A-Z Bookish Survey

I figure since I’m fairly new on the bookish blogging landscape, I thought I could do a survey. I love surveys and it would be fun to do, plus I’d love to see other bloggers do this so copy pasta away.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
Probably Chuck Palahniuk. When I was in high school, I was in love with his writing and I read everything I could get my hands on. I was also really into Panic! at the Disco so when I found out he was an inspiration for some of their songs, I had to read his stuff.

Best Sequel Ever:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Besides the first book, it’s my favorite of the series and I love it.

Currently Reading:
“Librarian” by Brian Fence. It’s wonderful.

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Coffee, coffee, coffee. Hence the title of this blog. I’m also a big fan of tea (hot and iced). My boyfriend works at a local fair trade, organic coffee roaster so I get free coffee and tea and it is wonderful.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Both, I have preferences for some books. Longer books I enjoy more in physical form but I can’t explain why.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Ronald Weasley. I’m pretty much dating him now.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
“Slide” by Jill Hathaway, shot in the dark and I loved it.

Hidden Gem Book:
“A Gracious Plenty” by Sheri Reynolds. It’s an unassuming, yet magical book.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
My parents, brother, and I used to read Harry Potter when they first came out. We read aloud in the living room and went in a circle. It was marvelous and made me really love reading.

Just Finished:
“The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
I’m not really into mysteries but I also feel like I haven’t read any good ones. Also, historical fiction. I’ve never been a history fan, but again maybe I just haven’t read any good ones.

Longest Book You’ve Read:
“Storm of Swords” by GRR Martin at 1200+ pages but I also read the Brothers Karamozov on my Kindle and it didn’t have page numbers but it certainly felt as long.

Major book hangover because of:
“Insurgent” definitely gave me a bit of a book hangover. I didn’t read anything for a while after that.

Number of Bookcases You Own:
Well, I’m in the process of moving so it’s hard to say. I still have a very large one at my parent’s house filled with my high school books. I have a big box packed right now that used to be on a bookshelf in my current apartment, and then I have an old printer cabinet filled with all my favorites. But my Kindle is my main source of books since college.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I’ve read it so many times because the first time I read it, I was about 8 or 9.

Preferred Place To Read:
Outside if I can but I end up reading the most on the bus.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
“Not all who wander are lost.” -JRR Tolkien

Reading Regret:
Not being able to spend enough time reading.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
The Lord of the Rings (haven’t read 2 or 3)

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Cloud Atlas, The Charmed Sphere, Harry Potter (all of them)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Fantasy and sci-fi

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
The rest of A Song of Ice and Fire

Worst Bookish Habit:
Buying books faster than I can read them.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
As I mentioned, most of my books are in a big giant box so I’m going to do this with my Kindle and pick the 27th book: Les Mis! I haven’t read it yet, hence why it’s so far back in my Kindle.

Your latest book purchase:
“Born in Flames”  by Candace Knoebel

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
Between work and school, I haven’t had time to stay up late. I think Cloud Atlas probably. It was so long, it kept me up many nights.

Advertisements

Review: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 512
Format: Ebook

Summary: The Art of Fielding is about five characters–Henry, Schwartz, Owen, Affenlight, and Pella–and how their lives and interactions dance in a tangled web together. The story focuses on Henry’s path as a shortstop who gets recruited by Mike Schwartz to Westish College in Michigan. After three years of practice and extreme training under the heavy influence of Schwartz, Henry becomes a star on the field. His dreams skyrocket until one bad throw rattles all five intertwined lives and sends Henry into a downward spiral out of the spotlight.

Review: First, I’d like to emphasize that while this book has lots of baseball and seems to be based around it–a bonus for me because I love baseball and my team is having a horrible season–it is a character-driven novel and anyone can read it without losing anything from the baseball parts. Harbach describes the game very eloquently, one of the many aspects of this books that I enjoyed, but he also writes five very complete, dimensional characters who envelope the reader in their lives and affairs.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the novel. Harbach builds Henry up into a hero-like character, young and fresh with potential, hope, and enthusiasm for baseball. I was inclined to adore Henry from the beginning. Henry’s fall from grace is heart-breaking and despite some of his more questionable actions, I couldn’t help but still root for him the entire book. I also enjoyed Pella’s character, a strong young woman trying to reclaim the youth she left behind when she dropped out of high school, got married, and moved to San Francisco. Her anti-rebellion back into college and into her father’s house makes for a refreshing character who is desperate to just be a normal college kid. As a character story, it was well-done. Each character has their strengths and flaws, deep personalities that make them all distinct and wonderful to read about.

Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like: pretty much the entire second half of the story. The middle felt long and drawn-out. Some of the characters side-stepped their carefully-constructed personalities in very uncharacteristic ways. There were a good 100 or so pages that simply could have been omitted. I almost lost my interest which is unfortunate because I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. While the characters remained relatively strong, I lost interest in the story. Everything got very messy very quickly and there was no relief for the reader past the half-way point, no hope to cling on to and this is too long of a book to be left stranded like that.

The other thing I didn’t like was the ending. I absolutely hatted the ending. It felt cheap and I finished the book feeling like I had been gypped. After investing many hours into reading a long, drawn-out book, the end felt like a cop-out. Overall, I was a little disappointed by this book. I wanted to like it so badly and 200 pages in, I would have given it 5 stars in a heartbeat. The ending really left a bad taste in my mouth. I will explain more why past the spoiler barrier so continue at your own risk.

Continue reading

Friday Reads (& First Post!)

Happy Friday, Readers! Welcome to my brand-new blog and the first edition of Friday Reads. Starting a reading blog on a Friday sure makes coming up with a first post easier.

I look forward to going home from the office later today and curling up with a good book, some peace and quiet, and the knowledge that the weekend has begun. Here’s what I’m reading now and hope to read in the future.

Currently Reading: “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach

So much of one’s life was spent reading; it made sense not to do it alone.

Goodreads | Amazon

Before I bought this book, I had heard quite a lot about it. I contemplated the meaning of the title for quite some time sans research, missing the perhaps-obvious clue of the typography. It wasn’t until I began reading that I realized it was about baseball, and if I had known that, I probably would have picked it up a lot sooner.

The fact is, I love literature and I love baseball so for me, this is a sublime combination. I remember reading the Baseball Card Adventures series by Dan Gutman in elementary school, but I wasn’t into baseball then and haven’t picked up a baseball-related book since. Since my team has been in a long-running rut this season, this is the perfect book to get my baseball kicks.

I’m about a fifth of the way through (it’s a dense 500+ page-turner) and I love it. Something about the way Harbach writes baseball action makes it so visual and real. Trust me when I say, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it. It’s also about love, literature, friendship, and escaping parental expectations in college.

To Read: The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Between A Song of Ice and Fire, Divergent, and the MaddAddam trilogy, I really don’t need to be picking up another hefty (incomplete) fantasy series. However, I recently (as in yesterday) discovered, they’re making movies. The book reviews have been mixed at best, but something about a literary-film conversion makes me feel like I just need to read the book. While it’s unlikely I’ll get to it before the release, it’s getting added to my to-read pile. Due to the inconsistancy of reviews, give me your feedback. Is the series worth a read?

That’s my first post, folks. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what make up your Friday Reads.