The Bookish Naughty List Tag

Long time, no see! It’s been a while since I last posted something (since Halloween?!), but I’m here today with a festive tag to jump back into things. Norees @ No Reads Too Great tagged me in the Bookish Naughty List Tag, which I had never seen before. Let’s get right to it!

Read an ARC and not reviewed it.

Unfortunately, yes. There are a few that I read over the summer that I meant to write reviews of this past semester, but obviously that didn’t happen… hopefully I’ll get around to writing them eventually!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley.

Although I signed up for a Netgalley account years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever actually used it.

Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog–and it never did.

Oh, ALL THE TIME. I’m so guilty of saying this; however, I always do genuinely intend on writing a review at some point, so at least it comes from a place of good intentions!

Folded down the page of a book.

Yup yup. I’m not averse to doing this at all if it’s a book that I own, but I would never fold down the page of a book that wasn’t mine.

Accidentally spilled something on a book.

I’m the worst and spill tea on the corners of pages on a regular basis. At least it doesn’t really stain, though!

DNF’d a book this year.

Probably, although none come to mind at the moment. I have a bad habit of checking out audiobooks, listening to an hour or so of them, and then running out of time in my schedule to fit it in before the due date arrives much too soon.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it.

Nope! If I buy a book, it’s because I’m at least decently interested in reading it. I don’t want to waste money (or space on my bookshelf!).

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework).

Oh, absolutely! I tend to read whenever I’m stressed or sad or want to distract myself from something, so it often makes its way into my morning/evening routine when I could be spending that time being productive in other ways. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, though–it’s always good to take a much-needed break sometimes!

Skim read a book.

Guilty as charged! I’ve done this with quite a few books for courses when I only need to read a certain section but I want more context from the rest of the book. Some skimming also usually happens when I’m particularly tired…

Completely missed your Goodreads goal.

I for sure thought I had at some point, but I just checked my Goodreads page and apparently I’ve never missed my goal?!?! How has this happened?!?! In recent years I’ve taken to setting some pretty manageable goals so I don’t put added pressure on myself to read more than I feasibly can, but early on I had some WILD reading years.

Borrowed a book and not returned it.

Nope! I’m pretty diligent about returning books to people. I’ve been on the opposite end of not getting a book back a few times and it’s not fun!

Broke a book buying ban.

I’ve never set myself a book buying ban, so there hasn’t been one to break! I’m fairly good at only buying books here and there, mostly because I already have so many books on my shelf that I haven’t read yet.

Started a review, left it for ages, and then forgot what the book was about.

ALL. THE. TIME. I can’t even count the number of times this has happened to me, especially during the summer months when I tend to read books faster than I write reviews of them. All those poor deleted drafts!

Wrote in a book you were reading.

Oh, I LOVE writing in books! I do this all the time and have absolutely no shame.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads.

I’m sure there have been a few that I’ve forgotten to add, but I do try to stay on top of updating my list–even if that means doing so a few weeks late!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tag! I’m not going to tag anyone else because I’ve been out of the loop for so long that I have no idea who has done this yet and who hasn’t. If you’d like to have a go at it, please do!

Looks like I’ve been more bookishly naughty than nice lately! What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookish Websites

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic asks us to share our favorite bookish websites. Here are a few of the ones I frequent often:

www.outofprintclothing.com

Out of Print has such a wide array of clothing and accessories based on beloved literary favorites. I purchased a Great Gatsby sweatshirt from this website a few years ago and I adore it. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for bookish gifts (and maybe even a gift for yourself…).

www.litographs.com

I love perusing this Litograph’s expansive collection of unique bookish clothing, accessories, and prints. Designs made with words themselves? Sign me up!

www.whatshouldireadnext.com

Yes, this website really is as amazing as it sounds. Simply enter a book title and it gives you a list of recommendations for titles and even genres that you should read next. Recommendations are based on the website’s database of book lists from readers.

www.much-ado.net/austenbook

Austenbook is a fictional Facebook wall based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and it is genius. 

www.overdrive.com

love Overdrive. While the selection of audio books and ebooks available depends on your local library, it nevertheless is a great way to access books on your phone without having to pay more than a library card fee.

www.goodreads.com

What would a list of bookish websites be without mentioning Goodreads? Not only would book blogging be much more difficult without Goodreads on hand, but my life as a reader would be much different without its incredible cataloging abilities.

Looks like this list won’t quite make the full ten today. What are your favorite bookish websites? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Goodreads Book Tag | 2

There’s nothing quite like hearing a new friend say, “Wait, you’re on Goodreads, too?!” I’ve used Goodreads for years and it’s definitely my preferred way of tracking what I read. You can imagine my excitement when I learned I had been tagged in the Goodreads Book Tag– two of my favorite things rolled into one! Thanks so much to Malanie @ Malanie Loves Fiction for tagging me!!

