Bonus Content, Favorites Lists

Most Memorable Opening Lines of All Time

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books, but one thing that always remains memorable to me are intriguing opening lines. Sometimes they’re funny, super serious, or in one way or another end up snagging my attention. For today’s post, I thought I’d share eight of my favorite opening lines with you. It was so hard to narrow this list down because there are so many great ones, but I hope you enjoy those I’ve found pretty darn memorable. Let’s get into it then, shall we?

“Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”

“There is blood under my fingernails.”

“I’ve been locked up for 264 days.”

“There was a demon in McDonald’s.”

“Spontaneity is overrated.”

“I’ve been looking for Sawyer for half a lifetime when I found him standing in front of the Slurpee machine at the 7-Eleven on Federal Highway, gazing through the window at the frozen, neon-bright churning like he’s expecting the mysteries of the universe to be revealed to him from inside.”

“I’ve read many more books than you.”

“I have just taken an overly large bite of iced bun when Callum slices his finger off.”

….

There you have it, folks – eight fabulous opening lines that, I’m just now realizing, happen to come from books I thoroughly enjoyed reading! Did one of your favorites not make the list? Drop it in the comments below! There are seriously SO MANY hooks that are sure to pull all of us avid readers in from the start.

Until next time! May the rest of your week be filled with all the books 😊

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

Hello, bookish loves, and welcome back to the blog! Since Valentine’s Day is just two short days away, I thought we could celebrate this holiday of love by talking about my very first love: books! This is one of those posts that requires little introduction, so let’s just jump right into this, shall we?

1) Stand alone book you love

Romanov was one of my first reads of 2021, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it/recommending it to anyone who loves strong family dynamics and tales of history blended with a little magic.

2) Dystopian book you love

I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a true dystopian novel, but Legend is one of the few that feels like I just read it yesterday. It was published in 2011, but if you haven’t given Legend a read yet and are itching for a good dystopian read, I highly recommend giving this beaut a try!

3) A book that you love but no one else talks about

It absolutely flabbergasts me that people STILL aren’t talking about this book! It literally had everything I was expecting and more. I laughed out loud on numerous occasions, fell in love with the Shakespearian tie-ins, and was wishing for more of this tale by its end. Just read it so we can chat about it together, you guys!

4) Favorite book couple

This question always gives me legit anxiety to answer because there are SO MANY amazing book couples to choose from! In honor of this being a Valentine’s Day post, I think I’m digging Lara Jean and Peter from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys series. They’re just one of the sweetest fictional couples out there, plus I’ve been dying to give this series a re-read!

5) A book that other people love but you haven’t read yet

Some of you may be having a mini heart attack reading this, but Harry Potter has just never been a good fit for what I’ve always enjoyed reading. No other comments from me on this one other than I am v sorry to disappoint all of you Potterheads. I swear I am a real booknerdigan like the rest of you, but I just don’t think this book/series will end up on my TBR anytime soon.

6) A book with red on the cover

In addition to this cover being the most beautiful shade of red, I am obsessed with this series and can’t believe this is the final book in this world!

7) A book with pink on the cover

This beautiful pink book has been on my TBR for so long, and I really hope 2021 is the year I finally dive into this read!

8) You were given a box of chocolates. What fictional boyfriend would have given them to you?

Daniel from Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight would 100 percent be the guy to go the traditional route (albeit so sweet and delicious!) for a Valentine’s Day gift. And as much as he loves pie, there’s no doubt he has as much of a sweet tooth as I do!

9) You are single on Valentine’s Day. What book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What movie would you watch?

Ha, this is funny because I’ve been single most of the Valentine’s Days I’ve been alive and never thought about any of these questions until right now. I’d probably re-read one of my favorite Jennifer L. Armentrout books, watch some kind of Valentine’s Day-themed Food Network show on TV, and any Hallmark movie because those are always so adorable and romantic.

10) You are in the bookstore. All of the sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What new release will you love?

Though I haven’t read it yet (just a few days away from its release date, hallelujah!), A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas takes the cake, for sure! I’m wrapping up my re-read of the ACOTAR series as we speak and I cannot contain my excitement without the help of Cupid’s arrow. I think I would be losing my mind if I had actually been shot with one because this read is one of my most anticipated forthe year!

That’s a wrap on the Valentine’s Day Book Tag! Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you get to spend this beautiful holiday with those you love! What are some books that put you in the Valentine’s Day spirit? Drop me your recommendations below and let’s chat about them!

