Top Ten Tuesday Rewind!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Tuesday REWIND which means we get to choose our favourite top ten topic from the past, or one that we have missed. I missed last week’s post which was Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Blogger/Reader. Hope you enjoy!

1. Being a blogger helps with improving your writing skills. You are constantly writing, and editing, and preening your work, your writing starts developing and getting better.

2. Book blogging allows me to interact with others about books we mutually like, don’t like, or I’m able find great recommendations!

3. Blogging keeps me up to date with all that’s happening in the book world. Who doesn’t like having the 411?

4. Blogging is a great tool to have when marketing yourself as a writer, or editor, etc. Your blog acts as a portfolio and allows for employers to see your writing, web design, and editing.

5. Blogging about books and writing reviews helps my reading by pay more close attention to details and sharpens my analytic skills.

6. I love being a reader because you get to transport yourself into a different world for 30 minutes, an hour. You can forget everything around you and just be absorbed by words.

7. Reading opens your mind to different perspectives, worlds, and people.

8. I love being a reader because I get to go on an adventure everyday.

9. I love being a reader because you are never alone or bored.

10. When you’re a reader, you get to say “The book was soooo much better ” when referring to film adaptations :).

Why do you like blogging and/or reading?

Book Review: Fangirl-Rainbow Rowell

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Finally reading my first Rainbow Rowell novel, I feel like I am slightly behind  all of the appraisal Rowell has been receiving for her novels. I can definately understand why Rainbow Rowell’s books have been taking the YA genre by storm, her writing is catchy and perfect for avid YA readers. I don’t read a lot of YA novels, simply because sometimes the plot and writing can be a bit conventional, but I thought I’d give Fangirl a fair shot.

The story focuses on a young college Freshman, Cather, or Cath as she prefers to be called. Cath and her twin sister Wren to go college where they are drifted apart as Wren wants to venture out and experience all of what college has to offer, and Wren is comfortable staying within the confines of her room and behind her computer screen. Before college, both Cath and Wren are obsessed with fictional and wildy popular Simon Snow series-a sort of Harry Potter parallel. They even write their own fanfiction of Simon Snow stories which gains a large amount of readers on the Simon Snow fanfiction site FanFixx.net. However, Wren shifts away from the fandom as she seeks an independence apart from Cath, leaving Cath to be the main contributor to the Simon Snow stories.  Finding her way from her dorm room, to the cafeteria, to her Intro to Fiction Writing class, Cath struggles with finding her place in a new environment. Introverted and reclusive Cath is paired roommate with fiery and very outgoing Reagan whose bestfriend turned boyfriend turned bestfriend again, Levi, who may or may not smile too much. It’s no secret Simon Snow takes over the mind, body, and soul of Cath as she pours herself into writing fanfiction, often neglecting her schoolwork.  Cath faces life in college as she is pushed to her boundary through her writing, sister, friends, and new found love. Fangirl brings together unlikely personalities, addresses social anxieties, and examines wavering family relationships.

This book was  like taking a giant bite out of a sprinkle covered pink donut. It’s contrived plot was almost too sanguine for my taste. The plot was very typical: quirky girl goes to college and finds her way, and oh of course she meets a boy. Rowell is an excellent YA novelist and her book definately satisfied my small sweet spot; I applaud her for creating a novel for all the inner (and outer) fangirls out there.  I really didn’t care for Cath. She was too closed out from the world and it seemed she did it on purpose. At times I just wanted to shout “GROW UP AND GET OVER IT,”  for some of her behaviour seemed really juvenile.  I understand social anxiety is a real thing, but at times I think she just used it as an excuse to shut herself off some more.  I found myself eye-rolling at practically everything she did or said. The relationship between her and Levi was cute, and I enjoyed reading about them. I think I liked her roommate Reagan the best out of all the characters, and would definately read a story about her. We only get a surface level of Reagan, Levi, and Wren and Nick, the characters surrounding Cath. However, these characters seemed more honest and real over Cath. Overall the book was great and I found it to be a nice moment in my reading. Even though the novel was sugary and sweet, there were really good elements in the story. Rowell knows what YA readers love and catered specifically to that audience. With YA fiction becoming ever so popular in the book world, Fangirl encompasses all of what YA novels are typically about. I’m curious to see if Rowell can write something a little darker and heavier, or if sentimental is just her thing. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a light read or something happy. I want to read Rowell’s other novels to see if they are similar or different to Fangirl.  

