The bookish rant and rave tag

Good morning! It’s been a hot minute since I last posted here, but I wanted to take a nice break and truly rest for the holidays after the absolute hell that this year has been. Still, I’m back on here today, with another Bookending Winter post!

Bookending Winter is a book blogging event run by Clo and Sam, in which different bloggers host a couple of prompts each during the month of December. Anyone who wants to participate can register on the announcement post, make 3 (or more) posts during the event, and link them up on the challenge spreadsheet so others can find them easily!

Today’s prompt is an original tag written by Sumedha @ the wordy habitat! I’m really late in doing it, but I really like the prompt, so I couldn’t let this post sit in my drafts even if I missed the official prompt day!

Prompt Explanation : Use this tag to dump your thoughts on books which you’d like to talk more about but usually don’t. Time to really rave about loved books, and rant about frustrating books.

RAVE: a book you loved but don’t talk enough about

Descendant of the crane, by Joan He. Which reminds me – the author is having to pay for a legal battle with the editors, which you can read more about on her twitter page. If you have any spare money to donate to Joan He’s legal funds, you can check out her donation page here!

Also, look at that cover. It’s gorgeous. It’s one of the most beautiful books I currently own, and I’m so happy to have preordered it when it came out!

RANT: a book you didn’t like and haven’t spoken about

Cinderella is dead, by Kalynn Bayron. I wrote a very short review on Goodreads but didn’t dedicate a post to it on the blog, because I tend to avoid writing long reviews of books I really didn’t like, but… yeah. This book didn’t work at all for me, in almost any aspect. I found it unoriginal, and frankly just boring most of the time – which is surprising for me since I’ve seen it in quite a few “best books of the year” lists this year!

RAVE: an author who’s works you love

Brandon Sanderson. I only discovered his works in 2020 (yeah, I know, I have no culture whatsoever in English language literature and famous English-speaking authors) and so far I’ve loved every single book I’ve read by him! I love sci-fi with all my heart, and his stories are so captivating that I need to be careful of when I start them – when I first picked up The way of Kings, I accidentally pulled an all-nighter trying to finish it all in one go!

I’ve also read his latest YA series, Skyward, and I would definitely recommend it to any YA sci-fi reader!

RANT: an author who’s works you just cannot like

I can’t think of one right now… I’m sure there’s lots, but I tend to be really selective with what I read, so I don’t often open books I really end up hating, and I never read a book by someone whose previous works I hated. It helps a lot with keeping my motivation and enjoyment of reading!

RAVE: a book you recently loved that you want everyone to read

Better sleep, better you, by Frank Lipman and Neil Parikh. It’s a non-fiction book about the usefulness of sleep, how to improve your sleeping habits, and be more energized during the day. I got it as an e-ARC this year, and I think it’s coming out in April 2021, so it might come back in my best 2021 non-fiction reads!

RANT: a book you did not finish recently and haven’t spoken about

Stop hiding and start living, by Dr Bill Howatt. I DNFed it less than 50 pages in – it was just so boring, I couldn’t force myself to keep reading. I’m usually an avid reader of personal improvement books, but this one just… didn’t work at all for me. I didn’t even try to post a review on Goodreads or explain why I DNF’ed, because I had so little to say about it.

RAVE: a book you would recommend to everyone

An ember in the ashes, by Sabaa Tahir. Absolutely loved it, 10/10 would recommend. The fourth book in this series actually came out this year, and I finally got my hands on a library copy so I’m going to try to finish it before the new year!

Related post : Series review : an ember in the ashes

RANT: a book which others like and you don’t understand why

… can I say Midnight Sun ? It’s got 3.77 on Goodreads right now. I’m strongly debating whether or not I should borrow it from the library and actually give it a real chance, or just ignore all the reviews and stay on my “not reading this mess” idea.

Should I pick up the Twilight Edward-centric book, or just ignore its existence entirely? Have you read it? Seen an awful review that discouraged you from buying it? Let me know in the comments!

The Horse and his boy – My favorite Narnia novel

Classic Remarks is a meme hosted at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.

You can find more information and the list of weekly prompts here.