Until next week, bookish friends! May your weekend be filled with sweet reads and lots of love! ❤

Bonus Content, More Bookish Fun!

Tour My Bookshelves: Part One!

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! I don’t know about you guys, but I can never resist those bookshelf tour videos what pop up incessantly on my YouTube suggested watch lists. If you’re like me and can’t help but admire all the beautiful bookshelves that are out in the universe, then this post is for you! Instead of a video, I’ve decided to give you a play-by-play of each of my bookshelves and tell you a little bit about my personal organization method. I’m especially excited about this post because I just finished reorganizing all of my bookshelves for the first time in YEARS. This is going to be a three part series, so stay tuned for Parts Two and Three those in the near future! Shall we get Part One of this thing rollin’ or what?

The Quirky Contemporaries

The Montague Siblings series is hiding behind Carry On!

Of all my bookshelves, this one has to be one of my favorites because it holds contemporary reads that I have deemed simply unforgettable. Whether it be the impeccable writing, out-of-the-box overall concept, or hilariously eccentric characters I couldn’t help but relate to, all of these books have managed to steal my heart!

The Cassandra Clare Shelf

The Bane Chronicles, The Red Scrolls of Magic, Chain of Gold, and an illustrative Mortal Instruments book are behind the 10th Anniversary edition of City of Bones!

Given the fact that Cassandra Clare has about a million books in her Shadowhunter Chronicles, I had no choice but to dedicate an entire shelf (and then some!) to these beauties. I read the Mortal Instruments series many years ago, and I love seeing how the OGs have changed and meeting new characters as more books are released.

The Sarah J. Maas + Honorable Mentions Shelf

All merch in this picture was purchased from the Bookish Shop in their Throne of Glass and ACOTAR limited edition boxes.

Like so many of you, I am completely obsessed with anything Sarah J. Maas writes and I don’t see that changing anytime soon! In addition to her writing, Bloomsbury has done a fantastic job of making her covers absolutely STUNNING and it just seemed completely sacrilegious to hide them behind all the Maastastic merch I’ve collected over the years. I also included a few books by Holly Black and Brigid Kemmerer on this shelf because I found myself enjoying them almost as much as I did Sarah J. Maas’ books (some elements, I may have even liked more, as crazy at it is to believe!).   

Homage to the QUEEN (aka the Jennifer L. Armentrout Shelf)

The merch pictured was either purchased from the Bookish Shop, Hello Lovely, or I picked it up at Jennifer’s yearly ApollyCon event. Lots of hidden books on this shelf: the Harbinger series, part of the Dark Elements series, the Titan series, the Wicked trilogy, and the Wicked novellas.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time laying out this shelf because the QUEEN doesn’t deserve any less than perfection! I have been a JLA fan since I was 14 years old and I don’t see myself ever NOT being one. Each book I read by Jennifer is quick to draw me in and her plot twists/cliffhangers are like none other. Though this isn’t my entire JLA collection, this shelf contains all of my favorites by her (other than the Covenant series, which is on my Nook!).

The Fantasy Faves Shelf

I am totally blanking on where I purchased the Six of Crows prints from (I’m guessing I got them in either a Fairyloot box or a Bookish Box?), but the bookmark was from Barnes and Noble! The rest of the Darkest Minds series and Prosper Redding are hidden behind The Darkest Legacy.

This shelf contains a mix of some of my favorite fantasy reads. For the most part, these are those that I could read again and again and not tire of them!

The (Mostly!) Summery Contemporaries Shelf

Lots of hidden friends on this shelf, too: The Geography of Lost Things, Stay Sweet, The Boy Most Likely To, and My Life Next Door are behind The Chaos of Standing Still. The Unexpected Everything, Second Chance Summer, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, The Promise of Amazing, and The Natural History of Us are all behind Again, but Better.

This next shelf is for my go-to summer reads (or pick-me-ups I read in the winter when the cold starts getting to me!). As you can see from how packed this shelf is, I love a good contemporary romance that has a beachy/summertime setting and am always quick to add them to my ever-growing collection!

The Unforgettable Series Shelves

The Hunger Games series and the Beautiful Creatures series are peeking out from behind my Throne of Glass coloring book!

I decided to used these little cubes at the bottom of my bookshelf to store some of the series I’ve really enjoyed over the years. The one on the left contains the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series – two series so long that it totally warranted its own cube! I didn’t have quite enough room on my SJM shelf for the Throne of Glass coloring book, so I decided to savor its beauty from here instead!

