on connecting with a book (and author)

There are books you love, and then there are books that consume you.

I haven’t had that feeling in a good long time. There have been books I’ve loved, books I recommend, books I enjoy and worlds I will miss, but it’s been a while since I’ve had that grip you and won’t let go feeling after reading a book.

Rainbow Rowell has totally blown me to literary smithereens.

I read Fangirl a couple of weeks ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Not only did I immediately connect with the story, it made me remember all the things I love about been a book lover, a writer, a fan, a geek, and a student all in one. The novel is emotionally charged and deals with some heavy subjects (depression, social anxiety, drinking), but Cath’s ability to overcome these things through writing and books is a powerful message in itself.

And then I read Eleanor & Park and there were so many feels, I’m still reeling. I just want to read these books again and let them wash over me.

These are the kinds of books I want to tell everyone about. I know I’m going to sound like a sales lady every time someone asks me for a book recommendation at work. It’s like when I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or the Georgia Nicolson books, or Harry Potter and couldn’t stop trying to get all my friends to read them too. These books are an experience.

Reading Recap: 2012 in books

I read 54 books this year (to date). That’s less than I read last year, but more than I read the year before that. Either way, I met my goal of reading 50 books in 2012. To commemorate this year of reading, here are the best books I read this year (in no particular order).

Best Books I read in 2012

God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1) by Kate Locke

Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith (I published a review of this one, but guess I never blogged about it?)

You can check out all the books I read in 2012 on GoodReads.

reader’s resolution for 2013

I’m early, I know, but I’ve been thinking about this for a while and thought it best to write it down and make it official (cause that’s how I roll). I’ve decided that 2013 is going to be a year of leisurely reading and TBR shelf sorting. I’m not going to accept any review books (except those I am professionally obliged to review), and will not be requesting any ARCs. I will be concentrating on my own writing in 2013–polishing my NaNo project, rewriting the unwieldy mass of words that is Secret Project #1, and working on some chapters for an academic publication. Reading is going to be my guilty pleasure while trying to make everything else work. I will continue to blog, but my posts will focus on those books that I really enjoy and want to share, rather than try to write about every book I read.

My bookish goals for the year are:

  • To read the rest of the Sailor Moon series
  • To read the YA selections that I didn’t get to finish this past summer
  • To only read the books I own (including Nook books)… and not acquire any new ones.
  • To read A Game of Thrones (gotta start somewhere)

BBAW Day 3 – What Book Blogging Means to Me

Book Blogging allows me to “talk” about books! Book blogging is the best outlet I have to share my experiences, opinions, reactions, and general love of books without getting funny looks from people who don’t like to read. If you read book blogs, chances are you’re a book lover, so I don’t need to worry about getting that “Oh, you like to read?” reaction from my readers… I know they like to read. Even if my audience doesn’t care for a particular book that I’m gushing about, I know they are just as passionate about their own reading habits. There is something so wonderful about the book blogging community–we share a love of reading, a love of books both physical and electronic, and the desire to talk about these with others.

 

 

BBAW Day 2 – My bookish habits

Because I didn’t have time for an interview, here is my alternate BBAW Day 2 response 🙂

 

Sometimes I Nook it, sometimes I Book it.

 
Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I don’t snack, but I do drink tea. If I’m reading before bed, it’ll be a chamomile or mint tea. If it’s morning, a black tea such as Earl Grey or Scottish Breakfast Tea.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
This depends on the kind of book I’m reading. If it’s a densely plotted, classic novel with dozens of characters, I do. It’s a throwback to my student days. I don’t really markup my margins if I’m just reading for fun.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
Bookmarks! I’ve been collecting them since I was a child. I’ve also taken to using interesting postcards.

Laying the book flat open?
While reading? I tend to hold it in my hand unless it’s a ginormous hardcover, which I will lay down or suffer terrible wrist pain.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
I blog (mostly) about fiction, but I do enjoy non-fiction. My non-fiction genres of choice include historical biography and general history or theory.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
I’ve never tried audiobooks and don’t think I ever really will.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I tend to read to the end of a scene.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
I do, but this mostly only happens with foreign words or phrases.

What are you currently reading?
I am currently finishing Cassandra Clare’s City of Lost Souls and Eloisa James’s Paris in Love. Both have taken me far longer than I care to admit, mostly because I haven’t gotten a moment’s peace in weeks!

What is the last book you bought?
A Game of Thrones by George R. Martin. I’ve had a preview on my Nook for months and finally decided to just pick up a paperback copy as it was cheaper.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I am one of those terrible people who jumps from book to book until one is finished… unless the book is soooo good I can’t put it down.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Mornings, lunchtime, and evenings, because these are the moments I can spare.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I enjoy both but experience that gut-wrenching disappointment when I finish a series book and have to wait for the next one. This is why I usually wait until the series is at an end before I start one.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Diana Gabaldon. Her books are the perfect blend of history, romance, and action.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
My books are a mess. My librarian skills do not extend to my personal collection.

What’s your favorite book?

It’s always hard for me to answer when someone asks, “So, what’s your favorite book?” It’s never a matter of not having a favorite, the thing is that I have too many. The idea that someone can have a single favorite book seems sad to me–there are so many wonderful books to experience, how can you possible have just the one favorite? Maybe I’m just a naive bibliophile, but I can’t pick one. I may answer Pride and Prejudice or Persuasion, I may just say that I love Harry Potter, but usually I just answer to get people to stop asking.

Last weekend, my b-chan asked me what my favorite book is and I answered honestly: I don’t have one. But you love to read, he replied. How can you not have one? It’s precisely because I love to read that I don’t, because there are too many to choose from.

Then he asked, Is there a book that you read over and over again?

I suppose this is a better way of asking me what my favorites are; there are many books that I re-read periodically, and these are usually the ones that I cite as favorites when asked. I love Robin McKinley’s Beauty. I’ve read it several times. Part of my graduate thesis was on Beauty, and even after reading it over five times during a six month span, and filling a notebook with notes on every little detail relating to Beauty’s heroism, I still enjoy reading this book.

That said, if it really comes down to it, these are the books that I can call my “Favorites,” if only because I never tire of them.

  • The Austens: Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • The China Garden by Liz Berry
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding- always make me laugh
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (I love the series, but I prefer to re-read the first book)
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (I’ve been meaning to re-read this one again, it’s been a while)
  • the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling