Top Ten Tuesday: Gimme. Gimme now.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early — which, okay, I don’t think I’d actually slay a lion… but would I sell my firstborn to get my hands on these books? Well, no, not that either. But I’d be really, really appreciative if these books fell into my hands — does that count?

So here are the books I’d be most likely to make grabby hands at, with much squeeing and a little bit of jumping up and down:

Without doubt, the #1 book I’d sell my soul for is…

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon – book #9 in the amazing and wonderful Outlander series. According to Herself, 2019 is the soonest we can expect this book. Considering that the previous book in the series was published in 2014, is it any wonder that devoted fans worldwide are working themselves into a frenzy waiting and waiting and waiting? Gimme now, please.

Beyond that, I’d love, love, love to magically get early copies of:

2. The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin: Well, wouldn’t we all? Who know when this baby will be ready… maybe not until after the TV series wraps up? And if that’s the case, will we still want to read it? (Well, duh. Of course we will.)

3. Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness: Look, a book with an actual release date! This book continues the story of the All Souls Trilogy, and will be released in the fall. Can’t wait!

4. Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire: The 12th October Daye book, due out in September. After bingeing the entire series over the last two months, I’m dying for more!!

5. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs: The 11th Mercy Thompson book! Man, do I love this series. Can’t wait for more Mercy… but sadly, wait I must. Storm Cursed will be released in March 2019.

6. Peace Talks by Jim Butcher: The 16th Dresden Files book. Yes, I’m on a roll with my urban fantasy series. Can’t help it — they’re all so good! No release date yet for this book, so we can only wait and hope that it will be soon.

7. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: The 3rd book in the Winternight trilogy will be released in August. I loved the first two books so much — dying to see how the story wraps up!

8. Competence by Gail Carriger: The next book in the Custard Protocol series comes out this summer, and I have it on preorder already… but would I be happy to have it in front of me right now? Of course!

And that’s where I’ll stop! Sure, I have plenty of other books I’m looking forward to, but these are the one I’m most passionate about… the one that might get me to reveal ancient family secrets, or pledge eternal servitude, or at the very least, promise to do all the chores, all year long if only I could get my hands on them!

What books are on your list this week? Please share your link!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten tidbits from my spring 2018 entertainment plans

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week is a freebie topic, which means that everyone participating comes up with their own top 10 theme.

I had a hectic weekend and a busy Monday, and have had pretty much zero time to put any thought into this… so I thought I’d share 10 things on my entertainment horizon that I’m excited about.

On TV, I’m excited for the new seasons of:

1. The Americans: I’m SO sad this is ending, but it’s been a great run. Season 6 is off to a tense start. I’m so worried about the characters — who will make it out alive?

2. The Expanse: Season 3 has just started. This sci-fi show is political and full of amazing effects and characters. Not surprisingly, it’s adapted from a terrific book series, and is really worth catching up on, if you haven’t watched it yet.

3. The Handmaid’s Tale: I can’t wait to see where season 2 goes, now that the plot will be venturing beyond the story told in the book.

 

In the world of theater, I’ll be seeing:

4. The Color Purple — the national touring company is coming to San Francisco, and I have tickets for May.

5. HARRY POTTER ON BROADWAY! I’ll be seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in June.

 

In books, I’m looking forward to:

6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which everyone seems to be talking about! There’s a long waiting list at my library, but that’s okay. I can wait — it’s not like I have nothing else to read!

7. The Murderbot books! I just read the first one, All Systems Red, this past weekend, and I’m thrilled that there are three more to come. Volume 2, Artificial Condition, comes out in May.

8. How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger: New Gail Carriger works are always welcome! This novella focuses on Major Channing, and looks like it’ll be a hoot.

In movies, I can’t wait to see:

9. Avengers: Infinity War: Part of me feels like this is so likely to be a big mess of a movie… but the fangirl-y part of me absolutely plans to go see it anyway.

