Top Ten Tuesday: National Book Lovers Day

3743c-toptentuesday

I am first and foremost, incredibly bummed that I didn’t wear my book scarf today. But it was also too hot for a scarf. But it is, in fact, National Book Lovers Day, and I thought I would combine my celebration with a Top Ten Tuesday, especially since The Broke and The Bookish had a bit of a freebie topic today. So instead what I’ve done is three top fives: My most recently read books, the books I last added to to my TBR list, and the five books I am currently reading.


Last Five Books Read

Broken Prince by Erin Watt 

I read the first book of this series earlier this year. Basically if I look at a review and it goes “it’s kind of like Hana Yori Dango” ……how could I turn that down? The first one was amusing and entertaining, and of course ended on a cliff hanger. I finished the second one last night and was less entertained. The rage from the lead guy in this book is terrifying, and I’m really tired of that being considered sexy.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux

I picked this book up on a whim when I couldn’t find the book I was looking for. I am a sucker for horror stories involving asylum turned student dorms. It was decent, with weird art in it, and I picked up the other two books in the series.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

I….am torn by how I feel about this book. I loved it as a silly fan fiction, but as a true canonical story? It’s laughable. But a longer post is due on this. With pictures from midnight parties.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Cannot squeal enough about this book. Cannot squee enough about the author. And there will be a post on this. It’s not my all time favorite Schwab book, but still loved it. It’s a two parter, and I am looking forward to the second book.

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Adventure by Neil Patrick Harris

I listened to this book as an audiobook, finishing it in an entire day. NPH narrates it himself. It’s light and amusing, and the love story with his now husband is adorable. They FLIRT IN THE AUDIOBOOK. #RelationshipGoals


Last Five Books Added to TBR

The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

This book was mentioned in a conversation with a friend today, and a concept from the book fascinated me enough to add it to my list. Plus it’s one of those friends that you begrudgingly add any book they recommend.

Home by Harlan Coben

This is the upcoming Myron Bolitar book. It’s been years since Coben’s written a Bolitar book, and I miss the sarcastic detective and crew. I’m also behind on my Coben reading period.

The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates

I know nothing about this book other than it’s a collection of short stories, came out this year, and a friend of mine added it to their TBR list. It was apparently on Netgalley — I should get caught up on Netgalley.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

This book was recommended to me. I do enjoy chick lit, though I have never read any of Colleen Hoover. I’ll definitely pick it up at some point soon.

Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger

A steampunk novella by an author I enjoy. I wasn’t a big fan of Carriger as a YA author, but I do like her Parasol Protectorate series.


Current Five Books I’m Reading

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

I am reading this book for a test episode for a podcast I’m working on with a fabulous group of ladies. This book isn’t one that would be normally featured on the podcast, and I’ve been trying to decide if I would have picked it up on my own. It’s based in Brooklyn and has a main character that’s not a typical (white) female protagonist. So far I’m loving it.

The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1. by Kieron Gillen

In true fashion of my New Year’s resolution, this is the current comic series I am binging on to catch up. Bought the first three volumes last week.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

I love Shirley Jackson, and was having an “I miss college” day when I picked up this collection. I’m about halfway through it, before switching to a bag that doesn’t allow for actual books in it (currently rocking my ereader.) I may put this one on hold until October, where I’ll do tons of horror reading.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

I’ll admit, I’ve barely started this. This kind of book is one that I’ll either read slowly over the next six months as I let it wash it’s wisdom over me (while flashing the cover on the subway of course) or I’ll read it all in one sitting. I’ve read maybe 1-2 essays in it currently.

Multiverse: A Collection of Superhero Poetry

This isn’t my favorite collection of poetry, and actually my reading of it is on hold as I lent it out to a friend. It definitely makes me think though. Superheroes are such depressing characters these days.


What are you reading? Anything interested added to your TBR list recently??

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: Writing Soundtrack

ae7e6-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s pic seems to be a bit vague, a combination of book and music. Since I can read with almost anything on — I can block out noises and make it white noise (no seriously, I read on the subway with podcasts playing.) Music for me is more of a relaxing or next level concentration, such as work that I need to focus on more than normal or when writing. So I decided that this week’s Top Ten I would do my favorite/current writing songs.

I like a good weird combination of music, but most of my writing music goes from depressing to poppy in a split section, so enjoy?


 

Santa Fe from Newsies

My Amazon Prime music is almost all musicals currently, and then Aaron Tveit music. But Santa Fe is one I constantly listen to. Who knows why, other than the idea of moving across the country to a new type of life might mean something to me….

Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Aaaand we get poppy kind of immediately. But this song makes me so happy and push through whatever I can. It’s also one of my punching bag songs.

Manhattan by Sara Bareilles 

There is something about Sara Bareilles’ music, and it only gets better the more I listen to it. This song is so sad and powerful, and it’s gorgeous. What’s funny is, I don’t write angst to sad music. But it feels so much better to listen to it. (Okay maybe a little, but it’s primarily to Damien Rice.)

