The Mid-Year Freak Out! Book Tag

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I commandeered this book tag from Birdie Bookworm because it looked too good to not play along despite my not having been technically tagged. Birdie is one of my favorite sources for fun tags and book reviews. If you aren’t familiar with her blog yet, I implore you to get acquainted.

So anyway this tag is all about the midway point of the year in regards to all things books and reading. Lots of fun categories. Read to dig in?

1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017!

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This is kind of tough to choose but I’m going to go with Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It’s got a killer plot, lovable characters, a love story to indulge in, great writing, a surprise twist ending and it manages to touch on tough subjects without making you feel incapable of standing up afterwards.

2 – Your favorite sequel this year!

26074181The Crown by Kiera Cass is book 5 in the Selection series and it completely redeem the book before it which I think left everyone feeling kind of angsty and disappointed. This one totally brings this back around and right again and justifies book 4. If the last one left you with a bad taste in your mouth, fear not, book 5 will set things right and reredeem the whole series really.

3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to!

30653853The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli has been getting so much good buzz lately and I even own a copy! How have I not read this one yet? I think it deserves a spot on my nightstand immediately. I just need to remember to bring the darn book upstairs already.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year!

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There are a lot of good books on the horizon but I’m most excited for Renegades by Marissa Meyer which is coming out in November of 2017 which is feeling impossibly far away right now.

“The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.”

5 – Your biggest disappointment!

31285568Twisted Palace by Erin Watt is book three in a series that I started out being quasi-obsessed with and then for some reason this book just fell horribly flat for me to the point that I didn’t even bother to finish it despite a lot of loose ends left untied I suddenly found that I didn’t even care anymore.

6 – Biggest surprise of the year!

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I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. As much as you can “enjoy” a book this heavy. The varied narrators forced me to get inside the minds of people from many different walks of life, even when I didn’t want to, even when it was uncomfortable. I liked that every person in this story was coming from a different place, had different things going for them or against them, but none of them were perfect, none of them felt like they had the upper hand in life. This is an emotional and uncomfortable story but it was also important and I’m so glad that I read it.

7 – Favorite new to you or debut author!

Jenny Colgan was a new for me author this year and has quickly become a favorite. I read The Bookshop on the Corner and Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe in quick succession and I’m eager to read more of her books soon. She writes sweet romances that are perfect for anyone obsessed with books, desserts or the UK or just a good love story. I just need to decide which of her books to read next.

8 – Your new fictional crush!

28226592Sam from Wanderlost by Jen Malone is kind of all the things. His extreme optimism and confidence in every situation is a perfect contrast to the book’s main character, Aubree. He’s also kind, funny, a little geeky and super sweet. His character was one of my favorite things about this entire story.

9 – New favorite character!

25795281I guess it should come as no real surprise that I adored Charlotte Holmes in A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro almost as much as I adore Sherlock Holmes. I would love to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock in the same room as Charlotte. That interaction would basically complete me as a person. Charlotte is a lot like Sherlock in so many ways but she’s also a little bit vulnerable and a teenage girl which causes people to underestimate her even more than the character she’s based on.

10 – A book that made you cry!

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A lot of the books I’ve already mentioned had their tear jerker moments, especially Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. In the interest of attempting to mention another book though, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead also qualifies as not remotely a laugh a minute, definitely going to make you go looking for tissues.

11 – A book that made you happy!

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Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer made me happy just in that it felt like getting together with old friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. And thanks to the graphic novel format I got to literally see them which was such a treat. This is a total must read for anyone obsessed with The Lunar Chronicles like me. It stars our favorite android sidekick Iko but features cameos from literally everyone.

12 – Your favorite book to movie adaptation you saw this year!

9780525435006_p0_v1_s192x300I know it’s a miniseries and not a movie but I feel like I have to give props to The Handmaid’s Tale here because it’s incredible and perfect and moving and painful and funny and just literally all of the things. You need to read it and watch it basically immediately.

13 – Favorite book post you’ve published this year!

1st2ndreadingThis post about the books that 1st and 2nd graders are reading was a lot of fun to write. I was the class librarian for my daughter’s class last year and after observing their reading habits for the school year I decided to share my findings. If you have a 1st or 2nd grader looking for a new book or series to devour, definitely check out my list. And if you have more suggestions leave them in the comments section below!

14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year!

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber came in one of my Owl Crate boxes this year. I still need to actually read this one but I’m blown away by the gorgeous cover at the very least. Birdie picked it for this category, too, so clearly great minds think alike.

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

15 – What are some books that you need to read by the end of the year?

I always have too many books on my TBR pile so that kind of question is daunting to say the least. I mentioned a few in the categories above and my bookshelves and Amazon wishlist could add dozens more to the list. I’ll stick with some of the Kindle editions I purchased this year for my answer. Here are six books I’ve bought for my kindle this year that I still need to read:

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider | Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco | Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher | Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom | The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Map to the Stars by Jen Malone

Tag, you’re it:

A Book. A Thought. | Opinionated Book Lover | Hardcovers & Heroines

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf | Let Me Give You Some Advice | Girl, Defined

Birdie Bookworm says the secret to her book tags is to go through her notifications and choose six blogs she has recently chatted with. I’m going to do the same. If you loathe tags, feel free to ignore this. If you are like me and sadded to find your name isn’t on the list, OMG YOU, TOO!!! I TAG YOU, TOO!!!!

Either way, let me know if you do decide to play along!

5 Exceptional Book to Movie Adaptations (a Listicle tag)

Birdie Bookworm nominated me for this Tag.  You might have noticed that I have a love for putting my thoughts into list form so this tag is totally up my alley! The tag was created by Not-So-Modern Girl. Make sure to check out her blog for more fun!

Rules

  • Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.
  • Tag the creator of the post (not-so-modern-girl!) so that I can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.
  • Nominate as many people as you want!
  • Set those people the subject/prompt of their listicle post!

