Monday, November 25, 2013

Get To Know Us From A to Z

Hello, and thanks for stopping by our first post! We are Lesley Anne and Jenny, BFFs, who also happen to have a slightly pathological obsession with reading. We are so excited to have a space where we can share our love of all things bookish together, and we can't wait to get to know all of YOU! 

We thought a fun way to introduce ourselves would be to fill out Jamie's A to Z Survey that she posted earlier this year. If you are game for a post of the long variety, grab your favorite warm beverage (in our case, tea!), settle in, and let's talk books! (P.S. You'll have to excuse the mess, as our blog is still under construction. Hopefully things will look a little more coherent around here soon!). Without further ado...

Author You've Read the Most Books From:

JennyCarolyn Keene. I devoured my mom's Nancy Drew books when I was younger. I read all 65 at least twice (I think it is safe to say reading has been a lifelong obsession). In case that doesn't count because Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym used by many authors, Francine Rivers and C.S. Lewis are the next in line.

Lesley Anne: For me it would be Robin Jones Gunn. According to Goodreads, I’ve read 23 of her books! I was so obsessed with her Christy Miller series in middle school, and really enjoyed reading the Glenbrooke series later in high school. Melody Carlson and Francine Rivers tie for second at 8 books each.

Best Sequel Ever:

Jenny: I know it's a cop-out, but Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It is every bit as good as the first one.

Lesley Anne: If Chamber of Secrets doesn't count, then this one definitely doesn't! But whatever, I'm feeling rebellious. I’m going to say Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This was my favorite book of the series, and definitely my favorite of the movies.

Currently Reading:

JennyA Thousand Plateaus by Giles Deleuze + Felix Guatarri, The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris + Jean de Meun, and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (It's the end of the semester, so not a lot of fun reading at the moment!).

Lesley Anne: I'm so ADD right now in what I’m reading. I’m listening to The White Queen on audiobook, reading Allegiant on my Nook, and reading the print version of Game of Thrones. Normally I don’t juggle three books at a time, but I haven’t felt a strong connection to any of these, thus my lack of focus.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Jenny: Hot tea. Preferably chai, but I am not too picky.

Lesley Anne: It's like Jenny and I are best friends or something. Chai tea, forever and always.  

E-reader or Physical Book:

Jenny: Generally, I do not care. If it is a book for class, I prefer a physical copy so I can write in it. 
Lesley Anne: Both! There are pros and cons to each, but obviously physical books will forever be my first love. Nothing can beat that bookish smell and the feeling of turning a page. 
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Jenny: This one is really difficult. I think I would probably have dated Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing. I really, really love witty, snarky repartee and it doesn't get any better than Beatrice and Benedick.

Lesley Anne: Not that I dated anybody with silver hair who also happened to be addicted to a debilitating drug (yuck!), but it would probably be Jem from the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Jem is an all around nice guy who is also (somewhat) athletic, musical, and sentimental. Perfectly describes those poor fellas I dated in high school!

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

Jenny: The Emperor's Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. The first one was free on Amazon and I have since read pretty much everything she has written.

Lesley Anne: The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. There is so much pressure to love this book, and I was afraid to start reading it and just not get it. And there was a point where I was seriously ready to walk away. Then I stuck it out and the last 50 or so pages just blew my mind. Such a beautiful, beautiful book.

Hidden Gem Book:

 Jenny The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer. I found it at a flea market in Murphy, NC earlier this year. This is a Regency romance in which the hero.... antihero? is a pompous, spoiled brat and the heroine is sensible and stubborn. She might or might not have to shoot him early on in their acquaintance...
Lesley AnneKisses From Katie by Katie Davis. I know this is a pretty popular book in the Christian nonfiction world, but I think it deserves more attention outside of that! Katie's story is one that will forever change your life after reading it, no matter your religious preference. I read it on the beach this summer and was so thankful I had my sunglasses on while reading - it had me sobbing! 
Important Moment In Your Reading Life

Jenny: Coming across comparative literature classes as an undergrad. I was introduced to all sorts of works I would not otherwise have read. They also taught me to appreciate all types of literature, even if I do not like a work personally.  

Lesley Anne: Discovering book blogs! After experiencing a major reading slump throughout college and a little bit afterward, discovering book blogs really breathed life back into the experience of reading for me. They made me fall in love with books all over again! (Special shout out to Hannah at So Obsessed all started with hers!). I’ve read more books this year than I have in a long time, and I am so glad to be a part of this community now.

Just Finished:

Jenny: Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill, and Yvain by Chretien de Troyes.

Lesley Anne: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi. It’s probably a dangerous thing to polarize myself by picking a side in this oh-so-controversial love triangle, but I really enjoyed this novella from Warner’s point of view. It left me wanting to read more from his perspective! I seriously cannot wait for Ignite Me to be here. I need that thing. NOW.

Kinds Of Books You Won't Read

Jenny: Erotica- I'm a "less is more" kind of gal. I also loathe the "big misunderstanding" trope. It makes me mad every time. Why can't people just communicate?!

Lesley Anne: I have pretty eclectic taste when it comes to books. For the most part, I’m happy with reading anything, but I tend to stay away from the adult romance/erotica genre as well as anything that’s heavy science fiction.

Longest Book You've Ever Read:

JennyLes Miserables by Victor Hugo, with Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I loved both of these, but it will definitely be a couple years before I re-read them.  

Lesley Anne: According to Goodreads, that would be Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at 870 pages. Funny that I disliked this one the most!

