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?

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.

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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 Books I Want to Reread

Okay, I know what you’re thinking — Why am I posting my #TopTenTuesday list on Wednesday? Well, all I can say is the long weekend threw me off. My apologizes for not getting this up yesterday.

The topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created and hosted by Broke and Bookish is a freebie week. I’ve decided to list the books I’m most excited to reread. I haven’t always been the type to reread books, but I love revisiting stories and finding new things I may not have noticed in the first read through. From fantasy to crime fiction, I’ve got a good variety of books to revisit. I hope you enjoy my list!

1. Harry Potter Series  by JK Rowling

The Harry Potter series is one that is near and dear to my heart. I never picked up the books until I was in college, but once I started reading them I couldn’t put them down. I started rereading this series last year and am anxious to finish rereading it as I only made it through the first three books before my attention was pulled elsewhere.

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2. The Hobbit

This epic fantasy novel about adventure, self discovery and friendship is one I have only read once, but I loved every minute of it. It’s been a few years since I first read The Hobbit, and want to revisit it before reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy this year.

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3. Room by Emma Donoghue

A book about a mother and small child trapped in a small storage shed for the child’s entire life is not something that is easy to read, but somehow Emma Donoghue makes this story come to life in a way that you feel like you’re reading a memoir of some horrible kidnapping victim. This book was so masterfully written and had beautiful insights that it was impossible to put down. I’d love to revisit it again soon.

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4. The Grove by John Rector

This was one of my favorite finds of 2011. The story follows a man who finds and then revisits the body of a dead woman in a grove near his home. He knows what he is doing is wrong (and bordering on insane), but he finds himself having a strong connection with this corpse. Despite the odd “relationship” that is formed, it’s easy to empathize with the characters and want to know what will happen to them. It was equal parts creepy and addicting. I curious to see if I’ll be as enthralled with it the second go around. GroveCover1

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5. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

With everything from magic wardrobes, talking animals and mystical creatures, The Chronicles of Narnia has a bit of everything. It has been well over a decade since I read this series, and I still think of it often. This series was what really opened me up to the Fantasy genre, and  I’ve been meaning to reread it ever since. The films were a great adaptation, but I’ve missed reading the original stories that Lewis created.
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6. Elizabeth Street: A novel based on true events by Laurie Fabiano

Coming form a large Italian family, this book hit home for me often. The connections within the community were palpable and the storytelling was hauntingly beautiful. It’s hard to read stories that have such heartbreak and know that it actually happened to someone, but there is such great redemption and personal triumph in this story that it’s worth every minute.ElizStCover1

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7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson

I first read this series when the third book was being published. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it at first, but I quickly learned why everyone was loving about these stories. I often find myself reminiscing about this book and it’s characters. The series was such a great mystery and read quickly. It also made me want to visit Stockholm as I was constantly checking it out on Google Earth as I read the series.GirlDragonTattooCover1

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8. Christine Falls (Quirke #1) by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville)

This dark mystery had me hooked from the first page. I don’t read many crime novels, but this one has stuck with me for years. I’ve always wanted to continue the series, but I want to refresh my memory before continuing on. I remember it was one of the first books I read on my kindle that I was completely hooked on from the first page. The imagery was beautiful and haunting, and the characters were never quite what they seemed to be.

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9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This is by far my favorite classic novel. I loved the depth of the story and that it wasn’t what you’d expect from the Hollywood adaptations that have spawned from it. I remember reading this for a course in college and thinking it was the most accessible classic I’d read to date. I can only imagine how fascinating it must have been to read it when it was originally published in 1818.

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10. Switched by Amanda Hocking

This is one of my favorite YA reads out there. I loved that the story centered around trolls. The pacing was great and the stories had a little bit of everything. I love that Amanda Hocking’s books are light and fast paced, but that there is still great attention to detail and her imagery is fantastic.

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I’m sure there are more books I could add to this list. Perhaps this can become a tradition of rereading books every few years to stay fresh on my favorite stories.

What books do you look forward to rereading? Are there any books that you revisit regularly?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

Here we are, with another Top Ten Tuesday list. I wasn’t planning on doing two lists in a row, but this one seemed too fun to pass up (click here to see last week’s list). If you want to read up on this week’s topic or upcoming Top Ten Tuesday topics, visit The Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday page to learn more.

1. Tackle my TBR pile

This is a given for most any reader I know. The urge to buy books is great, and the amount of time to read all of those books is small. While I have read a good amount of the books I own, I am guessing I have more unread books than I do read books.

2. Go to a Book Signing

This is something I’ve always wanted to do but for some reason have never looked into. I love having signed copies and meeting some authors (who I didn’t already know in person) would be great.

3. Read More Classics

I used to read classics all the time for university, but once I finished school, I didn’t pick up as many classic works. I still enjoy them and am a bit ashamed of how many I haven’t read yet.

4. Read Everything on NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy List

Compiled in 2011, this list of Sci Fi and Fantasy novels is too tempting to resist. When I first discovered this list a few months back, I was surprised to see that I’ve read a fair amount of these books, or own many of them that I haven’t read. These genres keep sticking out to me as a reader, which makes me want to check them all off my TBR list (someday).

5. Read More Books in a Year

For a couple of years, I would shoot for 50 books a year. I’d have a good run and then life would get in the way. This year, I’ve only committed to reading 30 books as I want to focus more on my writing, but I’d like to figure out a way to fit more books into my annual reading goals without sacrificing other important projects.

6. Read More Indie Books

Since I first discovered Indie books through my Kindle a few years ago, I have fallen in love with many self published authors. Some of my top books of the year for the past few years have been indie books, and I’d like to keep reading them.

7. Finish the Dark Tower Series

This one scares me. I started reading this series back in 2012. I spaced the first six books out over the course of the year and really loved them. I picked upthe final installment,  The Dark Tower (Book 7) in early 2013, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to read it. For some reason, I’m intimidated by it. Maybe it’s just because everyone has hyped it up so much, but I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that world being “finished”.

8. Build Up my Home Library

This is an ongoing project as I purposely didn’t buy physical books for a few years thanks to my Kindle. I love e-readers, but I want to have more physical books in the house, especially with young children who love to read. I also want to expand the amount of children’s books we have as our oldest will be learning to read sooner than later, and I want to give her plenty of books to choose from.

9. Gift more Books

Every year around the holidays I say to myself that I wish I had planned things out more so that I could include at least one book with every gift I give family and friends during the holidays. I love sharing books and reading with others, so I want to make this a priority if not a tradition.

10. Read Outside my Comfort Zone

While I have read a lot of things I wouldn’t normally pick up, there are still genres I haven’t touched on much (such a Westerns). I want to read everything, even if it just shows me why other people like to read it.

What’s on your Top Ten Bookish Bucket List?