Let's Talk Bookish – How has reading shaped your life?

It’s Friday and time for another Let’s Talk Bookish. This is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books where participants are invited to discuss a topic. This week’s topic is “How has reading shaped/changed your life?”

I have always been a reader. My parents read to me from an early age, and I grew up with a great love of books and reading. Some of my earliest memories are going to the library and checking out stacks of books to take home and devour. I participated in the library summer reading program and tore through books, wanting to read the most (I never did, though). Reading has always been a huge part of my life.

When I was in fourth grade, I transferred schools. It was an incredibly difficult transition and the girls at the new school could be incredibly cruel to me. They teased and bullied me, sometimes physically. I took solace in books. I’d always had an active imagination, and having that escape really helped. It didn’t matter that I didn’t live near any of the few friends I had; I had friends in my mind. Stories and books became a solace and a refuge. If the girls were being too mean, I could take a book out to recess and escape or even just walk away and imagine myself into another world.

In high school, I met another girl who loved to read as much as me. We initially bonded over Star Trek, but quickly found we had so much more in common. We would spend hours at the bookstores, pouring over books. We lent and recommended books to each other all the time. We never ran out of things to say to one another.

Reading has also shaped my writing life. Although I was always adamant about not wanting to be a writer (a stance I’ve since reversed), I’ve always been writing because I was influenced by reading. My earliest scribblings were poems. In fourth grade, I wrote a sequel to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM as a gift for my teacher who read it to us. I wrote Star Wars fanfiction in high school, then graduated to pirate romances after I started reading romances. I started writing vampires after Interview with the Vampire and the Anita Blake books by Laurel K. Hamilton. I realized I could connect all my writing into a shared universe from Cassandra Clare, which led to me writing two books this year. Reading has guided and directed my writing from the beginning.

My identity as a reader has always been important to me. I’ve always been proud of it and excited to share my love. Without reading, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I honestly can’t imagine who I’d be without it.

How has reading shaped or changed your life? Drop a comment below and let me know!

WWW Wednesday November 27

Hey everyone! It’s Wednesday and time for WWW Wednesday once again. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are invited to answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you just finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

I’m listening to The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer. I just started listening to it on Monday and meant to listen on my trip down to my parents, but got caught up in podcasts instead. Still, I liked what I listened to and can’t wait to read more.

I also made some more progress on Interview with the Vampire. They’ve finally made it off the plantation and are heading to New Orleans soon. So, progress!

Just finished reading:

I finished A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden over the weekend and really enjoyed it. My review is here. I finished The Night Country by Melissa Albert yesterday and loved it. I thought it was super fantastic.

Reading next

To be perfectly honest, I am probably going to march into my sister’s room after I’m done writing this post and borrow Finale by Stephanie Garber because I’ve been dying to read it and she said I could borrow it when I visited. I probably won’t read either book I’m currently reading at all. I also probably will not get started with The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner like I meant to this week like I intended because I will be reading Finale. So, that’s what I’m reading next.

What are you reading this week? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Top Ten Books I’m Thankful I Gave a Chance

It’s Tuesday! That means in two day, I’m running my first 5K! I’m excited and nervous. I know I can do it, but I’m still worried that something will happen.

But that’s Thursday. Today is Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Thankful Freebie”, which means we get to choose the topic. I’m going with Top Ten Books I’m Grateful I gave a Chance.

