WWW Wednesday – July 14, 2021

Books I’m currently reading, just finished, and am about to start.

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

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

What are you currently reading?

Perchance to Dream by Howard Weinstein takes place on a mysterious world thought to be devoid of intelligent life. This is called into question, however, when Data, Deanna Troi, Wesley, and two Starfleet hopefuls disappear in a burst of sparkling lights. While the crew of the Enterprise tries to figure out where their crewmates disappeared to, Captain Picard also disappears.

This is definitely not turning out to be a favorite Star Trek novel for me. It’s just alright. Wesley is one of my two least favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, and he’s one of the main characters in this story… and just as cringey as always. One of the other students with him on this away mission is your typical “nice guy,” complaining about how women don’t like him even though he’s such a great guy. My eyes get tired from rolling any time their storyline gets picked up again.

The book is a slog to get through, but I’m pushing through because I don’t want to DNF a Star Trek book, and because I’m slightly intrigued by the planet they’re investigating.

James A. Michener’s Chesapeake is a massive tome that takes place over several generations in one spot along Virginia and Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. I’m reading it on Kindle and am currently about 100 pages in (with 900 left!). At this point, I’m unsure of how I feel about it. The fact that it takes place so close to where I currently live is fascinating, and you learn a lot about the history of the region. At the same time, however, the characters feel weak and there are parts of the novel that are very dry. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I actually want to finish the book, but I’m going to try to keep going at least a little bit farther.

What did you recently finish reading?

Peter S. Wells’ The Battle That Stopped Rome is a really fascinating look at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in what is now Germany. A group of German clans banded together to take on three massive legions of the Roman army and won, stopping the Roman advance into German lands east of the Rhine. While the book felt repetitive due to the author going over the same facts and stories over and over again, the book was overall a great read.

What do you think you’ll read next?

These two books are both the beginning of projects that I want to take on in the latter half of 2021. First, I want to read through the entirety of Penguin’s English Monarch series, starting with this biography of Athelstan. There’s a book for each English monarch up to the present day, and each biography is short and concise.

I’m also going to be reading a biography of each U.S. President, a project that will take considerably longer. I’m starting with the obvious choice of George Washington, and I’ve heard that Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life is one of the best biographies of our first president.

What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag


It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag, so when I came across the Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag over at A Court of Coffee and Books, I knew I had to participate!

This tag was created by Charleigh over at Charleigh Writes. Her rules are simple:

  • Please link me back so I can read your answers.
  • You can’t choose a Harry Potter book for any of your answers.
  • Tag however many people you wish.
  • Most importantly, have fun!

Let’s get right to it!


It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

The Starless Sea Erin Morgenstern.jpg

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus is one of my favorite books, and I still haven’t been able to read The Starless Sea.


You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

Oathbringer Brandon Sanderson.jpg

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

All of the three books in The Stormlight Archive series are over 1,000 pages, and this is the longest. It’s like hauling a brick around in my bag, but so, so, so worth it.


It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I don’t usually snack while I read, but this novel about inspiring chef and teenage mother Emoni never fails to make me hungry.


Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

An Ember in the Ashes trilogy photo.jpg

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Any book with a movie or T.V. tie in cover. Seriously. My real answer for this, however, is is the Ember in the Ashes series. I’ve never cared for people on the cover of books, and I feel as though this series could have much more beautiful covers (to match how beautiful the story is!).


You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This book is only 181 pages, but it packs in an amazing amount of storytelling. This is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman novels, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it. I can usually finish it in just an hour or two.


You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

a hero born.png

A Hero Born by Jin Yong

Any of the special editions published by The Folio Society, particularly this copy of A Hero Born, one of my favorite books of 2019.


You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

Echo North

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

I had high hopes for this book going into it, but by the end of it, I really did want to throw it at something. If you want to know all the details about why I thought this book was terrible, read my full review. To summarize, though, the main character falls for an abusive love interest who frequently lies to her and manipulates her.


You’ve just visited Hogsmeade for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

red white and royal blue casey mcquiston

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I’ve had this book on my shelf since it came out and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I definitely will be in 2020 though!


Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

A Christmas Carol Dickens.jpg

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I honestly haven’t read very many Christmas books, so I’m going with this tried-and-true classic.


You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through some dark times?

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ll know that The Hobbit is my favorite book, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. I have so many memories associated with this classic fantasy novel, and it’s been my favorite since I was a child.

If you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! If you do, leave your links below so I can see your answers!

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Star Ratings: Are They Fair or Necessary – Let’s Talk Bookish

Let's Talk Bookish

While I was snacking on some hard-boiled eggs this afternoon (which are 100% the best snack), I was reading some of the WordPress blogs that I follow and came across Books on the Brain and specifically the Let’s Talk Bookish post about star ratings.

I followed her link back to the creator of the Let’s Talk Bookish tag, Rukky at Eternity Books. I love Rukky’s idea of posing a bookish question to the community, so I decided to participate!

