Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books I loved reading with my kiddos

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a new top 10 theme each week. While the “official” topic is slightly different, I thought I’d focus on books that I loved reading with my kids. Now, bear in mind that both (sadly) have outgrown the reading-aloud phase, but I did diligently read to both of them every single day from infancy onward.

First, here are some books that were perfect for my sweeties in the baby and toddler days:

1. Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown — so perfectly sweet.

2. ALL books by Sandra Boynton: I especially loved The Going to Bed Book, But Not the Hippopotamus, Moo Baa La La La — but they’re really all terrific. And years later, I can (and do) still quote them by heart!

3. The poetry of Winnie the Pooh: A good friend gave me a beautiful set of the Winnie the Pooh books when my daughter was born, and what we ended up especially loving were the poems in the books. Lines and Squares is amazing!

4. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z: You haven’t lived until you’ve read this book with a 2-year-old! The adults in the house were on the floor completely incapacitated by laughter the first time we read this with my son, who tried his best, in his adorable 2-year-old voice, to repeat the names of all of the very silly cars. (The 2-year-old is now 15 and I’m sure would deny having any part in this, but I have video proof!)

5. Tumble Tower – a wonderful picture book that we loved to pieces.

6. Tumble Bumble – Unrelated to Tumble Tower, it’s just such a wonderful sing-songy read, and so much fun.

As the kiddos got older, we moved on to chapter books and book series, and here are some we loved:

7. Harry Potter — of course! I read the entire series out loud to my son when he was about 7 or 8. I was so proud of myself! (He loved it too.) We had such a good time with reading and discussing these books — it was an amazing experience.

8. The Hobbit — another fun read-aloud.

9. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – I read this one with my daughter. She was definitely old enough to read it on her own, but the concepts involved are pretty complex, and it was a good choice for a book to share.

10. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede — The dragon and princess trope turns upside down in these magical tales. Book #1 is really the best, but all make for a great shared read.

What books did you love reading with the kids in your life… or which would you want to read with your future kids? Please leave me your link!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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 haunting books for Halloween chills

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Happy Halloween!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie!

This year, I think I’ll focus on ghost stories… some read recently, some longer ago, but all good choices to send a little shiver down the spine

1. The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse

2. The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

3. Thornhill by Pam Smy (review)

4. Bag of Bones by Stephen King

5. The Uninvited by Cat Winters (review)

6. The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig (review)

7. The Vanishing by Wendy Webb (review)

8. The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones (review)

9. The Mystery of Grace by Charles De Lint

10. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Do you have any good ghost stories to recommend? What’s on your Halloween TTT? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! 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 unique book titles, take 2!

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Somehow, I got myself all scrambled up with TTT topics, so I posted this week’s topic — Top Ten Unique Book Titles — last week instead. Rather than skip a week or repeat myself, I thought I’d do a variation on the theme.

For this week, I’m focusing on a unique kind of book title — titles that are one word only, and that one word is the name of a character in the book (or even a character mentioned but never seen, as in #9, below). And since I’m creating rules for my post, I’m only including books that I’ve actually read.

Here we go — book titles that consist only of a first name:

  1. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley (review)
  2. Venetia by Georgette Heyer (review)
  3. Arabella by Georgette Heyer (review) (it would be easy to fill this list up with just Georgette Heyer books, but I’ll stop at 2)
  4. Mandy by Julie Edwards
  5. LaRose by Louise Erdrich (review)
  6. Prudence by Gail Carriger
  7. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  8. Emma by Jane Austen
  9. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  10. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (yes, I realize that Ivanhoe isn’t the character’s first name, but I’m going with it anyway…)

And in case you’re interested — here’s the link to last week’s post, and here are the book on last week’s list:

  1. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  2. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
  3. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello
  4. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  5. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Shumer
  6. The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsburg
  7. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  8. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
  9. Intro to Alien Invasion by Owen King
  10. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

What book titles made your list this week? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

(And PS – do you have any favorite books with a one-word character name as a title? Please let me know!)

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! 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 unique book titles (a week ahead of time!)

