2015 in Review: To All the Books I Might’ve Read

2016 (2)

An annual tradition started by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

2015 reading stats (4)

Number Of Books You Read: Eighteen-ish, not counting unfinished.
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: YA (Contemporary, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi)

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Re-read: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

New to me: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Released in 2015: The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Every Day by David Levithan. I liked it, but it wasn’t the revelation I expected from the way others talk about it. It was my least favorite work by David Levithan. I really enjoy that he is is very experimental and high-concept with a lot of his writing, though.Screenshot_2014-04-23-13-54-05-1

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I don’t usually read romance, and I was expecting a featherweight YA, but this had a lot of heart and genuine family relationships. Very sweet, but not dopey or ridiculous. I’ll be reading the sequel.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Tie between Unwind by Neil Shusterman, and Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I gave both to students, and the student who read Unwind went on to read Unwholly.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015?

Best Series Started: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenni Han

Best Sequel: The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Jenni Han, Leigh Bardugo

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, translated by Cathy Hirano

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Last Unicorn or The Scorpio Races

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?51H8x07Fd7L._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s just a lovely object that gives a feeling of tidiness and serenity. It’s small and square, with charcoal gray end-papers and an abstract, green watercolor cover. The title is all in lower-case, orange-red, in a traditional serif typeface. Just lovely, and reinforces the drive for both simplicity and beauty in the book.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Tik Tok, the gender-fluid medicine man. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Tie: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Unwind by Neal Shusterman. The ideas were absolutely killer, even if the writing itself is not mind-blowing. He really thought about his premise from all angles.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I loved it so much, and the sample had just been sitting neglected in my Nook for two years!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?b629d9bad0f4440d14262b871bbf6240

“…but to the unicorn’s eyes Molly was becoming a softer country, full of pools and caves, where old flowers came burning out of the ground. Under the dirt and indifference, she appeared only thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old – no older than Schmendrick, surely, despite the magician’s birthdayless face. Her rough hair bloomed, her skin quickened, and her voice was nearly as gentle to all things as it was when she spoke to the unicorn. The eyes would never be joyous, any more than they could ever turn green or blue, but they too had wakened in the earth. She walked eagerly into King Haggard’s realm on bare, blistered feet, and she sang often.
And far away on the other side of the unicorn, Schmendrick the Magician stalked in silence. His black cloak was sprouting holes, coming undone, and so was he. The rain that renewed Molly did not fall on him, and he seemed ever more parched and deserted, like the land itself. The unicorn could not heal him. A touch of her horn could have brought him back from death, but over despair she had no power, nor over magic that had come and gone.”
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

Longest: Under the Dome by Stephen King

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most7514925

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. Toward the end, the hits start coming and she doesn’t let up until the reader is gutted.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick forever, duh. Peter Pan didn’t deserve Tiger Lily.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Petra and Geraldine, Ladylike by Maggie Stiefvater, Anatomy of Curiosity

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously26308619

Anatomy of Curiosity

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Every Day by David Levithan

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Pine Sap, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

N/A

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?2015-06-08-1433728699-2614985-rudecakes_600-thumb

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Variations on Drowning by Brenna Yovanoff, Anatomy of Curiosity

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Tiger Lily, in several ways.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

The Anatomy of Curiosity

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking Ahead

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I was a very bad book blogger this year, what with getting my teaching credential and all. I don’t think I read any new book blogs. D:

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Easy, I only wrote one: Random Review – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Again, there was only one: Character Study – Dumbledore’s Cruel Intentions

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Nada. So sad.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Completing this survey, and keeping Ink alive.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

A total lack of time. Finishing my credential and starting my first year of classroom teaching left me exhausted, with almost no time to indulge in reading for pleasure. I didn’t quite make my New Year’s Resolution of reading 25 books this year. Weak.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

The eternal champ: Character Study – Ginny Weasley vs. Cho Chang

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Character Study: Dumbledore’s Cruel Intentions

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I gave Audible a try, and was pleasantly surprised. Easy to use, and more enjoyable than I anticipated.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Nah. I missed my reading goal by seven books. :/

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Joyland by Stephen King

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?PNOK Final Cover 101515.indd

Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Write in my blog more than twice? Read at least five classics and twenty-five books total. I have Plato’s Republic and Don Quixote on deck.

 

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Character Study: Dumbledore’s Cruel Intentions

Dumbledore-Portrait-albus-dumbledore-2477491-593-582People have turned on Dumbledore, you guys. Since books six and seven of the Harry Potter series were released, articles and comments have gone from describing him as a lovable kook with serious skills, to an evil mastermind raising Harry for the slaughter like veal. I was recently reading the comments section on an article in which people were tearing apart every move he made, from sending Harry to the Dursleys to taking him horcrux hunting. These same commenters described Dumbledore as an irredeemable plotter even while calling him an author’s pet.

This got me thinking, what would Harry’s life have been like if Dumbledore had never become involved? I’m going to do a little inferring, and it’s bound to be riddled with spoilers. You have been warned.

Continue reading

Don’t Touch It!

I think every book-lover, or movie-lover, or any-type-of-creative-property-lover has an ideal. That one something that is so close to the core of who you are that you turn into a feral dog at the thought of anyone toying with it in even the most minor of ways. It might be a classic car, one version of a song, a specific work of fiction…

TFioS Quote 2

Mine is Peter Pan. Many people know some version of the story: maybe the Disney animated film, maybe the Mary Martin play. I’ve met few who have actually read the novel, and only one who has admitted to a deep and abiding love for it.

I did not read J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan until I was an adult. About two years ago, in fact. Which is weird, because I checked the video of the play out of the library and watched the Disney VHS so much it drove my mother crazy. Peter Pan’s Flight is my favorite ride at Disneyland. I read all the time. Why did I never get around to the classic novel?

