The New York Times ‘By the Book’ Tag


I’ve been trying to get through my more interesting tags, and I think this one’s one of them! The New York Times ‘By the Book’ tag was created by Marie Berg on YouTube, and I was tagged by Lauren at Wonderless Reviews, Silanur at Aloof Books, and Grace at

Here we go! 🎉

What book is on your nightstand now?

I have so many! I just started a bookstagram and totally went crazy grabbing books at the library recently just so I can take 3,254,829 pictures of them. There are currently 10 books on my nightstand, and the ones I haven’t read are Where Things Come Back and Red Rising, despite my planning to read these basically since forever. 🙈

What was the last truly great book you’ve read?

none-of-the-above-iw-gregorioWhen Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

My latest 5-star read on this blog was apparently And I Darken, which I reviewed all the way back in July. So it’s been quite a while without any five-star reads… but the last book that stayed with me after I read it was None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio. Picked this up from the library very recently and totally fell in love with how informed and how educational it was. 👍

If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

I don’t have any particular writer in mind, but I’d like to know their answer on one question: How have you changed since you became a published author? 

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?

the-suppository-of-all-wisdomInspired by Tony Abbott’s immortal verbal overreach, The Suppository of All Wisdom is a hilarious, fully illustrated guide to the words and expressions we most often mangle, muck up and just don’t quite understand. You’ll be amazed at how many supposably well-educated speakers make mistakes – from schoolteachers, to newsreaders, to Rhodes Scholar prime ministers.

Too often the misinformed flaunt the rules, and that’s a travesty. In one foul swoop, this book will make you sound smarter. It is the ultimate grammar guide, literally awesome, and begs the question: why not buy two?

The Suppository of All Wisdom by Andrew Thomspon. I got it for free at one of my uni classes, and it’s not really the kind of thing I actually would read. 😂

How do you organize your personal library?

By colour, as is the trend right now! One day I’ll own enough books to actually take a #rainbowshelfie. 🌈

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?

Soundless Richelle MeadFor as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

Soundless by Richelle Mead. I got this from my Secret Santa last year (yup, months ago) and still haven’t read it although it was easily one of my most highly anticipated book of 2015. Overwhelmingly negative reviews have put me off, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get to it. 😫

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

Three Dark Crowns Kendare BlakeEvery generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

Three Dark Crowns was a recent disappointment for me — I was expecting a Hunger Games-esque fight to the death and it was just not. 😢

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

Generally speaking, I’m drawn to…

  • fantasies with authentic world-building and a bit (or a lot) of action,
  • contemporary stories with heart, i.e. it explores a human element and has rootable protagonists,
  • diverse books that are not necessarily #OwnVoices, just as long as they’re written with respect and sensitivity to reality, and
  • the occasional bodice-ripper, because well, why not? 🙆

… and I stay clear of:

  • books whose authors have a reputation of being sexist, ignorant, homophobic, transphobic, and all the -ists and -phobics that go against my personal beliefs,
  • books whose characters are the above and the author presents them as totally OK or even attractive,
  • pure eroticas because sex scenes tend to get repetitive for me, and
  • ghost-horror stories because I am 100,000% easily spooked. 🙅

If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

When Michael Met MinaWhen Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

Australia’s got a prime minister, and the only thing that I can think of is Randa Abdel-Fattah When Michael Met Mina, mostly because it’s so very relevant to the country and exactly the political issue we’ve all been talking about.

What do you plan to read next?

How about you help me decide? 😊 I’ve got:

    • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
    • Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
    • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
    • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

My Tags

Thanks for reading, guys! Have a lovely weekend. 💖

53 thoughts on “The New York Times ‘By the Book’ Tag

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