Posts By: Words For Worms

May 28

My Dysfunctional Relationship With Social Media

Blogging 12

Good Day, Bookworms!

It’s still Armchair BEA time and today we’re talking about social media. I have FEELINGS on the subject. Firstly, I am BEYOND grateful that I grew up before Facebook because having a record of every stupid thing I did or said while I was busy being a tween/teen would be highly upsetting. I’ve made enough faux pas in the social media world as a grown-ass woman. Sheesh. From a blogging perspective, I am pretty awful at social media. I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my social media profiles in case you have no desire to ever look at them. Behold!

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Twitter: It’s complicated. Like, if Twitter and I were dating, I’d be the mixed signal sending ex. Twitter and I will have a mind-blowing weekend of 140 character glory and then I won’t call. For weeks. Poor Twitter subsists on auto tweeted fluff until I get bored and decide to take it out for a spin again. I’m such a jerk, Twitter. I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to change my behavior, but sorry. Ish.

Instagram: Hey look! A selfie! Virtually all I ever post are selfies, and a shocking number of them are of my headless (fully clothed) torso. I don’t have easy access to a full length mirror in a room with good lighting, so any shots of cute outfits or accessories tend to be of, well, my boobs. Eh.

Facebook: I’m not talking about my personal page here, because lord knows I’m all up in that mug, but my blog page? Facebook made it nearly impossible for anybody who likes my blog page to actually see anything. I’ll put something up when I have a new blog post, but I’ve stopped bothering with anything else. Who even cares? Nobody sees it!

Pinterest: I don’t get it. I mean, I get it if you’re super crafty or like to cook or create amazing things, but I am not one of those people. On the rare occasion I do something crafty, I check out what Pinterest has to offer but I do virtually nothing blog-wise with it. Because I don’t get it, I’ve decided that Pinterest is responsible for all the world’s ills. Bento boxes and extravagently themed birthday parties were sent by aliens to destroy the planet. I’m cool with diaper cakes, though, because that is the only craft I can pull off with aplomb.

Goodreads: I literally only use this to track the books I’ve read. Seriously. I do absolutely nothing else on Goodreads. My star ratings are completely arbitrary and mean nothing. I’m the worst.

Talk to me Bookworms. What are your favorite social media platforms? Any bloggers out there using these things successfully? 

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May 27

Getting to Know You: Armchair BEA Intro

Q&A 10

Greetings Bookworms!

It’s time for my favorite virtual book nerd gathering that coincides with an actual convention since ever. Pull up your armchairs folks, it’s time for Armchair BEA. Book Expo America is going on in NYC and those of us stuck at home are going to party like it’s 1999. Crank up the Ricky Martin and live la vida loca with a bunch of book nerds on the internet! I’m going to kick things off by answering five questions off of the official Armchair BEA questionnaire. Shall we?

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself: How long have you been blogging? Where are you from? How did you get into blogging?

Allow myself to introduce…myself. I’m Katie. I’ve been blogging here at Words for Worms for nearly 3 years now (my blog is a threenager! No wonder it’s been so tantrum-y lately…) I live in the part of Illinois that isn’t Chicago. The middle part. With all the corn. I got into blogging after watching some friends having a ball in the blogosphere and realizing that nobody in my real life cared much about what I was reading.

2. What is your theme song?

This is SUCH a good question! Over the years, I’ve had a number of songs I’ve referred to as my theme song. I’ve been known to insert my name “Katie” into any number of songs in place of “Baby,” so I can make pretty much any song about me. If I have to narrow it down to a single song, though, I’m going with “Kate” by Ben Folds Five. I’ve never gone by Kate, always KatIe, but I love the image of seeing daisies in my footsteps.

3. What book are you reading right now?

I’m triple dipping, y’all. I’ve got The Dog Stars by Peter Heller going as an analog book, Whiskey and Charlie by Annabel Smith on my kindle, and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn in my earbuds.

4. Share your favorite blog post on your blog.

I’m a huge fan of my Literary Love Connection posts. Snaponine, Scarcliff, Minurtagh, Arigo, and Jeanster Valprynne are the greatest fictional celebrity couples that never happened.

5. Share a photo of your bookshelf. Don’t mind if I do:

Exhibit B

 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 26

The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Psychological, Zombies 8

Holy Macaroni, Bookworms.

