Category: About Me

My Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions

Posted June 10, 2019 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 41 Comments

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! Thank you so much to those of you who offered me your condolences last week. I wanted to thank each of you individually, but this week has been so crazy that I haven’t had time yet. I still plan on it!

This week’s topic was submitted by Kaitlin Galvan at Somehow I Manage Blog, and I hope we can all muster up the courage to publish our lists this week. lol. No throwing tomatoes at me! I am who I am! However, just because an opinion is unpopular doesn’t mean it’s negative. Maybe you love love triangles or instalove. Maybe you think a super unpopular book is wonderful. Maybe you really, really love a character that many people you know couldn’t stand. I can’t wait to see everyone’s unpopular bookish opinions this week!

1. Women’s Fiction is the worst genre.

2. The more dog-eared pages, the better. And spine creases are great, too! I like my books to look read.

3. Ebook is the actual best book format. Come at me.

4. My organizational framework for my bookshelves is called “If it fits (or barely fits), it will be shoved there.” But I do keep my series together. I’m not a heathen.

5. The original cover design is almost always better than the redesign (unless you’re going from self-published to traditional published).

6. Readathons sound absolutely miserable.

7. I have no interest in/do not like the books of John Green, Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Katie McGarry, and Neil Gaiman. I DNFed The Raven Boys. I also DNFed The Diviners, The Bear and the Nightingale, and the Divergent trilogy.

8. Literary Fiction is just a fancy title for boring books.

9. I’m fine with letting people like the books they want to like. I don’t shun or ridicule or bash people for liking books I don’t necessary like/agree with/approve of and I don’t hate people for hating the books I love. Enjoy (or don’t) your books, my friends. No judgement here.

10. I really hate reading swear words.

Ok, let’s talk! Do we share any unpopular bookish opinions?
What are some of yours?

 


Sixteen Books I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch

Posted May 20, 2019 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 15 Comments

We all have those books that really mean something to us, whether it be a personalized inscription from the author, a valuable edition, or pure sentimental value. I tend to really hate loaning out books to friends and family, but the following ten books are ones I would never even consider parting with. Thanks to Savannah Grace at Scattered Scribblings for submitting this fun topic! Show me your book babies!

1. On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves (First Edition)
OtI was originally self-published long ago, and I was on a blog tour for the book. As a thank you, Tracey sent me a personalized and autographed paperback copy of the book with its very first cover. It meant so much to me that she would do that, and it’s one of my most prized bookish possessions.

2. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (ARC)
This was the first ever ARC I received after writing to the publisher and requesting it. I was SO EXCITED! Anna came to do a signing here a few months later, and she drew a little shark on the cover page and signed it.

3. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Teeny tiny hardcover)
I bought this copy of Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare & Company in Paris. I had the cashier stamp it with the store’s logo, and it’s a wonderful souvenir of my being able to check off a huge bucket list item. I never thought I’d ever be able to visit that magical little bookstore right next to Notre Dame. :)

4-15. The entire Avon True Romance Series for Teens (Paperbacks)
Technically, this is a major cheat since the series is 12 books long, but they go together! This series is no longer in print, which is so sad! It’s a series of historical romance novels written with teens in mind by popular authors of the historical romance genre (Meg Cabot, Karen Hawkins, Beverly Jenkins, etc.). I loved these books so much, and they were the first “YA” I’d ever read.

16. Cress by Marissa Meyer (Hardback)
My blog is mentioned in the back of this book, plus I got to meet Marissa Meyer again and have her sign/personalize it for me!


Top Ten Book Characters That Remind Me of Myself

Posted May 6, 2019 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments

I’m a very character-driven reader, so connecting with characters is pretty much a requirement for me if I’m going to enjoy a book. I love finding friends in the characters, and I really love finding things I have in common with them and can identify with. It was tough to narrow this list down to ten! I’m excited to see which characters you see yourself in this week!

1. Daisy from Every Time I Think of You by Tracey Garvis-Graves
On the surface, I have nothing in common with Daisy. But Tracey has this perfect way of writing characters you can find common ground with. I identified with Daisy’s feelings of inadequacy, her fear of failure, her concerns for the future, and her desire to tear down the walls she has built around herself.

