50 Bookish Questions

I love talking about books (obviously). I love book tags. I love answering questions about books. That is why, when I saw this tag on Sahi’s blog a few weeks ago, I knew I was going to do it even if she hadn’t tagged me.

This one is going to be a long one, so let’s get right to it!

 

What was the last book you read?

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At the time I am writing this post, the last book I read was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I had to read it for my children’s literature class.

 

Was it a good one?

I liked it.

 

What made it good?

Cute drawings and a beautiful color palette, with an important social message, I think.

Would you recommend it to other people?

Yes, but only to those who enjoy children’s picture books.

 

How often do you read?

I try to read at least 20 to 30 pages a day. There were times (like right now) I went several days without reading. Usually, though, I don’t last longer than a day.

 

Do you like to read?

Is water wet?

What was the last bad book you read?

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Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

 

What made you dislike it?

There was no character development and a one-dimensional plot.

Do you wish to be a writer?

Yes. I want to get back into creative writing in 2020. I even have a notebook set aside to write story ideas.

 

Has any book ever influenced you greatly?

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Most of the books I read influence me, to a certain extent. Two examples include The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace, a book that empowered me when I did not feel powerful, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, inspired me to start writing.

 

Do you read fan fiction?

Not as much as I used to. I was more into it during high school until college, eventually only going back to read really smutty ones when I was bored.

 

Do you write fan fiction?

I did in middle school, I think.

 

What is your favorite book?

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I do not have a specific favorite book. For the sake of the question, though, I will say my favorite book that I have read so far in 2020 is To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace.

 

What is your least favorite book?

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A surprisingly easy answer: Woman of God by James Patterson.

 

Do you prefer physical books or reading on a device (like Kindle)?

I exclusively read physical books. Too much screen time makes me feel nauseous.

 

When did you learn to read?

According to my dad, when I asked him for an assignment last semester, when I was one year old I was pretending to read. But when I actually learned to read, it was probably around five years old.

 

What is your favorite book you had to read in school?

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I enjoyed most of the required reading I did in school. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton….The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald….The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde….The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo….Those are the first ones I thought of, but there are a lot.

 

What is your favorite book series?

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Ummm…I don’t have a single favorite series. Who does? My current top three favorite series are Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco, The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare, and An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir.

 

Who is your favorite author?

Again, how do you pick just one? Off the top of my head, a few of my favorite authors are Kerri Maniscalco, Sabaa Tahir, Renee Ahdieh, Cassandra Clare, Cynthia Hand, Laurie Halse Anderson, Robert Galbraith, Markus Zusak….

 

What is your favorite genre?

My favorite genre is fantasy, both adult and young adult.

 

Who is your favorite character from a series?

A recent new favorite character is Xiomara from The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. She is a strong-willed girl that tries to hide her vulnerable side because the people around her just won’t get it, or at least she thinks most of them won’t. I felt so much for her and I identified with her.

 

Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

It’s easy for me to get lost in a book, unless I am distracted.

 

Which book do you wish had a sequel?

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, though I’m not sure how the plot would work out. The twist revealed at the end of this book has potential of being another good psychological thriller, depending on how the author chooses to go about it.

 

Which book do you wish DIDN’T have a sequel?

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Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, the companion to You, should not exist.

 

How long does it take you to read a book?

It depends on a bunch of different factors. If I have a lot going on, I sometimes don’t have the energy to read. In those cases, it would take me longer than a week to finish a book. It also depends on page count; longer books, 500 and up, tend to take a while for me to get through, even if I do not have much going on.

 

Do you like when books become movies?

If it is done right.

Which book was ruined by its movie adaption?

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Divergent by Veronica Roth, no question.

Which movie has done the book justice?

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, a movie I dare say I liked more than its source material.

 

Do you read newspapers?

Not as much as I should.

Do you read magazines?

Nope, I find them boring.

Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?

Neither.

 

Do you read while in bed?

Yes, I have gotten back into reading before bed, although I lapsed after starting the new semester.

 

Do you read on the toilet?

Ummm…no.

 

Do you read while in the car?

Does reading on a bus count? If not, no, I don’t read while in the car. I don’t know how to drive, so I am always the passenger looking out the window. On the bus, I will read if I am awake and the lighting allows it.

 

Do you read while in the bath?

If I had a bathtub or owned any kind of fancy bath products, I might. I don’t read in the shower, either. I don’t wear my glasses and I would hate to get my book wet.

 

Are you a fast reader?

I consider myself a fast reader, for the most part. Although sometimes maintaining my focus is hard.

 

Are you a slow reader?

Sometimes, if I’m struggling to focus or I’m not that invested in a book.

 

Where is your favorite place to read?

My living room couch.

 

Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read?

If there are too many distractions or I am just not in a good headspace at the moment, then I do have a hard time concentrating on reading. But if a book is really good, I can usually mentally block out noise around me.

 

Do you need a room to be silent when you read?

Not necessarily. If I am reading in my bedroom, I prefer to have my white noise machine on. I have managed to focus on reading in other noisier situations as well. Although, now I’m thinking about it, I might prefer silence.

 

Who gave you your love for reading?