Bright Lights and Cityscapes by Sara Bareilles

I could really just add this entire EP, but this song is my favorite. Even listening to this song makes me itch to write.

Fireflies by Ron Pope

Ron Pope is a Georgia transplant in Brooklyn, but I so loved him before that. He kept popping up on a Pandora playlist of mine, to the point I had to buy his CD. No regrets. It’s one of my favorite CDs to walk home to as well. His live album is my first go to for anytime I need to buckle down and focus on something.

Crystalize by Lindsey Stirling

Occasionally I need music that doesn’t have words, especially when I’m struggling with getting them out. I love movie soundtracks, but those can also occasionally be too distracting. If you haven’t listened to Lindsey Stirling, take a minute and try. I saw her in concert last year, and she’s amazing. AMAZING.

Alien by Sebastian Pigott

This reminds me — I need to see if I can find more of his music. This song is one that I use when I am writing relationship conflict. I think it comes from his character Kai on Being Erica, which is only how I know this Canadian singer.

Never Leave LA by Emily Kinney

Did you know that Beth from Walking Dead could really sing and had put out CDs? I have a good collection of her music. She did some live singing on her interview with Chris Hardwick on The Nerdiest, and I loved it. It’s good dialogue writing music, good snarky (or super adorably cute) music.

I Should Go by Levis Kreis

So much angst.

and the final song:

New York by Snow Patrol

I give up trying to understand my taste in writing music.

Of course my play list is much longer than this, and gets even more embarrassing. Does anyone else find themselves having a “type” of music for writing?

Top Ten Tuesdays: OTP

3743c-toptentuesday

I am (almost cliché-ingly) anti-Valentine’s Day. In middle school I would wear an anti-Valentine’s Day outfit (primarily black…I was a weird kid), but would also get a little something for my friends. I think I’ve only had a date once on Valentine’s Day, and that was my senior year of high school. I also remember my favorite Valentine’s Day, which ended with me getting off work, eating crappy frozen pizza, and watching a crappy movie with a good roommate/friend of mine. I also am very anti-February, even though it’s my birthday month. So far it has been a good February, but I remember laughing on the 1st for every Facebook post I’ve made being essentially “Can I just skip February?”

And so, I almost skipped The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday today, as it is a Valentine’s Day freebie. Even looking at my list of read books, I’m just going “uggggh. Love. I have no OTPs or love related things to say.”

oodjb_f-thumbnail-100-0

I know I am being ridiculous. While I am eternally single (which is 80% by choice, mind you), I have a great base of friends that has always shined on Valentine’s Day. Part of me wants to do my top ten favorite friendships, but that does seem a bit of a cop-out. So this week I am doing my top ten OTPs, focusing on those in books (or this would turn into an entire Jack/Ianto rant.

 

ianto-and-jack-tv-couples-908105_1680_946
My restraint, guys. Be proud.

 

Or an Olicity rant.)

oliver-felicity-arro
Swoon.

Okay. On to my literary OTPs now, ahem.


 

10. Rory / Jess Stephen – Shades of London series

15_mu_awkwardhug
Taken from Maureen Johnson’s website, but created by Cassandra Jean

Okay, I am constantly listening to the Gilmore Guys these days, as I try to catch up to where they’re currently recording. Super love these guys – they definitely hit their stride in season 4 and have some great insight. And so almost every time I see “Rory,” I see “Jess” (yes, always Team Jess.)

Anyways, I love the Shades of London series, and I felt that Rory and Stephen’s relationship is  quite organic, to the point that I thought it was unrequited love for a while. Is there fan fiction? I should so look up this….

9. Lily / Minty Fresh – Grim Reaper series

This relationship is never really featured in the series, but I love that it was hinted at in the first book, and the second book takes place after they’ve broken up (and MF has left a sobbing voicemail on Lily’s answering machine.) They are very balancing and understand each other and genuinely crack me up.

8. Jessica / Marcus – Jessica Darling series

WHOA. DID ANY ONE ELSE KNOW THIS IS GOING TO BE A MOVIE?

I so love Jessica and Marcus, minus Perfect Fifths. I think they are a great example of the bad boy, sheltered girl combo, with the bad boy being a secret genius, and a good representation of young love. And then the 5th book kind of ruins it. I think it’s the dual view points and it just wasn’t an organic way to get these two back together. I’ve always related to Jessica, and I could have been just as happy if they went on. But these two are a great, realistic first love.

7. Sirius Black / Remus Lupin – Harry Potter series 

Wait – this isn’t canon?

tumblr_n2n5fmcxn81t4ut69o1_500
It should be. LOOK at how happy of a family it would be!

Don’t get me wrong, I kind of adore Lupin/Tonks together too. I blame this on a fan fiction I read around the time the 5th book came out called “After the End(I have to refind the link, but if you haven’t read it and you’re curious, I’ll totally send it on.) In the ff, they aren’t a couple, but the innuendos and worry are so wonderful in that story.

