Tags

The Nope Book Tag

I’m not usually someone who often speaks negatively of books (good luck? good taste? good recommendations from friends and fellow bloggers? who knows!) but sometimes being less than positive is unavoidable. Today I’ll be talking about some not so great books (in my opinion!) in the Nope Book Tag. Thanks so much to Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books for tagging me!

NOPE. ending: a book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card. While I enjoyed this series overall, the ending was disappointingly anticlimactic, abrupt, and confusing. I had really hoped for more!

NOPE. protagonist: a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

The main reason I disliked the popular Summer trilogy by Jenny Han was because the protagonist, Belly, was so annoying. Frustrating protagonists are a major bookish pet peeve of mine!

NOPE. pairing: a “ship” you don’t support.

Controversial opinion coming your way, folks: I’ve never been a huge fan of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. THERE. I SAID IT. Their relationship has always felt rather rushed and forced to me, especially when compared to some of the other relationships and friendships in that series.

NOPE. plot twist: a twist you didn’t see coming and didn’t like.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. If you’ve read this trilogy, then you probably know which plot twist I’m talking about. For some reason I just didn’t feel as though it went with the rest of the series and seemed like it was just done for the shock value of it.

NOPE. genre: a genre you will never read.

I don’t generally like to say that I’ll never read something, but I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be reading any Westerns in the near future. They just don’t appeal to me at all!

NOPE. book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

Hardcovers. I definitely prefer paperbacks (not only are they more comfortable to read and easier to carry around, but they’re also a lot cheaper), so I’ll usually wait until the paperback edition of a book comes out before buying it.

NOPE. trope: a trope that makes you go NOPE.

Insta-love and love triangles. Often these two tropes go hand in hand, which makes a book twice as annoying as it would be otherwise. Why must writers insist on using these tropes over and over and over again?

NOPE. recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

This is going to sound horrible (especially coming from an English major) but I always cringe a little inside whenever someone recommends something by Shakespeare to me. If you’ve read this post, then you’ll know all about my love-hate relationship with the Bard!

NOPE. cliché: a cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

Definitely the really dramatic, obvious statements that everyone always makes fun of (example: “I let out a breath I forgot I was holding,” etc.). They’re just so unnecessary!

NOPE. love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

Basically all of the characters in Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This also goes along with my insta-love/love triangle aversion. Nothing about these relationships made sense to me…

NOPE. book: a book that shouldn’t have existed.

To be honest, I feel like the rest of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series could have been left unwritten. The first book was fantastic, but the rest of the series was such a disappointment. If only the first book had been longer!

NOPE. villain: a villain you would hate to cross.

So many to choose from! I think I’ll have to go with Lord Voldemort because he’s a) intimidating b) creepy and c) has the formidable skill of attracting followers to blindly do his bidding. I definitely wouldn’t want to be up against him!

NOPE. death: a character death that still haunts you.

I won’t mention the specific character because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but it happened in John Green’s debut novel Looking for Alaska. So many conflicting feelings! So many unanswered questions! AGH.

NOPE. author: an author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

As much as people have told me to give her another chance, I think I’m going to have to go with Jenny Han due to my negative experience reading her Summer trilogy.

Thanks again to Marie for tagging me! ❤

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

Yours,

HOLLY

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

Happy Tuesday!! I am so excited for today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic because it focuses on one of my favorite things: QUOTES. So many of my books are covered in highlighter and pen lines because I’m an avid annotator and marker of writing that really resonates with me. Here are just a few of the many quotes I’ve fallen in love with over the years:

“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

{Originally from poet Francois Rabelais, read in Looking for Alaska by John Green}

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

{Brave New World by Aldous Huxley}

“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 Babbitt}

“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}

“In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.”

{Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton}

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” 

{Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass}

“My mother is a fish.”

