My Good Reading Habits | Blog Tag

On Monday I was tagged by Siobhan @ Novelties to share my good reading habits in the My Good Reading Habits Tag. Since it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog tag and these posts can be a fun way for new blog followers to get to know me, I decided to do it!

From the outset, I wasn’t sure if I had many good reading habits. I’m not a very consistent reader or blogger, so I worried what kinds of things I could list. But then I realized that there are reasons for why I am the reader that I am, and I’m very happy with how reading fits into my life these days.

Rules

I prioritize reading books that I’ve owned for a long time. 

There’s nothing worse than owning a collection of books you never end up reading. I understand the appeal of surrounding yourself with books upon books, but I think seeing books sit neglected on your bookshelves never to be read is sad. It’s also sad to think about what I could’ve done with that money at this time instead!

I support second-hand bookstores and libraries.

It can be appealing to purchase books brand new, but I find that I can often find books I want in perfectly good condition at second-hand bookstores. It benefits small businesses and can still benefit authors by showing that there is an interest in their work.

This avenue is also great for if you want to protest a problematic author or publisher by putting your money in other people’s pockets.

When I review books, I’m fair to the author and readers who can appreciate the books even when I don’t.

While I love to read negative book reviews (which I don’t particularly find a crime), I can never bring myself to write them personally. I don’t take particular joy in shaming people who put time and effort into their books. In college I learned not to speculate about what goes into a work when I’m analyzing it, so I always assume there’s been some degree of love and/or pride.

I strongly believe books can hold different meaning for different people. I know that who I am as a reader has changed throughout my life. So when I read a book and then critique it, I try to share where I’m coming from so that people who read my reviews can decide for themselves if they might like a book or not.

I DNF books that I don’t like.

It can be painful, especially if it’s a book I purchased with my own money. But if I’m not liking a book, I will put it down. It’s not the easiest decision all the time, as I do try to see the positives to finishing books even if they aren’t doing anything for me personally. But I’m past that mad rush to devour any book in my sight just to add another tally to my Read in [Insert Year Here] list.

I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone but myself. And my reading enjoyment has improved.

Tag Time

Actually, it’s confession time. I’ve not been very good at keeping up with all the lovely blogs I follow lately. There’s a hand few of people who comment on almost every blog post I publish and make me feel so loved, even though I’m so inconsistent. I feel like I’m always tagging them when I do a tag!

So today (well, Tuesday) I decided to look through the blogs I’ve most recently followed to randomly select some bloggers I don’t interact with much at all yet. Yay for new friends!

Nicole & Isis | Anthony | Czai | Carolina | Krista & Dawlyn | Zuki | Dani

(If you are tagged and have no interest in this tag, no pressure!)

endnote

I really enjoyed thinking about how I read and what habits might qualify as “good,” so thanks again to Siobhan for tagging me and Ally for creating this tag! I feel like doing more discussion-based blog posts soon, and I got kernels of ideas from doing this post.

If you decide to do this tag, please do link back to this post so I get a ping and can go read yours. Alternatively, let me know in the comments what habits we share ^_^

Thank you for reading!
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The Liebster Award | Blog Tag

Last week I was tagged by Gerry @ The Book Nook UK for The Liebster Award. This award makes me feel really nostalgic, because it was one of the first I ever got nominated for back on my first blog in 2015. I’m amazed that it continues to circulate online and I’m thrilled to be considered for it again after so many years.

These were some pretty interesting questions to think about! I hope my answers were satisfactory, Gerry!


If you opened up a bookshop – what would it be called?

Interlude in Feathers

You’re writing a novel – what are your two main characters names and what kind of novel is it?

I’m not going to share actual names I’ve been using my novels! But here’s two I really love and just thought of, Amelia and Bo. It would be a family drama.

You wake up from a night of heavy drinking to find that you have a tattoo of a fictional character’s name tattooed on your bum. Whose name is it?

I do not drink heavily, but one answer that comes to mind is Woodstock. ^_^

You’re a wizard Harry book blogger. What familiar do you choose?

One of those bear-sized raccoons that wanders around in packs at night

You’re hosting dinner, which four guests (friends, family, famous or fictional) do you invite?

Howell Jenkins, Ginny Weasley, Nikolai Lantsov, and Kaz Brekker

What are you cooking them? Is this your signature dish?

I would cook them beef stir fry with mixed veggies and pineapple served over white rice. It is not a signature dish of mine, but it is something I used to order at a restaurant that discontinued it as a menu item years ago. Not sure why it came to mind just now…

There’s an orchard at the end of the road, one night you hear sobbing from it. Do you go and investigate? If you investigate, who’s there?

