Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Tag Project...Part I - Shaina Reads

This past week, a few blog buddies of mine decided to post some award tags on their blogs. Both of them were kind enough to nominate me in their midst. I'm not going to go forth with the whole passing the award thing, but I am going to answer the questions they posed. Since there's a lot there...I'm going to split this up into a few different posts.

Oh...and just because I'm not nominating anyone doesn't mean you can't jump on the bandwagon. If you think taking part in the tag extravaganza sounds like fun, go for it! I always like learning more about the bloggers I share this awesome blogosphere with.

Today's questions come from the amazing Shaina over at Shaina Reads. This lady has taken the book blogger world by storm. She's a fantastic blogger. If you haven't visited her blog yet, get over there! I'll wait...

See...told you so. Add her to your reader. You won't be sorry.

Shaina did a slew of tags at once over at her blog and then posed her own questions for us who were nominated. But...I'm never one to conform. So, I'm answering her questions here today and then I'll be backtracking to answer some of the questions she got from other bloggers in a later post. (Keep your eyes out for Part III of this project.)

Now...let's get down to business. 

1. What is the first book you can vividly remember reading?

This one is a tie, simply because I can't remember which one came first. I learned to read by age 4, so my memories are stretched a little thin on the subject. My first reading memory is of either Miss Nelson is Missing! by Harry Allard or Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I loved both of these books very much and read them several times as a child.

2. If you only had time to read one more book in your life, would you want it to be an old favorite or a new one? Why?

I would pick a new one. Why? Because I know exactly which one I would pick. I have been a lover of all things Alice for a very long time, but I have never actually read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I know, travesty, right? I am sworn to one day rectify this awful omission.

3. How do you feel about footnotes in books?

Footnotes used to annoy the bejeezus out of me. I hated being distracted from the story. But...I've learned to embrace them. This came as the result of reading the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart. She uses footnotes so well in the telling of Ruby's story that I couldn't help but start to love them.

4. Say someone offered to write you an awesome non-fiction book of your choosing. What would the topic be?

I would want a family history. There are a couple of branches of my family tree that drift off into the unknown. That's always bothered me. I'd like to clarify where a few specific ancestors came from.

5. Besides reading, what's your favorite/most time-consuming hobby?

That's a tough one. There are a lot of things I like to do when I'm just goofing around the house. I'd say right now, my favorite one is sewing. It takes up a ton of time, but I love the projects that come out of it.

6. Which book was most uncomfortable for you to read? Did you finish it?

The answer to this question probably depends on how you use the word uncomfortable. If it's uncomfortable as in bored out of my mind and totally not liking it, then that would be Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson and no, I didn't finish it.

If it's uncomfortable as in the content is making me squirm in my chair a little and I'm not sure I want people knowing I'm reading this, that would be Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and not only did I finish it, but I finished the whole series. It was some pretty awful writing, but I did enjoy the Twilight parallels since it was originally written as Twilight fan fiction.

If it's uncomfortable as in I'm totally going to have nightmares about this, then pick a Stephen King novel, any Stephen King novel. And yes, if I've started it, I've finished it. His work is totally horrifying, but awesome.

7. Can you read in a language besides English? If not, which language would you pick?

I feel like Bill Clinton in this interview. It depends on the definition of "read". I understand some Spanish. Right now, I'm in the middle of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz and it has piles of Spanish mixed in. Can I read every word? No. Can I understand the gist? Yes. Does that count? I have no freaking idea. Let's go ahead and say it does.

8. Is there a genre you've changed your mind about? (Disliking to liking, or vice versa.)

Over the years, I've gotten more accepting in my reading. I didn't used to like to read fantasy novels, but I'm getting more into them, especially things like Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Same goes with memoirs. They really weren't my cup of tea. Now I've read a small handful of them that I adore, including Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and Now I See You by Nicole C. Kear. I don't think I've turned my back on any genres though.

9. Do you give or take more book recommendations?

This one is a mixed bag. I give a lot of recommendations. I take them too, but then I don't necessarily read the books. This isn't because I don't think they're good recommendations. It's because my TBR list is a freaking Matterhorn. Typically, I have a handful of friends I totally trust for book reviews. If one of them recommends a book, I'll most likely bump it up my TBR and I'll probably enjoy it. Except for One Day by David Nicholls. I still hold a grudge against Erin for that one...and she knows it. How dare you Mr. Nicholls.

10. In the vein of #8, have you ever changed your mind about a specific book?

You know, I don't think I've very often given books a second chance. If I don't like it on the first run, it's out. I have too many books on my stack to waste my time. I'm hard-hearted like that. The only book I've considered giving another chance to is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I originally gave it 3 stars and I've had a pile of friends say that I need to give it a chance at redemption.

11. Do you use your public library? Why or why not?

I do! I love my library. I haven't been there in a month or so, but when I go I like that I can just grab random books off the shelf and take them for a spin. I'm totally a cover judger. If I see a pretty cover, I'll try it. It's a little ridiculous. It's also burnt me a few times. Number one lesson of book cover judging: if it has a butterfly on the front, run away. Books I've chosen based on covers that have had butterflies have nearly universally been awful. Exception: Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

And there you have it...a pile of information all about me and my reading habits, thanks to Shaina over at Shaina Reads. Seriously...if you haven't yet...go check her out! Next time, tags from Karsyn over at KaKiJoKoJa.


  1. Ahh, thanks for all the love, Elle! So glad you found the time in your nutty schedule to give my questions a whirl. :)

    I am absolutely a cover judger, too. Sometimes I feel awful about it, but then again, it's probably as decent as metric as any to sift through the billions of books out there, right?

    I've never been a huge fantasy reader myself, but after such a great recent experience with A Wizard of Earthsea, I want MORE! The Daughter of Smoke and Bone seems universally loved, so I'm going to do my best to check it out.

    Alice is so lovely! I hope you get a chance to read her adventures in Wonderland soon. :)

    Very much looking forward to Parts II and III!

    1. The cover judging is both a curse and a blessing. It's led me to some good books I wouldn't have otherwise read, but there have (obviously) been some failures as well. I always feel a little guilty about picking a book based solely on cover, my defense...I do read the dust jacket too. ;)


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