{As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner}

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”

{The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien}

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

{Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling}

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

{Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë}

What are your favorite book quotes? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Reread Forever

Happy Tuesday!! I am so excited about this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic because it features one of my absolute favorite parts about being a bookworm: rereading. I adore rereading my favorite books over and over and over again for countless reasons: the comforting familiarity, the brilliant writing, the characters that feel like old friends you haven’t spoken to in a while… the list goes on and on! It is my pleasure to share with you this list of ten books that I could reread forever. 

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I know I mention this book all the time but that is certainly not going to stop me from highlighting it here! I’ve read this novel more times than I can count and each time I do I become invested in Taylor and Jonah’s story all over again. It contains everything I love: characters with depth, a boarding school setting, stories within stories, literary references, beautiful writing, and a plot twist at the end that I never saw coming.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I first read The Hobbit when I was in fifth grade and then continued on with the trilogy before the following summer was out. I love these books to pieces and they’ve played such an important role in shaping me into the avid reader that I am today. (Favorite of the bunch? Definitely Two Towers. For some reason I’ve always had a dear attachment to it!)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

What would a list of rereads be without mentioning good old Harry Potter? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has featured this in their list this week. I’ve read many of the books a handful of times, although I can’t remember ever rereading Goblet of Fire now that I think about it…. (that’s my least favorite of the seven). I could definitely reread these books (and rewatch the movies) forever!

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I reread this book for the first time last summer and was taken aback by how many new things I noticed. I’m now a firm believer that Faulkner is meant to be read more than once and I’m already looking forward to reading this brilliant, fascinating, bewildering novel again and again in the future. (The same goes for basically all of Faulkner’s works for me!)

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I was first read this adorable book by my fourth grade teacher in elementary school– and then again in fifth grade by the same teacher. Since then I’ve reread it once or twice and have loved it even more each time. Road Dahl is the master at creating timeless stories that captivate readers of all ages. There’s nothing like going back to this old favorite!

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I purchased my first and only copy of this book at a Scholastic book fair (I miss those so much!) when I was in third grade and I have read it nearly every summer since then. Not only is this simply an entertaining, clever summer camp story, but it’s also a novel about growing up and realizing that even adults don’t really know what they’re doing (what’s more liberating than that?!).

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is definitely one of those classics that never get old. There are countless fascinating ways to read and interpret this novel, from focusing on colors and other motifs to thinking about location, the American Dream, the role of women, prohibition, narrative voice– the list goes on and on! I’ve studied this in two different classes over the years and I honestly hope I get to study it again before undergrad is over.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

This may be John Green’s debut novel, but it remains my absolute favorite out of all the ones he has written. I love how the story seems so simple yet involves all of the complex and confusing emotions we each experience at one point or another. Besides, this novel has some of my favorite quotes in it!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

It’s generally rare for me to want to reread mystery novels once I know how they end; however, this book has always been the exception to that rule. This murder mystery is so cleverly executed that I never tire of tiptoeing around its twists and turns over and over again. (If anyone has seen the BBC mini series, I’d be really interested to hear what you think of it because I have yet to watch it!)

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I. Love. This. Text. I’ve written numerous papers about it for various classes over the years and Douglass’ story never ceases to amaze, inspire, and intrigue me. Douglass’ life story is as captivating as his writing is eloquent, making Narrative a text that I’ll undoubtedly return to again and again in the future.

What books could you endlessly reread? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Tuesday!! It’s one of my favorite times of the year: THANKSGIVING! Even though I won’t be in the States for Thanksgiving this year (shout out to my college at Oxford for having a dinner for the American students!) it’s still fun to get into the festive spirit. Today I’ll be sharing ten books that I’m thankful for (besides Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings because I feel like those are a given for me).

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I distinctly remember my fourth and fifth grade teacher reading this book aloud to us on multiple occasions and I simply adored it. Dahl’s creative, whimsical, witty stories are one of the things that made me fall in love with reading from a young age.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read this novel several summers ago and it is one of the books that made me realize how fun and rewarding reading classics can be. It also expanded my horizons of romantic classics beyond the usual Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

THIS. BOOK. I read this book in on of my freshman year literature classes in college and I’m convinced that it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with literary criticism and now want to be a professor. It’s amazing how one book can change everything!

