NaNo Day 23: Bookshelf Tour

Well, I’m back to drowning a little bit today.

I had 3k words of NaNoWriMo scheduled, but I’m going to have to put that off for another day to focus on school and work. HOWEVER, this actually works out, because I only had 1k planned for Wednesday–because I thought I was going to be in classes all day–but literally every single one of my classes ended up getting cancelled in preparation for Thanksgiving. So now I’m going to have the whole day to catch up.

With that in mind though, I’m kind of erasing the words I’m technically behind from not writing enough over the weekend, since I essentially just wrote them a few days early, with that random 8.3k Wednesday. (A mind game I like to play with myself during NaNo is to tell myself I owe the daily scheduled word goal, even when I’m ahead from writing extra another day. It helps me keep on top of things. But right now, it’s easier just to blot out those scheduled words, because yeah, life.)

Cool thing that happened today: one of my classes got to Skype with Stephen Chbosky, the author/screenwriter/director behind The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He’s such a smart, funny, inspirational dude and it was such an awesome experience. (And I took lots of notes, so I’ll hopefully get a chance to share those soon?)

In the meantime: Today’s post is a tour of my bookshelf! (Err, shelves.)

When I moved into my apartment a little over a year ago, I convinced my parents to upgrade from one bookcase to two, since I have more space now than I did in the dorms. This has given me the opportunity to keep a lot more books at school–still not all my books (or even the majority of them), but I keep most of my favorites here, along with the majority of the books I haven’t read yet.

Asterisks denote books that are signed.

Here we go.

So, first we’ve got an overall shot. Outside of the books I’m currently reading, these two cases are where I keep all of the books in my school bedroom. (The multi-colored bins hold other stuff, like my curling iron and massive first aid kit.)


First shelf: This one is kind of a catch all for stuff that doesn’t go anywhere else, so I have a couple picture books and magazines, lots of nonfiction and writing guides, books in Spanish, my Bible, a couple CDs, etc.

Specifically: Yonder by Tony Johnston (illustrated by Lloyd Bloom), Un beso en mi mano by Audrey Penn (the Spanish edition of my favorite book when I was little), the Mockingjay – Part 2 copy of Entertainment Weekly, the Collector’s Edition Us about Catching Fire, a collection of student writing my first creative writing class at U of M put together, The Making of Harry Potter from the Leavesden set tour, the Collector’s Edition Us about Mockingjay – Part 1, Quick Strength Training for Runners by Jeff Horowitz (I’m not a runner, but it’s got good tips for anyone), I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, The Little Book of London by David Long, Animal Stories by James Herriot, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, The Action Hero’s Handbook by David Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht, The Handbook of Practical Spying from the International Spy Museum, a map of Paris, Marley y yo by John Grogan, the Holy Bible, the Merriam-Webster Spanish-English Dictionary, the Merriam-Webster Pocket Dictionary, The Bard’s Guide to Abuses and Affronts, a couple Evensong CDs, Sweet, Savory and Sometimes Boozy Cupcakes by Alison Riede, and finally a photobook from the Hunger Games exhibition in New York.


Second shelf: This is my Oxford shelf. Here I keep all my Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Lewis Carroll books. (Also my JK-Rowling-writing-as-Robert-Galbraith and a book by the lovely Sarah Hilary, since I met both of them while studying in England.)

Specifically: The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, Unfinished Tales by Tolkien, The Hobbit by Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien, The Silmarillion by Tolkien, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm* by Robert Galbraith, Tolkien: A Dictionary by David Day, Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.


Third shelf: This one’s packed. It’s the majority of my adult fiction, with a few nonfiction titles and poetry books and plays thrown in as well (including all of my books for class this semester).

Specifically: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape* by Peter Hedges, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Thank You Notes* by Jimmy Fallon (with the Writers of Late Night), The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, Native Guard* by Natasha Trethewey, The Royal Wedding* by Meg Cabot, The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, In the Unlikely Event* by Judy Blume, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (Also known as: Go Home Racist Atticus, You’re Drunk), 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry by Paul McDonald and Janet Wasko, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Bossypants* by Tina Fey, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, The Two Gentlemen of Verona by Billy Shakes, Death of a Salesman* by Arthur Miller, Landline* by Rainbow Rowell (ARC), The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer, Wool by Hugh Howey, 1984 by George Orwell, and finally (FINALLY) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.


Fourth shelf: These are a bunch of copies of anthologies and lit mags that I’ve been published in.

Specifically: LOOK AT THE PRETTY.


Fifth shelf: These are some YA fantasy series. (The empty spot is because one of the books normally stored here is in the Currently Reading stack on my bedside table.)

