All Male Review Challenge Wrap-Up


The end is here! I know Missie and I have had a lot of fun hosting this event and hope you had fun participating. We are already looking for ways to improve the All Male Review Challenge in the future, so please leave us comments if you have suggestions or just want to let us know what you thought of the event!

Today is the last day to link up those reviews, so get them in before the end of the day for the maximum number of entries in our Mega AWESOME Prize Packs of books! We have three Mega Awesome Prize Packs: a paranormal prize pack, a contemporary prize pack, and an international prize pack.

Paranormal Prize Pack
Thirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood, Red Dice by Christopher Pike
Thirst No. 2: Phantom, Evil Thirst, Creatures of Forever by Christopher Pike
The Fallen: Volume 1 by Thomas E. Sniegoski
The Fallen: Volume 2 by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Peeps (Peeps #1) by Scott Westerfeld
Foundling (Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1) by D.M. Cornish
Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2) by D.M. Cornish
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Contemporary Prize Pack
Swim the Fly (Swim the Fly, #1) by Don Calame (Thanks to Candlewick Press)
Beat the Band (Swim the Fly, #2) by Don Calame (Thanks to Candlewick Press)
Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Runner by Carl Deuker
Friend Is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt
The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker

International Prize Pack
Life, Liberty & Pursuit by Susan Quinn (e-book. Thanks to Omnific Publishing)
Shades of Atlantis by Carol Oates (e-book. Thanks to Omnific Publishing)
Breaking Point by Jess Bowen (e-book. Thanks to Omnific Publishing)
Ethereal Messenger by Scott Nicholson (e-book. Thanks to Scott Nicholson)
plus $15 Gift Certificate from The Book Depository

Winners will be selected after the contest closes and announced within the week, so keep your eyes peeled!

How I Met Your Mother “Challenge Accepted” t-shirt will go to the person who linked up the most reviews for the challenge!

Good luck!

Review and Giveaway: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Click the cover to purchase at Amazon
Book: Sapphique
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Dial
Release date: December 28, 2010
Source: ARC received from Tabitha at Writer Musings
Series: Sequel to Incarceron

**NOTE – Spoilers are hidden**

Summary: (from Goodreads) The only one who escaped . . . And the one who could destroy them all.

Incarceron, the living prison, has lost one of its inmates to the outside world: Finnâ??s escaped, only to find that Outside is not at all what he expected. Used to the technologically advanced, if violently harsh, conditions of the prison, Finn is now forced to obey the rules of Protocol, which require all people to live without technology. To Finn, Outside is just a prison of another kind, especially when Claudia, the daughter of the prisonâ??s warden, declares Finn the lost heir to the throne. When another claimant emerges, both Finnâ??s and Claudiaâ??s very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court of something that even he doesnâ??t fully believe.

Meanwhile, Finnâ??s oathbrother Keiro and his friend Attia are still trapped inside Incarceron. They are searching for a magical glove, which legend says Sapphique used to escape. To find it, they must battle the prison itself, because Incarceron wants the glove too.

First impressions: I just adore how well Catherine Fisher creates the worlds of Incarceron and Outside. She definitely pulls you in, and the opening chapter here does not disappoint. We follow one of our main characters from inside the prison, attending a magic show that quickly evolves into something more. The dark, oily world of Incarceron is absolutely compelling.

Lasting impressions: This book lost me at a couple of points, where the action slowed and I wasn’t sure where the story was going so I almost gave up. It’s sad because the characters and world here are so incredible that it’s truly a shame that the plot wasn’t equally as brilliant.

Conflicting impressions: Like the first book, this one left a few too many gaps for my taste. I felt like Fisher didn’t explain things as fully as she could have in order to ease our understanding of what was going on.

Overall impressions: It’s hard to say much about this book without giving away the ending of the previous book, Incarceron. The important thing to know is that Incarceron is a living prison, and some of the prisoners inside are still trying to get out. They have to battle the prison for control of a glove believed to reveal the way out. Meanwhile, Outside, the Warden of Incarceron’s daughter, Claudia, is trying to lead a revolt against the Queen and free the prisoners of Incarceron.

Catherine Fisher writes dark, complex, complicated novels, so I had a very hard time deciding what kind of rating to give this book, or even processing how I really felt about it. The world Outside the prison, and the prison Incarceron itself, are not good places to be. As such, there are no easy answers about where one would prefer to exist, or whose life is truly better. Because of this, I had a hard time deciding who to root for.

