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Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed.  Okay, I’m using the term “reviewed” very loosely here since these titles come from around the time I first joined Goodreads.  I joined back in 2008 and when I first started out, I rarely ever wrote more than a sentence about a book, if I even did that much.  I think I set up my account, “reviewed” a couple of current reads, and then got sucked down the rabbit hole of rating books I’d read in order to supposedly get better book recommendations generated by GR.  I also must have only been interested in putting ratings on books that I liked because as you can see, these first books reviewed are almost all 4 and 5 star reads.

My, how my review style and my taste in books has changed over the years…

 

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First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed

 

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen  (4 STARS)

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen  (5 STARS)

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield  (4 STARS)

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini  (5 STARS)

ANGELS & DEMONS by Dan Brown  (5 STARS)

THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE by Pat Conroy  (5 STARS)

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini  (5 STARS)

BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens  (5 STARS)

ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich  (4 STARS)

1ST TO DIE by James Patterson  (3 STARS)

 

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What are first books you remember reviewing?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Perfect Rainy Day Reads

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Rainy Day Reads.  This was a surprisingly hard topic for me, I guess mainly because as a book nerd, I think pretty much every book is great for a rainy day. So I got to thinking about it and decided to focus in on books I think would consume readers so thoroughly they would actually forget it was even raining outside.  For me, that list contains both some old favorites and some new ones that have sucked me in and kept me reading all day.  Both Kristin Hannah and Taylor Jenkins Reid feature prominently on my list as I’m currently addicted their their books.  Harry Potter of course made my list.  I picked one book for here but honestly any book would be perfect.

 

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10 Perfect Rainy Day Reads

 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

 

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What are some of your favorite rainy day reads?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Ways I Squeeze a Little Extra Reading Time into My Day

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually supposed to be Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (i.e. skipped meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like to read, traveled long distances to bookish events, etc.  After sitting here staring at that topic for way too long and drawing a complete blank, I decided to take a slightly different route.  Today instead, I’m going to share some random moments throughout my day where I try to squeeze in a few extra minutes of reading time.  Some are pretty normal, but several of them have been known to garner weird looks from my friends, family, and from complete strangers.  Whatever, people. A bookworm’s gotta bookworm, right?!

 

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10 Ways I Squeeze a Little Extra Reading Time into My Day

 

1. Reading While Cooking

 

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Whether it’s listening to an audiobook or having my Kindle propped up on the kitchen counter,

it’s not uncommon to find me sneaking in a few pages of my current read while I’m preparing meals.

 

2. Reading While Getting Ready for Work

 

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Pretty much every morning, my Kindle is propped up on the bathroom counter so that I can read a few pages while I’m getting ready for work.

Yes, this often leads to me running behind schedule, but it’s totally worth it, lol.

 

3. Reading While in the Bathtub

 

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This one is a little tricky since it’s so easy to ruin a book or e-reader, but what a perfect time to relax and get a little reading done…

Minus the creepy green ghost in the gif, of course, haha!

 

4. Reading While Eating

 

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Okay, so I do behave myself and put the books away while we’re having a family meal,

but if it’s just me eating alone, like for breakfast or for lunch, it’s a guarantee my nose will be in a book.

 

5. Reading While Driving

 

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If I’m in the car alone, it’s audiobook time!

 

6. Reading While Doing Chores

 

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Let’s face it…chores suck, right?  I can’t think of anyway to make them more enjoyable to turn on an audiobook

and squeeze in some reading time while folding laundry, ironing, or doing the dishes.

 

7. Reading While at the Soccer Field

 

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Anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows that I’m a soccer mom and that my son lives and breathes soccer.

We have practice 4 times a week, plus games.  I’m a good soccer mom and pay attention during all of the games,

but I confess to reading my way through most of those practices.

 

8. Reading While Waiting in Line

 

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Lines bore me, so while I’m stuck waiting in them, I almost always pull out a book and read.  It doesn’t even matter what kind of line, honestly.

At the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office, DMV, restaurant drive-thrus, you name a line and I’ve probably read a book while waiting in it.

 

9. Reading in Waiting Rooms

 

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Along similar lines, I always read when I’m waiting for a doctor’s appointment.  I’ll even continue to read once they call my name

and take me back to the exam room because I know I still have time before the doctor actually shows up.

 

10. Reading While a Passenger

 

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Whether it’s public transportation of any kind or even if I’m just the passenger in a car, if I’m not the one driving, it’s party time!

And by party time, I mean it means I have more time to read.  Woo Hoo!

 

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What are some ways you manage to squeeze in a little extra reading time each day?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book.  This was a pretty easy topic for me because I definitely have some “go-to” qualities that I always seem to gravitate towards when I’m looking for new books.  This of course is not an exhaustive list because let’s face it, as a book nerd, just about anything will at least make me pick up a book and give it a second look, lol.

 

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10 Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book

 

1.  Kick Ass Heroine

I’m all about girl power, so it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll be interested in a book if it features a pretty epic heroine.

