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Dana Johnson

Book-obsessed twenty-something with a passion for poetry, hiking, and being happy with what I have.

Bookish Confession: I’m a Book “Overbuyer”

Per a recommendation at my workplace, I’ve started reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.” It’s one of those books I’ve seen at bookstores in the past, picked-up, and put back down. I never purchased it in the past because, thankfully, I’m already very happy. I didn’t think I needed a ‘happiness project.’ But after receiving this book from my workplace, I’m so very happy to be reading it. I’m learning so much about myself and my potential in each chapter (How can I be a better person? How can I improve my relationships with others? How can I cultivate an atmosphere of happiness?). One thing I’ve learned:

I’m a book overbuyer, and it’s starting to impact my happiness. 

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Remaining a Student of Poetry Post-Graduation

I graduated from college 2.5 years ago with my Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. Although reading and writing poetry are two of my biggest passions in the world, I found that I didn’t write much poetry once the diploma arrived. Sure, I’d write odd poems here and there, and I continued reading and writing about a lot of poetry collections… but I wasn’t engaging in any sort of a disciplined poetry writing routine. In short, I wanted to create poems, but I wasn’t doing the work it required.

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The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

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As part of my journey to read more gothic fiction, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho was my first read of 2016. If you have any interest in the Gothic Horror genre, I highly recommend reading this book (although I think this is technically more of a Gothic Romance?). Read on for my thoughts on this classic novel–but be warned: there are spoilers aplenty!

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2015 Reading (and writing) Year in Review

2015 Reading Stack

2015 was a big bookish year for me. I read way more books than I ever anticipated I would, discovered the joy of comic books, and started a couple of really exciting writing gigs. Here are the highlights from my last year of reading:

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What Are Your 2016 Reading Goals?

In an effort to build a sense of community here on my little blog, and start some valuable bookish conversations, I’d like to begin a series of reader questions. The Book Riot YouTube Channel puts out videos of reader questions, and I always love watching them. So, that’s probably what inspired me to start my own series here. Feel free to check out my 2016 Reading Goals and comment with your own.

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Dracula by Bram Stoker — Review

I'm scared of everything, but here we go.

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Let’s make one thing clear–I typically stay away from the horror section of all bookstores and libraries. I’m easily frightened, unbearably paranoid, and don’t enjoy the goosebumps, cold sweats, or “hair on end” feelings that spooky books typically produce.

But I think I may be a convert. I absolutely loved Bram Stoker’s classic horror novel Dracula, and I’m eager to dive deeper into the Gothic Horror genre. Here are my thoughts on the classic book:

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The Magic of Rereading the Harry Potter Series as an Adult

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My very first copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a tattered, torn, and suspiciously stained book that my older cousin had nabbed for me at a garage sale. I remember being simultaneously awed that a book could evoke so much enjoyment, and anger that I hadn’t started reading the series sooner. I quickly devoured the next three books in the series, then joined the hoards of other fans impatiently awaiting the release of the fifth, sixth, and seventh books.

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Post in Which I Rave About “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

I finally read Ernest Cline’s first novel Ready Player One, and was instantly sucked in to this modernized depiction of planet earth. The novel takes place in year 2044 (which doesn’t seem too terribly far away, frankly), when larger cities are crawling with “stacks,” structures of trailers stacked haphazardly on top of each other and housing several families in each. Half the human population is starving, cities are riddled with crime, and nearly everyone finds escape in a digital world known as the OASIS.

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September Reading Wrap Up

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Sci-fi! Fantasy! Comics!

September was a fairly leisurely reading month for me, as I continued to step outside of my comfort zone into the literary world of sci-fi and fantasy. I finished rereading the Harry Potter series, enjoyed a good comic, and got my first taste of the fiction of Robin Hobb. Let’s dig in!

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