The Fifty Bookish Questions Book Tag

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I love doing posts like this. I found this from Arctic Books, and I thought this would be a fun way for y’all to understand my reading habit and why I pick certain books. Let’s get started!

1. What was the last book you read?

The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One. I really enjoyed that collection. You can see my post about it here.

2. Was it a good one?

I thought so.

3. What made it good?

I loved how it made me think about current social issues.

4. Would you recommend it to other people?

I definitely would.

5. How often do you read?

Not as often as I’d like. Having a two-year-old prevents that sometimes.

6. Do you like to read?


7.What was the last bad book you read?

I don’t know if it was bad per se, but I wasn’t the hugest fan of Breaking the Glass Slipper.

8. What made you dislike it?

Just wasn’t my jam.

9. Do you wish to be a writer?

Eh? I have a book idea in mind, but I don’t really know if I’m going to go through with it. For now, I’m really happy with blogging.

10. Has any book ever influenced you greatly?

Some books that have really touched me are The Princess Saves Herself in This One, The Alchemist, and Carry On Warrior.

11. Do you read fan fiction?


12. Do you write fan fiction?


13. What’s your favorite book?

Trying to pick a favorite is like trying to pick your favorite child. It’s impossible.

14. What’s your least favorite book?

Moby Dick. I hate Melville.

15. Do you prefer physical books or ready on a device (like a kindle)?

I love both for different reasons. Physical books are just so satisfying. My Kindle allows me to read with a kid on my lap.

16. When did you learn to read?

I think a little before kindergarten.

17. What is your favorite book you had to read in school?

There were so many! But if I have to choose one, I think it would be The Bell Jar.

18. What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter for sure.

19. Who is your favorite author?

Fiction: don’t really think I can pick one.

Non fiction: Brittany Gibbons

20. What is your favorite genre?

Either fantasy or historical fiction.

21. Who is your favorite character in a book series?

Hermione and Matilda. I really connected and identified with both of them.

22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

Don’t they all?

23.Which book do you wish had a sequel?

Everything, Everything. It was so sweet!

24. Which book do you wish DIDN’T have a sequel?

Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray. I was never a fan of either series.

25. How long does it take you to read a book?

If I can be left alone and read, a couple days. If I have a crazy kid and husband to deal with, it could take FOREVER.

26. Do you like when books become movies?

Sometimes. Some adaptations are amazing, while others are just ok.

27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?

I think Ender’s Game. I wasn’t a fan.

28. Which movie has done a book justice?

I feel the Lord of the Rings series were pretty spot on.

29. Do you read newspapers?

No, but I should.

30. Do you read magazines?

From time to time.

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?

Probably magazines.

32. Do you read while in bed?

It’s one of my preferred spots.

33. Do you read while on the toilet?

You gotta do what you gotta do.

34. Do you read while in the car?

If it’s a long car ride, yes. Books helped me survive the 13-hour trips to Michigan.

35. Do you read while in the bath?

Haven’t tried it.

36. Are you a fast reader?

When a book has really captured my interest, yes.

37. Are you a slow reader?

When I have lots of distractions, yes.

38. Where is your favorite place to read?

Probably on my couch under a blanket.

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?


40. Do you need a room to be silent while you read?

I would prefer it to be quiet.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?

Probably my dad.

42. What book is next on your list to read?

I’m currently reading Quackery, but after that I don’t really know.

43. When did you start to read chapter books?


44. Who is your favorite children’s book author?

Roald Dahl.

45. Which author would you most want to interview?

JK Rowling for sure.

46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with?

Brittany Gibbons. She’s a badass and super funny.

47. What book have you reread the most?

Either the Harry Potter series or The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

48. Which books do you consider “classics”?

Books that have stood the test of time and are still relevant today.

49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?


50. Which books should be banned from all schools?


Do you agree/disagree with my answers? Fill this out for yourself!


Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

In case you’ve been under a rock (or caught by Devil’s Snare), you’ve probably heard that a new Harry Potter mobile game came out. I was so excited to hear about this. I was on the waiting list, I was on the email notification list, I was dedicated. So when it came out, you bet I downloaded it and started playing immediately.

I love that you get to build your character to look like you…but hate the fact that some accessories cost a lot of in-game money. 100 gems for glasses?! I did the best I could with the tools I had.

During the Sorting Ceremony, instead of taking a personality quiz a la Pottermore, you get to pick your house. Naturally, I chose Hufflepuff…and I’m glad I did. The Common Room is exactly how I imagined it to be. It’s so warm and cozy. It reminds me of a hobbit house with the round doors and all the sunlight. I wish this were real so I could actually be in there!

You’ll soon come across the most annoying part of the game. You’re going along, trying to complete missions (you have to tap the screen in order to use energy)…

…and then you’re completely out of energy. You run out rather quickly. Sometimes each activity takes 4 or 5 energy to complete. Energy replenishes itself every 4 minutes, but each activity is timed, so if you run out of time you have to redo the task.

I think I’m willing to deal with the annoying parts of the game just to have another Harry Potter experience.

Have you downloaded the game yet?

New Venture


I’ve been crafting on and off for years. Everything from plastic canvas to drawing to jewelry making. Nowadays, I tend to focus on jewelry. I find it therapeutic to put work into something and see the end result. It’s very satisfying to me.

