Book Bloggers Abroad (23) – UK

 

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.

UK

Our guest blogger for today is Jackie from the UK. Her book blog is called Farm Lane Books Blog. As it says at the top of her blog: “Book blog reviewing prize winning fiction, new releases and random recommendations”. If you want to keep up to date with the newest quality book, head over to Jackie’s blog!

Hi, I’m Jackie and I live in a small town in Surrey, England. I live here with my husband and two little boys.

My husband and sons

My husband and sons

We live in a quiet road on the edge of the town. It is one of the few unpaved roads in the area and so it can be a bit bumpy to drive here – especially in bad weather. This is also a draw back when it comes to the Internet. Everyone around us has access to high-speed broadband, but the cable doesn’t come down our lane and so ours is quite slow. This means we aren’t able to watch films or video clips properly. Luckily it doesn’t affect my blogging as it is fast enough for general web browsing.

 

My town

My town

My local town centre is quite small. It doesn’t have a book shop, but does have several charity shops which I enjoy browsing. Books generally cost about £2 in these shops and I often discover ones that are on my wish list.

 

Car boot sale

Car boot sale

I also love going to car boot sales, especially in the Summer months. Every weekend people take their old or unwanted goods to a field or car park and sell their items from tables behind their cars. Books can cost as little as 20p and so I can sometimes come away with bags of wonderful books for a few pounds.

The weather is not normally warm enough to read outside, but there are a few Summer days when it is possible. I don’t often have the luxury of being able to read during the day though. Most of my time is spent looking after my two little boys. This year my eldest son started school and so I now have my mornings free for blogging.

Me walking my son to school

Me walking my son to school

I have only lived in Surrey for a few years and have lived in lots of different places in England. I spent my teenage years in the Lake District, a beautiful rural area in the north of the country. The Lake District holds a special place in my heart and so I particularly enjoy books written by Sarah Hall. I would especially recommend her book Haweswater which I read this week. A review will be on my blog later.

Worldmap-Surrey

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks Jackie, for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. It looks so nice where you live! I didn’t realise that in rural England not everyone has good internet access. I’m glad it doesn’t hinder you too much.

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

Next week Tes from India will be visiting us for the twenty-fourth Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

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Book Bloggers Abroad (22) – Belgium

 

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.

Belgium

Our guest blogger for today is Alexandra from Belgium. Her book blog is called The Sleepless Reader. She reads the classics as well as modern fiction, and some Steampunk, too! She also likes graphic novels. So, go and have a look at her blog!

I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal, but haven’t lived there for a while now. After the US and a brief stop in The Netherlands, I settled in Brussels, capital of (the Kingdom of) Belgium in 2005. I live with my boyfriend in an apartment very close to one of the city’s biggest parks.

Brussels

Neighbourhoods in Brussels. Huge panels with comics are spread all over the city.

I never heard anyone say: “I’ve always wanted to visit Brussels” and have the feeling the city is only really appreciated by the people who live here. I’m a particular fan of the residential areas, where you’ll find amazing buildings in art-nouveau style, which has been a favourite since Art History classes. The headquarters of the European Union and NATO are here, so the city has a lively community of expats from all over the world. I would also highly recommend Brussels if you’re a fan of one or more of the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Beer
  • Waffles
  • French fries (a Belgian invention, go figure)
  • Graphic novels/comics

Brussels has two official languages: French and Dutch. I can read in English, Portuguese, Spanish and simple French. My work and social language is English, 90% of what I read is in English and I even dream and talk to myself in English, so it made sense to also blog in English 🙂 The exceptions are at home, where I speak Portuguese, and in the shops and restaurants where I speak French and basic words of Dutch.

Bookshops in Brussels

Some of my favorite bookshops - Sterling Books, Posada Art Books, Brüsel.

This of course influences where I get my books. My primary sources are either The Book Depository or “bookrings” from Bookcrossing. Because of the international community there are some good English bookshops in Brussels – I use Waterstones and Sterling Books. Posada Art Books is a lovely place that made it to The Guardian’s list of the most beautiful bookshops in the world.

For comics I usually go to Brüsel, or Multi-BD. It’s thanks to these two amazing stores that I get to practice reading in French, since I mostly buy graphic novels from Belgian authors. Hence my recommendation: the series Les Cités Obscures (in English, Cities of the Fantastic, available on Amazon) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. Visually they are right up my alley and the stories are fascinating.

The couch at home

The corner of the couch where I read and blog. The apartment’s biggest bookshelf behind.