Major Book Hangover Because Of:

Jenny: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I read this book in one sitting. I did not move from my couch for an embarrassing amount of time. My husband still makes fun of me for this one.

Lesley Anne: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I was at a complete loss on what to read next after finishing.

Number Of Bookcases You Own:

Jenny3 + a shelving unit that my books have slowly overtaken.

Lesley Anne: It used to be three, but now we just have one big Expedit case from IKEA, though my collection is threatening to outgrow it.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Jenny: I am a big fan of re-reading and have a list of books I re-read every year. A few on that list are Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, The Once and Future King by T.H. White, and The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
Lesley Anne: I re-read the Harry Potter series earlier this year by listening to the audiobooks narrated by Jim Dale. It was AMAZING. I think listening to those audiobooks will be a yearly thing now.
Preferred Place to Read:

Jenny: Anywhere I can curl up with a blanket. My absolute favorite place to read is by a pool or at the beach, but that is not a common occurrence.  

Lesley Anne: On the couch wearing some comfy PJs and snuggled up with a blanket! I also echo Jenny in that my favorite favorite place to read is the beach, but seeing as we live in northeast Georgia, that doesn’t happen very often.

Quote That Inspires You From A Book You've Read:

Jenny: This one is really tough! I am forever underlining and writing in books. This is one of my faves from The Once and Future King: “They made me see that the world was beautiful if you were beautiful, and that you couldn't get unless you gave. And you had to give without wanting to get.”

Lesley Anne: I feel like I underlined every word of Kisses From Katie. But this one stood out from the rest: "People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world."

Reading Regret:

Jenny: The Twilight series. I got caught up in the hype and read all four. When I went back to re-read them, I realized how much time I had wasted.  
Lesley Anne: I totally agree with Jenny on this one. Even though it was my gateway drug into the world of YA, sometimes I really wish I could unread the Twilight series.

Series You Started & Need To Finish:

Jenny: The Patrick Bowers series by Steven James. They are mystery-suspense-psychological thrillers that are dense and wonderful. I am currently four books in and have #5 on my Christmas Vacation reading list.  

Lesley Anne: I read the first two Vampire Academy books this summer, but was feeling kind of meh about finishing the rest of the series. I still feel that way, but maybe I’ll get the itch again?

Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

Jenny: The Once and Future King (obviously), The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Lesley Anne: Persuasion by Jane Austen, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Jenny: The Percy Jackson series. I love Greek and Roman mythology and the creative genius of Rick Riordan. His next project is Norse mythology, which is one of my academic interests. I am more than a little excited about this combination.  

Lesley Anne: As you could probably guess from my previous answer, I seriously love me some Lord of the Rings, y’all. LOVE. IT. And the fun thing is, my husband is a fan right along with me. We have a LOTR marathon every Christmas (watching the extended versions, obviously) and you can only imagine my excitement that we get to add all the Hobbit movies to that tradition now (even though they aren't nearly as good).

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Jenny: I accidentally answered this in the previous section- Rick Riordan's Norse mythology series

Lesley Anne: IGNITE ME. Oh my stars. I don’t even know how I’m going to handle this conclusion!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Jenny: Losing track of time while reading. I get caught up in a different world and forget the one I am actually inhabiting.  

Lesley Anne: After I finish a book I really love, I seriously CANNOT commit to my next book. I’ll start and stop reading several books before I finally settle down on one, and this is now starting to happen after I read any book in general. Starting to take the book hangover to a whole new level! 

X Marks The Spot:

Jenny: The Golden Cross by Angela Elwell Hunt.

Lesley Anne: American Assassin by Vince Flynn. This one belongs to my husband, and he was really sad to hear about Flynn's passing earlier this year. I need to find him another political thriller author to love!

Your Latest Book Purchase:

Jenny: Fledgling by Octavia Butler. I will be teaching it next semester and it is a book that explores what it means to be human using vampires. How could it possibly be uninteresting?

Lesley Anne: I recently bought the paperback of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and a hardcover of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Can't wait to start either of these!

ZZZ-Snatcher Book (Kept You Up Late):

Jenny: Most recently it was the third book- The Beggar King- in the Hangman's Daughter series by Oliver P√∂tzsch. The last 100 pages were impossible to put down, though I must admit it was my least favorite in the series.  

Lesley Anne: I know I already used this book in a previous answer, but it would have to be The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak. Like I said, I had a love/hate relationship with this one at first, but by the end, I couldn’t put it down and Zuzak completely won my heart.

Thanks for sticking with us through this doozie of a first post! We will be back tomorrow for our first Top Ten Tuesday!


  1. I don't know if I can contain my excitement for this! I'm also so glad for your answers for Regret. I was just thinking about that same series in the same light.

    1. Thanks, Lauren! And I'm glad we're not the only ones who feel that way about Twilight. It's funny how hindsight is 20/20!

  2. Cool Blog - in 8-10 years I will join you as a finisher of Les Mis...but I am afraid my 7 year old will beat me to it. Speaking of 7 year olds - I could see a guest blogger on your page in the future?

    1. Thanks, Jason! We would love to have Maria as a guest blogger anytime! Especially if she's already trying to conquer Les Mis. ;)

  3. What a great way to kick off this blog! YAY! So excited to have another blog that I already LOVE in my "go to" list. Seriously. I have like five more books on my TBR just from this post. Yikes!

    1. Thanks so much, Brenna! And YAY for a growing TBR!