 

And when it comes to travels and adventure:

10. My daughter and I are taking a surprise trip in early May! The surprise isn’t that we’re going… it’s that we have no idea where we’ll end up! We’re going through a company that takes the travelers’ information, gathers a bit of information about travel preferences and budget, and then lets us know basically the day of departure where we’re heading. Crazy, right? We can end up anywhere in the continental US. Wherever we go, I get to spend a weekend exploring some new destination with my wonderful, amazing daughter, and I’m sure it’ll be a blast. I’ll report back when it’s done!

And that’s my somewhat random top 10 for this week!

Did you write a TTT post? Please share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Around the World in a Book

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books That Take Place In Another Country.

I love learning more about countries around the world through fiction. Here are 10 great books with non-US settings:

  1. Scotland – the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Japan – The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
  3. Kenya – A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn (review)
  4. Italy – The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (review)
  5. Israel – Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith
  6. India – Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  7. Iceland – Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (review)
  8. Yemen – Henna House by Nomi Eve (review)
  9. Canada (Newfoundland) – The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede (review)
  10. England – Poldark series by Winston Graham

What are your favorite books from around the world? Please share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring 2018 TBR List

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR.

Due to my recent reading obsessions, I’ve fallen behind on my ARC commitments, and haven’t picked up any of the other books I’d been planning to read either. I really do intend to get back on track. Here are the books I’m planning to read this spring:

1) The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian: I have never, ever been let down by a Chris Bohjalian book, whether it’s a thriller, a ghost story, historical fiction, or something else entirely. I should have read this one already (it was released last week), but got bogged down with other things. As soon as I come up for air, this is next on the list.

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police–she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home–Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

2) The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth: Sally Hepworth’s books make me cry. Let’s see if this one does the same!

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

3) Every Note Played by Lisa Genova: This author can always be counted on to provide a human face for a devastating medical diagnosis, and Every Note Played sounds like it’ll be incredibly moving.

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

4) Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel: I’m not always a fan of classic/monster mash-ups, but this one sounds so different and intriguing to me. I’ve read short stories by John Kessel before (check out his terrific Lunar Quartet) and I know he’s a talented writer. Can’t wait to see how he twists these classics together!

Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

5) Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel: I am so excited for the next book in the Themis Files series! These books are excellent, and I loved the audio versions as well. If you haven’t read the 1st or 2nd book yet, you’re missing out!

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.

6) Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente: This book sounds perfectly silly, and sometimes that’s exactly what I need.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne Valente has galaxies competing for glory in a universe-wide musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.

A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

7) Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman: This sounds just so eerie and creepy, and I can’t wait!

Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.

Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.

And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.

8. Feedback by Mira Grant: I devoured (ha! zombie humor!) the Newsflesh trilogy earlier this year, and adored everything about the books. Feedback is set within the Newsflesh world, but showing a different side to events already seen. I’ve heard very mixed things about this book, but I’m going to read it anyway.

FEEDBACK is a full-length Newsflesh novel which overlaps the events of New York Times bestseller Mira Grant’s classic Feed and follows a group of reporters covering the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign.
There are two sides to every story… 
Mira Grant creates a chilling portrait of an America paralyzed with fear. No street is safe and entire swaths of the country have been abandoned. And only the brave, the determined, or the very stupid, venture out into the wild.
Step inside a world a half-step from our own in this novel of geeks, zombies, politics and social media.

This spring seems like a good time to get back into some ongoing series, so also on my TBR list are:

9. Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey: The 4th book in the Expanse series — I’ve been loving these books, and now that the 3rd season of the TV series is about to begin, it’s time to return to the story and see where it goes.

The fourth novel in James S.A. Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse series

The gates have opened the way to thousands of habitable planets, and the land rush has begun. Settlers stream out from humanity’s home planets in a vast, poorly controlled flood, landing on a new world. Among them, the Rocinante, haunted by the vast, posthuman network of the protomolecule as they investigate what destroyed the great intergalactic society that built the gates and the protomolecule.