Quick and Easy Romance Reads Shelves

As the title suggests, these shelfs hold the vast majority of my adult contemporary/romances, most of which were gifted to me in some form or another. I look forward to putting more of a dent in these at some point this year!

The Fantasy/Dystopian Series Shelf

This is the first of two shelves that are actually build into the headboard of my bed (a splurge when I bought it, but totally worth it for the extra storage!). You’ll find just a few fantasy/dystopian series on this shelf. I have read all of these but the Uglies series, which I hope to dive into once my brain stops momentarily rejecting the dystopian genre (ughh… the struggle is real, you guys!).  

The Leftovers Shelf

This shelf is a bit of a mixed bag, as I honestly just ran out of room on my other shelves and these were my odd balls I couldn’t quite figure out where to put. Some of these I just wasn’t a huge fan of, while others I remember thoroughly enjoying.

The Rando Book-Related Items Shelves

I used these two shelves to store some of my bookish merch. On the left is where I store all of my Book Beaus and bookish-themed pouches I’ve gotten in boxes and at events, as well as blankets and tapestries. On the right is where I store my Nook, any books I borrow from other people, and a binder full of the bonus stories I have received from preorders/author campaigns.

That’s a wrap on Part One of the Tour My Bookshelf series! I hope you all enjoyed checking out how I’ve decided to organize these first few shelves. How do you organize your bookshelves? I’ve always wanted to try to make a rainbow design, but I’m a little two OCD about series titles being together that I haven’t been brave enough to try it!

Until next week, bookish peeps! May the rest of your week be filled with beautiful bookish fun! 🙂

Bonus Content, Listologies Galore!

My Very First Book Haul of 2021!

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! We’re only a few weeks into the new year, and I have already managed to make a small dent in my bank account dedicated solely to book purchasing. While I wish I was ashamed of my decision-making, I can’t even pretend that I am because come on! Books are a fantastic financial investment! They provide endless entertainment, give your brain a good ol’ fashioned workout, and could be used to keep a fire going should you ever find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere (though the thought of a torn up and burned book literally breaks my heart to even think about!). Okay… maybe this is all a tiny bit of a stretch/me just trying to justify why I spend so much money at Barnes & Noble every year, but I am still so excited to be able to share my very first haul of the year with you all today! Let’s get crackin’, shall we?

I am a complete sucker for YA novels that twist around Shakespeare plays, so These Violent Delights was totally an insta-buy for me. I’m also really looking forward to learning more about 1920s Shanghai (hopefully!) as well, as I have never been there and don’t know too much about their history!

After reading the synopsis of this beauty, there was just something about it that felt too relatable and real to not read. I always love contemporary reads that I feel like I can connect to, and It Only Happens in the Movies might shape up to be one of those books for me!

Fable has taken so many bookstagram accounts and book blogs by storm, and with a cover like that, I couldn’t resist the hype! I’ve also been super into pirate-y adventure books lately, so I am buzzing to dive into this gorgeous read!

I will read almost anything Alexandra Bracken writes, so I was thrilled to be able to purchase her latest, mythology-inspired tale, Lore! This book also deserves some major cover love – it’s even prettier in person, if that’s even possible!

Ha… You all knew this was coming! Sarah J. Maas is one of my few auto-buy authors, and I literally squealed when I found out she was continuing the ACOTAR series with Cassian and Nesta’s stories! I don’t mean to wish my life away, but can it be February 16th already, please?

Well, my very first book haul of the year has come to an end. Have you read and enjoyed any of these reads yourself yet? Let me know in the comments, and also tell me about any books you’ve already purchased this year that you’re super excited to read!

Until next week, bookish buds! May you weekend be filled with fun, socially-distanced trips to your favorite bookstores to buy more bookish goodies! 😊

A Few Updates, Bonus Content

Bookish Goals for 2021

If you’re reading this, we have officially made it through the wackiness of 2020 – woohoo! Obviously last year was one for the books (yes, pun totally intended!), and I am hopeful that 2021 will be slightly less eventful and much more fun than 2020. I couldn’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a post all about some of the bookish goals I have for myself this year. My track record for “new year’s resolutions” has not been great – anytime I’ve made them and called them that, I’ve epically failed at achieving them, ughh. But, I do love having a list of things to strive for in life, so I thought it would be fun to carry that over into my bookish life, too! Without further ado, here are some of my book/reading-related goals for 2021:

Reading Goals

I always assign myself a certain amount of books I’d like to read in a year’s time. In 2020, that goal was 35 books (I cut myself a break and included fun books and those I had to read for school), which actually ended up being a lot to accomplish given by work and course loads. For 2021, I have yet again decided to push myself and set my goal at 42 books for the year. I only have three classes this last semester of college, and while they won’t be cake walks, I do think that not having four to five classes this go round will give me a little extra time to do some reading!

