I’m A Guilty Reader Book Tag

It’s been quite a while since I did a book tag related to my reading habits. I stumbled across this one recently in one of my Goodreads groups, and I thought it was a great follow-up to the Reader Confessions tag that I participated in a couple of months ago. The I’m a Guilty Reader tag was created by Chami at ReadLikeWildfire, and her video can be found here.

1) Have You Ever Regifted A Book That You’ve Been Given?

No. I struggle as it is to give up my books, even when I haven’t read them in years. Earlier this year, I went through my closet and finally got rid of some of the books that I’d gathered at library book sales, where you paid a certain fee per bag of books. I had tons that I’d been holding onto for years because they seemed vaguely interesting, but never actually bothered to read. Even giving those up were a struggle!

Surprisingly, I don’t receive too many books as gifts. Usually I just get gift cards to the bookstore and I choose my own, or I just buy the books I want myself. If I choose to buy the book, it’s practically guaranteed that I will not give it away because it is a book that I actually wanted to own.

2) Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?

I’ve never outright lied about reading a book, but there was one textbook in university that I just couldn’t get through. I had two deaths in the family back-to-back at the time and needed to read quite a huge chunk of the book for an assignment. Using the index and skimming subheadings, I managed to complete my assignment (and got an A!) without properly reading the chapter. That was the first and only time I’ve ever skipped a required reading, but I just couldn’t manage it and everything else going on at the same time.

3) Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?

I only ever borrow books from the library, and I always return them. I’m pretty careful not to take out more than I can manage, and I’m pretty on top of renewing things when needed.  I’m not even sure if I’ve ever returned a book late.

4) Have you ever read a series out of order?

Not unless you count the Narnia books, and I don’t really since there seem to be two “acceptable” orders for reading them (chronologically, or in publishing order). I’ve honestly never understood how people can read series out of order since in most of the series I read, the events follow from one book to the next. There’s no way I would understand what’s going on without reading the previous books.

5) Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?

Not intentionally. Ever since I had Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince spoiled for me, I’ve been pretty careful. One of the reasons I’m so hesitant to write reviews is because I have a hard time talking about the books without risking spoiling anything.

6) Have you ever dog-eared a book?

This is one that I actually am guilty of! I used to dog-ear all of my books up until about sixth grade, when someone pointed out that it was damaging them. I have no idea why that thought never crossed my mind before that. I think I continued to do it a little while longer, but now I would never dog-ear my books! I hate when they get damaged.

7) Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?

No, but I have told them that I don’t know where my copy is when they are really intent on borrowing it. I don’t like lending out my books to anyone, but sometimes I feel bad saying no. Most people who know me would know how many books I have everywhere in my room, so claiming I don’t know where it is would be a very feasible excuse (unless it was something like Harry Potter, which is pretty obviously on my shelves).

8) Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?

Not that I know of. There are some books that I read so long ago that I might not remember whether I’ve read them, but I don’t think that’s what is being asked here. I’m not embarrassed by the books I’ve read, so I’d have no problem talking about them.

9) Have you every skipped a chapter or a section of a book?

Only the occasion that I mentioned above. Like I said for series, I don’t really understand how people can skip ahead in a book without missing anything, unless it is something like an anthology where nothing is connected to each other anyway. If I did skip chapters, I know I’d just get annoyed later on when reference was made to something I’d missed.

10) Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?

No, not that I know of. Like I said, I’m not embarrassed by the books I read and I have no problem having the unpopular opinion about them. I don’t see any reason why I would need to badmouth a book that I liked. Just to be clear, I think there’s a big difference between badmouthing and reading critically/being aware of the problems in it.

Looking back at my answers, apparently I am not a very “guilty” reader but I’m curious to know about other people’s reading habits. I will tag:

Harini @ BooksandReaders
Kourtni @ KourtniReads
FNM @ FNMBookReviews
Anushka @ GoingThroughBooks
Beth @ ReadingEveryNight

The Goodreads Book Tag

It’s no secret that I’m a little obsessed with Goodreads! I’ve had my Goodreads account for about two years now, and I use it mostly for my reading challenges and to keep track of my massive (1500+) TBR list. I was tagged by Beth at Reading Every Night, an amazing blog that I only recently discovered. Thanks for tagging me!

1) What was the last book you marked as read?

