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20 Bookish Quotes All Bookworms Will Relate To

20 bookish quotes

 

I don’t know about you, but I love to read quotes from famous people.  It’s amazing to me how truly quotable some people are – they just have a gift for summing up what I’m thinking or feeling, but in a way that is so much more eloquent than I could ever hope to express myself.  And being a bookworm, those quotes that I am the most passionate about are those that involve books and reading, and especially those from my favorite authors.  Some day I’m going to redo the walls of my library so that quotes like these literally fill any space that isn’t covered with books.

20 Books Quotes All Bookworms Will Relate to

1. A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman

 

2. You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.  – Paul Sweeney

 

3. Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? – Henry Ward Beecher

 

4. Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.  – John Green

 

5. The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.  – W. Somerset Maugham

 

Source: someecards.com

Source: someecards.com

 

6. If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. – Toni Morrison

 

7. I cannot live without books. – Thomas Jefferson

 

8. There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.  – Walt Disney

 

9. Books open your mind, broaden your mind, and strengthen you as nothing else can.  –  William Feather

 

10. Be awesome! Be a book nut! –Dr. Seuss

 

Source: someecards.com

Source: someecards.com

11. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. –C.S. Lewis

 

12. There is no friend as loyal as a book. -Ernest Hemingway

 

13. Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King

 

14. You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax,
all you need is a book.
― Dr. Seuss

 

15. Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him. ― Maya Angelou

 

Source: someecards.com

Source: someecards.com

 

16. A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.  – Chinese Proverb

 

17. Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled  “This could change your life.”  – Helen Exley

 

18. We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind.  – Anna Quindlen

 

19. If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.  – J.K. Rowling

 

20. If a book is well written, I always find it too short. – Jane Austen

* * * * * *

 

So are any of these quotes also favorites of yours or do you have other favorite bookish quotes that I haven’t listed here?  I’d love to hear from you!

Book Review – The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

Book Review – The Singles Game by Lauren WeisbergerThe Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
three-half-stars
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 12th 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Goodreads Synopsis:  The new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and Revenge Wears Prada—a dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy who, after changing coaches, suddenly makes headlines on and off the court.

Charlotte “Charlie” Silver has always been a good girl. She excelled at tennis early, coached by her father, a former player himself, and soon became one of the top juniors in the world. When she leaves UCLA—and breaks her boyfriend’s heart—to turn pro, Charlie joins the world’s best athletes who travel eleven months a year, competing without mercy for Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines.

After Charlie suffers a disastrous loss and injury on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, she fires her longtime coach and hires Todd Feltner, a legend of the men’s tour, who is famous for grooming champions. Charlie is his first-ever female player, and he will not let her forget it. He is determined to change her good-girl image—both on the court and off—and transform her into a ruthless competitor who will not only win matches and climb the rankings, but also score magazine covers and seven-figure endorsement deals. Her not-so-secret affair with the hottest male player in the world, sexy Spaniard Marco Vallejo, has people whispering, and it seems like only a matter of time before the tabloids and gossip blogs close in on all the juicy details. Charlie’s ascension to the social throne parallels her rising rank on the women’s tour—but at a major price.

Lauren Weisberger’s novel brings us exclusive behind-the-scenes details from all the Grand Slam tournaments: the US Open, the French Open, the Australian Open, and Wimbledon. Charlie Silver jets around the globe, plays charity matches aboard Mediterranean megayachts, models in photo shoots on Caribbean beaches, walks the red carpet at legendary player parties, and sidesteps looming scandals—all while trying to keep her eyes on the real prize. In this sexy, unputdownable read about young tennis stars who train relentlessly to compete at the highest levels while living in a world obsessed with good looks and Instagram followers, Charlie must discover the secret to having it all—or finally shatter the illusion for good.

 

My Review:

I wanted a light read to take with me on a recent weekend getaway.  I saw Lauren Weisberger’s The Singles Game on Netgalley and immediately requested it because I remembered how much I had enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada when it came out years ago.  Thanks so much to Netgalley, Simon and Schuster, and Ms. Weisberger for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this novel.