Today’s question is:

Star ratings: are they fair or necessary?

Star ratings are definitely necessary for readers. While people rate books based on a variety of factors, the star rating, such as those on Goodreads or Amazon, is a quick way for people to get an idea of books that are highly regarded versus those that are not.

Are they fair? Absolutely not. There’s not much in the world that is fair.

It’s unlikely that there will ever be a rating system for anything that is truly fair because people will always have different ideas of what features of a product should be rated.

The book community is a perfect example of this. For this blog, I rate books from 1-5 stars, with half ratings. I base my rating on factors such as my enjoyment of the book, plot and pacing, character development, and writing style. However, other people might base their star rating purely on how much fun they had while reading it. There are people who rate books based purely on plot, regardless of how it’s written. None of these methods are right or wrong; it’s up to each person to choose why they want to rate a book the way they do. There’s never going to be a consensus on how books should be rated, and, as such, the star rating is the imperfectly perfect way to rate books.

One thing that this question made me want to talk about is when you should or shouldn’t rate a book. It’s a little bit off-topic from the main question, but it’s so important on websites like Goodreads.

Something I’ve noticed only since joining the book community as a reviewer and blogger is that there is a group of people who will rate books before they read it. This isn’t fair to the book or to the book community. Rating a book 1 star because you don’t like the author or giving it 5 stars because you enjoyed the last book this author wrote doesn’t do anyone any good and it skews the real ratings. Please, stop doing this.

How do you feel about star ratings? Let me know in the comments and head over to Eternity Books to do the same and see their opinions!

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The Bookish Bucket List Tag


I was reading through book blogs on WordPress and came across a lovely blog called Sophie’s Corner. The post I found was the Bookish Bucket List Tag and I really enjoyed the questions, so here we are.

The tag was originally created by Madison at Madison’s Inkwell. Here’s a link to the original post.

What books or series that intimidate you (because of length, density, subject) would feel like an accomplishment to finish?

Leo Tolstoy.jpg

Anything by Leo Tolstoy. I’ve always wanted to read War and Peace and Anna Karenina, but both books are around 1,000 pages. I read a lot of large books, so that’s not necessarily what’s holding me back. I think it’s the combination of length and age. Tolstoy’s books were released in the late 1800s and translated from Russian, so I have a feeling that the language of the books might be difficult.

What author would you like to co-author a book with?

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson. I would love to write some kind of epic high fantasy with him, and also learn how he creates such intricate, beautiful worlds.

If you could interview any author for your blog, who would it be? What’s one question you would ask?

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I would love the opportunity to interview Leigh Bardugo. I love all of her Grisha books and would want to talk with her about her inspiration and world-building.

The first question I would ask is which character from all of the Grisha books was the most difficult to write, and why. I love learning an author’s process for character development.

As a writer, what genre is out of your comfort zone that you’d like to conquer someday and write within?

When I write, it’s almost always fantasy or science fiction, so I would love to write a contemporary novel. I have such a strong push to add fantastical elements to everything I write, so writing a contemporary story would be interesting for me.

What specific edition of a book would you like to own someday? It could be rare, a first edition, an anniversary edition, signed, or one with a cover special to you, etc.


This should be no surprise to anyone who reads my blog. The Hobbit is my favorite book, and I would do almost anything to own the UK first edition published in 1937. And if it were a signed copy? I don’t even know how I would handle that.

Are there any books or bookish items that you’d like to collect?

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I’d love to have a large collection of Penguin’s clothbound classics. They’re all so gorgeous, and there are so many great books that they’ve printed in these editions.

Name one bookish place you’d like to visit. (Not somewhere you’d like to visit because of a book and not a fictional place within a book. A library, bookstore, etc.)

daunt books.jpg

Daunt Books in London organizes all of their books by country, and I love the idea of that, especially since I’m learning German and have been trying to get into German literature. Reading books from a particular country can teach you so much about their culture, history, and habits, and I love being able to travel via book.

Name one bookish event you’d like to attend.

Definitely BookCon. While I’m pretty sure I’d feel super overwhelmed by the crowds, I would love the opportunity to go. My goal is to go to BookCon 2021.

Your WIP is getting published and designing the cover is solely up to you. What does it look like?

My WIP is fantasy, and more than likely it would be a black cover with gold foil. With some decoration, of course.

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish within the bookish world? As a writer, reading, blogger, whatever you want.

This question is easy to answer – I want to be a published author. Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to have a book be published. I feel like that would be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

Another, the more futuristic-in-the-shorterm goal is to reach 10,000 blog followers. I’m just at over 1,000 now, so I’ve got a long way to goal, but the blog has grown so much faster than I ever could have imagined over the past year.

I love that this book tag was focused on questions for both readers and writers. If you want to be tagged for this tag, consider yourself tagged! If you do this tag or already have, leave your link down in the comments! I’d love to read your answers!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!