7613I just finished reading Animal Farm last night, which I read for the first time. My school was a bit of a weird one since we never covered many of the classics that most people read in high school. I never read 1984, Brave New World, The Handmaid’s Tale, or Animal Farm in school like most other people did. I’m pretty sure my brother, who went to the same school but four years ahead of me read at least some of those books in high school.

2) What are you currently reading?

25756328I’m about to start Love & Gelato. Honestly, it is not really the kind of book I would usually read. Although I do love YA contemporary, I’m not usually very interested in books that focus heavily on travelling. This one has quite a high average rating on Goodreads though, so we’ll see how it goes. I chose it because one of my reading challenges required a book set in Italy and I was having trouble finding one that I really wanted to read.

3) What was the last book you marked as TBR?

33785151I added a few books yesterday. If you want to be technical, the very last book that I added was Friend Request by Laura Marshall, which is due out later this year. I marked it as TBR because we managed to get an ARC copy that was donated to the library book sale. I probably won’t be getting to it any time soon, but it looks very interesting! The other books I added yesterday are: The Cost of All Things (Maggie Lehrman), If You Knew My Sister (Michelle Adams), and So Much Love (Rebecca Rosenblum).

4) What book do you plan to read next?

16115612I literally have a stack of books on my floor beside me right now from the library, which are the next few books that I’m going to read for my reading challenges. Technically Love & Gelato is next because I haven’t started that one yet, but after that will be And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I actually have quite a few books in that pile that I’m looking forward to, but also a couple that I’m a little more on the fence about, and chose just to fulfill challenge prompts. Other books in the pile right now are: This Savage Song, The Beach House, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Illuminae.

5) Do you use the star rating system?

Yes, and I hate that it does not allow half-stars! There are so many books that I’ve read that don’t quite fit neatly into one of the star ratings, so I’m always left to decide whether to round my ratings up or down. Usually I end up rounding up, but it’s annoying because it means that among my 5 star reviews, there are some “true” 5 stars, and many others that are 4.5 stars rounded up. It’s not quite the same thing!

6) Are you doing a 2017 Reading Challenge?

Yes, I’m doing a few:

  • GoodReads Around the Year – 52 books + one additional “wild card” topic
  • PopSugar 2017 – 52 books in total, 40 for the main challenge and 12 for the “advanced” challenge.
  • PopSugar Summer 2016 – A challenge I discovered last year too late to give it a fair chance, consisting of 29 prompts, most of which are summer-themed in some way
  • BookRiot Read Harder 2017 – A list of 24 prompts, usually quite difficult to fulfill!

7) Do you have a wishlist?

I don’t know what a Goodreads wishlist is. I would assume it’s just a list of the books I want to read and/or buy. I have a TBR list consisting of over 1500 books. While I don’t necessarily want to buy all of those, I do consider it my reading wishlist.

8) What book do you plan to buy next?

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, if it ever drops down to a reasonable price!

9) Do you have any favourite quotes? Share a few.

I have a bunch of quotes marked on Goodreads, but I’ve never really been one to memorize favourite lines. Here are some of my favourites, according to what I’ve marked:

A person’s a person, no matter how small — Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who

If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals — J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so — Lemony Snicket

Sometimes, when you don’t ask questions, it’s not because you are afraid that someone will lie to your face. It’s because you’re afraid they’ll tell you the truth. — Jodi Picoult

Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better — Kevin Henkes, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Who are your favourite authors?

Jodi Picoult, J.K. Rowling, Audrey Niffenegger, Philippa Gregory, Gregory Maguire, and Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket).

Have you joined any groups?

Yes, mostly related to my reading challenges. The only groups I participate in regularly are for my challenges, and I’ve also joined the Top 5 Wednesday group to get my weekly topics.

Who do I tag?

I’m sure this tag has been around for a while, so I’m not sure who has done it already, but I will tag:

Anushka @ Going Through Books
booksophisticate @Book Sophisticate
Harini @Books and Readers
Kourtni @Kourtni Reads
Krysti @YA and Wine

You’re Not Good Enough Book Tag

For the longest time, I avoided doing these kinds of tags which require matching up characters from a variety of books. I’ve never really felt that I’m familiar enough with a wide enough range of characters for cross-book comparisons, but this tag is a little different. I actually first was exposed to a shortened version of this tag as part of a read-a-thon in one of my Goodreads reading challenge groups, and it was a lot of fun! I found it again on Kourtni Reads (post found here), with even more questions and decided to give it a try.

