Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

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 Bookish Memories — described by the meme host as share stories of your reading life as a child, events you’ve gone to, books that made an impression on you, noteworthy experiences with books, authors you’ve met, etc. Reminisce with me!

In no particular order, here are ten random bookish memories that have stayed with me:

1 Traveling to Phoenix, Arizona in 2014 to attend a book event with Diana Gabaldon for the release of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, the 8th book in the Outlander series. I had consistently been unable to attend every one of her events in my own town, so I made the decision to travel for this one, and it was so worth it!

2. Reading with my kids! Highlights include cracking up while listening to my 3-year-old trying to recite along with Richard Scarry’s A-Z book of cars. Hilarious! Also, reading the entire Harry Potter series out loud with my son, and starting him off early (as an infant) by reading poems to him from A. A. Milne’s books.

3. My favorite childhood reading spot — I grew up in an observant Jewish household, which meant no TV or other forms of entertainment on Saturday afternoons. We had a big armchair in the living room, and I would spend hours on those afternoons curled up in it with a book.

(via Pinterest)

4. Meeting Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy!!) at a small book event at a local bookstore. She was doing a reading from a book she’d written (Death’s Daughter), and my daughter and I arrived early to browse… and met Amber while she was also browsing. We chatted, and she was so nice! (And clearly a book lover…)

5. Attending summer camp as a young teen and having copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves passed around the bunk. Between that and certain Judy Blume books, it was an eye-opening summer for a lot of us!

6. Going to a silent reading party — and enjoying silent reading in a room full of 60+ other booklovers.

7. Going to a midnight release party for Breaking Dawn and winning a trivia contest! Yes, I won a Twilight trivia contest, and I’m not (too) embarrassed about it.

8. Reading and sharing with my book group, who are just a fantastic group of readers (and are truly fantastic people in all ways).

9. Reading everywhere I go, including on some beautiful beaches and in gorgeous national parks.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

10. Sharing books, book ideas, and long, long visits to bookstores with my wonderful daughter, as a child and as an adult.

What bookish memories do you cherish?

If you wrote a TTT this week, please share your links!

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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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