6. Makino / Domyouji – Hana Yori Dango

hana-yori-dango1

I never finished the manga (I’m so bad at finishing anything in a graphic novel form) and so this might be cheating. And yes, he is absolutely terrible to her prior to their falling in love. And yes, I know this. But I just love their story.

5. Cather / Levi – Fangirl

tumblr_npg1c9w3ys1r5o40ko1_1280

I am adding this one probably because it’s the last book I’ve read, and I haven’t been able to start a book since. But as you can probably read from my review, I related way too much to Cather and would have LOVED to find my Levi! It was also the first couple I enjoyed reading about in one of Rowell’s books.

4. Mindy Kaling / BJ Novak – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me / Why Not Me

mindy-kaling-bj-novak

I KNOW these are real people. But you listen to these two talk about each other, tweet at each other…I mean, they have the best of friendship, and I’m ready for them to just get married. My OTP in real life, which I came to realize by reading both of Mindy Kaling’s books. Ugh. At the very least, I love how supportive they are of each other and if they don’t ever get together, then I can at least point to them going “hey. Platonic male/female friendships are the best.”

3. Tris / Four – Divergent

movie-still-tris-and-four-37365629-4883-3571

The Divergent series has flaws, but what it did well was have a relationship that any flaws involving it had nothing to do with another boy/girl triangle. Both of their insecurities are internal and real, not stupid jealousy or “which guy do I love?” It allowed for the story to actually revolve around the problem at hand, rather than a teenage love story. I again have another fan fiction that rewrote the 3rd book and actually kept their relationship pretty solid for most of the story.

2. Saul / Lizzy – We’re Alive

 

Oh man. I am kind of cheating here as We’re Alive is a podcast first and foremost, but it is 1. a survival story and 2. it’s on Goodreads. But seriously, if you haven’t listened to it, you are MISSING OUT. It’s a zombie podcast that’s told over 4 seasons, and it’s so well done and produced. The beginning is a little rough, but they quickly fall into a good rhythm very quickly. Oh, you are zombie’d out? WELL GUESS WHAT. These zombies are different. There are different kinds and different levels of intelligence – but how?

Saul and Lizzy meet in the first season. Saul immediately is attracted to her, and it takes Lizzy a little while longer to come around (okay, her boyfriend gets killed in front of her when we first meet her. I get it.)  Nate Geez and Blaire Wayland (nee Byhower – she married one of the podcast creators! Such a cute couple.) are the voice actors, and honestly, the whole cast is the reason I have a hard time with similar podcasts because it’s so good! They both grow through the war/invasion, and both are just amazing heroes. And their story is just so sad. Gah, okay. I am relistening to We’re Alive this month.

and 1. Tobias / Rachel – Animorphs 

day14
90s clothes, 90s tv. Also, Brooke Nevin is never anyone else but Rachel to me.

My first OTP ever, from when I was in 4th grade. I so should have realized early in life that I am so about torn/damaged couples and the like. I mean, how much more of a weird relationship can you get if one of the shippers is a BIRD? But really, over the entire series, Rachel gets more and more blood thirsty and ruthless, but this relationship is a constant for them both. I was so happy with Tobias was able to morph again.


 

 

Okay, I also can’t get away from thinking about some of my favorite friendships, especially as that’s what Valentine’s Day has always been for me. So below are my top 4 favorite friendships, again just from literature.

Win/Myron – Myron Bolitar series

If you haven’t read any of Harlan Coben’s books, and you like a good mystery book, give them a shot. These two are polar opposites in some ways (Win is a sociopath, cold blooded killer, Myron is an overly emotional sarcastic ex-basketball star). But if one needs the other, they are there instantly. In fact, the last Myron book  (Live Wire) there is a meta moment of Win holding a gun to Harlan Coben and telling him to give Myron a break. But there is a new one coming out soon!

Ron/Hermione/Harry – Harry Potter Series

These three love each other and are there for each other, despite all of the fights and flaws. I may not necessarily agree with the love relationships in these books, but I do love these three. (To the point that I am tearing up. What is up with me?)

Beth / Jen – Attachments

You can literally see my rant on this here.

Jake / Marco – Animorphs

Again, Animorphs is one of the first books I ever geeked out about. Maybe my mom remembers a series I geeked out before, but I don’t I ran around the playground pretending to be Animorphs with my friends and ALMOST didn’t read Harry Potter when someone told me it was better. And Jake and Marco are very much one of the best bro-mances ever. They almost remind me of modern day Captain America and Iron Man, even.

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie Week

3743c-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and ran by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie week, which I am always hesitant about! But I recently bought a book of an essays, and realized that I am trying to read more collections, rather than novels. I have a goal to read 12 anthologies this year, and I might loop essay collections into that group. Plus, essay collections can have a bad connotation, and I think everyone should give them a shot.

I also tried to avoid anything too memoir-ish, such as Felicia Day’s book (which I totally plan on reading.) I own a few of these too, so it’ll be more cleaning out my “Own yet haven’t read” shelf.

