The Great TBR Purge of 2019 – Part 1

Two years ago, I took a look at my “To-be-read” (TBR) list on GoodReads and decided it needed some cleaning up. I picked out a handful of books from the list (well, a little more than that, since I split it into two posts) and decided to give them another look. Of those 14 books, only 5 survived the purge, and I ended up reading 3 of those 5 shortly after.

I looked at my TBR list again this year, and realized it might be time for another purge. There’s a lot of books still on there that I added nearly 6 (!) years ago, and I’m different person now than I was when I was 14-15.

Without further ado, The Great TBR Purge of 2019 (Part 1, because I have a lot of books to cover this time)

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2018: Year In Review

Before I start, I think we should all just give ourselves a pat on the back for making it to the end of the year. Whether 2018 was the best year or the worst year of your life, finishing another calendar year is really something to be proud of.

As I do every year, I’m wrapping up 2018 with a look back at my favorite music, books, video games, blog posts, and other moments that made the year special. I do my best to keep it brief, but let’s face it… there’s a lot of great things to be thankful for.

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My Teenage Hipster Complex

Recently, I committed the English major’s unpardonable sin.

Plagiarism? No, worse than that – I admitted that I haven’t read the Harry Potter series.

You would think from the scandalized gasps that I’d just admitted to first-degree murder, but that was not the case. Nope, I just haven’t read one of the most beloved fantasy series of all time.

Now, granted, I did pick up the first few books in my late teens, but I never finished the series due to (buckle your seatbelts) a lack of interest. That has actually been my reason for avoiding them all along – my parents never told me I wasn’t allowed to read the books, which might have been a more acceptable excuse at my religious college. No, the reason I didn’t read Harry Potter was because I didn’t want to.

You might be wondering, why didn’t I want to? I’ve always loved reading, and I don’t have anything against fantasy novels. Why didn’t I devour the Harry Potter series like the rest of my peers?

The answer is right there: everyone else was doing it, and therefore, I didn’t want to.

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Character Duel Tag

Full disclosure – I renamed this tag because apparently it was originally called the “You’re Not Good Enough Book Tag.” That title felt a little misleading, because honestly, this is all about characters fighting each other. Figuratively, at least.

This tag was originally created by Booktubers ReadLikeWildfire and Beccathebookreviewer, but the video is no longer available. I actually found it through another blogger, Dreamland Book Blog. The rules are simple: There are 15 questions (well, 14 in my version – I cut one out), you write various character names on slips of paper and draw names for each question. You have to pick between these two characters for each question and decide which one is better for the question.

To be honest, it’s kind of hard to explain, so I’m just gonna get into the questions!

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The Get To Know Me Tag (Writer’s Edition)

If you’ve ever wanted to know all of my deep dark writing-related secrets, now’s your chance! I’m participating in Savannah’s “Get to Know Me” tag for writers today and sharing some random facts about me and my writing. Like last week’s tag, I wasn’t specifically tagged by anyone, but I found this through Melissa’s blog, Quill Pen Writer, so a special shout out to her!

Also like last week, since I wasn’t tagged, I won’t be tagging anyone specifically, but I’d love it if you participated! If you’re interested, the rules are:

1) Link back to the person who created the tag
2) Thank the person who tagged you
3) Share the tag graphic
4) Tag eleven bloggers

Without further ado, on to the questions!

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Best Books for Back to School

If you’re a student, chances are you’ve already begun your classes or if not, you will be soon. It’s that time of year again – new textbooks, new teachers and professors, and a mountain of assignments. Regardless of whether or not you like school, the first few days and weeks of classes can be overwhelming at times. For a lot of us, it’s hard to find time to breathe, let alone sit down and read a book for fun.

Personally, when I do find those moments of freedom, it’s hard to decide what to do with them. Even if I want to read, then I have to pick what book to read, and sometimes I can’t find the right book… it’s frustrating.

To save you the time and trouble of looking for the “right book” to read in your snippets of free time, I’ve compiled a short list of good “back to school” books. Now let’s be clear, there are a lot of Young Adult books that have schools in them. In these books, however, the school environment plays an important role. Whether they’re a college student or just starting fifth grade, perhaps you’ll be able to relate to these characters and their stories.

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Re-Reading Books: Why it’s Worth Your Time

Way back when I set my reading goals for 2018, not only did I set an overall goal for the number of books read, but I also gave myself other small challenges I could do along the way. One of these goals was to re-read two of my favorite book series, Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter and The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

My motivation behind re-readings these books was mostly because it had been a while since I first read them, and I thought it would be fun to take another look at my old favorites. In other words, I wanted to be able to enjoy them again. And I certainly did! Re-reading these two series reminded me of how much I love them, and I still had fun with them the second time around.

GG TLC

As I was re-reading, however, I began to think… is there more to re-reading than just entertainment? If the twists and turns of a story are what make it so entertaining the first time around, then what’s the point of going back and reading it again? You know everything that’s coming, so why bother when there are so many brand-new stories to be read?

There are plenty of good reasons to re-read your favorite books though, and they go beyond entertainment. Of course, movies and TV shows can fall under this umbrella too, but since I re-read books most often, I’ll be using them as my examples today.

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Underrated Books (And Why You Should Read Them)

Sometimes, you finish a book and all you want to do is talk about it with someone else. In some cases, it’s pretty easy – books like The Hunger Games or The Lightning Thief are so widely read that pretty much anyone can contribute to a conversation on them. However, there are other times when it’s hard to find a fellow reader. You’ll be lucky to find someone else who’s even heard of the book, let alone read it.

I’ve encountered this problem more times than should be allowed. It can be lonely to read a book that has completely blown your mind and yet have no one to talk to about it. These underrated books deserve recognition though, and today, I’d like to share a few of my “little-known” favorites that you should definitely add to your to-be-read list.

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Month In Review: June 2018

Happy July, everyone! As promised, I’m switching over to a month-in-review format for the time being, and I’m happy to bring you my June in review! This month really got me into the swing of the summer, and between working hours at my job, I got the chance to do a lot of other fun things too.

If you want a quick (literally 30-second) overview of my month, check out my June 1 Second Everyday compilation! I’ll admit I forgot about this a few days, but I did make up for it. Enjoy some glimpses from the last 30 days of my life!

In case you missed anything on Maggie’s Musings, this month I blogged about…

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Fantastic Fathers in Fiction

Father’s Day is a day meant to celebrate our dads, grandfathers, and other male role models in our lives. I’ve been blessed to have a great relationship with my own dad, but unfortunately, fathers in fiction tend to get a bad rap. They’re usually portrayed in a negative way, if they’re present in the story at all.

2015-07-16 015 Montana MRS - NPS
My dad and me (Sorry I couldn’t find a picture where I’m not being ridiculous)

Despite this, I still believe there are a lot of good fathers and father figures in stories, you just have to look closely for them. Since I did something similar for Mother’s Day, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite fathers, grandfathers, and father figures in fiction.

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