Book Addiction Tag

I saw this tag done on A Dreamer’s Library and thought it looked like fun. This tag was created by Always Trust in Books.

What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?

I think a day? I read pretty much every day. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t read every day, except in February when I was deeply depressed and in a reading slump. Even when I went to Disney World last summer, I read to calm down before I went to bed. It’s just part of my daily ritual.

How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?

I usually just carry one physical book with me at a time. On my kindle, I have every book I’ve ever bought. Can you take them off? I don’t know, I don’t care. Actually, since this is my third Kindle, I may have not re-downloaded some of my earlier purchases, but if I’m carrying my Kindle, I’ve got over a hundred books with me.

Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?

I don’t keep every book I get, only the ones I love or think I’ll reread. Last year, I did a huge declutter and got rid of books I knew I wasn’t going to read again. I’m not quite ready to do another one yet; I’d rather get another bookshelf.

How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?

I’ve been trying to cut down on buying books, so it’s not fun to go to the bookstore and not be able to buy anything. When I do buy books, I’ll spend about an hour.

How much time per day do you actually spend reading?

Lately, it’s been about two to three hours. Before that, forty-five minutes to an hour.

Where does the task ‘picking up a book’ appear on your daily to-do list?

Always before bed. Lately, in the evening, starting around six or so. Sometimes at lunch.

How many books do you reckon you own in total (including e-books)?

About 220 physical books and about 240 Kindle books. So, over 400.

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

I don’t… know? Depends on who I’m talking to. If I’m talking to my sister, a lot. If I’m talking to someone at work, probably never.

What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?

I think the longest book I’ve read was Les Miserables which was 1463 pages.

Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds (i.e searching bookshops, online digging, etc.)?

I’ve looked pretty hard for The Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw, but can’t find it anywhere.

A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF.

I really struggled with Six of Crows, but, after putting it down for a few weeks, managed to get through it.

What are three of your main book goals for 2019?

  1. Read 100 books.
  2. Review all or most of the books I read.
  3. Branch out and read some books out of my usual niche

Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?

Um, I’m not sure? I had a student who didn’t like to read, I gave his parents some suggestions, and, from what I hear, now he’s a reader. His parents thanked me, but I don’t know if I really did anything.

Describe what books mean to you in five words?

Stress-relief, portable magic, security

I tag: Evelyn @evelynreads, Jess @Comfort Reads, and Rachel Patrick @DiaryofaReadingAddict and anyone who wants to do it!

Book review: Escaping from Houdini

Title: Escaping from Houdini

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books/Little Brown and Company

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 431

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are traveling to New York on the RMS Etruria to their next case. When a series of passengers are murdered, they begin an investigation. What is the connection to the Moonlight Carnival, the on board traveling troupe that is their entertainment and where the murders are taking place? Can the ringmaster, the mysterious Mephistopheles be trusted, or is he behind the crimes? And, worse, can he drive a wedge between Audrey Rose and Thomas that will ruin their love forever?

I think this is my favorite book out of the three. I liked the mystery and the setting of the Moonlight Carnival a lot. I enjoyed the interplay between Audrey Rose and Thomas, as usual, and liked the flirtation between Audrey Rose and Mephistopheles. I liked his character all right; by all rights, I should have liked him more than I actually did. He’s a character type I like: mysterious, a bit of a trickster, somewhere between magical and practical, sensuous… but he just didn’t win me over. His writing was a little flat or something. I never felt like his flirtation with Audrey Rose was serious or genuine. 

However, despite finding him a little flat, I really enjoyed the book overall. I loved Audrey Rose in this one. I liked how she’s coming into her own and working through her PTSD from previous books. I enjoy her relationship with Thomas and the ups and downs it goes through in this book. 

Overall, this was a very satisfying book. I enjoyed the mystery and the character developments. I continue to be invested in the main relationship and am interested to see where they go from here.

WWW Wednesday May 29

It does not feel like Wednesday. I spent all weekend reading–except when I went to see Fiddler on the Roof on Saturday–and the weekend flew by. I really appreciated having that extra day; I’m now a couple weeks ahead on reviews and I’m super far ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I’m a long way away from my reading slump in February.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I guess, technically, I’m about to start this book. I’d put a hold on it a few weeks ago and it just became available. It always takes me a little bit to remember how to download loans onto my Kindle, but I’ve got it and I’m about to start. I’ve heard nothing but praise for With the Fire on High and don’t know much about it except it’s about a woman who likes to cook. I’m looking forward to starting it.

