Posts Categorized: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

November 20, 2017 About Me, Top Ten Tuesday 10


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s Thanksgiving week in the USA, and this week’s TTT topic encourages us to think of the books we’re thankful we read. I connect a lot with books, and many times I come away thinking that it was written just for me. Other times the book ended up being just what I needed in that moment, whether it was a gateway to a new world, an escape, a character I connected with, or something I needed to learn. I’m excited to share these titles with you today!


1. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
This book seriously changed my life. It’s the kind of book that encourages you to take the bull by the horns and go with it. I just felt so refreshed by the end, like I had been the one to go on a whirlwind trip that changed my life. It prompted me to make amazing goals: to travel more, to practice my art more, to be spontaneous, to let my hair down and not worry what other people think, to look to the future, to develop other talents, to conquer fears, and to enjoy my life more. I ended up going on a whirlwind trip just like Bria did, and I cam home a completely changed person.


2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
This is the book that made me fall in love with reading. I read it when I was in college, and it was my first dip into the YA genre. I had not been grabbed by a book in years, and I have not quit reading since.


3. Night by Elie Wiesel
I read this for my Ethics and Values class in college, and it was the first Holocaust book I had read since The Diary of Anne Frank when I was a child. I don’t know if it was the writing, the story, or the fact that I was older, but it really resonated with me and taught me so much about life and mankind.


4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This book was completely magical and made me wish I was a child again. I can’t wait to continue on with the series, as this is the only one I’ve read. I know it will probably change my life even more as I continue!


5. Love, Lucy by April Lindner 
Everyone knows that traveling makes you fall in love with the person that you are, and Love, Lucy had everything I could have ever wanted in a travel book. It’s an inspiring story that makes you want to make your traveling dreams come true, not to mention it makes you feel like you can do it.


6. Just One Day by Gayle Forman
I feel very much about this book like I do about Wanderlove. This is another book that encourages you to leave your life behind and find yourself.


7. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
I wish I had had this book as a teen to help me get through heartbreak. The emotions are so pure. I’m grateful that I have this to recommend to young people who need a story like this.


8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
This book was my gateway to fantasy, and now it’s one of my very favorite genres! It’s funny because I bought this because I was going to my very first author signing, and I wanted all the authors to sign all their books. But I owned none of them. So I ordered one of each and figured I’d never read this one. I’m so glad I did, though! It is a wonderful story, and is the book that made me fall in love with fantasy.


9. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Another gateway book! I was so against reading this book because it sounded so inhumane, but everyone was raving about it and I decided I’d give it a try. It was my very first dystopia, and made me so eager to read more of them.


10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The last gateway book: YA contemporary romance. I know! Crazy, right?! Up to this point I pretty much only read dystopia and paranormal (all the vampires and werewolves). Anna opened me up to a totally new genre, and I have fallen in love with so many books because of it, including four of the books in this list today.

Which books are you thankful for?
Do we have any in common?

Ten Halloween Things I’ve Never Done

October 30, 2017 About Me, Top Ten Tuesday 19


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Halloween! I’ll admit, I’m weird when it comes to Halloween. I love the fall vibes and the spooky atmosphere, but I don’t love Halloween. I don’t like orange and black together. I don’t like paranormal or supernatural things. I don’t like blood or spiders or the undead. I do like some things about Halloween, though! I love watching old thrillers, reading gothic novels, eating candy, and seeing the cute kids in costumes when they come trick-or-treating to my house. So for today’s Halloween freebie I thought I’d share with you some totally Halloween things I’ve never done or experienced before.

1. I’ve never seen a Tim Burton movie.
Seriously. No Nightmare Before Christmas. No Corpse Bride. They’re just not my thing!

2. I’ve never gone to a haunted house (or haunted anything).
I’d probably die if a went to a haunted house, haunted corn maze, haunted hay ride, etc. I almost died on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, so it’s just never going to happen.

3. I’ve never carved a jack-o’-lantern by myself.
Yeah, this is weird even to me. I’ve just never carved my own pumpkin! I remember carving one with a date a few years ago, but I’ve never been to a pumpkin patch as an adult and when I do end up with pumpkins from the grocery store I just put them by my door uncarved.

4. I’ve never baked Halloween treats.
It’s true. I’ve never made Halloween frosted sugar cookies or hot dogs that look like severed fingers.

5. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice flavored beverage.
So, I don’t drink coffee so it’s not like I’m against the PSL because it’s pumpkin spice. I actually love pumpkin spice, just only in baked goods.