This tag requires you to compile a list of 30 characters from any book. For each question, you pick two names at random and decide which one is a better fit to answer that question. For my list, I decided to use an equal number of male and female characters, and I tried to use characters who were distinctive enough in some way that it would be easy to differentiate between them.

1) You have only one more spot on your spelling bee team. Who would you pick to complete your team?

My options are: Margaret Lea (The Thirteenth Tale) or Junie B. Jones (The Junie B. Jones series)

This is a very easy choice, considering Junie B. Jones is a kindergarten/first grade student, and Margaret is an avid reader and a biographer. Margaret would definitely be my pick for a team member.

2) Both characters want to kill you. Which one do you kill first so you have a better chance of surviving?

My options are: Anne  (Anne of Green Gables) or Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Well…I don’t find either of these people particularly threatening. I guess I would kill Atticus first, just because he is more likely to overpower me, plus if I recall correctly, he has a gun. I don’t think he uses it much, but I do remember a scene where he shoots a mad dog. Anne is more imaginative, but I doubt she’d have much ability to kill.

3) You’re on The Bachelor/Bachelorette and you’re down to these two characters. Which one are you going to give your rose to?

My options are: Nimona (Nimona) or Jo March (Little Women)

I have to admit I know absolutely nothing about The Bachelor. I would assume giving a rose means I want to keep that person in the competition. If that’s the case, I would give my rose to Jo March. Nimona is an amazing character, but she is way too unpredictable and violent!

4) You’ve been chosen for The Hunger Games. Who would most likely volunteer in your place?

My options are: Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings) or Landon Carter (A Walk to Remember)

Although I think Gandalf would have a much better chance of surviving The Hunger Games, I don’t get the sense that he would volunteer to replace me either. I’ve only read The Hobbit so I don’t know too much about his character, but he seems to be more of an adviser than actually willing to step in himself. Landon, on the other hand, is very loyal to those he cares about, so I guess I would have to hope he cared enough to want to help me.

5) You’re stranded on an island. Which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?

My options are: Tom Sawyer (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) or Elphaba (Wicked)

I would probably have to sacrifice Tom. Elphaba would be a much better help when it comes to figuring out ways to survive or get off the island…although I’m not sure she would be willing to share her knowledge to help me too.

6) You’re the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own TV show of course). Who is your sidekick?

My options are: Minny (The Help) or L (Death Note)

Ooh….very difficult decision. On the one hand, Minny would be hilarious and bring a lot of personality to my show. On the other, L is incredibly intelligent and eccentric, so he would also be entertaining in his own way. Although now that I’m thinking about it, I’m not sure if the question is asking only for a sidekick for TV show purposes, or just in general. I guess I would have to go with Minny. L prefers to work alone, so I don’t think he would be a good fit for a sidekick.

7) You’re a manager at the Avocado Admiring Company. Who would you fire for lack of communication skills?

My options are: Emma (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) or Juliet Moreau (The Madman’s Daughter)

Another very difficult decision. I don’t remember either of these characters being particularly good or bad at communication. I think I would be more likely to fire Emma because she’s more impulsive. Juliet is used to documenting things methodically because of her father’s experiments, and she is a quick thinker. I think she’d be generally better at communication.

8) You’ve just finished a book in which your favourite character dies. Which character is most likely to comfort you?

My options are: Willy Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) or Gale (The Hunger Games)

My first inclination was to go for Willy Wonka, because he would probably try to distract me with chocolate (which is always welcome) or generally wacky behaviour, but I also don’t really see him as a very sympathetic person. On the other hand, Gale doesn’t really seem like the comforting type either. I guess I would have to go for Wonka.

9) Ugh, it’s high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?

My options are: Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveler’s Wife) or The Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland)

Finally, an easier choice. Henry would definitely be more likely to be popular than The Mad Hatter. I’m sure his time travel abilities would be a bit of an issue, but I don’t think anyone in the popular crowd would have the patience for The Mad Hatter.

10) The day has arrived: You’re finally one year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?

My options are: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) or Don Tillman (The Rosie Project)

There is no way Hermione would ever forget a friend’s birthday. Don Tillman is not very socially focused, but he is extremely organized and methodical. I actually think neither of these characters would forget my birthday, although I think Hermione is more likely to remember it on her own, without any external reminder systems.

11) You’ve just found an upcoming Booktube star. Who would it most likely be?