{Also, I schedule all of my posts in advance so these updates may be outdated by three days or so. I’m just going to let it slide!}

What was the last book you marked as “read”?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling. I listened to the audio book version narrated by Eddie Redmayne (!!!) and it was a really fun read. Would highly recommend!

What are you currently reading?

Grant by Ron Chernow, which is a biography of Civil War general and US president Ulysses S. Grant. I’ve been listening to this for AGES because the audio book is around 48 hours long (1074 pages) but now I’m finally over halfway through. This book has reminded me of how much I enjoy reading biographies!

What was the last book you added to your TBR shelf?

How to Be Both by Ali Smith, which I’ve been assigned to read for one of my tutorials this term. I’m really excited to read it because apparently some editions of it have a certain section first and others have the second section printed first. This seems like such an interesting bookish experiment and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in actuality.

What book do you plan to read next?

Oooh, such a difficult question! I usually don’t decide which book to read next until I’ve finished the one I’m reading, but I’d really love to read Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. So many people have recommended it to me recently and the blurb makes it sound really interesting.

Do you use the star rating system?

Nope! I decided to stop using the star rating system about a year ago and I have never regretted the choice. It’s so freeing! I never have to worry about projecting my opinions onto a five-star system or deliberating over what I’ll rate it on Goodreads. You can read more about why I did away with it in this post. 

Are you doing a 2018 reading challenge?

Yes! My goal was to read 24 books this year, which I’ve actually already done?!?! I’m not quite sure how I managed to complete my reading challenge as early as February 19, but somehow it happened! As of the time I’m writing this post I’ve read 54 books this year.

Do you have a wish list?

Nope! I’m really trying to buy fewer books, so I never keep a wish list of what I’d like to purchase next.

What book do you plan to buy next?

Again, I’m been trying not to buy a lot of books recently so I don’t really have any in mind.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

SO. MANY. One I stumbled upon recently while reading T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land for my Virginia Woolf in modernist contexts tutorial is: “In the mountains, there you feel free.” It reminds me of the gorgeous mountains I saw while traveling in Salzburg, Austria.

Who are your favorite authors?

Again, SO MANY. I’ll just list a few: J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, John Green, Michael Crichton…

Have you joined any groups?

Technically I’ve joined a handful of groups, but to be honest I never check their pages or keep tabs on what they’re doing. I love the idea of participating in Goodreads groups– like a sort of online book club!– but I have so much reading for classes that I can never stay on top of what they read on a regular basis.

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? What are your thoughts on Goodreads in general? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Goodreads Book Tag

I first joined Goodreads in December of 2010, which means that I’ve been an active member for SEVEN YEARS. When I first discovered that such a website even existed I was ecstatic– finally, a place to connect with other people about BOOKS. Today I am still a loyal Goodreads user, so you can imagine how happy I was when I learned that I had been tagged to do the Goodreads Book Tag. Thanks so much to Lauren @ My Paper Infinity for tagging me!!

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It was excellent!

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading several books at the moment, but the one I’m focusing on the most is Light in August by William Faulkner for my upcoming term.

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

Artemis by Andy Weir. I’m so excited for this book to be released in November! It’s been far too long since I read The Martian and I’m in desperate need of some great science fiction.

What book do you plan to read next?

Do you use the star rating system?

I used to until a few months ago when I realized that I was letting it frustrate me for no reason. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it which you can check out here!

Are you doing a 2017 reading challenge?

Yes! For the past few years I’ve set myself a goal of reading 24 books, which I’ve already surpassed this year. I use the reading challenge more for tracking purposes than to ensure that I read a certain number of books each year.

Do you have a wishlist?

No, but that’s actually a really good idea….

What book do you plan to buy next?

I’m already looking forward to buying and reading Rupi Kaur’s upcoming poetry collection the sun and her flowers, which is set to be released on October 3rd. I adored Milk and Honey and I can’t wait to see what emotions Rupi delves into in this collection. I already love the connection she’s making between the lives of humans and plants. October can’t come soon enough!

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few.

SO MANY. A few favorites that I’ve recently added to my list are:

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”    ~ Matilda by Roald Dahl

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”    ~ Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

Who are your favorite authors?

I didn’t even know this was a feature on Goodreads!! (You learn something new every day…) In general, some of my favorite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien, John Green, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Frederick Douglass, and Melina Marchetta.

Have you joined any groups?

I’m part of SO MANY groups on Goodreads, although unfortunately I rarely participate in them. I try to be a more active member, but there’s just so much to keep up with!

Thanks again to Lauren for tagging me!!

Do you use Goodreads? What are your favorite and least favorite things about it? Are there any cool bookish websites like Goodreads that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Do we prioritize “shareable” reading? | Discussion

As you can probably tell from some of my previous discussion posts, I get a lot of my inspiration from Rosianna Halse Rojas, one of my favorite Youtubers. Early in March she posted a video called “The Currency of Sharing” in which she discusses our frequent desire to share everything we do online. Even more interestingly, she talks about how sometimes we may or may not do things based on whether or not they can be shared. The example she uses is going for a walk. Normally she would use it as an excuse to take a selfie outside, showcasing that she was doing something more adventurous than her average day job; however, on this particular day she decides to take a walk simply for the sake of being outside and getting some exercise.