Specifically: Brisingr and Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Scarlet and Fairest* by Marissa Meyer, Something Strange and Deadly* by Susan Dennard, and The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas


Sixth shelf (and first of the second bookcase): These are all my Lauren Oliver and Elizabeth Wein books (since they’ve written my two favorite books ever), along with a couple other random books that seemed like they fit here.

Specifically: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, the British edition of Before I Fall* by Lauren Oliver, the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver (including an ARC of Requiem*), the British edition of Panic* by Lauren Oliver, Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater


Seventh shelf: These are my middle grade books.

Specifically: the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Phantom Tollbooth* by Norton Juster, Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr, Shiloh* by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, The School Story by Andrew Clements, George (ARC) by Alex Gino, Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures* (ARC) by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater, Upside-Down Magic (ARC) by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins, The Doldrums (ARC) by Nicholas Gannon, Rules for Stealing Stars* (ARC) by Corey Ann Haydou, and The Thing About Jellyfish* (ARC) by Ali Benjamin


Eighth shelf: This is kind of a catchall “not contemporary realistic fiction” shelf for YA.

Specifically: Another Day (ARC) by David Levithan, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here* by Patrick Ness, More Happy Than Not* by Adam Silvera, Dove Arising* by Karen Bao (update from 7/7/2020: although she still uses Karen professionally, this lovely human now prefers to go by her Mandarin middle name, Jialu!), An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, a sneak peak of Nightmares!: The Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, a chapter sampler of Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, an advance reader’s excerpt of You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia day, a free preview of “Books You Must Read if You Love John Green,” a sampler of The Young Elites by Marie Lu, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, the Hybrid Chronicles series* by Kat Zhang, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, The Eye of Minds* by James Dashner, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare* by MG Buehrlen, and The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy


Ninth shelf: This one is for two of my favorite writers of kickbutt girls, Ally Carter and Suzanne Collins.

Specifically: the Gallagher Girls series* by Ally Carter, the Heist Society series* so far by Ally Carter, the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, and The World of the Hunger Games from the Hunger Games Exhibition in New York.



Tenth shelf: This shelf is all Harry Potter.

Specifically: American editions of the entire series and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, plus the British editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them


Eleventh shelf: More YA (because come on, let’s be real). These three authors all appear to like like each other a lot, so it seemed nice to put their books together.

Specifically: Four* by Veronica Roth, the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (I have signed editions of these, but I keep them at home), the 10th Anniversary Edition of Looking for Alaska* by John Green, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, the Collector’s Edition of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Twelfth shelf: Here’s all my Rick Riordan. I’ve read all his books except a couple of the Kane Chronicles installments. However, I’ve found that I like getting his stuff as ebooks and audio-books, so I don’t have some of them in print editions.

Specifically: the Percy Jackson series, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, and The House of Hades (I have a signed copy of one of these, but it must be at home.)


Thirteenth shelf: And finally, the last of the bookcases: (mostly) contemporary/realistic YA.

Specifically: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, The Impossible Knife of Memory* by Laurie Halse Anderson, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda* by Becky Albertalli, Falling into Place* by Amy Zhang, All the Bright Places* by Jennifer Niven, We Were Liars* by E. Lockhart, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Everything, Everything* (ARC) by Nicola Yoon, My Last Kiss* by Bethany Neal, Between the Stars and Sky* by David James, and Words and Their Meanings* by Kate Bassett


Currently Reading: This is the stack of books on my bedside table that I’m currently reading (or planning to start very, very soon.)

Specifically: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, Emma by Jane Austen, The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Twisted Web by Tom Grace, and last but MOST CERTAINLY not least: Illuminae (ARC) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


And, thank God, that brings us to the end. (That just took me about two hours to put together. I now remember why I chose not to do one of these last year.)

I’m not sure how many books exactly I have at school with me at the moment, but when I counted how many I had that were unread at the end of junior year, that number alone was well over one hundred. (And yet I keep getting new books anyway.) (I have a problem.)

Goal for Today: 3,000
Overall Goal: 39,000
Current Word Count: 37,027


PS. Hannah just reminded me that my copy of I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson is currently in her room. (It usually goes on the contemporary YA shelf.) Seemed relevant.

PPS. I FORGOT TO MENTION: The Ch1Con team announced our 2016 conference location and date today! The 2016 Chapter One Young Writers Conference will take place Saturday, August 6th at the Hilton Garden Inn in St. Charles, IL, a northern suburb of Chicago. You should come!

NaNo Day 11: Bookshelf Tour

Sooo… after an overall slow writing day yesterday, I finally hit the first big turning point in The End Where I Begin around 9:30 PM, took off running, and FINISHED PART ONE!

