Category: About Me

2020 End of Year Book Survey

Posted December 31, 2020 by Jana in About Me / 4 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! Also… buh bye 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Can 2021 please be better?

2020 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 57
Number of re-reads: 0
Most read genre: Adult contemporary romance (I read 38 of them).

Best In Books

1. Best book you read in 2020:
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t:
In a Holidaze by Christinas Lauren. I love CLo and I love Christmas, but I realllly didn’t like this one bit.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
Rolling In the Deep by Mira Grant. I started it on a whim because I needed something to break to romance monotony so I tried this and I was HOOKED. And then I started the second book as soon as I was done!

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler. I’ve been pushing this on everyone and have forced quite a few people to read it!

5. Best series you started in 2020. Best sequel of 2020. Best series ender of 2020.
Started: The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Sequel: Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Ender: Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020:
Sarah Morgenthaler!!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I’m not one for horror, but this was great!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Whiteout by Adriana Anders. I couldn’t stop reading!

9. Book you read in 2020 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I can think of several I would re-read, but not next year. I want to wait longer!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020:

Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar

11. Most memorable character of 2020:
Janie Morris of Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. She’s hilarious.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020:
Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar. The descriptions of Lapland are stunning!

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2020:
N/A

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read:
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

15. Favorite quote from a book you read in 2020:
I rarely mark my favorite quotes. I should change that.

16. Shortest and longest books you read in 2020:
Shortest: The One Night Stand Before Christmas by Jana Aston (84 pages)
Longest: Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch (512 pages)

17. Book that shocked you the most:
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware shocked me at the end and… made me so mad but I still loved the book? I dunno.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
River and Easton of Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Lana and Zoey have the sweetest friendship in The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler. Graham and Easton also have a really amazing friendship, which is more prominent in Enjoy the View. Sarah is just great at friends!

20. Favorite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously:
Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely helped me stop blushing so much during romance audiobooks! And it was so much fun.

21. Best book you read in 2020 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:
Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020:
Easton of the Moose Springs books by Sarah Morgenthaler.

23. Best 2020 debut you read:
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

24. Most vivid setting you read this year:
Lapland makes the best setting! Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt. SO funny.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020:
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

27. Hidden gem of the year:
Eight Winter Nights by Liz Maverick. A really fun Hanukkah romance!

28. Book that crushed your soul:
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager was a HUGE disappointment. I have loved all of his books, but this one went in a direction I absolutely hated. It was so boring.

29. Most unique book you read in 2020:
Halloween Boo by Sarah Spade. It’s… a woman in love with the ghost who haunts her apartment. There was some weird stuff. lol

30. Book that made you the maddest (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
I DNFed a lot of books this year that did that, but of the ones I finished… Home Before Dark by Riley Sager.

My Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2020:
I didn’t venture outside my usuals this year. It was just too exhausting.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2020:
Nothing is standing out, to be honest.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog:
All of the TTTs, really.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.):
Ha! There was nothing. I was supposed to sit at Tessa Dare’s table at the Utah Readers’ Luncheon this year, but COVID happened. I was so excited to meet her. I even bought ALL my favorites of her books so I could have her sign them.

6. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):
Top Ten Tuesday Is 10 Years Old! Updates to Many of My Old TTTs got 44 comments.

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.):
Audible Plus! Not really a discovery, just a new service, but I love it anyway.

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 52 books this year. I read 57!

Looking Ahead

1. Book you are most anticipating in 2021 (non-debut):
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca

2. 2021 debut you are most anticipating:
The Layover by Lacie Waldon

3. Sequel you are most anticipating in 2021:
The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

4. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2021?
Read what I love and DNF faster. I need to stop hoping things get better. There’s too many books for that!

Do we have any answers in common?
Pick a question or two and answer them in the comments! Let’s discuss!


My Favorite Things About Christmas

Posted December 18, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Bookish Little Christmas / 8 Comments

Ok, so if it wasn’t completely obvious by now, I love Christmas more than most things. Today I’m sharing my very favorite things about Christmas!

Memories

Here is my little sister, me, and my mom baking cookies together.

The magic of Christmas always makes me look back on my childhood. I grew up a Navy brat, so I moved every 2-3 years growing up as my dad received orders for new duty stations. As such, I’ve spent many Christmases in many different places. My fondest memory is of when we were living on base in California. Someone had sleigh bells and walked through our neighborhood ringing them on Christmas Eve. I bolted out of bed and squealed with glee because Santa was here! I also have many happy memories of hanging out in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies with my mom and little sister.

Coziness

Don’t you think Christmas is a super cozy time of year? I love curling up by the fire with a fuzzy blanket and hot chocolate, reading while Christmas instrumentals play in the background. I also love sitting by the tree watching it snow outside.

Music

One of my Christmas pageants! These people are some of my very dearest friends.

I LOVE Christmas music, but I’m a major traditionalist. My very favorite Christmas song is It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year, but only if it’s sung by Andy Williams. Find the Christmas Traditional Radio station on Pandora and you’ll hear all my favorites! I also love singing Christmas music. I was in choir my entire life, and in college I was in three Christmas pageants. I drew arrows pointing at me above!

Books

I spend all December reading Christmas books, mostly romances, and I love them so much! A few of my very favorites are Starry Night by Debbie Macomber; Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar; Operation White Christmas by Nikki Edwards; and Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler.

Movies

I’m one of those Hallmark Christmas movie people… My mom and I record all the new ones and then watch as many as we can before Christmas. Some are way too cheesy and we make fun of them relentlessly, and some of them make us swoon and even get a little misty. Some of my favorites are Finding Father Christmas, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Window Wonderland, and One Starry Christmas. I also love The Holiday, The Santa Clause, and Polar Express.

Lights

I love Christmas lights a lot. Some might say too much. The tree has, like, 12 strings on it every year, and I put thousands up on the house. I also love going to see Christmas light displays with my mom and sister. We go to two drive-through displays that are amazing (one of them is synchronized to Christmas music). We also go see the lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the lights at my city center, and two pretty amazing displays at a couple local shopping centers.

Ornaments

I have way too many favorites, so here are a few of them.
L to R: A stack of books for my blog, the year I started kindergarten, Florence, Italy, and Bellagio, Italy.

I collect Christmas ornaments! I buy one from every pace I travel, for milestones in my life, and ones that relate to my hobbies. My tree is basically a scrapbook. I also collect the lighthouse series from Hallmark because they make the tree twinkle beautifully.  It’s so much fun to put them up every year and remember all the fun things I’ve done and all the good things that have happened to me.

Baking


I love baking Christmas cookies! My sister helps me, and we spend an entire day or two baking all of our favorites. I particularly love spritz cookies and whipped shortbread cookies.

Snow

I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas. I find snow to be so invigorating and beautiful. I love it when the world looks like Narnia outside. Things seem quieter and cleaner and brighter when it’s snowing.

Happiness

We all struggle. Life is hard, and it’s gotten harder for me as I’ve gotten older with health issues and other personal trials. Christmas has the power to make me happy, though, and it’s a combination of everything I’ve listed here that makes me so happy and gives me hope for a better tomorrow.

I hope you have a very happy holiday season, filled with magic, love, and happiness. 

What are some of your favorite things about this time of year?

Header photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 


My Top Ten Non-Bookish Hobbies

Posted November 2, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 32 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week I thought it would be so much fun to get to know each other on a more personal level. We’re all faces in books behind computer screens, but there’s more to all of us than books, right? I’m excited to learn more about you this week. :)

1. Puzzles
I love building puzzles and collecting the prettiest ones. They’re so relaxing and really make me happy!

2. Binging TV Shows
I love marathoning my favorite shows like Friends, MASH, Wings, JAG, etc. Right now I’m working my way through I Love Lucy for the umpteenth time.

3. Christmas
It’s a hobby, ok? I shop for decorations all year long and listen to Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie when I need a pick-me-up. It makes me happy!

4. Graphic Design
Did you know this is where the “artsy” in my blog title comes from? I’m a graphic designer! I love designing things for friends, family, and myself.

5. Animal Crossing
I got a Switch over the summer and I’m super addicted to Animal Crossing. I’m having so much fun decorating my island for the holidays, too. It looked positively adorable for Halloween and now I’m preparing for Christmas!

6. Shopping
I really, really love shopping. If I’m bored, I go browse online for things to add to my wish list!

7. Alternative Medicine
I find natural healing fascinating, and love researching and looking for new ways to feel better. I’ve got a lot of chronic health and pain conditions that have not responded at all to pharmaceuticals, so this takes up a huge chunk of my free time.

8. Baking
I especially like baking Christmas cookies, but I like making regular cookies and muffins all year! I need to star dabbling in bread. I’d love to bake bread!

