I’ve Never Reread a Series of Books…Until Now

Yep. I’m going to do it. It’s hard to believe that I’ve never once gone back and read a series from start to finish a second time. I mean, I know my last two years of reading have been a joke, but since 2010 I’ve read a good number of books (128). I don’t know exactly how many different series are in there, but there are a few. And never once did I tell myself that I wanted to experience it again. Eh. Oh well.

But now I am telling myself that. Why? Because why not. I’m not going to make a habit of this, but there’s really no difference between never having done something and having done it just the one time. So now I should probably tell you which series I’m going to reread, right? Hm. If you’ve read my blog long enough to remember who my favorite character is, then you know the answer. If you’ve read my blog long enough to know my favorite series of books, then you know the answer. Or if you’ve read my short bio on my About Me page, then you may or may not be able to figure out the answer.

Still wondering? Okay. I’m rereading that kinda sorta popular trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. There’s this girl named Katniss, maybe you’ve heard of her? I’m not doing this to refresh my memory of the series. I know it. I know the story. I know the characters. I know what I think of Katniss. I’m doing this because I simply feel like rereading three of my all-time favorite books. That’s it.

I first read the series in the first half of 2012. I loved every book, though I definitely have a favorite of the three. And oh by the way, I’m also doing something else for the first time…I’ve never read a series straight through all at once. I always jump from author to author and series to series in order to diversify my reading habits. I’ll also be continuing that practice, but only after I finish the series.

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Am I a Book Blogger?

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Photo Credit: Book Bloggers International

What comes to mind when you think book blogger? I think of pretty much book reviews, author interviews, reading lists, and blog tours.

Awkward silence envelopes me.

I do none of those things. Okay. Now let’s see. Maybe I have an author blog? But wait, I don’t talk about my own writing on here anymore. I talk about my writing process. A little. Don’t think so.

Okay. Maybe I have a writing blog? But I don’t offer any writing tips like EVERYONE else seems to because I’m not an expert like everyone else. (don’t miss the sarcasm)

Hm. Well let’s see what I do blog about. I write posts about writing. I write about reading. I write about book news. I write about publishing and buying books. I write about authors. I write about Katniss and Harry Potter. I write about…what else do I freaking write about?! Uh uh…I rant on and on about how stupid some things are. Um. I don’t know!

Oh well. I guess I’m not your typical book blogger. But you know what? I AM a book blogger and all of you who do just stick to listing all the books you read during the last month and reviews and the occasional author interview…well you’re boring anyway and you probably have 37 followers to my 1800. Whaaa?! I did not just go there.

I make book blogging fun and controversial all at once. Now THAT is something I rather enjoy.

Recommending Books

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I’ve written posts about all things books. Writing. Reading. Publishing. And just general news. The one thing I’ve tried stay away from doing is actively recommending books. I’ve written a few posts about the books I’ve read this year from the Amazon 100 Books Everyone Should Read List, but even then I don’t think I recommended any of those to my readers.

You may be wondering why I try not to recommend books. Well, because there is no “if you liked this, then you’ll definitely like this.” Just because you did doesn’t mean I will. For example, most of you know that I’m obsessed with Katniss and all things THG, and yes I would recommend those three books to anyone, no matter what they say their genre of choice is because I think those books transcend the YA dystopian genre, but those are the only ones.

I won’t tell you that if you enjoy reading crime novels that you should read every book on my shelf since it’s about 90% detective fiction. I won’t tell you to read my most recent read because I liked it so much. One thing I’ll  never do is gift someone a book. Because what the heck do I know about their reading habits? Nothing.

One other quick example. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I thought it was a great book, but it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to buy all of his previous books or that I’m going to delve deeper into YA. I don’t think either of those is going to happen right now. I read what I read and if it happens to be mystery or YA or sci-fi, then so be it. No single book or recommendation will be changing that.

If you’re wondering, the one book that doesn’t belong in a series that I’d recommend to any person is Anne Frank. But that’s it.

Are Bookmarks Dead?

ImagePhoto Credit: Pixopa

Bookmarks. No, I’m not talking about that little tab at the top of your browser that saves your favorite websites for easy navigation. I’m talking those things that we used to put on the insides of our books to save our page.

I’ve never been a huge fan of bookmarks. But I always liked looking at all the cool designs at my elementary school book fairs. And at Barnes and Noble on that little twisty thing. You could always find one that caught your interest that you just had to buy. Give me a bookmark with Katniss on it! Matter of fact, give me all of the bookmarks with Katniss on them! Or Hermione. But really, I probably wouldn’t even use those. One of my older brothers gave me some really fancy bookmarks for Christmas in 2012? And I never even removed them from the packaging. Don’t worry, he doesn’t read this.