My options are: Reshma Kapoor (Enter Title Here) or Will Traynor (Me Before You)

Somehow, when I added both names to my list, I knew they would be matched up against each other. I think Reshman would be more likely to try Booktube because she would think it would help her college applications, and she would be able to figure out a system to make it the most successful channel possible. I can’t see Will having much interest or motivation to try it.

12) Sleepover time! Unfortunately, you can only invite one person. Who would you invite?

My options are: Aslan (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) or Erik (The Phantom of the Opera)

Leaving aside the fact that Aslan isn’t a person at all, he would probably still be the one I picked. Erik might be able to provide some entertainment by playing music, but I definitely would not feel safe with him there! And I think it says a lot that I would feel safer with a literal wild animal in the room. Don’t get me wrong, Erik is one of my favourite fictional characters and I find him fascinating, but I wouldn’t necessarily want him in the room with me.

13) Bam, you’re pregnant. Who is the father or mother?

My options are: The Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat) or Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden)

So…either an animal or a child? I think I’ll pass on this one… If we can assume it waits for a while until everyone is old enough, then I guess Mary Lennox, but only because she’s at least human.

14) You’ve just written a super important text. Who would see it but not reply?

My options are: Violet Baudelaire (A Series of Unfortunate Events) or Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)

I can’t really see Jane Eyre being much of a text person, even if she were living in an age when texting was possible. I think she would be less likely to reply.

15) You’ve just woken up for breakfast. Your mom has been replaced by…?

My options are: Clay Jensen (Thirteen Reasons Why) or Lady Macbeth (Macbeth)

Oh god. Definitely Clay. I would not want Lady Macbeth in my house!

 

This tag is a lot of fun! If you haven’t done so already, I will tag:

Laura @ Bibliofagista
Liza @ DuskAngelReads
IceBreaker694 @Icebreaker694
Krysti and/or Sarah @YAAndWine

 

 

 

My Bookish History Tag

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved reading. My mom’s always told me that I learned to read very early. My parents didn’t even know I knew how until one day, when I was about 3, I was sitting on my dad’s lap at the kitchen table and I read part of the newspaper headline. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I remember being very confused when I was in early elementary school about why everyone else couldn’t read as well as I could. In first grade, my teacher made a reading group for myself and two others, all of us already reading simple chapter books, while the rest of the class was still learning the basics.

All through elementary school, one of my favourite things was going to book sales at the public libraries where they let you fill a bag of books and buy it for a small fee. I think it was something like $1 or $2 per bag, with as many books as you wanted. I literally brought home hundreds! It turned out that most of these were books that I never ended up reading. Many were parts of a series, or classics that I thought I should have. I also spent years collecting children’s non-fiction because, at the risk of sounding very dorky, I was annoyed with my school not covering topics I was interested in and wanted to design my own version of what should be taught instead.

I’ve always devoured books, although I ended up taking an unintentional break from reading through university and college because after reading for assignments, the last thing I wanted to do was pick up another book. I got back into it in a huge way because of reading challenges, the first of which was the PopSugar challenge two years ago. On a whim, I decided to try it to get back to reading more, and reading challenges have become a bit of an obsession.

I found this tag while browsing for new book blogs earlier today, and this was one of a few that I found most interesting. I found this tag on Kourtni Reads, link here.

1) Do you have any childhood favourites? (I’m thinking along the lines of those chapter books in elementary school)

297249I had many childhood favourites. I was a huge fan of anything by Dr. Seuss, Robert Munsch and Disney picture books. As I got older, I loved The Boxcar Children, the Magic Treehouse series, Nancy Drew and especially The Babysitter’s Club. And definitely the Junie B. Jones series! I also really liked the Adventures of the Bailey Schools Kids series, a chapter book series about a group of kids who kept thinking that people in their community were various paranormal creatures.

2) Is there a book/series that really got your reading hobby snowballing?

In the first place, I’d have to go with The Babysitter’s Club. That was the first series that I really remember trying to collect everything, including side series and even some of the merchandise. It was also the longest series that I ever read, and I re-read the books so many times. It definitely wasn’t the start of my interest in reading, but i it was a huge contributor since it was the first series I really committed to.

3) Are there any books you enjoyed, even though you had to read them for school?