Let me start off by saying that The Singles Game fit my initial criteria for selecting it perfectly.  It was very entertaining and I easily breezed through it while on my weekend retreat.  If you’re looking for a fun weekend or beach read, I would highly recommend this one.  It’s like binge watching a show on Netflix – once you start, you won’t be able to stop. And I had no idea how racy the world of tennis could be!

 

What I Enjoyed about The Singles Game:

The Underdog Protagonist – Charlotte Silver, or Charlie as she is better known, is definitely my kind of protagonist.  I was hooked on Charlie and in her corner from the moment she went down on Wimbledon’s Centre Court with what could easily have been a career-ending injury.  The spunk and determination she displays as she fights her way back from her injuries and prepares to make her comeback on the pro tennis circuit is truly admirable and I couldn’t help but cheer her on, especially once I got a taste of Natalya, Charlie’s biggest rival on the circuit and about as nasty and conniving as they come.  Once you meet Natalya, you’ll want Charlie to make mince meat of her on the tennis court.

What I also liked about Charlie though was that she makes lots of mistakes along the way.  There’s no attempt here to make her a flawless heroine; she’s human just like the rest of us and like most of us, her judgment can be questionable at times.  As much as I cheered her on, there were also many times when I wanted to throttle her.  Her relationship with Marco is probably at the top of the list, followed by the crazy Warrior Princess image overhaul suggested by her new coach.  I really couldn’t believe she went along with that one – a tiara and a black bedazzled tennis outfit? I don’t know much about tennis, but do players actually wear outfits like that when they play?  All I kept thinking of was watching Katniss Everdeen getting outfitted for the Hunger Games ceremonies.  Weisberger does a very good job here of making me invested enough in Charlie that I want to jump in the book and yank the tiara off her head because I’m embarrassed for her.

Again, because it makes her human and relatable, I like that Charlie stops to re-evaluate her comeback as she begins to feel less and less comfortable with the direction she has taken and some of the choices she has made, and especially when she senses that her father is disappointed with some of her off-court antics.  I think losing sight of oneself is something a lot of us can relate to.  Is what we think we want worth all of the sacrifices we have to make in order to get it?

The Obnoxious Antagonist – Of course I’m talking about Natalya here.  I do love a character that I can hate and Natalya most definitely fits the bill.  She’s evil, conniving, ruthless, and basically has no redeeming qualities other than the fact that she is an amazing tennis player.  Believe me when I say you will loathe this girl.  I lost track of how many times I wished she would trip and fall when she would strut into events where 5-inch heels.

There’s a full assortment of unlikeable characters, such as Marco and Charlie’s new coach Todd, but Natayla takes the crown for being most unlikeable.

Lots of Drama (but the fun kind!) – We’re not talking life and death drama here. This is Chick Lit, after all, but let’s just say that Weisberger’s world of professional tennis has just as much going on off the court as on it between who’s sleeping with who and who’s cheating on who.  These athletes keep the gossip rags and the paparazzi very busy and will keep you turning the pages to find out how it all plays out and to see who gets left out in the cold.  Do nice guys and gals really finish last?

Weisberger’s Handling of the Tennis – Not knowing much about tennis, I was a little worried going in the book that I might find it a little boring, but Weisberger does a fantastic job of accurately portraying the details of the sports itself without making it dry for those who aren’t necessarily interested in the sport.

 

Potential Downsides to the novel:

Overall, I thought this was a really enjoyable read. There were, however, a couple of questionable areas for me.

Too Similar to The Devil Wears Prada? –  There were moments along the way when I kept thinking about how much this book reminded me of Weisberger’s earlier work.  The premise is very similar – for those who haven’t read The Devil Wears Prada, the protagonist is a girl who lands herself in an enviable job in the fashion industry.  The job, however, requires her to undergo such a radical transformation that she doesn’t recognize herself anymore and starts to question if the job is worth the cost to her sense of self.  That said, I can’t say that the similarity really hampered my enjoyment of The Singles Game at all, but I could see it perhaps bothering other readers who want something more original, less formulaic.