Do I root for the death of Incarceron, and with it the millions of prisoners still trapped inside? Or do I root for the prison to open, freeing the prisoners but unleashing them on a dying society?

I couldn’t really answer those questions, which I think explained my confusion and uncertainty with the book. This was equally balanced, however, with beautiful prose and colorful characters. I loved the people, and while all the main characters are back from the first book, we got some interesting new ones as well.

One of the best things about these books is the simple fact that Fisher writes so beautifully. It took me longer than usual to read this book because I wanted to savor every word and phrase. Even though I got a little frustrated at times that I didn’t quite know what the overarching goal of the story was, I really enjoyed the journey because of Fisher’s gift with words.

Despite the lack of details that I like, and the seeming lack of a fully realized direction for the story, I did enjoy this book a lot. The fantasy steampunk world of Outside coupled with the dystopian prison is fascinating and unlike anything else I’ve read. Fisher wins major bonus points for originality and writing style. I recommend both books if you’re looking for something different, challenging, and thought-provoking to read.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system
Want to read my take on the first book? Click to read my review of Incarceron. Fun fact: it was also my very first review!



As part of the All Male Review Challenge, I am giving away my ARC of this book to one lucky winner!

This contest is open to ages 13 and up with a U.S. mailing address. To enter, leave a comment on this post, along with an email address where I can contact you. The contest will close on June 3, 2011 and the winner will be announced on the 4th. Good luck!

Leverage Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my All Male Review Challenge giveaway of Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen. The results have been tabulated, and with a little help from Random.org, the winner is…

Congratulations Library Lady! Be sure to check your email so I can get your book out to you as soon as possible. Happy reading!

Friday Five (5) and Weekly Recap

Welcome to Friday Five! This meme is run by the writers at Paper Hangover. Each week they give us a blogging prompt where we make a list about five things related to books and/or writing.

This week’s topic is “What are FIVE of your most distracting (procrastination-worthy) things (habits, websites, etc.) on the internet?”

1. Ugliest Tattoos. I usually insist on reading this until I cry from laughter, which doesn’t take long.

2. MSN Wonderwall. It’s like an online gossip magazine that doesn’t make me feel like I’m reading trash.

3. Text Twist. I get a wee bit obsessed when playing this word puzzle game.

4. Wikipedia. If I need to know something, I’m wiki-ing it.

5. Yelp. I rarely try new things anymore without first scouring the reviews on Yelp.

What sites do you frequent? I need new ones!


My weekly recap is inspired by the phenomenally talented, kind and generous Small Review. If you are not already following her, you are really missing out. Also, have I mentioned how much I love Cool Text? They’re the folks that allow me to make these cool (and simple) text buttons – for FREE!

If you’re a first time visitor, or just didn’t get the chance to stop by this week, here’s what you missed:

Features
Armchair BEA – Nurturing Relationships
See the debut of my new blog signature!

Armchair BEA – My Top 2011 Books
See which books I’m most regretting not getting at BEA this year.

The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – Bryan Sabol
The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – aobibliophileâ?¢

Reviews
AWAKEN by Katie Kacvinsky
4/5 stars
2011 Debut Author Challenge

LAST CHANCE!

It’s nearly the end of the All Male Review Challenge! If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here. Then be sure to link up your reviews to increase your chances of winning our prize packs!

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

Armchair BEA – Nurturing Relationships


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots
Today the good folks at Armchair BEA have started a discussion about nurturing relationships through book blogging. I hadn’t planned on posting today, mostly because I’m avoiding writing a review for Starcrossed, but also because I am lazy. This topic really got me thinking, though.

For me, blogging is all about the relationships. Every day I get excited about scrolling through my Google Reader feed for the latest updates from my bloggy friends. I’m a few weeks away from hitting that 6 month mark, and already I can count a bunch of you faithful readers among my friends.

It’s kind of amazing when you write a review and an author personally thanks you. It’s super cool to send out a tweet and have people respond. It’s even better when popular, established, and admired bloggers take you under their wing and pump you full of confidence. If I didn’t have these relationships, and the promise of more of them, I wouldn’t come back here to write everyday.

Relationships take work. They need to be cultivated. I’m really looking forward to the end of school so I can devote more time to getting to know my followers and all of the stupendous folks I follow. I realize that currently I am a big fat slacker when it comes to commenting, and I promise it will get better.

