Book Bloggers Abroad (25) – USA

Book Bloggers AbroadWelcome to the weekly guest post in the Book Bloggers Abroad series. Every week a book blogger from a different country is featured who talks about what it’s like to be a book blogger where he or she lives.


Our guest blogger for today is Colleen from USA. Her blog is called Col Reads. She reads a mixture of books, but mainly literary fiction from all over the world, and classics. She also likes to join in with readalongs and challenges. Go and check out her blog!

Please give a little bit of information about yourself:
I work, read and blog in State College, Pennsylvania, USA. I live within a few miles of Penn State University, one of the country’s largest research universities and the home of the famous Nittany Lions (well, famous if you’re an academic or a college football fan, anyway).

The Lion Shrine at Penn State University

The Lion Shrine at Penn State University is an iconic image -- people wait in line to have their pictures taken here, and wedding parties often stop here as well

State College, located in Happy Valley (you can’t make this stuff up!) is a very typical college town, with a busy commercial district near the university, residential areas right outside of the commercial district, and lots of nothing between here and Pittsburgh to the west, and Philadelphia to the east!  I live here with my husband of nearly 20 years and our two daughters, ages 16 and 10.

Where do you get your books from?
I try to avoid buying books – because money spent on books is money I’m not spending on travel! I have the good fortune of having access to an amazing university library and a fine community library, so there are very few books I haven’t been able to borrow. I do buy some titles when I can’t wait to read them, and usually have at least one book at a time on my iPhone.

Pattee/Paterno Library entrance at Penn State

This is the Pattee/Paterno Library entrance at Penn State

What are your circumstances?
I am a full-time college professor, so research and teaching take up most of my days. I am also the mom of two very busy girls, so my afternoons revolve around dance classes, swim classes, piano lessons, Model UN meetings – you get the idea. Finding time to read and blog is a challenge, but one I find rewarding enough to pursue as often as possible.

Where do you read?
Loving to read is part of our family identity, and our living room is a place where each of us has at least one book to cuddle up with when we get the chance. I have also been known to spend my lunch hour in Pattee Library’s second floor reading room, which has the comfiest chairs you can imagine. Or when it’s warm enough, the Adirondack chairs of the university arboretum are lovely for reading!

What language(s) do you read in?
In addition to English, I read in Spanish quite a bit. My next Spanish language read is El Pergamino de la Seducción.

This is my favorite chair

This is my favorite chair, surrounded with books, and a glass of wine within reach!

Please suggest one national author that you love.
Funny question, because I’m a world literature reader. When I read US authors, it’s usually because I’m in the mood for non-fiction or humor or both—I recommend Carl Hiaassen, Christopher Buckley and Dave Barry, all of whom have made me laugh until I cried at various times, to truly experience the snarky side of American intellectualism. Buckley’s Boomsday was a favorite.

Worldmap-State College

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks Colleen, for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. I love your cozy living room. I could read there all day! I love college towns, I think you live in a great area.

Don’t forget to take a look at Colleen’s blog. If you have any questions or comments for Colleen, just leave them in the comments section.

Next week Lydia from Canada will be visiting us for the twenty-sixth Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!


There will be only a few more guest posts in this series, but you can join me in the Book Bloggers Abroad 2011 Challenge and read some of the books that have been recommended by guest posters in this series.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

8 Responses to Book Bloggers Abroad (25) – USA

  1. Alyssa says:

    Hi Colleen,
    I have studied Spanish for a couple of years in school, but never really get to practice speaking/reading the language. Can you suggest a good beginner Spanish book/story? I would like to make it a habit to read more in Spanish and improve my knowledge in the language. Thank you.

  2. Hi, Alyssa. When I started to read in Spanish, I focused on authors I knew wrote in a very simple, elegant style. Translations of Paulo Coelho (El Alquimista, Veronika Decide Morir) and Tracy Chevalier (La Joven de la Perla, La Dama y el Unicornio) were great. Lots of declarative sentences and descriptions of day-to-day life. Catalina de Inglaterra is a great historical novel, especially if you know the story of Henry the Eighth’s wives — it’s written from Katherine of Aragon’s perspective. Spanish authors I really like include Angeles Mastretta and Laura Esquivel — Tal Veloz Como El Deseo is a very good novella. Good luck! Colleen

  3. Alyssa — just to explain, I meant Spanish-language authors! Happy reading!

  4. Meg says:

    What a fun post! I enjoyed learning about Colleen and, as my uncle is a huge Penn State fan, have to add: GO LIONS!

  5. Ooh, I love a blogger’s insights on these posts! And Colleen is a new-to-me blogger so I’m off to go check out her site. I’m a little jealous of the library that she has access to, also!!

  6. Alyssa says:

    Wow, thank you Colleen!

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