Predictable Romantic Ending:  Don’t get me wrong — I loved the way the novel ends for Charlie and couldn’t have asked for better, but I predicted how it would end as soon as the two characters met.  Again, it didn’t hamper my overall enjoyment of the read, but I like a little more mystery and guesswork in my novels when it comes to romantic relationships and how they’re going to play out.

 

Would I Recommend The Singles Game?

Oh yes, definitely.  As I said earlier, I think The Singles Game is the perfect book to take with you on vacation or to the beach.  It’s a fun, fast read with plenty of dramatic and sexy twists and turns to keep readers engaged from cover to cover.

three-half-stars

About Lauren Weisberger

Lauren Weisberger was born March 28, 1977, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a locale recently made even more chic, if possible, by The Office. She was joined four years later by sister Dana, a.k.a. The Family Favorite, and moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, at age eleven. At Parkland High School, Lauren participated in all sorts of projects, activities, and organizations for the sole purpose of padding her college application, although she did genuinely enjoy playing varsity tennis (especially when the girl who should have played first singles incurred a season-ending injury and Lauren had no choice but to step in for the team).

Once matriculated at Cornell University, all civic-minded extracurriculars fell by the wayside. There, she focused her energy on securing a steady stream of fake IDs and dating boys from the right fraternities. After graduating in 1999 with a BA in English, Lauren moved home for the summer to save money and then traveled all over Europe, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Hong Kong. She carried a single small backpack and stayed in questionable places, further enriching her authentic cultural experiences by eating only Nutella and drinking Coca-Cola Light.

Lauren’s first job after returning to the U.S. and moving to Manhattan was the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour. Lauren became proficient in the language of stilettos and Starbucks before moving to Departures magazine, where she wrote 100-word reviews by day and took writing classes at night. The Devil Wears Prada, begun at the Writer’s Voice, was published in April 2003, and spent six months on The New York Times Bestseller List. It was sold in thirty-one foreign countries and made into a major motion picture by Fox 2000 starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Lauren has a half-second cameo in the film that even she is hard-pressed to locate after several viewings. Her second novel, Everyone Worth Knowing, was published in October 2005 and is also a New York Times Bestseller.

Top 10 Underrated Books I Enjoyed Reading

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads.

One thing this week’s topic taught me is that I don’t read nearly enough underrated books, so I’m very excited to do a little blog hopping after work to see what others are posting so as to expand my reading horizons.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Underrated Books to add to your TBR List


1. Annapurna by Sharr White

03 I don’t know if drama in general is underrated on Goodreads or if Sharr White himself is because I’ve read two wonderful plays by him that both have less than 2,000 reviews. For those unfamiliar with Mr. White, he is a master at writing powerful roles for women. Even if you don’t read the plays, definitely don’t hesitate to check them out on stage. Brilliant stuff!

Synopsis from Goodreads: “Twenty years ago, Emma walked out on her husband, cowboy-poet Ulysses, in the middle of the night. Now hearing he’s in dire straits, she tracks him down in the wilds of Colorado to a filthy trailer, where he’s hooked to an oxygen tank and cooking sausage in the buff. Their reunion, charged by rage and compassion, brings back the worst and best of their former bond.”

2. A Stranger in the Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher

04 It has been a number of years since I read this so I don’t remember much about it other than that it reminded me a lot of To Kill a Mockingbird because of the themes it tackled.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Howard Frank Mosher has earned both critical acclaim and a wide readership for his vivid historical portraits of northern New England residents in his fictional Kingdom County, Vermont. A Stranger in the Kingdom tells the unforgettable story of a brutal murder in a small town and the devastating events that follow. The town’s new preacher, a black man, finds himself on trial more for who he is than for what he might have done in this powerful drama of passion, prejudice, and innocence suddenly lost . . . and perhaps found again.