Her video made me think about our desire to share what we read. This desire is incredibly evident when looking at things like Goodreads and #bookstagram (and even blogs like the one you’re reading right now). Us bibliophiles are constantly sharing what we read with others through quick Twitter updates, Goodreads statuses, longer reviews, etc. I’ve been blogging and using these sites for so long that it’s hard to remember what it was like to not keep others in the loop with what I’m reading.

Sharing what we read certainly has many benefits: it helps build book-loving communities, spreads awareness of great books, and can connect people with new friends, ideas, and perspectives. However, one can’t help but wonder if it also influences and sets limitations on what we read. For example, I’ve found that it’s surprisingly difficult to share the fact that I’ve read certain short stories and poems. There’s no Goodreads entry for individual Shakespeare sonnets or short stories by Kate Chopin.

Does this stop me from reading works that aren’t novels? Do I prioritize “shareable” reading? The unfortunate answer is: yes, occasionally.

Sometimes I feel trapped by the need to write weekly book reviews for my blog, convinced that I can only write reviews of full length novels instead of particular poems and stories. Of course, there’s nothing actually stopping me from reviewing or discussing these shorter works, but something about it just feels strange. Nontraditional. Different. It’s a mindset I hope to change in the near future, starting with a greater variety of reviews and bookish discussions.

What are your thoughts on the way we share what we read? Do you prioritize “shareable” reading? Do you review shorter works like poems and stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books on Goodreads

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Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is an interesting and important one: Underrated Books on Goodreads. At times it feels as though the only books that ever get to spend time in the spotlight are those with tens of thousands of ratings on Goodreads; however, there are plenty of fantastic books that have less that 2,000 ratings. While making this list I was surprised to discover just how many of these books I’ve read and enjoyed immensely, which sparks the question: Why aren’t they more widely known? Here are ten books with less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads that I would highly recommend:

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What are your favorite underrated books? What do you think of the ones on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

my reading statistics: 2014

Hello, lovely readers! Today I’d like to share my 2014 reading statistics, gathered largely with the help of marvelous Goodreads. I think it’s interesting to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I read, and now is an ideal time to do just that! In 2014 I read 75 books, making for a total of 25,382 pages! I am really happy with these numbers, especially since this past year was extremely busy for me. Anyways, let’s move on to the analysis!

2014 ratings graph

The data I gathered about the ratings I gave books in 2014 is part of the reason why I recently changed my rating system. I rated a huge amount of books 5/5 smileys, when in reality only a handful of those actually made a lasting impression on me as a reader. However, I am really pleased with the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the books I read in 2014.

2014 borrowed v owned graph

These numbers really surprised me- I didn’t realize that I was using the library so much! Over half of the books I read this year were borrowed from libraries or my library’s downloadable website. I don’t think I mentioned it on this blog, but a little goal of mine was to read more books from the library last year. And it looks like I succeeded!

 

2014 male v female authors graph

 

These results also surprised me because I didn’t think that the percentages would end up being so close to half and half. I suspected that I had read a lot more by male authors than by female ones, but I was delighted when I realized that this was not the case. 2014 ya v not ya graph

Once again, I was surprised by these numbers! I originally predicted that I had read A LOT more YA in 2014, but apparently my spurt of reading adult fiction towards the end of the year made it more balanced. Lately my reading taste has been steering me away from the large amount of YA that I usually read, and I think that in 2015 I’ll find myself branching out into other genres and age groups.

2014 by genre graph

I’m really happy with these results, particularly because I’ve been trying to read a variety of different genres recently. It’s nice to see that I read quite a bit of non-fiction and memoir in 2014, as well as several classics.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my 2014 reading statistics! I didn’t expect to be so surprised by the majority of these results, but I guess that means that sometimes it’s difficult to see the bigger picture when you’re living in the actual moment of it.

What do your 2014 reading statistics look like? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

more books: I actually won something

Hello everyone! I thought I’d update you all on some new books I acquired this month.

The first three I bought on my own, the first two from Barnes & Noble and the third from this cute little independent bookstore Bennington, Vermont. There aren’t many independent bookstores where I live, but fortunately this one was near a college I was visiting. I couldn’t resist stopping in! I found this gorgeous copy of Little Women that is a Penguin Threads edition, and entire outside looks like it was designed with embroidery. It’s so beautiful!

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One + One = Blue by MJ Auch

The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

And then something incredibly exciting happened.

I ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING.

I’m not usually lucky when it comes to winning prizes, money from scratch tickets, etc. So when I found out that you could enter giveaways on Goodreads, I wasn’t expecting to really win anything. BUT THEN IT HAPPENED. I won a copy of this book:

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Choosing to be Insurgent or Allegiant by Valerie Estelle Frankel

Needless to say, it’s been a great month for books!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What books have you gotten recently? What books do you want to get? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY