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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January 2016 TBR

It’s a new year, time for new reading goals and habits! While I haven’t done a TBR in quite a while, I want to get back in the habit of reading consistently. I never stopped reading, it just wasn’t getting as much attention as I’d have liked in 2015.

 

My goals for this month are modest as I want to make sure my goal is something realistic. Here we go:

Jan 16 TBR 1

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale/Modern Faerie Tales #1

 

Author: Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: YA

Pages: 336

I first heard about this book on YouTube thanks to John Book Giving Guide video on the Vlogbrothers channel (though he references the second novel, Valiant). Since then, it appears that everyone else has read this (supposedly fantastic) novel so I had to buy it. Plus, I’m a sucker for amazing covers like this one.

Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel

 

Author: S.J. Watson

Publisher:  Harper Paperbacks

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Published: 2012

Pages: 368

I first heard about this from a vlogger in the BookTube realm a couple of years ago. From what I recall, she wasn’t an enormous fan of the genre, but was gifted the book and fell in love with the story. I know there’s a film adaptation from 2014 with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, so I may just watch the movie after reading the book and do a comparison post. I’m expecting to love this. Nothing gets me like a good suspense/mystery novel.

Beyond the Painting

Author: Masood Vahdani

Publisher: Partridge Press (Penguin Random House)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 125

This is a YA novel that Vahdani kindly sent me to review over  on WOTN that I haven’t got to yet. Shame on me. Beyond the Painting is a dark YA fantasy story surrounding vampires and relationships. From the promising reviews and description Vahdani gave me, this story deals with vampires though thankfully, they aren’t the overly exhausted whimsical kind. While I enjoyed Twilight when it was happening (remember, Faulkner said to read everything), I get where everyone is “over” the vampire thing. Still, I’m intrigued by the idea of this story. YA fantasy done right is always a win for me. I’m curious to see if this lives up to my expectations.

While not technically part of my January TBR as I just finished it (and started in December), here’s a bonus read:

And Again

Author: Jessica Chiarella

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Literary Fiction

Pages: 320

This isn’t technically part of my January TBR because I finished it at the beginning of the month, but it’s worth your attention. I was lucky enough to be sent this as an advanced reading copy (ARC) late last year to review the piece for Word of the Nerd (if you aren’t aware, I write and edit there).  It comes out today and and was published by Simon and Shuster. You can read my review here if you want to hear my two cents. Quick opinion: this book will haunt you in all the best ways.

What are your reading goals for this month? Do you find TBR piles helpful?

Tell me what January releases have you running to the bookstore.

2015 Rewind and 2016 Goals

I would love to start this post by saying I read over 40 books in 2015, but that isn’t going to happen. Initially, I was a bit disappointed that I only managed to read 13 books this year (including graphic novels), but I’m not counting it as a loss. This year, my work life got pretty busy, which is great, but it also meant I put a lot of my passion projects on the back burner.

Of everything I read this year, a few titles really stood out for me. Here are my top three and why I loved them:

Twisted Dark Vol. 1-4 (5) by Neil Gibson

These graphic novels were amazing and jarring in ways few books are these days. What a testament to the genre and what it can accomplish. My review for Volume 5 will be out soon on Word of the Nerd.

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Ericka Johansen

While this book isn’t without it’s flaws, The Queen of the Tearling demanded my attention. I felt like I could not accomplish anything else unit I finished the book. It’s whimsical, dark, full of fantasy and is a great introduction to the genre. Amanda Hocking fans would love this book. I’m pumped to read book 2 (and 3!).

Fortune 69 by David Heath

Ever since I discovered transgressive fiction in college, I’ve been hooked on it. While I do love Chuck Palahniuk and other popular transgressive authors, I thrive on finding the lesser known transgressive works and seeing how they shine. Fortune 69 provides everything I want in a transgressive fiction novel — gritty and uncomfortable characters and scenarios with just enough realism to make everything seem realistic. Heath pulls you in from page one and when you’re done, it’s like getting off a roller coaster, you’re still able to feel the experience long after it’s ended. While my faith in reading never truly wavered, this book got me out of an awful reading funk.

While I didn’t finish as many books this year as I would have liked to, I learned an important lesson: it’s okay to be choosy about what I read. Life isn’t going to slow down, and I’m not going to stop reading books, so I need to be willing to say no to a book sometimes when I am just not feeling it. I often feel like I have to finish a book if I start it or have invested a lot of time into it, but these days, if something isn’t holding my attention, I’ll put it down for a while (or forever).

2016 Goals

Looking ahead, I’m really excited for 2016. I am hoping to at least double what I read in 2015, but I also want to play around with having strict months with set TBR piles and others where I play a little bookshelf roulette. A friend turned me onto this 12 book challenge from Modern Mrs. Darcy that I defiantly want to incorporate into my reading goals for the new year (plus, what could be a cuter book blog title than Modern Mrs. Darcy?).

In addition to reading more books and expanding what I read, I also really need to work on chopping down my kindle TBR pile. I’ve had a kindle since 2009 and have acquired countless books thanks to sales, freebies and those late night “must buy now” impulses, and I’m ready to start reading them. There’s a healthy mix of YA, Horror/Suspense, Literary Fiction and SciFi in my Kindle library, so things should stay interesting. I also NEED to catch up on the Lunar Chronicles. I have all the currently released books, and want to catch up before Stars Above comes out in early February.

I’d love to hear about how your reading challenge went this year. Did you reach your goal? Quit? Something in the middle? What was your favorite (and least favorite) book you read this year? Tell me all the things!

 

October ’14 TBR List

Happy October! It’s my favorite time of year and I’m excited to get more reading in this month.

Last month was a slow month reading wise. I really liked everything I was reading, my pace just wasn’t that great. I’m currently finishing up the last hundred or so pages of The Cuckoo’s Calling (and loving it!) so I thought I’d put together a To Be Read (TBR) list for this month to help me get back on track. These are listed in no particular order.

Stay_out_of_the_basement
I’ve been thinking of rereading some books from this series for a while as I devoured them as a child. When I saw that there is going to be a Goosebumps movie in 2015 I knew I had to get back into these just to relive the old days. I don’t have book one, so I figured this one would work.

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I have been meaning to read this book since it came out. There was so much hype around it I really was drawn in, I just never picked it up. Thanks to the upcoming release of In The Afterlight: A Darkest Minds Novel (which is the third and final installment to the trilogy), I was able to get this on my Kindle for .99 cents. Can’t beat a good deal!

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This is another book I’ve owned for a while and have been meaning to read. I wanted to pace myself on Rainbow Rowell’s books, but I miss her writing already so I’m going to read this one. I figure it will be a good contrast to the darker things I’m reading.

Horns

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I found this a few years ago for under $4 and couldn’t pass it up. I know Heart Shaped Box is Hill’s most popular work, but I’m still interested to read this one and see what his style is like.

I’m hoping to also squeeze in a bit of reading from my Edgar Allen Poe collections, but it’s another busy month so we’ll see. What books are you planning to read this month? Do you make TBR lists or do you just read whatever peaks your interest?