6. I’ve never done themed costumes with friends.
I had friends in college who all dressed as a Spice Girl or a different Power Ranger or a Disney princess. Me? Not interested.

7. I’ve never read a horror novel.
I mean, I’ve read scary books, but my threshold for scary reads is so below average that pretty much nobody I know would think I’ve read a scary book.

8. I’ve never told ghost stories by flashlight.
It will just never happen. Ghost stories keep me up at night no matter how outlandish they might sound.

9. I’ve never participated in a séance or used a Ouija Board.
It’s too scary! I won’t even look in the mirror in the dark because I’m scared Bloody Mary will show up unannounced.

10. I’ve never gone on a ghost hunt or ghost tour.
Pretty sure this comes as no surprise and requires no further explanation.

So basically, I’m a major chicken. I’m scared of my own shadow or if the toast pops up out of the toaster before I’m ready. I’m scared of little noises. I’m scared of no noises. I’m really just here to find out when I can start decorating for Christmas.

Is anyone else as much of a scaredy cat as I am?

Top Ten Beautifully Unique Book Titles

October 22, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 13


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Today’s topic over at The Broke and the Bookish is unique titles, and I chose to put a slight spin on it by picking some titles that are just really beautiful to me and don’t follow the normal title trends in the book world right now (I’m looking at you, _____ of _____ and _____ titles). There’s SO many really pretty titles out there, so it was hard to pick just 10. I’ve only read two of these books (with asterisks). Perhaps I should investigate the others and see if I might like them for more than just their titles!

1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida
3. The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
4. I Woke Up in Love This Morning by Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray*
6. Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell
7. The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton
8. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi*
9. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
10. The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen

Top Twelve Pretty Autumn Book Covers

October 10, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 8


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week we’re sharing ten books that feature autumn themes or have covers that exude the feeling of the fall season. I chose the visual angle of the topic because I love book covers and fall colors. Some of these books are actually fall themed, so happy bonus when that happens! And I chose 12 because I couldn’t stand having only one cover on the bottom row. The curse of being artsy. Well, sone of them.


Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This book takes place during October and November and it’s TOTALLY a fall book!

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
It takes place in December, but the cover and ambience are so perfect for this time of year!

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
The cover looks fall, but the creepy castle and the mysterious/supernatural happenings make it the perfect read for the fall season!

Shadowlands by Kate Brian

Forbidden by Kimberly Griffiths Little

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
That sunset looks like a fall one to me! And there are plenty of fall themes!

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

What covers just scream autumn to you?

Have you read The Hazel Wood or The Historian? I haven’t yet, and am curious if they feel as “fall” as they look!

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

October 3, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 16


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Well FINALLY this topic has come along in my life and I am so excited because book. boyfriends. Maybe I’m alone on this (I know I’m not alone on this), but I totally swoon and fall a little in love with some of the guys from the books I read. It’s not even hard because authors GET IT. So here are my favorite book boyfriends (because I have more than 10… sorry, not sorry), in no particular order, with some pretty amazing fan art because obviously fan art should always happen in a post like this.

The numbers above coincide with the numbers down below. 

1. Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (art by Charlie Bowater)

Then I would have torn apart the world to get you back.

He’s powerful, protective, handsome, loyal, sensuous, and darkly firm, yet caring. And the things he says to Feyre make me swoon every single time.

2. Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Sarah J. Maas (art by PhantomRin)

He’s so dapper and intelligent and forward thinking. And he’s so sweet and silly and loyal and has the driest humor. He’s so protective of Audrey Rose, it just makes me melt. AND READ WHAT HE SAYS:

For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.

3. Étienne St.Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (art by The Art of Young Adult)

Basically he’s just loving and romantic. I don’t think he’s super cute in my mind, but his personality and who he is makes him the ideal boyfriend.

4. Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (art by lostie815)

He’s snarky and egotistical, but also funny and sweet. Major crushing going on over here.

5. Malyen Oretsev (a.k.a Mal) from the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (art by PhantomRin)

He was Alina’s best friend before they fell in love, and it’s so sweet to hear about their relationship. I just want a Mal for myself! And read this swoony thing he says:

“I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me we don’t belong together.”

6. Lucien Vanserra from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (art by Coralie Jubénot)

I have always loved Lucien’s friendship with Feyre. It’s so sweet. I love that he falls in love with all he can, no matter what anyone thinks. He feels very deeply. He’s very loyal to those he cares about, and he’s super snarky and witty. I love his sarcasm. Plus, he’s super handsome regardless of his scars and russet eye.

