The Liebster Blog Award

liebsterblogaward_zps086b9333 In the past couple of weeks I have been nominated for 3 Liebster Blog Awards by  Brin’s Book Blog, A World of Books, and Katarina the Cat. I would like to thank all of these wonderful bloggers, for thinking of and nominating me. I am so glad that you enjoy my blog.

The Liebster Blog Award is typically given to blogs that have fewer than 300 followers and is an opportunity for people to learn a little bit more about these blogs. So here it goes 🙂

Here are the rules:

  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you.
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers. You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!

11 Facts About Me:

  1.  I am in my mid (almost late– ick) twenties, but I still enjoy reading and writing YA.
  2. I went to college to be an English teacher and then went back for my masters in Literacy Education, but with the direction teaching is taking in this neck of the woods, I have decided to use my degree in other ways.
  3. I am currently working on the second draft of my first completed novel. It’s going slowly, but I am so happy and proud of myself for making it this far.
  4. I love to crochet (kind of like how an old lady crochets, actually). I sell the things that I make at craft shows and such during craft show seasons, but right now am just making things for myself, my friends, and family.
  5. I live in a town where it snows from November (sometimes late Oct) through March (sometimes into April). But our springs, summers, and autumns (while they might seem incredibly short) are beautiful.
  6. The first book that I can honestly say I fell in love with is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  7. I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy the geeky things in life. I am a huge Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Supernatural, and SG1 fan (among others).
  8. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years. For the past two, we have been renovating and fixing up the house we live in. It’s been an adventure for sure.
  9. I am hoping to take up gardening as a new hobby this summer and hope to start planting seeds (indoors of course— it’s still winter here) very soon.
  10. My biggest dream is to be a successful, published author who writes for both teenagers and adults.
  11. I am addicted to Cadbury Mini-Eggs.

11 Questions from Brin (in blue) with my answers:

  1. Why did you start blogging? — I began blogging as a way to talk to other people about one of my favorite things, books and meet people/make friends based on common interests. I had a personal Livejournal way back in the day (highschool and college) but I thought it would be very fun to blog about one of my passions in life.
  2. What would your superhero power be?— I suck at this question!!!
  3. Who would you like to play you in a movie about your life?— Scarlett Johansson because she is an amazingly talented actress and she is incredibly gorgeous. She and I look nothing alike (except for when she has curly, red hair in some of her films) but I would like for her to play me.
  4. What is your favourite book?– I have so many favorite books, but The Book Thief by Markus Zusak takes the cake. It has such a unique perspective, has characters that you can genuinely care about, and is beautifully written.
  5. Who is your fictional hero?— In books, Hermione Granger. She is brilliant. In television, The Doctor.
  6. Who is your favourite band/singer?— My favorite band is Coheed and Cambria. I have seen them three times in concert and they are simply amazing. My favorite singer is Jason Mraz. While I prefer his older music, I think he is a super talented musician and a wonderful human being. That and his voice makes me melt into a puddle of Amanda on the floor.
  7. Have you ever done something really daring (like sky-diving, bungee-jumping etc.)? Unfortunately, no. I’m really not that exciting. I would if ever presented with the opportunity (if it was safe, of course).
  8. What is your favourite television series?— I have a lot of tv shows that I love. My favorites would have to be Doctor Who, Haven, and The Vampire Diaries.
  9. What is your biggest pet peeve?— Bookish?? When people don’t return books that I have lent them. General??? When people leave their dirty dishes all over the house.
  10. What is your favourite colour?— Purple and teal. They are just so beautiful and relaxing and come in so many shades.
  11. Do you have a celebrity crush?— Of course I do!  David Tennant is one of them, but I also love Rupert Grint and Ian Somerhalder. Oh yeah, and Jensen Ackles… the list is quite long, actually

Questions from BookGeeking at A World of Books (in purple) with my answers:

