Meet the BookBitch™
I am a voracious reader, usually reading two or more books at a time, and reading several books each week. I will read just about anything I can get my hands on, with the emphasis on fiction. I have a penchant for new authors, mostly because when I find an author I like, I tend to read everything they have ever written, which more or less forces me to find new authors.
Crime fiction comprises probably three quarters of my reading time and is my guilty pleasure, but I also read chick-lit (do they still call it that?,) contemporary fiction with a book club bent, women’s fiction, romance, biographies & memoirs, cookbooks & other books on food, various narrative nonfiction books, and an occasional work of horror, fantasy or sci-fi. I generally avoid self help & metaphysical books; I am not interested in improving myself by reading the latest pop psychology (I am rather fond of who I am) or connecting with other worlds (I am content with this one.)
My dream is to write a book, to be published someday, but so far I am lacking what I call the 3 D’s…drive, determination and discipline. My goal is to be the Grandma Moses of writers.
I’m a reference librarian and the author liaison for the Palm Beach County Library System. Prior to the library gig I was a bookseller for Borders for seven years. I contributed a chapter entitled “Readers’ Advisory in the Real World” for a book called Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory, edited by Robert Burgin. I review crime fiction for Booklist, and prior to that reviewed for Library Journal for over 10 years. I have my B.A. in English Literature and my Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science.
I am often asked how I determine which books I am going to read and review. I get most of the catalogs from the major publishers and request review copies of books I have an interest in reading. I read several review sources on a regular basis. I consider recommendations from friends, co-workers, authors whose works I’ve read and enjoyed, and various pundits of the publishing industry. It would be a dream come true if I could read every book that appeals to me, but unfortunately with my schedule I am forced to be very, very selective, which means I rarely review an unsolicited book. For more details on submitting a book for review, please see the Review Policy page.
I’m 56 years old and married for 34 years to the love of my life. I have a 30 year old son and a 22 year old daughter. I also share my home with two cats; the criminally insane Edgar (left) and my sweet Birman, Loki (right).
I am happy, honest, intelligent, intuitive, funny and fun. I am the eternal optimist; my glass is always half full, my clouds all have silver linings and when life gives me lemons, I make kick ass lemonade – no wait, I make limoncello (ask me for my recipe!) I am sorry to say I can also be impatient, opinionated, stubborn and generally too blunt for my own good.
I have no corporate sponsors, so I feel free to like or dislike books regardless of publisher or author and I can happily praise or bash anyone or anything I like without fear of repercussion or reprisal, or having anyone wonder where my interests lie.
Therefore, in order to hopefully recoup at least some of the $$$ I am spending, I have become a retail whore, oops, I mean an Amazon.com associate. Most of the links on this site were already to Amazon, but if you are going to purchase something because of my recommendation, I would be eternally grateful if you would “click through” from whence you came. By that I mean click on the links I provide, okay? I am also selling goodies via the Cafe Press store, so please think of me when you need a gift for the reader in your life. Thanks.
I am a logophile as well as a bibliophile. I have a great love of the English language and words have the power to move me like nothing else can. They say a picture is worth a thousand words though, so here is one of me just hanging around…
This picture was created at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot, formerly sponsored by Kodak
I do a lot of the reviews for this site, but due to my schedule, I am unable to cover as much territory as I would like. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to a few extremely talented and opinionated folks who have offered to help me out. (Okay, I badgered them into it.) I love these guys.
Who the heck is Paul and why does he get to review books for the BookBitch™?
Paul Lane recently retired from the Palm Beach County Library System.
“A few facts about my worthiness to write up reviews…I am on my second career. First one was in Latin American sales and marketing, living in several countries overseas. Did a fair amount of traveling as part of the job and found that a love of reading was enhanced by having nights and weekends away from home with just ancient soap operas on the tube. Began reading all the fiction I could get my hands on and that would fit into my suitcase. Upon retirement I found that if I stayed home like other old farts my wife would get rid of me. Since I am crazy about her I looked for another job, and lucked out by finding one working for the Palm Beach County Library System. Had work, myriads of books and DVDs, interaction with young and vital co-workers and a chance to yak with bunches of people without the obligation to sell them anything. I work at the same library as the BookBitch™ and have gotten her to recommend great gobs of new authors and books to expand my horizons. Being eternally grateful for these recommendations I have decided to also give her a chance to pull her hair out reading my reviews.”
Who the heck is Jack and why does he get to review books for the BookBitch™?
Jack Quick is an voracious yet critical reader and thoughtful contributor to the 4 Mystery Addicts (4MA) group on Yahoo. Here’s what he has to say about his qualifications:
“Life long avid reader, addicted primarily to mystery and thrillers. Putting finishing touches on a media career of half a century in radio, television, magazines, newspapers, public relations and marketing. Currently Director of Strategic Planning for one of the United States largest newspaper companies. Still married to my child bride, 3 grown children, 8 grandchildren, and a house full of Japanese Chin – Diddlie, Da-Lee and Dumplin. Quote: “Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot.””
Who the heck is Becky and why does she get to review books for the BookBitch™?
Becky Lejeune is a self-proclaimed book junkie and former bookseller. Here’s what she has to say about her qualifications:
“A certified book junkie since the age of 7, I will read just about anything! I love mysteries, thrillers, horror, fantasy, chick lit, lit fic and am especially fond of debut authors. I spent 6 years working as a bookseller and my favorite part of the job was getting other people excited about books. You will never find me without a book nearby; my mother laughs at me when I bring a book to the gas station! I always tell her you never know when you might be stranded and need a good book by your side.”