The Book That Made Me a Reader

I’ve missed writing these past couple of weeks but now that I’ve settled in for the summer I am ready to get back to the books!

When I was younger I wanted to be exactly like my older brother so when he grew to love reading so did I. At the time I was already an advanced reader but I hadn’t found MY book. You know the the one book (or series) that makes you fall in love with reading. I’ve always believed that those who don’t like to read just haven’t found THEIR book. My book came to me during Christmas time but weren’t truly opened until the next summer.

My Grandpa Sky was always real big on encouraging my reading and buys books he thinks I may like for almost every christmas. If he never found one it was always a Barnes and Noble gift card. At Christmas about 12 years ago he had gotten me the first book of Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley. The story surrounds two sisters, Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, who traveled through many foster homes after their parents mysteriously disappear leaving behind a single red handprint. In the end they move in with their supposedly long dead grandmother in a town called Everafter. Sabrina and Daphne learn about the family business as detectives, Fairy-Tale detectives that is. Everafter is filled with fairy tale characters who cannot leave as long as a Grimm is living within the magical barriers surrounding the town.

The Sisters Grimm and the Fairy-Tale Detectives turned out to be MY book because after that there wasn’t a novel I couldn’t keep my hands off of. During that summer I spent most if not all of my time at the library gathering books and making friends with the librarians (many of whom I still converse with today). It was also during that time that I read Harry Potter for the very first time by myself. Ever since then it has been an integral aspect of my life and a series that I will always always always go back too.

I’d love to know what YOUR book was?

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

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“One should never underestimate the power of books.”

-Paul Auster

Book Review: Breakfast with Neruda

This past week I was able to put down the textbooks for a while to reacquaint myself with some novels. One of which I had stumbled upon at the very same Book Loft I mentioned last week, and even better it was autographed. What really sold me was that this novel took place in Ohio and the Book Loft made a special appearance. This said book is Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe.

Laura Moe is a former librarian and teacher. Her most recent work is Breakfast with Neruda but she has also written Parallel Lines. In the future she plans to write two sequels to Breakfast with Neruda. This book would be considered Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, and Romance so this would be a good choice for all you YA lovers out there.

Michael Flynn is just a boy trying to get through his summer of community service after getting caught with fireworks when he tries to blow up his friend’s car. This isn’t the only strife Michael faces as he was expelled, his said friend stole his girl, his mother is hoarder, and he lives out of 1982 Ford LTD station wagon his fondly called the “blue whale”. During his mandatory service is where he meets Shelly, a girl with a secretive background, who unravels all of Michael’s well kept secrets. And even though Michael feels unworthy of her attention and unlikely friendship forms between them and later possibly love.

The title of this book was a clever play on words as Shelly and Michael come to find they share a favorite poet by the name of Pablo Neruda. This is where Shelly affectionately gives Michael the nickname Neruda. Breakfast comes into play as they create a pattern of daily breakfast runs before community service. Shelly offers her money and companionship and Michael wasn’t one to pass up free food. Thus the name Breakfast with Neruda. It isn’t a title that you understand right away and it took me some time before I realized its inventive creation.

This book really reminded me of much I love to read and why I read books in the first place. While some of the plot could be considered cliche the entire novel was not. There are little things that emerged overtime and would be tied up together in a bright bow at the end. And that’s another thing, this book didn’t end with a definite ending which allowed me, as the reader, to leave somethings to the imagination. I think that is a hard thing for authors to do is leave a satisfying ending that is still up for interpretation. The one thing I did wish for was some more depth in some of the characters. Each one had wonderful characteristics and personalities but I felt as if she could have gone deeper especially when it came to Earl and Michael’s mother. In the end this didn’t affect my overall love for the book in general.

For those looking for a new read or those who are looking to stretch their limits I would definitely recommend Breakfast with Neruda. And just maybe we should read some Pablo Neruda while we are at it.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

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Add to your Goodreads list today! Click here!