  1. What fictional character would you most like to meet? From books, I would love to meet Atticus Finch or Minerva McGonagall, I’d like to have a drink with those two. From movies or tv, The Doctor and River Song.
  2. What is your favorite fantasy race to read about? Or if you don’t read fantasy, which race do you like the idea of least? I love reading about elves, faeries, ghosts, etc. I read a lot of paranormal-type books, so usually the ones that are included in those.
  3. What is your favorite kind of music and which artist is your favorite? My taste in music is pretty much all over the place. My favorite band is Coheed and Cambria and my favorite singer is Jason Mraz.
  4. Do you have any book geeky friends you can chat to, or is that one of the joys of blogging for you? I have a couple of book geeky friends that I can chat with. My friend Tracy is my favorite person to get all geeky about books with. I am going to visit her in a couple of weeks and we are planning a weekend full of book geekery. That is also one of the joys of blogging for me, though. You can never have too many book geeky friends.
  5. What is your dream job? My dream job would be to write novels for a living.
  6. If it was possible to survive without food, as in it was only a luxury, if you had to give up food or books, which would you give up? If I didn’t need food, I would totally choose books. They are just as much a necessity in my life as food is.
  7. When rereading a favorite book of yours, is there any part you skip over because e you don’t like it or find it boring? Not usually. I might quickly skim through some sections, but I try not to skip them altogether.
  8. Which book was the one that made you find the magic of reading? I’ve always loved to read, but Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone did me in for life.
  9. If you could have an animal (real or fictional) as a pet, which one would it be? I would love a giraffe for a pet, or an elephant that got no bigger than a puppy, or a hippogriff… I would like all three, I can’t just choose one.
  10. Which book that is not one you usually read are you wanting to read, or have read recently? I don’t read much contemporary YA, but I really want to read Anna and the French Kiss.
  11. I am running out of ideas, sorry. Coffee or tea? Both!!!

Questions from Katarina the Kat (in red) with my answers:

  1. How long have you been blogging for? I have been blogging at  Amanda’s Nose in a Book since June of 2013, but I had a personal blog for years before that.
  2. Do you use a schedule when blogging or is all completely random? I try to use a schedule. I try to post at least 5 days a week, but sometimes I will miss a day here and there.
  3. What are your goals this year? (Bookish and non-bookish) I would like to read 50 books this year and I want to finish the revisions on my NaNoWriMo novel.
  4. Had you heard of this award before now? I head of the Liebster Award when another blogger friend of mine nominated me a couple of weeks ago. Before then I had never heard of it!
  5. What book has made the biggest impact on your life? This is a hard question. I think that the Harry Potter series has really made a huge impact on my life. It made me want to read more book series and made my imagination go wild. It also made me want to write books for teenagers and adults!
  6. Do you think that the social media side of things is an important part of blogging? I have a facebook page for my blog (that I don’t use much anymore, even though I should) and a twitter account that I use for both blogging and personal things. I think it’s an important way to help you get your stuff out there and is a great way to meet new people and bloggers!
  7. How long does it usually take you to read a book? Depends on the length of the book and how much free time I have. Sometimes I can read a book in one sitting, sometimes it takes multiple days.
  8. What is/was your favourite subject in High School? English, journalism, and Spanish.
  9. Do you have any pets? I have a (nearly) 10 year old parakeet. She’s an interesting character, that’s for sure.
  10. Is there a snack or drink that you like to have while you’re reading? I love hot tea or cocoa in the winter and cold tea or lemonade in the summer.
  11. What is your favourite type of post to write? Right now, I really love writing posts (reviews or discussions about bookish topics) that people respond to and start a conversation with me over. Some kinds of posts are stuffy and people don’t respond well too… I’ve been trying to steer away from those lately.

11 Questions for my fellow bloggers:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is the first book you can honestly say that you fell in love with?
  3. Other than reading and blogging, what are your hobbies?
  4. What are your guilty pleasures (books/tv shows/movies)?
  5. If you could switch places with any fictional character, who would you choose?
  6. Do you have any other blogs? If so, what do you blog about? If not, what would you blog about if you had another one?
  7. What are your top 3 favorite television shows of all time?
  8. If you won a free vacation to any place of your choosing, where would you go?
  9. If you could only bring 3 books with you on that vacation, which ones would you choose?
  10. Who is your favorite band or singer?
  11. Why do you think they want us to ask an odd number of questions?

I nominate:

Ode to Jo and Katniss

Lilajune

Luna’s Little Library

whY.A.not?

