Friday 12 May 2017

Blogger Interview: Brian's Book Blog! #MayhemFeature

Welcome to another Mayhem Feature! This time I'm featuring a blogger who runs an amazing blog, one I've followed for a while now and highly respect his opinion on audiobooks. Please welcome Brian, from Brian's Book Blog

HotBox Hat
Hello! I’m Brian
I’ve loved reading since I was little when my dad would read me Dr. Suess books. Fast-forward a little and I noticed that he was always reading on his lunch breaks at work, and I wondered why. Then, I found a book that took me to another place and time, to another feeling, another sense of “being”. It was the first book that I ever fell in love with, and I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

Well, you made it this far and you like what you’ve seen so far.  Here’s a little more of a deep dive into the what I read now:


I’m an audiobook fan.  They allow me the flexibility that normal books do not.  If any of the genres below are in audiobook, I want to listen to it.

Post-Apocalyptic, Bio-Thrillers, Zombie, and Prepper Fiction

This is my bread and butter.  The world is failing — why?  Or people who aren’t normally the first to make it are forced into a survival situation.  I just love it, there’s something about the mix of science fiction, fact, and just great thriller writing in most post-apocalyptic fiction that I can’t get enough of.

I threw Bio-Thriller in with these because it’s usually intermixed in some way, just know if you send me a book with “plague” or a bio-hazard sign on the front — there better be more than one sentence about the virus/plague or you’ll hear about it in my review.  Some of my favorite books in this genre were written by the best in the world — so just be warned ;).

Science Fiction / Sci-Fi

New worlds, ever changing “space operas”, and aliens.  These are all up my alley when it comes to my love for science fiction.  I do have to warn authors, I’m not a big fan of Fantasy.  Once you get into fantasy worlds I start to lose interest.

Technothrillers & Thrillers

I never realized that this is what they were called when you mix sci-fi and thriller into a fast-paced novel.  My favorite technothriller author is the late great Michael Crichton. His books honestly shaped my love of reading.  But, anything with technology gone wrong (Daemon, Jurassic Park, etc), AI (Nick Thacker & Calum Chace), or some sort of futuristic issue — I’m in! I love them all.

Thrillers I’m a little more picky about — just because I’ve read some really bad ones before.  Check through some of my books on here or on my Goodreads to get a better grasp on what kind of Thrillers I read.

Other Genres

Business fiction (like Joseph Finder)


Blogger Interview:

1) Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I'm Brian, I'm in my early to mid-30's. I'm married with a cute dog Cody (he's in my profile picture(s) most places since he's way cuter than me!) I love to read, drink craft beer, and play video games.

2) How and why did you get into reviewing audiobooks?
I remember getting audiobooks from the library years ago and I never really got into them or understood them.  I was looking into blogging some more and I happened to grab The Martian from Audible.  R.C. Bray's narration and Andy Weir's writing just absolutely took me to another place. Literally from that day on I was hooked, I had a hard time sitting down to read books after that.  It's evolved a little now, I drive about an hour a day total for work and I realized that it was absolutely dead time to me.  Now, I can fill that with an hour of a book and I feel better when I get to work and get home from work.

3) Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I love creative writing.  I don't think I could ever write a novel, but never say never.  I also try to take a point of view of the every-person.  Sure, I like what I like and you can't give me a fantasy book and expect me to like it.  But I really try to find the good in stories and I end up liking 90% of the books that I read.

4) How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
I don't know if I run it efficiently.  I spend as much time as I can on it.  There will always be things that it's missing.  I know I should do more original content (like this, thanks for out-doing my Natalie!) But, it's something that I love.  And I feel like you can always make time for something you love. 

5) Tell me about your reviewing style and how long it takes you to write up a review?
I talked a little about this earlier, but my style is trying to point out the good.  Sure, I'll mention the flaws (to the point that I've had people reach out to me about my reviews), but most of the time I like a book.  I used to work at a movie rental store and I had to recommend movies.  With movies and books I always put on my "movie goggles" as I call them.  I let myself be taken by the story.  It realy takes a lot for me to be pulled from a story and dislike it.  Sorry, I went on a bit of a tantrum there -- but that's something else that people have seemed to enjoy.  I give honest feedback and I seem to write a longer-than-average review.

6) Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
I try and follow other bloggers to see what they are doing.  I know this interview is going on your site, but I like a lot of what you do Natalie.  I also really enjoy Michael Patrick Hicks stuff, along with Sci-Fi and Scary.  Lilyn is really someone I'm trying to become close with.  I think she's incredibly talented and will go far.

7) What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
Finishing college after taking years off.  It was something that I honestly never thought would happen.  A lot of times a degree is just a piece of paper, but I really earned mine.  I was almost kicked out of school twice for bad grades (because I didn't try).  I ended up taking time off to go home and take care of my sick grandfather. I thought for sure that leaving school then, I would never end up getting my degree. But I got it and I'm proud of myself for going back and finishing it out. 

8) What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Making time for it.  I know that I said that I always find a way, but it is time-consuming.  The more I want to focus on original content, the more it'll take away from that.  Honestly that, and getting randomly bad/mean emails from publishers or authors about a review that you wrote that was honest.

Some get to know you questions:

Favourite book/s?

1984, Jurassic Park, Fight Club

Favourite narrator/s?
Kevin Pierce, Jeffrey Kafer, Joe Hempel, R.C. Bray

What do you like to do when you're not reading?
I'm a beer blogger too @ (I know, I'm a glutton for punishment).  I really enjoy craft beer.  Everything around it oozes passion.  Most of the people that you meet that are associated with it are passionate people living out their dreams (similar to writers in that aspect). 

What’s the best vacation you ever had?
Jamaica for my honeymoon might top this list :)

What’s your favourite rainy day movie?
10 Things I Hate About You

If you could be any age again for a week, which would you choose and why?
For just a week? Maybe 23ish? I think that you're young enough to still enjoy yourself, but you can still drink and have a good time responsibly.

If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would it be?
Well, I wish I could have seen Bernie Sanders elected as president, but that didn't happen (yet!) I think the Berlin Wall coming down, or maybe be there for when one of the original craft breweries that I love opened for the first time.

What's you favourite place to read?
Since I'm an audiobook guy -- in my car.  But, I like to read real books in bed or in my comfy chair that we bought from a Borders bookstore that was going out of business.

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
I honestly don't shop in bookstores as much as I should.  I like to head right to the staff recommended books and try to find more indie books that I can support and buy

If you had a million dollars, what would be the first thing you would buy?
More audible credits!!! Maybe all of the Whispersync deals that I have in my queue. Honestly, I would pay off mine and my wife's student loans and finish paying off our house so that we could live comfortably without worrying about anything. 

Thanks so much for doing the interview Brian!! It's always nice to get to know the blogger behind the blog. Brian also runs a Beer Blog,, how cool is that??? Lol. Don't forget to comment on my Mayhem Features to win, and enter the giveaway below.

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