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I read this in the very first college literature class I ever took and it completely changed the way I think about narrative, form, and linguistic expression. In many ways it’s the text I keep coming back to over and over again what it is that I really love about literature.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Not only did this collection spark me to read and write more poetry recently, but it also made me think about myself and the world from a different perspective. Rupi Kaur’s words have gotten me through many rough days, for which I am incredibly grateful.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

I couldn’t be more thankful for this essay collection’s wit, humor, and important message: absolutely no one is perfect. Reading this book also launched me into the world of Watsky’s music, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already!

1984 by George Orwell

I’m so grateful for this novel’s ability to spark and continue important conversations about where today’s society is headed tomorrow. The parallels between our modern world and the fictional society in this novel are terrifying and uncanny and real.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me laugh, think, and realize that I wasn’t the only one experiencing frustrating high school drama. John Green is amazing at making you feel less alone.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This book is a hilarious reminder that success doesn’t come easy, not even for those who you admire or who seem like they have everything figured out. (Besides, Mindy always makes me smile!)

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I’m thankful for the way this book has made me smile, laugh, think, and look back on my own childhood nearly every summer for over a decade now.

Which books are you thankful for? What do you think about the ones I’ve mentioned? Do you have any fun Thanksgiving traditions or plans? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Scary Bookish Dilemmas

Happy Tuesday!! Tis the season for all things spooky, frightful, strange… and bookish! Today is the day that ghouls, ghosts, and thrill-seeking bookworms alike have been waiting for all year: HALLOWEEN. Since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a Halloween freebie, I’ve decided to share with you all ten scary bookish dilemmas that you most definitely wouldn’t wish on the worst monster.

1. Forgetting when your library books are due.

This is one of my greatest fears at Oxford because I regularly check out SO MANY books from SO MANY different libraries.

The main library at Mansfield College, where I currently study at Oxford University.

2. Accidentally annotating/dog-earing/destroying a book that isn’t yours.

Hear me out. I love annotating, dog-earing, and physically marking up the books that I read so long as I own them; however, it’s a completely different story when a book isn’t actually mine. I’m always paranoid about accidentally highlighting a line in a library book!

3. Inadvertently buying a sequel to a book you’ve never read.

So. Many. Times. I think it should be mandated that books in series must have whatever number they are in the series on their spines.

4. Letting a friend borrow a book and never receiving it back.

We’ve all been there. It’s a scary, sad time.

I bought this edition because it was cheaper. Regrets.

5. Cover designs based on book-to-movie adaptations.

OH, THE HORROR. I’ve seen my fair share of terrible, terrible book-to-movie adaptation covers and I just want the terror to END.

6. Hating a book that was recommended to you by a friend.

It’s always sad when this happens, but fortunately it’s a pretty rare fear for me. Luckily my friends have excellent bookish tastes!

7. Pre-ordering a book to be shipped to your house in the States even though you’ll be in England when it actually arrives so you won’t be able to read it until you go back home for winter break.

This is currently my dilemma with John Green’s new book Turtles All the Way Down and all I want to do is teleport back home, grab this book, pet my dogs, and read it.

My mom sent me this photo of my book and I’ve been admiring it from afar.

8. The death of your favorite character.

There are too many examples to name, honestly. How can writers be so ruthless?

9. When you read a book thinking it’s a standalone but realize once you get to the end that it’s actually a 6-book series.

Such a large commitment, so little time. But sometimes you get so invested in the characters that you just have to keep going… and going…

10. SPOILERS.

I speak from experience, friends. Even worse than stumbling upon spoilers online is spoiling the book for yourself. *cough* Looking for Alaska *cough*

What do you think is the most frightening bookish dilemma? What do you think of the ones I’ve listed? What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year? Let me know in the comments section below!