Today’s prompt is : Which Narnia book is your favorite and why?

Find Krysta’s post here to see what her answer was!

My favorite Narnia book is The horse and his boy, which is the 5th book in order of publication, and 3rd book in chronological order. When I was a kid, I got a boxed set of all Narnia books in chronological order, so this is the one I first read them in – but I had watched the first movie before that, so I did have an idea of what I was getting into.

I love the presence of the original characters as adults – I feel like this is one of the most interesting times in Narnia, and I really wish we had more content on the years during which they ruled together. Seeing the adult Pevensies without focusing entirely on them makes it a very enjoyable read for me, as you have the fresh perspective of a new character without being fully lost (unlike in The magician’s nephew…). The character of Aravis especially was very toughing and I remember getting attached quite fast to the small group of main characters!

I also think that Aslan’s role fits much better in the story than in the other novels, as he actually gets involved in a way that makes sense with the story – I loved the appearance of the lion chasing the horses in the desert, pushing them to go faster so they could accomplish their mission! And seeing more of the world outside of Narnia was so much fun – in this sense, it reminds me a lot of Voyage of the Dawn Trader, where the voyage to a strange land is also at the forefront.

On the main themes, the flight to freedom is one I especially appreciate, and even if I’m not that much on board with the religious aspects of C.S. Lewis’s work, I do think this novel was really well crafted.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed reading this book, and I hold a lot of affection for it, which is why I’d say this one is my favorite. (Now, about my least favorite…that’s a story for another day!)

What’s your favorite Narnia book ? Or your least favorite ? Did you enjoy this one as much as I did ? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag – 2020 edition

I’ve been away for a while and kind of neglected most of my obligations during June – exams and covid will do that to you – but I’m back with the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I’ve wanted to do this post for some time and actually had it scheduled for the middle of last month, but since I couldn’t find the time to write it then, let’s do this now!

The prompts

Here are the questions I used, if you like me, haven’t written this post yet even though you meant to and want to reuse them!

  • What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2020?
  • What is the best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?
  • What’s a new release you haven’t read yet, but really want to?
  • What’s your most anticipated release for the second half of this year?
  • What was your biggest reading disappointment of the year so far? 
  • What was your biggest reading surprise of the year so far?
  • What’s our favorite new author of these first 6 months of 2020? (Debut author or new to you)
  • What’s your newest fictional crush?
  • What’s your newest favorite character?
  • Name a book that made you cry in the past 6 months.
  • Name a book that made you happy in the past 6 months.
  • What’s the most beautiful book you’ve bought (or received) so far this year?
  • What books do you absolutely want to read by the end of 2020?

The answers

Goodreads tells me that so far, in 2020, I’ve read 35 books out of my 52 books goal. I’ve probably forgotten to log in a few, since I tend to go on goodreads sporadically and log in only the books I remember reading (so… I might have missed a few bad ones that I just completely forgot about), but still : I’m going to use this list as a basis for this post.

(I know, I should try to be more meticulous in logging which books I read, and when, but whenever I try it I just end up abandoning my new system a few days later.)

Best book

The way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson.

I’ve only read 3 books in the whole of June, and they were the first 3 novels in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson – and they were all 5 stars books for me. I absolutely loved them, and can’t wait to get the next one in this series as soon as it comes out (hopefully, at the end of 2020!).

Best sequel

Aurora Burning, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

I had a preorder of this that was supposed to be delivered to my local bookstore in June… but it got terribly delayed by the lockdown in Montreal, and I got it way after it came out everywhere else. Both my boyfriend and I read it as soon as it arrived, and we both thought it was a very good sequel with a surprising amount of character development in not a lot of pages! 

New release I haven’t read yet

This is how you lose the time war, by Amal El-Mohtar.

I bought this book as a gift for my birthday, but haven’t found the time to read it yet (what with reading The way of kings, then Words of radiance, and following on with Oathbringer… I didn’t have much time for anything else, really!). 

Most anticipated release

Unravel the dusk, by Elizabeth Lim.

