Ingredients for making the VERY BEST main character!

Lately I’ve been wondering what does it take to get a load of random character traits, stir them altogether, shove them in the oven and see what comes out… Because this is the year of baking metaphors 😉 In all seriousness… this post isn’t very serious 😉 (I just wanted a fun way to talk about some character tropes I don’t like). Okay time to look at the ingredients…

Let’s start with a dusting of special snowflakery. A main character has to be good at everything… otherwise how will you know they are the main one? The best way to achieve this is to have them be the best from the very beginning (but they don’t know how great they are) because if you leave them to ferment, they might simply explode in the process! No, better to just get an instant mix of perfection. Never have them be vulnerable; always give them every ability in your world. There should be nothing they can’t do- because is the point in side characters if you can’t outshine them and how else will your readers know your mc is a badass? What’s that you’re saying? You want flaws? Oh well, if you insist…

Make them clumsy! You don’t want your character to have any character imperfections (that they can work on) so instead give them two left feet! And make sure they trip over at every opportunity. Have them be uncoordinated to the point of it being baffling, causing genuinely life-threatening scenarios. Don’t worry- this won’t come across as slapstick, because you will have a love interest darkly berating them for nearly getting everyone killed over an untied shoelace. Speaking of which- introducing…

The love-interest-appendage. This entirely makes up for your main character having no personality. This love interest should be moody, speak only in grunts, but be impossibly hot. Not sounding exciting enough? Never fear! When in doubt, make two love-interest-appendages! (this will be useful later!)

And if you need these characters to do something together or bond in anyway, you can just have them be pretentious. They can do things like recite “memorised” verses back and forth. Just pages and pages to fill with someone else’s words- because that’s how you hit the big word counts! Thus you have now given them “obscure” interests that no one else has- which is especially good if you have a female lead, cos then they are conveniently…

NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS! Oh wow- who doesn’t love this trope? This character doesn’t like “normal” girly things like clothes and makeup, cos they’re just so cool and unique. One of my favourite things to include in this trope is having them be bitchy about all other female characters- especially ones who have boobs you envy or blond hair or (*OMG*) boobs and blond hair!! Because girls that have features you envy deserve your ire and this teaches teen girls really healthy messages about how they should treat other women. Also don’t have them be friends with other women- paha! No way is this possible when there is man candy on display. Let them all claw each other’s eyes out- that’s a fun form of conflict. And on the topic of bitchiness…

Your protagonist should be nice-ty. Aka they are really quite nasty, but somehow they believe (and everyone around them believes) they’re a saint. And here’s where that love triangle gets realllly useful- because you can have them cheat on their significant other, emotionally and physically, all the while having other characters saying how sweet they are and how they’re only in this predicament because they’re so nice (barf). Who knew this dilemma came from a place of pure goodness? I’m telling you, this book is going to teach so many *positive* messages.

And when in doubt, you should add some telling into the mix. Make sure to have other characters tell how clever the main character is for instance. Don’t have them problem solve a complex test or put them in challenging situations they have to get out of- just put in that they’re a certified genius and your reader is sure to believe it!

Plus, you can blend in the fact that they’re a plain jane (/plain john). And yet everyone is falling over themselves for their god/dess-like features. Weird that!

Also, add a pinch of bad parenting. Now, I say a pinch, because I don’t just mean removing the parents from the story altogether or an example of abuse. I mean, they should be non-absentee absent parents. I know a lot of people complain about dead/missing parents- so you know what’s better? A parent that’s *right there*… buuut completely ineffectual. Somehow they managed to bring up a child to near adulthood, not letting them run into traffic etc, but at the last hurdle they seem to have just taken their foot off the brakes and don’t seem to care whether their teen lives or dies. Smart.

Mix it all together and what do you get…

Bella Swan!

Okay, just kidding! But it’s pretty close! Do you agree with me here? What ingredients would you add? Let me know in the comments!

How On Trend Am I? Looking at Whether My Taste Follows the Crowd When it Comes to YA

thoughts orangutan

I’ve talked before about whether my taste follows the crowd and it’s something I often wonder about. Last month, when Goodreads celebrated YA, I noticed how closely my taste follows the crowd… well, for the most part.

Looking at 40 most popular recent Young Adult Novels and 100 most popular YA books of all time, I was surprised to find I’d read most of the books. Even more significant is how much I liked the books- my average ratings were 3.9 and 3.47 respectively. I gave 15% of books 5* in the recent YA books and 10% 5* in the most popular of all time. There were some outliers that I didn’t love (like Caraval and Lord of Shadows) or won’t read (Turtles All the Way Down), but for the most part I was at least satisfied with the vast majority of the books on the popular recent releases list. Clearly, I’m enjoying these a lot more- suggesting I’m on the right track to keep reading them. Turns out, I know my own taste! (go figure 😉)

To me, it makes sense that I’ve read so many of these as well, since these are the books with the most visibility and I’m not immune to marketing 😉 Plus, these are also books that are more readily available on a budget and if you use libraries a lot. So, in this case, I don’t feel all that bad about my taste following the crowd- especially given it’s leading to high levels of satisfaction! As much as I’d enjoy being a bookish hipster, I guess I’m quite mainstream when it comes to YA.

One thing I have to note from this experiment is that there were books on the most popular YA of all time that (at least to my mind) weren’t YA at all (Red Rising and Anne of Green Gables being the most obvious). But that’s a discussion to have (again) another day. I don’t think it massively skewed my results- though have to do my due diligence and mention it 😉

Alrighty then! Do you notice your taste follows the crowd in particular genres and categories? Are you bothered by it if your taste is quite mainstream like mine? Let me know in the comments!

My Harshest Unhaul Yet…

monkey unhaul

Being cooped up indoors for much of this year has made me re-evaluate some things: specifically my book collection. Maybe it’s a bizarro cabin fever, but I’ve been looking for things to unhaul and so decided to prune my books. Let’s jump into what I’ve decided to get rid of:

Recent-ish reads:

recentish reads unhaul

City of Ghosts– a bit disappointing for me personally, but a Middle Grade that younger children might enjoy.

Grace and Fury– I was so disappointed with the sequel, I just didn’t want the first one in my collection (no matter how pretty it looks).

Kingdom of Ash– this one’s a bit of a *shocker*, especially cos it’s signed, but I was left underwhelmed by the ending and won’t be rereading the series.

A random assortment of books:

random assortment unhaul

Milkweed– I remember it being fine… but not much else. Besides, it’s a holocaust book, so I won’t read it again.

Danny Abse poetry– not really for me.

The Promise– I liked this, but I won’t reread it.

Sociopath Next Door– another one I actually liked (you can check out my review here) but I don’t need a copy and won’t pick it up in the future.

Old childhood books:

cherub unhaul

Cherub– I haven’t even put this in the right order, cos I couldn’t remember it and don’t care enough to check. I never owned the first two as well- which would make rereading a problem (not that I plan to). Some of these aren’t so memorable and the ones that are I remember well enough to know I enjoyed them at the time. Now it’s time to let go.

childhood books unhaul

Snakehead– I didn’t ever finish the Alex Rider series and wasn’t a fan of the later ones- so it’s kind of a no brainer.

Apocalypse– this is a shame cos I like Bowler’s other books, but really didn’t like this (and this is the one I had signed :/ which is the only reason I held onto it for this long)

Series of Unfortunate Events– I was never a superfan, didn’t get through the series and outgrew this a long time ago.

Blood Bones and Body Bits– ditto. Not much to say about it.

Deenie– ah I liked Judy Blume back in the day… but also this one makes me feel lowkey queasy.

And ones I’m unsure about:

unsure nemesis unhaul

Nemesis series– this is the one I’m on the fence about. Like the Cherub series, it’s incomplete. But unlike the Cherub series, I really loved it. That said, I’m not going to read it again- so not sure I should hold onto it…

Which is why I’ve decided to put this one to the vote? What do you think I should do with the series? And what do you think of my unhaul? Let me know in the comments!