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Birdie asked me to share with you guys 5 Exceptional Book to Movie Adaptations. This is no easy feat. I think we book lovers can agree that movie adaptations tend to be disappointing. But here are 5 adaptations that I personally enjoyed.

  1. 51MIi4p2YyL._SX418_BO1,204,203,200_The Harry Potter series has not always been perfect as a film series. It’s heart breaking to see important characters and plot points left out. But on the whole the film franchise totally captures the magic of the books. The only downside is that I made the mistake of showing my children the movies first and now they don’t want to read the books because “they already know what happens.” My heart – it can’t take it! And yet, I totally get it. I try to avoid film adaptations if I’m still planning to read the book because usually it’s a lost cause if I don’t.
  2. downloadMary Poppins as a movie might not have impressed the author, PL Travers, but time has shown that audiences disagree with her on this one and adore this movie unconditionally. Myself for sure included. Who doesn’t know every single song? Who hasn’t been way too in love with Dick Van Dyke ever since? Who doesn’t secretly hope that Mary Poppins will show up and help raise their children? I’d settle for her room cleaning magic and that bigger on the inside purse at the very least! Yes, I think we can all agree that Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way and so is this movie.
  3. tumblr_oas7pj4KDu1vnn16oo1_500Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is both one of my favorite novels and one of my favorite movies. It’s all the things. It came into my life exactly the moment I needed it to and I consider both the book and the movie utter perfection. Vivian Leigh is Scarlett O’Hara. Clark Gable is Rhett Butler. Tomorrow is another day and Ashley was never really worth all of the fuss but we can’t help but love every minute of Scarlett’s obsession with him all the same.
  4. The-Princess-Bride-the-princess-bride-4640774-476-436The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a good book but I think the movie is actually even better. Maybe I’m biased because I saw the movie first (like 800 times). Maybe I’m biased because of my absolute adoration of Carey Elwes (he’s even better in Men in Tights!) but this is seriously a perfect movie (and a perfect story). It has everything – “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Revenge. Giants. Monsters. Chases. Escapes. True love. Miracles.”
  5. 9780525435006_p0_v1_s192x300I know it’s really a tv-series and not a movie but because it just came out and because it is #allthethings like the other titles on this list, I have to mention The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood which premiered on Hulu last week. There are 4 of 10 episodes available right now and they are perfection. Heartbreaking, soul clutching perfection. But perfection. Don’t watch this one before going to bed. Or right before going for a massage because you will feel raw and vulnerable and that’s like the opposite state of mind that you want when you are going for a massage. Watch it with a girlfriend in broad day light with wine and chocolate and time to discuss it at great length afterwards. And totally read the book!

This is by no means a comprehensive list – but they are 5 books that have been turned into excellent movies or tv series that I can vouch for having experienced both the book and the film. What books would be on your list?

Okay, I’m going to tag Kate @ Mom’s Radius, Alison @ Hardcovers & Heroines, Betsy @ Betsy’s Random Assortment of Thoughts and Kate @ Ex Libris Kate. And also YOU – if you are reading this and going “Oh man! I wanted to be tagged!” Consider yourself hearby tagged to respond to the following prompt:

5 Books You Think Everyone Should Read

The Nintendo Book Tag.

I nabbed this book tag from, who else, Birdie Bookworm. She’s like my new favorite tag pimp. That’s a thing, right? Anyway this one is all about Nintendo (nerds, rejoice). I’ll be honest, I’ve only owned two of these systems but I’m familiar with the product line and ready to dig in!

NES (Nintendo Entertainment System):
A classic you want to read.

51ml2vt0AFLA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – I’m basically the worst English major in the world when it comes to the lengthy list of classics I haven’t read yet. I’ve really enjoyed the Dickens that I have read so this one seems like a natural choice. And I’ve had it on my Kindle for ages, so.


SNES (Super Nintendo):
A sequel you liked more than the first.  (Can be a second book in a series.)

9462775The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson was the first book that came to mind because I remember thinking “Wow, I liked this one better than the first book and that almost never happens!” A quote from my review of the book adds, “Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.” I think the author was in such a good groove writing this one, but you definitely have to start with book one, no questions asked.


Nintendo 64:
A book that revolutionized the way you look at the world.

28765613Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult left a much bigger impression on me than I was expecting it to. It really got under my skin and surprised me in a lot of ways. This was a difficult book to read and a lot of the people in my book club that read it with me did not care for it but I’m glad I read it. I think I’m a better person for it – or at least a less naive person.


Gamecube:
A popular book that did not go over so well with you.

13449693The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater has a massive following and I think the blogiverse got my hopes up waaaaaay too high before I finally got a chance to read it. Something about the book kept me at arm’s length and I wasn’t able to really lose myself to the story. But to be fair, I didn’t dislike it nearly as much as I hated The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. So you can put the pitchforks away, promise.


Wii:
A new favorite book.

22840421My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows was the last book I loved so much that I started to get weird about it. You know the ones that you recommend so ferociously to people that they take a step back like they aren’t sure if maybe you are trying to sell them drugs or a Timeshare or something? Also why do so many of my favorite books have such preposterous premises. “It’s about Lady Jane Grey except not really and she falls in love with a horse – but it’s so romantic!”


Nintendo Power:
Favorite graphic novel series or a series you want to start.

513pp8o3c2l-_sx354_bo1204203200_I haven’t read a ton of graphic novels but I really want in on this whole series of classic book given the graphic novel treatment. My first choice would probably be A Wrinke in Time by Madeline L’Engle. The artwork looks way too cool and I think it would be a fun way to share some of my favorite stories with my kids.

 


Super Mario:
A character that you’d love to squish like a Goomba.

