regardless of whether it’s poetry, non-fiction, YA paranormal, or adult literature.
2. How has working as an educator influenced your reading interests? Do you find that you read and review more YA books now than previously?
That’s an interesting question! You see, I got my degree in social studies education, yet I currently work as a community educator and teach students about intimate partner violence. I do find myself drawn to historical fiction as well as fiction focused around troubled relationships. For example, I thought Stay by Deb Caletti was a solid example of an unhealthy relationship, without turning contrived. I do read more YA, however, I’ve always been a YA fan, even when I was a teenager, back when Sarah Dessen’s first novels came out, the stone age. I just didn’t quite read YA at my current rate.
3. We’ve gotta ask: are you as passionate about your wine as you are your reads? Which wines are you currently exploring?
I’m not quite a wine expert, but I LOVE IT. I mean, wine gets expensive and to me, it doesn’t have the intrinsic value of books, so when there’s a choice, I always choose the book over the wine. But, right now I’m really into Lucas Tug Boat Red, it’s a NY red wine and delicious.