I’m not sure how coherent this post is going to be, because I’m still trying to figure out how to get my jaw off the floor. I recently decided to put my Audible subscription on hold because Scribd is a better deal for my voracious audio book appetite at this time. However, before pulling the proverbial plug, I needed to use up one last credit. I checked my “I Want To Read This” list and hunted for something I could get on Audible that I couldn’t get on Scribd and VOILA! The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey seemed like a fabulous option.

thegirlwithallthegiftsRemember a while back when I was talking about Zone One (review) and praising the fact that Colson Whitehead took a different approach to the zombie genre? The Girl With All the Gifts did that. Times a zillion.

Melanie is a little girl. She lives in a cell and each day she’s brought to school after being thoroughly strapped into a wheelchair while being held at gunpoint. All the other children in her class are given subject to the same living conditions and restraints. Despite the odd treatment, Melanie is at the top of her class and adores one of her teachers, Miss Justineau. Miss Justineau treats the children kindly, despite the fact that they’re restrained. I don’t know how to discuss this book without getting spoilery, though I don’t suppose it’s much of a leap to guess why the military personnel don’t laugh when Melanie jokes that she “won’t bite.”

This book was SO GOOD, you guys. I was expecting to enjoy it, but egads it was amazing. Elements of the book reminded me at times of The Passage by Justin Cronin (review) and I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (review) but it still maintained a level of originality that blew me away. Just pick up the book, dagnabit, words are failing me.

Talk to me Bookworms! What was the last book you read that left you awestruck? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

 

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May 22

Flattered and Flummoxed: How I Became a Resource

Blogging, Personal, Uncategorized 20

Hidey Ho, Bookworms.

By some internet witchery, it seems I have become an expert resource on all essay questions regarding Lois Lowry’s The Giver Quartet as well as an opponent of book banning worthy of quotation. My search terms recently have included an awful lot of “what is the symbolism of XYZ in The Giver/Gathering Blue/Messenger/Son” and “why was XYZ book banned?” I can only assume these searches are being performed by students, because I’ve yet to meet another casual reader who is overly concerned with the underlying themes of middle-grade novels, though, in fairness, I’ve been known to google the reasons for book banning. Sometimes they’re hilarious. People are weird.

I’m both flattered and flummoxed. I’m stoked to think that my blog has managed to gain so much traction as to come up in searches like this, but I have some concerns. First, it seems to me that kids who are googling essay questions are kids who haven’t read the book. I’m having serious guilt over the idea that I might be helping some kid out there skate out of doing their reading. It’s the stuff of nightmares, I assure you. Kids, if you’re reading this, READ THE BOOK. Especially if it’s anything written by Lois Lowry. She’s awesome. (If it’s Moby Dick, you have my permission to use Cliff’s Notes. Shhhh, don’t tell you mom. Or your teacher.)

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A few months ago, I got an email from a student asking my permission to quote my blog in a research paper regarding banned books. I suppose an opinion piece is simply that, opinion, so it’s not entirely necessary to have credentials to be quoted, but it all seems so weird to me! When I was a wee one writing research papers (particularly in middle school and high school) the internet wasn’t typically an accepted resource. I was expected to sift through encyclopedias and scholarly journals. Made of paper! You know, stuff written by PHD’s, not random weirdos. I have zero credentials that qualify me to write literary criticism. None! I’ve only got a Bachelor’s degree, and it sure as heck isn’t in English Literature. I’m literate and enthusiastic. That’s it. And yet. I’m now a source! This is some Twilight Zone level weirdness, y’all. I can’t even.

What do you think, Bookworms? Has my blog turned into a cheat sheet helping kids ditch their reading, or am I just THAT awesome? (Don’t answer that honestly. I probably can’t handle the truth.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Since I’m an expert and all, I’ll use the proceeds to buy more books. Because that’s not what I already do with all my proceeds or anything. Wait…*

 

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May 21

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Audio Books, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Mythology 15

Dearest Bookworms,

Have you ever heard people claim they’d love to have Morgan Freeman narrate their lives? Morgan Freeman is a whole lot of wonderful, I’ll grant you (March of the Penguins, holla!) However. I’m convinced people find the decision to nominate Morgan Freeman as their life’s narrator such a simple one is because they’ve yet to listen to Neil Gaiman read one of his books aloud. Thanks to Scribd, I’ve been audio-booking more than ever and one of my first selections was Stardust by the man himself. (Neil Gaiman, not Morgan Freeman. I don’t know if Morgan Freeman writes books. He might, he’s probably good at everything and spends his free time teaching poverty stricken children how to play the violin, but I digress…)

stardustStardust is a whimsical fairy tale following a young Tristran Thorne. He lives in the town of Wall, England which lies on the border between this world and Faerie. Tristran spends his time going about his daily life all Victorian style and pining for the town beauty, Victoria Forester. One evening Tristran and Victoria see a shooting star. Victoria tells Tristran she will marry him if he retrieves the star for her, and so he sets out on a quest to find it. Unbeknownst to Tristran, his visit to Faerie will be something of a homecoming, as he’s the product of a tryst between his mortal father and an enslaved faerie princess. His adventures beyond the wall include battling witches, elf lords, curses, magic, and mayhem of the best kind.