10964Jonathan Randall from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Just seeing the actor that portrays him in the miniseries, Tobias Menzies, sends me into a panicked frenzy. I’m so torn when it comes to this series because I loved so much of the first book / season and then that last scene with Jamie and Randall happened and I am basically scarred for life now. I’d like to squish that entire storyline like a Goomba.

 


Zelda:
A newer fantasy that you consider to be a modern classic.

Tbook one of the Lunar Chronicleshe Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer is such perfection. I could totally see it becoming a classic someday. Teenagers of the world would rejoice if this one became required reading. Book one is essentially a futuristic retelling of Cinderella and the series ends up retelling several classic fairy tales, weaving them all into an epic story of adventure and romance.


Samus-Aran:
Favorite Sci-Fi novel or one you want to read.

the girl with all the gifts

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey was such a good read. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started and I loved how the story seemed to kind of unfold itself as I read. The author did a great job of giving you just as much information as she wanted you to have as the story progressed. The characters were wonderfully fleshed out and the story lingered in my mind constantly throughout the day and probably will continue to do so for quite some time.


Pokemon:
Book editions that you want to collect.

61XCzUtRRQL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_I’m kind of obsessed with the Puffin in Bloom collection of novels like Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I’ll be honest, pretty much any pretty edition of Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice makes me want to buy it immediately which is fairly ridiculous but true. I also frequently find myself wanting to buy updated editions of the Harry Potter series, especially the illustrated editions – gah, gorgeous.


Donkey Kong:
A book with original characters.

16068905I’ll be honest, I really want to mention The Lunar Chronicles again. I think her characters are incredibly well written. Another favorite worth mentioning is basically any book by Rainbow Rowell because she really fleshes out all of her characters to the point that they are living and breathing inside of your heart. My personal favorite is Fangirl but they are all incredible.


Nintendo Fandom:
Favorite Nintendo game(s) or game.

I guess the Mario series in general but I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a big Nintendo fangirl. I like playing Smash Brothers with Dan and the kids but I’m such a button masher, I have no real skill at the game whatsoever. I just liked playing as Princess Peach.

I don’t like tagging people – but if you are reading this and it sounds super fun, then consider yourself tagged!

The Goodreads Book Tag.

I saw this Goodreads Book Tag over at A Book. A Thought and couldn’t resist playing along. I’ve been a Goodreads user since 2008 – that’s so long ago that I can’t quite remember not being a member (you can friend me here).

If you’ve never heard of them, it’s an online book community where you can keep a list of the books you are reading or want to read and connect with other book lovers and see what they are reading. They also have book giveaways, discussion groups, reading challenges and lots of other fun features.

Anyway, here is the book tag, all about your reading habits as viewed from your Goodreads.com Profile.


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What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of HyggeThe Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge by Pia Edberg

Great concept, kind of average book. I love the idea of hygge and enjoyed reading more about it but I found the book to be longer than it needed to be to get its point across. It almost could have existed as a short series of blog posts, but I did enjoy reading it and it was a short read, so I can’t complain too much. My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What are you ‘currently reading’?

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I actually have five books marked as ‘currently reading’ right now but I’ll be honest, I’m not actively reading all of them.

I was reading A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L’Engle last summer during swim lessons and the book is still in my beach bag waiting for pool-side reading time. I know I could have taken it out and kept reading it but I really enjoyed saving it as a book that only exists at the pool if that makes any sense.

My book club will be discussing The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson next month and I started reading it a couple of days ago because I anticipate it taking me awhile to get through. It’s nonfiction written in a more narrative style but his last book I still found a little “school history book” at times and struggled with. This one is better so far and the subject matter has me extremely intrigued so that will probably help.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and Roseblood by A.G. Howard are both books that I was basically halfway done with when I had to put them down for book club picks of previous months and for some reason I’ve had a hard time getting back into them now even though they are both very good books. I’m at a weird place with both of them in that I’m too far in to start over but it’s been long enough that the spell has worn off and I can’t just ease back in. We are at an impasse, you could say.

I’m not really reading A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallard yet – I opened it on my kindle today because I remembered I’d bought it on sale awhile back when I noticed a friend was reading it and I got excited and wanted to read the first few pages to decide if it should be my next read (answer: quite likely).

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

26245850Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, it was one of the books from the Book of the Month Club awhile ago and while I didn’t choose it as “my book” – I was interested in possibly reading it at some point. Here’s a description of the book:

“On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.”

Interesting to note, there are only 27 books in my “to-read” folder. I seem to use Amazon to organize my future reading goals / wish list and Goodreads to organize what I’m currently reading and what I finish / reviews of the books I read.

What book do you plan to read next?

27833670I’m hoping to get to at least one of the books I listed as “currently reading” that I haven’t finished yet, likely Roseblood or A Study in Charlotte. In May, my book club will be discussing Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, a kind of science fiction thriller about a man named Jason who wakes up to discover that his life is not the one he remembered as his own. “His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.” He has to figure out which world is the real one and what he can even do about it.

Do you use the star rating system?

Definitely, my average rating is 4.22. Most books that I really enjoy get a 4 star rating. Books I liked but found some flaws with get a 3. Books that I feel the need to squeal about to strangers get a 5. I think you can guess what books get a 2 or 1.

Are you doing a reading challenge?

Yes, I’ve been doing them for several years now. I’m a bookworm with limited reading time and tend to read around 20-30 books a year. I only challenged myself to 30 this year – I tried to shoot for 50 last year and didn’t come close. I much prefer setting goals that seem reachable and feeling way too proud of myself when I reach them. 30 will still be a push for me though as I average 2 books per month. I’ve read 5 books this years so far which puts me 2 books behind schedule.

Do you have a wishlist?

Not on goodreads, I keep my wish list on Amazon and I price watch it like a hawk because kindle editions are prone to popping up on sale for $1.99 all the time. It’s not often that it’s a book on my wish list, but it happens often enough that I’ve started saving all of the books I want under their kindle edition so I can quickly scan the list for big sales.