We’re officially halfway through 2019, which I’m still having trouble believing! This book tag has been making its rounds throughout the book community, and I love reminiscing about all the books I’ve read so far, so of course, I was going to participate!

Let’s get right to it!



The Way of Kings (Book One of the Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson

This first question was super easy to answer. The Way of Kings was the first Brandon Sanderson book I read, and these 1000 pages instantly pushed him into my list of top ten favorite authors. His world-building blew me away completely.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads



Words of Radiance (Book Two of the Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson

Big surprise, right? If it’s even possible, I think I may have enjoyed Words of Radiance even more than The Way of Kings. 

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads



The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

My favorite aspect of the entire fantasy genre is dragons. How could they not be? They hoard gold and breath fire and fly and are just generally totally badass. I purchased The Priory of the Orange tree as soon as it came out on February 26, and I still haven’t read it. Part of the reason is due to its size, as it’s over 800 pages.

Amazon | Goodreads



The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite dystopian novels, and Margaret Atwood is a wonderful writer. The sequel to her ground-breaking first book comes out in September of this year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I’ve already pre-ordered it.

Amazon | Goodreads


Echo North

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

I wanted to like this book so bad. It’s a retelling of a Norse myth, it has a gorgeous cover, and it was fairly highly rated. I was so disappointed in this book, however. For the full details, click on my review below, but to quickly sum it up, this book basically glorifies Stockholm syndrome and the main character, Echo, forgives someone who lies to her repeatedly and at least once violently attacks her. Honestly, I feel like my two-star rating may have been generous, but I don’t like redoing old ratings unless I reread a book, and I definitely won’t be rereading Echo North.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


The Simple Wild

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

This is the book that made me realize that I don’t hate romance novels. I always thought I did, even though I never gave them a chance. This book turned everything around for me, and now I actively seek out romance novels. I can’t wait to read more of K.A. Tucker’s books.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads


The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I read this book after seeing Hannah at A Clockwork Reader talk about this book over and over again. When I read this book back in February, I was so impressed with Erin Morgenstern’s beautiful and atmospheric writing. I can’t wait to read her upcoming novel, The Starless Sea. 

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads



Shallan Davar, The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

Out of the many, many great characters in The Stormlight Archive, Shallan is definitely my favorite. She is determined and fierce, and I love how much she grew in the first two novels of this series. I can’t wait to see how she continues to evolve in the third book, Oathbringer. 



As much as I hate to admit it, not a single novel has made me cry this year, which is a pity. I love a good cry after a heartbreaking book. If you have any recommendations for cry-worthy books, let me know in the comments.


With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I just finished Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High earlier this week, and this book made me smile so many times! A full review will be coming to you guys this week, but gosh-darn I loved this book so much.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Light Between Worlds

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

Out of all the books I’ve read so far this year, this is hands-down my favorite cover.

Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars
Review | Amazon | Goodreads

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Do I Have That Book? Challenge

Do I Have That Book_

I first came across this book tag after watching Hannah and Hailey’s Booktube channels. The Challenge was originally created by Tabby at the YouTube channel Keeping Tabs.

As you know, I don’t have a YouTube channel (yet), so we’ll do this the blogger way.

Let’s get right into it.

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?


Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

I actually really detest deckled edges, as I think it cheapens the look of the overall book. Despite that, I have so many books with these edges. Stop it, please!

2. Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?

Star Trek: The Next Generation Imzadi

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Imzadi by Peter David

I knew I’d have to go with one of my Star Trek novels for this, as I very rarely buy books with people on the cover.

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?


This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

I could only find two retellings, although I have a feeling I have more than that. My other choice could have been Ibi Zoboi’s PrideLee’s This Monstrous Thing is a Frankenstein retelling.

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?


Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

This one took me way longer to find that I’d like to admit. I haven’t read this story yet, but I’ve heard great things about it.

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

You know I have to throw my favorite book in here somewhere, right?

6. Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

I never understood the amount of hate surrounding mass market paperbacks. They’re cheap, which makes them more accessible to a lot of people. You don’t always need to have the most expensive, nicest version of every book.

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?


Anthem by Ayn Rand

I had to do a wee bit of research for this one. Ayn Rand’s real name is Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum.

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

I still haven’t read this behemoth of a book, and I don’t even really know what it’s about. I picked it up on a thrift store trip a couple years ago.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?



Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson’s novels are always full of maps, so this was an easy one.

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Technically, this series hasn’t been made into a television show yet, but it’s going to be. I can’t wait for the Netflix series! 

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/tv personality…)


The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

It’s been ages since I read this book. I read it for one of my university classes back when I was still studying political science. I don’t have any books written by actors or musicians, so a vice president is the best I could do.

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?


The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

This was one of the first books I chose for my Book of the Month Club box. I still haven’t read it, but I’m hoping to get to it soon!