Why Do I Unhaul Books? My Thoughts on Minimalism and Marie Kondo

thoughts orangutan

Last month, I decided to read my sister’s Marie Kondo book. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically an *extreme* tidying up method. Though I’m not much of a hoarder these days, I did need a kick up the butt to get rid of a few things, which the book provided- thanks book! Now, (because I can’t resist doing a mini review), this isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of the book. It had some downsides:

magic of tidying marie kondo

It’s a bit extreme (for instance, it suggests ideal number of books for a person is 30… haha no!) It vaguely says that if you’re an academic, you can keep more of your books, but I just think there are plenty of other people made exuberantly happy by large book collections. I also think this a pretty subjective opinion to state as fact.

Not everything will “spark joy”, no matter how much you need it/probably shouldn’t part with it. And, when it comes to books, some books have a very negative vibe. Sticking to the subject of books, Solzhenitsyn, for instance, doesn’t exactly make me want to sing and dance!

It also (perhaps accidentally) encourages people to rebuy things they mistakenly discarded. But most people can’t afford to just purge and rebuy! In a similar vein, it argues that if you haven’t read a book you’ve hoarded, you never will. Granted, this will sometimes be true- but sometimes it’s just about committing to it (and unhauling and rehauling something you’re genuinely interested in isn’t a good plan).

HOWEVER I do personally think there’s an upside to thinking more critically about decluttering books- as Bookish Villainy discussed in her post “How Minimalism Has Improved My Book Collection and My Reading”. So what are my reasons for trimming down my collection?

Limited space. If you live and rent in a city, you’ll know that space is at a premium! Having too much stuff can create stress. There’s not only the issue of storing them in the short term, but also how overwhelming it can be in the event of an (inevitable) move etc. As much as I love having lots of books, I have to be mindful of how many I own.

Letting go of things you don’t love is healthy. For me, there’s no point keeping hold of things I don’t like/won’t read again. Sometimes it’s gotta move on in the great circle of book life and find people who will love it.

I like having a collection I truly know and love. I like the idea of enjoying everything I own. I love looking at a bookshelf where I can ogle my favourites and feel happy about having them there. I never get tired of looking at the books I adore 😉 (the downside, of course, is whenever I look at my bookshelf I’m tempted to reread something 😉)

So, those are my reasons I unhaul books. Do you unhaul books? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments! I’d be interested to hear your views!

Why Escapism is Important

thoughts orangutan

I’ve seen some questions lately about reading in the current climate. How can we focus on books right now? How can we talk about reading at a time like this? And the answer for me is simple- how can you not? When times are uncertain, when we’re facing hardship and when the future is uncertain, there’s nothing better than to get lost in books.

Books can take us far away from reality. They are like shining unicorns, carrying us off into new worlds and different experiences. Reading, for me, has always been a great escape. Beyond understanding the world a bit better and making sense of ourselves, it is also an opportunity to switch off.

That doesn’t mean turning a blind eye or doing nothing- I’m not saying that at all. Just that sometimes life is out of our control, sometimes you can’t mend what’s broken and sometimes we have to make the best of bad circumstances. Sometimes all we can do is take the foot off the accelerator and slow down. And I don’t know about you, but for me that can be a relief.

As important as it is to face up to reality or our emotions, it’s not always the best idea to overwhelm our nervous systems (ie until we become a nervous wreck). We can take limited doses of chaos before we need a little order. That’s why escapism can prove so medicinal. It can help keep our lives in orbit when the planets of fortune don’t align. It can be a healthy coping mechanism. It is an oasis, a calm in the storm, a place to go to recharge. It frees the mind and helps us breathe easier.

sorcery of thornsMore than that: it makes us stronger (as Sorcery of Thorns beautifully illustrated for me recently). Through books, we trek off into fantasy lands and learn how to defeat dragons in our own lives. From quests, we come to realise how to navigate the wilds so we too can be heroes. Then we take those treasures back to our own world. It’s only after acquiring this knowledge that we can be ready to face whatever life throws at us next.

So, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What’s your view on reading as escapism? Is it valuable or a waste of time? Let me know in the comments!

