Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today, the TTT community is tasked to come up with a book list for rainy days. I love matching my book choice to an atmospheric environment – stormy skies or drizzling rain lent themselves perfectly to this. Rain is particularly versatile as it can feel like a good cleansing or a new beginning but also dreary and dreadful. Thus parallel book themes are easy to come by. Here are a few that I would choose to read during a good rain. I have sorted them by categories but many of them would fit more than one. I’ve linked the titles to their Goodreads pages.


A scary book

Rain. Overcast skies. Greyness. That makes one of the most perfect scenarios to be scared.

  • While You Sleep relies on setting the scene to draw you into the story and this would definitely be enhanced if it is actually raining while you read.
  • Misery takes place during winter but I put it on the list anyway because heavy rain can make us feel closed in as well and that feeling of being stuck perfectly fits the plot of the book.

 

A book to escape this world

Who doesn’t want to escape somewhere else when the weather is shitty outside?! Some like to escape to stories of beaches and sunshine. I like to enter fantasy worlds!

  • Any Harry Potter book is perfect when you’re stuck at home. #6 is my favorite!
  • The Night Circus is magical and weird. It has a great romance and lots of adventure.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my all-time favorite books. I would find any excuse to re-read it but a rainy day makes it all the more absurd.

 

A funny memoir

I particularly love listening to memoirs. I would pick one of these while I knit or draw – which seems like a great activity for a rainy afternoon.

 

A good romance or some chick lit

Romance novels, particularly anything by Nora Roberts, are my guilty pleasure. I love escaping into a good romance plot. These few were some of my recent favorites.

  • The Kiss Quotient surprised me. I loved the protagonist. I liked that it had an own-voices theme and I loved how adult it was.
  • Fangirl is so deliciously geeky. It was a great coming-of-age story in a setting I could super relate to.
  • Three Fates – Nora Roberts and Ireland and folktales. Count me in. I loved this one.
  • One Day in December was another surprise. I read this over Christmas break and even cried. And isn’t a good sob the most liberating thing to do?!

 

A book of short stories

I have recently begun to appreciate short stories. They allow you to have many different kinds of experience in quick succession. On a rainy day escaping to several worlds would be perfection.

  • Uncommon Type is a wonderful compilation of diverse stories. What can’t Tom Hanks do????
  • M is for Magic showcases how perfect Neil Gaiman is as a writer and human being.

 

A book to ponder the meaning of life or a book that makes you think

Ok. I love me a good pondering of why we exist and what the point of being alive is. These three books made me think quite a bit for different reasons.

  • The Sunset Limited is bleak and depressing at times. It’s a continuous dialogue between two men who have very different opinions on what the meaning of life is and I am HERE FOR THAT. I honestly think everyone should read this book.
  • The Trees deals with the relationship between humans and nature. It is magical realism at its best. I like thinking about my impact on nature and nature’s impact on me.
  • The Time Keeper threw me for a loop. I had a huge book hangover after finishing it. Mind blown and all! I should probably re-read this one.

 

A book with beautiful illustrations or pictures

Looking at some amazing pictures is so satisfying. I love a good graphic novel but also love photography or art books.

 

A poetry book

Honestly, poetry is perfect for a rainy day. Probably more perfect than reading any horror novel.

 

A suspenseful book

A murder mystery. A thriller. A whodunnit plot. All of these are great to read during a storm.

  • Gone Girl feels grey and melancholic. It kept my attention the entire time and I just had to read on.
  • Big Little Lies has a host of amazing characters. I love the format of the book and getting to know all the backstories. Each woman could have a motive to commit a murder.
  • And Then There Were None is just one example of a great Agatha Christie mystery. Really any of her books would be amazing for a rainy day.

 

A book with quirky or relatable characters

Quirky characters always get me. I love reading books with interesting character dynamics or interpersonal relationships. These two books would be fun reads or great audiobooks.

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine is a book that gets me. I am always excited to find authors who incorporate mental illness in a real way. Eleanor is lovable because of how she is, not despite it.
  • Little Women is another one of my all-time favorites. It has great family interactions, wonderful characters, and just enough plot. A classic that I believe everyone should read.

