Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Reading with Betty Sutapa

Reading Habits of a Betty

Image result for the road goes ever on and on

  1. Introduce yourself (Be as vague or as specific as you like).
Hello everyone! Betty Sutapa here! I am a mom, wife, and homemaker. I grew up in India and received
my B.A. from Delhi University. I was a high school teacher in India for five and a half years. Thereafter, I
moved to the U.S. as a graduate student, received my M.A. in Economics, and taught undergraduate and
associate degree students in the U.S. for nearly six and a half years. I have loved being a teacher. My
students in both countries were simply awesome! I am still in touch with many of them on Facebook.
Betty Sutapa was the kind of teacher you wouldn't forget.
I got married to my Professor, and after my daughter was born, decided to stay home to raise her. I felt
blessed that I was able to make this choice. Once we decided to settle down in the U.S., we moved to
Middle Georgia with my husband’s job. We have lived here for almost nineteen years! I love small towns
and we have enjoyed raising our daughter here, among wonderful friends. She is now a junior in college
(speaks three languages, reads everything under the sun, is a really gifted writer, and is a huge Jane Austen

I have managed to nurture the passion for reading through all the busy years of my life. I was thrilled to
discover all you wonderful and smart Bettys on TUJD. It’s been such a joy to discuss so many interesting
topics every day! Thank you, Betty Keira, for giving us this opportunity to introduce ourselves on TUJD
and share our reading habits with kindred spirits. I love to travel, have tea with my friends, bargain shop
like a true Araminta, cook, and decorate my home. I am also a germaphobe and a neat freak. (The
Professor’s favorite mode of addressing me: “YOU’RE CRAZY!!!)
Working Theory:
Betty Sutapa is Ferris Bueller.
  1. When did you start reading Betty Neels?
My first TGB book was Cobweb Morning (high school, grade forgotten). I really liked it, but I was reading
so many genres at that time, that I did not read her entire work in quick succession. I read a lot of Mills
and Boon too, but it was a mix of authors. A few were bought from local bookshops, but the rest were
mostly borrowed from our school library. It should come as no surprise that I resumed my journey with
Betty after joining TUJD. Most of my books were bought after that date. So far, I have collected 109 Betty
books on Kindle and in paperback. I have not read all of them yet.

  1. What is your favorite book (s) and why?  
Tough question. The Promise of Happiness and A Gentle Awakening run very close. Strong heroines who
win against the heaviest odds, gentle giant heroes (when not in a towering rage) who love family and
children, rich descriptions of England and Holland, tons of yummy food, lovely FFRs, jugs of lemonade
(the decline and fall of Wanda the Witch), and delightful HEAs - classic Betty recipes for coziness make
these books my favorites. I also like A Girl to Love, Damsel in Green, and Only by Chance. Same reasons.

  1. Least favorite and why?
So far, Sun and Candlelight is my least favorite. I find the cruel behavior of the children very disturbing.
And their nanny is very scary too! I did not care much for All Else Confusion either -heroine too doormatty
and hero too pompous. He comes across as a, “I did you a favor by marrying you,” kind of guy. Not my
cup of cozy tea, I am afraid.
Coziness will always play in BettyLand

  1. What appeals to you about Betty Neels novels and why do you find yourself
attached to them?
They are books for lazy weekends. Or for bedtime reading in a quiet house. They are daydreamy books
you enjoy with hot tea. There’s dignity, chivalry, kindness, and love in Betty’s novels which soothe and
delight us. They show privileged and ordinary people’s lives in juxtaposition. And yet, the rich hero and
the often-poor heroine, share similar values in what really matters for lasting happiness. It’s not the
woman coming from the hero’s world who wins his love. It’s the woman from a very different world that
he decides to spend his life with. How fabulous that good folks end up happy in the end! (The Nigels,
Veronicas, and horrible family members just fade away from the scene…yay!!!). Add to this vivid travel
diaries, clothes shopping, the comforts of home and family, FFRs, and the often humorous and accurate
descriptions of the lives of doctors and nurses-what a perfect recipe for a delightful, clean book! No one
does it quite like Betty Neels.

