Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Merch

So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about bookish merchandise and since I’m always on the look out for bookish merch, I thought I’d participate and check out all the other bloggers’ lists as well.  I was originally going to include bookish merchandise that I own, but finally decided against in case this post mysteriously makes it into my husband’s web browser this Christmas season.

Husband: “Nicky, what’s this?”

Me: *wide eyed* “huh? what?”

H: “this” *points to my blog post in his browser*

me: *deer in headlights* “I dunno” *breaks into a mumble*

If you are not aware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog and it is fun to go check out other bloggers’ responses to the weekly prompts.  So without further ado, here are 10 bookish items I want in my life that I don’t have already.

Matilda Relaxed Tee

Matilda was one of the first Roald Dahl books I ever read and this shirt is adorable.

Coffee and a Classic Subscription Box 

I have a love hate relationship with subscription boxes but this one is in my future.

Hobbit poster

Because why wouldn’t I want to hang up a poster of the full book?  This is definitely an item I plan to buy.  I might even put this in the guest bathroom for those guests that forget their smart phones 🙂

Dracula Tee

A shirt for one of my all time favorite books? Yes please.

Hobbit locket

While I’ve been eyeing a sterling silver book locket for months, I had to include a picture of this one because I love Tolkien.

A… Book

Do I need an excuse to want another book?

Socks for my little one to run around in and tear up the house

A pillow to prop my my big head up when I stay up to 3am reading

This kickass mug

Ideal for coffee or booze.

This Ballcap

I love ballcaps and I love books.  Enough said.

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The Book Addiction Tag

I’m back with a cute tag I saw at Always Trust in Books. Once again I am on travel for work and so this was a tag that was fun to participate in and easy enough to do on the go.

The Book Addiction Tag

What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?

I typically read every single day. I’d say the longest I’ve gone is a week or so and that’s due to a book hangover.

How many books do you carry on your person (or kindle) at any one time?

I carry a physical book everywhere but I also carry my kindle and there’s 5 or more downloaded at all times. Never know what I’ll be in the mood to read when I’m away from home!

Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?

I’ll admit it. Im a hoarder. When it gets really out of hand I’ll take some to the used book shop to make room.

How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?

With or without my kids? If I’m alone, an hour or two. With my kids, I have a very narrow window where I get to run down the aisles and pick up anything that looks interesting before my two year old demands to go to the kids section, so probably 30 ish minutes with kids.

How much time per day do you actually spend reading?

I usually read whenever my youngest is in bed. I never really watch tv and even if I wanted to the husband is always hogging the big screen while gaming so typically an hour or more. Sometimes upwards of three if I go to bed later.

Where does the task ‘picking up a book’ appear on your daily to-do list?

During breaks and after my toddler’s bedtime I read.

How many books do you own?

A few hundred. I attempted to inventory my shelves recently and was interrupted at 318. I still had a whole other bookcase to do and I have around 200 on kindle. So I’d estimate less than a 1000 but more than 700.

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?

I don’t have a lot of friends that are readers but I always bring them up when getting to know someone.

What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?

War and Peace was up there. The Luminaries. The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George.

Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds i.e searching bookshops, online digging etc?

Some old school Agatha Christies and some Victoria Holt books that I finally found on eBay.

A book you struggled to finish but refused to DNF?

Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I started that book like 5 times before I finally trucked through it.

What are 3 of your main book goals for 2018?

Read more non fiction. More contemporary fiction. Progress on my Classics Challenge.

Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?

My youngest. She is only two but books are our favorite time together and she’s already shaping up to be a future reader.

Describe what books mean to you in five words.

Fun.

Entertainment.

Education.

Family.

Escape.