Like I said, I went on a reading binge this weekend. Since last Wednesday, I almost got through a book a day. Maybe every two days. I really enjoyed all the books, even The Selection, which I didn’t think I’d like very much. I’m not sure how to review it, mostly because it was just so light and fluffy. I don’t know if it was very good, but I certainly found it enjoyable.

So, I have Girls Made of Snow and Glass from the library, but wait until you hear what happened with Clockwork Princess. Saturday, I stopped by Barnes & Noble and bought all three of the Infernal Devices books. I tore through Clockwork Prince on Sunday. Monday, I sat down to read Clockwork Princess only to find the first 20 pages were missing! Needless to say, I was quite dismayed. I had to drive a half hour to the bookstore and they didn’t have another copy. They didn’t even offer to order me one. I ended up ordering it through Amazon, but it won’t be here until next week. I am so, so frustrated over this. I want the damn book.

After I finish these books, I’ll head back to the library and check out a bunch more. I really want to read Legendary and the second in the Shatter Me series. I’ll read more of The Selection series, too.

So, that’s my Wednesday. What are you reading? Drop me a comment below and let me know!

Top 5 Summertime Reads

Tuesday has come around once more and it’s the last Tuesday of the month. It’s almost summer! I have eight more days of school before I’m free to lounge around and read as much as I want. I cannot wait.

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. Each week, she posts a new topic and gives us all a chance to respond.  This week’s topic is Top 5 Summertime Reads. I don’t actually have any summertime reads, so I’m changing this a bit to be the top 5 books I read every summer when I was a child. And, honestly, despite being many years away from childhood, these books still spark that summertime joy.

Boy-Crazy Stacey I was a huge Baby-sitter’s Club fan when I was a kid, and this and the super special where they went to Disney World were my favorites. It’s funny, because Stacey wasn’t even my favorite baby-sitter–Mary Anne was–but I loved this book. The idea of getting to go the the beach every day (and I already went once a week) without adults was just the best idea ever. I thought it sounded like heaven. Nowadays, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it (doesn’t help that I’ve moved to where the ocean is ice cold all year round), but as a kid, the idea was heaven.

Bummer Summer by Ann M. Martin was another favorite of mine. I loved stories about camp, because I never got to go to camp for longer than a week. I thought that staying at camp all summer sounded amazing, which is funny because I couldn’t last five days without getting homesick. I envied the freedom kids had in camp books, because at the camp I went to, we were watched all the time. I don’t remember much about this book except the main character’s father broke his toe, he had a new wife and a baby that didn’t have a name, and the girl didn’t like the outdoors or sports. Was this the book where she played volleyball and sprained her ankle, or was that another book? I read so many camp books, it’s hard to keep them straight.

Yours Till Niagara Falls, Abby by Jane O’Connor is another camp book. Once again, I don’t remember much about it. I think the main character, Abby, was supposed to go to camp with her best friend, but the friend ended up not being able to go. I vividly remember one scene where they go to the beach that has these stones shaped like chairs. The girls sat in them and got hit by the waves coming in from the ocean. I think there was also an obligatory poison-ivy scene, as well. I loved this book and read it over and over again. In fact, I’m pretty sure I still have a copy of it.

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume isn’t really a summer book, but I read it every summer. Davey’s father, who managed a convenience story in Jersey City, is killed. Her mother falls into a deep depression and is unable to really function, so her sister-in-law and husband invite the family to come live with them in New Mexico. The book is all about grief and healing. It’s a bit of a heavy book for summer, but I loved it. I still do love it.

Who Stole the Wizard of Oz? by Avi is a huge summer time book of mine. As a kid, I tended to find books I liked and reread them to death, but I was having problems finding books to read one particular day and my mom suggested this one. I was resistant, because it was a mystery and mysteries scared me, but I ended up loving it. It follows Becky and Toby, twins living in a small town. Becky is accused of stealing the book The Wizard of Oz and four or five other books from the library sale. She and her brother investigate, trying to find who stole the books. In their course of investigation, they uncover a secret about the town and its inhabitants. It’s such a great book and I pull it out every once in awhile just to relive the magic.

