read-a-thon mini-challenge: vague recollections

This mini-challenge is hosted by Scintillating Reads and can be found here. The idea behind this challenge is to describe a book as vaguely as possible and have people try to guess what it is. The person hosting this challenge, like me, is a librarian, so we get questions like this all the time with people not knowing a title or author but describing certain plot elements or the cover. I want to try describing a couple popular books and seeing if I can describe it vaguely enough that it’s hard to guess!

 

book 1: It’s got a blue cover, I think, with something about a cauldron and seasons.

book 2: it has a drink on a cover. In a plastic cup, maybe?

book 3: there’s a road trip and they’re trying to find something…or maybe someone?

 

Can you guess what any of these books are?

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readathon mini-challenge: Anthology of Interest

This mini-challenge for Dewey’s 24-hour Read-A-Thon is hosted by Purple Owl Reviews and can be found here. The challenge is to write about topics you’d like to see an anthology written about.

I’ve never read an anthology, but there have been a lot of anthologies to come out over the past year or so from various YA authors that do look interesting even though short stories aren’t really my thing. For this post, I’ll first write about anthologies I’d like to see, then talk about some anthologies that are already out or are soon to be published that I’m interested in checking out.

Anthologies I’d Like to See

  • Nonbinary and trans stories. One of the anthologies I want to talk about is LGBT, but I’d REALLY like to see an anthology of stories just about gender identity specifically featuring characters who are trans, nonbinary, fluid, etc.
  • College-aged YA. I want to see more of this in general, so of course it’s going on the list. There is a debate as to what type of college-aged stories count as YA vs. NA, but I think college stories should still count as YA, personally, since college students still deal with a lot of the same emotions high school students do, but in a different setting and context.

 

Anthologies I’d Like to Read

  • All Out | Saundra Mitchell – A collection of stories about queer teens throughout history.
  • It’s a Whole Spiel | Katherine Locke – These stories are all about Jewish teens from Jewish writers! I feel like I’ve seen so few Jewish characters represented in YA, so this is one I’d like to read.
  • Toil and Trouble | Tess Sharpe – This anthology features stories about women and witchcraft!! Witch YA is the best, so hopefully these stories will all be good!
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Dewey’s read-a-thon: Opening Meme

Today’s the day! It’s Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-A-Thon, in which readers from all over the world start reading in 15 minutes (probably less once I finish this post) and read from 8am today to 8am tomorrow (or whatever their scheduled time is!!) I’ll be posting throughout the day about the read-a-thon, and here are the questions for the opening meme! Happy reading 😀

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Baltimore, Maryland, USA!
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

My stack is really short because I’m probably not going to get much reading done since I’ll be at work most of the day and I have to finish ACOMAF, but definitely continuing my ACOMAF reread.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Tea when I get home. I also have some Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked in my fridge. I didn’t actually stock up on snacks too much so I might do that when I get home from work/dinner with friends.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

This blog is only about a month old, but I’ve actually been blogging for 6ish years! I’m also a YA librarian in a big urban library. It’s my first full-time library job!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Sadly, the thing I’ll be doing most differently is trying to fit in reading while at work. Fortunately, since I have everything at work done, I’m actually allowed to read on desk. I might also try to stay up all night since I’ve never done that before! I’ve never made it through the whole 24 hours. Doing so will probably require more snacks though.

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if we were having coffee

If We Were Having Coffee is a personal blog post feature that I discovered via one of my favorite book blogs back when it was a book blog *throws a leaf’s worth of shade* It’s an opportunity to both share things about yourself with your readers and check in and reflect. Since I don’t drink coffee though, all my points are going to be “if we were having tea” because tea is better and more tasty and…just better.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m rereading ACOMAF in preparation to finally read ACOWAR in preparation for ACOFAS and that I’m enjoying it. I don’t remember everything from ACOTAR so it gets a little confusing so far, but I’m absorbing much more from the book this time around so hopefully I won’t feel so lost in ACOWAR when I go for it again.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m really sad that I’m working tomorrow because I REALLY want to do Dewey’s Read-A-Thon, which I do almost every time. I’m going to try to do some reading at work since I’m allowed to and read most of the night, but I’m worried I’ll be too tired the next day and then tired for work on Monday.

