Hello biblios! And welcome to another “Cuppa with a Book Blogger”, where we get to learn a little bit more about some of our favourite book bloggers (or meet a new book blogger friend along the way)!
My guest today is Chandra, the book queen behind Where the Reader Grows. Chandra is a pool playing, thriller addict who resides in New York City. Her blog is a collection of book reviews and musings of personal experiences she’s had along her journey. I’m so excited for you to get to know Chandra a bit better so let’s get right to the interview:
So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way – who is Chandra? Tell us a bit about the book lover behind the blog.
I’m a military brat, born in Korea and have lived in a few states, Italy and currently residing in New York City. I used to compete in pool (8-ball and 9-ball) and love all things relating to science, travel, cooking and the supernatural – not necessarily in that order J.
Everyone has a story and I’m positive you do too. What inspired you to start blogging? And how did you come up with the name for your space?
My favorite book is Where the Red Fern Grows so my name is a play from that title. It also defines life in general – every book you read, experience you have, makes you grow in one way or the other. No matter what happens in life, there’s ALWAYS room to grow.
As I was reading, I decided to start posting reviews of books as I started reading books by our very own Bookstagram authors. Most of them are indie writers and live by word of mouth and reviews are always appreciated. From there I just continued to do so for any book that made its way into my brain. Getting to know other bookstagrammers and being encouraged to start a blog helped me in my quest to begin my own site. I’m excited to get my thoughts on books and life in general out to the world for anyone who care to join me.
From one book blogger to another, I know how much time goes into crafting a post that you feel comfortable enough posting for the world to see. Looking back, what was your favourite post to write? (You may list more than one if you want)
As I just launched my blog at the first of this year, it’s still a work in progress. I love writing all the reviews but I think my favorite ones to come will include life musings – whether it be about movies, recipes I’ve made, shout out to other accounts, places I’ve visited etc. Sprinkling some life into a blog mainly about books is something that I hope is not only fun for me to write but for others to read as well.
Getting a lil personal; what is your biggest achievement to date? Is there a moment you are especially proud of when you look back on all you’ve accomplished so far?
Two things immediately pop to mind – First, getting my MBA while working full time and traveling for pool competitions. Second, up and moving to NYC back in 2008, giving up my career and not knowing a single soul. It was a very independent move and I don’t regret that decision ever.
Do you have a bucket list stashed away somewhere with some daring (or more subdued) activities that you’d like to complete? Name 5 items on your list.
I don’t have a bucket list written anywhere but I really should make one! I do know that at some point I would like to write something – I don’t think I have the patience for a book but maybe a short story. I don’t care if I get published, I just want something complete! I want to travel as much as possible and eventually settle into a permanent space.
Name one of your most cherished life experiences.
Anything to do with my family, of course. I do remember winning the 5th grade spelling bee at my school on the word “fizzle” and was so damn proud. I didn’t do as well in the state tournament but it’s always a moment that stands out.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve received and who was the wise human who shared this bit of wisdom with you?
“Never start a fight, but always finish it.” – from my Dad. He taught me
“HakunaMatata – it means no worries, for the rest of your days.”Do you have a motto in life? If yes, let us know what it is.
I don’t have a motto. Every day is a new lesson to be learned.
Let’s talk books for a bit… How did reading become such a big part of your life?
I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember – from Sweet Valley High, everything Judy Blume, V.C. Andrews, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James and the Giant Peach, A Wrinkle in Time, Charlotte’s Web. etc. etc.. When I started playing pool and competing, reading took a back burner and it wasn’t until last year that I started devouring books again. I’m SO happy to be back in different worlds and to find a community who just GETS IT.
What would you consider your “most reached for” genre? And is there any special reason for this preference?
Psychological Thrillers and Horror are my go-to genres. I think I’ve always been fascinated with the macabre, supernatural and the human mind and psyches.
On the other side of the spectrum, what genre do you hardly reach for and why?
Historical fiction – I’ve never been a history fan so that’s the first thing that comes to mind. I’ve read and liked SOME historical fiction books but they don’t tend to hold my interest too much over all. There are exceptions to EVERY genre, I think J.
As a major book nerd, I know how overwhelming– or let’s just call it IRRITATING – it can be when someone asks you what your favourite book is because there’s never a black ‘n white answer. So here’s my question: What is your ideal ending for a book?
It really depends on the book. I love getting that slap-in-the-face-did-not-see-THAT-coming of an ending. Because I read so much in the thriller genre, I can usually see what’s going to happen so it’s nice to be surprised every once in a while.
What are some of your most cherished quotes from books?
I really should write down quotes from books as I find them. I find quite a few but then get quote amnesia. Maybe I should put this on my subdued bucket list ;).
What bookish franchise do you tend to fan and fawn over most?
I mean, who doesn’t love Harry Potter?! Currently I’m obsessed with M.J. Alridge’s Helen Grace series. Fantastic crime thriller series. Five thumbs up. And of course, anything by Stephen King so I’m sure The Dark Tower series will be my new obsession when I get started on those. I’m really all over the place as this can change based on what I’m reading at the time.
If you’re anything like me then you’ll have a long list of bookish pet peeves. Can you name one of your biggest bookish pet peeves?
Just one? Haha – movie covers, stickers (that don’t come off easily) anywhere on the book, when you buy a set and they come in all different sizes/editions and jacket covers. This is why I prefer paperback over hardbacks – jacket covers just annoy me.
I think one of the biggest problems us bookish folk face is our never ending TBR pile that gets longer and longer no matter how many books we tick off as ‘read’. What book has been on your TBR the longest?
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (which I’m reading this year before the movie comes out). Though it’s hard to say – I have TONS on my TBR that have been there forever.
Stressed Reader or Relaxed Reader?
Favourite Subject in school?
Quiet night in or a night out on the town?
Paperback or EBook?
Pretty dress or jeans and T-shirt?
Jeans and T-shirt
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to get into your field of work?
Have patience and demand respect.
Facebook | @wherethereadergrows
Thank you so much to Chandra for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. I hope you’ll go ahead and give her a follow!
If you would like to have me feature your blog on A Cuppa with a Book Blogger, please drop me an email so we can talk more. Don’t forget to come back next week Monday to meet another Book Blogger Friend!