The Bad Habits of Good Readers by Carol Jago


In the end I decided to reblog this, because most of it so true! And while I never stuck a book inside my textbook, I thought about it! And although I did well in school, no.5 is so true!

Originally posted on Nerdy Book Club:

Time for confession. While applauding the model of teachers as master readers and students as apprentices, it seems to me that before we recommend that students should become just like us, we would do well to examine what compulsive readers actually do. In my experience, avid readers often:

1. Value speed over reflection. Such readers seldom pause between books to think about what they have read. They reach for the next one with hardly an intake of breath.

2. Skip anything they find boring. Unlike inexpert readers, these “master” readers feel free to jump past anything that interrupts the flow of a story. They skim descriptive passages and skip altogether imbedded poetry or quotations (for example the medieval tale within Edgar Allan Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher.”).

3. Care more about their personal reading than assigned reading. I have known many who perform very poorly in high school…

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Pledge. Thesis Diaries part 6?

So.  Another ‘p’ word for you.  Just now, I was thinking about commitment.  More specifically about commitment to big projects, making goals for oneself, etc.  Even love can be a goal to commit to.  For me, though, I’ve found that this year I’ve had too many things to commit to, yet because all of them are self-orientated tasks, it’s easier for me to give up on some.  Like my tarot card project over on DA.  While I haven’t given up on it, I’ve temporarily put it aside, leaving it half finished, and leaving me feeling disappointed in myself.  My writing project: the Curse Mark, is also on hiatus, only because I find myself unable to continue where I’d stopped.  I think my issue there though is that there were too many plots going on in my head and I didn’t think to draw out a picture to make it clearer.  I’ve started countless projects this year–some I have indeed completed and to which I felt much better doing so after, and others, of course, are still unfinished.


  • Major Arcana of the Tarot Card Project
  • Digital Manips of the Western Zodiac
  • And Which Way Alice (I consider it a small term goal that required a lot of effort)
  • Series Ender Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Series Starters Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Standalone Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • TBR Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Colours Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Contemporary Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club


  • Minor Arcana of the Tarot Project
  • My steampunk Airballons Digital Manip (still have to upload it)
  • 2 requested/for fun wallpaper ideas for digital manips that I haven’t had the energy or inspiration to do yet
  • The Curse Mark Project
  • A number of short stories
  • A number of poems
  • ABC Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Classics Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • 2015 Debut Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Mythology Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Graphics novel Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club
  • Months Challenge for the Quarterly Book Club

Long Term Goals

  • PhD thesis
  • Writing Project: Golden Phoenix

Of everything, I feel like I did accomplish a few things this year, but at the same time, I don’t feel all round accomplished.  I had things I committed to, but didn’t and couldn’t complete (though for the reading, I still have a month to go!  But still, I know I overcommitted.  But how can you help it?  There are so many things you want to do and just can’t say no to.


My point is this.  Your thesis, as I’m already thinking about how it’d be like, and if I was to give it a metaphor, it’d be like a Marriage or a Relationship.  It’s a commitment.  It’s not something small or temporary like all the little commitments I’ve listed above.  You’re going to be in this relationship with your thesis for three years (full timers, longer for part timers).  You’re going to definitely hate it at one point.  Love it at other times.  Hopefully you’ll love it more than you hate it.  I’ve already talked about needing to have passion.  Well you need a lot of it.  You wouldn’t get into a relationship halfheartedly would you?  Or maybe you would, but you’d have to have some reason for doing so, right?  I decided to undertake my PhD because I want to teach at Uni.  I want to lecture on a topic I really love, and teaching in primary or high school just doesn’t really appeal to me.  There are other reasons why.  For one, my topic that I’ve chosen is something really close to my heart.  Hopefully, it’s not so close that I won’t be able to dissect it.  But it’ll be close enough that regardless of the arguments we’ll have together, the reluctance on my part to pull  my weight, and the ability of my thesis’ part to be less of a puzzle and more straightforward, I won’t stop moving forward.  I’m only 4 months in.  It hasn’t felt very long, yet my first milestone is coming up.