I preordered this book back in November and was one of the lucky few to have access to the international forms for preorder incentives at that time, so the goodies have arrived! They got here right on my birthday, which was a nice coincidence, and if the contents of the books are as good as the contents of the goodies envelope, I’m expecting great things!

Biggest disappointment

The latte factor, by David Bach.

I even wrote a whole post about how disappointing this book was, and why you’d be better off reading literally any other personal finance book out there. Seriously.

Biggest surprise

The starless sea, by Erin Morgenstern.

This was back in the beginning of the year, as I got this book as a Christmas gift in December 2019, but since we’ve already established that I’m extremely slow at picking up new books to read from my TBR, it won’t surprise you to know that it sat untouched on my shelves for a long time before I finally picked it up and realized how good it was.

Favorite new author

Brandon Sanderson, hands down.

I’ve read 5 books of his so far, and 4 of those were read this year – and I’m impressed! He’s slowly but surely making me gain back my love of Adult Sci-fi and Fantasy, and my interest in 1000-ish pages long books. The character development alone… 

Newest fictional crush

Adolin Kholin. From, guess what… the Stormlight archive, by Brandon Sanderson!

I don’t want to spoil anything for the people who haven’t read these books yet (but if you are one of these people, and you have an interest in magic swords, brooding heroes and/or fantasy worlds with super developed magic systems? I have books for you!) – but he’s the very best and I shall hear nothing negative about him, ever.

Newest favorite character

Kaladin Stormblessed, from… the Stormlight archive. Again, no spoilers here, but : he has loads of character development, a good backstory, strong motivations, and a whole lot of feelings. Everything I love all wrapped up in a well-written persona.

Book that made me cry

Maybe you should talk to someone, by Lori Gottlieb.

I picked it up mostly because I love everything more or less related to psychology, so a book written by a therapist about her life, and life in general, sounded pretty interesting. I was pleasantly surprised, and found the experiences she wanted to relate very touching. I might have cried a bit.

Book that made me happy

Happily ever after and everything in between, by Debbie Tung.

I got this as an e-ARC on a whim, just because it looked fun and was in the “available now” section on NetGalley – and I found myself relating to every single page of this comic. It’s funny, witty, and extremely realistic (so realistic that, at some points, I had to stop and tell my partner, “Hey, that’s us!”). 10/10 would recommend

Most beautiful book

The rise and fall of the dinosaurs, by Steve Brusatte. The cover looks so cool, and the illustrations on the inside of the book are stunning.

5 books I need to read by the end of the year

The ever cruel kingdom, by Rin Chupeco – I read the previous book, The never tilting world, somewhere during the past 6 months (is time even real?) and I’m pretty interested to see how this story goes!

To be taught, if fortunate, by Becky Chambers – this is on my TBR with no other comment than just “TO READ, VERY COOL”, which probably means that I saw someone recommend it in a booktube video, scribbled the title down somewhere, and completely forgot what it was about.

Invisible women : Data bias in a world designed by men, by Caroline Criado Perez – this one is part of my list of feminism-related books to read in 2020. Most of the books on that list are in French, since I live in Montreal and there are a lot of French-speaking bookstores around, but I haven’t found this one there yet, so I might borrow it from one of the libraries in town instead.

Gideon the ninth, by Tamsyn Muir – I tried reading this book in… April 2019, I think, maybe? And DNFed it soon after. I don’t like giving up on popular books, though, so I’m willing to give it a second chance just to be sure.

Edgedancer, by Brandon Sanderson – So this one is apparently supposed to be read before the third book in the Stormlight archives, Oathbringer, but I didn’t know that when I got my library hold, so I apparently read them out of order. Better late than never, though, so I’m hoping I can get to reading this before the fourth book in the series comes out!

That’s it for me! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If you’ve got opinions on the Stormlight archive, feel free to comment or send me a message – I’d love to talk about it with other readers!

Stay at home book tag !

I saw this tag on Louise @ Foxes and fairy tales‘s blog, and thought the questions and book recommendations were really cute ! It was created as a booktube tag by Madison Mary on her channel Princess of paperback – you can check out her super fun video about it !