  1. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. So, I’ve been in fandom a long, long time, and I knew who Cassandra Clare was long before she started writing books. All I knew about her was that she was wanky and got her fans to buy her a laptop. Because of that, I never read any of her books. However, this year, I decided to give Clockwork Angel a chance and I’m so glad I did. Not only was the whole series wonderful, but it helped inspire me to start writing again. I didn’t realize that all her books were set in the same universe and it occurred to me that I could do the same thing. In less than a year, I went to having one book written to almost three (I’m currently writing the third.) So, yeah, I’m super glad I gave the books a chance.
  2. The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Before discovering BookTube, I’d never heard of these books. I was introduce to them by A Dash of Ash. Even hearing her enthuse about them, I wasn’t sure they were for me. Still, I decided to give them a try. At first, it was a huge struggle because I wasn’t following who the characters were. But, once I adjusted to the format, I fell in love. I love the characters, I love the story, I love the format, and I love AIDAN. In fact, it may be time for a reread of the series.
  3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman. This was another book I’d never heard of before BookTube and I dismissed it at first because I didn’t know what it was about. Then, I picked it up at a bookstore and read the first chapter. I fell in love. I didn’t buy it, but I checked it out from the library. However, I think I’m going to buy all three books now that The Toll is out and reread the first two before diving into the third.
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Yet another book I thought I wouldn’t care for, I bought this for three bucks at the library store. It was in perfect condition and I felt like I had to buy it. It was such a magical book. I loved the characters, the setting, the worldbuilding, everything. And to think,I never would have given it a chance if I hadn’t first read
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Graber. I’m not a huge fantasy lover, and I thought this book would be out of my comfort zone. However, I decided to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. I loved Scarlett so much and the whole game of Caraval and her obsession with following the rules was just so much fun to read. I liked Legendary even more and I’m so excited to read Finale very, very soon.
  6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This is another book that I picked up because of BookTube. It was so popular and people loved it so much, that I decided to give it a try. I admit, I struggled with it. I couldn’t get into it at first and actually put it down and stop reading. Then, one weekend last March, I hurt my foot and called in sick to work. I decided to spend the weekend reading and I went back to SoC and jammed through it. I was so glad I did. I actually liked Crooked Kingdom even more, but I never would have read that if I had’t read the first one.
  7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I struggled so much to read this book. My mom recommended it to me, and I tried, but couldn’t get past the first chapter. It just didn’t grab me. Finally, I sat down and pushed through and I discovered the delightful magic of Harry Potter. I’m so glad I gave it a chance.
  8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So, one of the places I hang out on the internet has strong opinions about everything. I swear, everything they like, I hate and vice versa. Which is why I finally decided to give Fangirl a chance because they hated it so much. I figured, I’d love it. And I did. It was like reading about myself during my early years in fandom. I was never as popular as Cath was, but I had a very popular series that people made fanart for, fangirled my OCs, and kept me going through some dark times.
  9. Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I don’t like dragons all that much, and when I read the description of this book, I thought it was about a literal dragon. And even when I realized my mistake, I wasn’t sure. However, I have loved every single fanfic that I’ve read of Naomi Novik’s and decided I was being stupid. I loved Uprooted so much. I’m so glad I gave it a chance.
  10. Beauty by Robin McKinley. I remember the first time I came across this book. I was in eighth grade in our library. I was trolling the shelves for books and came across this one. Instead of reading the description, I read the first line and went, “A Sleeping Beauty story told in first person? That’s so dumb.” And I put it back on the shelf. It wasn’t until I got hurt (there’s sort of a theme here) and stuck in the library during PE that I gave it another chance and realized it was a Beauty and the Beast story and it was amazing. I cannot stress how much I love this book. It’s my favorite book ever and I read every year and just… yeah. It’s a huge part of my heart.

What are some books you are thankful you gave a chance to?

Weekly Wrap-up | November 24, 2019

I made it through another week! This week was rough, y’all. For 12 years, I’ve had the week after parent conferences off for Thanksgiving. This year, they moved conferences up a week so I had to go back and teach. And it was a rough teaching week, let me tell you. Ever tried to get 25 second graders to add two digit number with regrouping? Yeah. It took four days before they finally got the concept. Four very frustrating days.

But, now I have a week off, which is wonderful. I spent yesterday working on my NaNoWriMo novel and finishing up A Touch of Death by Rebecca Cruden. I also cleaned my apartment and it feels so nice to have an organized space again. Today will be another day of reading and writing. I also need to go running because in four days, I’m running a 5K! My goal for this race is to just finish. If I have fun, I’ll sign up for another race on New Years Day where my goal will be to run the whole thing without walking. Right now, it seems like I’ll never be able to do it, but I never thought I’d be able to do NaNo either, and I’m at 40,000 words right now. So maybe I can do anything I set my mind to.

Monday: Fable by Michele Packard (review)

Tuesday: Top 10 Changes in my Reading Life

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Friday: Let’s Talk Bookish

Saturday: Snippet Saturday: Dark Goddess

Monday: Review of A Touch of Death by Rebecca Cruden

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: The Night Country by Melissa Albert

Friday: How has reading shaped/changed your life?

Saturday: Dark Goddess snippet

What’s in store for you this week? Drop a comment below and let me know!