We had a craft fair at work today, and I brought some of my pieces in. People liked them…and bought a few pieces! This got me thinking…

What do you think of my opening a shop? Either on Etsy or having a page on my blog where you could purchase jewelry pieces? Is that something that people would be interested in?

Please let me know! I’d love any comments and critiques.

Happy Birthday!

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It’s my blogging anniversary today! I’ve been playing with this site for 8 years now. Can you believe it?! It’s certainly grown up along the way, and I think I have too.

I started this blog as What Fiction Means, and I intended it to be solely a book review blog. I got bored with that idea pretty quickly. Now it’s morphed into Meaning Beyond Words, a bookish lifestyle blog, and I’m really enjoying the feel of this more. I’m posting more consistently (although I’d like to do it even more), I’m putting more thought and care into my posts and pictures…I’m treating this like a real thing.

I think I’ve grown as a blogger over the years. I’m trying to be a bit more analytical with my book reviews. I still struggle with finding the balance between research paper and simple review, but I think I’m getting there. Adding more lifestyle posts breaks things up, and I hope you guys can connect to me more this way.

Happy 8th birthday blog! Here’s to many more!

Grad School Decisions

grad school

Something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now is get my Masters’ degree. Although getting a pay bump is a huge plus, the main reason I want to get it is because it’s something that I want to do for me. I had always thought that I’d get it in English, then later pursue a Doctorate degree, but since I’m not in education anymore, I don’t really know how much that would benefit me. Now I think I’ve really decided on what I want to do.

I want to get my MLIS (Masters of Library and Information Science).

I think this is going to be a really fun program, with lots of benefits:

I get to be around books all the time.

Sounds like every bookworm’s dream, right? I can look at books all day long! I can check out all the books I want and fulfill my book cravings.

I can help people.

I love that I can help people find their new favorite book. I can also help them with getting their passport, completing a research project, and pretty much everything else they would need.

I can have more time with my son.

This is the big one for me. I’d like to get the dual certification as a media specialist so I can work in a school setting. I would basically have the same schedule as my son, so I can spoil him rotten and spend as much time as possible with him.

I think the one thing that is really holding me back right now is money. If I just get the MLIS without the media specialist certification, I would save myself about $4000. But at the same time…I don’t know if I’d make it back to school again in order to get my certificate. Plus, I’m trying to go back to school with no additional student loans. I’m still paying off my Bachelors’ degree, and I graduated in 2012! I’ve started a little nest egg for school, so slowly I’ll be able to afford it.

Any suggestions on what path I should take and how to afford it? Leave me some comments!

My Journey to a 5K

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been actively trying to work on my health. I’ve been trying to lose weight (rather successfully, I might add), and last weekend I did something I thought I’d never do.

I completed a 5K.

Granted, I walked. But I did it.

And it felt so good.

My work has a wonderful wellness program. We’re able to work out on the clock three times a week. I’ve been doing that as much as I could (and as much as the weather allowed me). On my lunch breaks, I would walk on our walking trail that goes throughout our campus. It’s about a mile, and I’d try to get about two loops in before I had to go back to work. This year we decided to start a weight loss challenge, and rumor has it that I might have won!

Through my health insurance, there are fitness challenges that you can sync with your Fitbit. I’ve been doing that and earning money. I’m saving up so I can get a treadmill!

I’m combining all of this with watching what I eat. I’ve been tracking my food with MyFitnessPal and trying to make smarter choices. I’ve decided that I still want to allow myself to eat the foods I want (meaning fast food and the like), but I have to make better choices when I do.

All of this work made the 5K much better than I thought it would be. The American Heart Association hosted it at a local college, and we basically did three laps around campus. It. Was. Amazing. The weather was perfect, the track was nice and flat, and I had good company with me. Overall, it’s something that I definitely want to try to do again. Maybe one day I can run a 5K!

Health Check Up v.3

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written one of these! Lots of things have been going on, so let’s get right to it:


I’ve lost about 15 pounds! How crazy is that? We’re having a weight loss challenge at work where we pay in to lose 10 pounds and keep it off. If we do that, we get our money back. I’m determined to get it back. I can feel how my body is reacting to my healthier choices and I really like it. I’m able to climb stairs easier. I’ve started to enjoy working out. I willingly signed up to walk a 5K next month. The old me wouldn’t have done that. I’m really enjoying the new me.


I’ve seen my doctor and I’ve recently been diagnosed with PMDD (premenstral dysphoric disorder). The easiest way to describe it is more intense PMS symptoms with major mood swings, anger outbursts, violence, and suicidal thoughts. I don’t experience all of these symptoms, but enough to warrant a diagnosis. I’ve been put on antidepressants and I can honestly say I feel so much better. I wish I would have talked to my doctor sooner about all this.

The Plan

I’ve been meal prepping more, and I think it’s really helping me stay on track with my calories. I want to prep more. Feel free to share some healthy recipes! What I really need to work on is working out at home. I feel this “mommy guilt” where I know exercise is good for me, but I feel guilty that I’m taking time for myself when I could be spending it with my son. It’s something I really need to work on.

Fingers crossed I can get to my goal weight soon! Only 30 more pounds to go!