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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

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I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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Paperback Proust: Karen from For What It’s Worth Reviews!

Submitted by on July 9, 2012 – 11:00 am22 Comments

Everyone please welcome Karen () from For What It’s Worth Reviews to Paperback Dolls! Karen was one of the first bloggers to welcome us into the fold when Paperback Dolls first started over two years ago. She’s been such a source for help and support and we just want to thank her for everything! Today, we’ve finally talked her into the Paperback Proust!

I’m a blogger, a reader, a wife, a dog & cat mom. I like mother nature – even the bugs and ugly things. I like to cook new things, do yoga and exercise – I don’t do any of them particularly well. And eat – I do that very well. So ya know – Hi! Nice to meet you, thanks for being my friend and all.

Find Karen online: Website | | |

What is your current state of mind?

Zen I have been living by this motto lately: You can’t control how other people behave – only how you react to them. (I wish I knew who to attribute that to) I believe I originally read it in a Dear Abby column.

What is your favorite occupation (way of spending time)?

Hanging out with my husband and my dogs. Preferably we are eating something fresh from the farmers market. I really like to eat :-)

What historical figure do you most identify with?

I don’t know if I identify with her but I was always obsessed with Amelia Earheart when I was a kid. She seemed so fearless – which I’m not. Of course it didn’t end well for her so maybe it’s good to be my scaredy pants self.

Which living person do you most admire?

My husband. He can stay calm in any situation and he can learn almost anything as long as he can read about it first.

Who is your favorite fictional hero? Heroine?

This is such a hard question for me. I feel like I should pick someone that makes me seem like an intellectual. Um….for hero I’m going to pick Curran from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniel’s series. Yeah he’s hot and all that but I just can’t read enough about him as a character. He’s so noble and responsible. He’s kind and fair but can also make the tough calls – be cruel if he needs to be. I just really admire him and the way he rules on so many levels.

For heroine….Deuce from Ann Aguirre’s Razorland series (Enclave/Outpost) I can relate to her. She’s not super human. She has a vulnerability that tugs at my heartstrings. She wants to do the right thing but doesn’t always know how to achieve that. It doesn’t stop her from trying. She’s also is willing to let someone more knowledgeable take the lead and learn from them. I absolutely adore her and would love to be her BFF (or mom since that’s more likely given our ages lol)

Who are your real-life heroes?

My Dad. He had a very tough childhood and very little education but he has always managed to take care of our family and has an unwavering sense of decency.

What is your most treasured possession?

My pets. I don’t really keep a lot of mementos.

Indy in cake batter! lol

When and where were you happiest?

This isn’t quite the answer you’re looking for but right now. There isn’t a specific moment but I’m happy with life and who I am. Life isn’t perfect but I’m finally comfortable with myself and pushing myself out of my comfort zone more these days. I think that’s scary at times but it’s a good thing.

What is your most obvious characteristic?

I’m very cynical and shy.

What is the trait you most deplore (hate) in yourself?

See above – My cynicism and shyness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is your greatest extravagance?

Food. I will spend anything for good food.

What is your favorite journey?

My husband and I drove cross country once (from RI to Washington state). I had never really left RI growing up so it was amazing experience for me.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Where to begin….. I’ll stick with being too short. I’m 5 ft on the nose.

What do you consider the most over-rated virtue?

Here’s where my cynicism rears it’s ugly head. Being positive. I’m not so much a negative thinker but I am practical and I don’t like people who are always spouting off positive affirmations in answer to life’s problems. (especially on Facebook lol) I do agree that we need positivity in the world but I don’t trust people who are ALWAYS positive and look at the bright side of everything. That sounds really twisted now that I wrote it but there you go….

On what occasion do you lie?

To save someone else’s feelings, although even then I’m pretty honest.


What is your greatest fear?

I don’t want to say – I have a weird fear of it coming true if I write it.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

I don’t know. I asked my DH and he didn’t seem to think I had any overused phrases either. When I was a teenager I used to say cute ALL the time. Everything was cute! Drove my father nuts.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was more outgoing and I’m very phobic with heights, crowds etc. I wish I wasn’t.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being smart enough to marry my husband. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I had always gone for the “bad boys” before him so I’m glad I pulled it together and realized that a good guy is what you want for a lifetime commitment.

Where would you like to live?

I would like to move back to the west coast. Probably Washington state or Oregon.

What is the quality you most admire in a man? In a woman?


What is it you most dislike?

Vanity, intolerance. Intolerance is a big one for me. I just can’t wrap my brain around people not accepting other people. Especially for ridiculous reasons that don’t impact their life in any way.

What do you value most in your friends?

Loyalty and honesty

How would you like to die?

Now that’s a depressing question! I guess quietly in my sleep. My BFF in high school and I used to talk about what would be the worst way to die. She chose shark attack. (this was during the Jaws era – I felt you got bit in half and died instantly so that wouldn’t bother me lol) and I always picked being burned to death. We were very morbid teenagers.