Happy Halloween!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Middle School Me

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a throwback freebie, so I’ve decided to talk about some of my most tumultuous years: middle school. Though I loathed my middle school years, it was also when I read some of my favorite books. The following books are ones that I loved when I was twelve, thirteen, and fourteen years old. Cue the flashback!


Did anyone else have a dreadful middle school experience? What books did you love when you were in middle school? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Awards

Sunshine Blogger Award | 3

Hello, hello! I know I’ve been posting a lot of awards and tags lately, but they’re so fun that I can’t help myself. Thanks so much to Beth @ Reading Every Night for nominating me in this Sunshine Blog Award!!

  1. Would you rather witness the beginning of the earth or the ending of the earth and why?

    I would probably prefer to see the beginning of the earth because it sounds like it would be a lot more hopeful than seeing the ending. (Besides, there would be more chances of eventually seeing dinosaurs!)

  2. Why did you call your blog what you did?

    I’m severely allergic to nuts and a proud nerd; hence, the blog name Nut Free Nerd was born.

  3. What social cause do you feel the strongest about (e.g. LGBTQ+ rights, animal rights, etc.)?

    For the past two summers I have worked at a local Child Advocacy Center where they conduct forensic interviews of children who have allegedly been abused. Because of this work I’m constantly reminded of the severity of the child abuse problem and how our society likes to brush it under the rug because it’s difficult to talk about. Fortunately, organizations like Child Advocacy Centers are working to spread awareness about this important issue.

  4. Give five amazing bloggers a shout-out, share the love.

    I’d love to give a shout-out to Emma @ Emma the Book Lover, Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books, Sydney @ Sydney’s Shelves, Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read, and May @ Forever and Everly. These bloggers are so lovely and always leave the most thoughtful comments on posts. Definitely check out their blogs if you haven’t already! ❤

  5. Post a picture of a beautiful book cover.

    I absolutely love the simple cover design of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. It suits the raw honesty of the poetry and lets the words speak for themselves. 

  6. Pick your two favorite characters of all time. Now sacrifice one! (The universe is at stake)

    Oh, this is so difficult! The first two that come to mind are Jane from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda. (The fact that they both are named in the titles was completely unplanned!) Matilda is a new favorite of mine because I just read this children’s classic for the first time recently. Both of these characters are strong, intelligent, witty, independent females who I admire greatly. If I absolutely had to sacrifice one it would probably be Jane because the thought of sacrificing little Matilda is just too horrible to endure.

  7. If the apocalypse was coming and you had to evacuate Earth, what are three things you would take with you (both bookish and non-bookish items accepted)?

    A book for when I need to escape, a notebook and pencil (those count as one item, right?!) to record my thoughts and ideas, and a photo album to remember those that I love.

  8. What would you do if you won the lottery?

    Pay off my college loans, pay off all of my parents loans and bills, go traveling, and donate to a bunch of charities (and my local library!).

  9. Share one of your favorite quotes!

    I discovered one of my absolute favorite quotes years ago while reading John Green’s debut novel Looking for Alaska. In it he quotes Francois Rabelais, who once said: “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” I love how this quote can be interpreted in so many different ways. I think we all have our own unique “Great Perhaps” that we’re trying to find, and this quote is a reminder to keep your ultimate goal in the back of your mind when you need inspiration or motivation.

  10. Tell us about the last book you read; what did you love/hate about it?

    The last book I read was Big Woods by William Faulkner, which I really enjoyed. I love how all of the stories are interconnected through characters, themes, and settings. There really wasn’t anything I disliked about it, besides the fact that his writing can be confusing at times.

  11. Share one song that you feel would be a perfect fit for your favourite book character.

    Jay Gatsby isn’t my favorite book character, but I can’t help but pair him with Lorde’s song “Green Light.” (Is this cliché? Yes. Do I regret it? NOPE.)

