Top 5 Wednesday – August 24th, 2016

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five books you want to read before the end of the year. Welcome to yet another installment in the “Ari’s TBR Shame” series! Today, we’ll be doing a bit of New Year’s reading resolution shaming, as I believe that all of these books are off of my “16 in 2016” TBR from the beginning of the year. However, on the positive side of things, I have a fairly good feeling I’ll be able to finish all of these novels by the end of the year (she says with eternal optimism…). 🙂

5. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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This one comes straight off my “been on my TBR for way too long” list from yesterday. Even though I’m sure I’ll love this one, I am so overloaded with books right now, I think I’ve been putting this series off mainly because of the length. I’ve been trying to put a bit more of a dent in my TBR before starting on this one, but I’m going to make sure it gets read before the year is out!

4. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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Tying in with yesterday’s Top 10 Tuesday post, this is a book that I’ve had sitting on my TBR for a very long time—definitely since well before I started blogging. In fact, it was one of the first books I added to my Goodreads TBR. I’ve started working on this one already, so my finishing it before the end of the year is pretty certain.

3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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This is another one that’s a duplicate from yesterday’s list. I’ve owned a copy of this novel since it was first released and have been dying to read it for years—and yet, it’s still siting on my TBR. I started it at one point, got really busy with schoolwork, and unfortunately had to put it aside. But I already know I love the story—or at least what I’ve read—so this is a must read before the end of 2016!

2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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As I said before, this was on my list from the beginning of the year, and it’s been a goal of mine to read my first Tolkien novel in 2016. Thus, The Hobbit makes it onto this list. I figure this will be a good one to start off with, and then I can jump into LOTR later on.

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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And once again, another one rolling over from yesterday’s list! I’m really determined to get some of these ones that have been sitting on my TBR done soon. Though this has been on my list the least amount of time out of the five I’ve chosen, this is by far the craziest one. Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite authors and it is absolutely insane that I haven’t begun this series yet! This is a top priority!

What books are you guys hoping to eliminate from your TBR before the end of 2016? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 10 Tuesday – August 23rd, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books that have been on your shelf (or TBR) from before you started blogging that you STILL haven’t read yet. Well, this is quite an easy list for me to make. Or rather, a hard one because I have too many to decide between! 😛

Now, I’ve only been blogging for a year, but there are still some pretty embarrassing books sitting in my TBR pile. So I chose the ones that I am most mortified about still having not read—ones that I’ve been consistently saying for this past year of blogging that “I’m getting to them next” and then don’t. Most of the books that I picked out for this list have been in my pile for much longer than a year, and you may see some of these popping up in tomorrow’s Top 5 Wednesday post as well…

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

More Than This by Patrick Ness

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Soulless by Gail Carriger

What books have been on your TBR the longest? Which ones do you keep saying you’ll get to next, but then put off? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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The Reader Confession Tag

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I was tagged to do the Reader Confession Tag by my two blogger besties—Heather from The Sassy Book Geek and Anna from My Bookish Dream! Anna and Heather are not only incredible book bloggers, but also two of the kindest people ever. I love these girls and their blogs so much and I know you guys will too! You should totally already be following them, but if you’re not, please make sure you stop by and check out both of their wonderful blogs!

1. Have you ever damaged a book?

I may have done when I was little, but to the best of my recollection (and by looking at the books I currently own), I haven’t damaged any of my books. I may be just a tad bit overprotective of my books, so they typically stay in very good condition. 😛

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2. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

I can say with complete certainty that I’ve never ever damaged a borrowed book!

3. How long does it take you to read a book?

This depends on: a. the book, b. my schedule, c. my stress/fatigue/distraction level. Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a slump, so I’m not at all up to my usual amount of reading. However, if mostly all of these factors are in my favor, I can get through a normal 300-500 page book in two or three days, and on average I would say I read three to four books a week.

