Question Time! The Final Chapter (and the Giveaway Winners!)

I really appreciate all the questions people submitted with entries to my Blogiversary Giveaway, because you’ve helped me put together three blog posts within the past week! The first one was random, while the second was more blogging-specific; we’re wrapping up today with more random. And speaking of the giveaway, the winners are announced at the end of this post.

SWG (Savvy Working Gal) couldn’t hold herself to just one question:
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  • What non-fiction book do you recommend everyone should read?
  • Is there a second fiction book you could recommend everyone should read since they may have already read and enjoyed The Sparrow when you recommended it last year?
  • Is there an author/blogger you turn to if you are looking for the truth?

Non-fiction recommendations are best directed to my good friend Kimshe’s my preferred source for them, at any rate! I think it’s much harder to make general NF recommendations, because non-fiction reading is so driven by the reader’s specific interests. After that disclaimer, I’d go with Anne Lamott’s
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life as my general-purpose nonfiction suggestion–it combines memoir, spirituality, self-help, and excellent practical advice.

For a second must-read fiction recommendation, I have another one from my very short “all-time-favorites” list. This one has deservedly attained modern-classic status, and is compulsively readable to boot: East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.

I don’t really have an answer to the third question. My tendency is to sort out the truth for myself, using information from a variety of sources.

Ti from Book Chatter wonders:

You read all types of books, but what is the one genre that you WILL NOT read, and why?

There are two, really: horror and romance, although I don’t object to elements of either in general fiction. I like suspense, but the horror genre just doesn’t appeal to me; and romance just seems like the same story told a thousand times over, with minor tweaks so it’s less obvious.

Yvonne in LA has a rather provocative question:

Who is the most overrated author that has become popular in the last decade?

I feel like I should decline to answer this question publicly on the grounds that I might never receive any more review copies!

Having said that…it’s actually a tougher question than it seems to be, because there is critical popularity and commercial popularity, and it seems that they frequently don’t match up very well, so there are different possible answers depending on your perspective.

(And having said that, one of the first answers that comes to mind is “Dan Brown.”)

Well-Connected Mom (Lori) asks:

What is your third most favorite gadget?

These days, I’d say my MacBook, since I’m doing more and more of the things I did with it on my iPad. It’s over four years old–one of the old white models that Apple hasn’t made for a couple of years. It’s still holding up, but I don’t think it’ll be traveling with me any more

Speaking of traveling, Rockin’ Mama (Caryn) would like to know:

Where have you traveled? What are your favorite places to visit?

Other than a couple of brief trips to Canada when I was young and one Caribbean cruise, I haven’t traveled much outside the USA. I’ve been through every East Coast state except Maine, though. My favorite vacations have been spent in big cities–Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta–and in National Parks–Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone. My favorite destination now is the city where I was born, New York–I’m getting excited about returning there in June for Book Expo America!

Two related questions from The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful (Shannon):

Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why?  What is your favorite Star Wars quote?

My immediate response to the first question was “nobody from Episodes 1, 2, or 3,” but that’s kind of unfair–and actually not true, because Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda are definitely two of my favorites. Ultimately I have to come back to Leia, though–short, brunette, and kick-ass, so she was clearly a role model for me. I don’t really have a favorite Star Wars quote, though..the dialogue in those movies isn’t exactly memorable. (Ask me my favorite Princess Bride quote, though. I have about two dozen of those.)

And one last question, from Debbie:

High heels or flats?

I’m 4-foot-8, so you’d think heels, wouldn’t you? But no. My feet are not fans. And since I’d need ridiculously high ones even to clear five feet, why bother? Flats (or almost-flats) are my friends!

The winners in the Blogiversary Giveaway have been chosen with the help of’s List Randomizer.

Winner of the Go Reading” gift collectionTravelFlex Book LightMini Book Journal, and “Bookworm” Bookplates from

Winner of a $20 iTunes gift card (or e-mail gift certificate) which may be used on anything you like–music, e-books, audiobooks, apps–from the iTunes store:

Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all of you for helping me celebrate 5 years of The 3 R’s Blog!

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