3. The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

01 The Memory of Things actually hasn’t been published yet, so I’m kind of cheating a bit here because I think this should be on everyone’s radar for when it does come out in September. I just recently read it and thought it was such a moving and poignant read.

Synopsis from Goodreads: “The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.” Read More…

4. Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter

05 This is a suspenseful page turner and a recent release that I’m frankly surprised hasn’t wracked up anymore reviews than it has.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her. Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Alabama, determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret. Fragile and desperate, Althea escapes with an old flame to uncover the truth about her lineage. Drawn deeper into her ancestors’ lives, Althea begins to unearth their disturbing history…and the part she’s meant to play in it. You can also read my review HERE.

5. All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

06 This book is a fairly recent release that, like Burying the Honeysuckle Girls, so far hasn’t gotten as much attention as I thought it would have. It reminded me a lot of Gone Girl and to The Girl on the Train, except with the added twist that it’s told in reverse.

Synopsis from Goodreads: “Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.” Read more…
Read more

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My Summer TBR List

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is “FREEBIE WEEK — topic of your choice or go back and do one you missed!” This is my first week participating so I’m choosing to go back and do an earlier top 10 list, so without further ado, here’s my first Top Ten Tuesday!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books on My Summer TBR List


A Darker Shade final for Irene 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10
1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab – Nearly everyone I follow has given this one rave reviews, plus I’m kind of intrigued by the idea of London parallel universe style, so I’m super excited to give it a read this summer.

2. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Back when I read Red Queen, I remember a lot of reviews saying that it was similar to Red Rising but that Red Rising was the superior series. I’ve decided I want to see for myself which is better.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas -Again, major rave reviews for this series and the blurb on Goodreads sold me as soon as it mentioned Beauty and the Beast!

4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – After starting out with so many fantasy novels, I like to switch gears and read something a little different. I chose this one because I love novels that focus on the bonds of friendship and also because it’s set in Italy and I went there last year and fell in love with the country.

5. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub – This one appeals to me because of all of the positive buzz it has gotten and also when I read the blurb on Goodreads, it sounded like a book I would be able to relate to: “Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.”

6. A Storm of Swords, Game of Thrones # 3, by George R. R. Martin – As much as I enjoy the Game of Thrones series, I can only tackle one of these behemoths a year and it’s that time again…

7. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – The cover of this novel is what initially drew me in – the look of pain on that man’s face. The synopsis sounds pretty compelling as well: “When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.”

8. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman – The reviews I’ve read on this book have been somewhat mixed, but I’m still intrigued and want to give it a shot. From Goodreads: “Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost.”

9. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa – This book was on a lot of the Must Read lists at the beginning of the year. Although it isn’t my usual reading fare, it sounded very interesting so I entered a Goodreads giveaway and won a copy. I’m excited to give it a try and see if it lives up to the hype. From Goodreads: “The Flamethrowers meets Let the Great World Spin in this debut novel set amid the heated conflict of Seattle’s 1999 WTO protests.”

10. Fire Falling, Air Awakens # 2, by Elise Kova – I just started the Air Awakens series this week and am already so in love with it that the second book in the series bumped another TBR book from my top 10 list.

Waiting On Wednesday: Falling by Jane Green

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Falling by Jane Green.

falling cover thumb

Publication Date: July 19, 2016

From Amazon:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them…

When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.

On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.

Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.

But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.

In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…

* * * * *

I’m excited about this one because based on early reviews I’ve read, it just sounds like a perfect book to take with me when I go on vacation this summer. Can’t wait to read it when it comes out next month!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Coffee & Book Pairings Meme

I’ve been seeing this fun meme floating around for a while now, most recently at So Many Books, so I thought I’d give it a go as well since coffee and books are basically two of my most favorite things in the whole world.

