Seasons of Book Blogging, a Book for Every Month #amreading

“THE SEASONS OF BOOK BLOGGING” TAG

RULES:
Thank the creator and the person who tagged you.
Begin with the month in which you were tagged and move forward from there!
State the best gift you’ve ever been given after you answer the question for your birthday month.
Tag whomever you like when you’re finished… or else you’ll be ‘it’ forever.
Have fun, of course!
The Seasons of Book Blogging Tag was created by Jordyn @ J. Bookish. I really enjoyed this book tag and would like to thank the one and only Beth @ betwixt-these-pages for tagging me. If you’re looking for edgy, well-written, off-the-beaten-path books to read, be sure to check out her blog.

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December is a time when friends and families come together and celebrate. Name one book you would give as a gift.

Lightning by Dean Koontz. I love this story so much. I mean, seriously, just check out this blurb:

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying.

Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. But just as lightning illuminates, darkness always follows close behind.

lightning by dean koontz

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January begins a new year. Name a resolution you made this year and if you’ve kept it or not!

My resolution this year was to write more novels and to read more books. I did both. 😀

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February is the month for relationships. Name your favorite book relationship: romantic, platonic, or familial, your choice!

Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons is so “charmingly” written. I loved the relationships between the three generations of “passionate, willful Southern women.”

Birthday Bonus: The best gift I’ve ever been given was. . . This is a little embarrassing but when I was a little girl I really liked baby dolls. One Christmas I got exactly the one I’d been wishing for and toted her all around with me after that.

baby doll

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March is the month for luck and new beginnings. Name a book or series that you would like to re-experience as if you’d never read it.

 You know how sometimes a book–or, in this case, a series of books– comes along when you’re in exactly the right frame of mind for it? That’s how Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was for me. Those books brought me so much joy that, after reading them, I went on to listen to the BBC radio broadcast, and that was really entertaining, too (definitely better than the movie).

Hitchhiker's Guide.jpg

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April is a spectacularly ordinary month. Name a book that was so over-hyped that it just could not live up to your expectations.
Well, I had high hopes for 17 & Gone, but I’m sorry to say it didn’t live up to my expectations.

17 & gone copy.jpg

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May is the month when the flowers start to bloom. Name a book that was a pleasant surprise to you.

I’ve never really jumped at stories about dragons, but Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina presented dragons in such an interesting, unique way that by the end I thought they were pretty glorious. It didn’t hurt that the story was really well written with an element of music running through it.

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June is the time to take a break. Name a book or genre that you like to read when you just need to check out.

I’ll just say right now that I am not a re-reader. However, a book that completely transported me to a different world was Patrick Ness’ The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Knife of Never Letting Go copy.jpg

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July is the time to celebrate your independence! Name a book that made you see fireworks. (Figuratively. Please don’t light books on fire.)

In concept and execution, Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall is the perfect book for me. If Before I Fall were a person, I would marry it.

bookcover_home_before_i_fall

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August is the hottest month of the year. Pick an up-and-coming author that you think will be the next hottest thing.

I have a lot more 2015 debut YA authors’ books to read before I can decide who’s the hottest up-and-comer, but for now my guess is the talented and gorgeous Sabaa Tahir.

sabaa tahir copy.jpg

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September is time for students to go back to school! Pick a book you read for school that you actually enjoyed.

I found something to love about pretty much every book I read for school, but if I have to pick a favorite I’ll say Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (which has, in my humble opinion, the truest-to-the-book movie adaptation ever made.)

To Kill a Mockingbird copy.jpg

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October is time to celebrate Halloween! Pick one character that you would love to dress up as for Halloween.

Who wouldn’t love to dress as the baddest assassin in town, Calaena Sardothien from Sara J. Maas’ Throne of Glass?

Throne of Glass copy.jpg

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November is the month when we’re reminded of how much we have to be thankful for. Choose one book you’re grateful for having read and give a shout-out to the person who recommended it!

I am so glad I read Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda . I don’t remember how I stumbled across it, so I’m not sure who to thank, but Simon vs. the HSA was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I loved Simon’s voice and am puzzled by how this heartwarming book is not on more people’s favorites lists.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda cover

If this book tag is something you’d like to try, consider yourself tagged!

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“How I Read” Book Tag #amreading

Thank you to Beth @ betwixt-the-pages for this tag AND for her fabulous book blog, which is an endless source of fantastic recommendations.

