#bookaday – Day 12: I pretend to have read it

Ouch. Really? You’re asking me to divulge this one? Well, about four months ago I would have said Pride and Prejudice, but I have since read it for college and enjoy the heck out of it. So I can officially check that one off.

I also can’t say Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov because I’m blunt about that one. I’ve TRIED to read it, but it squicks me out too much and I’m honest about it. No shame in that one.

So I guess maybe…

HUH. I honestly don’t know! I’m scanning my shelves and racking my brain for this one, and I’m not sure! I don’t lie about any of the books I own, and all the ones I read in school or were supposed to have read in school I don’t lie about. I’ve attempted but never finished Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli, and I was honest about that one because it’s the most boring book in the history of books.

I guess maybe I haven’t said I’ve read this one so much as lied about it by omission? People have asked me if I’ve read The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, and while I don’t exactly say I have or haven’t, my usual answer is “I own it.” Does that count as pretending to have read it? I swear it’s on my list. Maybe I’ll get to it this summer… but I really do own it! I bought it at Borders before I worked there. That’s how long ago I got it… and how long it’s been sitting on my shelf.

So yeah. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. If you ask me if I’ve read it, I’ll likely answer “I own it.” But no, I haven’t read it.


#bookaday – Day 11: Secondhand bookshop gem

I feel like some of these topics are redundant, at least for me. Some of these posts could be answered with the same books. Probably most of them could.

As I look around my room, it’s hard to pick out one secondhand bookshop gem. I mean, there was my best bargain, the four dollar signed Anne Rice book. Or the multiple hardcover copies of Aristoi that I found.

Maybe it’s all the manga that I found at The Book Barn. Manga, as any reader can attest to, is expensive. Terribly so. RIDICULOUSLY so. And The Book Barn used to have it priced at the fairly high four dollars. I say high because it’s a paperback and most paperbacks are a dollar. Now they range from one to four dollars.

While this might not be a gem to most people, it is to me because I collect manga. So it’s not only helped my budget, but it’s expanded my collection quite a bit! And there’s nothing better than full bookshelves.

#bookaday – Day 10: Reminds me of someone I love

So I know I stopped following the schedule, but things got busy for me and then things went downhill for a while, but I still like the idea and I’m going to finish this! Maybe I’ll post a few a day or something.

What book reminds me of someone I love?

I really don’t know. The first one that comes to mind is a Barbie collector’s book that my great grandma gave me the Christmas after she died. I guess they knew she might not make it, so my grandmother bought gifts for her to give. I collected Barbie dolls and the book meant a lot to me because it was the last gift from her and she was my favorite person in the world. Still is.

I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. Not sure why, but I suppose she’s around. 🙂

#bookaday – Day 9: Film or TV tie-in

Not quite sure how to answer this one. Do I own them? Yes. Are they talking about books that came before movies, movies that came before books and have products based on them, or books that came before movies that I then bought the movie cover versions for?

Maybe I’ll just answer all those questions to cover my bases…

Book with a movie cover that I bought: Maurice by E.M. Forster. I love the book and wanted my own copy, and it was the only one I found – ever – at the Book Barn, so I bought it. Now of course there is another cover for the book that’s snazzy, but I like my cover just fine.

Movie with book tie-ins: Transformers. I bought all the books for the movies as they came out: the prequel to the film and the novel version of the film. Why? Bumblebee, duh.

Book that became a movie that I own the original cover of the book for and not the movie tie-in cover: Cloud Atlas. The book and the movie are SO DIFFERENT in how they’re told. Bawled my eyes out through the film.

Also Warm Bodies. The movie is okay but the book is SO, SO FAR SUPERIOR. It’s so different, too. Very different endings and the book is NOT meant for teens like the movie sort of is. I wish the film had followed the book more closely. It’s hysterically amazing with such a great ending. And the father really gets what’s coming to him in the book…

#bookaday: Day 8 – Have more than one copy

I first encountered Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams in Ocean State Job Lot many years ago while camping with my family. I wanted something to read, and I browsed the cheap paperback books. I found this book, and since it was Scifi, I figured I’d give it a try.

It took me a while to get started since I was also “writing.” It was a rainy day at the campground, I remember, and we had a pop up camper. I settled into my bunk, and got started.

And have never looked back.

Aristoi was the first book I ever read with a gay relationship. It was completely revolutionary to me, especially since it had not only a gay relationship, but a bisexual main character, and even male pregnancy. I found it utterly fascinating. I was intrigued. And hooked.

The elite characters of the book have multiple personalities known as daimons that, within the book, have side conversations while the action of the book goes on around them. I loved that.

I now own three copies of the book: my original paperback, and two hardcover books. One a first edition, the other a scifi bookclub book. All three are on my shelf right now in the apartment. And every time I go to the Book Barn and find a used copy, I buy it. Because hey. You never know when you might need another!

It’s also now available on the Kindle, and you can purchase the book here. 