I felt its truth in my heart and my solar plexus and the backs of my eyes. It poked me right in things I felt that I could never articulate, and the (positive) adjective most commonly used to describe me is articulate.

So when I saw this:

I felt like this:

giphy (1)

It is not a feeling based in rational thought but, Joe Wright? I will cut you. Trust.

Lest you think I am a hater NerdGirl who will bear no departure from canon, know that I will openly admit to loving Hook and the 2003 Peter Pan live-action film. Those movies get it.

Things That Are Black (Other Than Onyx)

tumblr_mijn3i34Uh1r1z303o1_500Okay, so I know I’ve basically been the worst blogger ever just reading book after book and not reviewing any of them. I’m sorry. I apologize. This probably will not change significantly in the future, so don’t get disappointed with more of the same. Forewarned is forearmed.

This is not a review either. What it will be is a list of things that are black, because I have begun reading an extremely popular fantasy series (with an associated premium cable show) in which every black thing is “black as onyx.” THERE ARE OTHER BLACK THINGS, author! Promise.

1. A crow’s wing.

2. A lawyer’s/banker’s/politician’s heart

3. Coal

4. Midnight at new moon

5. Pitch/tarJWA0021302023801_1

6. Melanoma

7. Marble

8. A miner’s lungs

9. Sorrow (figuratively speaking. Which writers do, you know.)

10. A raven’s eye

11. Obsidian

12. Oil (bonus points if something is as black and crude as oil)

13. An orca’s hide

14. Carbon

15. An eel

16. Squid ink

17. A hanged man’s tongue (I know that’s super gross, but sometime’s that’s called for!) XXX_8564_1353208437_1

18. A sea urchin

19. A scorpion

20. Soot

21. Iron

22. Shadow

23. Cersei’s virtue

What other black things can you think of? The more unexpected the better! Tell me in the comments 🙂

Kids These Days: A Visual Comparison

Canadian_High_Schoolers

Webgirl

Average_Adolescents

Wealthy_Teens

Everygirl

Supernatural

Further Reading: 

So Sexy, So Soon

How Fantasy Becomes Reality: Seeing Through Media Influence

Pornified: How Pornography is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families

An Interesting Story About Women

Here is an interesting story rife with drama, complex characters, and plenty of moral gray area that features two women at its core. The women are not fighting over a man or doing anything in any way driven by one. The biggest male character is a lackey to the main female. The stakes are high, and the story is violent.

2013 Literary Year In Review

Just in time for last-minute Christmas book-buying, it’s time again to take a look back at all the books I loved and loathed in 2013 (and I’ve got quite the backlog of reviews.) I did not get to read as much this year as I usually do, with school and my overseas teaching job keeping me on the run. I apologize for the repetitive answers.

best-teen-books-2013

1.Best Book You Read In 2013 by genre?

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?

  •  Son by Lois Lowry

3. Most Surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth – I bought it based on a Twitter comment, and only had the vaguest idea of what to expect. What I got was nearly perfect.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

5. Best Series You Discovered in 2013?

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

  •  Kate Forsyth. It takes forever to get her books from England, but they are so completely worth the trouble.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

  • The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin – I don’t read a lot of contemporary literature because there’s usually a lot of grimy sex and crime and drugs and cursing and it all makes me very tired of the world. I had read Shopgirl and while it was fine, it didn’t have me seeking out Martin’s new work. Luck put a copy of this book in the dormitory I lived in while working in Germany.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

  •  I stayed up all night reading Bitter Greens. Like, ’til dawn.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

  • I will probably re-read The Dream Thieves just before the next book in the series comes out.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

9781442408920_custom-ab1ee04526644c3ae958cba37007c84d709a2fb1-s6-c30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

  • Just about everyone in Peter Pan, Daniel Pecan Cambridge.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

13. Book that  had the greatest impact on you in 2013?

  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I already spent a lot of time thinking about food, but that book actually pushed me to make some philosophical decisions about where my food budget goes. Mr. ArmchairAuthor and I no longer go to McDonald’s even as a guilty pleasure, and though we have limited resources we spend a little extra for meat and dairy from grass-fed cows. Thankfully those things are readily available in our rural town, which lies in the valley where most of the country’s food is grown.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

  • Peter Pan. Seriously, I used to rent the stage play of Peter Pan from the library every other week (my mom was super sick of it), and I bought the live action film from 2003 and made all the girls in Germany watch it with me. Why did I wait so long to read that book?

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?Peter_Pan__Neverland_by_SetsunaMitzukai

  • “We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013?

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it:

  • Peter Pan made me laugh so hard I was dying to share it with someone, Bitter Greens was beautiful and shocking in many scenes. The “final showdown” scene in The Dream Thieves was epic.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013.

  • Aristotle and Dante.

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you’ve read previously.

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else.

  • Bitter Greens. Maggie Stiefvater asked her Twitter followers to recommend read-alikes for her novels, and someone put this one forward. I read the synopsis, and the rest is history.

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013.

  • This year was a little more diverse than others, given the circumstances, but Fantasy remained a heavy hitter on my reading list.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013.

  • Call me crazy, but I don’t get crushes on fictional characters. Perhaps that makes me no fun, but it’s just the truth.

23. Best 2013 debut you read.

  • I don’t think I read any debuts.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013.

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013.

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out.

28. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)

  • Though I did not post very many this year, I enjoyed putting together playlists for Mix-Tape Mondays. I have some ides for this meme in the new year that will take it away from just soundtracks for books (though I will still do that.)

29. Most popular bookish blog post of the year.

30. Book you’re most anticipating for 2014.download (1)

31. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014.