I was originally supposed to talk about my California trip for today’s post, but ya girl is a little too psycho sometimes because I really thought that I could draft a coherent post on a red-eye flight, three hours of sleep, and a time zone change. And because that definitely is not happening, I found this tag over at Zezee with Books that I’m going to breeze through really quickly!
author you’ve read the most books from
This is going to be a battle between Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare, I think, though I always manage to surprise myself when I think that I’ve read eight million Stiefvater books, but she has less than twenty released. Wait, now I’m so curious about people like VE Schwab because she’s always posting about how she’s in the double digits now.
I’ve read 17 Stiefvater books, which includes her middle grade, tarot books, and short story collections. There are, however, 19 Shadowhunters books, but I’ve only read 17, so, as expected, Stiefvater & Clare are tied. And damn, but Schwab only comes in at 16 books, including her graphic novels. I can’t think of anyone else that takes up nearly an entire shelf, so I think that might be my top three!
best sequel ever
I just–I’m coming back to this, hold please.
I think I’ve got to go with Girls of Shadow and Storm by Natasha Ngan because it was honestly the most perfect example of exactly how a middle book in a trilogy should be, and I’m just consistently re-astonished by how good it was.
Lollllll, the me of a few days ago said that I was just finishing up Witch Rising by Paige McKenzie & Nancy Ohlin, and I was hoping that I’d finish it before I had to leave for the airport, which of course meant that I read the last 120 pages sitting at Logan. As I’m getting ready to schedule this now, though, I just started A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee, and wow, let me tell you, this is going to be a five-star, and I’m only fifty pages in.
drink of choice while reading
Tea, always! That’s a lie, I do often drink water while reading, but I’m also usually eating lunch while I read, so if I’m actually setting aside time specifically to read, it’s tea. It’ll usually be a green or herbal tea since I read at night after work.
e-reader or physical book?
Physical. I’ve read two e-books ever? And I don’t really ever plan on reading another one. I associate my phone with fanfiction, which I very rarely read anymore, and I don’t like to be on my phone a lot before bed. I also love physical books an inordinate amount, and it’s harder for me to concentrate with something electronic, thus why I stick to fanfiction, so this answer will literally never change.
fictional character you probably would have dated in high school
Don’t @ me, but Cardan. Lollllllll, I’m gonna @ myself. I hate Cardan so much, and nothing is ever going to change my mind on that. He’s such an asshole, and he’s so abusive toward Jude–she’s just as bad–and no amount of sad backstory and kind of pleasant future is going to change that core terribleness of him, but you know what? That was my jam. I consistently went after guys that were undoubtedly going to either just be mean to me or were going to completely disregard me entirely. Even into my young adulthood, I was a huge fan of being ghosted, reaching for men that very clearly didn’t want to date me, and ones that wanted to, but were going to be as wretched as possible, so Cardan fits the bill!
glad you gave this book a chance
This sounds so dumb, but City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I was so snooty about it when it first released because it had a shirtless man on the cover, and I just couldn’t be seen reading that out in public, but Shadowhunters has truly become one of my favorite series in the world, and I can’t imagine where I’d be now if I hadn’t finally given that first one a chance.
hidden gem book
I’ve talked about Horrid by Katrina Leno a lot recently, but I’ve got to list it here again, for two reasons. I know that Leno is a relatively well-known author in the book world, too, but y’all. Not only does it have incredible Hill House vibes, THAT ENDING. I’m never going to get over it. Where Shirley Jackson tried to be a little hopeful, Leno just straight up cackled and went full horror, and it’s amazing.
important moment in your reading life
Gosh, there’s so many that I truly don’t even know where to start. Finally, after years of not being able to say a single word to Maggie Stiefvater, actually getting up the courage to tell her how much her books meant to me? Attending her workshop and understanding so many pivotal things for bettering my writing? Hearing Victoria Schwab talk about having to scrap Vicious entirely and how hard that was, but how rewarding it ended up being? Finding a first edition The Silmarillion for under ten dollars at the flea market? The list is endless for bookish moments that changed my reading life.
Again, drafting this a couple weeks before it posts, and I just finished listening to Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien, narrated by Andy Serkis. It was my first (and last, not counting the rest of the trilogy) audiobook ever, and it took me so damn long to read it. I mean, it’s 22 hours long, so that’s a lot already, but oh boy, I am not an audiobook reader. The only reason I enjoyed it was because of Serkis’ absolute performance of a narration, and he is going to be what carries me through the rest of the trilogy.
kinds of books you won’t read
I’m really not into mysteries or thrillers. I’ve tried to read outside YA fantasy several times, and while it’s occasionally fun, I know what I like, and I’m happy staying there. And though I’ll sometimes snag an adult romance or very select horror, I’ve read about one or two mysteries in my life, and I’m all set with not doing that again. Just not my style!
longest book you’ve read
Because I’m in a perpetual fight with GRRM, and I finally unhauled the ASOIAF series, this is actively going to be the last time I ever talk about him, which means that the longest book I’ve ever read is, predictably, Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. I honestly thought it was going to be Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus because the second book is 800 pages long, but QOAAD comes in at a whopping 912 pages. It is truly a monstrosity, and you know what? This is the only time I’ll ever agree with the majority that it didn’t need to be nowhere that long.
