Bookstore Scavenger Hunt

Okay… this is a challenge I saw Rebecca at Bookishly Rebecca complete on her blog (see the post here), and after reading through it I KNEW I had to try! Rebecca did this scavenger hunt on her own bookshelves, but as a newer book blogger still building up my collection, I decided to go for it in a bookstore where it would (hopefully) be easier for me to find a book that meets each step’s requirements!

I think I’m supposed to tag others do to this, but I’ll just extend it to everyone – if you think you’re up to the challenge, I’d love to see you attempt the Bookstore Scavenger Hunt! (Be warned, it’s harder than it looks).

Step One: Find your favorite book.

At the time of doing this challenge, I had not yet found my favorite book as an adult. (I might have found it in March, though – see my Buzzwordathon Wrap Up to find out which book that is!) So I went ahead with my favorite book from middle school, Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes.

Step Two: Find a book with an author who has the same first or last name as author #1.

Easy, right? Well, let me tell you – it took me a LONG TIME to find another Kevin on the bookshelves! But eventually, I did.

Do You Realize? by Kevin A. Kuhn, a science fiction novel about a middle-aged man stuck in a rut who finds himself presented with the opportunity to beta-test an app that allows him to journey through alternate versions of his past.

This was a SUPER exciting find – this book gives me major Dark Matter vibes (a book by Blake Crouch which I LOVE), so I was already pretty stoked at this challenge finding me a book I’d never heard of but am excited to read!

Step Three: Open the book to page 74, line 3. Pick two words from that line and find another book with those two words in the title.

Also easy, right? I opened up my intriguing new book to find page 74 and…

line #3 reads “and so few connections…” which left me pretty stuck. I tried all combinations: and-so, and-few, and-connections, so-connections, and few-connections. Even with the help of Goodreads, I couldn’t find any books with those words in the title, let alone any that my local Half Price Books had in stock. So, I went with Plan B: starting over.

My other favorite childhood books were the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. With this new author’s name, I soon found another Barbara on the bookshelves: Barbara Kingsolver. I opened up one of her books to page 74, line 3 and found:

“could swear it was the quiet that woke her, the fact that their talk of” which gave me SO many more options for book titles! I ventured into the mystery/thriller aisle and eventually found The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb.

And even though the word in the sentence was “quiet” and not “unquiet,” I still counted it!

The Unquiet Grave is set in nineteenth century West Virginia and is based on the true story of the Greenbrier Ghost murder trial. Although it doesn’t sound like a book I would choose for myself, it gave me all I needed to know to move onto the next step!

Step Four: Find a book with similar context.

I pretty much only had to turn around in the aisle to find the perfect book to fit this prompt, An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd.

Clearly the titles are similar, but beyond that this book is also an American historical fiction novel centered around a murder mystery.

Step Five: Upon finding that book, find a diverse book with a similar title.

For this one, I didn’t necessarily want to find a third book with “grave” in the title, so I went another route – an unmarked grave would not have a name on it, right?

Didn’t take me long at all to find The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block. This book is about an unnamed African-American girl wandering the streets of Buffalo who is found and brought in to a psych ward for studying. I know that having an African-American main character does not automatically make a book diverse, especially in a book set in the US, but I think this might be as good of a match as I was going to find.

Step Six: Pick a main character’s name from that book and find another book that has that name in the title.

Well, the main character of my book is unnamed, which makes this challenge tough. The doctor is named on the back of the book, Dr. Zoe Goldman, but no books were coming to mind with Zoe in the title. I did also notice that the unnamed main character is called Jane Doe, so I ran with that – I know of a book with Jane in the title!

Hello, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I was extra excited about this one because I don’t own the book and I’ve been interested in picking it up – so this gives me the perfect excuse! (Also, how adorable is this Charlotte Bronte collection? It’s not the one I bought, but it is cute to look at.)

Step Seven: Open that book to a random page and pick a word without looking. Find a book with that word in the title.

I went ahead and opened Jane Eyre randomly to page to 322, laid my finger near the top of the page, and found myself on the word “stranger.” Back to the thriller section I went to find The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda.

Step Eight: Buy or check out your books!!