4. Books that you haven’t finished?

I barely ever stop in the middle of books even if I hate them, so my DNF list from over the years is pretty small:

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Dead Rules by Randy Russell

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

5. Hyped/Popular books you didn’t like?

I admit, I don’t really rush to read a lot of hyped/popular books (though I do sometimes)—I’m always pretty wary about hype. I am extremely picky about the hyped books I do pick up, so a lot of times, I end up really enjoying all the ones I read. However, I can think of a couple over the years that weren’t a big hit with me. The Twilight series for one was just never my cup of tea, and recently Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard sort of failed to meet my expectations for it.

6. Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Nah, I don’t think so. I don’t really care what people think of what I’m reading—I’ll read whatever the heck I want, thank you very much!

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7. How many books do you own?

I don’t have an exact number but I would say, between my physical library and my Kindle books, I have…brace yourselves…probably about 800 books, maybe a bit more.

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8.Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?

I’m never sure what to say when asked this question. I tend to think of myself as a fairly slow reader because it feels that way to me when I’m reading. But then I end up get through books in a reasonably short amount of time, especially if I’m really enjoying them—and like I said earlier, I can many times read three to four books in a week. So I’m not really sure what I am because it fluctuates…I’m delightfully quirky! 😛

9. Do you like to buddy read?

I LOVE to buddy read! One of my favorite things in the world next to reading books is talking about them. I used to do it all the time with my friends when I was little and now I’ve been getting the chance to do buddy reads with my fellow book blogger friends. Reading is fun no matter what, but nothing compares to the experience of reading and discussing a book with someone else, whether you end up enjoying the book or not. It’s nice to have another person to compare thoughts with and to think about the story in ways you might not necessarily have considered on your own. Also, if you both really enjoy the book, it can be pretty fun to fangirl with someone else!

10. Do you read better in your head or out loud?

I read SO much better in my head! I’m absolutely terrible at reading out loud—I get all shy and awkward and tongue-tied. I used to hate to be told to read out loud in school. And in terms of actual reading comprehension, that’s basically nonexistent for me when I’m reading out loud! 😛

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11. If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

I would definitely choose The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Not only is it one of my favorite novels of all time, but also, since it’s a collection of short stories, it doesn’t feel quite as repetitive when you are rereading it over and over again. And honestly, this is just one of those “cozy reads” for me, so I love immersing myself in it! 🙂

I Tag:

Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger

Aubrey @ If Mermaids Wore Suspenders

Emily @ Rose Read

Fran @ Nightjar’s Jar of Books

SSJTimeLord

Zezee @ Zezee with Books

Michelle @ Book Adventures

Fatima @ NoteablePad

Cheyenne @ Cheyenne Raphael Writes

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Top 5 Wednesday – August 17th, 2016

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite first sentences of books. A first sentence is by far one of the most important aspects of any novel. It’s what draws the reader into the story by immediately making them want more. It creates a feeling of mystery and intrigue, causes a reader to question what might happen next or why the first sentence says what it does. Making a good first impression on a reader is key in any good book.

Here are five of my all-time favorite first sentences. Some are gripping and enticing, others just have that nostalgia factor for me. Either way, each of these opening lines holds a fond place in my heart.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”

Alice by Christina Henry

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“If she moved her head all the way up against the wall and tilted it to the left she could just see the edge of the moon through the bars.”

 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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 “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”

 Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

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“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys”

Nostalgia Bonus! 😀

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

What are some of your favorite opening lines from novels? Let me know down in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

Top 10 Tuesday – August 16th, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books with X setting (ex. top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc). I’ve decided to do my own little twist on this topic by picking ten books that take place in or have a connection to my personal top ten travel destinations.

Iceland

Burial Rights by Hannah Kent

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iceland

Prague

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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prague

Egypt

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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Italy

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

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Scotland

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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England

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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london

New England/Boston

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Russia

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

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russia

Germany

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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germany

France

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Super special fictional extra bonus place! 😛

Narnia

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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What are some of your top travel destinations? Are there any books that you’ve read or are interesting in reading that take place there? Have books ever inspired you to want to travel to a particular place? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

 

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The Olympics Book Tag

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I was tagged to do the Olympics Book Tag by the wonderful Richard from The Humpo Show. Richard is an absolutely fantastic blogger who writes a wide variety of very interesting posts about both books and films, so please make sure to stop over and check out his blog.