If you were to die and come back as a person or an animal, what do you think it would be?

My cat – Figment. He’s got the life. I think a wolf would be pretty cool too as long as I’m somewhere I couldn’t be hunted.


If you could choose an object to come back as, what would you choose?

Huh. I don’t know.

What is your motto (words you live by or that mean a lot to you)?

This is something my husband said to me once when I was going through a panic attack & I say it all the time when I’m stressed out. “Breathe. In with the good….out with the bad.” I even have (a shortened version) engraved on my wedding band.

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My husband. I was fairly high strung when we first met. I used to get involved in a lot of drama but now I’m very chill about most things. I’m still opinionated but I try to stay clear of the drama llama.

I want to thank the Dolls for having me over today. This was like a free therapy session! So now my fears, phobias and oddities are on full display lol

Thank you, Karen, for visiting and being such a good sport! lol

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • says:

    Great interview and I would love Karen to be closer to me :) You are lucky to have such a great husband

    Reply to this comment »
  • Ana Lucía says:

    I LOVE YOU KAREN!! You are the best and I agree with you in many of your answers, we are twins after all huh? ;)
    I love your answer to your real life hero and greatest achievement, that made my heart melt.
    The most over-rated virtue? I COULDN’T AGREE MORE, its like you read my mind. I have always thought that, my entire life. So over-rated and ….yeah, don’t make go there or I’ll never stop haha.
    I didn’t know you were phobic with crowds!! I am too. Worst feeling when I’m in crowds. Awful.

    Beau looks so comfy!!

    Love the interview, I always like to know I little bit more of my favorite people, my online friends that is. :) I’m so glad I “met” you and I really hope that I can meet someday, in person. xoxoxoxo

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      Awww thanks so much! Love you too!!

      Yay for negativity!! lol Not really – but you know what I mean!! ;-)))

      I am SO phobic it’s sickening. I’m trying to overcome it though. Thankfully I’m not Twitter-phobic.

      You WILL come to FL for a concert one day! Right???

      Reply to this comment »
      • Ana Lucía says:

        Haha yes I totally know what you mean. ;) We keep it real, that’s all. lol

        Me too, I feel like I’m going to pass out and this horrible weight on my chest. Not always thank God. Yes, good thing you are not twitter-phobic hehe.

        Oh you bet!! I’m so going to FL for a concert! If I ever get the chance to go to the US, trust me, I’ll plan my trip to FL and we can go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Wiiii!! lol

        Reply to this comment »
  • Thanks for visiting, Karen! You sound beautifully happy with a wonderful husband! I, too, love Ilona Andrews, but I haven’t tried Ann Aguirre’s Razorland series yet. I’ll have to add it to the tbr!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      I am very happy with my guy! Like I said there were a lot of duds before him so I’m very appreciative :-)

      I love the Razorland series so much. Have you read her Sirantha Jax sci-fi series? It’s really good – even if you don’t’ like sci-fi. It ends this year too so you can read it all – no waiting! Each book is quite cliffhanger-y

      Reply to this comment »
      • Nope, haven’t read anything by her yet. But if the last book to Sirantha Jax is out this year, I think I’ll wait. I’ve had enough of cliffhangers this past year to last me a lifetime! What is up with this new trend?!

        Reply to this comment »
        • Karen says:

          I believe the 5th and last book – Endgame – is out in August.
          I rarely start any new series anymore because I can’t stand the cliffhangers.

          Reply to this comment »
  • Doll Noa says:

    BEA Buddy!!!!

    Karen, just so you know, thanks to you I went to the Colbert Show recording and it was awesome!

    I too need to read Ann Aguirre… and Curran is my favorite hero – because he doesn’t need to be a hero. Love him…and Kate of course!

    Thanks so much for taking the Paperback Proust and visiting with us today!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      I loved the Colbert taping! It has such a great energy. Even though I’m Jon Stewart obsessed, I enjoyed Stephen’s taping more.
      I’m so glad you went!

      Yes! You must read Ann Aguirre! Just brush away those 400 other books!!! lol

      Thanks for having me!

      Reply to this comment »
  • Great interview, how did you get your pets to look not only cute but innocent? Mine always look like they’ve been caught committing a felony. Okay, sometimes it’s debatable if they have or not but still…

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:


      I assure you – they only *look* innocent. Especially Beau and Figment. lol

      Reply to this comment »
  • Jeanne Miro says:

    Hi Karen!

    I loved your interview (and your For What It’s Worth Reviews Site! I just checked it out and am now “following you”! How come I didn’t know about it sooner?).

    Your trip cross country from RI to Washington state caught my attention and I hope it means you live in Rhode Island! I’m a transplant to RI via NY (where I grew up), AZ (where I went to college) and FL (my first job out of college and where I met my husband before he dragged me here when he got out of the Navy in 1971).