2. Holland Baker from Roomies by Christina Lauren
She’s so relatable, and I think we can all see at least a small part of ourselves in her. She’s a 25-year-old plain Jane living in New York City (with the help of her two uncles who pay most of her rent), working a dead-end job (that her uncle got her) that is way below her qualifications as she tries to achieve her dream of becoming a published author. Who has been in this position before? *raises hand*

3. Lily from Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
I really connected with Lily, to the point where I almost forgot I was reading about someone other than myself! Lily is high school me. She’s a bookish, organized, intellectual wallflower with a long list of things she wants to accomplish and her future all planned out. She wants a love story like the movies, but doesn’t think anyone even notices her. She is so me! I was a studious, shy, choir girl who was actually told by one of her best friends that she should be a bank robber because nobody would notice her come and go. I wish I’d had a friend like Lily to commiserate with.

4. Charlie from Save the Date by Morgan Matson
I really connected with Charlie. I understand what it’s like to have everyone needed things from you all the time. She’s kind of the glue that keeps the group together and sane. She’s the peacemaker, and I understand the kind of pressure that comes with that job.

5. Ana from Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Ana connects with music like I do. Music has always been one of the main elements of my life. It brings out such strong emotions and feelings in me. I connect with it on so many levels, just like she mentions throughout this story. I identified with her so much for this reason.

6. Bria from Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Bria is an artist, and a traveler. Do you know who Bria really is? Bria is ME! Her love of art shone through everything she did, and everything she said. I totally identified.

7. Jane from Austenland by Shannon Hale
After dating a ton of losers, this single, 33-year-old, New Yorker has come to the conclusion that no man can compare to the sexy, debonair, and utterly romantic Mr. Darcy. She has given up on the male gender completely. Girl, I get it.

8. Maddie from Gentlemen Prefer Nerds by Joan Kilby
This girl is a nerdy cat lady. I am too!

9. Ellie from A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Ellie reminds me so much of my teenaged self: a bit of a perfectionist, someone who bites off more than they can chew, a people pleaser, a worrier, and a hopeless romantic.

10. Maddie from When A Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
I loved Maddie. I thought she was hilarious, plus she’s bookish, artsy, and painfully shy. I get her. While I don’t have panic attacks when I’m surrounded by a few people, I know what it’s like to be a wallflower. And I know what it’s like to view life through an artist’s eye. I love that she wrote letters to an imaginary captain to avoid jumping into the dating pool. That’s something I could totally see myself doing.


2018 End of Year Book Survey

Posted December 27, 2018 by Jana in About Me / 8 Comments

I love doing Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey every year! It helps me look back and remember all the wonderful (and terrible) books I’ve read throughout the year!

2018 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 40
Number of re-reads: 1
Most read genre: Adult contemporary romance (I read 10 of them).

Best In Books

1. Best books you read in 2018:
New Adult Contemporary Romance: I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
Young Adult Contemporary Romance: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett and Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Fantasy: A Tale of Beauty and Beast by Melanie Cellier

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t:
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I didn’t love it at all, which was really sad for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch really surprised me because it made me fall in love with YA contemporary again after thinking I had grown too old for it.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

5. Best series you started in 2018. Best sequel of 2018. Best series ender of 2018.
Started: Beyond the Four Kingdoms series by Melanie Cellier
Sequel: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron
Ender: I didn’t finish any series this year.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018:
Ellie Cahill and Christina Lauren.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
I tend to not enjoy women’s fiction at all, but I made an allowance for Tracey Garvis Graves’s The Girl He Used to Know and I loved it!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. The audio was fantastic!

9. Book you read in 2018 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018:
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan.

11. Most memorable character of 2018:
Beckett of I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018:
A Dance of Silver and Shadow by Melanie Cellier.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2018:
This year wasn’t filled with insanely amazing books for me, but I’ll forever be grateful to Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch for making me love YA contemporary again.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read:
The Thief by MEgan Whalen Turner. I’d been wanting to for so long, and I finally did!

15. Favorite quote from a book you read in 2018:
“When I looked up at the stars, I saw us. You were the stars and I was the dark sky behind you”
“Without dark sky you couldn’t see the stars”
“I knew I was useful” he says
“You’re essential”
Jenn Bennett, Starry Eyes

16. Shortest and longest books you read in 2018:
Shortest: A Kiss In the Snow by Susan Mallery, 57 pages.
Longest: The Book of Mormon, 531 pages.

17. Book that shocked you the most:
Everless by Sara Holland made me so unbelievably mad, which really shocked me.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
YA: Zorie and Lennon from Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
New Adult: Emmy and Beckett from I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
Adult: Josh and Hazel from Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
The twin sister bond between princesses Lily and Sophie in A Dance of Silver and Shadow by Melanie Cellier.

20. Favorite book you read in 2018 from an author you’ve read previously:
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

21. Best book you read in 2018 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:
Roomies by Christina Lauren

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018:
Beckett from I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill

23. Best 2018 debut you read:
YA: A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan.

24. Most vivid setting you read this year:
The setting for the Princess Tourney in A Dance of Silver and Shadow by Melanie Cellier.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahillhad me giddy.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2018:
I do my best to avoid crying with books, and I succeeded this year!

27. Hidden gem of the year:
A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan.

28. Book that crushed your soul:
Well, just because I hated it… Everless by Sara Holland

29. Most unique book you read in 2018:
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron was an awesome steampunk with minimal romantic intrigue, so it was unique for me!

30. Book that made you the maddest (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
Everless by Sara Holland almost made me throw the book in rage.

My Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2018:
*hides face in shame* I never ventured out of my safe place.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2018:
I really don’t feel strongly about any of my reviews…

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog:
This was the year I took over Top Ten Tuesday when we at The Broke & the Bookish shut down, so I’d say I’m the most proud of what I’ve done with the meme. We’ve had some really fun discussions on all of those posts!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.):
I went to the Utah Reader’s Luncheon in October, which was a lot of fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018:
I got to read the book I was a “content expert” for, and saw my little tidbits of information make it into the story. That was absolutely surreal for me!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:
I’ve been in a major reading slump for a long time, so finding books I love has been very hard. I’ve watched a lot more Netlfix because of it. lol.

7. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):
Comments: Top Ten Books My Mom Loves (80)

8. Post you wished got a little more love:
All my reviews, pretty much. lol

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.):
I’m in a rut, guys.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year:
I completed my Goodreads goal of reading 40 books.
I posted more posts to my blog this year than last year.

Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn’t get to in 2018 but will be your number 1 priority in 2019:
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas.

2. Book you are most anticipating in 2019 (non-debut):
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

3. 2019 debut you are most anticipating:
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4. Sequel you are most anticipating in 2019:
I’ve been shying away from series a lot over the last couple of years, so I honestly can’t think of any (although I know there must be some)!

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2019?
Get out of this reading slump and really love everything I read. I need to DNF more!

Did you participate in Jamie’s End of the Year Book Survey this year?
If so, post a link in the comments so I can come visit!
If not, pick a few of her questions and answer in the comments!


Christmas Books I Loved As a Child

Posted December 14, 2018 by Jana in About Me / 4 Comments

I absolutely loved Christmas books when I was a child. It was a tradition to buy a brand new hardback every year, plus a few fun paperbacks to add to our collection. Now, there are so many of them and I love pulling out the big box of books every year, sitting by the Christmas tree, and flipping through the Christmas books of my childhood. They told of Santa, his reindeer, good little boys and girls, snow storms, and presents. I thought I’d share with you a small part of my childhood Christmases with a list of my all-time favorite books!

Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish 

It’s almost time to look for Santa Claus, and it’s always time to look for fun with Amelia Bedelia. Amelia is busy getting ready for Christmas – stuffing the stockings, trimming the tree, and popping corn – all in her usual mixed-up way.

I love this book! I giggled as Amelia messed up everything she possibly could.

 

 

The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat by Brigid Clark and Chris Noel 

Your family will enjoy this endearing story about two Christmas presents—a dog and a cat—who fall out of Santa’s sleigh. By working together—something that doesn’t always come naturally—they find their way to their new home. And, through their example of love for one another, they bring harmony to an entire household.

The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story itself is adorable. This book made me want to have a calico cat, and I kind of drove my parents nuts asking for one.

 

A Letter to Santa by Janet Craig 

Letters to Santa result in three children getting exactly what they want for Christmas.

I’m not sure whether I liked this book because the illustrations look very childlike, or if I just thought the story was awesome because everyone got what they asked for,  but I read this to myself almost every day in December.

 

The Mouse’s Christmas by Kit Schorsch 

The baby mice really want a Christmas tree, so their mother goes out to find them one. She looked at branches, twigs, and leaves. None of them looked like a Christmas tree, though. The farmer’s Christmas tree ended up being too tall for his house, she he chopped it up and threw it outside. It ended up providing Christmas trees for many of the woodland creatures, and a perfect one for the mouse family.

