Falcon Spotlight: C8’s Rad Reads

If you struggle to find someone to talk books with, C8's Rad Reads, a book blog hosted by senior Cate Mulqueen, shares fresh opinions and reviews on popular books for those looking for a literary haven.

Reading: some see it as a hobby or something they really enjoy, but what about the majority of us?  Well, let’s be honest: Most of us feel like reading is a burden. 

So what happens when you love to read, but there’s no one to talk to? 

The solution: create a literary “book blog.”

The blog “C8’s Rad Reads” was created by senior Cate Mulqueen. The blog connects readers with her views on popular science-fiction, fantasy, and other fictional books that she enjoys. 

Both conversational and casual, C8’s Rad Reads creates an atmosphere for fiction lovers to indulge in the world of reviews, book talks, and music that comments on their favorite genres.

The Gauntlet sat down with Mulqueen to discuss the creative outlet that allows her to express herself as a book lover.  

Cate’s blog address: https://c8sradreads.wixsite.com/blog

Cate Mulqueen shares her latest top five book choices in a section of her blog called Radest Reads

Q: Describe how you first got into writing a blog about books?

When I started my blog, it was the time where the SAT/ACT studying came around, and I felt like my entire life was just school and sports. So when I was on a run, I was thinking about The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and how I really wanted to talk to someone about it because it’s such a deep and powerful book. But, of course, no one else wants to talk to me about books. So I was considering turning to a website called ‘GoodReads’ where you track what you read and get recommendations, but it’s automated, so there’s no real personal interaction. I was originally thinking about writing a couple of reviews on the website but I thought that was so lame. So I just said ‘okay, I’m gonna make a book blog!’ and then I did.

Q: What was your inspiration for starting a book blog?

I love to read, and I love talking about the books that I read, but not many other people like to read, so I would turn to a lot of youtube videos that have a lot to say about the kinds of books that I like. I think I just wanted a place of my own.

Q: How would you describe your blogging style?

Conversational and casual. I try really hard to have correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling that way if someone comes across my blog, they take my words seriously. I don’t want it to be boring either, so sometimes I’ll add some slang terms of my own … like my own ‘Cate-isms’.

Q: How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?

I feel like there’s always going to be so much going on and I need a little creative outlet, so a lot of the time, honestly, I would prioritize my book blog over my school work, just because its a stress reliever. I don’t really need motivation to actually do the blog either just because I love talking about books so much, but keeping up my blog was actually really difficult during the college applications period. One of the college essay questions asked, luckily, was a book that I would recommend to an admissions counselor, so I used a book that I wrote about on my blog for my essay.

Q: How active are you on a weekly basis?

I definitely try to make an effort when posting, so maybe four or five times a month. But once a week is usually normal. I try to make a post right after I read a book, and I read close to one to two books a week. 

Q: What is your favorite genre to read and review?

I really like science fiction and fantasy books, but I realized recently that I don’t connect with any of the classics, and I’ve actually been reading a lot of them lately, trying to see if I would like any. But I haven’t. But I know I love sci-fi and fantasy. They are so different from any other genre. I mainly read them because, in a way, it’s an escape, and reading about things that could happen to me don’t really appeal to me, so reading about something crazy, like aliens or wizards, is really interesting since there are no boundaries. 

Q: What would you say was your initial purpose for starting C8’s Rad Reads?

Just to talk about books and a lot of people that review books will write about them in really analytical ways, but I try to write in a very conversational tone. I like to have fun with it even though I have such a small amount of viewers. But if anyone stumbles upon it, I want them to see reviews that are written seriously but like in a fun way. I feel like I’m pretty conversant in the topic, so when I blog, I basically just talk about the books that I like and give other people advice on what to read. 

Q: When creating a ‘post’, what would you say inspires you to share with others?

There’s one person that reviews books, her youtube channel is Emmmabooks and the way she talks about books is so passionate and I relate to it so much. Originally, that’s how I wanted to talk about books, but I didn’t want to make a youtube channel because that’s not really my thing. But I really like to write and I think that’s what I want to do when I graduate, so I felt like having a blog was a good place to start.

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