Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: books I just had to devour in one sitting

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s time for another weekly round of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week we’re dishing on single-sitting reads: books you read in one go or could theoretically blast through in a single session. There are several books I just had to devour in one sitting, because they were just too good to put down! In no particular order, here are some of the books I just had to devour in one sitting…

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. I scoffed at all the hype around this book until I actually picked it up, and realized I couldn’t put it down again. The plot gets more and more twisted right up until the very last page. Many other books have bragged in their blurbs that they are similar to this but I have yet to find a worthy rival.

The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney. This book sucks you right in with the dual narratives of Emma and Jane, two women renting a beautiful but odd house from an equally intriguing architect…who may or may not be a murderer.

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This was my introduction to the world of dystopian YA and I couldn’t put it down. I admit that I wasn’t as enamored with the latter books in the series but this remains one of my favorite YA series to date.

The Mothers, by Brit Bennett. I went through a bit of a reading slump this year and this was one of the books I picked up this spring that shook me out of it. It’s hard to believe this novel is a debut—the prose is so rich and the characters so well drawn, it seems like something a more seasoned author would produce.

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer, by Fredrik Backman, This is a very short book, a novella really. But that’s okay, because you’ll want to read it multiple times. It’s an incredibly moving portrait of a man slowly losing his battle with Alzheimers, recounting the memories he still has and mourning the loss of those that are fading away. There’s so much emotion packed into such simple sentences. I bawled my eyes out reading this one.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I just had to devour in one sitting

Any of the Inspector Erlendur novels by Arnaldur Indridason. This is one of my favorite crime series, hailing all the way from Iceland. The books are short, just under 300 pages apiece, so they’re very easy to binge-read.

The Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot series by Agatha Christie. I favor Marple over Poirot but enjoy both of these series—and again, since the books are only two or three hundred pages, they’re perfect for an afternoon of non-stop reading.

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. This book just sucked me in with the shifting narratives from the very first page. I thought the ending was a little odd but otherwise I loved this book. The switch in voice through was mesmerizing.

The Pretty Little Liars series, by Sara  Shepard. So sue me—these were absolute trash. But they were also super addicting, in the way junk food is. I actually would say that only the first eight books in the series deserve that status, though; the series came back with eight more books after the original mystery was solved and they weren’t nearly as compelling.

Inferno, by Dan Brown. A thriller that was impossible to put down! I think this is probably one of those books that required me to get up and make a pot of coffee so I could finish it, since it is on the longer side. But it was worth any lost sleep!

So…if you’re looking for a new book to devour in one sitting, those are just a few of my suggestions! Do you gulp down your books or read them slowly? Sometimes I’ll tell myself that I’ll pace a book, but then I just can’t resist racing through it!

Top Ten Tuesday: my spring 2017 TBR list

Top Ten TuesdayHappy Top Ten Tuesday everyone! This week we’re writing up our top spring TBR lists, and while I have tons and tons of books waiting to be read, these are ten that I’m especially eager to read. Hop over to The Broke and the Bookish to link up your own list, and let me know: what’s at the top of your TBR this spring? (And if we’re not already friends on Goodreads, leave me your profile link, too!)

In no particular order on my spring 2017 TBR list: A Crown of Wishes, by Roshani Choksha // A Curious Beginning, by Deanna Raybourn // The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden // Sleeping Giants, by Sylvain Neuvel // The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers // The Girls, by Emma Cline // To Capture What We Cannot Keep, by Beatrice Colin // The Map of Chaos, by Felix J. Palma // One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez // Britt-Marie Was Here, by Frederik Backman

Top Tten Tuesday: my spring 2017 TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday: Character names I’ve used (or would use) for my cats

Top Ten Tuesday: character names I would use for my catsI love good stories. I love cats. If I can combine the two then I am one happy girl! This week for TTT we’re talking character names that we would use for a child or pet, so I am rounding up my fave character names that I have used or would use for my kitties:

Merry and Pippin—I mean, who didn’t love these two hobbits? And The Lord of the Rings continues to be one of my fave stories ever, so obviously I’ll have to pull some kitty names from it at some point. If I ever get kitty siblings I’d love to call them Merry and Pippin.

Guenhwyvar—the magical panther who accompanies Drizzt Do’Urden in the Forgotten Realms books. I always said that if I got a female black cat I would use this name and now I have. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen her pop up from time (but let me tell ya, black cats are hard to photograph, and even more so when they’re shy!).