Image created at canva.com

Image created at canva.com

Black: A series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

I might be the only person on the planet who thinks this, but I’m going to go with George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I’ve read two of the books so far but have had the third sitting in my TBR pile for over a year now. It’s a love/hate thing with me. The story is amazing, but it just wears me out that every time I become attached to a character, they seem to almost immediately meet with a gruesome end. It’s emotionally draining

game of thrones


Peppermint Mocha: A book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of the year.

My peppermint mocha is book called The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. There’s something magical about this book and I think about it every time it snows.

snow child


Hot Chocolate: Favorite Children’s Book

Too many favorites to count – Charlotte’s Web and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to name a couple, but the one guaranteed to give me warm fuzzies just thinking about it is Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner. A. A. Milne’s characters, especially Eeyore, have remained sentimental favorites all my life.

Winnie the Pooh


Double shot of Espresso: A book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

I’m going to go with Bram Stoker Award winner Phoenix Island by John Dixon. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book since it isn’t typically the type of book I read, but I was interested in it because a television show I liked at the time was based off of it. Boy, what a ride it turned out to be! An action-packed adrenaline rush from start to finish!

phoenix island


Starbucks: A book you see everywhere.

I don’t come across too many people who read in my daily life so I can only go by what my bookish friends online are reading and everyone seems to be talking about A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I haven’t started this series yet but look forward to doing so soon.

court of mist and fury


Read more

“Waiting On” Wednesday: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

This is my first time participating and I’m happy to report that the upcoming release I’m most eagerly anticipating is actually coming out next week!

Modern Lovers
By Emma Straub

Modern-Lovers-covera

Publication Date: May 31, 2016

From Amazon:

From the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college— and what it means to finally grow up, well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.
Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.

This one just sounds like it’s going to be such a fun read and one that I can really relate to so I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Question: What are your Must-Read YA novels?

As much as I love to read, books designated as Young Adult (or YA) are ones that I’ve vastly neglected in recent years. Why? I don’t really have a good excuse other than my own misguided belief that as a person who is closer to “middle aged” than to young adulthood, I was just too old to be reading anything classified as YA. I’ve thankfully kicked that belief to the curb and am now embracing the more enlightened philosophy that regardless of how it’s labeled, if a story sounds like it might interest me, I’m damned well going to read it!

ya books

That said, what this post is about is me looking for a good starting point as I delve into YA. So far I’ve read a few books by John Green (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars) and have loved them. I’ve also read the Divergent series and thought that was pretty good. Of course I adore the entire Harry Potter series and am currently very much enjoying Jennifer Niven’s ‘All The Bright Places’. What to read next though is the question, so I’d love to hear from my fellow readers as to what you would consider to be Must-Reads for anyone new to YA. What are your favorites?

Comment below and help me get started. Thanks in advance!

The A-Z of Books Tag

Now that I have a few reviews under my belt, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit and add some non-review posts to my blog. I came across this cool A-B of Books tag on Pretty Purple Polka Dots and again on Rather Too Fond of Books and decided I’d like to give it a shot as well so here goes!


reading 

 

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From

Toni Morrison.  When I was in college, I took a seminar that was exclusively devoted to Morrison’s novel. I read all 6 that had been published at that time and have read at least 4 more since then.   (Runner up, which is pretty indicative of how varied my tastes in reading, is J.K. Rowling with the entire Harry Potter series.)

 

Best Sequel Ever

I don’t know if I can pick a ‘best ever’ but I did really enjoy The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second novel in Stieg Larrson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.

 

Currently Reading

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman

 

Drink of Choice While Reading

Usually coffee, but occasionally a glass of wine when I read on weekends.

 

E-Reader or Physical Book

As much as I adore physical copies of books, I also love that with an e-reader because I can instantly download a new book any time of the day or night.