#bookaday – Day 7: Forgot I owned it

This happens a lot. There is no one book that I “forgot I owned.” I go to bookstores to pick something up and then get home to find out I have it already.

And since I have over 500 manga in my collection, I had to create a list on my phone to keep from buying duplicates. But if I forget to update the list, then… well, I’ve bought duplicates before.

What about you?

Short entry today, sorry! Brace on my right arm for carpal tunnel. 🙁 tough to type.

#bookaday – Day 6: The one I always give as a gift

Another difficult one. I always give books as gifts, and I try to tailor it to that person. If they’re a big reader, it’s to what they either haven’t read, or what they should read. If they’re not a big reader, I try to find something engaging for them that fits their interests. And again, it also depends on their age.

I wish this one said “The one I always recommend,” because there are definite titles for that one!

I guess for this, the book that I’ve given most recently as a gift – and a few times – would have to be The Culling by Steven dos Santos. I loved the book so much I pretty much demand everyone read it. Conversations from my side are pretty much like this:

Did you read The Hunger Games? Yes? Read this. It’s better.

Did you read The Hunger Games? No? Good. Read this. It’s better.

Do you like dystopian literature? Yes? Good. Read this. It’s perfect.

Do you like dystopian literature? No? Read this. You will now.

Do you want a book with an LGBT main character? Yes? Perfect, you’ll love Lucky. Read this.

Do you want a book with an LGBT main character? No? Well you should, so read this. You’ll love Lucky.

Do you like books that make you sob your face off? Yes? For the love of God, read this. Students have cried in my class reading it.

Do you like books that make you sob your face off? No? Well, read this. You’ll change your mind.

#bookaday – Day 5: Doesn’t belong to me

A book that doesn’t belong to me? For a moment I thought I didn’t have one, but I do! My coworker just let me borrow a book that looks like it’ll be interesting. She’s a Social Studies teacher and she teaches a Holocaust based class for the eighth graders. I teach a literature circle unit on Holocaust themed books, and I expressed interest in quite a few. She loaned me this one and said it was intense but good. It’s on my shelf right now to read this summer, actually.

It’s not really a true story, but it seems fascinating. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed “Hansel” and “Gretel.” They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called “witch” by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, Louise Murphy’s haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children. The True Story of Hansel and Gretal tells a resonant, riveting story.
I love retellings of fairy tales and myths, so this is intriguing. The idea that the “witch” isn’t evil like she always is in the tales paints a different picture.

#bookaday – Day 4: Least favorite book by favorite author

This is a hard one. I have books I don’t like, but when I like an author, I tend to like ALL of the things they write. It’s hard to say which one is the “least favorite,” especially if it’s a series, because that just seems…strange. So I’m sitting here trying to write this post, staring at my bookshelves and trying to ponder the answer to this one. And it’s hard.

I think I got it now. There was a romance series of eight books I read many years ago. The series deals with eight brothers, four sets of twins, and a prophecy surrounding them. I liked how each of the brothers was different and had different powers. I thought the women, for the most part, were really great for the men. I do remember being disappointed with the fourth book, The Song, by Jean Johnson. I just didn’t think the woman paired with that brother was right. I don’t know why. I didn’t care for her too much, though she was nice enough. I also was upset with what happened to him in regards to his voice, and I wasn’t satisfied with the resolution at all.

Maybe I should reread the series, though. It’s been awhile and I did truly enjoy the world building.

Plus it was the first ever romance book I read cover to cover without putting down. And the first romance series I actually finished. I ended up collecting all of the books as trade paperbacks because I liked them so much. And if that doesn’t say something, well…

#bookaday – Day 3: One with a blue cover

I remember having this conversation with a customer when I worked at Borders Express:

“Hi, I’m looking for a book.”

“What’s the name of it?”

“I don’t remember.”


“I don’t know. But the book has a blue cover, and it came out about six months ago.”

“Okay… do you remember anything else? Subject?”


So this post made me chuckle. And then I looked at my shelves and realized I have quite a few books with blue covers. But I chose this particular book because it’s pretty damn awesome.

My little sister, Cassandra, is a huge fan of Apolo Ohno. So am I. So when we found out he was going to be signing books in Connecticut, we HAD to go. We reserved two copies of the book, Zero Regrets, drove down to Madison, and stood in line. And it was glorious. For all of two seconds I stood before speed-skating superstar and Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Ohno. I was so starstruck I couldn’t even say anything other than “Thank you.” My poor sister. She was even worse off. I managed to get a blurry picture of her in front of me with him signing her book. And then we were whisked off out of the way by his staff in a very rude manner. Very sad that I barely even got to see his smile. Or realize just how TINY he is. But hey, I have a signed book by him, right?

We did get to see his tour bus and stand right next to it, though. That was pretty cool.

Just wish I had said something more profound than a simple “thank you.” But oh well. Zero regrets.