Armchair BEA, Day 1 | Introductions and Diversity

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

G’Morning fellow, Book nerds! What a happy day it is to kick off the 2016 Armchair BEA. Last year, I put everything together on a whim, and in some instances, the same is true of this year. Even still, it’s a fun thing to join in, and I’m definitely looking forward to meeting some new bloggers. 
As usual, the actual BEA event looks like lots of fun, but I’m not a part of it nor have I ever been. Still, if one cannot make it to the actual event, what better way to spend the event than from the comfort of ones office? With that said, let’s get started on today’s topic, only first, in the interest of introducing Finding Wonderland (and myself), let’s get those introductions started.  

Q:  What is the name you prefer to use? Rissi

Q:  How long have you been a book blogger? Since August of 2011, and happily, it's been one learning lesson after another.

Q: Have you participated in ABEA before? Yes, once. Last year. 

Q:  What is your favorite genre and why? Generally speaking, that'd be contemporary. I adore BBC or British costume dramas, but when it comes to reading historical books, I’m (weirdly) very selective.

Q:  Which day of ABEA are you looking forward to the most? Tomorrow’s topic would be my most anticipated day. Of course, “giveaway day” is always fun too!

Q:  How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? (#ABEAShelfie) My bookshelves are generally arranged by genre. The rainbow arrangement is really pretty, but much as I like it, I think it’d drive me nuts after a month. (How would I find the book I wanted??) 

Q: What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? Right now? For my most exited pick, it’s a contemporary novel, Her One and Only by inspirational author Becky Wade or maybe Forever Doon. Most intimidated by? Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series. I’m scared of those books.  
Read the "about | the girl" page to learn more about my favorites, blog and all that jazz.

Introduce yourself or leave your Armchair BEA links! I’d love to meet you – and welcome to Finding Wonderland. How long have you been blogging? What books intimidate you? Do you have a favorite genre? Comment down below with your thoughts. 
To be honest, I’m not one who goes all out for “diversity.” I have issues with some of the social issues running the gambit today, and because of that, I have some convictions about society’s idea of what diversity is, and what it means.  

That being said, I recently read a couple of books that do tackle diversity in some sense. Both of which I’m prohibited from discussing (because of an advisory board I’m on) at this time. Still, I can talk about generalities. I don’t mind discovering some diverse themes in novels though mine would trend more towards something like exotic settings or discovering a strong friendship or maybe, something like Anna Banks recent Joyride, which I’ve read is more diverse than some of her earlier novels.
Also a recent read of mine was Jenny B. Jones' I’ll Be Yours. To most readers this probably won’t be considered a “diverse” read, and in the traditional sense, I suppose it isn't. However for me, it was because it explores messy things and makes the story of two teenagers somehow beautiful and looks beyond a “happy fa├žade.”  

Also diverse is Amy Matayo’s The End of the World. Beautiful in every way, Amy’s novel explores the darkest sides of the foster care system, and fortunately, as an author, she wasn’t afraid to look into those frightening truths.  

For me, it isn’t so much about finding something that’s “diverse” as it is finding the fiction that best suits the reader. The books that best suit us as a reader are diverse because they inspire in us an emotional reaction whether happy or sad.

What can bloggers do to inspire change? As (book) bloggers, I think we are tasked with sharing about the books that most affect us and in order to change the landscape, we must first be willing to share about them (sometimes to the point of oversharing) in order to a.) help spread the word about the novels we most love and b.) support the authors in some small way. 
Every book and story means something different to every reader, and I think the fact that we all walk away with something completely different is wonderful. How much more diversity than this can we ask for?
What does diversity mean to you? Do you feel like there is enough of it in literature today? Comment with your thoughts on this subject.
Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland!


  1. Genre is a good way to organize shelves.

    Mine are done according to when they have been read, books waiting to be read, and books that need to be read for publishers and blog tours.

    Where is the question about covers for tomorrow please?

    Nice to meet you, and have fun this week.

    Silver's Reviews

    1. I wouldn't mind changing my bookshelf organization, but for now, genre is best. :) I also organize by the books that I *NEED* to read. So I have a smaller shelf where I store the review copies I've been sent from publishers! If I didn't keep those separate, I'd probably lose them.

      Sure. Tomorrow's book question prompt is as follows (under aesthetic concerns): The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to) and type? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?

      You can find the full information on the Armchair BEA page. :)

      Hope that helps. Thank you for stopping by, and you too. Hope you have fun, Elizabeth.

    2. It helped a lot....found what I needed. THANKS, Rissi.

    3. I'm glad. Anytime, Elizabeth. I was (and still am!) overwhelmed with my first Armchair BEA last year. There's SO much awesome going on in a very short period of time. :)

  2. I am also quite intimidated by the Throne of Glass books. My friend Grace keeps telling me that I'll love them. I think I'll wait until all of them are out before I attempt to read them. I'm really enjoying the Court of Thorns and Roses series? I think that's what you call it. And those books are big as well, but my love for Beauty and the Beast made me fly through. I'm currently reading A Court of Mist and Fury.

    1. I've been really curious about all of Sarah J. Maas' books, Gabriella. They sound epic and since I'm a fairytale aficionado, I'd like to someday read "Thorns and Roses." Super glad to know they're good. :)

      Thanks so much for visiting, and for the blog follow.

  3. Fantastic post. I enjoyed your thoughts on diversity. I don't read enough 'diverse' books, bUT I also get annoyed by books that are trying to make a 'point'. I enjoy subtley. "The Anatomical Shape of a Heart" did well with that

    1. Thanks, Alyssa. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing some of YOUR thoughts. I agree. You've made an excellent point. I prefer books that AREN'T trying too hard as well - some are patently obvious, and it's painful. I'll have to look up the one you reference. It's a new one to me. :)

  4. I tried arranging my shelves in rainbow order once and was disappointed to find that most of my books have either white or black spines. When we moved, I didn't bother putting them back in order!

    Here's my intro if you'd like to check it out:

    1. I probably have more neutral tones too, Monica. Sometimes I'm digging around for a bright spine (for an IG photo or something) and simply CANNOT find one. *sigh* Clearly designers need to make more pretty spines. ;)

      Thanks so much for visiting. Glad to meet you - and I look forward to read your ABEA posts. :)

  5. you are such a sweetheart to know! I'm thankful to have met you through the Inspy's Advisory Board. I'm in constant awe of your prolific blogging and keeping up with everything. One day you'll have to teach me what you know ;-) Happy ABEA week!

    1. It's WONDERFUL to know you, Stacy. I've had so much fun working with you (and everyone at the INSPYs) these past few years. :)

      Thank you for the kind words. I'll let you in on a secret: sometimes, I do struggle keeping up a stream of blog content, but since my blogging is (in some sense) "work" for me (because I'm serious about improving my writing :D), I don't mind, and really, it's "work" of the best variety. (Plus, I get to gush about amazing books!)

      Happy ABEA week to you as well, friend. Great to see you back in the blogging world. Hope you're doing well.


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