weekend reads

Weekend Reads #64: Answers to Your Questions

A couple weeks ago, I shared the wonderful news that I now have over 800 subscribers to my blog and that I’d celebrate by doing a Q&A. Well, now I’m here to answer the questions you all asked.

I never thought I’d have so many people subscribed to my blog, but I’m happy for it and I do appreciate you all following along with me here, reading and sharing my posts, and tagging me in things. You all have helped to make this hobby enjoyable.

The first questions were from Liz at Cover to Cover, who asked:

If you owned a bookshop, what would you call it and what would it look like inside (apart from the bookshelves of course, get creative 😉)?

Ha! Well, if my fervent wish to work in a bookstore some day doesn’t work out, then I guess I will have to open my own. It will be a small shop and quite cozy inside but a little quirky too. I’d call it Journeys and it would be painted in sea green so when you enter, you’d feel like you were at sea.

The shop would have an air of mystery about it and there’d be lots of odd art and sculptures on the walls, almost as if they’re growing out of the walls, so that whenever you enter the shop, wherever you look, you’d see something you’d never noticed before. There would be coffee, but I’ll mostly serve herbal tea and there would be cushy sofas so comfortable that you could pass the whole day reading in them.

Name your favorite classic book.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. It’s the first classic novel I read and immediately loved. I love the story; I love how it’s written, poetic and rhythmic; I love the strong imagery; and I love the characters, who have remained with me though it has been a couple years since I last read this book. I admired Janie and TeaCake was a sweetheart.

If the world came to an end and you could only save one book, which book and why?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Gosh Liz! Such hard questions. Well, being superstitious and a bit religious and all, if the world was ending, I’d be scared shitless and grab my Bible and run. But if I had time to think about it, then I’d probably grab all my Harry Potter books, or just the fourth book if the one-book rule is enforced, in addition to my Bible. Lol!

Next was Liam at Hey Ashers, who asked:

What is a book that severely disappointed you, and how exactly would you have improved it (assuming you magically transformed into its writer or editor)? I’d love to hear as many gritty details as you care to share!

air-awakens

Lol! Well, I can’t share much gritty details since that book is one I DNF’d — Air Awakens by Elise Kova, a young-adult fantasy book. I thought I would love it but after a few pages in, I was too annoyed by the protagonist and how the story is written to continue. The story was interesting at first and the protagonist gave off a Hermione vibe so I was happy, but she quickly declined from there becoming very indecisive. There were some inconsistencies, such as a character being referred to a boy at first and then later as man which made very confused. I think I gave up then. So if I could magically transform it, I would tighten up the story a bit, have it edited to maintain consistency in how characters are described, and make the protagonist a bit more confident (though it’s possible that she gains more confidence in the pages I didn’t bother reading).

Megan at Book Slayer Reads popped in and asked:

What is your favorite part of blogging?

Being able to totally indulge in something I love: reading and talking about books. Blogging is just a tool I use to further indulge in my love of books and connect with people who share a similar interest.

Based on a recent read she enjoyed, the Orang-utan Librarian asked:

Which book do your wish had never ended?

Bloomsbury’s September 2014 cover by Jonny Duddle.

I have two. The first, of course, is the original Harry Potter story. Sure, J.K. Rowling keeps writing random tidbits about the Harry Potter world, but I’d like a definite story. By the way, does Hogwarts have graduations? If so, I wonder what the ceremonies are like.

The Night Circus

The next is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I NEED MORE!! I want to know how the ahh…new circus owners are keeping up the circus. I just want to be in that world once more.

Shadow Scale

Okay, I have three books, actually, and the third is the Seraphina duology by Rachel Hartman because there’s SOOO much potential for additional stories in that world. So much!

That’s it.🙂

Vicky at Books & Strips then asked:

How do you find time to interact and create meaningful friendships here?

It is pretty difficult to keep up with blog posts sometimes, but I try to make time every so often to check out new posts listed on my WordPress reader. If I have time, I pop in almost everyday to read new posts. Otherwise, I read them when I see them. I follow a lot of people so it’s often hard to read everyone’s posts. Reading them on my phone is usually best, though that makes it hard to comment sometimes if the blog isn’t hosted on WordPress. I think the best way to make meaningful connections on here is by showing interest in a person’s blog by commenting, sharing, and tagging their posts and returning often to do so. It’s easier if the person shares your interests.