7. Cassian from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (art by Coralie Jubénot)

Ok, ok… I’m trying to not make everything about the ACOTAR men, but it seems to be happening. Cassian is super powerful. He has wings, so he can fly me anywhere I want. He’s super confident and cocky, which I don’t always like, but he doesn’t go overboard with it.

8. Jaxon Tyrus Rafferty (a.k.a Rafe) from the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson (photo posted by someone who thought he looked like Rafe. No idea who this man is, but I agree and I’m swooning.)

He’s noble and wonderful!

9. W.W. Hale the Fifth from the Heist Society series by Ally Carter (art by candy8496)

The gorgeous best friend. He ad Kat have the best tension, and I love their shenanigans. He’s rich and classy, and is always looking out for Kat. His previous life goes to show how unlikely a candidate he is for Kat’s crew, but he fits in so well because you can tell how much he cares for her.

10. Sam from the Newsoul trilogy by Jodi Meadows (original cover art)

This guy is Mr. Perfect, in my book. Because he’s been reincarnated so many times, he’s extremely smart, talented, and mature. He’s unbelievably caring and considerate. He adores Ana and helps her figure out that she’s worth so much more than her birth mother has been telling her her whole life. And he’s musical. Like really, he is an amazing musician. He made me melt a little.

Who are your book boyfriends?

Top Ten Books Featuring Mythical/Magical Creatures

September 25, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 12


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week, in honor of Magic, Myth, and Mischief, I put a bit of a spin on the topic and chose to list books that have mythical or magical creatures instead of specific character types! I love reading about creatures of all kinds, so I thought this would be a fun topic.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Scary monsters live in the Shadow fold. Plus, there’s the ancient, mythical Morozova’s Stag whose antlers hold magical powers.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This is an obvious choice, but I’m just now reading this series for the first time in my life. There’s SO many mythical and magical creatures in this book including Hedwig the owl, a centaur, a troll, and a poltergeist.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
There’s the Beast, obviously, but also a firebird!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Fae! There’s High Fae, the Suriel, the Bogge, and the Puca.

Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun
The earth in this book is ridden with very deadly monsters including, “chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts.”

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Mythical beasts roam the dark and barren desert, including Skinwalkers, Demdjii (offspring of Djinns and mortals), and Nightmares. There’s also a mythical horse that Amani and Jin escape on.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
One of my favorite things about this book is that the books fly off the shelves and turn into hawks.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
We’ve got chimaera of all kinds, seraphim, goddesses, and monsters.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Dragons and sylph!

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
There’s a cute little gargoyle who likes to voice his opinions, and there’s a ghost!


Top Ten Retellings of Classic Works I Want To Read

September 12, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 8


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Today we’ve got a throwback Top Ten Tuesday topic, so I chose to list some classic retellings I’d love to read in honor of mine and Bonnie’s Magic, Myth, and Mischief event this month! I love reading fairytale retellings, but I’m not as well-read as many of my friends.


Flame In the Mist by Reneé Ahdieh (Mulan)
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston (One Thousand and One Nights)
Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (The Wild Swans)
Royally Romanov by Terri Wilson (Anastasia)
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir (Rebecca)
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (Romeo and Juliet)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (Persuasion)
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (Robin Hood)
Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon (The Little Mermaid)
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (Maid Mallen)

Top Twelve Hidden Gems In Contemporary YA Lit

August 28, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 7


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with contemporary YA right now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and not relating as easily as I used to, or if trends in the genre are shifting and I’m just not as happy with the new direction? I’m not sure. I keep holding out hope, though, and I continue trying books and adding them to my TBR because of hidden gems like these that I’ve loved over the years. And I couldn’t pick just 10, so here’s twelve for you!

Note: I’m defining hidden gem as a book that I don’t remember hearing much about when it came out, or a book that is so backlisted that nobody is really talking about it anymore.

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Reality TV and pizza. What more can a person ask for?

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
I was sold when I heard school trip to Italy.

The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Popular cheerleader turns nerd over the summer and falls for a boy in a comic book store. It’s adorable.

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Summer backpacking trip through Italy! Plus it’s a retelling of A Room With a View!

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen
Artsy character! And a super cute romance that’s compared to Anna and the French Kiss.

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
This book was a gift to my inner art historian. It’s about a boy who falls in love with a girl in a Renoir painting, and dances and eats dessert with her on the museum floor each night. So fun!