I also put together my 2016 Book Challenge page, as well as starting to decide what books I want to read for it. If you have any recommendations, please leave me a comment on the page! I like feeling like I’m organizing my year, plus reading some books that aren’t just novels, with a particular love for YA Lit.


 

  1. Encounter by Milan Kundera

    10680203

    The Unbearable Lightness Of Being is one of my favorite novels. I own at least four other Kundera novels, and stumbled across this book the other day at B&N. I really need to stop going into that store.

  2. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

    18143905

    I bought this book on a whim back in 2014. This is a posthumous collections of a young woman who died far too early. I know I’ll cry when I read this book, which might be why I have put it off so long. This will not be a subway book for sure.

  3. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

    18813642
    This book was recommended by Bustle for their reading challenge, and the synopsis was intriguing. Feminism is a hot button right now, and while I classify myself as a feminist, I don’t actually feel I know enough to have a well educated conversation on the topic. Thus, I shall educate myself this year.

  4. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

    18528190
    I legitimately cannot remember why I fell in love with the idea of this book, but it’s another one I own. I started reading it in 2015 actually, but at the time my reading was more focused on getting me through an hour on a treadmill. This isn’t the book for that. It starts with an introduction where a man is trying to describe a book topic that he clearly hadn’t read or knew anything about to the author….who was the author of the book.

  5. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

    23453112
    Another book I own and purchased on a whim. And I absolutely love books on dating and romance. I read a book a few years ago called Data, which was all about a woman using math to do online dating. Any book that can help me decide (a) if I want to be single, and (b) if I decide I don’t want to be, how to help me find a man, I am on board with.

  6. Knitting Pearls: Writers Writing About Knitting edited by Ann Hood

    24724586
    I do not own this book (haha!) but I love the idea. I don’t knit, but I love crocheting. I did learn when I broke my arm as part of OT, but I could not get the hang of it. This book seems wonderfully girlie, plus a way for so many people of different backgrounds to come together on something that is so personal. Wonderful.

  7. 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time To Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children and Theatre by Sarah Ruhl 

    20613666
    When I bought the Kundera collection, this was the other book I debated for a few minutes. Sara Ruhl is a modern day playwright and a mother of three. The collection wavers between trivial/minimal family things to larger, cultural concepts.

  8. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace

    6748
    One of my best friends read this book last year and recommended it to me because there is an essay on tennis. I’m not sure if she finished the book and enjoyed it, but it instantly went on my TBR list at the recommendation. I don’t know much about the author, other than he committed suicide in 2008 and wrote Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. It’ll be good to explore a new author.

  9. I Was Told There’d be Cake by Sloane Crosley

    2195289
    …I just realized that this author makes a brief appearance on Gossip Girl in season 5. The title of this collection is just wonderful. This is probably too memoir-ish, but whoops.

  10. Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith

    6425404
    I’m not sure who recommend this book to me, but I am so glad they did. Zadie’s influences are wonderful, and her novel White Teeth has been recommended to me a few times.

I hope that if you thought essays were boring before, you looked at this list and realized they can actually be fascinating concepts. If you have a favorite collection of essays, please let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Additions

Ah yes, it is Tuesday, which means it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday, led by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a dangerous one for me, as it is the last 10 books added to my TBR list. It’s dangerous because looking at everyone’s list is going to cause mine to grow! I decided to leave out continuations, and focus on one-offs or the starts of series.

3743c-toptentuesday

Book 1: After the Apocalypse, by Maureen F McHugh

11249375

I (stupidly) ran into The Mysterious Bookshop yesterday, wanting to check out the store with the largest Sherlock Holmes collection. It’s a beautiful, eclectic store, with floor to ceiling bookshelves. I ended up grabbing two books— this one being the surprise grab. Maureen explores the catastrophes of 21st century life and what follows after. The first short story is about zombies — I was sold on buying it. I think this will satisfy the Bustle Reading Challenge Book 14 — Read a work of post-apocalyptic fiction written by a woman.

Book 2: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

17262540

Oh, I don’t know if I’ll actually ever read this. A podcast I enjoy reviewed it, and I decided to listen to it while going through their back catalogue. It is literally Star Wars, told in iambic pentameter, with a Shakespearian tone. And the author has done all the first 6! It’s not a long read – 174 pages – so I might pick it up one rainy day.

Book 3: Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

3213286

I adore Maureen Johnson, which is why this book ended up on my list. It’s a Christmas novella collection, which makes me feel like it is a little more than just simple fluff. Anyways, this is one I’ll probably pick up in November or December.

Book 4: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

12043771

An interesting take on a zombie apocalypse — the main character is looking to get bitten. This is just another YA book that’s ended up on my list, but I’m surprised I missed this series back in 2012. I think this satisfies my Bustle Reading Challenge book 16 – Read the first book in a series you’ve never read.

