The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Lately I’ve been browsing Pinterest and found this little book tag. It sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

(On a side note, how often do you use Pinterest? I can forget about it for months then get in daily finding good stuff.)

1. Ebook or physical book?

Physical. I can concentrate better than on my phone or iPad. I’d like to get a simple ereader one day, you know like a paperwhite or a simple touch that looks like a page instead of a computer screen. That’d be awesome.

2. Paperback or hardback?

Both. Paperback for reading/carrying around. Hardback for collection (preferably.)

3. Online or in-store shopping?

In-store, because I like to browse. Online you kinda have to know what you’re shopping for.

4. Trilogies or series?

Trilogy, because they’re shorter and I don’t have the patience for long series anymore.

5. Heroes or villains?

Heroes.

6. A book you want everyone to read?

Never Let Me Go, because I still think about it sometimes.

7. Recommend an underrated book.

The Serafina series. It gets a high rating on Goodreads but it seems few people know absolutely it. Go read them, awesome new-ish children’s series.

8. The last baby you finished?

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn.

9. The last baby you bought?

Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day

10. Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

Piece of paper…usually have a bookmark around.

11. Used books: yes or no?

Yes as long as they’re gently used.

12. Top 3 favorite genres?

Realistic, historical, fantasy. Young adult isn’t a genre people, it’s a target audience (annoys me when they say YA is a genre), but I do read some books intended for young adults.

13. Borrow or buy?

Both.

14. Characters or plot?

Both depends on what I can focus on. Preferably both in one book.

15. Long or short books?

Short-ish.

16. Long or short chapters?

Short usually

17. Name the first 3 books you can think of.

Harry Potter, American Dirt, My Dark Vanessa

18. Books that make you laugh or cry?

Don’t do either much but Beyond the Point made me want to cry so much. A remarkable book.

19. Our world or fictional world?

Ours.

20. Audiobooks: yes or no?

I want to say yes but I never finished one all the way through.

21. Ever judge a book by its cover?

Well yeah, it happens even though you’re not supposed to.

22. Book to movie or book to tv adaptations?

Tv has been popular but it depends on how long the book is.

23. Movie or tv show you preferred to the book?

Jurassic Park and The Book Thief.

24. Stand alone or series?

Stand alone these days.

New Books.

One thing that I’ve always found interesting about book blogs and BookTube and even bookstagram is the people always seem to know what books are getting published in the next year. In the very least, they know what books are coming out in the next month.

I don’t have that kind of mentality.

Sometimes, if I’m interested in a series or author, I’ll look up when the next book will come out. Other than that, I don’t have a clue what is coming out until I see a bunch of people talk about it or it’s in the news. It’s just weird to me that people know what’s being published in the upcoming year.

Sure, I can probably google it or get on Goodreads and look up newly published books in the Lists section but I don’t. I must sound like a terrible reader for admitting that but there it is. If I was a serious book blogger, I’d probably have to force myself to actually do some research to find the latest books, purchase the books at full price, read them, and THEN review them. But I don’t do that.

Because I can’t afford to purchase brand new books all the time. Plus there’s a trillion other books that I need to catch up on, which probably doesn’t bode well for me as a potential book reviewer, but at least I’m enjoying myself for what it is.

I should also mention that I like to browse the new/bestselling books at stores to get a feel for what’s popular. It’s not as easy to do these days for obvious (and not so obvious) reasons. It was already hard to keep up with books and now it’s even harder.

I feel like I’m complaining now, but it’s been on my mind and I wanted to make a post of it.

What’s new in your world?

Leaving

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Write about a character leaving something, or someone, they love.

She woke just before dawn. The darkness pulsated against her eyes, but she kept her eyes open as her surroundings gradually lightened. What she must do, had to happen; sooner, rather than later. If she didn’t, she’d never have the courage to do so again. 

