The Liebster Award #2 // Answering Tough Questions

A few months ago, I did this exact award, but because it’s all about answering people’s questions and telling fun facts about yourself, I decided to do it again!!

This time, I was nominated by the lovely Shayna, who posts tons of great works of writing over on her blog Hail Angelic Creation.  If you enjoy reading poetry or short stories, you should totally go check her blog out!

Continue reading “The Liebster Award #2 // Answering Tough Questions”

For The Love of Reading: A (BELATED AF) Broody Challenge

(originally, this post was supposed to be for the Broody book challenge #9, but I’m over a month late because of my hiatus… you should most definitely buy the book on Amazon or at least add it on Goodreads)

We all love reading (or at least, I assume, since you’re on my book blog) but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why we love it so much.  For me at least, I’ve loved it for so long that it’s just been an inherent part of who I am.  That’s why I really wanted to take a look at this prompt and try to write something somewhat relevant and maybe even a little bit deep (lol NOPE) for this post.

Continue reading “For The Love of Reading: A (BELATED AF) Broody Challenge”

My NaNoWriMo Plan // Suggestions for You

It’s November!!! The leaves are finally changing color, it’s getting COLD (which I didn’t think I would ever enjoy, but the warm October made me actually miss it), the holidays are almost upon us, and generally everything is amazing.  Plus– it means that it’s time for NaNoWriMo!!

For those of you that don’t know, NaNo is National Novel Writing Month.  Basically, it means that a whole bunch of people try to write an entire novel (50,000 words) over the course of a single month, with varying degrees of success and failure.  If you’re interested in joining or just want to learn more, click here (yes I casually directed you to my profile, add me as a friend while you’re at it) I tried to do NaNo last year and failed miserably, both because of a lack of time and because I hadn’t planned anything out in advance.  This year, I’m taking a very different approach to “novel” writing.

Continue reading “My NaNoWriMo Plan // Suggestions for You”

Guest Post: Really Reading, by THE Elm

I CAN’T EVEN STOP SMILING RIGHT NOW.  I have Elm, THE Elm, on my blog today.  I’m still not sure that this is really happening.  Since I first found her about a year ago, she has been one of my biggest blogging idols, and now her writing is going to be on MY blog! Elm is a 17 year old blind lifestyle blogger, self proclaimed rebel, singer, writer, talker (I hope lol) and, most importantly today, reader.  It may seem strange to some people, a blind reader, which is exactly why the post that you’re about to read is so special.


“Reading”, by Elm

As a child, I was a voracious reader. Similarly to any other bookworm, I was lost in the stories and characters of authors who spun their tales to be understandable to a younger audience. I’d spend hours pouring over a good book, delighted and enthralled in equal measure. That feeling sounds familiar to anyone who loves to read.

However, I have never read a paperback or hardback book. I have never browsed the shelves, looking for a good title in my local library. Why, you may ask? I’m visually impaired, registered as blind; I read in braille or through audio books. It’s all I’ve ever known or will know: does that mean my experience is somehow separate, apart from those who read so-called “conventional” or paper books?

Braille books are, ordinarily, huge. I used to get them from the RNIB Library in bags, 3-5 volumes for each book. As a little girl, I could sometimes barely lift them: I’d heave them onto my knee and whenever they came in the post, I’d shriek with excitement. I used to sit in a little chair beside the CD player, listening to my favourite books that I got from the limited selection in my local library or, for my birthday or Christmas, bought from Waterstones. That, instead of computers or the TV, was what truly interested me. It was different, yet it was my world.

Now, instead of ordering from the library, I read eBooks – either by connecting a Braille display to my phone or by using the text-to-speech technology on my phone. I prefer the former because it lets me feel more connected but when I don’t have as much energy, I use the speech. As I’ve been blogging and now have more online friends who read, I’ve realised that my childhood experiences – even the way I read now – is quite simply separate from how people who can easily pick up a book can read.

I sometimes come across the argument that to read an eBook, or maybe even an audiobook, is not as enriching or is not the same as reading a book from the library or from a bookshop. To tackle this, you have to ask yourself: “What is reading?” Is it the ability to rest in the quiet spaces of a library, head bent over a book until nothing exists but the characters and stories? If so, I have not had that experience; then I haven’t truly read. However, I know that I have absorbed just as much as any other person. I’m not dissatisfied without the weight of a supposed “real” book in my hands – real being in quotation marks – and I am no worse off. I feel absolutely no sadness that I’ve never been able to see words on a page. Listening to an audiobook, for me, is still reading as it was how I could connect with such beloved characters.