Laying in bed : what is a book you could / have read in one day ?

Out of all my recent reads, I think the one I read the fastest was The loneliest girl in the universe. It’s a short YA sci-fi novel of less than 300 pages, which is why it took me so little time to finish – you can see my review of it in this book review post !

Snacking : what is a guilty pleasure book ?

Definitely the Harry Potter series. I don’t appreciate the author that much, and stay away from her social media accounts (honestly, every time I see her name trending it’s because she tweeted / said / wrote something bad again, so, no thank you) but these books bring me so much joy and comfort that I don’t think I could stop liking them even if I tried.

Netflix : what is a series you want to start ?

The kingkiller chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss !

I think I remember reading part of the first book, back in high school, but it was the french version and I have little to no memory of it at all. There’s – so far – 5 books in this series, including 2 short stories and a companion novel to the main series.

I’m just a bit wary of starting unfinished series, so I haven’t gotten around actually reading it again – but I definitely should !

Deep clean : a book that has been on your TBR for ages ?

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee. I first heard about this book when it came out in 2017, added it to my TBR, and then…. never touched it again. I 100% should borrow it from my local library, but I’m a bit intimidated by the 500 or so pages it says it has on Goodreads…

Animal Crossing : a book you bought recently because of hype ?

This question is a bit tricky because I don’t usually buy books, but the latest book I did buy was a preorder of Aurora Burning, the sequel to Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ! I really enjoyed the first book (then gave it to my boyfriend, who also enjoyed it) so when I saw that the sequel was available for preorders, I didn’t hesitate one second !

Productivity : a book you learnt from / that had an impact on you ?

Digital minimalism, by Cal Newport. I got this as an eBook loan fro the library, and did not regret it one bit : I learned a lot about social media, technology and the hold it has on our lives, and it really helped me put into question my own habits and my behaviors regarding my phone, my email, and my constant use of technology every day.

FaceTime : a book you were gifted ?

The Guinevere deception, by Kiersten White ! I keep meaning to write a review of this book because I really enjoyed it, so hopefully that review will be up by the end of may – I’m really excited for the sequel (and the cover is gorgeous !)

Self care : what is something you do to look after yourself ?

Lately, I’ve been going running in the park behind my apartment building : it’s a small, quiet place, and running 4 times around the park is exactly one mile, which really helps when I’m trying to set a time goal or a distance goal. I only go there late in the evening, though, when it,s almost dark outside, so I can make sure there’s no one else there and no risk of getting sick or bringing the virus home.

Doing some sort of intense physical activity really helps me feel better in my body and lifts my spirits on the bad days – and lately, there have been quite a few more of those than before, due to stress and accumulating anxiety.

Bonus question : what is an upcoming release you are excited for ?

Unravel the dusk by Elizabeth Lim ! I’m so excited about this… I preordered the first book when it came out last year, and it was amazing, so I did the same with this one as soon as I could !

If you’re from the US, there’s also a preorder incentive available on the author’s website – you just have to upload your proof of purchase and your mailing information !

That’s it for me ! If you like this tag, please consider yourself tagged and feel free to link your post in the comments so I can go check it out !

My stay-at-home time is coming to an end – my last final is coming up today, and I’m going to work tomorrow, which means I’ll probably only be spending two to three days a week at home. I hope you’re staying safe and indoors as much as possible – and for all the university students out there : good luck for your finals !

Animal crossing New Horizons Book tag !

I’m in self-isolation for the next 10 to 15 days, at least, so I have nothing better to do than read, play video games, and write blog posts…. and so far, I’ve read 3 books, played a ton of hours of Stardew valley, despaired over my lack of a Nintendo Switch to play the new Animal Crossing game, and… written 0.5 blog posts. I even procrastinated by doing sports.

But I’ve been tagged in this super cute Animal Crossing book tag by Kristina at Books and dachshunds, and I think that’s the perfect thing to get me back to writing about books !

New Villagers : New-to-you author you’d wanna read soon

Hafsah Faizal ! I heard a lot of good thinks about her debut, We hunt the flame, and she announced her second novel, We free the stars, for spring 2021 – I’m really excited to get my hands on a copy of the first one !

