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Armchair BEA: Introducing ... ME!

This week in New York is Book Expo America, better known as BEA. Unfortunately, I live nowhere near New York, so I won't be attending BEA. But, I am very excited to take part in the Armchair BEA. Yes, I get to talk about books all week with everyone else who isn't able to attend, from the comfort of my home.

I'll be participating in daily posts this week, including a listing of my favorite reads of 2011 (so far) and my favorite book blogs. But today is all about introducing ourselves, so without further adieu ...

I'm Julie and this is My Book Retreat. Welcome! Some of you may have been here before, but hopefully you'll learn a bit more about me and my blog.

About me
I'm married and mom to two kids: a 7 year old son and a 4 year old daughter. I work full time as a marketing writer/editor for a big corporation. I've always enjoyed reading. I can remember sitting in class in high school reading romance novels, which is funny because I don't read that genre anymore. I guess I got my fill when I was a teenager!

I have lived in North Carolina for 10 years now. The rest of my life was spent in Massachusetts, aside from the four years in upstate New York when I attending college in the early '90s. Yes, I'm old. I'll be 40 on my next birthday. Ack!! How did that happen?

About My Book Retreat
I created My Book Retreat as a "retreat" for me. I had found some interesting book blogs and thought it would be fun to write about the books I read as well. That was almost two years ago. Now, I read so much more than I did then. This is mostly because I discovered the world of book reviewing, and now have several sources from which I get new books to read. It's great, but I do find I have to turn down a lot of requests because I get so many now!

Favorite genres
If you look over on the right side of the page, under all the different ways you can connect to me, you'll see a list of categories that I write about. You'll see Adult Fiction, Children's Books and Memoirs/Biographies are the big ones for me. Although it seems most book blogs review a lot of Young Adult books, I do not. I loved the Hunger Games trilogy, but that's the only YA book/series I've really liked. Perhaps I haven't tried the genre enough.

In any event, I tend to read a lot of memoirs and thrillers lately. Those are the main genres I've been reading 2011. I also review children's books I read with my kids ~ or that they read themselves. If you want to see a list of all the reviews you'll find on My Book Retreat, click on the My Reviews tab up at the top of the page.

Weekly events
Every Saturday, I participate in a meme called What My Children Are Reading, which is hosted by Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns. And every Monday, I participate in the meme It's Monday! What are You Reading?, which is hosted by Book Journey. And guess what! It is Monday and so I'm going to share what I'm reading now.

Last week, I finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. What a great book! I will put up my review this week.

I wrote a review for The Raising by Laura Kasischke. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the book. It's my book club's May selection so we'll be discussing it soon. I'm curious to see what everyone else thought of it.

I also reviewed four children's books in my What My Children Are Reading post on Saturday.

Currently Reading
I'm in the middle of two books now, which is unusual for me. I'm about halfway through A New Prospect by Wayne Zurl. I'm also about halfway through Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader. I'll be offering a giveaway for his previous book in this series, Last Snow, when I finish reading this one.

Up Next
Next I'm going to read A Game of Character by Craig Robinson, which I have for an upcoming blog tour on June 1st.

What are you reading this week? This meme is being hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, so hop over there if you'd like to see what others are reading too.

And thank you to all who stopped by from the Armchair BEA. I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your blogs this week!


  1. Sounds like you keep busy! Lovely to have discovered your blog. Definitely give some other YA a chance someday :)

  2. Unfortunately, I am still reading... what I was reading last week haha. So that isn't really worthy of a new Monday post! Oh well. I'm already following, but I enjoyed your BEA introduction thoughts. It looks to be a fun week in the book blogging world!

  3. Glad to see you participating in Armchair BEA. I didn't know you are a marketing writer/editor!

    I'm finally getting around to reading "The Help." Interesting book but a little long. I just haven't had the time to write the Saturday "What we're reading" posts lately. Weekends are always so busy and I'm not organized enough to write them ahead of time. :)

  4. How cool, Julie! Congrats. That's awesome. :) Looking forward to seeing what you're chatting about this week!

  5. Great introduction -- I loved the different categories you featured! We have some geographic overlap -- I was born in upstate NY, live in MA, and my mother just moved to NC.

    I haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy yet -- clearly I need to as everyone seems to be swoon-y about them.

    Looking forward to the rest of your Armchair BEA posts!

  6. Great blog! I hadn't heard about the What My Children Are Reading meme. I'll definitely check it out. My younger daughter and I do the What's in a Name challenge together for summer reading -- sounds like that would be a great place to find titles to fit.

  7. How nice to learn a bit more about you, Julie. Which college did you go to in upstate NY? I'm originally from Rochester, NY, and went to college at Clarkson University, way up north in Potsdam.

    Sounds like you have some good books going on right now - enjoy your reading this week!


  8. I love finding other professional women/mothers who find the time to fit blogging into your schedule. It makes me feel that I am not crazy and as alone as I sometimes feel! I do read YA but have been gravitating towards thrillers more often in recent months too.

    Welcome to Armchair BEA! On behalf of the organizers, we hope you have a blast this week!

  9. I like that name, book retreat. i took like reading memoirs. i wished i would of enter challenges during the month of jan. but didnt know of any since i started blogging in dec. 2010. i'm in two just last month so i went for the least level but having fun blogging, learning about new novels and authors too. have a wonderful time during BEA week.

  10. Hi Julie! Glad to see you joining in this week! Yeah, I used to read romance novels too. Every summer, I would read Harlequin romances...ugh! Now I can't stand romance novels. I like some YA, but I have to space them out. Sometimes I find certain titles to be formulaic.

    I'll be seeing you again this week. =O)


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