This book is adorable. The mice are so cute, and their little house is priceless. They use match boxes for beds and empty thread spools for chairs! Darling! And what a sweet message. :)

 

The Littlest Christmas Tree by Cass Hollander

When a little fir tree is taken to be sold in the city along with other tall trees, plants, and shrubs, it becomes sad. But a young couple has special plans for choosing a Christmas tree that their family will treasure for years and years. Find out how the littlest fir tree becomes a Christmas tree forever in this heartwarming story about family, love, and Christmas tradition.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful, and it’s my absolute favorite rendition of such a popular story.

Did you ever read any of these? I think Amelia Bedelia is the only one still in print, but it’d be fun if some of you have read them too! I want fun recommendations as well! What are some of your favorite Christmas books from your childhood? I’m still collecting children’s books, and would love to find some new ones this year!


Happy Thanksgiving 2018!

Posted November 22, 2018 by Jana in About Me / 3 Comments

I’m thankful for books and this bookish community that gives me a platform for sharing that love. I’m thankful for you, who comes here to fangirl with me over all manner of book things! I wish you the best Thanksgiving ever, with lots of yummy foods, cozy clothes, and smiling faces.

What are you thankful for this year?


Top Ten Bookstores & Libraries I’d Love to Visit

Posted October 15, 2018 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments

This week I’m sharing my bookstore and library bucket list. There are SO many beautiful buildings that serve as havens for bookworms, and there are so many unique, quaint, and special places that house books. I had so much fun looking for pictures to feature this week. When I start falling down he rabbit hole on something like this, it’s very hard for me to stop. I had a hard time narrowing my list down to only ten places! I’d love to visit these and so many other bookstores and libraries in this world. I wish the USA had more book places that were pretty like these ones are.

Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice, Italy

I wish I’d known about this bookstore when I went to Venice a few years ago, because it sounds wonderful! The name translates to “bookstore of high water”, and it floods each year. To combat the water, which is a book’s worst enemy, the owner stores the books in waterproof bins, buckets, bathtubs, canoes, and gondolas. There are many books and maps of Venice, used and new books, and even some stray cats that have made the store their home. They seem to love people, and I’ve seen pictures of visitors petting them. There’s an outdoor courtyard with a stairway made of old encyclopedias that leads you to beautiful canal views.

Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal

The neo-gothic and art nouveau design elements make this bookstore a must-see for me. It’s so opulent and grand! I love the stained glass ceiling and that huge, sweeping red staircase. Apparently J.K. Rowling did some of her early Harry Potter brainstorming here, and is rumored to have inspired some of her designs of Hogwarts. Very cool!

Libreria El Pendulo in Mexico City, Mexico

This beautiful bookstore is known for looking like the city of Paris, France inside. It’s crammed full of shelves of books and trees and cozy places to sit. It looks like such a fun place to be.

Cook & Book in Brussels, Belgium

The Cook & Book is a bookstore and restaurant! It’s divided up into nine different rooms that each house different kinds of books, and you can choose to eat your meal at a table in any of them. The English books room is decorated like an old British library. There’s also a terrace and a playground for children. I particularly love the ceiling of flying books.

Book Now in Bendigo, Australia

This rare and out of print bookstore looks like a log cabin inside! I love this old nineteenth century building that was once owned by a wine and spirits merchant.

Boekhandel Dominicanen (Polare Maastricht) in Maastricht, The Netherlands

This bookstore is located in an old Medieval Dominican church. I don’t even care what kind of books this store houses, I want to visit this beautiful church!

Klementinum Baroque Library Hall in Prague, Czech Republic

This place is beautiful… “The baroque library was first opened in 1722 as a part of the Jesuit university based in Klementinum. It houses over 20,000 volumes of mostly foreign theological literature, coming into Klementinum from the beginning of the 17th century until recent times. Books with white painted spines and red marks have been in the library since the time of the Jesuits… The interior of the baroque library has remained intact since the 18th century. The hall is decorated with ceiling frescoes by Jan Hiebl depicting allegorical motifs of education, and portraits of Jesuit saints, patrons of the university and prominent representatives of this order.”

The Abbey Bookshop in Paris, France

I’ve been to Shakespeare & Company, which was so much fun, but I didn’t know about this cute little bookstore in the Latin Quarter until I was already home. Just another excuse to go back to Paris someday!

The Bookworm Bookshop in Beijing, China

This is a bookstore, library, bar, and restaurant, but I was sold when I saw these magical ceilings with lights and lanterns. It looks like such a cozy place to go to browse, buy, and borrow books; eat a yummy meal or dessert; and meet authors!