This was an awesome challenge! Although I had heard of some of these books before, I definitely hadn’t heard of all of them, and wasn’t planning on picking them up on my own accord anytime soon. This gave me a nice push.

The three I decided to actually purchase were Do You Realize? (a sci-fi that I had never heard of but looks up my alley), Jane Eyre (a classic I’ve been meaning to pick up), and The Perfect Stranger (a thriller I have heard of but hadn’t made my decision on whether to pick it up or not). A great variety I would say, and the perfect excuse for new books!

I would love to do this again sometime, in a new bookstore and with a new starting point. I love how limitless the options are and how easy it is to find books you hadn’t heard of before or weren’t planning on reading. I highly encourage this challenge to anyone looking to find some new, underhyped books!

Thanks again to Bookishly Rebecca for introducing me to this challenge! 🙂


Blogger Recognition Award

Thanks so much to BW Reviews for tagging/nominating me for this!! Love your blog and the advice you gave 🙂

Rules

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog letting them know you’ve nominated them and provide a link to the post you’ve created.

How My Blog Started

This year is the first year I’ve set a serious reading goal for myself – 52 books, way more than I’ve read in recent years combined. I wanted a way to keep track of the books I read and my thoughts on them, all in one place. Originally I had planned on posting them to Twitter, but really quickly I realized I needed more space than 280 characters can provide. So I started a blog, and after browsing other blogs I found a whole bunch of other things I wanted to write than just monthly wrap-ups. Only about a month and a half later, I’ve found my groove with about 3 bookish posts a week!

Advice to New Bloggers

I’m still VERY new at this, so feel free to take with a grain of salt 🙂

  1. Create a schedule! It helps so much when starting out to keep you on track for monthly posts (wrap-ups, TBRs, etc.) but then also shows you exactly how many other posts you need to plan ahead for any given week or month. I think a lot of new bloggers are nervous to create a posting schedule for the fear that it will create unneccessary pressure to post when you’re out of ideas, but for me it was the opposite – I had too many ideas when I was brand new, and a schedule helped me properly space them out and get used to scheduling posts on certain days. And if I need to skip a day every now and then, it’s easier not to sweat it when I’ve got a schedule in place and a plan to get back on track with regular posts.
  2. Blog hop not only to find new blogs to follow (and hopefully get some to follow you back), but also to get blogging inspiration! It can be easy to fall into a rut with the same ideas, same posts, same layouts week after week. But there are sooo many creative bloggers out there to pull inspiration from – and they would love a shout-out if you do decide to post something similar to what they have done!

My Nominations for the Blogger Recognition Award

I only have 10, but you all rock! Thanks for showing me the way!!


Mystery Blogger Award!

Image created by Okoto Enigma’s Blog – creator of this award!

I was nominated for this award by Angelica at The Book Cover Girl, and I so appreciate it!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

The Rules

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Facts About Me

  1. I’m an extremely picky eater! I actually don’t like any fruits – it’s both a taste and a texture thing. I don’t like how squishy most fruits are and their flavors are usually way too overpowering for me.
  2. I constantly cycle between growing my hair down to my waist and then chopping it off to my shoulders. I just recently did another chop 🙂 I’m lucky my hair grows REALLY quickly, so I use it to my advantage and change it up often! I’d love to dye it rainbow colors… but that’ll have to wait until I don’t have a corporate job anymore, if I ever get to that point!
  3. I’m moving in two weeks! I currently live in Minnesota and am moving down one state, to Iowa. Right now I’m near a big city, and this move will bring us a little more to the middle of nowhere so it will definitely be a change in scenery. But I’m super excited for a new house to decorate!!

Angela’s Questions for Me

What’s on your bucket list this year?
Reading 52 books! I’ve never had a reading goal before, and I was actually a little worried that 52 would be too many. But I’ve already completed 27 books, which puts my over halfway and WAY ahead of schedule!

If money was not a problem, what is one thing you would do?
Travel to Thailand!

