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 Books on My Winter TBR

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday list discusses what we’ll be reading over the winter months. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme created by the Broke and Bookish. To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, check out this page over at the Broke and the Bookish blog. I would love for this to be a true top ten list, but knowing how busy the holidays are, I’m not sure how many books I’lll actually get to, but here’s my ideal list. There’s no real rhyme or reason to how I listed these books other than to say that books I’m most likely to read are listed first.

1. Saga Vol 1-4 by Brian K Vaughan with illustrations by Fiona  Staples

I am just starting to read Saga Vol. 1. It’s one of my most anticipated graphic novel reads so I’m anxious to get into this one in preparation for the release of Saga Volume 4 release on 12/30/14. I may spread out reading these to give me a break between longer works.

2.The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This has been on my TBR for a while and I hate having it just sit there begging to be read.

3. Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3)

While I’ve been getting a little burnt out on YA reads, the Lunar Chronicles series has been so fun I can’t wait to read this one. The next book in the Lunar Chronicles Series, Fairest: Levanna’s Story will be released in January 2015.

4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

This one has shown up on many TBR lists this year and I just keep putting it off. While I’m nervous about having less Rowell books to read, I want to get this one checked off my list.

5. Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

This one intrigues me as it’s the phenomenal Ellen Hopkins writing an adult novel. These always read quickly so I’m curious to see what this one is like.

6. The World of Ice and Fire: The Official History of Westeros and the world of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Anything to help me better understand and decode the epic families and lives of this series is a must read for me. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, so anything to satiate me until we have a release date for Winds of Winter makes me happy.

7. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

I love Amy’s work and while I don’t read much non fiction, this looks like a fun read.

8. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I’ve really enjoyed this book, but I need to finish it. I want to know what happens but for whatever reason the pacing just wasn’t cutting it for me when I stopped. I’m hoping that having taken a break from it, I’ll be able to jump back in and finish it.

9. Dreamsongs by George RR Martin

I don’t know that I’ll finish this one as it’s a retrospective collection of short fiction but I’m excited to read at least a few pieces from this massive collection.

10. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (Strike #2)

I really enjoyed reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, so I’m anxious to read the second novel in this series.

That’s all for my Top Ten Tuesday Winter TBR! I hope to get through at least half of the books before spring rolls around. What do you plan to read this winter? Do you have an annual reading goal you are working toward? Which of these books would you like to see a review of?

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.

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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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR List

Here it is, my first Top Ten Tuesday list! I’m a big fan of lists, and have a decent sized To Be Read (TBR) pile, so this one seemed like the perfect place to jump on the Top Ten Tuesday train (holy alliteration!). If you’re unfamiliar with Top Ten Tuesday, it was started over on The Broke and Bookish blog and has evolved into a staple in the blogging community. Clicking the Broke and Bookish blog title will bring you to the current Top Ten Tuesdays topic list. As with any TBR list, these books are not set in stone. Still, I am excited enough to read them that if I want to read anything else over the next few months, I’ll likely just make more time to read. These are listed in no particular order. Clicking on the author’s name next to the book title will direct you to that author’s homepage (with the exception of Malala, which will direct you to the Goodreads page for her book).

1. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

This murder mystery follows a woman named Libby who lost her mother and sisters in a religious murder suicide and later testified that her own teenage brother was responsible for her family members deaths. Decades later, Libby is given the opportunity to make some money from her experiences and goes digging through her past, only to discover that she may have been wrong about her family’s killer. I’m excited to read this book as I’ve always heard amazing things about Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and have been told this is a good introductory book to Flynn’s writing. Mystery, religion and family issues are all things I enjoy reading about, so I’m pretty excited for this one.

2. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

This is the fifth installment to the Mortal Instruments series, with the sixth book (City of Heavenly Fire ) set to be released on May 25th 2014. I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while, but I’ve been hesitant to pick it up. I am still enjoying the series, but some of the religious overtones in the fourth book felt a bit forced to me. Still, I’m curious to see where this book will take Clary, Jace and all the other characters I’ve come to enjoy.

3. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’ve been anxious to read this one for a while, and I’m not sure why I haven’t picked it up yet. The cover throws me back to my younger reading self who thrived on creepy, dark, against-the-grain sort of reads. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children follows a boy named Jacob who recently lost his beloved grandfather. While he was alive, Jacob’s grandfather showed him eerie pictures and had a story for each from back when he himself was a boy. After his grandfather’s passing, Jacob goes to his grandfather’s home town to unveil secret’s about his grandfather’s life and discover things about the eerie looking children, who are alive and not as Jacob would have expected. I’ve heard amazing things about Ransom Riggs writing and am thinking this book will be a fresh take on the YA genre. The second book in the Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children series, titled Hollow City was released earlier this year.

