What was your first favorite book?
Ashley: My first favorite book was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. It was actually entire my kindergarten class’s favorite book, as we’d always insist to our teacher that she read us it. I have no clue why we all loved it so much, but it had plenty of fun illustrations and colors. To this day, I always point out the book whenever I see it, and it always makes me nostalgic.
Amanda: I have no clue. Maybe The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I read that in fifth grade and remember really liking it.
Carly: One of the first books I remember reading was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. I remember being enthralled by the poetic structure of his work as well as the imaginative settings and characters. The pictures were always so fun to look at it, and the underlying important messages in his work are unforgettable.
What was the last book that you bought?
Ashley: Girl in Pieces (Target Club Pick April 2018) by Kathleen Glasgow. (If you click the link: Self-harm trigger warning for the cover)
Amanda: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland.
Carly: Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala.
What is one book you could never get tired of reading?
Ashley: I could never get tired of reading If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski, and I know that for certain, because I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it. It’s essentially a memoir composed of writings Jamie has done concerning his life and/or mental health. I have several copies of the book, as each one has a different use/purpose.
Even though I know the different stories within it so well, they never get old and always make me feel too much. 😉
Amanda: I could also never get tired of reading If You Feel Too Much, but I don’t want to have the same answer as my sister. 😅 So I would probably say Love Her Wild by Atticus. It’s a poetry book, so everything in it is pretty short and it’s a quick read.
It’s divided into three sections: Love, Her, and Wild. Because of the sections, it has lot of themes that you can go back to when you feel like reassuring yourself that you aren’t alone or that you deserve better or that good things are coming and stuff like that. It’s like when you go online looking for an inspirational or motivational quote to get you going or make yourself feel better. I can read it whenever I need a certain pick-me-up.
Carly: One hundred percent without a doubt any book from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
What book have you read for school but actually enjoyed?
Ashley: My freshman year of college I took a sports journalism class for freshmen, and the first book I had to read for it was The Best American Sports Writing 2012. Considering my desire to be a sports writer and how, at that point, I had a very difficult time reading anything that didn’t relate to sports, I was ecstatic to read the 2012 edition of that anthology, and it was filled with tremendous, well-written unique articles you wouldn’t find on your everyday news or media outlet.
Amanda: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I had to read those for my “Writing a Young Adult Novel” creative writing class, and I think that was the first time in college (maybe ever?) that I genuinely wanted to read the assigned books.
Carly: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is the first that comes to mind—although I enjoyed most of the literature I had to read for school (would you expect less from an English major?). The ideas about optimism, money and unbridled passion really stuck with me.
What book on your “To Read” list are you most eager to read?
Ashley: I’m really looking forward to eventually reading The Latinos of Asia: How Filipinos Break the Rules of Race by Anthony Christian Ocampo. Despite being raised in a Filipino family with parents who were born and raised in the Philippines, I don’t know as much about the country as I’d like to. I certainly didn’t learn much about the Philippines in school, and my Filipino-American Literature college class wasn’t enough either.
Since graduating college, I’ve been more eager to learn more about my heritage, and I was particularly intrigued by Ocampo’s book when I came across it on Twitter late last year. I understand and can relate well to the title, so I look forward to learning more about the sociological aspect of being Filipino. I don’t really know why I haven’t bought the book yet, but it is the next book I plan on buying.
Amanda: Probably War Storm (the fourth and final installment in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series). I read all three books last summer and can’t wait to see how everything ends! It’s an exciting and dramatic young adult dystopian/fantasy series with a storyline that’s unlike anything I’ve read before. The book isn’t out yet and comes out May 15, but that’s okay, because I’m going to need to reread or at least somehow refresh my memory on everything that’s happened so far.
Carly: This is the first year where I haven’t had a huge to-read list lined up, but I’m a huge John Green fan and I’m excited to read his brother Hank’s first book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, that debuts in September.
What is your ideal reading set-up?
Ashley: I enjoy reading before bed, but, interestingly enough, I don’t do it often. When I lived in New York last summer, I had this lamp above my bed that provided perfect lighting and access for pre-bedtime reading. I would read whatever book I was currently reading on my Kindle for about an hour. Then, I’d put my Kindle down on my nightstand and reach up to turn off the lamp above my bed, which was the only light source I had. I never had to get up to put my book (or Kindle, rather) or to turn off the light, and I loved it. I never had to leave my bed!
At home, I don’t have a lamp near my bed or nightstand. Because I prefer to read physical books (and really only read e-books in New York because it was the best decision space-wise), I need light if I’m going to do nighttime reading. But I don’t have good lighting for pre-bedtime reading so haven’t done much of it since New York.
Amanda: I can read any time of the day, but my favorite times to read are at night before bed or in the afternoon/evening, especially on gloomy, rainy days. It just puts me in the mood to stay in bed and read all day. I prefer to read on my bed because it provides so many options for me to get comfy and read. I can be on my side, stomach, or back, which is good for me because I can’t seem to stay in the same position while reading for too long.
I don’t really like to be sitting while I read, and I don’t usually eat or drink anything (besides water) while reading because I’m pretty clumsy and will probably end up spilling something all over my book, and then I’ll be upset. 😅🙈
Carly: I love to read before bedtime! I find the soft-lighting from my lamp to be extra cozy as I snuggle up under my covers. Sometimes I’ll have a chocolate snack or a mug of hot cocoa if I’m feeling in the mood. It’s the best way to wind down.