Meet the Book Blogger

Photo of the author, taken by her fiancé and used with his permission

Hello there! Since I challenged myself (for some reason) to post once a day in October in honor of a little thing called Blogtober, I figured I might as well take the time to (re)introduce myself here. Depending on what brought you here to this blog, maybe you already know me. Or, maybe not! 

I’ve been writing about books on the internet since, oh…2010? Yikes, that makes me feel old. For several years during college, I ran a book blog called Amanda Reads, which went dormant when I got busy during grad school and couldn’t find the time to read much outside of coursework, let alone review those books!

After college, I served two years with AmeriCorps in my beloved hometown of Cincinnati, while devouring contemporary books since I was finally set loose from lit major syllabi and The Literary Canon. 

In grad school, I studied creative nonfiction, earning an MFA with a teaching concentration. I also worked part time in student affairs and as a teaching assistant, where I fell in love with having a foot in both the faculty and staff sides of college life. 

Now, I teach First Year Writing, work full time in Student Affairs, and write about my life on the internet (while hoping my students don’t think to work the Google machine and discover said writing). I am currently working on a memoir about my relationship to my body before and after developing a chronic pain condition. 

This past year, I’ve returned to book blogging here at Your Book Friend as part of an effort to write (and read) more consistently. I also discovered Bookstagram which is a great source of joy and bookish community for me.

I could yammer on at you for quite some time, but in the interest of keeping this intro brief, here are a few quick facts about me, Your Book Friend, Amanda Kay Oaks! 

Photo by (and of) the author

Age: One year short of thirty, flirty, and thriving (aka 29)

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio (alas, I now live in Pennsylvania)

Day Job: I serve as the Coordinator for Student Success at a small private university, and I love my job! I also adjunct for two first-year courses in the fall, so I’m a busy lady! 

Hobbies: Aside from the obvious fact that I, a book blogger, enjoy reading, I also love running, baking, yoga, and playing video games and tabletop RPGs. 

Favorite book genres: I am a hardcore romantic comedy enthusiast, but I also adore memoir and personal essay collections. If women take center stage in a book, I’m interested. 

Star Sign(s): I am Pisces Sun with a Virgo Moon, and my rising sign is Sagittarius. 

Pets: My fiancé and I have a one-year-old Blue Heeler/Australian Shepherd mix named Azula. Yes, after that Azula and yes, the name does fit a bit too well sometimes. 

Well, there you have it! I always find intro posts a bit awkward, like suddenly I don’t know who I am or how to define myself? But, I love reading about other people in their intro posts so it’s only fair I attempt to chime in every now and again. 

Let me know if we have anything in common, or if you just want to tell me about your pets. I am here for that content all day, every day. 

If you want to know more about Your Book Friend specifically and the type of review style I bring to the table, there’s a post for that, too: Welcome to Your Book Friend


Why Your Book Friend is Doing Blogtober 2021

Image from Raisie Bay

Let’s face it–I love a good monthly challenge. My planner is littered with the evidence of grand schemes to do x every day in y month, and I like it that way.

Whenever the calendar resets to the first day of a new month, everything suddenly feels a little more possible. This will be the month I stick to my workout routine, meal prep healthy food every week, and do laundry in a timely fashion. Never mind that I think so every month–this one’s the real deal. Right?

So, when I saw some folks posting about something called Blogtober, my interest was piqued. A motivational tool to keep me writing and posting consistently in the month of October? Count me in!

Of course, October is shaping up to be a busy month for me. I have at least one social event on the calendar every single weekend, most of them with 2-3. Where the self-care I try to cram into every weekend will fit, I’m not sure.

It might seem like a busy month is a bad time to take on a “post every day challenge.” And maybe it is. But I look at it the other way around. It’s a great time to give myself that extra push to write and put my words out there, because that way I’ll have a little extra incentive to put the work in when I might let it fall by the wayside otherwise.

Since I decided to participate in Blogtober 2021 on October 1st, I don’t have a grand scheme or plan for my content. There’s no calendar of post ideas here, just the intention to find something to write about on a daily basis. And, since this is a book blog, that something will be book-related. Probably.

So far, I’ve put up my usual monthly reading roundup, as well as a post plotting out my hopeful witchy reads for the month of October.

On Monday, since I love alliterative content, I’ll be doing a “meet the book blogger Monday” post with a few fun facts about yours truly. Since I’ve already met some new internet friends through the Blogtober tag, I figured it would be a fun time for introductions!

Since it’s Sunday and I’m off to run a 6.6K with a few friends, I’ll keep this post relatively brief! Looking forward to a month of writing, writing, writing, and connecting with you out there in the interwebs!

Are you participating in any challenges for the month of October? Shout them out down below!