And with the advent of e-readers, bookmarks have become even more obsolete than ever before. Your Kindle or Nook or iPad stop exactly where you stop reading. Or you can just use the page numbers as your reference, but you’re never putting your e-reader away with a bookmark sticking out of the top. I mean, that would look a little funny if you did.

I keep my page by remembering where I leave off. For instance, I read in 50 page increments. I’ll never stop a chapter short of the 45th page of reading, so it’s fairly easy for me to keep my place without using a snazzy little bookmark. And I NEVER dog ear my pages. If you do that then I’m punching you in the face. Right now. That’s just cruel and one of the reasons why I’ve never once lent out one of my books to anyone. If I got it back like that I’d be forcing them to get me a new one.

So tell me, do you still use bookmarks, or do you have another way of keeping your page in the book you’re reading? I’m not asking you e-book freaks.

Literary Characters who Should Die

ImagePhoto Credit: A Book Lover’s Diary

I love books. You love books. We know that. But we’ve also all read characters in books who we just wanted to push off the side of a cliff for any number of reasons. Don’t shake your head. Yes you have. Liar.

Anyway, why don’t I just start listing off the characters I’ve disliked so much that I wanted to dedicate an entire post to them.

Draco Malfoy

I actually have a friend who loves Draco. We used to randomly discuss HP and it was before I’d read any of the books and she banned me from ever having an opinion on the series. So what do you think I did, I only talked about the one character I knew she adored, Draco. Ew. What was she thinking. I HATE Draco. Seriously. Yes, I’ve only read the first book in the series, but I already hate him even more than before! The worst part is that she loves Tom Felton too. Huh? But really, Draco should just die. Like right now. I don’t have anything more to say about him.

Keller

You know those books you’re looking forward to reading and you end up being utterly disappointed? That was me when I read Hit Man by Lawrence Block. If you’re unaware, Lawrence Block is a Grand Master with the Mystery Writers of America. He has a large body of work and he’s won eight Edgar Awards. He’s the real deal. So imagine me when I found his series revolving around an assassin by the name of Keller. I thought I’d found a new author and series to read for years to come. Wrong. The book was so bad. I did finish, but man was it awful. Keller would assassinate a random person pretty much every chapter. He wasn’t funny. Likeable. Or anything but boring. Suffice it to say that I won’t be buying another of Mr. Block’s books and definitely not in the Keller series.

Kinsey Millhone

Do not yell at me for this. I am well aware how popular the alphabet series by Sue Grafton is. And I know that Kinsey is Sue Grafton. There have been 23 books written in the series so far, I’ve read letters A-F and S in the series. There’s a book for every letter through W. I’ve always read such raving reviews about her attention to detail and how great Kinsey is as a character. I just don’t feel the same way. At all. I’ve had the book for G on my TBR shelf for years. Years! I’ve started and stopped it twice! To me, Kinsey is awkward and mediocre at her job as a private investigator. She’s not as funny as she thinks. And she drives, at least in the books I’ve read, a Volkswagon Beetle. I mean, no. Just no. But what do I know, right? Not like her books are consistently #1 NYT bestsellers or anything.

President Snow

All you THG fans better feel the same as I do about this guy. Seriously, look what he puts Katniss and Peeta through. Sure, they defied the capitol in their first Games, but EVERYONE loves them! And then to personally threaten her family before she begins her Victory Tour. No. President Snow, go in the arena and eat some poison berries or shoot a fireball at yourself. That’s about all you deserve. I think Donald Sutherland is great as Snow in the movies. To be fair.

Okay, now I’d LOVE to hear about some of the characters you’ve forced yourself to read who you thought were ugly and disgusting and just bad. Tell me!

The Lack of Diversity in my Reading

Photo Credit: Valparaiso, IN

Before I continue with this post, I’d like to let you know that I’ll be talking about the lack of racial diversity in my reading. But I know that some people see anything Race related and automatically turn away, which is why I left it out of the title. The topic of racial diversity in publishing will NOT be discussed. This time. We’re strictly talking about my reading. Let’s begin.

One more point that I need to make before moving on is that in no way am I saying that these books, authors, or series are any less worthy of reading. We’re talking about me.