4. The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

I just recently discovered this book, and I was hooked the second I read the synopsis. If I wasn’t already in the middle of a couple of books, I would have downloaded it to my Kindle right then and there. Based on true events, The Medea Complex follows the story of a woman named Anne who was committed to an insane asylum in 1885 as she was not fit to stand trial for crimes she committed. Now Anne, her husband and psychologist must uncover what happened during the crime in question and ultimately, determine Anne’s fate. This historical fiction thriller mash-up is high on my priority list and a bit different from what I’ve been reading lately.

5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

After going back and forth on whether or not to read this trilogy for the last few months, I recently bit the bullet and picked up a copy of Shatter Me. This story is a YA dystopian is centered around Juliette, a seventeen year old girl with an ability to kill with a simple touch. While it is unclear as to why Juliette’s touch is lethal, the government decides she is too much of a risk and confines her to a cell while the world around her is falling apart with little help from those in charge. Juliette must decide what type of role she wants to play in her world – a victim or a fighter. I am curious to see how this world plays out. I have heard many great things about Mafi’s writing style, and am curious to see how the story plays out.

6. The Archived by Victora Schwab

This is another YA book I’ve heard a lot of great things about, but haven’t read yet. Perhaps it is because the concept seems so unique and fascinating, yet equally intimidating. The Archived is the first in a series that follows a teenage Keeper named Mac. Keepers are in charge of keeping the dead (or Histories) appropriately “cataloged” in the Archive. As a sort of graveyard attendant and paranormal expert rolled into one, Mac must keep harmony in the Archive while discovering who is purposely trying to destroy valuable parts of it. This story seems vast, rich and undiscovered.

7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind is an epic fantasy novel following a man named Kvothe who is on a journey to reveal the mysteries surrounding his parents deaths. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial and later encounters a Fae (fairy) woman who he can resist, the first of his kind. The decisions Kvothe makes will lead him further down his path of self discovery, toward the man he was meant to be. I’m a big fan of epic fantasy novels, and this one seems to have everything I could want in a well written fantasy world.

8. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I have been wanting to read some of Brandon Sanderson’s work for a while now. Like Patrick Rothfuss, I often hear Sanderson mentioned as one of the big names in modern fantasy writing. I have decided to tackle Elantris as my first Sanderson read because it’s a stand alone novel., which isn’t seen very often in fantasy stories. Elantris was once a capitol city that has fallen from grace as it’s inhabitants are not what they used to be. Elantris’s Prince Raoden is determined to pick up the pieces from this decade long plague among his people. In the new capitol of Kae, Princess Sarene believes her once betrothed Prince Raoden has succumbed to the same inflictions as everyone else in his ruined city and passed on. When it is discovered that the prince is indeed alive, Princess Sarene must tread lightly to protect both her own interests and the life of her Prince. This story intrigues me because while it is a fantasy novel, it spans a shorter amount of time than most and, as Sanderson’s website notes, does not follow the typical epic fantasy themes of a long quest or a hero out for glory.

9. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by I am Malala Goodreads Page

I haven’t read a memoir in about a year, and this easily became my first choice when I learned about it’s release. Malala was just fifteen years old when the Taliban occupied her town. Instead of quietly going along with whatever she was told to do, she risked her life by standing up for herself and her right to an education. As a result, she was shot in the head. When everyone thought she would die, she somehow made a wonderful recovery and is now working with the United Nations to insure others, particularly young Pakistani girls, are not denied an education. I have seen Malala speak several times through various news outlets over the past two years, and each time I am humbled by her clarity and kind nature. While I’m a bit intimidated by the intense nature of her book, I feel it is an essential read.

10. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Over the years, I have become a huge fan of John (and Hank!) Green since I first discovered their vlogs on YouTube in 2008. When I first read The Fault In Our Stars, I was moved by the depth of the characters, the realism of the story and the fluid nature of John’s writing style. Looking for Alaska is John’s first published novel. The story follows a boy name Miles who doesn’t seem to have much confidence in himself or where his life is going. When he gets to boarding school and meets the gorgeous, outgoing and confident Alaska, his world begins to change. I’m curious to see how a seemingly rebellious (or at least adventurous?) girl named Alaska manages to break Miles out of his shell. What their friendship may spark in Miles that is worth reading about.

There you have it, my first Top Ten Tuesday list. What books are you most excited to read this spring?