It isn’t “a shame” that I can’t experience the wonder of print on a page. The methods by which I read are different – I may read differently – but the emotions I feel are the same. I’m still able to cry over books – which I do often – and I can still feel utter fury at what a character does. It neither decreases my enjoyment nor makes me feel somehow worse off. When I was little, it never crossed my mind that I was at a disadvantage.

This is just my story. There are a myriad of other people who, for whatever reason, cannot read print books. Some may not be able to afford to buy the books they would like in paperback or hardback; some books may not be available in their country; they may not have a library or good bookshop near them.  For some, ⠑⠠⠃⠕⠕⠅⠎ may be a “last resort” but it doesn’t mean that they are somehow less. I don’t know their stories and so I won’t try and speak for them. If others can’t access the same materials as some people, there are so many other ways to read than the traditional.

Reading can be subjective. In the same way that human thoughts and behaviour can’t be assigned to different boxes, the way that people read and react to what they read can’t be categorised so easily. Some people, for instance, will prefer eBooks to Print books and vice versa; nobody should be shamed for that. However, those that can’t access one or the other aren’t necessarily unhappy with it, in the case of myself. Just because an idea is different doesn’t mean it’s somehow less.

If information is subject to interpretations in books, surely the way in which it can be read can also be different? To that effect, if different interpretations are as valid as each other, can’t that be applied to the way people read?

What do you think – what is reading to you? Is there a definition of “reading”, or may that idea be up to the reader who interprets the words?


Love this post? Make sure you go visit Elm @ Just Call me Elm or Something and jump into her world.

 

August Intro: TBR and Future Goals

I actually cannot believe that it’s August, because that means I’M LEAVING FOR COLLEGE SOON. WAY TOO SOON. WAY WAY WAY TOO SOON.  Don’t get me wrong I’m super excited I’m just freaking out too. And you guys should be too, because gods only know how much I’m going to be able to blog in college.  It’s a whole new world out there and I’m not sure if I’m ready to experience it.  Time management? Like WHAT? Remind me what that is again?  Since it’s the last month of summer, I’m going to try to make a reasonable* TBR and set goals that I think I can genuinely reach.  Here we go.

*yes, yes, I know reasonable isn’t really my strong suit.  But I’ll succeed this time, I PROMISE (cue awkward laughing)

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Ebook / eARCs

Not the Only SkyThe Readers of Broken Wheel RecommendSelect (Untitled #1)

  1. Not the Only Sky— Yes, yes I know I’ve been reading this for three months and so shouldn’t be putting other books on this list too since I really need to finish this one, but I promise I’ve been putting work in on it recently.  It’s not that bad, really.
  2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend— I got this book from JellyBean, they finally opened it up the the US (YAY), and I can’t wait to read it. It looks adorably fun and the ultimate bookish book so CAN’T WAIT.
  3. Select— This is an October ARC that I desperately want to finish before October, which is why it’s on the chart in August. That should mean that I’ll finish it by late September.

Physical Books

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)The Valley of Horses (Earth's Children, #2)Big Little LiesThose Girls

  1. Clan of the Cave Bear— I’m already about halfway through this one (it’s only the 26th as I write this, so maybe I’ve finished it by now, but I’m not gonna update my July Wrap or this post, so let’s pretend and it’ll all be okay) and I FREAKING LOVE IT.  AND IT’S A SERIES.  My mom sort of forced me to start, and it’s so well written it makes me work to read it but yet is actually a great story I’m not sure why it took me so long to find this beauty.
  2. Valley of the Horses— The Clan of the Cave Bear Sequel, ya’ll (i’m not sure what’s gotten into me).  I’m not sure if i’ll read these both one after the other or interject one in between, but I can’t wait.  Can’t wait at all.
  3. Big Little Lies— This has made several appearances on my TBR, but this is gonna be the month that I will truly do it.  I like Liane Moriarty books, they’re predictably constant in their 4 star-ness, and plus I want to watch the TV show, so it’ll be a double win.
  4. Those Girls— I got this book at the library for 50 cents, and it looks incredible, and is in perfect condition.  It’s a light paperback, so I’m putting it on the TBR solely to bring to the beach with me.

