Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Let Anyone Borrow

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is technically about books we refuse to let anyone touch; however, I’m going to twist it a bit and share some books that I wouldn’t let anyone borrow. It occurred to me when thinking about the original prompt that there aren’t any books on my shelves that I wouldn’t show to a friend, but there are some books that I wouldn’t want to lend to someone just in case something happened to it.

My signed copy of BZRK by Michael Grant

Let’s flash back to Young Teenage Holly, shall we? In seventh grade, my best friend and I (who I met in a lunch book club group) were obsessed with Michael Grant’s Gone series. When BZRK came out Grant did a bookstore tour and came to a location within driving distance of where we lived. Since neither of us could drive, we both convinced our moms to take us to the bookstore to meet Michael Grant. My mom took an awkward photo of me talking to him, me in a Keep Calm and DFTBA t-shirt and him with his hands outstretched, trying to explain how the ending of the Gone series would be different from that of the television show Lost (which at that point I hadn’t yet watched, so I had no idea what he was talking about). Ah, good times.

My signed copy of the first printing of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

One of my most prized possessions. I’ve been a loyal Nerdfighter since I was in middle school and I think it’s safe to say that I’ll always be a loyal Nerdfighter. This nerdy faithfulness helps explain why I was so eager to pre-order a copy of this novel before I could even blink. I haven’t kept the inside of this book pristine at all–I’ve highlighted and annotated it and put sticky notes all over it. But despite all that clutter, I’d rather not let someone take it far from the vicinity of my bookshelf.

My signed copy of Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

One day while browsing the shelves of my favorite local independent bookstore, I noticed a copy of Why Not Me? that said it was signed. I was flabbergasted. A copy of Mindy Kaling’s most recent book that had been touched by the hands of Mindy herself?!?! Needless to say, I was Shooketh. Also needless to say, I purchased the copy immediately. I’m never letting it go.

My copies of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big, big, BIG fan of Lord of the Rings. I have several copies of most of the books–most of them are used, although I did buy a new set of nice paperback editions when I was in Oxford. Because most of them are used and tattered and stained, they’re not worth much physically; however, they mean so much to me sentimentally. I would be so, so sad if I ever parted with them.

My copies of Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

My answer for this one is similar to that of Lord of the Rings: NOSTALGIA. SENTIMENTALITY. EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT. The thought of someone else reading my Harry Potter books makes me feel all weird. Not going to happen anytime soon.

Any books that were gifted to me

I feel like this one is pretty obvious–I don’t want to give away something that was given to me, so long as it’s a book that I really enjoyed. What if something were to happen to it?! Can’t have that happen.

I know this list doesn’t contain ten books, but these are all the ones that I could think of off the top of my head. What books would you not let people borrow? What do you think of the ones I’ve listed? Let me know in the comments section below!




Happy Hobbit Day!

Happy Hobbit Day! What is this day, you ask? September 22nd is the fictional birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, the hobbit protagonists of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, respectively. The holiday was first established in 1978 by the American Tolkien Society.

If you’ve followed this blog for a fair amount of time, you’re likely well aware that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are arguably my favorite books ever. (I know. A bold statement to make.) I started reading them when I was in fifth grade and have reread them all countless times since then. I adore their charming wit, their captivating sense of adventure, and the familiar nostalgia they fill me with whenever I flip through their pages again.

In honor of Hobbit Day, I’d like to share some Tolkien-y book photos!

Hope you have a great Hobbit Day! What’s your favorite Tolkien character, book, setting, etc.? Let me know in the comments section below!




How I Choose My Books Tag

When I’m not buried under mountains of required reading for coursework, I often ask myself an important question: How do I choose my books? Fortunately, that’s the very same question that this tag attempts to answer! I had never heard to this tag before I was tagged in it, so I’m really excited to take a look at these questions. Thanks so much to Krisha @ Bookathon for tagging me!!

Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

Since I’m currently studying abroad and don’t have access to my actual bookshelves at home, the closest I could come to a blue book is the turquoise Penguin Modern edition of Wendell Berry’s “Why I Am Not Going to Buy A Computer.” I chose this book not only because the design is brilliant but also because Ariel Bissett (one of my favorite booktubers) HIGHLY recommended it.

Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place? 

This situation happened to me when I tackled War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy last summer. It’s a novel that was always on my list of books that “I Should Probably Read At Some Point Because They’re Really Well Known and Are Referenced In A Lot of Other Things.” However, I finally decided to read it last summer because Laura @ Reading in Bed was hosting a read-a-long and I couldn’t resist.

Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?

Once again using my limited shelves, I picked up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I first discovered this book from major blogging hype and purchased a copy so long ago. However, I just got around to read it recently because it’s on my required reading list for Postcolonial Literature this term. Everything comes full circle eventually!

Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

Whenever I think about books people have recommended me over the years, the first one that usually comes to mind is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The librarian at my high school recommended this to me when I was a senior and I LOVED it. Now I’m the one always recommending this brilliant novel to people! I’m so glad I decided to follow her suggestion!

Pick a book that you discovered through Youtube/book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I could list so many books in this answer, but I think I’m going to go with An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. For a while this book was everywhere in the blogosphere, so I decided to give it a try; however, it definitely didn’t live up to my expectations. If you want to read more about why I was disappointed with it, you can check out my book review here. 

Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one word title. What drew you to this book?

Since I’ve already used Americanah, I’m going to have to go with Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf because it’s the closest I can get to one word with the books I currently have on my limited shelf. While I was required to read this for two tutorials, I was also drawn to it because the entire novel takes place in a single day. I was so intrigued!

What book did you discover through a film/ TV adaptation?

Years ago I watched The Help movie with my family one night and immediately went to the library to check out the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett. Both forms of telling this story are amazing and I would highly recommend them in either order. I think this is definitely a case where the book and the movie are equally as well done.

Think of your all-time favourite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them in the first place?

For this question I have to go with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien I first read this series going into sixth grade (for a book project!), a time in my life when I was a very awkward kid and needed a respite from middle school awkwardness. These books will always hold a special place in my heart. ❤

  • YOU!!!


These questions were surprisingly difficult to answer! Thanks again to Krisha for tagging me ❤

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




Sunshine Blogger Award | 6

Hello, hello! It’s time for yet another award (this seems to be a recurring Wednesday theme recently…). Thanks so much to Emma @ Emma Reads for nominating me!! Emma is one of the sweetest bookworms ever so definitely check out her blog!

1. Kiss, marry, kill: The main characters of the last three fiction books you read.

I’m writing this post well in advance of when it’s going to be posted, so at the moment my options are Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Thor from Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, and Jean Valjean from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. This is SO difficult, but I think I would kiss Klaus, marry Jean Valjean, and kill Thor? I don’t want anything bad to happen to any of them, though!

2. Would you rather be an elegant princess/prince type character in a fairytale, or a witchy badass villain?

I know this is stereotypical, but I would rather be an elegant princess rather than a witchy villain. The dress! The romance! The singing! (I’m thinking of Tangled here, people!)

3. You fall into a pit of acid or get bit by an exotic spider or into a verbal altercation with a wizard, and you’re given the power to pull things out of books. Which book are you reaching into first???

WHOA these questions are escalating quickly! The image of a “verbal altercation with a wizard” is hilarious, so let’s go with that scenario. I would probably try to pull out a pie and then throw it in their face because that’s funny and delicious yet simultaneously passive aggressive.

4. You’re being sent to a desert island and you can only bring one book, and it has to be one you haven’t read yet. What book are you bringing?

THIS QUESTION. It’s so difficult to choose from books you haven’t read yet because you have no idea whether or not you will actually enjoy it… but I guess I would choose A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin because then it would force me to finally read start this series.

5. Link your favorite blog post of yours!

No specific favorite post comes to mind; however, I do really enjoy writing the Classic Couple series in which I pair classic literature with contemporary counterparts. More posts in this series coming your way!

