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Interview with a bookworm: Lisa from Expandng

It’s Tuesday so that means it’s Interview with a Bookworm day! Today’s guest is Lisa from Expandng. When you’re done with her interview, make sure you read the others

interview with a bookworm



Lisa is the writer of Expandng.com, which is a play on her last name Ng (pronounced “ing”). She is the proud mother of a 4.5 year old boy, 1.5 year old girl, and two bichons. In her spare time, she loves to take photos and devour books. You can subscribe to her blog via email or Bloglovin’ and find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.



Jana: Why do you enjoy reading?

Lisa: I think it makes me smarter, or at least I look smart when I’m reading a book.book cure for ignorance

Jana: How do you decide what to read?

Lisa: I add books to my Goodreads account based on Jana and Stephanie’s awesome monthly books linkup. I also get great recommendations from the Book Riot Podcast, as suggested by Jana. Then, I put a few on-hold at the library and just wait to see what comes in first.Though, in the future, I might buy more books since my husband bought me a Kindle and specifically said “it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Jana: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or genres?

Lisa: I like to read contemporary fiction, sci-fi (as evidenced by my love of Michael Crichton books and The Martian), and anything by Rainbow Rowell. I’m also a big fan of reading books before they get turned into movies. Lastly, I like books that relate to my background and culture as a Chinese American (e.g. Everything I Never Told You, The Joy Luck Club, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? The last one’s a surprise, huh?).

Jana: What’s your favorite book or a book you always recommend?

Lisa: I’ve recommended books from my book club with DIY Mama (shameless plug) — Wonder, and The Martian. Other books I’d recommend are Everything I Never Told You, Nickle and Dimed, The Giver, Eleanor and Park, and Digital Fortress. (Jana’s note: I’ve read all of these except Digital Fortress and definitely second the recommendation on all of them)

Jana: Do you watch movie adaptations of books? What do you think of them?

Lisa: It depends. I couldn’t wait to watch to see The Hunger Games and Divergent. However, I refuse to see The Host because the book was actually good, and the premise hard to portray on screen. I also won’t see Wonder or The Giver. I was disappointed by Gone Girl. BUT, you bet I’ll be first in line to see The Martian!book is better

Jana: Ebooks, paper books, audiobooks, or a combination? Why?

Lisa: No audiobooks yet because I’m a visual person and need to connect with words. I’m 50/50 with ebooks and paper books because I’ve used the library a lot in the past. I’d put a book on hold in both formats and wait for the first one to become available. However, with the gift of a Kindle, I’ll be reading more ebooks.

Jana: Do you use the library or buy books?

Lisa: Before I had a Kindle, 100% the library. Now with a Kindle, I think library for backlists and Amazon for new books.

Jana: Does it offend you when people call you a bookworm or book nerd? Why or why not?

Lisa: I have not yet been called that but when I do, I’ll wear the title with pride. And maybe a bit of arrogance. Joking. Kinda.bookworm mug

Jana: How do you find time to read?

Lisa: I get a bulk of my reading done after my kids go to bed. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s 3 hours. I also read while exercising on the elliptical or stationary bike. I know my workout isn’t as effective, but I don’t want to give up my reading time.

Jana: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to people who say they don’t enjoy reading or don’t have time to read?

Lisa: If you don’t like reading, try audiobooks. You can multitask while listening to a book. And don’t get discouraged if you pick up a book and don’t like it. That doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy reading. You maybe haven’t found a genre you like yet. Like me, I’m not a big fan of memoirs except for Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

And if you “don’t have time,” let me tell ya. I stopped reading in 2010 when I had my son and had no time to read. In reality, I didn’t make it a priority, and that was ok. I owned it. Well, now I have two kids and less time for myself, so I made reading a priority. I cut back on blogging and scheduled other responsibilities around reading. Just like anything else you do – exercise, start a vegetable garden, learn to cook – you have to MAKE time for it. PS. I also liked Steph’s answer to this!


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  1. Marcie

    Digital Fortress = <3 Really, anything by Dan Brown. That man can WRITE!
    Marcie recently posted…suyb – may and juneMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I’ve never read a Dan Brown book. Earlier this year, I read two books putting him down, though (I think it was in jest in You. But definitely not the other one). Weird.

  2. lisacng @ expandng.com

    Thanks for having me, Jana! Yay for second-ing those book recs!
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Chinese remedy for coughMy Profile

  3. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I’m also seeing The Martian!

    So true – if we don’t make things a priority, they don’t happen.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…Veggie PizzasMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I cannot wait to see that movie! Scott and I rarely agree on one and we both are so excited to see The Martian.

  4. Kellli

    It makes me feel old that I don’t want an e-reader or to read books on an e-reader.

    I’ve never read Digital Fortress, I’ve almost picked it up a few times but haven’t. I should probably give it a go.
    Kellli recently posted…Interview With Little KMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I have the Kindle app on my iPad and every so often, I’ll read an eBook. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.

  5. kathy @ real talk

    i’ve marked some of those books as “to read” and will be putting them on hold at the library! currently reading the martian now and LOVING IT
    kathy @ real talk recently posted…when workout freaks can’t workoutMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      RIGHT?! Such a great book!!

  6. Nadine

    Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors too! Several of the books you recommended are on my list to read, I really need to get around to those ones. I just keep adding more and more thanks to the book link up and this interview that Jana does! I just started dabbling in audiobooks. My first one was Yes, Please. I think I am going to listen to all memoirs from now on! They are so interesting to listen to, it feels like the person is in your car telling you stories about their life.
    Nadine recently posted…BittersweetMy Profile

    1. lisacng @ expandng.com

      Hi Nadine! I just friended you on Goodreads! And I bet Yes Please was awesome on audio!
      lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…My life in numbersMy Profile

  7. alyssa

    I think all of us who have been featured here have now used some form of “I *make* the time” as an answer to that one! Because it’s so true. What person just has infinite time to do whatever they feel like with? Also, I can’t go more than three days without hearing about how great “Wonder” and “The Martian” are, and I’m so looking forward to reading them both this summer!

    1. lisacng @ expandng.com

      LOL on not going more than 3 days without hearing something about Wonder and The Martian. The people have spoken. You must read these :)!!!!
      lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…My life in numbersMy Profile

  8. Kerry

    Wait Wonder is going to be a movie? I totally agree that you have to make it a priority.
    Kerry recently posted…Taco Flatbread PizzaMy Profile

    1. lisacng @ expandng.com

      There’s a trailer from the UK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOXDD3atWco
      lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…My life in numbersMy Profile

  9. Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand

    I’ve been on the wait list at my library for Everything I Never Told You for ages. They need to hurry up already!!! The first answer was awesome!!
    Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand recently posted…#birthdayfunMy Profile

    1. lisacng @ expandng.com

      Thanks Erin! And I get impatient with libraries too :). I finally got The Girl on the Train!
      lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…My life in numbersMy Profile

  10. Kristen

    woah they are making wonder into a movie? how’d i miss that!

    i love that everyone is saying the same thing about making time for reading. love it!
    Kristen recently posted…10 Ways to save on your wedding – Bestie Guest PostMy Profile

    1. lisacng @ expandng.com

      I think only in the UK. I might have answered this question earlier on Goodreads :).
      lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…He graduated preschool {photos}My Profile


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