Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Reading with Betty Bridget

Introduce yourself (Be as vague or as specific as you like.)
Hi, I’m Bridget. I’m a lifelong reader and work as a youth services librarian. I was born and raised in East Tennessee, but now I live and work in Western North Carolina.
Betty Bridget aced the "Shushing With My Eyes" test.

When did you start reading Betty Neels?
I first read Betty in high school. My local library had some of the gold three-in-one omnibus Harlequin Treasuries and I remember only liking the ones Betty wrote. I started collecting Betty books in college via eBay lots.

What is your favorite book(s) and why?
Do I have to pick? I really like almost all of them for various reasons, but the ones I reread often are Dearest Mary Jane, Cassandra by Chance, Henrietta’s Own Castle, Damsel in Green, and Tabitha in Moonlight. I could go on but by then I’d have listed all the books Betty ever wrote.

Least favorite and why?
I don’t recall specific titles, but any where there are particularly nasty Veronicas or children.
Veronica had popped in
for a spot of tea...

What appeals to you about Betty Neels novels and why do you find yourself attached to them?
The details—the food, the clothes, the pets, the quiet lives the heroines lead. Plus I’ve always enjoyed anything British since I was in middle school and high school and watched British comedies on PBS on Saturday night. Betty’s books are comfortable. When I don’t have the mental capacity to start anything new, I pick up a Betty.

What is your favorite genre(s) to read?
I enjoy cozy mysteries, literary fiction, historical mysteries, and inspirational historical fiction. To be honest, I’ll try anything once although I don’t really care for horror, science fiction, or high fantasy.

Do you have a favorite book in any of these genres?
     Children's/Picture book: As a children’s librarian who is responsible for ordering new books this is an impossible question to answer. Some of my favorite classic picture books are The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. More recent favorites include the Bruce books by Ryan T. Higgins and the Mr. Panda books by Steve Antony.
     Classics: For adults or kids? I read a lot of classic books in college as an English Lit major. Favorites include The Sketch Book and other stories by Washington Irving, The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, and most of Shakespeare. My favorite children’s classics are The Borrowers series by Mary Norton, The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder... 
Betty Keira loved the 'Little House' books
and found the series so educational.

      Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, The Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren , and almost anything written by Louisa May Alcott or L. M. Montgomery.
     Mystery: My favorite historical mystery authors are Tasha Alexander, Anna Lee Huber, Laurie R. King, Deanna Raybourn, Charles Todd, and Lauren Willig. My favorite cozy mystery authors are Susan Wittig Albert (Beatrix Potter), Laura Childs, Joanne Fluke, ,and Jenn McKinlay.
     Sci-fi/Fantasy: I don’t really do science fiction, but one of my favorite fantasy series is The Enchanted Forest Chronicle by Patricia C. Wrede.
     Biography/Autobiography: Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear
     Non-fiction: anything by Bill Bryson—he’s hilarious.
     YA: It’s easier to mention a few favorite authors—Joan Bauer, Jessica Day George, Frank Beddor, A. G. Howard, Maggie Stiefvater, Y. S. Lee, Nancy Springer,  and Kenneth Oppel.
     What are the five books you would take if you were stranded on a deserted island?
     A book by Betty Neels, a book by Diana Palmer, Anne of Green Gables, Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Where do you do most of your reading?
In my apartment either in bed or on the couch.
What books are in your to-be-read pile?
Belleweather by Susanna Kearsley, The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton, Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield, Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb, The Taster by V. S. Alexander

Do you listen to books? Any favorites on Audible?
Yes, but I only listen to bboks I’ve already read because I don’t want to run the risk of disliking the book just because I don’t care for the narrator. I haven’t tried Audible yet. I have favorite narrators: Jennifer Ikeda, Kate Reading, and Caroline Lee.

Do you have any memories of being read to or reading with others?
Mom read to my siblings and me at bedtime when we were kids. My brother is four years younger than me and two years younger than my sister is. Mom was still reading to him as my sister and I got older, but we would go to his room and listen to mom read to him long after we were too old for bedtime stories. My cousin read The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks to me when I was eight. It’s still one my favorite books. My 4th grade teacher Mrs. Sewell read us My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George in the afternoons. Again, it’s still one of my favorite books.

What book was the first one to ignite your interest in reading?
I’ve always been a reader. I don’t remember learning to read, but my 2nd grade I was reading chapter books. Little Women has been a favorite since I received an abridged copy when I turned nine. By 5th grade, I was reading the original version along with Anne of Green Gables.
Some come to reading early.
Some come late.
What's a book you find yourself constantly recommending?
I actually make most of my recommendations to kids, their parents, or their grandparents. It goes with the job. My favorites to recommend are The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall and The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. I’m always recommending Betty to my friends, but no takers yet.

Anything else?
Thank you, Betty Kiera, for this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite things!


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