Becca: Friday Favorites

Last week, we talked to Tori. This week, we’re revisiting Becca. This post was originally published on October 5, 2018.



Friday Favorites; Read Yourself Happy; Reading Blog; Book Blog; books

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’ve always been a book nerd so it was no surprise that I became an English teacher. When most people find out that I’m an English teacher, they picture me reading Ulysses or some other equally confounding tomb. Suckers! I love comic books, classic books, and a cereal box if it’s within reach. My dog, Nala, loves when I read out loud to her. Her favorite book is Things Fall Apart, but I don’t have the heart to tell her she’s on her own there. This picture is of Nala waiting for me to read some lit theory to her.

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Nala

If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?

I’d like to hang out with Oscar Wilde, drinking champagne (obviously), Zadie Smith, and James Baldwin. All 3 of them speak to me so much and I can’t help but go back to their work time and again.


Which classic or popular book do you hate?

The Crucible - Arthur Miller

I don’t really like The Crucible. It’s boring. I don’t like teaching it or even showing the movie anymore. We get it, Daniel Day Lewis — you only have your name. But news flash: you create your identity, not those wiggos. I also never read any of the Harry Potter books until my mother-in-law made me read the first one when I was about to graduate from college. I guess it’s good for 11-year-olds, but not so much if you’re 22.


How do you keep track of books you’ve finished and books you want to read?

I use Goodreads to keep track of books that I want (and basically to generate my wish lists for my birthday and holidays). I like that it suggests other books to read once I’ve finished one.


What are your five favorite books, and why?

My top 5 favorite books (that will likely change in a month) are:
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith — I can’t really articulate what all I like about this book (the writing! the characters! the plot! the underlying commentary on post-colonialism!), but it’s always had a special place in my heart.
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles — This is just such a wonderful story told in a delightful voice. I was reading a few books about Russia at the time…BONUS: Towles is apparently a distant relative of my husband!
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — I re-read this every semester when I teach it and notice new things EVERY TIME!
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama — Books don’t usually make me cry like I did when I read this, but maybe it’s the fact that I recently finished it and am nostalgic/sad/disgusting with our current world.
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry — This is the first book I remember reading that stressed the importance of thinking for yourself and not buying into what other people want from you.

Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.

I cannot remember the books I've read nay more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. - Ralph Waldo Emerson




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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

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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

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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

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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!)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Thia from Working Classless – Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites was something I started early on that never caught on, simply because it was difficult to find people who wanted to participate. I’m trying to bring it back though. I love hearing about other people’s reading habits, and I suspect that many of you do as well.

Today we’re featuring Thia from the podcast Working Classless. I can vouch for the podcast – Thia and her co-host Taylor are hilarious and relatable. Anyone that has worked in retail or customer service will enjoy listening to their stories.

Let’s get right to it.


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Thia


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Thia and I co-host the podcast Working Classless with my buddy Taylor!  I also do a lot of audio and content editing for the podcast, so Taylor and I put WC together from top to bottom (of which I am insanely proud). If you know the service industry grind and can commiserate, you should check us out anywhere you get your podcasts, or at our website: www.workingclassless.com!

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When I’m not podcasting, I’m a receptionist for a group of radio stations in Chicago. I spend spare time with my friends, cuddle my roommate’s Pomeranian (see below), and enjoying all the bounty living in a city has to offer. Also, I’m on a seemingly never-ending quest to cook really good Indian food.

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What types of books are you drawn to?

I’ve been into horror lately. But like, weird horror? Steven King is fine, but I want something that subverts the genre. Actually, any genre subversion is intriguing to me. Also, I’m gonna read anything vaguely dystopian, and I’m down with a lot of general fantasy.


If you could spend a night hanging out with three authors, living or dead, who would you choose?

Terry Pratchett, Barack Obama, and Michelle McNamara.  Terry Pratchett because I feel like a mind like his is made for witty dinner banter. Obama because I loved his autobiography and I could listen to him speak all day long. And Michelle McNamara because she was a thoughtful and passionate human gone too soon…and to tell her they caught the Golden State Killer! Ideally, this would be one big dinner party, because I also think all guests would interact well when I inevitably got socially anxious.


Which classic or popular book do you hate?

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I’m not sure if it’s a classic, but my middle school had us read The Island Keeper by Harry Mazer and I still loathe it to this day. I found the lead character stilted and painful, and even as a kid I was offended at the glamorization of nearly starving to death. Also, we read it directly after Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, so I couldn’t help but compare the two and I vastly preferred Paulsen’s version of woodsy teen survival.


How do you keep track of the books you’ve finished and books you want to read?