6. Which Hogwarts house would you most want to be in, and which do you want to be in least?

I would want to be in Gryffindor the most because I really admire bravery and loyalty, and I would want to be in Slytherin the least because its traits are the least important to me. (For reference, I generally consider myself a Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff).

7. Would you rather have a pet unicorn or grow a mermaid’s tail when you touch water?


8. The last book you gave 5 stars and the last book you gave 1 star?

I actually stopped rating books on my blog and Goodreads a while ago. Click here to read my post explaining my reasoning. 

9. Who’s a popular author you’re just…not that into?

My go-to answer to this is usually Jenny Han. After not being very impressed with the trilogy starting with The Summer I Turned Pretty I’m just never in the mood to try any of her other books.

10. Show you’re currently watching, or last one you watched?

This past term I started watching the first few episodes of Jane the Virgin and it is WILD. I definitely want to continue watching it when I have the time!

11. Picture this: You’re at the altar, about to say “I do” to Cornelius (or Cornelia) Wainwright III, a disgraced businessperson who is only marrying you for your chocolate factory fortune. You dramatically say “I can’t do this” – which fictional character or celebrity do you confess your love to instead?

WOW, what a question! To be honest, I would probably confess my love to Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.

I’m going to pass along Emma’s questions because they were so much fun to answer.

Thanks again to Emma for nominating me and providing the most hilarious, thought-provoking, creative questions for me to answer! ❤

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



One Lovely Blog Award | 3

Recently I had the pleasant surprise of being nominated for another One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks so much to Loretta @ The Laughing Listener for nominating me!! Definitely check out Loretta’s wonderful blog if you haven’t already. Now, on with the fun facts!

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself
  • Nominate up to 15 bloggers that you admire and inform the nominees
  1. I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings fans. I’ve loved both the books and the movies since I was eleven or twelve and I get incredibly excited whenever I meet someone who is also an avid fan.
  2. I love stickers. I usually order them from Redbubble because they have a HUGE selection and pretty decent prices. Recently I put a bunch on my 2018 planner and I love them. 
  3. I can touch my nose with my tongue. I feel like this one doesn’t need much explanation.
  4. Grilled cheese is my go to meal. Whenever I don’t know what to eat for lunch, you can usually find me making a grilled cheese. I like mine with cheddar cheese, a little bit of ham, and sliced pickles inside (it sounds weird, but it’s so good!).
  5. I LOVE taking photos with my polaroid camera. I got this adorable yellow polaroid camera for Christmas a year or two ago and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
  6. I play the violin. I haven’t actually played it in three years (since starting college), but I played it in my school’s orchestra from third grade until I graduated high school. I definitely miss playing in an orchestra!
  7. I don’t know how to describe my taste in music. Whenever people ask me, I usually reply by saying that I like everything except for country music. My Spotify is a JUMBLED MESS.

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments section below!




My Bookish Identity Tag

It’s time for another tag, and this one is particularly fun: let’s take a look at my bookish identity! I love identity/personality quizzes like these, so as soon as I realized I’d been tagged for this I was very excited. Thanks so much to Fran for tagging me!!

What dystopian/fantastical world would you live in?

This is so difficult! For me, it’s definitely a tie between Hogwarts and Middle-earth. They’re both so different from each other but still so lovely in their own ways!

Who would your partner be?

Another challenging question… I’d probably have to go with Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Think of how great we’d be at getting past any obstacles in our way!

Who would be your godly mother/father? [Percy Jackson]

Thankfully Fran included a link to a handy quiz that tells you just this bit of info! Apparently my godly parent would be Demeter (goddess of agriculture, grain, and bread). I do like bread a lot…

Would you be a downworlder or nephilim? [Shadowhunter world]

Nephilim! I want to have those fancy faux-tattoos. (Also, I think the politics within the Shadowhunter world would be incredibly interesting to witness firsthand!)