9. Exploring/Traveling
I love visiting new places or exploring where I live! I love traveling, and I especially love going on cruises. COVID cancelled our two-week cruise this past May, which sucked. My mom, sister, and I just went on a drive looking for fall leaves a few weeks ago and I love doing things like that.

10. Decorating/Organizing/Home Projects
I love interior design, organizing and going through stuff to get rid of, and painting/remodeling the house! My family and I just re-did the family room and office during pandemic, and we’ve been going through everything and reorganizing and getting rid of stuff. It’s been fun!

What are some of your non-bookish hobbies? Do we have any in common?


Top Ten Reasons I’m Obviously a Book Lover

Posted March 30, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 21 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How are you doing? I don’t even know how long I’ve been self-quarantining and staying home at this point, but it’s been at least 7 months by now right? I hope you’re healthy, and if you’re unable to stay home I hope you’re staying safe. This week’s topic is a fun change of pace. I’m keeping it bookish, but book-free. What bookish qualities do you possess that make it obvious to everyone who knows you that you’re a book lover? I got a little help from my family on this one, and we had a lot of fun!

1. If I’m not reading books, I’m talking about them. My mom told me I spend at least 50% of our time together talking about a book I’m reading or pushing her to read books I love.

2. I spend an insane amount of time researching books. I will admit that I can very easily fall down the rabbit hole and into the land of books. I’ve spent hours searching online for books that have certain tropes, settings, or elements that I’m in the mood for. Recently, I wanted to find books set in creepy buildings and I researched this for hours. I posted to Twitter asking for recs, I googled the topic in the hopes of finding lists or reviews of books like this, and I studied and read about each recommendation that was given to me. HOURS. I’ve done this with Gothic novels, romances set in Italy, romances set on ships, non-erotic romantic suspense, etc.

3. I’ve been known to spend entire DAYS organizing my Goodreads shelves. I’m not kidding, and it seems like such a waste of time when I look at myself through the eyes of people who don’t understand. But it’s necessary to my sanity and my happiness!

4. I’m obsessed with bookish merchandise. I’m not a collector of merchandise related to specific books here. I’m talking about merch related to books and reading in general. Anything with a book on it, and I’m a goner. I’ve got a bookish Christmas ornament collection, for example. If you know me at all, I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you.

5. When I travel, I scope out which bookstores I have to visit. I can’t tell you how many BAMs I went to on my family’s road trip down south a few years ago (Books-A-Million does not exist where I live).

6. Book mail is the best mail. It’s so exciting!

7. I spend way too much time curating themed book lists for trips and holidays.

8. My physical therapist asks me what I’ve been reading lately. Actually, everyone I know does.

9. I have a lot of book hangovers. I get super attached to characters, and when the book ends it feels like a real loss.

10. I go to bookstores to look at the books I’ve only read digitally because I never got to hold them in my hands. I like seeing the covers and if they’re textured or shiny. I like seeing how thick they are and what the layout looks like inside.

Are you like me at all? lol. Do we have any of these in common?
What makes you an obvious book lover to your friends and family?


2019 End of Year Book Survey

Posted December 30, 2019 by Jana in About Me / 4 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!

2019 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 50
Number of re-reads: 1 (Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco)
Most read genre: Adult contemporary romance (I read 11 of them).

Best In Books

1. Best books you read in 2019:
Adult Contemporary Romance: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Adult Historical Romance: The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare
Adult Mystery/Thriller: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Young Adult: Serious Moonlight by Jenny Bennett

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was horrible, which was a huge disappointment because I’d been excited to read it for a long time and finally made the time for it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey was so wonderful. I’d never heard of the author or anything about the book, so I went in blind and not expecting a lot but I LOVED IT.

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

5. Best series you started in 2019. Best sequel of 2019. Best series ender of 2019.
Started: Three Mages and a Margarita by Anette Marie (book #1 of The Guild Codex: Spellbound)
Sequel: Not exactly a sequel, but it’s book #3 in an ongoing series… The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare.
Ender: Moonlight Scandals by Jennifer L. Armentrout

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019:
Riley Sager

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I LOVED 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager had me FLYING through the book. I loved it so much.

9. Book you read in 2019 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar was perfection and such a festive read.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019:
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar

11. Most memorable character of 2019:
Olive of The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019:
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar… I KNOW. I keep mentioning this one, but it fits so many of these questions! I loved the descriptions of the scenery in this book.

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2019:
I didn’t read anything life-changing this year!