Audiobooks

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

  1. Strange the Dreamer— This is 18.5 hours, so I think it’ll be the only one I’ll finish this month, but it’s also something I’m VERY VERY VERY EXCITED to read.  I can’t believe it finally came in on Overdrive.  now I just have to finish it before it expires.

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Blogging

Reach 450 Followers– I have so much trouble setting this goal every month, because either I dream wayyyyy too big or I don’t dream at all and assume that literally only 1 person will find me and want to follow me, because let’s be honest who would really want to follow me.  I think 450 is a solid goal, and it’ll make me super happy to get there!

Post a Review Every Friday– I think that this will be an easy goal, it’s just a matter of sitting down and actually writing the posts.  I already have 2 scheduled, and I’ve read enough books to have one for every Friday, it’s just a matter of writing them.

Find 3 New Blogs to Follow– I haven’t “gotten out” into the blogging world in a long time, and it’s sort of stalling me out in terms of new followers and also just enjoying the blogging community.  I want to make sure I follow at least 3 blogs that I GENUINELY ENJOY this month, and comment consistently on their posts.

Comment on Blog Posts More– This sort of relates to the last one, but I want to make sure I’m commenting on my current bloggy friends whose posts I already love and enjoy, because I need to KEEP UP MY FRIENDSHIPS.  Yes, Joce, this takes work.

Writing

Finish outlining Chemical Capitalists– I set this aside for a long time now, but I’m starting to get the feeling where I NEED to work on it again, and so hopefully August will be the month where I crank through and write my outline.  I epically failed camp nano and so this will be a good makeup month to get me on track for real NaNo in November.

Decide what I want to do with my Calipso story and Walk story– I wrote a half outline for Walk, and I’ve been thinking about this other story for a while, and I just want to think and figure out which one I want to work on first, or if I want to put CC before either of them.

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What are your plans for August? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What do you think?

joce-sign-off


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July Wrap: A Slow Month Where I Bought A LOT

I can’t believe it’s already the end of JULY and as of right now, I haven’t even gone to the beach.  Once.  Like, who even am I? I’m not sure anymore and I’m having an EXISTENTIAL CRISIS about it because the beach is actually my favorite place in the whole world and I’m… not going!?!?!  Not that that has anything to do with books, or writing, meaning that you guys don’t care at all, so to the real post (which is markedly shorter than my normal wrapups but idk):

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Physical Books

Lola

  1. Lola (4/5)— This was an ARC that I won from LibraryThing, and I was super excited to finally get around to reading it.  The plot lived up to expectations and beyond, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the actual style of writing.  I would recommend, but I’m not sure I would run out to buy something else by the author.

Audiobooks (weirdly there’s a lot of these)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai UndercitySave Me

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (4/5)— I listened to this book in the car on the way out to Colorado with my family, and thought it was the perfect family read.  The narrator was the author, which was cool because then you knew it was being read exactly as it was supposed to be, and although it took me a bit to get into the Native American Accent, once I did it was really enjoyable.
  2. Behind the Beautiful Forevers (4/5)-– This book took me FOREVER to read just because I kept forgetting about it, and you need to listen to it for long periods of time in order to get into it/understand, but I adored it once I got into it.  There’s so many characters and you hear lots of different people’s stories all intertwined, but if you’re willing to pay attention it’s worth the read.
  3. Save Me (3/5)— wtf happened to this book.  It started off SO STRONG and I was going to give it a much better rating, but then it went all magical unrealistic mom save the world big conspiracy that only she can uncover save the world.  Like, ummm, no.  just no.  So 4/5 for the first half, 2/5 for the second. Hence the three.

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This is a new section that I’m adding to the wrap up, since I realized it’s kind of weird that I didn’t have it already.  Basically, “New books” just means all the books that I’ve gotten, one way or another, over the course of the month.  This month especially was a really good one for book collection!  Of course, that only means that it’s been especially good for drowning in my own TBR, but yanno, you can’t win everything.