Ways to be creative (when you’re not feeling it)

I think this is self-explanatory- this is obviously going to be a TOP QUALITY advice post on how you can find ways to be creative, even when the muse has fled:

tinker changes fix car

#1 Pick up a project you’ve already finished and see if you can find *some* way to tinker with it…

brainstorming ideas

#2 Brainstorm for new ideas (which really just means scribbling random things in a notebook- but no one’ll know if you look serious about it 😉)

lightbulb moment

#3 Go for a walk and invent stories (or even conversations with strangers) in your head. This is a highly productive exercise that you will no doubt mine from in future projects 😉

learn language

#4 “Learn” a language on Duolingo- pretending one day you will try to replicate Tolkien (you won’t)

mood reader 1

#5 “Research” some topic that may or may not be relevant for your next project- this can mean looking up obscure topics on reddit or even reading scientific journals or (when all else fails) ogling googling pictures of celebrities… for inspiration purposes of course 😉

gingerbread

#6 Make a batch of gingerbread cookies and give them funky outfits (I’d use my own examples but 1) I eat them pretty pronto after making them and 2) I’m not exactly talented when it comes to baking and so they usually come out looking come out looking somewhat deformed… which is another reason to eat them quickly/put them out of their misery 😉)

cat playing piano

#7 Pick up that instrument you never learned how to play and make a few out of tune sounds like you’re strangling a cat (you’ll know it’s time to stop when people come running to see where the banshee is)

bad singing

#8 Sing along (tunelessly) to BIG BALLADS!

elaine bad dancing

# And maybe incorporate some dance moves 😉

painting

#10 Doodle!!

read satisfied

#11 Write a post for your blog… just like this!

And there you go- any blocked feelings you’re have undoubtedly vanished and you’re back to your usual creative self! Possibly… 😉

How to (Try to) Edit a Book #LikeABoss

am writing

Hello everyone! I think we’re technically in the middle of another camp nano? (hard to keep track to be honest- what is time anymore…) And I’m currently completely failing trying to do a readthrough of one of my WIPs, so I figured now was the perfect time to pass on my (*ahem*) wisdom to other people 😉

I know people have been dying to get some good tips from me over the years… And, well, these may not be that good, but they’re technically tips 😉 I will admit I’m also drawing on my subjective experience (my openings tend to start out pretty weak, so I put a lot of focus on those). Nonetheless, I think other writers could probably distil something of use from this anyway… or else get drunk on my stupidity 😉

Apart from the occasional episodes of weeping, which I’ve left out to save time, this is pretty much my process:

witches over cauldron hocus pocus

Step 1: Pour blood, sweat, tears into a cauldron, bring to a boil, gently simmer for a few years, then pull your deformed baby manuscript out AKA WRITE THE DAMN FIRST DRAFT!

narnia cupboard

Step 2: Shove this little beastie out of sight- it’s not ready to see the light of day! It may protest and bang on the floorboards for attention, but don’t worry, this isn’t book abuse (that comes later). This is just a temporary arrangement for both your sakes.

hug a book

Step 3: Bring your book baby out again after a few weeks/months (when its incessant nagging for attention finally gets on your last nerve). Rock it back and forth in your arms. Try crooning a lullaby in its ear as you open that first page for a quick reread…

monster book of monsters

Step 4: NOPE! That was a bad idea! You were completely wrong to describe this as a baby; IT’S A FRICKIN DEMON!!

don't panic

 

Step 5: Okay don’t panic (and don’t stab it through the heart with a stake and sense this evil creature back to whence it came… as tempting as that is, even baby monsters deserve life). As much as you might wish you’d aborted this project earlier and daydream of other projects, this is a living breathing thing making guttural noises in your arms and you’ve got to take some responsibility. You grit your teeth and make your biggest (human) sacrifice, rereading it from beginning to end and making notes of all the (terrible, terrible) flaws.

really long list 2

Step 6: Well, that wasn’t as bad as you thought… it was worse. The list of problems is as long as an immortal life and you think this thing might be possessed by the devil… but as they always say, the first draft is the hardest part, right?!

drum fingers

Step 7: At this point you *drum* your pen on the desk, tapping out solutions to all the problems (you created) in morse code. For some reason, this is soothing.

think pen write

Step 8: Miraculously, you begin to answer the questions you posed in your notes and now, look at that, you’re brainstorming!

