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 CressFairest, Winterand 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

Summer TBR Wipeout Update

I can’t believe it’s already time to post the first update for the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover! This month has zipped by, but, luckily, I’ve done decently well with working toward my challenge goal of reading ten books from my TBR list! [You can find my full challenge TBR list HERE.]

As you can see from my challenge TBR list, I chose to read mainly short-ish books and graphic novels throughout the summer wipeout. Thus far, I’ve completed three books and I’m working my way through the fourth!

The only book I foresee having an issue with is Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir, The Secrets of My Life: A History, not because of the content, but because it’s an audiobook – I always have trouble focusing and staying awake while listening! However, I LOVE celebrity memoirs and am really looking forward to reading Jenner’s, I just know it may be a struggle!

Anyhow, I’ve finished Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, which I absolutely adored! [My review can be found HERE.] I also completed Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire and The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene, about my favorite girl detective, Nancy Drew. I enjoyed both Lemire’s and Keene’s tales – I’m so proud of my picks for this challenge! LOL! 😀

I started Ellie Alexander’s A Batter of Life and Death, a sweet cozy mystery, yesterday and I’m making good progress on it – it’s fast-paced and fun! I’ve also listened to the introduction of Jenner’s memoir, so I’ve kind of started it too, although I haven’t continued listening to it yet.

So, I’m nearly halfway through my TBR list and with the challenge officially ending in a month, I’m pretty confident that I’ll actually finish this challenge, which will be a first for me! 😀

How are y’all doing with the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge? I hope you’re doing well and are happy with your picks! Drop me a line and let me know about your progress – I’d love to visit your update posts! Good luck to all on the rest of the readathon! I’ll be posting my next update during the week of July 29; hopefully, I’ll be well on my way to blowing out my TBR list by then!

Love, Maggie

Challenges, Buddy Reads, and a Fat Book

Happy hump day! With today arrives the weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words, WWW Wednesday! The meme has a simple format, asking the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently

I’m still on a break from Stephen King’s The Stand and I’ve put the audio edition of Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins on pause as well. Mainly, these books are on hold due to my reading like a banshee for The Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover.

For the challenge, I’ve pledged to read a total of ten books – thank goodness the challenge lasts a little over a month! Since I’ve got a poor track record regarding completing reading challenges, I chose to pick pretty short books on my TBR to wipeout! 

My Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge list:

  1. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  2. The Secrets of My Life by Caitlyn Jenner
  3. Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong
  4. The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  5. The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King
  6. Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
  7. Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire
  8. Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
  9. A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander
  10. The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene

Simultaneously, I’m still buddy reading Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie with my pal, Lea. We’re both slacking on reading it, although it’s an awesome cozy mystery, as we keep getting distracted by other books, but, hey, at least we’re on the same page! 😀

I’m also reading Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram and I adore it! I’m so tickled that it was recommended to me! I LOVE retellings and, quite obviously, this book is a Cinderella-esque tale; SO CUTE! Finally, I started the graphic novel, Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic for the Wipeout Challenge and, though I’m not far into it, I think it’s going to be really different from anything I’ve read thus far!

Just Finished

I finished reading Ghosts a few days ago and absolutely loved it! My review can be found HERE!

Next

Upcoming reads for me include everything on my Wipeout Challenge TBR! Like I said above, I’m so grateful the challenge won’t end until early August, so I’ve got plenty of time to read my picks so long as I stick to my list!

I’ll also be getting back to The Stand, which I want to finish by September as well as The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I’ll be participating in #ARCAugust this year as well, so I’m looking forward to clearing out my NetGalley reads so I can request MORE BOOKS!

Here’s a little list of my ARCs to be read in August:

Love, Maggie

My Summer TBR List

As I mentioned in my original Summer TBR Wipeout post, I’m back with my list of books I plan (hope) to read throughout the challenge, which is hosted by The Candid Cover. I toyed with the idea of solely reading through my pile of graphic novels, but I’ve decided to mix it up a bit with choices ranging from audiobooks to paperbacks.

Hopefully, I’m not being overly ambitious with my list! I have a poor track record where reading challenges are concerned; I’m bad to give up on them or forget about them completely.

However, instead of pressuring myself too much and throwing in the towel regarding this challenge, I’m going to approach it in a casual manner. Fingers crossed, my not putting pressure on myself to read every single book on my list will inspire me to actually complete the challenge!

I’ve decided to include the page numbers of each tale, so as to help me rein in my typically failing over-achiever approach to challenges! 😀

The TBR List

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier [graphic novel; 256 pages]

The Secrets of My Life: A History by Caitlyn Jenner

Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong [graphic novel; 176 pages]

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg [paperback; 222 pages]

The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King [graphic novel; 136 pages]

Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier [graphic novel; 192 pages]

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire [graphic novel; 120 pages]

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan [graphic novel; 152 pages]

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander [paperback; 304 pages]

The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene [ebook; 202 pages]

Well, I ended up coming up with a whopping ten books to read starting today, July 1st; the challenge will end the week of August 13. Since I chose books in a variety of genres, although I notice I did go with quite a few graphic novels after all, I think with the lower page counts that I’ll actually be able to finish this challenge and truly wipe out at least a bit of my TBR list!

Good luck to everyone participating in the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge! If you stop by, please leave a link to your introduction post – if you’re participating – I’d love to follow along with you as you progress! 😀

Love, Maggie

Funny Bone Tickling Books

TGIF! 😀 Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! The weekly meme features a question and answer format, with a new prompt each Friday. In addition, Feature and Follow Friday gives bloggers a means of promoting their work as well as the chance to discover new blogs.

The Prompt

What are your favorite humorous books? [courtesy of Brooke @ The Broke Book Bank]

The Answer

As I think of my response, I realize that I don’t read many funny books. I tend to lean toward dark, fantastical books. However, I can think of some cozy series that aren’t technically serious that I enjoy.

I’ve always loved Lilian Jackson Braun’s The Cat Who… series, with my favorite being The Cat Who Moved a Mountain. My favorite aspect of Braun’s tales is the hilarious names she comes up with for characters and places.

I’ve read book one of Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series, Meet Your Baker, and adored it! Janet Evanovich is also a funny, yet serious, writer.

Well, it looks like I’ve read more funny stuff than I first thought! 😀 Celebrity memoirs are almost always fun, like Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and even Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison!

How to Follow The Caramel Files

If you’d like to follow along, feel free to do so in any way you choose! Social media links are located in the footer and there’s always the classic email follow! 😀

P.S. If you do follow my blog, please drop me a little note in the comments so I can follow back!

Love, Maggie