Kirstie @ Upside-Down Books

Gee @ The Bibliomaniac Book Blog 

Chelsea @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me

Sarah @ Sarah Withers Blogs

Heather @ Book & Words

Thanks again to Beth for nominating me! I hope you all have a lovely day ❤

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish

My Personal Canon | 2017

Recently Jillian @ To Begin with I Read Jane Eyre created a post about her own personal literary canon and requested that I do the same. The goal is to compose a list of books that have greatly influenced your life, that you consider to be your favorite books, etc. I think this is a really interesting idea because there are so many different variables involved. On what criteria do you decide which books to include? Do you focus solely on books that have had a positive influence on your life? How long should your list be? Canon formation in general is really fascinating, but that’s a topic for another day.

For now, here is what I consider to be my personal canon. Some of these books I’ve read more times than I can count, while others I’ve only had the pleasure of experiencing once. Some have shaped who I’ve grown to be since childhood, while others have influenced my much more recently. Nevertheless, all of these books are ones that I love wholeheartedly, that I would read again and highly recommend to others. You’ll likely recognize these as ones I talk a lot about on this blog! In no particular order, they are:

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I don’t think this one needs much of an explanation. I first started this series when I was in second grade and in a way I don’t think I’ll ever be truly done with it completely. Even though I’ve certainly “finished” the series in the sense that I’ve read all seven books, I know that I’ll keep rereading it well into the future.

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Again, this one doesn’t require much of an explanation. I’ve reread these books more times than I can possibly count and they played a huge role in shaping my reading tastes and interests in middle school. They’re books I return to again and again for comfort, reassurance, and entertainment alike.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I vividly remember buying my first and only copy of this book at a Scholastic book fair when I was in third grade. (Did anyone else LOVE those things?!?!) Since then I’ve reread it nearly every summer and each time I discover something new. What was at first a simple summer camp story in my ten-year-old eyes has transformed into a story of family, history, creativity, and resilience. (And THIS is why rereading is both important and awesome!)

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

I’m sure it is absolutely no surprise to anyone in the slightest that this book has a spot in my personal canon. Words cannot express how much I LOVE this book. It’s the one book I always bring with me to college each semester and that I talk about incessantly on this blog. For the millionth time, PLEASE read this fantastic novel. ❤

Gone by Michael Grant

Interestingly, this book’s influence comes from the context in which I first read it: a lunchtime book club in seventh grade. Through avidly reading and following this series’ six books I met one of my best friends, actually met Michael Grant in person at a book-signing, and realized how social reading could be.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

In reality, this is more of a placeholder for all of John Green’s books, though Looking for Alaska is probably my favorite. As with Gone, the context surrounding these books has been just as influential in my life (if not more so) than the content of the books themselves. John and Hank Green have shaped my life in countless ways at a time when I needed it most (I’m looking at you, tumultuous middle school years).

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reading this classic novel in my high school American literature class opened my eyes to the depth and breadth that symbolism could add to books. Though this symbolism is pretty obvious (colors, the green light, East and West Egg, the eyes, etc.) it nevertheless made me realize how interesting and fun analyzing literature with a critical eye could be.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Ah, Jane Eyre. I adore this novel not for the romance, writing, or plot (though all aspects of this book are fantastic) but primarily for the character of Jane herself. She is strong, independent, witty, kind, determined, and resilient– everything that I aspire to be. I’ve only read this novel once; however, it has lingered in my mind with more clarity than most other books I’ve read since then. I can’t wait to read it again soon!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

I ADORED this book when I was assigned to read it for my AP English class senior year of high school (much to the annoyance of the majority of my peers, who didn’t share my enthusiasm). I love watching Pip grow over time and overcome all of the obstacles he has to face. Dickens’ writing is witty and captivating, and the plot twist at the end had me gasping in surprise. This is another one that I definitely have to reread in the near future!

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Since reading this autobiography in my Intro to Literature class during my first semester of college I have written at least three papers about it and researched the critical reception of Douglass’ works in general. Something about Douglass’ life and use of language to transform himself in American society fascinates me like nothing else.

