Who I Am:
My name is Mary Lavers, aka Beatnik Mary. I am a writer, a poet, a performer, a teacher and (for now) a stay-at-home mom in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. More than anything, I am a reader. I started Cozy Little Book Journal as an actual journal--a little spiral notebook next to my bed in which I recorded my thoughts on books I was reading--as a way of keeping track of authors I liked and ones I wanted to avoid in the future. In 2010 I decided it might be easier to keep track of my reviews if I put them online in a blog. It was several months before I realized that other people were actually reading them!
Eventually it grew into my favourite hobby, one that my daughter even helps me with (she helps review the children's books). I never have a shortage of books on my reading list, thanks to review sites like Net Galley, Edelweiss, etc. (see the Review Policy tab above for more information), even if never have time to read all of them.
Because this is a hobby, I don't get paid for any of it, but I do get a few cents here and there whenever you click on Amazon links from this site, so click away! I'm hoping I'll have enough to buy a new book someday!
All of my book reviews appear on this blog, Cozy Little Book Journal, but I also have several other blogs that I maintain with various degrees of regularity (pretty spotty, really). I also post copies of some of my reviews on to those other blogs (when I remember). The theory is that you could browse reviews in a certain genre by looking around the blog specifically devoted to that genre. For more information about my other blogs, see the About My Blogs tab above.
What I Read:
I usually say I read books in every genre. I say that, but it's kind of like saying I listen to music in every genre. It's not really true. There are always some genres I love and some I hate, no matter how much I want to think that's not true.
Genres I love the most:
- Mysteries, particularly cozies. It's where I got the name for this blog.
- Literary fiction, inc. debut fiction
- Children's books, esp picture books. Magda helps with these
- Children's chapter books for young readers, because I read these to my daughter
- Nonfiction books about history, science or culture (but meant for general audiences, not textbook material)
Genres I pretend NOT to love but actually do:
- Biographies and memoirs, esp. celebrity memoirs (I pretend I don't like them, but I read SO many of them)
- Cookbooks. I read cookbooks more than I actually cook. I LIKE to cook, but I like looking at cookbooks even more.
Genres I just don't like and probably never will:
- Graphic novels
- Fantasy (anything with magical creatures, for instance)
- Erotica (even if I did read it, I HATE reviewing it)
- Self-help (that includes anything that's trying to inspire me to "be my best self")
- Paranormal of any kind (fiction, nonfiction...well, it's all fiction really)
Of course there are exceptions in any case. I love the Harry Potter and Narnia books, for instance, and they're both YA AND fantasy. And there are PLENTY of cozy mysteries that I don't like (I hate the ones where the detective is a ghost...how is that even a subgenre??)