Tags

20 Questions Book Tag | 2

Who doesn’t love a good game of Twenty Questions? Fortunately, the 20 Questions Book Tag is a lot more interesting than just “yes” or “no” answers. Thanks so much to Ash and Lo @ Windowsill Books for tagging me!

1. HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A BOOK SERIES?

It definitely depends on the series itself, but I think around four books is generally a good rule of thumb. For instance, I think the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater works really well as four books, but more than that would make the series feel like it was dragging on forever. When I was younger I used to love reading really long series, but lately I’ve been appreciating the closure of a good standalone.

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I love cliffhangers in the middle of series or at the end of chapters when you know that your questions will soon be answered; however, I dislike them at the end of series or books when there are countless important questions left unsolved.

3. HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?

100 percent paperback! I hate how expensive, heavy, and awkward to read hardcover books can be. When given the choice, I will always choose paperback.

4. FAVORITE BOOK?

Ah yes, the most impossible question. Usually my answer to this horrid inquiry is The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien because it holds such a nostalgic place in my heart. It’s one that I never get tired of rereading!

5. LEAST FAVORITE BOOK?

Another really difficult question! It takes a lot for me to really hate a book, but I think I’m going to have to go with Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. I started reading it several years ago and disliked it so much that I couldn’t even finish it!

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

NO. NO. NO.

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T FINISH?

Last term I tried listening to the audio book of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead because one of my friends read this series when she was younger and said she was obsessed with it back then. The protagonist was so annoying that I literally could not bring myself to listen to the last few hours of it.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman. I started reading this while traveling during my spring break and haven’t found the time to finish it now that term has started up again in Oxford. Maybe I’ll finally finish it on my eight-hour flight home? So far I’m really enjoying it!

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

Lately I’ve been telling so many people to read anything and everything by Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I feel like these two writers are on a lot of TBR lists out there, but are not often prioritized. They’re such brilliant writers!

10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*

According to Goodreads, the oldest book I’ve read is the Epic of Gilgamesh.

11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? *PUBLICATION DATE*

It’s hard to tell on Goodreads what the most recently published book I’ve read is, so I’m just going to throw Turtles All the Way Down by John Green out there since it was just published on October 10, 2017.

12. FAVORITE AUTHOR?

Since I have many favorite authors and I tend to be quite indecisive in general, here are a bunch of authors that I love: John Green, J.R.R. Tolkien, Roald Dahl, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, E.L. Konigsburg, Frederick Douglass….the list goes on and on!

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

I try to borrow books from libraries and fellow bookworms as much as possible because it’s less wasteful and definitely cheaper; however, there’s nothing quite like a great bookshop haul!

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE?

I was so excited to read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir because so many people highly recommended it; however, I think the hype monster made my expectations a bit too high and I ended up being rather disappointed with it.

15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?

Definitely bookmarks! Not only are they fun to collect, but they’re so much more easy to use than constantly having to fold down pages.

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS REREAD?

Any Lord of the Rings book, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg… I just LOVE rereading books in general!!

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE HEARING MUSIC?

Yes! The only thing that really distracts me from reading is when I can distinctly hear a single conversation nearby.

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POV’S?

It really depends on the novel, but generally I think books with multiple perspectives or story lines are really interesting.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

Once again, it depends on the book. Usually I end up reading books for fun over the course of multiple days and books for school in one sitting (so much required reading, so little time!).

20. A BOOK YOU’VE READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER?

SO. MANY. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but some recent cover-buys for me were a few of the Penguin Modern editions that recently came out. They’re just so pretty!

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Advertisements
Monthly Wrap-Up

DECEMBER 2017 | Wrap-Up

December is… done?! Where did this month (and YEAR) go?!?! Decembers always tend to be whirlwinds of celebrations, seeing friends and family, and frantically trying to wrap everything up before the new year comes around once again. In case you’re curious, here’s what I was up to in December:

thank-you-14

In December I read a total of 17 books (HOW?! I honestly have no idea):

  1. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
  2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  3. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  4. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  5. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
  6. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  7. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  8. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  9. The Hamlet by William Faulkner
  10. Woman and Labor by Olive Schreiner
  11. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros
  12. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  13. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison
  14. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  15. Memorial by Alice Oswald
  16. Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
  17. Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells

I read a lot of fantastic books in December, which makes choosing a favorite quite difficult (as per usual). However, the book I’ve been thinking the most about this past month is definitely Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (which you can read my review of here). This novel exceeded all of my expectations and proved that not everything falls prey to the hype monster one hundred percent of the time!

thank-you-15

For some reason it simultaneously feels like so much and nothing at all happened in December. In actuality, I guess a lot did occur: I flew back home from Oxford, transitioned back to living in the States, visited Wheaton, spent time with my family and friends, saw Watsky (!!!), celebrated Christmas, and read, read, read. It’s been strange being back home after living in Oxford for a few months, but I’ve really enjoyed simply spending time at home. I have plenty of prep reading to get through before term starts again, but I’ve also made sure to carve out some time to read for fun. I missed reading for pleasure so much!!

This month I also finished the third season of Fargo (SO ANGRY) and watched the new Star Wars movie, which I really enjoyed. (PORGS, people!)

thank-you-16

Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month (there are so many!!):

How was your month of December? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green | Review

How do I even begin this review of John Green’s long-awaited novel Turtles All the Way Down? If ever a book was at risk to be threatened by high expectations and hype, then this would certainly be the one. Like many avid readers of Green’s works, I was both eager and anxious to read this latest release. I couldn’t help but wonder how it would compare to his other novels and his writing would still strike chords with me as it did when I first read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska back in middle school. More than anything, I was afraid of being disappointed. My inner Nerdfighter desperately wanted John Green to remain the gifted storyteller that I have always viewed him as being.

Ah, Holly of the past. Shouldn’t you have learned by now not to doubt John Green? As per usual, I needn’t have worried: I ended up reading Turtles All the Way Down in a single afternoon because I was so caught up in the story.

My worries that I would be less able to relate to characters who are still in high school crumbled upon reading the very first page. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, I think we’re all still a bit like our high school selves on the inside— at the very least, I can easily put myself back in my sixteen-year-old self’s shoes (made even more easy by the fact that they’re the same size as the ones I wear now) and remember feeling intensely awkward, stressed, insecure, and confused. Although my life is significantly different from that of Aza, the protagonist, I found myself quickly empathizing with her many conflicting emotions.

People often talk about how the young adult genre is apparently silly and shameful for adults to read. In her now infamous Slate article “Against YA,” Ruth Graham denounces YA literature by claiming that  “the enjoyment of reading this stuff has to do with escapism, instant gratification, and nostalgia.” These motivations for reading YA literature– or any genre of literature, for that matter– may exist, but I would argue that they are certainly not the only reasons adults have for reading books like Turtles All the Way Down. Reading about characters who lively wholly different lifestyles requires empathy, a skill that some readers clearly must not possess if they cannot see the immense value in reading YA literature. In a novel such as Turtles in which the protagonist struggles with overwhelming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder while simultaneously navigating her tumultuous teenage years, empathy is an essential key to understanding and growing from the reading experience.

Once that personal hurdle was crossed, the next aspect of the novel that struck me was John Green’s telltale writing style. Let me just say thatadore his writing style no matter how over-the-top, pretentious, and cheesy it may be at times. Whenever someone points out grandiose Augustus-Waters-esque dialogue to me, I can’t help but insist that that is precisely the point. I would certainly hope (and firmly believe) that John Green doesn’t actually think or expect all teenagers to speak like they’re in some sort of dramatic production. I think this somewhat pompous speech is Green’s way of emphasizing that teenagers are fully capable of being intelligent, intellectual, thoughtful people despite the media’s often negative portrayal of them. Take the following passage for example:

“We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

Is this cheesy? Yes. Is it true? Also yes. This is why I admire Green as a writer: he takes the time to delve into the little truths that so many writers skip over because they are supposedly too obvious, petty, or insignificant to be mentioned. As a fellow meticulous bookworm, I appreciate Green’s attention to detail. 

Of course, I could not write a sufficient review of Turtles without applauding Green’s intense, genuine, remarkable representation of mental health issues. Aza, like the writer who created her, lives with OCD. While I am fortunate to not also struggle with this particular disorder, I have experienced plenty of anxiety. I cannot begin to describe how refreshing it was to read about a character who is not the “perfectly imperfect” girl we all for some reason aspire to be; instead, Aza is flawed in a way that most of us will never be able to understand from our own personal experiences. At times Green’s descriptions of Aza’s obsessive spirals were nearly anxiety-inducing in themselves, which is a testament to the raw honesty of this novel.