Gothic Book Tag

Greetings, all! While I will read a little of everything, my love has always been Gothic Fiction (and fantasy).  For years I devoured gothic type books without even realizing there was a Gothic sub genre beneath the all encompassing “fiction” genre.  I’ve always been drawn to brooding and moody period pieces (Probably the reason Dracula and Jane Eyre are two of my favorite books of all time) As a teenager I read Agatha Christie and read and reread every book Victoria Holt ever wrote under that pen name (her gothic historical fiction pen name) When I noticed a lot of recent activity in the Classics Club (games and tags) I was excited and when I came across the Gothic Book tag, naturally I was over the moon. So without further ado, here is the Gothic Book Tag:

1. Which classic book has scared you the most? 

This is hard because two books immediately come to mind.  In 1984, Orwell masterfully set the scene with intense paranoia and it really stuck with me. In And Then There Were None, there was a growing sense of dread that really affected me as a 13 year old reading it for the first time and I’m just as spooked every time I reread it.

2. Scariest moment in a book?

Again, I have two.  The final scene in And Then There Were None with Vera and the moment when the Martians start using their tripod looking machines in War of the Worlds.

3. Classic villain that you love to hate?

Dr. Frankenstein.  It is unclear whether he is the protagonist or the villain but I really feel that he brought all of the trouble on himself and I was so angry at him every time he interacted with his creature.

4. Creepiest setting in a book? 

It’s hard to beat Hell from Dante’s Inferno.  There are some really terrible images. There is also the lonely island in And Then There Were None.  The Jamaica Inn was definitely creepy and so was the castle in Dracula.

5. Best scary cover ever?

I used to own an illustrated copy of The Inferno that had a painting of people being tormented in hell but alas, I misplaced it years ago.

6. Book you’re too scared to read?

Might not be a “classic” but the book It by Stephen King is a little above my scary threshold. Plus I tend to like moodier stories as opposed to gory, violent books.

7. Spookiest creature in a book?

I find the tripod things in War of the Worlds extremely spooky.

8. Classic book that haunts you to this day?

Frankenstein because I’m still bitter about the way he behaved towards his creation.

9. Favourite cliffhanger or unexpected twist?

The whodunit in, yes you guessed it, And Then There Were None.

10. Classic book you really, really disliked?

I mildly disliked Villette but mainly because of the ending.  I also disliked My Cousin Rachel.

11. Character death that disturbed/upset you the most?

Dr. Frankenstein’s wife and family

12. List your top 5 Gothic/scary/horror classic reads.

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt

13. Share your scariest/creepiest quote, poem or meme.

I’m going to cheat here and say the entire Tell Tale Heart.

I had a ton of fun answering these questions.  I realize Gothic fic isn’t for everyone but there’s something about it I just love.  I hope you enjoyed this post and if you aren’t a member already I hope you go check out The Classics Club.

You can find my Classics List here.

Top Ten Tuesday ||Bookstores and Libraries

Hello friends! I’m sure you’ve all heard of Top Ten Tuesday but if you haven’t, it is a weekly bookish meme created by The Broke and the Bookish but now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Basically every week has a bookish theme and bloggers then create lists based off that theme. While I don’t always participate, I always check out different posts and it helps find bloggers to follow. This week however, I could not help but participate because this is something I think about all the time. This week’s theme is My top ten bookstores or libraries I’d like to visit. I had a really hard time keeping it down to just ten so I may include 12!

1. Honesty Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales

Hay-on-Wye is one of several book towns I’d love to see in my day and this shop and town just look charming and delightful. I just hope I get to visit here when I eventually visit the UK.

2. New York Public Library

One of the couple on this list I’ve actually been to before but would love to see again. I grew up in New York so I know that NYPL is actually many libraries but there is the one branch that is the main one everyone thinks of and it is beautiful. It is also a National Historic Landmark.

3. Waterstones

I hear Waterstones pop up a lot when watching booktube videos and since I live in the States, we don’t have one here.

4. Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France

A bookstore named Shakespeare and company in Paris? Yes, please. Also the history of this place involves Nazis and the whole nine, so again, YES PLEASE.