But Holden and his crew must also contend with the growing tensions between the settlers and the company which owns the official claim to the planet. Both sides will stop at nothing to defend what’s theirs, but soon a terrible disease strikes and only Holden – with help from the ghostly Detective Miller – can find the cure.

10) The Stranger From the Sea by Winston Graham: The 7th book in the Poldark series ended with a truly shocking event. It appears that this one, #8, picks up about 10 years later. I can’t wait to see what’s happened to the characters in the meantime!

Cornwall, 1810: The Poldark family awaits the return of Ross from his mission to Wellington’s army in Portugal. But their ordered existence ends with Jeremy Poldark’s dramatic rescue of The Stranger from the Sea. Stephen Carrington’s arrival in the Poldark household changes all their lives. For Clowance and Jeremy in particular, the children of Ross and Demelza, Stephen’s advent is the key to a new world – one of both love and danger.

 

What books are you most eager to read this spring? Please share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Read Again and Again and Again

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books I Could Re-read Forever

That’s a pretty easy topic for me. I have certain favorites that I’ve read again and again, and I’m sure I’ll continue to return to them in years to come, kind of like spending time with old friends. And writing this post has given me a good excuse to visit them all again, at least for the quick purpose of taking photos!

The books I never get tired of re-reading are:

1. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon: I’ve read all of the books multiple times, and yet I keep going back and starting over. There’s always something new to get out of each read.

My Outlander shelf!

2. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: I’ve read The Sparrow 3 or 4 times by now, and the emotional impact never goes away, no matter how many times I’ve read it.

3. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I read this book twice in a row when I first got hold of it, and have read it a couple more times since.

4. Lamb by Christopher Moore: I love all of Moore’s books, but Lamb is something really special.

5. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I read it several times in my teens, and have come back to it once or twice since then.

6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Really, all of Austen’s works could be on this list, but P&P remains the one that I’ve revisited the most.

Do I have enough editions of Pride and Prejudice? Probably not.

7. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger: I love the world of the Parasol Protectorate, and have so much fun dipping into these books whenever I need a pick-me-up.

8. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: I need a good dose of Harry Potter at least every other year. There’s just nothing that compares!

9. The Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books by Patricia Briggs: I love the world of Mercy so, so much. I’ve read all the books more than once, and have loved all the audiobooks as well.

10: My favorite Susanna Kearsley books: I always love her works, but I especially loved Mariana, The Rose Garden, and The Winter Sea, and would be perfectly happy re-reading those books forever.

What books do you read over and over again?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Thanks, but no thanks — books I no longer plan to read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

We all have them, right? Books we had to have, for one reason or another… and then they sit there, unread, and eventually we decide that nah, not interested, not going to happen. And the books end up staying on the shelf, unread and unloved, until they get tossed into the donation bag next time we do a shelf purge.

Here are my assorted books that I’d planned to read at some point, but now know that I probably never will:

1. The Last Star by Rick Yancey: I loved The 5th Wave, and really didn’t like The Infinite Sea. After feeling so let down by the second book, I’m no longer interested in the conclusion of the trilogy.

2. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: I loved The Diviners, but felt it would have been great as a stand-alone. And by the time a sequel came out, I didn’t feel invested in the characters or story any longer.

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: I think I’m just John Green-ed out. I didn’t enjoy the last couple of his books that I read (Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns), and can’t see any reason to read this one, even though I own a copy.

4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card: I’m a sci-fi fan, and had heard for years that I should read this book — but, after reading all the articles about the author’s personal beliefs and political stance, I just can’t.

5. Poison Study books by Maria V. Snyder: I liked the sound of these books enough to pick up the first three at various book sales, but after having them on my shelf for all these years, I think it’s time to admit that I’m just never going to be interested enough to actually read them.

