Top Ten Tuesday (8)

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten FIVE bookish resolutions goals I have for 2016

In reality, I never make New Year’s Resolutions purely because the concept doesn’t make sense to me. I like to put in effort for goals and things I want and a new year doesn’t change that for the better or worse. Here are my FIVE top bookish goals for 2016.

1. Read more current series. I think I’ve done pretty well on this so far considering there are only so many books I am physically able to read. But at the same time I also feel like I’ve been putting off brand new series I think I’ll really like in lieu of books I already own. And I love those too but they’re not talked about in the blogosphere most of the time.

2. Knock out at least half my TBR. I’m planning on joining in the #RockmyTBR challenge (hosted by The YA Book Traveler) to help with this, I just haven’t made a post to make it official yet!

3. Start a Brandon Sanderson series, read a Robin McKinley book, and start a Juliet Marillier series! I’m such a fantasy nerd and I’ve heard fantastic things about all these authors but haven’t yet read them! This is the year.

4. Read Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars Thrawn trilogy. I feel like I’ve read at least one, when I was a tiny human, but never the whole trilogy. And I’m craving ALL THE STAR WARS.

5. Continue book blogging on a regular basis! To do this I think I’ll have to come up with my own feature or two, but it’s about time I do that anyway!

Top Ten Tuesday (7)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Wishes I’d Ask the Book Genie to Grant Me

It feels like forever and a day since I read Victoria Schwab’s The Archived and The Unbound and (1) I still really wish I could read the third book RIGHT NOW. Obviously after a re-read of the first two, but still. I think Ms. Schwab comes up with some of the best stories and I just really want to see the end of the series that got me hooked on her! Also, (2) I really want to have coffee and/or tea with her. Maybe it would be took much awkward for one table, but maybe not. I think our awkwards could jive pretty well.

(3) I wish I could get a stroke of genius and figure out how to end the story I started writing when I was 16. I still think about it, and the fact that I wrote it into a hole has never ceased to bother me. So basically I’d like some new ideas to come to me that revolve around the same characters!

(4) I wish I could meet J.K. Rowling. Good ol’ JK. It’s been more than 15 years (HOLY CRAP) since I read the first Harry Potter book, and I still re-read the series about once every year…? Maybe more like once every 15 months. I know I re-read HP back at the beginning of this year, right around my birthday in February, and I’m already itching to start another re-read….

(5) I wish the bookish genie could grant me some more patience with reading all the books on the list I found, “1001 books to read before you die”. I really would like to read all the books on that list, but some authors really scare me. I have such a strong dislike for The Scarlet Letter (it has persisted since high school) that I want nothing to do with Nathaniel Hawthorne. And I’ve had Les Mis sitting on my shelf for a little while now, but it just looks so dense, even for a classic. (Here’s a question: if I could read Anna Karenina with fair ease, will I be able to do the same with Les Mis?)

(6) I wish I could win a contest that awarded me with a gift certificate worth a few hundred dollars to Barnes and Noble, or a good-sized and well-stocked local bookstore. There are so many recent releases I have yet to buy and I also want to know what it feels like to buy like 20 books at once. I’ve never done it, and I really want the funds to do it!

(7) I wish I could happen across some good space-centered, living on a spaceship science-fiction that makes sense to me. I have had such a craving for this lately but I have no idea what author writes these kinds of stories that get some decent ratings on Goodreads (higher than 3.5). Some good examples of books that satisfy this craving would be the Starbound Universe series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.

(8) I wish I could get a well-paying job working with books, either bookstore-related or publishing-related.

(9) I wish that J.K. Rowling would decide that she misses Hogwarts and decides to write about the Marauders. How could I not want that? Every Potterhead wants it, yeah?

(10) I wish to get my book-buying under control! I’ve been doing alright with an undeclared book-buying ban, but lately with all the new releases I’ve really wanted to go binge shop the books. Hi, my name is Devon and I’m a bookaholic.

Top Ten Tuesday (6)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

So far, 2015 has been a little anticlimactic when it comes to my emotions for books. I can’t even come up with 10 that made me overwhelmed with some kind of emotion by the end — these six (plus the Harry Potter series re-read) are the only ones that have done that so far this year. [Note: I am definitely accepting recommendations for reads that will make me emotional in some way!! You can head over to my Goodreads if you’d like to check out what I’ve read so far.]

