Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBAW 2012: Interview Swap with Jackie of Farm Lane Books

Today, for the BBAW interview swap,  I have the privilege of introducing to you Jackie of Farm Lane Books.  I'm pretty sure I remember when Jackie first arrived on the book blogging scene. She was everywhere! And became popular so fast. It was awesome! And now, she is one of the most popular book blogs over there in beautiful England, if not the world. I think she's even won a few blogger awards and has found much recognition. So cool. Way to go Jackie!

I love her blog for its intellectual nature. I promise, you will be smarter for reading it! She blogs about lots of award winning books and keeps us all informed on what's going on with some pretty big award lists. She makes me want to branch out and read books that I would never have found or put on the list otherwise.

Please welcome.... Jackie!

1. Tell me how you got started blogging and especially how you picked such a lovely blog name.

I started blogging shortly after the birth of my second son. I was stuck at home on my own and needed something to occupy my brain. I’d recently discovered the Booker Prize blog and inspired by Laura’s blog I decided to start my own. I loved books and so reviewing them seemed like a natural progression. At that point I had a small business selling secondhand books online, named after the road in which I live. Since I already owned the website and email addresses I called the blog “Farm Lane Books” too

Perfect name I say. So simple and so quaint. I love it.

2. What's been your favorite book you've read so far this year? And what's been your least favorite? What's your all time favorite book?

My favourite book of the year so far is HHhH by Laurent Binet. It is an original book that looks at the way we approach historical fiction. It has the pace of a thriller, but is thought provoking and amusing too. My least favourite book is harder to decide. I abandon anything that isn’t really interesting me and so it is rare for me to finish something terrible. The only book that is springing to mind is Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis – it was unrealistic, pretentious and not at all funny,

My all time favourite book is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It is set in India and has an amazing, emotional plot packed with a vivid atmosphere and historical detail. I think it will be hard for me to find a better book.

I totally agree with you on A Fine Balance. That one blew me away.

3. You mention that you live in Surrey England, if I were to come visit...what would you take me to see? Where's the best place you yourself have visited?

Surrey is a great place and there is loads to do within a very short distance. It is only 30 minutes from London so most people would go for a bit of sightseeing there. Windsor Castle is about 20 minutes away and there are also lots of old country houses and beautiful parks nearby. Unsurprisingly I’m a bit of an expert on the best places to buy books locally and so I’m sure I could fill your case with wonderful books.If that sounds like fun, you’re welcome to visit anytime!

Does it sound fun? Are you kidding me? Sounds like TONS of fun! We visited Windsor when we were there nearly ten years ago... but sadly, we got there after it was closed. We stood at the gate and looked longingly in. But it was still cool, even at that.

4. What do you do when you are not blogging or reading?

I enjoy spending time with my two little boys (aged 5 and 6), walking my dog, cooking adventurous dishes and spending time with my friends.

Sounds so nice and relaxing!

Jackie with her two boys.

5. What book do you wish you could read yourself into?

That is a tricky question because most of my favourite books involve tragedy and danger. I think I’ll have to cheat and say I’d love to move to Happyland in the Mr Men book ‘Mr Happy’, because it would be wonderful to live in a world where everyone is happy.

It took me a bit to realize what book you were talking about here, this is what I found when I looked it up.... is it the right one? Good choice!

6. Since it's BBAW, tell me about a favorite blogging experience.

Blogging has enabled me to do loads of things that I would previously only dreamed of. I have been to some amazing publisher parties and met lots of fantastic authors/bloggers. It is always wonderful to be able to talk to other people who love books as much as I do. My favourite has to be a speed dating event organised by Sceptre. I got to meet Andrew Miller and Chris Cleave, two authors I particularly enjoy, and was treated a bit like a celebrity for the day.
With Chris Cleave....

..... and with Andrew Miller.

It was great to get to know you better Jackie! Thanks for participating. I'm going to promise to be a better commenter on your blog and add some deep and profround award winning book to my line up!


  1. A lovely photo of Jackie with her boys...and who built the book edifice behind them?

  2. Jeanne, The books behind me were part of a book maze which was built at the South Bank Centre in London - although I probably have enough books to build my own version!

    1. I was surprised to see that Laura's blog inspired you - did she have one before her current one? Because surely yours is much older than hers?

    2. Yes - Laura switched from a library journal blog? to wordpress recently. She has been around for a lot longer than me.

  3. I assumed they were Jackie's books! Great interview, I love her blog.

  4. Fun interview! Although I have Farm Lane Books on my Reader, I haven't visited in a while. Thanks for the reminder. I'm definitely going to stop by today :)

  5. Really nice to find out more about Jackie, one of my favorite bloggers!

  6. I'm pretty sure I would be smarter just from looking at her blog :) Great interview - and take me with you on your trip to Surrey!

  7. wonderful interview. and I enjoyed hers with you, too.


  8. I love the picture of Jackie and her two boys surrounded by ALL those books!!

  9. I love Jackie and Farm Lane Books, but I haven't been to visit in a while. I'm heading there now! (Also, I want to go to England to visit her!)

  10. Oh my goodness, I love the Mr. Happy (and crew) books! What a flash to my childhood :)

    And I have to agree, that book maze picture is awesome! Fun interview, Suey and Jackie!

    Maria @novalibrarymom.com

  11. We love Mr Happy at our house and I would love to visit him in Happyland! Great choice!
    Joanna @ www.createyourworld.me

  12. I love Mr Happy too, when I was younger. Jackie has influenced many of my reading taste and I got A Fine Balance on the list this year which I am determined to read and finish it this year! I think Jackie is the most updated reader in a blogosphere, quicker than a Guardian or Telegraph could read and review on the latest books. Also Jackie's reviews are always punchy and straight to the point, bite-sized and easy to digest, which earn her a huge following from around the world. Well done Jackie!

  13. Jackie is an awesome blogger. It's always good to read what she's been up to! I can't believe her boys are 5 & 6 already! Great interview, Suey!

  14. I just discovered you this week through BBAW, and am a new follower! Enjoyed the interview and will definitely be adding your recommendations to my TBR list in future, I'm sure. (I thought A Fine Balance was amazing, too, and my youngest daughter loved the Mr. Men and Little Miss books! (Is Little Miss right? It was a long time ago!) - Laurie C.



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