Book character names I've used for my cats: Guenhwyvar

Artemis Entreri—another FG character, this one was an assassin who was kind of a good guy at times. I haven’t used it yet but I will. I’d like to give this name to a black boy cat.

Sherlock Holmes—can’t you see a super-grouchy fluffy cat with this name?

Jaqen H’ghar—I’m reserving this one in case I ever get an orange and white cat. I suppose my Skittles comes close since she has the split coloring on her face and that fits perfectly with the Two-Faced Man but I couldn’t bear to change her name. She is my other super-fluffy girl.

Captain Jack Sparrow—the fluffiest of fluffies! She got this name because a) I found her while jogging to some music by Bring Me the Horizon, so fate; and b) she had bad mats in her fur from neglect, so she looked like she had black dreadlocks. I know this doesn’t really count as a bookish name, but I had to include it.

Book character names I've used for my cats: Captain Jack Sparrow

Daryl Dixon—if I ever get another cat who’s absolutely wild he or she will be Dixon after everyone’s favorite zombie slayer. If it’s a girl I could just call her Dixie for short.

HobbesCalvin and Hobbes was one of my favorite comic strips growing up, and still is. I used this name for the shy, slightly grumpy orange cat that comes by my porch each day for food. S/he is feral and won’t accept pets but is slowly getting more used to me. (I’m not sure if it’s a girl or a boy but I call it “Mr. Hobbes” all the same.)

Al Sa-Her (The Magician)-–if you watch Arrow on TV or read the DC comic books, you know this is Malcolm Merlyn’s name as a member of the League of Assassins. A little black and white cat showed up on my doorstep and charmed even Hobbes into accepting her, so “The Magician” seems to fit. And I do think a black and white cat needs a regal name, don’t you? (BTW, that ghost cat in the background is the neighbor’s, “Sweetie”–but I call her Mouse!)

Book character names I've used for my cats: Hobbes and Al Sa-Her

Those are the best ones I can think of for now! So what character names would you use (or have used) for your kids and pets? Do you think it’s a silly idea or not? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: ten reasons I still love paper books more than e-readers

Top Ten Tuesday: ten reasons I still love paper books more than e-readersI own two e-readers and download new books to my Kindle every month, but I still prefer paper books. (In particular,  I love paperbacks—I don’t know why, but if I have a choice between buying a hardback or a paperback, the paperback wins every time.) This sounds weird, but there’s something about the way a paperback feels when you hold it that is so much more personal than holding a Kindle. The cover curls back, the spine cracks, the corners get all worn and nubby from being tucked in a backpack…you just don’t get that same sense of a well-loved book from a screen.

That isn’t the only reason I still prefer paper books to e-readers. One of my biggest joys as a rabid reader is passing on favorite books to my friends. You can’t leave an e-book in a coworker’s locker or exchange it at the Little Free Library for another reader to enjoy. You don’t get that same sense of a book that’s been passed through multiple hands and enjoyed by multiple readers.

Other reasons I prefer paper books:

  • you don’t have to worry about the battery dying right at the good part
  • they’re easier to read outside in the sun (no cranking up the screen brightness!)
  • they’re often cheaper ($1 at Goodwill)
  • you can fall asleep reading without worrying about dropping them and cracking them
  • they smell good
  • the words just look better on paper than on a screen (at least I think so)
  • you can gift-wrap them
  • a full bookshelf doubles as home decor

What about you, readers? Do you prefer paper books or e-books? I will admit that when I travel, it’s nice to bring a whole “shelf” with me in one slim package…but especially at home, my heart will always belong to paper books! If you linked up for Top Ten Tuesday this week leave me a link so I can check out your post!

Top Ten Tuesday: beach reads!

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s been quite a while since I’ve linked up for Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re talking about our favorite beach reads. I’m not a big beach person—we don’t have a lot in the traditional sense where I live—but I am all about lying in the hammock in my backyard with a good book and a tall glass of iced tea!

I don’t really stick to any particular genre or style of book when picking out beach reads. They just have to be so compelling you can’t put them down, and they should be something that’s not too serious—no nonfiction exposes or tear-jerking fiction. Also, they should preferably be in paperback. Hardcovers are too heavy for casual summer lounging!