I go investigate if it’s not night-time yet and I have my phone handy and someone on call. I assume it’s a woman. Maybe someone who just escaped a potential kidnapping. I call 911 and stay nearby in case anyone else shows up.

Magic has happened and now you’re in the last movie that you watched. What movie is it and how do you fare in this new universe?

I just watched The Shape of Water (2017)! It’s a beautiful movie and world. I think I’d be fine. I could start a new life fairly easily in Baltimore of the 1950s. I feel it was a lot easier back then to make up new identities. I also think American industry was stronger back then, so it’d be easy to find work.

Alien abduction, werewolf bite, vampire attack. One is going to happen to you but lucky for you, you get to pick which one! Go for it and tell me which.

Vampire attack. I think it would hurt the least and be the least lonely. I also think it would be a lot easier to control vampiric urges than those of a werewolf. Alien abduction would be the worst for me. Mars Attacks! (1996) is hands down one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to be an alien’s science experiment!

Tell me what your perfect Sunday looks like.

Waking up by natural light before anyone else. Having my favorite breakfast tacos from a Mexican restaurant called Jalisco. It’s raining but bright outside. I’d participate in #WritersPatch at 10 a.m. CST and then work on my novel for a few hours, taking breaks for snacks, but otherwise doing exactly as I please ^_^

What plot of a book resembles your life or is most closest to your life?

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

End Note

Thanks for the tag, Gerry! As my mind has been so preoccupied lately, I didn’t feel that I could adequately come up with a list of questions to rival Gerry’s, so I’ve also opted not to tag anyone this weekend. If you would like to answer these fun questions yourself, feel free to do so and link back to Gerry and me so we can see your answers! ^_^

Let me know what you think in the comment section!

Thank you for reading!
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TBR Book Tag | Blog Tag

Last week I was tagged by Gerry @ The Book Nook UK to do the TBR Book Tag! Since I never really keep track of my TBR as listed on Goodreads, I thought this would be a really fun experience to share as I look through the books I’ve added to my “Want to Read” shelf.

Before I get started, I will say that I jump back and forth in between mentioning my physical TBR (books I already own and have access to) and my Goodreads TBR (which doesn’t exclusively list books I am passionate about reading), which are two very different things.

Keep reading to learn about the differences! ^_^

 TBR Book Tag 

How do you keep track of your TBR list?

I don’t keep track of my Goodreads TBR list very well. I don’t really consider my “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads as an accurate representation of a my TBR. I consider my true TBR the list of books that I actually own, namely the books I’ve spent my money on.

So on my main bookcase, I have one shelf at eye level were I most of my physical TBR is located. If I have any of my unread books on another shelf (for organizational purposes), I actually put a pink page marker on them so I can see at a glance what books I’ve not yet read.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Print! I don’t love reading eBooks, but I do buy them on occasion if I don’t like the book cover of a specific book or want to take advantage of a good Amazon deal. If it’s a book I think I will love, I have to have it in print form. I have the entire Throne of Glass series in eBook form because the when I first started the series, the prices of first two books were marked down.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’m a mood reader. I don’t request or get sent any ARCs so my reading choices at any given time are completely up to me and how I feel. I aim to read the books I’ve owned for the longest time but for whatever reason haven’t yet gotten around to. I also try to read books these days as soon as I purchase them.

A book that has been on your TBR the longest

Omitting books I that I’ve bought for past classes and still would like to read, it would have to be The Way of the Pilgrim by Helen Bacovcin. I bought it second-hand in high school after reading Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger. It’s a book that affects Franny in a major way in the novella, so I was really interested in reading it for myself.

It’s just never been a top priority for me ever. I don’t consider myself a very spiritual person, so I don’t know what to expect. Now that I’m thinking about it, however, I feel like giving it a try!

A book that you recently added to your TBR

I’m going to look to my Goodreads TBR list for this one and pick the one that most catches my eye right now. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee is one that stands out! I love contemporaries that are based on really unique premises. I also love when books are heavily influenced by or retellings of classics. I think it’s great when we can see how classics continue to be relevant today.

A book on your TBR list strictly because of its beautiful cover

This is hard! I don’t really add books to my TBR because I’m drawn to the cover. It’s usually the reverse; I’ll like the summary of a book but the book cover will put me off of purchasing it.