What is your favorite movie?
I have a lot!
Hush – my favorite thriller, and it’s on Netflix!
The Imitation Game – amazing movie about codebreaking
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – SO funny, and I love all of the actors
We’re the Millers – also SO funny, possibly my most-watched comedy
Titanic – my very first favorite, hahaha

What is the first book you remember reading?
Junie B. Jones is the first series I remember owning and reading constantly. I also have a random memory of reading a Berenstain Bears book to my class in Kindergarten, and I’m assuming that was around the time I learned to read in the first place!

What is your Hogwarts house?
I have recently discovered I’m a Hufflepuff! HP enthusiasts, feel free to let me know any interesting things about Hufflepuffs!

Bonus: What’s your favorite emoji?
My most-used is definitely the crying laughing face. But my favorite emoji, even if I don’t get to use it often, is the big pink bow!

My Nominees

Questions for My Nominees

What is one piece of advice you’ve gotten that has stuck with you for years?

What are your hobbies other than reading, writing, and blogging?

What is your most-watched TV show?

What is your beverage of choice (can be alcoholic or non)?

[Designated weird question]: What do you keep in the truck of your car (if you have one)?

Links to my Best/Favorite Posts

10 Things that Make Me Happy | International Happiness Day

International Women’s Day: Disney Princess Edition

Whew, that’s it! This was a long one. Thanks again to Angelica for nominating me and for Okoto Enigma for creating this award 🙂


Book Tag: Two Truths and a Lie

Image by Reader Voracious – feel free to use in your post!

I was tagged to do this by What’s She Reading? – thanks, girl!

How to participate:

  • Create a post with your two bookish truths and one bookish lie – but be sure to keep it a secret so your readers can guess!
  • Reveal the lie in a spoiler at the bottom of your post – you can use this HTML code:

(unfortunately this code isn’t working for me… so I improvised!)

That’s it! Here are my statements:

  1. I have recorded several introductory Booktube videos but have been too afraid to post any of them.
  2. There’s something inside of me that does not let myself DNF books, even if I’m not enjoying them.
  3. I prefer buying books used rather than brand-new, even though I know that it provides less support to the authors.

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This is time for you to think about your guess…

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Which one’s the lie?

Number one! I LOVE watching Booktube and I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a channel, but I haven’t gone so far as to actually film anything – yet!

Did ya get it right? 🙂

I tag the bloggers below – apologies if any of you have already been tagged or have even already done it! Happy Friday!!


10 Things That Make Me Happy | International Happiness Day

Who knew International Happiness Day was a thing? Not me… but I’ll use it as an excuse to write about ten things that just make me happy! 🙂

Number 1: MY FAMILY!

I feel extremely lucky to be so close with my family – which includes both of my parents, two brothers, my husband, my in-laws (seriously, I love them), and a whole bunch of supportive aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Number 2: Making Spreadsheets

Nope, not a joke. It’s probably a good thing my full-time job is being a project engineer (project manager) where I pretty much have to make budget and timeline spreadsheets on the daily. But my love for organization spreads to wherever I can make it: wedding planning, books I own/want to read lists, now blog planning!

Number 3: Escape Rooms

There is something SO FUN about escape rooms to me. I love solving puzzles and playing games, and this is a nice combination of the two. Highly recommend doing a Google search to see if your city has any and doing one if it does! Pictured above: my cute extended family after a day of multiple rooms in Des Moines, IA.

Number 4: Halo Top Ice Cream

I am NOT a healthy eater. I’ve never eaten more than a few bites of a salad and vegetables don’t exist in our household unless they’re technically a starch. BUT I have fallen in love with the “lower-calorie” ice cream that is Halo Top and it makes me feel just a liiiiittle bit better about my eating habits. Chocolate chip cookie dough is the way to go, but my husband likes the PB cup one best.

Number 5: The Amazing Race

I LOVE THE AMAZING RACE. I love competition TV shows in general, but if I could choose one to go on, it would definitely be The Amazing Race. I have competed in two of my own versions, one being when I was an intern at a big company and they organized an Intern Amazing Race as a way to explore the city, and once on our honeymoon – we did the Amazing Cozumel Race as our excursion in Cozumel, Mexico 🙂

Number 6: Crafting

I grew up with an engineer for a father, always bringing home projects to work on with his large-scale vinyl cutter and 3D printer, and a crafter for a mother, who made scrapbooks for every phase of my life and all of my childhood halloween costumes. I’ve been trained well, and now there isn’t a DIY I don’t think I can tackle!