In the murky-dark light, she rose, gathering the remaining items she needed into her knapsack beside her bed. One last glance and she darted out the room, into the hall, and down the stores. Her hand on the doorknob, she paused and looked around. It was just another place to take up space until she made enough for the next place and yet…

This place felt more like home than any other. Her roommate Dani seemed so loving and open; taking her in as a complete stranger and making her a part of the family. There were others, of course, that came in and out. But she was leaving them. Just as she’d always done.

She almost turned around, back to the little room no more than a closet. This would do. This could be home. 

A restlessness tugged in her soul and the doorknob turned. As much love as she had for this place that was more like hers than any others, she somehow couldn’t bear to be here any longer.

She slipped out of the house and left without another glance.

Begin

Begin with yourself. Look at yourself, how you are, what you dream of, what you want. Start there, and start small.

Begin with what you love. Read your romance novels, your horror novels, your contemporary fiction, your classics. Listen to your classical music, your pop, hip hop, rock. Play your sports, run your races, climb your walls.

Write those stories that you wish to write.

It doesn’t have to be big, but at least start small in a place where you feel safe. Then keep going. Keep reaching for the next handhold, even if it seems a bit out of reach. You don’t know if you’ll grab it if you don’t try.

15 Books Set in Ohio

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So I’m from Ohio, and surprisingly, I haven’t seen or read many books from Ohio. Curious to see what kinds of books pop up set in my home state, I googled “books set in Ohio.”

The following list is pulled from a couple different places in the top search categories. Perhaps you and I will read them sometime.

  1. The Outsider by Stephen King
  2. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valez
  3. The Devil All the Time by Ray Pollock
  4. Winesbeg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  5. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  6. Ohio by Stephen Markley
  7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (one I actually read, a good read but the sequels aren’t as much)
  8. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  9. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  10. Indignation by Philip Roth
  11. The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton (another great novel, haven’t read it in decades, need to read it again)
  12. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  13. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  14. “…And Ladies of the Club” by Helen Hoover
  15. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Couple of links I grabbed from: http://www.bookglow.net/must-read-books-set-in-ohio/ & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Novels_set_in_Ohio

Some of these I knew of and others I didn’t or forgot about. I wish there were more books set in Ohio, it really is an interesting place to write about.

Thoughts on: Divergent by Veronica Roth

One of my favorite dystopian trilogies is Divergent by Veronica Roth. I love the world that Tris lives in; I find it interesting that people are divided into different factions based on their strongest trait.

But the best book in the trilogy (aside from the first one, of course) is Allegiant. When I first started reading it, I was a bit annoyed because the author suddenly switched to writing between two different perspectives. I mean, why write from one character’s viewpoint for two whole books and then suddenly have various viewpoints? But once I got into the book, I was over it and immersed into the story that I was waiting a long time to finish.

When I reached the end, I was shocked by its revelation. I was upset of course, because I grew to love Tobias and Tris, yet at the same time, I found it to be fitting. The world revealed its obsession with creating a better world through genetics (best I can describe it without revealing the plot) and Tris was willing to do what was necessary to save the world.

A lot of people had issues with this book. I didn’t realize that until many years later. They didn’t like the sudden shifting perspective and they didn’t like the revelations at the end. I thought it was good. In the end, Roth stayed true to her character of her characters and let them follow their instincts, even if it meant a lot of sadness and anger. It’s like in real life, there are dangerous jobs out there that most people don’t want to do, but someone has to do it and people are there doing it because it’s necessary and it’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make. That’s how I saw it.

I wonder if it’s because a lot of it’s because people expect happy endings in YA novels? I like happy endings occasionally, but sometimes young people want to read books about topics that they’re going through and not all those topics are happy. To explore subjects and emotions in a safe, fictional world helps young people figure out they’re not alone and become more resilient.

Don’t Read The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman

I was going to write this earlier in the week, but I didn’t due to other distractions in my life. But I’m going to write about it now.

Please don’t read The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman.

And here’s why:

First of all, let me say that when I saw this on display in Barnes and Noble, I was intrigued. If you haven’t been around on the Internet, there’s something called “Missing 411” where people focus on and talk about mysterious disappearances of people in the wilderness and in particular the national parks of America. This book talks about these different disappearances, but continues back to one particular story about a young man named Jacob who went missing in a national park in Washington State. I was interested in reading about Jacob’s story, the events leading to his disappearance, his character, and just reading about the circumstances of missing people and national parks and what people do about it.

