Hump-day Highlight: Brains, Books, and Brawn

Brains, Books, and Brawn in a bookly blog where my friend Amanda hangs out! Let’s get to know a little more about her, shall we?



Who are you?

I’m a 24-year-old bookworm from Canada, the land of Tim Hortons, maple syrup, and beavers (well, Biebers too). I speak three languages (English, Spanish, and Greek) and went to school for Spanish and teaching! I’ve been blogging for less than a year but just adore the community. I’m also a huge tea granny and a very passionate sports fan; especially football and baseball. OHHH and I can’t forget to mention that I love, love, loveeeeeee penguins!!!

What is your favorite book or series? Why?

Naturally, the first one that comes to mind is Harry Potter. It defined my childhood like it did many other people’s. I remember when I lived in Greece, my grandparents sent me an English copy of the 5th book as soon as it released and it felt like a little taste of home even so far away!

There are also two lesser known (for now) series that I just adore as well. The Hummingbird Trilogy (The Mark of the Hummingbird, The Song of the Sisters, and The Rise of the Forgotten) is written by fellow Canadian Jessica Gollub (@GollubJessica on Twitter) and had me so emotionally invested in all her characters. The second is Rachel E. Carter’s Black Mage Series (First Year, Apprentice, Candidate, Last Stand – this one is coming later in the year). I love Ryiah as the female lead; she’s boy crazy like many girls her age would be but she’s also as stubborn as a donkey and tough as nails.

Is there a particular book or series that has changed your life?

The most recent one I can think of is Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. It made me full-on bawl my eyes out…more than once. I was also inspired to start breaking down some of the walls I’ve put up when it comes to talking about what I struggle with. My renewed journey in blogging came also about after reading Every Last Word because I felt so compelled to share this book with whoever would listen.

How has reading in general impacted your life?

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. If I’m sad, stressed, or even looking to just kick back and relax, reading is my go-to activity. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember and nothing makes a bad day better quite like a good book does! It also led me to book blogging and all the awesome people I’ve met in the community the last few months!!

If you could spend a day with any author, who would it be, and what would you do?

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! THIS IS SO HARD! I want to say J.K. Rowling, Jessica Gollub, Rachel E. Carter, Josephine Angelini, Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard…the list could go on forever.

For the sake of not writing my own novel, I’m picking Paula Stokes. I’d bring Peanut with me and she’d of course have to bring Taz and Moo. There would definitely be food involved and lots of book and TV show discussions…and of course we’d shower the kitties with love because they’re little fluffy balls of cute.

What character can you most relate to? Why?

I’ve always felt very connected to Hermione Granger. Her giddiness about constantly learning new things and exploring books is something that really resonated with me, especially when I was younger. I’d always felt like a bit of an odd duck because of how much solace and happiness I found within the pages of books and Hermione gave me someone that felt the same!

When and why did you start blogging? Tell us your blog’s story!

I first tried to launch in the summer of 2014; right after I graduated. Sadly, life got in the way and that attempt crashed and burned very quickly.  I relaunched this past July and, while it’s still been slow, I’ve been doing well!  I couldn’t ask for a better community to be a part of! I came back to it because I wanted the chance to discover and share my thoughts on new and new-to-me books but what kept me here was the amazing group of people I found. The same month I came back, I went to an Ontario blogger meet-up and I’ve been hooked ever since. Secret Sister has become big part of my blogging experience as well! I’m excited to see what happens in the coming months.

You know three languages! WHAAAT! Do you read often in other languages? If so, how does it affect the story in translation?

I’ve been very bad about practicing my Greek and Spanish so I haven’t read much in either language lately. While doing my BA in Spanish, I read various different books in the language but since then have dropped off. I do, however, own the Harry Potter books in Spanish and still have a bunch of books from my undergrad plus the library here has a great collection of foreign language books. Once I get organized, I have a plan to review the less exciting grammar stuff as well as start reading a lot more in both languages!

As for the “lost in translation” part, it definitely can affect the story. It generally is a question of who’s translated it and what philosophy of translation they have. I read a bit of the first Harry Potter book in Spanish and, from what I remember, I still got the same feel I had when reading it in English. If the translation tries to be too literal and too word-for-word then it definitely can change the whole thing; you lose some of the atmosphere the author was trying to create.


I was so excited to have Amanda on for this month’s Hump-day Highlight! We’re friends through OTSPSecretSister and so much a like it’s not even funny!

In case you missed it, scroll back up for some book recommendations and explore some authors! I hadn’t heard of a few of the ones she mentioned, so I did a little interwebs sleuthing and added quite a few books to my list.

When you get to Amanda’s blog, Books, Brains, and Brawn, the first thing you’ll notice is her super cute header. I’m a little obsessed with the book heart, myself. I like to say that first impressions of blogs are really important and Amanda hits it out of the park with hers. The whole time I surfed around her blog I felt nostalgic and comfy, like I could curl up with any of the books on her review archives. It does well for a blog to make a reader feel this way. Why? It makes them want to stay. I seriously spent a good forty minutes just scrolling around.

Speaking of; I really love Amanda’s review style. I know I’ve said it before but this one really clicked with me. It’s really neat and organized with lots of link-ups to anything you could want to know about the book! I miiiiight just have to implement some of it into my ever-changing review format.

If you’re looking for a cozy update on interesting ARCs, books you may not have heard of before, or some fun memes and bookish tags, go check out Amanda’s blog. Strike up a conversation with her (you have no excuses not to she literally knows three different languages and exemplifies the friendly Canadian cliche)!


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