Book of the Month: Congratulations on winning our #youbethejudge contest! As our newest judge, we want to know more about you! Where are you from originally? Where do you live now? What do you for work?

Stacey Armand: I grew up in Natchitoches, Louisiana (home of Steel Magnolias) and I graduated from Northwestern State University. I currently live in Lafayette, Louisiana where the coffee is always brewing and the food is fantastic. I am married to a man who is a phenomenal cook and we are raising an energetic 7 year old son who is part Star Wars Jedi, part Ninja Turtle. During the week, I work full time as a lease analyst. On the weekends you can find me curled up with a good book, working in my yard, or entertaining friends with backyard BBQs and dinners. Reading is definitely my favorite pastime, but I also love traveling, photography and exploring the culinary arts.

BOTM: What types of books do you love, in 15 words or less?!

SA: Psychological thrillers and historical fiction are my favorites, but I read anything that sounds appealing.


BOTM: You order 3 BOTM selections every month. Which has been your favorite so far?

SA: Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. It was one of my first picks and my first 'œofficial' book review, so it is very special to me.

BOTM: Do you have a particular judge that you follow closely?

SA: Yes! I absolutely love Liberty Hardy and I am obsessed with her cats on Instagram.

BOTM: What will you be looking for in your book selection when you make your debut as a judge?

SA: I am so excited to select a book for May! I will be looking for a book that is clever and thought-provoking. I love books that stay with you long after you have read them, so hopefully my pick will fall in that category.

BOTM: Your winning #youbethejudge entry included pizza. Which would be harder to live without - pizza or books?

SA: Books '“ hands down!


BOTM: Last year, you started a blog called Reading Reverie that has now become Prose and Palate. Why did you decide to take your enthusiasm for reading to the internet?

SA: I started my Reading Reverie blog to have a forum to review and discuss books with others who share my passion for the written word. All of this was very new to me, so I attempted to build the blog completely by myself which turned out to be a disaster! My menu drop downs never worked and there were other technical errors that I could not rectify. In the mean time, I started an Instagram account by the same name and met so many wonderful people!! I have connected with several amazing authors and feel like I have finally found my niche.

Along with posting book reviews and pictures on Instagram, I post a good bit about food because I love to eat anything delicious. There are amazing restaurants on every street corner here in South Louisiana so that certainly contributes to my love of food! An idea began to take shape on how I could incorporate that in to my blog'¦. couple the enjoyment of eating along with how bookstagrammers often talk about what we read to 'œcleanse our palate' when we need a break from heavy material and Prose and Palate was born.

I do work a full time job and being a mother to a 7 year old is another full time job in itself! But books are my passion'¦ having this blog/Instagram account and interacting with others who love literature as much as I do is just an absolute dream come true for me. This journey has reinforced to me that if there is something that you are passionate about and want to do, pursue it with everything you've got.

BOTM: You have a dog named Big Lou who loves literature. What is his favorite BOTM selection so far?

SA: Lou is a huge fan of Jami Attenberg, [author of] All Grown Up, and her dog, Sid.

Big Lou