Cindi, like me, is a member of She Reads. When She Reads tweeted that A Utah Mom’s Life was joining She Reads- I tweeted her “hello and welcome to the group”- and the rest is history. Cindi is opinionated about books- she’s passionate about reading- and fun to talk with.
Bloggers Made Of AWESOME: Cindi @ Utah Mom’s Life
Cindi- when did you begin blogging?
I’ve been blogging for about six years. I had a private family blog and Utah Mom’s Life for things I wanted to share publicly. About four years ago, I decided to combine the two into a single blog. It drives my mom crazy because she wants more pictures of the kids and I tend to write more about books.
How did you come up with the name A Utah Mom’s Life?
It’s a simple name for a blog but I actually thought about it for a long time. I wanted something that conveyed everything that I wanted to write about. It’s personal since most of my time is spent being a mom to my five kids. It’s specific to my geographic location which was good since I often write about local activities. Plus it pops up quickly in search engines. It encompasses all the important parts of my life — books, photography, my family and religion.
What are your thoughts on blogging today in an ever-changing book-ish world? Are blogs helping other readers connect with good books?
I definitely find myself feeding my book-obsession more because of blogging. Reading book reviews on my favorite blogs regularly (too regularly, I confess) inspires me to buy the book. The book buzz from other bloggers is a huge influence on my reading choices.
When you are not blogging (or reading!)- what do you like to do?
I love spending time with my family. My husband is my best friend and we enjoy hiking, watching foreign films and Justified together, discussing politics and current events. Someday we will travel together again. My kids are awesome and keep us running constantly with their activities. I come from a large family (I’m the oldest of seven kids) and we always have a hysterical time when we get together.
I’m also an amatuer photographer. I love taking pictures of families and children.
Do you have any #literaryconfessions?
I hate poetry. My husband thinks I’m crazy, since I was an English major in college, but I really do hate poetry. I’m often tempted to skip a poem when it’s in a novel.
Also, I don’t love Jane Austen novels. I’ve read them but I find them pretty blah. And I would rather die than watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Sorry Colin.
Do you have a #literarycrush?
This is a really hard question. It takes quite the man to impress me. I like Edmond Dante from The Count of Monte Cristo. The male characters in The Firebird and Love Water Memory are quite nice. I kind of had thing for Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife.
For a few years, I read primarily biographies and I fell in love with John Adams (I know!) and Teddy Roosevelt.
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2013?
In July, I bought And The Mountains Echoed. I loved Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and I’m really looking forward to his latest. I’d also like to get my hands on the new novels coming out from Jamie Ford and Diane Setterfield this fall.
In your opinion, what book has been the best book you have read (so far!) in 2013?
I loved A Land More KindThan Home by Wiley Cash. It came out last year but I didn’t get to read it until this year. I could gush about it for hours and I forced my husband (who really has no time to read fiction) to read it so that we could discuss it.
Life after Life by Jill McCorkle didn’t get as much attention as Kate Atkinson’s novel of the same title, but it really made an impression on me. I also loved A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, The Aviator’s Wife, and Benediction. I finally read Night Circus and was blown away.
You have a beach vacation planned. What are the 3 books that you must bring?
Looking at my to-read shelf, if I was leaving today on vacation, I would grab Gone Girl, Overseas and A Light Between Oceans.
Are you an e-book or tree book lover? Or does it not matter?
I have a Kindle Fire. I can’t find it right now. I think my daughter took it with her to visit her grandparents. But it doesn’t matter because I can’t stand reading books on it. I feel bad for the books I’ve tried to review by reading an e-book because I’m sure my opinion is tainted.
I love the feel of a real book–paperback or hardback. I sometimes find myself caressing the spine while I read. (I do hate creases in the spine and perhaps subconsciously I think a little gentle massage will help prevent wrinkles.) I love the smell. I love the look of the book on my shelves. I like to loan my books out to my neighbors or put a favorite into the hands of my child.
Cindi- you are a member of She Reads. To you, what does that mean for women readers? Does She Reads give them a voice in this book world? A place to go and say “These are the kinds of books I want to read?” Has She Reads also broadened your reading taste?
I’ve been hosting a neighborhood book club at my house for over five years. I really try to encourage the women in my neighborhood to read great books and I’ve been able to read and enjoy books that I might not have picked for myself. Just like every book club, we read the book, discuss it and support each other in our lives. We sometimes end up visiting with each other into the wee hours of the morning. I think She Reads does the same thing in a larger online setting. We support women authors and the books that resonate and have meaning for women. I’ve only been a member for a few months but I’ve really enjoyed the association I’ve had with the other members and being exposed to a variety of books. I think She Reads is a great place for women.
What is your favorite line/quote from a book?
This is a tricky question. I honestly can’t think of a favorite quote from a book other than the scriptures, which I love and try to read daily. Our family’s mantra comes from scripture. We repeat it together each evening.
“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house oforder, a house of God;” D&C 108:8
Do you judge a book by it’s cover?
If I am browsing in a bookstore, I totally judge a book by it’s cover. I’m so visual. I can guarantee I won’t pick up a book if there is a half naked couple kissing on the cover. Make it a picture of a couple embracing, dressed in World War II era clothing and I am definitely going to pick it up.
Most of the time, I buy a book after reading a review or hearing buzz about it online. In those cases, I don’t care what the cover looks like.