Leakey’s Secondhand Bookshop in Iverness, Scotland

Pictures of this bookstore make me smile. It’s positively charming! Look at the colorful panels walls, that spiral staircase, and the rich wood and cute little railings. I love the upper floor that runs around the perimeter of the store, and that you can find cozy places to sit anywhere. They even have an open log fireplace. Sounds perfect!

Have you been to any of these bookstores and libraries? 
Do we have any of the same ones on our lists?


Nine Books That are Linked to Specific Moments In My Life

Posted July 23, 2018 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 25 Comments

This week’s topic is books with sensory memories, and was submitted through my TTT topic submission form by Jessica at A Cocoon of Books. These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, what you were feeling, what you were seeing, etc. The topic might feel narrow and difficult at first, but I think it provides so much freedom to be creative and come up with a really personal list this week. I’m excited to see what you came up with!

I chose to share ten books that are linked to happy moments in my life. I don’t know about you, but I tend to attach all kinds of things to events in my life. I have a very vivid memory and have always remembered certain songs that were playing during different times in my life, who I was with when I watched a certain movie, what a guy and I were wearing on a random date 10 years ago, etc. While taking tests in school I could pull up a page of my notes in my mind. Picturing where certain information was on the page helped me remember facts or answers to questions. So in today’s case, I’ll be sharing books that I have very vivid memories about, but not in terms of the stories themselves. These memories surround my reading experience.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
My mom and I read New Moon together a few months before Eclipse came out. During this time, my little sister had weekly choir practice in the evenings at her choir director’s home about 25 minutes away from our house. My mom would always drive her to practice, and I frequently went with her so we could do some shopping or go out to eat while my sister was singing. This time, however, we were so hooked on this book that we each brought ours along with us and sat in the van outside the director’s house reading as the sun went down.

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
I love reading Christmas books during Christmastime! My mom and I got tickets to a Christmas concert in Salt Lake City, and we went up early to be in our seats on time. You know how it is, though. The wait from when you’re seated until the show starts is always super long. What bookworm doesn’t bring a book with them in these situations? I remember it was freezing outside, so my mom and I wore nice pants and snow boots instead of dresses/skirts like usual. The center was beautifully decorated and the buzz of excited concertgoers made it tricky for me to focus. I did get some reading done, though!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I started this after a breakup with a pretty crummy guy. I was looking forward to a non-sappy book with people killing each other. :’)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I took this hardback on a cruise, which is absolutely insane. lol. In what universe did I ever have enough luggage space to bring multiple hardback books? I could never cart a bag of hardbacks with me on cruises now. I bring too many clothes and essentials. I remember sitting in a lounge chair by the pool after I had gone swimming. The bottom of the pages are rippled because I rested the book on my stomach while I was reading, and my swimsuit was still wet. The book ended on such a cliffhanger that I was tempted to throw it overboard in frustration. lol.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
My mom and I were in North Carolina for a family wedding, and we had major plane issues going home. Long story short, we were offered free first class upgrades as long as we were ok with not sitting together. We were all about flying first class for the first time ever, so we were fine with it. I ended up sitting in a window seat next to an older guy who fell asleep. I spent the flight reading Poison Study and praying like crazy that I wouldn’t have to pee!

The Maze by Catherine Coulter
Long ago, I worked as a customer service rep for American Express’s small business network (for a few weeks. lol). The job was boring and slightly stressful. I read this book while on the phones. Sometimes I read while I was working with a customer because everything was so engrained in my head at that point that I didn’t have to think much. I also brought coloring books to this job. Anything to pass the time!

Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley
I actually read this while I was substitute teaching an elementary school music class. The teacher left me instructions to play a movie for them, and I sat in the back and read this book while they watched.

Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
I read this while on a transatlantic cruise! The heroine was on a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, and I was sitting on my cabin’s balcony reading this as we crossed from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. You could tell because the water was doing some really cool swirly stuff and flowing in all different directions. I had to set my Kindle down and watch. It was pretty amazing.

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
I read this book on my road trip to Georgia with my mom for grad school orientation. I remember I really didn’t want to bring it with me because I was trying to limit my books to Kindle only, but I hadn’t finished this one yet. I read, like, 2 pages a day because I was so busy that I hardly had time to read.

What direction did you take this topic in this week?
Have you read any books that are linked to specific events or times in your life?