When you do make those connections, though, people can really surprise you. They lend you books they think you’d like, leave you comments that make your entire week, send you emails of support, thank you for your review, and sometimes even give you free stuff! Which means, of course, that you should do things like that in return. Relationships are a two-way street, and if you’re not giving, you’re not getting, or at least not for long.

I got a big “get” recently that I want to point out. Small Review did a post last week about how to add a signature to your blog, and because I love all things awkwardly Paint created, I squeed a bit over her example signature.

So you know what she did? SHE MADE ME ONE. And linked to it in her comment back to me.

Logan, Itâ??s totally understandable that youâ??d covet it. 🙂 But fear not, Iâ??ve made you one now HERE. That blob on the left is a hat (with a feather) and the blob on the right is a magical wand. The dots are magical sparkles. Get ready for skyrocketing follower numbers and droves of onlookers.

(and, no, I donâ??t actually expect you to use it!)

Of course, not using it was so NOT an option. This is what comes from good relationship cultivation. People make you awesome things. So without further ado, I now debut the magical Small Review created signature just for me. It’s okay. You can be jealous.

The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – Bryan Sabol

As part of The All Male Review Challenge, I’m featuring some of our male book blogger friends in this new interview feature: The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask. Each blogger answered the same 7 questions so that we can all get to know them a bit better. The men of the book blogging community are interesting, charming, funny, witty, and some of the best all around bloggers! If you like what you read here, be sure to check out their blogs – you won’t be disappointed.

My guest today is Bryan Sabol from Time Guardian Blog. This interview is a bit different from previous installments, as Bryan runs a blog devoted to encouraging reading among boys and young men, and I asked him to delve into this topic as well as share about his own writing.

1) Tell us a little about your blog – when you started, what your focus is, why you do it, etc.

I started my blog about 2 years ago, shortly after completing a draft of the first novel in my Time Guardian Saga series. At that point, my drive to start blogging was mostly about getting my feet wet in the creative writing world. Like so many aspiring authors out there, I had a completed manuscript but no clue what the next step was. Creating a blog was my way to engage in the online writing community.


Of course, the biggest challenge with launching any blog is to produce meaningful content, to write articles that benefit others by sparking new ideas or directing people to good information. Most of my early posts were essentially in the style of an online journal, discussing my efforts as I developed my writing skills, joining blogfests, and so on. I wanted my blog to go beyond “I wrote x pages today,” which frankly doesnâ??t really grab a reader. I knew I ultimately wanted to morph my blog into a place where other aspiring writers could come to read and share their knowledge of the craft and the business of writing. Problem was, how? To make my blog more relevant, it needed to go beyond my personal efforts, but I wasnâ??t sure what the next stage would be.

As I became more involved in learning what was “out there,” I realized that the MG/YA male voice was rare – both for writers and for protagonists. As a guy who was writing MG works with male main characters, it was a natural extension to use my blog to help spread the word about books for boys. I now blog about up-and-coming releases, and I also add each new entry to my permanent “New Books for Boys” page.

Part of the challenge for me is hearing about all the good books that are coming out. Iâ??m always grateful for folks who point me to something new, so if anyone out there knows of new books for boys that are just about to be released, Iâ??d love to hear about them and Iâ??ll add it to the list.

2) Book blogging seems pretty heavy on the females. Do you think being a male blogger and writer has any advantages or disadvantages?

Hmm, I think I have to approach this from a couple of angles:

  • From the writerâ??s perspective, yes, clearly there is a significant majority of women writers in the YA/MG genres (and most other genres, to boot). Same goes for blogs: I see many more women than men actively blogging about YA/MG. But I donâ??t think whether youâ??re a man or woman author/blogger is important. Itâ??s all about what you produce, how your writing captures your audience. In other words, you attract readers because you have something interesting to say, not because youâ??re a “Mr.” or a “Ms.”
  • I do think thereâ??s one area where male versus female can make an important difference, especially in YA books, and thatâ??s the sex of the protagonist. Iâ??ve read that the market for YA books with a male protagonist is very small. Mary Kole, KidLit.com blogger and agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency wrote an article about this issue a while ago. Many publishing houses only publish one or two boy-centric YA books per season, so if thatâ??s your manuscript, youâ??re swimming against a very strong current. I should emphasize that this male protagonist issue is much more pronounced in YA than in MG (which is good news for me indeed), but it does bear some thought for those who are trying to maximize their chances at publication.