Dodo Airlines : Book that made you travel to other part(s) of the world

Is space a part of the world ? No ? I’ve been reading a ton of science-fiction lately, so most of what I’ve read was set in space, but I did really like reading contemporary novels like Red, White and Royal blue this year – and, for me, the US is another part of the world !

Deserted Island : Pick 3 books you’d go on a deserted island with!

If I’m going on a deserted island, I’d probable bring some books I’d like to read more than once… and big ones. So, probably my favorite trilogy of all time : Ellana, Ellana : the flight, Ellana : the prophecy. It’s in French, and I don’t think there’s been an English translation yet, but of all the books I’ve ever read, these are the ones I’ll always want to re-read.

It’s the story of Ellana, a young orphan in a fantasy world, who grows up to be a Marchombre (literally : shadow-walker), and help a young girl save the empire they live in. She’s a side character in the main trilogy written by Pierre Bottero, and the MC of the Ellana trilogy.

This is Ellana, as a teenager ! She’s the best.

The first book follows her from age 6 to 20, the second one from age 20 to around 28, and the third one is centered around her dramatic disappearance : she gets attacked in the mountains with her newborn son and is believed dead, and everyone she’s ever helped or befriended rallies around her close friends to find those responsible for the attack, and get her and her son back from them.

It’s got flesh-eating grass, flying wooden boats, people using their imagination to create objects out of thin air, and a black-widow-like organization of benevolent mercenaries who fight for balance in the world. It’s amazing.

Nook Phone : Favorite book you’ve read as eBook or Audiobook

Surprisingly, there’s some books I just can’t read at all as eBooks, and some where reading the eBook takes me way less time than reading the physical copy. I can’t figure out why. But recently, my favorite eBook has been The loneliest girl in the universe – it’s a very short novel about a girl, alone on a spaceship, light-years away from earth, who one day gets a message telling her another ship is on its way to her. It’s scary, it’s fun, and it’s really easy to read.

Toe beans : Your favorite pet/creature from a book

I’m such a fan of dragons. I love them. Dragons are the best. Give me a book with dragons any day.

Evolution : The most memorable character growth 

So far this year… I think I’d say Bobbie Draper, from The Expanse series. She’s a solid character who goes through a horrifically traumatic event and spends the entire book trying to cope with that, and figure out who she is and what her place in this brand new world is, and she’s doing an amazing job at that.

I hope I’ve answered these questions properly ! I haven’t been able to write in so long, and this tag really helped me get back into writing blog posts, so thanks a lot ! I’ve been staying in self-isolation with a friend who has a Nintendo switch, and oh boy, do I want to buy the animal crossing special edition one now. And play all the fancy Pokemon games too.

I hope you’re all okay, and staying home as much as possible during this pandemic.

Pondathon announcement !

Pondathon: The Quiet Pond's story-driven readathon. Image: Two swords with vines wrapped around it frame the words 'Pondathon', with three little forest sprites sitting on top. One forest sprite has a leaf on its head, the middle has twigs for horns, and the right has a mushroom on its head.

I’m so happy to announce that I will be participating in the Pondathon !

What is the Pondathon?

The Pondathon is a co-operative and story-driven readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of the Pondathon is to read books and collect points to protect the friends over at The Quiet Pond from the encroaching malevolent forces that threaten our friends in the forest.

Have fun participating in the Pondathon readathon by joining one of five teams, each with a unique way to collect points and signing up! You can also follow the story of the Pondathon as it unfolds, and participants can also complete ‘side quests’ during the readathon to collect extra points. The readathon takes place from January 24th 2020 to March 7th 2020. More information about the readathon can be found here.

Information about Joining the Pondathon

  1. To join the Pondathon, simply sign up anytime between January 18th 2020 to March 5th 2020.
  2. Choose a team, create your own animal character for the Pondathon and create a character card!
  3. Create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#Pondathon’ in the title or your tweet. Share the character you have created and your character card!
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.

Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond or @artfromafriend on Twitter or Instagram in all your updates! We’d love to see all of the beautiful and awesome characters that you create!

