Friday Key Chain is a feature on our blog where we introduce you to some of our most active twitter followers. We love people who want to get involved and we figured that this would be a great way for everyone to get to know each other a bit better!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello I’m Kirsty. I blog at The Overflowing Library reviewing a wide variety of YA titles (with the odd adult title thrown in from time to time). I love reading YA books of any genre but do tend to favour contemps and historical fiction. I adore UK fiction and love promoting YA fiction by British authors. I’m also a bit of a hoarder and tend to obssessively collect signed books for my small but overflowing library at home. When not reading I can be found planning lessons or hidden under a pile of marking as I teach History to teens for a living.
What is your favourite bookshop?
My favourite bookshop of all time is my local The Norfolk Children’s Book Centre run by the brilliant Marilyn Brockelhurst. The shop itself is about 20 minutes outside of Norwich and is a gem. It houses thousands of children’s books and what makes it special is its staff. The staff who work at the shop know their stuff and can recommend books and find something for the most reluctant of readers. They always have complimentary tea and coffee at hand and lots of cosy seats available for you. They even went as far as delivering books to my front door when I broke my leg because I couldn’t get out to them.
What is your favourite book published by Hot Key Books?
I love several Hot Key books so it is hard to narrow it down but I’m going to go with A WORLD BETWEEN US by Lydia Syson. I loved the book itself as it spoke to my inner history geek. It is set during the Spanish civil war. The history is fascinating and engaging. However for me the thing that was really awesome about the book was the interactive ebook that was produced to go alongside it adding pictures, video and sound clips alongside the story which added that bit more depth and had me totally absorbed for hours.
What is your favourite childhood book?
It has to be THE TWINS AT ST CLARE’S. I had old battered editions owned before it by my mother and I read them so many times they quite literally fell apart. I do still have them lovingly sellotaped together by 10 year old me and I don’t think I could ever part with them. After reading them I wanted to be a twin, go to boarding school and play lacrosse. 10 year old me may have fashioned a lacrosse stick out of an old fishing net and clothes pegs to start her training as a champion lacrosse player … shame that never worked out
Tell us about your favourite bookmark.
Can I confess I don’t have one. It’s bad. I know. Especially as I have been bought them by people. I just find I use them once then lose them. As a consequence my bookmark tends to be anything close to hand that I’m not using. It has been known for me to use my kindle as a bookmark (interactive hot key ebooks aside I am not at all an ebook fan)
What is one of your bad reading habits?
Probably reading too much too quickly. I fly through books and then onto the next and the next. It usually works fine except when I don’t get round to reviewing a title quickly because then I struggle to remember which book is which and have no idea what to write in a review. Which is why I generally try to read a book and review it before starting a new one.
If you could swap lives with any book character, who would you choose and why?
Sally Lockhart from RUBY IN THE SMOKE. Purely to satisfy the history geek inside me so I could visit Victorian London. Plus she is both a lady and knows how to a handgun so no one messes with her.
What type of book would you like to read more of in the future?
I want more UK YA contemps like those written by Keris Stainton, Tanya Byrne, Cat Clarke and Non Pratt. I love those sort of books generally but get increasingly frustrated that the majority are written by American authors and set in America.
How do you organise your bookshelves?
Obsessively! I have my own library in which I have a children’s bookcase with my childhood books (plus a few others I have picked up over the years), an adult bookcase and 4 YA bookcases. Each are organised alphabetically. Also in there are my husband’s shelves (which have no order to them and drive me a little bit loopy) and our joint graphic novel shelves which are organised by series.
What is one book you would like to recommend to everyone you know?
That question is too hard. I can’t pick between them all! Ok I’ve just scanned my favourites GoodReads shelves and at this point in time (ask me again in 20 minutes and I will have changed my mind) THE DECLARATION by Gemma Malley stands out. Why is that? For me it was of the first dystopian books I remember reading and one of the first YA books I read after coming back to reading for pleasure after finishing Uni. I thought it was really clever and engaging and had some really thoughtful ideas about what our world could look like in the future. I also loved the main character Anna and got completely wrapped up in her world.