Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Interview Swap Day with Amy of Amy Reads


Today is Interview Swap Day! I signed up to interview Amy of Amy Reads, a terrific blog that focuses on GBLTQ lit, African lit and more. Amy hosts Nigerian Literature Fridays and has started a database of Nigerian literature, among other neat projects. She's also started a project called The Real Help, to "to read the books recommended by the Association of Black Women Historians in their statement on The Help". She's a fantastic blogger who's doing some important work to advocate for the literature she loves, and I feel privileged to have interviewed her!

1. What motivates you to keep blogging?  
The community - it's all about the community! (And the books!) Every time I read a good book, especially a lesser known work, I just want to share it with others. And I often find some point or other in a book that I really need to discuss. 

2. How do you organize your time to make room for blogging among the other demands of your life? 

Ah this is a hard one! Or embarrassing ;) The truth is that I don't have a lot of balance. I suppose that because I travel so much for work it is a little easier for me - I know no one in the city, usually, and have nothing to do in the evenings other than work or read or be online working on blogging things. When I am home I am finding it more difficult now that I live in a city that actually has fun things to do (Toronto) and am still working on finding a balance. I often read blogs before I start working, during lunch break, and then in the evenings I devote a few hours to reading / writing posts / commenting. I try to schedule ahead so that when other demands do come, I don't fall too behind.  

3. Why is blogging about books important to you?

I read a lot (shocking I know!) but I never had anyone in real life with whom to discuss books. When I stumbled across the book blogging world in 2008/2009 I was so happy and couldn't believe such a community existed. When I finally started my site in 2010 it was because I wanted to take part and discuss the books that I was reading - that often no one else was. It's important to me to be able to share my love for these books and actually get the chance to talk about them with others who are equally passionate about books. 

4. What genre do you like the best? What are your favorite reads of 2011 so far? What are you looking forward to?

I love non-fiction best, but also African literature and GLBTQ literature. I've read so many fantastic books that it's hard to pick. A couple would be Arrow of God by Home and Exile by Chinua Achebe, IN DEPENDENCE by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, and A Million Nightingales by Susan Straight. The books that I am most looking forward to for the rest of the year are those I'm reading for my various projects - be it The Real Help, Year of Feminist Classics, or my Nigerian Lit Fridays feature. 

5. Who influences your choices when it comes to reading, and who influences the way you think about books? 

So many bloggers influence what I read, and that is really where 90% of any influence comes from. I often pick up books just on a whim, but if there was anyone who convinced me to read someone I can guarantee it was a blogger! Some of these bloggers are listed in my BBAW post yesterday.
Thank you Amy, for taking the time to answer my questions! If you'd like to see her interviewing me, you can go to her blog today!

27 comments:

Meghan said...

Great interview - Amy's blog is fantastic and one I regularly read. I feel like she always picks out books that make a difference and inspires me to think more deeply.

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

Aths said...

Fabulous interview! I love Amy's blog and it's one of those I check every day. Her recommendations are fantastic!

gautami tripathy said...

I loved this interview. Great questions. Wonderful answers!

Reading the interviews is so much fun! I am learning so much about the book bloggers..

Here is my post:

BBAW 2011: Interview Swap

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

Amy's reading output is amazing, to say the least. Her output is like no other and she inspires me not to give up, not to say 'I have no time'. Her varied reading materials: Nigerian lit, African lit, GBLT lit, Feminine lit, BAND, makes me wonder how she does it. And now she's added The Help. she inspires me a lot.

Man of la Book said...

Great interview. I also enjoy Amy's blog, very thoughtful. Great interview.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Great interview and I totally agree about the not having anyone in real life with whom to discuss books. I'm constantly amazed when I try to start conversations about books that not only has the person not read them, but not heard of them. What a relief to have blogging!

iwriteinbooks said...

Great interview! I haven't, before now, gotten around to reading Amy's blog but I'm about to stop over and subscribe. This is my favorite part about BBAW. Thanks for the Q&A, ladies!

Rebecca Reid said...

it's so fun to read these interviews to see just how much alike we all are. So many people say they started blogging becasue they didn't know anyone to talk about what they read with! I love the book bloggosphere so we have a chance to chat books!

eclectic_reader said...

Organizing is also one of my difficulties

Sandy Nawrot said...

Excellent interview! You know, Amy is one of those bloggers I see everywhere and don't follow. I don't know what is wrong with me...I guess I am lazy. All of her reading choices are completely off my radar but that is the type of thing I need in my life to expand my horizons!

Adura Ojo said...

Amy inspires me. When I think I could do with a break or when I'm feeling tired of it all, I go to her blog to fuel up!

She is simply amazing in terms of the diversity she brings into the blogging community, the projects she takes on and the topics she blogs about. Her reviews are spot on. I've learned about many authors I had no previous knowledge of, from reading her reviews. Always a delight to read her.

Zibilee said...

Amy is one of my favorite bloggers and one of the nicest people I have come across in my time blogging. Her reviews are always so intelligent and amazing, and she is always reading the kinds of books that I aspire to. I think she has a great head on her shoulders and she is constantly impresses me. Great interview today, Marie!

bermudaonion said...

Amy is a wonderful blogger! The more she blogs, the more she'll discover bloggers in the places she travels to.

Meredith said...

I'm am constantly impressed by Amy's reviews and I always feel encouraged to try to step outside my reading comfort zone and try things I might have overlooked before. Plus, she's Canadian! I love Canada.

Marce said...

Amy is new to me, fantastic questions and answers. I don't know how to balance blogging and real life yet but constantly working on it.

I look forward to getting to know Amy more.

Erin said...

Nice interview, Marie! I didn't know much about Amy besides the kind of books she reviews and the issues she takes up. She's a wonderful blogger who stands up for what she believes in, and I enjoyed learning more about her.

quirky girls said...

I have always enjoyed Amy's blog. She has a good mix of the thoughtful, faithful, and tv commentary. :)

-jehara

Kathleen said...

Thank you for calling my attention to a blogger that I have not heard about before. I'll go and check out her blog!

Trisha said...

Amy is awesome, and it was nice getting to know more about her in this interview! errr...you? should I be talking to Marie or Amy here? :) Both of you rock.

Michelle said...

Amy is one of my absolute favorite bloggers. Her commitment to the blogging community and to women's rights is so impressive and inspiring. This is a great interview!

Amy said...

Can I just pop in and say a HUGE thank you to everyone for the kind and inspiring words here. I've been struggling with stress with work-life lately and feeling overwhelmed and it's people like all of you who make me realize that it's all worth it :) I LOVE YOU ALL!

And Marie, thanks for the great interview :)

Audra said...

Great interview with a new-to-me blogger that I'm going to start reading, stat. Loved her responses and her attitudes about reading and blogging -- thank you for introducing me to Amy!

A Tale of Many Reviews said...

Nice interview. I hear you about finding balance. haha

feministtexicanreads said...

Great interview! I adore Amy's blog (and Amy), so it's great to learn more about her. :)

nomadreader said...

What a wonderful interview! I so enjoy both your blog and Amy's, so it was extra fun to see you ask each other questions!

Jeanne said...

Among the reasons I'm glad I read this interview is that I put a link to The Real Help in my post about The Help that will appear tomorrow morning. Thanks!

Kinna said...

Amy is just fantastic! Great interview.