Monday, July 24, 2017

Last Minute BookTubeAThon TBR Suggestions

It's time for one of the many annual events that take over a large portion of the bookish community: BookTubeAThon 2017! In case you don't know, BookTubeAThon is a readathon on YouTube hosted by Ariel Bissett with lots of fun challenges, reading sprints on Twitter, and tons of other cool stuff.

I'm probably going to be participating this year, but since my TBR isn't set in stone, I thought it might be fun to do a different kind of TBR post - recommending books that fit the challenges in case you need some help! These are all books that I've read and enjoyed that fit the challenges, so hopefully you can find some inspiration here!

Read a book with a person on the cover. 
This is a really interesting challenge! It's kind of a theme without really having a theme, because all kinds of different books have people on the covers. Some I really like that are all really different are A MADNESS SO DISCREET, GIRL OUT OF WATER, and LABYRINTH LOST.

Read a hyped book. 
This might be one you don't need my help with - after all, the challenge is basically based on recommendations - but I'm going to offer mine anyway. I'll readily admit that I'm a bit behind on reading the newest hyped books, though, so if you'd like something a bit more current, these aren't the best choices. Some of my recent(ish) reads that have lived up to the hype are THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, THE HATE U GIVE, and SALT TO THE SEA.

Finish a book in one day. 
For this challenge, I'm assuming that you want a book that's not a graphic novel or comic book (but don't worry, I'll have recommendations for those later!). These are all novels that are either pretty short or that I absolutely flew through. THE WRATH & THE DAWN, THE GREAT GATSBY, and EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR.

Read about a character that is very different from you. 
Of course, this is going to depend greatly on who you are, but I find that books with fantastical elements are usually pretty safe. The main character of WOLF BY WOLF can change her appearance, the characters of SIX OF CROWS are quite the gang of criminals, and while THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is a contemporary, I'll just say that I hope you're not too much like Alex.

Finish a book completely outdoors. 
For this, I chose books that reminded me of the outdoors. Of course, you might want to spend as little time outside as possible, in which case I refer you to the two challenges that involve quick books. My picks are THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE, WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, and AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR.

Read a book you bought because of the cover. 
Personally, I've never bought a book solely because of the cover. However, I certainly have favorite covers, so those are what I'm recommending to you: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, THE NAMES THEY GAVE US, and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. Aren't they gorgeous? It doesn't hurt that they're wonderful books as well.

Read seven books.
I'm going to assume that you'll fall behind at some point - everyone does - and that to catch up with this challenge you'll want something really short, like a comic book or graphic novel, so here some of my favorites: MS. MARVEL, VOL. 1: NO NORMAL, SCARLET WITCH, VOL. 1: WITCHES' ROAD, and THE MARVELS. (Don't be fooled by how massive that last one looks - more than half of it is just pictures!)

Are you participating in BookTubeaThon? Do you like readathons? When's the last time you did one? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

How to Choose Your Next Book

All of my recent posts have mentioned my reading slump. But really, I don't feel bad about that, because that's what my reading life's been about lately. And in the past week or so as I'm pushing through the end of it, one of my biggest dilemmas has been deciding which book to read. Everything sounds mildly appealing, but nothing really stands out or sticks when I try the first few pages.

That's why I've been thinking about the various ways in which we can choose our next books. My usual methods of choosing simply haven't been up to par. So I've been getting creative and changing things up a bit. I think I'm getting somewhere, but it's been fun going through the possibilities. Here are the things I've been trying.

1. READ THE BOOK YOU WANT TO READ MOST. This assumes (at least for me) that there's one book that stands miles above all the rest, and nothing else will do. Sure, there are plenty of books that I'd like to read, but that unmistakable feeling of one book screaming above the others READ ME NOW is pretty hard to ignore. Recommended for: people who've just had their most anticipated release come out, people who generally have their life together, and people with strong, sudden whims.

2. READ THE BOOK YOU'RE ON A DEADLINE FOR. This could be any kind of deadline: release date for an ARC, due date for a library book, or any kind of self-imposed date that you absolutely have to have finished a certain book by. Look at all of your deadline books, and whatever's soonest (or most overdue - we've all been there) is what you're reading next. Recommended for: habitual procrastinators and the unorganized.

3. MAKE A FRIEND PICK A BOOK FOR YOU. This is what I've been doing lately - if your own choices have failed, maybe it's time to let someone else take charge for a while. Make sure it's someone you trust, though. You don't want someone to insist you read what turns out to be your next least favorite book. Recommended for: indecisive people, people who want to read something a little different, and people with friends who have great taste.

4. EENIE MEENIE MINEY MO. When all else fails, there's good old random selection! Depending on how dedicated you are to true statistical randomness, you can do anything from assigning each option a number and using a random number generator to just closing your eyes and pointing. Recommended for: people with too many good options.