3) Do you read a lot of books with male protagonists? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Iâ??m a big believer in reading in your genre, so I spend a lot of time looking for male-oriented MG books to see how their story arcs are structured, how the characters develop. Of course, the really good novels make this a huge struggle, as I constantly lose myself in the story. And while thatâ??s a real pleasure, itâ??s not helping me learn specific writing techniques. I can go for pages at a time before the analytical part of my brain kicks in and I remember I need to focus on how things are being written.

That said, I have eclectic tastes, so in addition to books for boys, Iâ??ll pick up anything that peaks my interest. And why not? You never know what youâ??ll learn – or experience – in your next story, regardless of its genre.

4) Give us three books you consider “must reads.”

Three great recent MG books are:

  • Windblowne by Stephen Messer
  • Clockwork Dark trilogy by John Claude Bemis
  • Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

5) Do you write primarily for a male audience? Tell us about your projects.

So far my focus has been on male protagonists, but I want to stress that having a boy main character shouldnâ??t preclude a story from being enjoyed by girls. My intent is to write novels that attract boys and girls alike. And adults, for that matter.

My first novel was Timekey. This is the story of a 14-year-old boy whose mother, a famous archaeologist, vanishes from her Anasazi dig site. The only clue she left behind is a recently uncovered artifact â?? an iridescent metallic orb with the power to travel through time. The protagonist crosses into the time of the Anasazi and lands smack in the middle of a clandestine struggle for control of the orb. He has to stay one step ahead of the conspirators who covet it, rescue his mother, and return the orb to its rightful owner before his civilization is erased from history. But when you’re traveling through time and between cultures, how do you tell the good guys from the bad?

Timekey is finished and Iâ??m currently shopping it around, hoping to land the right agent. Iâ??ve worked out a detailed plot arc for additional books in this series, but until I can get an agent interested in book 1, the remaining stories in the Time Guardian Saga are on hold.

My latest project is an urban fantasy/steampunk work based in the far north. It focuses on a 12-year-old boy who is a “half breed,” struggling to find his place between his fatherâ??s traditionalist hunter/gatherer clan who lives on the ice, and his motherâ??s urban world that is dependent on technology. Although I really enjoy the steampunk aspect and am traditionally a plot-driven writer, Iâ??m trying to focus more on the characterâ??s internal struggles and family conflict. I think this should result in a more immersive world when woven into the external plot.

6) Promoting books for boys is a central feature of your blog. Why is this important to you?

Promoting books for boys should be important to everyone. Until recently, I only heard anecdotal comments about how on average, boys in our society have a much lower level of interest in reading than girls. I decided to do some fact-finding, so I spent some time looking up the latest independent studies on childrenâ??s reading habits. I posted a summary of my research in an article on my blog. The results are truly alarming: world-wide, weâ??re at risk of losing an entire generation of male readers.

Some key points to consider:

  • Boys donâ??t read as much or as well as girls. The discrepancy in boys’ and girls’ respective levels of interest and skill in reading spans multiple countries and cultures. A Progress in International Reading Literacy Study assessment conducted in 2001 revealed that grade 4 girls performed better than boys in all thirty-four countries where the assessment was administered. Moreover, boys increasingly describe themselves as non-readers as they get older. Few of them have this attitude early in their schooling, but, according to some experts, nearly 50% describe themselves as non-readers by the time they enter secondary school.
  • Boys frequently view reading as a feminine activity and this can reduce their motivation to read. Seeing reading as a girlsâ?? pastime can diminish motivation for boys, who share social affiliation with one another by rejecting reading.
  • Boys tend to prefer stories with male protagonists. Stories with male protagonists can help boy reluctant readers to relate more viscerally. By reflecting themselves as the male protagonist, we might be able to change their view of reading as a feminine activity.

What this all boils down to is pretty simple. We need to get boys engaged in reading early on and keep them at it. If you have a boy whoâ??s a reluctant reader, a good starting place is to find a story that speaks to his interests: boy main character, action-oriented plot, sports, animals, and a combination of drama and humor are good bets.

Finally, when I saw the paucity of information on the Web concerning books for boys, it made me even more determined to help spread the word. We need to make it easier for kids, parents, teachers, and librarians to find the types of stories that can help bridge this reading gap. I figured, what better way to do that than to use my blog to highlight new books that are likely to be enjoyed by these reluctant readers?

7) When you’re not reading, writing or blogging, what are you most likely doing?