grave robbing

Step 9: Alrighty then, it’s time to slay the beast resurrect this manuscript from the depths of hell. You plan to begin on the biggest issues (no point trying to cover up the boils when the heart of the story is on the outside of the body and oozing blood). *Crack your knuckles* and get to work!

chaos

Step 10: Skip around the manuscript at random picking out flaws, then switch to chronological editing intermittently (this is the part of the editing process I like to call THE CHAOS). Also, work on that horrible opening!

focus

Step 11: Okay *focus* now- you can get through the other major edits.

read-fast

Step 12: Reconfigure some major plot points, focusing on consistent character arcs and smoothing out the narrative (and other writerly things).

squirrel attention span

Step 13: Get distracted by some simple issue with the prose (that you really shouldn’t be worrying about at this stage).

highlighters

Step 14: Just keep nit-picking and tell yourself typos are obviously the biggest issue you have to deal with (it may not be true, but it’s comforting).

monkey typewriter

Step 15: Time to tinker with that opening again!

lord of the rings writing gif

Step 16: While you’re at it, work on the ending.

solve crime

Step 17: Find that flaw in the middle that’s been bugging you and brainstorm a million ways to change it.

writing

Step 18: Rewrite entire chapters

delete cybermen

Step 19: DELETE! DELETE!!

not a great plan

Step 20: Realise you’ve made a TERRIBLE MISTAKE. Go back to original plan and try and bring the old version back to life!

hide monster

Step 21: Abandon dead idea and quit while you’re ahead! Time to shove this beastly being (that’s looking more deformed than ever) back where no one can find it!!! Quick!!

Congratulations- your book is now a corpse of its former self you have successfully edited your book!

Now just wait a few months until you have to do this all again!

Reining in the Criticism – Reasons I Don’t Review Every Book

thoughts orangutan

Today I’m doing a different post to the one I’d planned, because I had written (and was preparing to schedule) a review… which I’ve now pulled back. And there was a reason for that. It was a review I did research for and worked hard on- yet looking into the author also told me he was coming from a good place. Right now, I’m seeing how easy it is to tear things down and attack others online. That’s just not what I’m about. Sometimes, we’ve got to look at ourselves and wonder is it worth it? I don’t want to speak for everyone and I’m certainly not telling anyone else how/what/when to review, I just want to talk about why I might not review something:

shameIf the author might get unfair backlash- in the last month, watching the internet explode, I feel a bit more cautious about putting criticism out there. I’ve talked about this before and hope to do so again (when I get the headspace), but the last thing I want is to be involved in is cancel culture. Now, even if I trust my readers not to turn into some angry mob online, I still sometimes think it’s better to hold back. This is not to say I’m veering away from all negativity- only that I want to be a little careful at the moment. A lot of the time, I can review a book integrating my criticism- however if all I’ve written is a barrage of criticism on one issue, then I may not want to put that out there.

who meIf I’m just not the right person to talk about the issue– because (surprising as this may be to some of you) I’m not an expert on everything- I know, shocker, right?! 😉 And I just don’t want to make things worse by trying to make things better. My intentions may be good, but much like the last point, it could easily backfire. Again, if I can integrate my opinion into the entire review, great. If not, it may be better to leave it to someone more suited to the topic.

I'm offendedIf my criticism is too strongly tied to personal experience– on the flipside, sometimes a topic may be too close to the bone and I don’t feel comfortable bringing it up. Sometimes I could give insight on an issue- I just don’t want to “out” myself in the process. I may also struggle to express myself in this situation, so chances are, I may just abandon the review, cos it ain’t worth it! Don’t get me wrong, I respect people who do, but it’s not my style. (Jeez- I don’t even feel all that comfortable tangentially talking about it lol!)

If the author’s an unknown– this is quite a straightforward (and far less controversial) point: I just don’t like to review obscure indie books super negatively. Though I’m sure I could find an exception, I mostly read pretty mainstream books anyway.

If I don’t have enough to say– I mean, that’s what my mini reviews are for, BUT some books are just so forgettable I can’t even come up with a few sentences.

