Armchair BEA May 26th-31st, 2014, Introduction

Armchair BEA is, "A conference for book bloggers in the comfort of our favorite chair". Book Expo America, began in New York City today (May 26th) and runs through Saturday (May 31st). For those of us unable to attend, we can support and take part in social networking through Armchair BEA.
Members of Armchair BEA are taking part through blog posts and link-ups, Twitter parties, Instagram, and Google.
My plan is to focus on posts through my blog, which is linked directly to Twitter, Google, Facebook.

Today is introduction day. Armchair BEA, has written ten questions and has asked that the participants answer at least five.

1. "Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?"
My name is Annette Kristynik. I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, a voracious reader, a lover of history and literature. I'm addicted to BBC history documentaries on YouTube. I love Tex-Mex food, Greek olives, dark full-bodied cold beer, classic movies, working out at the gym, antiques, owls, cat and dogs, gardening.
For over thirteen years I was a full-time caregiver to my mother, both parents, then dad. Caregiving began back in the mid 1990s, but in 2000 I quit my paying job and became a full-time caregiver. My mother died in March 2008 of end stage Alzheimer's. My dad died August 2014. Dad had made his home with my husband and I for eleven years.
This is my seventh year in blogging. January 2007 is when it began at Wordpress. I moved to Blogger in May of 2007.
In 2006, I was a member of Shelfari, and I'd heard comments about blogs and blogging. I wondered, what was a blog? I was already taking notes in spiral notebooks on what I'd read, this transitioned to writing a review in a blog post.
In the beginning, writing reviews felt awkward, and to click the publish button was frightening.
Through the years perseverance has been a key component in blogging. Being teachable, flexible, humble, not taking criticism personally, and a feeling I'm contributing to something important are strong factors. A passionate love for reading and self-education is tantamount, but perseverance has kept me going.
I enjoy the process of writing a review. When writing a review it is more than just how I feel about the book and then typing it out. Most non-fiction and historical fiction books require further research to make sure the information written is accurate.
Pictures are included in most of the reviews, because photographs give a visually stimulating affect. They also personalize and give an intimate nature for the book.
Grammar has been tough for me. It was sadly neglected when I was young. This is an on-going process to self-educate in grammar. There are two websites I utilize for grammar and they're listed on this blog. I'm currently working through a work book on grammar purchased at Barnes and Nobles.
After seven years in writing reviews and blogging, it's an investment. An investment in knowledge and experience.
Blogging and writing book reviews is more than just a hobby, it's a natural progressive response to a lengthy love affair with books.
I blog from my home office, which is also where I read, and where my home library is held.

2. What genre do you read the most?
I read more non-fiction. I love history, biographies, and memoirs.
The following genres are most read by me:
British history-this includes a new passion-Anglo-Saxon, and a lengthy interest for the kings and queens of England and Scotland.
World War II
World War I
American history

3. What does your Favorite/idea reading space look like?
My favorite reading space is my cushy rocker chair in my home office/library. A second favorite spot is in the shade of our flower garden.

4. What is your favorite blogging resource?
Authors. When reading a British history book I contact a couple of authors who I know through Facebook, but this does not happen often. They are willing to help with any questions I have.
A second favorite blogging resource for further links and photographs is Wikipedia.
A third resource. I have a growing library of resource material to utilize.
A fourth source is Facebook groups, blogs, and websites, authored by more knowledgeable people than myself.

5. Share you favorite book or reading related quote.
I collect quotes and have a file bursting with favored quotes.

"I have never found any distress than an hour's reading did not relieve." Baron de Montesquieu.

"Books maybe the only true magic." Alice Hoffman.

"It is books that are a key to the wide world, if you can't do anything else, read all you can." Jane Hamilton, The Book of Ruth.

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." Erasmus.

"My Garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams." Abram L. Urban.

"Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice, and I'll tell you a story." F Scott Fitzgerald.

"Outside of a dog, books are mans best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx.


  1. There have been a couple of good middle grade nonfiction books on WWII recently. Bombs over Bikini was very interesting, as was Pure Grit. They might have both been from Netgalley-- I don't know if they are still available. THere's also a middle grade adaptation of Atkinson's D-Day that was very complete. Wow. I guess a lot of the nonfiction that I read is about WWII! Have fun with Armchair BEA!

  2. Great getting to know more about you. Sorry to hear about your parents, I can empathize with alzheimer's as my dad died with it as well. You have a lovely garden!

  3. I love the quotes you shared, Annette, some of them are really funny! And I also like that you watch BBC documentaries on Youtube! I love documentaries, I should probably start watching them again! You learn so much! I'm sorry to hear about your parents, but you have my respect for taking such good care of them and I'm sure your love for each other will never end. Happy Armchair BEA!

  4. I love that quite and find it to be very very true.

  5. Visiting your blog via ABEA; my YA mystery / thriller, FERAL, will release in August with HarperTeen.

  6. I also regularly go through a World War/holocaust/kings & queens of England (& France) phase! Everything from dry, complicated history texts to Jean Plaidy and everything in between :-)

    Happy Armchair BEA


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