Monday, May 23, 2011

Introducing... ME! (An Armchair BEA Kick-off)

Hi All!  First of all, if you were a follower before Armchair BEA, thanks!  The book blogger community has been great and I am looking forward to meeting many more of you.  If you are new to my blog, here's a bit about me...

Who are you?
You would think this would be an easy question, but being the profoundly interesting person that I am, it just so hard... :)

Let's see... I'm 34.  Married to my husband David for 13 years in June.  We have three children.  Emma will be 10 in July, and our twins, Sarah and Benjamin, are six.  I'm a stay-at-home-mom with a background in genetics (if I could go back in time, I would become a middle school librarian though).  I grew up in Upstate NY, right between Rochester and Buffalo, but I detest the cold, so as soon as I could, I headed south.  We spent four years in FL (where I realized that I needed seasons), and have been here, in Purgatory, I mean suburban Atlanta, for the past 11 years.  Eventually I would like to have a big piece if land and some horses in the country, but for now, the suburbs are best for all the things that come with child-rearing...  I'm a die-hard Yankees fan, am in love with Jude Law, and a staunch Libertarian.  I also have a love affair with shoes.

What do you like to do (besides read, of course)?
I have several obsessive hobbies, most of them very dorky, but what can I say?  I love birds and run all over the place trying to add new ones to my "life list".  Currently, I have 218 species on my list.  I'm going to Bermuda this summer, where I hope to pick up 6-8 more. Out of my love of birds came a love of photography.  I'm very amateur, but it's something that has kind of snowballed on me, and I think I'm pretty decent for someone with ZERO training (I don't even know what all the functions on my camera are for).  You can check out my stuff at  I also enjoy gardening.  I have lots of flower gardens, but my real passion is organic vegetable gardening.  There's just something great about knowing that you grew the food that your kids are eating.  We grow lettuce, peas, radishes, carrots, beans, beets, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lots of different squashes and melons, and okra.  It's a lot of work, but the rewards are worth it!  I'm a conservationist.  I love nature and want to see it endure, so I try to educate my kids and neighbors about doing things for the benefit of our ecosystem.  My yard is a NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat and we make sure to do all we can to preserve our planet and help it thrive.  I cook and bake a lot.  I also love hiking and camping.  I watch A LOT of softball since both my daughters are obsessive players.

What do you read and why do you blog?
In case the title of my blog didn't clue you in, I read almost exclusively Young Adult books.  This hasn't always been the case, but for the past several years Juvie and YA have been it.  My oldest daughter started chapter books at three, so I always had to be a couple of books ahead of her for content.  Because of my extensive knowledge of kid lit, I was drafted to be a book fair chair at her school, where I handpicked the 1000+ book inventory for the 4th-6th grade and Teen sections.  I also led a book group dedicated to finding the best of the best to highlight.  We wanted to make sure every kid left with books they would love and the feedback has been overwhelming.  They will definitely miss me when we change schools in the fall. ;-)  I blog because my friends and family are sick of listening to me talk about books and I need an outlet... I used to run the blog at Emma's school, and when that run ended, I chose to continue on my own.  I love it.  I think my husband hates it because I don't clean as much as I should and sometimes our kids go hungry when I'm reading/blogging.

Favorite book?
All of them!  There is no way I could really pinpoint it.  I could probably give you one for every genre (maybe), but one favorite? No freakin' way.  Some books I love?  Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Elsewhere, anything by Anne Rice, If I Stay, Incarceron, Animal Farm, Graceling, all of Cassandra Clare's books, The Lorax (really anything by Dr. Seuss), Zorgamazoo, 1984, The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy, anything by Neal Shusterman, and the list goes on...

Why Armchair BEA?
Ideally, I would be there, in the flesh, but this week is just too busy.  It's the last week of school for the monsters.  Add to that the beginning of swim team and All-Stars softball (both of which have practice 2+ hours a day, 6 days a week), team parties for the spring season, class parties, and trying to get my house in order before the kids come home for the summer... Basically, I can't be there because my husband, wonderful as he is, would divorce me if I abandoned him this week.  So, Armchair it is.  I think it will be almost as great as being there.

Follow Me!!



  1. So not only would I have to be sick the last week of school, all of your kids would have to be too. So can we schedule that somehow so we can both go next year? ;)

  2. Hey Karis! Nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Before blogging I wasn't huge on the YA books but since blogging my interest has been piqued. There are just so many people who love them and their enthusiasm is contagious.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your blog :)

  3. I'm currently in library school. It's a completely online program through SJSU. I have classmates from all over the world -- learning library science from their armchairs.

