Monday, June 29, 2015

Top 10 Books of 2015 so Far

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


This week is “Top Ten Books I’ve Read so far this Year”.  Normally I struggle with these at the midpoint of the year, but I have read a lot of great books so far this year.

the cagethe rosie projectYes PleaseThe Carnival at Bray

11 – The Cage by Megan Shepherd

10 - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

9 - Yes Please by Amy Poehler

8 - The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

Everything I never told yousimon vsHeart and other black holes

7 - Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

6 - Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

5 - My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

The Cuckoo's CallingBooks went to WarDaughter of the forestWolves I'm Hone

4 - The Cuckoo’s Calling/The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

3 - When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

2 - Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

1- Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt


What are your favorites so far this year?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Top Ten Top Ten’s

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


In honor of 5 years of Top Tuesdays today’s topic is my favorite previous Top 10 Tuesday posts.  Here are my favorites with a brief excerpt from the post. 

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

Paperback book size variations – This drives me crazy everytime I organize my books. I have to choose between organizing in alphabetical order (what I would like to do) and organizing by size so my bookshelves look nice. Why are there so many different sizes of paperback?

Top Ten Books from my Childhood

Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal (who know who really wrote them)

It's almost embarrassing now, but I DEVOURED these when I was 8-10. Looking at the synopses I think I read thru book 74. If you gave me a number, I could tell you the book title. In case anyone is interested they stopped at 118.

Ten Books For Readers Who Like Books that make you think

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - This has a fascinating representation into how the gods pre-Christianity were woven into the present day church as saints.  Not the exact gods/saints represented in this book, but it was easier to get people to accept Christianity if they saw some of their own mythology within it.  (ergo gargoyle's on churches to ward of evil spirits, Christmas lining up with Winter Solstice, etc).

Top 10 Tuesday - Book I'd like to see taught in school

I chose books plus a “classic” with similar themes to pair them with

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Top Ten Characters I Want to Check Back in With


I want to read more of all of Rainbow’s characters.  I want to check in with Beth and Lincoln, and Jennifer and Mitch.  Eleanor & Park need a sequel and while the hidden cameo by Cath and Levi in Landline was awesome I still want more.  Reagan could honestly use her own book.  Rainbow just writes characters I care about and want to be friends with.

Top 10 Tuesday - Top Ten Books Written in the Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading in 30 Years

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - There are so many social undertones to this book that are relevant and I can't see those not being relevant in the future.

Top 10 Favorite Authors 


Top 10 Tuesday - Top Ten Quotes from Books

“Emma, I'm sorry, I can't help you. This is a disaster. You're completely vulnerable. It's like going into battle in a nightie.” ― Sophie Kinsella, Can You Keep a Secret?

Top Ten Tuesday–Swoon worthy books/couples

Scarlet & Rhett from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – In my mind Rhett is the original bad boy who falls in love.  This one is a heartbreaking swoon novel, because their relationship definitely develops slowly and naturally, but is doomed by each character’s pride.

Top Ten Tuesday–Book Club Picks

1 Ribbon Books went to War

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I never told youAnother library bookSmile 
Very Brief Summary
It’s 1977 and Lydia, the daughter of an interracial couple (Chinese and American) is found drowned at the bottom of the town lake. The book starts with her disappearance and then intersperses flashbacks to when her parents met, to her mother’s abandonment a decade earlier, and finally to Lydia herself in the months prior to her death and we discover what happened.

The Good
Well Written – That’s almost an understatement.  The writing is gorgeous. I could see and feel everything the characters did.  Celeste Ng does did an amazing job of putting me into the head of every character.

Thermometer loved itThree Dimensional Characters – My heart broke for every character. With the exception of Hannah (the youngest) they all had secrets that lead to Lydia’s untimely death.  Each were flawed but trying. I cared deeply for James, Marilyn, Nath, Lydia, and Hannah.

Relationship Baggage – While frustrating, this novel clearly illustrated how much each character’s personal baggage affected how they related and communicated with each other.  None of it felt insincere (like a misunderstanding plot device). Everything they withhold from each other is due to totally believable insecurities developed during their formative years. 

The Bad
Slow Start – This only a note from my personal reading experience.  I started this on the day it was due back at the library.  There were only 22 people waiting to read it so no pressureSmile.  Since the beginning of the book starts with Lydia’s disappearance and death and so much of the story requires understanding each character’s background story, it took me awhile to get into it.  I wish I had started it without the time crunch.  I almost gave up 72 pages in, but by halfway through I could not put it down.

The Results
I wish I was still in a book club because I’d love to discuss this book. I don’t think this is a likely re-read; there’s just too much grief, but I think it will stick with me with the single read.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


The fall of 2015 is packed with books that I’m anxious to read.  The final book in The Lunar Chronicles, a new Rainbow Rowell, and another volume of Celaena Sardothien are just the beginning.

Top 10 new releases second half 2015

1) Winter by Marissa Meyers – The Lunar Chronicle books have gotten better and better.  I cannot wait to find out how the series ends.

2) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about this one, but it’s Rainbow.

3) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas – I HATED how Heir of Fire ended.  I had pretty much decided to wait until the series was over to read the rest, but I’ve calmed down now.

4) Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales – I loved her last book and this one sounds right up  my ally also.

5) Paperweight by Meg Haston

6) Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young – The cover is intriguing.

7) Everything, Everything by Nicole Yoon

8) Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

9) What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi – YA contemp from a guys point of view.  Sounds heartbreaking and amazing.

10) Never Never by Brianna R Shrum – A Captain Hook origin story – sounds fascinating to me!

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling -  I just listed to Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and loved it.  I’m obviously not as awesome as Mindy but I really identified with a lot of what she said.  I’ll definitely make sure I have an Audible credit available when this comes out.

Friday, June 5, 2015

May Recap

Sorry this is a bit late.  I was insane this month and read 15 books and DNF’d another.  I posted 3 reviews – which might be an all time record.  I also attended a book signing with Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan.

Books Read

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

First There Was Forever by Juliana Romano

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Top 10 Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (reread)

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Gathering Prey by John Sandford

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith

Books Reviewed

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink

Challenge Update

I completed one book towards the Read Harder Challenge from Book Riot this month.  The Life changing Magic of Tidying Up counts as either my self help book or a translation.  In total I have 15 complete out of 24.  I gave up on my Sci-fy read so I’m looking for another one if anyone has a recommendation. 

In Other News

Rainbow Rowell recommended Short Term 12 on Twitter ages ago and the recommendation was totally justified.  Amazing movie.

Other than that my TV/Movie choices have been a little suspect this month.

I’ve always found Emily Osment really appealing for some reason so I watched the entire first season of Young & Hungry.  It’s a little cheesy, but still enjoyable and I just find her really charming (the only reason I’ve seen more that one episode of Hannah Montana).

I also watched Left Behind (the new one) on Netflix because I thought it would be mockable.  It was, but not for the reasons I expected it to beSmile

I also got a bid on having a bunch of yard work done (bushes and volunteers removed/trees trimmed) so I need to remember to take before shots of my very ugly yard.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon vsAnother library bookSmile 

Very Brief Summary

Simon is being blackmailed. He carelessly left his email open on a school computer – the email address he’s been using to communicate with a gay classmate, screen named Blue.  Simon doesn’t know Blue’s real name, but he’s very afraid that if he doesn’t help the blackmailer get the girl (one of Simon’s good friends) he’ll post the screen shots to the school’s Tumbl account.

The Good

Funny Protagonist – Simon’s interesting.  He’s active in the school musical, he hangs out with his friends, and is close to his family.  I enjoyed Simon’s thoughts on how being a teenager is a constant series of “coming outs” that have nothing to do with being gay.  What his interests are, who he’s friends with are all treated as EVENTS by his parentsThermometer loved it

Family Dynamics – I love, Love, LOVE Simon’s family. His parents are actively involved in his life. Simon has almost zero fear of coming out to his family.  He trusts that they will still love and accept him; his hesitation is that he can’t un-come out and he’s not ready for them to make a big deal of it.  He’s close to his sisters – they bicker, but also support each other.

The Love Interest – I knew about half way through who Blue was, but Simon doesn’t find out until shortly before the end of the book, but I adore Blue.  I love Blue and Simon together.  Once they meet they are definitely a couple but they’ve been talking anonymously for months before they meet so they know each other pretty well already.  

The Bad

I Got Nothing

The Results

When I have nothing to say in “The Bad” section it’s probably a winner.  I loved this book.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten Books I’d Like to See as Movies/TV Shows

Every Tuesday the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish host a book related Top 10.


This week’s theme is books that I would like to see as TV shows / movies.  I’m not going to duplicate any of my choices from 2012 or 2013, but I’ve read plenty of books since that I’d love to see on the large or small screen.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – this is a super obvious choice.  Is there anyone who has read these who doesn’t think they would make amazing movies?

BTW – When reading these I have always seen Taylor Momsen as Celaena.  I wouldn’t actually want her to play the part – she’s just who I pictured.  I see Grant Gustin as Dorian and I would love for that to happen. No ideas for Chaol.

2187_taylor_momsenGrant Gustin

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I read this article last year and it’s the best case ever for why Fangirl would make an amazing movie.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – This book was built to be a romantic comedy. There’s even a scene running through an airport – classic rom-com. Basically I want to see any book of Rainbow’s as a movie.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I just read this and it’s so much fun.  I think it would be a charming movie.  Or TV show.

Boomerang by Noelle August – I think this book would make a really cute romantic comedy.  I also think with some adjustments this series would make a fun TV show.  Unfortunately A to Z did the comedy set at a dating site last year very badly so it would be an uphill battle to make it happen.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas – It’s a pipe dream but I’ll always want more Veronica Mars/Kristin Bell.

Oh you stop it

The Living by Matt de la Pena – this book scared be because I really believe this could happen.  I think a movie would be just as terrifying, but also awesome.  It has everything – action, humor, a little romance, conspiracy.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – I really think a lot of this book would translate well to the big screen.  The party scenes, the DJing, and the music could make for a cool movie.