Hi… I’m so so sorry for my terrible lack of posting over the last… well… forever. I’ve always been bad at the whole blogging thing- since my 3rd grade blog about penguins.

I’m also really bad at thinking of book related questions for myself, so I’ll leave you a list of bookish stats plus my personal essay for AP Literature.. Though if you have any and feel like treating me with the same amount of attention Sophie gets, I’d be glad to answer any and all via an actual, non-scheduled Q&A (sorry Soph..)

So yeah:

Last Book Read: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston

Last Book Bought: Machiavelli’s The Prince

Dream College Themed book: Chasing Vermeer, Blue Balliet

Bookish Philosophy: there is little more underrated than children’s books… but other books are good too

Theme of Spring Break Reading List: Biography/memoir/giant bin of books borrowed from Sophie

Favorite publications: for news, BBC; for general entertainment, The Bloggess all the way

Most anticipated book  yet to be released: You Are Here, Jenny Lawson(shh i know its a coloring book)

Best beverage to pair with a book: tea latte or latte in general

Bookish Bad Habits: dog-earing, setting down book face open

MY AP LIT PERSONAL ESSAY

Literature is Not Important to Me

Literature is not important to me, in the same way that drinking water is not important to me. It is something I do frequently, but it is also something I have done for so long that it is no longer a conscientious activity.

I have always had a propensity for words and communication. According to my mother, I began speaking at nine months and my first word was “kitty cat.” At a year I could correctly identify the colors of my crayon box and by fifteen months I could name the letters in my alphabet puzzle. She recalls me reading words by age two, and there are several photos of a very tiny Maiya sitting on a small training toilet or on the floor of my bedroom engrossed in a book. I frustrated my preschool teacher with my refusal to listen to her lessons on letters, and she apparently managed to have me for nearly a year without realizing that I could read. As a first-grader in the Voyager program, I was moved up to a reading group with fourth and fifth graders, and I was quite close with our school librarian, often discussing gardening or crafting as I checked out my strange combination of novels and books on plants and crocheting.

As a result of my constant need for words, I read voraciously and with little discrimination. As a five-year-old, I read the microwave manual as part of a deal in order to be allowed to use the brand new machine, and my parents had to cancel their TIME subscription a few years later, because generally, one does not want their seven-year-old reading something with an intended audience at least a decade older. Many of my fondest memories of summers as an elementary schooler feature large paper bags and corrugated cardboard boxes filled with young adult novels my mother picked up at second-hand stores and garage sales. I would blow through them, and to this day, seventy-some percent of the books in our family library are mine.

A side-effect of my reading was a comically large vocabulary packed into a tiny person, and as many of the words I acquired were ones that I had only read, mispronunciation became a comedic portion of my family’s lives. I once mispronounced “sophisticated” as “soff’ is cated” to my mother’s amusement.

Another side-effect of my obsession with stories is, ironically, my inability to tell a story. The abundance of stories and their many commonalities lead me to jump from tale to tale, never finishing one and going off on a thousand digressions in an attempt to share a brief moment from my life.  

While many people will say that books and the characters within become their friends, I have never found this statement to ring true for myself. However, I will admit that books and my love for them have led me to make many friends, whether the librarians at each school or the girl behind me in eighth grade geometry with whom I would eventually start a book blog.

Like drinking water, reading is a necessary part of my life. Without water, I, as a carbon-based biological organism, would die. Without my passion for reading and the love of learning and knowledge that logically follows, my personality would die. Just as water keeps me physically nourished, burying my nose in books provides my mind with sustenance. This leads to an odd paradox in which literature has become so important it becomes commonplace. It is so ingrained within my life that without it, I would not be me.

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Small me, on a toilet, reading. This is my personal sacrifice for my lack of blogging

 

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Q& A(ish) with Maiya

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Maiya, Q & A

General Update:A Bit on Maiya

Hey there!

So the plan for Q&A stuff is obviously a bit difficult when one is not being asked questions, so I guess I’ll just ask myself some or something.

I don’t trust you. You never post. What’s your excuse?

Well, I’m a pretty busy one. While I share a few extracurriculars with Sophie, namely band stuff and Model UN, I also do Science Olympiad. As much of an English nerd as I am, science has my heart. Our program’s pretty hardcore too, which leaves me with altogether too many things to do and altogether too little time, even for reading. (GASP). When you add some semblance of a social life to that (by which I mean a super close friend and a boyfriend), it’s a bit tough to find the time to enjoy books. Reason number two is just as pathetic- lack of books. I’m in the middle of a move, which means my beloved massive library is in boxes. On top of that, the terrifying majority of my tomes are youth novels. As much as I love a good romance, I have a tendency to occasionally get frustrated and love the feel-good ness of a kid’s novel.

Okay… Book Stuff- latest favorite? General taste?

Latest favorite is Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy by a landslide. I found her first book  (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) during a kind of rough point last year and I absolutely died of laughter. When I found out about her new book, I knew I needed to read it- and fast. Fortunately, Sophie’s place of employment (our local bookstore) had a copy, which I treated myself to. I forsee it taking the Monday Review slot for this next week by and large.

As a general rule, I’ll read anything put in front of me, whether it’s a classic, chicklit (though it’s not as much of my guilty pleasure as Sophie’s), a children’s book (these are gold), biographical pieces, historical fiction, adventure… it’s hard to find a book I dislike. Timing of when I read a book tends to shape my opinion of it more than anything else.

BACKING UP- did you say boyfriend?

