blind date with a book

bookworm things

Every time I see photos online of brown paper wrapped books with vague descriptions, I tell myself that if I ever come across a shop that’s selling books in that way, I’m going to pick one up. I honestly thought the likelihood of that happening would be zero. But for the first time ever, I did in fact come across a shelf of these books in a small bookstore in Sydney.

Obviously, I stopped and tried to figure out what the books were based on the descriptions.

blind date book

To my amusement, my husband and I both noticed the one book that appealed to me – and he talked me into buying it.

This week, I just took part in my first ever “blind date with a book”.

blind date with a book

The description on the brown paper was very me – “sci-fi”, and “fantasy”, and “a modern classic” – all things that appeal to me. All genres and types of books that I generally adore. But for the life of me, I could not put together what book was under that paper. Believe you me, I tried.

I really, really tried.

blind date book2

My “blind date book” turned out to be Cloud Atlas, which I have never read. I will admit to never having seen the movie either – and until this moment, had no desire to. But now? Now I am more than a little intrigued about the story.

cloud atlas

The entire experience got me thinking that it can be so weird how we choose books to read. I know a lot of times I pick up books based on their covers. I know we’re told never to judge a book by it’s cover, but the prettier the cover, the more likely I will check out the synopsis. But in this case, all I had going for me were a bunch of seemingly disjointed and disconnected phrases and words.

And still, my interest was snagged.

blind date with cloud atlas

A large part of me wants to do this again. Somehow, someway, I want to choose to read a book, not based on the cover or the synopsis, but simply from a vague and disjointed description. To be quite honest, I have a few ideas on how to go on about this, but I’d need to find more like-minded people. Having to track down bookstores or libraries that carry out this practice is tedious, and I’m sure the online book blogging community would appreciate a way to participate in such a thing.

Or at least, I know I’d love to participate in such a thing.

I’ve been discussing my ideas with a friend – and if I can iron out a few details and smooth out a few snags, this may become a monthly feature. What do you think? Should we attempt online blind dating with books? Would anybody be interested in taking a chance on books with me? Let me know, please, because I’m definitely up for it!

2016-04-12 11:46

review; shatter me


Shatter Me
by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Continue reading “review; shatter me”

review; star gazing


Star Gazing
by Linda Gillard

Blind since birth, widowed in her twenties, now lonely in her forties, Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant, angry anonymity with her sister, Louisa, a successful novelist. Marianne’s passionate nature finds solace and expression in music, a love she finds she shares with Keir, a man she encounters on her doorstep one winter’s night. Keir makes no concession to her condition. He is abrupt to the point of rudeness, yet oddly kind. But can Marianne trust her feelings for this reclusive stranger who wants to take a blind woman to his island home on Skye, to “show” her the stars?

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bookworm things

Mary over at Books And Cookies on tumblr made a post that I thought was pretty cool and thought provoking. She was asking booklrs about the most badass bookworm things they had done. Some talked about managing to get authors to do book signings, or befriending them. Others talked about making book fandom related craftwork.

I put together a shortlist of things that I am proud of, as a bookworm. They might not necessarily be the most “badass” things a bookworm could do, but they definitely qualify as an extreme example of bookworms.

Presenting, in no particular order, my list of “badass” bookworm things I have done.

  • Reading my cousins’ literature text for them because I was bored. (Note: I was in the year below them and at this time I wasn’t even studying english lit yet.)
  • Getting caught reading under my desk in class and getting into trouble for it, and being moved to the front of the class. Tbh, I read a lot in class when I should have been paying attention…
  • Literally walking around my middle and high schools with my nose buried in a book – up and down staircases too! – and managing to only trip when I didn’t have a book. (My friends were so amused?? Lol.)
  • Reading 3 books in one day because I just could. not. stop.
  • Reading my younger sister’s literature text for her because she was never as fond of literature as I was – and helping her score an A!
  • Slowly converting the people around me into readers – including family members that used to tease me for being a bookworm!
  • Idk if this classifies as a “badass” thing but I’m super proud of it looking back now but my cousins used to tease me that being called a bookworm wasn’t enough because I didn’t just read books, I devoured them, so they started calling me a book anaconda. At the time, I’ll admit, I used to get annoyed because they weren’t being flattering about it at all. But now? Hell yeah, I’m a book anaconda!

What are some of the things you have done that you think represent #bookwormsarebadass?

2016-04-12 11:46

(mini) blog ahead

The first time I heard about Blog Ahead was last year, just before it started in October. I was intrigued, and wanted to challenge myself, so I participated by adapting a YA Lit Meme to suit my purposes.

I surprised myself by completing it. I’m not going to lie, I honestly thought I would give up half-way through the challenge and abandon the meme – but I didn’t. I persevered, I created edits and found quotes that resonated with me, and I didn’t just complete Blog Ahead 2015, I also completed my first ever Meme. Though, admittedly, it took me a long while to make that last edit. I’m lazy sometimes, and I’m a very big procrastinator.

But I completed it, and now, I’m putting myself in that position again. This time, instead of creating a month’s worth of posts, the challenge is to create at least 15 new scheduled posts between May 1 and May 15. Not only does this challenge me to come up with content for this new blog, I’m giving myself a whole other challenge – I am not allowing myself to use any of the content I’ve already posted on my tumblr book blog, whether or not I plan to slowly transfer them here.

All new content, that’s the challenge.

Blog AheadWish me luck!
– Ara

review; the ugly duchess


The Ugly Duchess
by Eloisa James

How can she dare to imagine he loves her when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke’s passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months. Theo would have given it a lifetime – until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry.

Society was shocked by their wedding … and is scandalized by their separation’

Now James faces the battle of his life, convincing Theo that he loves the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that, for a man with the soul of a pirate, All’s Fair in Love—and War.

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review; the fault in our stars


The Fault In Our Stars
by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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review; the wishing spell

IMG_1043The Land Of Stories: The Wishing Spell
by Chris Colfer

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

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review; destroy me


Destroy Me
by Tahereh Mafi

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of.

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

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review; the unbearable book club for unsinkable girls

I’ve been writing reviews for books for a couple of years now, and posting them on my booklr. But until I can hit a stride here on this blog, I figure it’d be smarter to slowly migrate the reviews from there to here. I mean, it’s going to take a while for me to get into a groove, I know this. At least I have some things already reviewed and posted that I can now put up here as well.

This is probably the only review that will have a preface to it, if only to explain that my reviews tend to be written within a few days of having read the book in question, and posted shortly after. I won’t be dating the pre-posted reviews except maybe in tags, just in case I post a new review before I’ve completely covered all the older ones.

Note: These reviews have been unedited from their original form.

IMG_1042The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls
by Julie Schumacher

‘I’m Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn’t want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee’s parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of “The Unbearable Book Club,” CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren’t friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I’ll turn in when I go back to school.’

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