“I grew up in a small rural community in Iowa. My dad came home from work at 5 and he would have a beer and read the Wall Street Journal. Well, I was always going to do anything Dad did, so starting at age 2 or 3, I sat on his lap and drank beer and read the WSJ too. My mom says I read well before kindergarten. I loved reading all the time. I won the reading contest at the library in the summer between first and second grade for reading the most books. I remember they had biographies of famous Americans at the school library, 92 of them, and I read them all in third grade, stories about Francis Marion, Willa Cather, Mary Todd Lincoln, Abigail Adams and on and on. The school let you order books through the Weekly reader a few times a year I think. My parents, happily, never denied me getting any books I wanted; I always came home with a big box of them.
I was in Girl Scouts and 4H, did lots of camping, fishing, skiing and bicycling. I went to college thinking I would get an Accounting major and a music minor. I was accepted as both a piano and saxophone major but I wanted it to be fun, not my job. My piano teacher knew of a graduate program in fine arts management where the goal would be to become the business manager for an arts organization (like The Guthrie Theater or St. Paul Chamber Orchestra). I discovered computers since my younger brother was considering it as a major. I ended up with a double major in accounting / computer science with a music minor.
I moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota to get an MBA in Management Support Systems and taught accounting and computer classes at two different colleges here. I stayed after graduate school. I went on to do computer programming, systems analysis and installation of computerized accounting systems. Now I live in Excelsior, a western suburb of the Twin Cities. I’m happily divorced. I am retired, sort of. I would probably be working but I have a daughter, a senior in high school, with some health issues, so I have been home with her for a few years.
I read constantly in many genres. When younger, I read classics (think Dickens), romances and science fiction (about robots, space, the future). Then I started reading mysteries (too many to list) and action (Clancy, Cussler, Flynn, Child), almost exclusively for about ten years or more. I was reading a book of short stories by a mystery author (Dana Stabenow) that turned out to be science fiction, not mystery! There was a Sookie story by Charlaine Harris. This was April 2009, and I promptly read and bought all 8 books, then bought and read book 9 the morning of May 5th. My teenage daughter read the Twilight series so I read those also. From there, I found fanfiction.
I seem to now be reading lots more science fiction with a supernatural / paranormal flavor and I am not sorry. I love the paranormal with magic, telepathy, clairvoyance, that sort of thing best. But vampire stories particularly seem to be interspersed with erotica. Contemporary romance has more than it did when I read them in college. Somewhere along the way, a few years ago, I found Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks, which took over from my fanfiction reading, because I wanted to read everything Julie read. It’s not just the world I want to read; it’s the world where I want to live!
I have some prejudices. For the most part, I don’t like historical romances. I find some of the romances with the rich guy and ordinary girl too cliché. I tend to prefer adult to young adult books. I don’t recommend the Sookie Stackhouse books beyond book 8. For some reason, I can’t get into the BDB books, even though I know Julie and some of my other friends really love them.
I got a Kindle in 2012 since I have 19 bookcases stuffed ad when I started riding the Harley it was the best way to take books with me. I traveled across Canada for 3 weeks in 2011 (in the car) and I can tell you where every used bookstore is between Winnipeg and Vancouver. We had a couple of boxes of books by the time we got home.
I still read mysteries, action / thrillers, nonfiction but my favorite reading is usually urban fantasy or contemporary romance. My nonfiction reading is cook books, gardening books, quilting books or knitting books. When I moved about 2 years ago, I whittled down my cookbooks from about 600 to 150. I knit, quilt, or sew almost daily. I love sports – especially bicycling, snow and water skiing, and swimming. I was a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons in high school and college. I’m addicted to Sons of Anarchy (and yummy man Charlie Hunnam) so I learned to ride a Harley. I have a 2008 Dyna Super Glide. I rode my Harley from Minnesota to Ontario in September (2013) to meet Julie, a 2,650 mile trip.”