 

 

2.  Location, Location, Location

If a book is set in a city I love or in some place I’ve always wanted to visit, it’s going to automatically pique my interest.

 

 

3.  WWII

I love pretty much all historical fiction, but the books that are almost always guaranteed

to grab my attention are those that are set during WWII.

 

 

4.  Dual Timeline

I’m such a sucker for a book that features a dual timeline.

 

 

5. Retellings

If it’s a retelling, it’s going on my TBR, especially if it’s a retelling of one of my favorites like Beauty and the Beast.

 

 

6.  A Focus on Family and Friendships

I’m all for a heartwarming read about the importance of family and/or friendship.

 

 

7. Time Travel

I don’t know what it is about time travel that appeals to me so much, but it’s guaranteed to make me pick up a book.

 

 

 

8.  Pretty Covers.

I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover right?  But sometimes I totally do and if a cover is pretty, I automatically want to know more about the book.

 

 

 

9.  Books or Book Lovers are featured

If your book features book or book lovers, it’s basically written for me so of course I’m going to pick it up. 🙂

 

 

10.  Relatable and Realistic Romance

If you want to entice me to pick up a book that features a romance, make it something relatable and realistic like a first love,

a second chance romance, or even something like enemies to lovers.

 

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What kinds of things are guaranteed to make you pick up a book?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is audiobook freebie.  Now in year’s past, I’ll be honest — I probably would have skipped this topic because audiobooks have historically been a struggle for me.  I’d lose track of what I’m listening to because I was trying to listen to them while I was working or else I’d just zone out because the narration was too slow for me.  It always bummed me out because I loved the idea of audiobooks and everyone else I know seems to love them.  Well, this past year, something finally clicked with me and now I can’t get enough of them.  Instead of trying to listen to them while I’m at work, now I listen to them in the car, or while doing chores, or even in the evenings just before I’m ready to go to sleep.  I also changed up the genres I was trying on audio and found that contemporaries were the best fit overall for me.  Technology helped quite a bit too.  Now that I can get audiobooks as mp3 files, I can speed up the narration to 1.25x, which really helps keep me focused on what I’m listening to.

Below are ten audiobooks that I’ve really enjoyed this past year.  If you’re struggling to get into audiobooks, I’d definitely recommend giving any of these a try.  I thought that the stories themselves were very compelling and that the narration in each case really added so much to the stories.  I was an especially big fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The audio version just really helped make Evelyn seem larger than life.

 

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10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston

CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER by Sarah J. Maas

I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman

LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch

GIRL OUT OF WATER by Laura Silverman

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie

 

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Do you enjoy audiobooks?  Have you listened to any of these?

Top Ten Tuesday – Top 10 Books on My Reading List for Spring

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books On My Spring 2019 TBR.  I’ve got what I think will be a lot of great reads planned for this spring.  As I mentioned in my Weekly Update, I’ve hit a bit of a wall when it comes to reading fantasy.  To switch things up a bit, I’ll be reading primarily contemporaries this spring.  There’s one fantasy, one thriller, and one historical fiction on my list as well just so that I have some variety for my inner mood reader, but I’m mostly feeling the need right now for fun modern reads or maybe even some sweet, heartfelt reads that will make me cry.  Hopefully this list will fit the bill. 🙂

 

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Top 10 Books on My Reading List for Spring

 

LOST ROSES by Martha Hall Kelly

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRUE by Susan Kaplan Carlton

ONE SUMMER IN PARIS by Sarah Morgan

CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT by Brigid Kemmerer

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston

SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY by Amber Smith

WE WERE KILLERS ONCE by Becky Masterson

THE UNHONEYMOONERS by Christina Lauren

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon

DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE by Joan He

 

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Are any of these books on your Spring TBR?

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Standalone Books That Need a Sequel.  I actually found this topic extremely difficult, mainly because so few of the books I read aren’t standalones.  I’m a huge series reader so I had to think long and hard to come up with ten books that met the criteria.  What all of my picks have in common is that they’re all contemporaries and they don’t all necessarily need a sequel.  It’s more a case of I became so attached to the characters in them that I’d love to be able to just check back in with them and see how they’re doing.

 

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10 Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

 

STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

FAR FROM THE TREE by Robin Benway

THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS by Ashley Woodfolk

THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED by Becky Albertalli

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER by Sara Barnard

I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman

DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

 

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What are some standalone books you’d love to read sequels for?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Fictional Characters I’d Like to Switch Places with for a Day

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With.  I tweaked this topic a little, mainly just because I couldn’t think of any characters I’d want to permanently switch places with.  I could think of plenty of characters I’d love to switch places with for a day though, just to walk in their shoes for a bit, so to speak. And as you can tell from my list, apparently I just really want to be a badass, even if it’s just for a day, haha!

 

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10 Fictional Characters I’d Like to Switch Places with for a Day

 

1. HERMIONE GRANGER from the Harry Potter series

Oh, to be as smart and quick witted as Hermione, even if it’s just for one day!