So, those are my top 5 childhood summertime reads. What book say summer to you? Any childhood favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Book review: F is for Fugitive

Title: F is for Fugitive

Author: Sue Grafton

Bailey Fowler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter seventeen years ago. About a year into his sentence, he escaped from prison and created a new life for himself. A fluke accident leads to his arrest and discovery. His father hires Kinsey Millhone, private detective, to uncover what really happened the night of Jean Timberlake’s murder and to clear his son’s name. Knowing that this case is a long shot, Kinsey agrees to try and travels to the tiny town of Floral Beach, a town mired in secrets.

This is a solid entry to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone novels. Kinsey continues to shine as she travels to a new location and ingratiates herself with the residents of the town–sometimes less successfully than others. I always enjoy watching how Kinsey works, how easily she talks to people and draws information from them. I like getting little pieces of the mystery to try and put together and solve before she does. This one completely alluded me. I admit: I thought Grafton had a pattern as to how she introduced the “big bad” and, thus assured, quickly fingered one of the cast as the most likely suspect. Grafton did little to dissuade me from my choice, planting red herring after red herring until, suddenly, she swerved left. And, oh, what a swerve! This was a fun ride and a great story.

Sunday Post: May 26

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer . It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

This week was a bit of a mixed bag for me. My class took a field trip on Friday, which caused me to be anxious all the rest of the week leading up to it. Of course, the field trip went fine and everything turned out okay, but the days leading up were just full of all sorts of anxiety and worry. All for nothing. I need to learn to stop doing that.

Yesterday, I got to see Fiddler on the Roof. It was my first time seeing it live, and it was really, really well done. I actually started crying during the opening number, Tradition; I’m not sure why, but sometimes when plays start, I get a little overwhelmed. I was a mess at the end of the play; in my opinion, they raised the lights too quickly. That’s one good thing about movies: if you’re crying at the end, you’ve got another five or so minutes to get yourself under control. At a play, they just crash you back to reality and you have to face a theater full of people with a face full of tears. I mean, at least I do. I have no idea how I’m going to do Les Miserables and Miss Saigon next season; I can’t get through the cast recordings without becoming a mess.

Finally, after the play, I went to the bookstore where I bought, with deliberate intention, the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. So now I have three very pretty books and am very happy.

Monday: Clockwork Angel (book review)

Tuesday: Top 5 “Unputdownable” Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: We Rule the Night (book review)

Friday: This or That book tag

Saturday: Emergency Contact (book review)

Monday: F is for Fugitive (book review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Summertime Reads

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Escape from Houdini (book review)

Friday: Book Addiction tag

Saturday: May Wrap-up

How did your week go? Any plans for the upcoming week? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Book Review: Emergency Contact

Title: Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H. K. Choi

Publisher: Simon& Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardback

Penny Lee is heading to college and glad. High school wasn’t for her, and she’s happy to be spreading her wings and staring her journey to being a writer. Her first day, she meets Sam, her roommates “uncle” and is immediately attracted. Meanwhile, Sam is overwhelmed with the idea his ex-girlfriend might be pregnant and not in the best place in his life. When a panic attack causes him and Penny to cross paths again, they agree to become each other’s emergency contact and start texting each other. The more they text, the more attracted they are toward each other, but each is unsure if they’re ready to take the next step.

I struggled with this one. I just found Penny to be so unlikable. She judges everyone from her mom to her new roommate and just… I don’t know. Isn’t very nice. Now, I know characters don’t need to be nice to be likable, or a character doesn’t need to be likable for a story to be good, but in this case, it was detrimental to the plot. 

However, I think Penny’s likability was part of her journey as a character. The more Penny and Sam communicated, the more understandable Penny became. She opened up to the world, she faced her flaws, and she became more well rounded.

Sam didn’t go through quite the same journey. He had issues that he had to work through, and he did, and was changed from the beginning, but I don’t feel like he experienced quite the same growth and awakening as Penny did. I liked him better than Penny, but I wasn’t as invested in him.

This book overall was interesting. The characters went through growth and helped me relate to and understand them better. I struggled in the beginning, and I feel there were some threads that were left unfinished or hanging, but it was a solid read with a good ending.