2017 Love-A-Thon | Mix + Match

The Love-A-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love, it’s hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Mel of The Daily Prophecy, and Kristin of Super Space Chick. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.


“We all love books, but there are other things we’re passionate about too!”

This mini challenge is all about things we love aside from books, we had to mash-up a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent/fandom with our bookish life, so I decided to create a collage of photos.

I love reading and I love books, but I also enjoy taking picture of them (that’s also why I started bookstagramming last year) and mix them up with pictures of the sunset I’m lucky enough to catch from my balcony very often. Nothing fancy, but I also realized this collage could be a sort of mood board for this blog. Hope you’ll like it!

You can find more photos on Instagram at @alicegreenleaf.

2017 Love-A-Thon | Mad Libs: Fairytale Edition

The Love-A-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love, it’s hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Mel of The Daily Prophecy, and Kristin of Super Space Chick. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.

For the first mini challenge we had to fill the blank spaces of this lovely fairy tale with the prompts they gave us, so much fun! Sit back, grab your beverage of choice and enjoy the story.

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Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a smart Rune-keeper. He lived alone in a library, where he had grown up with the deceased owner. He had beautiful pointed hears, and it was known for its shiny red satchel, the only thing he had left of its parents.

Alas, the chieftain of the country became jealous and wanted to own this satchel. So, he became a wanted person and had to flee into the forest to find a place to hide. After running around for hours, hungry and tired, he stumbled upon a weird looking cottage. An old lady appeared, offering him shelter from the bitter cold. She looked at him with surprise and said: “I will protect you, but I need your help first. Years ago I lost something precious and I want it back. You need to climb into the sky and get my clarinet back. Here is a magical staff, throw it into the earth, sprinkle with water and it will sprout a beanstalk. You have 9 days to return before the stalk withers.”

He followed the instructions given to her, and lo and behold, a beanstalk grew and grew and grew all the way up to the clouds. After an exhausting climb, he saw a huge manor. He walked to the door and knocked. A croaky voice said: ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, who dares to come and enter my house?” He was not afraid and said: “My name is Jamie and I’ve come to collect an item.”

The door made a crackling sound when it opened and revealed a large hall filled with golden pillars. He stepped inside and walked towards the spiraling staircase, where a figure moved, cloaked in darkness.

“Who are you? Step in to the light, so I can see your face.”
The beast growled angry. “Why did you come here? I just want to be left alone.” Still, he moved and stood in front of him. There were three horns on his head, and hair all over his face and his mouth was filled with large teeth. He wore a worn purple robe.

“What happened to you?” He reached out to touch one of the horns, but the beast flinched. “Many years ago I was cursed by a witch. I have one year left to wait so I can break the spell, but I’m not brave enough.”

“If you give me the clarinet, I will help you.”

In keeping its promise, the beast and him worked for a few hours and that afternoon, the beast transformed into an ordinary older guy. “I can’t wait to return to my job as tavern keeper in the normal world. Can I come with you?” Together they climbed down the beanstalk, carrying the instrument for the old lady. The moment she saw the guy and her beloved instrument, she started to weep.

“My husband, you have returned!” They hugged and looked at it.

“We have to tell you something,” the old lady said. “You are our child. We were separated after the curse, but now we are reunited!” From that day, the three of them lived together in the forest, happily ever after.

2017 Love-A-Thon Questionnaire

The Love-A-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love, it’s hosted by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cee of The Novel Hermit, Mel of The Daily Prophecy, and Kristin of Super Space Chick. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community.

Love-A-Thon is here! I’m so excited to participate again to this amazing internet event for book lovers and bloggers/instagrammers/youtubers. It has a special place in my heart, since it’s what finally made me deciding to start talking more about books last year. It’s a 2-day event and you can find all the info at Alexa’s blog, don’t be afraid to join it, even if it’s already started. Last year, I discovered it on Saturday evening and I jumped right in publishing posts on the go, without scheduling anything.

This event is supposed to be a way to make new bookish friends, so, assuming many new people will visit my blog during the next 48 hours, I’ll start with the introductory questionnaire.

An Introduction to You and Your Blog

1. What’s your name? Where in the world are you blogging from? My name is Alice, also known as Alice Greenleaf on the internet, and I’m blogging from northern Italy, my little corner of the Shire.

2. Tell us your history with reading. Were you always a reader? Were you a reluctant reader? I started reading in elementary school, after my mom bought me a cute book narrated by a funny mouse, Geronimo Stilton, because she was so desperate I wasn’t enjoying reading at that time. It basically started everything, my love for books and reading. My most productive period of time has been high school, I can’t even tell you how many books I’ve read during those years! (And I can’t actually, since I never tracked them, ugh.) Then, when I started University, I fell into a horrible slump, due to the amount of stuff I had to study, and I’m slowly recovering now.

3. Was there a book that convinced you to become a reader? I already reply to this one, but I should say that Harry Potter had a huge impact in my life when I was 11.

4. How did you get involved in the online book community? I always had a personal blog since 2010, but I discovered the bookish community only in 2015, when I participated to my first monthly photo challenge.

5. How did you choose your primary platform (blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc)? How did you come up with your blog name? I used to think about my blog as my primary platform, but I’m more active on Instagram at these days. I chose @alicegreenleaf because it was the nickname I was using as a Reporter on Middle-earth News and I already had a Twitter profile with that handle. The Geeky Burrow was born after a very long research, trying to pair words that could represent what I wanted to blog about (it was book and movie reviews at that time) and find available domains.

6. What’s your favorite thing about the online book community? Being able to geek out about my favorite books with other people without sounding silly to them.

7. What sort of posts can readers expect from you? I don’t usually write long informative reviews, I tried it in the past, but it’s not for me. I like to blog about my reading experience, my life surrounded by books, but also about productivity. I love task management apps.

8. What book genres do you talk about most? It depends on what I’m currently reading. I’d say Harry Potter and Tolkien, because they are genres, right? 😀

Favorites

1. Favorite food? Beverage? I’m italian and my mom is an excellent cook/baker, so I love all the food! Tea, hands down.

2. Favorite color? Blue.

3. Favorite things to do apart from reading? Watching TV series and playing LOTRO.

4. Favorite tv shows? My all time favorites are Friends, Lost and Desperate Housewives. I’m currently loving Once Upon A Time, Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls (I missed this one when I was younger).

5. Favorite movies? This is so difficult! My answer would be Harry Potter and LOTR, but I’ll go fancy today: Pirates of the Caribbean, Home Alone, Hook, Bridget Jones’s Diary.

6. Favorite musical artists? I’m not a musical person.

7. Favorite places to shop? It used to be my local bookstores, but now I’d say Amazon AND my local bookstores!

Book Talk

1. Favorite childhood books? The Geronimo Stilton series (7-10 yo) and then Harry Potter (11 yo), followed by The Baby-Sitters Club and The Lord of the Rings (12 yo).

2. Favorite books read in the last five years? This is not very easy to tell, since I started tracking my books only from 2015. If I have to pick five, I’d say: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Getting Things Done by David Allen, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and The Martian by Andy Weir.

3. Favorite genres? Fantasy, Mystery, Crime.

4. Underrated book, series or author you love? My guilty pleasure is the Murder, She Wrote series, nobody talks about it, but my mom and I are addicted (we’re also huge fans of the TV show, of course).

5. A book you want to see made into a film or tv show? I’d love to see a Once Upon A Time spin-off based on Red’s Untold Tale, which is a book about Ruby/Red (Red Riding Hood).

6. Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family? When I was in highschool, I fell in love with Bran from Son of the Shadows, the second book of the Sevenwaters series! While the Weasleys are definitely my book family.

7. Books you want to read in 2017? Oh, I have a whole blog post about it!

Hope you enjoyed reading more about me, feel free to introduce yourself in the comment section down below, I’d love to meet new bookworms! 🙂

How I Rate Books

Rating the books you read is not an easy job, there are so many factors to consider that you might end up spending a considerable amount of time to decide how many stars a book deserves and why.

I used to give 5 stars to the books I really enjoyed, but then I didn’t know how to rate those special ones like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, that basically changed my life. Another issue was the books I didn’t finish, should I give them 1 star or don’t rate them at all? What if the first chapters were okay and then they became super boring or bad? Should I have to consider this and assign them 2 stars instead?

Another thing I didn’t enjoy was writing long and detailed reviews. It took me so much time doing so that I was actually reading less or, even more stupid, I was afraid of finishing books because then I “had to” review them.

Mainly, it was Goodreads’ fault, because I was trying to use their rating system and be fair with my reviews at the same time, wasting so much time thinking about all the pro and cons of the books I’ve read.

Now, I use a much easier and simple rating system on Trello and my Moleskine reading journal:

  • good (green label)
  • so-so (yellow label)
  • bad (red label)
  • didn’t finish (black label)

I might add an “epic” rate with a purple label for the books that have a big impact in my life in the future, but for now I’m happy with this super simple system. But I’m still trying to figure out a way to simplify my life on Goodreads too.

I thought my easy rating system was a bit elementary, when I stumbled upon a social network that mixes Goodreads and Bookstagram together and uses a similar rating system: Litsy. I’m still a newbie and I don’t know if I should reshare my Instagram photos there or just focus more on the books snapping new ones without pretty backgrounds and props (like I see other users doing). I’m going to explore it more during the next few weeks. Are you on Litsy? I’d love to know if you have any advice and if you’re enjoying it! (You can find me as @alicegreenleaf there).

How do you rate books? 🙂

2017 Reading Challenges

After discovering the bookish community last year, I got super excited for all the reading challenges I kept stumbling upon. Aside from the Goodreads one, I didn’t know it was a thing, so I was very impressed by how many different kinds of challenges I could find. I tried to join some measurable ones, but I ended up forgetting about them and reading what I really wanted that moment instead of what I should.

This year, after raising to 25 books my Goodreads goal, I decided that my biggest challenge should be to downsize the list of unread books on my Kindle, trying to read them before buying new ones. Then, one of my favorite bloggers, Modern Mrs Darcy, launched her own challenge and it was too tempting to not join it. But, to make things easier for me, I decided to pre-plan it using the titles I already own. She offered two kinds of reading plans one for fun and one for growth. I chose the first one, because it applied more to my tastes and my own books, and I glued it in my reading journal writing the titles with my pencil, because they might change along the year.

Here is what I’m probably reading in 2017.

A book you chose for the cover:
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:
The Wrat and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

A book you’ve already read:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

A juicy memoir:
Agatha Christie’s autobiography

A book about books or reading:
Still have to find a book for this category!

A book in a genre you usually avoid:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (I don’t like reading the script of a play)

A book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read:
Your Digital Life by Carl Pullein

A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:
Landline by Rainbow Rowell

A book recommended by someone with great taste:
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor (I spotted this book in one of those recommendation posts that Anne shares on her blog, Modern Mrs Darcy)

A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

A book about a topic or subject you already love:
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

As I said, the title might change during the year, but I tried to pick everything from my Kindle TBR list, because I want to stop impulse buying books and hoarding them without even reading them. Also, I like having a plan, it makes me feel easier to keep reading.

Finally, here is a quick update of my reading journal. I loved Kristin’s video about hers and I decided to copy a couple of pages she shared to keep track of some stats this year for the first time. (The Ratings mean: Good, Bad, So-so, DNF).

Have you joined any reading challenges for 2017?