And sometimes, I’m afraid of the commitment.  If my goals listed above is anything to go by, I am both capable of being committed, yet liable to give up if overcommitted.  But I won’t break my pledge.  My pledge that I will see this all the way through even if all that’s left of me is a sack of bones.  Well hopefully there’ll still be flesh.  I’m hoping it’ll be flesh and a number of accomplishments I can be proud of (even though right now, my heart is already palpitating in fear of what I might not end up achieving.  I have so many goals lined up for the next three years, it’s like the lists above multiplied by three.)  If you’re like me, just a little bit of an overachiever, aiming too much for too many things, then maybe it’s time for us to stop.  Take a break.  Think.


In order to make this marriage work, I’ll need to plan better.   I can’t always study.  But I can’t always slack either.  I can’t make a big list of goals and expect to complete them without a clear plan.  I want to treat this relationship properly and give it all the attention it deserves after all.


That’s just it though.  How am I going to plan a writing schedule I can keep?  I don’t know.  It’ll be hard to plan three years ahead, but if I have a rough idea of what will happen when, I think I’ll be more reassured.  At the same time, it’s best if I don’t give myself a really tight schedule, because then stress will be cranked to the max and you will be exhausted.  You’ll also want to enjoy yourself, attend conferences, work, have a social life. So, I have to figure it out and think carefully about my schedule.  But dayummmm it’s daunting!

These Broken Stars. Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/idk it’s good enough to be 5 stars yet I don’t know why I’m holding back!

Really enjoyed this, eyes glued to the pages at that dangerous level of engagement (do not touch or I’ll explode kind of intensity).

I can’t even explain how I feel right now but this book is a little bit more than just a romance. It’s not even really a romance! nor love focussed yet THAT plays such a big role and the fact that there’s just two of them. Really….I think I just need to read next book and the last book to really really understand how deep this trilogy will go.

Shucks I can’t explain this right now–but I TOTALLY get what Sam’s review over at A History of Books refers to now! and I get it. I totally agree with her.

Okay a more coherent examination later. But note: while in the beginning I was reading this out of curiosity and as a recommended book, and expected more love/romance, but by the end, I was in this for the meaning. I was in this for the mystery. I wasn’t in it for Lilac and Tarver only anymore (I think if I was, I’d have rated it lower), I was in this for the ending. (Well near the ending part).


From the above you can see that I ended this book really enjoying it. Hard not to when the climax of the whole novel had me in chills and goosebumps. It was creepy yet it wasn’t so creepy that it would keep you up with nightmares. Rather, it was creepy because of the implications. I mean, sure this book is sci-fi fantasy. It’s not real. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be real in the future. Scientists are always wondering and searching the world for the existence of life other than Earth after all.


So this book begins with a scene and disaster parallel to that of the titanic. Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the richest man in the universe and she’s on the Icarus, one of her father’s biggest luxury spaceliners, for her birthday. Tarver Merendson is a decorated war hero,a guest on the Icarus. There’s a little of instalove here, but trust me, it’s not really instalove. Anyway, so he meets her for the first time, and unaware of her identity, he shows an interest in her. Just like she shows him (though she knows exactly who he is). But it doesn’t take long before she draws a line between them, and makes it clear that he was just a game.

And then disaster strikes. The Icarus is yanked out of hyperspace, and plummets into the nearest planet–Lilac and Tarver just manage to escape in their escape pod which neither had wanted to share if survival hadn’t been at the forefront of their minds.

They are the only ones to survive. And yet they hope for rescue. So together they travel across the terrain of the terraformed planet towards the wreckage of the Icarus in hopes of being rescued. After all, the spaceliner of such a big company as LaRoux Industries carrying the daughter of it’s head, would be looked for after all right?

The plot is slow going, with very little plot. It reminds me of Blood Red Road, where the beginning of the story is focussed on the main character in search of something. There’s a very small cast of people, and it’s simply a narrative of their travels, their fears, and their discoveries. Lilac and Tarver, after their encounter on the Icarus dislike each other immensely during the first half of their trek across this unknown terraformed world. Well, they don’t really dislike each other, but rather, they dislike the hierarchy that separates them. For Tarver, he just wants to be rescued and off this planet, same as Lilac, so they stick together.