Nadia Reads

The Book Lovers

Overflowing Bookshelves

Hot Tea and a Good Book

Catch Kelly’s Fancy

What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesdayHey friends! Last week I read Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (and loved it) and Paper Towns by John Green. Click on the titles to be brought to my reviews and book discussions!

So what am I reading this week?

delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. This was the first book I plucked out of my TBR jar. I have had this book on my Nook for a while, so I figured I should probably see what it is all about (especially since I also have the other two book on there just waiting for me). So far, so good though. It’s an interesting idea for a dystopian society and I am interested to see what Oliver does with it.

maradyer

If I finish Delirium within the next few days, I really want to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Writing-wise…

I decided that I am going to do Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so instead of writing more of the second draft of my novel, I will be going back and re-re-reading the whole darn thing, taking even more notes, and organizing myself on Scrivener. I will continue writing my second draft during Camp NaNo, but I want to make the best use of my time (and I know how hard it can be) so doing some spring cleaning on my novel before April and looking at it with a new perspective and fresh eyes will help me have an even better 2nd draft.

I am also drafting up some posts for the A-Z challenge (which is also in April). Two writing challenges in April ?!?! My mind might explode with words, but I’m quite excited for both.

What are you reading this week?

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books on our Spring TBR Lists. As I spoke about last week, I am on a book buying ban. So, some of these books may be difficult to get. Others I already have and have had for a while. But I’m hoping with the help of my library and friends who are nice enough to let me borrow their precious books, I will be able to read them.

Anywho, here it goes.

Books I already own:

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

2. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michele Hodkin

Books I need to find (somehow):

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare (will be released May 27th)

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Alice in Zombieland by Gina Showalter

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Ten Influential Books Tag!

I saw this tag earlier today on Youtube when I watched Katytastic‘s latest video.

The rules are to pick 10 books that have most influenced your life without giving it much thought. I immediately knew most of the books that would make it on my list. The problem is that when I went to go pull these books from my shelves, about half of them were missing because I have lent them out to people, but here are the first half.
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1. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit- This book was pretty much the first book that I read for school and absolutely loved.

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry- This was my first taste of dystopian literature and the first time I felt like I couldn’t get enough of a book.

3. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster- Silly fun that I could read over and over again and still be amazed, learn lessons from and be surprised by.

4. Monster by Walter Dean Myers- See how worn this book is? It’s beat to hell (which I hate my books to look like). What’s the reason? I read this book during my first student teaching placement with my 9th graders. Not only is it a great book by an amazing author, it holds many positive memories for me. I only wish I could teach students and feel that way again.

5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson- I found this copy years after I graduated from school and discovered I had never returned it (oops). This book was one of the first books that I read  for young adults that made me want to  write for teenagers.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling- The whole series is influential to me, but the first book is what introduced me to Harry’s world and where I fell in love with it.

And for the books that were never returned

(but that I have on my e-reader now because I need a copy in my life):

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- This is pretty much the most beautiful and heart-wrenching book I have ever read. But it’s message of hope keeps bringing me back year after year to read it again. It was after reading this book that I began trying writing my first (albeit really bad) novel.

8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- The first book that I completely fell head over heels in love with. This is the book that made me want to teach.

9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- This book taught me that YA can teach adults of all ages lessons about life.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- One of the first books that I saw kids reading (and really enjoying) while I was substitute teaching. It gave me hope that teenagers will continue to read.

I’m not going to tag anyone, but let me know, what books have been influential in your life?

Thank you all so much!

Today my blog reached 100 followers on WordPress!!!

I decided to make a mini-vlog to thank all of you for your wonderful support.

And also a huge thank you to Brin from Brin’s Book Blog and Katarina from Katarina the Kat for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award. I will try to make a post about both of your nominations this week.

I couldn’t have continued Amanda’s Nose in a book without all of the support and friendship that I have received from everyone here.

Much love <3

Mini-Review: Paper Towns by John Green- A Heart-Warming Adventure

PaperTowns2009_6AMini-Review:

Paper towns is one of those books that we have come to love, know, and expect from John Green. Quentin “Q” is the the smart, sensitive, and nerdy type who has obsessed over his neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman for nearly his whole life. Margo is someone who no one really knows, but who everyone adores, wants to be around, and aspires to be like.

