Stacking the Shelves (#34)

This entire year feels like a write-off in a lot of ways. It’s so weird to think that it’s already the end of the summer, and we’ve spent the majority of the year either in lockdown, or very slowly coming out of it. I was a bit surprised to realize that I’d hardly added anything new to my Goodreads TBR this month either! This month, I added a total of 44 books to my TBR, which is probably one of my lowest totals this year so far. In the past month, my work has finally started to pick back up again with in-person programming, and it will only get busier from now on. Starting this week, we are getting extra in-person shifts and beginning to plan for the coming program year. Usually, we get a full two weeks in July to do this planning, but now we are trying to squeeze it all in to 4 half-days this month! That’s all in addition to keeping up with our online programming and in-person shifts. I wouldn’t be surprised if next month’s total of books added is even lower!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week. It is hosted by TyngaReviewsand ReadingReality.

1) Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

53977789. sy475 This was the very first book that I added to my TBR this month. When I saw the cover, I just couldn’t resist! It is about a man named Danny who has become a single father to 11-year-old Will, who hasn’t spoken a word since his mother died a year ago. Danny has also just been fired from his job, and needs money fast in order to pay his rent. After seeing local street performers at the park, Danny impulsively decides to spend the last of his money on a costume to become a dancing bear. When Danny chases off some older boys making fun of his son at the park, Will finally opens up for the first time, not knowing that the man in the bear costume is his father, who worries that he might lose the chance to comfort his son if he was to reveal who he really was. This book sounds like exactly the kind of “up-lit” that I tend to like, and I’m excited to give it a try. This book just came out in May, so I haven’t seen too much about it yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing more reviews as more people try it.

2) Three Single Wives by Gina LaManna

51771541I have Pretty Guilty Women by this author on my TBR for this year, but I’m not sure if I will be able to get a copy of it unless I decide to buy it. This book is her upcoming thriller due out this week, about three women who are a part of a book club together. One evening, after a few drinks, the conversation turns to the best ways to kill a cheating husband, and by the end of the night, someone is dead. The book is told in alternating perspectives from the three women, including transcripts of the police interviews, and all of them seem to be hiding something. I tend to love domestic thrillers like this, and I’m very interested in giving this one a try. Like most thrillers, the Goodreads synopsis is relatively vague, but the early reviews so far seem to be quite positive. I’m hoping to be able to get to Pretty Guilty Women before the end of this year, and if I like that one, this one might end up high on my list for next year’s reading challenges too.

3) Unboxed by Briana Morgan

54518562. sy475 I don’t think I would have heard of this one if it hadn’t been for Destiny at Howling Libraries, since I saw it on her July Book Haul. This is a horror short story about a paranormal vlogger named Greg, who purchases a mystery box on from the dark web to regain his audience and reach a million subscribers after a fight with his girlfriend goes viral. His plans for a live unboxing video soon goes awry when he realizes that he’s getting a lot more than he’s bargained for. Short stories and horror are both a bit outside of my comfort zone, but this one sounds particularly interesting. It is formatted as a play, which in itself seems unique, and I’m also very intrigued by the social media focus. I’m always interested in books where social media plays a role. I think it’s such an interesting, creepy premise for a horror story and I’m very curious to see how it plays out. I’m not sure I realized the book was quite this short when I first added it to my list, but it sounds so good!

4) Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

53138046This book is not due out until next March, but it is already being called one of the most anticipated debut psychological thrillers of the year. To be fair, I haven’t heard too much about it yet, but that’s not a surprise since it is still a long way off. I believe I found it on a list of upcoming thrillers that I was browsing early this month. This book is about Matt Pine, who returns to his dorm room to learn that his entire family had been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. Their deaths make headlines due to the unusual circumstances, but also because it is not the first time they have been in the media spotlight. Matt’s brother Danny, currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, was the subject of a true crime documentary which alleges that he was wrongfully convicted. While most of the country rallies around Danny based on the documentary, Matt has been holding on to something he witnessed that night which makes him believe his brother really did it. Returning to his hometown, Matt is faced with hostility from the community and as connections begin to appear between Danny’s case and the deaths of the rest of the family, Matt must face his fears to find out the truth. I’ve been really getting into thrillers that are based around podcasts or documentaries lately, so this seems right up my alley. It definitely sounds like a book to watch for next year!

5) Sources Say by Lori Goldstein

49129517This one caught my attention because it was compared to Becky Albertalli, who is one of my favourite YA authors. It is set at a high school outside of Boston, where someone has put up three Photo-shopped images of three “perfect” girls compiled from images of real students at the school. The two candidates for school president, Angeline and Leo, jump on the opportunity to propose solutions and secure votes for themselves, a competition only made fiercer by the fact that they recently went through a messy break-up. To make matters worse, the school’s two newspapers also get involved, including one written by Angeline’s sister Cat, who prides herself on only reporting the facts. Her conviction gets tested when the other anonymous paper begins to endorse Leo, based on rumours and fiction. I have a surprising amount of books on my TBR that deal with student elections, which is kind of interesting considering they were not a big deal at all when I was in school. To be honest, I don’t really remember finding this book or adding it to my list, but after seeing the synopsis again, I can see why.

 6) The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

34066358. sy475 I have all of Lisa Stone’s thrillers on my TBR, although I haven’t tried any of them yet. This book is from 2017, and focuses on a critically ill boy named Jacob, whose life was saved by a heart transplant. However, after the transplant, his family is forced to accept the fact that their son seems to have changed into a man with violent mood swings. His girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced that he is just suffering from stress but when he turns against her, she starts to doubt herself. When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family is forced to confront the possibility that their son has become a monster. I’m such a sucker for the kind of thriller where parents grapple with the idea that their child may have done something horrific. It is probably because Defending Jacob was one of the first thrillers that I read and loved, and it features that same premise. I’ve heard of the concept of cellular memory before, which is the idea that people who have received an organ transplant take on some of the traits of the person the organ came from. I have no idea if this actually happens, but it sounds very interesting anyway. It’s such a unique spin on the premise, and I’m very curious to try it.