I normally don’t write novels in parts, but this one naturally lends itself to it, so I’m just sort of going along with it. And I’m SO EXCITED to be done with the first part, because while stuff obviously happens during it, it is primarily focused on setting up the universe and establishing characters. So now that that’s done, I get to move into the fun part of messing with everything I’ve established, which is, you know, fun.

Plus, although I didn’t reach my weekend goal of 23,000 words last night (only about 22.3k), I do have today set up as a break day in order to do homework, and I ended up with less homework than I was expecting, so: Look who’s finally going to be all caught up by the end of the day! Hopefully I can even get a little ahead and stay that way throughout this week (but that might just be a pipe dream).

As you’ve probably figured out by now if you’re a regular reader of this blog, my novels pretty much always lean towards the action-y side of YA. Nobody’s really sure how it happened, because I’m kind of high-maintenance and almost literally could not hurt a fly if I tried (I passive-aggressively killed some fruit flies this semester by setting up a trap atop my microwave when they invaded my room, and I have felt guilty for it ever since). But I live for car chases and epic-final-battle climaxes, and the books I chose to bring to college reflect that.

Because I’m in a dorm room, I have very limited space for books, and I can only have a small percentage of my actual personal library with me. So: A tour of the books that made the cut for bringing to college.


My Bookcase

bookshelf 1This is the primary place I store my books at school. It’s divided into semi-themed sections. Which are:


Top Left: Ally Carter & Co.

bookshelf 2The top left cubby has my Ally Carter collection (all signed but United We Spy), plus a few random YAs I haven’t had a chance to read yet, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, just because it fit the slot I had left. The random YAs are Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, and The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (also signed).


Top Right: Lauren Oliver and Friends

bookshelf 3The top right cubby contains my Lauren Oliver collection (including my signed ARC of Requiem), three of the four books from the Young Authors Give Back Tour (What’s Left Of Me by Kat zhang, Taken by Erin Bowman, and Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard–you’ll see where the fourth tour book is later), and some of the thinner contemporary books I have with me (again, because of fitting-into-the-space reasons): The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, my signed copy of Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and The School Story by Andrew Clements. (Not pictured: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Because I think the gremlins stole my copy.) (And by that, I mean that I’m pretty sure I loaned it to my mom and she hasn’t had a chance to finish reading it yet.)


Center: Rick Freakin’ Riordan

bookshelf 4The center section of my bookcase is dedicated to Rick Riordan. Here we have all five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, plus two of the books from Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune and The Mark of Athena. I unfortunately only have The Lost Hero as an e-book, and the big hole to the right, there, is waiting for House of Hades, whenever I can afford to purchase it (or someone makes me really, super happy by buying it for me, instead).


Bottom Left: The Boy Who Lived

bookshelf 5Bottom left is Harry Potter by JK Rowling. We’ve got all seven books, plus the British edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.


Bottom Right: Dystopia and More

bookshelf 6

bookshelf 7Bottom right is The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (two copies of each book–the two in the bottom picture are my unsigned copies; the stack in the top picture are signed), the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

All together, that makes up my bookcase, but it’s not the only place I store books in my room. Half the shelf above my dresser is also dedicated to them.


My Bookshelf: Everything that Didn’t Fit Anywhere Else

bookshelf 8

bookshelf 9

Here I have all the books that didn’t fit into either any of the categories or available spots on my bookcase. Some of these are classics and books from when I was little that I love, some are more how-to/guide book oriented, and a lot of them are books that I’ve been meaning to read/finish reading but just haven’t gotten around to yet.

The furthest left are a few of the literary magazines and collections I’ve been published in, followed by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter: The Official Guide, James Harriet’s Animal Stories by James Harriet, The Little Book of London by David Long, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and David King, The Action Hero’s Handbook by David and Joe Borgenicht, The Handbook of Practical Spying from the International Spy Museum, and Marley y yo por John Grogan (Spanish edition of Marley and Me, obviously).

After this is 1984 by George Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Inheritance and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, the Holy Bible, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (I know, I’m terrible), Wool by Hugh Howey, and Yonder by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Lloyd Bloom.

Down in front is The Bard’s Guide to Abuses and Affronts by Mr. William Shakespeare, and Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary and Spanish-English Dictionary.

And then finally, the one other place I store books in my room (outside of my desk, obviously, which only has school-related books):


The Shelf Beside My Pillow: What I’m Currently Reading

bookshelf 10Usually I have several books plus my Nook stacked here, but since it’s NaNoWriMo, I’ve been trying to limit the temptation. Right now I have the fourth book from the Young Authors Give Back tour here (I told you it would show up eventually), Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.


There you have it: the books I brought to college! (That just took so long to put together.)

What books do you like to keep around?

day 11