Book 5: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

6457229

So, I’ve been on a Rick Yancey kick. I was impressed with the 5th Wave and the Infinite Seas (ugh I know, I need to review it) so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this book ended up on my list. I really am not sure what it’s even about — actually just reading the summary for the first time. But it’s about monsters and seems a bit like Frankenstein, so I’m game.

Book 6: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston 

21524446

Everyone was raving about this book in 2015. It’s not on my immediate TBR list, but it’s one I’ll definitely check out.

Book 7: Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

25814512

I have this ARC from NetGalley. It’s a WWII based period book based in London, that seems to be getting good reviews. I frequently feel I need to read more adult books, rather than YA books. I haven’t read Chris Cleave’s other book, but it also seems to have great reviews.

Book 8: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, an anthology

19364719

An anthology of YA writers doing horror stories. I love the idea. Marie Lu, Carrie Ryan, Jay Kristoff — this might be my February or March anthology collection. I am looking forward to it for sure.

Book 9: Made for You by Melissa Marr

20419003

Melissa Marr is an author that’s been on my TBR list, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a book. I’m not 100% sure why or how this book ended up my list (I never know why half the time. But this is labeled as a “twisted southern gothic tale” so it’s of my usual genre.

Book 10: Jewel of the Thames by Angela Misri

20418852

I actually have a signed copy of this book, that I picked up at the Mysterious Bookstore yesterday. It was on my TBR list prior to then too of course. It’s yet another sequel or rewriting of Sherlock Holmes, where Portia Adams has inherited 221 Baker Street. I love the cover — it’s simply beautiful!

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Resolutions

3743c-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and ran by The Broke and the Bookish. Here’s to the first one of  2016! This week’s topic is Resolutions, understandably, as it is the first of the year. I am a huge fan of resolutions — I make them in January, and I tend to re-evaluate and make new ones in June/July.

1. Read 60 books this year.

My highest count since I started logging on Goodreads is 54 books. It was 2010, so I was finishing my last year of college and competing against my mother and Momo for who could read the most books (and most pages.) Last year I read 50. I feel like 60 is doable. I didn’t read any re-reads last year, so I’m debating whether or not the inevitable re-reads (a series I love is putting out a new book and I haven’t read the series since 2009) will be in 60.

2. Read more graphic novels and comics.

I’m not sure I will count any of these towards my book goal. I’ve collected comics, sure — I own all of Deadpool’s comics (prior to 2015) in e-format. I have the Spider Gwen series, plus the new Deadpool series, (THE NEW SPIDER GWEN VARIANT FOR NEXT WEEK’S COMIC IS BOTH SPIDER GWEN AND DEADPOOL!) plus Web Warriors and Sega (finally). Plus I have all the Walking Dead comics in e-format up to some point (can’t remember). It’s time for me to actually read them….

color-your-own-deadpool
I have never needed something so much.

3. Get quicker on my reviews.

Starting this blog had several reasons behind it. The main reason is that I picked up a book, read the description, thought I might try it, looked on Goodreads to add it, and turns out I had read it and hated it. I don’t remember it at all. A blog gets me writing more, reading more, and keeping track of what the heck I’ve read (and a way to hopefully remember it.)

4. Join a few book challenges this year.

Why not? My reading used to be much more diverse, thanks to school reading mostly, and I need to get back to that. I’ll decide on 2-3 by the end of the week.

5. Read more anthologies – aim for one a month.

I have a decent collection of them — I need to read them! January I have Cranky Ladies of History on my list. I have at least 3 more

6. Write more in general.

I’m setting a word count each month and going to try to meet or beat it. Building a habit and all! January’s goal is 9K. I am going to build up to 50K.

7. Don’t fear the DNF.

Seriously, if I don’t like a book, I am going to try not to finish it. There are too many books out there for me to be dragging through any book.

8. Organize my Goodreads account bookshelves. 

They’re not cleaned up well, nor are all the books as organized as I would want them to be. Plus I have two different kinds of “to be read” lists and neither make sense anymore.

9. “Compete” in both Camp NaNoWriMo and actual NaNoWriMo. 

I only won July’s Camp NaNo last year, and that was by the skin of my teeth. I plan on doing 25K in April and July, and then the 50K in November.

crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76

10. Consider purging books.

Don’t look smug, Ma. (She recommended I consider giving away some of my books in order to make more room in my new Brooklyn-sized apartment.) But really, she is right. I have a ton of books I’ve read and don’t plan on rereading, plus a ton of books I never actually plan on reading. I may even advertise them on my blog.

creative-bookshelves-11

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Under My Tree

ae7e6-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is “Books I wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year.”

I almost didn’t participate in this week’s meme, as I tend to buy books I want frequently. But then I remembered that Santa is magical and could totally bring me books that don’t exist!

creepy-santa
Yes, Santa is creepy here, but not too many Santa winking gifs in life 😦 

I only did 5, mostly because I’m writing this instead of doing things I need to be, and because I couldn’t think of a ton more. So below is my list of books that I would want, whether or not they exist!


