Thursday, 7 February 2013

Be My Guest: Kayleigh from Nylon Admiral

This week I'd like to welcome Kayleigh from Nylon Admiral for Be My Guest. Kayleigh writes awesome reviews for an eclectic range of books like Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin, Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan, and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. She also finds fun Monday Links and does amazing crafty things like these DIY Harry Potter wands and this Christmassy baking. Take it away Kayleigh!

What are we eating and drinking at this party?
Since I'm rereading Harry Potter it'd have to be as close to one of their amazing feasts as possible! Everyone's favourite foods would cover the tables, plus LOTS of Butterbeer, and all the sweets mentioned in the books, fizzing whizbees, chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans with the gross ones already picked out). We'd finish the night feeling very, very happy but about 5kg heavier!
What part of the world do you hail from, and what's something not many people would know about that place?
I've lived all over Australia and in Hong Kong but I spent the biggest portion of my childhood in Cairns, which is a tropical town in North Queensland. There's a series of waterholes and waterfalls called crystal cascades that are something of a local secret. They're a gazillion times nicer than the beaches (which are like swimming in a warm bath), gorgeous and so fresh you can drink the water as you swim!
Tell us one random fact about yourself.
I'm an avid Dungeons and Dragons player. I only got into it two years ago, but it's become a weekly occurrence for my merry band of friends.

What do you do when you're not reading/blogging?
I'm a PhD student, writing my thesis about zombies in Asian film and how the genre changes in a new cultural environment. It's easily the most fun I've had, but also one of the most frustrating and stressful! 

What kind of books do you read, and what is your ultimate favourite?
I'll read just about anything but I tend to favour the dark realism of Warren Ellis, Irvine Welsh and Hunter S. Thompson with a dash of fantastical Neil Gaiman for variety.
Ultimate favourite has to be the Harry Potter series. It doesn't matter how many times I read it, I never get bored and I have mad, crazy love for the characters and world.
Describe your blog in three words.
Enthusiastic, Eccentric, Hyperbolic.

What is your favourite thing about your blog/blogging?
The excuse it gives me to read as much as I do and the people I've met. Book guys and gals are the raddest folk around! 

What post or review are you most proud of, and why?
Tough question! Any review that gets some conversation going in the comments makes me really happy. 
Last year when I started my PhD I wasn't sure how I was going to keep the blog going because reading was the absolute last thing I wanted to do when I got home from 10 hours of academic reading and writing. So I tinkered away and eventually worked it out and the post I wrote about it is one I return to often to keep myself motivated when things get tricky with the work/blog balance.

What are your top three favourite book blogs, and why?
I give myself half an hour every morning (longer on weekends) to scroll through my blog roll, but if I don't have the time the three I make sure I check is your blog, Laura's blog (Devouring Texts) and Gabe's blog Gabriel Reads. All three share similar general tastes with me (bookish and other) but also help introduce me to genres and books I wouldn't normally pick for myself.
Can you think of a time another blogger's review made you actually buy/borrow/read a book?
Too often to count! I wouldn't have read The Hunger Games if it wasn't for the enthusiasm of 20 or so book bloggers I follow, and that's probably true for any YA (other than HP) I've read since starting this blog.
What were the first and the last books that made you...
-Laugh. I don't think it'd be inaccurate to say that one of Roald Dahl's books was the first to make me laugh. Probably Matilda (the best!). Most recently it's probably Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which I've just finished rereading. JK Rowling (like Roald Dahl) has a talent for creating humour even in the most unhappy of situations.

-Cry. I'm not sure what the first book that made me cry would be. That I can remember would probably be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but I'd be really surprised if a book hadn't made me cry before then (I'm something of a wuss). And I'm sure I've had books moisten my eyes since, but the last book that had me straight out ugly cry was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguru. It's an amazing book, but oh my god, I could not keep it together!

-Throw them across the room in fury. Not sure about this one. Recently I read about two pages of 50 Shades of Grey at a book store and if I hadn't thought they'd kick me out/make me pay for it, I'd have drop-kicked that piece of trash! Not sure which book had me react like that first though. 

-Push them onto others. I recommended Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci series to everyone as a kid (still do!) and now it'd probably be Stephen King's The Stand. Regardless of your thoughts about King, this is one of those books everyone *needs* to read.

-Stay up til 2am reading. As a kid I used to stay up reading late into the night. If I had chapters left and it was a good book, there was no way I'd be getting any sleep until it was done. I definitely stayed up reading the Harry Potter books, and probably my fair share of BSC and Sweet Valley High books. More recently was my reread of The Hobbit while I was away after Christmas. I only had two chapters left, I could hardly leave it could I?!

Thanks so much for joining me Kayleigh! I totally want to visit the crystal cascades, play Dungeons and Dragons and read your brilliant thesis (zombies FTW!). And Never Let Me Go made me ugly cry for days.


  1. Wooooo Kayleigh! Love that you're a D&D player :-)

    1. I feel like I should try D&D one of these days.

    2. You absolutely should! Although you have to have a good group or else it gets off the rails pretty quick!

      Thanks Sarah!

  2. Wow, I envy the fact that Kayleigh's thesis is on zombies in asian film. She gets, like, a bazillion cool points for this. If this had been a proper topic when I was in school, you bet I would've studied my ass of for it! Great interview, ladies!

    1. Thanks Nikki! It definitely makes study faaaar more approachable!

  3. What an interesting thesis topic! Stephen King rocks :)Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  4. Thanks for interviewing me Belle! I didn't realise how Harry Potter mad my answers all are, can you tell I'm re-reading the series?!

  5. Awww, I feels special now! And Kayleiiiigh, I didn't know you were a BSC and SVH reader! This clearly needs to be discussed cause I definitely used to binge read those babies!

    1. Dude, those books were my LIFE, so yes, let's get a discussion going asap!

    2. I missed out on SVH but I was obsessed with BSC!