Number 7: Playing Softball

I have played softball since I was VERY little (t-ball age) and played fastpitch competetively through my senior year of high school. Since then I’ve continued playing slowpitch through coed leagues, which has been a really fun activity to do with my husband in the summer.

Number 8: Watching YouTube Videos

My watch history contains a bunch of different categories: makeup gurus, book reviewers, cleaning videos, daily vloggers, gamers (cough cough, Sims 100 baby challenge videos), and more. It’s a near addiction at this point.

Number 9: Tailgating

I went to college at a school where football is life. And so is tailgating 🙂 Nothing like waking up at 5 AM to eat and drink and get excited for a football game, especially with all of your closest friends, family, and giant stuffed bison!

Number 10: Beach Vacations

I mean… is there anyone out there who DOESN’T enjoy these?

So with that, Happy International Happiness Day! What things in your life make you happy?


Behind the Blogger Tag

Being a new blogger, I’ve been looking for ways to introduce myself, make my blog a little more personal, and break up the bookish content throughout the month. I did a little digging and found the Behind the Blogger tag, which I found through Kaleena at Reader Voracious and Charlotte Annelise, and which was originally created by Ellyn at Allonsythornraxx. I wasn’t tagged to do this post, but hopefully it’s okay that I’m choosing to answer its questions anyway!

1. Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

A couple reasons. It’s always been in the back of my mind as something I’d love pursuing but never really had anything to blog ABOUT. Then, this year I set a reading goal for myself of 52 books. I needed a way to track that reading, a place to keep my thoughts on all of the books I read, and something to reference when people in my real life ask me for book recommendations in the future. I figured now was as good of a time as ever to start a blog!

2. What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

So far I’ve only written two monthly wrap-ups and one monthly TBR… so that doesn’t leave me much to pick from, haha. But so far I really enjoy my monthly wrap-ups! It’s fun to compare all of the books I read in a given month, and it’s an easy way to give a lot of book recommendations in one place. I foresee myself writing monthly wrap-ups long into the future!

3. What are your top 3 favorite blog posts?

I know that this answer is supposed to be my top three faves that I’ve posted… but again, I only have three posts total and it would be a little sad to rank those! So instead, below are three favorite posts I have recently found from OTHER bloggers! 🙂

  1. Seasonal Posts: post ideas for book bloggers all year around, month-by-month, written by Naty from Naty’s Bookshelf. I plan to use a lot of these post ideas within the year to come!!
  2. How to Get ARC and Review Copies of Books – All You Need to Know, written by Harini from Books and Readers. This is an older post (from 2017), but I recently found it in a search and think it is an incredible, all-inclusive list that will absolutely come in handy for me as a new blogger!
  3. Simple DIY Bookmarks, written by Alphe from Alphe’s Corner. These are just so cute!!

4. What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

Other than reading (because duh), I love crafting! There is something about the monotonous work of macrame or knitting that I find SUPER relaxing. Plus I can watch TV or listen to podcasts or audiobooks while I do it! I also love watching competition reality TV shows – my favorites are the Bachelor/Bachelorette, the Challenge, Survivor, and the Amazing Race.

5. What are 3 of your favorite things?

In no particular order… Halo Top ice cream, CiCi’s mac & cheese pizza, and my family.

6. What are your proudest blogging moments?

Starting it!

7. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

Crafting, playing sports (softball and volleyball mainly), playing with babies.

8. Describe your personality in 3 words.

Introverted, organized, stubborn.

9. What are your top 3 pet peeves?

Hypocriticism, people who care too much about other people’s lives, people who care too much about what OTHER people think about THEIR lives.

10. What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I’ve said a couple times in this post that I’m a crafter on top of a reader… but followers probably don’t know that I have an Etsy shop for my macrame creations! If interested, shop here!

I’m not going to tag anyone in this post, but I would love to know any of your answers below in the comments, or see your own post on this tag! Thanks for stopping by!