If you aren’t familiar with the Libraries IRL series, it’s a series of photographic interviews where book lovers share their reading habits, personal bookshelves, TBR piles, favorite authors, and more!
Come get to know a bit about Tamara!
Tell me a little about yourself:
I’m really not sure why Twitter is my bread and butter on the internet- but it’s the place I feel the most comfortable- tweeting thoughts, talking to friends, reading social media tips.
Why are these books your favorite?
First, let me clarify something. I have way more favorite books than could fit in a picture- but for the sake of this post, I narrowed it down. The 2 cozy mystery books (the mass market paperback ones) are because I really enjoy the writing style of Jenn McKinlay and Lucy Burdette.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry makes the pile because the story was so well-written. You had every reason to dislike AJ- he was not a people-person and yet- he, through the course of the book, grew on me. By the end of the book, I could say that I really liked AJ.
The Art Forger- art, double-crossing, romance, suspense and much more- it’s a book that even though it’s been 2 years since I’ve read it- I still recommend it to people.
Orphan Train- this book put Christina Baker-Kline on the bookish map- and it was well deserved. This book was heartfelt and just so enjoyable. Plus, it educated me on a topic that I was not really aware of-orphan trains!
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood- it’s just a book that begs to be read again and again and again. It’s beautiful writing- great story!
Why do you like to read in this spot?
This chair has had a life. It used to be in my grandmother’s house- and all the grandchildren would fight over who got to sit in the chair. I loved sitting in it because I could sit correctly in the chair or turn sideways and prop my legs up on one arm and lounge. As we got older, other grandchildren hated this chair because it became uncomfortable for their taller frames. However, I am short- so it remained perfect. I like the plushy feel of the chair- but I also like the memories that seeing the chair reminds me of.
What appeals to you about your favorite author?
Again- asking me to pick my favorite author was playing hardball. Tears were shed as I looked over piles of books and tried to explain to them why they were not making the cut for this post. I’m worried I have hurt their feelings. But back to the question!
So, Erika Marks was my first introduction to what is commonly referred to as “women’s fiction”. I had been an avid reader before- reading Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Sophie Kinsella and much more- but I had not really dived into the plethora of women’s fiction. Erika’s debut, LITTLE GALE GUMBO, had me turning pages as fast as I could, feeling my heart ripping out, and left me thoroughly entertained. It opened up a whole new world to my eyes- and I have been happily devouring women’s fiction since.
I’m cheating a bit, though, by adding on another fav author- Mary Higgins Clark. I discovered her books 3-4 summers ago and worked through her backlist like a madwoman. I just couldn’t get enough of her books!
What made you choose those books for your TBR pile?
I was born with a TBR pile that I will never finish. I quit adding to my Goodreads page when my TBR shelf had over a 100- it was just too much to look at all these books I wanted to read and was not sure when I would get to read them.
These books were chosen because they were some in my review books TBR pile. Because to see a true pic of my actual TBR pile would scare you. It’s huge!
What do you look for in a non-fiction book?
Confession: Non-fiction makes me cry and want to pull my hair out. I occasionally read a piece of non-fiction, but it’s not something that I go out looking for- or read that much.
How did you acquire your oldest book?
The Monster at the End of the Book was a gift from my mom and dad. And my dad read it to me multiple times. It will always hold a special place on my shelf.
What is your favorite thing about the book cover you chose?
I LOVE the beach. So, the beach setting was perfect. But, more than that- the color. But, even more- the fact that the cover has a shimmer to it. And then the elegant typeface of the cover. It had everything- and I REALLY love it (I have it in hardcover, paperback and e-book- that’s how hard my love is for that cover!)
Again, I’m cheating- because I’m adding LynDee Walker’s first book in the mix. Her cover- those so cute high heels makes me smile. Probably because LynDee does such a good job of describing Nichelle that I can see her walking her Nancy Drew self all over Richmond, getting the scoop on the bad guy for the Richmond Times!
What makes you return to your most-read book over and over?
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood! The story. The way the characters talk- a bit of French and Cajun language mixed in a times. The strong bonds of the Ya-Ya’s. They have flaws (oh, they have flaws!) but they are there for each other. And it’s just a story that begs to be read over and over again!
How do you organize your books?
Have you looked at my shelves? Organized is not the word I would use.
Seriously: When I get in the mood, I take them all out and start sorting them. I put them in order from first to latest book and each section of my bookcase is devoted to an author. It can be quickly change, though, because the bookshelves are prime real estate. Recently, I bumped my collection of Joanne Fluke books down to box organization because I have been so displeased with the last few books- and ain’t nobody got time for that!
My autographed books now take up 3 shelves- and they are in a special place. I look at them and feel all happy how they are nicely organized.
Where my organization begins to really falter: The ARC’s. They are everywhere- on my nightstand. Mixed in with my regular books. By my reading chair. I try hard to keep them organized- but it’s a battle I lose way more than I win.
Where do you get your books? What appeals to you about that venue?
Everywhere. Indies, Amazon, Barnes&Noble. I buy books when I can them and really don’t care where I get them. Just as long as I have books!
Thanks for sharing a bit about your reading habits, Tamara!
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