What do you like to read on a rainy day? I can’t wait to check out your recommendations! Leave them in the comments. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – forgettables of 2018

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is about the outrageous things I’ve done for books. I live kind of a boring life though and couldn’t really come up with anything noteworthy. Thus, I decided to look at my 2018 reading list to see what books I’ve already forgotten. Here is a list of books of which I barely (or not at all) remember the plot. You’ll see what it is that I do remember about the story and I have linked to the relevant Goodreads page so you can check it out for yourself.


The Girl Who Never Read Chomsky

I remember that this book felt way too long. I remember the story spanning many years following a girl throughout her life.

Happiness

I remember that this book had a fox running over a bridge in London and a chance meeting of two people. They fell in love? but not sure if they stayed together or not.

Final Girls

I remember that I felt I would’ve done the plot differently. I remember not liking the flashbacks.

Trenton Makes

I remember this book feeling grey and depressing. Maybe something about the working man?

The Marriage Pact

I remember something about being taken into a “club” and some sinister control over a marriage – like the couple had to follow certain rules etc.

Red Queen

I remember not liking this book. It felt like a formulaic YA novel.

Endless Nights

I am sad to see this one on the list since I love Agatha Christie but I can’t recall the plot of this one at all.


Do you remember all the books you’ve recently read? I catch myself often wondering “did I read that already?”.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – let’s listen carefully

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today is all about audio files! During long hours in grad school doing monotone tasks, I would listen to “guilty pleasures”. Once I graduated I stopped listening to audiobooks and have only recently picked it back up. Now, I mostly listen to author-read memoirs and other non-fiction books. Although I have a few fiction books on my list below. During work, I now often seek out podcasts. I know some of you have a book to listen to any time of their day but I tend to miss important plot points or some nuanced things with this media and thus generally prefer reading over listening. Here are some of my (recent) favorites.


Audiobooks

5 stars

Misery

This is probably my favorite audiobook. It rarely happens but I got super caught up in it and couldn’t stop listening!

The Gunslinger

I have read this book a while back and listened to the audio version fairly recently. It’s a great story and lends itself well to one narrator.

Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine

This was a fun listen and missing a few things here and there didn’t seem detrimental.

Bossypants

Tina Fey was a great reader. She had me laughing on multiple occasions.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I watched the Netflix show and decided to check out the book. It was a perfect work companion.

4 stars

Scrappy Little Nobody

I’ve always liked Anna Kendrick and she is super frank in this one.

Yes Please

Amy Poehler is a sweetheart and her memoir was surprisingly deep.

Something Wicked this Way Comes

I quite liked this story but probably would’ve loved it had I read it myself.

In Cold Blood

Truman is a great writer. This was a really engaging listen.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

Creepy and fascinating.


Podcasts

The Horror Virgin

Friends watch horror movies with a scaredy-cat and then talk about it. It’s hilarious. It’s entertaining. It’s educational. It seriously is my favorite podcast right now. Also, one of the hosts is a huge Stephen King fan, so how can I not love this group????!!!!

Armchair Expert

Dax Shepherd is so honest in this one. I love his interviews and insights. I tend to pick and choose the episodes I listen to based on guests.

The Pat McAffee Show

Go Colts!

The Witch Wave

Pam Grossman has a way to capture you in her episodes. She draws you right in. Her voice is soothing.

Anna Faris is Unqualified

She is raunchy. She is frank. She is funny and sweet. I love Anna Faris and have been listening to her podcast for a long time.

My Favorite Murder

I too love true crime. I used to listen to this podcast all the time but it has tapered off a bit.


I cannot wait to see what you’re listening to! I hope you’ll check out some of my recommendations.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved With Fewer than 2000 Ratings on Goodreads

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is actually quite difficult. While I often read books with few ratings on Goodreads, finding some below 2000 is not easy. As you’ll see, several of the books I am featuring here are either in German or fairly new releases (published before Jan 2019). And as you’ll also notice many of them somehow deal with WWII societies across different countries.


