• books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    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…

  • books,  music,  Top Ten Tuesday

    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).

  • books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    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?

  • books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday: books I’ve recently added to my TBR pile

    Top Ten Tuesday: books I've recently added to my TBRThis week on Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) we’re discussing the good ol’ TBR pile…that is, the burgeoning list of to-be-read books that grows and grows and just never seems to shrink, no matter how fast or how furiously I read.

    The truth is, I don’t think I’ll ever hit a point where I don’t have a TBR pile. There are just so many amazing books out there and so precious little time to read them! But anyway, I currently have 1,137 books on my TBR list, which means that with my current reading trends I should be able to read them all in roughly ten to fifteen years. Gulp. And you just know that list will keep growing! Here are the ten most recent additions to my list, according to Goodreads:

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson; Sister, by Rosamund Lupton; and Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt. These were some recommended picks by Valerie Geary, author of Crooked River, which I finished this month. All sound very intriguing.

    Darcy’s Tale, by Michael Stanley Hurd. Actually a three-book series in one volume. Added this solely because I’m so nutty for Pride and Prejudice.

    Death Note, by Tsugumi Ohba. I admit I added this for the title and premise alone. It sounds so intriguing! Also, I’d like to continue expanding my genre reading and Manga is something I haven’t explored yet.

    Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows. This book sounds like it could be really cool or really sucky, but it has such a pretty cover, I couldn’t resist.

    The Werewolf of Bamberg, by Oliver Potzsch. I can’t remember how I first heard of this, but I love that it’s a German book combining historical fiction, murder, and the occult.

    Now You See Me, by Emma Haughton. Because I can’t resist a good psychological thriller!

    This is a Book, by Demetri Martin. My fave comedian of all time. How could I not want to read this book?! By the way, if you have an hour, listen to his routine below. (There’s no video, just audio.) I listen to this when I need a pick-me-up.

     White Oleander, by Janet Fitch. This book has popped up in my feed on and off over the years and I finally added it to my TBR. I’ve heard a lot of praise for it and it sounds like it might be really lyrical and beautiful to read.

    So what books have you recently added to your TBR pile? Anything you think I should read? Let me know in the comments!

  • books,  Top Ten Tuesday

    Top Ten Tuesday: bookish resolutions for 2016

    Top Ten Tuesday: New Year's bookish resolutions for 2016It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday, so what better way to jump back in then with a New Year’s resolutions post? This week we’re listing our ten bookish resolutions for 2016, and after a long two months of barely reading or book blogging,  I certainly do have a few!

    1. Read more. Period! I’ve only read a couple of books in the past month, largely due to being so busy, but I got a huge stack for Christmas and can’t wait to dig into them.
    2. Get through my ARCs faster. I tend to download them and let them sit and sit and sit. I’d really like to start doing more release-day reviews.
    3. Post more book reviews on the blog. I do monthly roundups, but I’d like to do more in-depth reviews on single titles.
    4. Do more buddy reads. I did a couple this year and loved them.
    5. Be more active in the book blogging community. Linkups, giveaways, tours, etc. I’ve really enjoyed getting in touch with my fellow book lovers around the world and need to spend more time in this community!
    6. Wrap up some of my ongoing series before starting any new ones. Though obviously I won’t be able to wrap up A Song of Ice and Fire any time soon…sad face.
    7. Read some longer books. I tend to skip over long books (400+ pages) even if they sound interesting just because the size intimidates me. I like to flutter from book to book and a book has to be very, very strong to hold my interest for several hundred pages. But I would like to pick up some lengthier tomes this year.
    8. Get through titles before they become movies. Because otherwise I end up not getting to see the movie, either.
    9. Find more Nordic crime to read. It’s one of my favorite genres.
    10. Read more. Did I mention that already?

    So what are your bookish resolutions for 2016? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear about them!