Overall, Turtles All the Way Down made me laugh, think, and remember why I continue to be an avid reader of John Green’s books. If you’re searching for a novel that will simultaneously captivate you with its characters and plot and move you with its genuine truth, then look no further!

What are your thoughts on Turtles All the Way Down? Do you have a favorite John Green book? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Jingle All the Way Book Tag

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I can’t believe it’s finally here! To celebrate I’m going to answer some festive questions in the Jingle All the Way Book Tag, which was originally created by The Left Handed Book Lover. Thanks so much to Dani @ Perspective of a Writer for tagging me!!

JINGLE BELLS: A fun, lighthearted book

The Princess Bride by William Goldman? I love this entertaining, hilarious, captivating adventure story, especially the snarky narrator. I highly recommend the movie as well (this is one of the few cases in which the movie rivals the book for me!).

I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS: A book with a scandalous romance

I don’t know if the relationships in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights could necessarily be described as particularly “romantic” or “scandalous” per say, but they are certainly memorable!

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: A book you are determined to reread

I always say that My Ántonia by Willa Cather is one of my absolute favorite books, but I’ve only read it once. I adore rereading books, so I definitely want to read this one again in 2018!

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN: Your most anticipated release of 2017

Definitely Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I was hesitant at first because I was afraid of being disappointed by all of the hype surrounding his new release, but it actually exceeded all of my expectations.

SILENT NIGHT: A beautiful book that everyone knows

I’m not sure I would say that everyone knows the story of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, but everyone definitely should. The lyrical writing in this novel is stunning and the story itself is incredibly captivating.

WINTER WONDERLAND: A book with great world-building

Ah, there’s so many to choose from! I think that I’ll have to go with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. This science fiction series has some of the most interesting world-building I’ve ever read… come to think of it, I should definitely finish this series soon!

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN: An under-hyped book that is so great you want to tell everyone about it 

I absolutely adored The Rook by Daniel O’Malley when I read it a few years ago but know very few people who actually talk about it. It’s fantastic! So good! Read it! Please!

I SAW THREE SHIPS: Favorite trilogy

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This has been my favorite trilogy for a decade now and I can’t see that changing anytime soon! Unlike with most trilogies, my favorite book in LOTR is actually The Two Towers, the middle one.

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: A book with an underdog protagonist who rises up

Holes by Louis Sachar. How could you not want to root for poor Stanley Yelnats as he tries to survive his time at Camp Green Lake.

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS: A book that helped you get through troubling times

SO. MANY. I especially love reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien whenever I’m stressed or just need to be cheered up. As I explained recently in another book tag I definitely identify with Bilbo.

Thanks again to Dani for tagging me! I hope you all have a lovely holiday filled with family, friends, delicious food, carols, and fresh snow!

What are your answers to these questions? What’s your favorite holiday tradition? How was Christmas for you this year? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

20 Questions Book Tag

It’s time for another tag! I’ve never done the 20 Questions Book Tag before, so this is an especially exciting one for me. Thanks so much to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for tagging me!

1. How many books are too many books in a book series? 

I think it really depends on the series itself, but generally it takes an exceptionally great story to extend past the length of a trilogy in my opinion. One of my biggest pet peeves is when series drag on for books and books after the core of the story has been told.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers? 

I love them! There’s nothing better than ending on a chapter with a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading until the very last page.

3. Hardcopy or paperback?

Definitely paperback! Not only are they cheaper to buy, but they’re also more comfortable to hold and easier to transport.

4. Favorite book?

This is such a difficult question! I think I’m going to have to go with The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien since it’s my favorite book of my favorite series.

5. Your least favorite book? 

This is also a difficult question! I usually don’t give up on books once I start reading them, but one book that I just couldn’t get through is Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. It was painfully cheesy!

6. Love triangles, yes or no? 

NO. I think love triangles are a really lazy way to create some sort of semblance of a plot.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

I don’t often put down books once I’ve started reading them, so the last one I didn’t finish was probably Dairy Queen a few years ago.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Unfortunately, it’s taking me a long time to read because other books keep distracting me. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend!