77203Actually, I generally tend not to enjoy books when I am forced to read them but most of the time I like them when I re-read later. The only book I can really remember enjoying the first time I read it as a required reading was The Kite Runner, which was mandatory for my 11th grade English class. In university, I took a Children’s Literature course, and then in college, I took an elective devoted to fairy tales and fables, and these were two of my favourite classes. I enjoyed most of the reading for those classes, although to be fair, many of the children’s literature books were re-reads.

Come to think of it (which I only did when I started answering the next question), the first books that I loved because of hearing them at school were The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and Charlotte’s Web. I’ve never really considered those required reading since the teacher read them out loud to us, so I guess in my mind, I didn’t “read” them myself at school.

4) Was there a book that changed the genres you read? (ie. you were an avid reader of contemporary, but now it’s all about those dragons)

440121There are two specific examples I can pinpoint for this. The first is Isabel: Jewel of Castilla by Carolyn Meyer, the first book in the Royal Diaries series. This was another childhood series that I quickly became obsessed with. Ironically enough, this is one of two in the series that I never managed to buy since it went out of print by the time I started collecting them all. This was the first historical fiction that I really remember reading, and it got me very interested in the genre as a whole.

The other major one was of course Harry Potter. I’d read a few fantasy books before that, including some of the Narnia series, but I can’t remember fantasy being a genre I really reached for very often. Harry Potter was one of those series that I actively avoided because of all the hype, but once the first few pages were read to us at school as part of a “book chat” day at the library, I was obsessed. Since then, I’ve been a lot more open to reading other fantasy books and especially series.

5) Are there any other books/series that hold a special place in your heart?

357840One of my favourites as a child was No Such Thing as a Witch by Ruth Chew. It was a book I read over and over, about two siblings who discover their neighbour is a witch after eating some of her fudge which turns them into animals.

Actually, I loved almost any book that had to do with animals. I love stories about dogs. One of my favourites was A Boy in The Doghouse, about a young boy trying to train his new puppy so his parents will let him keep it. I remember being very upset by one particular story, which I only recently rediscovered the name of. The book was called A Dog for Jesse, about a boy who wants to adopt a three-legged dog but already has dog of his own. In the end, the boy decides to give up his dog to rescue the injured one instead, because he believed his dog would be able to find a home easily, but the injured dog wouldn’t. Now that I’m older it makes sense, but I remember feeling so betrayed by that book! I was devastated that Jesse would give up a dog he’d already had for a long time and bonded with. I’m not sure if I’d say it holds a special place in my heart, but it’s definitely memorable.

537296There were lots of other books that I loved. I enjoyed the Amelia Bedelia series. I loved Frog & Toad, and I especially loved the Berenstain Bears series — although spelling it that way still seems wrong! I was also a huge fan of the Little Critter series. I also read the Little Golden Book series, which were mainly Disney books. My dad used to travel quite a bit, and on several of his trips, he brought back books that would “talk” when you pushed buttons. I was obsessed with those!

6) What kind of bookworm are you now? You can mention anything. Can you easily read 100 books in 6 months? A slower reader? Are you a mood reader or do you set book goals? Do you hoard books? Do you have 79084 books on your TBR list?

I am definitely a bookworm now. My current obsession is doing reading challenges, but my main genres are YA, contemporary, historical fiction and fantasy. I can generally read about 2-3 books per week, depending on the book length and how much time I have. I generally average about 10-12 books per month, so I don’t think 100 in 6 months is realistic for me.

I would say I’m a bit of a mood reader but I also set long-term goals. When I do my reading challenges, I tentatively plan my whole year in advance but with flexibility to change things as needed, either when I lose interest or if I can’t get the book I want. I order the books from the library and suspend the holds until I’m ready to read them. I resume a set of 6 – 8 at a time to be available, usually including a variety of different lengths and genres. So I guess in that sense, my goal is to finish that set before moving on to the next, but it’s also partly mood reading since I pick which ones based on what I feel like at the time.

I definitely hoard books. My shelves are literally overflowing. I have a family member who works at the public library and can sometimes get books free or at least for cheap before they are discarded, so we manage to get a lot that way. My TBR currently has 1364 books on it.

7) Do you have a shelfie for us?

I don’t, actually! To be fair, the majority of my books aren’t even on shelves, so “shelfie” might be a bit of a broad term. I’ll have to take one at some point, but maybe when things get a little more organized.

8) Who do you tag?

