The To Be Read Tag

Hi guys! I was tagged by Chloe @Free as a Girl with Wings, so let’s get started!

toberead

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Goodreads, mostly. I’m pretty lousy at remembering to add them, though, so my Goodreads list is kind of incomplete.

Is your TBR mostly print books or ebooks? 

Print books, unfortunately. I haven’t used my Kindle for months now, because to get the books I want to read from the library, they need to be print.

How do you decide which book from your TBR to read next?

Usually, it’s just whichever I can get first. So if there’s one my local library has, then I’ll probably read it first. Then I’ll move on to ones I need to request from other libraries.TheWhiteDragon

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. I love her books, but it’s been a while since I’ve read any. Hopefully, I’ll read a couple more next year.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill. I spotted it on a list of must-read feminist YA novels, and… wow. It looks like a really, really heavy book, but it also sounds pretty amazing. Here’s the Goodreads summary.

“In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.OnlyEverYours

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight.
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .”

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

I was looking through the Goodreads list of 2015 YA releases and spotted Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee and ohmygod the cover is absolutely gorgeous. The novel itself looks interesting, but it’s the cover that caught my eye. Here’s the Goodreads summary (again):

“Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, UnderAPaintedSkySamantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
 
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.”

A book on your TBR you never plan on reading?

There aren’t any. I thought the whole point of a TBR was making a list of books you plan on reading in the future?

An unpublished book on your TBR you’re excited to read?

Winter by Marissa Meyer. I LOVED the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles and I seriously can’t wait for the fourth (and final) book. I’m also really looking forward to the final book in the Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater,

TheHungerGamesA book in your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

The Hunger Games trilogy. I read the first book a couple of years ago and found it pretty “meh”. Definitely not worth all the hype. But, I mean, everyone loves it, and my reading tastes have changed a lot since then… Maybe I’ll give it another go.

Number of books in your TBR?

Goodreads says 100. There are probably more that I’m forgetting to add.

I’m not going to tag anyone in specific, since most of the blogs I follow have already done it, but feel free to do this tag if you want!

What books are on your TBR list? And which ones do you plan on reading in 2015? Let me know in the comments!

My Hero Monday: Shadowcat

{My Hero Monday Logo}

I’ll be participating in My Hero Monday again this month! My Hero Monday is a monthly blog link-up over at A Girl’s Voice and Free As A Girl With Wings (both of which are amazing blogs, and I highly encourage you to go check them out). It celebrates female heroes, and also encourages people to learn about new ones. If you’d like to see other blogs participating, or join the link-up next month, I’ve included links at the bottom of this post.

Since there was no specific theme for this month, I decided to go with a fictional character- one of my favorite X-Men, Kitty Pryde!

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Their full name: Katherine “Kitty” Pryde (AKA Shadowcat)

Birthdate: Unknown

Current Age: She’s currently about 24. Her first appearance in the comics was in 1980 (Uncanny X-Men #129)

School(s): Various incarnations of the Charles Xavier School. She also studied physics at the University of Chicago and studied abroad in England.

Profession: Superhero, teacher/ headmistress (former), bartender (former)

When Did I First Hear About Her: The Wolverine and the X-Men TV show (which happens to be what first got me hooked on superheroes, and later, comics). She and Nightcrawler were two of my favorite characters by far.

What Makes Her One of My Heroes: Kitty is a smart- like, real, actual genius smart- realistic, and headstrong young woman. She’s learned a lot through her years as an X-Man, and really grown as a character. She went from a nervous little girl to butt kicking leader of the X-Men.

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She’s outspoken, strong willed, and sticks up for herself and the people who need it. She isn’t afraid to point out when people are in the wrong, even if they’re someone who she’s admired and looked up to her entire life.

Kitty is Jewish, and a mutant as well, (For those of you who aren’t big on superheroes, mutants are a human subspecies from the Marvel universe. They have superpowers, but they’re also a minority, and hated because of what they are- the next step in human evolution. Humanity has attempted time and time again to completely wipe the mutants out, simply because they’re afraid.) but she isn’t ashamed of that fact, and she doesn’t try to hide it in the least bit.

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And did I mention the fact that she’s a real, bona fide genius? I love being able to look up to heroines that are smart as well as strong, so that’s always a plus for me.kittyandlockheed

Kitty was one of the first female X-Men to carry a major story arc more or less by herself (The Days of Future Past comics, in case you were wondering. Originally it was her, not Wolverine, who traveled back in time and saved the day.)

daysoffuturepast daysoffuturepastkitty  daysoffuturepastkitty2

Also, she has a tiny purple pet dragon. Need I say more?

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Quotes:

You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize this is it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along — that weird unbearable delight that’s actually happy — I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, ’cause it’s here, and then… gone.

My partner here and I have helped save the world at least twice! So a gang of street thugs is really no great big deal. Thanks for worrying, though. That’s sweet.

