A more accurate title for this post might be “Finding My Way Back to the Blogging World…. ”

It has been a very long time since I last posted here on Readerly Musings, in the middle of my blogiversary celebration.

Unfortunately life got in the way of my reading life for a few months and has stayed in the way of my blogging life for even longer. It is my hope that Bout of Books 13.0 will be my way back into the world of blogging, though I will be starting out very slow!

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 13.0

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My true goal for this read-a-thon is to not only read but also get back into blogging, though I do have a tentative TBR. If I manage to follow it and not read a book off the list, I will be very shocked! And, as always, I am being highly optimistic about how many books I will read…

My TBR

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The Underground Labyrinth by Louella Dizon San Juan
Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Every Day by David Levithan
The Cult of Kronos by Amy Leigh Strickland

Happy reading, everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an event brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

While this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie, I shamelessly “stole” Chrissi’s topic – with her permission, of course. Thanks, Chrissi!

This list is in no particular order.

The Princess Bride

1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I have been a huge fan of the movie since I was around ten years old and yet I have not gotten around to this book, even after I bought myself the gorgeous Folio Society edition!

The Secret of Ashona

2. The Secret of Ashona by Kaza Kingsley

I’ve had this book on my shelf since it was published in 2012 and yet I haven’t read it! Though at the same time I’m kind of grateful because the author is only now writing the sixth book in the series, so…

Boy Meets Boy

3. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

I met David Levithan back in September, had him sign a copy of the 10th anniversary edition of this book for me, and yet, nope, haven’t read it yet.

Timeline

4. Timeline by Michael Crichton

I watched the movie adaptation after it came out on DVD and, though I liked it, I heard the novel was even better. I still haven’t read it, but at least I read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books for the very first time last year, right?

Someday, Someday, Maybe

5. Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

As a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, I really wanted to read Lauren Graham’s debut novel. But I figured I would wait for it to come out in paperback. Except then I came across a lovely used hardcover copy a few weeks before the paperback was released that would cost less than the paperback, so I bought it. Still haven’t cracked it open. *sigh*

Rule of Thirds

6. The Rule of Thirds by Chantel Guertin

This was one of the first books I found out about when I started blogging, and I really wanted to read it to see how the author wrote about anxiety and panic attacks, so I bought it when it came out. Haven’t picked it up.

Code Name Verity

7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I’ve heard such amazing things about this book and I fully intended to read it after buying it a few days after the first time I heard about it, but I have yet to feel in the right mood for it.

Boy Nobody

8. Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

The trailer for this was absolutely amazing, and it made me order a copy right then and there. It’s now almost six months later.

The Girl Who Came Home

9. The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

One of my favorite history topics is the Titanic, so as soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to have it. I got it the day it was released, and yet….

The Iliad

10. The Iliad by Homer

I fell in love with The Odyssey when I read it during my Freshman year of high school, twelve years ago, and I bought a nice, used copy of The Iliad to read, but… it hasn’t happened yet.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an event brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

For this topic, I picked some of the more embarrassing-to-me authors I’ve never read, while also not including any of the authors I’ve never read that were featured in last week’s post – which is all but two.

This list is in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names. Also, I love that my top two embarrassing unread authors bookend this list.

Pride & Prejudice

1. Jane Austen

Ask the Passengers

2. A.S. King

Every Day

3. David Levithan

The Knife of Never Letting Go

4. Patrick Ness

The Storyteller

5. Jodi Picoult

Alanna: The First Adventure

6. Tamora Pierce

Dodger

7. Terry Pratchett

The Rithmatist

8. Brandon Sanderson

Leviathan

9. Scott Westerfeld

Charlotte's Web

10. E.B. White

Musing Mondays is an event brought to you by Should Be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

November 25’s musing asked…

Do you know of any local authors in your area, and –if so– have you met any of them?

My Musings

I honestly haven’t ever given any thought to ‘local authors,’ mostly because it brings up the question of what exactly local is. For instance, New York City is about half an hour away from me. Does that count as local? If so, then I know of quite a few given all the times I have looked at the back of a book to read about the author and read ‘lives in New York City.’ Closer than about a half hour away from me (by car), however, no, I’m not really aware of any published authors. Though I may have to do some research on this after the holidays are over!

As far as authors who live in or around (or have it down as one of their ‘divide their time between’ locations) New York City and/or New Jersey, I have met Meg Cabot (TWICE! :D), David Levithan, Tao Lin, Louella Dizon San Juan, and Pink Maxwell! All of them I met at the Brooklyn Book Festival this past September. Alas, prior to that I had never really gone to many bookish events but I’m really hoping to make up for that in the coming year. And I’d also like to give a shout-out to Kit Grindstaff who drove two hours from her home in Pennsylvania to an event on a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago where I was able to meet her!

What is there to say about the 2013 Lit Crawl Manhattan and Brooklyn Book Festival? For a reader like me, a lot. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, though!

Let’s start with the Lit Crawl. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a drinker, so the idea of a pub crawl ordinarily wouldn’t cross my radar. But when you make it about reading and writing? I’m in!

I went with my friend Hannah (who, coincidentally, inspired me to start this blog) and two of her friends to both events, but for the Lit Crawl, we had to do some planning first. There were at least seven options for each of the night’s three phases, but even so it went really well.

For the first phase of the night, we went to “Electric Literature and the Texas Book Festival present Literary Taboo,” where everyone was divided into two teams. Hearing people shout out names of books and authors based on some not-so-easy clues was amazing. Though I didn’t get up there to call out clues myself, I was surprised at the number of books and authors I recognized – as well as the ones I didn’t! For me it only strengthened the fact that I know I have a lot more reading to do, which is part of what I’m hoping this blog will help me accomplish.

After the game of taboo came to an end, we went onto the second phase which wasn’t for the readers inside us but the writers – “Prompt. Write. Share. Rinse. Repeat. Write-In with Gotham Writers’ Workshop.”

The third phase we chose, unfortunately, didn’t have as much to do with reading (or writing) as it was us standing around with complimentary cups of beers and talking amongst ourselves. However, “Beer and Banned Books with Out of Print” did introduce this reader to their online store of banned book inspired products. I may just have to set aside some of my book money for one of their t-shirts. Or maybe a pouch….

Now, on to the Brooklyn Book Festival! Tents with 210 stands of book vendors… are you kidding me? For real? I honestly could not get over that, even when I was there. So many books, so little time!

Hannah and I, however, were lucky and got there early enough to not only attend a panel of interest to the two of us- “Celebrate Banned Books Week!” with authors Francesca Lia Block, Lauren Myracle, and David Levithan (pictured above) – but also meet and get autographs from some of our favorite authors including two of the aforementioned, Meg Cabot, and Tao Lin, AND stop by almost every single one of the book vendors. There were a few we skipped because they weren’t of interest to us, but, come on, I still came home with eighteen books for myself, and a few more I bought as gifts!

The “Celebrate Banned Books Week!” panel was particularly interesting in and of itself. Even without the promise of meeting the authors after the fact, it was well worth it. We got to hear advice the authors had for other writers, how they handle knowing their books are banned, and what they do about it. Lauren Myracle shared a story of a scared father asking her for help on how to talk to and connect with his daughter, David Levithan told us how parents use his book Boy Meets Boy to let their children know it’s okay to talk to them about their sexuality, and Francesca Lia Block brought up that some of her older works are only now being banned after being on the shelves for decades. It gave this particular reader a lot to think about as I start this blog with very little previous experience reviewing books.

Now I’m off, but not before I make a mental note to attend both events again next year!

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