A to Z Survey

So, I adore discovering tags and surveys, especially when I’m clueless about what exactly to write. I stumbled across The A to Z Survey, created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, way back in 2013 and decided to give it a shot!

Author I’ve Read the Most Books By

Hmmm…I need to travel back in time for this one, as I tend to jump from one author to another quite a bit! I’d say I’ve read almost all of Ann. M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club series as well as the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene! 😀

Best Sequel Ever

I adored Leigh Bardugo’s follow-ups to Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising! The original in the Grisha series was awesome, but the sequels tied the whole story together and were very entertaining!

Currently Reading

Right now, I’m officially in the midst of reading four books! I’m reading A Batter of Life and Death, a precious cozy mystery by Ellie Alexander, for The Candid Cover’s Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge and I’m doing buddy reads of both Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.

In addition, I’m taking a short break from reading Stephen King’s behemoth post-apocalyptic novel, The Stand. I never used to read multiple books at once, but I think I like jumping between reads!

Drink of Choice While Reading

My drink of choice is always coffee with only cream! I drink it all day, every day! 😀

E-Reader or Physical Book?

Honestly, I enjoy both my Kindle and physical books. Generally, I’ll switch back and forth between reading an ebook and a hard copy.

Fictional Character I Probably Would Have Dated in High School

OMG! I adore Rob in Kelly Oram’s retelling, Cinder & Ella! Although Rob is simply an excellent guy friend to the main character, he is too sweet for words and doesn’t pressure Ella into a romantic relationship!

Glad I Gave This Book a Chance

Insanity by Cameron Jace was a big step out of my reading comfort zone! I’m so happy I decided to read it, a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It’s sort of overwhelming, as there are at least seven total books in the series, but I love the story and plan to read them all!

Hidden Gem Book

For this one, it has to be John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which I read for English class in high school. I went into reading it not knowing what to expect, but it seriously pulled at my heartstrings and will forever be very special to me.

The reason this book holds such a special place in my heart is because my older brother, Bill, is autistic. One of the main characters, Lennie, is descried by Steinbeck as ‘simple-minded’ and his story really makes me think of Bill. 

Plus, with the tragic, yet merciful ending, I can’t help but put myself in the shoes of George, Lennie’s closest friend‘.

Important Moment in My Reading Life

The first thing that comes to mind is when I read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park as a fifth grader! I read it after seeing and loving the movie and at the time, it was the fattest book I’d ever read! I’m still really proud of that accomplishment! 😀

Just Finished

The most recent book I finished reading was Cinder & Ella, quite obviously a Cinderella retelling! It’s a lovely book and I thank Delaney for highly recommending it to me!

Kinds of Books I Won’t Read

The only kind of book I’m really opposed to reading is straight-up erotica! No judgment toward people who enjoy the genre, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Longest Book I’ve Read

At the moment, the longest book I’ve read is Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, clocking in at 817 pages. When I finally finish it, hopefully by September, The Stand will bump Tolstoy’s classic out of its top spot, as it has 1153 pages!

Major Book Hangover Because of

Anna Karenina! I adored reading it SO VERY MUCH and I didn’t want it to end! I ended up reading a nonfiction book about Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman, by Robert K. Massie, not long after finishing Tolstoy’s work, as my mind was still in imperial Russia!

Number of Bookcases I Own

I don’t have any serious bookcases, sadly! I do have an antique curio that belonged to my great-grandmother, but I only store my babies’ books and pictures in it for the time being. Now I have my books in stacks in my walk-in closet, but one of these days, I will have my own real library!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times

The only book I’ve reread is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! I actually reread it via audiobook and with Jim Dale narrating it was amazing! I’m really glad I chose to listen to the first installment in the Harry Potter series; I had forgotten a lot of the detail included in the story and I look forward to listening to the rest of the series soon.

Preferred Place to Read

I like to read anywhere I can, whether it be on the couch, curled up in my bed, nestled in a nook outside, or even in a waiting room – as long as I can read, I’m pretty happy!

Quote That Inspires Me from All the Books I’ve Read

Since it’s fresh in my mind, there is a quote from Cinder & Ella that I absolutely adore! 

“Her laugh was my new favorite sound in the whole world.”

Reading Regret

I always regret DNFing books, but sometimes it’s just necessary. For instance, I was really looking forward to reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, but I just could not get through it. I am going to try reading a manga version by Stacy King!

Series I Started and Need to Finish

I really need to finish The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer! I’ve read both Cinder and Scarlet, but need to get to Cress, Fairest, Winter, and Stars Above. While I enjoyed Cinder, Scarlet didn’t really grab me. I have a feeling I will really like Cress and Winter though!

I want to throw in the novellas, Fairest and Stars Above just to get the full effect of the series.

Three of My All-Time Favorite Books

Nothing can top Anna Karenina and Of Mice and Men!

Unapologetic Fangirl for

– a good retelling

Very Excited for This Release More Than All the Others

I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels and his latest installment, Origin, releasing October 3rd, is definitely the one I am most looking forward to getting my hands on!

Worst Bookish Habit

My worst bookish habit is judging books by their covers. I’ve come to learn that an eye-catching jacket does not necessarily mean a quality book is encased within it.

[Your] My Latest Book Purchase

I’ve been on a serious graphic novel kick, so pretty much any book in the genre must be mine! But, most recently, I bought a book in another favorite genre – the cozy mystery! I purchased Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower.

ZZZ-Snatcher Book

ANY audiobook is likely to put me to sleep! 😀

Love, Maggie

I’m Honored!

Hey, y’all! I’m so thrilled to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by my Twitter buddy, @VivWrites! 😀 This is the first award I’ve been nominated for on The Caramel Files and I’m so excited to share my answers to Viv’s questions with everyone!

You can get the lowdown on Viv’s books HERE!

First of all, I did a bit of research and found the official 2017 Liebster Award rules – which you can check out HERE. In a nutshell, the Liebster Award is reserved for bloggers with 200 or fewer followers, which fits my blog like a glove!

My first task in acceptance of the Liebster Award is to discuss one of my favorite blogs to visit. I settled upon the amazing Lonna’s blog, FLYLeF, which features a ton of interesting tidbits, reviews, and giveaways. I not so secretly stalk Lonna’s space on the ‘net not only because of her regular features, including the FLYTIP column, in which Lonna discusses various creativity-related blogging ventures, but also because of a fabulous challenge Lonna cohosts with a fellow blogger.

Lonna, along with Alicia from A Kernel of Nonsense, hosts the seasonal Comment Challenge, during which bloggers are paired for a month-long commenting fest! I highly encourage you to join in on this amazing challenge, which has introduced me to some amazing bloggers. FYI: my partner for June has been the wonderful Bella from Bella Blogs Because Books! 😀

Sign-ups for the July edition of the Comment Challenge are still open, so run to either FLYLef or A Kernel of Nonsense to enter! 

Now, on to Viv’s questions!

  1. Hmm…I love a variety of genres, but I’d say my favorite of all is historical fiction. Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is my favorite book in the entire world and it really got me interested especially in Russian-based fiction AND nonfiction. I love to learn as I read and after falling in love with Toslstoy’s classic, I read a biography of Catherine the Great, which I also adored.
  2. My absolute favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, especially if it’s from Baskin Robbins!
  3. I love my profession as a social worker. I was recently hired as an outpatient therapist at our local mental health center and I’m so incredibly excited! Therapy is something I’ve wanted to do for a LONG time!
  4. I’m really attracted to cats in general, so any big cat makes my heart sing! I’ve always dreamt of having my own tiger or lion or whatever to cuddle with!
  5. My most hilarious dream was the one in which I dreamed about this boy I liked, who liked me also, but he was apparently afraid to ask me out. Pardon the language, but I literally dreamed that his email address was p*uss_wuss@hotmail.com! 😀
  6. I don’t have an ear for music at all, but I did take piano lessons, which I hated, as a child and learned the basics – I taught myself to play Fur Elise!
  7. My favorite type of holiday would be a tie between an amazing beach trip or a simple staycation.
  8. My ideal night in includes lots of TV, fun with my precious little family, laughter, and maybe a round of Trivial Pursuit!
  9. I wouldn’t say I have a most cherished collector’s item, although I do adore my Funko Pop!s! I think my most cherished possessions in general are my wedding ring and the jewelry and other mementos I have of my beloved Grandmother.
  10. I think my best character trait is my empathy, which can be a double-edged sword, as I tend to over-empathize and take on others’ problems instead of focusing on my own issues.
  11. My ultimate life goal is to leave behind a legacy of love and caring, especially regarding my sweet baby boys.

Now that I’ve answered Viv’s questions, here are mine for those of you whom I tag:

  1. Naturally, what’s your most cherished book?
  2. What is your all-time favorite movie?
  3. What would you consider to be your worst habit?
  4. When did you realize just how much you adore reading?
  5. What made you decide to start blogging?
  6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  7. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  8. Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?
  9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  10. What’s some advice you’d like to give other newish book bloggers?
  11. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read in its entirety?

I tag…

I’m so excited to see y’all’s answers! 😀

Love, Maggie



Literary Lovebirds

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! In honor of the day of love, Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is highlighting readers’ favorite ships, OTPs – all love, all the time! Here are my all-time favorite literary lovebirds!

The List

Buttercup and Westley from William Goldman’s gorgeous The Princess Bride are an absolutely magical couple, ruled by ‘twoo love.’ The lengths Westley goes to to save his beloved Buttercup make my heart melt every time.

Anna Karenina and Count Vronksy of the Russian classic Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy are a pair in forbidden love, made more difficult to bear due to the society in which they live. Although terribly tragic, Anna and Count Vronsky’s tale is beautiful

I fell in love with Tessa Gray & Will Herondale being in love when I read Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel. I adore that the couple’s romance is a slow burn and it doesn’t hurt that Will is gorgeous in my mind!

Zia Rashid and Carter Kane from Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series are precious together. I’m currently reading the second book in the Kane series, The Throne of Fire, and Carter’s dedication to finding his missing love is incredible.

Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson of Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew Mystery Stories are a pair of wholesome sweethearts. Their courting-type relationship is the kind I’d like my boys to have when they hit high school. However, I do realize it’s the 21st century!

Karou and Akiva make another gorgeous, literally and figuratively, couple. I met these two while reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone and look forward to discovering exactly where their destined love goes in the remaining books in Taylor’s trilogy.

Love, Maggie