13. Do you have a poetry book?


Harvest Poems by Carl Sandburg

I have very few poetry collections. This is an ancient collection I’ve had through multiple moves and for who knows how many years. You’d think I’d have read it by now. I haven’t.

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The award stamps aren’t attached to this cover very well (you can see in the picture that they’re peeling), but The Hate U Give deserves all the awards it’s received.

Read my review of The Hate U Give here. 

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?


Nope. This is the only question I couldn’t answer. I even looked up a list of authors whose last names start with W and still couldn’t find any P.W’s whose books I own. Oh well.

16. Do you have a book of short stories?


Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales by Margaret Atwood

I love Margaret Atwood’s writing style, and this book of short stories are phenomenal.

17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?


Gandhi: An Autobiography by Mahatma Gandhi

Finding a book that was between 500 and 510 pages took me so long. I’d almost given up before I grabbed this one, which comes in around 502 pages, not including the glossary/index.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?


Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

I can’t say I enjoyed the movie adaptation of Cold Mountain, but it is one of my favorite stories set in my beloved Appalachian Mountains.

19. Do you have a graphic novel?


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

This graphic novel memoir of the author’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution is incredible.

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?


The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I was surprised that I don’t own more books with more than one author. Aside from a few of my Star Trek novels, this is the only one I could find.

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Mystery Blogger Award


I was nominated by Shyla at the wonderful blog, Words & Stitches, to do this. Thank you so much, Shyla!

The Mystery Blogger Award was started at Okoto Enigma’s Blog.


  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well (Unfortunately, I’m not sure who created this, so sorry!)
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

3 Facts About Me

  • I’m obsessed with all things gnome. I grew up watching David the Gnome and I’ve collected gnome statues since I was a child.
  • I majored in political science in college, but I dropped out after two years because I was becoming too cynical and angry.
  • Despite growing up on an island, I have no idea how to swim. I can barely even float in water.

Words & Stitches’ Questions

  1. What is in your reader wheelhouse? You see it on a shelf, you can’t resist. I would say any book that’s Star Trek related.
  2. What is the last book you read? The last book I finished was Kate Mascarenhas’s The Psychology of Time Travel.
  3. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Time travel, or at least time observation. I would love to be able to view the history of any place I go.
  4. What horror/dystopia book or movie would you be most likely to survive through and why? Any zombie apocalypse. A few of my friends and I have planned out detailed survival tactics. Just give me a machete and a map.
  5. If you could invent one thing, anything at all, what would it be? There’s a definite theme to my answers here, but a time machine, but one that could only go back in time. I have no desire to see the future. I just want to live it.

I Nominate…

My Questions

  1. If you could live inside of any book’s setting, which book would it be and why?
  2. What book do you want to see made into a movie or television show that hasn’t been already?
  3. Who is your ultimate book boyfriend/girlfriend?
  4. Which two fandoms would you love to see combined?
  5. If you could have any fictional creature as a pet, what would you choose?

My Three Best Posts

Books I Want to Read – Book Tag

Book Tag

I found this tag this morning on Bookishly Rebecca, and it was originally created by Jamishelves.

A book that you feel you need to read because everyone talks about it


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I feel like I might be the only person left in the world who hasn’t read any Sarah J. Maas. Eventually, I do want to get around to reading the Throne of Glass Series, but I’m not quite ready to take on a massive seven-book series right now.

A book that’s really long


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

At 559 pages, this wouldn’t be the longest book I’ve ever read (that would be Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance), but it’s still daunting.

A book you’ve owned/had on your TBR for too long


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I’ve had a Barnes & Noble Classic edition of Anna Karenina for nearly a decade. I keep telling myself I’ll read it eventually, but it hasn’t happened yet.

A book that is ‘required’ reading
(eg, school text, really popular classic – something you feel obligated to read!)


Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

I’m fairly certain that I was supposed to read this play in high school, but I never did. I’m not a huge fan of reading plays, but I know this is a highly influential work.

A book that intimidates you


1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies

I borrowed this book from my Dad on Christmas, and I still haven’t read it. I love history, and I’m particularly interested in Chinese history, but this book is massive. I keep telling myself I’ll read it soon, but I’m not entirely sure when that’ll happen.

A book that you think might be slow


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

I wasn’t a fan of the Cloud Atlas film adaptation, but I still want to give the book a chance. I’m just worried that it’s going to be dreadfully slow.

A book you need to be in the right mood for


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Everyone has amazing things to say about this romance novel, but I have to be in just the right mood for romance books. I’m hoping I’ll be in the mood for it soon though!

A book you’re unsure if you will like


The Gunslinger by Stephen King

I’ve tried on three separate occasions to read this book, never making it past the first few chapters. I want to like this series, but I’m not sure I will. I plan on giving it one more shot, and if I’m not interested during the fourth attempt, I’ll DNF it forever.

How would you answer these questions? Let me know in the comments!