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read:
Other than Gone Girl, which I hated, I didn’t really read anything that was old enough to have been on my TBR for a long time,

15. Favorite quote from a book you read in 2019:
Wow, I didn’t pay any attention to quotes this year. Pretty sure I highlighted some in my Kindle, but they didn’t stick with me so I can’t remember which ones they were.

16. Shortest and longest books you read in 2019:
Shortest: Just Say When by Jill Shalvis, 7 pages (LOL)
Longest: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, 578 pages

17. Book that shocked you the most:
There was no shockage that I can recall…

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
Olive and Ethan from The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Sylvie and Nari from Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar are my favorite best friends!

20. Favorite book you read in 2019 from an author you’ve read previously:
The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare

21. Best book you read in 2019 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:
Three Mages and Margarita by Annette Marie

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019:
There’s a swoony guy in Dating by the Book by Marie Ann Marlowe, but I feel like saying his name is a spoiler. So I won’t!

23. Best 2019 debut you read:
I didn’t read one this year!

24. Most vivid setting you read this year:
Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar. It takes place in the frozen Lapland at Christmas, with reindeer and huskies and snow and the Aurora Borealis!

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2019:
I do my best to avoid crying with books, and I succeeded this year!

27. Hidden gem of the year:
The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey

28. Book that crushed your soul:
Nope!

29. Most unique book you read in 2019:
A McMillan Christmas by Bethany Claire. Time travel!

30. Book that made you the maddest (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
The Bromance Bookclub by Lyssa Kay Adams. I was so excited for this, but I hated it so much I DNFed it!

My Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2019:
*hides face in shame* I never ventured out of my safe place.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2019:
I really don’t feel strongly about any of my reviews…

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog:
All of the TTTs, really.

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.

6. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):
My Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions got 41 comments.

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 50 books.

Looking Ahead

1. Book you are most anticipating in 2020 (non-debut):
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

2. 2020 debut you are most anticipating:
The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

3. Sequel you are most anticipating in 2020:
Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

4. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2020?
Get out of this reading slump and really love everything I read. I need to DNF more!

Do we have any answers in common?
Pick a question or two and answer them in the comments! Let’s discuss!


Nine Changes In My Bookish Life Since 2010

Posted November 18, 2019 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 18 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! I started blogging in 2010 as a co-owner of The Broke & the Bookish, before starting That Artsy Reader Girl about a year and a half later. I have gone through a LOT of life changes, so it only makes sense that my reading life changed as well. I thought it’d be fun to share how my reading (and blogging) life has changed since I was a baby blogger 10 years ago.

1. The Broke & the Bookish shut down last year, so now I only blog here.
2. I took over hosting Top Ten Tuesday last year and Broke & Bookish Secret Santa this year!
3. I’ve actually fallen out of love with YA lit, which has me floored and kind of sad. lol.
4. So that means I’m an adult book blogger instead of a YA book blogger! Never thought I’d say that. I’ve had to kind of start over and build relationships with new publishers, but it’s been awesome.
5. I read on my Kindle WAY more often now because I’ve run out of room and the shift from physical ARCs has really shifted to digital.
6. I used to read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, but now I gravitate towards adult contemporary romance and historical mysteries.
7. I read less than I used to.
8. It’s harder for me to fall in love with a book than it used to be, which is not a good thing at all. lol
9. I no longer feel this compulsion to get/request/accept ALL the ARCs like I used to. I just grab my most anticipated ones and don’t hoard like a did as a new blogger. I also am pickier with the books I accept for review, and have learned to not feel so guilty when I decline a review request.

So… maybe this wasn’t the most exciting topic, but I loved the idea of
having a reflection post reminiscent of a journal entry or something.
How has your reading life change recently or over time?


Top Ten Favorite Snacks to Eat While Reading

Posted September 16, 2019 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 28 Comments

Today’s TTT topic was submitted by my mom, and I love it! Anything involving food is great, in my opinion. I only drink water, so I’m just going to talk about the things I love to eat while reading. And, let’s be honest… I’ll eat these things anytime. I don’t have to have a book with me. lol

Double Dark Milano Cookies

Buttery Popcorn

Dove Milk Chocolate

Tortilla Chips

Christmas Cookies

String Cheese

Goldfish Crackers

See’s Candies Dark Butterchews

Haagen Dazs Milk Chocolate Ice Cream Bars

Strawberries and Chocolate

Hungry yet? I am!
What do you love to eat/drink while reading?


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.