And that’s where I stand! Do you review every book? What are your reasons? Let me know in the comments!

Reacting to your assumptions about me – 6000 follower celebration!

celebration monkey

Hello all! As promised, to celebrate hitting 6000 followers, I’m reacting to all your assumptions about me! Thank you so much to everyone who participated- I had so much fun reacting to all of these!! And thank you to all the lovely well-wishers- it really meant a lot! ❤

Sophie @BewareOfTheReader

OK fun assumption: I bet you are working in finance and compensate with all the art and blog LOL

Oh gosh this is a fun assumption… but sadly completely untrue! 😂 I’m actually an assistant librarian and English tutor… so let’s just say I’m not living a particularly glamorous lifestyle 😉 But I’m happy with my choices… even if I should probably have chosen something a bit more stable and sensible to compliment the blogging/art! (I’ve worked in a bunch of other jobs as well- just never in anything like finance!) Also on the positive side, work does always give me opportunities to talk *books*!

hoarding books

James

Only just recently started following you so probably don’t know enough yet (beyond you really like books?) and I’m a massive Terry Pratchett fan so I reckon I’m on safe ground assuming you’re a person and not an orangutan. But that’s why you use a ‘banana’ rating system. So my assumption is that in reality you’re largely indifferent to bananas.

Hahaha I am indeed a person that really likes books! I wouldn’t say I’m indifferent to bananas though- actually really like them- particularly baked into a cake mmm (in fact, so many people have mentioned bananas to me in this post you’ll have to *excuse me* while I go get one…)

form50022

Lauryn Trimmer 

Congrats! And I assume you aren’t an orangutan 😂 I can’t think of any real assumptions at the moment besides that!

Haha yeah I’m not really an orangutan, but shhh don’t tell! 😉

stargazer says:

Wow, more than 6000 followers – that is so impressive! Not sure I have any assumptions though… You like books? 🤔😂

Haha yes, it’s safe to assume I LOVE books! 😉

book love

jyvurentropy 

Assumptions…hmm….okay, you’re a woman in your mid-thirties. You have a bunch of siblings. You’ve secretly always wanted a reptile as a pet. You’ve done a little bit of traveling but want to do more.
You’re a ravenclaw.
You’re a virgo.

Ooh these are fun! I’m not 30 just yet!! (I’m 27… which unfortunately counts as late twenties now 😉). I do have a bunch of siblings (two older brothers and a younger sister). I don’t want a reptile for a pet though- lizards are okay, but I find most reptiles freaky! (especially snakes! GAH!!!) I have done quite a bit of travelling- mostly round Europe- and would LOVE to do more! I get serious wanderlust and have always enjoyed discovering new places 😊 I am a Ravenclaw!!! I’m a very Ravenclaw-y Ravenclaw you’ll meet and have MAJOR RAVENCLAW PRIDE 😉 Close- I was born in September, but I’m a Libra. Some really great guesses here!!

ravenclaw

Bookstooge

You are actually only 17, are the youngest of 5 and your mom makes you go to bed at 11pm 🙂

I LOVE these assumptions- but they’re not entirely true. I’m 27 (oof that’s ten years on your guess!), third of four children (yay middle child syndrome 😉 ) and I spend a lot of my time trying to convince my mum to go to bed at 11pm 😉

waytoofantasy says:

Congrats! Assumptions….um…you’re an avid tea drinker. 😀

And Caitlin Althea says:

my assumption is that you like drinking tea!

You’re both right! To be fair, I am British- so this is a safe assumption 😉 I LOVE tea- more even than bananas!

monkey's tea party

Zezee says:

As for assumptions….you actually don’t like bananas that much; swinging from trees make you dizzy

Haha I love how many people think I’m either in the LIVE FOR BANANAS camp or DON’T LIKE… in truth, I think they’re great! (but I don’t eat them all the time lol!). As for swinging from trees- yeah that’d definitely make me dizzy! I get dizzy pretty easily (I’m the kind of person that likes things like rollercoasters… but will also pass out/throw up after going on one… which is probably tmi… which I guess is also the point of this post 😉)

Briana | Pages Unbound

I’ll have to think about if I have any assumptions, though…. Besides that I assume OTHER people assume you’re a guy blogger for some reason.