 

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School

For some reason, only Harry Potter characters are popping into my head so I’m going to go with Ron Weasley. I do love redheads and he and I would have had a great time together snarking on Draco Malfoy and his goons.

ron weasley

 

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance

Emma Donaghue’s ‘The Room’.  I really struggled to get through the first 50 or so pages and almost gave up on the book because it was hard to follow the 5-year child narrator, but once I got used to the narration, this book quickly became one of my all-time favorites.

 

Hidden Gem Book

Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith.  I picked this book up mainly because I had heard it was set in my home state of Virginia. What an absolutely gorgeous piece of writing it turned out to be.  If you give this one a try, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the character of Ivy Rose.

Fair and Tender Ladies

 

 

Important Moment in Your Reading Life

Reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ for the first time when I was in the 8th grade. That book turned me into the book addict that I am today.

 

Just Finished

‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline. It’s fabulous, by the way, my favorite book of 2016 so far.

 
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‘Eligible’ by Curtis Sittenfeld gives ‘Pride and Prejudice’ a Fresh and Fun Makeover

‘Eligible’ by Curtis Sittenfeld gives ‘Pride and Prejudice’ a Fresh and Fun MakeoverEligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
four-half-stars
Series: The Austen Project #4
Published by Random House on April 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 512
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

My review: 

Prior to requesting Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible from Netgalley, I was completely unfamiliar with the Austen Project, in which six prominent modern-day authors have been tasked with giving contemporary makeovers to Jane Austen’s classic novels.  Because I’ve been a Jane Austen fan since I first read Pride and Prejudice in high school, I was immediately intrigued by the project and eager to see what kind of modern spin these authors would put on some of my beloved favorites.

I’m happy to report that Eligible, Sittenfeld’s modern take on Pride and Prejudice, did not disappoint.  For those who are familiar with the original classic, Eligible preserves its main characters, primary storylines, satirical elements, as well as its overriding themes:   Mrs. Bennet is still obsessed with finding suitable husbands for her five daughters to marry, and Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett again steal the spotlight as they verbally spar their way from hate at first sight to eventual true love.

In spite of the many similarities to Pride and Prejudice, however, Sittenfeld skillfully infuses Eligible with enough modern elements and unexpected plot twists to keep her story fresh and hilariously entertaining rather than simply a rehash of the original.

Highlights for me:

There were so many things I loved about this book that it’s impossible to name them all. The contemporary spin on the Liz/Darcy storyline is a given, but here are some of my other favorites:

The Americanized setting.  Swapping out the English countryside for the suburban landscape of Cincinnati, Ohio gave the original storyline an instant facelift, as did replacing fancy dress balls and strolls around formal English gardens with barbecues and jogs around the block.  The change in scenery was instantly relatable, and of course, there was the added amusement of learning that our oh-so-dignified Mr. Darcy was a big fan of Cincinnati chili.

The aging  of the Bennet sisters.  Since it would have been somewhat old-fashioned to be worried about twentysomethings and the danger of spinsterhood, Sittenfeld deftly updates both the ages of the Bennet sisters as well as the driving forces behind Mama Bennet’s desire to find them all men.  Eldest daughter Jane is now 40, with Liz not too far behind her at 38, so the relevant issue at hand for them, Jane in particular, is fertility.  If they want to have children, they had better get busy.

For the younger three Bennet sisters, the issue is more just about having them grow up and start fending for themselves.  Here, Sittenfeld has woven into her narrative a powerful, albeit humorous, criticism of millennials, and particularly of what she refers to as the ‘boomerang effect’ when the grown children return home to live with their parents.  Even though all five Bennet sisters are grown women, only two of them, Jane and Liz, have moved out of their parents’ home and secured careers for themselves.  Kitty, Lydia, and Mary have instead chosen to remain living at home and behaving like children.  They do absolutely nothing to help out around the house either through monetary contributions or by helping to care for their father when his health declines.  Instead of needing husbands, what these three girls need is a swift kick in the pants to get them out of their parents’ home and living independently.

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four-half-stars