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Probably How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky because I talk about it all the time.

10. The oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date) 

The Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates back to 2000 BC.

11. The newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, which was published on October 10, 2017.

12. Favorite author?

Another really difficult question! I have so many favorite authors, but at the moment I would have to go with William Faulkner. He’s such a fascinating writer!

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Ideally: buying books. Realistically: borrowing books.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love? 

Anything by William Shakespeare. As you know if you’ve read this post, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Bard despite the fact that everyone else seems to be.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

I prefer using bookmarks, though I have been known to dog-ear my own books to mark important quotes that I want to come back to. (I would never dog-ear someone else’s book, though!)

16. A book you can always reread?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I love it even more every time I come back to it.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

Yes! As long as it’s a song I already know and not something completely new. I’m usually pretty good at blocking out noise while I read.

18. One POV or multiple POV? (POV’ = Points of view)

I love reading books with multiple POVs as long as it’s done well. Otherwise, I would much prefer just sticking to one POV.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days? 

I LOVE reading books in one sittings if they’re short enough, but the vast majority of the books I read take me longer than a single day.

20. One book you read because of the cover.

So many! (I’m an awful impulse buyer in bookshops.) I remember buying The Silent History by Eli Horowitz, Kevin Moffett, and Matthew Derby because I thought the cover was so cool. It ended up being an okay novel, but not one that I would likely reread.

Thanks again to Jenna 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

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

Happy Tuesday!! The end of 2017 is just around the corner (!!!), meaning it’s time to reflect on what I’ve read thus far this year. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme highlights the best books we’ve read in 2017, and fortunately I have plenty of fantastic texts to choose from. I’ve decided to limit my list to the books I read for the first time this year because there were many, many rereads thrown into the mix. Here are my favorite books of 2017 in the order that I read them:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

From my review: I bought a copy of Milk and Honey on a whim because I had heard a lot of great things about it. What I didn’t realize was that Rupi’s words would resonate so deeply with me and linger on in my mind long after I had read them. These poems are for anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not you’ve read or enjoyed poetry in the past. Rupi Kaur has written poetry for human nature.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

From my review: Reading this book felt like having the a random, hilarious, and well-spoken conversation with Watsky. How to Ruin Everything is definitely something I’ll be returning to in the future– for a laugh, for inspiration, and to be reminded that there’s nothing quite like the power of a good story.

The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

From my review: I was enthralled by this novel. Everything about it captivated me from the very first sentence to the very last word. In fact, I was enjoying it so much that I marked all of my favorite passages with sticky notes, only to realize halfway through that I would have to take them all out when I was finished (it was a library book).

Sartoris by William Faulkner

From my review: When I first started reading Sartoris I was so confused by the many Johns and Bayards that I actually created a character web or family tree of sorts in an attempt to keep them all straight in my mind. However, I thought this would be a much larger hindrance than it ended up being in the long run because the characters became more defined as I became more invested in the story. In fact, the links between the characters– both linguistically with names and in terms of their relationships and personalities– soon became my favorite aspect of this novel. Faulkner uses the Sartoris family to ask a fascinating question: Are these events caused by the fate of the family or a logical cause-and-effect reaction? In other words, are these people responsible for their actions or have they already been destined (or doomed)?

Matilda by Roald Dahl

From my review: I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

From my review: I enjoyed The Woman in White far more than I had initially expected to when I turned to the very first page. Collins’ meticulous attention to details and carefully developed characters make for an impressive, memorable, suspenseful, and thrilling story. I’m so thankful that this novel was on my required reading list for this term– sometimes they contain unexpected gems!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

From my review: As the facade fades away, the reader realizes that what appears to be a utopian world is actually a dystopian society masked in false promises and illusions. I love Brave New World for the way it makes you think about our own society and what we value in our lives today. It’s interesting to think about how this novel was first published in 1932 yet it’s still relevant almost a century later. To me, this endurance is the definition of a classic.

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

From my review: For me, the most challenging aspect of this novel was deciphering exactly what happened in the Sutpen family. Who married who? Who killed who? Who had children and who didn’t? Who is still alive? In what order did this all take place? These questions and many others remained at the forefront of my mind the entire time I was reading. There are so many characters, voices, and events– not to mention the fact that it’s not told in chronological order. It was fascinating and exciting to constantly learn new information; however, it also makes it much more confusing to read. I think this is a novel that would absolutely benefit from being reread in the future now that I have the basic plot in my mind.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Sneak peak of my upcoming review: Cain has done incredible work providing both introverts and extroverts with a guide as to the importance of being “quiet.” As an introvert, I constantly found myself nodding along with her ideas and examples, seeing myself accurately reflected in her words. If more teachers, employers, friends, and family members read Quiet, the world would be a brighter, more productive, less stress-inducing place for introverts everywhere.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I haven’t yet posted my review of John Green’s most recent novel, but rest assured that I enjoyed it immensely. The representation of mental health issues is incredible and I became invested in the characters almost immediately. You know a novel is great when you find yourself still thinking about it days later!

What are your favorite books of 2017? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter 2017 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! I think it’s now safe to say that winter is pretty much here, meaning that it’s time to start thinking about winter TBR lists. I’m awful at sticking to TBRs– especially since I have so much to read for course work already– but I would really love to read at least a few of the titles on my list while I’m home for winter break. I know for a fact that I definitely won’t be able to read all of these! Nevertheless, here are ten books that I would love to read this winter: 

What books are you hoping to read this winter? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

Location Book Tag

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week! Today I’m here with the Location Book Tag from ages ago (I was tagged in the summer, I think). Thanks so much to Charlotte Annelise for tagging me!!

1. You’re sat in a coffee shop trying to read when a group of excited six year olds come in with their parents and begin screaming in the play area. Which book can you push past the noise and lose yourself in?

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Not only is this book incredibly suspenseful and gripping, but it’s also such a fun story. I could block out any and all noise while reading this!

2. Your (rich) friends dare you to spend the night in a haunted house for an undisclosed but inevitably large sum of money. Which book do you bring to distract yourself with?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Imagine reading Frankenstein in such a spooky atmosphere! It’s kind of like the time I read Stephen King’s The Shining while staying at a lodge on a mountain in the wintertime…

3. Though the landscapes are beautiful, your delayed train journey is starting to drag. Which book do you take out?

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. While reading this book I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful landscape it must have taken place in.

4. It’s beach time! You have your family and friends around you and don’t want to miss out on the conversation too much but still want to read. Which book do you choose?

Probably something I’ve read before and loved, such as The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg. I’ve read this book so many times that I feel like I know it by heart at this point!

5. You’re backstage ready for your big emotional scene but the tears just won’t come. Which book do you get out to make you cry?

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. This collection of poetry is so emotional, raw, and honest that it’s bound to make me tear up at times.

6. You’re camping in the woods with your friends and you’re the first to wake up. Which book do you read under the early morning light?

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. This lovely story set in a magical woods would be perfect to read from a cozy sleeping bag in a tent.

7. You’ve had an amazing day on your solo trip but now that you’re back at the hotel, you’re starting to feel a little homesick. What do you read to feel less lonely?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This book always reminds me of my childhood and is sure to make me feel less homesick.

8. You’ve been invited for an interview for a place at a prestigious university. Which book do you lay flat on your knee to hide the cover while you wait?

Probably something Shakespeare that I feel like I should have read by now as an English major.

9. The book exchange stall at the library finally has the book you’ve wanted for so long, and you have a book in your bag that you’ve been dying to get rid of. Which do you give away, and which do you take?

I’d give away The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and I’d pick up Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

10. You were just browsing the children’s section of the library and boom, you’re hit with a sudden blast from the past. Which book have you found that you haven’t seen for years but that you used to love as a child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl. I loved this book SO MUCH when I was younger. Recently I reread it and it was everything I remembered and more. Roald Dahl is a brilliant storyteller!

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? 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

Tags

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is already half way over??? I’m still not used to how far along we are in the twenty-first century. Every time someone mentions the 90s my first thought is “Ah, yes, that decade ten years ago.” But that is NOT THE CASE and it’s kind of scary… Anyways, thanks so much to Inside My Library Mind for tagging me in this Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

Must we start with the most difficult question ever??? I’ve read so many great books this year that choosing just one is really hard, so I’m going to go with two: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky and Sartoris by William Faulkner. (Could you get two more opposite books??)

