The New York Times “By the Book” Tag

Hello, friends!

I’m not a New York Times reader, but I’ve been wanting to go to New York City for as long as I can remember so that’s a good enough excuse to do this tag. Thank you to Beth @Reading Every Night for tagging me. I hope you enjoy reading my answers as much as I did yours.

What book is on your nightstand now?

I have a nightstand, but I rarely use it since I rarely read in bed. I’m usually too tired to read after a day of work. No, I do all my reading on the train, which means I’ve always got a book in my purse.

However, if I did use my nighstand, the books on from my September TBR would probably be on there + the book I’m currently reading, which is It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.

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

They Both Die at The End by Adam Silvera.

Even though I prefer History Is All You Left Me and More Happy Than Not, TBDATE is still a powerful, emotional book that I recommended to anyone. Adam Silvera has one of the most beautiful writing styles of all YA authors (IMO) and he writes about important themes all while giving you realistic characters and gripping plots (aka, something to cry over).

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

GAAAH! It’s impossible to choose just one, so I’m going to choose a couple.

  1. J.K Rowling because, well, it’s J.K. Rowling! Who woudn’t want to talk to the woman who gave us Harry Potter? Seriously, though, she kickstarted my love for reading way back when.
  2. John Green because he got me into YA books, which I’m forever grateful for. After HP, I read mostly classics but I made the switch to YA after reading Looking for Alaska, which is my favourite out of all his books.
  3. And lastly Adam Silvera because of the reasons stated above. He’s my current favourite author and I’d love to talk to him about his writing process. I’d love to know how he writes about such personal topics and how he balances that with taking care of his mental health (for those of you who don’t know, Adam Silvera struggles with anxiety/OCD and depression).

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

I don’t talk about it much on my blog, but I’ve read a lot of classics. I loved reading them when I was younger and I was required to read them when I studied English in University. So, yeah, I’ve got a lot of them on my shelf.

Something else that might surprise you are the books in my native language. I don’t have a lot of them anymore (because I genuinely don’t like reading in my native language) but some of them are there for sentimental reasons (books that are tied to my childhood and I don’t want to get rid of). Here’s one of them…

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I bet you know this one, right? 😉

How do you organize your personal library?

I have a very strange system. First, you need to know that I don’t have big shelves. I’ve got several and two bookcases hanging on the wall. The shelves are reserved for classics, in chronological order. The bookcases are reserved for YA books, also in chronological order.

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

Oh man, there are too many! There are a bunch of classics I still want to read but also a lot of YA books I haven’t had a chance to read yet. I’ve actually made a bucket list for the classics / non-fiction / poets I need to get to so you can check out that post.

As for YA, I would say these three

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

I wouldn’t say I didn’t like it but…

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Very unpopular opinion, I know. Look, I liked the relationships (Cath-Levi; Cath-Reagan) but I couldn’t really connect to Cath and, overall, I expected a lot more from this book.

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

I’m mostly drawn to YA contemporary books (shocker!). Within the genre, I really like emotional books (I’m a sad book person) which explore important themes such as sexuality, mental illness, grief, etc. Having said that, I do like the fluffy stuff too!

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

Something on how to be presidential perhaps? Or how to be a decent human being? Or maybe climate change?

If we’re taking YA books, I’d probably give him The Hunger Games so he knows what NOT to do since God knows he’s not listening to people who tell him what he should do.

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What do you plan to read next?

I’m not sure yet, but I think Looking for Alaska by John Green and All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher. I usually don’t read two books at the same time, but I’ve set myself a September TBR and I’m also trying to participate in the Turtles All the Way Down countdown so yeah…

I TAG…

Eva @Brilliantly Bookish

Ilsa @A Whisper of Ink

Rose @Around the Library in 80 Days

Laura @The Book Corps

@The Imagined Reality

…and anyone else who wants to! Just send me a link in the comments so I can read all of your lovely answers.