7) The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

49875586I’ve had a few of Tarryn Fisher’s books on my TBR after hearing about her from a BooksAndLala video, where her book Bad Mommy was mentioned.  I’ve also been hearing quite a bit about her book The Wives lately, but unfortunately, most of those reviews have been very mixed. This one is her upcoming thriller due out right at the end of the year, about a woman named Juno who has moved in with the Crouch family. Juno thought that Winnie Crouch and her husband Nigel had the perfect life, but now that she is living with them, she realizes that things may not be as perfect as they seemed. After receiving a grim diagnosis, Juno just wants to live in peace, but that is shattered when she overhears a conversation between Winnie and Nigel, and decides that it might be her chance to get involved and make things right. I think this book first caught my attention because I loved the cover art, and once I noticed that it was by an author who was already on my TBR, it didn’t take long for me to decide to add it to my list. I’m a bit nervous to try her books now that I’ve seen so much negativity toward The Wives, but I’m still interested in enough to give Tarryn Fisher a try for myself.

8) Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

49541766This addition was another combination of intriguing cover and recognition of the author’s name. I have three more of Kate Moretti’s books on my TBR already. This one is her upcoming November release, and it sounds so intriguing! This book is about a young woman named Hannah, who returns to her family’s castle in the Catskills after the death of her aunt, which also brings her right back to the center of her sister’s unsolved disappearance 17 years ago. Hannah is desperate to start a new life with her fiance, but she also feels compelled to figure out what really happened during her last summer at Brackenhill, especially when a bone is found that she is sure must belong to her sister. Hannah takes it upon herself to investigate what happened that summer, but as strange things begin to happen at the house, she starts to uncover disturbing details about her past and her own repressed memories. This is exactly the kind of thriller that I tend to love, and I’m very excited to try it. I definitely won’t be able to fit it into my reading challenges this year, but now that I’ve read through the synopsis again, it’s likely to be high on my list for next year.

9) The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons

50358079This one caught my attention because I saw that it had been compared to Me Before You and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, which are two books that I loved. It is about an 85-year-old woman named Eudora who has decided that she would like to end her life on her own terms, and contacts a clinic in Switzerland to make a plan for assisted suicide. When she meets a 10-year-old girl named Rose, Eudora soon finds herself on a series of adventures with her and with their neighbour, a recently widowed man named Stanley. As the three unlikely friends grow closer, Eudora starts to reminisce on her own childhood, and realizes she must come to terms with what lies ahead, especially now that love of life has been rekindled. I have a quite a few of these kinds of “unlikely friendship” books on my TBR, but this one seems particularly interesting because of the connection to Me Before You. I don’t know if this book is particularly high on my list, but it is something I’d definitely be interested in trying at some point.

10) Shipped by Angie Hockman

54304013I’ve been having a lot of fun with adult contemporary romances lately, and this one sounds like it could be really good. It is about a marketing manager for a cruise line named Henley, who barely has time for herself or to date, but she is excited to be shortlisted for a promotion to her dream job. The only downside is that Graeme, the remote social media manager whom she hates, is also up for the job. The two of them have never met in person, but get into frequent email battles. When their boss assigns each of them the task of drafting a proposal to increase bookings to the Galapagos, they are both excited since whoever has the best proposal also wins the job. However, they will also have to go on a company cruise to the Galapagos Islands together. Finally meeting in person, Henley soon realizes that Graeme is not at all what she expects. This book seems to have so many of the tropes that I tend to love, and I’m very excited to give it a chance when it comes out next year.

11) A Feigned Madness by Tonya Mitchell

54836842I added this one to my TBR on a whim last week after seeing it come up on my Goodreads feed. It is about a woman named Elizabeth Cochrane who is posing as a woman with amnesia at Blackwell’s Asylum to get an inside look into the facility’s abuses. Elizabeth is actually an undercover reporter, who agreed to impersonate a patient in exchange for a job with the newspaper. Upon her arrival, Elizabeth soon realizes she must make a decision about whether she will just bear witness to what goes on there, or intervene to help the inmates. As the superintendent begins to grow more suspicious of her, Elizabeth realizes that her entire plan may be in trouble. This book is based on the real-life story of Nellie Bly, one of the first women to fight for a place in the world of journalism, and who really did publish an expose about an asylum. I didn’t even realize this book was based on a real case when I added it, but that makes it even more intriguing. This book is due out at at the beginning of October, and I’m glad I saw it on my feed.

12) Just Saying by Sophie Ranald

53442398. sy475 This book came up as a recommendation on Goodreads after I finished another romance yesterday, and it sounded like something I might like. This book is about a woman named Alice who believes she has found Mr. Right with her boyfriend Joe, until they bump into his “old friend” Zoe. Alice immediately notices the awkwardness between them, and assumes that Zoe must actually be his ex. When Zoe needs a place to stay, Joe decides to invite her to live with them. Alice tries her best not to feel threatened, and is determined to make sure that Zoe doesn’t try to steal Joe back. This sounds like a fun book to read when I’m in the mood for something fluffy, and although it is not particularly high on my priority list, I’m sure I will end up picking it up at some point. I didn’t even realize that I already have one other book by Sophie Ranald on my TBR, which I added back in March. Her books seem like they will be so much fun to try.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Fitness and Training Regimes

I remember this prompt being a huge struggle for me when it came up last summer too! Characters’ fitness or training routines are really not something that I pay attention to, at least not enough to remember them long after the book is over. I love a good training montage and I do find it very interesting to see how characters develop their skills, but it is rarely something I think about after I’ve put the book down. I read the Renegades trilogy and the Shades of Magic trilogy this year, for example, and while I’m pretty sure those characters did some kind of training, I really can’t remember what it involved. Luckily for me, I also read quite a few books this year which characters who were more athletic or training for a particular sport, so it made my choice much easier.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Nicholas from Fence by C.S. Pacat – I was first introduced to fencing by my obsession with The Addams Family. In every version I’ve seen, there is at least one scene of Gomez fencing someone, usually Morticia, and I thought it looked so interesting. This graphic novel series is about competitive fencing, and I thought it could be something very interesting to learn, although I don’t think I’d be very skilled at it. I have no athletic ability whatsoever, but it might be a fun activity to try. It is definitely much harder than it looks!

2) Sweetie Nair from There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – I think this is my favourite Sandhya Menon book so far! The main character, Sweetie, is a track athlete (who is also plus-size), and that is definitely a skill I’d love to have. I’ve always been terrible at running and used to dread our gym teacher making us run laps around the school, especially because we weren’t taught how to do it properly (ie. breathing techniques). I would love to be able to run like Sweetie.