 

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

-Pablo Neruda

The Book Loft

This past weekend afforded me the chance to go home for Easter break where I could enjoy the spoils of actual food, family, and friends. Especially Friday where I got to visit one of my favorite places on earth with my bestie. German Village.

German Village as it sounds was settled by German immigrants in the early-to-mid-19th century. It’s like a living piece of history with preserved houses and the aesthetic of brick streets. It has quaint homes with their groomed flower beds and absolutely no parking space. Shakespeare in Schiller Park down the street and delicious traditional German food. For example Schmidt’s Sausage Haus has been around since 1886. If you’re ever in the area a Schmidt’s cream puff is a must!

By far the best part of the German Village is the Book Loft. It hasn’t been around for very long but it quite a popular spot. This wonderful place is comprised of 32 rooms on a multitude of different reading subjects. It’s a literal maze filled to the brim with books, art, and small treasures packed into every last corner. One could spend hours upon hours in this place and not even see half of it. Because it’s quite a complicated building they do have a directory and label every room. Even funkier is having to ask for the bathroom key and search for the small door in the young adult section. They attached the key to a large piece of wood so it won’t get lost.

My friend and I love to visit whenever we get the chance as it’s a wonderful place to find your next read like I mentioned last week. It has the possibility to get you out of your comfort zone because you are surrounded by a plethora of some very good reads. And the best part is all of them are cheaper than one would find in, for example, a Barnes and Noble (note that I love Barnes and Noble but they have expensive prices). The cheapest I found was a new copy for three dollars and I don’t know about you but that’s a steal.

Another great thing is their love of autographed books. One can find them all over the store. They have autographs from more popular authors to smaller unknown authors, from biographies to mysteries. Everything you could possible want or be looking for. The only bad part is they limit you to only two copies. Makes sense though as you should share the love of autographed books for everyone.

For all those book lovers out there, if you are ever in Columbus take a trip to the Book Loft. I promise with all my heart that you won’t be disappointed by any means.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

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“Any independent bookstore that has managed to survive is the best place to do a reading.”

-Ruth Ozeki

 

Some Good Reads

Open the door and meet your next favorite book.

Today I’m talking about a favorite of mine, Goodreads. Goodreads is a website and app geared specifically toward readers. The site does so much like keeping track of books you want to read to those that you have already read. On top of that it recommends new titles based off your likes and allows you to share all of your reading with friends. Goodreads has separate bookshelves for you to sort the books you want to read, the ones you have read, and other categories you create like favorites, romance, or young adult. This way everything is organized and easy to find. Every time you finish a book and log it onto Goodreads you can enter the time in which you read the book, your rating, and a summary of what you thought. This can go to update your page so that your friends can see what you have been reading. It’s always fun to see the things your friends enjoy. Other features include updating reading progress, following authors, and a yearly reading challenge. Personally this is where I keep track of mine.

One of my favorite things is that they raffle off free copies of books like you are interested in. I haven’t won one yet but it’s good to know that so many people are keen on having the real copy of a book in their hands.

I discovered Goodreads back when I was in 7th grade. That seems like eons ago. My counselor saw that I was such an avid reader and she thought this would be a good way for me to not only keep track of those I’ve read but to find titles to broaden my horizons. We as humans tend to stick to things we know well or are comfortable with and every now and then we must step outside of our comfort zones. Reading is the perfect medium to do so. It’s simple, you either fall in love with the new book or decide it isn’t exactly your cup of tea. Both are okay.

I wanted to share Goodreads with you so that if you want to simplify your complicated reading journey or meet some new favorites you have the opportunity. I’m interested to see what you all will read next.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

“It’s good for me to do things outside my comfort zone and push myself.”

-Zoe Sugg

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Click on the image to see Booksburg’s Goodreads page!

The Art of Collecting

Recently I have been interviewed to be in a media segment for my school called the “Humans of Heidelberg.” It’s based off the Humans of New York and looks for interesting students on campus and aims to show how diverse our small campus really is. And really campus is tiny, like only 1,100 students, so tiny. The interview found me through one of my professors when he mentioned my presentation for his class on something that I personally collected. I collect signed books.