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28 thoughts on “The New York Times “By the Book” Tag

  1. I have all those same classics on my shelf, too! (I haven’t actually read Great Expectations yet, but having it on my shelf still gets me point, right?) It always seems to surprise people that I like some classics, too.

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  2. Lovely answers! I don’t really have a nightstand TBR, to be honest, I’m just like you, reading my books mostly on the train 🙂
    I really, reaaaaaaaaaally want you to read A List of Cages. I read it a little while ago and absolutely LOVED it. It was quite intense, though, but it was pretty amazing. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this one 🙂
    Also, your books on a chronological order? Wow, that must take a lot of time ahah.
    Great post, Lauren! I really liked reading your answers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaah, me too but for some reason the paperback version doesn’t come out until December (in my country)! I don’t know what’s up with that.

      It took a while at first but now it’s easy. I read mostly YA books and a lot of new releases so I just add them at the end.
      Fun fact: I started doing this because it gave me a visual representation of a time line, which came in handy in university when I had to remember the dates the books were written 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh it is weird sometimes – and SO annoying – when the paperback version takes months, sometimes even years to come out. It makes me SO mad at times.
        Ohhhhhhh really, wow that’s such a smart way of doing this. I admire you so much for just having the idea already, I would have never thought of it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Me too! I’ll buy the hardcover for a book I’m really excited about and can’t wait on but otherwise I prefer paperbacks so it’s definitely annoying.

        Thanks! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great answers for this tag Lauren, and I really enjoyed reading your answers as well.
    I’m really really glad to see you loved They Both Die at the End so much. I have that on my to-read list still, like so many books, and I can’t wait to get started on it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. 🙂
    I hope you enjoy The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I read that earlier this year and it became an unexpected favourite of mine, hopefully it will be the same for you.
    Again great answers for this tag. 🙂 ❤️

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  4. Ah, I absolutely loved They Both Die At the End; it was so good! I cried for the first time while reading a book because of that ending! I totally agree with meeting all of those authors; I had the chance to meet Adam Silvera at Bookcon and CHICKENED OUT TWICE because I’m a coward. XD I’ll meet him eventually! And YOU MUST READ FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK. It’s absolutely amazing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • That ending really is like a punch to the heart, isn’t it? The word ‘sad’ doesn’t even begin to describe it but that’s Adam Silvera for you. That guy is a true heartbreaker 😀 … but we love him anyway ❤

      Aww, it's too bad you didn't say anything but I don't blame you. I'd probably chicken out too. Or I'd stand there, hyperventilating and not say a word haha

      I'm going to read it soon! I've heard so many great things about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I AM SO READY FOR TBDATE. I NEEEEEED IT. (I am so not ready but shhh.) I absolutely can’t wait to read it, ahhh Adam Silvera is just such an incredible author!! A List of Cages is SO heartbreaking, I can’t wait for you to read it although it is quite intense and emotional, you are warned. 😀 Loved reading your answers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaah! It was definitely amazing! I hope you’ll read it soon and love it just as much as I do ❤️🙂
      And I’m def excited about A List of Cages; I’ve read so many wonderful reviews

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    • I loved TBDATE but I agree, I like his other two novels even more. As to which one you should read next, it depends.
      History is All You Left Me is about losing your first love and realising the kind of person they really were (instead of the one you thought they were because you were so in love). If you like romance, this is is definitely a good fit. The main character, Griffin, also suffers from OCD. I thought I’d add that in case you’re looking for good representation of mental illness.
      More Happy Than Not is about accepting who you are, even when you know being yourself won’t be accepted by the people you love. Trigger warnings for this book include depression, suicide, and homophobia. For me, it opened my eyes to what it’s like to be “different” from the norm (white and straight) and the challenges that come with it. It’s a very emotional book (all Adam’s books are!) but it’s also hopeful.
      I hope that helps 🙂
      Let me know which one you end up reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reading History is All You Left Me right now, almost to the end and loving it.
        So sad though and I find myself resenting Jackson a little bit just because I liked Theo and Griffin’s relationship.

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