But if I must answer, I think The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill might be a more appealing cover to me than the actually story summary is. So it may be doomed to my Goodreads TBR! I don’t know yet!

the-surface-breaks

A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading

I try to keep my physical TBR devoid of books I don’t actually want to read. I have no problem unhauling a book if I can see no use to keeping it. If we’re talking specifically about my Goodreads TBR, though . . . maybe Art Matters by Neil Gaiman.

I’m not sure how much I would get from it personally, as I think I already value art pretty highly. It would most likely be one I need to find at a library or heavily discounted if I am to one day read it.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

I’m probably most excited for two books that come out next January! First, The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson (January 22, 2019). The first book Truly, Devious ended on a major cliffhanger so I’ve been pining for this sequel practically all year. Second, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (January 29, 2019). It will follow my favorite character from the Grisha trilogy, Nikolai after his trauma.

unpublishedTBR.png

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you

Oh, this one’s easy. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! I’ve been meaning to read it, I swear! I’ve just been sooo . . . scared I won’t like it! It’s been hyped so much. You might say I bought it as a paperback because I love the cover design far more than the American hardcover. I’m also worried I’ll love it and be forced to wait super long until Muse of Nightmares is out in paperback too!

A book on your TBR everyone recommends you

I don’t get a lot of recommendations out of the blue, but every time I mention Strange the Dreamer people tell me I need to read it!

A book on your TBR you’re very excited to read

So many . . . Because I haven’t mentioned it yet, Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. The series finale has been a long time coming. Even if I don’t end up being blown away by the ending, it will feel so satisfying to know how Aelin’s story ends.

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf

As of yesterday (9/21), there are 283 books on my “Want to Read” bookshelf.

tbr283

I tag:

tag, you're it!

 ☙ ❧ END NOTE ❧ ☙

I hope you liked getting a closer look at my TBR! Even though I’m not doing them on a monthly basis anymore, I still really love reading them and think they are a great thing to set. I think they can give you structure when you might need it, and they’re so much fun to think about.

Thank you for reading!
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The Unique Blogger Award | Blog Tag

Last week I was nominated for the The Unique Blogger Award by Sara @ The Bibliophagist. This is such a short and sweet little tag, I was happy to accept it and schedule it for this weekend. Especially once the week had passed and I realized I wouldn’t have a book review ready this week! I’m still reading Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, and I’m not sure how I’m going to review it yet.

It’s a bit deep but I don’t know how many people are interested in Native American literature, so I may save it for a mini-review post once I’ve read a few more books from my I-should-have-read these-for-class-but-did-not TBR shelf.

The Rules

  1. Share the link of the blogger who nominated you
  2. Answer their questions
  3. Share some love with the blogging community by nominating 8-12 people
  4. Ask three questions for your nominees

Three Questions from Sara

1. What’s your favorite quote from a book you’ve read this year?

Oh, there are so many in A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle, which I reviewed last month. It’s been years since I gave this book a reread and it was just as amazing as I remembered.

 It’s hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we’re left with a fistful of ashes.

I find this quote so moving because it kind of explains the type of grief I feel most of us can relate to feeling at some point in our lives, whether we’ve lost someone we love or are forced to part with something that brought us happiness. Change is hard, but inevitable and often necessary.

I find many of the ideas presented in A Ring of Endless Light in coincidental conversation with the other things I’ve read this year, including my current read, Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. A quote I find my mind going back to as I read it is:

 …things which don’t shift and grow are dead things. They are things the witchery people want. Witchery works to scare people, to make them fear growth.

This passage from Ceremony is about how the Indians fear changes in their culture. The protagonist Tayo is half-Indian, half-white and finds help post-WWII in a medicine man who, like him, is the child of mixed heritage who understands the world differently from Tayo’s fellow Laguna Indians.

2. What book would you love to see made into a movie or TV series?

I would’ve loved for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline to be made into a T.V. series. The first time I read that book, I stayed up all night reading it. I couldn’t put it down. And for weeks after, I was plotting the episodes-that-could-be in my head. I never really do that for books! The characters and storylines in the book could be so wonderfully portrayed in a binge-worthy T.V. series. The movie Spielberg made, while fun, was so different from the book, almost a completely different plot (necessary because of the time constraints).

3. If you could frame one book cover and hang it up in your house, which cover would it be?

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. It’s been forever since I read this book, but I’ve since fallen in love with Parks & Rec and admire Amy Poehler and her work to inspire women/girls so much. I also love the cover because of the hot-neon-pink words that I think sum up a beautiful motto for life that I could do better to remember.

Three Questions from Me

  1. What books have been your favorite and your least favorite this year so far?
  2. What is the strangest book you’ve ever read?
  3. If you could resurrect any dead book character, who would it be?