My Pond Character

Here is my little pond character ! This design was made using Pixlr, which I’d never used before today and honestly I don’t know why because it’s amazing and I can’t believe I didn’t even know it existed, and the character card and art pieces made by @artfromafriend ! All the art there is amazing and you should definitely check out the Character cards of all the other participants !

My Pond Character is called Alexia, and she’s the Cocoa hoarder! Alexia is a soft beige cat who wears a flower crown and likes to make hot cocoa drinks for her friends. She is part of team Gen, and will do everything she can to help protect her friends, and the pond.


My Pondathon TBR

I haven’t planned a Pondathon TBR yet, but I’m planning on making one in the next week, before the beginning of the readathon. I’m hoping this will keep me motivated to read different books and not stay in my comfort zone too much !

Are you participating in the Pondathon ? Do you have a set TBR already ? Feel free to link it in the comments so I can check out the books you’re planning to read !
N.B.: This post was made using the template provided by CW @ the quiet pond !

2020 discussion challenge announcement

This is going to be an extra short post – one that will, hopefully, lead to some much longer posts in the future : I’m going to try to participate in the 2020 discussion post challenge, hosted by Nicole @ feed your fiction addiction and Shannon @ It starts at midnight !

There are 5 levels to the challenge, but I’ll be aiming for the first one, “discussion dabbler” : the goal will be to post between 1 and 10 discussion posts during the year !

This type of post isn’t my specialty, to say the least, so I’m aiming pretty low, but I’m positive this will be a nice experience for me and that pushing myself a little bit outside of my blogging comfort zone will be beneficial in the long run. I really want to create original content, and a challenge like this one might be just what I need to get the inspiration to do so !

You can see the challenge rules here, and there’s still time to sign up – registration is open until December 2020. The posts will be linked up in monthly posts on the organizer’s blogs, so go check the January link-up if you haven’t seen it yet ! I love reading discussion posts, so I’m looking forward to what other people will post this year !

WWW Wednesdays #2

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted on Taking on a world of words, and it is a short recap of three regular reading questions : What are you currently reading ? What did you recently finish ? What do you think you’ll start reading next ?

I’ve been pretty lazy this past week and haven’t made as much progress as I hoped on my TBR, but I’m not giving up ! Here’s an overview of these past few days :

What are you currently reading

I’m in the middle of Rage becomes her, by Soraya Chemaly, and and e-ARC of Tweet Cute, by Emma Lord. I tried to get into tweet cute but didn’t feel like it recently, so I stopped at around 30% and switched to Rage becomes her, hoping I’ll be able to get back to the first novel when I’m done with that.

Also, I made a spelling error in my IG post and I’m too lazy to correct it. Sue me.

What did you recently finish

I recently finished reading Girl, wash your face, by Rachel Hollis, the 5 AM club, by Robin Sharma, and Everything isn’t terrible, by Kathleen Smith.

I was actually pretty disappointed by the 5 am club (it wasn’t what I expected at all, and not in a good way – I might try to elaborate on that later this week, if I can find the time), and I wasn’t terribly impressed with Girl, wash your face either – out of these 3, the only one I’ve actually had pleasure reading was everything isn’t terrible.

What do you think you’ll start next

I’ve gotten a pretty big library haul this week, so I’ve added some books to my TBR. I’m hoping to next get to Girl, stop apologizing, by the same author as the first one – I’d like to read both before I write a review of them.

I also have a library copy of Red, white & royal blue, by Casey McQuiston and one of Is everyone hanging out without me, by Mindy Kaling. I’ve heard great things about McQuiston’s book, so my expectations are a bit high and I’m wary of being disappointed, but I think I’ll have fun reading all three.

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write my reviews, but I just can’t seem to get to it this week… hopefully, I’ll manage to get at least one done before Sunday !

WWW Wednesdays #1

WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted on Taking on a world of words, and it is a short recap of three regular reading questions : What are you currently reading ? What did you recently finish ? What do you think you’ll start reading next ?