  1. What is your favorite genre (s) to read?
Classics, mystery, historical romance, and humorous fiction are my favorites. I like poetry and short stories

  1. Do you have a favorite book (s) in any of these genres?
  • Children’s/Picture Book – Asterix, Tintin, Winnie the Pooh, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and 1,001 Arabian

  • Classics – All of Jane Austen, The Mill on the Floss, Far from the Madding Crowd, Jane Eyre, Little
Women, Gone with the Wind, and most of Shakespeare  

  • Mystery – All of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Dystopian – All of Ayn Rand, and Brave New World
(I am also a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan)

  • Biography/Autobiography – The Diary of Anne Frank, The Footsteps of Anne Frank
  • Non-Fiction – Travel books (love Rick Steves’ Europe on PBS)
  • YA – Anne of Green Gables, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and The Giver
  • Poetry – W. de la Mare, W. Wordsworth, R. Frost, R. W. Emerson, Rumi, and R. Tagore
  • Short Stories – Guy de Maupassant, Anton Chekov, and F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Other – The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran), The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), The Thorn Birds
(Colleen McCullough), all of Victoria Holt, Georgette Heyer, P.G. Wodehouse, and Leon Uris

  1. What are the five books you would take if you were stranded on a deserted
  1. P.G. Wodehouse boxed set – (when the airline restricts luggage, I get devious…hope Betty Keira
won’t mind )
I love Book-Babies too.

  1. Emma – Jane Austen
  2. The Promise of Happiness/A Gentle Awakening – Betty Neels
  3. Exodus – Leon Uris
  4. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho/The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran

  1. Where do you do most of your reading?
At the breakfast bar, with a cup of cardamom tea and tea biscuits. Also, at night in bed.  Strangely,
reading on flights and in cars gives me a headache. I watch light movies instead, when available.

  1. What books are in your TBR pile? (Too many to list, but here’s some of them)
Middlemarch – George Eliot, The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton, My Cousin Rachel – Daphne du
Maurier, The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck, And Quiet Flows the Don – Mikhail Sholokhov, and A Thousand
Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini. Also, anything by John Grisham, and maybe other modern authors
recommended by the Bettys here.  

  1. Do you listen to books? Any favorites on Audible?
I read reviews about them often, but have not tried any yet. Not sure whether I would like them.

  1. Do you have any memories of being read to or reading with others?
My family had a great tradition of reading to children and storytelling by elders in my childhood.
My mom would read to us a lot, and to a lesser extent, my dad. But the most spectacular of them all
was a favorite uncle who had also been a freedom fighter under the British colonization. He was a big
fan of Jim Corbett’s stories. Summer vacations found us all (cousins etc.) in our grandparents’ home,
sitting on the floor in a semi-circle, mesmerized by his narration of how the great hunter, Jim Corbett,
had delivered men and livestock in remote Indian villages from ferocious tigers.
Tigers! I know I would be mesmerized.
I have such fond memories of those family story times! It was also the stage of my life when I began to
read the works of famous Indian authors in Bengali and Hindi.

  1. What book was the first one to ignite your interest in reading?
As far back as I can remember, first Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and then the journey with Enid Blyton. Her first
book that I read was The Mystery of the Tally-Ho Cottage. I never looked back. I had finished 90% of her
work by 5th or 6th grade, and moved on to Nancy Drew, and the Classics. After that, I just read whatever
caught my fancy, and I do the same even to this day.

  1. What’s a book (s) you find yourself constantly recommending?
The Razor’s Edge (W. Somerset Maugham), The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho), Trinity, Exodus (Leon Uris),
Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen), and The Mill on the Floss (George Eliot).

“So often, in the past as well, a visit to a bookshop has cheered me up and reminded me that there
are good things in the world.” Vincent van Gogh


  1. So, you get devious, huh? 🤗
    Thank you for participating, Betty Sutapa. Amazing, really, how Bettys from completely different parts of the world grew up reading and enjoying the same authors.
    Whereas I discovered some of them for me as a grown up.

    I don't know how often I watched Ferris Bueller...😎

  2. This was so fun! Just loved the experience! Yes, Bettys are truly kindred spirits across the globe. Separated by distance maybe, but joined in their love of ��❤️��

  3. I meant ‘love of books.’ That book emoji translated into this goofy symbol, lol!!!

    1. I don't know which book emoji you wanted, 📖Betty Sutapa📚. Most Facebook emojis don't work for Blogger. You need the

      Decimal HTML Entity or the Hex HTML Entity.

      Here is the link to the 📚 BOOKS EMOJI.

      You can find those "entities" on https://hotemoji.com/, for example.

      To see if an emoji works if I've copied & pasted it, I usually click on Preview, and then on Edit. If it doesn't work these symbols �� appear in the text after I have clicked on Edit. 🧐

  4. Betty Sutapa, lovely to get to know you better. And thanks to Betty Keira for making it possible.

  5. Thanks, Betty A for the tech info! And Betty Priya, this exercise of Reading with Betty has been an absolute joy-Betty Keira had an awesome idea! Can’t wait to read the upcoming interviews!