Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Spring TBR

Here we are, another Tuesday, another top ten list. The Top Ten Tuesday meme was started over at The Broke and the Bookish blog. If you haven’t participated before or aren’t familiar with the meme, it’s a weekly themed top list related to, you guessed it, all things books. It’s a fun way to really go through your shelves and TBR piles. This week, it’s all about the Spring TBR list. As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m not always a fan of TBR lists, but when it comes to listing the books I’d like to read in a season, it feels less daunting. Here’s what I’d like to get through as the snow starts to melt.

Top 10 March 16

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

In my post on reading inspirations, I mentioned that I was inspired to reread this classic novel in the wake of Harper Lee’s death. While it isn’t a book I immediately fell in love with as a high school student (eons ago!), I’m excited to read this as an adult and see how Lee’s ideas resonate with me today. I haven’t read a Pulitzer Prize winning novel in a  good while so this will be a nice reintroduction to that level of literary accomplishment.

9. Go Set the Watchman by Harper Lee

This book got so much attention when it was released in July 2015. The long awaited followup to To Kill a Mockingbird, I can’t tell you how many people I knew who were practically foaming at the mouth to devour this book. While I know there’ s a fair bit of controversy about how good of a book this is (what highly hyped book doesn’t have controversy?), for the most part I’ve heard good things. Either way, I’ll be interested to see where Lee takes things in this follow up novel.

8. Cress by Marissa Meyer

I’m ashamed that this is even on a TBR list as I’ve had this book (and TBR’d it) so many times. I loved Cinder and Scarlet and in many ways was dying to continue the series, but I just keep picking up other books. I own everything up through Winter, and I want to get caught up. I think part of my problem with these books is they’re so fun I just don’t want them to end. If you’re unfamiliar with the Lunar Chronicles, these are fairy tale retellings that are done with a gloriously kick ass flare. Cress (book 3) continues the story of Cinder and Scarlett, but also introduces Cress, a Rapunzel like character. Part fairy tale, part Sci Fi awesomeness, Meyers is one of those authors that can get most anybody to ignore everything else and devour a book. I know this one will go quickly.

7. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

This in-between novel in the Lunar Chronicles (published between Cress and Winter gives us a look at the series villain Queen Levana. Being a much shorter book than the prior installments, I’m interested to learn about the Queen, what her motives are and what keeps her moving forward. Some of my favorite novels in a series expose the characters you think you know and give you something much different to consider about their actions (like The Vampire Lestat). If this one really flies, I might start up Winter (book 5) to get myself closer to being completely caught up with this series.

6. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

This book has been on my radar for a while. Set in a quiet, idealistic town in Washington state, Sarah has to come to terms with her husband’s unexpected death. As she beings to solve the puzzle of his death, she learns there is much more to her quiet little town than she anticipated. I’ve noticed that people always seem to compliment Banner for giving this story a fresh voice. While popular suspense novels are often inventive and shocking, I don’t often find people saying that the author’s voice is so distinct. I’m hoping this read doesn’t disappoint.

5. Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

After reading Reconstructing Amelia earlier this year, I have been aching to read more of McCreight’s works. Where They Found Her was actually the first book of McCreight’s that discovered, but I decided to pick up a copy of Reconstructing Amelia and read that first. Another suspense novel, Where They Found Her challenges the ideas of family and the impact of your past on your present state. As a parent and an avid fan of psychological thrillers, I am anticipating this to be a heart pounding read.

4. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

This fresh release (February 2016) is like a dream. Full of sailing, fantasy, adventure, and what seems like a diverse cast of characters, The Girl from Everywhere looks to be a promising read. The summaries and descriptions I’ve read of this novel give me the impression that it’s whimsical and fun, but will leave a long lasting impression on it’s readers. As her debut novel, I’m interested to see what Heilig’s writing is like.

3. Hold Still by Lynn Steger Strong

I almost didn’t put this book on my list, because in some ways it reminded me a little too much of Reconstructing Amelia in the mother/daughter dynamic. Still, the storyline interest me enough to give this one a try. I won’t lie, the Amazon Best of the Month award and positive Goodreads reviews swayed me to keep this book on my list. Stories about family, relationships, and personal growth can be  a valuable addition to our lives, or they can come up short and leave us wanting more. I’m hoping the latter will not be true for Hold Still. 

2. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Of all the horror stories available today, Bird Box is the book that I’ve heard the most praise for in terms of being utterly terrifying. Horror is the genre that kept me reading as a young child so anything in the genre that promises to deliver in a big way excites me. This novel promises to combine McCarthy’s storytelling style with King’s masterful horror roots. As a huge fan of both authors, I’m curious to see how Malerman weaves his story in a way that pays homage to these literary giants while keeping things unique to his own voice.

1. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

As the first novel in the Chaos Walking trilogy, The Knife of Never Letting Go introduces us to a kid named Todd. Thanks to an infection, Todd can hear the thoughts of those around him and vice versa. As Todd is approaching his birthday, and therefore closer to becoming a man like the rest of the town, he learns something that will forever change how he views the world. While I’ve been a bit reluctant to start a new series (because I have a few I need to finish), I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read from Ness in the past. I’m hoping this story lives up to everything I’ve heard about it over the years.

That’s all for my Spring TBR list. What are you reading this spring? What new releases are you looking forward to the most?


Top Ten Tuesday Image via The Broke and The Bookish

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Top Ten Characters I’d Want To Be For Halloween

Happy Halloween week! For this edition of Top Ten Tuesday, we are discussing the top characters we’d like to dress up as for Halloween. What could be better than dressing up as one of your favorite fictional characters for Halloween? The only thing I can think of that would be more fun is a fictional character Halloween party. I’d be all over that. I couldn’t come up with a list of ten characters I’d want to dress up as, so I listed my top seven fictional character costumes I’d want to be for Halloween. To learn more about the Top Ten Tuesday meme, check out the official rules over at The Broke and The Bookish blog.

7. Emma Woodhouse

I loved Jane Austen’s main character Emma. She’s funny and her name suits her personality well. I have always wanted to have an excuse to dress in a period piece, so Emma would be a wonderful way to do it.

6. Daenerys Targaryen

Besides the fact that Daenerys is such an interesting character, I love the descriptions of her from the Song of Ice and Fire series. The pale skin, platinum hair and violet eyes would make such a fun and ethereal looking character. Choosing one of her outfits would likely be the hardest thing to recreate (besides maybe her eyes) as she has such provocative clothing. Still, it’d be worth it.

5. Cheshire Cat

I’ve seen a lot of adaptations for Alice and Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat using simple costume makeup this year. While I’m no expert at costume makeup, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to try it. While the makeup route isn’t a full fledged costume, when it’s done right the look is dead on.

4. Gemma Fisher

*Spoiler Alert, if you haven’t read the book, this does blurb does contain a spoiler*

I think Amanda Hocking’s Watersong Series heroine Gemma would be an awesome character to dress up as. If not as her full siren self, a combination of human and siren form would be unique and a lot of fun to put together.

3. Katniss Everdeen

Agile, strong and resourceful Katniss Everdeen is one of my favorite characters. While her Hunger Games ceremony outfits were amazing, I would prefer to portray Katniss in her typical district gear with a kick ass bow.

2. Beth Fremonth

While I loved all the characters in  Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments, Beth was my favorite. She was funny and honest and seemed like such a good person. It would be a great last minute costume.

1. Hermione Granger

Hermoine Granger is my top pick for who I’d like to dress up as for Halloween. It isn’t so much because of her look (though I can always relate to those early days of frizzy big hair curls) as it is her character. Hermione is my ultimate female character, so I’m happy to use any excuse to portray her.

Who would you want to be if you had to dress up as a fictional character this Halloween? What’s the best character costume you’ve seen?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED To Read More

It’s not often that I find a book that makes me want to devour everything the author has written, but that’s exactly what this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list is all about. I loved what I’ve read from each of these authors, I just haven’t picked up any more of their work yet. Hopefully I can change that soon! I was surprised to see how challenging it was to come up with a list of authors who I haven’t read more then one book from (yet).

Note: These are listed in no particular order. You can click on the author’s name to visit their website.

Laurie Halse Anderson

I will never forget the night I began reading Anderson’s Wintergirls, as it was about 12 hours before our first child was born. I loved the way the story was built. The way the characters lingered in my mind when I wasn’t reading. I’ve been anxious to read Anderson’s other works, I’m not sure why I haven’t picked any up yet. I’m certain I’ll love everything she’s done.

John Rector

When I read The Grove I was floored. The writing was engaging and while the subject matter was disturbing, the characters were relatable. I could not put this book down. I picked up Already Gone as soon as I saw it on my kindle, but I haven’t read it yet. Perhaps a good read for the fall?

Jay Asher 

I read Thirteen Reasons Why when there was a ton of hype around it. Extremely popular/hyped books can make me a little anxious, but the plot of this one made me pick it up. I’m so glad I did. Suicide is not an easy subject to discuss or write about, but this story does a fantastic job of conveying a (sadly) believable story while sweeping us away in it’s own fantasy like haze. This book always makes me think of the film The Virgin Suicides. Despite the suicide parallel, I found Thirteen Reasons Why to be captivating and haunting equally as haunting as the Virgin Suicides.

Hugh Howey

SciFi is one of those genres I haven’t read much of, but am always interested in. I read the first novella in the Wool series earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Howey shows how masterfully one can submerge you into a world. I have heard nothing but good things about the rest of the Wool series, so I’m anxious to pick it up.

Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut is one of those authors I’d always meant to read, but honestly I was a little intimidated to read his work. I wondered if I’d “get it”. I remember seeing an interview with Vonnegut and Jon Stewart and thinking that Vonnegut seems like such an old soul. Reading Slaughterhouse Five was a really wonderful experience. I was surprised at how witty, smart and relatable the book was. I look forward to reading more of his work.

Which authors do you want to read more of? Have you ever read a book that was so great, you instantly bought another book by that author?

To learn more about the Top Ten Tuesday book meme and see the weekly Top Ten Tuesday topic list, visit The Broke and the Bookish blog.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books People Have Been Telling Me I Must Read

This Top Ten Tuesday list is exciting for me. So many of these books have been on my TBR list for a long time. Hearing others gush over them makes me even more anxious to read them.

In no particular order, here are my top ten books everyone tells me I just must read.



Check out The Broke and the Bookish Blog for the complete Top Ten Tuesday meme list and to see what other people are listing this week.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

I love the theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list. I love reorganizing my shelves (or categories on my Kindle) every now and again, but I don’t often take note of who’s books I have the most of. To keep this brief, I’ll just list each author and how many books I have by that author with a little insight into why I have them. 

For full details on the Top Ten Tuesday blog meme, check out this page over at The Broke and Bookish.

Stephen King (10)

This does not surprise me as I’ve been reading SK for decades. 

What I Own: The Dark Tower Series (books 1-7), Four After Midnight, Everthing’s Eventual, On Writing

JK Rowling (8)

I am sad to admit I do not own any of JK’s adult novels (yet), but what book collection would be complete without the Harry Potter series?!? I am hoping to add the beautiful paperback editions to my collection soon.

What I Own: The Harry Potter Series (books 1-7), Tales of Beedle the Bard 

Amanda Hocking (7)

I first read the Trylle trilogy back when it was first being published with St. Martin’s Press. I love how Hocking’s books are fun, fast paced and quick reads. I am pumped for her latests book, Frostfire to release in January 2015!

What I Own: Trylle Trilogy & Watersong Series (books 1-4)

Cormac McCarthy (7)

I was on a big Cormac McCarthy kick in college after reading The Road and Child of God. I haven’t read most of what I have from McCarthy, but I adore his writing style.

What I Own: All The Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, Child of God, The Crossing, The Road, No Country For Old Men, Suttree

Stephanie Meyer (6)

While they aren’t my favorite books of all time, I must admit I was caught up in the Twilight saga when it was being published. The Twilight Saga opened my eyes to how varied and accessible YA fiction had become. 

What I Own: Twilight Saga, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight Saga Novella), The Host

George R.R. Martin (5)

I have only read the currently published books in A Song of Ice and Fire series by Martin, but I am curious to read more of his work soon.

What I Own: A Song of Ice and Fire series (books 1-5)

Which authors can boast the most books on your shelves? Who do you wish you had more works from?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

The Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week over at Broke and Bookish was one I couldn’t pass up. Don’t we all fantasize about being able to hang out with our favorite fictional characters?

If you’re not familiar with the Top Ten Tuesday book blog meme, it is a weekly top ten list for bloggers that anyone can participate in. For the full rules and topic list, you can head over to The Broke and the Bookish blog to check it out.

I couldn’t come up with ten characters to have with me, but maybe that’s just my introverted personality coming out, so here’s my top five! You can click on the name of each character to visit the webpage associated with their book series/author.

1. Hagrid — Good company, intimidating to strangers/dangerous people and great with wild animals.

2. Arya Stark — Brave, resourceful and tiny enough she can hide easily.

3. Hermonie Granger — Intelligent, cautious, bookish, cat owner. I could spend every day with this girl and be happy.

4. Gemma Fisher — Intuitive, passionate and hello, Sirens? Helpful to have on a deserted island.

5. Magnus Bane — Warlock magic (assuming he can’t portal us off the island), furniture, housing, good hair products.

Who would you want to be stranded on an island with?