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***Right after posting, I realized that I’m a week ahead on TTT topics! Oh well, better early than never, right? Leaving this right here…***

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Unique Book Titles. I did a similar post back in 2013 (here), so I had to work pretty hard to come up with a new batch of awesome book titles.

Here are my top ten, in no particular order:

1) Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: I love how the title so perfectly captures the spooky, ghoulish feel of the book.

2) Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day (review): Another by Seanan McGuire — I just really like the sound of all those “D” words in the title, and the way that the title signals that something unusual and otherworldly is about to happen.

3) Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello (review): Author Ausiello is a TV critic, and it’s just so perfect that he’s used TV jargon for the title of his very personal and sad memoir.

4) Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: You didn’t think I’d get through a whole top 10 list without mentioning Outlander, did you? Book #9 isn’t out yet, and doesn’t even have a release date… but it does have a title, and the title is pretty cool.

5) The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Shumer: Ha, I love her spin on the title. It’s perfect, really.

6) The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsburg: The book was okay, but the title really rocks.

7) My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix (review): The title says it all!

8) William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher: This book was such a delicious surprise. The re-writing of Star Wars as Shakespearean verse is a must for literary-minded fangirls and fanboys. Here’s a little sample.

9) Intro to Alien Invasion by Owen King: An awesome graphic novel about an alien invasion on a college campus. I loved that the title captures the feel of a required course.

10) You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day (review): Geeks, unite! If Felicia Day says we’re never weird, then it must be true.

What book titles made your list this week? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! 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 TBR list for fall 2017

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is the top ten books on our fall to-be-read lists. I have waaaaay more than 10, but here are the ones I’m especially excited about.

 

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Release date: 9/26/2017
Blurb: In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men? In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.

Well, of course I want to read the newest from Stephen King, and I’m curious to see how this father-son project works out. But holy hell, it’s 720 pages! Deep breaths…

 

And speaking of the King family…

Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Release date: 10/24/2017
Blurb: A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill

“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.

A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”

On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.

In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.

At this point, Joe Hill has become one of my auto-buy authors, and while I usually avoid story collections, there’s no way I’ll pass this one up.

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters
Release date: 9/12/2017
Blurb: Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Cat Winters is another author on my auto-buy roster. I’ve loved everything I’ve read of hers so far, and I have no doubt that Odd & True will live up to my expectations.

 

Artemis by Andy Weir
Release date: 11/14/2017
Blurb: Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Does anyone doubt that this follow-up to The Martian will be huge?

 

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Release date: 11/14/2017
Blurb: Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

I am crazy excited about this follow up to the super creepy novella Rolling in the Deep (review).

 

LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Release date: 5/10/2016
Blurb: North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.

I’ve been wanting to read LaRose since it came out last year, and now that my book group has it on the calendar for a group read, I finally have a deadline!

 

Standard Deviation by Katherin Heiny
Release date: 6/1/2017
Blurb: A rueful, funny examination of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami. Simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking, this sensational debut will appeal to fans of David Nicholls, Nick Hornby, Nora Ephron and Lorrie Moore

Graham Cavanaugh’s second wife, Audra, is everything his first wife was not. She considers herself privileged to live in the age of the hair towel, talks non-stop through her epidural, labour and delivery, invites the doorman to move in and the eccentric members of their son’s Origami Club to Thanksgiving. She is charming and spontaneous and fun but life with her can be exhausting.

In the midst of the day-to-day difficulties and delights of marriage and raising a child with Asperger’s, his first wife, Elspeth, reenters Graham’s life. Former spouses are hard to categorize – are they friends, enemies, old flames, or just people who know you really, really well? Graham starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did he make the right choice? Is there a right choice?

This is another book group pick for this fall. Sounds like fun, right?

 

The Book of Dust (La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman
Release date: 10/19/2017
Blurb: Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

Oh. My. God. A new series in the world of His Dark Materials? So freaking excited.

 

 

 

 

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
Release date: 10/17/2017
Blurb: A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel about what happens when a family is forced to spend a week together in quarantine over the holidays…

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley, and think it sounds totally charming and fun.