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The Book Addiction Tag

The Book Addiction Tag

It’s been a while since I did my last book tag post and this one I spotted at Sepia Reads looked fun. Let’s get right into it.

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

A few hours, at most. Even when I’m at work, I have a book open on my desk so I can steal a few moments to read a sentence or two between calls (I work in a call center).

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

I usually have two to three physical books in my bag, along with approximately 20ish books downloaded on my Kindle. I like to be prepared.

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

I keep them. It’s a huge problem for someone living in an apartment. I’m not afraid of being a book hoarder. Most of the books I own have memories attached to them, and I love being surrounded by those memories. I also frequently re-read books I love.

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

Hours. Thankfully, my boyfriend will gently pull me away from the shelves after half an hour or so, otherwise, I would never leave, and I’d be broke.

How much time per day do you actually spend reading?

At least 3-4 hours, although I wish I had time for more. My perfect vacation is a trip to a remote cabin in the mountains with a stack of book, a pound of coffee, and no plans.

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

In the morning, on lunch breaks, on sunny afternoons, before I go to bed. Any moment I can fit in reading, I read.

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

I’ve never counted, but my estimate is that I own between 400-500 physical books, along with a bit over 500 ebooks.

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

Too much. Way too much. I’m fairly certain my friends and co-workers get a little sick of me.

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

I’m not exactly sure but the longest I’ve read in the past few years is Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance, which is 1087 pages. That’ll change once I read book three in the series, Oathbringer, a whopping 1248 pages.

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

Sort of. There’s a special edition box set of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, bound in red cloth and illustrated by Alan Lee. I had it before my house burned down in 2006, and I haven’t been able to find it since. I’m actively looking for it.

A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?

Volume one of Outlaws of the Marsh was a bit of a struggle to finish, but since it’s one of my boyfriend’s favorite books, I wanted to finish it so we could discuss it.

What are 3 of your main book goals for 2019?

  1. Complete my overly-ambitious Goodreads TBR goal of 225 books.
  2. Finish writing my outline for my first novel.
  3. Re-read the entire Harry Potter series.

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

I don’t believe so, even though people have told me that they’ve been more inspired to read because of my blog. I think that’s incredible.

Describe what books mean to you in five words.

Relaxation, escape, character, adventure, fantastical.

I Should Have Read That Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Books Nest. If you’d like to participate here are the rules:


Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
Answer the questions below
Tag 10 others to take part

The Questions

  • A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read 
  • A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up
  • A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten round to finishing yet
  • A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read
  • A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read
  • A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet 
  • A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

A Book That a Certain Friend is Always Telling You to Read 


I had trouble coming up with an answer for this one, so I’m going to go with volumes two and three of The Outlaws of the MarshI’ve already mentioned on my blog that I read volume one at the request of my boyfriend, who read it in college and loved it. It’s an absolutely massive set of books, and when I finished volume one I picked up volume two to put on my TBR list, and there it has set for about two months. I just can’t bring myself to open it, despite my boyfriend repeatedly telling me that volume two is even better than volume one.

A Book That’s Been on Your TBR Forever and Yet You Still Haven’t Picked it Up


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak seems to be a widely beloved book, and it’s been on my TBR forever, but for some reason, I just haven’t read it yet. I still want to, and I have a strong suspicion that I’m going to adore it. I’m not sure what’s kept me from reading it.

A Book in a Series You’ve Started, But Haven’t Gotten Round to Finishing Yet

I couldn’t think of an answer to this one! Usually, when I love a series I end up essentially marathoning all the books that are currently out. The series I’m currently working my way through is Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive series.

A Classic You’ve Always Liked the Sound of, But Never Actually Read


This was easy to answer – Jane Austen’s Pride and PrejudiceI’ve wanted to read this book for years, but for some reason, it’s always on the backburner for me. I’m finally going to read it in 2019 though, mainly because I received Ibi Zoboi’s Pride in an Owlcrate and want to read it after the original that it’s inspired by.

A Popular Book That It Seems Everyone But You Has Read


I feel like everyone involved in the book community is obsessed with the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I’m sure I’ll probably read it eventually, but for the time being, I’m 99% sure I’m the only person who hasn’t started this series yet.

A Book That Inspired a Film/TV Adaptation That You Really Love, But You Just Haven’t Read It Yet


Despite knowing that I would probably love it, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin has been on my TBR since I initially signed up for Goodreads. I love the television show so much, and I’ve been wanting to get started on the books for years. It just never seems like an appropriate time to start them. Perhaps I’ll start reading the series this year. Maybe.

A Book You See All Over Instagram But Haven’t Picked Up Yet


Lately, it’s been Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves. I received this book in January’s Owlcrate, so I’m definitely going to read it very, very soon, but this cover has been so prevalent on Instagram recently.

There you have it! I’m still relatively new to the book blogger community, so I’m not going to tag individual people, but if you would like to participate in this tag, go for it! Just read the rules up top.