1. A Prequel Series to Harry Potter

I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling! And I know I’m not the only one. First of all, I am SUPER EXCITED to hear more about The Cursed Child, but I would love a series about Harry’s parents getting in the war — I am guessing that generation had to grow up quickly too. Or more about McGonagall, or really anyone. This is one of the few series where I would not grown at the novellas or continuations. MILK IT, JO. (And seriously you are wonderful, thank you.)

2. The Next Book in the Shades of London series

So I know I’ll get this one eventually, but I doubt it’ll be a 2016 purchase. But I kind of need to know what happens next!

3. A Book that creeped me out as much as Christopher Pike 

After my Goosebumps days, I read a ton of Christopher Pike books. I can’t remember where I got the first one…or even which one was my first one. But they were wonderfully creepy to my middle school self. So creepy, that I actually could not finish Monster. It creeped me out so much that I actually had to give the book away to get some distance. I never tried to read it again, partially because I know it wouldn’t scare me this much (same reason I won’t go see my hometown library — it will ruin the memory.)

4. A Cookbook For One With No Leftovers 

Maybe this exists already? I don’t know. I just want a cookbook of good meals for one person that doesn’t leave me with leftovers. I’m not a big fan of leftovers, which leads to a lot of waste (I’m trying; I am!) or take out.

5. My Own Book, Finished and Bound!

Not that I would read it, but it would be fun to see. Which book idea though?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Books

3743c-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly listed hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week top is 2016 “debut” novels, but I’m going to ignore the debut part of that….so here are the top ten books I’m looking forward to in 2016!

1) A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

The sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. I’ve read a small portion that she’s put out, and it’s fabulous. And again the cover is gorgeous AGAIN:

A Gathering of Shadows Final

BLACK LONDON IS BACK. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN?! Eeeeeeee. If you haven’t figured it out, A Darker Shade of Magic is probably the best book I read this year.

2) Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

So I haven’t posted my review for book one, The Red Queen yet, but it was definitely a good one. I enjoyed it immensely, and I like that the cover theme is similar to the first book (and no teen model in a fancy dress. I’m looking at you, The Selection series. And speaking of….

 23174274

3) The Crown by Kiera Cass

I’m going to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this series, and I’m even less of a fan of the author. It should have ended at book 3. But this is apparently the last one, and dammit, I’m all about finishing series. And I kind of just want to know who she ends up with. But if it doesn’t end with this one, then I’m done. No True Blood series for me. Look, these books are easy and light to read. But mostly, I’m ready for them to be done.

26074181

4) Remembrance by Meg Cabot

There is going to be a book 7 of The Mediator series?! What the hell?! I’m game for this! I’ll be rereading the series in either January or February, because it’s been a few years (re: 2009) since I read the other 6 books. Unless someone has a lengthy synopsis for the first 6? But seriously, I loved this series.

17302879

5) The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Okay, you can’t judge a book, but the cover, but this cover is so pretty! I’ve seen some ARC reviews that seem positive, plus it’s a fairy tale re-telling. I’m game. But seriously, LOOK AT THIS COVER:

23299513

6) Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I love that YA is big in fairy tale re-telling. This is an Alice in Wonderland, Queen of Hearts background story. I haven’t read anything by Marissa Meyer yet, but I respect her work and it’s on my forever TBR list. This may be the first book. (Cover isn’t out yet, but I love her Lunar Chronicles series covers).

7) Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben

Look My. Coben. I love your books. I have since I was in high school. Tell No One is forever on my top ten list, and Myron Bolitar helped change my want list in a man. So…..can you release a new Bolitar novel? Please? Either way, I’m excited to read the next stand-alone book.

8) Passenger by Alexander Bracken

I can’t figure out exactly what categories this book falls into, but I like the idea of it. While I haven’t read any of her other books, this one sounds fascinating.

20983362

9) And I Darken by Kiersten White

GoT (which I don’t watch or read) but in the Ottoman empire, with Vlad the Impaler. Look, Twilight ruined vampires, but I still love them. And if this can make them freaky and good again, I’ll try it.

25324111

10) See How They Run by Ally Carter

Okay, so I haven’t read the first book of this series. But I loved her spy book series, and I’ve got her first book. And if they’re anything alike, I’ll enjoy it.

246448141

I’m looking forward to 2016 reads! The subway is definitely going to need some distractions……

 

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books to Film Adaptations

Broken Record Moment: I’m so glad to be able to settle down and write a Top Ten Tuesday post!

I’ve actually been debating whether or not to do The Broke and the Bookish‘s Secret Santa this year too. It seems like a great idea! But as those of you who know me well know, I am terrible at remember Christmas cards, much less anything else. Has anyone participated? Is it as cool as I think it would be?

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is film adaptations of books I am looking forward to or haven’t seen. I decided to go with film adaptations I’m looking forward too, as well as movies that are coming out that I now want/need to read the book.

1. Deadpool – February 12, 2016

Okay, I tried to keep any type of comic book or graphic novels off my list, but I absolutely love Deadpool! He’s my favorite … superhero… and one of two comic books that I’ve actually ever kept up with. PLUS, the movie is to have an R rating, which makes it that much better. Seriously, I will have the best Valentine’s Day date (probably with myself but WHO CARES) that will include seeing this movie. Even though I’m not certain I love Ryan Reynolds, it’s going to take a lot for me to hate this movie.

Please don’t let me hate this movie.

2. Allegiant – March 18, 2016

Okay, these movies suck. They really, really do. Which makes me sad, because I actually really enjoyed the series. I read it for the first time this year, then read a pretty decent fan fiction that kept me from hating the ending. But three things about this movie help make it onto my list:

  • It was filmed in Atlanta, and I’m all for supporting more movies being filmed in Atlanta
  • The director and author have both come out saying they will not change the ending of the book. Extreme kudos for not caving on that front.
  • Theo James.

Yes I am female and occasionally shallow and I find Theo James super pretty:

Hey may or may not be the physical inspiration of my lead NaNo character.

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – February 5, 2016

I am actually not a big Jane Austen fan. I’m sorry, I know, it makes me a terrible female. I love Northanger Abbey and that’s about it. At the same time, I kind of love Pride and Prejudice adaptations. I love Lost in Austen (if you haven’t seen it, it’s full of wonderful silliness and a great cast) and Bridget Jones Diary. I actually haven’t finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I enjoy what I have read. I think I ended up putting it aside because I was tired of zombies at the moment. But the cast looks fantastic! And Matt Smith!

4. The 5th Wave – January 15, 2016

I’ll admit, this isn’t a book I’ve read. I actually hadn’t heard of it until I saw the preview. It’s officially on my “to read” list now. I think it’s because I super love Chloë Moritz. I’m not a huge alien story person — I mean, they don’t usually make it to the top of my list. But I’m willing to give this one a shot.

5. The BFG – July 1, 2016

Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl? I had a copy of Matilda  that ended up falling apart. And The Witches was one I read frequently as a kid! I know there has been a movie made of The BFG, but I’ll take another one! There really is next to nothing out about this movie except a date, so I’m hoping they stick to it. And Harriet Jones, Prime Mister is one of the lead voices.

6. Victor Frankenstein – November 25, 2015

Okay, to be honest, every time I see a preview for this movie I flip flop. But Mary Shelley, guys! I can’t sit here and pretend I’ll support every female writer (I’m looking at you, 50 Shades of Grey author), but I will support those who write good gothic literature. Plus, it’s Daniel Radcliffe looking like this:

You make Snape proud, Alternate Universe Harry.

I’m waiting for some reviews to come in before I commit to this one, especially since Mockingjay and The Night Before come out this weekend.

7. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – 2016

This book was silly and cheesy, but I liked it. It’s chick lit and YA at it’s best, and I’m a sucker for a cute love story. It makes me wish my own was a little less dramatic and more dramatic at the same time. But that’s a conversation for a different day. This book was one of the first ARCs I ever received, long before I knew what ARCs were, and my favorite part of it is the cover:

I haven’t read any of her other books, mostly because reading love stories make me sad at times. But I’m willing to give her books another go. And I like the lead actress in this movie.

8. How to be Single – February 12, 2016

I’ll admit, this book is on my bookshelf that’s hidden in my room so that it never ever comes up in conversation. I never read Eat, Pray, Love, but I feel like this might have been my version of the book. I expected this book to be about a woman exploring different cultures and explaining how single women are perceived and how they act in different cultures. Alas, this is a bit more of a love story than factual, but that’s okay. It makes me happy to be single. I’m too much of a lot of things — independent, picky, stubborn — to really think I can find someone. Anyways, I’ll see this movie because I read the book, though I am super weary of the leading lady.

9. His Dark Material (or The Golden Compass) – TBA

I KNOW this isn’t a film adaptation, but if someone is going to do it right, it’s going to be the BBC! No seriously, I’m super excited about this, and we literally know nothing. Nothing about the cast, nothing about how long of a series, nothing! So, feel the pressure from the fans, BBC One!

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – March 2016

This book has been on my “To Read” for a long time, and now it’s a series. I plan to read it before seeing the movie, which seems to have an amazing cast! I’m weary about Tim Burton being the visual director, but his ex-wife and son Depp don’t seem to be involved at all. It’d be fun if this was filmed entirely in black and white, no? (it’s not, I know).

***

Have I missed any exciting ones? I know I had a few runner ups: Live by Night, Beauty and the Beast, and Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. I’d be happy to add more to my list!

Top Ten Tuesday: If You Liked These Mysterious Books…

3743c-toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is incredibly hard, and I’m not 100% I’m doing it right. BUT OH WELL. The theme is essentially recommendations, whether it be a book or an author. My original idea was to take classics and providing a modern book, whether it be loosely related or a retelling or whatever. This slightly morphed into books with some kind of mystery or paranormal element…but at the end of the day, I’m calling this the list of books that I would read or have read in October, for whatever loose Halloween related tie.