As the journey proceeds, Lilac is the first to be affected by the strange things on the planet. There are whispers, and things that mysteriously appear. As they get closer to their goal, the mystery deepens as they constantly question the existence of this planet…


I figured I’d give this its separate section since the premise of my edition heavily implies romance. I quote:

These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

There is a love story. But it’s not hot and heavy, nor is it fast and dramatic. It’s slow and accumulating, building over the time that Lilac and Tarver spent together. It’s not my favourite kind of love story because it focusses so much on tthe love story. I love slow burning love stories but I don’t like books that only focus on love stories (too muvh romance and not enough action sometimes!). And this book, like I mentioned earlier, is focussed on the development of their relationship as they traverse the plains of the terraformed planet, and yet isn’t so overdone that I had to roll my eyes and put it down. What I appreciated was the way Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner develop both Tarver and Lilac. They also develop the relationship between the two characters, giving them more than just an ‘instalove’ story.

But even though there’s a strong love story, I feel like These Broken Stars has actually got a stronger mystery plot. It’s a survival story too.


Lilac LaRoux is a spoiled rich brat. But I figured she probably wasn’t as spoiled as she seemed. (Kind of classic YA.) She was interesting. I liked her character in the sense that I didn’t find her annoying. I like that she grows through the book. That she’s not above helping out and taking on some of the workload. I should point out though, that in the beginning, Lilac is somewhat pretty insufferable! She seems so spoilt! But she’s not really as spoilt as she seems…

Tarver Merendson is awesome. Well as awesome as a guy gets in YA. I mean he’s clever, reliable, actually capable of doing things rather than just brooding and being grumpy. But he’s a little skeptical–which, I think is a good thing since it gives him that additional dimension. I also feel this book was more his story, since his chapters seemed a lot more substantial than Lilac’s!


Futuristic world. Sci-fi. Some Terraformed planet.


Very nice. Very easy to read. Wasn’t overly descriptive, so sometimes I had to stop and reread again to see what I’d missed. But otherwise I did like the writing. This book is also sci-fi, though it’s not really a heavy sci-fi. It does deal with things you’d see common to the genre, but I don’t feel (at the moment) that it’s too much sci-fi. Meaning, even if you don’t like sci-fi, you might like this if you like fantasy. There aren’t any mind-boggling terms to work your way around, no foreign scientific hardcore jargon to burn those cogs in your head.

Also, this book is written in first person pov.


I really wished I’d bought This Shattered World the last time I went to the store. I’d have started reading that now! But well. This book….this book….well if any of the above appeal to you, then give this book a go? That’s what I’d suggest! ALSO, I have to say, I LOVE that Amie Kaufman is Australian. As an Australian myself, that makes me go gaga over wanting to read this. And wonder why I hadn’t done it earlier!

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Quote #186

From Louis Sachar (Holes)

Louis Sachar

“I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Nothing in life is easy. But that’s no reason to give up. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. After all, you only have one life, so you should try to make the most of it.”

Random Music Moment #152

Whoa….They changed the style of wordpress again since the last time I was on here.  Ugh.  Again, I am so sorry for disappearing.  I have been at uni, working on my thesis (WHICH btw is going at a snail’s pace, I’m working on my intro–not the best place to start, but a place–and I’m only up 500 words of well, I won’t lie, but rubbish.  I’m not happy with it, but at least I’m trying.  If I can write something than the second draft will be clearer), working on my writing project for the Nanowrimo (really wanted to write this, but also involves so much research), and trying my best to keep up reading (I really want to read right now, and I’m making the best use of this desire as much as possible!)

However, I am here, for now!  You know, I hope, that I would never abandon my readers. I’ve never liked the idea of starting something and then not finishing.  My blog is here to stay and unless I plan to close up shop, I’ll be here.

And now down to business!

Today’s random music moment is actually a song I’d heard a while back.  I meant to blog about it earlier but of course, since I had no time, I didn’t.  However, I do really like this artist. Not only is she Australian, she’s really young, and I think, if she works really hard, she can be the next Jessica Mauboy.  I hope so, she has a nice quality to her voice!  Plus I like her newest single.  I think this kind of style really suits her.  (But really, my favourite performance from her was last year when she performed Titanium.)

Forever Young by Marlisa.


And her performance of Titanium last year:


My Life Next Door. Huntley Fitzpatrick.