I have heard tell that the movie version of Stardust is better than the book (blasphemy? Perhaps, but it’s been known to happen.) Clearly I need to see this movie, because the book was utterly charming with just the right amount of Gaiman-style darkness. Fans of Neil Gaiman, fairy tales, and good old fashioned quests ought to pick this up. And then probably see the movie, because it’s apparently awesome.

Talk to me, Bookworms. Have any of you seen a shooting star? Meteor shower? A plane you pretended was a shooting star just so you could make a wish? (Seriously, I cannot be the only one to have done that plane thing…)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 19

Celestial Reads: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday 15

G’Day Bookworms!

It’s Tuesday and it’s (sadly) been a while since I  made you a glorious list o’ books. This week the folks of The Broke and the Bookish have left the blogosphere to our own devices and declared this week a free for all topic-wise. My head has been in the clouds lately, so a list of books with celestial titles seemed fitting.

celestial Reads

1. The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls (review)- Jeanette Walls writes a novel. Emus happen. It is glorious. And it has “star” in the title.

2. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry- This book! It’s one that I read as a kid and it never let me go. It’s about two little girls living in Denmark during WWII, one Jewish, one not. Families helping families, courage in the face of terror. It’s all the good things, I’m telling you.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (review)- I cried all the tears reading this book and I’m not afraid to admit it. A couple of months ago I thought I’d watch the movie. During my sob-fest, my husband looked at me and said, “You know these aren’t real people, right?!” Sigh. Some people just don’t get it.

4. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller- I’m still in the middle of this book so I hesitated to include it, but whatever. Post apocalyptic novels are my jam, and “stars”, you know?

5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman- Hot diggity dog, Neil Gaiman narrating his own audio books makes me outrageously happy. So do his stories. Utterly charming fairy tales for grown ups- that’s the stuff Stardust is made of.

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6. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen (review)- Is SAA not the best? I adore her and her weird brand of magical charm. The moon is most mysterious. I’m still not entirely convinced it’s not made of cheese. (Actually, I am, but dude. The moon would be so much cooler if it were made of cheese.)

7. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My inner 13 year old adored the Twilight books (whenever my inner grown up would shut up long enough.) I acknowledge that the books have many, many problems. Actually, this was my least favorite of the books because I was firmly in the stalker vampire camp (I KNOW. I AM AWFUL.) Still.

8. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (review Cinder, Scarlet, Cress)- Technically it’s the name of a series, not a single book, but whatever. These fractured fairy tales are the most fun. Which reminds me. I’m behind. I haven’t tackled Fairest yet. I need to get on that.

9. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg- Heaven is celestial, no? This is probably my favorite Fannie Flagg novel, I absolutely adore it. It’s a warm fuzzies book; read it when you’re feeling down.

10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway- If I’m being honest (and I always am) I must admit I didn’t care for this book. I read it one summer in high school and remember very little beyond the fact that there was a massive amount of wine being drunk and that everyone was bored and cranky. Also bull fights. I’ve never gotten along well with Hemingway. I just felt like the sun needed to be represented on the list.

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And there we have it. Ten books with some sort of celestial aspect to their titles. I rather like this game. I’ve no doubt there are zillions more, what are some of your favorite books with sun, moon, and stars connections, Bookworms?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 18

And We’re Back!

Personal 21

Howdy Bookworms!

