Books Coffee Talk Reading

When Books Are Like Hugs

28th April 2021
books on brown wooden shelf

And so, I seem to have got some sort of depression for my recentish birthday. Let’s not talk about it, it’s boring.

Books and updates on Isla’s strawberry plant from school have kept me going. A few days ago, I finished (reading) my 21st book of the year, so I thought I’d talk about some of them, with the help of this survey recently spotted at Rust Belt Girl.

When you have so much to say, sometimes answering questions is easier. Or something. Hi.

Author You’ve Read the Most From:

Anne Tyler and Paul Auster before I started counting my reads. Peter Swanson and Janet Evanovitch.

Best Sequel Ever:

The Likeness, Tana French

Currently Reading:

All Adults Here, Emma Straub. Empire Falls, Richard Ford. Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo.

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Coffee, or cider, depending on what time it is. Pretty much anything with ice.

E-Reader or Physical Book:

I need actual pages as an anxiety grounding tool. Kindle for book-hoarding and reading at night. It’s my most prized possession since my book collection’s still in storage.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School:

Gilbert Blythe was grade school, Greek Myths in High School.

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance:

Get A Life, Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert. Romance isn’t my usual, but I was intrigued by this and loved it. The rest of the series is queued up.

Hidden Gem Book:

Any book I find on my travels, or something I read at exactly the time I need to read it. Any book that finds me, instead of the other way around.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

Any of these books of my decade, although I’m working on another one.

Just Finished:

Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu and The Lager Queen of Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal. Both ten stars.

Kind of Books You Won’t Read:

I now read pretty much all the books I said I wouldn’t read. Except Clive Cussler.

Longest Book You Read:

Recently, A Little Life. We were on a four year break, and I gave it two stars. Fight me.

Major Book Hangover:

The Secret History, Donna Tartt

Number of Bookcases You Own:

None, now. Had a whole wall of them I carted around since I was 18. But we are between forever homes. I only got rid of my bookcases on the promise of built-in bookshelves at the next house that’s ours.

books on brown wooden shelf
Not my books. Photo by Taryn Elliott on

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

I’m not a re-reader, but there’s two. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro and We Need To Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver. Both were for book groups. One I like better the second time around. Kevin, I did not.

Preferred Place to Read:

In bed at night, or in the morning for an hour when the kid leaves for school. Anywhere at dusk. On planes. In hotel rooms before dinner.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book You’ve Read:

“We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Reading Regret:

Not many.

Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in series):


Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books:

The Crow Road, Iain Banks

Saint Maybe, Anne Tyler

The Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells (not the movie)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Family stories. Interesting thrillers. Disabled writers. Debuts. Beautiful sentences. Sarcastic old people.

Worst Book Habit:

I start a bunch I don’t finish, read five at a time. Recent times mean I’ve been better at finishing books, reading what I have before buying more.

I also read the last page before the end, when I’m invested in the book already. It’s how I was taught to study books.

When I read/hear about a new book, I HAVE TO READ IT NAOW.

Asking people for book recommendations and honestly caring about what they choose.

I also search for books like the TV shows I watch, but I read more than I watch.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

Transcription, Kate Atkinson. Shelf in our rented place.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

Dial A For Aunties, Jesse Q Sutanto. I put a lot of thought into my recent birthday book haul and did a lot of mood-buying.

ZZZ-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up way late):

We Begin At The End, Chris Whitaker. Before that, The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter.

What have you been reading lately?


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Also published on Medium.

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  • Reply thatblogwherecheriemovestogermany 28th April 2021 at 3:44 pm

    I do love to read in airports and on planes.

    • Reply Lorna 28th April 2021 at 7:42 pm

      Again, eventually.

  • Reply becomingcliche 2nd May 2021 at 1:33 am

    I have been on a reading rampage this year. I just finished The Screwtape Letters. I discovered the joys of audiobooks. I speed them up to about the speed I would read with my eyeballs, and I can listen all day while I work. There are advantages to having a very physical job!

    • Reply fancypaperblog 11th June 2021 at 5:07 pm

      Been reading my head off too recently. One of my favourite reading memories would not work well in Covid times. Long ago, I spent a summer travelling in South America. In every hostel there was a drop a book/ take a book which I lived for. Sometimes my choices were limited so I had to read something I normally wouldn’t which is always a good adventure! Travellers had gotten in the habit of writing name of the town they had picked up the book in and adding the date. I loved this idea as these books were themselves travelling up and down the continent for years- the ultimate wanderers!
      It is also how I first read Ya-Ya Sisterhood- what a book.

  • Reply Rebecca Moon Ruark 2nd May 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Ooo, I really liked Transcription! Also Greek Myths–yep, that guy was the sexiest guy in high school, for sure. Ha, thank you for tagging me–I was wondering why I had more visitors than usual to my blog. Much appreciated, friend! Sending you good writing vibes and hoping they also rub off on me. Slow-going around here!

  • Reply Gemma - Wheelescapades 6th May 2021 at 7:26 pm

    I’ve been using books a lot too recently, to escape, to explore, to understand.
    Reading in the garden is a thing that started for me last year. Now I’m just waiting for the sun.

  • Reply Barry Friedman 22nd July 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Loved reading this list. Thank you.

  • Reply ellenbest24 30th July 2021 at 3:05 pm

    This was enlightening, I have Books by different Authors that I read multiple times, to work out how they placed that sentence in such a way that I cried, choked, laughed or gasped. I never read the last page first and always finish every book I start, it is not going to beat me. If I didn’t like it it goes to the charity shop or the telephone/library share box in the village. My book top right 27 along was Room by Emma Donoghue. I surprised myself by becoming addicted to dystopia as in the handmaid’s tale and the Testaments by Margaret Attwood.
    I found a new author (to me) CD Major. I read ‘The Other Girl’ then was hooked, I read two others and find she writes different genres under pseudonyms. It was refreshing to find someone fresh (at least for me.) The Thin Place was riveting. She takes a snippet of truth, in a real place and time and weaves a thriller around it. @Cescamajorauthor is her Instagram name. Anyway thank you for sharing I have to say books have been my saviours during this awful pandemic. Focus to write has been harder.

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