Armchair Book Expo America–Introduction

This is the first time I’m participating in Armchair Book Expo America. I attended BEA in the flesh one year and it was a fascinating experience. The Armchair BEA organizers have asked us to introduce ourselves, so here goes.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 

I started blogging in January 2010 after several people told me they enjoyed reading my reviews on Goodreads. Around that time I had also discovered book blogs and had also stepped down as a manager at Borders to attend massage therapy school. I missed the daily engagement with books & book people and had enjoyed writing about books in college, graduate school, and then as a marketing manager for Borders (it makes me sad that some day I’ll have to explain what Borders was, but for now I assume most readers have heard of the place). Book blogging looked like a great outlet for what I enjoyed doing, so I took the leap!

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. 

For the sake of brevity I usually say I’m from Chicago. I was born in Chicago and grew up in Cicero. I do actually reside in Chicagoland, a geographic area that includes Chicago proper and all of its suburbs (I imagine some low level marketing manager dreamed up the name for advertising purposes), but technically I now live in Brookfield, about 13 miles from the Loop

Brookfield is primarily know as being the home of the Brookfield Zoo (hence the dolphins on our water tower), but what many folks don’t know is that Brookfield’s original name was Grossdale. Glad that changed.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 

I’m currently reading This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald and listening to The Passage of Power by Robert Caro. I’ve also been reading Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor because May is Short Story Month. 

So far my favorite book of 2013 is a tie between Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by F. Scott Berg and The Selected Letters of Willa Cather edited by Andrew Jewell and Janis Stout.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I’ve lived in 5 states so far: Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, and North Carolina (twice in NC about 10 years apart: the first time when I was in the Marines and the second time when I was an English professor).

I’m looking forward to my first Armchair BEA. 
Thanks for visiting! 


  1. Grossdale certainly doesn't have the nice ring to it that Brookfield does 🙂 Hey, I went to massage therapy school too!

    Happy ABEA, this is my first time too 🙂

  2. Sweet, we've got some states in common! I lived in NC my whole life, until I moved to IL in 2011 and now I work in MO (still living right across the river). I'm glad you decided to make a blog from your Goodreads reviews (yay more access) and that you decided to join ABEA! Tattooed Books

  3. OMG! You're in Brookfield? I'm in Orland Hills (Tinley Park)! I grew up in Wheeling. Finally, someone in my area! lol

    I'm also an Armchair BEA newbie, along with being a blogging newbie. I hope you have a wonderful week!

  4. I miss Borders! My local B&N never seems to have releases in stock and the local bookstores are hit or miss, but I could always count on Borders.

    I've always wanted to visit Chicago. You taught English? Awesome!

    Hope you have a great week participating in Armchair BEA this week. I'm a newbie too. 🙂

  5. I am from the Lake Geneva, WI area and we have made many trips to Brookfield! Welcome and enjoy ABEA!

  6. When I lived in Charlotte, NC the B&N was closer to my house and they never had the obscure literary titles that I needed, but Borders did. That's when I became a Borders fans. So miss that place! Chicago is a pretty great city–hope you get to visit it–there are some fantastic bookstores!

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