Just like a classic fairy tale. We’re all gifted with powers… for which we each pay a price.

Professor Xavier is a jerk!

And, later…

Tony Stark is a jerk!

I am Jewish. I am a mutant. And I want people to know who and what I am.

Teens Can Write, Too! (December 2014)

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My participation in the Teens Can Write, Too! blog chain has been sporadic at best. Generally speaking, I come up with excuses.

“I’m too busy this month.”

“I’m not really digging the prompt.”

“I’ll just sign up later.”

Y’know, you get the picture. But I’m doing it this month! Also, because I didn’t really think while scheduling my posts, a My Hero Monday post is coming the day after tomorrow. Whoops.

Anyway. This month’s prompt is…

“What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?”


This one was difficult and easy for me at the same time, but after lots and lots of digging through my Goodreads shelves, I think I’m ready.

Ash

First off is Malinda Lo’s Ash, a LGBT+ Cinderella retelling. Ash really had a huge influence on my writing. Why, you ask? Well, it was really one of the first books I ever read starring a canon LGBT+ character. It really helped drive in the point that diversity is important in novels. And then I went back to my WIP at the time, looked over the cast, and realized that all the main characters were straight white girls. My reaction was basically something along the lines of “Woah, that’s weird. Why didn’t I even notice it until now?” It’s been a rather slow change, admittedly, but I think that Ash has had an enormous impact on my writing- and an important one as well.

Stormdancer

Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer was an interesting book, to say the least. It was sort of like a giant smashup of historical fiction, dystopian, apocalyptic, sci-fi, steampunk, and fantasy all wrapped into one. The effect was pretty awesome- a girl befriending a griffin-like creature in a steampunk version of feudal Japan. I’m not going to try and explain it in greater detail here, but it taught me that you don’t always have to stick rigidly to a single genre. I also learned a lot about worldbuilding, something that I tend to struggle with sometimes.

Mistborn

Brandon Sanderson is a new favorite author of mine- although I’ve admittedly only read two of his books, Mistborn and Steelheart. I’m going to avoid spoilers here, but jeez. He taught me how to write a killer plot twist.

SeraphinaCinder

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Cinder by Marissa Meyer (both are amazing- they’re some of my favorite books, and highly recommended) taught me so much about worldbuilding. They’re each fantastic novels, rich with just the right kinds of details, and set in worlds completely different from our own. Seraphina is fantasy, while Cinder is science fiction (and a fairy tale retelling as well), but they both do such a good job of showing us what their respective worlds are like.

CodeNameVerity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein taught me HOW TO SHATTER MY READERS’ HEARTS INTO A MILLION PIECES. I don’t cry easily when it comes to books. I can count the number of times I’ve cried while reading on one hand. So when I heard about Code Name Verity. I’d been told that it was absolutely heartbreaking. And I ignored the warnings. But in the end, I’m glad I read it. It was an amazing story, the friendships were so real, and I really did learn from it.

Starstruck

Starstruck (by Rachel Shukert) was another book I read not long before Code Name Verity when I was totally in love with historical fiction. It taught me a lot about writing unique characters- every one of the three protagonists is so real and deep and rich and wonderful, and they’re all so different from each other. I loved this novel, but I loved the characters even more.

What books have taught you by example? What do you think of the ones I’ve talked about here? Let me know in the comments!


December 2014 blog chain prompt/schedule:

Prompt: “What works of fiction have taught you by example, and what did they teach you?”

5thhttp://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

6thhttp://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

7thhttps://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

8thhttp://introspectioncreative.wordpress.com/

9thhttp://semilegacy.blogspot.com/

10thhttp://kirabudge.weebly.com/

11thhttp://whileishouldbedoingprecal.weebly.com/

12thhttp://randomosityofeden.wordpress.com/

13thhttp://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

14thhttp://www.alwaysopinionatedgirl.wordpress.com/

15thhttp://www.juliathewritergirl.wordpress.com/

16thhttp://miriamjoywrites.com/

17thhttp://horsfeathersblog.wordpress.com/

18thhttp://unironicallyexcited.wordpress.com/

19thhttp://theboardingblogger.wordpress.com/

20thhttps://stayandwatchthestars.wordpress.com/

21sthttp://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

22ndhttp://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

23rdhttp://lilyjenness.blogspot.com/

24thhttp://oliviarivers.wordpress.com/

25th – [off-day]

26thhttp://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

27thhttp://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

28thhttp://www.pamelanicolewrites.com

29thhttp://jasperlindell.blogspot.com.au/

30thhttp://maralaurey.wordpress.com/ and http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

31st – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

The Ultimate Book Tag

I found this tag on Musings From Neville’s Navel, and it looked like fun, so… here goes!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Not very often, but sometimes, like if we’re on a really curvy road. But usually, I’m fine, which is lucky, because I don’t know what I’d do on long car trips without books.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Right now, I’m reading Hild by Nicola Griffith, and the writing style seems really different from anything I’ve read before. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but… it’s very unique, especially the pacing of the story, and I’m not really sure whether I like it or not.

3. The Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

Really? That’s a question? It seems like a bit of a no brainer to me, but… to each their own, I guess? Anyway, I’m definitely going with Harry Potter.

  • The series is really strong on the themes of tolerance and acceptance, even if it could have done a much better job diversity-wise.
  • The Harry Potter series is one of those books that you grow up with. It’s simple enough for younger kids to understand and enjoy, but also deep enough for even adults to get a lot out of it.
  • There are several strong female characters that make much better role models than Bella- Ginny, Hermione, and Luna especially. All of them are three dimensional, unique characters that I think every little girl can relate to.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it? (Beside books!)

Not really. I take one to the library, but that’s about it. My library book bag tends to have lots of crumpled receipts at the bottom, and during the summer time, a reading log (for my library’s summer reading program).

5. Do you smell your books?

Doesn’t everyone?

Seriously, though. My dad likes to make fun of me for it, but I think my mom understands. And since I like to read while I eat, they tend to have very strong smells.

6. Books with or without illustrations?

I’m not a huge fan of the books that have an illustration at the beginning of each chapter. I mean, I read novels because they feed my imagination, and illustrations tend to change the image I already have of a character, if that makes any sense?

But, I mean, I read comic books, and those are great, but that’s because I like them for different reasons.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

The Maximum Ride series. It’s all over the place, and there’s really no central plot. Except love triangles, of course.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

When I was reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the first time, I was so scared of the Death Eaters that I hid the book in my closet for a month or two before I decided to pick it up and start reading it again.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelves?

My first “novel”, which was basically a short story that I decided to sort into chapters. Each of them was about half a page long, and there were about five pages, including my hand drawn cover. I believe that it’s called “Wolfwings” or something like that.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelves?

According to Goodreads, the longest book I’ve read is The Name of the Wind, closely followed by Dune. Both of those books are on my Kindle, though, so they aren’t technically on my “shelves”. Maybe Inkspell or The Deathly Hallows?

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself as an author in the future?

Yes and maybe. I’d like to go into some writing-related career in the future. Possibly journalism or screenwriting?

12. When did you get into reading?

I… don’t remember. I’ve always loved reading, but according to my mom, I was six or seven when I first read a novel all by myself (The Trumpet of the Swan).

13. What is your favorite classic book?

I don’t read a whole lot of classics, to be honest. If I can count comics, then I really love the Excalibur books. Alice in Wonderland is good as well, if you want to stick to novels only.

14. In school, is your best subject Language Arts/ English?

Definitely. I love history as well, though, but I’ve always done well in English.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated… what would you do?

Theoretically speaking, I assume? I mean, I tend to like a lot of the books I read, but there’s the occasional one that I absolutely hate. I would probably just set it aside, thank them, and donate it to my school’s library later.

16. What is a lesser-known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

I’d highly recommend Dualed by Elise Chapman for fans of The Hunger Games. Similar concept, similar themes, and less love triangles.

For Harry Potter fans… Maybe The Serpent in the Glass? It was kind of a blatant ripoff, though. Try the Beka Cooper books by Tamora Pierce, or maybe the Tapestry series.

17. Besides rambling, what is a bad habit you always have while blogging?

A lot of the time I feel like my posts are… a little low on content. I rush through them, which is something I’m trying to work on. I’m also pretty erratic with when I post.

18. What is your favorite word?

Aisling (Irish for “dream” or “vision”) is really pretty. I also love the word “wellies”- so much nicer than “rainboots”.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Nerd. Definitely a nerd.

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

I love stories about fairies, especially the ones that stay truer to the original mythology. Fairies aren’t just pretty little butterfly people that live in the woods- they’re tricksters, and a lot of the time, they’re dangerous. Vampires seem kind of bland to me in comparison.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

The concept of shapeshifting fascinates me. Xavin (from Marvel’s Runaways comics) is one of my all time favorite characters, and she was a really interesting take on the way shapeshifting could be used. Mystique is also amazing, and Kamala Khan, all of whom are shapeshifters. And besides, in my opinion angels are even more bland than vampires. They’re just a cliche.

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

Werewolves. Werewolves are awesome.

23. Zombies or vampires?

No.

24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

I’m not a huge fan of romance books. I mean, as a subplot, okay. But it just seems dull when it’s basically the plot of the entire story. That being said, I do enjoy well written romance stories, especially geeky ones (*coughcough Fangirl coughcough*). I guess I’d probably go with forbidden love.

25. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Action packed for sure. The more action, the better. I mean, to an extent. There’s such a thing as too much action. But too much romance is a far more prevalent problem.


Anyway, feel free to do this on your own blog!