5. Book and Bed, Tokyo, Japan

This is one of those places that keep popping up in my Facebook feed and it looks super neat. A library you can sleep at!!!!!! My work requires us to travel to Japan from time to time so I know where I’ll be spending a night next time!

6. The Strand, New York City

Another of the ones I’ve visited in the past. A huuuuuge bookstore I would love to rediscover this place as an adult as I was a child the last time I went.

7. The Library of Congress, Washington DC

Me cheesing as we pass the Library of Congress

I have been here, and in fact I was here last week for work. Sadly, we had to catch a plane and I was unable to explore to my heart’s content.

8. Cafébreria el Pendulo, Mexico City

This is a two floor coffee shop, restaurant and book store with beautiful greenery inside. This is one place I will definitely visit if I ever make it to Mexico City while in Mexico.

9. Hangzhou Zhonghuge, China

This is another of those that keep showing up in my Facebook feed and people keep tagging me in it as well. A stunning architectural labyrinth of a bookstore. While I’ve been to Hong Kong and Singapore, I’ve never been to China itself and I don’t know if I’ll ever be lucky enough to go, but if I dream it long enough maybe it’ll happen.

10. Powell’s Bookstore, Portland, Oregon

The largest independent bookstore in the world. It takes up an entire city block and I have been wanting to go here for years. I always thought the Strand was the biggest til I heard about this place. Since we live in California now, I’ve been nagging my husband for a road trip up the West coast culminating here at this bookstore. Maybe it will happen this year.

11. Brattle Book Shop, Boston, Massachusetts

This is a used book store in Boston where you can find cheap used books, but they are very well known for finding rare books, old books and first editions. I love the look of this place and I love Boston so I will make this one happen some day!

So I cheated and went with 11 instead of 10 but I couldn’t help it. I had so much fun with this theme. I love traveling and I travel every now and again for work so I hope I get so see more of these places. Have you been to any of these places?

Tolkien Blog Party 2018

As if I needed an excuse to have a celebratory second breakfast this morning, today is the birthday of the Shire’s two most famous hobbits.  I mean, when two of your favorite characters in all of literature have a birthday on the SAME DAY, it would just be rude and disrespectful to refuse second breakfast.

But second breakfasts aside, I was reading the comments on a post in the Classics Club blog and came across Hamlette.  When she mentioned that she would be hosting her 6th annual Tolkien Blog Party from September 22-29, I knew I had to participate.  She will have posts running all week and she created this tag as a way for the rest of us to participate. So without further ado, here’s a Tolkien tag!

Tolkien Tag 2018

1.  What’s your favorite Middle-earth story/book?  My favorite has to be the Fellowship of the Ring.  There is so much going on and I love every freaking page.

2.  Do you have a favorite subplot?
I absolutely love the Tom Bombadil scenes and the Ent scenes. (I also adore how the friendship between Legolas and Gimli progresses)

3.  What’s your favorite theme in Tolkien’s books?  (Can be in one specific story, or overall.)
I love the element of friendship and solidarity.  Everyone plays a part and they work together to defeat evil.

4.  Do you have a favorite weapon from Middle-earth?
I wouldn’t mind having Sting the next time I get tossed into a group of Orcs.

5.  Would you like to be a hobbit?
I think I have been living as a hobbit for my entire life.

6.  Do you have a favorite romance/couple?
I’m a fan of the Aragorn/Arwen romance, but I really hope Treebeard finds his lady Ent.

7.  What’s your favorite Middle-earth creature?  (Can be “real” or “imaginary.”)
Ents! With Elves as a close second.

8.  What character do you look the most like?
Well, I’m short with brown hair and I enjoy the above mentioned second breakfast, so I’ll have to go with any of the hobbits.

9.  Are there any books about Middle-earth or Professor Tolkien (but not written by him) you recommend?
I have this awesome illustrated Guide to Tolkien by David Day that I would recommend.