End of the Year Book Tag

End of the YearBook Tag.png

I saw this book tag over at Reading Under the Blankie. I’m not sure who created this tag, so if you know please leave that information in the comments below!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?


I’m still only on volume one of Outlaws of the Marsh. I had started it for the #readtheworldchina challenge, but it’s absolutely massive. I’m determined to finish it by the end of the year.

Though very dense, it’s actually turning out to be an enjoyable book. I was hesitant when my boyfriend, who read it in college and loved it, recommended it to me because it was written in the early 1300s and is over 1600 pages. I can’t wait to review this book, which will definitely happen before the end of the year.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I actually don’t. There are definitely some books I want to read this month, and I plan on finishing everything I’m reading by New Year’s Eve so I can start fresh on January 1st, but I don’t have a transitional book in mind.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?


There are a couple. I’ve been hearing good things about The Disasters by M. K. England. It’s an LGBTQ-friendly young adult sci-fi novel about space terrorism. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Diane Setterfield’s Once Upon a River sounds really interesting as well. On Goodreads, it’s described as historical fiction with magical and fantastical elements, which is right up my alley.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?


I’ve never read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and I would love to read it during the holidays this year. I love other books I’ve read by Dickens, such as Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities

I also want to finish Erin Morgenstern’s The Night CircusLast month I had gotten a copy from my local library but had to return it when I was only sixty pages in because it wasn’t eligible for renewal. I ended up buying a copy because I’d loved what I’d read so far.

Finally, I received an ARC of Brian Hart’s Trouble No Man, and I’m going to be reading it as soon as I finish rereading Cormac McCarthy’s The RoadI had requested the ARC from Harper Perennial because the author was being compared to McCarthy, and the post-apocalyptic setting attracted me. It’s my most anticipated book of January 2019.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?


Although it definitely won’t be a shock, I’m going to read Eric Idle’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography sometime in the next couple of weeks. I’ve already listened to most of the audiobook through Scribd and it’s hilarious. I basically grew up watching Monty Python and I can’t wait to read this entire book.

Side note: I bought a signed edition from Barnes & Noble right after black Friday and I’m super-duper stoked to have it!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?

I have! I don’t want to give too much away yet, but 2019 will include a lot of reading challenges and books that have been on my Book Bucket List.

What are your reading plans for the rest of the year?

Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you to Lori for tagging me to do this!



Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
Okoto Enigma


  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

3 Things About Myself

  • I’m obsessed with Star Trek. My favorite series are The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. From an early age, Star Trek taught me to respect other cultures and to embrace diversity. I’m always re-watching one of the series at any given time; right now my boyfriend and I are watching EnterpriseSide note: I still always giggle anytime I seek Commander Riker sit in a chair.
  • I have a couple of speech impediments, specifically rhotacism and a lisp. I was incredibly self-conscious about it for the first twenty-five years of my life or so before realizing that I would have to learn to embrace it. Now I’ve had two jobs in a row that entails speaking to large groups of people, and I no longer stress about the way I talk (or, at least not as much as I used to)!
  • I wrote a picture book about vampires taking a road trip in the fourth grade. It was in a composition notebook and I illustrated the whole thing. I was so immensely proud of it and dragged it everywhere I went. I don’t remember what happened to it – I recall searching for it in high school and never found it, and then my family’s house burned down when I was 19. It may be lost forever, but I’m still proud of that first book I wrote!

Lori’s Questions

Why did you start blogging?

Although Read Yourself Happy is just a few months old, I started my first blog during my freshman year at university in 2007. It was about politics and current events (I was a political science major), and I’m still proud of it. I called it Karmic Reverberations and it’s still available online. From the title and the fact that I was blogging under the name of Karmalily, I’m sure you can tell I was going through my hippy phase when I did this.

Less than a year later I started a blog about living as a vegan, which became much more successful than Karmic Reverberations. I named it Ahimsa, and it is also still available online. I spent years doing this blog until I left Asheville, NC and started eating eggs, at which point I felt it would be dishonest to continue writing a vegan blog.

What is your weird habit that you always used to do while growing up?

This will probably gross a lot of people out, but when I was a kid I would only eat bacon dipped in ketchup and Tabasco.

What book(s) are you hoping that you could finish before 2018 ends?

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama. I adore Michelle Obama, and I purchased her new memoir the day it was released. I can’t wait to get more of an inside look at her life.
  • Outlaws of the Marsh by Shi Nai’an.This book is massive at 1600 pages, and I’m only in the middle of volume 1. I had intended to finish it this month, but I’m starting to realize that there’s no way that is going to happen. Despite being written in a different language and nearly a century ago, it’s a very enjoyable read.
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I just got this book from the library and I can’t wait to start it. Originally it was the absolutely gorgeous cover that caught my eye, but the story sounds really interesting as well.
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sortabiography by Eric Idle. I grew up loving Monty Python, and I’m currently listening to the audiobook of this, which is read by Eric Idle and I highly recommend it because he sprinkles in singing here and there throughout it. It’s so hilarious!

