The Book I’m Most Indebted to & The Ultimate Game of Thrones Book Tag

the ultimate game of thrones tag

Hello, fellow book junkies! It never ceases to amaze me how creative book bloggers keep coming up with all these fun book tags. Here’s a clever one created by our friendly neighborhood book lover, Orang-utan Librarian.

Speaking of Game of Thrones. . . yes, it was  tragic, but who thinks the Hodor thing might’ve been a bit on the hokey side? Alrighty, now on to the tag. . .

Rules:

  1. Mention the creator Orang-utan Librarian.
  2. Answer all the questions
  3. Tag people and keep it going!

we do not sow

“We do not sow”- A book you would not be willing to invest in.

I have zero interest in reading Fifty Shades of Grey.

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fire and blood

“Fire and blood”- A book that produced strong emotions in you.

The First Time She Drowned swept me away with beautiful writing then haunted me for days. Strong emotions? Definitely!

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winter is coming

“Winter is coming”- Your favorite winter read

Victorian or Regency era novels by authors like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens are made to be read beside crackling fires on wintry days.

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family duty honour

“Family. Duty. Honour.”- A book about strong family ties

In If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Mia’s family is like a port in the storm. Speaking of If I Stay, have you seen the movie adaptation with Chloe Grace Moritz ?  Apparently, it was released in 2014, but I never got a chance to see it.

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growing strong

“Growing strong”- A book you had low expectations of but that grew on you.

This is a tough question to answer because I have high expectations of all the books I read. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t invest the time in reading them. However, if I haaaad to choose a book I had low expectations about but that grew on me, I’d pick Wool by Hugh Howey. I chose this book purely because Howey´s literary agent, Kristin Nelson, is someone I want to query someday, and I wanted to be able to say I read a book by one of her clients. Wool turned out to be a good read!

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ours is the fury

“Ours is the fury”- A book that made you furious.

Usually sadness or fear–not anger–are the negative emotions a book might evoke in me. But, come to think of it, there was a foul, betraying character in V.E. Schwab’s Vicious who made me really angry.

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unbowed unbent unbroken

“Unbowed. Unbent.Unbroken.”- A book you have unwavering devotion to

I have an unwavering devotion to A Darker Shade of Magic because it introduced me to my favorite writer, V.E. Schwab. I have two copies, one for reading and one that’s been signed by the author. *heart flutters*

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hear me roar

“A Lannister always pays his debts”- A book you feel indebted to

Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall is the book that made me fall in love with YA literature. I probably would’ve found my way to YA eventually, but Before I Fall was my “gateway book,”so I owe it a great debt.

–Eve Messenger

I Tag:

Lila @ The Bookkeeper’s Secrets

Annalisse @ Hopeful Reads

Brittany @ The Grisha Lieutenant

Michelle, Books and Movie Addict

Rae @ Bookmark Chronicles

Shannon @ Clockword Bibliophile

 

Summer @ XingSings

Blaise @ The Book Boulevard

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Reply Like No One’s Watching (Writing Tag) #amwriting

giantbook

 

Yay, I get to do a writing tag and answer questions thanks to my new writing friend, G. L. “Gwynne” Jackson. Gwynne has a lot of writing knowledge and offers great advice. I hope you get a chance to check out her blog.

G.L. Jackson’s Questions:

 1. It’s the old stranded on a desert island question! Which three books do you take with you? 

  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare because it will keep me occupied on the island for a good long while.  According to Goodreads, The Complete Works of Shakespeare is 1,745 pages long. Amazon says 2,016 (there you go exaggerating, Amazon). This book must weigh a ton. It’s probably what sank my boat.
  • Moby-Dick so I will finally finish it.
  • Whatever book comes floating my way. I like to be surprised.

2. Which author or authors would you cite as your inspiration? V.E. Schwab and Lauren Oliver.

3. What are some of your other creative pursuits beyond writing? Does blogging count? With a full-time job, part-time job, family to raise, and books to read, I’m afraid I don’t have time for other creative pursuits, but I used to be a songwriter.

 4. Tell me about the last TV show you binge-watched. What did you think? Sense8. I liked it!

 5. How did you get your start in writing?  I’ve had several “starts” in writing. In 1st grade, I wrote my first story (see exciting recap below). After college, I attended writing workshops where I learned a lot about craft. Then the “start” that finally took was an inspiring conversation with a friend. 

6. Do you remember the first story you wrote? Can you recap it? Umm, yes. A busy butterfly flies around to all the flowers and trees. A big wind comes, bringing with it a flying Christmas tree. I don’t remember what happens after that.

 7. Fast-forward 60 years into the future. What does society look like to you? (This is a big question, so feel free to narrow it down as you like.) I like to believe the human race figures things out and that the future is beautiful.

8. What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure genre to read? Thriller with a spicy sex scene.

9. Do you consider yourself to be an extrovert or an introvert?An introvert with decent acting skills.

10. What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to aspiring writers?Don’t believe the “tortured artist” myth. Do whatever you must to keep writing fun.

Tag, You’re It:

Let’s kick off this list off with three writing Kelly’s, shall we?