3) Rosemary from The Lido by Libby Page – This is another character who has a fitness skill that I just don’t have! I never properly learned how to swim. I took a few lessons as a kid, but was terrified of putting my face underwater and hated how it felt to be submerged. I eventually did learn to swim a little but I’m not very good and I’m very anxious about deep water. The character in this book, Rosemary, is an elderly woman who goes swimming daily at the local lido. I do enjoy swimming, if it’s in a pool where I feel comfortable enough, and I’d love to have the ability to swim better like Rosemary.

4) Emoni from With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo – This one is a little more indirectly about fitness, but I chose Emoni because of her talent for cooking. I think food is a very important part of overall health and fitness, and would love to have Emoni’s abilities to cook delicious food and use a variety of ingredients. I think it would be so helpful to be able to make healthier items that I don’t really like (such as most vegetables) actually taste good so I’d be more motivated to eat them.

5) Dumbledore’s Army from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – This is the only one here that is a little outside of the box, but I’ve always loved reading about Dumbledore’s Army meetings. It’s an unpopular opinion, but Order of the Phoenix is one of my favourite books in the series, and I think these chapters were a big part of why. I think Harry would be a great teacher and it would be very interesting to get hands-on practice performing the spells, if I was a witch. Especially given that these spells are defensive in nature, I think it’s essential to actually get to try it instead of just reading the theory, as Umbridge wanted them to do.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Questions I’d Ask My Favourite Authors

Surprisingly enough, I have never had any interest in meeting or talking to my favourite authors. I think it’s a bit of a combination of social anxiety and lack of opportunities. I don’t live in an area where there are a ton of book conventions or even author signings, at least not that I know of. Even if I was, I don’t think I’d care strongly enough to stand in line for hours just to have a brief conversation and maybe an autograph. In theory, I guess it could be cool to meet the people behind my favourite books, but I don’t really find it necessary either. I’m very much able to separate the art from the artist, and don’t actually give a ton of thought to the author at all really.

When I saw this week’s prompt, I knew it would be a big challenge! I’m sure the questions I’ve come up with are fairly generic. I also struggled a bit because I didn’t necessarily have a specific author in mind for each question. I tend to read a lot of fantasy, thrillers, and contemporary, so I think the majority of these questions could apply equally to any of those genres.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) What was the earliest story idea you remember having (even including stories you came up with as a child)?

2) What is your favourite and least favourite of your own books?

3) Which one of your books would you want to rewrite, if you had the chance, and what would you do differently?

4) How do you come up with your ideas for your books?

5) Which of your characters would you want to revisit or write a sequel/companion novel for?

6) What kinds of books do you like to read, and who are your favourite authors?

7) If you could write a book in a different genre, which genre would you pick and why?

8) What is your ideal writing environment/routine?

9) Which other authors would you want to collaborate with, and what kind of book would you write together?

10) Is there any topic or idea you want to write about, that you haven’t had the chance to write yet?

Recent Reads #7

One of my goals this month was to specifically pick up some of my remaining summer-themed books, many of which happened to be contemporary romances. It’s not necessarily a genre that I read a ton of, but it’s definitely one that I’ve been getting more into over the past few years. For some reason, it feels like summer is the perfect time to read these kinds of fluffier romances, and the ones I picked this month all happened to be set over the summer as well. Next month, my work is finally re-opening to offer full-time, in-person services to I’m sure that will end up having an impact on my reading. I’m so used to having the majority of the day, even while working from home, to do what I want that it’s going to be a real adjustment to switch back to only having time to read in the evenings. To be fair, there were many, many days through quarantine where I still only read in the evenings anyway, after wasting the majority of the day on watching random videos, so maybe it won’t be that much of a change!

43189874. sy475 The first contemporary romance that I picked up within the past month was Well Met, a book that was mostly on my radar because I saw a ton of online hype surrounding it. I was especially intrigued by this one because of the Renaissance Faire setting, which it something that just sounded like a lot of fun. I especially loved the main character, Emily, and could very easily relate to her tendency to put helping others first, and struggling to speak up for herself. I also loved the sideplot about Emily’s job at the bookstore. I always love to see bookstores and library settings in books, and I thought it was very interesting to see how it helped Emily really carve out a place for herself in the small town. It was also very interesting to see how Emily’s previous relationship had such long-lasting effects on her interactions with others, especially her insecurity about not being a priority to the people who were important to her. I also loved Simon right from the start, and although I could easily guess his reasons for not wanting to change much about the Ren Faire, I was glad that the explanation was not held out as a long-standing “mystery” through the whole book. It became clear even to Emily relatively early on, and I was glad the author took it in the direction instead of dragging it out. I especially loved the adorable relationship between Simon and Emily, and loved their in-character banter while dressed as their Faire personas. This book was so much fun to read!

52867387. sy475 Another book that I picked up now almost exclusively because of the hype was Beach Read. I didn’t love the only other Emily Henry book I’ve read so far (The Love That Split the World), so I was a bit nervous to try another one. Lucky for me, I immediately fell in love with it and it has likely jumped straight to my list of favourite books of the year so far. I was immediately drawn in by the writing style from the first pages, and loved January’s sense of humour. I thought the dynamics between January and Gus were a lot of fun and their chemistry was so obvious. Both characters felt so real and fully fleshed-out, which is not always the case in these kinds of romance books. I especially loved how the two of them would write and hold up notes to each other while they were working on their novels, and their in-person banter was amazing. I also loved how the author incorporated a little about the writing process, and especially January’s views on how her books are classified just because she is a female author. I also thought the relationship that developed between the two of them was so realistic, and I liked that there was very little “drama” involved, even with both characters having their own baggage to work through. I was also interested by how the author incorporated some deeper topics for both characters, so it wasn’t quite as fluffy as the cover and synopsis seemed to suggest. I’d been forewarned of that by other reviews though, so it didn’t catch me too off-guard. This was easily one of my favourite books of this genre that I’ve read so far.

52709482. sx318 sy475 Lucky for me, the next contemporary romance that I read quickly became another favourite, and for similar reasons. Just last night, I finished The Unhoneymooners, which was one of several Christina Lauren books I had on my list to read this year, and only the second of their adult romances that I’ve read. This was another book that was so much fun to read, and I loved the “comedy of errors” of the first half or so of the book. One of the biggest strengths for me was the immediate chemistry and banter between Olive and Ethan, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that unlike other “hate-to-love” books, the “hate” aspect wasn’t just dropped right away. I loved how so much of Olive and Ethan’s relationship was based on honest communication, and they actively encouraged each other to talk things through. I also thought the subplot about Olive’s sister and her new husband was woven in so naturally, and played out realistically. I especially appreciated how Olive was confident enough in herself not to give up on what she knew to be true, even when it meant upsetting the people closest to her. That takes a lot of strength, and it was great to see that in a character. I also absolutely adored the ending, and especially the epilogue. The only other adult romance I’ve read of theirs so far was Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, which I really liked, but not nearly as much as this one. I’m definitely looking forward to trying more of their books.

Top 5 Wednesday: Dream Adaptations

This is one of the rare times when the Top 10 Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday topics actually aligned! Both prompts this week had to do with dream adaptations. Usually, when the topics are similar or the same, I end up switching one post to a variation on the topic, but as I was making my list yesterday, I realized there were quite a few more books that I’d love to see adapted. I purposely limited myself to just one book or series per author yesterday for the sake of variety, so having this extra prompt gives a good excuse to sneak in a few more.  I was hoping to add in a few thrillers this time, but the ones that came to mind as the best possible movie options are books that already have an adaptation (ie. The Woman in the Window). I won’t even attempt to fancast any of the movies though! I’m not up-to-date enough with current actors to even begin to know who would be a good choice.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – It was a toss-up between this one and The Starless Sea for my post yesterday, and I picked The Starless Sea mostly because it was the one I had read more recently. To be honest, it’s been 4 years since I read this one so I don’t remember too much detail about the plot at this point, but I just think a movie version would be visually stunning. A lot of people’s main complaint with the book was that it was a bit too slow paced, but I think that wouldn’t necessarily be so obvious in an atmospheric movie, where you can actually see what is happening.

2) A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas – I’m actually kind of surprised this one hasn’t been adapted yet. Her new book, House of Earth and Blood, would also be incredible to watch, but I decided to choose this one instead since it has been around longer, so it would only make sense for it to be adapted first. I would love to see these characters brought to life in a Netflix series, or potentially movies, but I think a series would leave more room to stay pretty true to the books. I also think it would amazing to see the different courts.

3) The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I’m not entirely sure how exactly this one would work because of the mixed-media elements in the book, but I think it would be so cool to see these books played out on the screen. I think this series could probably work fairly well as three longer movies (2 hours each at least). I’d be especially interested to see any scene involving AIDAN. Somehow, I picture the movie being a little like WALL-E somehow, but probably not animated. This is another amazing cast of characters that I’d love to see brought to life.

4) Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson – This is the only one on the list that I’m a little uncertain about because it might be very difficult to watch, but given the amount of crime shows and mystery-thrillers that already exist, I think it should be okay. This is one of my favourite YA books and I literally could not put it down while I was reading it. I can very easily imagine it as a movie. A lot of reviewers complained that it was a bit confusing because of the chapter headings like “3 Weeks Before the Before,” so having it shown as flashbacks might make it a little more clear.

5) The Villains series by V.E. Schwab – I could easily pick any of V.E. Schwab’s series, and it took a while for me to decide between this one and the the Monsters of Verity series. Both would make great movies. I chose this one specifically because I’d love to see the dynamics between Victor and Eli captured on screen, and I think the plot in general would be so interesting to watch. I always love a good villain/anti-hero story. I was originally thinking movies for these books, but it might work well as a TV series too so there’s a bit more time to develop the characters. Either way, I’d watch it.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Books That Should Be Adapted

Book-to-movie or even book-to-TV adaptations are always a bit of a risk for me. I tend to like it when the adaptation sticks very closely to the original, otherwise I get distracted by the changes and figuring out why I don’t remember that scene happening. I think one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in the past few years is the Netflix version of A Series of Unfortunate Events. It captured the atmosphere so perfectly, and even though it did change things up a bit, the changes mostly fit. My biggest challenge with this week’s prompt was trying to think of a few books or series that I haven’t already mentioned often, but to be honest, many of those are the ones that I’m most interested in seeing as an adaptation. My mind immediately jumped to fantasy series, but there are definitely some great books of all genres that would make very interesting adaptations.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas – This is an extremely lengthy series, although well worth the time, but it is one that I can imagine doing really well as a Netflix series. I’d prefer a series over a movie because it would give more time for the story to be told as fully as possible, without having to skip over too much in the interest of saving time. Because it’s such a long series, it might also feel a little more accessible to people if there was an adaptation to watch alongside it (or before/after) to make sure you didn’t miss anything. There are also a ton of scenes that I think would be great to see on the screen.

2) The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m a little hesitant about this one because it would need to be adapted into a series (possibly movies, but I think a series would be better) that really captured the right atmosphere. My mind keeps jumping to Barry Sonnenfeld, the man behind the 1990s Addams Family movies, Pushing Daisies, and the recent Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix series, as the one to be able to capture it properly. He’s very good at developing that atmosphere where things are realistic, but there’s something not quite right, which I think would be perfect for this series.

3) Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows would have been an obvious choice too, but I discounted it because it is already scheduled to get a Netflix adaptation along with the Grisha series. While I was reading this book, it reminded me quite strongly of a darker version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I’d love to see it as a series or movie to capture that. The only potential drawback is just how dark the book is, so it might be very difficult for some people to be able to watch, whereas the triggering content may be a little easier to distance from as a book.

4) The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Mostly, I chose this one because I absolutely need to see that literary party Zachary attends early on!  Aside from that though, this book would make such an incredible TV show or movie because there is so much going on. I also think an adaptation might help to clarify some of the parts that were a little more confusing to read. I loved the fairy tale-like element of the stories told throughout, and it would be very interesting to see those on the screen.

5) The Renegades series by Marissa Meyer – There’s already such a huge market for superhero stories, so I think this one would fit right in. It reminds me quite a bit of The Incredibles, of all things, with the discussions around what it really means to be a hero and the role of heroes and villains in day-to-day life. I adored the characters in this series and would love to see them all brought to life. Personally, I tend to also find action sequences more interesting to watch than to read, so this kind of series naturally lends itself very well to an adaptation.

6) Middlegame by Seanan McGuire – I think I chose this one for similar reasons to The Starless Sea, aside from the literary party. There were a couple of moments that I found a little confusing to read that I think would make a lot more sense to see dramatized, but this was also an amazing story overall. I’d be very interested to see how an adaptation would capture Roger and Dodger, and the connection between them. The book is also so well-paced and has this creepy vibe to it throughout, and I’d love to see how that would be translated into a movie or series too.

7) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I think of all the books or series here, this is the one I’d be most nervous to see adapted because I think expectations would be ridiculously high. Evelyn Hugo is easily one of the most memorable characters I’ve read in the past few years, and I think it could be hard to find someone who would really capture the role. Even though I’m not generally that interested in books about celebrities or fame, I think it would be so interesting to see Hollywood in this context.

8) The Strange the Dreamer  duology by Laini Taylor – I think this duology and The Starless Sea have just become inextricably linked in my head at this point. Wherever I mention one, I almost always end up mentioning the other too. Laini Taylor’s writing style in general is something that I think could be captured so well in an adaptation, because of how descriptive it already is. I can really imagine this duology being so visually impressive on a TV or movie screen, and especially the way it would bring the already incredible characters to life.

9) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – I don’t think it would actually take very much to adapt this one. I can easily imagine it as an animated movie, in the style of the graphic novel. I think it would be so much fun to actually hear the banter between Nimona and Ballister Blackheart, and see Nimona’s antics in general. It’s such an interesting twist on the typical hero-villain story, and I think it would be so much fun to watch.

10) The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan – I wanted to pick at least one YA contemporary for this list, and this was one of the first that came to mind, mostly because of the setting. Leigh travels back to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for the first time, determined to find her mother, who Leigh believes has become a bird after her death by suicide. While most YA contemporaries would make decent movies, although not necessarily the most unique, I think this one would be the exception because it was such a powerful story, and I think seeing Leigh learning more about Taiwan and her family would be so interesting to watch.

7 On Sunday: Book Tropes I Love

It’s been a while since I did a 7 On Sunday prompt! To be honest, I intended to do one or two in July, but forgot about the list because of all the mid-year wrap-up posts. When I went back to the thread to check on this month’s prompts, I was initially put off. For some reason, I always find it very difficult to discuss specific tropes without defaulting to the same few that are already frequently mentioned. To make it even more complicated, I’d already covered my favourite tropes around this time last year, and that list hasn’t really changed. In general, I think the majority of tropes can be done really well or really poorly, depending on how the author chooses to handle them. More than anything, I tend to get irritated when a trope is overused, like instalove or love triangles. It’s not that I don’t necessarily like the trope itself, but I get bored of seeing the same thing over and over. It took me quite a while to think of some different tropes from the ones I’d already mentioned, but these are a few more that I tend to love.

7 on Sunday is a new weekly project that was started by Grace of G-Swizzel Books, with a weekly topic for videos and/or blog posts! The official Goodreads group with topics can be found here.

1) Stuck Together – I really like when characters, especially characters who don’t get along or don’t trust each other, are forced to spend time together because they are stuck somewhere. It could be a locked-door mystery where everyone suspects each other and knows that someone in the room must be the culprit. More commonly, and really more what I was initially thinking, was the two characters who had a big falling out, just met and had a bad first impression, or wrongfully make assumptions about each other, and are now forced to deal with each other. I guess the locked-door mystery is pretty different from the other version of this trope, but I find that this trope tends to lead to some really interesting conversations and often the characters coming to really understand each other better.

Some examples: The Escape Room, An Unwanted Guest, Starry Eyes, Quarantine: A Love Story, Illuminae

2) Mix and Match – This goes hand-in-hand with the band of misfits trope that I mentioned in my previous post on this topic (linked above), but I especially love it when the author splits up the group and shuffles them around so different people have the chance to interact with each other. Instead of having each character with their love interest or best friend the whole time, they are paired up with someone else and we get to see a whole new dynamic. I find it really helps to flesh out and develop the characters better and also feels much more realistic that they have to learn to work with other people.

Some examples: The later books in the Lunar Chronicles, Crooked Kingdom. I’m sure there are lots more, but I’m blanking on specific examples!

3) Creepy Children – Again, I’m using this one to encompass two different things, but it works in both senses. When I think of books involving creepy children, I think both in the sense of a child psychopath, and ghosts of children. Both of these are creepy enough as it is when it is an adult character, but there is a whole extra level of it being unnerving when it is a child. These often tend to be books that genuinely scare me and stay with me long after I’ve read them. The creepy child does not have to be the villain either. It’s sometimes disconcerting enough just to have a child in the book who has very unusual abilities or knowledge of things they probably shouldn’t know.

Some examples: We Need to Talk About Kevin, Defending Jacob, Little Girls, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

4) Unreliable Narrators – I know this one is often hated, but I read a lot of thrillers and my favourites tend to be those where it’s not immediately clear who is telling the truth. I love the puzzle aspect of trying to piece together what really happened and figuring out who was lying, and more importantly, why. I especially love this trope when it’s a very intelligent character who has somehow masterminded everything to fit their version of events, more than the typical kind of character who can’t remember what happened because of alcohol, drugs or amnesia. I also find it very interesting when the character genuinely believes what they are doing is right, like Joe in You or Humbert Humbert in Lolita, and seeing the levels of self-deception it takes for them to try and justify it.

Some examples: Lolita, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window, The Silent Patient, Before I Go to Sleep

5) Hometown Secrets – This is another very common thriller trope, and one that I tend to gravitate toward. I really like books where the main character has to go back to their hometown for some reason, only to discover that there was a lot going on behind the scenes that they never really knew about, or a dark family secret that was hidden from them. I think part of why I like this one is because it’s interesting to see how the characters thought they’d somehow “escaped” their past, only for it to come back up again anyway. I find it interesting to see how the characters, now adults, come to realize that things weren’t always as they seemed.

Some examples: The Family Upstairs, The Good Daughter, The Hiding Place, The ShadowsHome Before Dark

6) Strong Friendships – I’m not really sure what to call this one, but I love to see books with characters who have long-standing, platonic friendships. There are so many books that I read where we are told that two characters are best friends, but it doesn’t really seem like it. I love when the friendship is obvious and seems genuine, and especially when it actually has a role in the story itself (apart from an excuse to have conflict for the main character). I was thinking specifically of platonic friends, of any gender, where romance is never a factor. They are characters who love and support each other, and I especially love when the characters have enough of a history to have inside jokes and things like that to make them feel especially real.