While I enjoy reading super long series, I would love for some of my 42 books to be standalone novels. Specifically, I am talking about standalones that are not contemporaries, as I think there is a lot to be said for authors who manage to do such magnificent worldbuilding and who can create developed and dynamic characters in only one book’s time. Don’t worry, though: I can assure you that I will definitely be hittin’ the contemporary sauce this year – still one of my favorite genres ever!!!

My last reading goal is to do some re-reading so that I can finish off series I started and loved, but just haven’t completed yet. This list isn’t super extensive, but there are a couple of series that I started years ago sitting on my shelves that would have started collecting dust if I didn’t dust my bookshelves frequently. Since it typically takes around a year for the next book in a series to be published, I just haven’t made the time to give the first couple of books in some series a re-read and complete the tales. Rest assured that I will be sharing a list of these “started but not finished” series with you very soon in another post, so stay tuned for that – some of my answers may flabbergast you!

Blog Goals

Given that I am still relatively new to blogging, I have found that I do have quite a few goals I’d like to start working towards in 2021 in this department. The first is that I want to find a balance of taking the time to create quality content and setting a realistic posting schedule for said content. Overall, my plan as of now is to post twice a week. One post will be a review of either a book or a book series (Mondays), and the other will be some type of bonus content post (Fridays). As far as creating content goes, I thought it would be pretty cool if I could devote 20-30 minutes each day to doing a little blog post writing. That way, content continues to be created, slow and steady, which allows me to have a little bank of things to post for you all on designated days!

I have a lot of plans circulating right now regarding introducing some new content that I haven’t had on the blog before. Some of these include giveaways, inviting some fellow bloggers to guest blog, creating some of my own original book tags, and so much more! I think these types of things will allow me to get to know more of you in the bookish community, and I could not be more excited about sharing these with you in the near future!

The final goal I have for the blog is something I have already (mostly!) completed if you are here, reading this post today. This goal was to revamp my blog’s design, some of the set-up, and overall, just make it a little more user friendly for everyone. I hope you all have been enjoying these new changes so far, and I look forward to continuing to work on the site as time goes on to make your experience here even more pleasurable!

Bookstagram Goals

My main goal for my bookstagram is to become more consistent with posting. I have set goals in the past, but for one reason or another, they have fallen apart. This year, I am going to try to create a posting schedule that I feel is realistic for me and what I feel I can feasibly do given all the other factors I have to contend with (everything always has to come back to “adulting,” doesn’t it? Blahh). A more detailed idea of this schedule will be shared with you when I figure it out myself lol!

I really like the content I have put out in the past, so I don’t think too much will change in that regard. However, I would like to create more interactive posts so I can communicate with more of you!

………….

Dang… I think I have some lofty goals, but you know what the great thing about goals is? You just have to try to meet them and use them as motivation to help you be more productive – you don’t have to necessarily complete them all! I can’t wait to see what I manage to accomplish this year! Do you have any life/bookish goals you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below and we can totally chat about them. I love seeing what everyone else is motivated to work on in this new year!

I am so excited to see what 2021 has to offer each and every one of you. Wishing you all a year full of love, laughter, prosperity, and of course all of the fantastic reads you can get your hands on!

–Sarah

A Few Updates, Bonus Content

I’m Coming Back, I Swear: Blogging Hiatus Update

Hi bookish friends! It’s been awhile, huh? Though I wish I could say that this is my “return” to the blog, I have some more things I need/want to take care of before I make my true comeback – a few of which I am thrilled to be sharing with you today!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my update on my personal/bookish life where I shared that between my three jobs, school, and just the craziness of life these days, I just haven’t had time to create content that I’m proud of. I’m all about quality over quantity, and I want you all to be able to see that in my posts each week, which I knew would not be the case if I kept my current blogging pace in the midst of what I literally had to get done each day.