This past week has been pretty good in terms of reading – I haven’t been keeping up properly with my blogtober posts because it’s exam week (or, more appropriately, exam weeks, plural) but that hasn’t stopped me from reading ! The fact that I have to spend at least 1 hour in the metro every day helps a lot with that too… So here’s my recap !

What are you currently reading

I’m currently making my way through an e-ARC of Everything isn’t terrible, by Kathleen Smith, and it’s taking me some time because I want to properly pay attention to 100% of the content (and there’s a lot!).

What did you recently finish

I recently finished reading an ARC of Only Mostly Devastated, by Sophie Gonzalez – I’ll post my review here closer to the release date, but I definitely loved it and it hit pretty close to home – much closer than I expected when I requested this ARC.

I also finished the bride test, by Helen Hoang (my local library finally had a copy available !) – I’m hoping to be able to write a review of it by the end of October, if the finals let me breathe a bit this weekend – and Ask a manager, by Alison Green, as well as an e-ARC of Out with the ex, in with the new ! by Sophie Ranald.

What do you think you’ll start next

I just picked up Rage becomes her at my local library today, and I’ve been waiting to read this book for so long now, I think this might be my next one, before the rest of my October TBR. We’ll see !

Inside and out book tag

I’ve had a very productive day today : I applied to 5 job postings, had a business phone call for 20+ minutes and faced my mother for a full hour before running away and hiding in a Starbucks with my laptop and 2 grande coffee frappuchinos.

Which means : I’m feeling extra lazy tonight, haven’t done any grocery shopping, and am distracting myself with a book tag instead of writing my planned post for today. So here goes the Inside and out book tag !

I first saw it on Morgana’s blog (which is awesome, by the way).

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

I love reading what’s inside the flaps and on the back of the book before I buy/borrow something. If there isn’t enough information, I’ll probably open the Goodreads app and check the book info on it before deciding what to do – those summaries save me a lot of time and effort.

If it’s clearly something I do or don’t like, I’ll be able to make my decision way faster than if the back of the book is just a collection of compliments about it form various authors or newspapers – as good as a recommendation from the New York Times is, it doesn’t really tell me if the book I’m holding is right for me or not.

2. New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

Short answer : I love hardcovers.

Long (and honest) answer : I come from France, where the publishing industry just doesn’t do hardcovers – the very first hardcover I ever got was the cursed child screenplay book, because those shipped from the UK as soon as they were published and the french publishers didn’t wait until we had a paperback french version before selling the English hardcovers in the whole country. I’m pretty sure at least 50% of the fun I had reading it came from the novelty of having a hardcover book in my hands.

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I used to hate the very idea of writing in books, but now… not so much. I had a french teacher in high school that told the class to write as much as we wanted in our copies of the books we had to read for her class, and I remember feeling horrified at the moment, but I kind of see what she was trying to do now.

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I’ve taken to annotating them with sticky tabs I can then write on if I’m not 100% sure to keep the book forever, and just plainly writing on them if I’m planning to keep the book and just buy another copy if I want to lend it to someone else.

I try to write somewhat neatly, though, if only because I want to be able to re-read my annotations later and still be able to understand what I was thinking when I read that book.

4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

I have no idea why, it’s totally not a conscious decision, but most of the books I read in the past few years were written by women. Maybe it’s because reading something written by  woman gives me hope that someday I might be able to do the same ? I don’t know.

5. Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Never ! Although I do really appreciate trigger warnings in reviews and sometimes look for a review from a trusted blogger before I start reading.

6. Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

I used to have very organized bookshelves when I was in France and had all the space I wanted to put my books in a nice way. Right now, most of my books are in cardboard boxes in a storage unit, and I just have one shelf with the few I’ve been able to buy and keep with me during the past three years.

7. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Totally ! And I also borrow a lot of books based on the cover alone.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

Depending on the weather ! I live in Canada now, so I take my books outside during the summer, and keep them inside during the winter – no need for any snowflakes to fall and melt on the pages !

I don’t usually tag people, but if you haven’t done this tag yet and are looking for an excuse to do so : consider yourself tagged ! And don’t hesitate to tag me so I can go see your posts and check out your blog !