It started back in high school when I was getting my hands on pre-pubs from my favorite librarians. The first one that I really enjoyed and worked with was Thin Space by Jody Casella. I had the pre-pub about eight months ahead of the published date and get this, she is from my hometown. She used to be a teacher and her kids had gone through my high school. This afforded me the chance to meet her when she came in to talk about her writing strategies and the chance to get a signed copy when the book first came out. Funny story about my first experience reading this book. I was near the end during lunch when day when the bell rang to go to math. I was so anxious to finish the book in class that my teacher had dismissed me to finish the book in the hall. He said I could come to class when it was finished. Best teacher ever!

With each new book I collect I create a memory, have a story, or meet someone new. Currently I have collected nine books for my collection but I’m nowhere near done and hope to collect so much over the course of my life and career.

Don’t be afraid to show your passions in what you collect. It’s all a part of being you no matter what others may think.

I’m curious what do you collect?

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

I think the best thing for you to do is just live your life. Live a life that’s worth living, one where you do what you want to do, pursue your passions. That way, if you meet someone, they’ll be joining a life that’s already really good.
– Dan Savage

Books to Film: “Before I Fall”

Earlier this month on March 3, 2017, Before I Fall was released on the big screen. Since then I have been dying to see it but have neither the time nor money. The movie is based on the book Before I Fall by the one and only Lauren Oliver.

When I first read the book I was only a sophomore in High School and this book had been recommended to me by one of my favorite teachers. Mr. Goddard taught Public Speaking, one of my least favorite classes, and English, one of my favorite classes. He had recommended the book after one of our conversations saying that is was one of his favorites and that he hadn’t been able to put it down.

In Before I Fall, Miss popular Samantha expects February 12 or “cupid’s day” to be one big party until she dies in a terrible car accident that night. However Sam wakes up to relive the next day and the next seven days. In those next seven days Sam learns that her actions have more effect on the present than she had originally thought. In the end she makes the one choice that she never thought possible.

For the most part the movie itself is getting wonderful reviews from adolescent audiences who connected on a deeper level with Samantha. On the other hand there are some harsh critics who show much dislike toward the director, Russo-Young, saying the material lacks sentiment or is spineless. Others love to critic the identities of the characters especially Samantha. In terms of how well the movie followed the book, it seems to be fairly close.

At the end of the day I guess y’all out there will just have to give the movie a chance but read the book first.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

“I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Reading Challenge 2017

Sorry to have been missing in action these last couple of months but college started up once again and took over my life. After settling back into routine I now the time to give this project attention it deserves. Every year many readers, like myself, participate in a year long reading challenge. Some challenges consist of topics or qualifications each book you read must adhere to. These could range from a book a month or a book per week. The example I have below is a Reading Challenge that will have you read a book every other week for one year, so in total 26 books.

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On the other hand your Reading Challenge could be a number, the number of books you plan to read in that year. For example, “This year I plan to read 12 books, one for every month.” This would be a very reasonable and attainable goal for many. But I understand that for many of us life tends to get in the way. There are so many out there who are full-time students and workers or those who have families that come first, making it hard to find the time to pick a book and actually read.

The last non-school related novel I completed was back in December. And as much as that kills me, I have to prioritize my other pressing responsibilities before I am able to pick up my lovely paper friend. That is why this year I will once again try a Reading Challenge. I will set my number of books (probably twelve) through Goodreads and keep track of my books as I read them. But, I will not challenge myself. I’m not going to pressure myself into reading books in order to reach that number by the end of the year. This year I won’t worry about that pesky number. Of course it is always fascinating to see how many you read and one feels accomplished when they complete their goal. On the other hand it adds stress to reading which is the complete opposite of reading should be.

