I can’t remember the last time I did a bookish tag. When I first started blogging (over four years ago), I did a few of these. But since re-launching this blog, I haven’t found any I particularly liked. Unlike I used to in the past, I don’t wait to be tagged anymore; if I think a tag looks fun, I’ll do it!
So, when I saw this tag on Marie’s blog, it seemed like an interesting way to recommend books and also learn more about a blogger’s reading history. I’ve linked or written my reviews of books I’ve read and as usual, you can click on the book covers to purchase them on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I use affiliate links for Amazon and will make a cent or two if you buy using these links. It’s a great way to support a blog(ger) you love.
Author you’ve read the most books from:
Honestly, it’s probably Danielle Steel. I’ve read at least 10 of her books and I can’t think of any authors who’ve even written that many.
Best Sequel Ever:
I’m not a fan of sequels/series in general, but I loved Tiffany Schmidt’s The Boy Next Story. It was actually the best sequel ever, because it was better than the first one (for me).
There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very first sandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.
Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.
Breakout by Kate Messner. It’s one of those backlist middle-grade books that have been on my TBR for ages!
Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek–two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.
Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics–a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project.
Drink of Choice While Reading:
Water or tea is ideal.
E-reader or Physical Book?
Either! Some days my Kindle or iPad is perfect. On other days, I’m just sick of screens and want a good paperback.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
I can’t think of anyone.
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena.
My Goodreads review:
This one surprisingly grew on me! I loved that the main characters form a genuine friendship and that this novel addresses so many themes. Susan is a talented artist whose immigrant parents want her to pursue a “professional” degree, and Malcolm’s issues with his dad are serious issues I haven’t seen tackled by many YA books.
I also enjoyed all the minor characters and their storylines, especially how Susan’s parents navigate their marital relationship. Refreshingly, also, the characters in this novel deal with problems more important than the romance in this book.
Overall, a remarkable YA novel! And I stayed up until 2am to finish this. For someone with a 10pm bedtime, that says a lot.
Hidden Gem Book:
Oh, so many of the books I read are hidden gems. But I especially love Paula Chase’s middle-grade books — So Done and Dough Boys. I wish more people would read them.
My Goodreads review of So Done:
Chase’s writing is so fluid and original. Metai and Mila’s voices were so distinct throughout the story that I could see them easily in my mind’s eye. The dynamic between the girls and their friends is so reminiscent of that turbulent age between middle school and high school.
Dough Boys blurb (my review to come, but I LOVED it!):
In the companion to her acclaimed So Done, Paula Chase follows best friends Simp and Rollie as their friendship is threatened by the pressures of basketball, upcoming auditions, middle school, and their growing involvement in the local drug ring.
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
It was definitely realizing that I could just read kid lit only or read whatever I wanted. For some reason, I internalized the idea that I only had to read literary fiction or non-fiction because I’m an adult. But thank goodness, I’ve been liberated. Now, I know I can read only middle-grade, picture books, young adult, and whatever I deem enjoyable reading material.
Murder at Twilight by Fleur Hitchcock.
When Viv has a fight with Noah, she doesn’t think it’ll be the last time she sees him. But when she gets back from school, he’s nowhere to be found and there are police cars everywhere, lights flashing and sirens blaring.
Viv is sure Noah’s run away to get attention. But it’s really cold, and getting dark, and the rain just won’t stop falling. So she sets off to look for him, furious at his selfishness, as the floodwaters rise. And then she finds him, and realises that a much more dangerous story is unfolding around them…
This was an intriguing middle-grade mystery — review to come!
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Erotica, fantasy, paranormal, and whatever else I decide not to.
Longest Book You’ve Read:
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, probably. I’ll need to check my Goodreads more closely, but I’m certain Pachinko is the closest to 500 pages I’ve read.
My Goodreads review:
Pachinko is the story of a Korean family who moves to Japan and their lives as they are discriminated against by the Japanese. A true family saga that will leave you hooked for the most part. It wasn’t perfect to me because somewhere toward the end, the plot fell flat and so many things happened that didn’t make sense to me really.
Still I have a great appreciation for the author and her ability to create mostly memorable characters and a moving story.
Major book hangover because of:
Most recently: A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum definitely haunted me for a while after reading. Then from just last night, Searching for Sylvie Lee. Whew, that book! Review to come.
A WOMAN IS NO MAN BLURB:
In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past.
SEARCHING FOR SYLVIE LEE BLURB:
It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.
Number of Bookcases You Own:
None, actually. I store my physical books (approx. 40) in shoe boxes and stacks around the house. The rest are on my electronic devices.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is probably the only book I’ve ever reread.
Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They’re completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.
As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.
Preferred Place To Read:
On airplanes. Ah, I love reading mid-air because you’re literally trapped — no obligations, nothing else to do, especially if there aren’t any other entertainment options.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
The Fault in Our Stars still has some of my favorite corny, but lovely quotes ever. I don’t care what anyone says, but this book was an entire movement. This one about books has stayed with me:
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― The Fault in Our Stars
All the hours I spent reading books I hated. I shudder to think of how much valuable time I wasted slogging through books I didn’t like.
Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):
Track series by Jason Reynolds. I loved the first one in this series and can’t wait to get into the next one.
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
This is another difficult question! I really do love most of the books I read, so this feels almost impossible to choose. My “all-time favorite” list grows every week! But just off the top of my head, let’s say…
I thought about this for 20 minutes straight, and I hate to be this person, but I couldn’t pick.
BUT, a few books I’ve enjoyed in the last year are:
- Up for Air by Laurie Morrison
- I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi
- If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
- What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan
- Annie’s Life in Lists by Kristin Mahoney
Unapologetic Fangirl For:
It’s so hard to choose one, but I will always stan Hala Alyan’s Salt Houses.
On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
This is sooo hard to say, but two ARCs I’m excited about are Elly Swartz’s Give and Take and Jennifer Camiccia’s The Memory Keeper.
GIVE AND TAKE BLURB:
Elly Swartz’s Give and Take is a touching middle grade novel about family, friendship, and learning when to let go.
THE MEMORY KEEPER BLURB:
Fish in a Tree meets The Thing About Jellyfish in this heartfelt middle grade debut about long-buried secrets, the power of memory, and the bond between a girl and her gram.
Worst Bookish Habit:
Book polygamy! I’m always in the middle of at least three books at any given time. I hate it and love it at the same time.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
I was too lazy to do this — sorry.
Your latest book purchase:
Slider by Pete Hautman. It was $1.99, bought while I was writing this post on backlist books.
David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes. I really enjoyed this YA novel — stayed up till 2am!
Sixteen-year-old Maguire knows the universe is against her. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when she’s around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or the time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash–and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
Despite what her therapist tells her, Maguire thinks it’s best to hide out in her room, far away from anyone she might accidentally hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star who wants to help her break her unlucky streak.
[bctt tweet=”Ever wondered which book I will always stan? An author I wish more people read? Or the one author whose books I’ve read the most of? Check out my bookish life from A – Z for my reading history!” username=””]
Whew, that was the longest tag ever! I hope it was at least a little interesting for you. Would you like to try this tag? Which books on this list have you read or would like to read? I’d love to know.
Ahh I’m so happy you did this tag, I loved reading your answers so much! I also drink water or tea while reading and I love that quote you picked out. I love all of Green’s books so much 🙂
Lovely answers! 😀
Afoma Umesi says
Thanks for reading, Marie — and for the inspiration 😉 John Green has the best quotes!!
He really does 😀
Ah, here it is again — this lovely photo of you holding a stack of books 😊 I really enjoyed reading this (such fun) I was sad by the time I got to T. It meant Z was round the corner and the fun was coming to an end. You’ve got some really interesting answers.
Afoma Umesi says
Haha, I’m due another photo shoot! I had a lot of fun doing this — thanks for reading, Augustine 🙂