Though I am not one who often experiences reading slumps, I found myself getting so bogged down with reading and homework for school that I just haven’t wanted to pick up a single “fun read” in MONTHS. Since I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to lately (or at all, really), I’ve lost a lot of my inspiration for my posts. As you can probably surmise, the struggle to write quality reviews is REAL when you’ve basically shunned all reading that wasn’t required for school for a solid four months.

Now that you’ve read my little soap box that I am sure so many of you can relate to, let me get to the fun stuff: what’s to come in the next few months! The biggest news I have to share is that I am currently taking this long break from college to overhaul my website (new design, creating a fabulous new logo, and much more!) to make it both more user friendly and more warm and welcoming for you guys. I have also been brainstorming and writing brand new content that I am so looking forward to sharing in the new year. Not sure if any of you are into giveaways, but if you are, keep your eyes open 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to thank those of you who have been following this blog since day one and those that have recently discovered this “passion project” of mine. I absolutely adore being a part of this wonderfully bookish community, and I hope that you all will be willing to stick around for this next adventure.

May the rest of your year be filled with some fabulous reads that make the end of such a wild year merry and bright! See you soon, friends!

–Sarah

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt Tag!

Happy Friday, bookish friends! After seeing this awesome idea over on Words About Words’ blog, I decided I’d give it a go myself using the books I have on my bookshelf… err, shelves because I’m kind of a book hoarder (sorry not sorry ’bout it, y’all). Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1) Find an author name or title with a Z in it

2) Find a classic

3) Find a book with a key on it

4) Find something on your bookshelf that is not a book

5) Find the oldest book on your shelf

6) Find a book with a woman on it

7) Find a book that has an animal on it

8) Find a book with a male protagonist

9) Find a book with only words on the cover

10) Find a book with illustrations in it

11) Find a book with gold lettering

12) Find a diary, true or fictional

13) Find a book written by an author with a common surname (like Smith)

14) Find a favorite childhood book

15) Find a book on your shelf that takes place in the earliest time period

16) Find a hardback book without a jacket

17) Find a teal/turquoise-colored book

18) Find a book with stars on it

19) Find a non-YA book

20) Find a book with a beautiful cover

I was shocked at how challenging it was to find some of these on my shelf, but somehow I managed to find a book that fit each category, thank goodness! Have you guys given this tag a try? If not, I nominate YOU to give it shot — it may be harder than you think, but so much fun! 😉

Until next week, bookish buddies! I hope your weekend is full of exciting reads 🙂

Bonus Content, Book Tags

The Liebster Award

Hello, fellow readers! Welcome back to another Bonus Content Friday! I’m so excited to share that this week’s post is a book tag I was nominated to do by a fellow blogger, Riddhi Bhargava over at Whispering Stories. Thank you so much for the nomination, Riddhi! Please go give her blog some love when you get finished over here — she has some fabulous content up on her site!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions

Riddhi’s Questions for Me:

1) What is your favorite book series?

This question is such a hard one because there are so many series that are near and dear to my heart. If I had to pick just one, it would have to be the Dark Elements series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The characters are just so lovable (and some hateable lol!), the plot is perfectly paced and action-packed, and the plot twists blow my mind every time I read it. It was also one of the first series that got me into reading!

2) What is your favorite song?

Hamilton - Broadway | Tickets | Broadway | Broadway.com

My favorite song changes almost weekly (so many good tunes out there now, y’all!), but this week’s would have to be Blow Us All Away from the musical, Hamilton. I don’t know what it is about this song that’s so addictive (the whistling because I can’t for the life of me whistle, maybe?), but I swear I could listen to it for an hour straight and not get bored of it!

3) Favorite movie?

Divergent (Includes Digital Copy) (dvd_video) : Target

I’m not a big movie-watcher, but I guess I would have to pick Divergent for this one since I always feel so kick butt after watching it (even though I sure as heck would not have been a Dauntless!). And, it just so happens to be a book-to-movie adaptation, so perfect choice to put on my book blog, I think!

4) What are your hobbies?

I made this cake for my stepsister’s wedding this past year, along with matching cupcakes! Both tiers are white, but the lighting makes the bottom tier look cream, for some reason.

When I’m not reading or blogging, I absolutely love to cook and bake! I also have the most precious two-year-old sheltie pup named Rowan (yes, named after the fictional character from Throne of Glass!) that I have so much fun hanging out with in my free time.

5) Dogs or cats?

I know I’m supposed to just pick one but I literally cannot for this one — BOTH!!! Huge animal lover here if you can’t tell!

6) Favorite genre?

