Welcome to NICOLE & REBECCA CONQUER BOOKS. We’ve been conquering books for a while now: reading books and working with them, writing and sharing our stories with each other, and learning all we can about book collecting, the publishing industry, book trends, and the most addictive authors. We want to create a corner of the internet where you can read a poem or short story one week and learn something new about your favorite hobby or chosen industry the next.
So…who are we again?
Nicole VanDenEng and Rebecca Zornow are sisters from Wisconsin. We’re guessing if you’re on this page, we’ve met IRL or we’ve connected on Twitter or Facebook, but here’s a run-down of our bookish-selves:
Nicole: I wrote my first story in third grade and I haven’t quit since. I knew from an early age that being a writer is a life-long pursuit and I’ve been learning and refining my skills for over two decades. I’ve written dozens of short stories and my longest work to date is the memoir I wrote with my sister, Rebecca.
These past eight years, I’ve been working at a used bookstore. This job has provided me with experience in online and in-store book markets and trends, as well as with local writing and reading clubs. I’ve also had the opportunity to build and extensive collection for myself.
Last year I attended a conference where I listened to readings by Sherman Alexie and Margaret Atwood. This, along with a network of local authors, has encouraged me to venture online because every writer reaches a point where continued growth is only ensured through sharing.
You can see an adorably awkward photo of Nicole’s family on her bio page here.
Rebecca: I almost made the grave mistake of majoring in Psychology at University. Then I took a Modern English Literature course Freshman year. Hooked, I switched to an English & Art History double major. That didn’t surprise anyone who knew me—I’d been reading a book a week or even a day since I was seven—but until that moment, my dream didn’t intersect with real life.
I’ve kept two other blogs and found a lot of joy and relief in journaling. I’ve worked at educational and art-based organizations in leadership roles and volunteer for a variety of causes in my local community and abroad, including the Caneille Regional Development Fund, of which I was a co-founder.
You can learn more about Rebecca and see her top books list on her bio page here.
A few years ago Nicole and Rebecca kept journals for a two and a half year period. During that time, Rebecca served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland and Nicole delved into life as an American millennial and began raising her family. We’ve recently finished writing our shared memoir Life Without Pants: Two Sisters in Exile. More on that later.
Each week we’ll post an except from our memoir, something new we’ve written, or a blog post to help you be a better reader, writer, collector, or book enthusiast.
Thank you for reading so far. We’ll be back next week with original creative work from Nicole.