This tag has been around for quite a while, so I’m sure most people have done it already. Anyone who’s interested, consider yourself tagged!

In case you haven’t done this one already, I will tag:

FNM @nzfnmblog
Frona @Frona’s reads or else
Sooz @discoveringsooz
IceBreaker @icebreaker694

Reader Confessions Book Tag

This morning, I was watching a book chat video by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes about how book tags don’t seem to be as common anymore. Although I disagreed at first, I quickly realized that I’ve been having trouble lately finding new tags to do. I still do them quite often since they are fun and some are very creative, but recently I’ve been having a hard time finding tags that I could actually answer without rehashing the same few books. I found this tag on DuskAngelReads, here. It was one of the few tags that I’d actually never seen before, so I thought it would be fun to try!

1) Have you ever damaged a book?

I’ve never damaged a book intentionally, but I have accidentally bent or even ripped pages (usually by turning them too fast). The most annoying was when I smudged chocolate on my copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — which led to a decision to never eat while reading again.

2) Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

I rarely borrow books from anyone but the library. I’m sure I have at some point ripped a page in a library book, but they are generally not in great condition to begin with.

3) How long does it take you to read a book?

Of course it depends on the book and how much time I have in my day to read, but I can generally read at least 100 pages per day on a weekday, and more on weekends. The average book (300 pages or so) takes me 2-3 days to read. Classics tend to take a bit longer, and YA books are usually 1-2 days.

4) Any books that you haven’t finished?

I’m actually the type who will stick with a book until the end, even if I’m not enjoying it much. I always hold out hope that it will get better, and when the book is read for a challenge, I don’t want to waste the time spent on it by not being able to count the book. The only book I can think of that I never finished is Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I started reading as part of a Book Study program when I was a placement student where I now work, which is a day program for young adults with special needs. It is a class led by another staff (although now that I work there, it often feels more like my class), where a book is read out loud to a group and then discussed. I never finished the book because my placement ended before we got to the end of the book, and I had exams to deal with. By the time exams were over, I’d forgotten most of what I read and didn’t want to start over either so I just left it alone.

5) Hyped popular books that you don’t like?

I wasn’t a big fan of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I didn’t hate it either, but for me it definitely did not live up to the hype. I didn’t really enjoy the Twilight series, and I haven’t really loved either of the Stephen King books I’ve read so far either (Misery and Carrie).

6) How many books do you own?

Too many to count! They are literally overflowing my shelves, and are in stacks on the floor until I can get more bookshelves. I get most of my books from the library for now because of lack of space and because books are so expensive now!

7) Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

I could consider myself somewhere in the middle, but most of my friends/coworkers seem to consider me a fast reader just because of the sheer number of books I read in a year.

8) Do you like to buddy read?

I’ve never participated in one. At most, I’ve participated in “book of the month” discussions with my Goodreads groups. I don’t think I would like buddy reading very much because I feel like I would feel pressured to either speed up or slow down my pace to match my buddy.

9) Do you read better in your head or out loud?

I have always hated reading out loud! I’ve never been diagnosed but I’m pretty sure I have some form of social anxiety, so I think that’s a factor as well. I do read out loud every week for the Book Study class I mentioned earlier, but I don’t really like doing it. I’m the one doing the reading because I’m usually the one most familiar with the book so I know how to explain it to the participants, but given the choice, I would love not to have to read every time!

10) If you were only allowed to own one book, what one and why?

What a cruel question! I honestly have no idea which book.

The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

I first discovered this tag about a year ago, and spent hours on Youtube watching various vloggers videos (try saying that 5 times fast!) about it. I really enjoyed hearing everyone talk about some of their more “controversial” views about books, and I use that term loosely. I found it interesting that everyone found the need to explicitly state that they do not mean to offend anyone with their opinions of books, in case they say they hated someone else’s favourite. I can see why, since people can be extremely defensive over their favourite books, but I don’t think people should have to apologize for their opinions. I actually did this tag last year as part of a read-a-thon that my Goodreads group was doing.  I think this is actually a tag that is worth re-doing every so often as you read more books.

Since I will probably have a few books for each question, I’m going to skip adding pictures this time and instead just link to the Goodreads page. This tag was started by TheBookArcher, and her video can be found here.