How do you find out about new books to read?

Most of the books I gleefully add to my TBR come from book blogs. I’m especially likely to try out a book that’s rated all over the place with five stars—case in point, the book I’m reading now: Throne of Glass. I’m only 50 pages in and already loving it.

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By the way, does anyone else think this depiction of Celaena looks a lot like author Sarah J. Maas?

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How did you get into reading?

My dad and his parents were big readers, so I just remember always having books around. Growing up as an only child, books made excellent companions.

How have your tastes in books changed as you got older?

This may seem counterintuitive, but as I’ve grown older I’ve gotten more into young adult fiction. I went from the classics, to science fiction (because that’s what my dad’s shelves were filled with), to horror and suspense, to literary, upmarket, and women’s fiction, to YA.

How often do you buy books?

I buy books when they’re not available at my local library, maybe three times a month.

How did you get into reviewing books?

I’m not one to shy away from expressing my opinion. This is doubly true of books and movies.

How do you react when you don’t like the end of a book?

This is me when I don’t like the ending of a book because it’s badly written:

chris-rock-huh-wtf

This is me when I don’t like the ending of a book because it didn’t go the way I hoped it would:giphy

How often do you take a sneak peek at the ending to see if there is a happy ending?

Never, ever. The thrill of discovery is one of the most delicious things about reading a book. Not only will I never peek at the ending, I’ll even cover upcoming paragraphs with my hand if I sense something big is about to be revealed.

Your Turn!

It was kind of fun to think about how I read. If you’d like to do the same, please consider yourself tagged.

‘Tis the Season Book Tag #amreading

Oh, the “comfort and joy” this holiday book tag by RichardDenney brought me. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. A big thank you to Rachel @ One Little Bookshelf for tagging me.

 1. Do you have a favorite winter read?

I’m pretty sure I don’t have a favorite winter read, but reading in the wintertime makes me think of the classics, so I’ll say Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

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2. Find a book with blue on the cover!

I just finished reading the first two books in Lauren Oliver’s YA dystopian trilogy, Delirium, and look forward to reading the last one, Requiem, whose UK paperback edition has a lovely blue cover. (Incidentally, the second book in this trilogy contains a character named “Blue”–which happens to be my favorite color!)

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3. Find a book you’d use as the star on a Christmas tree!

There are so many pretty books to choose from. I’ve always liked the cover of Leslye Walton’s The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, but perhaps it’s not quite right for a Christmas tree. Tahereh Mafi’s Ignite Me cover is also gorgeous, but it would be disconcerting to have an eye staring back at me from the Christmas tree, so I choose. . . The One by Keira Cass. An angelic-looking girl in a gown of white roses would be perfect.

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4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation!

Fjerda, Matthias’ homeland, from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. I imagine it looks something like this.

norway fjerda snowy landscape
Source: Pal Sundsoy / dreamstime

Since we’re on the subject of Six of Crows, I want to share this fabulous poster by artist Kevin Wada. Leigh Bardugo gave it out as a promotional item at her early book signings, and I wish I had one!

Out of all the novels I read this year, Six of Crows grew on me the most AFTER reading it. Does that ever happen to you?

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5. Pick one fictional character you’d take with you on your winter vacation!

I’d pick Sam Roth from Maggie Stievfater’s Shiver. Sam is handsome, musical, loves to read, AND he’s a werewolf.

Source: Wolf Children (Father) fan art by Blitzy-Arts

(I highly recommend the film  this fan art is based on–
Mamoru Hosada’s spectacular and tear-jerking  Wolf Children.)_______________________________________

6. Name one book on your wish list this year!

I’m going to cheat a bit here–well, more than a bit. I already own many of the books at the top of my wish list, and there are lots of others available at my (awesome) local library, so the “one book” on my wish list this year is. . . a Kindle! Oh, how preferable that would be to reading books on my little iPhone 5.

Which color do you like best? I’d probably go for basic black. _______________________________________

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat, & movie?

This one is so easy. My favorite holiday movie is Elf! It’s one of those rare movies I can watch over and over again and love just as much each time. In fact, I enjoy Elf so much that–rather than writing about my favorite holiday drink and treat– I will write the name of this movie twice more.

Elf.

Elf.

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This ‘Tis the Season book tag was so much fun to do that I want to spread the cheer to everyone on the following “nice list.”