Sara Latourneau dropped by and asked:

If you could be any animal, what would you choose? Why?

panda baby

I love this question!😀 I would be a panda. They’re my favorite animals because they are so clumsy. They’re always falling or rolling somewhere.

peregrine-falcon

…But I’d also like to be a falcon just so I have the freedom to fly wherever I want. I chose the falcon because I’ve been a little obsessed with them ever since I saw a peregrine falcon staring at me as I ran for the train to get to work. I’d never before seen a falcon or any such bird in my area before, much less so close to the busy train station. I didn’t know what sort of bird it was but when I got to work, the first thing I saw on my desk was a picture of the bird on an envelop in the stack of mail on my desk. I thought that was weird and not a coincidence. Obviously I was being stalked by the falcon.

Do you like any books that seemed to have slipped under other people’s radars? If so, pick one and tell us why you’d recommend it.

Why is the Penis Shaped Like That

I sure do! I never hear anyone talk about Jesse Bering’s book Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? And Other Reflections on Being Human and it’s such a good read. It’s nonfiction, but it’s accessible to the general reader and pretty funny too, and it discusses a variety of topics based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender. I think everyone should read it and discover why the penis is shaped as it is. It’s a pretty interesting answer, from an evolutionary point of view. Bering is an evolutionary psychologist who has written several articles and writes a column in Scientific American MIND (love that magazine!).

What is your favorite way of relaxing after a long or stressful day?

It depends on whether or not I have a headache. If I don’t have a headache, I head to a bookstore or museum. Being surrounded by my favorite things help me to feel better. But if I have a headache, then I head home and relax with a cup of tea.

If I’ve been home all day and am stressed, then I might go for a walk or get a cup of tea and play Sims or watch a TV show/movie. I hardly read at home these days so I hardly do so anymore when stressed.

And then Diana at A Haven for Book Lovers came by and said:

I notice that you like diverse books. What is it that draws you to these books and why do you think diversity in literature is important?

Well, consciously reading diversely is something I recently (within the past few years) started doing. Before that, I’d yearn to see myself or my culture represented in the media I consume but didn’t make the effort to branch out and seek it so I try to do so now. What draws me to those books is the chance to learn about different places and people and the cultures that surround me. Also, I’m curious to see if I’ll ever come across a story of which I can say “That’s so me.” Soledad by Angie Cruz gave me that vibe, but not fully.

Why do I think diversity in literature is important? For the same reasons I stated above about what draws me to diverse books: to learn about others and to see yourself and know you matter too.

Those are all the questions I received. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to congratulate and/or leave a question. I really appreciate it!😀

Since this is a Weekend Reads post, here are the books I’m currently reading:

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

I’m still buddy-reading this with Emily at Embuhlee liest. I am enjoying it, but all the characters — except Brashen, Paragon, and Amber — really annoy me; like Malta. If a kid like that grew up in my family, she’d get some whopping for mouthing off like that to her elders. And Kyle, gah!!! I hope he gets eaten by a serpent. Sometimes I like Althea, sometimes I don’t. I’ve been mad at Ronica since the funeral and Keffria needs to grow a spine (I think I’m more pissed at her because we are a bit similar). I don’t mind Kennit much despite him being an ass and I wonder what those migrating serpents are up to. They seem kinda high.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I’m listening to it on audio book and it’s such fun. Great job Jim Dale! It’s still my least liked book of the series because Harry is such an ass in this one. Doesn’t Hogwarts have a counselor? Harry obviously has anger issues and needs to talk to someone.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I have an ARC copy that I plan to start reading this weekend since the book will be published in January.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

I got distracted by other books so I’ll try to make some progress in it this weekend.

That’s all. What are you reading this weekend?

What’s On Your Nightstand: November 2016

Here I write my first post on the first of December, heralding the start of Blogmas, an event I learned of on Embuhlee liest where one publishes a blog post every day for the month of December. I’m joining in. Can I do it? …Maybe.

It’s not an enthusiastic reply or a strong commitment, but it’s the best I can do at the moment because there’s no telling how busy my life will get in December. All plans are undecided at the moment, even where Christmas dinner will be.

What's On Your Nightstand

To kick off this event, I’ve decided to start with a wrap-up of November. In other words, a What’s on Your Nightstand post, which is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next.

November was a weird month but I was glad for it, the month not the weirdness, because November means holidays and I needed a break. I welcomed the Thanksgiving holiday and went a bit overboard on my Black Friday shopping. Now I look forward to Christmas and New Year’s Day, though with a bit of trepidation because that would mean a new year has come and I haven’t yet done all I wanted to do this year (silly worries, I know).