6. Spook by Mary Roach: I’ve loved so many of her books, but between the lukewarm reviews I’ve heard from friends and the amount of time that’s passed since I got a copy, I don’t really feel all that compelled to ever read this book.

7. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: I picked up a copy based on the raves of some of my book group friends, but the length and subject matter are both factors in my never actually feeling like reading this book.

8. The Languedoc books by Kate Mosse: I’ve read and loved one book by this author (The Winter Ghosts). But these three books are all huge, and they’ve been on my shelves for so long without me ever feeling like starting them. At this point, I just don’t see it happening.

9 & 10. And finally, a couple that I picked up at a recent library sale — but so far, I haven’t felt the urge to start either one.

Are there any here you think I should reconsider?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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TTT REWIND: Top ten extra special love stories

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic, just in time for Valentine’s Day, is a love freebie — so we all can come up with our own spin on a love-related post. Well…

I was wracking my brain for an idea, and happened to stumble upon my TTT list from February 2016… and realized that I still like it! Without further ado, here’s what I wrote during Valentines week, two years ago:

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I’m keeping it simple, and going with a list of love stories that have really stayed with me:

Love Across Time

Jamie and Claire, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

OL quote

Henry and Clare, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

TTW

Richard and Elise, Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

Somewhere

Married Love

Rosetta and Jeremiah, I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe

ISBNTY

Don and Rosie, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Rosie

Unrequited Love

Severus Snape and Lily Evans, the Harry Potter series

Always

Sidney Carton and Lucie Manette, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

TTC quote

Love Between Friends

Maddie and Julie, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

cnv

Supernatural Love

Matthew and Diana, All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

ADoW

Mercy and Adam, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

mercy

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that have been on my TBR list for way too long…

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

It’s a little hard to figure out which books have been lingering on my TBR list the longest. I started on Goodreads in 2011, but I definitely had plenty of “to-read” books hanging around before then!

In no particular order, a bunch of books that have been on my TBR shelf for a really, really long time:

1. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

3. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

4. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, starting with The Color of Magic

5. 1776 by David McCullough

6. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

7. Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

8. The Eden Moore trilogy by Cherie Priest (omg, those covers!)

9. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

10. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

 

 

Have you read any of the books on my list? Which do you recommend?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: I can’t believe I read that!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books I Can’t Believe I Read

I could go a lot of ways with this topic — books so bad that I can’t believe I read them; books so huge… books so out-of-the-norm-for-me…

… so, I decided to do a little bit of everything:

First, books that I’m impressed with myself for reading; as in, “these books are big and daunting — I can’t believe I read them!”

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville: I read this book last year, via Serial Reader, and I really enjoyed it!

2. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo: Years ago, I was settling into a new home in a new town, didn’t have a job yet, and had just seen a stage production of Les Misérables… so I figured, why not? Let’s read the book!

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: Call me crazy, but at some point during my senior year of high school I decided it would be fun to read Anna Karenina. Yes. For fun.

 

Then there those books that are so awful or cringe-worthy that I can’t believe I spent my precious time and brain cells on them:

4. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond: This is a pretty recent read for me. I expected a thriller; I didn’t expect the near-torture-porn levels of sadism.

5. The Fifty Shades books by E. L. James: I admit it — I read them all, in the course of one intense weekend when I absolutely had nothing else to do. Why did I keep going? It was just too hard to look away, even when I knew I should.

6. The Twilight series: Okay, I completely loved these books at the time, don’t get me wrong. It’s only in retrospect that I question my devotion to the books and how I could have gotten so caught up in them. I mean, I really was into these books! But over time, the glory fades, and little things like nonsensical plot developments make me wonder how I ever got through four of these books.

Next, books outside my usual reading zone — topics and genres that I normally wouldn’t voluntarily read:

7. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis: I read a football book! I am one of the least sporty people you’ll meet, and I don’t give a fig about football or other spectator sports. I read The Blind Side after hearing a discussion about it on the radio, back before the movie was made. I thought the book was fantastic, and I was completely engrossed from start to finish. But really, I still can’t believe I read a football book!

8. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow: I enjoy history, but I rarely sit down and read history books start to finish, expecially not 800+ page history books! But in this case… HAMILTON! I started listening to the soundtrack of the Broadway musical, and then I got tickets, and before going to see the show, I just had to know more. I ended up really enjoying the book — but I can’t believe I made it all the way through!

9. Vietnam by Stanley Karnow: Years ago, I got caught up in watching the TV series China Beach, and I decided I didn’t really now enough about the Vietnam War. So I read this BIG, detailed book, and learned a ton. Fascinating… but I still can’t believe I read it.

And finally, one truly nostalgic pick:

10. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss: My first romance novel! I read this at about age 13, and found it so wicked (and amazing)! Luckily, no one in my family ever monitored what I was reading or made any attempt to censor me… still, I blush to think what my grandmother would have thought! This one is definitely a “I can’t believe I read this at that age and got away with it!” book.

 

Have you read any of my “can’t believe” books? Have any great picks of your own?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I barely remember

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there’s a new top 10 theme — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

We all have those, right? Please say it isn’t just me! When you read as much as we crazy bookfiends do, it’s a given that the details may start to slide after a while. Here are ten books that I’ve read and (mostly) loved… but I really couldn’t tell you all that much about them at this point.

First, a batch that I know I loved, even if the memories have gotten a little fuzzy:

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: I remember the main character and the setting, but not many details about her life.

2. Away by Amy Bloom: I know I thought the writing was beautiful. Historical fiction, a woman traveling across America… couldn’t tell you a whole lot more than that.

3. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Bloom: Three sisters, a father who always quotes Shakespeare. Don’t remember much about the individuals characters.

4. The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway: Ah, I loved this book! It’s all timey-wimey. I know I”ll want to read it again at some point, because I’d love to have clearer recall of exactly what happened.

5. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: I just listened to the audiobook about two years ago — my first encounter with Mansfield Park! I’ve already managed to mix up all the characters in my head, though.

6. Alanna (and the other books in the Song of the Lionness quartet) by Tamora Pierce: My daughter is a huge Tamora Pierce fan and keeps urging me to read more of her books… but before I do, I feel like I need to go back to these four (which I read over 10 years ago) and refamiliarize myself with the story. I know the main character grows up to become the first female knight in the land of Tortall… but that’s about it!

7. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin: I read the first two books in the Birthright trilogy, and I suppose at some point I should finish — but it’s been too long since I read books 1 & 2. I know the main character is the descendant of a powerful crime family, chocolate is illegal (gasp!), and she ends up in Mexico at some point. And there’s a love story. And it’s set in New York. That’s about it — I’ll need to start again if I ever want to finish.

8. Dark Tower series, books 1 – 3, by Stephen King: I got through the first three books in the series before deciding to take a break. Bad decision — there’s no way I’ll remember enough of the details that already happened to be able to jump back in.

And two more recent reads that seem to have slipped right out of my brain the second I read them:

9. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: I liked it just fine when I read it, but apparently (for me) it was unmemorable and/or indistinguable from a dozen other YA novels. I couldn’t tell you a thing about the plot or the characters without cheating and looking at a synopsis first.

10. The Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich: Can you believe that I just read this about a month ago? I know that I found it to be a letdown, and maybe that’s why it’s left zero impression on me. Something about a problem with pregnancies… ??? I’d have to go back to my notes to know more than that.

I guess my big takeaway here is that the downside of gobbling up 100+ books per year is that there’s only so much the brain (my brain) can retain! The books that I’ve loved will always be a part of me… but the question is, how much of the detail will I actually be able to recall after years go by?

Does this happen to you? Do you have books that you know you’ve loved, but can’t remember a whole lot about?

Please share your thoughts and share your links!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

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