Which house would you be in? [Harry Potter]

SO CONFLICTED. Whenever I take House tests I always alternate between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. (I feel like outwardly I might be a Hufflepuff, but inwardly a Ravenclaw?) So maybe I’m a Huffleclaw? Ravenpuff? 

Which faction would you be in? [Divergent]

It’s quiz time again! Apparently I’m Divergent, even though I really though I would be placed in Erudite.

What would be your daemon [Northern Lights]

I’ve always wanted a daemon! According to this quiz, mine is a snow leopard!

Thanks again to Fran for this really fun tag!

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




Desert Island Discs Tag

Today I answer the age-old question: What would you bring if you were trapped on an island alone? This Desert Island Discs Tag was created by Zuky @ BookBum. Thanks so much to Marta @ The Book Mermaid for tagging me!!

You are cast away onto a remote island:

  • You can bring 5 albums, what are they?
  • You can bring ONE book (not including The Bible (or other appropriate religious texts) or The Complete Works of Shakespeare, as they are already provided and NO SERIES), what ONE book is it?
  • You can have one luxury item (it has to be inanimate and can’t help you escape the island), what is it?

Walk the Moon by Walk the Moon

I’ve loved Walk the Moon since the release of their debut album when I was in high school. I distinctly remember hearing “Anna Sun” play on the radio while driving home from work one day and thinking: I need to look this band up! Favorite songs of mine are “Anna Sun,” “Tightrope,” and “Jenny.”

Gone Now by Bleachers

This album is a recent favorite of mine. I started listened to Bleachers early this past summer and was immediately captivated by their catchy melodies, brilliant lyrics, and contagious energy. Favorite songs of mine are “Don’t Take the Money,” “Let’s Get Married,” and “Dream of Mickey Mantle.”

The Dance by Fleetwood Mac

I’m adding this album to my list mostly for the nostalgia factor. My parents (especially my mom) used to play Stevie Nicks all the time when I was younger, so listening to this album always makes me think of my childhood. Favorite songs of mine include “Dreams,” “Landslide,” and “Everywhere.”

Illuminations by Josh Groban

Josh Groban has been one of my favorite singers since I was in middle school, so it’s a given he’s included in this list. His music would be perfect for when I need to forget about the stress of being stuck on a deserted island! Favorites of mine from this beautiful album are “If I Walk Away,” “Love Only Knows,” and “Você Existe Em Mim.”

x Infinity by Watsky

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve probably notice that I talk about Watsky a lot. He’s an amazing artist (both in regard to music and writing) and I listened to this album on loop during my commute countless times this past summer. Favorite songs of mine are “Tiny Glowing Screens, Pt. 3,” “Little Slice,” and “Don’t Be Nice.”

This might sound strange, but the first book that immediately popped into my mind when I thought of this question was The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. Usually I’m not a huge fan of middle books in trilogies; however, The Two Towers is definitely an exception. For some reason this has always been my favorite book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I think the Ents have something to do with it!). I also have huge nostalgic attachment towards this book because it reminds me when I was younger. (Is most of this list based on nostalgia? YES.)

For my bonus luxury item, I would choose to bring a photo album. I love looking at old photos of friends, family, and happy memories. Having a photo album on a deserted island would be such a comfort!

What would you bring on a deserted island? What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-human Characters

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic highlights characters that share specific qualities. This could be literally anything under the sun: gender, race, location, beliefs, names, magical powers, etc. In no particular order, here are ten great books with non-human characters: 

What are your favorite books with non-human characters? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



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!



Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: For Outdoorsy Bookworms

Happy Tuesday!! The lovely bloggers behind The Broke and the Bookish are back with their weekly TTT themes and we’re starting off with a great one. Since today’s topic is open-ended, I’ve decided to share my Top Ten Book Recommendations for Outdoorsy Bookworms. My love for camping, hiking, and spending time in the mountains tends to be reflected in the books I read. Whether you love quality time in the great outdoors or simply like to read about it from the comfort of your reading nook, here are ten books for the outdoorsy bookworm:

Are you outdoorsy? What are your favorite books about the outdoors? What are your thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!