A book that you would recommend to someone no matter what?

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood because it should terrify anyone that reads it. There’s a reason people are obsessed with how real the current television series depicting this novel seems, and that reason is that it’s not at all far-fetched. This is a cautionary tale that everyone should read at least once.

Have you played an instrument before? If so, what did you play?

I’ve attempted it twice – a guitar and a violin. Then I discovered that I have the worst ear for music ever. I still eventually want to learn to play the saxophone. I listen to jazz every day and the saxophone is such a relaxing sound. Saxophones are crazy expensive though, so that’ll have to wait.

My Best Posts

My Five Questions, and Who I’m Nominating

  1. What is the scariest book you’ve ever read?
  2. What is the most memorable dream you’ve ever had?
  3. Who is your musical guilty pleasure?
  4. If you could get lost in any fictional world, what would it be?
  5. What book are you most looking forward to being released in 2019?

I’m tagging Jennifer, Margaret, Jamie, and Hâf.

The Greek Gods Book Tag


Time for another book tag! This one was created by Zuky at Book Bum, and I first saw it on Lori’s Bookshelf Reads. The images used are from Book Bum with Zuky’s permission.



Although I generally consider my favorite book to be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, I wanted to say something different this time around since I did another book tag recently that featured The Road.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

For this particular question, I’m going with Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. I first read this book years ago after picking it up at a thrift store, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a middle-grade story about a boy named Nobody Owens, aka “Bod,” who is raised by ghosts in an ancient graveyard after his family is murdered.

I’ve long been the type of person to hang out in graveyards, my favorite being Riverside Cemetary in Asheville, NC (see photos above), and because of that I just adored the setting. It’s such a whimsical, wonderful adventure story.





I just finished reading Sabaa Tahir’s A Reaper at the Gates and it’s fresh in my mind, so I’m going with Laia for this question. The reason I love Laia so much is that she’s so realistic and multi-dimensional. When we first meet her in An Ember in the Ashes she’s frightened and meek, afraid of breaking the rules of the Martial Empire. By the end of A Reaper at the Gates, however, she’s learned how to stick up for herself and fight for her people. I love her character so much, and I can’t wait to find out the rest of the story in the fourth book in this series.




Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; great books to read; best books of 2018; read yourself happy; book review; book blog

Children of Blood and Bone is Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel, and it completely blew my mind. I finished the book with my mouth hanging open in shock, and I immediately had no idea how I’m going to wait for the sequel. The quality of this young adult fantasy novel is so high. It’s one of the best books I had the pleasure of reading in 2018.





Probably due to the fact that I’ve always been obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories and settings, nuclear disasters such as the one that happened at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 has always fascinated me. Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl is a collection of first-person accounts of the disaster and the aftermath. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying.




I’m selecting two books for this question because I couldn’t choose between them. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy are both written by the marvelous Makenzi Lee. The follow a pair of siblings, Monty and Felicity, on their respective adventures. Both novels are hilarious, heart-breaking, and exciting. I recommend these books to literally everyone who approaches me for book recommendations.





I had trouble thinking of an answer for this question, so I’m going with a book series that I haven’t read but that I’ve been sick of hearing about: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. The fact that it started as Twilight fan fiction, the subject matter, everything I’ve heard about it – I’m never going to read it, and I have no desire to keep hearing about it.




The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I always have to find a way to work Cormac McCarthy’s The Road into any book tag I do! Despite the novel being soul-shattering, it’s very darkly beautiful. The story follows a nameless father and son as they try to survive in the dangerous and brutal remains of our world. The love they have for one another is endless and perfect. I’ve read this book every November since I discovered it, and it always leaves my face streaked with tears.





You can’t tell from the image above, but the physical copy of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. The gold foil on the cover is perfect. I actually just picked this novel up from my local library, and I’m looking forward to reading it.





I admit that I haven’t read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes since my freshman year of high school, which was well over a decade ago. While I will probably give it another try at some point, when I read it as a teenager I hated every second of it and thought it was incredibly boring. I’m not even positive that I actually finished reading it.





I grew up in the Harry Potter era, and I remember how excited I was when J.K. Rowling’s final installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released. Despite the novel being 759 pages, I read it in a single day while throwing off every other single thing I was supposed to do that day. Needless to say, it was a pretty wonderful day.

That’s it for this fun book tag! Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?

The Five Ws Book Tag


It’s been a while since I’ve done a book tag, and this one looked like fun!

This tag was created by Shyla at Words & Stitches, and I found it via The Bibliophagist.



This one is easy: Neil Gaiman. He’s been one of my favorite writers for years, and I would love the opportunity to geek out over all of his books with him and to know where he gets his inspiration from.


Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

Science-fiction and fantasy. I’m obsessed with discovering new worlds and new civilizations (can you tell I’m a Trekkie?!). I also love complex magic systems in fantasy settings. I grew up reading The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia, so it’s no wonder that it’s still my favorite genre years later.


Photo by Kate Williams on Unsplash

Curled up in either my bed or in a big, cozy chair with my cat sitting in my lap and a hot cup of coffee or tea next to me.


Photo by Yuri Efremov on Unsplash

Late afternoon to early evening. I usually spend the mornings on my day off working on the blog, and I get tired easily if I read late at night, so 3-9PM is my preferred time.


The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Road – Cormac McCarthy

My favorite book is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I’ll admit that it’s sort of an unusual favorite since it’s terrifying and brutal, but that’s actually one of the reasons I’m so drawn to it. It’s very rare that I read a book that genuinely unsettles me, but this post-apocalyptic novel does so every time I reread it, which is once a year.

I love McCarthy’s writing style. We never learn what caused the destruction the world is experiencing, and we never learn the characters’ names. It’s vague but leaves the readers feeling that this could happen to them. It pulls you into the story in a way that no other book I’ve read ever has.


A combination of randomly selecting a book off of my Goodreads TBR shelf and trying to get through the massive pile of physical books that I’ve bought. When I truly cannot decide I have my boyfriend pick out my next book for me, which has led to some interesting choices in the past.

There ya go. Let me know what you think in the comments down below.

Down the TBR Hole #2; or, How to Fail at Reducing Your TBR List

My TBR list is seriously out of control. Every time I see or hear of a new book that sounds even remotely interesting to me, I immediately add it to my Want To Read list on Goodreads. It can be intimidating when it comes time to choose a new book because the list is so long that at some point I give up and just choose a book at random.

When I read Lost in a Story’s Down the TBR Hole #1 post, I loved the idea and wanted to do it for myself to try to narrow down my TBR list. Here are the rules:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here’s part two of narrowing down my TBR list (Read Part One). Since my TBR list on Goodreads is currently sitting at 1486, I’m going to do ten books today and try to reduce it a bit.

Also, feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Amazon | Goodreads

I tried to read this book once all the way back in high school and ended up not finishing it, but I know plenty about the story just due to how prevalent it is in our culture. I’m planning on giving it another try next month.

Verdict: Keep


A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Amazon | Goodreads

This is a book that came out recently, on October 2nd. I’ve seen it all over Bookstagram and various book blogs. It’s definitely staying on my TBR list. It takes place in a women’s reproductive clinic after a gunman enters it and takes everyone inside hostage. The story is about everyone inside, from the patients, doctors, and the gunman himself. I love books that examine people’s intentions, and this sounds right up my alley.

Verdict: Keep



Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

Amazon | Goodreads

The Goodreads synopsis doesn’t say much about the story at all, so I headed over to Amazon for a description. It sounds very surrealist, which I love, so this was an easy decision.

Verdict: Keep



Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Amazon | Goodreads

I read Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral several years ago, and loved everything about it. I’ve never read any of her fiction, however, so I feel as though her newest novel is going to be a good place to start.

Verdict: Keep


Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Amazon | Goodreads

So, this book isn’t even out yet, as it’s being released on November 6th. It is set at a remote health resort and follows the story of Frances Welty, who was once a best-selling romantic novelist. I vaguely remember adding this to my TBR list after seeing in on another blog, but after reading the synopsis it honestly doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy.

Verdict: Remove



The Witch Elm by Tana French

Amazon | Goodreads

This was the fastest decision I made on this list – it’s definitely something I’m keeping on my TBR. In this novel, a man is attacked by two burglars in his home and is left for dead. He moves to his family’s ancestral home to recover and to take care of his dying uncle. While there, he finds a skull in the trunk of a tree in the garden, and he’s forced to reexamine his past.

Verdict: Keep


The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Amazon | Goodreads

I love most of the short stories I’ve read by Ursula K. Le Guin, but I’ve never actually read any of her novels. This one sounds awesome: “Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe.

Verdict: Keep


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Amazon | Goodreads

unnamed (2)

I cannot believe that I never read this book. I feel like this is a vital tale that all book-lovers need to read, so it’s definitely staying.

Verdict: Keep


Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Amazon | Goodreads

This is yet another classic I have not read, so, like Pride and Prejudice, it stays.

Verdict: Keep



The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Amazon | Goodreads

A fantastical adventure story about opportunity, wisdom, and following our dreams? Another very easy decision.

Verdict: Keep


Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Amazon | Goodreads

I apologize, but I must repeat myself once again: I never read this book in school, and I want to catch up on this classic.

Verdict: Keep

Okay, so I ended up removing only one book from my Goodreads TBR, which really isn’t helping my feelings of being overwhelmed by the massive list. However, I love having so many good books that I can look forward to reading!

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts about them?