I usually read on my couch. We do have a terrace, but it’s rarely used because Belgian weather is tricky. For instance, while I write this, it’s mid-August and it’s pouring outside. When we do have good weather, we  usually go read in the Parc du Cinquantenaire or in a café, with a nice Belgian beer close by.

Park in Brussels

Reading in Parc du Cinquantenaire.


Worldmap-Brussels

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks Alexandra, for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. What a great advertisement for Brussels your post is! I love Brussels and I can tell you do too!

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

Next week Jackie from the UK will be visiting us for the twenty-third Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

Book Bloggers Abroad (21) – Brazil

 

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.

Brazil

Our guest blogger for today is Larissa from Brazil. Her book blog is called Larissa’s Life. She reads and reviews Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance and she does a lot of giveaways too. So, go and have a look at her blog!

Larissa in Brazil

Larissa in Brazil

Hey there, my name is Larissa and I am a Brazilian-Israeli Book Blogger. I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but over 3 years ago I moved to Israel and did something called Alyiah, where Jewish people move to Israel and become Israeli. On April 2010 I moved back to Rio and there is where I am living right now with my dad.

I have always loved English and it all started because my parents wanted to be able to talk about things I shouldn’t know LOL. They don’t speak English well, but the little they knew they used to mask their conversations, so there is where my obsession started.

Israel

Israel

 

I learned the language mostly from TV, Movies and Books; which got me to become fluent by age 14 and start teaching it as a second language in Brazil at age 17. It was an amazing 7 years of teaching before I moved to Israel. There I went to an International University to study Communications and specialize in Interactive Studies (internet), when I completed 5 months there I started my blog, where I shared my adventures, stories, thoughts and whatever I felt like.

I actually started two blogs at the time, one in Portuguese and one in English, but I have always felt more comfortable writing in English, not only that, but I truly believe I can express myself better this way.

I have always been an avid reader, but a couple years ago my obsession with it went to the extreme when I discovered Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels. I read 350 books in 2009 and I am over 200 this year. I started tweeting about the books I was reading on October 2009 and started meeting authors and other bloggers online and it was then that I thought ‘Why don’t I start reviewing all these books I’m reading?”, that was it, the moment everything changed.

Chapter 32 in the second book in the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. Bookstore in Israel...

Chapter 32 in the second book in the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. Bookstore in Israel...

I started reviewing then and there, then I started emailing my favorite authors and asking them for interviews, got some amazing ones to do giveaways and the rest is history… I haven’t stopped and don’t plan to anytime soon.

As an international book blogger living in a country where the language isn’t English, I find that I have a number of obstacles that I have to deal with.

First, it’s very hard to find the books I want in the bookstores, so I end up buying them on Amazon or eBook stores. Now I have a Kindle and that makes it much easier as well.

Blogging Area

Blogging Area

The second problem is that Publishers very rarely send books and ARCs overseas, so to get onto their mailing list is practically impossible. When is comes to receiving books for review, I depend on author’s requests, small publishers and NetGalley.

I am a full-time blogger right now, I feel like I want to invest my time on it and see where it goes. I love blogging and I can’t imagine my life without it.

I used to do most of my reading on my laptop, using reading programs or reading paperbacks, but now I have the Kindle as well. I read in my bedroom, in bed, but I can read anywhere, classroom, train, bar, restaurant LOL I read 100% in English nowadays, I haven’t read anything in Portuguese in years actually.

I’d like to recommend a Brazilian author to you, but the only one I know that has been translated into different languages is Paulo Coelho. A lot of people love him, but I’ve never read any of his books, so I really don’t know.

Israel

Israel

To finish off I’d like to say that in terms of blogging, being Rio or Tel Aviv, doesn’t really make a difference. Both countries’ languages are different than English, so the obstacles are the same. However, they are very different countries, but amazing in their own way nonetheless.

Israel is beautiful and has a fascinating culture, I have never felt so safe as I did living in Tel Aviv. Rio doesn’t feel safe like that, but it is my hometown and I do feel I belong to that society, people from Rio are so friendly and fun that is impossible not to enjoy them.

Thanks so much for having me over Judith! I had a blast!

Worldmap-Rio de Janeiro

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks Larissa, for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. I am amazed by how many books you read. And then you also review them! And still have time for other things (like eating and sleeping)!

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

Next week Alexandra from Belgium will be visiting us for the twenty-Second Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

Book Bloggers Abroad (20) – USA

 

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

USA

Our guest blogger for today is Cathy from the USA. Her book blog is called Kittling: Books. She reads and reviews mystery books. She also runs a weekly feature called Scene of the Blog, in which a blogger shows pictures of where they blog and read. A great feature for nosy people like me! Go and have a look at her blog!

I live in the center of one of the largest metropolitan areas (in population and land area) in the United States, Phoenix, Arizona with my husband, Denis. While I am a transplant from a small farming village in the state of Illinois, my husband is a naturalized citizen who grew up in Lancashire, England. Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert and has the hottest climate of any major US city– on par with Riyadh and Baghdad– but don’t picture something like the Sahara Desert in your mind. There are no sand dunes here, and after plentiful winter rains, the desert is awash with acres and acres of colorful wildflowers. Winters are mild, and brilliant sunlight is normal here.

 

On the Trail in the Mojave Desert

On the Trail in the Mojave Desert shows our beloved Jeep in the northwest corner of the state exploring the Mojave Desert... miles from the nearest town or ranch. One of our favorite things to do!

If desert summers are too much for you, the Pacific Ocean is a six-hour drive away, or there are high mountain ranges, lakes and thick forests less than two hours away. Arizona is one of the most diverse states in the country. There’s something for everyone, and one of the things Denis and I love to do is pack a cooler and jump in the Jeep to explore trails within the state.

The Poisoned Pen

The Poisoned Pen

In town, there are excellent city and university libraries as well as wonderful bookshops for voracious readers. My favorite is The Poisoned Pen, which caters to crime fiction readers like me. If you’d like to see more of the inside, you can always take a look at one of my blog posts.

I don’t do well with returning library books on time, so I tend to either buy the books I read or swap them through Paperback Swap. Denis mainly listens to audio books and gets almost everything he needs through the Phoenix library system. Neither one of us has a problem obtaining the books we want to read!

I have plenty of time to read and blog because I was laid off work (after 26 years). Although I don’t miss being employed, I am checking into various work-at-home options. Denis and I would like to travel to the UK again, which means a bit more money has to be coming into the bank account!

 

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved...

Grand Canyon - Image via Wikipedia

 

Most people around the world, if they’ve heard of Arizona at all, have heard of the Grand Canyon. Well over five million people visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon each year. In choosing something different, I find the task to be almost impossible. Should I choose the one and only trail on which you can drive down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon?

 

Apache Trail

Apache Trail: shows the eastern side of the Valley of the Sun (what we call the Phoenix metropolitan area). This road goes through the Superstition Mountains (Lost Dutchman Mine) past lakes and some magnificent scenery, and eventually turns into a dirt trail.

 

Should I choose my favorite canyon– Canyon de Chelly? My favorite museum– the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum? My favorite county– Cochise County, Arizona, where you can watch thousands of migrating cranes in the winter, walk the streets of Tombstone, and travel trails high up into the sky islands? Not everyone is lucky enough to live exactly where they want to be. I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve been in 30 of these United States, and Arizona is where I choose to live. (Denis doesn’t miss the rain and cool weather of England, either!).

 

South Mountain Park

Mike at South Mountain Park. South Mountain Park is at the southern edge of the Valley of the Sun and is the largest city park in the US. You can see the entire metropolitan area from here.

 

Phoenix has mild winters and well over 300 days of sunshine per year. Unless it’s actually raining (average annual rainfall is about seven inches total), I can sit outside practically any day that I like. Of course, it’s a bit warm in the summer, so I’ve learned how to sit in the pool in the shade and read without getting my books wet. On days when I read inside, I usually sit in my recliner in the family room or sprawl across our bed. I also take a book with me wherever I go to take advantage of “hurry-up-and-waits”.

 

Summer Reading Spot

Summer Reading Spot where I sit in the pool under the shade of the umbrella to read. (Yes, it's a rough life!)

 

Although Arizona has several excellent authors who write about the state, I’m going to choose Jon Talton. His David Mapstone mystery series, which begins with Concrete Desert, is set right here in Phoenix. The stories and characters are excellent, and Talton gets Phoenix and its history just right.

Worldmap-Phoenix

Click on the world for a Google Maps picture!

Thanks Cathy, for letting us have a look at your life as a reader and blogger. The only time I went to the USA I went to Arizona and it’s so beautiful! Yes, I did visit the Grand Canyon and I hope you don’t mind me adding a picture of it – it’s such a fantastic place! As is your favorite reading spot!

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

Next week Larissa from Brazil will be visiting us for the twenty-first Book Bloggers Abroad guest post. Don’t miss it!

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