Kindle / eARC

Until It FadesCarnegie's MaidThe Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

  1. Until it Fades, by KA Tucker
  2. Carnegie’s Maid, by Marie Benedict
  3. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald

Physical Books

The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium, #4)Those GirlsFirefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1)

  1. The Girl In the Spider’s Webm by David Lagercrantz
  2. The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean M Auel
  3. Those Girls, by Chevy Stevens
  4. Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah

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  1. July 2017 Book Releases— There were SO many good books coming out this month, and although I didn’t have the chance to read any ARCS (I’m still behind from June) I can tell that I’m going to be scouring bookstores for months for cheap copies
  2. Genre Shaming Discussion— I wrote a post about why we shouldn’t shame people for reading genres that they enjoy, and I was happy to say that most people agreed with me! Make sure you weigh in on the discussion!
  3. Books that Need Sequels— For one of the BroodyBFF challenges, I wrote about books that I want to have sequels, but that don’t currently.  All the books I chose will probably never have sequels, but I WANT THEM SO AUTHORS ARE YOU LISTENING? but in all seriousness, it was a fun post to write.
  4. One by One Book Tour— I brought book tours back to the blog for this month, since they are quick and I didn’t have time to write a lot, and I really liked the sound of One by One, by Robert Germaux!

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Posts from around the blogosphere that you totally need to head over and check out

  1. May has been blogging FOR 6 WHOLE MONTHS. And it’s life changing.  And there’s a survey you need to fill out.
  2. Apparently July is a popular blogiversary month, because Teacher of YA had her 1 year blogiversary and wrote a post about it!  I’m super happy for her!
  3. Isla (formerly known under another name that I will not say because I don’t know if I’m supposed to) launched her brand new blog and said hi to everyone and I’m super excited.
  4. Nia compared some books and movies and told us what books to read if we like that movie and vice versa which is super helpful to all of us TV and movie nerds out there!
  5. Sarah wrote an interesting perspective on “reading” audiobooks, which although I somewhat disagreed with I loved reading.

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How did your July go? What books did you read? Have you read any of the books that I just got? Let me know all the thoughts

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June Wrap: It Means Summer Lovin’ and Readin’

This month was not nearly as productive as I was hoping, in any sense of the word, but nonetheless I did decent, and have some exciting accomplishments to share with you all.  I think what I’m most proud of is that I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL and so that’s like 12 years of my life* that have finally come to a close.  Also, it’s the first summer in my memory where I literally have no summer homework to do, which is awesome, and as you read this I am on my first of 2 major vacations that I’m super excited about.  So this month is good, I just haven’t read quite enough yet.

*I’m counting Kindergarten-High School… it did not, in fact, take me 12 years to get through high school

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If you don’t remember, I put 7 books on my TBR for this month, which is more than I have ever ever read in one month before.  I’m proud to say that I’ve finished 4/7 books on this list, as well as 5 total books.  Once again I’ve had trouble sticking to the TBR because BOOKS are all so good and I’m an easily distracted individual.

Kindle/Ebooks

The Darkest LiesThe Handmaid's Tale

The Darkest Lies (3/5)– I’ve written a review of this one, although it won’t be published for a couple of months, and yet I still don’t have all of my thoughts in order.  First off, the beginning was terrible, but the end was good.  Second, I hated the MC but liked some of the others?? I don’t know how to explain it, the whole thing was just confusing.

The Handmaid’s Tale (5/5)– DAMNNNNN this book was so good.  It was one of the first dystopian books ever, and the scary part is that everything it talks about feels so so so real like it could happen next week which is a horrible thing but reality could still go this way.  It’s super women-oppressive but the MC is super smart, and I love the way everything plays out.  You would never know that this was written in the 80’s, and I HIGHLY recommend to everyone.

Physical Books

The Glass Castle: A MemoirHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

The Glass Castle (5/5)– This was a memoir so I was super nervous about it going in, but honestly it was so so so amazing, read like fiction, and was thoroughly enjoyable.  I have such a hard time believing any of this is real just because of how extraordinarily difficult the author’s life was.  She is remarkable and I have so much respect for her, her story, and her writing.

The Cursed Child (??)– I’VE FINALLY READ IT!!! It was super good, and I really enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how to rate it because I have the HP thing that makes me want to give everything remotely related 5 quick stars, but on the other hand the story wasn’t that good.  And plus it’s super hard to judge a play when all you’ve seen is the script.

Audiobooks

Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black (5/5)– This is another absolutely incredible book.  I started watching the TV show and fell in love, and so I had to read the book, because although I heard they were so completely different, I liked the general concept, and the fact that OITNB book is a true story drew me in.  It did not let down.  Piper told the story in a way that drew me in and made it felt like fiction while giving true details and enlightening me as to how the prison system works.

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Goodreads Challenge (22/30)– I’m going to have to update my reading challenge again because I’ve gotten through SO MANY BOOKS.  This is making my entire year, I haven’t felt this good about how much I’ve read for so long.

What’s In a Name (2/5)

Read Harder Challenge (11/24)

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  • June Book Releases— I wrote about all of the most exciting-sounding books that came out this month! There’s so many good ones especially in the thriller genre, so if you like that you should check it out!
  • I’ll Give you the Sun Review— For the first time in practically ever, I had a review get a ton of views!! IGYTS was sooooooooooo good and I recommend it to literally everyone, and so if you haven’t read the review or the book you should get on that.
  • Midyear Update— Since this is the halfway month of the year, I wrote a post on all of the books I’ve read, and all of my best posts for the entire year!  It was really cool to reflect on everything that I’ve read and how awesome this year has been so far.
  • Using the Word “Said”— I wrote a discussion post on whether or not you should use the word “said” while you write, and I loved all of the feedback and comments that people gave to add to my own thoughts.
  • Interview with Nia— Nia is an AHMAZING blogger and I got to interview her which was super awesome because she’s really funny and great and you should read this interview (can you tell I’m EXTREMELY overtired as I write this post? It’s all rambling and messy and gross so I’m sorry)

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  • Blogging and Reading Confessions by Lauren— I just followed Lauren recently, and I loved reading about her true reading and blogging style!! I related to so many of the reading confessions and although the blogging ones didn’t really apply much to ME, I still enjoyed reading them.
  • Mid Year Book Tag by Nia— I really enjoyed hearing about all of Nia’s favorite books, and I had a lot added to my TBR!!!! If you’re looking for recs or just to catch up on Nia, this is a great post to read.
  • Elm took Blogging to the Real World— Taking your blog from purely internet to “real” life is a huge step and one that every blogger dreams of, and I’m super proud of Elm (but not really surprised) about the fact that she was able to make a difference in people’s lives and take her wonderful perspective out into the non-internet world.
  • Developing Characters by May—  May wrote a super fun, relatable af post about how to develop characters for your novel, and I found myself nodding along for literally the entire thing.

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Blogging

I had wanted to get really ahead on blogging for the next month, but instead I was a serious slacker who did absolutely nothing to do with blogging besides write this single post and one review.  Which is certainly not going to get me through the rest of the summer.

As far as followers go, I had wanted to get to 400 this month.  It was a really close call, but I managed to do it with WP and email combined, although not with just WP (as I originally wanted to).

Book Buying

I decided that I was going to get a book at every vacation I went on this year, and so far I’ve been to Block Island, where I bought 2 books from the library sale rack.  And it only cost $1!!! Bargain shopping!!!

In Pennsylvania I didn’t get a book because all I could find was Amish romance (oops) and I wasn’t really feeling it.

Right now I’m in Colorado, and although I haven’t bought a book yet, I’m planning on it.  I’m praying that I can find a cheap little second hand store around Denver to buy one.

Writing

I’ve written about 15 pages thus far in the book I’m working on, and started working on my outline much further.  I need to outline the entire thing before I start writing, and I know that, but sometimes outlining gets boring so I just start writing anyways.

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Overall, it’s been a decent month, but nothing to brag about.  I mean, reading half my TBR is decent, but my blogging has been weak and in general I don’t really like the fact that I haven’t been moving very quickly through what I need to get done.

Maybe if I watched less TV I would be blogging more often.  I mean, right now I’m writing this post and watching OITNB (SEASON 3!!!!) at the same time so excuse any stupid errors or repetitiveness… But like it’s okay because the show is amazing and I’ll eventually figure out how to do both because blogging is beautiful.

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How did your June go? Do you have any plans for this summer? What are your favorite books that you’ve read?

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