I Nominate:

E, My Narrative | Rose Petal Pages | Misty Book Space

End Note

I’m a bit behind on my blog plans for the month! I’ve enjoyed spending time with my mom these last couple of weeks before my Dad returns home from Israel. We’ve been Shopkicking a lot, because I have my eye on some new books that can’t justify buying right now while I’m looking for a job. I’m about a day or two away from a $25 gift card for Amazon so I may have a book haul to share at the end of the month. Fingers crossed!

Thank you for reading!
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Book Personality Challenge | Blog Tag

Last week I saw Sara @ The Bibliophagist complete this tag, and it looked like a lot of fun. Since I wanted to take the quiz anyway, I decided why not go ahead and make it a blog post. Looking down the tag chain, I see that neither of the previous bloggers were tagged themselves, so I see myself taking part in a proud line of blog tag lifters. <3

Want to do it?! Go on! Take it! I’m tagging no one on purpose today.

Guidelines

  1. Take the personality test at 16 Personalities (~12 minutes long)
  2. Take the questions listed below and answer them with your test results

Easy peasy.


#1 What is your MBTI personality type?

I am an idealistic Mediator (INFP, -A/-T).

According to my personality type, I act as a diplomat in social situations and am constantly on a path for improvement. This is so true, it’s not even funny. I’m always trying to keep myself from spiraling out of bounds on my quest for self-improvement and personal enlightenment. I feel like one of my greatest fears in life is having no goals and nothing to strive for.

#2 If you were a character in a book, what would be some of your character strengths and flaws?

I find these lists embarrassingly accurate, as I’ve found myself needing to work on my weaknesses. On a side note, I think I know why I love and identified with Vicky Austin so much as a kid!

Strengths:

  • Idealistic
  • Seeks & values harmony
  • Open-minded & flexible
  • Very creative
  • Passionate & energetic
  • Dedicated & hard-working

Weaknesses:

  • Too idealistic
  • Too altruistic (Note: Don’t really see myself as this to be honest!)
  • Impractical
  • Dislike dealing with data
  • Takes things personally
  • Difficult to get to know

#3 Do any authors share your personality type?

Yes, not surprisingly at all! William Shakespeare and J.R.R. Tolkien…To be honest, not some of my favs. I’ve not ever been able to get into their works. Nevertheless, I’m impressed by their accomplishments and am honored to be amongst them.

#4 Which fictional characters share your personality type?

Not terribly familiar with many of these works or these characters, unfortunately! From what little I do know about a handful them, I don’t see a very strong likeness.

#5 If you were a character in a book, what job would you have?

I feel like a lot of these jobs are for people far more selfless than I am, but I would still like to see myself work in academia. I’m still crossing my fingers that the whole writing thing works out, though!

One thing I will admit is that I’ve always found pleasure in helping others succeed, which is why I thought I might like to teach for a time. But I don’t think that I’d be happy or even all that great working in health care. I think I’d get in trouble. I’m not great with rude people…

#6 What personality type would complete your OTP?

According to this personality compatibility website, INFPs go well with ENFJ (“Protagonist”) and ENTJ (“Commander”) types. The rationale is that more extroverted people balance out the introverts’ shortcomings. I can see how this works, since most of my best friends in my life have been more extraverted, because they were willing to make the first move and open up. I’ve always noticed I struggled with introverted people similar to me in real life!

#7 Who are some fictional characters that would complete your OTP?

Honestly, I’m not super impressed with the sample characters provided in this quiz. I’m not very familiar with any of these movies/shows, nor do I have the interest in exploring them at the time. Elizabeth Bennet is interesting!

Protagonists:

Commanders:

THE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS (THAT I RECOGNIZED) ARE TOO TERRIFYING TO LIST. Instead, let it be known I would be compatible with the likes of Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, & Franklin D. Roosevelt.

End Note

This was a really fun challenge and I encourage anyone who wants to try it to give it a go. I feel like I’m not too surprised by my results. If anything, it reminds me to embrace my strengths to find what jobs and opportunities that would make me happy in life. Also, it reminds me that I need to try to open up more and keep my eyes open to the world around me so that I don’t end up isolated and alone forever and ever.

Normally I try to forecast what my next posts will be at the end of each post, but I’ve fallen a bit behind of my plans. I’m going to try to get my book review of City of the Beasts finished and up on the blog today so that’ll be next, but otherwise…It’s the end of the month! So expect a wrap up soon! I’ve been wanting to break out of my regular format, so we’ll see how that goes.

