Sunday, 16 February 2014

Reader Spotlight: Emma Crowley

Today it's Emma Crowley's turn to step into the reader spotlight so let's find out a little more about her...

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi my name is Emma , I’m 30 years old and live in Waterford in the south east of Ireland. I’m a primary school teacher .I teach junior infants (4/5 year olds) , I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world having long summer holidays is a bonus as it gives me plenty of time to read (I have been known to read a book a day while on holidays). When I am not busy working I love swimming, shopping, walking my dog and of course reading. I always have to have a book in my bag when out and about because you never know when you will get a spare minute to read.I love reading lots of book blogs on the net as they always give an honest and insightful review and it’s great to get sneak peeks of upcoming books. Many thanks to Sharon for letting me participate in the Reader Spotlight.

Have you always been a bookworm? 
I’ve been a bookworm ever since I can remember as a love of reading and books was always encouraged by my parents. There was a library on the estate I lived in and I have early memories of being brought to pick out books which were read to me every night. Topsy and Tim were early children’s books which spring to mind. As I grew older myself and my sister were brought religiously to the library every Saturday to change our books and from there my obsession with books just grew going from Enid Blyton to The Chalet Schools series by Elinor M Brent Dyer to what I love today –mostly women’s fiction. Today my love for the library continues but I also love buying books but this year I need to try and contain my book buying as my T.B.R pile is gone totally out of control and it doesn’t help each time I return books to the library I come home with more. As a teacher I hope to encourage a love of books in the girls I teach. There is such a sense of satisfaction and achievement when at the end of a busy school day we all sit on the floor and I read to the class. To see their little faces so attentive and amazed by the story I am reading s magical. Hopefully one or two will enjoy books as they grow older as much as I do.

Do you have a favourite author?
Can I have two???? I love women’s fiction and being from Ireland love all the fantastic women’s authors we have produced – Cathy Kelly, Marian Keyes Patricia Scanlan etc but the two I love authors I love the most are Lesley Pearse and Lucinda Riley.

Lesley Pearse is amazing and I have read all her books and eagerly await her new release each year. I hope she never stops writing. Her books are gripping from start to finish .I love how she writes a mixture of modern day stories and historical novels .My favourites from Lesley would be Never Look Back and Trust Me. Both huge novels in terms of length and story but absolutely thrilling and enthralling.

Lucinda Riley would be second favourite. She has published four novels to date getting better with each one. When I finish one of her books there is a sense of sadness as I know I have to wait another year for her next release. Her writing and ability to make the reader become lost in the story she has written is unbelievable. Her books are set between modern day and various periods in the past and this kind of novel is right up my alley.. Her latest release The Midnight Rose was set between England and India though I thought she couldn’t top her last release The Light Behind the Window she went ahead and did just that. If you haven’t read anything by Lucinda please don’t miss out .Start with her first book: The Orchid House .You won’t be disappointed.

What is your all-time favourite book that you love to read time and time again?
I have to be honest and say I don’t have a book that I read time and time again. My T.B.R pile gets higher by the week (damn those Tesco trolley jumpers) that I literally don’t have time to reread books, it’s hard enough trying to keep on top of what I have. If I had to pick one maybe The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield as it stuck in my mind a long time after reading it. It’s such a pity she took so long to write her second novel. After seeing the BBC version over Christmas it has made me want to root it out again. 

Do you have a preferred genre that you mainly read, or are you open to read almost anything? 
 I love women’s fiction both Irish and English authors particulary Emma Hannigan, Mellissa Hill (she always has a great twist at the end of her books) Marian Keyes, Patricia Scanlan, Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell, Katie Fforde, Jane Sanderson, Lucinda Riley and Lesley Pearse. I’m really not that into crime but did love the Steig Larson triology and anything by Mons Kallentoft and Camilla Lackberg. Oh and Casey Hill which is the pseudonym of Melissa Hill and her husband. Sometimes I read historical fiction but only Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.

What book is top of your current wishlist?
I have so many that I would love to buy on my wishlist .I keep a list of upcoming books by my favourite authors for the year ahead in my book journal. So I am going to pick three I really want- Survivor by Lesley Pearse (Penguin Books 14th February). This is the conclusion to the Belle trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting its release. Lesley Pearse is a fantastic author.I must admit I’ve been saving my Christmas book tokens for this release. 

Another on the wishlist is The Far Side of the Sun by Kate Furnivall (Sphere 14th August). I have loved Kate’s style of women’s historical fiction and was hooked on her writing from her first release The Russian ConcubineThe Far Side of the Sun has been released on Kindle since the beginning of December but I am resisting that one click button until I can get a physical copy in my hands which I much prefer. Finally I always look forward to the new Jodi Picoult. She excelled herself with her last release The Storyteller. 

Physical books or eBooks, what’s your preference?
Physical books all the way for me, although I have to confess I got a Kindle as a Christmas present (after many hints being dropped). I mainly wanted a Kindle to download the one off short stories that many authors seem to be publishing now a days that are only published in ebook format.It was starting to annoy me that I couldn’t read something by a favourite author. But I will always love physical books as nothing beats sitting down holding a book in your hand and becoming lost in another world or person’s story. The kindle is great for short stories or one off’s but I don’t like the fact you can’t get the cover in girl and the tapping to change between pages gets very annoying especially as it seems as if page has to load. Nothing beats turning the page of a physical book .Although I must mention I found a great series on Kindle by Kitty Charles which I am working my way through at the moment.It’s called The Arcade and publishes each month. I was able to download the entire year in one go.Each month tells the story of a different shop in the arcade and its owner and introduces a whole cast of characters. As each story progress’ we see how each of the characters are connected and what secrets they hold. If you haven’t come across it I would highly recommend it. Kitty Charles is the pseudonym of six different women’s fictions author and they have vowed never to reveal who they are .This alone had me intrigued.

What was the last book you read that made you cry?
To be honest I don’t normally cry at books but Me Before You by Jojo Moyes really got to me and with over 3,000 reviews on Amazon obviously touched a lot of other people aswell. I was desperately hoping the ending would be different but in a way I was glad Jojo wrote the ending she did and made people realise women’s fiction need not be called chicklit implying it’s all fluffy and light. Jojo certainly changed that view by dealing with such a thought provoking controversial issue.

If you were going to be stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 books with you, which ones would you choose?
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien because I’ve never actually got to the end of it despite having loved The Hobbit. Being stuck on an island would help me red it to the end.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton: Another big book to keep me going and as I’d be stuck on the island it would give me a chance to reread .It;s an excellent novel which kept me up until the early hours rapidly turning the pages.

The Night Circus: Erin Morgenstern: An absolute gem of a book that demands to be reread several times. There is so much in it you couldn’t possible absorb everything in one go. It demands you suspend all reality and go with the flow.’ The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it….. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not’. Such a teasing description on the back cover makes me want to go and read it again right now.

What book would you like to see made into a film and who would you cast for the central characters? 
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.I think it would translate to the big screen really well. For the main characters I would have Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Just because I think they make a great real life couple and would love to see them on screen together in something else beside the Spiderman films.

Thank you for taking part Emma x

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