While this book is sometimes annoyingly quirky (Quentin constantly uses Margo’s full name), it was a thought provoking, insightful, and heartwarming read. Paper Towns really makes me wonder what life is really like for Quentin’s friends in the book. It shows that people have views of others, made up by themselves, that they project onto the people around them without even knowing it. Like many people do, Quentin didn’t bother getting to know the people around him, and instead became disappointed when these people don’t live up  to who he thought they were and wanted them to be.

4/5 stars

Confessions of a Book Blogger: Book Buying Bans and TBR Jar

bloggraphicI’m not a blogger who has huge book hauls each week, or even each month for that matter, but when I go into a bookstore I have a really difficult time leaving with just one book in my hands. Usually I end up leaving with 3-5 books, even when I go in with only one particular book in mind. And sometimes, I don’t even remember to get the book I wanted in the first place because I am so overwhelmed with all of the other titles that I want to read.

As a result, I have quite a few books on my shelves and on my Nook that I’ve never read.

When I was in college I had a bit of a book-buying problem. Some of these unread books I bought 3 or more years ago, which I know is common among readers and book bloggers.

So I am instituting a book-buying ban for myself, simply because I have so many books to read and books that I haven’t read in years that I would like to re-read and enjoy again. It will feel nice to read all of these books that have piled up over the months and years and give them some love instead of going and buying another handful of books this month.

That doesn’t mean that I won’t try to read some new titles as they come out. My local library is great and has some newer YA titles that I have been meaning to get my hands on, but they are also a part of a huge inter-library loan program and they also have a program where they loan e-books. So I can get more books that way for the time being if I don’t want to read something on my shelves.

The TBR jar…

A lot of my book blogger friends and booktubers I subscribe to have made TBR jars for themselves. If you haven’t heard of this concept, it’s when people write down books that they haven’t read and put them into a jar to read at random.

I made one for myself this morning, in the hopes that it will make me even more excited to read the titles that I already have and mix up the genres and authors I read a bit. A lot of the books I haven’t read as of yet are part of a series, so I only put the first book in the series in the jar (or started with the first book in the series I haven’t yet read). If I read the first book, I will put the title of the second book in the jar to replace it.

Hopefully this will help me to save money and read the books that I already have.

Have you ever had to stop yourself from buying books by putting yourself on a book-ban?

How did it work out for you?

A-Z Challenge – Subjects A-Z

Lately I have been thinking about what I would like to write about for this year’s A-Z challenge. Some of these topics came quite easily to me. Others not so much. Right after I signed up for this challenge, I had quite the long list of topics I could use for blog posts— which was lost right after I made it, how like me.

Here are what I have come up with so far for the A-Z challenge. Topics are subject to change if something else comes up.

  • A- About Amanda’s Nose in a Book
  • B- Booktube
  • C- Contemporary Literature
  • D- DNF- did not finish
  • E- E-readers vs. Books
  • F- Fangirling (topic 1) or friends (topic 2)
  • G- Genre
  • H- Habits (My Bookish Habits)
  • I- Independent Bookstores
  • J-
  • K- Kick-butt heroines
  • L- Libraries, namely the Oswego City Public Library
  • M- Middle Grade (MG)
  • N- New Adult (NA)
  • O- Obsessions (bookish)
  • P- Printz Award
  • Q-
  • R- Re-reading books
  • S- Shelf tour
  • T- Trilogies
  • U- A Unicorn of a Book
  • V- Vlogging
  • W- Worth the hype?
  • X-
  • Y- Young Adult (YA)
  • Z- Zombies, Vampires, and Monsters, Oh my!

So I still need another couple of subjects for those days with really difficult letters (J, Q, &X). Do you have any ideas?

Are you participating in this year’s A-Z challenge? What theme(s) are you writing about?

I am an official participant of Camp NaNoWriMo— what am I crazy?!?

Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 2.03.23 PM

It’s official. I have signed up to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2014. Last November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and for the first time ever, I won the challenge! *cue my jumping up and down and doing a happy dance*

It was an exhilarating experience and one that I am proud to say that I participated in and finished. While my novel wasn’t close to being done at 50,000 words, I feel like I had a great start to a story that I had never thought it possible to write. Sometimes it was a struggle writing the 1,667 words for the day. Sometimes I was lucky to get 300 words for the day, but with the support of my friend Tracy and the awesome NaNo community I finished.