My dad, who read bedtime stories every night when I was a child, and my aunt, who is a librarian and continued to encourage me to read while my parents wanted me to do more “normal” kid things.

 

What book is next on your list to read?

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Right now, I am currently reading The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. While I am working my way through that, I will pick up the next books I need to read for my children’s literature class from the library.

 

When did you start to read chapter books?

Third grade.

Who is your favorite children’s author?

J.K. Rowling or Rick Riordan.

Which author would you most want to interview?

Carlos Ruiz Zafon seems like he would be interesting to talk to.

Which author do you think you would be friends with?

Christine Ricco of Polandbananasbooks on YouTube and the author of Again, But Better. She’s out loud quirky and I love those kinds of people. I think our respective energy would feed off each other.

 

What book have you reread the most?

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, a book I have read at least three times.

 

Which books do you consider “classics?”

Books that have already been labeled “classics” are the books I think of as classics. Though Harry Potter is a good contender for this title.

 

Which books do you think should be taught in every school?

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

 

Which books should be banned from all schools?

NO BANNING BOOKS! PERIOD!

I tag…EVERYONE!

Would you ever ban a book from a school? If so, which one?

(POST AT YOUR OWN RISK!)

10 Year Challenge Book Tag

How is it not only the end of the year, but the end of a decade?

2009 seems so long ago. I was a sixteen-year-old freshman in high school struggling with math. In 2019, I am a graduate student getting my Master’s in Library and Information Science. The only thing that has not changed much is that I’m sleeping in the same bedroom.

I was going to do a post on how I have changed as a reader over the decade, except my memory is terrible. I saw this tag on Thoughts on Tomes YouTube channel, but she’s not the creator of the tag. All I know is that she made it look like fun.

To the tag!

 

What was your favorite book in 2009?

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Without a doubt, it had to be The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I probably reread it that year, too, since the sequel, The Awakening, came out in either 2009 or 2010. 2009 was the year I broke away from the trashy Sweet Valley books to the broader young adult genre, particularly urban fantasy.

 

What is your favorite book of 2019?

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I don’t know if I have a specific favorite book this year. Like last year, I did not give out much 5-star ratings and not a lot stuck with me. For the sake of this question, I will say it is a tie between The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin.

 

What was your least favorite book in 2009?

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Anything I read by L.J. Smith, mainly The Awakening, which was the first book of the Vampire Diaries series. I only read the first one, and I never made it beyond 50 pages. And this was at the height of the vampire craze, post-Twilight.

 

What was your least favorite book in 2019?

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It is slightly unfair, since I went into this book knowing nothing about it beyond the synopsis, but the graphic novel Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer. I found this one while browsing my local library. This had no plot to speak of and it had too many POVs than was necessary.

 

What is a book published in 2009 that you still want to read?

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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, which follows two best friends, one deceased, struggling with eating disorders.

 

What is a book published in 2019 you want to get to before 2020?

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I had originally checked out Marley by Jon Clinch from the library, which I think was a 2019 release, only I returned it last week. As in previous years, I got hit with a reading slump a few days before Christmas. I lost interest in all the books I checked out from the library. I grabbed a bunch of graphic novels I owned that I want to read by New Year’s, only none of them were published in 2019.

 

What is a genre you used to read a lot of that you don’t read as much anymore?

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In early high school until maybe my freshman year of college, I was really into adult mysteries and thrillers, as well as women’s fiction, primarily Meg Cabot. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance was my obsession until sophomore year of undergraduate. I was obsessed with Meg Cabot, who wrote predominantly in the latter genre. At that time, I was heavy into crime TV shows, too, so this played into my love for reading books in that genre.

 

What is a new genre you’ve discovered since 2009?

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In high school and college, I only read nonfiction for school. I still mostly read nonfiction for school. But now I am looking into picking up nonfiction for my own recreational reading. The same goes for science fiction. Most of the subjects in science fiction go right over my head, which was why I rarely felt drawn to it. Now, after picking up a few gems like Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, I am more apt to reading science fiction.

 

What is a reading or book habit you are hoping to leave behind in this decade?

There are a few small, annoying habits I want to leave behind. The first book habit is to not check out more books from the library than I can read. It’s not a major problem, but it is a minor annoyance I would like to remedy, since I do currently live in a rather small space.

A reading habit I would like to leave behind is not always prioritizing reading. During down times throughout the day, I take out my phone even though I bring a book with me. At night, I’ve been watching YouTube when I could be reading. Recently I realized that I sometimes do not always have the energy or focus to read books. I’m hoping this is adulting getting the better of me, and not anything else. Like losing an interest in reading.

Lastly, I would like to leave behind the habit not having a set budget for buying books. Book buying bans sometimes work, but only when I legitimately do not have the extra funds. At this point in my life, I have the privilege of not having to pay rent. But I hope to move out of my dad’s house by the end of 2020, so better late than never to practice before I am basically forced to. Although, I wonder if that might be a better option for me….

 

What is a new reading goal or habit you want to create in the upcoming decade?

