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Comments for Armchair BEA Interview with Valerie of Life is a Patchwork Quilt

Armchair BEAArmchair BEA Interview with Valerie of Life is a Patchwork Quilt: 05/26/10

It's interview time at the Armchair BEA. I interviewed the lovely Valerie of Life is a Patchwork quilt who enjoys blogging about cooking, quilting and books.

Q You started your blog with a broccoli recipe. What inspired you to start there? Are you still using that recipe? (It sounds good!)

A Wow, I forgot that I posted that recipe! I have to admit it's been a long time since I've made it, although it is good and easy. When I started blogging back in January 2008, I envisioned it as being a very general blog about all my interests and my family; and my interests include cooking. As many blogs tend to do, it evolved to where it is now. At one point, I even tried maintaining a second blog that was devoted solely to food and cooking, but it kind of fell by the wayside after we moved to Colorado in the summer of 2008. Lately, I've been thinking about occasionally sharing recipes again.

Q What advice would you give to someone who wants to try quilting?

AFind out where the nearest quilt shops are, then find out if they offer beginner's classes (most do). If you live far away from a quilt shop, and are still determined to learn how to quilt, a good basic book I recommend would be "Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!" by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.

Q Which book is your favorite that you've reviewed on your blog?

AI'd have to say A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. This is an epic, 1,000+ page book set in India during partition days in the late 1940s (when part of India was formed into a new country, Pakistan). So many characters and incidents are in this book that still stay in my mind. I first read this book when it came out about fifteen years ago, then I read it again in October 2008 and blogged about my thoughts in some posts here and there -- I'm not sure if I have a formal review. Maybe I need to re-read it for a third time :-). I certainly would like to .... someday.

Q How have you grown as a book blogger?

AWell, when I started blogging, I didn't know there was a whole community of book bloggers out there! I somehow stumbled across a few book blogs, and reading them inspired me to write more systemically about the books I read. As a result, I now blog more often about books than other topics. I'd like to think that I've improved in writing blog posts, also. Over time, I have found more and more book blogs that I enjoy following. I am convinced it is a great community to be part of, especially after I participated in my first read-a-thon in the fall of 2009. Armchair BEA is another great example of book bloggers getting together and sharing!

Q My son and I were recently studying Haiku. Who is your favorite master?

AI'm no expert on Haiku or even poetry in general. I feel that I am still discovering many good poets, and Haiku masters. From "The Essential Haiku" that I recently read and reviewed, I'd say that I liked Basho the most. I'm currently reading "Haiku: The Other World" by Richard Wright (author of "Native son" and "Black Boy"), and am enjoying it. He devoted much of his time on haiku during the last years of his life, and this volume was published posthumously.

Q What are your favorite genres to review?

AThis is a tough one to answer! I enjoy reading so many different types of books. Therefore, I enjoy reviewing whatever I read. Sometimes I wonder if this affects my blog audience -- would I have more readers/commenters if I focused more on one or two genres? I don't know. I want to avoid burn-out by reading/reviewing just one or two type of genres, though.

It might be easier for me to say what I tend *not* to read: romances (i.e. Harlequins, Amish love stories), true crime, anything that would have a lot of violence, self-help (unless maybe if it is related to art or artists) including diet/exercise books, authors that crank out a book or two every year.

Q What is the most surprising thing that's happened while blogging?

AIt's fun when I get appreciative e-mails (sometimes they are in the comments instead) by an author, or a relative of a deceased author. Also, when I started blogging, I didn't realize that there'd be emotional connections I'd make with other bloggers.

Q If you could attend BEA this week, what would you be doing?

AI'd be trying to meet up with as many other book bloggers as possible :-). I'd probably be in several lines for getting books autographed, too -- although I didn't look up who all the authors are present at BEA this year.

QWhat books are you most excited about this year?

AThrough other book bloggers, I find out about so many books that I might not have otherwise heard of or maybe not picked up. I recently picked up Let the Great World Spin by Column McCann because of several positive reviews by bloggers -- I want to read it very soon! My to-be-read (TBR) pile is ever-growing, and there are so many I'd like to get to. So many books, so little time!

QWhat have I missed that I should have asked?

AAlthough I have several interests, reading is my earliest one. That is probably why it feels most natural for me to talk about books on my blog. But, I also enjoy (you guessed it) quilting, textile art, food and cooking, fitness (also I just got golf clubs for Mother's Day!), art appreciation, making and trading ATCs (artist trading cards), and most of all spending time with my family. It can sometimes be hard to balance it all with blogging, but I enjoy trying!

Thanks for interviewing me, it was fun!

Comments (10)


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Comment #1: Wednesday, May, 26, 2010 at 16:19:30


I really enjoyed your interview with Valerie of Life is a Patchwork Quilt.

Thanks for sharing!

Comment #2: Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 09:58:16


I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun interviewing her.

Comment #3: Wednesday, May, 26, 2010 at 17:37:31


I think I'll have to find A Suitable Boy now. This is the comment about it that has finally tipped the scale!

Comment #4: Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:00:37


Happy reading! Thank you for stopping by the interview.

Comment #5: Wednesday, May, 26, 2010 at 18:12:39


Great review! I'm off to go find that broccoli recipe right after this. It's funny to look back on your early posts isn't it?

Comment #6: Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:02:18


I should have linked to the recipe. Go into her archive and go to the earliest year and month and scroll to the bottom.

Comment #7: Wednesday, May, 26, 2010 at 18:24:30


Great interview - Valerie has a lot of interests, and you covered the range! This has been such a great opportunity to get better acquainted with other bloggers.

Comment #8: Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:05:28


Armchair BEA sure was fun. I'm glad we're doing it again next year.

Comment #9: Thursday, May, 27, 2010 at 13:04:27

Rhapsody in Books

Valerie, think how much better it would be if you got an appreciative email by the actual deceased author! (which I say because that's how I first read the sentence!)

Comment #10: Sunday, May 30, 2010 at 10:05:28


That would have been an interesting email.

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