NY Times By the Book Tag

Book Courtship-3

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve all had a great week and are ready for a lovely weekend ahead. Today I bring to you the NY Times By the Book Tag, which is based on the “By the Book” column of The New York Times. I love reading these articles and getting a sneak peek of people’s reading lives, so I was ecstatic when I was tagged to answer these questions myself! Thanks so much to Silanur @ Aloof Books for tagging me!


819699What book is on your nightstand right now?

I’ve been reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell for nearly a month now (it’s over 1000 pages long!) so it’s been a constant companion on my nightstand for a while. I’m about two-thirds of the way through and absolutely loving it!

Animal Farm by George OrwellWhat was the last truly great book you read?

Hmmm… I guess it depends on your definition of “truly great,” but I would say Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read the Spanish translation of it, and it was brilliant. Don’t worry– a full review is on its way!

J.R.R. TolkienIf you could meet one author (living or dead) who would it be? What would you ask?

This question is SO. DIFFICULT. There are so many authors that I would love to meet and have a conversation with, meaning that choosing one feels nearly impossible. I think I’ll have to go with J.R.R Tolkien, though, because his books have definitely shaped me as a reader. Besides, I’ve always wanted to know what his inspiration was for creating Middle-earth in the first place.

2715What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?

One of the most unusual books on my shelf is Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. It’s basically what is sounds like it would be: a history of the world in regard to salt’s influence on civilizations, the environment, the economy, etc. It was one of the books we could choose to read for our AP World History summer assignment, and I just couldn’t resist seeing what all the salty hullabaloo was about. It might sound a bit strange, but I would definitely recommend checking it out!

How do you organize your personal library?

By genre. I’ve never been one to alphabetize my books, and organizing them by genre just makes the most sense to me.

7597What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten to yet?

SO MANY BOOKS. High on my list right now are One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. But seriously, there are probably hundreds. So many exciting books, so little time!

me and earl and the dying girl coverDisappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I didn’t hate this book, but I certainly didn’t love it like everyone else seems to. The humor just fell flat for me, and I didn’t think that the story had much substance or plot. It was more disappointing than anything else.

What kind of stories are you drawn to?

Ones rich in history, character development, plot twists, and beautifully brilliant writing.

16130If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

What an interesting question! I always love seeing how people answer this one because there are so many angles you can come from. Do you want to educate the president? Make him/her laugh? Cry? Have an epiphany? Personally, I would love to see any president read Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Perhaps Hamilton’s incredible accomplishments would inspire the president to strive to achieve actual positive change.

What do you plan to read next?

Soon I’ll be posting an exciting TBR for the upcoming Booktubeathon, but for now I’m just going to focus on trying to finish Gone with the Wind. 


I’m not sure who has done this tag already, but if you haven’t then feel free to do so!

Thanks again to Silanur for tagging me! 🙂

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments section below!



48 Replies to “NY Times By the Book Tag”

  1. ooh, how I like these questions. I read gone with the wind when I was in seventh grade and it took me three weeks. I kind of want to reread it now, because surely A LOT went over my head. I started reading One Hundred Years of Solitude a few weeks ago, but I’m only seven percent in…it’s a bit confusing and my ereader broke, so on the backburner for now. Books you have to read for AP’s are always interesting–I’m just in the middle of a psychology one right now, and I’ve had to read the white tiger and The Year that changed the world as well. I actually read my favourite non-fiction book ever, the end of night for my media studies class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One Hundred Years of Solitude has always intimidated me because people say it’s really confusing and has a million characters with the same name or something. Because of this, I’ve always put off reading it. However, my Spanish professor last semester highly recommended it, so I’m going to try my hardest to finally read it! We’ll see how that goes haha
      I’ve never heard of The White Tiger or The Year before– I’ll have to check them out! 🙂


  2. Ooh, fun tag! I realised the other day that I haven’t read Animal Farm yet, and have put it on my (mental) TBR, so it’s good to hear you liked it that much! One Hundred Years of Solitude is still on my radar as well. I’ve heard so many good things about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Animal Farm was BRILLIANT. I read the Spanish translation but I almost want to go back and read the original English version because I feel like Orwell’s writing style in English would make me love it even more. It’s an amazing work of satire, but I feel like it’s also very relevant in modern society. As you can see, I highly recommend it! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great feature, I also love reading these sorts of things. I really need to pick up Chernow’s Hamilton. I’ve realized that I have a pretty thin awareness of that period’s cast of characters built on long forgotten high school and college lectures. For example, I always thought that Hamilton was one of those who preferred to keep the voting rights limited to wealthy landowning males. Yes, I definitely need to go back and brush up on the Federalists, anti-Federalists, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of the things I love about Chernow’s biography: it’s about so much more than just Alexander Hamilton. Chernow provides an incredible amount of context with info regarding the time period in general, other Founding Fathers, and even what was going on around the world at the time. It’s a masterpiece of a biography, if you ask me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kurlansky has a fantastic output of popular history. The Basque History of the World is very good.
    As for me, I was always scared of starting ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ by Milan Kundera because of its fame, and the highly opposing opinions I’ve heard about it.
    However I finally started it yesterday and I absolutely love it.
    Orwell is fantastic. This just reminded me that high on my list of To be Read is Huxley’s Brave New World
    Nice blog by the way!
    Greetings from Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huxley’s Brave New World has been on my TBR list ever since I read Orwell’s 1984 a few years ago, but for some reason I’ve just never gotten around to reading it. I think it’s because I have to be in a specific mood for that kind of book (you know, braced for the unsettling depression that will inevitably settle in…). I really should read it soon, though, because it sounds fascinating!