One reading habit I would like to create, or rather focus on, is sticking to reading lists yet remembering to be flexible. I would not call myself a “mood reader” by any means. For the longest time, I thought I was. It was not until last summer, when I tried to challenge myself to randomly pick books, did I realize I like having structure in my reading. On the flip side to that, when I tried to be a stickler with the reading lists, I sometimes had lost interest in the books I had selected to read next. So, I want to leave a little wiggle room in my reading lists for change if I want to read something else than what I previously selected off my TBR.

A habit I want to create, or rather get back into, is reading before bed instead of going on my laptop. I used to read before bed. Then, I read a few books that made me anxious or scared or angry and I had a hard time falling asleep after. While listening to YouTube videos does help me feel drowsy, I fall asleep next to my laptop in bed. I wake up a few hours later with all my bedroom lights on and voices coming from my computer, disturbing my family members trying to sleep.

Another reading goal I want to maintain the next decade is read between 50 to 80 books a year. Like I have said in another post, reading is a big part of my life and plays into writing. Also, it one of my main forms of entertainment, something I genuinely enjoy doing. Since 2016, I read between 50 to 80 books to a year, so it seems like a reasonable goal to set. Plus, technology 24/7 is no good for me.

 

What is a reading habit you want to create in the upcoming decade?

 

I tag:

Grey

Kristin

Rebecca

Sophie

 

History of My Bookshelf Challenge

With a month off from a school, I can finally talk about books for fun.

Emma from emmmabooks created this tag in where you go through your bookshelves and find books based on a series of prompts. It seemed like a fun idea, going through my current collection as 2020 nears. Working for my own money within the last seven years of the decade certainly contributed to my book addiction.

On to the tag!

 

The oldest book on your shelf

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It is a tie between my Ernest Hemingway novels, Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut, two bound editions of Sherlock Holmes stories, and a beautiful edition of Pride and Prejudice. All of these belonged to my parents, which they gave to me a few years ago when they were cleaning out the bookshelf in their bedroom.

 

A book you read in 2013

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, my favorite book of that year. I was obsessed with the American film with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, too.

 

A book you read in 2014

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, the first book I read because of BookTube. I watched Chapterstackss the most at the time and it was one of her favorite books.

 

A book you read in 2015

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is the book I associate with 2015, because it reminds me of all the books I read that summer, and that year in general. It was also my favorite book of that year and still one of my all-time favorites. People seem to forget its existence in the presence of A Court of Mist and Fury.

 

A book you read in 2016

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, one of my favorite books of that year as well as an all-time favorite. I remember I got it out of the library and was sad when I had to return it.

 

A book you read in 2017

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Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, a WWII novel that was almost 5 stars. However, I still gave it 4.75 stars and I eventually want to read its companion, Lost Roses.

 

A book you read in 2018

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Simon vs. Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, a book I remember reading early on in the year, when I was diving headfirst into reading to distract myself from my problems.

 

A book you read in 2019

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab, a superhero book that I gave into the hype for. I have not regretted it.

 

A book you’ve read more than once

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I have read this book at least three times.

 

A book you waited over a year to be published

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, the companion to The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

A book you read on vacation/away from home

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Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare; I read it when my family went on vacation to New Hampshire in 2015.

 

A book you got from some place special (anything that’s not your local bookstore/online retailer)

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It might not be special to some of you, but it was technically not local to me. I bought Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, among other books, from Half-Price Books in Dallas, Texas when I visited my aunt in 2015.

 

A book that made you cry

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A List of Cages by Robin Roe is always my go-to answer for this question.

 

A book you read in one sitting

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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, although not exactly in the best place. I went with my mom to the hospital for a procedure and I read this book while I was waiting for her.

 

A book that was gift

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Lost Lake by Phillip Margolin, a birthday gift from one of my best friends while we were still in college.

 

A book you read before owning (library, borrowed from a friend)

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I have quite a few of those. But to keep it short, I’m going to pick A World Without You by Beth Revis. It was a book I never expected to love like I did.

 

A book you lent to someone else

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Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, lent to my dad only for three reasons.

  1. I live with him
  2. I want him to read more
  3. It’s not one of my favorite plays, anyway, so it’s not a big deal if/when he returns it.

 

A book that has been damaged

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Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong is probably the most damaged (loved) book I own.

 

A book you got on sale/discounted

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Swing Time by Zadie Smith, bought for 50% off at my grad school’s bookstore. (More on that purchase, and others, in an upcoming book haul!)

 

A book you read with someone else (buddy read/read with a book club)

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, a book I read for my young adult class and I was part of a discussion group for it. Not quite a buddy read or a book club, but I did not want to repeat answers.

 

A book you associate with a song

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I associate the song “Bom Bidi Bom Bom” by Nick Jonas and Nicki Minaj with A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. If you are unaware, “Bom Bidi Bom Bom” is from the movie Fifty Shades Darker. I’m pretty sure I read ACOMAF the same time the movie came out and replayed that song constantly. If you know anything about either the book or movie, then you know why this is seriously hilarious.

 

A book you got years ago that you probably wouldn’t buy now

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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, which I bought impulsively at a Rite Aid. This was back in 2015, when I started making my own money, my local library was not quite that well-stocked, or so I thought, and I wanted to read “modern classics.” I think I still want to read it, but if I don’t by the end of 2020, I will likely unhaul it.

