Bookworm Quirks: Books I Want to Read, but Do Not Want to Write

Books I Want to Read But Do Not Want to Write

There are several versions of quotes with the same message: If you can’t find the book you want to read, go write it.

And all around the world, there are resounding cries of “But I don’t wanna!” from readers that don’t like to write, aren’t good at it, or have no idea where to start.

Here are the books I would love to read but don’t want to write for a variety of reasons.

More Diverse Books

As a straight white blonde, it’s pretty easy for me to relate to 90% of YA protagonists, especially in the contemporary romance genre. But even I’m getting sick a bajillion ‘me’s! Give me more skin tones, shapes, sizes, orientations, lifestyles, interests, hobbies, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, plot lines! We aren’t all the same, so why do so many books tell the story of the same five girls? I don’t feel like it’s my place to write these stories, to use these voices for myself, so PLEASE tell me about your favorite diverse authors so I can support them and their voices!

Pirates Please!

Will I ever get sick of pirate stories? No. Never. But that is so much research and any research-heavy material scares me (I really hate feeling dumb and wrong, y’all.) so I shy away. I might get the courage to write a pirate book one day, but who knows? Certainly not me.

Mermaids!!

Same goes for mermaids! While there’s less reSEArch (get it?! Sea! Mermaids!) and more world-building, the same fears apply. Send me fun mermaid recs!

Books with Fun Hobbies

My favorites in the category are The Language of Flowers and A Vintage Affair. Any book that makes me want to learn more about an interest of the character’s is probably going to be a favorite. Give me the party planners, the florists, the photographers, the fashion designers, the actors, everything! Every creative endeavor. Just hook a girl up.

Sound off in the comments: What books do you want to read but not write? Do we have any in common? Do you have any recommendations to fill these voids on my shelf? Let me know!

Signature

Advertisements

Bookworm Quirks: Books are Confusing, or, Why I Need a Book Club All the Time

Books Are Confusing.png

For one semester in college, I was in a book club. It was new, and I was transferring. It was one of the best book experiences in my life. We only read two or three books, but I realized I knew so much more about books than I had thought. When people were there to discuss aspects of a novel, there were theories and concepts in my mind just waiting to come out. And I understood the books I read so clearly.

Recently, I’ve been reading or rereading a lot of books that I really want to discuss with a group. From the super diverse If You Could Be Mine to the slow moving but intense The Miniaturist, I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about books by just reading and writing reviews. But it’s hard, y’all! There’s less back and forth, more waiting. And it was so nice to see ‘Book Club!’ in my planner.

On the other hand, I’m a speed reader. And waiting on others to finish a book just makes me feel sluggish. Or I’m in a reading slump and haven’t touched a book in over a month. So it’s struggle either way, I suppose. But who wouldn’t prefer to struggle with a group of like-minded bookworms rather than alone?

What do you think about book clubs? What books have you read recently that you needed to discuss? Sound off in the comments!

Signature

Bookworm Quirks: Crying Over Spilled Ink, or, How Books Emotionally Manipulate Me

Crying Over Spilled Ink

Many bookworms know the struggle of ‘the feels’, when a book makes you feel a lot of emotions, typically unhappy ones. Being a Highly Sensitive Person, I’m very subjective to emotional manipulation. So being a reader is a tough gig.

Some books are about tragic things, such as The Fault in Our Stars. Others hit me in ways they shouldn’t, like Off the Page and Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. Others have intense scenes that have gorgeous wording or imagery, as seen in Just Listen and Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen.

In TFiOS, characters meet because of their poor health. From page one, we know this can only end in tears. In my case, when I read it in one sitting in the back of a car on a road trip, I had nine separate sobbing sessions. It hurt. You know in Shakespeare in Love, how Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet to prove love could be portrayed on the stage? It felt like John Green wrote TFiOS to prove it would be accurately written. While Green is known for writing pretentious teenagers, these felt real. Like I could have known them from school or seen them at the movies. And that makes the ending hit so much harder. Anyone can get sick. Even people you know.

Have you ever seen that tumblr post that begs someone to write a novel where the main character falls in love with the reader? It’s already happened. Jodi Picoult teamed up with her daughter, Samantha Van Leer to create a duology about a prince stuck in a fairy tale and the reader who wants to help him escape. The second book deals with the falling out of their efforts. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it hit me so hard. I’m in a long distance relationship in which we only get to see each other once or twice a year. I was reading these books near the end of a visit to see him, and many of the feelings I was struggling with were reflected in the novel. I was crying and sobbing while he held me close, begging me to stop reading if I was so upset. But if I read it when he wasn’t there, who would comfort me? I still haven’t been able to reread the books since, even though they are among my all time favorites.

