For What It's Worth

Monday, February 27, 2012

Better Know A Blogger: Dawn - Read Love

The Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge is coming to a close. Get those last few reviews linked ! the challenge ends the 29th.

Today we have my last featured Better Know A Blogger. If you missed any of the featured bloggers or want to catch up on past Better Know A Blogger's, click here

Name: Dawn
Blog: Read Love
Blogging since: July 2, 2011

How did you choose the name for your blog? I wanted something easy to remember and easy to visually represent, as well as something that would represent me not only today but in the future. I tried to think of clever, catchy names, and the few potential creative options I stumbled on were already taken when I Googled them. So I decided to keep it simple. I love to read. Why not Read Love? I like that Read Love sounds imperative, like a commandment. What should we do? Read. And Love. The name ends up having a little extra meaning to me as a Christian.

How have your reading habits changed since you started blogging? Blogging doesn't change what I read when it comes to choices or preferences. If anything, it changes how much I read. My blog encourages me to read more often and more consistently. It also encourages me to take some time after reading a book to think about what I read, how well I enjoyed it, what I might have learned from it, etc.
One change in my reading has come with the discovery of NetGalley. Not only has NetGalley given me access to some books before publication, but it has helped me become more comfortable with reading books in digital format.
Blogging brought opportunities for me to write. Thanks to a group named Propeller, I had a chance to review some music CDs and host some giveaways. Reviewing those CDs and promoting the reviews on Twitter caught the attention of a website called which focuses on Christian music. The site's founder ended up inviting me to join their music review staff. I would never have sought these things out or had these kinds of chances without my blog. I am grateful for the experiences and the joy that I've received through them. But I still read and blog primarily for myself. I just want to have fun with reading (and sometimes music) and use my blog as a place to express myself and share my thoughts through writing.

What are the books you are most looking forward to reading in 2012? I don't plan too far ahead in my reading, but I have set up some books as must reads for the year, mainly as part of a goal to make progress through my bookshelves and make sure I am reading the books I've been buying.
I'm looking forward to what I call "meaty reads." Literature. The serious stuff. I can't wait to read another Steinbeck Novel. Last year I read East of Eden and adored it. I may have to revisit Of Mice and Men, which I read in high school but didn't appreciate. I'd like to read it again to find out if it was just too early in my life for me to value it or if my lack of enthusiasm was the product of my not being engaged by the teacher. I also want to read a Dickens novel, Little Dorrit.
In the YA world, I look forward to reading Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver as well as Veronica Roth's Insurgent.
The book I'm most looking forward to is one I hope will be finished and published this year, but as of right now, the author is still writing it: Bridge of Clay. The next Markus Zusak book. Markus has quickly become my favorite living author. I have enjoyed absolutely everything I've read of his. I've read them all, with the exception of I Am The Messenger. I'm holding that in reserve for a bit. But I'll probably read it this year. His writing is special and in a class all its own. He writes about regular people, but writes so well that the stories feel like more than fiction -- they feel alive and vibrant. His novels stir me to feel, they evoke strong emotional responses, both for their clarity in expressing humanity as well as their poetic, artistic beauty. Markus writes honestly and truthfully. And I can't wait for what's next. Its so exciting to have a living writer to follow, as most of my favorites (such as Hemingway, Faulkner, and Twain) are no longer living. Once I read what these favorite late authors have written, there will be no more. But Markus happens to be my contemporary. In fact, we are born in the same month and year. I look forward to growing old reading Markus' works as they come, knowing that when I finish the most recent work that another will follow.

How do you choose which book from the enormous TBR pile to read next? That largely depends on my mood. The hardest thing is deciding what to read after a 5-star, blow-your-mind kind of book. You feel like anything else is going to be a let down. And sometimes you are emotionally spent. So, at times, it's necessary to take a short break. To digest what you've read and think about it a little. For this reason, blogging can be very helpful. Taking the time to write a thoughtful review helps me to process what I've read, and I often have a better idea of what kind of story I want to read next.
Sometimes it's an easy decision. If I've just finished a Hemingway novel, for instance, I'm going to be totally emotionally drained and probably even a little depressed. I'll pick up something extremely light. Something fun. Funny. Happy. Kiddie lit. Something like Clementine or Sammy Keyes. If I've read a lot of fantasy, I'll probably pick a different genre. Luckily, my reading tastes are diverse.
Sometimes it's difficult to decide what I want to read next. I pick up a book, scan a paragraph or two, a page or two, and nothing grabs me. When this happens, I just keep pulling books from the shelf and reading the opening paragraphs until something feels right. Or I go to the store or the library and browse the shelves. If nothing feels right, I'll sleep on it and a day or so later I'll figure it out.

What has been the best thing about blogging and reviewing books? The reading experience, of course!

Find Dawn on Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Karen: Thanks Dawn!


  1. Nice meeting you :) I like the name of the blog!

  2. Glad to meet you. I have to admit, I didn't appreciate Of Mice and Men in HS either, but I have no urge to revisit it. I hope you find it more fulfilling this time around!