 

Heinrich Böll is one of my favorite authors and I am slowly but surely making my way through his collection. I loved both, Der Engel schwieg and Der Zug war pünktlich, for their bleakness and misery – made worse by the fact that both stories could’ve easily been real in wartime Germany. I tend to not like autobiographies and I often avoid reading WWII based books, but Reich-Ranicki was one of the most revered literary critics in Germany and was also a Warsaw Ghetto survivor. His writing is excellent, he is a wizard with words, and his anecdotes and life events are gripping and often sad or depressing, but always thought-provoking. I encourage everyone to pick up his book.


onourown

I am surprising myself that I have yet another WWII story on this list. If I didn’t make this clear before, I definitely have survivor’s guilt, and I wasn’t even born during that time. I am sure almost everyone has read the graphic novels, Maus I and II. We Are On Our Own is another impactful tale of war refugees and their journey of survival. The illustrations match the haunting mood of the book perfectly.


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The aforementioned books I recommended so far are all kind of niche books – Germany or WWII themed, so I understand why they are not that popular, but I am actually flabbergasted that Supernatural Tales doesn’t have more than 2000 ratings. This is a book of Gothic excellence. It is written by Violet Page under a male pseudonym who is the goddess of supernatural fiction. Her talent jumps off the page in this collection of short stories and I really hope more people will read her work. Quickly looking through Goodreads shows all of her books are far below 2000 reviews, we need to change that.


 

Receiving ARCs is one of my favorite ways to discover new books. The three I have featured here still have few ratings on Goodreads but are each wonderful in their own way and deserve more attention. The Trees is a heavy read – heavy because it makes us think about what we are doing to nature. Imagine, mother nature, one day gets mad and takes back her earth. How will humanity cope? Who will survive? Who deserves to live on? The Song of the Orphans is the second book in a sci-fi/fantasy series called Silvers. While the first installment has more than 2000 ratings, this one does not, and I really want to drum up readership in anticipation of book #3, which I am hoping will be released later this year. I definitely liked book 2 better than book 1 since the main characters started to come into their own and since the plot just picked up tremendously. This series seems to be a good balance of sci-fi and fantasy elements thus making it a very decent entry-level sci-fi trilogy. Everyone should know that I love Edgar Allen Poe – seeing his work in manga form is sheer perfection as that genre just works so damn well for his stories. I loved the illustrations and the weirdness in this book. It’s a quick read and perfect for anyone who wants to explore Poe a bit more.


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I have been expanding my ARCs to middle-grade books as I believe I’ve been missing some very impactful stories. The two here proved my suspicion. Both have significant messages beyond middle-grade ages and deal with issues that apply to anyone really. Beyond the Green is a heartful novel about kinship and how it crosses invisible borders. It is a middle-grade read that I am hoping will find its way into many school libraries. The Orphan Band of Springdale is a complex story of fitting in, making friends, and dealing with prejudice all the while the US is at the eve of its involvement in WWII.


I hope this post will inspire some of you to pick up one of these books as they deserve all the love they can get. I am looking forward to checking out other TTTs which I am sure will lead to an inevitable increase of my TBR.

Top Ten Tuesday -Favorite Couples in Books

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is about favorite book couples. I tend to not have those or idealize bookish relationships but I was able to think of 10 12 romantic relationships that left an impression on me. As you’ll see, most of them involve at least one dark character. What can I say? I love them brooding and mysterious with a touch of evil or violent or at the very least not conventionally nice. I also really dig a fierce and independent female. These are in no particular order. So, without further ado …..

 

Vasya and Morozko

Lila and Kell AND Alucard and Rhy

Liesl and der Erlkönig

Inej and Kaz

Cherry and Hero

18

Richard and Lady Door

355

Tristran and Ivaine

481

Deryn and Alek

Alice and Hatcher

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Jo and Laurie

483

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

Top Ten Tuesday – Keep or Toss edition

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s topic is about upcoming releases that I am on the fence about. Well, I tend to not focus all that much on upcoming releases when deciding on my TBR, so I don’t feel like I have a strong enough opinion to feel on the fence. Thus, I decided to use a random number generator between 1 and 799 (the current number of my Goodreads want-to-read shelf) instead to find 10 books that I was hoping you could help me decide what to do with it 🙂

The generated numbers were 306, 52, 624, 387, 608, 228, 609, 353, 461, and 791 resulting in these books:


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton YA, Fantasy, Romance

Djinns, magical beasts, a badass female heroine, potential for love with a handsome fugitive … . This novel seems to have it all but is it just another YA fantasy? Why should I read this one when there are a million others sounding just the same? Is this a series worth getting into? Keep or toss?