 

A book you associate with a specific time in your life

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Sadly, I associate Carry On by Rainbow Rowell with February 2019, to the weeks I lost both my mom and my grandmother. I was trying to figure out how to live life without taking care of a sick person and familial BS. It was not a good time for me. The fact that I didn’t love Carry On did not help.

 

A book you used to like, but don’t anymore

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The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong; a series I do not necessarily say I don’t like, but I keep it more for the nostalgia purposes.

 

The newest book on your shelf (at this time)

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The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang, one of the books I got for Christmas…another book haul to look out for!

 

I tag:

Shanah

Grey

Sophie

Rebecca

Kristin

Inside and Out Book Tag

“No book tags,” I told myself. “Make up your own stuff.”

So far, I have done that. For the most part. Trouble is, the day this goes up is my last free weekend before I start my next semester of graduate school. I wanted something fun to write before throwing myself headfirst into academics again. Plus, I like tags where I don’t have to come up with a specific book for an answer. Kristin Kraves Books knows how to get to me with the book tags she posts on her own blog.

 

Inside flap/back of the book summaries: too much info or not enough?

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A summary is usually what draws me to a book, after title and cover. Often times, I find a book with a gorgeous cover, only to put it back on the shelf because the information on the front flap or back cover just does not do it for me. I personally want to know what I’m reading and if it is something I want to put time into. Even though it can be annoying, I also sometimes don’t mind if a synopsis offers too much information or is too vague. If it has the right buzzwords, I’m game.

 

New book: what form do you want it to be in? Be honest: audiobook, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?

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Despite the current overflow in my bedroom, I prefer books in physical format. Hardcover or paperback, it doesn’t really matter to me, so long as the book is in good condition.

 

Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean, clean, clean?

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CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! I absolutely cannot bring myself to write in my books. The only books I can justify scribbling in are textbooks I bought for school. For my YA literature class, I will be taking notes in my notebook while I read.

 

Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

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An author’s gender has never even been a considering factor for me when choosing a book. If I took a hard look at my Goodreads, I would probably find that 90% of what I have read is by white female authors. But there have been books by male authors that I have truly enjoyed, too. I think it is more important to focus on whether or not you are reading books by people of color or are of a different sexual identity than yours.

 

Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

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Sometimes, I read ahead if I am worried about a certain character. I will flip a few chapters to make sure they are alive by the end of the book. I try not to read the last page to avoid major spoilers. Most times I don’t care about spoilers, but I still do like to be surprised sometimes.

 

Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?

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I would love to have organized bookshelves, preferably in alphabetical order by author. However, lack of space and a somewhat impulsive book buying addiction makes them outrageous.

 

Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

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Yes and no. What I mean by that is, I will be drawn to a book because of the cover. But only after I read the synopsis do I bring myself to buy it, such as was the case with books like The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston and The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. A book I can say I specifically bought for the cover was the reprint hardcover edition of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. It was a book I had wanted to read for years. And, admittedly, I thought the new cover was cooler than the old one.

 

Take it outside to read, or stay in?

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Nine times out of ten, I stay inside to read. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I have promised my dog Ziva I will take her outside on cooler days, and then I end up staying inside with the AC. Plus, my dog is nine years old, and the heat takes a lot out of her to begin with. I also have a really stupid pet peeve where I don’t like wind blowing the pages while I’m trying to read.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Sophie

Rebecca

Sahi

Joe

Grey

 

The Book Snob Tag

I never understood how a “book snob” could exist until I met one. You know the type—the ones that only read Pulitzer Prize winners or consider reading primarily classics as “real reading” or say their favorite book is something outrageous like Dante’s Inferno.

Considering readers have gotten bad rep over the years, this is just wrong.

I was trying to avoid tags and make use the creativity I won an award for in college. Then, earlier this week, I saw Heather of Bookables do this tag. Mainly what drew me to it was that I did not have to think of a book for each answer. It is specifically an opinion piece.

I like giving my opinion.

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Let’s find out if I am a book snob. (Spoiler alert: I’m totally not!)

 

Adaption Snob

Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

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If I can and if I want to. One example is Fifty Shades of Grey. I have no interest in reading the books. I did want to see the movie though, out of curiosity to see if I liked erotica at all. However, there are times I do want to read the book before seeing the movie or TV adaption. This was the case with Good Omens. I didn’t want to watch it without having read the original material. But my dad wanted to watch the show and when he finds a new TV show he wants to watch, he binges the show. So, of course, I got sucked in. If anything, it made me want to read the book Good Omens even more.

 

Format Snob

You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical books, e-books, or audiobooks?

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The only format I can, and want, to read is physical books. I’ve tried e-books, but I’m uncomfortable reading on my phone or computer. Audiobooks were spoiled for me in grade school, with storybook narrators that put you to sleep. It also does not help that I love the look of bookshelves.

 

Ship Snob

Would you date or marry a non-reader?

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Absolutely yes. It makes me sad when bookworms give prospective partners a hard pass just because they don’t like reading. I also do not like it when they try to force said prospective partners to like reading. To me, dating or marrying a reader is more of a bonus than a requirement. As long as he does not look down upon my love of reading or outright hate it and try to make me stop, it’s fine if he himself does not enjoy it.