My favorite genre definitely fluctuates from time to time, but I think with the current goings on of the world, I have been reading a lot more contemporary romances than I used to and LOVING them because they never fail to bring a smile to my face!

7) One genre you have never read?

Horror fiction — and I don’t plan to read it ever, if I can help it! I’m not a huge fan of doing/reading things that intentionally scare me, though I do know a lot of people who enjoy this genre of reading!

8) Favorite month of the year?

Love decorating the tree for Christmas!

You’re killing me with these tough questions, Riddhi (LOL!). Though I don’t love the cold weather, my favorite month would have to be December because I love the family time I get to soak up around the holidays. The long break from school is also a huge plus since I have so much extra time to dedicate to other, more exciting things (like blogging and reading!).

9) One thing that people love about you?

8,000+ Free Creativity & Creative Illustrations - Pixabay

Other than my endless book recommendations (HA!), I think people appreciate the fact that I’m willing to help them brainstorm and implement creative solutions to relatively common problems they are having to contend with. This especially comes in handy and has appeared to be helpful to others when we have had to work together on college group projects.

10) One character you would die for?

Oh, man. Hmmm…. This one has to be the toughest question on the list because most of the characters I would want to save are perfectly capable of saving their own lives even in the most extreme of circumstances. I guess I would have to go with Percy and Monty from A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue because they’re kind of hot messes and could use all the help they could get if put in a life or death situation!

11) Which habit of yours do you want to change?

Free Nail Biter Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library

So I actually just recently just started working on this, but I am a habitual fingernail-chewer when I get stressed out. Luckily this habit is almost broken now, but I’d totally be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of falling back into this bad habit!

My Nominees:

  1. Em @ The Geeky Jock
  2. bookswithnatasa
  3. jeana84
  4. bookgeeking
  5. elizabethreviews
  6. Lila @ Hardcover Haven
  7. Tree and Bree
  8. Soph
  9. A Little Book Love
  10. Lily Lovebrook
  11. Jacquie (Rattle the Stars)

Questions for My Nominees:

  1. Least favorite genre you’ve read?
  2. Favorite animal?
  3. What’s something many people don’t know about you?
  4. Favorite book you’ve read this month?
  5. Who is your favorite author?
  6. How many books do you own (physical, ebooks, and audiobooks included)?
  7. Favorite midnight snack?
  8. What post on your blog are you most proud of and why?
  9. Paperbacks or hardcovers?
  10. Favorite season?
  11. Fruits or vegetables?

Even if I didn’t tag you, I still highly encourage all of you to do this tag. Not only was it a ton of fun, but it will also help your readers find some fabulous new book blogs to check out — what a great way to support others in the bookish community, right? 🙂

Until next week, bookish friends! May your weekend be filled with all the books 🙂

Bonus Content, Favorites Lists

My Top 10 Favorite Classics

Hiya, fellow book-lovers! Welcome back to another Bonus Content Friday! This week, I’ve decided to share my favorite classic novels I’ve read over the years that I really enjoyed. One of the things I love most about this list is that I’ve included some picks from all over the world and/or those that have the ability to educate the reader about other cultures and ways of life. Some may ring a bell since they’re pretty popular, but others are lesser-known picks that I hope you will consider reading because they are fabulous! I don’t want to keep you in suspense any longer, so let’s jump right into this thing, shall we?

The Arabian Nights (New Deluxe Edition): Mahdi, Muhsin, Haddawy, Husain:  9780393331660: Amazon.com: Books

This past week I actually did a re-read of the first half of The Arabian Nights and I remembered once again why I loved these stories so much! While the frame stories are capable of making the best of scholars’ heads spin, I greatly appreciate the complexity of this text’s structure, and there really is a little something for everyone in here: glimpses of Islamic religion, magic found at every turn, and some shocking happenings you aren’t expecting! In addition to these stories just being a barrel of monkeys to read, The Arabian Nights is loaded with insight about ancient Middle Eastern culture.

Amazon.com: The Importance of Being Earnest (9780486264783): Oscar Wilde:  Books

While I definitely wouldn’t call myself a mega fan of Oscar Wilde, I can’t help but smile anytime someone mentions The Importance of Being Earnest. I’ve read this play on more than one occasion and also seen the fabulous filmed version with Reese Witherspoon in it and each time, my love for this masterpiece grows stronger. If you’re looking for just a sliver of a play full of humor, witty banter, and a whole lot of English social satire, you’ll love The Importance of Being Earnest!