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

I read this for my Cultural Diversity in American Literature class during my second semester of college and have not been able to stop thinking about it since (I’m only slightly exaggerating here). The narrative is constructed brilliantly and I think it’s fascinating how we only ever see Ántonia through the lens of Jim’s narration. Since then I’ve read two of Cather’s other novels and am eagerly looking forward to reading more!

There are so many books that I could have included, but I think this is a solid look into the books that have had the greatest influence on me thus far. Thanks so much to Jillian for asking me to make a personal canon! I had such a great time forming this list and thinking about all of the amazing books I’ve had the pleasure of reading over the years.

What books would be in your personal canon? What are you thoughts on any of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

I Dare You | Book Tag

Happy Friday!! I hope you’ve all had a great week and are looking forward to an even better weekend. Today I’m here with an exciting tag I’ve never come across before: the I Dare You Book Tag. Thanks so much to Emily @ Mixed Margins for tagging me!

Which book has been on your shelf the longest?

In general, probably Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I first read it in second grade and I’ve kept the same beloved, tattered copy ever since– I can’t bear to part with it!

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

  • Current: Sartoris by William Faulkner
  • Last: The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  • Next: VERY UNDECIDED (help?!?!?!)

What book did everyone like but you hated?

I’m going to use my go-to answer for this one: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I feel like I talk about this a lot, but it was just SO disappointing because everyone else seems to really love it.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read but you probably won’t?

Unfortunately, I’ve been telling myself that I’ll read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion for YEARS but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I tried to start it once when I was younger but immediately set it aside because it was incredibly confusing at the time. I would really love to check it off my TBR list someday, but today is not that day. (See what I did there?!)

What books are you saving for retirement?

To be realistic, probably something huge like War and Peace. 

Last page: Read it first or wait until the end?

Story time: I’m someone who likes to know how many pages are in a book before I start reading it so I can keep track of my progress. Consequently, I always look at the very last page just to see the number. However, when I was reading Looking for Alaska by John Green years ago I accidentally read a HUGE SPOILER when I flipped to the back of the book. (Thanks reading circle questions.) Ever since then I’m always overly cautious when I flip to the back of a book.

In short: DEFINITELY wait until the end.

Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I used to always skim the acknowledgments, but now I skip right over them unless I’m particularly interested in what a specific author has to say for some reason. I think they’re important and valuable for the author to include, but from a reader’s perspective I don’t usually give them much thought.

Which book character would you switch places with?

My immediate response is HERMIONE (obviously), but a more creative response would be Blue from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to go on all of those adventures?!

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person)

SO MANY. Some books I associate with specific songs I listened to a lot when reading them. For instance, The Fellowship of the Ring reminds me of the song “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam because I read most of it in the back of my dad’s truck the summer before sixth grade and apparently he played that song quite often.

Name an interesting book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I’m not sure if this necessarily counts as super interesting, but the first book that comes to mind is my copy of A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland that I bought at the Met gift shop last year when I went to New York City with my friends. The weird part is that we didn’t actually end up looking at art at the Met that day; rather, we had some time to kill before our bus picked us up so we decided to peruse the gift shop.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I’ve given a lot of people books for gifts over the years, but besides that I don’t think I’ve given books away for any other special reasons.

Which book has been with you most places?

Ooooh, what an interesting question! I take a lot of books camping with me every year when my family goes tenting for a week in the summer, but the books I bring change each year. I would probably say any of the Lord of the Rings books simply because I’ve read them so many times that they’ve probably been toted around to countless different places.

Any required reading in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Absolutely!! To name a few: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Used or brand new?

Ideally: new. Realistically: used, because they’re usually a lot cheaper.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope! I’m hoping to read The Da Vinci Code at some point, though.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

YES. I really loved the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The book was great as well, but something about the movie has always stuck with me. (Also, it has a fantastic soundtrack!)

Have you ever read a book that made you hungry (cook books included)?

The first book that comes to mind is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (especially the Italy section!).

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I always take my friends’ advice about books– luckily they have excellent taste in books!!

