New Contributor: Introducing Ellen!

You’ve seen her latest review and she’s written about rereads. We’re very pleased to formally introduce Ellen as the newest contributor to Playing Jokers!

Weintraub-Ellen-PhotoMy name is Ellen, and I am a Virginia native who moved from the beach to the DC area. I received my BA in History and am currently pursing a Masters in History with New Media and Information Technology emphasis (wow, that’s a mouthful). Basically I will be learning how to portray history in a technical age – think digital exhibits, archives, etc. Outside of school, I enjoy painting, photography, running, lounging at the beach or pool, examining new ASOIAF theories, and a good Doctor Who binge on Netflix.

I was not an early reader, if anything I remember protesting the readings I had in 1st and 2nd grade. Talking animals were not something I related to. Like many others, Harry Potter changed my mind about the “magic” of reading. After the first movie was released, I read all the published books in about 3 weeks. After waiting for midnight releases, the remaining books were read in a day each.

To me reading is an adventure that allows you to experience a new world and culture. Whether on my Kindle or book in hand, I can lose track of time with a good story.

Type of books I read:

I am the biggest fan of series – Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Century Trilogy, Hunger Games, True Blood, and the list goes on.. I love getting to know characters and having the more personal connection that a series supplies. Historical fiction (Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is one of my favorite non-series books), historical non-fiction, fantasy, and a hint of science fiction with dystopian society are the genres I enjoy most.

Reviewing style:

This will vary depending on book. For non-fiction, I tend to critique more on style and argument. When reading fiction, my biggest concern is the quality of the story and the character development. I am more forgiving on vocabulary, grammar, and editing as long as the plot is exciting.

  • Do you have a preference between physical books or ebooks? I prefer physical book and being able to actually SEE my progress, but I recently have gotten more use out of my Kindle because of the convenience for travel and instant reading.
  • What are your favorite authors, or in other words, your must-buy authors? JK Rowling, GRRM, Ken Follett, and many historical non-fiction writers like Erik Larson, who writes non-fiction in a fictional style, Christopher Clark, Margaret MacMillan.
  • What was your favorite book assigned in school? Of Mice and Men
  • Which books do you have strong feelings about (really hate or really love, or anything in between and sideways)? I will always defend Harry Potter.
  • How many books are on your ‘to read’ list? According to Goodreads, currently 19 :)
  • Do you have a preference between short books or long books? I like longer books, but the George RR Martin Dunk and Egg short stories are awesome.
  • What book are you looking forward to reading the most? If it’s ever released, The Winds of Winter, but I’m currently waiting for The Edge of Eternity to be available from my library.


What do you think?

  • […] written a couple posts for Playing Jokers in the past, and now I am officially a contributor.  Be sure to check out Playing Jokers for book reviews, book lists, and bookish […]

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