BB: For those who don't already follow The Book Habit could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely! My name is Laura and I am a postgraduate student studying in London. Fortunately, I also get to balance the city life with a little bit of countryside cliché, commuting in from a tiny English village where I also work part-time as a tour guide in a stately home. Aside from my obvious book addiction, I also have an excessive love for:
1. Vinyls and my monstrous record player. I am so behind the times it’s ridiculous.
2. Shakespeare. I have a Hamlet quote written on my living room wall. No lie.
3. Marmite. Because I like to be controversial.
The Book Habit was started as a step onwards from my somewhat bizarre addiction to writing book reviews in an old notebook. The blog is an eclectic mix of reviews, literary lifestyle posts, and my general ramblings. I created it hoping to guide other readers to books that might interest them (both old and new), while also chronicling my addiction to all things bookish.
BB: As well as writing reviews you also have an interesting series of posts named 'Literary Excursions', could you tell us a little bit more about how you came up with this idea?
I have always been fortunate to have people around me (family and friends) who are happy to indulge my literary addiction. Being lucky enough to live just outside of London, I have a huge number of literary hotspots within an easy distance and spend quite a lot of my free days taking myself off on a variety of adventures. The ‘Literary Excursions’ series was created to show readers just how many opportunities there are to explore the worlds inhabited by favourite authors. As a book addict, I absolutely love to walk in the footsteps of writers. It is, I think, the best way to get a feel for what inspired them.
BB: We're always looking for new books for our TBR piles - which 3 books or series would you recommend our readers pick up?
Oh my goodness, narrowing down to three is tough! I’m going to give you a couple of newish reads and one old favourite.
1. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. One of my absolute favourite recent reads and one of my first blog reviews. A complete treasure, truly unique, and a real must read!
2. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. This one is actually on the list for World Book Night UK and is definitely a book for the fiction fan. Clever and hilarious, there really isn’t any other book quite like it.
3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. While I would be hard-pressed to decide on an all-time favourite novel, this one would probably beat out other choices. Beautiful and tragic, it is magical on every level.
Full disclosure: I thought abut this question for at least 30 minutes. Here’s the result:
1. Professor Dumbledore (‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling) – I don’t know that this requires lengthy explanation to anyone who has similarly manic levels of love for the Harry Potter series. Mostly I just love the beard though.
2. Celia Bowen (‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern) – One might think that, with Professor Dumbledore present, I wouldn’t need the Cirque des Rêves’ great illusionist. But who wouldn’t want to see those two face-off as some light dinner entertainment?
3. Hamlet (‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare) – for the laughs.
4. Willy Wonka (‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl) – Because he would bring dessert.
5. Mr. Darcy (‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen) – Again, no explanation required (particularly if you already follow my blog and have picked up the excessive number of Colin Firth shout-outs). Needless to say, it is likely a jug of water would find itself accidently spilled all over this particular guest as the evening progressed.
I recognise that my guest list is fairly male-dominated. Mostly purposeful given the presence of one Mr. D. However, with J.K. Rowling’s revelations about Dumbledore’s love interests, I realise that his invite may be a bit of a risk to my scheme.
BB: If you could live in any fictional world which one would you choose?
Ah that’s really tough. Mostly because I’m worried that saying Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory will make me look excessively greedy. So instead I will say that I would love to live in the Cirque des Rêves (‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern). Truly the most fantastic place I have had the pleasure of escaping to through my literary addiction! Although some way of combining the two with a sort of chocolate circus would obviously be ideal.
BB: Last but not least, which fellow book blogs would you recommend to our readers?
I really love About Happy Books (www.abouthappybooks.com) - a seriously eclectic mix of book reviews. As someone with extremely diverse taste in genres, it is a great source of information!
I’m also a big fan of the ladies over at Literary Hoarders (www.literaryhoarders.wordpress.com). They write some fantastic reviews that I’ve always found really helpful in picking out new reads.
You can find Laura's blog here
I'd like to say a huge thank you from all of us here at BB to Laura for taking part in this interview.