I don’t! I’m super guilty of having a pile of half-read books next to my nightstand and reading them here and there. If I’m under a deadline with a book, I’ll download the ebook version and read both as I find the time. As for tracking what to read next? All word of mouth and impulse.


What are your five favorite books, and why?

This is hard…because I’m so mercurial with books, these won’t be in any particular order. No top favorite.

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

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It’s my favorite from this comedy/horror author because the main character Zoey is refreshingly realistic in a dystopian landscape of body modifications, invasive social media, and the unsurprising furthered divide between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else. It’s comedy, horror, and social comedy. Also, I have to keep buying it for my younger brother because he keeps giving his copy away, so there’s a random pocket of the deep south that are super fans.

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

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I listened to the audiobook, which I do a lot because I spend a lot of time on trains and unfortunately get the motion sickness while reading. But the audiobook was narrated by Shonda herself, and it really brought to life the thoughtful and brave introspection of the autobiography. I was only vaguely familiar with her and her work when I downloaded it, but I found it so interesting and relatable that I immediately restarted the book after I finished.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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This book made me believe in the dark possibilities of religion, politics, and women’s rights. I first read it in middle school, and even back then the matter-of-fact path to Gilead seemed so realistic and logical that it truly chilled me to the core. I think it has aged tragically well. It is the most impactful and reread book in my life.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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This was my first Terry Pratchett book, and will always have a special place in my heart. I reread GP several times, thinking it was a stand-alone for some reason, and eventually went to my local library in the hopes that Terry Pratchett wrote something else…When I discovered the prolific Discworld series, my world changed. I remember telling someone “it’s like I randomly found this piece of gold, and it was awesome. But then I looked a little deeper, and found the dang motherlode!” Terry Pratchett is my happy escapism.

The Practical Princess by Jay Williams

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I debated this last one, but The Practical Princess eked out because of its rarity. Currently, copies of his feminist fairy tales are expensive, which feels unfair to my crazy aunt habit of handing them out to kiddos…but I’m still going to because they’re the best. Jay Williams wrote The Practical Princess and other fairy tales way back in the 60s-70s. They subvert traditional gender tropes and people then were not pleased. His stories typically feature badass ladies that have adventures and save the day with their wits and ingenuity. I somehow found a copy of The Practical Princess at an elementary school book swap, and my Disney soaked mind was BLOWN.

Runners up: The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsDumplin’ by Julie MurphyThe Wayside School Series by Louis Sacher.


Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.

_It's still magic even if you know how it's done._.png


If you would like to participate in Friday Favorites, please contact me.

Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I’ve seen this book tag on a few blogs now, such as Red Rocket Panda and Life and Other Disasters, and it seemed fun, so I figured I’d play along since I love any excuse to talk about books. Here are the questions:

What Do You Like About Buying a New Book?

Oh, so much. Being the first person to open it, the crispness of the pages, and new book smell. How pristine they are before I read them so often that they fall to pieces.

How Often Do You Buy New Books?

Too often, considering I don’t really have the budget for it right now. I preorder books to save money, and anytime I’m within a mile of a bookstore, I’m probably coming home with at least one book. I also think my UPS person is probably getting tired of lugging boxes full of books up to my third-floor apartment once a week.

Bookstore or Online Shopping – Which Do You Prefer?

Bookstore, easy. I love walking through the aisles and pulling books out at random to examine them. It also feels nice to be surrounded by other people who love books as much as I do. In a lot of my local bookstores, there’s so much community among the regulars that it feels a little bit like going to a friend’s house.

Do You Have a Favorite Bookshop?

I used to live in Asheville, NC, and one of the places I miss the most is a bookstore/bar called the Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. It’s just as glorious as it sounds – new and used books, drinks (both alcoholic and coffee), and pastries. It’s a large building with tons of nooks to explore and so many interesting books. Every time I go back to visit it’s one of the first places I want to go.

Do You Preorder Books?

Yes! I love pre-ordering books. Sometimes they’re discounted through Amazon, and I like having release-day delivery.

Do You Have a Monthly Book Buying Limit?

No, but goodness knows I need one. I spend way too much money on books, especially when I make a terrible decision like seeing if there’s anything new on Book Outlet. Last week I was bored and ended up ordering a full box of books from them. I make a lot of impulse purchases when it comes to books.

How Big is Your Wishlist?

Massive. I add several new books to it every single day, which means it’s grown to such a number that I have no chance of ever actually reading everything from it.

Which Three Books From Your Wishlist Do You Wish to Own Now?

 

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, because I just finished The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I wish I didn’t have to wait until next month.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, because everyone raves about this book, and it sounds like something I’d really love.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, for exactly the same reason as for Six of Crows