I’ve talked quite a bit about my reading habits on here. I mean, I have three different pages that are dedicated to books I’ve already read or want to in the future. And obviously reading is a big part of any discussion about books, so it makes sense to devote a good amount of space on here to my reading. But I realized something earlier today that I honestly hadn’t noticed before. It was something of a shock, actually. A huge percentage of the books I read not only have White protagonists, but they’re written by White authors. I can assure you that this was not done on purpose. That would be me saying that protagonists or authors of another Race are less worthy of reading. Absolutely not. I’m Mexican! Yes, I realize that in itself does not mean much, but I’m a Mexican author too. I want EVERYONE to read my books. And quite honestly, I believe my audience to be middle-aged, educated, White women. This is based off of the author events I’ve attended for writers in my genre. I saw the same person in the audience over and over again. I can tell you for certain that I was the youngest at every event I attended. By decades.

Anyway, let’s get back on topic. Let me tell you about some of the series and authors I read.

Authors

James Patterson – White

Suzanne Collins – White

Lee Child – White

Steve Hamilton – White

Robert B. Parker – White

Robert Crais – White

You get the point. There are more but it is not MOSTLY the same, it is EXACTLY the same. There is one author out of all of my books who is not White. Michele Martinez. I do have all of her books, but she only has four. Now let’s look at the protagonists I read.

Series

Spenser – White

Katniss Everdeen – White

Harry Bosch – White

Elvis Cole – White

Kinsey Millhone – White

Alex McKnight – White

Merci Rayborn – White

There are a whopping two series I read that revolve around non-White protagonists. Alex Cross, who is African-American. And Melanie Vargas. This is disappointing to me. Quite so.

I can guarantee that the Race of the main character is never once mentioned in any of these series, except for Alex Cross and Melanie Vargas. It’s not mentioned because it’s so obvious to the reader that it never needs to be mentioned.

I love all of the authors I’ve listed, all of them. Their books and writing and careers all speak for themselves. But I can’t wrap my head around the fact that I consider myself an avid reader and yet, it would appear that I’m an avid reader of the exact same thing over and over again. I’m sure plenty of readers are the same way, but I don’t want that to be the case with me. I want to be a well-rounded reader because there are plenty of great writers out there who are worthy of reading but may not be well known. It’s time for me to make an effort to read more books that follow a Black protagonist or Mexican or whomever, along with the series I already enjoy.

And the absolute worst part of all this, and I do mean the worst, is that I wrote a protagonist who is me in every aspect…except Race. And I’ll even tell you why. Because I thought him being White would attract more readers than him being Mexican. I sincerely love Andrew and the character I’ve created, but I HATE that I did that. Hate it. I don’t know if this is me conforming to the publishing industry or what, but I need to figure out whether I want to write the stories I want to write or whether I’m writing what I think might get me published one day. They may or may not be the same thing. Which is unfortunate.

I know my posts are typically witty, funny, and informative, but this was a post I needed to write for me.

Thanks for reading.

I ask that you glance over at your bookshelf and see if you find the same problem I did.

Nominated for an Award, no Two!

ImagePhoto Credit: Out and About

I typically only post on one Saturday a month, but this is a celebration! So, sorry for two straight six post weeks. Don’t get bored of me, please. 🙂

I’ve read about SO many bloggers being nominated for this award and that award and every time I just want to punch them in the face. Cause I think I’m a pretty good blogger who writes interesting and relevant posts and I never get nominated for anything. Until now! Actually, I have to admit that I was first nominated about a month ago but my blogging schedule is planned quite a bit ahead and certain posts are scheduled for certain days so I’ve been trying to fit it in and never had a good day for it. So let’s just get on with the fun-ness, shall we?

I’d first like to thank Writer X for first nominating for me the Versatile Blogger Award. You are too kind. Second I would like to thank Erynn for nominating me for the Liebster Award. Geez, you guys. I love you both. Haha I’m only kidding. Okay, I’m not. Moving on!

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Before I begin, I’m going to merge the two awards. So instead of 11 facts you’ll get 15 and I’ll nominate 11 bloggers. Time for secrets!

15 Facts about me

1. I was the youngest in my university’s graduating class last May. Something like 1,000 students. I was 21.

2. I have a crush on this girl I work with and I haven’t told a single soul. Until now. Wait, am I too old to crush on someone? Eh. Y’all are officially in the know! Shhhhh.

3. I cried during Transformers 2. Hush your mouth and don’t judge me!

4. I’ve never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I’ll be 23 at the end of the year.

5. I lost all the numbers in my phone last November and never made any attempt at getting them back. Now I have 26. I laugh every time I see it.