    I’m under-tall myself and if you still live around here maybe we could talk talk about how bad we feel for tall people. After all just to sit down they have a long way to go! Think about it, have you ever had to duck your head to get through a door-way. Yup, it’s great being under-tall and I bet all those models are envious of us!

    I’m sure we would be great friends because I love to bake! Think homemade pies and cookies with a cherry-covered cheesecake thrown in. The only problem is that I can’t eat anything I bake because I’m a Type I diabetic! I still am trying to figure out what my grandmother was thinking when she picked me out of all my sisters to teach how to bake! I think she wanted to teach someone who wouldn’t eat the whole pie before it could be served! Obviously my husband and sons love this because I get to let go of stress by baking and they get to eat the results!

    Glad I stopped by today and met you – see you again soon on What It’s Worth Reviews!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      I’m not in RI now but both my husband and I are originally from RI. He was in the Navy (subs) and that’s why we drove to WA.

      Do you like living in RI? I have to say as a teenager I couldn’t wait to get out lol but as an adult I can appreciate it more when we visit family.

      Thank you so much for your comment and for following my blog.

      P.S. mmmm cheesecake :-)

      Reply to this comment »
      • Jeanne Miro says:

        Karen –

        I’m originally from up-state NY and HATE to the cold weather. I went to college in Arizona before moving to Florida where I met my husband in 1969 when he was stationed at NAS Ceceil Field, Jacksonville, FL. We married in 1970 and he finished his duty in 1971 and we moved to RI.

        My parents eventually moved to Arizona after I had finished college and moved to Florida and I have a sister who lives in Arizona and another in Colorado so I haven’t been back to my hometown in years.

        As much as I hate the winters (okay any season but the summer) I do love that we are 1 block from Indian Lake where we have a great beach and just two miles from the ocean.

        I keep reminding my husband that our younger son and his wife and our granddaughter and 2 grandsons live in sunny warm South Carolina and what’s a hurricane or three as long as it warm?

        Reply to this comment »
  • Lena says:

    Karen, I have to tell you that I’m your biggest fan. You complete me. Whenever you post pictures of your pets, I get all warm inside. I feel like I’ve known you my whole life.

    I just wanted to let you know that.

    Ooooh, I’d live in Washington. Let’s move there together. We can share a house in Queen Anne! WE COULD CUDDLE! OMGOODNESS!

    Did I just take this comment way too far? :-P

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      Too far Lena – too far lol

      But I would live with you in Washington. With my dogs and your cats. (Dexter will be mine!!! Mwhuahahahaha)

      Reply to this comment »
  • Alex says:

    Oh, Karen.

    I love these things. I always want to know everything I can about people I like, and you’ve had such an interesting life. Though I obviously knew how much you loved Kevin, and don’t think I ever understood the circumstances as such. I feel a warm respect for your honesty, and like a spark of hope for the rest of us if people as wonderful as Kevin exist. I shed a tear when I first read this.

    I understand you’re answer to the happiness question too. Sometimes I am just struck, at perhaps the most random of times, with this feeling of great contentment. So I understand why you answered like that, though it was perhaps unusual.

    I’m going to avoid question jumping through everything because half the time I completely agreed with you, and even when I didn’t I agreed with you, I just consider something else more deplorable or interesting for me personally.

    But you’ve never struck me as THAT cynical. You’re hardly the most optimistic person I know, but I’ve never thought of you as cynical. Prudent, perhaps.

    And those pictures are great- I particularly like the one with Indy in batter! He looks so noble and poised…despite his coat of batter!

    So basically my comment is: Your husband’s awesome; Me comprende; I AGREE; You’re cynical?!; D’aww!

    Reply to this comment »
    • Karen says:

      Maybe cynical is too harsh a word. I just don’t get caught up in enthusiasm as much as other people do and I tend to think in a very pragmatic way.

      I think the whole world is so excited about everything all the time!!!! lol so I feel like that’s cynical of me to not jump on board.

      I would love to see your answers to this Alex. I bet it would be really interesting!

      Indy ALWAYS has food all over him. I’m a horrible, messy cook so he knows to stay right under my feet :-)))

      Reply to this comment »
      • Alex says:

        Ah- okay! I’m relatively unenthusiastic too! And then I get really, really excited about something no one cares about nor can they understand why I would be excited. Go figure. Pragmatism is always admirable!!!

        Perhaps you’re a realist then? (But then there’s that whole “one man’s cynic is another man’s realist”!!!) I think it’s that whole emotional detachment thing we discussed- we don’t like to involved ourselves emotionally for whatever reason!

        I think anyone’s answers would be interesting! Especially since the questions are pertinent and if one answers honestly they’re bound to be interesting to read!

        Clever dog. You can’t be that bad! (And even if you are I bet I’m worse. I can’t even cook at all!!!)

        Reply to this comment »
  • [...]  Monday awesomesauce friend and fellow blogger Karen of For What it’s Worth Reviews was here to take the Paperback Proust! Read what she had to say Here [...]

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