Which Rainbow Rowell novel should I read next?

 

Book Confession: I Feel Guilty When I Don’t Finish A Book

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When I pick up a book, I have every intention of finishing it. Sometimes I come across tomes that don’t pull my interest, and eventually reading them turn into almost a chore. It is when reading becomes laborious I am faced with a difficult decision: attempt to continue reading or to simply move on to another book. I feel completely guilty when I don’t finish a book because I feel like I didn’t give the book a fair chance. It turns into a cheesy romcom breakup scene and I yell “It’s me NOT you, book!” I’m sure many of you can identify with not being able to finish a book; you can feel the literary eyes of judgement peering at you and you can practically hear the”tisk “tisk” of nearby bibliophiles. If there’s one thing that makes you feel queasier than green pea soup, it’s leaving a book unfinished.

Although it may seem impossible to leave a book incomplete, I am here to tell you it’s OKAY if you do not finish a book, and here are some reasons why:

1. If you have a long TBR list, reading a book that is not capturing your attention will only hold you further back from completing the lists of books you want to read.

2.  Apply the 50 page rule. If you can’t get into the book by the first 50 pages, time to leave it alone and move on to the next.

3. Even the most literary astute person does not finish every book they pick up. Don’t let the big dogs fool you, even they don’t finish books.

4. Why spend time on a book you don’t like, when you could spending time reading a book you do like!

5. If you ABSOLUTELY have to finish a book, spread out your reading and only read portions while reading another book you enjoy.

Reading should be about freedom, and it should not feel like a mundane task. Don’t feel guilty anymore about not completing a book. Somewhere out there in the world, someone is enjoying the book you didn’t care for. There is a book for every person and every interest. Just know that if it didn’t fulfill your taste, it will satisfy someone else’s. That’s the beauty of reading.

Happy Friday and Happy Reading!

Mini Challenge #4 for Book Blogger Love-A-Thon

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Good morning everyone! It’s the second day of the fantastic Book Bloggers Love-A-Thon event! We’re starting off with another challenge, and it’s called Mash-Up. We have to combine our non-bookish hobbies, pastimes, passion with our bookish hobbies. This one was especially difficult since most of my time is spent reading books. If I’m not reading books, then I am possible having a Netflix binge or eating out at restaurants with friends. I decided to combine my love of food and trying new restaurants with books! I came up with a list of books that I thought would be cool theme inspired restaurants.

1. The Austen Cafe-A Jane Austen inspired cafe where they serve biscuits and different flavors of tea all day? YES PLEASE! The Austen Cafe would be a small and quaint place where Austeneers can come and enjoy pastries and a mug of spiced tea. You can bring your favourite book and nestle in a quiet corner or find a beautifully displayed cafe table and chat with new friends.

2. Brave New Food– Based off Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, this restaurant would bring you food from the future (however that would taste). Lean Meats with political propaganda and drinks given to you in a thin tube. The only dessert on the menu is chewing gum.

3. Hog’s Head Inn-Your dose of all things Potter! Heavy ales, butterbeer, dumplings, and lizard stew. Grab your wand and cloak for you’re bound to get your fill here! If only this were a real place.

4. Murder Mystery Dinner-This restaurant combines all of our favourite mysteries! Sherlock, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and more! Once you walk in you are completely transported into a mystery and the staff and cooks act a mystery/crime. It’s more of an experience rather than a sit down dinner. And are you sure that’s steak on your plate ;)?

5. Moby Dick:Seafood for the Soul– For swashbuckling fun, this restaurant’s menu is as long as your eyes can sea. Salty good fun, scurvy not included.

What books do you wish you were restaurants?

Mini Challenge #3 for Book Blogger Love-A-Thon

For the next mini challenge of the Love-A-Thon event, it was a mad libs challenge! This was super fun and I had a great time filling in the blanks haha. Here’s my version!

 

One day, I was WALKING with MR. DARCY. Out of the blue, a PANDA came out of nowhere! It was so BIG, FURRY and CUTE. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we LAUGHED. We hopped on ZIPLINE to make our getaway.

 

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because DON’T STOP BELIEVING came on and made me JUMP. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an FISH appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Mr.Darcy stayed on ZIPLINE, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

 

I couldn’t get up, and felt PEACEFUL as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a RUSTLE among the leaves, and felt NERVOUS. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of BLACKhair and BROWN eyes.