In my reading life, I missed out on two bookish events that took place in November: Nonfiction November and Tome Topple. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to participate in either and was swamped with the bunch of books I’d already started reading by then. Maybe I will participate next year…or not. I don’t do well with these reading events.

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Family of Books Tag

I enjoy doing book tags. Yes, it’s true. And it’s that time of year when there are many, many tags to fit the drastic change in season and the family-centered holidays that pop up around this time of year. This and the most recent tag I did would have been great leading up to Thanksgiving, but since I discovered them after that holiday, I’m posting them late.

This one is the Family of Books Tag, where we’re given bookish questions that match certain family members. It was created by booktuber Acacia Ives.

Parent: A book that hugs you when you need it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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Shelf Control #4: “Whisper Hollow” by Chis Cander

shelf-controlShelf Control is a weekly meme created by Lisa at Book Shelf Fantasies where bloggers feature books they own and would like read. It’s a way for readers to take stock of what they own and get excited about the books on their shelves and on their devices.

This cover of this week’s book made me assume it’s a horror novel, but it seems more like a mystery with a hint of horror.


My pick for the week:

Whisper HollowTitle: Whisper Hollow

Author: Chris Cander

Genre: Historical; thriller

Published: 2015

Length: 400

Goodreads overview:

Set in a small coal-mining town, a debut novel full of secrets, love, betrayal, and suspicious accidents, where Catholicism casts a long shadow and two courageous women make choices that will challenge our own moral convictions.

One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug-of-war with her twin, when her sister is killed. Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God. Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings. Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves. Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel. When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra’s long-buried secrets, it’s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits—an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation.  Whisper Hollow

Where I got it: From a pile of free books at work.

When I got it: 2015

Why I want to read it: I picked it up because I love the cover. I don’t think I read the synopsis when I took the book, but I assumed it would be psychological horror and that I would like it. I need to try it to see if that’s true.

“Girls in Pants” by Ann Brashares

girls-in-pantsThe Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series is shaping up to be one of my favorites. It’s one of few young-adult contemporary books I like.

Quick overview:

It’s the third summer of the sisterhood and the girls — Carmen, Bee, Lena, Tibby — are preparing to go to college. They’ve all decided on schools that are a few miles from each other and are looking forward to new experiences, but are worried about what they’ll leave behind.

In this installment, Bee is dealing with boy trouble at a soccer camp where she’s a coach, Lena is sneaking to take art classes after her father sees her drawing a naked dude, Carmen is babysitting Lena’s grandma while plotting against her mom (as always) and trying to catch the eye of a cute guy, and Tibby is hiding from her problems and trying to hold onto her old life before moving on to a new one.  Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood

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booksgiving-tag

Booksgiving Tag

I recently discovered the Booksgiving Tag, which was created by booktuber SophiesSeries, and decided to do it to add a bit of the Thanksgiving celebration to my blog. My family doesn’t traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving, but we usually join in the fanfare surrounding the holiday, plus we love the excuse to eat and be merry with family and friends.

I’m thankful for many things this year and I feel truly blessed despite my complaints that life isn’t going as I want it to. Still, I’m pretty lucky and grateful for all the opportunities I have. And, regarding this blog, I’m thankful that I am able to blog, that I’ve stuck to it, and that I’ve gained many followers on here and have discovered many new bloggers and booktubers who often introduce me to new books and other media.

Thank you all for sticking with my blog!🙂

The Wrangler/Savior
What character would be most likely to chase after a turkey and what character would be most likely to save it?

For this, I’ll choose characters from my favorite anime (is it an anime?) Avatar: The Last Airbender. The turkey saver would be Aang because he loves animals and is a vegetarian, but the turkey chaser would be Sokka because he’s always up to something crazy and whenever there are animals about that can be eaten, he usually chases them. That’s how he ended up like this:

sokka-gif

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Here I am with another book tag to distract myself from the many, MANY Black Friday deals that are tempting me to spend money I don’t have. I consider myself tagged by Liam at Hey Ashers, whose blog you should check out (and I highly recommend his snarky chapter-by-chapter recap of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.). The tag was created by Kirsty @ Kirsty and the Cat Read.

Before I get to the tag, I must admit that I’m not a huge Beauty and the Beast fan. I enjoyed the original Disney movie, but didn’t care much for the story. I’m more of a Cinderella girl. However, I am looking forward to the new Beauty and the Beast movie, starring Hermione Granger Emma Watson, that’s supposed to drop next year.

From the preview, it seems that the story is mostly the same as the original Disney movie, but I’m curious to see if any major changes were made. Also, I’m looking forward to Chip, who’s my favorite character in the story. By the way, if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is:

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