So, here are ten books I plan to tote out to the hammock this summer, and quite possible devour in a single gulp. I’m sure there are many, many more to be found in the depths of my TBR list but these are just some of the more recent, off-the-top-of-my-head titles.

TTT: beach reads edition!

The Three, by Sarah Lotz // Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch // Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt // And I Darken, by Kiersten White // We Could Be Beautiful, by Swan Huntley // The Sister, by Louise Jensen // This is a Book, by Demetri Martin // The Hanged Man, by P.N. Elrod // Norwegian by Night, by Derek B. Miller // Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson

I’ve linked here to the Goodreads pages for these books so you can look up the blurbs and add them to your own TBR lists! If you have any other beach reads you think I might like, be sure to leave me a comment and let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: books to read if you are in the mood to become a better writer

Top Ten Tuesday: books that will teach you how to become a better writerHappy March everyone! This week’s TTT topic was a little open—it’s just a list of books to read if you’re in the mood for _____. I’ve been trying to get back into writing and was thinking of some of the books I’ve read that have really taught me a thing or two about writing along the way. I suppose you could say they are helping me become a better writer. (They’re all favorites and well worth re-reading just for how awesome they are, even if you aren’t a writer, BTW.) In no particular order…

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Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go together

Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go togetherI love books. I love music. So you’ll excuse the narcissism if I say that I feel like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was tailor-made for me! This week it’s all about music and books that go together—books that could have theme songs, songs that should become books, etc. Obviously I could go on and on about my favorite books and favorite songs but here are ten that really fit together perfectly (at least in my mind).

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Top Ten Tuesday: historical and futuristic settings I love

Top Ten Tuesday: historical and futuristic settings I loveIt’s time once again for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week we’re discussing the historical and futuristic settings we love best. I love both genres but lately I’ve read lots of dystopia, since it seems to be a popular genre of late and I do really like sci-fi. Here are ten books with historical and futuristic settings that I’ve really loved, broken down book by book.

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Well, it’s historical fiction, time travel, adventure, mystery, and romance, all rolled into one, so it touches multiple bases in my genre-reading category. But I really enjoy seeing historical events through the eyes of a modern woman (Claire). She’s feisty and outspoken and constantly gets into trouble for her big mouth.

The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness. I always find it interesting to read about a futuristic society without realizing it—that is, you don’t start to get hints of a sci-fi story until several chapters in. Some sci-fi authors seems to feel the need to hit you over the head with the sci-fi elements so I appreciate subtlety.

Lock In, by John Scalzi. This book blew me away with the writing. I’ve read very few sci-fi books that so subtly slip in details and background and manage to weave such a complex story without confusing you or resorting to info dumps. Supposedly this was the start of a series but I haven’t seen any updates on further installments.

The Map of Time and The Map of the Sky, by Felix J. Palma. Historical sci-fi is so awesome and yet so rare (at least to my knowledge). These books feature H.G. Wells as a protagonist in Victorian London, and yet they deal with sci-fi elements like time travel and alien invasions. I can’t explain how awesome they are, you just need to read them. I just found out that The Map of Chaos was published recently and now I can’t wait to read it and see how the trilogy wraps up!

Best historical and futuristic settings in books

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, and The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. Sci-fi, dystopia, and other futuristic books can sometimes feel mechanical or too formulaic, so I always appreciate finding a futuristic tale that’s beautifully written. Both of these books look at a post-apocalyptic human future, though one focuses on earth and one is set in outer space. The writing is lyrical and the pacing just perfect. I will definitely re-read these books in the future.

In the Land of Armadillos, by Helen Maryles Shankman and The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. One is a collection of interwoven short stories set in World War II-era Poland, the other is a novel set in Alaska during the time of settlers, gold rushes, and new frontiers. Both blend historical fact with fiction and a healthy dose of magical realism, for a result unlike anything else I’ve encountered.

Abandon, by Blake Crouch. I love it when an author takes a historical mystery and makes up their own story for it. This one had a really creepy bent to it that made it perfect for horror novel lovers as well.

So what historical and futuristic settings do you love best? Do you prefer historical fiction or futuristic stories? Are futuristic stories that aren’t super sci-fi cool or do you prefer lots of otherworldly tech and dystopia? What about historical stories—do you like lots of period details, or do you like it when the author uses their imagination?