10.  List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the Middle-earth books and/or movies. 

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes the longest to finish” -Sam

“Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised” -Aragorn

I am so excited to get to participate in Bilbo and Frodo’s Blog party.  I have been a fan of Tolkien for years now and I never get tired of rereading the books or talking about the books.

If you are a Tolkien fan, I would recommend checking out Hamlette’s blog party!

Tolkien Party Hobbit Hole 2018

R.I.P. Readers Imbibing Peril XIII

 

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As usual, I am late to the party.  But at least I freaking got here… right? Anywho, I came across this seasonal challenge on the Classics Club page and I really wish that I had found this, I don’t know, YEARS ago.  I practically live on mysteries and gothic suspense novels. This challenge originated with Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings but is now hosted by Heather at My Capricious Life.

About the challenge:

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
There are several categories depending on your level of commitment but I chose to participate in Peril the first which will require me to read 4 books that fit within these categories.  While I don’t sign up for challenges all that often, this will work splendidly for me because A. These are usually my preferred type of books and B. This will work well and in line with the few other challenges I participate in (Project Poirot, Back to the Classics, and The Classics Club Challenge)
My choices:
1. Dracula
2. and 3. will probably be the next couple Agatha Christie’s on my Project Poirot list
4. The Hazelwood
I may change my selections, but I feel pretty confident that these will be the ones.  I am so excited to participate in this challenge for the first time! If you are also participating (since everyone seems to have already known about this challenge) please let me know what your selections are or drop a link to your post!

Bad Book Habits Tag

I love reading other bloggers’ responses to book habits tags and I came across this tag over at Another Book in the Wall and thought it would be fun to put in my two cents.

Bad Book Habit 1: Spending too much money on books

I am THE WORST at controlling myself when I go to the bookstore.  I walk in and all those glossy covers and new book perfume assault me and I start picking up all the things. Oooh look, the sequel to that book I read last year. OOOOOHHHHH look, it’s the special edition hardback of that one book I love! OH how cute, Bella will like this one. And so on and so forth until my trip to the bookstore for one book, turns into a full out haul.  I need help. If there is a support group for people like me, please share in the comments because at some point, we will be unable to sit in my living room because the books have already spilled off the shelves and into a stack on my living room floor.

Bad Book Habit 2: Trying to Read too many books at once

I can manage pretty well with this one, but I am usually reading 2-3 books at a time.  One is usually digital and gets read at work when I have a few minutes here and there and the others are usually divided into a heavier read and something more page turning.  I guess this isn’t necessarily a bad habit, but I included it anyway.

Bad Book Habit 3: Hoarding Books

While I buy a lot of digital books and download others for free, the majority of my books are physical copies and I have a very hard time letting go.  When one of my dogs was teething a few years ago, he used the bottom shelf of my book case as a teething ring and so a lot of the tall books I had down there have damaged spines.  They are now on the floor in the aforementioned stack but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them.  I know the spines are probably too damaged for any used bookstore or library to take them and I absolutely cannot bring myself to throw them out.  There are also some beautiful copies of books I wasn’t too crazy about sitting on my shelves that I just find so difficult to get rid of.

Bad Book Habit 4: Not utilizing my library enough

There is no valid excuse for this one.  It’s not like I never go to the library.  I mean, my daughter is enrolled in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program there so we go to check in whenever she reaches a milestone and I have gone a couple times to pick up my holds books… but… I’m still buying books.

Bad Book Habit 5: Tuning out the world

When I read, I really like to be left alone. Preferably in a comfortable spot and with a tasty beverage.  However, I am a wife and mom of two who works a much more than regular full time job.  This leads to issues in that I always sneak away from things to get in a few extra minutes of reading.  In fact, I sometimes take way too long making dinner because my book always accompanies me into the kitchen and I will start reading while waiting for water to boil or something similar and ten minutes later I still haven’t put the noodles into the water. *covers face in shame* I mean do these people really need to eat right now?

So there you have it.  I am a terrible person sometimes.  Don’t judge.