Ten Books I Loved Before I Became a Book Blogger

Posted June 22, 2018 by Jana in About Me, Book Spotlight / 10 Comments

 

A long time ago… in this galaxy… way back in the dino days, before Moby Dick was a minnow (can you tell I’m feeling old today? It’s my birthday!)… I wasn’t a book blogger. I know. It’s kind of hard for me to believe it, too, because I have been eating, breathing, and sleeping books since June of 2010 (I started The Broke and the Bookish with Jamie). About a year and a half later, That Artsy Reader Girl was born, and I’ve made a pretty cozy place for myself here in my corner of the Internet. Blogging has been a huge blessing for me, and has given me the opportunity to read so many amazing books, but some long-time favorites rekindled my love of reading way before I started writing. Since I never wrote full reviews for any of these books, I thought it’d be fun to share some of them with you today!

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight is the book that made me discover there was a young adult section in the bookstore. I had NO idea! I’m not even kidding. I grew up reading romance novels, and never knew there was a genre devoted to me. But oh, I loved Edward. :) Oh, and random fact… this is actually the first book I added to Goodreads when I joined. Crazy!

2. Pretend You Don’t See Her by Mary Higgins-Clark
This was first mystery novel! My mom has always really loved Mary Higgins-Clark, and started me on her books when I was a teenager. I became an instant fan, and will read anything she writes. I still can’t believe she’s still pumping books out at her age. It’s super impressive.

3. Catherine and the Pirate by Karen Hawkins
Did anyone else read the Avon True Romance series? There were, I think, 12 books aimed towards young adults in this series, all written by well-known authors like Meg Cabot, Beverly Jenkins, etc. This one was my first and favorite, though. I found it in my high school’s library when we had to write a book report (I can’t believe I chose this book for a book report. lol)  and thus began my love of pirate romances. I swear, I live for a really good historical romance featuring pirates and pirate ships.

4. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
I really loved this story, even though it made me cry because Nicholas Sparks likes to kill people. I’ll never read another book of his again for that reason, but I did really connect with this story. Even though I can cry about it right now if I think about it enough.

5. With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
This was my very first time travel book! I LOVE Lynn’s romances. They are soooooo sweet, and so amazing. I just love Scotland, too, and most of her books take place there.

6. The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum 
This is a very fun trilogy that I found after reading Twilight and wanting something similar. The Hourglass Door features time travel and Da Vinci and a cute Italian boy. I loved it more than Twilight.

7. Kiss and Tell by Suzanne Brockman 
This book starts when a woman gets kissed by a mysterious man in a Zorro mask on New Year’s Eve. Who is he!?!?! Oh, I loved this book. The other two books in this trilogy and wonderful, too.

8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I was pretty scared of this book. It took me forever to be ok with it, and my mom thought I was insane for wanting it. I loved it. Seriously, this solidified my love of YA novels. And I kind of love that I read it before it was cool and before the movies and the hype. The second book, Catching Fire, wasn’t even out yet!

9. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I found Shiver in the hopes of finding something like Twilight. I was skeptical, though, because I was team Edward and not Jacob, so why on Earth would I like a book about werewolves? I loved Maggie’s writing, though, and the story was so perfect.

10. Austenland by Shannon Hale
Yes, I reviewed this here (my first review ever, actually!), but I actually had to re-read the book in order to remember it enough to write a review. So it counts. It’s still one of my favorite books, even though the movie leaves much to be desired.

Which books did you read and love before you became a book blogger? 


Top Ten Books My Mom Loves

Posted April 16, 2018 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 81 Comments

This week I gave you the opportunity to come up with your own topic. I love doing this because then I can visit all the participating blogs and steal your ideas!! Haha, just kidding. That’s not totally the reason. I always get requests for really specific topics that I can’t broaden enough to make them apply to everyone who wants to participate, such as “top ten science fiction books” or “top ten books to read if you liked [insert book title here]”. Not everyone can do those kinds of topics and then they would have to sit out that week. So this week you get to do whatever you want!

Today’s my mom’s birthday, and since she’s my favorite person in the world I figured I’d share with you some of the books she’s read and loved, both as a child and an adult, and recommended to me throughout my life.

To my first and favorite follower:

 

 

The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope
Cherry Ames, Student Nurse by Helen Wells
Racoons Are the Brightest People by Sterling North
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Mary Higgins-Clark (all her books)
Virgin River by Robyn Carr (The entire Virgin River series)
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs (The entire Lakeshore Chronicles series)

Have you read any of these books?
Which books do your mom or dad recommend to you all the time?
What topic did you come up with this week?

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