My Cup and Chaucer

Blog Love this week presents Tonile, creator of My Cup and Chaucer. If you head over to My Cup and Chaucer you can find book and movie reviews, as well as other interesting bookish and writerly thoughts.

Welcome to Beauty and Lace Tonile and thank you for being part of our exciting new feature.

How did you get started as a book blogger?

As much as I dislike this expression, it really was an organic process. I had just finished working at a Dymocks store in Queensland after three years. I had finished my degree and was starting full time work as a servant of the public. Not being around books was a huge shock and reading simply wasn’t enough. My favourite part of the job at Dymocks was connecting with other readers and helping them pick new books. A book blog seemed to be the best way to continue doing that, so I started a crime novel review site called The Crime Files. I blogged there for nearly 12 months during 2011 but I began to feel limited by only reviewing one genre. At the start of 2012, I launched My Cup and Chaucer to expand my reach and review across genres and age groups. I’m coming up to my one-year ‘blogoversary’ and I still feel like I’m just getting started—it’s all very exciting!

My Cup and Chaucer

What is your background?

I developed a love of books and reading at a very young age. I was an only child mostly surrounded by adults, and my mother indulged my reading habits as a way to keep me occupied. What she didn’t realise was that she was allowing me to expand my imagination and discover new worlds to become immersed in. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and I have worked as a policy officer for almost two years. My true passion lies in the bookselling and publishing industry, though, and I am enrolling to return to postgraduate study in 2013 to make that dream a reality.

Tell us about your blog?

My Cup and Chaucer is my home on the web where I can share my thoughts about the books I have read and where I can connect with other readers. I also write the occasional film review. The only thing I love more than having the ability to record my reactions and feelings about the books I read is to be able to share them with the rest of the book blogging community.

Is blogging a hobby or a job for you?

Unfortunately at this stage, it is only a hobby. I would really love to be like other bloggers out there who manage to read 4-6 books a week but working full time makes that incredibly difficult. In My Cup and Chaucer’s first 12 months I have come to understand what works for me and, more importantly, what doesn’t work. The best way to enjoy this hobby is to read the books that make me happy and connect with other readers all around the world. If I could make money from it, though… Bye-bye day job!

What is your favourite book of all time?

This is every readers’ least favourite question. In terms of staying power, To Kill A Mockingbird has been the most important book I’ve ever read. Sadly I’ve analysed it so many times (I read it for the first time in high school) it has lost the entertainment value for me. My favourite book in recent years is Under the Dome by Stephen King. It’s an epic to get through but it was so clever and engaging and well written that it always comes to mind first when I’m asked this question.

What are you currently reading?

I have a couple of books going at the moment. I’m completely engrossed in Gillian Flynn’s first novel Sharp Objects. I’m also reading Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book by Its Lover.

Which author would you most like to meet and why?

I would love to meet Jane Austen; only I would love to meet her in the present time rather than 200 years ago. Her social commentary at the time was witty and intelligent and thoroughly engrossing and I’d love to know what she would say about society now.

What book would you like to see made into a movie?

It goes without saying that Under the Dome would make a brilliant movie, but I would love to see Robin Sloan’s Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore adapted into a film. The store alone would be visually stunning and I would be interested to see how they would present Google’s HQ.

What future plans do you have for your blog?

I’m still working out a style and routine that suits my lifestyle and allows me to post content on a regular basis. This year has been a fairly haphazard adventure into the world of book blogging and now that I understand what I’m doing, I’m looking forward to continuing the cycle of reading more, reviewing more and making new friends. I’ve made some great connections, and I’m going to spend more time building on these to make My Cup and Chaucer bigger and better in 2013.

Name 3 of your favourite blogs?

I’m a huge fan of Literary Exploration—visually, the site is beautiful and it’s fun watching Michael venture into the world of literature. It also helps that the reviews are very well written! Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner lives on the other side of the world but never ceases to recommend consistently awesome YA novels. Read in a Single Sitting is also amazing. I don’t shy away from writing long, in-depth reviews and Stephanie’s reviews are always inspiring and fun to read.

What does being a book blogger mean to you?

 Quite simply it has changed my life. I’ve come a long way from the girl who got picked on for choosing to spend lunchtimes in the library rather than in the playground—now I know that it’s okay to be passionate; in fact, the world appreciates my passion. It makes reading a much more enjoyable experience; when I read, I’m on the look out for quotes and themes to enhance my reviews. It’s fun and exciting and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future.

Tonile can be found on the web at My Cup and Chaucer; or on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

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