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

I actually don’t think I’ve read any sequels this year!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

When I heard that John Green was releasing a new book this fall I literally squealed in delight, surprise, and excitement. ANOTHER JOHN GREEN BOOK, PEOPLE. From what he’s shared about the basic premise of Turtles All the Way Down it promises to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, and story about adolescence, mental illness, and life. October can’t come soon enough!!!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’m honestly not very up to date with new releases for the second half of 2017, so I don’t think I have an answer to this question.

5. Biggest disappointment.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This was the first book I read (listened to, actually) in 2017 and I was so disappointed by it. I disagreed with many of her points and was frustrated by her tendency to focus on problems that were fairly tedious and insignificant compared with the more serious issues that some women have to deal with on a regular basis. The potential was there for this to be a great book, but in the end I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sartoris by William Faulkner. Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite Faulkner novel that I’ve read thus far. I had never heard of it before taking a closer look at the Faulkner section of my local library because usually people stick with his most well-known texts (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, etc.). Sartoris is under-rated, under-appreciated, and certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

E.M. Forster. I read his novel A Room with a View earlier this year and was absolutely enthralled by it. Not only is his writing beautiful, but the novel was incredibly thought-provoking and captivating. I look forward to reading more of his writing!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Vincent from On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Not only is Vincent incredibly musically gifted, but he’s also sweet, thoughtful, loyal, caring… what more could you want? This entire book is adorable and romantic in general– I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something really sweet, captivating, and heartwarming .

9. Newest favorite character.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

10. Book that made you cry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Though I didn’t physically cry while reading this poetry collection, I did feel emotional and sense tears welling up in my eyes at times. Rupi Kaur’s poetry is raw, honest, and beautiful. I highly recommend this collection!

11. Book that made you happy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I never read this book when I was a kid (are we sensing a trend here?) but I definitely wish I had because it’s SO FUN. I couldn’t help but smile all the way through this creative, hilarious, adorable book. Roald Dahl is the best! Also, now I really want to watch the movie adaptation directed by Wes Anderson. I’ve heard really great things about it!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky. I love everything about this cover design– the color, the simple design of handwriting on a solid background, and the way it’s messy but not overwhelmingly so. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve photographed this book (although looking at my bookstagram will give you a pretty good idea). This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, so I would highly recommend it!!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY. A novel I’m hoping to read by the end of the summer is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

Ahhh, there are so many!!! I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart ❤ For the sake of this tag, I’m going to give a shoutout to:

  • Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read. Not only do Shar and Shanti post thought-provoking, creative content on they’re blog, but they’re also both incredibly kind individuals. They leave the most thoughtful comments that always make me happy. If you haven’t checked out their blog, definitely do so!! ❤
  • Ariel Bissett. Ariel has been my favorite booktuber for YEARS. A smile immediately lights up my face every time I see that she has posted a new video because they always manage to brighten my day. I love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality and knack for creating content that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, creative, and entertaining.
  • Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel). I love her book blog, but I especially look forward to the photos she posts on bookstagram. They’re beautifully shot and always contain the most gorgeous editions of books. ❤

View this post on Instagram

How was your reading in the month of #may? Time for a #wrapup. – – 5⭐️ : The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (love the lyrical prose and choice of words) 5⭐️ : Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (loved minute observations of life in Russia & character sketches) 4.5⭐️ : The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (made me feel fortunate for medical advancements. Written in a stream of consciousness style) 4⭐️ : First Love by Gwendine Riley (imperfect lives and flawed characters told in minimal words) 4⭐️ : Lord Edgware dies by Agatha Christie (kept me on toes guessing the killer) 4⭐️ : The Muse by Jessie Burton ( moderate pace, predictable but enjoyable) 3.5⭐️ : Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (beautifully written story of a marriage between a young wife and older husband) 3.5⭐️ : Mr Tibbit's Catholic school (charming boarding school stories and nuances of headmasters) : : What was your favourite book of the month? : : #bookworm#maywrapup #thebooksatchelwrapup #coffee #booksbooksbooks #books

A post shared by Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel) on

I hope you’ve had a great first half of 2017 and that the second half is even better! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? How has your 2017 been so far? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY