Friday, May 8, 2020

Looking Back at the A to Z Survey--Updated Answers!

This tag was originally created by Jaime at Perpetual Page Turner. As I was looking over things, I thought it would be fun to answer these again, as the last time I did it was on August 15, 2013. Looking back at old posts and seeing how your opinion differs has been a popular trend on YouTube. This my attempt at doing something similar. 

Author you’ve read the most books from:

So my previous answer was Nora Roberts. She and Stephanie Laurens are up there for the most adult authors I have read. These books are like candy for me and are a complete escapism for me.

If I look deeper, my most frequent Young Adult author is Laurie Halse Anderson for fiction and for nonfiction, Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

Best Sequel Ever:

The one I have read more recently that stands out in my mind is Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. I am a bit biased towards that series since I was on the Printz Committee that selected Scythe as one of Honor Winners, but I still appreciated this follow up and think it is one of the best sequels published.

Currently Reading:

Currently I am reading The Diviners by Libba Bray. I am loving it so far, but I am only about 155 pages into it. Nevertheless, I have high hopes for it. 

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I would say my answer is still tea, hot or cold, followed closely by Diet Dr. Pepper since I have not managed to kick my pop habit yet. Otherwise, water would be another likely contender. If it is at night, then sometimes I will reach for an adult beverage, usually in the form of a glass of wine or a cider.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I still maintain it does not need to be one or the other. I like both of those formats for different reasons and will use the books interchangeably. If I am traveling, then I tend to prefer eBook because I can take so many more books with me and with my eReader, it has a built in light so I do not need to bring my travel book light (which I have, and do pack when I take a physical book with me on car rides/plane trips). 

Another way I devour books is audiobooks. I am pleased to have served on The Odyssey Award committee twice since the last time I answered this survey. Audiobooks are a huge part of my reading habit, I could not imagine not having them in my life. For those, I am at the point where I listen to them exclusively as digital audiobooks using Overdrive (Sora in school), Audible,, or Volumes. Did you know that Spotify also has audiobooks on it?

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Hmm, if I had to pick one I feel like Levi from Fangirl or Jack from Tweet Cute would be the two that stand out currently in my mind. I do not have "crushes" on book characters. There are ones I like, so these are the two that stand out if they were real characters, these would be two that I would have been drawn to IRL. 

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Hmm...So this is going to be a weird one I think but recently I finally read The Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks off of my TBR shelf at home during quarantine time. I am glad I did not because they blew my mind away (though they are good), but because it is a book series that has been on my shelf for awhile now and I needed to get them finished. I am too the point that I do not actually want to keep every book I have ever owned or read--I do not have a big enough house. 

Hidden Gem Book:

I wish more people would read  A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. It is such a great debut, and I am really looking forward to the sequel.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

At this point, I would say any of the award committees I have been able to serve on: The Odyssey Award twice--once as a member and I had the pleasure to Chair the 2019 Award Committee. I also got to serve on the 2017 Michael L. Printz Award Committee.

ust Finished:

Remember me gushing over audiobooks above? Well the actual last book I finished is Fahrenheit 451 by (of course) Ray Bradbury, but I listened to it this go around. I have a reading goal this year to listen to at least 12 classics this year and this was one of them on my list since I have not read it since high school (a LONG time ago). Audiobooks have been a great way to get this to happen.

The latest eBook I read is The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. Review is pending on it, but I enjoyed it. I am actually going back through it again now, as I feel like I rushed through it to finish it up before the Magical Readathon (OWLs edition) ended. 

The last physical book I read is Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence. I am not sure if that is ironic or not. 

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

My answer last time was erotica and I would say that is still at the top of my list. It is just not a genre for me, and I feel that is perfectly fine because if you like it--that's great. You do you and I will do me. :) The other genre I struggle with is adult horror--I just am not a huge fan of it though I have been reading more young adult horror lately so I can do proper recommendations for my students at school.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

The longest book I have on GoodReads is now Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (again, of course). Closely behind it is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

The I have others that are longer on my TBR List: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke, and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. 

Major book hangover because of:

Probably I would say the latest book that caused a hangover is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I knew going into this book, it would destroy me, but in a good way. Everything I had seen on BookTube (a.k.a. YouTube) about it, I had a feeling it would--even avoiding spoilers. But I had been avoiding this book for years, so during Magical Readathon (OWLS edition) it was finally time to breakdown and read it.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Two tall bookcases (daughter has my third tall one in her room) and three shorter bookcases, about half the size of the taller ones in my actual "office" space. We also have a bookcase in here that my husband is using and one in our guest room with books on it as well.  

ne Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens was my previous answer, I would say at this point I would add A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness now more so then the previous title. I first read the series right after The Book of Life was published and became an instant fan of it. I was in a particular reading drought at that time and it served its purpose. However, with her writing Dr. Harkness has woven in so many Easter eggs that everytime I read (or listen--the audiobooks I also highly recommend), there is always something new in this to explore and learn about. 

Preferred Place To Read:

So since the last time I filled this out, we have moved half way across the United States to New Hampshire. More about this on the pending Where Have I Been post that I am still working my way through writing. At our new house, I love love love reading out on our screened porch because we overlook a forest preserve so it is very peaceful and quiet, plus the screens protect against bugs. 

If it is too cold to read outside on the screen porch (though I will use a blanket to cover myself up to be out there longer and sooner than some might think is wise), I like to curl up on my couch or bed too. 

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

Reading Regret:

Probably the time I spent feeling like I had to read specific set of books because that was what was popular and expected. I think that is part of the reason I got burned out blogging and it was easier to let it go when I went onto Award Committees.  Now, my opinion is I am going to read what I read and you do you--read what you want. As long as you do not try to ban or censor my reading

(or my community's reading), I have not issues. Reading is intensely a private experience, even with reading required books in school. Your experience and reaction to it is filtered through the lens of what you bring to it through your life's experiences. For instance, I did not like The Outsiders in high school--probably because it struck too close to home upon later reflection. When I had to reread it in graduate school for my masters, I found myself so completely drawn into it and it struck such a chord with me then (and still does to this day). 

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I recently (like in March) read Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson finally. It was EXACTLY what I needed to read at that time--it was right after we transitioned to remote learning in my district due to the pandemic. I needed something I could just get lost in, but nothing was holding my attention. I picked this one up randomly and I devoured it. I stayed up late to finish it one night and really credit to getting me out of my reading funk. I have yet to read the second and third books, since the finally book was just published at the beginning of 2020. The second book, Vanishing Stairs is on my list to read this month. 

Another series I can tell I am going to want to finish (at this point anyway) is The Diviners by Libba Bray. As I mentioned above, I am LOVING this audiobook and I look forward to finishing the series through the audiobooks. I cannot picture experiencing it any other way. 

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Once again, I am going to do a slight cheat and say
 The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness--the first one is A Discovery of Witches.

Secondly, I am going to pick Becoming by Michelle Obama. The audiobook of this is SPECTACULAR as it is read by her. I highly recommend experiencing it through the audio if possible. 

My last is going to be a middle grade: The War That Saved My Life by Jennifer Brubaker Bradley as it is such a special story. It will forever hold a spot in my heart because it won the 2016 Odyssey Award, which happens to be the first national award committee I did. 

All three of these books are lovely and amazing as a book but there is something special about them as an audiobook too. I would highly recommend experiencing any of these as an audiobook. 

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

"Laurie Halse Anderson—had my moment to meet her at ALA. I about died and it completely MADE 
my trip." This is how I responded last time and she still tops my list.  

I have been blessed and fortunate to meet and have conversations with a number of authors. One that stands out recently is meeting and getting lost with Tomi Adeyemi in Washington, D.C. last June for ALA. Tomi is such a special soul and I look forward to watching her career skyrocket. If you have not read Children of Blood and Bone, I highly recommend it. Do not let the size intimidate you--it is a fast read because you just get swept away.  

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Hmm, I really looking forward to reading the sequel to A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. I sure hope it will be picked up here in the United States. If not, I will pick it up in the United Kingdom when we are there next summer. We were supposed to go this summer, but due to the pandemic it had to be shifted back. I hope that everything has calm down so we can travel next summer instead. 

Worst Bookish Habit:

So last time I answered that I will skip ahead to read the ending or other parts of a book. Confession, I still do that sometimes--do not yell at me please. More so now than then, I would say that my worst habit is purchasing a book and letting it sit on my shelf without reading it. Usually this happens because I am so excited about the book, that I actually purchase it. You think I would want to dive into it because of this, but no, I get too anxious to start it so I let it sit on my shelf. I know STUPID habit, but I am working on it. 

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

My 27th book on my shelf when I counted today is an autographed copy of the The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. It was such an honor to meet her at an ALA conference. 

Your latest book purchase:

Physical book: discounting the two I just bought for curriculum purposes at work (but out of my
own money so I can keep them with me should I leave my school), I sent a physical copy of Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness to an online friend for a Spread the Love event we were doing in March. The last book I purchased for myself for pleasure is Crave by Tracy Wolff. 

eBook: Hidden Valley: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker

Preorder: Beach Read by Emily Henry--I have heard so many good things about this one, I could not resist since I had a credit for a book about to expire.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

I previously mentioned it but the book to keep up recently is Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. I just was enjoying it so much, I did not want to stop. The sign of a great book in my opinion.

I know this is such a long blog post, but I hope you do not mind looking back on a tag post. I hope that someone will join in the fun with me! Please take the time to do it and share you link with me in the comments--I would love to read your answers. 

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