Sarah Dessen is the QUEEN of YA romance. She creates characters that feel real but don’t seem ordinary. And in Keeping the Moon, she tore at issues I’ve long fought with. Colie was a bigger girl that was laughed at, made fun of, and bullied terribly. She lost weight when her mom became a fitness guru, but still felt like that girl everyone was judging. I felt like Sarah Dessen was writing about me, but the sad reality is that many girls feel this way. In Just Listen, the main character has to get past her assumptions and judgements to find where her life is taking her after a huge life change. She feels like her world is ending, but in the grand scheme of things, they aren’t. I am so bad at that! Every tiny setback sends me spiraling, and I also have to learn the importance of this quote: “Don’t think, don’t judge. Just listen.”

All of these books broke and fixed and broke my heart. Among SO MANY MORE. So tell me: what books did you cry over? Why? Did you have similar reactions to these books? Sound off in the comments!

Signature

Bookworm Quirks: Kinds of Love I Love, or, Relationships I Love to Read About

Kinds of Love I Love

Most books are about romance of some kind. I’m not complaining about it because I’ve always been in love with love. But as anyone who has to constantly defend their adoration of Valentine’s Day will tell you, there are several kinds of love and they all deserve to be written about!! Here are my favorites and a few books that fulfill that need.

Family Love

My Life Next Door

There are few things I love more than a well-written family that gets along. You know when you watched Easy A for the first time and could not stop laughing at Olive’s amazing parents and brother? They are so fun! Who wouldn’t want a family like that? Well, that’s the feeling I’m always searching for when I pick up a new book. Thankfully, My Life Next Door hits the spot. The Garretts are so real and loving. It shows that families don’t always have to get along to be amazing, and that love is what makes life worthwhile. There’s love overflowing between these characters, and it’s such a delight to read about them.

Sibling Love

15749186

Related to Family Love (HA! Get it? Related. They’re siblings and family!), Sibling Love is all about the brothers and sisters that would do anything for each other. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is gorgeous in so many ways, but especially in the ways Lara Jean interacts with her sisters. There’s so much love without it feeling forced or fake. I’m so here for it!

Friendship Love

Keeping the Moon

THIS IS MY FAVORITE KIND. I LOVE FRIENDS. There are so many books I could use for this, but Keeping the Moon really satisfied everything I look for in a story about friendship. It had the struggle of wanting to support a friend who keeps making decisions that are TERRIBLE for them, trying to fit in when you don’t know who you are, and allowing others to show you your best traits. I just love friendship SO MUCH, y’all.

Self-Love

Keeping the Moon

Keeping the Moon also deals a lot with something I’m so glad to see emerging into the YA scene: self-love. Dumplin is also very much about loving yourself, but I haven’t read it yet (I know, I’m terrible!). Colie recently lost forty pounds when her mom because an international fitness guru, but she still sees herself as the fat girl at the dance everyone laughed at. But through breaking down her walls and making new friends, she learns that she is strong, no matter her size. YES, PLEASE!

What are the kinds of love you love reading about? Do you have any book suggestions? Sound off in the comments!

Signature

Bookworm Quirks: 2016 PopSugar Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge

During 2015, I competed against my sister in the 2015 PopSugar Reading Challenge, and it was so much fun! The loser had to buy the winner a book, so it was a great incentive. I had tons more time to read then, so I finished pretty quickly. We allowed each other to use one book for multiple categories (Ethan Frome, for example, was my choice for a book I should have read in high school, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and a book I could finish in a day). I finished in March with 28 books, which ended up being most of the reading I did last year. Boo!

So this year I’m finishing the challenge alone because evidently new moms have less time? That’s cool too I guess. Here are the books I’m planning on using, though they will probably change by the time I finish.

Based on a fairy tale: Cinder

National Book Award winner: Challenger Deep 

YA best seller: Eleanor and Park

Haven’t read since high school: Book Thief

Set in home state: Isaac’s Storm

Translated to English: Anna Karenina 

Set in future: Fahrenheit 451

Under 150 pages: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

NYT Best Seller: Eleanor and Park

Becoming a movie this year: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Recommended by someone just met: TBD

Self-Improvement book: Skankology

Can finish in a day:  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Written by a celebrity: Why Not Me?

Political Memoir: Why Not Me?

At least 100 years older than me: Anna Karenina

600+ pages: A Song of Ice and Fire

Oprah’s book club: Anna Karenina

Sci-Fi: Fahrenheit 451

Recommended by family member: TBD

Graphic Novel: Sorcerers and Secretaries, Vol 2

Published in 2016: The Siren

Protagonist with your occupation: The Wedding Planner’s Daughter

Takes place during summer: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Book and its prequel: Second Position/Turning Pointe 

Murder Mystery: Dear Killer

Written by a comedian: Why Not Me?

Dystopian: Cinder

Blue cover: Challenger Deep

Poetry: Chasers of the Light

First book seen in a bookstore: TBD

20th century classic: Fahrenheit 451

Book from library: Anna Karenina or Challenger Deep

Autobiography: Why Not Me?