What book do you plan to buy next?

513pp8o3c2l-_sx354_bo1204203200_I don’t have any planned book purchases right now but the three that I’m probably most anxious for are actually all celeb memoirs that came out recently. I’m itching to read Carrie Fisher’s last book, The Princess Diarist. Lauren Graham and Anna Kendrick both wrote books recently as well that I’m eager to own a copy of. I also really want to get the graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle for the whole family.

Do you have any favorite quotes?

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

“Her majesty is one verb short of a sentence.”
― Jasper Fforde, Lost in a Good Book

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
― Elie Wiesel

“Never give us what we really want. Cut the dream into pieces and scatter them like ashes. Dole out the empty promises. Package our aspirations and sell them to us, cheaply made enough to fall apart.”
― Scott Westerfeld, So Yesterday

 

Who are your favorite authors?

My list of favorites on goodreads.com is kind of massive so I’m not going to share the whole thing. Some stand outs worth mentioning are (see the whole list here):

Marissa Meyer

Rainbow Rowell

Lisa Lutz

Jasper Fforde

 

Jane Austen

 

 

Stephanie Meyer

Scott Westerfeld

J.K. Rowling

Have you joined any groups?

I’m in 6 groups but I’m not terribly active in any of them if we’re going to be honest. Some of them were specific groups for an author I love, some are more open ended like the What Should I Read Next? group.

Do you think Goodreads could do better?

There’s always room for improvement. I wish they were slightly better integrated with Amazon – I’d love for all of my shelves on goodreads.com to appear on my kindle and vice versa. I’ve also found that sometimes the pages load pretty slowly compared to other websites. And I agree with A Book. A Thought. – half stars would be amazing!

Do you use goodreads? If you fill out the tag on your blog, let me know so I can check out your answers!

My Life in Books. a tag

Snagged this fun book tag from Birdie Bookworm, my new favorite tag supplier! 😉 I love when talking about myself and talking about books is combined, it’s basically a winning combination.


BOOK FOR EACH INITIAL

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These are all books I’ve read and loved.

 

J – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

E – Eating for Beginners by Melanie Rehak

N – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

N – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I – The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

F – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

E – The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

R – Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz


AGE – COUNT ALONG YOUR BOOKSHELF

51rVYKLHHjL._SX307_BO1,204,203,200_34 – The 34th book on my bookshelf right now is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, a book I’ve owned forever but haven’t gotten around to reading yet because I’m ridiculous. I hear mixed things about this classic – have you read it?


BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO

8683812The Paris Wife by Paula McLain gives me major wander lust. It wasn’t always an easy book to read (Hemingway was such a twat) but it definitely transported me. I’m every other stereotypical girl who dreams about Paris, but I also dream about London, Scotland, Sweden, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Australia… so. But Paris would be nice.


FAVORITE COLOR

My favorite color is kind of a teal blue / light blue. Coincidentally, some of my favorite books have been in this hue family.

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MOST DIFFICULTY READING

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is probably the one I complain about the loudest. Hawthorne could write an entire paragraph about a brick wall if you let him. I find that he is much better at writing short stories, in my humble opinion.


WHICH BOOK IN THE TBR PILE WILL YOU GET THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT FROM?

There are so many books on my pile right now but two that I’ve had marked as “currently reading” for an inordinate amount of time are Roseblood by A.G. Howard and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, both of which I was enjoying but had to put down for a book club pick and then never picked back up again because too much time had passed. It’s a little infuriating really. I’m too far in to start from the beginning but it’s been long enough that I can’t bring myself to just ease back into them.


Wanna play along? I’m not going to officially tag anyone but if this sounds fun to you, tag – you’re it! Let me know if you play along so I can come visit and read your answers.

Who Am I? tag

Totally ninja stealing this one from Kate @ Mom’s Radius because I never can resist an opportunity to talk about myself. If you play along, let me know in the comments section!

1. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF YOUR NAME?

According to Wikipedia, Jennifer is a Cornish form of Guinevere/Gwenhwyfar adopted into the English language during the 20th century. “Jennifer” may mean “white enchantress” or “the fair one”.

According to Urban Dictionary, Jennifer is a female name that people of America name their children. “Hey there is Jennifer over there. Lets name her Jennifer.

2. WHAT IS YOUR MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPE? (LINK)

INFP-I-DreamThe last time I took this quiz I got INFP, The Mediator.

Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better. While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine. Comprising just 4% of the population, the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration.

Famous INFPs include William Shakespeare, Johnny Depp, Anne of Green Gables and Sybil from Downton Abbey.

3. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?

70306ebfe9bccc9b7cd9379149776a6aThe Capricorn – The sign Capricorn is one of the most stable and (mostly) serious of the zodiacal types. These independent, rocklike characters have many sterling qualities. They are normally confident, strong willed and calm. These hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme persons, are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. Capricorn are reliable workers in almost any profession they undertake. They are the major finishers of most projects started by the ‘pioneering’ signs; with firm stick-to-it-ness they quickly become the backbone of any company they work for. (source)

I don’t know about unemotional and shrewd, but definitely hardworking, practical and responsible. I think a lot of those traits can be better explained by being an only child though.

4. WHAT HOGWARTS HOUSE WOULD YOU BE IN? (LINK)

PrintHUFFLEPUFF! 84%
Congratulations! You have been sorted into Hufflepuff, the house of loyalty, hard working, acceptance, and fairness. You are amongst other Hufflepuffs such as: Tonks and Cedric Diggory
I honestly expected to get Ravenclaw but I’ll totally accept Hufflepuff. I guess my loyalty and patience were stronger than my bookworm tendencies today.

5. WHAT ARE YOUR LEARNING STYLES? (LINK)

  • Visual 7
  • Aural 10
  • Read/Write 11
  • Kinesthetic 12

I actually scored fairly high in all areas, but especially kinesthetic  and reading / writing.

6. ARE YOU MORE OF A LEFT-BRAIN OR A RIGHT-BRAIN PERSON? (LINK)

rightbrained7. WHAT IS YOUR BLOOD TYPE?

Is it terrible that I don’t know? A or B?

8. WHAT CAREER ARE YOU MEANT TO BE IN? (LINK)

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You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories.

Well that seems fitting. I think I’d be a better writer though if I had a tangible boss and, like, deadlines. Because left to my own devices I’d just write in my blog and watch Netflix.

9. WHAT DIVERGENT FACTION DO YOU BELONG IN? (LINK)

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ERUDITE“The word “erudite” focuses on knowledge rather than intelligence– intelligence being something you’re born with, and can’t necessarily control, and knowledge being something that you acquire. (source)

10. WHAT DOES YOUR BIRTH ORDER SAY ABOUT YOU? (LINK)

The Firstborn

Stereotype: Natural leader, ambitious, responsible.
Why it’s true: The eldest, for a while, has no competition for time (or books or baby banter) with Mom and Dad. “There’s a benefit to all of that undiluted attention. A 2007 study in Norway showed that firstborns had two to three more IQ points than the next child,” says Frank J. Sulloway, Ph.D., the author of Born to Rebel. Firstborns tend to be surrogate parents when other siblings arrive, hence their protective and responsible nature.
When it’s not: Parents can set high expectations for a first (or only) child. “When he feels like he has disappointed his parents or can’t measure up, he may veer off in another direction,” says Kevin Leman, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of The Birth Order Book.

So who are you?

So Very Thankful.

Rustic table setting in brown tone

I’m linking up with Mama Kat again for her pretty much world famous Writer’s Workshop. One of the prompts this week was to answer the questions for this So Very Thankful tag. I’m feeling kind of brain mushy today so a tag is perfect and what better post to write for Thanksgiving than a list of things I am thankful for! So.

1. Name a color you are thankful for. I am thankful for many colors for many reasons but the beautiful teal / aqua blue color tends to add a pop of something to some of my favorite things. And apparently a lot of the women in my family are digging on this color, so my good taste is in good company.
2. Something your spouse does that you are thankful for. Guys, my husband is basically the best thing ever and I’d be a hot mess without him. He knows literally everything, always makes me think harder than I’d normally do on my own so he’s making me smarter. He is the one who remembers when the water filter needs to be changed or the smoke detectors need new batteries. He knows how to clean all of our pots and pans and cookie sheets without ruining them and he’s tall and can reach things that are up high (even if they are out of reach because he put them there). And he’s super cute.
12705333_975640859151258_9213405653163498357_n3. Something your kids do that you are thankful for. Don’t be afraid to put your kids to work. Apparently I’ve become a master delegater since having children and I love it. My kids make their own breakfast, pack their own lunch, take care of most of the dog’s trips to the bathroom and feed him breakfast and dinner. I could go on, but eventually you’ll start asking yourself what exactly I do and nobody wants that.
4. A food you are thankful for. Chopped salads – they brought me back to salads when I was pretty much done with them. It turns out I don’t mind most veggies, I just need some crunch and substance to my veggies. Munching on giant leaves does nothing for me.
5. What recent good news are you thankful for? Let’s talk about news tomorrow.
6. Name a drink you are thankful for. I don’t think anyone would take my seriously if I didn’t say coffee, but I’ll add lactose free milk alternatives as the amazing thing that lets me keep drinking said coffee.
7. Name a restaurant you are thankful for. I’m writing this in the past but I’ll say I’m thankful for whichever restaurant ends up feeding us Thanksgiving dinner this year – actual restaurant to be determined. I’ll try to remember to update you guys later about who provides me with cranberry sauce and pie this year.
8. Talk about an animal you are thankful for. I’m probably supposed to name my dog here but I’ve got to be honest, he should be thankful for my extreme patience / glutton for punishment tendencies.
22734629. Name a beauty product you are thankful for. I’m thankful for the magical brush that doesn’t snag my daughter’s hair as much as most brushes so that we’re finally able to brush her rat’s nest mane of hair. Snaps to the Detangler from Ulta Beauty.
10. Name a cleaning product you are thankful for. Laundry soap pods because they are so easy to use that my seven year old can do the laundry now. Like I said, master delegater.
11. What social media platform are you thankful for? So I most enjoy using Instagram because ohhhh pretty pictures and yay for basically zero drama or stress in a social media platform, but Facebook boasts it’s track record for helping me stay connected to friends and family that live far away so I guess it still wins even though I frequently need to take cleansing breaks from it (particularly during elections).
12. Tell us why you are thankful for the last person who texted you. That would be my friend Abby who pretty much keeps me sane and has become my partner in crime these last couple years. Our kids are all friends, our husbands get along, and we can be messy less than perfect weirdos and still seem to want to hang out together any chance we get. That’s hard to find in this world.
nama-aulait_grande13. Name a candy you are thankful for. I don’t know whether to be thankful for Royce chocolates or despondent that it has kind of ruined other chocolates for me and has the audacity to be so difficult to come by. When I tried their Nama line in Vegas this summer it was like the ultimate bliss in chocolate form. I haven’t been the same since.
14. Name an app on your phone that you are thankful for. I just started using Habitica and I’m kind of loving it. It turns goal setting into a game where you get points for doing all the stuff you keep trying to do like exercise more or meditate or drink more water or check all those things off your to do list. It’s honor based and relatively open ended but you wouldn’t believe how many times I get dressed up cute or empty the dishwasher before bed mostly for the experience points. Whatever works, right?
15. What are you looking forward to that you are thankful for? We finally broke down and replaced our refrigerator because manually defrosting it every month was starting to get old (and be starting to, I mean…). I’m thankful that our new fridge is getting delivered on Friday.

What things are you thankful for? Feel free to share your answers in the comments section or send me a link to your blog’s responses. Happy Turkey Day guys!

The Mid Year Book Tag 2016

I’m stealing this book tag from Mom’s Radius because I just got back into town after a long vacation and my brain is too fragged to think of something extraordinary to write about. A mid year review seemed like just the ticket. Steal in kind if you are feeling the same need.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2016

Winter41VgvI2digL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ by Marissa Meyer – This was such a satisfying end to an amazing series that seriously took over my life for awhile! I think Meyer did an amazing job of weaving all these tales together into one cohesive plot that never disappointed. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016

26074213The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson– I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

615s-d3gm7L._SY346_Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany – The internet kind of exploded when this title came out (hell, it exploded when it was first whispered about) and the reviews have been mixed. My husband wrote it off immediately after realizing it’s the written screenplay and not in novel form, and I’ve heard some reviews that it just isn’t up to Rowling par. But… I’m so jonsing for a Potter fix that I’m likely to read it anyway, I’m just waiting for the right moment / price.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

heartlessHonestly there are a few, but I think Heartless by Marissa Meyer is probably at the top of my list because I’m still riding the Lunar Chronicles wave, you know? November is feeling so far away. I’m also looking forward to books by Amy Schumer and Anna Kendrick.

5. Biggest Disappointment

13449693I thought I was going to love The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater a lot more than I did. This was probably an instance of hype ruining a good thing, I might have had lower expectations if the bookstagram universe weren’t loving it so hard. Something about the book just never let me settle into it desp

ite being intrigued by the premise.

6. Biggest Surprise

18770398I read a murder mystery horror story of sorts and loved it.  Night Film by Marisha Pessl is such a departure from the types of books I normally read and there were definitely times I thought, “This book is too dark for me, I should walk away,” but because it was a book club pick, I soldiered on and I’m glad I did. Somewhere around the middle the plot really picks up and the last 150 pages I read in basically one day. I found the overall story to be really fascinating and the pictures and clippings were a nice touch. I was kind of disappointed that the google play app at least doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Unless Cordova got to it.

7. Favorite New Author

18079710Richelle Mead is a recent new fave. I read The Vampire Academy in like two sittings despite having seen the movie like a year ago. This is unheard of guys. Seeing the movie before reading the book is a rookie move that never works in my favor but I could not put it down! I also really enjoyed reading books by Kathleen Ernst, Maureen Johnson and Heather Cocks this year.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

Dimitri from The Vampire Academy is definitely up there and certainly qualifies as most recent.

9. Newest Favorite Character

22840421I’m reading My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows right now and I love Jane and Edward and really everyone. It’s such a funny book and so cleverly written. It’s kind of historical fiction but the original premise has been entirely turned on its head to the point of being unrecognizable in all the best ways.

10. Book That Made You Cry

I’m honestly not sure. I feel like I must have cried at some point reading several but I don’t remember any specific scenes. Likely contenders include The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Winter by Marissa Meyer or maybe Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld because Pride and Prejudice always gets to me.

11. Book That Made You Happy

41C+ffCh5dL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling because she is so funny, she always makes me laugh. I think I liked this book even more than the original. It was funny, informative, dishy and inspiring jut like Mindy. I’m a sucker for these celeb memoir humor books but this one was really, really good.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year

26067879I saw Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and it was allllllllll the things. Talk about making a girl ugly cry, the plot is just heart breaking but the casting was brilliant and everybody was on point. Of course when you bring the Mother of Dragons onto your set, you know it’s going to be good.

13. Favorite Review/Post You’ve Done This Year

booksuggestionstweenI wrote a list of book suggestions for your reluctant tween reader and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote another list of book suggestions for 10 year old boys. Being a huge book nerd who worked in a book store for several years and spends an inordinate amount of time talking about books and recommending books to friends, these posts were kind of an excuse to just delve into my recommendations and keep digging without worrying that my friend is going to implode trying to retain all the suggestions.

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

51MIi4p2YyL._SX418_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve indulged in some beautiful hardcovers this year like Eligible, The Girls or Rich and Pretty, but the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is just stunning and continues to be stunning page after page after page. It really enhances the read aloud quality of the book as well.

15. Books You NEED To Read By The End Of 2016

I still haven’t read The Girls or Rich and Pretty because you know, so many books so little time. I’d also really like to read After You, the sequel by Jojo Moyes and of course the other eleven hundred books on my bookshelves upstairs (not to mention my kindle). I’m going to refrain from making a thorough list because it will give me a migraine but really I just want to dig into my stacks a little more and thin the herd.

What is the best book you have read so far this year?

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10 Songs Found While Shuffling.

I’m kind of combining two tags / writing prompts right now. This week’s Writer’s Workshop, which is hosted by the brilliant Mama Kat, includes the prompt:

6. List your top 10 most listened to songs currently.

I thought this sounded fun but the idea of trying to pick ten favorites was weirdly stressful to me because how do you pick just ten favorite children? I’m pretty sure that’s child abuse. Or not. Anyway, I also recently saw this music tag at Book Coma that asks you to “List the first 10 songs that come on shuffle and then write your favorite lyric (or verse) from each song.” And I was like, awesome, that’s less decisions to make and also potentially embarrassing. So let’s dig into my playlist dubbed “only the best” which is typically what I’m listening to and see what comes up okay?

ONE Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey by John Mayer because this list wouldn’t be legit without John and you guys should know that I’m kind of obsessed with this song. Here’s a taste:

(ps: the beginning of this video is hysterical classic John)

Walking home with no one left
Speak softly underneath my breath
Hey world, you ain’t seen nothing yet
Great, now it’s raining

Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey
Water, water, water
Sleep
Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey
Wake up, shake it off
And repeat

TWO Jenny from The Block by Jennifer Lopez which is probably good because after pouring our heart and soul out on the last song, an up beat dance number is likely in order. Also, this is my jam because I am also still just Jenny from the block. Represent.

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!)

THREE Ain’t It Fun by Paramore which is super fun when you remember that you have to grown up or when you just spent time with someone who apparently didn’t get the memo that they also have to grown up. Like for realz.

Ain’t it fun
Living in the real world
Ain’t it good
Being all alone

Where you’re from
You might be the one who’s running things
Well you can ring anybody’s bell and get what you want
See it’s easy to ignore trouble
When you’re living in a bubble

So what are you gonna do
When the world don’t orbit around you
So what are you gonna do
When nobody wants to fool with you

FOUR The Heart of Life by John Mayer because my play list is like 40% John Mayer. Sorrynotsorry.

You know, it’s nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
Then, circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No it won’t all go the way it should
But I know the heart of life is good

FIVE Through With You by Maroon 5 because a million years ago I loved Maroon 5. It was back when Adam Levine either hadn’t yet grown the world’s largest ego or he’d managed to hide it for a minute.

And I don’t trust you
Cause every time you’re here
Your intentions are unclear
I spend every hour waiting for a phone call
That I know will never come
I used to think you were the one
Now I’m sick of thinking anything at all

You ain’t ever coming back to me
That’s not how things were supposed to be
You take my hand just to give it back
No other lover has ever done that

SIX Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis because these boys complete me and I’m pretty sure every song on this album made it onto my Only The Best playlist. I’m not picky. This one is important though.

It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom ’til we’re equal, damn right I support it

SEVEN Just Dance by Lady Gaga because again levity. I love Lady Gaga, she’s kind of brilliant and an amazing vocalist. This isn’t necessarily a favorite but it’s up there. It makes my husband and I laugh when we actually listen to the lyrics cause they are kind of hysterical.

Wish I could shut my playboy mouth, oh oh oh-oh
How’d I turn my shirt inside out? Inside outright
Control your poison babe, roses have thorns they say
And we’re all getting hosed tonight, oh oh oh-oh

What’s going on on the floor?
I love this record baby but I can’t see straight anymore
Keep it cool, what’s the name of this club?
I can’t remember but it’s alright, a-alright

EIGHT I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles so now I can shrug and say, yeah, I listen to the Beatles. I don’t even consider them retro because I’m not a fetus. Shut up children. This one is not the most lyrically interesting but it always makes me smile.

Oh please, say to me
You’ll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You’ll let me hold your hand
I’ll let me hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand

NINE Don’t Get It Twisted by Gwen Stefani which is possibly the most fantastic way to announce that you are preggers.

Lip locked making out again, no big deal
You always say that, but I’m not a mathematician
28 days in a normal cycle
If not I am mistaken, I think you might have made a goal

Uh oh uh oh uh oh

TEN Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots which is a recent obsession. I love singing it while driving to work or some other grown up priority that doesn’t sound nearly as good as pretending to ride a rocket ship with friends.

We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they’re laughing at our face,
Saying, “wake up, you need to make money.”

Harry Potter Spells Book Tag.

This tag and the amazing scroll images were created by Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads. I saw it at Mom’s Radius recently and even though it’s massively long, the Harry Potter allure and fun scrolls were so unique, I couldn’t resist. So let’s dive off the deep end, shall we?

1-Accio

An Upcoming Release You Wish You Could Get Your Hands On Right Now

heartless

I’m quite eager to read Heartless, an upcoming standalone release by Marissa Meyer (I know, right?), which is all about The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I’ll have a long wait though because it doesn’t come out until November. Like all of her books, this story sounds as though it’s going to take a story we think we know well and then absolutely turn it on it’s head. Unlike The Lunar Chronicles though, it sounds like she’s going to tell the whole story in one book – for better or for worse.

2-Alohomora

Favorite Series Starter

51P3SvRNdeL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_I don’t know how I could possibly choose just one – but let’s dig a bit deeper and talk about a book I haven’t mentioned 18 times in the last two months. For instance, my son just started reading The Bad Beginning, Book One in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket which made me comment to my husband, “Is it weird that I’m jealous that he gets to experience this book and this series for the first time?” This was a series that gave me major book withdrawal when I finished and the first book was excellent.

3-Cheering-Charm

A Book That Gave You All The Warm And Fuzzies

16081588I just finished reading Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle and it was everything you want a Christmas themed collection of young adult short story romances to be. I’d read a half dozen John Green novels before reading this collection but the other two authors were new to me. I particularly loved the first story by Maureen Johnson but all three were great and warm and fuzzy like sitting by a fireplace with a wool blanket and a hot boy.

4-Aguamenti

A Book That Made You Ugly Cry

16068905I related to the main character in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell like a lot a lot so when stuff was going bad for her, I felt it deep in my bones, you know? Also Rainbow Rowell has a magical way of owning your heart with just a handful of words. This is my favorite Rowell book and you should read it right now. Like don’t even keep reading this post, go read that instead.

5-Expecto-Patronum

Bookish Hero Or Heroine You Want Around To Protect You In Real Life

107390I’ll gladly have Thursday Next from The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (and the rest of the series) serve as my personal body guard. It’s comforting to know that even if I cease to exist or she ceases to exist or I find myself in another universe or time line or my personal motive or backstory gets rewritten, I can still always count on Thursday to fight for me if I’m important to her. I’m important to her, right?

6-Lumos

A Book You Intentionally Spoiled For Yourself

51v1t48NzmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I’m not sure if intentionally spoiled is how I would phrase it, but I knowingly watched the movie before reading The Martian by Andy Weir even though I know I have a history of being unable to get into a book if I’ve already seen the movie adaptation. And even though it’s tremendously well written and engaging and utterly readable, I can’t seem to get past it long enough to finish reading it.

7-Imperio

A Book You Wish You Could Make Everyone Read Because You Loved It So

book one of the Lunar ChroniclesYou guys know I pretty much walk around in a permanent state of “Have you read The Lunar Chronicles yet?” There are a lot of books that I recommend highly but lately this is the first one I mention if a person expresses any interest in reading something new. If Cinder by Marissa Meyer were a drug, I’d be a dealer. This series is amazing but it can take a tiny amount of coaxing when you mention to someone for the first time that this young adult dystopian Cyborg Cinderella story is really, really, really good I swear. But it’s sooooo good.

8-Engorgio

A Book Series You Wish Never Ended

Harry Potter Illustrated Book 1I have to agree with Kate, I frequently wish the Harry Potter series hadn’t ended. Despite knowing that there is definitely such thing as too much of a good thing, the end of the series just left me wanting more and I know I’m not alone. We’ve all been kind of sitting her wondering, “What do you think Harry and Ginny are up to right now?” And with only watching the movies and rereading the books and taking the Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore to keep us busy… Luckily, it looks like our prayers are  going to be answered.

9-Wingardium-Leviosa

A Book With An Uplifting Message

10507293This might sound strange but one of my favorite things about The Selection series by Kiera Cass was the feeling of hope that radiated in the last book especially, but the series as a whole. It rarely felt like a wallowing in despair thing and when the series was over, the main characters weren’t broken and bitter by everything that had happened – they were excited for the future. In this kind of story, that is rare.

10-Obliviate

A Book You Wish You Could Forget You Ever Read

6834410I’m pretty sure that by the time I finished reading The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, I wanted to throw it in a fire and cancel my nonexistant newspaper subscription out of spite. Everything about the premise of this book sounded right up my alley but the execution, characters and ending all left something to be desired. It was impossible to get attached to anyone and nobody got a happy ending as far as I could tell. And if I don’t move on, I’ll start ranting again, so…

11-Anapneo

An Author Whose Books Always Get You Out Of A Reading Slump

2202049Jen Lancaster is one of my go to book slump authors. I like pretty much every book I’ve ever read of hers and try to make sure that I’m never at a shortage of new material for when books disappoint me in the future. Such a Pretty FatSuch a Pretty Fat was the first book of hers that I read and it pretty much sealed the deal for me. She’s funny and witty and says everything the way you wish you had said it.

12-Jelly-Legs-Jinx

A Swoon-Worthy Hero Or Heroine

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I’m pretty sure every girl is in love with Westley from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Or was it Carey Elewes we’re in love with? Hmmm… Even if you have seen the movie, this book is worth reading. Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

13-Aresto-Momentum

A Book That Caused You To Stop Doing All Other Things Until You Finished It

15749186I’ve already mentioned a couple but To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny  Han is also definitely worth mentioning. This was one of those books that had me parked on the couch all day, only moving to let the dog use the bathroom or feed my children because apparently they won’t survive without food. The jerks.

14-Crucio

A Book That Was Painful To Read (For Whatever Reason) Or Broke You

6948436I’ve heard that Little Bee by Chris Cleave is ah-mazing but I read one chapter and then backed away slowly. I’m a little bit of a baby when it comes to books about parents or children or spouses dying and though I’m sometimes able to get past it, this one stopped me in my tracks. I think I also had a VERY young child at the time and was probably chock full of extra hormones but I’m still avoiding this one indefinitely. A book can be amazing even if I don’t read it.

15-Rictumsempra

A Book That Had You Laughing Out Loud

20910157

I don’t think it’s physically possible to read something written by Amy Poehler and not laugh out loud. These comedic celeb memoirs are all the rage right now, some better than others. Yes Please was outstanding and all the things. Sometimes it was also insightful and moving but mostly it was hilarious from beginning to end.

16-Expelliarmus

A Book That Made You Want To Send It (Or Your E-Reader) Flying

8968323I read Radioactive by Lauren Redniss with my book club four years ago and I still turn into a petulant child if it’s mentioned now. Mostly I just take offense to it being called a book. A coffee table picture book perhaps. If you have extremely low standards for the word picture. There were parts of this book that were interesting, but those were the parts that the author gave absolutely no time to fleshing out because she was busy scribbling another dumb sketch that added nothing to the story. Unless Lauren Redniss happens to be six years old. Then I suppose it’s impressive. Sorry, that was mean.

17-Portus

A Bookish World You Wish You Could Visit

I mean there are several, but at the end of the day – yeah I want to go to Hogwarts. Just like every other muggle with a dream. I’m hoping to take my kids to Universal Studios someday or even better, go to London and visit Kings Cross. Actually, that’s not really better so much as an “in addition to, can we also” sort of request. For now we’ll have to settle for this cheesy display hanging out in one of my husband’s employer’s buildings because when you work for a company of giant nerds, this is bound to happen eventually.

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18-Stupefy

A Book With A Shocking Twist Or Ending

18222740I guess not everyone in my book club was surprised by the ending of Bellweather Raphsody by Kate Racculia, but it sure took me by surprise. This was a book full of twists that kept on getting twistier where nothing was quite what it seemed which is a great description for a murder mystery. This book is kind of like Girl on the Train meets Glee meets Pretty Little Liars.

19-Avada-Kedavra

A Character Death That Destroyed You

7260188I’m still not entirely over certain events that went down in Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins aka the woman who broke my heart into a million pieces. I’ve put off seeing everal of the movies in this series because they put me uncomfortably close to the end of this book. I’m only one movie behind now but that’s still a bit too close for comfort.

20-Finite-Incantatem

Best Series Conclusion

13125947Reached by Ally Condie was so good it was actually better than the other books in the series which to that point had been kind of a solid B series. Then Condie pulled out plot details that just blew everything into a new orbit and took my breath away and me going, “What the what now?” I still think about this book often. I’d say more but I don’t want to give anything away.

So what would your answers be? Let me know if you are playing along in the comments section.