 

When I woke up again, I was on a ARMCHAIR. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a LAVA LAMP and FISH TANK in the room, along with PIZZA and WINE. The door suddenly opened to reveal HEATHCLIFF, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he KNELT and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

 

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about BOOKS,CHESS and FARMING and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was DREAM and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

 

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came FOUR. “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at HEATHCLIFF. They each had WHISKS in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so GUILTY. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, HEATHCLIFF fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

 

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. FOUR dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, BUMBLEBEE.” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

 

Interview Swap for Book Blogger Love -A-Thon

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I am so excited to be participating in this year’s Book Blogger Love-A-Thon hosted by Alexa Loves Books ! For the first event, I had the privilege of interviewing Jen at her blog Fefferbooks. She is super awesome and has an amazing book blog. I had a great time interviewing her and getting to know her and her blog. Here’s our interview:

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Hey Jen! So I’m really excited to interview you and learn more about your blog!

1.What made you get into blogging and why books? How long have you been blogging about books?

Ha. How much time do you have? Just kidding. J I’ve always read voraciously, and I have a degree in English, so I have fairly strong opinions about literature and what makes a good novel (whether or not they have any merit is another story.) I’m also completely nuts for lists and organization, so when Goodreads came into existence it was the perfect outlet for me to add and categorize everything I read AND get all my opinions out. After a point, it seemed like it might be easier, and more fun, to break away from Goodreads a bit and do things on my own terms. It’s been about a year, now, I think?

2. What does your title Feffer mean?

It’s kind of a goofy thing—when my niece was tiny, she used to say “Feffer” instead of Jennifer. Around that time, I had started a blog about knitting, and I ended up calling it “Fefferknits.” I just thought it sounded fun and silly. It’s kind of morphed into my meaningless, goofy, online identity.

3. What is your favourite genre to read and review?

Young Adult has definitely become the bulk of what I read, these days. I love the faster pace, the high emotion, and hello! The kissing! I also love that–for the most part—they’re pretty clean. I’m OK with a certain amount of “real-world” stuff in my reading material, but too much coarse language or sexuality just isn’t my thing.

4. I see you have a Top Ten Books of 2013 list. Out of that list, what was your favourite read and why?

I *loved* Pivot Point by Kasie West. It really surprised me. It’s one that I just kind of happened upon and put on my hold list at the library, and the novelty of the plot and West’s ability to pull it off completely blew me away. But I loved it most for its character development. West is also fabulous with emotions and relationships. It’s just an all-around great book. And OMGOSH, the sequel (Split Second) just came out! I almost forgot

5. Do you prefer e-readers or print books? Explain your reason.

Mmm…at this point, I definitely do the bulk of my reading on a Kindle. I was certain I’d never be converted, but once I got my Paperwhite and found I’d never have to get up from my half-asleep position to turn off a light again, I was pretty much done for. J I do still absolutely come unglued when I get printed ARCs, though, and I love to buy print copies at signings

6. What is a challenge readers face today? Are there any resolutions?

I think distraction is probably a modern reader’s greatest challenge. There are devices to whistle and ring at us constantly, web sites that can become a total time-suck, video games, working extra hours from home—none of these things were an issue for our parents. Heck, they weren’t even an issue 20 years ago. People ask me all the time how I have time to read, and as much as I love to play on the computer and be connected to things, the answer is “I turn stuff off.”

7. How do you purchase your books? Online, bookstore, library?

Mostly online, but I love our library’s hold system, and their e-selection is growing all the time, too. (I am a HUGE fan of libraries!) I also have a couple of little local bookstores in town I like to pop into now and then

8. What is your advice to aspiring book bloggers or bloggers in general?

I think the thing that’s most important in blogging is to be yourself. Write about what you care about. There are a lot of blogs out there, and it’s easy to look around and develop blogger envy, or start wondering if you’re doing everything all wrong. I think if you maintain your voice and your goals, you’ll do just fine.

9. If you could pick a literary character to be for one day, who would it be and why?

Oh, my. This sort of makes my brain explode! You know what? My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I think I would love to be Lizzy Bennett, just for a day. She’s awfully spunky and opinionated and strong-willed for her time, and she gets the guy anyway (even after telling him off)! I like her.

10.What book are you a total fan girl for?

The Amazing Bone by William Steig. It’s a children’s picture book, but its humor is very adult, and I find it riotously funny. I think everyone should read that book, or better yet, have it read to them.

Everyone go check out her blog Fefferbooks and spread the blogging love :).  Also look for more Love-A-Thon events I’ll be posting on my blog!