Some examples: Frank and Q in Frankly In Love, Full Disclosure, Summer of Salt, With the Fire On High

7) Enemies-Turned-Reluctant-Allies – To be honest, I was mostly thinking of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for this one, but I’m sure it is something I’ve seen in books too. I just find it so much fun when a character who hates the heroes or doesn’t agree with their goal at all are stuck working with them or somehow forced to join up with them temporarily, and very grudgingly end up becoming allies. The “enemy” often ends up coming to realize they actually do care about the others, but in the process, go along with what they are doing only because they have to, and may even try to sabotage them along the way. They do their best not to help at all, and if they do have to, it’s usually with a lot of snark and sarcasm. Or, they keep trying to take control and force the rest of the team to do what they want instead.

Some examples: Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Carry On (kind of), The Shades of Magic trilogy, the Saga series

Top 5 Wednesdays: Best Friendships

I somehow managed to completely mix up my Top 5 Wednesday schedule! “Best Friendships” was the topic of the week at the end of July, and although I’d drafted a post just so I could remember which characters I wanted to talk about, I somehow forgot about it and skipped ahead to the next prompt! I suspect a part of it had to do with just not having a great concept of time right now, especially when the months change. I went on to the August topics, without realizing that it hadn’t been August yet! I decided to backtrack and do the prompt that I missed this week to get myself back on track to follow the prompts in order. Strangely enough, friendships in books are something that I don’t think I pay that much attention to, unless they are particularly strong. It’s also rare that a friendship is the main focus of the book, so I it’s not necessarily what I’d remember most from the book either. Since this is a topic that has come up before, I also tried to stick to books that I read fairly recently.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Adrian, Oscar and Ruby from the Renegades series by Marissa Meyer

It’s not too often that side characters stand out enough to me to be this memorable, but Oscar and Ruby are definitely up there with characters like Mik and Zuzana in Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Oscar in general was so much fun to read, and I loved his dynamics with both Ruby and Adrian. Both Ruby and Oscar were also great, loyal friends to Adrian in general.

2) Bryce and Danika  from House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

The side characters in this book in general were all so memorable, but what stood out to me the most was Bryce’s friendship with Danika. I thought the first section of the book did such a strong job of developing Bryce and Danika’s friendship, as well as the rest of their group. For a character that didn’t get a ton of page time given the length of the book, I was impressed by how strongly I’d connected to her. I loved the way that Bryce and Danika stood by each other and did their best to protect each other.

3) Frank and Q from Frankly In Love by David Yoon

To be fair, this probably isn’t the most memorable friendship but it really stood out to me at the time that I read it. I especially loved Frank and Q’s habit of talking to each other in old-fashioned language and accents, because it helped to really bring to life their long-standing friendship. I also enjoyed how the author tackled the more difficult topic of Frank’s realization that he may not have done enough to stand up for Q with his parents. I thought that also helped to reinforce the idea that Q was a good friend that Frank really cared for, and showed the importance of their friendship to him.

4) Nikolai and Zoya from King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’m fairly certain this one is heading in the romance direction, so I don’t know if it necessarily counts to consider it a strong friendship, but given the point it is at now, I think it makes sense. Actually, the same could be said for Nina’s new friend in this book as well. I loved the dynamics between Nikolai and Zoya throughout this book, and especially their banter. These are two characters that I don’t think I would have pictured getting along that well in previous Grisha books, so I was surprised to see how well they actually worked. They seem to genuinely trust and respect each other.

5) Eden and Bonnie from Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard

I was a little hesitant to add this one, because it’s definitely questionable whether Eden was truly a good friend. In this book, Eden’s sworn to secrecy when her best friend Bonnie runs off with their music teacher. I think part of what made this book so strong for me was Eden having to learn what it really means to be a good friend. She was constantly questioning whether she was making the right decision to keep Bonnie’s secret, even at times thinking it wasn’t such a big deal since Bonnie seemed fine. I loved how it tackled the difficult topic that sometimes being a real friend means doing what is in their best interest, even if it’s something your friend won’t like.

 

Top 10 Tuesdays: Books I Enjoyed But Never Reviewed

I had to put a bit of a spin on this week’s topic, because I don’t really write book reviews! Any time I finish a book for one of my reading challenges, I give it a star rating on Goodreads, and write down a few notes in a Word document about what I liked and didn’t like, but I don’t post full reviews. I find it really difficult to write a review that comments in detail enough on the book to be useful, but without giving any spoilers. In a sense, I treat the books that I mention on here as reviews because they come up as recommendations or in my Recent Reads posts, where I do give a bit of a summary of whether I liked it. Technically, the majority of the books I’ve read are books that I never reviewed, so to narrow it down, I decided to focus mostly on books that I had given 4 stars. Those are books that I still really enjoyed, but might not feel strongly enough about to think to mention in other posts. All of these are also books that I read this summer.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno

28926581. sx318 I just finished this book a couple of days ago, and it was only my second Katrina Leno book ever. I’d also read Summer of Salt a couple of weeks before, and I liked that one a little better. This book is about a girl named Lottie, whose aunt was the author of a very popular children’s book series, not unlike Harry Potter. When her aunt passes away, she leaves Lottie a series of notes designed to push her a little outside of her comfort zone, and also help Lottie uncover a secret her aunt had been hiding for years. I loved the overall premise of the book and I really liked how the notes pushed Lottie to try new things while still being herself, and also loved how it captured so many stages of grief. Lottie also has anxiety, and I thought the author did an excellent job at capturing the thought spirals and panic attacks. I also especially loved the segments of the Alvin Hatter books that we got between chapters, which was a fun addition. The main reason this book did not get 5 stars for me was because there was one key subplot that I had guessed very early on, and I thought a little more could have been done with that plotline. Otherwise, it was a great book, especially for its anxiety and grief representation, and I’d still recommend it.

2) Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

35297469This was my second Jenn Bennett book, after reading Alex, Approximately last month, and in this case, I liked my second book better! Alex, Approximately was pretty good too (I also gave it 4 stars), but I found the main character in it very annoying. Luckily, I immediately liked this one much better. This book is about two former best friends, Zorie and Lennon, whose friendship fell apart suddenly the previous year. They are forced back together when they are stranded on a camping trip, and have no choice but to work together to find their way home. I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying this one, because I generally don’t care for wilderness or survival stories, but this one was fun because of the character dynamics. I loved the banter between Zorie and Lennon, and I thought their relationship felt very realistic and natural. I also liked that the book showed such realistic relationships with friends, even when those experiences weren’t positive, and with family. Lennon’s two moms were so much fun to read, even though they weren’t featured very much! I strongly considered rounding this one up to a full 5 stars, so it’s possible I’ll end up changing my rating.