 1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like

I have never been a big fan of the Twilight series. I thought the concept of the book had potential. I’m a huge Buffy fan, so it’s not like I’m inherently opposed to vampire-human stories. I just didn’t think this one was particularly well-done. It had so much potential, but I didn’t like the way the story was executed. I also read Inkheart last year, a book that I remember being very popular when I was younger. I could barely get through it! Much too slow-paced. I also wasn’t a big fan of Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. Maybe I would have felt differently about it if I had read it when I was younger, but it was pretty mediocre to me.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes! I honestly can’t understand why people are so offended by this book. I can see why they are frustrated by the ending, but I think it is the only ending that really made sense and fit for the character. As I’ve said in previous posts, to me the point of the story was about people with disabilities having the right to choose — even if we don’t agree with their choice. I did not get any sense at all that the author was trying to suggest that disabled life is not worth living.

I don’t know if this qualifies as a book that everyone hates, but I also really loved 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I read it not too long after it first came out, and then I re-read it this year before watching the series. I always thought it was a pretty well-liked book, but I saw many more negative or mixed reviews this year. I thought it was a very well-done book, and an important one.

3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like

I’m actually not usually too picky about who a character ends up with because I generally assume that the person they pick is who the author intended them to be with, and the book will naturally lead in that direction. The only time I remember being really thrown off was the ending of Mockingjay from The Hunger Games series. I was convinced that Katniss would have chosen the other person (is it still consider spoilers for a series that most people have read/watched already?). When I thought about it, her choice actually made more sense but I was so sure she would have chosen the other boy.

4.  A popular book genre that you hardly reach for

I rarely read horror or sci-fi. I don’t enjoy horror much because I find many of them too gory, and I’m too much of a coward for some of the more paranormal horror. I actually like sci-fi most of the time when I read it, but it is not something that I’m often in the mood for.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like

I didn’t really like Jacob Black in Twilight. I found him pretty annoying and didn’t really think he was that much better for Bella than Edward was. He was also quite pushy and seemed to guilt-trip her about her feelings for Edward. Plus the whole imprinting thing was very weird and off-putting. I mean, in the same vein, I wasn’t a big fan of Bella either. Bella was a bland character, and I hated how every boy at the school immediately seemed to have a crush on her.

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into

Stephen King. To be fair, as I mentioned above, I’m not really a fan of his genre in general. I’ve now read two of his books (Carrie and Misery), and I wasn’t a huge fan of either of them. I’ve always heard about how amazing he is as an author, so maybe I’m just picking the wrong books to try, but I didn’t really connect with his writing style at all and I found both books pretty average.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

There aren’t too many tropes that bother me since I tend to make a conscious effort to vary the books I read so I don’t read too many of a similar style/genre in a row. I don’t even mind love triangles if they are done well. Insta-love is a little more annoying. I have a hard time buying into the idea that people can fall in love before they really know each other, even in real life. I’m also getting a little tired of the “love fixes mental illness” trope, although I’m not sure it’s a real trope. In many YA books, characters who have a mental illness seem to be almost magically cured by being around their partner  (ie. in Whisper to Me the main character hears voices, which are silent when her love interest is around). I also hate when characters constantly remind us of how plain/boring they are, and that’s why no one ever really notices them.

I’m not sure if this is considered a trope, but I’m really getting tired of all the “between the numbers” books or novellas for so many series now. The Lunar Chronicles is a big culprit for that, but many YA dystopians are as well. Even when the novellas are well-written, they always feel a bit pointless to me. If the author really wanted that part to be in the book, it would have been in there. I find it hard to figure out when to read the novellas in the course of the series — they often give spoilers for the next book, but reading them after the whole series is complete feels pointless. And in some cases (ie. Four, which offers some backstory and a few scenes from Divergent from Four’s perspective), they add very little.

8. A popular book or series you have no interest in reading

Last time I did this tag, my one and only response was Fifty Shades of Grey. Not even because of the explicit content, but because of how poorly written the book seems to be based on everything I’ve seen of it. I’m also pretty ambivalent about reading the Percy Jackson series. I never read it when I was younger, and although I keep hearing how great it is, I’ve pretty actively avoided it.

9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Definitely The Devil Wears Prada! I could barely get through the book, but I loved the movie. I’m not a fashion person, so reading about the different outfits didn’t interest me much. Seeing them on screen was fine since it was only for a few minutes. More recently, I read The DUFF. The movie was much better than I expected, but the book was a huge disappointment.