Dante’s Inferno – Linden Hills by Gloria Naylor

I love Dante’s Inferno. I’ve read it multiple times, and I think I’ve gone through two copies, with my current one being so highlighted that it’s probably time for another one. Linden Hills is a modern retelling of Dante’s Inferno, setting the circles of hell in a modern day black suburbia. The further down the hill Lester and Willie (two unemployed poets) go, the richer the residents become and the lower their morals are. I’m trying really hard not to reread any books this year, but this book is definitely up for a re-read soon.

Paradise Lost by John Milton– Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

I confess things frequently on this blog. Today’s confession: I totally confused Milton’s Paradise Lost with Dante’s Inferno when I picked this book up. It also made bits hard to understand, but after I realized I mixed them up, it made so much more sense. I bought and read this book last April while I was in NYC. I fully don’t understand how anyone survives the subways without a book. This book is about Professor David Ullman, the leading authority on demonic literature, focusing on Paradise Lost. He embarks on a journey to find his daughter, one that will encompass all he knows about Paradise Lost in order to figure out which demon has kidnapped his daughter.

Hamlet by Shakespeare – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Hamlet is not my favorite Shakespearean play. And if I am going to read a Renaissance drama, it’s not going to be Shakespeare. But if you have read Hamlet, you may remember these two characters. This is a  play that discusses what Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two childhood friends of Hamlet, were doing while not on screen. Their ending isn’t a surprise if you’ve read Hamlet.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Jekyll and Hyde is a novella written in 1885. If you don’t know what it’s about, well, I don’t know why you’re reading a book blog. You’ve obviously been living under a rock. While Shutter Island has a bit of a different story line, I think they’re on par with each other. Both are gothic stories discussing man’s fear of not understanding the human mind. (Okay, I might have written a paper comparing these, don’t judge). Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t a bad movie either.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Okay, honestly — any gothic novel can be put here, but I went with two novels written by women. Mary Shelley should be read by any female writer wanting to write paranormal or horror. And yes, I’m a firm believer she wrote Frankenstein. I’m not sure how to describe The Thirteenth Tale that doesn’t make me end in, BUT SERIOUSLY READ IT. Margaret Lea finds a letter outside her apartment. It’s a request from Vida Winter to help her write her biography. Stunned as she’s never read a book by Vida Winter, she picks up Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation, which strangely contains only 12 stories. What’s the 13th tale? This book is heavy and creepy, and one of the best books I’ve read. I really need to read her second book, Bellman & Black, but that’s a story for another day. It doesn’t have the best reviews.

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben

A stretch, a stretch! Why Bolitar over any other detective series?! But hear me out. Myron Bolitar is hilarious and sarcastic, and has two best friends, one of which is an ex-pro-wrestler named Little Pocahontas, and the other is Windsor Horne Lockwood, III – a rich psychopathic who helps keep Myron safe. He looks like a fit rich playboy, but don’t let him full you. So in a way, Myron is a bit like Sherlock and Watson…but the sociopathic, narcissistic character is Win? Yeah. My favorite Coben book is actually Tell No One, but this series is fun. For the most part, I can’t figure out all the twists, and you’ll frequently see background characters in multiple books, and occasionally they get their own book.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Northanger Abbey is one of two Jane Austen books I’ve finished. I can’t get into them. It’s her shortest book, and it’s so fun to read. I love Catherine Morland (especially Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan’s 2007 film). I mean, I get Catherine. She reads a book, then lets her imagination run away with her. Of course a guy in a creepy guy is going to want to kill her! She reads Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic novels, which I’ve tried and they’re fine. Castle of Otranto is the first known Gothic novel (a whopping 100ish pages) and is just as silly as Northanger Abbey. It’s not the best, but totally worth a shot.

The Da Vinci’s Code by Dan Brown – The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

CONSPIRARCY! MYSTERIOUS! SCANDALS WITH MAIL COMPANIES! A heroine with the most amazing name EVER! (Oedipa Maas, for the record). Okay, if you super loved The Da Vinci Code, you may not like The Crying of Lot 49. It’s the quintessential post modern book, so if you only read modern fiction, you will probably not agree with me. But seriously, give it a shot.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard – Chain Letter series by Christopher Pike

The Chain Letter series was published back in the 1980s. Does anyone else remember getting chain letters? Holy cow. Any ways, both books are similar fashion: an anonymous omnipresent figure is stalking a group of friends after they committed an unthinkable crime. If they don’t do as requested, bad things happen to them. I think Chain Letter is darker and knew when to end (after 2 books).

Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris  – The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

Hot dead guys? Hot dead guys! The Mediator series is actually about ghosts, not vampires, but I loved it. Again, it knew where to end! (Oh I said that, and apparently there is a 7th one. I’m going to have to re-read these books.) Anyways, The Mediator series is about a woman named Suze who can talks to ghosts, helping them move on. She’s also got a nineteenth century hottie living in her house.