Shondra Brown works full-time as the Media/Community Outreach Librarian at her local library, which has always been one of her favorite places to visit! Never far from a book, Shondra can often be found with a book in one hand, and an iced coffee in the other! Her true love has always been reading, and she has thoroughly enjoyed reviewing books for her blog,www.givemetoday.blogspot.com, during the past few years. What is better than receiving free books for sharing your opinion with others?
Having graduated with an honors degree in Travel/Tourism, and a minor in Management, Shondra has had many jobs she has enjoyed throughout her life. Some of her most enjoyable work, however, has been in the form of volunteering for the different activities her children are in. Her time has been spent working as a Bible Quiz Coach and an Upward Cheerleading Coach for their church, a Girl Scout Leader, and a classroom helper, just to name a few. She currently leads a ladies knitting class on Wednesday evenings at her church as well! Many people often talk about what they do in their “down time”…that’s not a phrase that fits in to Shondra’s schedule!
Shondra and her husband, an elementary school teacher, make their home in Indiana, the heart of Amish Country. They have 3 children, a son and identical twin girls, along with 2 dogs and 5 cats (thankfully only one cat lives inside the house!).
SOTP: Why did you start reviewing, and what is the first book you remember reviewing?
Shondra: I love reading books, and I actually enjoy writing (when I have the time). As long as I can remember, I was always the one who would share the latest book I was reading, always wanting to tell others about it and encouraging them to pick up a book and read.
The first book I remember reviewing? That’s a hard question! lol After looking at my blog, I did a post in December of 2010 and reviewed a book entitled, Amish Love by Wiseman, Fuller, and Long.
SOTP: Have your reading tastes changed since you started reviewing?
Shondra: My reading tastes have not really changed over the years, although I am a tad more open to stepping out of my comfort box (Christian Fiction) and reading some mainstream titles.
SOTP: What book has surprised you the most in your time reviewing? (Perhaps something you wouldn’t normally have picked up, outside of your comfort genre, etc.)
Shondra: I can’t necessarily think of a specific title, but I can say that I have been surprised by some of the Fiction I have read. I used to think if I wanted a book that did not have any cursing or bedroom scenes in it, that my only option was to read CF. But that is so not true…there are some really sweet Fiction stories out there that are just as tame as CF!
SOTP: What’s the first book you remember reading? (It still counts if someone else read it to you if you were too young to read!)
Shondra: Now you’re really asking me to dig back in my brain for this answer! Even at a young age, my parents were always reading to my brother and I, and taking us to the library. Again, I don’t remember a specific title, but I remember we had a great collection of the “Little Golden Books” that my parents would read to me.
SOTP: If you’re stuck at home on a sick day, what comfort book can you count on to always cheer you up?
Shondra: Any of the titles by Janette Oke. She has always been one of my favorite authors, and growing up I couldn’t get enough of her stories. Re-reading them is like revisiting an old friend. I have recently started introducing some of her works to my 10 year old daughters, especially since When Calls the Heart became a TV series.
SOTP: If you could only read one book for the rest of your life (I know, the horror!), which book do you think you could read a hundred times without getting bored of it?
Shondra: My “church” response would be the Bible, but that’s a given, right? My other choice would be Christy, by Catherine Marshall. I love the stories of Cutter Gap, the adventures of the children, and the romance between Christy and her men! I think that title is the one I reread the most every year!