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Last semester I took a history class about Modern Spanish America that focused primarily on Argentina and Mexico from 1800 to the present. We read several monographs for that class that I expected to have to trudge through, but I ended up actually really enjoying the majority of them. The two that were the most interesting to me were Becoming Campesinos by Christopher Boyer and Lexicon of Terror by Marguerite Feitlowitz. They weren’t necessarily uplifting or enjoyable reads, but they were incredibly eye-opening, thought-provoking, and valuable ones.

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Tags

Sims Book Tag

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Hello, hello! Today I’m here to do the Sims Book Tag, despite the fact that I think I’ve only played Sims about once before. The prompts for this tag are just so fun that I couldn’t resist participating anyways. Thanks so much to Michelle @ Book Adventures for tagging me! This tag was created by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland.

WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley

The Original Sims – The best author debut.

When I read Where Things Come Back I couldn’t believe that it was John Corey Whaley’s debut novel. It’s clever, well-written, unique, and woven with an intricacy and attention to detail that I can’t help but applaud and admire. Considering I randomly picked this book up at a bookstore years ago because I loved the cover design, it’s safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

looking for alaskaThe Grim Reaper – Saddest character death.

The book that immediately comes to mind is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Not only do I have a strong nostalgic attachment to this book, but I also believe that it’s a witty, touching, well-written story about love, loss, and growing up. I’ve read it countless times since middle school and each time I come back to it I’m filled with a sense of familiarity and comfort all over again. I’m not going to say anything specific about the death because I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that it crushes me every time.

Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonSims Getting Stuck – A character that just got in the way.

When I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, I was astonished by the level of frustration that the character Dennis Nedry caused me to feel in nearly every scene he was in. He’s obnoxious, conniving, malicious, and one of those opportunistic people who will do anything to in order to make a profit or move up in society.

14800528-2Simlish – A book with amazing writing.

Due to my lack of experience reading Thomas Hardy I was surprised to find while reading Far from the Madding Crowd that his writing style is beautifully and brilliantly descriptive, witty, and poignant. Even though the story itself was fantastic, his writing alone is enough to make me want to read more of his work.

city of bones coverExpansion Packs – A series where the books keep on getting better.

My initial response was to list Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but I’d like to try to mention some books that I don’t talk about all the time on this blog. Instead, I’m going to go with a series that I haven’t talked about much since I finished reading it a few years ago: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Though I love the beginning of this series, the complexity of the plot and the character development that occurs over the course of the six books makes the final one fantastic.

18475596-2Sim Romance – The worst case of insta-love.

The insane insta-love in Only Everything by Kieran Scott was almost unbearable. I barely even finished reading this book (to be honest, I basically skimmed the second half) because I couldn’t deal with how artificial and forced the romance felt. The main character’s annoying narration certainly didn’t help matters, either!

nick and norah's infinite playlistCheats – A book that was entirely unrealistic.

I don’t know about you, but when I read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan I was pretty doubtful that the entire plot would actually be able to take place in the span of a single night. Someone needs to test out this theory once and for all and then report back to me about the results.

12977531Needs Fulfillment – A character who made all the wrong decisions.

I feel like the entire Torrance family made some pretty bad decisions in The Shining by Stephen King, especially considering that Danny had the Shining ability and could sense all along that something bad would happen eventually. They had so many opportunities to turn back, yet they foolishly and resolutely moved forward time and time again.

the maze runner coverError Code 12 – A series that started off great but went downhill from there.

I absolutely loved The Maze Runner by James Dashner and was incredibly excited to continue on with the rest of the trilogy when I read it in middle school. Unfortunately, the other books suddenly careened in a downward spiral that I wasn’t expecting. The arch of the story changed completely and I thought the original premise of the first book had a much more interesting twist with a lot of potential.

13581132The Sims Vortex – A book/series that completely engrossed you.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was so captivating that I ended up reading the majority of it in a single day. I’m so glad that my coworkers recommended it to me over winter break because I had never heard of it before.

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What do you think of the books on my list? What books would you pick for these prompts? Have you ever played Sims before? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY