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#ArmchairBEA 2016: An Introduction

ArmchairBEA

What is the name you prefer to use? I go by Rory, there really isn’t a way to turn that into a nickname thankfully.

How long have you been a book blogger? I’ve been blogging, mostly consistently, since 2012, which seems insane now that I look at it.

Have you participated in ABEA before? I have not. I usually have a lot of life stuff going on this time of year and I thought this year would be a little slower, but life said “Ha!” and made it busier than usual.

What is your favorite genre and why? It varies based on my mood, but I am a sucker for gothic fiction (both modern and classic) and good, gritty literature. Grit-lit is fairly new as a named genre, if you can call it that, but I am hopelessly devoted.

How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? My shelves are loosely organized by genre, though I do break out some authors (i.e. my Stephen King and John Sandford collections are pretty massive and are grouped together). Within the loose organization, they are organized as to how they best aesthetically please me. Fancy, I know. I’ve always wanted to try by color, but it seems too much of an undertaking, especially if I don’t like the results. I like things to look pretty!

LibraryUpstairs LibraryWhat book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? I am most excited for The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock. He hasn’t published anything since The Devil All the Time – one of my favorites – and I’ve been impatiently waiting for his next once since I closed the back cover in 2012.

What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far? I learned about how truly fascinating (and large!) an albatross is while reading The Thing With Feathers by Noah Strycker.

Diversity.

Diversity in books is a tough topic, because often mainstream publishing isn’t diverse at all. Considering the current political climate oin the United States, it can be hard to be optimistic (when a leading presidential candidate is legitimately comparable to Voldemort, it’s frankly quite scary). But I think we need to continue to be aware of voices that are underrepresented (there are too many to name) and continue to talk about good books we read, books that break stereotypes and break negative representations. Poverty, cultural differences, unique, real world voices and settings are all very real, worthwhile topics to explore in literature (this is not to say there isn’t a place for fantasy, because there absolutely is). And there are authors doing just this, but we need to make sure people know about it, and that’s where the book blogging community can help.

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