Join a challenge, try new genres, re-read old favorites but don’t do it for the challenge do it for yourself. If you go into it with this mindset you might just surprise yourself. Maybe this year I will finally reach that number, who knows.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

-Aristotle

Introducing Wattpad

If you have ever heard of Wattpad, you are awesome, if you haven’t, you are still awesome but you need to know what you’re missing out on. Wattpad is an online site where inspiring writers can publish their works. These authors can create their own book covers, choose their perfect cast of actors, and promote their writing in an open space. For many this is where they gain their writing momentum and eventually get published. For others it’s just a way to share their stories and writing with others.

I came across Wattpad in my Freshman year of high school through word of a friend. It wasn’t a lack of reading material but easily accessible material from home that intrigued me. Quickly I was going through book after book and keeping updated with favorite authors. I even followed series and saw some works I’ve read be published. Nothing is more heartwarming than seeing a work sitting on a Barnes and Noble shelf and knowing that you helped to encourage the writer to reach their goals or give constructive criticism.

The best part about Wattpad is not the stories but the people. These writers are everyday people. Some are students like myself, those with careers, mothers, and grandmothers. Basically every person you can think of. Not only that but it is such a wonderful fan base. There are people who will give positive feedback and be loyal followers, others can give constructive criticism that can help improve your writing. And with every site you are going to get those who are less than nice and their criticism is not constructive but they are only a handful.

All in all, I’m encouraging all of you to read some of the works on Wattpad or add to the collection with works of your own. You can check my Wattpad account below. I will attempt to post a Wattpad review every month so y’all can see some of the brilliant stories waiting to be discovered.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
~Benjamin Franklin

5 Things About Me

As this is my very first blog post of all time, I feel it’s almost obligatory to further introduce myself. In way I want you to consider me as your friend while I will consider you one of mine. So as a first step toward our forming friendship here are 5 Things About Me.

  1. MY FAMILY: The most important aspect of my life is and always will be my family. Lucky for me we are quite large and fairly close. I have a wonderful mother, an amazing father, and two very awesome step parents. Together I have eight siblings; Tommy, Taylor, Stephen, Spencer, Spencer (yes two there are two of them), Erin, Jennifer, and Christopher. Six brothers and two sisters. Four step-brothers, a brother, a half-brother, and two step-sisters. Kind of difficult to remember so I drop the labels. I’ve known most of them for half my life so even though we are not blood related they will always be my siblings and thus my family.
  2. “ZIPPY” AND TAYLOR: You may have noticed the name ‘Zippy’ in multiple areas around the blog. The main reason for this is that it is my name, technically. It’s the name I go by anyway while the name on my birth certificate is Taylor.  If you hadn’t noticed yet, Taylor is also the name of my step-brother which made things complicated in terms of identification. I have been called Zippy for as long as I’ve known my step-dad. When I first met him he recommended a book to me, “A Girl Named Zippy” by Haven Kimmel (it’s amazing so read it if you get the chance). I was enthralled with the name so my family took to calling me Zippy and the rest is history.
  3. WRITE THINGS FIRST: A quirky little thing about me is that I have to write everything down first. This is how most of my school papers are written. I find that the flow of words comes easier when I take pen to paper. I’m actually hand writing this blog before I post it. The same goes in regard to my To Do Lists, or taking notes in class. I never quite feel that a word doc. could ever replace paper and pen.
  4. HISTORY: I love History! There is so much I can say in regard to this subject but I’ll try to keep my little rant short. By now every aspect of History has ingrained itself into my life. From bringing it into everyday conversations or popping out random facts. I have even corrected a teacher (oops). I love having the chance to look through the perspective of people and events from the past in an effort to learn from them. It’s part of why I chose to major in History besides the fact that I want to become an Archivist as to better preserve history but also choose the things that are valuable to preserve as well.
  5. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: This wouldn’t be a proper introduction if I didn’t at least describe and praise my favorite piece of literature. As you can tell by the subheading, I am deeply in love with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There isn’t enough words in the English and German (my minor) to describe everything about this novel. From her phrasing and plot, to the romance, and the complexity of her characters. I know that no matter what I can pick it up again and still love it as much as I did the first time I read it.

See ya in the A.M.

-Zippy-

“I take a lot of pride in being myself. I’m comfortable with who I am.”

–James McAvoy