3) The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

46251368This is another book that I’m very strongly considering upping my rating to 5 stars. I was a little on the fence when I first finished it, but the more I think about it, the more I think I’m likely to raise it. This book is about a woman named Lucy who really wants a close relationship with her mother-in-law, Diana, but Diana has always kept her at a distance. When Diana is found dead in an apparent suicide, suspicions turn to Lucy, as well as Diana’s own children. What I loved most about this book was seeing some of the interactions between Lucy and Diana from each of their perspectives, so it was easy to see how and why their perceptions had differed so much. The book also alternates between the past, detailing the relationship between the women over the years, and the present, following the investigation into Diana’s death. I was especially interested in Diana’s chapters and learning more about her backstory and especially her views about how to raise her children to be self-sufficient and aware of their privilege. I also liked the final reveal of what really happened because I’d been kept guessing throughout, but there had been enough clues scattered throughout that the ending still felt plausible.

4) I liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

29875926. sy475 This book has been on my TBR for years, so I’m glad I finally had the chance to pick it up! I listened to it as an audiobook though, which I think did affect my enjoyment a little. I find that I never pay attention to audiobooks as well as I do to a physical copy. This book is about a woman named Maddy who died in an apparent suicide, and continues to stay around as a ghost to look after her husband and daughter and help them move on. It alternates between Maddy’s perspective, as well as those of her husband, Brady, and their daughter, Eve, who are both struggling to figure out why Maddy would have killed herself. I absolutely loved the concept of the book and how realistically all of the relationships were portrayed. I thought all three of the main characters were complex and engaging, and I especially liked Maddy’s chapters where she had to find subtle ways to influence people to steer her family in the “right” direction. I found the book dragged a bit toward the middle, although that might have been a bit of audiobook-fatigue on my part, but I loved the story overall, and especially the twist at the end. It’s another one that I strongly considered bumping up to 5 stars, and suspect I might have liked it even better if I’d read it physically.

5) The Lido by Libby Page

36373276I was interested in this one because it reminded me a bit of The Thirteenth Tale, or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. This book is about a young journalist named Kate, who is assigned to write an article about the upcoming closure of the local lido. While there, she meets Rosemary, an elderly woman who first met and fell in love with her now-deceased husband at the lido, and is struggling with the idea that it might close. Together, the women rally the community to help stop the lido from closing. I still really liked this book, but it wasn’t quite as strong for me as the aforementioned books that follow a similar plot of a journalist befriending and learning the life story of an older woman. I loved both Kate and especially Rosemary, and there were a couple of particularly memorable scenes on her part. I won’t go into detail because they are a bit spoiler-y, but they were definitely some of my favourite parts of the book. I also really liked how the author included some short chapters from the perspectives of various community members to show how important the lido was to them. I enjoyed the overall premise of the book and thought there were some very strong quotes and moments, but something about the writing style just didn’t quite connect with me as fully as I expected.

6) Frankly in Love by David Yoon

39847584I saw a ton of hype around this book, which at least in part seemed to be due to the fact that David Yoon is married to Nicola Yoon, and her YA books are amazing! It is about a Korean-American boy named Frank Li, who is struggling to figure out where he fits in, and soon decides to fake-date another Korean-American friend to give them both the freedom to keep up their relationships with non-Korean partners. It took me a bit longer than I’d expected to get invested in the book, and I found Frank a little annoying at times, especially with his frequent use of words like “fartphone,” “Apeys” or referring to his parents as “Mom-n-Dad.” I was also surprised to find that the romance was much less of a focus in the story than I’d thought, and instead, it was mostly about Frank’s relationship with his parents. I loved Frank’s relationship with his fake girlfriend, but could not get invested whatsoever in his real girlfriend even though I did like some of their chapters together. However, I did think that his relationship with Brit, who is white, helped to bring up some very interesting topics around racism, stereotypes, and interracial dating. I especially liked many of the discussions that took place around the “Limbos,” which is what Frank called the other children of Korean immigrants, whose parents seem to have tried to recreate Korea in America. I liked a lot of this book and would definitely read more by this author, but I didn’t quite love it as much as I’d expected.

7) He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

31393997This is another book that I’d been meaning to read for a long time, and another one that I was on the fence about how to rate. Goodreads really needs a half-star option! It is a thriller about a couple named Kit and Laura, who witness an assault happening just after a solar eclipse, and Laura takes it upon herself to help the victim. 15 years alter, Kit and Laura have gone off the grid and are living under fake names to avoid the past, which seems to be catching up to them. I was immediately drawn in by the writing style and especially enjoyed some of the commentary that was woven in about false accusations and their impact, the way cases are handled by the courts, and about consent in general. I especially enjoyed the early section of the book that focused primarily on the incident itself and the surrounding trial. The book also alternated between Kit and Laura’s perspectives, and I found myself less interested overall in Kit’s chapters, although the information provided about eclipses was interesting. I also especially enjoyed the way the author built everything to fit together as more information gets revealed throughout, and loved the many twists the story took. The only thing that held it back from being 5 stars was that I thought the pacing could have been a little better, but it’s another book that I’d seriously consider rounding up.

8) We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia

39297951. sy475 I was really looking forward to this one because Rahul Kanakia’s first book, Enter Title Here, is one of my all-time favourite YA contemporaries. This book is about a teenage boy named Nandan, who begins to question his sexuality after hooking up with a male friend, Dave, after a party. I loved the whole premise of the book because it still seems fairly rare to see characters questioning their sexuality in YA, and I was especially interested by Nandan’s thoughts as he processed what it would mean to be queer, such as imagining what coming out would be like, and the impact it would have on his friendships. I especially liked that this was kind of a messy story instead of a straightforward romance, although I do think the ending was a little too abrupt. The one thing that I couldn’t quite connect with in this book was the overall dynamics of the friend group. I’m not completely sure why, but I constantly found myself feeling like I’d missed something to explain the group’s relationships with each other, especially Nandan’s relationship with his ex, Avani. I thought this was a very interesting book that brought up a lot of important ideas, but I can also see where people might find it difficult or frustrating to read.