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. From all the tumblr posts and other blog posts I’ve seen, I assumed that this book rested firmly in the YA contemporary range. BUT NO. I WAS SO WRONG. I’m reading book 2 now and still loving it.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I re-read them all, so it counts, right?? RIGHT?? I will never NOT cry at certain parts of this series.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I have not met a Jojo Moyes book yet that I have not thoroughly enjoyed (as you can see with Me Before You also making this list.) Granted, I’ve only read the most recently published, but still.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. This one was a ride, but the storyline was so thoroughly complex and I liked that it was not a passive read. I really had to keep my brain engaged to follow everything, but I loved it so much that it wasn’t a problem!

Undertow by Michael Buckley. This is my first from this author and I think he did such a good job with the idea that “YA is not just for teens” when he tied in some political undertones.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It’s Sarah. And it’s Beauty and the Beast. How could I not love this? It wasn’t perfect, granted, but it created another badass kind of faery instead of the floofy ones we’re so used to.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This one made me really emotional. I think I enjoyed the story of The Girl You Left Behind a little more, but the characters in this one wowed me. I always just want the disabled characters to be happy!

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read

Unlike with other Top Ten Tuesdays, this week I am not going to give explanations for the books I choose. Mostly, it has to do with personal preferences, but if I were to give any justification for my opinions it may sound…unsavory.

Fifty Shades Darker & Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Flawless by Sara Shepard

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Matched by Allie Condie

Top Ten Tuesday (4)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Nine All-time Favorite Authors

Remember that new-found pickiness I’ve found when using the word “favorite”? I’ve only mentioned it once or twice so *probably* not. Anyway, I’m very passionate about the word “favorite” and feel that I need to only use it with books and authors I plan to revisit on a regular basis. These authors I truly love!

9. F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby was one of my favorite high school reads for two reasons: 1) its message is becoming more and more relevant to today’s society in addition to its own era; and 2) it was the only book that I felt I had a strong grasp of in my AP English class and scored an 8/9 on a practice essay. I’ve reread TGG several times since. I’ve also read Tender is the Night (not such a big fan of, but his writing still wowed me!) and This Side of Paradise (loved!). Still need/want to explore his short stories.

8. Laini Taylor. I fell in love with her prose in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy! Definitely want to reread that trilogy this year.

7. Rick Riordan. Any author who can make mythology relatable to real life is awesome. Mythology is some magical stuff, but to throw twelve-year-old characters into the mix is imaginative and powerful. What kind of ten-year-old doesn’t want magic powers?? And to have those books interest me as a 20-year-old? Yeah, that’s how old I was when I discovered Percy Jackson. I want more of Rick Riordan’s mythology!

6. Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I’m so torn about including him because, while I am so enamored with his writing and ideas in Shadow of the Wind….it was translated from the original Spanish into English by Lucia Graves. True, the translation is based on his original words but translations leave some room for wording changes. But the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books still drops my jaw!

5. Jojo Moyes. I’ve only read two of hers so far, but her writing is timeless, I think. Very readable and vivid. I still want my own copy of The Last Letter From Your Lover.

4. Marissa Meyer. I’ve already reread what’s published of The Lunar Chronicles so far and I think I loved it even more the second time. Sci-fi fairy tale retellings? Yes please. And also readable.

3. Victorie (V. E.) Schwab. Very very similar to Marissa Meyer in that she writes very readable sci-fi/fantasy. I really want to revisit The Archived and The Unbound…though I’m scared it’ll reawaken all-the-feels and without a release date in sight for the third book I don’t know if I can take it! Also Vicious. Also A Darker Shade of Magic. ‘NUFF SAID.

2. Sarah J. Maas. Cait of Paper Fury recently questioned why there is so much sexism in fantasy.* SJM writes fantasy without the sexism, and it is damn good fantasy too. I’m not the kind of fantasy reader who would pick up a book about Fae on the fly, but SJM makes them FIERCE. Celaena Sardothien is basically my hero.

1. J. K. Rowling / Robert Galbraith. I loved Harry Potter first, and then I loved Cormoran Strike, and then I loved J. K. Rowling’s life story (or the version of it in the Lifetime movie Magic Beyond Words). Her style is consistent and well-developed. I could’ve easily picked up on the fact that Robert Galbraith was a JKR pseudonym if it hadn’t already been revealed. It’s pretty incredible to me that her style is easily recognized 1) between genres and 2) between age groups. She’s my real-life hero.

Now that I’ve listed my top ten, it’s brought about the question…how do you feel about translators versus original authors getting credit? How much room for interpretation is there when translating written words? I only speak and read english so it’s so hard for me to think about this.


* I would love to include George R. R. Martin on this list because I love A Song of Ice and Fire with a burning, aching passion. And while I feel as though I’ve read somewhere that he likes writing strong women and fighting sexism (I don’t remember where or when I think I read this), I can’t help but struggle with the blatant sexism in ASoIaF. For the sexism, I have to exclude him from my actualized list of favorite authors.