Yeah, we met during a theatre thing. I’m going to take the liberty of telling you people about him because he’s in Florida on Spring Break right now and he probably won’t read this. His name is Ben, he plays French horn and piano, he’s a remarkably typically masculine guy, but we have tidbits of commonalities. He’s your stereotypical tall-dark(ish)-and-handsome, and I have made it my personal mission to get him to enjoy reading more. Yep- I’m a book person dating someone who has 5 assorted books on his bookshelf. He is insistent that it won’t work. I think I’ll win on this one.

Wow. So what other books are currently high on your lists?

Okay, favorites:

  1. Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson, memoirs (duh)
  2. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened-Jenny Lawson, memoirs (also duh)
  3. Echo- Pam Munoz Ryan, youth fiction (music, fantasy, and history? Yes please)
  4. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters – Kimberly Karalius, fantasy fiction (sappy chicklit-y piece that I adored)
  5. The Power Of Small: Why Little Things Make All The Difference- Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, self-help/inspirational (just read this, already super motivated. Also nonfiction rocks)

To Be Read

  1. The Glass Castle-Jeannette Walls, biography/memoir (one of the 5 books on Ben’s shelf. It has to be good.)
  2. A Thousand Pieces of You- Claudia Gray, science fiction (I saw the word science and immediately died)
  3. Everything Everything – Nicola Yoon, young adult (Gorgeous cover. That’s all)
  4. Carry On- Rainbow Rowell, young adult (it’s Rainbow Rowell,’nuff said.)
  5. Mosquitoland- David Arnold, young adult (Anything Sophie talks about that much has to be good)

So yeah, you’ll see bits of these mentioned a lot.

Sweet. Any questions for the readers?

OHMYGOSHYES!!!

Below is my favorite conversation question ever. I found it here, and it’s the best.

For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. They can’t talk and they can’t write, but they can read silently and understand the text. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence (not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves).

This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature?

 

I think that’s good for now, so I hope you all enjoyed it.

Signing off,

Maiya

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Maiya

General Updates:Hey there!

Hello dear readers

It’s me again- Maiya – the Barely-Existant Blogger.

I’m taking over primary blogging duties as Sophie is on vacation, I’ll have to apologize if I miss anything that usually happens.

Tomorrow (according to Sophie’s schedule) is supposed to be a Q&A session, so if you have any questions, go ahead and comment them or email them to me at mindofabookdragon@gmail.com. 

I have a 2 foot tall stack of books currently to-be-read, several of which will probably end up reviewed soon!

I’ll catch you all up on my life/better introduce myself in another post soon, which will maybe provide a bit of insight into me. I look forward to better getting to know all of you (including my fellow bloggers Beth and Emma) over the course of this week and a half-ish, after which I will hopefully become a much more consistent contributor.

Signing off (very temporarily),

Maiya

Posted in Bloggers, Maiya, Reviews

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

So I need to preface this review:

I have a passionate fondness for feel good books. I also don’t have a ton of time to read for pleasure and also don’t have a ton of personal physical books that are not currently in boxes.

BUT. Christmas just happened. And a gift from my parents was Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan. And I had a plane ride with time to kill, because iPhones are essentially useless and for the first time in 2 months, there is a physical book that a. does not belong to a sibling and b. is not a textbook  that is in my possession.

It’s phenomenal.

If you’re a fan of harmonicas, historical fiction and are okay with crying (I didn’t cry for TFIOS and I cried at this book), then this book is one to be read.

It follows the path of a magical harmonica as it changes and shapes the lives of 3 kids at different points during World War 2. If you get frustrated by the seemingly sudden dropoffs in storylines, don’t fret. It all comes together very satisfyingly.

I’ve decided it will become my proposal for a senior band gift to directors next year. As a music person, it’s a book that makes you rethink and regain an appreciation for the impact that music and music in education can have for a person’s life.

As a fan of Ms. Munoz Ryan (I can’t get tildes to work, I apologize), I found it familiar in writing style but nonetheless a touching, while remarkably mature young adult novel that I absolutely loved.

tl;dr: harmonicas+fairytales+world war 2= crying and laughing and good book

Signing off,

Maiya

Posted in Maiya

I actually exist, I swear!!

Hey all, it’s Maiya (insert dramatic gasp here).

I do exist. I promise. It’s been a kind of a busy year, which means I haven’t had a ton of time for myself, and thus haven’t had a ton of time for fun reading (insert dramatic gasp).

While I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions… I guess I could maybe make one-ish this year.

I’ll try to post on here as often as I can. I definitely can’t guarantee daily or even weekly, but I’ll try to post when I do get the opportunity to read something.

Apologia, apologia, apologia. (To steal a card from Pseudonymous Bosch)

Signing off,

Maiya

Posted in Maiya, Reviews

Mind of a Bird

For a first post by me, I racked my brain for what book would get this ceremonious title. I settled on one of my absolute favorites: a biography of a behavioral scientist by the name of Irene Pepperberg.

If you were in my 9th grade English class, you’ve heard me mention/rant about this book.

Quick Summary:

40 years ago.. a woman with a PhD in Chemistry from Harvard University walked into a pet shop. Her name was Irene Pepperberg, and she scooped up an African Grey Parrot, and named him Avian Learning EXperiment, Alex for short. He would go on to change the way people perceived birds. This book tells Irene’s story, from her childhood through all of her scientific studies and work with Alex to the aftermath of Alex’s death. Although it may not seem the most fascinating book, it is written in a way to be an intriguing and inspiring story.


Super Quick Summary: If you like birds, science, awesome women, and good writing, this is the book for you.

Signing off,

Maiya