Thank you for reading!
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Stranger Things Book Tag

Stranger Book Tag

In celebration of the arrival of Season 2 of Stranger Things to Netflix, I decided I wanted to do a Stranger Things-themed book tag! I went out in search specifically for an existing tag with this name and my favorite was found here, but she did not link to the tag’s creator so I’m not sure from where it originally came. If you know, let me know in the comments and I will happily link to the original post.

Feel free to do this tag if you’d like and take the banner I created! I’m not tagging anyone specific as it’s a bit of an old tag, but if you do it feel free to link back to this post and let me know in the comments so I can go read yours ^_^

#1 The Vanishing of Will Beyers

The first book in a series that left you intrigued and slightly confused.

The-Queen-of-the-Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen | I loved this book and have read it twice, but I still remember the initial confusion about the setting of this novel. There’s a map but throughout the novel are hints that this story is set in some sort of distant future in which Harry Potter and modern medicine were lost…Oh, and there’s magic. Sounds crazy right?! It’s all explained in the second book, though.

#2 The Upside Down

A book with a setting you’d never want to live in.

White-Cat-220x330

White Cat by Holly Black | I’m not even finished reading this book yet, but I already know I would not want to live in this world! They live in an alternative universe where mob-like families seem rule the world and gloves are a social requirement so that people know they haven’t been “worked” on, in other words been affected by the powers of others. Yikes!

#3 Eleven

A book you own that is somewhat damaged but loved to pieces.

tokillamocking

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee | I probably got this book in 8th or 9th grade when it was required reading for English class. I would’ve never known it would become one of the oldest books in my collection and one I still cherish and count as one that has shaped the kind of person I aim to be. The pages have somewhat yellowed and the cover is a little worn but I’ll probably keep it as long as I can.

#4 Mike, Lucas, and Dustin

A trilogy you always go to when you need a pick me up.

illuminaefiles

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | I really had to think about the series I wanted to choose for this category as most of my trilogies are fantasies with high stakes and not books I pick up to lift my mood or spirits, more so for excitement. But The Illuminae Files books are filled with a lot of laughs and good humor despite the space monsters and overall peril. If I didn’t have a never-ending TBR I would probably pick these books up more often. As it is, I will have to wait until NEXT YEAR for the final installment which is hopefully a fun and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.

#5 The Demogorgan

A book with a terrifying beast you wouldn’t want to meet in an alley.

uprooted

Uprooted by Naomi Novik | Maybe it’s because I just read this book, but I feel like the antagonist is super scary because of how unpredictable it must be for the general public and how hateful it is toward humanity. The Wood has the power to create horrifying monsters of unsuspecting humans and wizards, and also has really creepy creatures of its own that I know I wouldn’t stand a chance against.

#6 Dr. Brenner

A book series with a villain who is both manipulative and dedicated.

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The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo | I feel like so many villains are manipulative and dedicated but also really nuanced these days. But I do think that the Darkling of The Grisha Trilogy really takes the cake. He’s so dedicated to his cause and that of the oppressed Grisha, it’s hard not to sympathize with him. He’s also so manipulative that he gets caught up in it himself when trying to turn Alina to his side.

#7 Nancy Wheeler

A book you didn’t expect to love.

wewerel

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | I recently reread this book this past summer and I still have a really soft spot for it. It still makes me cry super hard, even now that I read it knowing what’s going to happen. It was such a random purchase for me at the time that I bought it (since I’m not a big fan of contemporary YA) that I think this book is definitely one that has caught me off guard to become one that I love.

#8 Hawkins, Indiana

A book with a setting that is just a little bit strange.

vassa

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter | The setting of this book is actually A LOT bit strange. It’s set in Brooklyn, which is strange enough to me because I’ve never been to New York, but it’s also really strange in that a chain of convenience stores called BY’s spins in the air and is surrounded by the spiked heads of shoplifters, many of whom we can deduce might have been set up by the evil hands wandering the store. It’s also pretty strange how the magic operating the stores also keep the locals, including law enforcement, from ever thinking to try and obtain justice.

End Note

I hope you enjoyed this book tag! It was a lot of fun thinking of good books I’d like to share for each category. Before I go, I also wanted to let you know what’s coming up on Betwined Reads. I’ve got three new posts planned for the last three days of October, all related to NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what that is…Google it. Or you can wait until tomorrow for my first post explaining my plans for the event and some potentially useful tidbits for success this November! ^_^

Who else is ecstatic for the return of Stranger Things?!

loripaint

Thank you for reading!
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