The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie Classics, Suspense, Mystery

As a teen, I devoured Agatha Christie books and one day I just added all her books I haven’t read yet to my TBR. But will I actually ever get around to them? I’ll probably toss this one.

Contagion by Erin Bowman YA, Sci-fi

I love sci-fi but I generally don’t read YA Sci-fi. Is this a good book to start with? I am always hesitant to start a series because you essentially commit to several books at once. Keep or toss?

Stiff by Mary Roach Nonfiction, Science

I have this book at home. I really should finally read it. I’ll keep it.

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olson Scandinavian Lit, Thriller, Suspense

Ugh, another series, but the setting is Denmark. I do like Scandinavian crime novels. Has anyone read this? Is this series worth it? Keep or toss?

20000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne Classics, Sci-fi, Fantasy

I’ve always wanted to read this. I have this book on my shelf and tried last year I think but just couldn’t get into it. I blamed the timing then but was it that? What do you think? Keep or toss this one? Also, how are the other books in this series?

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg Scandinavian Lit, Crime

Another Danish mystery novel. I honestly don’t even remember putting this on my TBR list. I’ll toss that one I think. Change my mind.

1984 by George Orwell Classics, Sci-fi, Dystopia

Another classic book. I definitely need to read this one. It stays! I’ll keep it.

Atonement by Ian McEwan Classics, Historical Fiction

I put that one on my list last year because it would’ve fulfilled a Popsugar category and it is also on the 1001 books to read list. I feel so meh about it though. I glanced at the first few pages and was bored out of my mind already. Anyone who has read it, is it worth struggling through in the beginning? Keep or toss? I am leaning toward tossing.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal YA, Fantasy

This one comes out in May this year and is a very recent addition to my TBR. It sounds fabulous and I will keep it on the list.


I hope y’all play “Keep or Toss” with me this week. I am enjoying this so much, I might have to make this a regular thing! Leave your comments and suggestions below!

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Most Recent Additions to My TBR

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today, I am going to list my ten most recent additions to my TBR. I usually write these posts far in advance and schedule their release but since I constantly add to my TBR, I am not able to do this for today. So, as of Jan 28 4pm, below, you will find my most up-to-date list (counting down to my latest TBR addition).

 

What are your latest need-to-read additions? Do you read, like I do, across many genres?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today I’ll be talking about books I meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to. And, pfffff, there are so many! I am not even going to look at my Goodreads TBR for this. I am just looking through my must-read 2019 list which I quickly compiled at the beginning of the year. As you can imagine many of those books were directly transferred from my must-read 2018 list. I get distracted by shiny, newly released books :p

 

 

THE STAND

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

REBECCA

HOUSE OF LEAVES

THE EXORCIST

 

 

HANNIBAL LECTER SERIES – at least one book

PLANET OF THE APES

 

 

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

CHOKE

What are your 2019 must-reads?

Top Ten Tuesday – New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

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It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s theme features new-to-me authors I’ve read in 2018. Since I had a pretty long lull of not reading much fiction during grad school and have only been picking up the pace again since 2016, I encounter a lot of new-to-me authors. Fingers crossed this TTT will be easy for me. I am listing the ones who have had either multiple publications or whose first publication is several (3+) years old (aka I missed the buzz about them) AND who I want to see more off in the future.

 

Contemporary Lit

One of my favorite things is to read books that live off of their language. I read Snow Child and Never Let Me Go in early 2018 (January and February, respectively) and both authors had unique and beautiful writing styles.

Eowyn Ivey

Kazuo Ishigiro

Children’s Lit

I know I am late to the game when it comes to most English children’s books. I instantly fell in love with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane in April.

Kate DiCamillo

Horror

I’ve read a lot of horror in 2018 but these three authors stayed in mind throughout the year. Sour Candy (April) was so creepy and weird that I immediately bought it again and sent it to a friend. Fury of the Orcas (April) and Jurassic, Florida (May) were my introductions to gory, b-rated (in the best way possible!) type stories.  And I’ve always loved Krampus as a child and thus reading Krampus: the Yule Lord in December made for the perfect ending of the year. What I like about each of these authors are their unique viewpoints and diverse styles.