Kelly Deeny

Kelly Miles

Kelly F. Barr

Melanie Noell Bernard

Elena Johansen

Alyia J. Helms

Nicolette Elzie

Jennifer F. Santucci

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog and Twitter in your post.
2. Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
3. Nominate up to 10 other bloggers or Twitter followers
4. Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.

Eve Messenger’s Questions:

  1. What are three things you do really well as a writer?
  2. When you daydream about “making it” as a writer, what do you visualize?
  3. Do you have a regular writing routine? If so, when?
  4. Dogs or cats?
  5. What’s directly to the left of where you’re sitting right now?
  6. When do most of your plot ideas come to you? In bed, on walks, in the shower, while driving, when reading other books?
  7. What’s your most recent writing breakthrough?
  8. Are you able to write in noisy environments?
  9. Have you ever attended a book signing event for an author you admire? If so, what was it like?
  10. Are you better at coming up with titles or elevator pitches?

 

 

 

What’s Your Favorite Thing about Goodreads?

man staring excitedly at computer screen

Carolyn @ A Hundred Thousand Stories recently wrote a hilarious post about the dark underbelly of Goodreads called 10 Thoughts a Goodreads User Has. It made me laugh and also got me thinking about what I enjoy most about Goodreads.

Do you use Goodreads? If so, what are some of your favorite things about it?

I recently chatted with a fellow book junkie who says she never uses Goodreads, which surprised me. I’m definitely a Goodreads devotee, though I’ve barely scratched the surface of all its features–the reason for that is Lack Of Time. I wish I had more time to even write reviews. At some point I think it would be a blast to start categorizing books I’ve read into special shelves. I’d also like to get more involved in the Goodreads reading community but, yeah, to date have a sum total of about 11 friends.

WANT TO READ – For sure, my favorite thing about Goodreads is being able to click “want to read,” thus adding promising books to my TBR.

UPDATE READING PROGRESS – Oh, and I like publicly updating my reading progress (though I have no idea why this is important to me).

COMPARE BOOKS – I also love this feature I recently discovered (go ahead and laugh, Goodreads veterans) where I get to compare my reading lists/ratings with authors I follow. When I did this with Lauren Oliver, our ratings on books we’ve both read (around 15) matched 100%. No wonder Lauren is one of my favorite writers. (Incidentally, Neil Gaiman and I have zero books in common.)

COMMUNITY REVIEWS – Another thing I really enjoy about Goodreads is checking out other readers’ reviews. There are some cuh-razy readers out there and, yes, some of the reviews are very, very harsh. Strangely–even though I’m a writer–I don’t know that I’m totally averse to the ridiculously mean reviews. Admittedly, even a single one-star review would be terrible for new writers with only a handful of reviews because it would kill their book’s overall rating. Still, maybe I’m wrong, but I suspect there are some ringers out there, too, as in authors with tons of friends or die-hard fans who post 5-star reviews before they’ve even read the book. Why not also have the one-stars at the other end of the spectrum? As a book lover, it’s interesting to browse all the different reviews, both good and bad, and try to suss out whether or not I might like a particular book. Yeah, reading other people’s reviews is definitely my next favorite thing about Goodreads.

–Eve Messenger

‘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

YA Books – Recent, Current, and Upcoming Reads

Today I’m feeling especially aware of the BIG CRUSH I have on novels, and November is turning out to be a particularly good month–every read is like striking gold. For this, I am grateful to book bloggers and their excellent recommendations.

RECENTLY READ: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
This book. The first few chapters of Vanishing Girls did not at all prepare me for what was to come. Oh, me of little faith. This is Lauren Oliver, remember, Eve? Your possibly-new-favorite author.

 CURRENTLY READING: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
When researching literary agents and the kinds of YA manuscripts they’re looking for (in preparation for the day when one of my novels is FINALLY ready to query), I often read that agents are looking for “voice-y” novels. “Voice-y,” I get it, but then along comes Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and now I really get it. Simon has SUCH a voice. He is REAL. With his wry wit and honesty about himself, Simon is so relatable.

I’m only 55 pages in, but so far this story has a compelling premise. Simon is gay and has yet to come out of the closet, but he shares his secrets in email communications with a boy who goes by the alias Blue. Blue attends Simon’s same high school, but they’ve never revealed their true identities to one another, so with every male high school student that’s introduced, you (and Simon) wonder if he might be Blue. I also can’t help but wonder if maybe Blue isn’t really who he claims to be, and I love Simon so much already that I’m afraid he’s going to be disappointed.

ABOUT TO READ: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
At last, my first Patrick Ness novel!

Vanishing Girls and Good Advice

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Thank you, Lauren Oliver, for posting this on Twitter today. With twelve excellent published novels under her belt, Lauren knows what she’s talking about. I will write and not let doubt stand in my way!

Another thing: I just finished reading Lauren Oliver’s Vanishing Girls, a novel that blew my mind. It’s difficult to properly review Vanishing Girls without giving away spoilers, so I’ll just say it’s not what you expect, and you will feel compelled to re-read the story. Trust me.

— Eve Messenger