FEATURE: Kinfolk of the Moon: Morsie Reads (1)

Good afternoon!

The moon is full and so I’d like to welcome you to the first installment of Kinfolk of the Moon! This is a feature that runs on the full and new moons here at Rhiannon Paille’s blog, and it’s basically a look at other bloggers in the blogosphere!


Today I’d like to welcome Karen from Morsie Reads to the blog! You can click on the link to go to her blog, it’s quite nice. She’s an archivist from Sleepy Hollow, and no that’s not a typo!

Watch what happened when me and Karen talked about books, archiving, and the hunger games.

Rhi: Are you really from Sleepy Hollow?

Karen: Yes, indeed I am. I was born in Phelps Hospital in the Sleepy Hollow (though my birth certificate lists my city of birth as North Tarrytown since the name wasn’t officially changed to Sleepy Hollow until 1996). I recently moved back to the area and while I don’t actually live in the village of Sleepy Hollow (I was quite a bit more comfortable noting my accurate location information when I lived in a city), I’m close enough that I’m still within “Sleepy Hollow Country.”

Rhi: What is the best thing about your job?

Karen: I have a new job so I’m still learning the ropes, but I love the fact that the person I have to work most closely with is someone I genuinely enjoy being around.

Rhi: And the worst thing?

Karen: Moving. I loathe moving and I’m knee-deep in orchestrating the move of all the library and archival collections to the organizations new headquarters building.

Rhi: Your favorite book of all time?

Karen: For 10+ years my standard answer has been The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa, but I have to admit that I haven’t reevaluated in ages.

Rhi: Your favorite book right now?

Karen: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read it right around this time last year and once I started it, I couldn’t believe that I’d waited so long to read it (especially considering that it’d been recommended to me by two people whose taste in books I trust implicitly).

Rhi: Can you let us know a bit about your reviewing process?

Karen: I don’t really have a formal process for reviewing books. When I’m reading I take note of things I might want to mention in the review, flagging passages that are particularly wonderful or irritating. I don’t always write up the review right after I finish the book. That’s something that I’m trying to rectify (I like reading books much more than I like reviewing them so I often procrastinate). Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of distance from a book before you review it,
but often I think it’s best to formulate thoughts with the reading experience is still fresh in your mind.

I’ve reviewed for Library Journal as well as for a number of different review sites online, but at the moment I’m just reviewing for the blog. I like reviewing for the blog because I can allow
myself to be less formal. I don’t have length requirements. I can write in the first person. I can add footnotes (I’m probably far too fond of footnotes for my own good) and as many parentheticals as I want. There’s less pressure. I don’t feel that I have to read a certain book right now if I’m not in the mood for it. I worry less about the reviews being high quality or about making sure to touch on a whole series of key elements. If I don’t have anything to say about a certain aspect of the book, I don’t have to write anything about it.

Rhi: What do you look for in a good book?

Karen: I’m drawn to beautiful phrasing and atmospheric writing and authors who are able to perfectly articulate often unacknowledged truths. Honestly, though, I’m really not that picky. I’ll read romance novels nearly as readily as literary fiction. The most important thing for me is that the book is enjoyable or compelling in some way.

Rhi: When your nose isn’t in a book where might it be?

Karen: Sniffing newly acquired yarn (I’m a knitter) or scrunched in concentration over a board game.

Rhi: Can you tell us one of your real life adventures?

Karen: I spent my fourth of July at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s house, in period costume talking about 19th century knitting.

Rhi: What made you decide to become a book blogger?

Karen: I started my blog in 2006. A few of my other bookish friends had started blogs and encouraged me to do so. It was a bit of a whim and it didn’t occur to me that I should spend time coming up with a good name for the blog. My screenname for BookCrossing (and other related sites) is morsecode and I was known on a forum I used to frequent as “morsie” so “morsie reads” was an easy choice for a blog name.

Rhi: If your life was an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance, what type would it be?

Karen: Oh, that’s a tough one. I guess it would have to be a paranormal romance. Now I’m trying to picture my husband as a weretiger….

Rhi: Most embarrassing moment while reviewing books, reading books, buying books, or otherwise?

Karen: A pipe burst in my apartment building, causing all kinds of flooding. I was alone in my apartment when a guy came by with these enormous, high powered fans to dry out the carpet. There was some sex-related book out on a table (I can’t even remember what it was), the guy noticed it and gave me the swarmiest leering look. I shudder just thinking about it.

Rhi: And one thing not many people know about you?

Karen: I appear as a case study in a book about working with bereaved children.

That was really cool, and for the record, I did ask the urban fantasy question wrong, but I’ll reword it for the new moon on July 30th. Thanks Karen for stopping by my blog and for letting me interview you!

Be sure to stop by Karen’s blog, Morsie Reads and become a follower!

If you want to be one of the Kinfolk of the Moon, please e-mail me at rhiannonpaille at gmail dot com.

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