    Unless I'm ill or traveling (and don't have access to the internet), I post a review each and every day. Come learn more about me and my blog.

  4. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I used to do YA acquisitions when I was working in libraries, and still hold it close to my heart.

    Also, *high five* for being from upstate NY. I am from north-of-Albany upstate myself!

  5. Hello Karis! Thanks for dropping by my blog. We may not be at BEA physically, but that does not mean we won't have any fun!

    I have a love affair with bags, but as for shoes, I have the shoe-discount gene. I always get the shoes I want at a bargain!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  6. Chapter books at 3? Wow! My 9 yo is a huge reader, too, so I know what you mean about trying to stay one step ahead. It's not easy to keep up with her and I read A LOT.

    Glad to have found you via Armchair BEA!

  7. I must say - I love my job! :) It's the best thing I ever did - going back and getting my Library Media degree. :)

    That's cool that you have twins - I'm a twin! It's definitely a special relationship.

    Have fun this week!

  8. I guess it's my turn to do some time in Florida now. I do miss the seasons (though maybe not winter so much).

    Nice to meet you today!

  9. Hi Karis! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    I looked at some of your photos on flickr! Very nice. You have to learn manual, it will open up a whole new world to you! It's tough, but shooting in manual gives you so much more control. You already have a great eye for it. Nothing wrong with doing it as a hobby without knowing all the buttons though. I've been shooting in manual mode for 2.5 years, and I still feel like I have tons to learn. It's fun! Enough blabbing your ear off with photography. LOL.

    I think it's awesome that you garden! You grow so many different things. We started growing tomatoes last year, and this year we're trying different peppers, spinach, strawberries, and more tomatoes. We'll see how it goes!

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

  10. Oh, and I just wanted to say, I wasn't trying to be all bossy with the"shooting in manual" stuff. LOL! I just meant that learning all of the buttons and how much more control it gives you is fun. I thought back to my comment, and I hope it sounded chatty, and not rude.

    Your bird pictures are gorgeous! I would love a good zoom lens that would let me get decent pictures of them.

    Jennifer of Little Shelf

  11. Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog! You have a new follower :)

  12. Hi! Thank you so much for visiting my blog earlier today! ArmchairBEA is fantastic!

    I have to admit that my husband and I are a little jealous of your vegetable garden! We can't wait to move out of our tiny apartment and start our own.

    Hope your week isn't so crazy that you can't enjoy the ArmchairBEA week!

  13. Thank you for visiting my blog this morning!! I would love to get into gardening, but I don't know if the Phoenix weather is good for it. Depends on what I want, right? Happy BEA!

  14. Hello, nice to meet you! =)

    Well, I'm terrified of birds, so I see your hobby like someone who is scared of heights would see rock climbing. Or maybe not that dangerous, but almost! haha

    Love The Hunger Games, Graceling, and If I Stay. I bought Elsewhere a while back at a used book store, but I haven't read it yet. Maybe I should pick it up!

  15. If I could go back in time, I'd probably major in something related to the book-industry as well. :P From your list of favorites, we have Harry Potter and Graceling in common although I also enjoyed reading Elsewhere. See you around ArmchairBEA and I hope you enjoy the activities planned. :)

  16. Oh wow, we do have a lot in common. Your bird photos are very good... you have the eye for it. If you're shooting in auto try changing a few settings at a time and experiment. Most cameras have a semi automatic mode. That helped me learn a lot about my camera.

    I just got my veggies in the garden last weekend. That's the bad thing about Chicago... short growing season.

  17. Wow, chapter books at 3? That is awesome. It sounds like you are busy mom! It looks like we have a lot of favorite books in common, and it was great to meet you.

  18. Thanks for visiting my blog! It's nice to meet you, if not in person than virtually is just fine!

  19. That was a wonderful bio. What a great collection of books you listed. All this time I thought I was the only one who called their kids the monsters. LOL

  20. I am an amateur photographer, too. Its so hard to get good photos of birds, but yours are great! I may have to pick you brain sometime :)


Thanks for visiting my blog! I adore comments since they make me feel special and loved, just please don't spam me. I'm not interested in vacation offers, millions of dollars from Nigeria, or anything not book related!

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