WWW Wednesday

It’s Wednesday! Let’s celebrate the middle of the week with a weekly tradition! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are invited to answer three questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I stared A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden a few days ago, and so far, I’m enjoying it. I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen or where it’s going so far. Two of the character just risked their lives, leaving their town and walking through freezing rain and mud to escape, only for one of the character to contact her father once they got to the next town and find out everything was okay. So, I’m not quite sure what they did or why they had to run, but I’m sure it’ll all be explained.

I’m listening to The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking. It’s about how the Danish people, who are consistently ranked as the happiest in the world, manage to make themselves so happy through their devotion to all things comfortable, or hygge (hoo-ga). It’s… okay. It’s a little repetitive, and I had to skip most of the chapter on recipes because it was so boring to listen to, but it’s fine. It convinced me to break out some candles to make my space more comfortably lit and I like it.

I’m also sorta still reading Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, but most nights, I’m too tired to get to that one. I’ll devote myself to it next week, when I have off.

I just finished Fable by Michele Packard, which I didn’t enjoy. I wanted to, because it was about a female covert operative, and the world needs more of them, but it just was not very well written. You can find my review here.

The very next book I’m reading is the ARC of The Night Country by Melissa Albert. I’m very excited for that one. After that, I’ll start The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner, which I thought sounded fun.

That’s it for me. What are you reading this week?

Top 10 Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Top 10 Changes in My Reading Life.

  1. I listen to audio books after rejecting them for many years. The first time I tried to listen to an audio book, I hated it. I don’t generally like being read to, and I just wasn’t liking sitting there listening when I could be reading so much faster. But, last year, I decided to give it another chance, and found I really enjoyed the experience of listening to a book while I drove to work. Nowadays, I mostly listen to non-fiction, but it’s still a fun experience.
  2. I’ve started reading ARCs in the past year. I read a few before, but those were only when I managed to get to a convention. I didn’t think I’d be able to get anything on NetGalley because my blog wasn’t big enough, but the community encouraged me and I gave it a try. Lo and behold, I was approved!
  3. I’m trying to branch out in my tastes. I still don’t think I’m going to be reading much high fantasy (I’m not really a fan of dragons, for example), but I am reading more books that I’d passed over before, like Six of Crows. The best part is I’m realizing I really like books with fantasy elements, so that’s good.
  4. I’m rereading books less than I used to. It’s not that I don’t want to reread books, but there always seems to be such new and exciting books that have just come out, I have less time to reread than I used to.
  5. I’m going to the library more. One thing that changed is I started getting tighter in my budget, but I also stopped wanting to own every book in the world. Since I’m rereading less, it made less sense to keep every book I read and just keep the ones I know that will be reread and loved.
  6. I’m reading more than I used to in a year. When I first started doing the Goodreads challenge, I never though I could read fifty books in a year. That’s almost a book a week and I work full time. But, I found time every day to read and right now am a 107 books. Let’s hope I can keep it up next year.
  7. I’m also kind of reading less than I was earlier this year. I was reading about ten books a month for a while, then I got really into writing again. Now, writing has taken precedence over reading, so I’m back to not reading quite as much.
  8. I’m reviewing almost every book I read. I always wanted to, but not enough to actually do it. But now that I have a blog, I make an effort to put my thoughts out there and tell people what I think.
  9. I’m more up-to-date with what books are coming out. I used to know only when books I cared about were coming out. It’s the same now, but I care about so many more books and keep tabs on them.
  10. I spend a lot more time thinking about books and the market and what’s popular than I used to. Having a blog really helps keep me aware of the vast bookish life

Those are my 10 changes. What are some of yours? Tell be below or leave a link to your list!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, participants are invited to answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently rereading Think of England by KJ Charles, which is a gay romance about a man named Archie Curtis who was injured in an accident during World War I that he suspects to be sabotage. He goes to a house party being thrown by the suspected saboteur only to find a web of deceit and blackmail. I love this book to death.

I also started rereading Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. I caught part of the movie on Halloween and have been hankering to read it again, so I stopped inside a local used bookstore. I found and purchased it within two minutes.

Technically, I haven’t started My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsberg and others, but I’m planning on it today, so I’ll say I’m currently reading this as well.

I feel like I’ve read another book beside A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, but I don’t know what it was. I really enjoyed this book and loved the twist on Sherlock Holmes. I can’t wait for the next book. I reviewed this one here.

I’m going to try Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn next since it’s literally on the top of my TBR pile. I’m thinking I might also try the first in the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and I might listen to Her Majesty’s Necromancer by C.J. Archer, because it looks intriguing.

That’s what I’m doing this week. What are you reading?