      Thank you!! Greetings from New Hampshire, USA 🙂


      1. Ooo I like New Hampshire. And not just for its tax free status (although that does help).
        As far as I recall, there is an excellent bookshop on the main Street in Concord, near a church. (I guess that’s pretty vague, but I recall Concord being quite surprisingly compact) Randolph is a nice little town as well. Although I bought wine and cheese rather than books there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll have to check out that bookshop, then!! And yes, the tax free status is wonderful 🙂 I go to university it Massachusetts and I hate paying the tax there!


    1. No problem! 🙂

      Animal Farm is incredible! I definitely think it’s on par with 1984, so if you enjoyed that novel I highly recommend reading this one.

      One of the best parts of reading the Hamilton bio was being able to see how it inspired the musical…. sometimes I just couldn’t help but sing along while reading! 🙂


  5. Hello book lover friend! I just bumped on your blog, it’s amazing! 🙂
    Read a few posts but this one got me. I gotta say Animal Farm is a really great book, and I gotta agree with your answer on what kind of stories are you drown to. I think a good plot twist is actually something that always keeps me reading a story.
    I’d like to hear your thoughts of my pictures and read your comments on my blog/portfolio, so anytime you can please feel free to visit mine.
    Greetings from Croatia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂 It’s nice to know that someone else feels the same way about Animal Farm and the stories we’re drawn to. Animal Farm blew me away, and I’m really looking forward to reading more of Orwell’s work (I’ve already read 1984, but that’s it!).
      Greetings from New Hampshire, USA! 🙂


  6. My passion is reading books, especially the romantic kind. My current and all time favourite will always be Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen is awesome! At present there are some good writers but i try to do one book per author, excepting Chetan Bhagat of course! There is such a wide selection of books in the market that one is actually spoiled for choice. One life is so short to read all the books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree: there are so many books, but so little time to read them all!! Pride & Prejudice is fantastic, as is Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I really want to read Sense & Sensibility soon, too.
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After reading your subsequent tags, I feel it necessary to add a few names like Gone With the Wind, David Copperfield and of course, Little Women that I read as a young girl. These are the ones which make me want to write more and more and hope that one day i could write such a brilliant story.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve so much enjoyed reading your account of the books you’re reading, in NY Times BY THE BOOK. Of the books you list, Little Women is one of my all time favourites. I just been reading a book about Louisa M Alcott’s life, not an easy life at all. The peerless Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, wonderful!!! I will make time to read Sense and Sensibility. Love your sense of humour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I really do need to read Little Women soon… one of my English professors at university loves it! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!


  8. I felt the same way about Me and Earl and the dying girl.I really like your blog and I am planning to do something similar on my blog.I am a new blogger and I hope you check my blog out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Little Women and Sense & Sensibility!!! Highly recommended! And I ask you: Have I ever failed you when it comes to recommending books? 😉

    What book is on your nightstand right now? – Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln

    What was the last truly great book you read? – Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

    If you could meet one author (living or dead) who would it be? What would you ask? – Jane Austen: I’d ask her which heroine she favors in all her novels, and why.

    What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf? – I don’t know why any of them would be surprising? I read, so I have books. I, however, am surprised I have a copy of The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. I have no memory of acquiring that one, but it is on my shelf.

    How do you organize your personal library? – I have three ceiling high bookcases. Two for unread books, and one for books I’ve completed. They’re all arranged by author, except I have a shelf for all my Margaret Mitchell books, and a couple shelves for books I’m hoping to read pretty soon.

    What book have you always meant to read but haven’t gotten to yet? – The Iliad and The Odyssey. HOW CAN I READ THOSE WHEN ELIZABETH GASKELL EXISTS?

    Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t? – Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. I found it very dull — not funny at all. After about half I couldn’t go on. There are simply too many good things to read.

    What kind of stories are you drawn to? – History, women existing within the nineteenth century, danger on the high seas! (I really need to read Moby-Dick. I can’t get it out of my head.) I like stories about life, generally set back in the past, about people overcoming obstacles and discovering themselves as they are challenged and challenged and challenged, and prove who they are to themselves.Like the biography of John Adams by McCullough. That sort of hardy adventure tale.

    If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? – Obama! I’d like him to read The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter. A gift to him in a dark world.

    What do you plan to read next? – Middlemarch by George Eliot.


  10. Blue sun, yellow sky is on my nightstand right now. The last great book I’ve read was “A Man Called Ove”. And I highly reccomend it. That book gives you all the emotions you need. And to those who wrote the hardness of reading 100 years of solitute, once you get into the book, it will be one of the best things you’ll read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just finished One Hundred Years of Solitude the other day, and what you say is true: once I got into it I was absolutely captivated by the story. It’s now one of my favorite books of all time!

      Liked by 1 person

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