5 Questions with Amy Allen Clark from MomAdvice and Fellow Book Lover

I met Amy several years ago at an event but wouldn’t find out until later that she is a huge reader like myself. In fact, she runs a fantastic group on Facebook called the MomAdvice Book Club which is growing daily! I love sharing what I have read and finding new books. From this group, I discovered lots of books that had flown under my literary radar!

You might know Amy from her awesome blog, Mom Advice. Amy is also a published author herself and I highly recommend her book, The Good Life For Less.

I wanted to interview Amy because she loves reading with a passion like me and maybe you, she talks about books every day on her Facebook group, plus I enjoy her book reviews each month and look forward to seeing what she thinks about the books I’ve read and I often learn about great books I haven’t read (yet).

 

5 QUESTIONS

 

  1. Wouldn’t you agree that 2019 has been an amazing year for books? Can you tell about five or so books you read so far this year that blew you away?

 

As a bookworm, it is always so hard to narrow it down, isn’t it? I have enjoyed so many incredible books already this year and here are 5 that I would highly recommend.

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy VanderahThis is a heartwarming debut about how a child teaches two strangers to find love and trust again. The story opens immediately with a child showing up at a woman’s temporary home where she is residing while studying research on nesting birds. Dirty and sickly looking, she says that she is an alien who has taken over the body of a dead girl and has been granted access to Earth to witness five miracles before returning to her country.

Have I lost you yet?

I almost put the book down, but Vanderah’s eloquent writing pulled me in to find out where this girl really was from.  I promise you, this one is worth the read and was a surprisingly great find from the Kindle First Reads program.

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne– Boyne writes, perhaps, the most unlikable character ever and we all know how difficult that can make reading when you are cringing in scene after scene. I think it is a real tribute to Boyne’s clever writing that he can craft someone so darn unlikable that you just have to keep reading.

This novel achieves this by telling the story of Maurice, who will do anything to get ahead in the literary world. And I do mean anything. This story is told through different narrators that can, at times, be confusing and keep the reader on their toes. It’s deliciously evil and I loved it.

 

Recursion by Blake Crouch- In this story, Barry Sutton is an NYC cop who has been investigating the phenomenon the media has called, “False Memory Syndrome.” It is a mysterious affliction that makes its victims mad with memories of a life that they never lived. This story explores technology that has been built around memory recovery and what happens when that tech gets in the wrong hands.

Once again, Crouch blends science fiction with a thriller pace and a beautiful love story.  His storytelling is masterful and the suspense is so incredibly good in this one. I immediately passed this book on to my husband who loved it just as much as me. I am so glad I got to screen this and feel confident recommending this one to any Dark Matter fans.

 

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams This is the book that I would hand off to anyone who loved the adventures in Bridget Jones’ Diary.  Carty-Williams really showcases the difficulties of dating today and how many people treat dating sites like meaningless hookups instead of striving to find one’s match. As someone out of the game, I really felt for Queenie and these terrible scenarios she found herself in.

I also love seeing characters evolve and I think Queenie really grew through this experience and it helped propel our story as she finds love within and through surrounding herself with the right people. Carty-Williams writes with heartfelt honesty, humor, and with vulnerability. I hope we can follow more of Queenie’s adventures in the future. 

 

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas I highly recommend this YA novel on audiobook because the narration by Bahni Turpin adds a whole other layer to this incredible story. This story is about a girl who has a big dream of becoming a rap artist and has the added pressure of being able to launch a lucrative career that may save their family’s home.

While I don’t think the lessons were as hard-hitting as the ones in her first book (The Hate U Give), Thomas still gives us a true coming-of-age story that will really make you root for Bri.

Fans of old school rap will really dig this ode to hip hop that Thomas has crafted.  The author proves that she is no one-hit-wonder and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next!

 

  1. What age did you know you loved to read? What were your earliest favorite books?

I have always been a bookworm, but I feel like that love for reading was really fostered by my dad’s library dates he would plan with me each week. I looked forward to that time with him so much because he worked swing shifts and it was difficult to get one-on-one time with three kids in the household.

I was a big fan of series books when I was a kid and devoured The Babysitter’s Club, The Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, and Nancy Drew. I also read all the Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume novels I could get my hands on.  

 

  1. What is your favorite genre to read? What are some that you won’t read? 

I am on a Contemporary Fiction kick right now and have just started dipping my toes into Romance novels after enjoying The Kiss Quotient and The Hating Game so much.

If you would have asked me if I would have ever loved romance, I would have said no. I am learning that I shouldn’t avoid any one genre because I am always surprised to discover a book that makes me connect with a genre that I would normally have avoided.

That said, I am not big into fantasy and have really tried. It just doesn’t seem to be a good fit for me yet, but maybe it is because I haven’t found the right book to change my mind.

 

  1. How do you carve out time to read?

I get up early to read for a couple of hours each morning and try to end my day in the same way. I also have discovered that audiobooks are an excellent way for me to enjoy a book while I am tackling chores around the house so I do a lot of my reading while making beds and sweeping floors.

 

  1. If you could add books to the curriculum for high school students, which ones do you think everyone should read?

I can’t say which books I would add, but I would say that most books have the opportunity to teach us something and it makes me sad when I hear that compelling and important books are removed from school libraries.  

Did you know that these ten books were banned from libraries at one time?

  1. The Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
  2. Where’s Waldo?, by Martin Handford
  3. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
  4. Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
  7. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
  8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  9. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
  10. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

I think it perfectly illustrates the importance of diverse and challenging books within our school libraries. Let’s challenge our kids with books that make them REALLY think.

 

Thank you to Amy for answering my questions! If you have someone you’d like to me to feature on ALL THE GOOD BOOKS, please let me know.

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