At The Table With...Nicole Bonia of Linus's Blanket and Bloggers Recommend
Today we're snuggling up with Nicole Bonia, the New York City-based blogger behind Linus's Blanket and the executive editor and co-founder of Bloggers Recommend. I came to know about Nicole through the latter channel; Bloggers Recommend is a great resource for getting book recommendations. Once a month, the BR team puts out a digital magazine chock full of features, book reviews, author interviews and more. Over at Linus's Blanket, Nicole shares short yet detailed book reviews that are perfect for those moments when you want a quick opnion on a new read. Unsurprisingly, Nicole is a voracious reader whose goal for 2014, according to her Goodreads, is a whopping 75 books. Impressive.
Read on to get to know Nicole!
What is your all-time favorite book?
I like so many that I don’t have an all-time favorite, especially as I get older and revisit books and find that I don’t interpret or react to some of them in the same way that I did. The closest that I can come is the books that I have the most which are Kindred by Octavia Butler, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Each time I read those novels, I come away satisfied and enamored with a different facet of the stories and the characters.
What meal do you love to cook?
Oxtail stew with garlicky green beans and steamed brown rice. The preparation takes a bit of time because the stew requires lots of vegetables and seasonings, but it is relatively easy to forgive and stew is a super forgiving meal to make. This particular dish sounds more exotic than it is, so it sounds impressive and it makes the cook look really good as a result.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
Pretty much any scene in A Little Princess when Sara is having a meal in her room late at night. Those scenes are like a dream come true anyway, just because of the way her nighttime visitors are caring for her. Some of the dishes are exotic and some are comforting, but they are so inviting and made me appreciate food in a different way. I had never had any experienced being hungry so to see it being such a treasured and savory experience was an eye opener.
Coffee or tea?
Definitely tea. I love the variety and the fact that you can get a completely different flavor between herbal and more traditional tea.
What is the last book you abandoned?
Above by Isla Morley. I made it through about 3/4 of the way through the book and was really sad that I wasn’t enjoying it because I loved her first one, Come Sunday, so much. Her writing is lovely, but the plot wasn’t one that I found engaging and wanted to explore. If I hadn’t loved her first book so much, I probably would have put it aside much sooner.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
Erin Blakemore. She wrote about fabulous women, and the obstacles they overcame to realize themselves as writers, most of whom wrote at different but crucial junctures in the evolution of women’s history. Brunch is the perfect time for a chat and a cocktails and knowing me I would get a divine biscuits with sausage gravy and eggs.
Where do you go to find new recipes?
We’re so lucky that food has experienced such a revolution. People are so fascinated by it that you can hardly go anywhere and not encounter them, so I pretty much collect them from everywhere. Magazines, online and off, blogs. I also talk to bartenders at my favorite bars. More than a few of them have had some good tips.
Where do you go to find new reads?
By nature I am a browser, so I spend a lot of times in stores reading the backs of books, and also on online catalogs, LibraryThing and Goodreads. I read a ton of blogs and I also edit a newsletter and magazine dedicated to new book recommendations. It’s a dangerous occupation. I am constantly buying books that have made the list.
Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, why you blog, and your favorite aspects.
Linus’s Blanket started as a public online journal of sorts. My early post are little travel vignettes, pictures and mini restaurant reviews, but the name of it was always a reference to having a security blanket and the idea of things in life that bring comfort. Books and food have always played a book part of that, and is part if the reason that it evolved as an outlet for my writing about literature, and to some extent the food in literature. Mt favorite part of having a blog is the idea of having an outlet to write about things I love, and planning what I want to talk about and what I am fascinated with. No matter what has gone on, I haven’t been able to walk away from it, and I am always thinking of the direction I next want to go.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
Smitten Kitchen, Estella’s Revenge, Modern Mrs. Darcy, Everyday I Write The Book. The blogs run the gamut from lifestyle to books, but Iove the voice and individuality they provide and the helpful tips. I read these ladies just because I love what they have to say and how they say it, and most times I am taking their recommendations as well!