What, thereâ??s something else to life? 🙂

My day job takes a huge amount of time – but at least Iâ??m a technical writer, so I can keep my fingers on the keyboard and the writing part of my brain engaged. Aside from that, being daddy to my two young daughters is top priority. Anything left over after that is the rare kayak paddle on Puget Sound.

Thanks for sharing with us! You can follow Bryan at Time Guardian Blog and find out more about his books at the Time Guardian Saga website.

Armchair BEA – My Top 2011 Books


Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Book Expo America is happening this week. As much as I really, really wanted to go, between focusing on graduation and my relative newness as a book blogger, I decided to skip it this year and aim for next year. I was thrilled, however, to discover Armchair BEA, which brings the awesome book excitement straight to your armchair/home/sobbing-corner-of-Left-Outsville.

Today many of the participants are hosting giveaways, but for those of us who were late to the party (and perhaps a bit strapped from our own giveaways *ahem*), we’re discussing the books we’re excited about in 2011.

When I found out Ally Condie was going to be signing Crossed at BEA, I almost cried. I’m still depressed about missing this one. I want my grubby hands on this one so bad I could throw up from the anxious wanting and needing.

Mindy Kaling is my goddess. She is the funniest person alive. When I found out she was hosting a breakfast, I squealed. I love her, and I am very sad that I don’t get to see her in person.

Though both of these books are threatening to buckle under the hype pressure, I still am anxious to read them. I am already super jealous of the peeps coming home with these in their luggage.

For those of you also not attending BEA, what books are you sad you’re missing out on?

Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

Click the cover to purchase at Amazon
Book: Awaken
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Release date: May 23, 2011 – TODAY!
Source: NetGalley ARC

Summary: (from Goodreads) Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether itâ??s to go to school or on a date, people donâ??t venture out of their home. Thereâ??s really no need. For the most part, Maddieâ??s okay with the solitary, digital lifeâ??until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People arenâ??t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside herâ??a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.

First impressions: BANG! Did you hear that? That was me racing through the front half of this book. Cannot. Put. Down. Even. To. Eat. Feeding myself was far less of a concern than finding out what was going to happen next.

Lasting impressions: I am in love with Justin. He is my official book boyfriend until further notice. The love story here is so sweet and real and satisfying. Even if I did sometimes want to punch Justin in the face.

Conflicting impressions: Seriously Justin? You put work over personal happiness? Your seemingly well-meaning chivalrous attempts to protect Maddie don’t make any sense. You either want her on your side or you don’t.

Overall impressions: Okay, so maybe Justin and I are in a time-out. He can be so irritating!

See, Maddie is not the innocent I first assumed her to be. This is part of what I loved about this book. She’s a bit of a rebel, and is on probation for hacking into her uber-powerful dad’s computer and helping the resistance movement try to take down Digital School. After a rash of violent incidents years ago, Maddie’s dad developed an online educational system that has quickly spread to almost all facets of life. It’s like the internet on steroids, where people rarely leave their homes because everything can be done online.

Kind of cool. Kind of scary.

Justin is one of the folks that thinks this is more scary than cool. He wants to bring people out of their homes, offline, and back into open society. He reaches out to Maddie, and she soon realizes that he’s trying to recruit her. She’s not sure whether or not to tread back into Bad Girl territory, but Justin is quite the temptation. Her unraveling relationship with her super strict dad only pushes her harder into Justin’s arms.

This is mostly a love story, after all, despite the dystopian (ish) setting. Digital School had its drawbacks, but it wasn’t all terrible. In fact, it was kind of mostly awesome, especially for people like me who prefer to avoid awkward social interactions. Sure it’s also a cautionary tale about the internet taking over our lives/world, but at heart this is really about Maddie coming to terms with her own views on society’s direction, and how her feelings for Justin influence that viewpoint.

So why is Justin so irritating? Well, he has this hang-up about his little underground rebellion. He works to recruit people to his cause, and this takes him on the road for long periods of time with little to no reliable means of communication. Despite Maddie’s strengths and abilities, he continually insists that she’s too valuable to be out in the field, so OBVIOUSLY they can’t be together.

Please.

I’m so sick of the “we must protect the fragile female” perspective! For once I’d like to see the dude go “SICK! You’re beautiful and smart and capable of man-handling the organization we’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back – and you WANT to help? Let’s go take them down and be super happy love partners in crime together!”