major book hangover because of
I know everyone says it, but City of Brass by SA Chakraborty just about killed me. I was so wholly unprepared for how much I was going to love that series, but that first book just wrecked me for weeks after. I didn’t know what to do with myself! I kept reading really chill contemporaries because I was just??? How will anything live up to that?!
number of bookcases you own
Four! I wish I had more, and I 100% will when I have my own place and more space to take up, but I currently have four somehow squished into my bedroom with my bed and a cat tower and all the normal fixings of a bedroom. They’re eight feet tall, and they are packed to the gills:
And yes, they are the Billy bookcases from Ikea. They’re rampant across Booktube, and they’re exactly what I’ve always wanted, and can confirm after a few years with them now that I will definitely keep buying them.
one book you have read multiple times
Well, I’ve read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater five times, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston three times, and the LOTR trilogy four times. There are a couple others, like Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, that I’ve read twice now and will likely read again, but–oh, Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi! I’ve read it three times, as well, and I’ll definitely be reading it many more.
preferred place to read
This is a tricky one because, if I really had my way, it would be in an armchair with pillows on either side and Grace in my lap, but I work a lot of twelve-hour days every week, so I usually read in my car while I’m eating my lunch & dinner. It’s not ideal, but it is what it is. When I have time at night, I read in bed, which I also enjoy because Grace will snuggle up in my lap, and she’s like a little vibrating furnace, and my mattress is hella comfy, but I miss the old armchair we used to have. It was my favorite place to read.
quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels
I mean, we all know where this is going.
Two for one! (I recognize I only shared pictures of one of them, we’ll be okay.). I’ve got two quotes tattooed on me–Sam Gamgee’s there’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for, and Sleeping at Last’s how rare and beautiful it is to even exist, and both of those are kind of like life mottos for me. They’re very much quotes that I live by, thus why I have them permanently on my body.
Ooh, okay. Let’s think about this for a second. I don’t regret a lot of books, and the first one that popped into my mind was Passage to India, but I got out of reading that, so that doesn’t count. Maybe just a broad answer of I don’t DNF enough? I’ve gotten a lot better at it, but I still force myself through sometimes, and that’s just exhausting.
series you started and need to finish (all books are out)
I can finally not call myself out on Shadowhunters because the series I have left isn’t fully out! I do have a series you monster list on Goodreads, though, that’s keeping track of all the series I have yet to finish, and you know what, let’s just list all of them:
- Nexus by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings (I’m hoping to snag this one before the end of the year.)
- The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (I can’t explain why I haven’t gotten beyond the first one because I really liked it!)
- A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (I KNOW I’M THE WORST!)
- The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud (lollllllllll the day I get to stop putting this on lists will be the best day)
- Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (Someday, I swear!)
three of your all-time favorite books
I wrote a list last year, and though I was fairly confident in that list, things have changed drastically, and I’m going to go right ahead and shuffle those around. Undeniably, my all-time favorite books are, in no particular order because no thanks, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, and The Holy Wild by Danielle Dulsky. I know, I know, it’s insane that The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien isn’t in the top three, but it is number four, and I just–the two nonfictions have been something that I’ve referred to over and over and over again, and Shiver has been, and may always be, my favorite book in the world.
unapologetic fangirl for
Do we even need to get into this? I actually just posted the stupidest thing the other day on how to read Shadowhunters, and I really just think that says it all.
very excited for this release more than all the others
Okay, well, Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool now exists in the world–and I somehow still haven’t read it??–so I’m going to have to pick another one, and there’s only a couple months left, and Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson just arrived at my house, so. Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan, obviously. I’m going to reread the first two before the finale releases in–oh heck, a couple weeks, damn, okay. It’s going to demolish me, and I’m so ready for it.
worst bookish habit
If I don’t read with a closed mechanical pencil tracing what line I’m on, I will skip ahead and spoil things for myself over and over. I have to have a pencil following the line. And if I don’t, I end up covering the next page or the bottom half of the page with my hand so that I won’t accidentally look ahead.
x marks the spot:
start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book
Oh, I just rearranged my shelves, so this is actually going to be unexpected for me! And we’ve got The Babysitter’s Coven by Kate Williams! I have all my witch books separated from the rest of the urban fantasy, and it’s delightful. Getting to see that I really well and truly do have an entire shelf of books with witches is just the best.
your latest bookish purchase
Well, I was visiting California this weekend, and Sara happened to take me down to The Last Bookstore in LA after we visited Grand Central Market, and I wasn’t going to buy anything because I didn’t have a ton of room in my backpack, but then I stumbled across this gorgeous gold-edged copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and I don’t really have a copy that I can tote around that’s not the Penguin editions split into three volumes, so although I already own three damn copies of La’commedia, I bought another one, whoops!
Also, this annoyed me. I went searching to see if they had any Dante under Alighieri because, well, that’s his last name. But, what do you know, he was shelved with the D’s, and it’s just kind of like–maybe don’t get all hoity toity with a classic literature section if you’re not even going to shelve them correctly.
zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up way late)
It’s gotta be a Natasha Pulley. I always tell myself that I’m going to go to bed at a reasonable time when I’m reading one of hers, that I’ll just round it out at my usual 50 page mark, and all will be well. And I definitely did that with The Kingdoms, and then kept reading until 2AM anyway!
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