From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer
The entire story had a very “Grease” kind of feeling.  Kylie is the valedictorian of her graduating class. She’s smart, and liked by pretty much nobody except her hilarious gay friend named Will. She gets paired up for a last-minute class project with the jock of the school, Max. He’s extremely hard to work with, but she HAS to get a good grade. So she pushes him. In a conglomeration of crazy events, they both find themselves smuggled across the border in a van of stolen electronics. They are in Mexico with no passports, no way of getting home, and graduation day is closing in. Geeky girl turns hard core, and jock notices. So cute!

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Clementine spends her summer on her parents’ sailboat nursing a broken heart. But it might not be the kind of heartbreak your mind just jumped to. She falls in love and spends a lot of time with her family eating disgusting meals made only from canned foods, eating s’mores by blow torch, star gazing, sunbathing, laughing, and bonding. I really loved this book!

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates
I have a big thing for books set on cruise ships… and cute Christmas stories… so this book won in two areas of my bookish heart. It was just as adorable and laugh-out-loud funny as I had hoped.

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer
Adorably quirky heroine who is a self proclaimed writer, witty dialogue, mature word choices (I had to use a dictionary a time or two), tons of glorious 90’s references, a so sparkly and Christmasy story. Kate’s family has this huge traditional Swedish Christmas with lots of yummy food, decorations, great music playing all the time, a TON of snow, Christmas tree shopping and trimming, etc.

The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
This book warmed me inside and out, and had me smiling like an idiot while I read it. It takes place in a little Outer Banks town that I’d love to visit, the descriptions are dripping with summer, I fell in love with the characters, there’s an amazing family dynamic, and I love the messages of learning who you are and having fun while you do it.

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
This book shocked me so many times, but how I felt at the end of it shocked me more than anything else.

Did you read and love any of these, too?
Have you added any of these to your TBR?
Any recommendations for other contemporary YA gems that have slid past me?

Five School Required Reads I’m Glad I Read & Five I Wish I Hadn’t

August 21, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 10


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

Unfortunately, school made me hate reading. I loved it as a little girl, but as soon as I hit the age where teachers force you to read “awesome” books and answer packets full of essay questions I hated reading more than I hated eating my vegetables. Many of the books upset me or were just downright boring, and it took me until I was 19 and in college before I rekindled my love of reading. I decided to use today’s topic to share five of the required reads I’m glad I read in school, and five that I’m still upset by today.

I’m glad I read…

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
I read this in elementary school and thought it was both terrifying and very fun.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
I read this in high school, and my classmates and I all had parts. I played the part of Elizabeth Proctor, and it was so much fun.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This was required reading for my YA Lit class in grad school, and even though it took me two years to finish (because I was so scared of crying), I loved it a lot.

Night by Elie Wiesel
I had to read this for my Ethics and Values class in college, after which we sat in a big circle in our classroom and discussed it. There was no paper, no essays, no tests. We just sat and talked about it and that was our grade. Probably my favorite asignment outside of my major.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
This was also required reading for my YA Lit class, and it was probably going to be the only way I read this series. I’m so glad I did, though, and now I’m working my way through the rest of the series and having so much fun.

I wish I hadn’t read…

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawl
Dog died. I think this was the beginning of my no tolerance policy regarding animal deaths in novels. I was in 4th grade when I read this, and it crushed me. I can still remember.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
People died. I hate death a lot.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
George. Killed. Lennie. I have a problem with death. I can still remember how upset I was.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is a case of me having read this way too young. Instead of getting anything good out of it, I was very upset by most of it. I’d probably feel differently now, but I really wish I had not read this when I did.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I was INSANELY bored by this.

What required reads did you enjoy in school?
Which ones did you hate?
Do we have any in common?

Ten Book Recommendations for Historical Romance Lovers

August 14, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 8


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I love historical romance, and I’ve never really given myself the opportunity to share some of my favorites, to today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was the perfect one for me. I’m not super well read in this genre, but I’m getting there and I’ve found some really great books in the process! I read some of these as a teenager and some as an adult, and I love all of them!

A Week to Be Wicked
by Tessa Dare
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare
What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long
Honor Bound by Brenda Novak
A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland

By Love or By Sea by Rachel Rager
The Charm School by Susan Wiggs
Catherine and the Pirate by Karen Hawkins
Tess and the Highlander by May McGoldrick
Gwyneth and the Thief by Margaret Moore

So, do you have any recommendations for me?
Which historical romance novels do you love?