 

Genre Snob

You have to ditch one genre—never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

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Nonfiction is a genre I would give up. However, this one is a cop-out. I rarely read anything from this genre. Most of the times I did read it was for school. I doubt I would miss it much, honestly.

 

Uber Genre Snob

You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

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Fantasy, which is another easy answer. It’s mostly what I read and what I am drawn to. Plus, the genre itself is so vast, I doubt I would get bored.

 

Community Snob

Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

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It’s a tie between romance and adults that read young adult literature. I am 26; the majority of what I read is young adult. Though I personally have not dealt with it (yet), I know many adult readers of YA get crap about “reading their age.” Truth is, most adults read YA because they are easy to get through and we need something to help us decompress from daily adulting.

Romance I know is a genre that gets snubbed a lot. I know I am one of those people that would not touch romance novels for years. This was mostly because I thought they were all about relationships and sex without any actual plot. Now, having read blogs and watched BookTube, I know better. With my own lack of love life, as well as overall new interest, I’m drawn more and more to picking up romance novels.

 

Snobbery Recipient

Have you ever been snubbed for something you have been reading or for reading in general?

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When I was younger, I was definitely snubbed a lot for liking to read. I was made fun of for “reading too much,” too. Nothing truly nasty happened to me, but still, the scorn was there. And it wasn’t just kids either. A lot of adults in my life did not like my reading so much. They thought I should be more “social.” But I became a deeper introvert after forcing myself to put the book down. More often than not, I still found myself sitting alone at lunch anyway. Thankfully, at college I met people who appreciated my love of reading as a part of who I was.

Now that that therapy session is over, I tag:

 

Shanah

Rebecca

Grey

Crystal

Kristin

Sophie

Book Bucket List Tag

Thank the almighty bookish gods and goddesses for book tags! And Kristin Kraves books, though she did not tag me. I was struggling to come up with content….

Side note: I really don’t like making bucket lists. They cause me an irrational sense of anxiety. But this tag still looked like fun, because books are always fun (and safe) to talk about.

On to the tag!

 

What books or series that intimidate you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish?

niecy nash getting on hbo GIF

I have quite a few books on my bookshelves, namely certain classics, that I would consider an accomplishment to finish. A book that fits this category is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I attempted to read it a while back, got about 90 pages in, then set it aside for another time.

 

What author would you like to co-author a book with?

finding nemo seagulls GIF

No idea. I don’t think I want to co-author a book. I’m such a control freak over my own work.

 

If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

i am cait part GIF

I think I would like to interview Francesca Zappia, a very good author that is very underrated. One question I would ask her is if she would ever write a magical realism novel. With her writing style, I think she would be good at it. I think she would also do a good job writing a magical realism novel featuring a character that has a mental illness.

 

As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you would like to conquer someday and write within?

darren criss books GIF

Science fiction is a genre generally out of my comfort zone, as anything scientific tends to go right over my head. I love fantasy and contemporary so much I’m not sure if I would ever write anything else.

 

What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be a rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc.?

Books Library GIF by DePauw University

Not sure. I don’t pay attention to anniversary or special editions. I own graphic novel adaptions of some of my favorite books, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, but do those count? If I already have a copy, I can’t justify it to myself to spend money on another copy of the exact same book if the old one is perfectly fine. I might consider getting the special collector’s edition of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas since it is one of my all-time favorites. Only that is a hard maybe.

 

Are there any books or bookish items that you like to collect?

cat books GIF

I likely have as many bookmarks as I do books. Lately, I have been getting into collecting graphic novel adaptions of classic novels, like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or well-known works, like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

 

Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book, a library, bookstore, etc.)

Eiffel Tower Paris GIF

Easy: Shakespeare and Company in Paris.

 

Name a bookish event you’d like to attend (a festival, signing, book fair, etc.)

90s books GIF

If I ever get the chance, to attend BookCon/Book Expo, Yallfest, or the American Library Association (ALA) Conference, I doubt I would turn it down. Problem is, crowds make me anxious.

 

Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

read harry potter GIF

Truth be told, since right before my mom went on hospice towards the end of 2017, I have done next to nothing on any of my works in progress. But an idea I always thought about was a young adult fantasy novel, with darker primary colors and a girl on the cover in a flowing dress.

 

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reader, blogger, whatever you want.

writing GIF

At the moment, that would be getting back into writing overall. Like I said, I have not done any work on any of my creative writing projects since before my mom died. Besides, having story ADD, she constantly needed my attention. I tried to get back into it, but writing suddenly became too hard. Blogging was just easier. I would like to write and publish a book someday. Graduate school is holding a lot of my attention now, but the urge to be creative is slowly coming back.

 

I tag:

Rebecca

Sophie

Shanah

Grey

Crystal

Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! (2019)

It’s that time of year again! To freak out on how much I’ve read this year and what I have not…mostly the latter….

I entered 2019 with low expectations for reading. I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 30 books, under the assumption I would not have a lot of free time to read once I started my second semester. To my shock, I had more than I anticipated. I had two days in the middle of the week entirely devoted to homework, leaving more wiggle room on the weekends. In May, I beat my goal. Currently, I have completed 34 books and working on a 35th. I do not plan on raising the goal any higher.