 

2. MINERVA MCGONAGALL, also from the Harry Potter series

There’s something about Professor McGonagal that just always makes me feel like it would be so cool to be her.

I think it’s that combination of being feared, revered, and yet still beloved by her students.

 

3. EMIKA CHEN from Warcross

I’d just love to be able to play in the Warcross Games. Plus, Emika’s hacking skills would be pretty great too.

 

4. ART3MIS from Ready Player One

Again, it’s a video game thing.  I’d just love to play in the Oasis for a day and be a total badass like Art3mis.

 

5. DIANA from Wonder Woman: Warbringer

I mean, seriously.  Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero for a day?

 

6. LILA BARD from the Shades of Magic trilogy

Pirate for a day?  Yes, please!

 

7. DAENERYS TARGARYEN from the A Song of Ice and Fire series

Again, just for a day and mainly because I want to fly on a dragon’s back and call myself the Mother of Dragons, lol.

 

8. NANCY DREW from the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

This one is mainly for the nostalgia factor since she’s a childhood favorite.  And oh, to have her amazing detective skills.

 

9. ROBERT LANGDON from The Da Vinci Code

If I’m not being a badass for a day, I’m apparently drawn to characters who are intelligent and skilled at following clues

because I’d love to have Langdon’s ability to solve seemingly impossible puzzles, even just for a day.

 

10. JO MARCH from Little Women

Another childhood favorite, Jo is probably the only character I’d want to switch places with for more than a day,

simply because she becomes a writer, and oh what a dream come true that would be.

 

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What characters would you like to trade places with for a day?  Do we share any?

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit.  One of the things I love most about reading is that books almost always make me want to travel.  Maybe it’s to an actual destination like France or Italy or maybe it’s just my imagination running wild to visit fictional locales that I think would be incredible.  I know I’ve mentioned Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings in similar posts, but they’re automatically the first two worlds I think of when exploring this kind of topic.  I did try to mix it up a bit with those two though and pick different places.  I also tried to add in a few newer reads that I haven’t covered in similar posts.

 

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Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

 

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCEROR’S STONE by J.K. Rowling

I’d love to go shopping in Diagon Alley with Hagrid.

 

 

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling

I’d love to visit Hogsmeade and have a butter beer with Harry, Ron, and Hermione

 

 

 

LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch

I’ve been once, but I’d love to go back to Italy and try ALL the gelato!

 

 

 

READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

Two words:  THE OASIS!

 

 

 

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. Martin

Westeros – – I want to see the dragons and then get out of there ASAP!

 

 

 

WARCROSS by Marie Lu

I’d love to visit Tokyo, try out the VR, and watch the Warcross Games.

 

 

 

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien

I want to see the Shire.

 

 

 

LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien

I would love to see Rivendell, the Elf refuge.

 

 

 

THE DA VINCI CODE by Dan Brown

I’d like to go back to Paris and visit the Louvre some day.)

 

 

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

I’d like to get a quick peek at the dinosaurs, especially the ones who aren’t carnivores, lol.

 

 

 

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Question:  What places mentioned in books would you like to visit?

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Fabulous Books That Deserve More Love

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads.  I really like doing posts like this because there are so many great books out there that deserve more attention than what they’ve gotten so far.  I tried to narrow my focus this time around on books that were published at least a couple of months ago and still have less than 2,000 reviews on Goodreads.  I figure anything newer than that still has a pretty good shot of crossing that 2,000 review threshold soon and doesn’t necessarily need a nudge from me yet.  All of the books on my list were also either 4 or 5 star reads for me

 

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10 Fabulous Books That Deserve More Love

 

SUMMER BIRD BLUE by Akemi Dawn Bowman  (Publication Date:  September 11, 2018, 704 GR ratings)

LETTING GO OF GRAVITY by Meg Leder  (Publication Date:  July 17, 2018, 347 GR ratings)

THE SPY WITH THE RED BALLOON by Katherine Locke  (Publication Date:  October 2, 2018, 281 GR ratings)

SPEAK EASY, SPEAK LOVE by McKelle George  (Publication Date:  September 19, 2017, 775 GR ratings)

THE ACCIDENTAL BEAUTY QUEEN by Teri Wilson  (Publication Date:  December 4, 2018, 991 GR ratings)

DAUGHTERS OF THE STORM by Kim Wilkins  (Publication Date:  March 6, 2018, 998 GR ratings)

LITTLE BIG LOVE by Katy Regan  (Publication Date:  June 5, 2018, 1,091 GR ratings)

WE ARE STILL TORNADOES by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen  (Publication Date:  November 1, 2016, 1,139 GR ratings)

I STOP SOMEWHERE by T.E. Carter  (Publication Date:  February 27, 2018, 1,571 GR ratings)

THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS by Ashley Woodfolk  (Publication Date:  March 6, 2018, 1,587 GR ratings)

 

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What are some of your favorite reads that deserve more love?  Have you read and enjoyed any of my picks?