I have been enjoying watching the Olympics so much this year—in fact I am watching them while I’m writing this up—so this is definitely a very fitting tag to do right now! I did the seven from Richard’s tag and tacked on three other topics I found at the end.

100m | A book you have raced through.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Not only is this by far the most gorgeous novel I have ever read in my life, I also absolutely sped through it. It’s not a long book and, on top of that, it was so captivating there was no way I was going to put it down before I turned that final page. It only took me about an hour and a half at most to read this, which is pretty fast for a generally slow reader like myself!

Michael Phelps | The best book you’ve ever read.

tokillamockingbird1 theadventuresofsherlockholmes

It is incredibly difficult to think of just one book that is best out of the hundreds I’ve read throughout the years. It would probably be a three-way tie between A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. All three of these books are so unique compared to each other in all types of ways, and I love them all for different reasons—it would be impossible to say that one is better than the others.

Synchronized Diving | A perfect couple.

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Percabeth

In trying to answer this, I realized just how few books I’ve read that actually involve romance and couples—to any extent, but at least between main characters. But I do have one particular favorite, and I am in complete agreement with Richard. Percabeth is the best!

Simone Biles | A short and sweet book.

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The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

This is a novella that Meyer wrote in the same world as The Lunar Chronicles series. As the name suggests, it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I found it to be such a quick and truly enjoyable read. In just a short time, she packs this story with a huge range of emotion, staying true to the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen while putting her own unique twist on it. Though it was a sad story, overall, it was an incredible short and sweet read.

Rugby 7s | A tough book you struggled to finish.

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

In terms of the text and writing itself, this is not a difficult book to read. However, I just could not get into this novel—despite absolutely loving Divergent—and I ended up really not enjoying Insurgent much at all. Everything I loved about Divergent was missing from the sequel, and I somehow could not manage to connect with the characters in the same way. It took me almost a month of on and off reading to finally finish it, compared to the four days in a row it took with the first.

Golf | A new genre outside of your comfort zone.

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Romance/Young Adult Romance

Though I am totally a hopeless romantic, for some reason, the romance genre is not a favorite of mine, and these two novels—The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Love and Other Unknown Variables—were way out of my comfort zone. However, I found them both to contain a lot of serious subjects that were dealt with in an intelligent and mature way, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying both. While these books have a concentration on romance, there is also a good amount of attention given to different types of love, such as that of friendships and the relationships between family members. Neither novel falls victim to the clichés of many that have a focus on romance, particularly those that are young adult.

Heptathlon | The best series.

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The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Like I’m sure many people would, I am going to agree with Richard on his choice once again and say Harry Potter is the absolute best series of all time. There is so much to adore about this novel—so much for people of any age to connect with. It’s hard not to enjoy immersing yourself in this magical world. For me, it was just such a huge part of my childhood and played an important role in the discovery of my passion for writing and storytelling. I know that there is no way that any series could top this one for me.

Gymnastics | A book with a lot of plot twists.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I think if you look up the meaning of “plot twist” you just get a picture of Gillian Flynn. She is the master of making complex and twisted plots, and Gone Girl is completely packed with examples of this. It’s a beautiful portrayal of Flynn’s skill as a writer and her ability to captivate and constantly shock her readers. Even though I had been spoiled on a bit of this novel before reading it, I was still in utter disbelief through most of the story.

Swimming | A book that made you sob.

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Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

I very rarely ever cry while reading books, watching movies, anything like that. A Monster Calls is probably the book that I cried over the most out of everything I’ve read, but since I’ve already used that twice, I figured I should choose a new book. Love and Other Unknown Variables was a novel that took me completely by surprise in terms of how much I ended up enjoying it, and it totally made me bawl my eyes out!

Trampoline | A childhood favorite.

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Next to Harry Potter, the Narnia series pretty much defines my childhood as a book nerd. A favorite of my mom’s when she was a kid, she passed them down to me and I completely fell in love with these stories. I have many fond memories of reading these books over and over again, never getting tired of them. And of course, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is my favorite in the series!

I Tag:

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

The Orang-utan Librarian

Ellie @ Ellie’s Bookshelf

…and anyone else who wants to do this, I tag you! 😀

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A-Z Bookish Survey

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I found this survey through my friend and fellow blogger, Jen over at J.N. Cahill, and she found this through Sarah Sunbeemz’s Booktube channel. Jen is an amazing writer, so please head on over and check out her blog. Also, make sure to go check out Sarah’s video as well! 🙂

On to the survey!

A — Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

At the moment, that would be a tie between J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. However, my copy of The Cursed Child just arrived, so I believe this will be changing in a few days!

B — Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire, hands down! And I’m even passing up using my favorite Harry Potter novel, Chamber of Secrets, because it’s just that amazing.

C — Currently Reading:

I’m in the middle of a couple of books right now, but my primary read is It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett.

D — Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually tea or water. Sometimes a fruit smoothie can be a nice drink while reading.

E — E-Reader or Physical Book?:

While I do love my Kindle and I’ve definitely gotten more into the habit of using it in the last year or so, I will always choose physical books over e-books. Nothing can compare to a physical edition.

F — Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:

Definitely Neville Longbottom. He will forever be my first and favorite book boyfriend!

G — Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

The Giver by Lois Lowry. I first read it some time in middle school and absolutely hated it. Then, given how many of my friends enjoyed it when they read it in their late teens/early 20s, I decided to give it another go, and oh boy am I glad I did. It was fantastic!

H — Hidden Gem Book:

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander. This was a book that was way out of my typical reading comfort zone, but I picked it up on a whim and ended up really enjoying it.

I — Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

This is going to be a very common answer, but I have to say discovering/starting the Harry Potter series for the first time. This is a series that has inspired me in countless ways, turning me into not only an avid reader, but a writer as well. I owe a lot to this series.

J — Just Finished:

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

K– Kinds of Books You Won’t Read?:

Erotica. I have nothing against the genre or anyone who likes to read it—it’s just not my thing.

L –Longest Book You’ve Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (according to my Goodreads shelf!).

M — Major Book Hangover:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I don’t get book hangovers frequently, but this gave me a huge one!

N — Number of Bookshelves You Own:

Zero…embarrassing for a book nerd, I know! I promise, I will fix that soon!

O — One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

P — Preferred Place to Read:

I love to just curl up in my bed with a good book. Reading at the beach is pretty nice too, though… 🙂

Q — Quote that Inspires You and Gives You All the Feels:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

R — Reading Regret:

The massive amount of book to movie adaptations that have been coming out lately have made me realize that there are a bunch of pretty well-known children’s books/series (ex. The BFG, Percy Jackson, etc…) that I regret not reading back when I was a kid. I have read or plan to read many now, but I wish that I could have had that experience of reading them through younger eyes.

S — Series You’ve Started and Need to Finish:

Way too many! I would say my top ones right now are The Lunar Chronicles, the Legend trilogy, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

T — Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

U –Unapologetic Fangirl/boy for:

Gillian Flynn. As I have said before, she is my spirit animal. 😛

V — Very Excited for this Release More than Anything:

Since The Cursed Child is already here, I’ll go with Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

W — Worst Bookish Habit

Like many other book nerds out there, one of my worst bookish habits is buying too many books before reading the ones already in my TBR pile! I do this far too often, and now my pile is a mountain!

X — X Marks the Spot–Start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book off it:

Since I don’t actually have physical shelves, I’m going to use my Goodreads shelf of owned books, set to alphabetical by author. So my 27th book would be The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.

Y — Your Latest Book Purchase:

I just did a huge book haul post since I went on a bit of a shopping spree recently, but I guess my latest purchase would be Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.

Z — The Zzzzzzzzzzzzz Snatcher Book (Book That Kept You From Sleeping):

When I was a kid, any of the Harry Potter or Narnia series. But the most recent novel that kept me up all night was The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

Anyone count how many times I referenced Harry Potter, Narnia, or To Kill a Mockingbird? 😛

I’m not going to tag anyone specific to do this, but this survey was incredibly fun to fill out, so I highly recommend giving it a go. If you have done this survey or decide to do it, make sure you leave a link for me in the comments so I can come check out your post!

-Ariana

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