But no. That never happens. Instead they just whine about how much they want to be with the girl, but do The Right Thing and protect them by quarantining them somewhere away from the action until the manly men types save the world for them. BARF.

I forgave Justin, though, because he’s so darn cute. And even though Maddie didn’t step up as much or as often as I would have liked, she reminded me so much of myself that I forgave her too. They’re just too awesome! Maddie is brilliant, funny, shy, and a bit of an adventure-seeker. I so related to her willingness to go with the flow and get caught up in the wild capers that start to come her way, not wanting to turn down the opportunity to just live a little and maybe meet some cool people. You never know when you’ll meet that person who changes your life, in either a good or bad way, and sometimes you just have to walk on the edge of good and bad until your choice reaches its consequence.

Bottom line? Loved, loved, loved this book, but the end and the Justin-isms were enough to knock it down a star. If you’re in the mood for a great love story in a futuristic setting, definitely pick this one up. Immediately.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask – aobibliophileâ?¢

As part of The All Male Review Challenge, I’m featuring some of our male book blogger friends in this new interview feature: The Man Behind the (Blog) Mask. Each blogger answered the same 7 questions so that we can all get to know them a bit better. The men of the book blogging community are interesting, charming, funny, witty, and some of the best all around bloggers! If you like what you read here, be sure to check out their blogs – you won’t be disappointed.

My guest today is aobibliophileâ?¢ from aobibliosphereâ?¢!

1) Tell us a little about your blog – when you started, what your focus is, why you do it, etc.

i started last November 2010. it’s a cool coincidence to be part of the All Male Review Challenge since my blog just turned 6 on the 17th of this month.

aobibliosphereâ?¢ is about books – my life-long romance with them and my journey of discovery and learning. it is also a tribute to all authors, readers, fellow book bloggers and to all the books yet to be read and written.

2) Book blogging seems pretty heavy on the females. Do you think being a male blogger has any advantages or disadvantages?

i did notice that majority of book bloggers are females but this does not make me uncomfortable in any way. it never even crossed my mind that there are pros and cons to being a male blogger. i’m having fun and i’m just grateful to be surrounded by people who are as passionate about reading as i am.

3) Do you read a lot of books with male protagonists? Why or why not?

i read almost anything that interests me so i don’t really keep track. enjoying the book and feeling good about it is more important to me regardless of the protagonist’s gender.

4) Give us three books you consider “must reads.”

that’s a tough one to answer as we all have different tastes and wants. one man’s treasure is another man’s junk but i recommend the following:

  • The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King – a brilliant septology by a master wordsmith
  • Havah by Tosca Lee – a story about Eve, the first woman and mother of us all
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père – a timeless classic i never get tired of reading every now and then

5) If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?

i go for Harry Potter. having been orphaned myself, i feel for this boy-wizard and what he had to go through. i also love the series and i have the US and UK editions of all seven books. hopefully, i could add the French, German and Spanish translations to my collection soon.

6) When you’re not reading or blogging, what are you most likely doing?

writing in my journal, painting landscapes in watercolor, cooking and taking care of my 8 year-old nephew. i rarely watch TV now so one or a couple of these keep me occupied when i’m not in front of my laptop.

7) Share an interesting/weird/random/funny fact about yourself with us.

  • most of my readers/followers assume that i’m a female book blogger. lol! i assure everyone though that i’m not offended. not at all. c”,) i guess my blog’s design and button has to do with the assumption plus the fact that i blog anonymously. the blog’s layout is really a tribute to my late Mom who was born on St. Patrick’s Day. she loved to read as well and had influenced my passion for the written word. green is and has always been my favorite color. finding a St. Pattie’s theme for aobibliosphereâ?¢ was just perfect!
  • a couple of months or so after i started blogging, i had strange lucid dreams where i found myself drafting a review. the thing is, the scene kept repeating itself over and over. i always woke up feeling groggy and my fingers ached. i thought it was funny and horrible at the same time! to date, i don’t have these dreams anymore thank goodness! lol!

Thanks for sharing with us! You can follow aobibliophileâ?¢ at aobibliosphereâ?¢ and on Twitter @aobibliophile.

James Kennedy Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my All Male Review Challenge giveaway of The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy. The results have been tabulated, and with a little help from Random.org just kidding – there was only one entrant, so by default the winner is…

Congratulations Aimee! Be sure to check your email so I can get your book out to you as soon as possible. Happy reading!