NY Times "By the Book" Tag

The NY Times “By the Book” Tag was originally created by Marie Berg, who was inspired… by the book called… By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review. Wow that’s a lot of the phrase “by the book” in one paragraph. Let’s just jump right in.
  1. What book is on your nightstand right now?
    The Novl sent me an ARC of Matthew Quick’s Every Exquisite Thing, and I want to read and review before it pubs at the end of May. He also wrote Silver Linings Playbook, which I haven’t read yet, but I enjoyed the movie version.

  2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
    Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. This is one of those books I wished I read as a child when I supposed to. But despite it being for grade-schoolers, I LOVED it. It’s beautiful.

  3. If you could meet any writer–dead or alive–who would it be? And what would you want to know?
    I would want to meet Walt Whitman, author of my personal bible, Leaves of Grass. And then I would ask him to marry me. I mean, I know the answer would be a hard “no,” but I’d still ask him in order to be true to my heart.

  4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
    Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised by my shelves at all. They are largely made up of YA, with a lot of classics and contemporaries interspersed. There’s also a smattering of romance, graphic novels, and children’s books. It’s a pretty eclectic mix…

    OH, I just thought of one—I had friends over recently, and one of them noticed a book on my leather-bound shelf: a signed copy of Donald Trump’s How to Get Rich. It has a certificate of authenticity and everything!

  5. How do you organize your personal library?
    For the most part, I have them grouped by genre, then by type (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, etc.), and finally by height. Some are also grouped by color. Whatever, it makes sense to me.

  6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
    I have yet to read any novels by Dickens or Melville, and I am mildly embarrassed by it. They are both hailed as literary geniuses, and I somehow managed to get away without reading them during my undergrad. Both Great Expectations and Moby Dick are on my book bucket list.

  7. Disappointing, overrated, or just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
    Over the summer I tried reading an ARC of Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites, but had to put it down after only a few chapters. I was so bored and found the main character too unlikable. It was a disappointing DNF because a) I got it for early review and b) Alice Hoffman is kind of a big deal, but I just couldn’t get into it, no matter how great its description sounded.

  8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
    I am very drawn to the fantastical. I like magic, and mythical creatures, and imaginary worlds. Add some romance to it, and I am so there.

    I stay clear of murder mysteries, crime, espionage, war/military and horror books. I don't read anything that will keep me up at night (for the wrong reasons).

  9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
    This is a tough question. It might be the cliché answer, but I really want to say To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Any future president should be ashamed of themselves if they haven’t read this brilliant American classic. I honestly believe that anyone who reads it will walk away a better and wiser person for having read it.

  10. What do you plan to read next?
    I have so many YA fantasies in the queue! Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh are just a few I’ve been dying to read.

Now, I tag… ALL OF YOU. If you are reading this post, you have officially been tagged to participate in this meme. 

Please feel free to share your version with me in the comments!

Book Design Geekery: Endpapers

As you may already know, I am a huge fan of booktube. I subscribe to a bunch of different channels, including ArielBissett, PadfootandProngs07, PolandBananasBOOKS, and GingerReadsLainey. One channel that I’ve been following for about 6 months is Library at the Edge of the World, now called Holly Dunn Design. Holly has taken her love of books and made a career out of it through book design (which is something I aspire to do). One of her more recent videos is about endpapers, and I was completely inspired by it. 

If you don’t feel like watching the video and are unfamiliar with the term, endpapers are blank or decorated leafs of paper at the beginning and end of a book, especially fixed to the inside of the cover. Most endpapers are white or cream, matching the interior pages of the book. But some endpapers are beautiful with colors and designs.

I went through my personal library to find some of my particular favorite endpapers. I tried to find a few different kinds of endpapers to give you a bit of variety:

Bright Colors:
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Published May 13, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

This book has really pretty hot pink endpapers, which complement the color scheme on the book’s jacket cover design. I don’t see hot pink endpapers very often, so this one really caught my eye. 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Published September 12, 2006 by Atria Books 

The endpapers on this book are a very pretty marble texture. They give the book an old-school kind of feel (which I believe complements the story? Haven’t read it yet).

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
Published August 15, 1994 by Tor Books

These endpapers have a map on them, which is relatively typical for high fantasy novels. What I like about this one is that the map is laid out upon a pile of leaves on stone, which I think is a really nice touch.

Lavish Design:
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

These endpapers come from an ARC of the book, and they’re really interesting in that they lay out the book’s publicity and marketing plan on them. Usually in ARCs, the publicity plans go on the first page or the back cover. The endpapers mimic the crazy formatting of the interior of the book with hand written notes, blacked out words, and a classified stamp. Very cool.

Going back to the video, Holly said something that I think is really interesting: even though it’s more expensive for the publisher to produce decorated endpapers, they are worthwhile because they make books really beautiful objects. This echoes a lot of the sentiments I’ve heard in some of the publishing classes in my grad program. Do you treat a book as a commodity, or as an object of art? Something to think about...

Do you have any favorite endpapers?

I'm a Book Production and Design Geek...

... and I launched a new site to showcase my portfolio! Through my grad school publishing program, I've really honed in on my love for the production and design of books. I've been tinkering around on InDesign on a daily basis, and I thought I'd show you all what I've been up to.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Waiting on Wednesday: Audrey Coulthurst's Of Fire and Stars

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 

Publication Date: November 22, 2016


Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

How amazing does this book sound?! I know its pub date is still over six months out, but I'm jazzed for it.

Which books are you waiting on?

March 2016 Reads

March came in like a lion... and out like a lamb—at least, it did when it came to my reading habits. I started strong, especially because my spring break was at the beginning of the month. But then life happened, and it wasn’t as easy to work reading into my schedule. I just grabbed graphic novels, poetry, and children’s books off of Netgalley when I had some reading time before bed. Altogether, I read 30 books in March, down 9 books from the 39 I read in February.

  1. Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire
  2. Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful #1) by Tessa Bailey
  3. Nightshade (Nightshade #1) by Andrea Cremer   
  4. Rough Justice (Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club #1) by Sarah Castille
  5. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
  6. Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr

Graphic Novels:
  1. Jessie Elliot Is a Big Chicken by Elise Gravel
  2. Southern Cross, Volume One by Becky Cloonan
  3. Hinges Book Two: Paper Tigers (Hinges #2) by Meredith McClaren
  4. Back to the Future (Back to the Future Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines #1) by Bob Gale
  5. Faith Volume 1: Hollywood and Vine (Faith #1-4) by Jody Houser
  6. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Children’s/ Illustrated Books:
  1. The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty
  2. Too Many Moose by Lisa Bakos
  3. Fuchsia Fierce by Christianne C Jones
  4. Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library by Julie Gassman
  5. The Night the Stars Went Out by Suz Hughes
  6. Herbie's Big Adventure by Jennie Poh
  7. Saved by the Boats: The Heroic Sea Evacuation of September 11 by Julie Gassman
  8. Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl
  9. Ooko by Esme Shapiro

Other Genres:
  1. Wonderland by Amily Shen
  2. Unlikely Friendships: Dogs by Jennifer S. Holland
  3. Felines of New York by Jim Tews
  4. Book Blog Tours: An Essential Marketing Tool for Authors by Barb Drozdowich
  5. Pop Manga Coloring Book: A Surreal Journey through a Cute, Curious, Bizarre, and Beautiful World by Camilla d'Errico
  6. Quarter Life Poetry: Poems for the Young, Broke and Hangry by Samantha Jayne
  7. Early Poems by Ezra Pound
  8. Why Happiness Makes Me Nervous by Liza Charlesworth
  9. The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac

How was your March?
Get any substantial reading time in?

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