Well everyone in the comments of this post were lovely and didn’t make that kind of assumption- but weirdly I’ve had this assumption before!! This has happened a bunch of times when people have linked to me. The funniest one was when my brother used my review to prove a point in a book club and his friend apparently kept calling me “he”. My brother, while not wanting to admit he knew me, said to him “why do you assume it’s a he?” The guy just doubled down and apparently implied there was no way I could write the way I did and be a woman! This got under my skin a little! For the record, this is me…

orangutan in dress

Sharon Bonin-Pratt 

My assumption about you is that the sequel will be even more outstanding.

Aww thank you so much (this is kind of just a compliment though 😉)

Sharon Bonin-Pratt

I was so farklempt that I couldn’t even absorb the correct number – 6000!! And I bet you read that many books in the years you’ve been blogging.

I wish I was that impressive!! I decided to look up how many books I’ve read since I started blogging in 2015 and it’s currently at 955!

wordsandnocturnes says:

I haven’t got any assumptions on hand but hmm… you’d love to sleep in a library for a night to se. what it would feel?

I’ve sort of done this? Though not to sleep. When I was at uni I was very (deliberately) disorganised and did a number of all nighters- some of which were in the library. Gotta say it just felt exhausting 😉

mood reader2

calypte says:

As for assumptions… you mean you’re not ginger and hairy? Oh my 😉

Hahaha amazingly no! (psst don’t think I’ve mentioned this in years, but I’m a bland brunette 😉)

nsfordwriter says:

My assumption is that every room in your house is lined with bookshelves and also they are piled up on the floor, in fact your bed is constructed from books too.

OH GOSH I WISH THIS ASSUMPTION WAS TRUE! ALAS NO! I rent and I’m always pushed for space! I do store loads of books under my bed though… so one could (almost) say my bed is constructed of books 😉 (kind of a stretch though 😉) I have been known to pile up (mostly borrowed) books on the floor though.

book bed
My dream bed…

Never Not Reading says:

Assumptions:
-You really, REALLY like bananas
-You live in a tree house
-You laugh a lot

Oh wow I love these: I do like bananas (though I think it might be a healthier amount than people assume), I’m afraid I don’t live in a tree house (fun fact: I’m actually afraid of heights and, as much as I try to overcome that, living in a tree house would be a step too far!) and I most certainly do laugh a lot!

 

Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

Assumption: you’ve read all the Discworld novels (at least the ones with the Orangutan Librarian!)

Not quite! I mentioned this recently in my post on series I’m scared to finish– I have a (near pathological at this point) fear of finishing the Discworld series- cos I don’t want it to be over!!

Jennifer Mugrage says:

My assumptions: you are younger than me (because you read Harry Potter as a kid); you are naturally thin; you have a good relationship with your parents and siblings. (In other words, the perfect person LOL! But I mean we already knew that since you are a reader.)

Haha well I don’t know how old you are- but I was born in 1992. I wouldn’t say I’m naturally thin (formerly fat, then too thin, hopefully somewhere in the just right range right now… 😉). I’m lucky enough to have a good relationship with my mum and my siblings… but I’m far from the perfect person! 😉

Jennifer Mugrage says:

I also sometimes imagine you with curly hair. No reason at all for that assumption, could be way off. So I just picture this adorable thin curly-haired girl when I am not picturing an orangutan.

Haha I wish I had curly hair!! But actually I’d say I have something of the Hermione Granger hair type… Though, since I don’t have magic at my disposal, I use hair oil to tame it. Fun fact(/perhaps rather dull fact depending on your perspective) I’m also into all natural, vegan hair stuff- I’d give tips but I don’t think anyone would be queuing up to look something like this…

my hair cartoon

Beulah Jenifer

I guess you love to paint, and eat bananas everyday!

I do love to paint, but I don’t eat bananas every day- that’d be a lot of bananas and would make me about 90% potassium!

pile of bananas

Lydia Tewkesbury 

Um that you have read everything?!

Haha I’d say I wish… but then I wouldn’t have anything left to read and that would be a tragedy!!