One of the great things about Camp NaNoWriMo is that it is incredibly flexible. You can choose your word count  goal. Don’t think you can reach 50,000 words for the month? No big deal!

With April being a wild and crazy month for me with the A-Z challenge, visiting Tracy in the beginning of the month, and spring being in the air (believe me with the winter we have had, I will be spending as much time outside as possible as soon as I can), I made my goal 30,000 words… which is a really good size chunk of my book!  Can I do it amidst the crazy? We will sure find out. I will try to post weekly updates of how I am doing with my progress.

Do you know what else is amazing about Camp NaNoWriMo? You can choose what project you work on! Do you already have something started? You can continue working on that project for Camp NaNo, which I am very excited about. As you might know, I have been working on revisions for my NaNo 2013 novel. I’ve been making progress, but I lack the structure to really get much work done. This April I will be working towards getting more of Draft 2 of  The Girl in the Glass Coffin finished. *more happy dancing*

Not to mention, NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo are wonderful events because all of the money donated by writers and people who support those writers goes to “bring free creative writing programs to more than 500,000 kids and adults in approximately 100 countries, 2,000 classrooms, 600 libraries, and 500 NaNoWriMo regions every year.”

That’s incredible! Want to learn more about the wonderful things that NaNoWriMo does for kids— go to their Why Donate? page

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo?

What was your experience like?

If you haven’t– would you ever participate in this month of novel-writing awesomeness?

The "I Must Have The Next Book Now" Award goes to Scarlet by Marissa Meyer!

Scarlet_final_USA-Today-e1341988389106*This is a spoiler-free review for those who haven’t read Scarlet yet*

Ok it’s safe to say that I just finished reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and it’s even safer to say that I loved this book!

Cinder was a good read, it was fun and unique and it kept me interested, but Scarlet was even more engaging in my opinion. I couldn’t put it down and only stopped reading to do things that I absolutely had to do (work, sleep, etc.). Needless to say, when I finished this book I may have been doing something that looked like this.

SPNfangirling(I haven’t fangirled over a series or book like this in quite a while— so this is a big deal.)

Scarlet is a great heroine. She has worked hard for as long as she can remember on her grand-mere’s farm and her grandmother is the only family that Scarlet has. When her grandmother is kidnapped and her ID chip cut out, Scarlet is heartbroken and asks the police to help find her grandmother. However, after more than two weeks, the police give up and leave Scarlet to find out what happened to her grandmother on her own. I loved Scarlet as a character and I feel that she shows much more depth of emotion than Cinder did. I could relate to Scarlet more. She seemed like more of a real person that I would know in my own life. She was strong-willed and stubborn (which sometimes gets her into trouble), trusting (sometimes a little too trusting), and completely devoted to the woman who raised her.

To my surprise, Scarlet also continued the story of Cinder and Prince Kai! I didn’t read a synopsis or any reviews before I began reading, but I was very excited to read more of their story and see how the two stories intersected. I liked the side of Cinder that I saw in this story. She knows a little bit more about who she is and as a result is a more multi-dimensional character. It was much more enjoyable for me to read her story in this book than it was the last book.

Not to mention, I found myself seriously crushing on sexy, bad-boy Wolf and laughing out loud at Captain Thorne’s antics. The characters in this book feel fuller and as a reader, I am better able to connect with them.

I feel like author Marissa Meyer stepped it up a notch when she was writing this book. The writing is tight and the pacing of the story kept me going from page one through the end. Scarlet was less predictable than Cinder and I even found myself saying “WHAT?!?!” out loud a couple of times. My only complaint about this installation of The Lunar Chronicles was that Scarlet’s world felt much less post-apocalyptic than Cinder’s. I loved the world that Meyer created for Cinder, and while I got some of that as the book went on, Scarlet’s world was much more rural with less of the technologies that we saw in Cinder.

Unfortunately I don’t have Cress. So I have to wait until I can find a copy, which might be a little while… sigh.

I need the next book in this series right now. ASAP. Pronto.

You can read Chapter One of Scarlet on Marissa Meyer’s website here!