Thursday, February 20, 2014

Featuring George Lichman of The Thirty Year Itch

Today please welcome George Lichman, 
who blogs at The Thirty Year Itch.

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What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?

A lot changed for me in my late twenties and into my early thirties. I had an itch, as it were, for something but couldn't quite place it. My political views, works views, and even goals in life were taking shape during this transition. I also started reading. A lot. Mostly fiction, but nonfiction too. So I thought since I was about thirty years old when all this change seemed to be happening, The Thirty Year Itch seemed an appropriate name for the blog.

My early writing was not just about books. It included politics, life experience, human interest. My writing during those early years helped me discover who I am today and helped me decide what is important in life, not just for me but for society.

Since I got married and had two children, I had to reduce the effort I put into my blog. One way I did that was to focus mostly on books and book reviews. Even with the more narrow focus, I still don't read or post as often as I'd like; my children and family are first, and I want to read for pleasure, not purely for the sake of the blog. But my goal while my children are young is to keep the blog going and hope that as my children grow up I'll have more time to read and write. 


How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging for about 7 years. 

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?

The Itch probably isn't as unique as I'd like to think it is, but there are a few things that might make it stand out a little. First, I don't necessarily post only about books; anything is fair game, but books have dominated the last few years.

I also try to make my reviews a little different, too. While I won't review a book I didn't like, I will and usually do point out things about books I  think could have been better, areas where they missed the mark. It is part of the very lose format of my reviews. I have found few other bloggers who do this.

Finally, I am a full time working police officer. I think that gives me a unique perspective as a reviewer of the crime fiction genre. 


What genres do you write about most, and why?

Cringe fiction, including thrillers, legal thrillers, traditional mystery, and police procedurals. 

What's your earliest memory of reading?

Of course my mother read to us a lot as children, but my most memorable experiences include books like Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume, all the Beverly Clearly Books, Encyclopedia Brown, The Boxcar Children, Charlotte's Web, and more. Most of these were introduced or suggested by my third grade teacher, Mrs. Alice McClelland.

However, despite enjoying books as a child, I took some time off as a young adult. I was reintroduced to reading as an adult in my mid to late twenties when a friend suggested a book that he said would have me hooked in the first two pages, and if not, he'd never suggest another one. The book was The Death and Life of Bobby Z. by Don Winslow. He was right! And I've been reading ever since. 


What was the first book you read over and over, or the book you've reread the most?

I don't usually reread books over and over. There are a few I've read more than once, but usually many years apart. Flowers for Algernon, Of Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird are a few. 

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

No.

"That is not how we treat our books."
Mom, circa 1980


What's your favorite place to read?

Home. In my recliner or on the couch. With a fire in the fireplace. 

Do you have any reading accessories you can't do without?

My glasses I suppose! 

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

To small in number! (I would love more shelves!)

My TBR pile is...

Not getting any smaller!

What's a book that's changed your life?

As I mentioned before, The Death and Life of Bobby Z. because it introduced me to reading for pleasure as an adult. Several other nonfiction books helped me question things and define who I have become. Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Son if the Revolution, The God Delusion, Fiasco, and so many more. 

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?

Not one book, but the Lincoln Lawyer series. I live Michael Connelly's Bosch series, they are among my favorite. But I can't seem to get into The Lincoln Lawyer books, even though they are lived by so many others. Connelly is still one of my top five authors, but just not that series. 

To DNF or not to DNF?

I almost always finish. Can only think of two or three that I have given up on, and even then it was tough and I always meant to get back to them!

What's one book that intimidates you?

For a while it was Gone Girl. And it wasn't the book per se, but the hype it had received. It was so highly reviewed and got so much attention that I was afraid that if I didn't like it then I didn't get it. I have that concern about a lot of books, classics mostly.

Gone Girl was great, by the way. 


If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?

Gozo. An island in the Mediterranean near Sicily. It was where Creasy went to rehab and prepare to avenge the death of the little girl he was charged with protecting in Man on Fire by AJ Quinnell. 

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?

I work hard, spend lots of time with my beautiful children, and like to eat good food and try new kinds of beer. 

What's your least favorite book to movie adaptation?

Man on Fire. Other than the character's names and the very loose premise, the book and the movie were nothing alike. Not even set in the same country. 

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?

Jen's Book Thoughts 

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at http://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/)

The All Rounder

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Thank you for joining us today, George! 
Remember to check out George's blog, 
The Thirty Year Itch, and leave a comment or question.

4 comments :

  1. I enjoyed reading about you and your blog! So great to meet you!

    First, I love that you quoted your mom on writing in books. That made me smile!

    Second, it's very cool that you are a police officer reviewing crime fiction. I can only imagine all of the insight you have into how plausible a scenario is and whether the book has been researched well enough.

    I've never heard of Gozo, I will have to look that one up!

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    1. Thanks! I like reading crime fiction., even though it is often so unrealistic. It is so nice to read about a crime solved by a one in a million piece of trace evidence, or a hunch that turned out to be right. It is so rare that it happens that I can appreciate how it makes things come together so perfectly in an imperfect world.

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  2. Thanks for stopping by for an interview!!

    I love your mom's quote! She's a smart lady!! ;)

    Like Becca, I am really intrigued by your perspective on crime fiction considering your experience as a police officer!

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  3. Thanks Tiff. I hope my reviews are a little unique.

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