Kealan Patrick Burke

Hunter Shea

Brom

Sci-fi

Heavy sci-fi books are (to me) an acquired taste. I am glad I discovered these authors as each one got me more excited about this genre. I love that sci-fi now spans across contemporary lit to philosophy to graphic novels (and more). I read The Three-body Problem in April and was blown away by how much the topic frightened me but also by how bloomy the author’s language was. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (March) was such a fun read. I could tell that the author spent a significant amount of time researching the various physics, mathematics, and other science topics, and I love that the author is female (yay for women in STEM fields). I am still making my way through The Silvers (book 1 April, book 2 June, book 3 eagerly awaiting) series and the Saga graphic novels (Vol 1 and 2 December).

Liu Cixin

Daniel Price

Claire North

Brian K Vaughan

Fantasy

Yes, yes. I know. How is it possible I missed the Six of Crows Duology?! I don’t know but I am glad I read both books in 2018 (Six of Crows April, Crooked Kingdom October). Reading them during Dewey’s readathons made them extra special! Discovering the Riftwar Saga (book 1 December) opened up a whole new world to literature inspired by tabletop games such as D&D!

Leigh Bardugo

Raymond E. Feist

Poetry

I have only recently decided that I should spend more time reading poetry. Milk and Honey (April) as well as The Sun and Her Flowers (May) both blew me away and touched my heart in ways I wasn’t expecting.

Rupi Kaur

 

What authors did you discover in 2018? Leave your answers in the comments. 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

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New year, the same fun TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s theme is about my most anticipated January through June 2019 releases. I compiled my list by looking through the monthly Goodreads lists and seeing which one I had already marked as tbr. I also checked on series I knew should be coming to an end/should continue and authors whose ARCs I reviewed previously.


JANUARY

I’ve been feverishly waiting for book three to come out in the Winternight Trilogy. I had the pleasure to receive ARCs for the first two and thus it has been excruciatingly long for me. I’m also a fan of journaling and a little magick, so a 365-day magical journey sounds right up my alley.

 

 

The Winter Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden

The Severed Moon by Leigh Bargudgo (a magical journal with prompts!)


FEBRUARY

Once in a while, I love me a good psychological thriller. The Silent Patient seems to fit that bill perfectly. I like the idea of diving into the psyche of a murderer. I’ve always loved the story of Anastasia, so I’m looking forward to this novel inspired by it. I reviewed the first book in the Wild Magic Trilogy and it was a rather dark middle-grade book. I don’t come across those often, so I’m curious about the second one.

 

 

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

I was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

The Little Grey Girl (Wild Magic Trilogy #2) by Celine Kiernan


MARCH

I devoured the Shades of Magic trilogy so seeing this story continue in graphic novel form is definitely a must for me.

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Shades of Magic, Vol 1 (Shades of Magic Universe, graphic novel series) by V.E. Schwab


APRIL

I reviewed the first book of The Inventors series and enjoyed the steampunk aspects. I also loved how the author incorporated actual historical scientists. Middle-grade literature needs more of that. I’ve heard some buzz about The Greystone Secrets and thus want to check out the first book in the series.

 

 

The Inventors and the Lost Island (The Inventors #2) by A.M. Morgen

The Strangers (The Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix


MAY

I have yet to read any of the Caraval books but probably will wait now until the third one is out so I can binge all three. I only recently discovered Katherine Applegate and immediately fell in love with her books so I definitely want to read more of them.

 

 

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

The First (Endling #2) by Katherine Applegate


JUNE

Whomp, whomp. I have no books marked (yet) for that month.


There are also a few books I want to be released ASAP but their actual dates for 2019 haven’t been announced, yet.

OTHERS IN 2019 WITHOUT SPECIFIC RELEASE DATES

Guardians of Dawn (Guardians of Dawn #1) by S. Jae-Jones

The War of the Givens (Silvers #3) by Daniel Price

Untitled (Six of Crows #3) by Leigh Bardugo

Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg


What books are you looking forward to this year?