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

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Supernatural Love

Matthew and Diana, All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

ADoW

Mercy and Adam, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

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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!

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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: Reading resolutions for 2018

As of this week, the Top Ten Tuesday meme moves to a new host blog. Started originally by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday will now be hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Same great concept, just a new host! Top Ten Tuesday focuses on a different top 10 theme each week — check out the host blog for a list of upcoming topics.

This week’s topic is Bookish Resolutions/Goals 

For me, my #1 resolution is to STOP MAKING RESOLUTIONS.

Ha.

But I kind of mean it. I don’t want to create yet another list of resolutions for myself that will fall by the wayside within a week or two. So instead, I’ll just write about the overall ideas I have about how I want to read in 2018.

My goal, this year and every year, is to read whatever I want, whenever I want! No commitments. No deadlines. No pressures.

 

I don’t participate in reading challenges or read-a-thons. I’ve tried in the past, but I find that tailoring my reading to meet pre-selected categories, genres, or themes makes me feel completely stifled. Where’s the fun in reading if I feel like I HAVE TO read something, rather than just wanting to?

 

Still, I do have some rather loose goals that I’m aiming toward this year. I do want to get to some of the series that I’ve had my eye on for a while. I hope to at least start my “priority series” — and then, if they grab me, make a good-sized dent in the rest.

 

I’ve managed to cut way back on the number of ARCs I request — but for those that I have, I feel a commitment to reading them and reviewing them on or about their release dates. It’s only polite!

 

I intend to do some more sorting and culling of the books on my shelves. I need to face the fact that I have certain books that I’m just never, ever in the mood to read… so why keep them? A few more donation binges are in order!

 

Speaking of books on my shelves… my bookshelves need a major overhaul. When I first set them up, they were roughly organized by genre, but over the years, my method of shelving has devolved into “hmmm, this book seems to fit this tiny space”. Not at all helpful when it comes to actually finding something later on. So, at some point, I need to pull everything off the shelves (gasp!) and start fresh, and hopefully come up with an organizational system that isn’t just about where things fit.

 

I plan to read a few more classics through the Serial Reader app, which I really love. It’s so much fun to make daily progress, especially when it’s a book that seems overwhelming on its own. Check out Serial Reader, if you haven’t already. Let me know what goodies you find! I’m thinking, for me, it’ll be a Dickens kind of year.

 

Well, that’s only seven, but that’s enough! Really, my mindset when it comes to reading in 2018 is…

 

 

What are your reading goals for 2018? If you wrote a TTT post 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 books I meant to read in 2017 (but didn’t)

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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 Ten Books We Meant to Read in 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and totally plan to get to in 2018). 

So many books, so little time. Here are the top 10 books that I really and truly had every intention of reading in 2017. Somehow, I guess life must have just gotten in the way.

1. In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

2. George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl

3. Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

4. The Waking Land by Callie Bates

5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

6. The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

7. News of the World by Paulette Jiles

8. The Good People by Hannah Kent

9. Strange Weather by Joe Hill

10. Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Have you read any of these? Where do you think I should start?

If you wrote a TTT post 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: Top ten books I’m looking forward to reading in 2018

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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 Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2018. I’m hoping to make a huge dent in my backlist of books this coming year… but meanwhile, here are some new releases for 2018 that I’m really excited about:

1. Noir by Christopher Moore: Sounds crazy, like all the best books by “the author guy”.

2. The Lady Astronaut books by Mary Robinette Kowal: The premise sounds amazing.

3. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian: Sure to be great – as are all books by this author.

4. Still Me by Jojo Moyes: Time to find out what happens next in the life of Lou Clark!

5. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire: Another Wayward Children story! So exciting.

6. Belleweather by Susanna Kearsley: Gorgeous cover, and I’m always up for a new book by one of my favorite authors.

7. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert: I love the description, and that cover is fantastic!

8. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs: The newest installment in the Alpha & Omega series. More Charles and Anna!

9. Competence by Gail Carriger: There’s no cover yet, but I’m still dying with excitement for book #3 in the Custard Protocol series!

10. Head On by John Scalzi: The sequel to the terrific Lock In:

What books are you excited to read in 2018? 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 bookish gifts I’d love to find by the light of my menorah (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 Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings… but since I don’t get visits from Santa, I thought I’d make my post title a little more relevant to my life.

Tuesday is the last night of Hanukkah this year. Where did the holiday go? My TTT list this week isn’t really a practical wish list — it’s more about the luxury bookish things that I’d probably never buy myself, but would 100% be happy to have if the little Hanukkah fairies felt like dropping them off. (And yes, some of these are repeats from last year. A reader can dream, can’t she?)

1. Slayers & Vampires: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy and Angel by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman: There is ALWAYS room on my shelf for another Buffy book.

2. The illustrated edition of Game of Thrones: Because having beat-up paperback editions on my shelf just isn’t enough. The book looks gorgeous.

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3. The Outlander Kitchen: This is funny if you know me, because I absolutely DO NOT COOK. I’m sure my husband would be rolling on the floor laughing hysterically right now if he knew I put a cookbook on my wishlist. But look! It’s Outlander, and it’s so pretty!

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4. Any of all of these new Penguin hardcover editions of classic sci fi novels. Don’t these look amazing?

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5. Have you seen the Harry Potter collection from Pendleton? Gorgeous… not that I would ever spend this kind of money on a fangirl blanket. But SO gorgeous.

6. I think it might be fun to have a Monopoly set from one of my favorite fandoms:

 

7. A gorgeous leather-bound edition of a favorite book (oh, say Outlander, for example) from Easton Press.

 

 

8. I’d love to find a coffee table book of Moby Dick, with beautiful illustrations and complete annotations of the text. I haven’t actually seen one (although I haven’t looked at that hard either), but that’s what I want.

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9 and beyond: There are really tons of books I’d love to own, but will probably end up borrowing from the library:.

Whatever you’ll be celebrating this holiday season, may the bookish gift fairies be very kind to you!

Happy Holidays!

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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: My top ten books of 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 Top Ten Favorite Books Of 2017.

According to Goodreads, I gave a 5-star rating to 76 books in 2017. SEVENTY-SIX. That’s a lot. So how to narrow down my top books to just 10? Here are the books I consider the best of the best from my 2017 reading — not necessarily books published in 2017; simply the books I read this past year that I loved the most. (And okay, I cheated a bit and snuck in more than 10!)

Note: If you want to know more about any of the books mentioned here, click on the links to see my reviews.

1) Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (review)

2) La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust, #1) by Philip Pullman (review)

3) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (review)

4) A whole bunch of books by Gail Carriger! (reviews here and here)

5) How to Stop Time by Matt Haig (review)

6) Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (review)

7) Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford (review)

8) Leviathan Wakes (review)/Caliban’s War/Abaddon’s Gate (review) by James S. A. Corey

9) A first introduction to the world of Georgette Heyer (reviews here, here, here, and here)

10) Two classics that I finally tackled (and adored):
(Great Expectations reading update here)

 

What were your favorite reads of 2017? Please leave me 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: 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!)

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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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