Welcome to Reader’s Parlor, a weekly feature, in which readers take the stage! My guest today is Amanda Cunningham, a busy single mom from Canada who still finds time to read.
Cara: What do you like to read?
Amanda: I used to really limit what I’d read but I’ve found that as I push those limits I find some really great reads, so now I’m willing to give anything a try and I read a bit of everything. I’m always drawn to sci-fi, fantasy and romance the most; everything from sweet Christian to taboo erotica, contemporary to paranormal. I’m not huge on time travel or historical, but I’ve found some in those genres that I really enjoy so I really try not to say I don’t like anything. As for length, I’ve been equally drawn in to short stories, novellas, novels, and epics so again I try not to limit myself that way; my length preference all depends on my mood at that moment.
Cara: Why do you read? What do you enjoy most about reading?
Amanda: Mainly I read because I enjoy it, I love the level of detail there is in a book. Authors have amazing imaginations and are able to paint a world so realistic that I can see it in my head. I read for the escape and adventure; through books I’ve been to so many different countries, planets, and times that I otherwise couldn’t. They can teach you something, about yourself or the world, that you can take with you in reality. I just love getting lost in a different world with different people, seeing them navigate through their world and go through their own struggles. Plus books are easily portable, especially with e-readers, I’m able to bring them with me anywhere I go so I can pick it up and read a page or two whenever I get a chance.
Cara: What do you love to see in a story? What are your pet peeves?
Amanda: I love unique worlds that are created so well you can feel them, it adds believability and a realistic touch. Characters that grow and develop throughout the story, who are flawed, and witty or sarcastic always make for an enjoyable read. I love a story that is able to transport me to another place and keep me there.
One of my biggest pet peeves is inconsistency, it drive me absolutely nuts. I’ve seen hair or eyes change colour, someone walk into a room they were already in, and the time of year change. I also can’t stand when they overly describe every single item in a room or tell you what they’re thinking just for them to actually say that exact same thing, why did I need to read it twice? There’s a few word choices that tend to annoy me, the biggest one is boobies – I really can’t take it seriously.
Cara: How do pick the books you read? What influences your decision to read a book? Where do you find out about new books?
I get a lot of information through social media, I’ve found it’s one of the best ways to discover new authors. A lot of my recommendations come from suggestions from authors and other readers via Facebook groups, Twitter, and emails. Covers honestly catch my eye right away, I’ve been known to buy books based on the cover alone – I know I shouldn’t but I can’t help it. If someone who enjoys similar books to me makes a recommendation, I’ll definitely go check it out. I like Amazon’s recommendations and the ‘customers also bought’ sections. A good blurb can really pull me in and make me need to buy it.
Cara: What’s on your TBR list right now:?
Amanda: I have over 3,521 to read on my Kindle alone, then there’s paperbacks, audio, and the ones I’ve yet to read. My TBR does not have an end. I read ARCs for many authors so what I’ll actually be reading next heavily depends on that, I keep a calendar for ARCs and lists for the rest.
My next 5 likely are:
- Breaking The Myth: A Collection of Unusual Myth Retellings by Laura Greenwood, Skye MacKinnon, Roz Marshall, Arizona Tape, K.C. Carter, Bea Paige, Gina Wynn, Amanda J Evans, and Alison Ingleby
- Noah by Christopher Harlan
- Peep Show by Isabella Starling
- Vegas Baby by Ember Raine Winters
- Queen Takes Queen by Joely Sue Burkhart
Cara: When you’re not reading, what do you like to do?
Amanda: When I’m not reading, I like spending the time with my son, board games and Lego are a couple of our favourite things. We like to go camping in the summer and to parks. I really enjoy baking, board games, and movies. My mom and I have board game nights together quite regularly.
Ebook, print or audiobook: all three
Your favorite place to read: a cozy chair
Number of books you read in a year: 200
A favorite childhood book: Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine
A favorite romance trope: Enemies to lovers/single parent/fake engagement
Amanda Cunningham bio
I am 30 years old and a single mom to one 6 year old boy who keeps me busy. He’s really getting into reading, we recently started reading Harry Potter together, which I’ve surprisingly never read before so it’s new and fun for both of us. We live in Alberta Canada, I actually just live a couple minutes away from where I grew up. I have 2 cats, Luke and Lorelai, but I’m always itching for more. Luke has really taken to my son and enjoys pestering him all day while Lorelai loves to cuddle with me while I read. I enjoy shopping and have a lipstick addiction, I can never have enough. I’m extremely close to my family, my grandpa is the other big reader in the family and he probably reads more than I do. I’m still relatively new to posting on social media, especially Instagram, but I love interacting with friends, fellow readers, and authors on Facebook.