if we were having teaI’d admit I’m having trouble with work-life balance. Working as a teen librarian is my first full-time job and it’s very hard to adjust to after part-time work and continuing to be a student. I feel like all I do is work, eat dinner, and go to sleep, with very little time for fun things, and I worry that fun things even like doing a 24 hour read a thon will tire me out too much, even though I know I’ll catch up on the sleep eventually and it won’t be the end of the world to be tired.

if we were having tea…I’d probably cry a little and say that my newish (as of February) apartment still doesn’t really feel like home. I feel like everything is always a mess because I’m messy but then I look at the mess no matter how small and feel so anxious and overwhelmed by it that I avoid it and it creates more mess and it’s just an endless vicious cycle. I’d also say the kittens stressing me out is contributing to it because I want to just love them and shower them with affection but they’re so rambunctious and naughty because they are babies and all I feel toward them right now is stress, so it’s good that my boy is there often to not yell at them and shower them with only love. I’m worried they don’t like me because I tell them not to do things and kick them off the counter.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I started reading From Twinkle, With Love and thus far am…disappointed. Twinkle’s voice reads REALLY juvenile and she’s just very annoying. I like the format, but I am having trouble getting into it because I’m not a Twinkle fan even though her name is the best.

if we were having tea…I’d tell you I’m really happy that I’ve been interacting more with the new blogging community. I used to be really scared to comment on other people’s blogs, but I feel like I have to do that to get noticed and also to feel fulfilled in my blogging life, because I used to feel so isolated and not part of the bookish community. Now, even though my newest blog is small in terms of followers and views, I feel like I’m more connected because I get and give comments more often, even from bloggers I really like. I feel like the new bloggers are much more open and friendly than the people I used to idolize and look up to, and I feel they are much more my peers than I people I used to be into.

if we were having tea…I’d say I’ve been a little depressed because of the lack of doing fun things and not doing other things I enjoy, like playing music or writing. I want to do these things but can’t seem to find the motivation, especially writing, even though I think doing it would really help me because I always feel more positive and happy when I’m working on a new writing project. I think it’s partially fear of failure, but also I just can’t find the motivation to just sit down and actually write even though I really want to. Not doing anything creative (other than blogging I guess) is really taking a toll on me and I need to do something about it, I just don’t know how.

What would you tell me if we sat down and had a tea party (cucumber sandwiches included)?

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the reading habits tag

I was tagged (yay, first time doing a tag where someone actually tagged me!!) to do the Reading Habits Tag by Sophie of Sophie’s Corner! This tag was crated by Jasmine @ Jasmine’s Reading Blog.

1) Bookmarks or random piece of paper?

Honestly, I dog-ear pages a lot. I know that’s a cardinal bookish sin, but it’s useful if I don’t have a book mark on me. I typically do use a bookmark though, since I have so many great ones! I also like it when I get a blogger’s business card because business cards are the perfect size for bookmarks!

2) Stop reading randomly or after a chapter/certain amount of pages?

I have to stop somewhere concrete, either at a page break or the end of a chapter. I prefer to read until the end of a chapter, but I will stop at a page break too if need be. If I stop randomly I forget what happened before I stopped reading.

3) Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

This question makes me sad because I don’t feel totally at home or comfortable in my new apartment yet. I don’t actually read a ton at home, maybe partially because of that. I guess my new couch is a good reading place because it’s a sectional. We’ll see if my answer changes as I feel more at home.

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4) Do you eat or drink while reading?

I love drinking tea while reading. The perfect tea and book pairing always makes me happy. I like the idea of book snacks but in reality I always stop reading or eat the snack first in order to avoid getting things on the pages.

5) Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I can do both. I really like putting on a mindless show or a movie I’ve seen a million times while reading so I watch while I take a reading break. I can put music on sometimes, mostly because I completely tune it out to the point where I don’t even hear it anymore as I’m reading.

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6) One book at a time or several?

I try to read more than one sometimes but always end up reading them one at a time. I like to focus on one thing when I read and become completely immersed in one story.

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7) Reading at home or everywhere?

Literally everywhere. In college I even read while waiting in the stir-fry line.

8) Reading out loud or silently?

Definitely silently.

9) Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I might skim if a book gets too info-dumpy or if there’s a graphic scene that makes me uncomfortable but in general no.

10) Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

People…break….the precious spine…I guess that answers the question.

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11) Do you write in your books?

NO. I hated having to annotate books in high school, even when I didn’t like them. It was horrible.

 

I don’t usually tag people because I am shy online but I tag…

Marta @ The Cursed Books

Caro @ The Bookcheshire Cat

Aurora Libralis

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Dewey’s 24hr Read-A-Thon: readathon tips!!

So this Saturday, April 28, is Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon. I love read-a-thons and try to participate as much as possible. Unfortunately, this year I am scheduled to work on Dewey day, but I am still going to do my best to participate, because I am allowed to read on desk if my work is done and darn it, IT WILL BE DONE!! I also have the entire night to participate if I want to, so maybe I’ll try it at night as well. In preparation for the event, both for myself and for you, I have compiled a list of read-a-thon tips to help you get through the 24 hours (even though I have never managed to do so myself).

  • Caffeine. This is obviously a big one. If there were ever a time for energy drinks, it’s when you’re going to be reading for 24 hours. So stock up on that caffeinated tea, or coffee, or soda, or Red Bull or Monster or whatever floats your boat.
  • Read short books. I always try to go for reading short to medium-short books for read-a-thons. I guess this doesn’t have to be true, but I personally like to read as many books as possible during a reading event. Ergo, I look up which books on my TBR list are the shortest, and try to stick with those for the most part.
  • Snacks. Snacks aren’t just fun and tasty, they’re good for keeping up energy. I’d recommend eating little bits of snacks throughout the event and not big snacks to avoid going into a food coma.
  • Nap if you need to. Personally, I cannot nap during these events because I will for sure go to sleep for the rest of the night. But if you’re the type of person who falls asleep quickly and can nap in 20 minutes or an hour, definitely do it!
  • Take breaks. It can be fun to read for long stretches of time, but also brain-melt-y. To avoid burnout, I recommend getting up and taking a break. Go for a walk, or listen to music, or watch a short episode of a TV show if you’re not the kind of person who watches and reads.
  • Put on some mindless TV or music in the background. I am someone who can read and have TV or music on, and sometimes this helps me avoid reading burnout as well as focus more because I’m trying to push out the sound. It’s also a good way to take breaks, since if you already have something on the TV, you can just pause reading and watch for a few minutes before resuming your book.
  • Get moving! Before I moved when I was living at home after college, I was really invested in getting 10,000 steps a day with my FitBit. I would often get my steps by walking around the house reading, which seems and probably looks silly, but kept me motivated to get those steps in and made my brain pick up a bit while reading.

Since I’ve never made it through a 24 hour read-a-thon (I never even pulled an all-nighter in college), maybe these tips will be useless, but I hope someone finds something helpful in them and makes their read-a-thon goal!

 

Are you participating in Dewey’s Read-a-Thon? What books are you reading? Have you ever made it the whole 24 hours?

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top ten tuesday // words used in fantasy titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t do it a lot, but when I saw this week’s topic, commonly used words in [x genre], I knew I wanted to do it so I could talk about FANTASY titles!

  1. Bone

 

2. Fire

 

3. Court

 

4. Queen

 

5. Blood

 

6. Thorns

 

7. Ink

 

8. Glass

 

9. Daughter

 

10. Ash

 

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recent acquisitions // *cue excitement*

I’ve had another influx of bookish acquisitions from publishers, NetGalley, and Edelweiss, and I want to share the books I’m most excited about reading today on the blog.

e-ARCs

 

  • A Blade So Black | L. L. McKinney // This is apparently an Alice in Wonderland retelling, and have I ever mentioned how much I LOVEADOREWILLDIEFOR Alice retellings??? This one sounds extra dark and twisted, plus it’s diverse, plus that cover is badass, and how can this book go wrong? I seriously cannot wait to dive into this one!!!
  • Rule | Ellen Goodlett // I hadn’t heard of this one before it popped up on Edelweiss the other day, but now that I have, it is at the top of my TBR list. The comp titles are PLL and Three Dark Crowns, which I haven’t read, but I love anything comped to PLL and it’s PLL but fantasy?! Best combo?? I think yes. Honestly, I didn’t absorb basically anything else in the synopsis on Edelweiss after I saw the comp titles but boy oh boy I am excited for this one!!
  • Sadie | Courtney Summers // I didn’t love All the Rage as much as I thought I would, but I am willing to give Courtney Summers another chance. This book is about a girl whose sister is murdered, and a radio personality who starts a podcast to document Sadie’s journey to find her sister’s killer after a failed police investigation. I can always go for a murder mystery, and this one strikes me as unique, so I’m definitely adding it to the TBR list.

 

ARCs

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  • Jack of Hearts (and other parts) | L. C. Rosen // I actually accidentally ended up with two copies of this ARC because I traded for it before my request to LBYR went through…oops. I am so ridiculously excited for this one because it’s about a gay kid who has lots of sex and starts an advice column, then gets blackmailed, and he and his friends have to figure out who the stalker is before it gets *dangerous.* So it has a couple similar plot points to Love, Simon with the blackmailing but DARK and SEX.

 

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  • Darius the Great is Not Okay | Adib Khorram // I’ve been excited about this one since the deal was announced. Do I remember the actual plot? Erm…no, but I do remember it’s about an Iranian American boy and my boyfriend is Persian so I’m very interested in reading it after I let him borrow it. Also apparently it got like a seven figure deal so I want to see what all the fuss is about.

 

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  • Girls of Paper and Fire | Natasha Ngan //  This one has a plot that kind of reminds me of The Belles for some reason. I didn’t really hear about this one until it was announced as a BEA buzz book, but now I have been swept up by the pretty cover and the hype.

 

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  • Seafire | Natalie C. Parker // So I just noticed this fantasy is marked as LGBT on Goodreads and that makes me want to read it even more?!?!? I wasn’t excited about this book at first but then it was comped as a feminist Mad Max, plus I’ve been really into sea fantasies this year (hi Sea Witch and To Kill a Kingdom!). That tagline is also dope and makes me really excited for this book. I also really liked Parker’s debut, Beware the Wild, so I hope this book lives up to and exceeds that one!!
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beautiful people // favorites edition

Beautiful People is a meme for writers hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Its purpose is to both help you get to know your characters better as well as to share your writings with other people. The questions are posted at the beginning of the month and you can link up throughout.

Unfortunately, this is the last Beautiful People for now, but I may go back and do some of the archived ones, because I’m going to start really trying to motivate myself to write again. I haven’t written since NaNo and I want to revise my first novel half-ish thing before I continue writing. Or maybe outline then revise. I always think I’m an outliner and then I just pants it but wish I had an outline to help me know what the heck happens. Anyway, back to this edition of Beautiful People.

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**the questions**

  1. Favorite genre to write in?

Well, given that I’ve only ever tried to write in contemporary, I’d say that is probably my favorite genre to write in. I don’t know if I could ever do fantasy, though I do love to read fantasy.

2.  What book do you think your character would benefit from reading?

In the current draft, my yet-to-be-named MC would probably benefit from reading Nina LaCour’s first book, Hold Still. Her best friend dies by suicide in this draft, though I think I’m going to change that in draft 2 because with everything else going on it might be too much and I want to make sure I handle all my issues well.

3. Favorite piece of dialogue you’ve written?

I haven’t written it yet, but it’s going to be a very long, banter-y version of the chicken butt joke between the MC and one of her lady love interests.

4. What did your character want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

I think my MC wanted to be a lot of different things when she was little, but becomes lost in her teen years when the book takes place. But, I think she’ll eventually become a writer and editor.

5. Favorite character names?

Honestly, the only character who has a for-sure-sticking-with-it name right now is the young author love interest, Rose Garber. I wanted to name her Rose because she has pink unicorn hair and Garber because of the author Stephanie Garber. I can’t decide what to name the other love interest, who is her best friend, or the MC herself. I feel that names are very important and help me mold a character’s personality in my brain and it’s been hard to write without a solid name choice.

6. What makes your character feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

Not being judged for her emotions. My MC is afraid of sharing her emotions with people because she thinks they’re too big and ridiculous. The person she feels most loved with is her best friend, who she has a crush on.

7. Favorite character you’ve ever written?

I haven’t written much yet, just two half-novels, so I don’t know if I can answer this question. I think Rose will be one of my favorite characters because I want to show lots of different sides of her and her mental illness.

8. If your character were permanently leaving town, what would they easily throw out? What would they refuse to part with? (Why?)

My MC would have a hard time throwing anything out because she’d be too anxious that she’d miss it. She would definitely refuse to part with her cat, Splinters.

9. Favorite tropes to write!

Again, I haven’t written much, but I really want to write a hate-to-love romance someday. I love reading those.

10. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?

Even though I shelved my first novel half, which was a series of vignettes about an attempt to rekindle a relationship, I still have this feeling that I want to finish it someday. It was based on a real relationship that I’m over now, so I could go back and write it probably, but for some reason I’m still kinda convinced that it should be written.

11. Favorite relationship between characters you’ve written?

Okay, these questions are really making me feel like I need to write more so I can actually have answers. I’m really looking forward to writing Rose and the MC’s relationship because it’s going to be *complicated*

12. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?

  • books featuring intersectional characters
  • books with teens dealing with mental illness that show them getting help
  • books with present parents
  • books dealing with loss of friendships
  • books set in early college
  • books with sexual assault or rape that aren’t considered “violent” by mainstream definitions

13. Favorite pinterest board / aesthetic for a book?

I was making my aesthetic board for Queer Bookish Novel and realized it was all in the colors of the bisexual flag, and the MC is bisexual. So that was a good moment:

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14. Favorite time periods & settings to work with?

Contemporary ones?

15. When people are done reading your book, what feeling do you want them to come away with?

I want people to feel hopeful after reading my book. I want them to feel like even though things may not work out perfectly all the time and that life can be hard and miserable sometimes, it’s still possible to get glimmers of happiness that are worth it.

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why I no longer do blog tours

When I first started blogging, I was so desperate to be accepted for blog tours. To be honest, I mainly wanted the chance to read ARCs and the blog publicity because I was a tiny baby blog, as I am again now (alas). However, I have realized over time that blog tours and review requests are really not for me, and today I’m going to talk a little bit about why I don’t do them anymore and don’t plan to do any on this blog.

  • I might not like the book. The point of a tour is book promotion, and not liking the book makes it hard to feel inspired to promote a book, even if you’re not doing a review post. I have honestly done tours where I’ve done a review post but disliked the book, then been too afraid to tell the tour hosts I didn’t like it, so painstakingly looked for even the tiniest things I enjoyed about it in order to have something to write about.
  • I’m a mood reader. If I’m not in the mood for a book, it’s honestly way less likely that I’m going to enjoy it. I might be in the mood for the book before I request it, but if I don’t have a copy already, I obviously won’t be reading it for a while, and my reading mood can change on a whim, so it’s not a great system to get me to read a book.
  • I don’t personally like reading tour posts. Obviously the person is going to say they liked the book, or else they wouldn’t be on the tour, so I feel that there is no point in reading a post whose purpose is just to sell a book. I want posts that are more nuanced and interesting, and I don’t get that with tour posts, so why would I elect to write them?
  • I might not have time to read the book. Since I am such a mood reader, I might not start the book until a short time before the tour, and then I’,ll feel pressure to finish it, which will make me dislike it.
  • Too much pressure. All in all, tours are just too. Much. Pressure. I have to be in the right mood for it to like it, I have to read it with enough time to fully enjoy it, it has to be good, I have to get in the right mood in time; it’s just too many factors that are up in the air that make being on a book tour stressful, thus lessening my enjoyment of the book, thus making being on the tour pointless.

To be honest, I don’t think I’m even going to put contact information on this blog, because I contact publishers myself when I am interested in reading something, and I don’t want a bunch of spam emails from email blasts that I never signed up for or books by authors who don’t bother to read my blog enough to know that it’s a YA only blog, not romance or erotica or Christian lit.

In short, book promotional tours are not for me. I like to promote books on my terms and my time, and I find them to be far too much pressure when blogging is something I do for fun on the side of the real job where I promote books basically for a living to the actual audience for them.

Have you struggled with participating in blog tours? What are your thoughts on promo posts and events?

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