Of course, you can combine these methods, too. Figure out which books have deadlines coming up and make a friend pick one for you. Get a list of books you're super excited for and pick randomly from those. Or do something else entirely! Because really, the best way to choose your next book is the way that works for you.

How do you pick what you're going to read next? Do you switch that up when you're in a slump? Any good methods that I haven't listed here? Tell me in the comments!

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

It's been a while since I've done a tag! I've seen this one in a lot of places, but I didn't really think about doing it until I saw Cait @ Paper Fury's post, especially considering that as of now, it's not quite the middle of the year anymore. But it looked fun, and I didn't exactly have a great post idea, so I figured I'd go for it. Considering the timing, though, I'm not going to tag anyone else - if you want to do it, though, go for it! Maybe you don't care as much about that as I apparently do.

BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR SO FAR - I reviewed this book back in March, and I still haven't read anything that's surpassed it: THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES, the book so amazing that I had to read it twice in a row. I'm not sure whether I've been talking about this book enough, because I need you all to read it, and I don't think that's happened yet. Do it. It's worth it.

BEST SEQUEL OF THE YEAR SO FAR - My first read of the year, GEMINA! I had a few problems with it, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. And it made me incredibly excited for OBSIDIO!

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN'T READ YET BUT WANT TO - I really need to read WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI. I've heard such amazing things, and I want to get to it this summer, and there are so many people ahead of me in the library holds line that I might just give in and buy it.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR AUTUMN/WINTER - There are so many great ones that my number one spot keeps changing all the time. Right now, it's probably INTO THE BRIGHT UNKNOWN, because the Gold Seer Trilogy is one of my all-time favorites and I can't believe it's almost over, but luckily, I have an entire post with my top twelve right here.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR SO FAR - I've had a pretty good reading year, quality-wise if not quantity-wise, but the stand-out disappointment has to be ATTACHMENTS. I've never been the biggest fan of Rainbow Rowell, but I've liked all the other books of hers I've read. This one...not so much.

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR SO FAR - This is one of my most recent reads: NORTH OF HAPPY. I thought I would like it - about seven chapters in, I realized that it was going to be a lot better than I expected it to be. And this time, I was right. I loved it!

NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR - Mindy McGinnis. I was saying she was one of my favorite authors ever since I read A MADNESS SO DISCREET in 2015, but reading THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, another new favorite, this year, really solidified her place in my top authors list.

YOUR NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER - I'm gonna (probably) be super unoriginal and say Molly Peskin-Suso from THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED. She's just so great! Her cooking/decorating/general Pinterest-ing skills are just absolute goals. And she's super relatable as a bonus.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY - There were a couple this year that made me cry, but the one that I needed a sobbing recovery period for was another new favorite: THE NAMES THEY GAVE US. It was just so beautiful, and so heartbreaking, and so emotional, and so perfect.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY - Definitely NOTEWORTHY! This was absolutely hilarious - I laughed out loud so many times, and for most of the book, I couldn't keep the smile off my face. I know I'm going to be rereading this as a feel-good book at some point.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK SO FAR - For the sake of not repeating books (because look at the cover for THE NAMES THEY GAVE US), I'm going to say A LIST OF CAGES. It's not a spectacular cover (by my standards) when you first look at it, but when you read the book and really start to understand what it I seem to have been stabbed in the heart, as it's the only explanation for the pain I'm feeling.

Have you done this tag? Are you going to? What's your favorite book of the year been so far? Tell me in the comments!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Favorite Book Covers

We all say "don't judge a book by its cover"...but we all do a little bit. Some of us more than others, but I don't think I've ever met a reader who isn't at least a little put off by a horrible cover.

I'm one of those people who isn't hugely swayed by covers. I've definitely never bought a book entirely because of its cover, and there are plenty of covers that I just have no reaction whatsoever to, but there are some covers that are so great that they make even me react. So I wanted to do a post dedicated to those! Because we all deserve to take some time to stare at gorgeous things.

I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson: The computer screen really doesn't really do justice to this one. When I read it, I swear I spent so much time just staring at the cover every time I went to open the book.

TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray: This whole trilogy has such amazing covers! This one's my favorite, though. I love the colors, and the Eiffel Tower and the Golden Gate Bridge.

THE MARVELS by Brian Selznick: I love all of the little details on this one! The whole book is beautiful, with all the illustrations inside, but the cover is one of my favorites.

THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord: I didn't fully appreciate this one until after I'd read the book. The colors were always beautiful, but the tree got an extra meaning after reading, and that made the whole cover even more gorgeous.

LIKE A RIVER GLORIOUS by Rae Carson: Another trilogy with absolutely gorgeous covers! The gold accents on this one are so perfect. And the color of the sky, and the reflections in the water, and the the font, and just everything!

How influenced are you by book covers? What are some of your favorites? How about some of your least favorites? Tell me in the comments!