Road trip: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Culture unfamiliar to me: Why Not Me? or Anna Karenina

Satire: Skankology

Island setting: Bright Young Things

Guaranteed to bring you joy: TBD

Some of these are a bit of a stretch, like Skankology being a self-help book, or Bright Young Things being an ‘island setting’. Manhattan counts, right?

Sound off in the comments: Are you doing this challenge? What books are you using? Do you have any suggestions for me? Let me know!

Signature

Bookworm Quirks: Summary Keywords, or, How to Get Me to Read Your Book (in Ten Words or Less)

Summary Keywords

We all have those certain words that catch our eye when skimming a synopsis. Chances are, the moment you see these key words, your chances of buying/reading that book go up at least double. Here are a few of mine:

Tudor/Anne Boleyn/Henry VIII/court

I love these, you guys. I have so many books about this time period and I will NEVER HAVE ENOUGH. So fascinating!!

Coffee shop/Library/Bookstore

If a significant part of your book takes place in any of these locations, sign me up right now. These are also my favorite fanfic AUs, by the way. Obviously.

Perspectives

I LOVE BOOKS WITH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES. Tease was from the bully’s POV, A Little Something Different was from FOURTEEN different viewpoints, none of which were the actual couple. Almost every Ellen Hopkins book has multiple perspectives. I love these so much!

Artist/Writer/Creative occupations or hobbies

I love seeing characters that pursue their dreams! A Mad, Wicked Folly followed a young female artist that just wanted to learn, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares featured two people that loved words, and don’t even get me started on characters that act. I love seeing this because it inspires me to do the things I love and these characters foster creativity in younger minds.

Pirate

I LOVE PIRATES. Captain Hook is one of those characters I will always want to read adaptations of, and I need more YA with female pirates. GET ON IT, AUTHORS!!

Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice or Peter Pan

Who doesn’t want to read new versions of their favorite stories?

Sound off in the comments: What are your keywords? Do we have any in common? Let me know!

Signature

Bookworm Quirks: Deal Breakers, or, How to Make Sure I Don’t Finish Your Book

Deal Breakers

Hey y’all! Today I want to talk about things that make me put books in my DNF pile. We all have them, and for some of us, they’re more important than our keywords.

Unnecessary Love Triangles/Instalove

Don’t we all hate these? No one reads a book and thinks, “Yeah, this plot is fast-paced, great dialogue, believable characters. But you know what would make me love it more? If the main character fell in love at first sight with TWO people, and then had to pick between them over the course of three books/four movies!” I have a lot of bones to pick with Divergent, but at least there wasn’t some dumb third party getting between Tris and Four.

Inappropriate treatment of rape/abuse/assault/harassment/stalking/etc

These are huge problems today, and it drives me up the wall when writers act like it’s either no big deal or romantic (Twilight and 50 Shades, I’m looking at you). Readers are impressionable, especially at the MG/YA stage, and these kinds of books are so so bad for society. Just…ugh. If I was dumb enough to be pro-banning books, I’d be looking at those.

Books that are prejudiced/anti-feminist

This is totally a preference one for me, because I can’t stand a book that doesn’t empower people to be who they are and make wise decisions. In The Infinite Moment of Us bu Lauren Myracle, she romanticizes condomless sex (!!!), there’s the stereotypical crazy ex-girlfriend, and one character tells the main guy that women like men to take charge in the bedroom. While it’s believable for her character to say that, I feel like Myracle should be more aware of her audience of young girls and should at the very least discuss the dangers of condomless sex in her author’s note or provide a list of further reading. I don’t know, it really irked me and I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from her books.

Books written by men that can’t write a convincing woman to save their lives/reduce all female characters to static

I’m looking at you, Andrew Smith. #WingerForWorstBookEver2k15

Building Suspense Out of Lack of Information

I was really excited about Maze Runner, and I (stupidly) bought the whole series when it was on sale on Amazon. DUMB. After the first book, I took the whole set and put them up for sale at my sister’s bookstore. The whole book relies on suspense that is only gained by withholding information for the sake of suspense. Here’s a sample:

Thomas: Who are you?
Everyone else: Not telling.
Thomas: Where are we?
Everyone else: Not telling.
Thomas: What do these words you all keep saying mean?? What’s a greenie?!
Everyone else: Not telling, greenie.

IT’S SO FRUSTRATING. It’s lazy storytelling at its best. It’s one of the few cases of the movie being better than the book, and I fell asleep for about twenty minutes (Not from lack of interest, the theater had those super comfy recliner couch things and I hadn’t had a nap).

Inconsistency/Plot Holes

I hate when authors ignore established facts for the sake of plot. Is it that hard to go back and reread your books before you start the next one?

Those are a few of my reading deal breakers. What are yours? Do we have any in common? Are any of these things that you love to read? Let me know in the comments!

Signature