Soooo, I just got back from vacation… Again. I KNOW we were just at Disney World in March, but shortly after we got back my parents called. They had a two bedroom condo booked in Orlando for May and offered to let us stay with them. I mean, how can you turn down free accommodations?! (We are, in fact, grown ups, though, so we ponied up for our own airfare, food, and park tickets.) Plus, this time we not only went to Disney, but also to Universal, which means… HARRY POTTER!

hpphotosI drank a lot of butterbeer (YUM), rocked a Ravenclaw top and a time turner necklace (#housepride), and generally nerded the frick out. If you’re unfamiliar with the Universal theme parks, there are two: Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. Islands of Adventure houses Hogsmeade and Universal Studios houses Diagon Alley. (Sorry to disappoint y’all, but neither is an entire HP theme park. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are each a segment of larger parks.) I had fun at both parks, but if you only have one day to set aside for a Harry Potter park, Universal Studios is where it’s at. Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure is cool and Hogwarts Castle is certainly something to see, but it is cramped as all heck in those shops. Authentic maybe, but the park was pretty dead overall and you couldn’t even walk in the Hogsmeade shops. Apparently the good folks at Universal learned their lesson though, because Diagon Alley is three times the size of Hogsmeade and the shops (though perfectly charming) are much more equipped to deal with a large, nerdy crowd. Sometimes it’s just NECESSARY to procure a Ravenclaw bookmark without being jostled.

disney1I don’t care how old I am, I will NEVER be too old for mouse ears and Disney ridiculousness. I bought myself a Minnie Mouse headband only to later see the world’s most glorious Alice in Wonderland ears. My mom bought me the Alice ears because apparently she likes me. Also, Cheshire Cat candy now exists, and if you’ve got a spare $700 you can buy the killer painting in the corner. (I do not have a spare $700 dollars, so it stayed in the shop, but it’s so pretty!)

miscHere are just some oddball photos. You can see where I got my capacity for being adorable in mouse ears. Also, DESSERT. And cocktails. And flowers. And my name because it’s two first names and it amuses me endlessly. Oh yes, and that’s Chilly Willy the Penguin hanging out in the middle there. So, other than pining for my theme park homeland(s), things are great. What were y’all up to last week? Catch me up, Bookworms!

 

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May 14

Ten Bookish Questions

Q&A 12

Hi Ho, Bookworms!

It seems I’m perpetually out of blogging juice these days. I hope it’s a temporary condition. I’ve got all these ideas, just no time to get them out of my brain. In any case, I saw this bookish survey on Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity a few weeks back and it sounded like fun, so we’re going to play the survey game. Wahoo!

I borrowed the graphic from Trish too.

I borrowed the graphic from Trish too.

1. What time of day do you typically read/do you prefer to read?

I do the vast majority of my reading in bed before I go to sleep. Audio books I’ll listen to whenever I have a chance throughout the day or on my commute. You can tell how busy I am by the ratio of eyeball reading to ear reading… Eyeballs have been losing the battle lately. Multitasking is where it’s at for me right now.

2. What is your strangest book related obsession?

I don’t feel like any of my book obsessions are particularly strange. I mean, yeah, I’ll have an animated conversation about all things Harry Potter with, well, just about anyone anywhere, but that’s not strange so much as enthusiastic. Plus, there are tons of Potterheads. Same goes for Outlander. And Alice in Wonderland. It’s not weird. My ultimate nerd out book passions all have pretty big fan bases, so at least I’m in good company.

3. Like which author do you wish you wrote?

I admire anybody who can write fiction well. I just don’t have it in me to create a cohesive story, which is part of why I love fiction so much. As far as non fiction, I love David Sedaris and Cheryl Strayed.

4. Who do you think is the most over-rated author?

I really just don’t get Nicholas Sparks. I read one of his books once and it just wasn’t very good. I don’t get how he got so ultra famous. Wait. Yes I do. Ryan Gosling. It’s all about the Gosling. Mmmmmm….

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5. What do you think is the most over-rated book?

Dude. Moby Dick is the worst. I know, I know. Classic, genius, blah blah blah. I had to read it in high school and I hated every second of it. Not a fan, Ishmael. Not a fan.

6. Which two authors would you like to see go head to head in a word-off (like a dance-off)?

Oh my gosh. This is the best! The problem is that if I picked two of my favorites I’d be super torn about who I wanted to win. I think it would be HILARIOUS to listen to Jenny Lawson and David Sedaris have a slam poetry battle, though.

7. I’ve always wanted to read The Lord of the Rings in a cabin in the mountains or Nora Roberts in an Irish inn or The Woman in White in an abandoned asylum. What book-location pairing do you wish for?

Dude. I wouldn’t want anything to do with an abandoned asylum. That is how ghosts happen, yo. I’d love to crack open a copy of Outlander while lounging in a circle of standing stones in the Scottish highlands. Hubs and I have a “sucked back in time” loophole.