The Chocolate Book Tag

In honour of both Easter and Passover this weekend, I decided to go for a tag that ties into one of the common, non-religious elements of both holidays: chocolate! I am a huge sucker for chocolate of pretty much any kind, so this was a tag that caught my attention right away when I saw it last year. I actually have done this tag once before on Goodreads, but I decided to try it again to take into account some of the books that I’ve read more recently. Here it is:

1) Dark Chocolate – A book with a dark theme/content

20821614When I originally did this tag, I picked We Need to Talk About Kevin but since I’ve already mentioned that in a few different posts, I will go with You by Caroline Kepnes. This book is told from the perspective of Joe Goldberg, a man who becomes obsessed with Beck, a woman he has a chance encounter with, and begins to stalk her. The book was a very creepy read, especially seeing how Joe gathered so much information about Beck through social media. The story is told in a very chaotic, almost rambling style that gives a pretty good look into Joe’s mindset. I liked that it was told from such a unique perspective.

2) White Chocolate – A light-hearted/humourous read

25883848I definitely have to go with The Hating Game by Sally Thorne for this one. I read this book very recently, and it was hilarious! This book is about the rivalry between Lucy and Joshua, who both working for the same publishing agency after their companies merged, and are up for the same promotion. The book is essentially a typical romantic comedy movie, but in the form of a book. It is on the predictable side, but a thoroughly entertaining read! I loved how the author built the tension between Lucy and Josh, and especially how their love/hate relationship was handled. It was such a fun book!

3) Milk Chocolate – A book with a lot of hype that you are dying to read

32075671I would have to say The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I often avoid reading books that have so much hype around them for a while, at least until some of the hype dies down. However, I’ve heard so many positive reviews about this, especially from Goodreads and Youtube reviewers that have similar tastes to mine. I was a little concerned at first that much of the hype around the book had to do with the topic itself, regardless of how good the book actually was. Now that I’ve seen so many in-depth reviews though, it seems that the book really does live up to all the hype and I can’t wait to read it!

4) Chocolate With a Caramel Centre –  A book that makes you feel gooey on the inside

9780552574235I feel like I’ve mentioned this book a lot lately, but I would have to pick Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book was such a cute story about a girl who grew up highly sheltered because of a rare condition that gives her unpredictable and very severe allergic reactions, and the boy who moves in next door. I really loved this book when I read it last year, and it is still one of the most memorable books I’ve read in the past few months. It makes me feel “gooey” because the interactions between the two main characters were just so sweet.

5) A Wafer-Free KitKat – A book that surprised you lately

23546634First, I just have to ask — are wafer-free KitKats really a thing? I’ve never heard of them and considering the wafer is a key part of a KitKat, I’m not really sure how that would work…Anyway, a book that surprised me lately was The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith. I wasn’t surprised that I liked the book, since it was a Goodreads Choice Awards nominee last year, however I was surprised by how strongly it affected me. The opening pages had an especially strong impact on me, to the point where I actually had to walk away from the book for a few minutes before continuing. I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

 6) Snickers – A book you are going nuts about

220px-thirteenthtaleThis was another book that I read last year, but it is one that really blew me away. My choice for this is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Although it was a book I had on my list from the beginning of the year last year, I’d procrastinated on actually picking it up until the end of October. As soon as I picked it up, I fell in love with the writing style and the story itself. The book is about a young woman who is hired to help write the autobiography of a mysterious prolific author. The book was such a mesmerizing story and I was drawn into immediately. I have no idea why I waited so long to pick it up!

7) Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Marshmallows – A comfort read that you turn to again and again

1934I have quite a few of these, but I will have to stick with the book I picked the last time I did this tag — Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This has always been one of my favourite classics, and I’ve read versions of it for most of my life. When I was younger, I related so strongly to Jo because I also wanted to be an author (although I didn’t have her talent). This is one of a few classics that I keep coming back to, and that I enjoy just as much every time I read it. I would love to try the sequels again at some point. I read one of them when I was younger, but wasn’t very impressed with it. I’ll have to give them another try.

8) Box of Chocolates – A series that has something for everyone

Like all of my posts, I have to have the obligatory Harry Potter reference. However, in this case, I genuinely believe that this is the strongest example of a series that has something for everyone. There is a strong story and excellent character development. There is adventure and humour. There’s a good balance between action, dialogue, mystery, etc. I think even readers who are not a huge fan of fantasy might find something to enjoy with this one.