While I’m glad I beat my goal, admittedly, I am feeling rather meh towards my reading so far this year. That’s my fault. From January to April, I was on a book-buying ban. Instead of diving into the plethora of unread books I already own, I checked out books from the library. Obviously, that’s not a bad thing. I did read some pretty good books, too. The trips to the library were meant to quench the annoying desire for “new” books. Also, I have come to the realization that I have an irrational fear of running out of books to read as well as the masochistic urge to deny myself what I want. There are unread books I own, yet I continuously refuse to read them because I fear I won’t have money to buy more later.

Being a bookworm can be weird.

Now, enough of the therapy session and onto what you all really came here for: the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

 

The best book you’ve read so far this year

I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but not a lot of books this year have felt like “the best book of the year.” I’ve given a few 5 star ratings, although none of them stand out more than the rest. However, here are seven books I’ve read so far this year I consider favorites, in no particular order:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Your favorite sequel this year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 Saga, Vol 9 (Saga, #9)

 

Not a lot of sequels read this year so far, which is honestly unacceptable. I have way too many series sitting unread and uncompleted on my bookshelves. Even so, my favorite sequel hands-down this year will have to be Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples.

 

A new release that you haven’t read yet but really want to

Where to even begin with this one? One new release that I really want to read is Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistan. The others are Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich and Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, two books I was anticipating that I recently bought.

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is likely the most anticipated release of the year for me. Another is To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace, which comes out in September. I almost completely forgot about The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh, a Gothic vampire romance coming out in October. Also coming out in October is The Fountain of Silence, a young adult historical fiction novel by Ruta Sepetys set during the Spanish Civil War. Lastly is The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, the sequel/companion novel to The Handmaid’s Tale releasing in September.

 

Your biggest disappointment

I thought I only had one…turns out, I have a few. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab was not the best, although I’m not surprised since it was her debut novel. Though I gave them pretty decent ratings, Vengeful by V.E. Schwab and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan did not live up to their predecessors in their respective series.

 

Biggest surprise of the year

Screenshot_2019-07-06 True Notebooks

 

I had to read True Notebooks by Mark Salzman for one of my classes. On my own, I rarely read nonfiction. I certainly would not have read one set in a prison. True Notebooks centers on a struggling author teaching creative writing to students in a juvenile detention facility. The book covered a lot of different issues within the American prison system, as well as unexpectedly humanized these young criminals society had cast aside.

 

Favorite new to you or debut author

It’s a tie between Karen M. McManus and Robyn Schneider. I liked their writing styles, how they developed plots, and their realistic young adult characters. I’ve only read one book from each of them so far, but I enjoyed Two Can Keep a Secret and Invisible Ghosts so much I plan to get my hands on their other books.

 

Your new fictional crush

Again, I could not narrow it down.

The first is Sebastian Wyatt from A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. If you love Thomas Cresswell from Stalking Jack the Ripper, Sebastian will turn your knees to jelly. The other is Liam Gerling from Evermore by Sara Holland. In the first book, Everless, he’s portrayed as an arrogant loner with a supposed nasty streak. In Evermore, we see a sweeter side to him that is impossible to resist. Lastly, Tyler and Kal from Aurora Rising by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Both of them were handsome, strong, and serious men that could be utterly adorable (especially Kal, the alien fae, OMG).

 

New favorite character

There are few characters I can say I have truly seen myself in. One of those is Rose Asher from Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider. She was smart and sensitive, and had a lot to offer, but her own insecurities (and the ghost of her whiny dead brother) kept holding her back.  I also really liked Sydney Clarke and Victor Vale from Vicious from V.E. Schwab. Both were complex and flawed, especially Victor. And though I don’t think I would call her my new favorite character, I was fascinated by Tetisheri, the protagonist of Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow, a book I stumbled upon at the library. She was a private yet caring young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind. Plus, she had a complicated backstory we don’t know much about yet.

 

A book that made you cry

Voices: the Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott made me feel all the feels. It hurt me knowing a heroic young woman was ultimately killed by the patriarchy she was trying so hard to save. Saga, Vol. 9 slapped me so hard across the face, it took me a minute to fully absorb how hard I’d been hit.

 

A book that made you happy

kissmeinparisscreenshot

A book I found browsing my library, Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider, was an adorable young adult/new adult romance set during a 24-hour exploration of Paris. Serena arrives to Paris on a mission to collect mementos for her family after a tragedy until her strict schedule goes out the window. Broody Parisian photographer Jean-Luc is determined to show this uptight American girl the “real” Paris. As you can imagine, neither gets what they bargained for. If you love The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, I highly recommend Kiss Me in Paris.

 

Your favorite book to movie adaption that you’ve seen this year

season 1 friends GIF by Good Omens

I have seen two book to movie adaptions so far this year. The first is Good Omens, the Amazon Prime show based off the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I haven’t read the book yet. I only ended up watching the show because my dad was interested in it. Still, the Good Omens adaption was entertaining and made me want to read the source material.

season 2 trevor GIF by NETFLIX

The other is about two or three scores away from the original, and I’m not entirely sure if I watched in early 2019 or late 2018, but it’s the Netflix adaption of Castlevania. Castlevania is the name of a video game the show is supposed to be based on. Only there are elements in the storyline taken from Bram Stoker’s Dracula that make me still qualify it as a book adaption. The second season made up for the fail that was the first season with its dark humor and complicated views on humanity.