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8. Describe your bookish self in three words.

Enthusiastic, voracious, nerdalicious. (Nobody said they had to be REAL words.)

9. Name one of your favorite characters and what you would do with him/her if you had one day together.

Hermione Granger. Hands down. She would show me all sorts of fun magic things and we’d talk about books. Then she’d have to wipe my memory, of course, but it would be the best day I’d never remember.

10. If you had one extra day in the week, that nobody knew about and didn’t count, what would you with it?

Ooooh! A secret day! I waaaaaaaaaant it. I’d spend it riding my unicorn, chatting up my penguin pals, and apparating to ALL THE PLACES. An imaginary day deserves imaginary activities, no?

Talk to me Bookworms! Answer some questions. I want to know all about you!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 11

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Audio Books, Chick Lit, Supernatural 7

Hello Bookworms!

Remember that time when I gushed all over the internet about Scribd? Well, the very first book I decided to listen to with my new subscription was a Sarah Addison Allen. Anybody surprised? You shouldn’t be. My ears devoured The Sugar Queen.

thesugarqueenJosie Cirrini’s life is in a holding pattern. Though she’s 27, she’s never moved out of her childhood home and her social life revolves around chauffering her elderly mother to her various society engagements in their small North Carolina town. Josey is so firmly under her mother’s thumb that she takes solace in snacks and sweet treats she keeps hidden in her closet. Josey’s life looks like it’ll be over before it starts when one evening she finds the rather scandalous town barfly Della Lee Baker hiding out in her closet amongst her guilty pleasures. The arrival of Della Lee sets off a series of events that changes the way Josey views her life and her family’s legacy.

Of course, as a Sarah Addison Allen, there’s a bit of magic involved (in the most whimsical and charming ways, naturally.) I’ve always said that red is my cosmic color of power, but Josey’s claim on that statement might actually be legit. And Josey’s gal pal Chloe has the BEST power/affliction. Books literally find her when she needs them. Where can I sign up for that?!

I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time reading books where overweight and/or obese people are described by authors in an unsympathetic tone. Sarah Addison Allen is very sympathetic to Josey, who is described as “plump,” but in exploring her addiction to food and comfort eating I found myself getting downright sad. It hit a nerve, I guess. I mean, I’ll probably never truly understand what drives someone to shoot heroin, but mainlining cookies? That is something I can relate to. Ooooh the feelings. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen, whimsy, and baked goods should definitely check out The Sugar Queen

Tell me something, Bookworms. Do you ever get an unexpected punch in the feels while reading? When was the last time it happened? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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May 07

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Audio Books, Science, Science Fiction 7

Howdy Howdy, Bookworms!

I’ve been on a bit of a sci/fi kick lately, haven’t I? I hope you’re not sick of it yet, because a few weeks ago I saw that Ray Bradbury’s classic The Martian Chronicles was available on audio through my library. Since I’d just listened to The Martian (review) and Packing for Mars (review), I thought it would be fun to compare their depictions of Mars. Ooooh the entertainment!

martianchroniclesIn fairness to Ray Bradbury, he wrote The Martian Chronicles in the late 1940s. Man had not yet landed on the moon, let alone poked around on Mars. I can’t be tooooo hard on him for his depiction of a Mars full ‘o Martians, can I? Plus, it kind of reminded me of a bunch of old school Twilight Zone episodes. Still, though. Some of the things that happen in this book from a scientific perspective are kind of laughable. I mean, humans are fine to breathe Martian air, it’s just “a bit thin.” After hearing Mary Roach’s glorious explanations of all things science and Mark Watney’s misadventures, I had a hard time imagining Martian air as roughly equivalent to hanging out at high altitudes. Also amusing is the unabashed speediness of travel between Earth and Mars in this novel. It’s not QUITE a commuter flight, but it’s getting there.

Of course, as usual, I’ve digressed. Bradbury had some very cool and very creepy ideas of how alien life would react to earthly invaders. The book is actually a collection of short stories, so it’s difficult for me to discuss it without spoiling any one of them. I will say that NOBODY likes chicken pox, telepathy is kind of freaky, and people can be awful to each other regardless of their planetary address.

The Martian Chronicles is a good, entertaining read, particularly if you’re in a Mars mood. Your snarky inner armchair scientist will get a chuckle out of it, too!

Tell me something, Bookworms. If colonizing another planet were a legit possibility, do you think you’d ever consider making the big move? (Can you even IMAGINE what your mother would say?! LOL)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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