My Life Next Door
by Huntley Fitzpatrick
My rating: 3.7 Stars!

I read this for a buddy read with Rinji for the Quarterly Book Club.

I did really enjoy reading this, don’t judge me by how long it took me to read because I was also busy with academic work and other books.

However, unfortunately, this book had to compete with Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. It’s one of my favourite books of all time. While Marchetta’s other contemporaries are considered better, Looking for Alibrandi is a classic for a lifetime, and upon rereading it, I really, really, really enjoyed it. AS for My Life Next Door, I think it’s a good book–

——> Oh gosh, I sound like one of those old grannies who say ‘she’s a nice girl’ or ‘he’s a nice boy’ but really means, ‘that person is just not for you!’

I’m rating My Life Next Door 3.7 stars because it was in fact a really good book that by the end of it had me smiling, and appreciating the story that Fitzpatrick wove, despite the fact that it was grossly overshadowed by Melina Marchetta’s book.

The Pros

– Samantha. She has a very relatable voice, and her kind of character is one that I can really understand–she’s someone who has never really spoken up before because she wanted to help her mum and suffers under the pressure of Family Obligations. And I never once found her annoying. She has a well defined character with depth to the way she acts.

– Jase. Are dream boy next door. Ideal YA love interest. Since I have little to say about him, because he was almost perfect–training hard every day, works for the family, considering college if he can get in on scholarship, all round, the perfect kind of guy to see in a YA contemporary novel. I liked him. But, in some ways, I feel like he doesn’t have an extremely deep character, but yet is still well developed, if that makes sense?

– The family dynamics. I liked seeing the contrast between Samantha’s family and Jase’s. The reasons behind them, and how they developed.

– Supporting characters. Tim was the best! I loved him as a character the most and I would love to read about him. I mean, really, that guy was awesome. In a way, he kind of outshone Jase (not that I want him to be with Samantha, but in character development terms, he did outshine the boy). Nan. I can’t believe Nan, and actually that was something I was kind of displeased with! (More in cons.)

– And wow. There really aren’t that many pros.

– Oh wait. Sam and Jase’s relationship. I liked it. It was cute. It began pretty quickly, and progressed at a reasonably interesting pace. I like how Fitzpatrick dealt with Sam and Jase’s relationship. And I guess their relationship is one of the highlights of book. I should probably say…it’s the main highlight, bviously, because it’s a romance…

The Cons

– Clay is an atrocious, ambitious asshole who I still felt sorry for. I didn’t like him at all but knew from the beginning that he was no good (and the only con is that he’s an ass, but the pro about him is that he ended up helping Sam’s mum out, so this should also be a pro lol.)

– Jase could sometimes come across as boring…only because he seemed a little too perfect sometimes. Perfect in the sense that he is the dreamy kind of good love interest in YA contemporary novels. He doesn’t have many problems, though he does have family ones and also the fact that he’s a total family guy….(but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! I think, once again, the love interest in Looking for Alibrandi overshadowed my appreciation of Jase)

– NAN. THE F**K happened there? That TOTALLY sucked. I mean, I completely understood all the reasons why, and so on, but it just felt like a loose tie that wasn’t really tied up at the end–I wasn’t really satisfied with how they ended up. The only good part was that because of Nan, Tim looked better. But still. Nan and Sam were the weakest part in the whole book–> A Big Angry Dissatisfied Frown Here.


I did finish this with smiles and liked it all round. I would DEFINITELY go and read the companion/sequel to this because I DEFINITELY want to see more of Tim. The guy is so messed up, I want to know about him. But yeah, the sad part is that I read this while reading Looking for Alibrandi, and Looking for Alibrandi just has a deeper message, a stronger plot, and greater themes for me to relate to than My Life Next Door. That’s all. I do suggest My Life Next Door however, as a Suggestive Read, it kind of reads like Sarah Dessen (yes and no), and it’s definitely the light and fluffy kind of thing that if I had more time, I’d have read it faster!

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To Be Happy. 55 Fiction.

“I want to be happy,” said the girl, looking tired with shoulders that sagged by some unknown weight.

“Cry, first you have to cry,” said the old man.

Her voice shook, “but how do I cry?”

“Just let it flow,” he replied.

And she did.  She had wanted to cry for a very long time.