Belle Can Read

Assumptions… you’re actually a famous author and enjoy the anonymity of being an Orangutan Librarian here 😂?

OMG can you imagine if this were the case? (it’s not) How cool would that be if it were?!? I do enjoy living my life as an Orangutan Librarian on here, just no secret writing career 😉 (I wish!!)

Booker Talk

That you’re really an orang utan?

Haha sadly not. (I think I’d be more impressive as a giant ape that could read and write 😉)

Krysta says:

My assumption: Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if you aren’t actually one of my best friends in disguise because you are surprisingly similar, down to your love of Discworld, satire, and orangutans.

Well your friend sounds awesome 😉 But I’m afraid I’m not that unique and there are loads of people who fit this exact description 😉

The Cozy Pages

Assumptions…. that you’re really a literature teacher running a ‘secret class’ that even the students don’t know we’re taking. 😉

Hahaha you got me! Okay… not exactly. I do tutor for a living (aside from working in the library) but I’m not using this blog to teach a secret class… or am I?! Maybe I’ll be giving you all a pop quiz later… 😉 (ahh that hurts to even joke about cos that’d mean more work for me!)

graduating monkey
This is obviously how I look when I teach 😉

Flora’s Musings says:

Assumptions ….
That you’re highly intelligent, witty, talented (your paintings and sketches are really good) and you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re obviously really Lisa Simpson. 😉

Well I’m *blushing profusely* cos this is another one that’s a compliment disguised as an assumption! I will say that you’re wrong about it all, except that part about not taking myself too seriously 😉 I do think that I’ve got that down 😉 I have this little joke (between me and me) that “in my younger and more vulnerable years my brother gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since: DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY!” And if you got what book opening I twisted to my own liking there, you can have a gold star! (Cozy Pages was right- this is all a test!! 😉)

Actually, everyone take a gold star for being awesome!

you get a gold star

And that’s all your assumptions about me! That ended up being so much fun and a lot less scary than I anticipated cos *you’re all such lovely people*! Thank you for being so great!

Mid Year Freak Out Tag 2020

orangutan tag 2

Hi all! And it’s already June… LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT! Somehow 😉 It’s a bit of an annual tradition for me to do this tag, so I don’t need an invitation (aka I wasn’t tagged) I’m just gonna go for it!

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

ten thousand doors of january

There are quite a few contenders, but I have to go for the simply *exquisite* Ten Thousand Doors of January

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

supernova

Supernova was such a satisfying conclusion! My review’s coming soon 😊

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

aurora burning

I’m going with Aurora Burning because I loved the first ones and I *need* the next instalment!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

invisible life of addie larue

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue just sounds so incredible! (and let’s be real, I’m a fan of Schwab’s writing, so it’s a must-read for me)

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

queen of ruin

Queen of Ruin– I just wanted to like this so much more than I did. And it’s the kind of book that I like even less when I think about it :/

BIGGEST SURPRISE

diviners

For pure enjoyment, I have to go with the Diviners series.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

book of atrix wolfe

Patricia McKillip!

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

enchantment of ravens

Honestly don’t have one, so I’m just gonna plug a (sort of romantic) book I really enjoyed: Enchantment of Ravens

 NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

with the fire on high

Emony from With the Fire on High– she just felt so realistic and likeable to me.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

wild swans

I don’t think any book has made me cry (which is a bit of a change) but Wild Swans seriously moved me.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

bookish and the beast

Bookish and the Beast just MADE ME SO HAPPY!!!

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

ps I still love you

Hmm I think the only one I’ve watched is PS I Still Love You and it was cute (plus I preferred it to the book tbh).

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Buying books? That’s a thing you can do?! LOL! Seriously though, I’ve not bought any books since lockdown and the ones I have got aren’t exactly beautiful- so I’m just gonna go with another anticipated release:

once and future witches

(that also happens to look so pretty!!!)

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

I’m being really chill about what I read right now, cos I just think mood reading is the way to go in this (crazy) year. But it’d be nice if I finally read:

Since this is an old one, I’m not tagging anyone specific- just feel free to do it if you like! What I wanna know is what’s your favourite book so far this year? And what are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!