Melanie Noell Bernard

Blondie’s Bookshelf

The Grisha Lieutenant

Blaise @ The Book Boulevard

Jennifer F. Santucci

Stefanie @ yourdaughtersbookshelf

betwixt-these-pages

Josie’s Book Corner

Annika Perry’s Writing Blog

Kelly Deeny

Mackenzie Bates

The Bookkeeper’s Secrets

Donna @ Seattle Book Mama

Symone Books

Trisha Ann @ The Bookgasm

Sissy Lu @ Book Savvy Reviews

Stephanie’s Book Reviews

bibliobeth

Stacey @ Pretty Books

#RockMyTBR Challenge #amreading

Hello, fellow book junkies! I know it’s early to be saying this, but I am getting so excited for 2016. Not only will it be the year that I start querying my own YA novels, it will also be filled with reading many, many great new books. I’m stunned, amazed and grateful for all the talented new literary voices emerging in the world of young adult fiction (Becky Albertalli, I’m looking at you). I want to read every single one of those new books and also get to the older ones I’ve been thinking about for so long. (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, will I ever know you?) Speaking of which…my pile of TBR books is getting dangerously high.

That is why I’m especially grateful for Sarah K, The Book Traveler’s, fabulous new “Rock My TBR” challenge. (Also worth noting is that Sarah K creates the most beautiful book trailers you’ve ever seen.)

The Rock My TBR Challenge is to…

  • Read a minimum of 1 book per month you already own (published book). This challenge is totally what YOU make of it! You can do 5 books a month, 10, WHATEVER! Anything you accomplish is fantastic.
  • Buddy Reads:  Make a list! If you can, create a list of books you own and want to read then post it, tweet it, video it and try to find others who want to read the same book. Buddy reading is so much fun! It’s great having other people to fangirl/fanboy with while you’re currently reading. This is optional but I think it’d be fun!

Here’s  more info in case you’re interested.

This is a list of books I own that I’d like to read in 2016. I’m shooting for reading two a month (in addition to others I’ll surely buy or borrow along the way). If there are any books on this list that you would also like to read, please drop me a line so we can read them together, kind of like having a workout partner to stay motivated.

The Diviners by Libby Bray – read Jan. 2016

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – read Dec. 2015

The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner – read Jan. 2016

The Future of Us by Jay Asher – read Jan. 2016

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith –buddy read with Jan and Beth @ betwixt-the-pages  Feb. 2016

 A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab –read Feb. 2016

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle – read Feb. 2016

Angelfall by Susan Ee – read Feb. 2016

Casquette Girls by Alys Arden – read March 2016

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld – read April 2016

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black – read May 2016

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire Northread June 2016

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray-read June 2016

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman-read July 2016

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia-read September 2016

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks

Mistborn by Brian Sanderson – planNED to buddy read with Sarah K @ The YA Book Traveler mid-Feb. 2016 but just not feeling it. 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Gambit by C.L. Denault

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

How about you? What are some books you’d really like to get around to reading in 2016?

 

300th Follower Celebration

Blow the party horns, toss the confetti, my blog just hit 300 followers. In the three and a half months since launching this blog (with a post that I later deleted–there’s a learning curve, okay?), I’ve learned far more than I ever imagined I would. I’m grateful to everyone I’ve crossed paths with: to the readers who’ve visited and commented and to the writers who’ve entertained and enlightened with their own wonderful blogs about writing, reading, and life.

On this special day, I would like to recognize…

My 300th Follower!
Thank you, redheadedbooklover, for taking my blog over the top. You seem like a genuinely nice person, and I really like the books you’ve reviewed.

Smart, Savvy Book Bloggers
As always, Josie’s Book Corner, in whose reviews I’ve found a treasure trove of YA books.

Carolyn at A Hundred Thousand Stories, who went above and beyond to help find a particular kind of book I was looking for a while back.

Fabulous New Writer Friends
During the often solitary pursuit of writing, it’s a comfort and an inspiration to be able to connect with fellow writers.

As always, familyrulesbyplainjane, a genuinely kind person and an eloquent writer.

Kristina Stanley, who’s taking the publishing world by storm.

Jennifer F. Santucci, a gifted writer with great ideas.

Wallace Cass, funny and really talented.

Dale E. Funk, who genuinely writes from the heart.