Well…I didn’t exactly get what I was hoping for.

For starters, the book keeps jumping back and forth between Jacob’s story and other stories of missing people in national parks. Sometimes it even goes back and forth between family conversations and the above mentioned topics. Which would have been find, but it felt very disjointed.

And to add cream to the frustration crop, Billman keeps bringing up the topic of Bigfoot and how this “creature” might be involved in disappearances. That alone was starting to make me not want to finish the book.

Then I started reading other reviews of the book and I found some more juicy information. It turns out that Billman never contacted any of the family and friends of Jacob to tell them that he was writing a book about their beloved family member/friend, whether to interview them for the book or even let them know that the book was being written, much less ask permission to use their names in the book.

According to friends and family members, the facts about Jacob were distorted or completely wrong. For example, Billman continuously mentions that Jacob had mental problems and had issues at the nursing home he worked at. Jacob never had mental problems or depression and was very, very close to those in his life. He loved his job and the staff and residents were absolutely devastated by his disappearance into the wilderness. Everyone wanted him to be found safely.

With that being said, I completely shut down the book. I didn’t need to know anymore. Who would just do that, to be honest? He’s definitely not a Krakauer, a man who is dry and meticulous in his writing but at least you know he researches for his book and cites sources. In an age where everyone wants to see where you got your information from, Billman failed beyond miserably.

So…don’t read this book. I beg you. If you’re interested in missing cases, read something from a more reputable writer. I feel sad that I even let this book pass through my hands. Don’t let it happen to you.

21 Books on My To Read Shelf

As always, I’m constantly adding books to my “to read” shelf. I haven’t finished any other books on my to read shelf. Or what I already half. And yet…I keep  adding to it because that’s what I do.

So, here are 21 of the latest books I added to my “to read” shelf:

  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  2. Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlene
  3. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  4. Malorie by Josh Malerman
  5. Thou Shall Not Be a Jerk: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging Politics by Eugene Cho
  6. Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth by Adam Frank
  7. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of the Lost World by Stephen Brussatte
  8. She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer
  9. The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
  10. Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson
  11. The Moon Within by Aida Salazaar
  12. Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
  13. Pie in the Sky by Remi Lay
  14. The Forgotten Girl by India Hill
  15. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
  16. Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega
  17. The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
  18. Sincerely, Harriety by Sarah Winifred Searle
  19. Sheets by Brenna Thummler
  20. Unnatural Causes by Richard Shepherd
  21. Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

10 Books That Feature Dogs.

I love dogs. I love books. I especially love books about dogs. I wish I read more of them. They make me so warm and fuzzy inside.

Here are some books that feature dogs:

  1. Marley & Me by John Grogan
  2. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  3. Old Yeller by Fred Gibson
  4. Where the Red Feen Grows by Wilson Rawls
  5. White Fang by Jack London
  6. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  7. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Weoblewski
  9. Dog Stories by James Herriot
  10. My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

I’m a little unsure of the Story of Edgar Sawtelle. It has dogs in it and the main character works with them, but I wouldn’t call them the center of the book. It’s a good story so I put it on there. I wouldn’t read it again though, for other reasons.

Science Fiction Classics I Need to Read

sky space dark galaxy
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I’ve mentioned before that I don’t read science fiction books a lot. I’m not into science and to read about futuristic science turns me off for some reason. However, I do want to read some more science fiction, particularly the classics, just so I know how science fiction became so popular and why people love it so much. Even if I don’t understand it.

  1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick
  2. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  3. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  6. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert
  8. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  9. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  11. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  12. The Stand by Stephen King (not quite sure if this one’s fully in scifi or fantasy, but it’s definitely in that section, I think)
  13. Contact by Carl Sagan
  14. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  15. Foundation by Isaac Asimov

What science fiction books do you consider to be a classic?