What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

Hello there! Once again I’ve slacked off again, but I promise that Amanda’s Nose in a Book will be back in full force for the month of May (I even made myself a schedule of what I would like to tentatively post each day for the next couple of weeks— believe me, there is a lot!)

What I am Reading:

I haven’t read any further in We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (I know– bad book blogger) but I am loving the heck out of Cress right now!

 

What I am Writing:

I am still working on my novel— little by little and am ordering a new computer here pretty soon– which means I should be able to work on  my novel and on my blog at home!!! Yay!

What I’m Up To:

I just signed up to do a craft show in June here in town. I haven’t done one since last December, so I figured that it was time to get back into it and make things to sell during that show. I’ve been making cute little owls pretty much non-stop and I am going to be working on turtles here pretty soon as well!

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What I'm Reading and Writing Wednesday!

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

Let’s start with what I’m up to, shall we? I officially suck at blogging this month, and at the A-Z challenge (oh yeah and at Camp NaNoWriMo too). In the beginning of the month I went to visit my friend Tracy, which was wonderful and much needed. The day I was to travel home, I received a call saying that there was a death in the family. Needless to say, the whole next week was preparing for services and the services themselves. The week after, my desktop at home decided to shit the bed. Therefore, I haven’t had much opportunity to blog or even work on my Camp NaNo novel.

tumblr_m2zbcakAp71qf9d9no1_r3_500What I’m Reading…

Since I last updated, I’ve read the following books…

I will hopefully be reviewing each of these books within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have time to use a computer for long enough to keep you posted until I can buy a new laptop or get a new processor for my old desktop.

I am currently reading:

 

I am still reading We Are Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. It is a very good book so far, but it is so different from what I usually read that it is taking me longer than usual to read it. I am also reading Cress by Marissa Meyer because I just couldn’t wait any longer and I bought it for my e-reader. I also recieved a copy of Brooklyn Skye’s new YA release, Fragile Line which I will hopefully be reading very soon as well.

What I’m Writing:

I am still plugging away at the revisions of my novel. I realized not long after beginning Camp NaNoWriMo that my book needed a lot of work. So I have been trying to keep what was good or decent, develop those things, and go with that. Eek. This not having a computer to use at home thing is driving me batty though, so hopefully I can do something about it soon.

 

What are you reading this week?

A-Z Challenge Day 12 (L)- Libraries

LOne of the coolest things about my town is the Oswego City Public Library.

It was built in 1855 and funded entirely by local abolitionist Gerrit Smith. One of Smith’s conditions in funding the library was that no one be shut out on account of their race, complexion, or condition.

I found these incredible old photographs on the library of Congress website and couldn’t wait to share them with all of you!

My local library has been aptly nicknamed “The Castle on the Hill” and a couple of years ago underwent an incredible transformation and addition that included conference, study, and classrooms as well as a larger computer center for both teens and adults.

Here are some current photos of the library that are the same rooms as those pictured above!

The outside front of the library as seen today (far left). The plaque on the outside reads “Founded by Gerrit Smith 1855.” Pretty amazing, huh? This library pre-dates the automobile!

The photo in the center is the main room of the downstairs portion of the library, it is the same room as seen in the photographs above, just from the other side of the room.

The photo on the right hand side is what I have always referred to as “The Forbidden Staircase” it is so beautiful and so off-limits. The sign and chain that blocks you from going up the stairs has been there for as long as I can remember.

photoBut who wouldn’t want to go up there and hide at the top with a book and read for hours on end? I know I would.

Now it leads to a back entrance to the children’s room upstairs.

What is your local library like (or your favorite library)? I would love to see photos!

Learn more about the Oswego City Library

A-Z Challenge Day 10 (J)- Jury's Out

JSometimes I read a book and I’m really not sure how I feel about it. These books have equal parts good and bad things about them and I’m just not sure whether I like it, or not. This has been the case a couple of times this past year where I finish a book and think “eh.”

As a book blogger I am supposed to have an opinion about the books I read, whether it’s a good opinion or a bad one. Some just fall in between. For me, there’s nothing worse than mixed feelings or even feeling indifferent about a book that I read.

While I am no longer rating books on my blog, I do rate them for my own personal use. For me, if the jury’s our about a particular book or series, I have a hard time rating them. If a book isn’t really good and kind of falls down the middle of the road, would you rate it a 2 or a 3? Who knows. This is one the reasons I can’t bring myself to give books a star rating anymore.

I blame some of this indifference to some of the books that I read on the hype that circles around said book. When everyone tells you how good a book is and you don’t feel even remotely the love that they did for it, how exactly do you explain your feelings when it was neither amazing, good, nor bad?