A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Charles Dickens |  NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble®

A Tale of Two Cities is the only work by Charles Dickens I’ve read, but I hope to read more by him at some point in the future. I read this novel in high school, and given that I’m not really one for history, I don’t think I quite realized how important of a work this really is at the time (though my English teacher did attempt to beat me over the head with how exquisite this work of literature is more times than I can count!). However, as I got older, I found myself having little flashbacks of the novel’s focus on the idea of personal and societal transformation. While the French Revolution aspect of A Tale of Two Cities is very topical, the smaller underlying themes of challenging the status quo, taking responsibility for one’s personal actions, and finding it within yourself to change who you are for the better are very much universal ideas that modern readers can still connect with today.

The Bluest Eye (Vintage International): Morrison, Toni: 9780307278449:  Amazon.com: Books

If there was ever a book out there that is so relevant to today’s social movements, it’s The Bluest Eye. The focus of this novel centers on what it means to be beautiful according to Western society’s standards and how this depiction tends to marginalize individuals who don’t conform to these requirements. In a time in America that is filled with discussions of race, diversity, and learning to accept individuals who aren’t exactly like ourselves, I couldn’t recommend reading this heartbreaking, breathtaking, and inspiring masterpiece by Toni Morrison.

Amazon.com: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes: Revised  and Complete Edition (9781559363846): Kushner, Tony: Books

Angels in America was one of those reads that will forever stick with me because it taught me so much about topics I didn’t really understand at the time in which I read it. This relatively contemporary play was written as an education piece about the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. I don’t want to say too much because it truly is a reading experience you need to have yourself to grasp its message, but if you’re looking for an emotional, riveting, educational, and diversity-filled read, I highly recommend you give this play a chance — you won’t be sorry you did!

Brave New World: Aldous Huxley: 9780060850524: Amazon.com: Books

You didn’t think I was going to make it through this whole list without adding at least one dystopian pick, did you? Written in 1933, Huxley pretty much hit the nail on the head when it comes to society becoming significantly more reliant on technology as time goes on in Brave New World. I had so many emotions while reading this book, including but not limited to disgust, fascination, shock, alarm, and frustration. Many of these emotions stemmed from the fact that many of the aspects of society Huxley was satirizing in his novel are still present today, and I began to see some of the issues that are starting to come from our strong reliance on technology, particularly in the medical field. Brave New World is perfect for readers seeking an exhilarating dystopian novel that you can apply to the happenings of today.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

While this novel is really more of a contemporary classic, I have no doubt that everyday readers and scholars will continue reading this novel for years to come. I’ll be the first to admit that The Kite Runner was an extremely difficult book to read due to its very mature themes and content, but it’s a story that no doubt needs to be told and heard by those willing to listen. Taking place in Afghanistan as the monarchy crumbles, two young boys from different social classes form a very unlikely friendship. Highlighting the issues surrounding power, identity, and social construct in Afghan culture, Hosseini’s The Kite Runner is a gripping, heart-wrenching, and inspirational tale you are sure to never forget.

Orlando is one of those books that while you’re reading, you’ll find yourself deeply confused as you struggle through each page, but in the end, after some thoughtful reflection, its purpose and meaning finally click. Over the course of 300 years, the reader has the opportunity to see Orlando experience life in society from the perspective of both genders — Orlando sporadically switches biologically between the female and male sexes as time passes. Some would say that this novel is one of the first to take on the topic of “gender fluidity,” but I would argue that it serves an even larger purpose: to make the point that gender should not dictate how one should experience life in any society.

Book cover for The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Ahhh. Let us discuss our dear ol’ Holden, shall we? Young adult novels weren’t necessarily a thing during the time in which The Catcher in the Rye was written, but I can’t think of a book that manages to capture all the angst, stumbling blocks, life lessons, and new experiences of your teen years than this one. Though the lives of teens these days don’t necessarily align perfectly with what Holden experiences, many of the overarching experiences he goes through are similar to the “growing pains” many young adult readers experience in their lives today. As if this doesn’t intrigue you enough, the ending will leave you SHOOK and there have been lots of attempts to ban this novel due to profanity and mature themes. If you’re looking for a book that’s through and through a coming-of-age story sure to make people talk, give The Catcher in the Rye a read!

Snow Falling on Cedars: Guterson, David: 8601400186572: Amazon.com: Books

I had to round out this list with one of my all time favorite novels: Snow Falling on Cedars! While the overarching plot of this book surrounds a fictional murder case being unraveled on a fictional island outside Washington, Snow Falling on Cedars leaves the reader reeling from so much more than just the murder mystery. Given that this murder trial takes place following World War II, there is a lot of prejudice against people of Japanese heritage — an element that plays a huge role in the movement of this novel’s plot. Snow Falling on Cedars is a tale of struggling to be treated fairly in a society not ready to move forward from past conflict, pushing aside stereotypes to stand up for what’s right, and fighting against the odds for those you love.

While I don’t typically pick up classics to read in my free time, I sure have read quite a few over the years that have made a lasting impact! Do you have a favorite that didn’t make my list? Let’s chat about them below!

Congrats, everyone — we have at last reached another weekend! Take care, and I’ll see you back here next week for some more bookish fun! 🙂

Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: Hardcovers vs. Paperbacks

Hello, bookish friends! Welcome back to the blog. This week, I thought I’d throw another discussion post your way. As avid readers, you’ve probably had the “hardcover vs. paperback” battle in your mind (and maybe in person!) a time or two in your life. Someone earlier this week asked me my thoughts on the topic, and since it got me pondering my own opinions, I thought “Why not share this on the blog since it is the ultimate question posed to bookish people?” So alas, here I am, bringing you this very topic in pro/con list format! Ready to dive in? Leggo:

Hardcovers

The Pros:

  • Hardcovers don’t get nearly as beat-up as paperbacks do when you put them in a bag and take them on the go. As someone who is all about having pristine copies of the books I own, this is a huge plus for me!
  • If it’s a book that has a whole lotta pages, you don’t have to worry about cracking the spine.
  • Hardcovers have a better chance at surviving if you get caught in the rain, splashed at the pool, or accidentally getting dropped in the bathtub.
  • The covers of hardback books are STUNNING and make beautiful statement pieces on your bookshelves!

The Cons:

  • Not that you need me to tell you this, fellow readers, but hardcover books are often times much more expensive than paperbacks.
  • The dust jackets on the outside of most hardcovers drive me a little crazy sometimes. For example, when I’m reading outside and the dust jacket AND pages start blowing around , I start flailing to get things back in order and it’s just a hot mess.
  • Hardcovers often take up a lot more space on my shelves than paperbacks. As someone who has a lot of books and little space to store them (because my shelves are now officially filled to the brim), this is definitely a drawback for me.
  • Most of these suckers are HEAVY.

Paperbacks

The Pros:

  • Paperback books are much more affordable. There are times in my life where I’ve been able to buy two paperbacks for the price of one hardcover!
  • There are so many different “feels” of paperbacks. There are some that are soft/smooth and others that have sort of a grainy feel, and for some strange reason, these different textures make the reading experience that much more pleasurable!
  • You can pack a crap ton more paperbacks onto your bookshelves since they are much more compact than hardcovers. I have a few paperbacks that are over 600 pages long, and they take up much less space than a hardcover with the same page count would.
  • Overall, I find that paperbacks are more comfortable to read. Paperbacks just tend to naturally fit in my hand better and don’t leave me with pesky hand cramps like hardcovers do.

The Cons:

  • It’s super easy to damage a paperback. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve thrown in my bookbag to read during class…. err… I mean, after class, and when I pulled them out, the covers were bent. Le sigh.
  • I have found it harder to keep the pages open when reading paperbacks since the spines are bound very tightly.
  • You typically have to wait longer to get a paperback copy of a book since most are released in hardcover format first.
  • The bane of my existence: Accidentally cracking the spine of a paperback. My heart breaks a little more every time I do this because then the title is left with a bunch of permanent wrinkles in it, starting back at me on my shelf for the rest of its bookish life.

My Personal Preference

Okay… the moment you have all been waiting for: my personal preference! It honestly depends on what I’m wanting to use the book for (i,e, reading, decoration, travel, etc.), but since the overall reason for having books is to read them, then I have to admit that I prefer paperbacks over hardcovers. Haters gonna hate, but I chose this format because paperbacks are just so much easier to handle and are way more comfortable for me to hold onto while reading. If we were talking decoration, though, hardcovers would 100% take the cake!

Now you all know my personal thoughts on this uber controversial bookish topic! Hopefully my paperback preference didn’t disappoint any of you too much! What are your thoughts on these two formats? Let me know below and any reasons ‘why’ that didn’t make my list!

Happy Weekend, lovelies, and I’ll see you next week for some more bookish fun! 🙂