 

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Release date: 11/7/2017
Blurb: After years of following her best friend’s lead, Mary Davies finds a whimsical trip back to Austen’s Regency England paves the way towards a new future.

Mary Davies lives and works in Austin, Texas, as an industrial engineer. She has an orderly and productive life, a job and colleagues that she enjoys—particularly a certain adorable, intelligent, and hilarious consultant. But something is missing for Mary. When her estranged and emotionally fragile childhood friend Isabel Dwyer offers Mary a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in Bath, Mary reluctantly agrees to come along, in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways. But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes that she lives in Regency England. Mary becomes dependent on a household of strangers to take care of Isabel until she wakes up.

With Mary in charge and surrounded by new friends, Isabel rests and enjoys the leisure of a Regency lady. But life gets even more complicated when Mary makes the discovery that her life and Isabel’s have intersected in more ways that she knew, and she finds herself caught between who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who stands between them. Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this triangle works out their lives and hearts among a company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation.

Another ARC from NetGalley — I’ve read a few of Katherine Reay’s books, and love the way she mixes Austen-ish themes with modern-day stories.

What books are on your fall TBR list? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! 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 Books I Loved During My First Year of Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Throwback Freebie. One of the suggested ideas is Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog. I love it! Let’s face it — the first year of blogging is tough. We’re trying to find our footing, our voice, our community… and I know I have bunches of reviews from early on that basically were never seen because I was just starting out.

Here are 10 of the books I reviewed in my first blogging year (or thereabouts), along with a link to the review. Sweet memories!

1) Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (review): I think this may have been the very first book review I posted!

2) The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen (review): A pretty cool twist on the time travel genre.

3) Fables, volumes 1 – 3 by Bill Willingham (review): The start of a meaningful relationship! I quickly became hooked on the Fables world and read every bit of it, until the very final volume. Yes, there were tears.

4) Ocean’s Surrender by Denise Townsend (review): Look, I don’t normally review erotica, but when it’s by a favorite author writing under a pen name, I’m game. All the steam you’d expect, with a strong plot underlying the sexytimes.

5) Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (review): I’m really not much of a short story reader, but a few of the stories in this collection really caught my fancy.

6) The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (review): Post-apocalyptic fiction with gorgeous writing.

7) Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (review): I was doing more kid fiction back in my early blogging days, as my kiddo was still in the phase where I could read aloud with him. Sadly, he no longer lets me read to him. (Okay, fine, he’s in high school, so I suppose it’s understandable.)

8) The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan (review): I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the writing is in this book. You really just have to experience it.

9) Every Day by David Levithan (review): I’ve read bunches of David Levithan books by now, but this one is really something special. There’s definitely nothing like it out there. (Read it before the movie comes out!)

10) Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce (review): I was so sad when this author passed away in 2014. He’s the author of one of my very favorite books, The Silent Land (which I read in my pre-blogging days). This one is really special too.

What’s on your list this week? Please share your TTT link and I’ll drop by for a visit.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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: Hidden gems from my shelves

TTT back to school

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Hidden Gems in Genre X — but I figured, why limit myself to just one genre? Below are 10 book I’ve read and loved — and which deserve to be read by everyone!

1) I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe: Beautiful, haunting historical fiction set during the Civil War

2) The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi: This is silly, fun sci-fi at its wacky best. You can’t take it too seriously — just buckle in and go along for the ride.

3) Not Me by Michael Lavigne: A powerful, thought-provoking story about identity, forgiveness, and the unforgivable.

4) Deerskin by Robin McKinley: A chilling retelling of a lesser-known fairy tale, definitely not for kids.

5) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn: This one shows up on my lists a lot. Fun with letters, fun with words! It’s just awesome.

6) The Humans by Matt Haig: Sweetly funny and oddly uplifting, with beautiful writing.

7) The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: Yes, it’s a dictionary… but it’s also a novel, and it’s both clever and moving.

8) The Jane True series by Nicole Peeler: A supernatural series with a selkie as its star, surrounded by all sorts of unusual supes, lots of humor, and plenty of steaminess too.

9) Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn: A fictional look at the private life of Queen Elizabeth that’s really a great ride.

10) Sailor Twain: Or, The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel: A lovely, haunting graphic novel.

Have you read any of these? What hidden gems are on your list this week?  Please share your TTT link and I’ll drop by for a visit.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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: Where do I enroll? Ten fictional schools I want to attend!

TTT back to school

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Back To School Freebie — which got me thinking about which fictional schools I’d really want to attend.

1) Hogwarts. Obviously.

2) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Because who wouldn’t want to live in a time loop and have secret powers?

3) Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, from Gail Carriger’s silly and delightful Finishing School series. A school that’s a dirigible floating over the English countryside? Yes, please. Especially if they’ll teach me the deadly art of wielding a bladed fan.

4) Spence Finishing School. Well, I’m only on the 1st book of the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, but I like the witchiness lurking beneath the surface, even if certain snobby mean girls would just drive me bonkers.

5) Brakebills, from The Magicians. It’s like Hogwarts, but a lot naughtier. I want to hang out with the Physical Kids and play welters.

6) Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. I guess if I did go to a magical land and then get kicked out, I’d rather lick my wounds at Eleanor West’s Home than anywhere else. (And keep looking for my secret door the whole time, of course.)

7) Watford School of Magicks — because I pretty much love Simon Snow and would want to just go and hang out with him.

8) The Academy from Codex Alera. Because I want to learn to be a Cursor!

9) Oomza Uni from Binti. Granted, I’d have to lick the whole traveling through space to another planet issue, but other than that, it sounds great!

10) Galileo Academy from Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn. The school may be located on Earth, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have Martian classmates?

Happy Back to School! Please share your TTT link and I’ll drop by for a visit.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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 book-based TV shows to check out

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. The broke & bookish folks are on break from TTT for the summer, but I thought I’d write a list of my own anyway.

This week, it’s all about TV. I’ve been watching A LOT of TV this year, mainly because (a) I finally broke down and signed up for Netflix and (b) I’ve gone on a few serious binges and became obsessed with certain shows *cough*Walking Dead*cough*.

Here are my top 10 shows based on books — most that I’ve already watched and love, plus a few on my to-watch list:

1) Outlander — based on the books by Diana Gabaldon. And if you’ve ever visited my blog before, you’ll know the depths of my love for these books and the TV series.

2) Games of Thrones, based on the books by George R. R. Martin

3) The Expanse, based on the series by James S. A. Corey

4) The Walking Dead, based on the comic series by Robert Kirkman

5) The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the book by Margaret Atwood

6) Big Little Lies, based on the book by Liane Moriarty

 

7) 13 Reasons Why, based on the book by Jay Asher

 

And three more that I haven’t seen yet, but want to:

8) Mr. Mercedes, based on the book by Stephen King. It starts tonight, but unfortunately not on a channel that I get. (DirectTV only, maybe?) I just read the book earlier this summer, and loved it. Would love to be able to see this!

9) 11/22/63, also by Stephen King. I missed this when it aired on Hulu, but I believe my library has the DVD set available to borrow.

 

10) The Leftovers, based on the book by Tom Perrotta. I watched the very first episode when it aired and just wasn’t hooked, but now that the series has ended, I keep hearing how amazing it was. I think I need to give it another try.

 

What book-to-TV adaptations do you love? Which do you recommend the most? I’m always looking for new shows to check out, so please share your thoughts!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten random thoughts about reading, summer, and life in general

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. The broke & bookish folks are on break from TTT for the summer, but I thought I’d write a list of my own anyway.

I only had a brief vacation this summer, but even though short, it gave me time to think deep(ish) thoughts and come up with a few random realizations.

1) After allowing my IPhone to run through my music in A-Z order during long car drives, I came to three conclusions:

  • I haven’t updated my ITunes in a really long time.
  • I seem to have stopped listening to music about the same time that I started listening to audiobooks.
  • I have a disproportionate amount of Kate Bush songs on my phone.

2) Diet, shmiet. I will stop for ice cream every single day that I’m on vacation. My view seems to be that I’ve earned all the indulgences while I’m away from home.