9) American Street by Ibi Zoboi

30256109This is another book that I’d been meaning to read for a few years now, and I’d heard such great things about it. It is about a teenage girl named Fabiola who immigrates from Haiti with her mother, but they are separated at the airport and her mother is detained, leaving Fabiola alone to live with her cousins. I liked seeing Fabiola’s attempts to fit in with her cousins and adapt to American culture, but would have loved for her cousins to have been fleshed out a bit more. I also really liked the mentions of Fabiola’s voudou practices since that was something I knew very little about. I enjoyed the writing style overall, but for some reason, I just didn’t connect with the book as much as I’d expected. I suspect it was because there were some magical realism elements to the book that I wasn’t quite expecting, and that does tend to really throw me off. If I know going into a book that it’s magical realism, then I’m fine with it, but if it’s sprung on me, I tend to find it pulls me out of the story a bit. I was also a bit disappointed that there wasn’t quite as much emphasis on the immigration and detainment aspect as I expected, since I’d thought that was going to be a main part of the book. I still enjoyed it overall and would read more by this author, and I’m hoping to love the next one just as much, if not more.

10) The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman

30653949. sy475 This is yet another one that it took me a long time to decide whether to round my rating up or down. It is about a woman named Kersti who was sent to a Swiss boarding school as a teenager, where her best friend Cressida fell from the balcony in what appeared to be an accident. When Kersti is invited to speak at her school’s 100th anniversary, it reawakens suspicions about what happened to her friend. I thought the book was very compelling, and I enjoyed the way the author alternated between Kersti’s years at school and her present-day life. There were a couple of plot elements that didn’t quite sit right with me, especially Kersti’s obsession with a boy she liked after just one date, and another central plot in her present-day life that I won’t mention because I think it might be too spoiler-y. I especially enjoyed the chapters that were focused on the school and the way the author built the whole atmosphere. I especially enjoyed how the author chose a relatively unique and unexpected twist, although I found some elements of how it played out a bit confusing, and found the ultimate ending a little disappointing. Again, it’s hard to specify why without spoilers so I will leave it at that, but overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.

The Quarantine Book Tag

I realized it had been quite a while since I had done a Book Tag, so I thought it would be a great time to look for a new one! I specifically wanted to look for something that was quarantine-themed because I was surprised that I hadn’t seen any around yet. It didn’t take me very long to come across The Quarantine Book Tag, which was created by Tree and Bree at WordsAboutWords, and I found at The Owlery Reader. For me, I’m finally getting to the point where it feels like the quarantine is mostly over. I live in Canada, and my area is currently in Stage 3, which means that many public buildings are now open, with rules about masks and social distancing in effect. It’s put me in this very strange middle-ground where it feels mostly back to normal, but with enough differences that we’re still very much aware that the pandemic is still on-going. In the past month, I’ve also finally been able to go back to work in-person, for half-days at a time with small groups a few times a week, and it’s been so nice to get some form of almost-normalcy back. I wish I had found this tag a little earlier in the quarantine, but it still seemed like the perfect time to do it!

1. Favorite reading spot at home?

I do the majority of my reading in my room, either on my bed or more commonly, at my desk. I’m often listening to music on my computer or sometimes chatting with people on Discord servers at the same time, so I like to be at my desk.

2. An unread book in your physical TBR?

So many! I have spent so much money during this quarantine buying books, and I definitely have not read them all yet. If I had to pick just one, I would pick Where the Crawdads Sing, which I very recently bought and plan to get to before the end of this month.

3. A book you’ve actually read from your physical TBR pile?

Again, I’ll pick recent books, but I recently bought and read Yes No Maybe So and also Tweet Cute. Both were books that I was very excited to read, and I loved them both!

4. Next book release you’re hyped for?

I don’t have this one yet, but the next book that I’m most excited for it The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, which is due out October 6. I’m hoping to get this book for my birthday, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit it into my reading challenges for this year. If not, it will be at the top of my list for next year!

5. Favorite bookish world to escape to?

I think this would still have to be the world of Harry Potter. It has always been one of my favourite series and it is one that I can very easily get absorbed into.

6. A bookish world you would NOT want to visit?

Basically any dystopian world. I also don’t think I’d want to visit the world of This Savage Song, where literal monsters are spawned by human violence. These monsters feed on flesh and blood, and some even feed on souls.

7. Favorite author to follow on Twitter?

Seanan McGuire and Victoria Schwab are both a lot of fun to follow! I love their feeds.

8. A bookish craft you’d like to try?

I’m not that into crafts in general and don’t really see myself having the patience to actually do any, but I do like to see other people’s crafts!

9. Something you’d like to practice/get better at?

I’d love to get better at some of my computer games! I like to play games, but I’m not very good at them. There are a few games specifically that I gave up for a while because I got stuck and got frustrated, and haven’t gone back to them yet. I’d love to find the time (ironically enough, now that the quarantine is mostly over for me) to get back to them and master those levels.

10. How many times has your reading been interrupted by a family member/living mate?

I actually find Discord a lot more disruptive than my family, but I only live with one other person. I tend to get most easily distracted when on an active Discord server, even if it’s a conversation that I’m not taking part in, but the constant notifications are extremely distracting to me. It’s the same with messages on my phone, such as my work’s Slack channel. I don’t mind it when it’s actually relevant, but sometimes it’s just general chatter and gets irritating.

11. Have you bought a book since you’ve been in quarantine? Which & from where? [No? Well, there’s still time…]

Too many to list! I’ve placed several orders from Amazon, my local bookstore, and Book Outlet. Since I haven’t had access to my library, I ended up buying many of my highest-priority books to make sure I’d get the chance to read them. I probably wouldn’t have bought so many so quickly if I had been getting them from the library, but many are probably books I would have ended up buying anyway.

12. What TV shows/movies have you binged watched?

I’m currently re-watching Boy Meets World, and plan to re-watch Girl Meets World as well. I’m also slowly making my way through Modern Family now that it is finally on Netflix! I can’t quite remember if these were during or before quarantine, but I also watched Glee and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, both for the first time. And just yesterday, I finally watched the movie The Half of It! I also watched the new Baby-sitters Club Netflix adaptation.

13. What other media are you consuming?

A ton of Youtube videos, on a variety of topics. I think the channels I’ve been watching most often are BooksAndLala, BooksWithEmilyFox, Hailey in Bookland, and ReadWithCindy. In terms of non-book content, I’ve also been watching Blaire White (who I discovered because of her responses to JK Rowling’s tweets), ShoeOnHead, ArmouredSkeptic, and Rose & Rosie.

14. Favorite song to wash your hands to?

I don’t really have a song, I usually just count.