I have been thinking a lot about how much things have changed for me over the years, particularly in light of the makeup rewind videos on YouTube where girls recreate their high school looks. I wanted to do my first story time on the blog, where I talk about my reading story.
Glum Beginnings: Age 10 and 11
Starting to read more regularly at age 10, I gravitated towards sad stories because of my own undiagnosed depression (back then it was undiagnosed. It’s not until fourteen years later that I got some help and diagnosis). This means lots of Charles Dickens over and over again. When I was 11, I was introduced to William Wordsworth and read his work heavily. I used to make up my own poems but didn’t write them until I was 14.
Things Go Bump in the Night. The Teen Years
When I was 13, I skipped a couple of grades and made it to high school, and this is where I started to see that maybe majoring in English could be an option because I adored mythology and classics. My mythology instructor suggested that I pick up a copy of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I read the latter in class for extra credit and I was in awe of the world building, the characters, the plot. It was, and still is, one of my favorites.
A year later, I started seeing the Harry Potter books around school. I was determined to fit in with the smart kids, so I denied any interest in those books because they were “for middle schoolers.” Then, I saw the first HP movie and I fell in love, spent my time reading those books to catch up. I remember not knowing that there were multiple books out, so I had gotten a copy of the fourth one, Goblet of Fire, and read it completely confused. Then, I reread the books from the library (Didn’t get my own copies of books 1-3 until after I graduated from college with my bachelor’s).
Staying Classy in the College Years
In college, I had majored in English, so I read a lot of classics and theory. My spare time involved reading a lot of Tolkien and then slowly transitioning toward the Twilight books. After reading all about Edward and Bella, I started to feel uneasy about the series particularly as I started graduate school where I was engaging in some serious critical thinking about what I was reading. It spiraled into interest in The Hunger Games and City of Bones, and, of course, John Green’s work. The rest is history!
Question #1: The Opening Ceremony: What book did you think had an incredible opening? I’ll Give You the Sun
Question #2: The Games: What is your favorite fictional competition? The photography competition in Hold Still.
Question #3: The Original: The modern games are based on the original Greek competition. What is your favorite book based on a classic?This took quite a bit of research, but, His Dark Materials by Pullman is apparently based on Paradise Lost, which is one of my favorite classics! I haven’t read it yet, but I know I’ll love First and Then because it’s based on Pride and Prejudice.
Question #4: The Eternal Flame: What is one ‘ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen? Draco and Harry in the Potter books. Draco and Hermione. Ben and Radar in Paper Towns. Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings (shush you).
I keep wondering what would happen to Mary in Pride and Prejudice and Kitty.
Question #5: Gymnastics: What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)
The White Cat trilogy by Holly Black. If you have an interest in wild cards, check it out.
Question # 6: The Controversial Judge: What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people?
Unlike many people, I actually am quite fond of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I remember being engrossed in it and feeling relieved to find a kindred spirit in the poet. Same goes to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Transcendental texts. I found romantic ideology to be quite inspiring. It has definitely shaped my life as an adult.
Question #7: Beach Volleyball: What is your favorite fictional duo?
Simon and Clary in The Mortal Instruments. They’re wonderful friends and I adore their connection.
Question #8: Weightlifting: What is the most massive book on your shelf?
Either a Mortal Instruments or Dark Artifices or a Harry Potter book, for sure. I gave away all my theory books and textbooks (thank goodness).
Question #9: (Tell us your favorite Olympic Sport): What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?
Vampire Academy series!
Question #10: Synchronized Swimming: What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why?
Maze Runner, The Selection.
Question #11: The Tortured Fan: What fictional family, group, nation, organization do you irrationally root for no matter how many times they break your heart?
The Malfoy (Harry Potter) and Duchannes (Beautiful Creatures) family.
Question #12: Closing Ceremony: What book had an ending that just blew your mind?
Question #13: Relay Race: Who do you tag?
Anyone who’d like to be tagged!