What are some books or series that made you feel this way?

A-Z Challenge Day 9 (I)- Indie Bookstores

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There is something to be said about walking into a bookstore and being able to see all of the adventures set out ahead of you, ready to take you anywhere you want to (or don’t want to) go. While many people go to the big, corporate bookstores, independent bookstores are where I feel the most at home.

I am lucky to live in (and to have grown up in) a small community that has our very own independent bookstore, The River’s End Bookstore. While this bookstore may be smaller than some that you are used to, it is full of books of all genres and booksellers who are always willing to help you out. I prefer to go to this bookstore over Barnes and Noble (even though I do love that store) or shopping at Amazon. Why? It’s a part of the community I live in. My neighbors work there. Shopping there helps my community.

Watch a video about The River’s End Bookstore

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Did you know that if you “Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43” (www.indiebound.org)

While that might not seem like a whole hell of a lot, any bit that helps your local community is good. And with so many options to shop at national chains, we should seek out the options closer to home.

One thing I love about my local bookstore is the selection that they offer.  I can find pretty much everything and anything I would ever want there there is a large selection of books for people of all ages. And if a book is not in stock, all I have to do is ask them to order me a copy. During my last visit I saw a display about gardening and vegetable gardening (which I will probably pick up a book about very soon) and a whole section on crafts and DIY (which is always fun to browse).

Find an independent bookstore near you at www.indiebound.org

Learn a little bit more about The River’s End Bookstore

Read my Ode to my Favorite Bookstore

What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday!

whatimreadingandwritingwednesday

Hey everyone! April has been an incredibly busy month for me thus far, so other than my A-Z challenge posts, I haven’t been able to blog much due to Camp NaNoWriMo, traveling, and life in general.

What I’m Reading…

Last week I read Divergent to prepare for seeing the movie. I also just finished reading Nameless (A Tale of Beauty and Madness #)1 by Lili St. Crow, which I haven’t been able to review yet, but I should hopefully have time to post a review soon.

This week I am reading two books as well, even thought it will probably get me even longer than usual to get through both. I am re-reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth, because I am determined to read Allegiant at the end of this month or beginning of next. I am also reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, although I am only 4 chapters in, so I don’t really know what it’s about.

What I’m Writing…

I am busy now writing next week’s A-Z Challenge posts (and am loving reading everyone’s posts) and I am still plugging along at Camp NaNoWriMo. I am quite behind in my word count but I’m counting on the NaNo Thon this Saturday to catch me up WC wise. I am also trying to write more than my 1k goal per day, but that has been difficult… because life.

Stay tuned for a Camp NaNoWriMo post coming very soon!

What I’m Up To…

Last week I took a train to Poughkeepsie, NY to visit my friend Tracy for a couple of days. We spent quite a few hours in their beautiful Barnes and Noble chatting, writing, and browsing through books, went to see a play/musical version of The Great Gatsby at a high school she substitute teaches at, went to Albany to see Captain America and Divergent, tried to write as much as we could, and had some adventures.

I hope that you all have a happy week of reading and writing!!!

A-Z Challenge Day 8 (H)- Habits

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Like most people, my reading habits change drastically over time. I go through periods where I only want to read one genre or books by a certain author or authors, and go through periods where I don’t read anything at all.

In the past couple of years my reading habits have developed quite a bit. I used to fly through books and read them without much attention to detail or theme. I think that going to school for Secondary Education with a concentration in ELA and Literacy Education have made me look at my reading choices quite differently. It also taught me to look a little deeper at my reading habits and quirks.

Good Habits-

1. Setting reading goals for myself-— I have a goal to read 50 books this year. While that might not seem like a lot to some of you, with my busy life reading one book a week is just about what I need to keep myself sane. That and I wanted to cut out some writing time for myself.

2. Noticing when I am ignoring a genre– As I talked about in a previous post, I really am out of the loop when it comes to YA contemporary lit. So I have made a goal for the rest of the year to read 8 YA contemporary books. Will this catch me up completely? No, but it will help me branch out.

Bad Habits-

1. Sticking to a couple of genres– I typically read a lot of fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi and a lot of other genres go ignored. I also read mostly YA, so I am not up-to-date with a lot of adult books (which is another thing that I am working on).

2. Reading more than one book at a time– Some people can do this. I really shouldn’t. Usually I end up forgetting about one of the books and it lays on my desk or nightstand half-read until I remember that it’s there. Usually by then I have to re-read the whole thing. I currently have 3 half-read books on my nightstand that I have to read all over again.