  • Bonus points for obsessing over the local flavors. In Montana, it was huckleberry ice cream — day in, day out.

3) Different family members are different types of vacation reading buddies.

  • I just traveled with my husband. With him, we read before bed, and maybe if we have some lounging around on the porch time in the afternoon.
  • With my son, I fight for every moment of book time. His mantra seems to be “Mom! Stop reading and do something fun!” (*weeping in despair*)
  • With my daughter, it’s all books, all the time. Books go in the backpacks. Stopping for coffee? Read a book. Sitting by a pretty stream? Read a book. See a cute bookstore? By all means, go spend several hours browsing!

4) Luckily, my husband has had many years to accept how much reading I do. Because otherwise he’d find me incredibly rude.

  • My rule of thumb on airplanes? Sit down, fasten seatbelt, stick nose in book. Stay that way until landing.
  • I definitely don’t talk to people near me on planes. And sorry, even the husband barely gets an exception.

5) Have you seen the t-shirts that say “my brain has been replaced by Hamilton lyrics”? It’s so true. At least five times a day, I feel a line from a song dying to come out of my mouth… which can be especially annoying to my travel companions who are not at all familiar with the show.

6) Why does binge-watching start feeling like a chore? The fact that the entire season of a series is available at once makes me feel SO pressured to churn through it all without stopping. And it’s not necessary! The episodes will still be there if I take them one day at a time.

7) I read the news, I follow latest stories on all the social media outlets… and yet I really don’t want to talk about it for more than a few minutes a day. I think I’ve reached my saturation point. How many times can you say “what the hell?” in one day? In one hour? Honestly, I think I read and watch TV so much to hide from reality… needed now more than ever.

8) I know I’ve posted about this many times before, but seriously — I am so much happier as a reader once I let any sort of schedule or planning go. Once again, I requested a bunch of ARCs at the start of the year, and once again, I started feeling less and less happy as the months went by and I had to keep looking at publication dates to make sure I was staying on track.

  • Why do I do this to myself? I know that I hate reading on a schedule.
  • I’m also (again) swearing off ARCs. Bad formatting drives me bananas. And look, it’s not doing anyone any favors if I sit down to review a book I’m mad at because it can’t get its line breaks to make sense.
  • I’m so much happier when I don’t have a list to stick to. I love the freedom of picking up whatever catches my eye, suits my fancy, tickles my funny bone…

9) It’s been interesting having no group reads going on this summer. With Outlander Book Club, we usually have one classic read and one re-read of a Gabaldon book going at the same time, two chapters each per week, and those go on FOREVER. Well, the two most recent wrapped up in June, and I’ve been free as a bird ever since.

  • I do love our group reads! And I truly am looking forward to starting up again with a classic (Ivanhoe) in August, and the Lord John books in September.
  • But man, it’s been nice to have no obligations to anyone but myself!

10) And finally, back to the subject of binges… I love reading graphic novels, but I find they go in one ear and out the other (or I suppose that should be in one eye and out the other?) pretty much immediately.

  • I can remember overall story and character arcs, but details? I can’t seem to keep these straight for more than a day or two after I read them
  • I love the Saga series, but I end up having the re-read the previous edition each time I get the newest book… which means that I’m two behind by now.
  • I read all volumes of The Walking Dead trade paperback editions over the last couple of months, and I can tell you the big picture of what happened, but I seem to have lost the particulars within a week of finishing. No idea.
  • I read the very entertaining limited series We Stand on Guard in June, six issues right in a row. It was fun at the time, but I don’t think I could identify a single individual character at this point, just the overall plot and resolution.
  • Maybe this is why I still haven’t finished Locke & Key. I can’t read the final volume without going back and rereading the first five, and I just haven’t felt like it so far. Which sucks, because I love this series.
  • Why don’t these stories stick with me? Is it me? Is it the format? Is there something about the graphic novel approach that leaves me with memory gaps?
  • Please tell me it’s not just me and my silly brain.

Happy August to all! I hope you all enjoy these last weeks of summer.

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