6. I honestly believe that baseball is man’s greatest invention.

7. I graduated from high school weighing about 110 pounds four years ago. I’m currently at about 180. Remember, bodybuilder over here.

8. I have many celebrity crushes. Jennifer Lawrence is number one. Emma Watson. Katherine Heigl. Rachel McAdams. Kimberley Perry. Taylor Swift. Just to name a few.

9. I look up to my little brother more than I think he knows. My degree is in criminal justice. He studies petroleum engineering. He’s also the only person who can push me in the gym. And he calls me fat.

10. I LOVE tattoos. A girl with a sleeve is like heaven.

11. I LOVE girls who wear boots. It’s weird. Like it doesn’t even matter what the boots look like. Cowgirl. Hot pink. Ugly rain. Doesn’t matter.

12. I’ve named characters in my first two books after the best people I’ve ever met. I’m talking about you Nathan, Sydney, Mercedes, and Stephany.

13. My favorite country singer is Blake Shelton. If you don’t like him then I don’t like you.

14. I’m Mexican-American. Many people think Filipino upon first meeting me. It’s the eyes.

15. I’m atheist.

Now the 11 questions I’m to answer.

1. What kind of music do you like to listen to while writing, if any at all?

No music for me. I’ve listened to ocean waves before. They’re soothing and bring a sense of calm to an otherwise stressful situation. Writing.

2. What is it about writing that keeps you going, even when you’re not sure you want to continue?

I have stories that need telling. They may be bad. They may not be read by many people, but they’ll always be mine and have my name on them.

3. Who is your favourite author?

Stop it. This is nearly impossible. I’m going to say that it’s a tie between Robert B. Parker and Michael Connelly. I could have named several others.

4. What genre do you read, but swear you’ll never write?

Easy. Sci-fi. I like it okay. I have maybe nine sci-fi books. But I’m not into world building and all of that. I’ll leave that to the real writers.

5. What do you do when you tell yourself something along the lines of ‘I’ll only procrastinate a little bit longer’?

Read. Sleep. Read one of the many blogs I follow on here. Or lie in bed. I’m boring.

6. What brings you right into a writing mood, and how do you keep it that way?

I read this quickly and wondered why the heck you wanted to know what gets me in the mood. Hahaha whoops. Nothing. I just write when I have something to write. That’s about it.

7. Favourite series, and favourite stand alone?

THE HUNGER GAMES! The Hunger Games! The Hunger Games! Remember I’m in love with Jennifer Lawrence, and I love love love the books. Standalone would be Pacific Beat by T. Jefferson Parker.

8. Have you ever seriously screwed up your sleeping schedule because of a book? Was it worth it, and what were you reading?

Well first off, my sleeping schedule is already messed up. Since I graduated from college. But of course. I never mind finishing a book at three in the morning. I like it. I’m about to finish my latest book as soon as I finish typing this up. It’s a little before one in the morning now.

9. What do you do to remember those ideas you come up with when you’re not able to write?

I’m always able. I don’t work Monday-Thursday. Which means I make my trip to the gym each day and spend the rest of the time at home. I’ve tried carrying a notebook around but always ended up leaving it somewhere and never actually writing anything down. I remember. I mostly come up with blogging ideas more than book ideas. I have a notebook on my desk with like twenty ideas for blog posts.

10. Are there any books or series that you thought were great, and then the ending just ruined everything for you?

Hmm. I’ve only finished a few series because most of my favorites are long and I’m behind. I’d have to say that Mockingjay was my least favorite book of THG. And I didn’t like what happened to Prim. At all. Thank you, Katniss for what you did later. You’re my hero.

11. Why do you write?

Because I’m a writer, silly.

My nominations

1. Melissa L. Delgado

2. Jenn not Jenny

3. NaturePreserve

4. The Road Jess Traveled By

5. Coffee. Write. Repeat.

6. Meg Writes Stuff

7. kdaugh1992

8. The Sonrisa Project

9. Browneyedgirldotcom

10. Inkcouragement

11. Seihren Songs

If you haven’t checked out any or all of these blogs, then you should. Seriously, they’re all great. I had to choose from SO MANY blogs I follow and these are the ones I came up with. So, all of you are nominated for the Liebster Award! I’m supposed to have 11 questions for you but I’m sleepy. So you can answer the same questions I did. Sorry for not being prepared!

Lastly, I’m writing this late at night and it won’t publish until the morning, so you’ll be reading this as I’m at work. So if you see your name then comment so I don’t tell you about it later! Deal? Deal.