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(The three books that were on my night stand. Two of which I was most of the way through before I got scatterbrained and forgot all about them, the other I lost the marker for).

A-Z Challenge Day 7 (G)- Genre

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I have heard Young Adult literature classified as a genre, which couldn’t be more wrong. Young Adult, like middle grade, or even adult literature signifies the audience for which the book is intended. As I have found, many books intended for YA, MG, or adults are considered to be cross over books, which means they appeal to people in many different age groups.

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Genre is classified as the category or kind of story a book falls in to. For example, I am currently reading a lot of paranormal, science fiction, dystopian, and fantasy books.

As a reader and book blogger, I find myself circling a couple of genres for a while before I get tired of the tropes and stories in that particular genre and move onto another one. This is something that I have been working on. I am trying to get out of my comfort zone and expose myself to other genres.

As I noted in my Contemporary YA lit post, I am really far behind in reading books in this genre. I have made a goal to read 8 contemporary books (one each month- either YA or adult) in this genre for the rest of 2014. I would also like to read at least 2 classics that I haven’t yet read this year. This is in the hopes to expose myself to books that I may not typically pick up on my own.

One genre that I try to stay away from is Chick Lit. While I am not bashing it by any means, and some of it is very good, it just isn’t my style. I am really not into reading about shopping or reading romance novels because those really aren’t things I am interested in in my actual life.

I would love to know your thoughts:

What genres do you typically find yourself reading? Do you think that you read a good mix of different genres?

Is there a genre that you try to stay away from?

 

A-Z Challenge Day 6 (F)- Fangirl

FLadies and gentleman, I am unashamed to admit that I am in fact, a fangirl.

And one of the things I have learned through my research on this topic is that fangirl has a very negative connotation. Fangirls are thought of as ditzy and shallow and generally very obsessive. See the definitions from dictionary.com and Urban Dictionary below.

Definition 1- from www.dictionary.com

Fan·girl [fan-gurl]- noun Informal: Often Disparaging.

“an obsessive female fan, especially of something technological or from popular culture.”

Definition 2- from www.urbandictionary.com

“(playful, good-natured) less extreme, a female fan who can laugh at their own passion for their particular interest (or even obsession).”

While I know that sometimes fangirls are borderline crazy obsessive, I see myself as falling into the second definition. I don’t run around screaming that I want to have a particular actor/singer/whatever’s babies. I (and many other fangirls/fanboys I know) just want to talk about the things in pop culture that I love.

What exactly do I fangirl over? Why, books of course!!! What else would I have a fangirl moment about?!?

Well other than Doctor Who or Supernatural. Because yeah…

I think that books are an okay thing to fangirl or obsess over to an extent. Books encourage creativity and urge you to think. So even the fangirls who write fanfiction are inspired by the books they read and want to continue their own story in their own way.

Very few books make me feel like this…

SPNfangirlingBut some of them do. I like being so excited about a book, series, or author that I can talk about them with other people who feel the same way I do. Why do you think I started Amanda’s Nose in a Book? I don’t see my form of fangirling as a negative thing at all.

I have fangirled over:

  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Harry Potter (books and movies)
  • The Hunger Games (books and movies)
  • The Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series

And that is just because they are excellent stories with characters that I love that I can escape in or relate to in one form or another.

Maybe we should give the fangirls a break. At least the ones who are simply passionate about the things that they love and who can laugh at themselves because of thier passions/obsessions. The other ones are hopefully 12 years old and will someday grow out of it.

What makes you a fangirl or a fanboy? Do you think of it as a positive thing?

A-Z Challenge Day 5 (E)- E-readers vs. Books

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To me, nothing beats an actual book. I love the smell, the feel of the pages, the perusing through bookstores looking for the perfect book. Nothing makes me happier than looking at my bookshelves and seeing them all lined up, my own personal library.

However, I also use an e-reader. While it doesn’t have the same feel, it makes it much easier to share and borrow books with friends who are far away and I also have better access to self-published titles. The only time I prefer my e-reader to a physical copy of a book is when I am traveling. I can have all of my books right in the same place and not take up half of my duffel bag or suitcase with books.

I have heard plenty of people (not book bloggers or booktubers) say that someday books and bookstores will become obsolete because of e-readers and sites like Amazon. I don’t think that will ever happen. Each platform (physical copy or digital copy) has it’s own appeal and while some prefer one over the other, most people I know use both.

I feel (and hope) that as long as people are reading, that both will thrive.

Do you prefer e-readers or books? Do you use both?