Top Ten Tuesday (3)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR List

A mix of books that I own and books that I don’t own yet (but probably will quite soon). These are not quite in any particular order. I wish I could say I have will power when it comes for choosing my next book(s) ahead of time! Most of the time when I try I end up changing my mind at the drop of a dime.

The Winner’s Crime, by Marie Rutkoski. Not yet owned and I DON’T KNOW WHY. Actually I do. I’m trying so hard to manage my money better when it comes to books. I think I’ll end up ordering this on BN.com with my 20% off coupon to get the best deal, but my goodness do I need it soon!

The Infinite Sea, by Rick Yancey. Very similar situation to TWC except I just finished The Fifth Wave about a week ago. Very, very rarely do I buy whole series without reading just one of the books. Also will probably buy on BN.com.

Trickster’s Queen, by Tamora Pierce. Owned for several years now…. My dad gifted this one to me shortly after Trickster’s Choice though I hadn’t yet read that one. Part of me is curious what happens in the second and final book in the Daughter of the Lioness duology, but I’m also worried that it’ll be a sluggish read like TC was.

Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman. Owned for about two weeks — it was a birthday gift from my Mimi (grandma on Dad’s side). I have only read two other Gaiman books and the experiences I had were polar opposites, but when I add in the Doctor Who episodes he’s written, I generally favor him! Very excited for some of his short stories.

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. Owned for about two weeks — a birthday present from Mom and Dad. I’ve been reading somewhat mixed reviews, most about how it’s too similar to Red Rising. But I haven’t read that one yet, either, so that will probably act in my favor. I’m still so curious!

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan. Mr. Riordan is one of my exceptions to owning whole series before reading a book. PJO and HoO are loves of mine so I figured The Kane Chronicles were a safe bet too! The box set was a Christmas gift a couple months ago.

For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund. I have more guilt for this one because in the ten months I’ve owned it, I’ve almost picked it up about as many times. It needs to happen already.

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Almost the same situation as FDStS, but guiltier because SCI-FI! And space opera? And multiple awards? I am ashamed of my belatedness with this one. NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

The Mime Order, by Samantha Shannon. I was so excited to buy this book on release day…and I still haven’t read it. I guess work and general life keeps getting in the way? Also I know it’ll be somewhat of a time commitment. Not a huge one, but still.

Out of all these, is there one in particular that you would recommend I read next?? I need some guidance! (:

Top Ten Tuesday (2): a day late!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Five Favorite Heroines from Books

I’m narrowing this down to top five because I think I’m getting pickier with my love of strong female characters in that I really want to see a character development arc. I don’t just want them to be strong through and through. That being said, these are my top five.

1. Celaena Sardothein: the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. Celaena is so badass yet she we continue to learn more and more about her. In the beginning she was the only female in a sea of male competitors to be Champion and we saw plenty of weak spots there. And again when she finds her true nature and her magical gift blossoms. Though she has two (maybe three?) men she may or may not have deeper feelings for, I also really love how she doesn’t concentrate on the romance. She knows there’s more to her life than that and WOW IS THAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

2. Hermione Granger: the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Among the blogs I follow both on bloglovin’ and tumblr, Hermione is almost always a given when it comes to female characters. To me, she is particularly well-rounded: brains, a bright personality, and cute looks underneath her big front teeth and frizzy hair. And she is a fierce, fierce friend. If I could have a posse of literary characters, Hermione would be the first on my list!

3. Lisbeth Salander: the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. With a horrid past and (quite often) present, Lisbeth is a fighter. She is a character to look up to in the case of overcoming obstacles, though she does use methods of which I do not approve on principle. It’s more of her pure survival instinct that I admire and I don’t think that trait is very common in heroines. Sure, everyone wants to survive, but so many heroines are not concerned with doing absolutely anything — including murder — to survive or get to the bottom of a dirty, ages-old mystery.

4. Scarlet: the Scarlet series by A. C. Gaughen. The historical Robin Hood story with this (almost) gender-bending twist had me drooling after Scarlet in both of the books. She has very strong morals and is also majorly loyal to her friends.

5. Mackenzie Bishop: the Archived series by Victoria Schwab. After arguing with her parents about what kind of future she wants, she goes against their wishes and chooses the path she thinks best for herself. In this case following in the footsteps of her grandfather — it’s independence that I see, not the parental disregard. Considering the help and training her grandfather ave her before he passed, she’s more than just capable at following his path as a Keeper.

While there are plenty more female heroines from books that make my favorites list in some manner, these are the ones that I love all-round. Read: ones that I root for in more than one capacity.