 

Favorite blog you’ve published this year

I’m not sure if I have one. To be honest, I was lacking in creativity during school (and now, if I’m being honest). I liked my Book Buying Ban Challenge post as well as the Game of Thrones tag. Book Blogger Confessions was fun. The Top 5 Tuesday on Slytherin House recommendations was also a good one.

I can’t pick one. Are you sensing a theme here?

 

The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received this year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

 

What are some of the books that you need to read by the end of the year?

Where to begin?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (PLEASE DON’T AT ME!)

Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

There are plenty more where those came from. I had these books on the list last year. They WILL be taken off this year.

 

What are some books that have been on your TBR for too long?

The Anticipated Releases Book Tag!

I was tagged by Rebecca to do the Anticipated Releases Book Tag. So thank you!

To be honest: sometimes, I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it’s a book I’m very, very excited for, such as the next installment in a favorite series. More often than not, I forget when books come out until I see them available on Amazon or at the bookstore and library. I try to focus on the books that are currently released and in my possession or I have access to before I think about the ones not out yet. Somehow, though, I came up with enough answers for this tag.

 

Your most anticipated release of the year

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4)

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I am deliberately putting off reading Escaping from Houdini so I can marathon finish the series.

 

A book you’re not anticipating

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Wayward Son

This might hurt some of you, but Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. Wayward Son is the sequel to Carry On. While I’ve enjoyed most of Rainbow Rowell’s books, sadly, I did not love Carry On like so many other people have. Chances are, I won’t read Wayward Son.

 

Most underhyped anticipated release

lovelywar

Lovely War by Julie Berry, which I already own since Barnes and Noble had an amazing sale recently. I have read two of Julie Berry’s novels and I immensely enjoyed both of them. Even if I had not read any of the author’s previous works, I would have been drawn to it anyway. It is a fantasy historical fiction novel told through the eyes of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, as she tells the story of doomed lovers to Ares and Hephaestus in a Manhattan hotel room.

 

A book you’ve been waiting on forever

lethalwhite

Though it is technically not a new release at this point—it came out summer of last year—a book I waited for what felt like forever for was Lethal White by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling. It is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series and the one that got pushed aside in favor of the disaster that was the Crimes of Grindelwald. As far as I am concerned, JK Rowling needs to retire her Boy Wizard and focus on her adorable, grumpy London private investigator.

 

A book you’re anticipating that’s out of your comfort zone

Screenshot_2019-06-23 Starsight cover image

That would be Starsight, the sequel to Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I picked up Skyward last year because I’ve been wanting to get into Brandon Sanderson’s books for years and I wanted to read more Sci-fi. It’s not something I often reach for, compared to other genres.

 

Your top 3 “Can’t Wait” Books of the Year

Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Technically, all three of these books are out by now, but they were all ones I was anticipating when I first heard of their publication. Contradicting my previous statement that I don’t pay too much attention to new releases unless it is by authors I’ve read previously, that is partially true.

Teeth in the Mist is Dawn Kurtagich’s third novel, and I read, and enjoyed, the other two. I bought Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel An Enchantment of Ravens when it came out, though I haven’t read it yet. But if a synopsis has any mention of libraries, magic, and sorcerers, like Sorcery of Thorns does, I am all for it. And I’m trash for Beauty and the Beast, so you bet your bottom dollar A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which came out way back in January, is on the list.

 

Top 5 most anticipated backlist books on your TBR

 

 

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I came to a slightly uncomfortable revelation about myself this year: I want all the books yet I continuously deny myself what I actually want to read. All of these books should have been read by now, among so many others. Yet I keep putting them unfairly on the backburner. No idea why. I guess I am a masochist.

 

What is a backlist book you keep putting off “for the right moment?”

(TAG! You’re it!)

TBR Alphabet Tag

I don’t know what it is about book tags, but I see a whole bunch I want to do, I write up a draft almost immediately in a notebook, and then it takes me ages to type it up, edit, and post it on the blogsphere. I don’t get it.

Oh well. I saw this tag on Kristin’s blog a little while ago. Here it is now: the TBR Alphabet Tag.

 

A

An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker

Screenshot_2019-06-16 An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason

 

B

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Beyond a Darkened Shore

 

C

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Crimson Bound

 

D

(The) Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4)

 

E

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Empress of All Seasons

 

F

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Far from the Tree

 

G

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1)

 

H

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Heretics Anonymous

 

I

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Isle of Blood and Stone (Tower of Winds, #1)

 

J

None

 

K

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Kindred

 

L

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Little Lion

 

M

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Screenshot_2019-06-16 My Name Is Venus Black

 

N

Northwest Angle by William Kent Krueger

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)

 

O

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Out of the Easy

 

P

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Providence

 

Q: (The) Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Queen's Rising (The Queen’s Rising, #1)

 

R

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Ruined (Ruined, #1)

 

S: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1)

 

T

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

 

U

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Under Rose-Tainted Skies

 

V

(The) Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory

Screenshot_2019-06-16 The Virgin's Lover (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #13)

 

 

W

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crawley

Screenshot_2019-06-16 Words in Deep Blue

 

X

None

 

Y

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

Screenshot_2019-06-16 You're Welcome, Universe

 

Z

None

 

I tag:

Shanah

Grey

Rebecca

Crystal

Sophie

Game of Thrones Book Tag

Confession time: I am not a Game of Thrones fan.

