Thursday 28 February 2013

Be My Guest: Michelle From Maree's Musings

Today I have Michelle Maree from Maree's Musings as my guest. I was lucky enough to meet Michelle yesterday (along with lots of other awesome bloggers) and she is just as lovely in real life as she is online. She has a gorgeous blog which showcases her love of books as well as movies, TV and music - especially The Beatles. She's made me want to read so many books, including All This Could End by Steph Bowe, the Girl Heart Boy series, Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eager, This is Shyness by Leanne Hall and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

What are we eating and drinking at this party?
I'm thinking milkshakes. My favourite flavour is lime and banana, I know, it's kinda crazy, but so yummy! And I think we need TimTams to eat! We always need chocolate. Always.

What part of the world do you hail from, and what's something not many people would know about that place?
I'm from a town in Central Queensland called Rockhampton, which loves to call itself the beef capital of Australia. We have a Beef Week every three years and a pub with a bull riding ring inside. It is a pretty awesome pub. We also have bull statues all over town with puns like 'remove-a-bull' and 'contain-a-bull' written on them at local businesses.

Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I am super protective/paranoid about my books being kept in good (read: perfect) condition.

What do you do when you're not reading/blogging?
At the moment I'm studying at university, so really I don't do anything else. It's basically reading for uni and then reading for fun and relaxation. I used to enjoy crafts but since moving out of home I haven't really had the chance to do anything.

What kind of books do you read, and what is your ultimate favourite?
I love contemporary young adult, that is by far my favourite genre. However, I do try and read as much YA as possible because there are so many good books out there. Since I started blogging I've found books I love  thatI never would have thought of reading before and that has been a really lovely experience. It's hard to pick an ultimate favourite, but I think it would probably be the entire Harry Potter series.

Describe your blog in three words.
Books. Beatles. Rambling.

What is your favourite thing about your blog/blogging?
It is definitely the wonderful people I have met. A lot of my friends at uni don't read the same types of books as me, so it has been lovely to find people who love the same books I do. There are certain bloggers who have such similar tastes to me that I can pretty much always email them and vent my feelings about a book. The best bit is they usually feel the same! It certainly makes reading even more fun.

I've also really enjoyed developing my writing style. As a journalism student the experience of book blogging has been invaluable to me and has made me more confident in myself and my writing ability. 

What post or review are you most proud of, and why?
I have to say my review of Every Day by David Levithan. I find it really hard to write reviews of books I didn't like and I feel like I justified everything I didn't like in this review without sounding too snarky. Well, I hope that's the case anyway!
I am also really proud of the joint reviews Mands and I have written for Scarlet and Beauty Queens. Mands and I have such similar taste when it comes to books that it was really fun to write these reviews together. We are planning many more joint reviews this year!

What are your top three favourite book blogs, and why?
Not including Belle's Bookshelf, my top three blogs are Wordchasing, Wear the Old Coat and Vegan YA Nerds. I love all the blogs on the sidebar of my blog, but these three (and yours) are the ones I tend to turn to first for recommendations simply because we all have similar tastes.

Can you think of a time another blogger's review made you actually buy/borrow/read a book?
The four blogs above encourage me to read so many books. Almost every book Mands reviews I end up wanting to read (if I haven't already). Not only does she encourage my book buying addiction, she sends me books to add to my overflowing shelves! But I am very grateful :)
Jo's review of Keren David's When I Was Joe made me want to read the series - I still have one book to go, but I am loving it so far and I never would have known about it were it not for Jo's review. I also bought some books based on two of Jo's reviews (The Earth Hums in B Flat and All Fall Down) but have yet to read them. Rey's recent Five Reasons to Read: The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper has got me very interested in this series.

Name the first and last books that made you...
First: I honestly have no idea! I mean, I've been avidly reading books since I was very young so I can't definitively say what the first book was. However, there is one book which sticks in my mind as having made me laugh so hard I actually got an asthma attack and that was Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella. I think I really need to buy a copy so I can read it when I'm feeling a bit down.
Last: The last was The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay by Rebecca Sparrow. This was so, so much fun to read, but I also felt a real connection with both the characters and the Brisbane setting.

First: I rarely cry in books actually, but the first was probably in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when *SPOILER ALERT* Dobby dies. That part still has me SOBBING in the movie. Always.
Actually, that whole book had me bawling.
Last: The last was definitely the gorgeous Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield. I loved this book so much. LOVED IT. But Ms Wakefield just broke my heart into tiny little pieces.

-Throw them across the room in fury.
First: I think maybe Breaking Dawn. Actually, the entire Twilight series. Oh, how I wish I could get those months of my life back!
Last: I'd have to say Praise by Andrew McGahan. I found this to be vile. I was so glad I could just skim it, but there is no way I would have read it had it not been for a uni class.

-Push them onto others.
First: It was definitely Matthew Reilly's Seven Ancient Wonders - the first in the Jack West Jr. series. I pushed this onto my best friend (who had got me hooked on Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider Series) and she loved it. Actually, and this is kind of embarrassing, she has now read all of Mr Reilly's books while I have only read the Jack West Jr. series. I need to get my act together!
Last: Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris. Kim from Two Girls and a Novel and I were talking about what books we were planning to read next on Twitter when I mentioned I'd soon be reading the second book in the series. Kim had Unravelling on her list anyway, so decided that would be her next book. I'm very glad to say she loved it!
-Stay up till 2am reading.
First: I'd say it was one of the Harry Potter books, but I can't be certain.
Last: The last was Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. Gosh, I have so much love for this book and this author. I can't wait to read the rest of her work!

Thanks for being my guest Michelle!


  1. Lemon and bananas? I must try it!

    I love that you said Books and Beatles.

  2. I *love* these posts, Belle (and Maree!) So much fun. I can totally imagine this catch-up and book chat over milkshakes and tim tams happening :)

    Love Maree's book picks too! Oh my gosh, Sweethearts.. I just adore that book.

    Also, high-five from a fellow former central-Queenslander ;) I had to laugh about the bull comments, because it's so true.

    1. Thanks Rey! I need to read Sweethearts. It sounds great.

    2. Rey, it totally did happen! Except there was no chocolate.

      Why did I wait so long to read a Zarr? I'm so glad I finally did it!

      *High-five* Bulls, bulls everywhere. It's remark-a-bull.

    3. We should totally have had chocolate!

  3. I love this!I just added a ton of books to my TBR list. And thank you for introducing me to Maree's blog :) I am also a lover of Wear The Old Coat.

  4. Thanks for having me on, Belle! It was such a pleasure to meet you the other night :D

  5. this post is so awesome.

    Maree's awesome personality shines and i definitely think we have a lot of favourite books in common.

    sophie kinsella is the best for a laugh. i have read all her books but dont actually own any, which is something i definitely need to rectify!

    i think i am in need of one of those relaxing funny books right now...

    1. Thanks Nomes! I haven't read any Kinsella but I clearly need to. I need a good laugh.

  6. Lovely interview - thanks for sharing a bit more about you!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  7. I love Michelle blog and the fact that she's a Queenslander! And the fact that she loves When I Was Joe just as much as I did :)