Yet I probably know as much about it as the true fan-people. If you are on social media, you can’t get away from the Game of Thrones memes and GIFs. In real life, my dad loves the show (until the finale) and so do the majority of my friends. I’ve gotten stuck in the middle of heated discussions over that week’s episode or conspiracy theories. I even watched a few episodes occasionally. But, for the life of me, the show could not hold my interest.

Well, except for the memes.

game of thrones judging you GIF

With badass women, court politics, dragons, and morally gray characters backstabbing one another, I should have liked Game of Thrones more than I did. Ultimately, I boiled it down to having a beef with the show. While I was at college, my dad put a TV in my bedroom so he could watch the show in peace because my mom hated it. Every time I came home, I was banished from my own room on Sunday nights. The reviews claiming the show portrayed graphic violence against women and mentions of incest didn’t help much. Needless to say, from then on, Game of Thrones was tainted for me.

Except my blog needs content and I need to write or I will explode. Shanah provided an outlet when she posted the Game of Thrones book tag on her blog recently. She didn’t tag me, so I tagged myself.

dance repays GIF

Before we go further, I should also mention that I only know maybe five of the families listed in this tag. So, I have no idea what their family mottos mean.

To the tag!

 

House Lannister (Hear Me Roar): Name a book that you originally loved but, upon a reread, you realized it wasn’t so great after all.

annoyed game of thrones GIF

I think most people can attest to this, but Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I reread the book about two years ago randomly during a long reading slump, then ended up putting it down after a hundred or so pages. Unlike most people, it was not so much the borderline toxic, obsessive relationship. Back in the day, I was Team Jacob, so Edward Cullen was already a dickhead. It was the cringey, boring writing style that made me give up. I couldn’t do it. But I didn’t change my high star rating on Goodreads. I loved it as a teenager and, as flawed as it might have been, a lot of good came out of the Twilight saga.

 

House Stark (Winter is Coming): Name your most anticipated read for the year.

game of thrones GIF

Easily Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco, the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I am deliberately putting off reading Escaping from Houdini solely for the purpose of preventing a book hangover or having to wait too long for the next book. Another close contestant is Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich. Except I don’t want to read it too soon, since it seems she takes a while to write books and she’s from England, making the wait longer than others.

 

House Targaryen (Fire and Blood): Name a book that you felt completely slayed with fantastic characters, plot, pacing, etc.

 game of thrones hbo women feminism lady GIF

A completely unexpected book that slayed me earlier this year was A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin. I went into it expecting a fun historical romance with spies. Instead, I got a group of strong, independent girls with their own talents and intelligence, swoon-worthy guys, and a fast-paced plot. It was a library book I read, though you can bet I will be buying my own copy, as well as the rest of the books currently out in the series.

 

House Baratheon (Ours is the Fury): Name a book that ended with a cliffhanger that genuinely pissed you off.

game of thrones television GIF

I won’t say I was pissed off, but I was not entirely satisfied with the ending of The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, the final book in his Heroes of Olympus series.

 

House Martial (Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken): Name a book or series that’s been on your TBR since the dawn of time.

game of thrones television GIF

The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy by Stephanie Perkins, and the Selection series by Kiera Cass. The first two I currently have checked out from my local library, while the Selection series I plan to read, also from the library, later this summer. I’ve had these books on my Goodreads TBR for years, ever since I discovered BookTube and I was brought into a platform that introduced me to a plethora books I might not have found otherwise.

 

House Boulton (Our Blades Are Sharp): Name the most graphic or disturbing book you’ve ever read.

sophie turner television GIF

Horns by Joe Hill, which follows a young man, Ignatius, who was accused of raping and murdering his long-time girlfriend. A year after her death, Iggy gets drunk, pees on a statue of the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns protruding from his head. The magic of the horns compels people to reveal their deepest, darkest, most disturbing, most lustful, and sometimes grossest desires to Iggy. Thus, he intends to use them to track down his girlfriend’s real killer. And, in case you are unaware, Joe Hill is the pen name for Stephan King’s son. So, yes, like father, like son in terms of all that is graphic and messed up.

 

House Tyrell (Growing Strong): Name a book or series that gets better and better with every reread.

olenna tyrell GIF

Admittedly, I don’t reread books or completed series often enough. The ones I have reread have been only once or twice, and my feelings didn’t change. However, a book I reread last year, but in a different format, was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was published in a graphic novel format last year.

Emily Carroll’s artwork added something more to Speak instead of taking something from it. She used a black-and-white art style that resembled the bleakness throughout the story. Yet the way she drew the characters, particularly Melinda, empathizes how young they all are going through and doing things like this. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

 

Are there any other fake Game of Thrones fans besides me?

 

game of thrones drinking GIF by Sky

 

I tag:

Crystal

Rebecca

Kristin

Grey