Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday Link-up 5/25/20

Posted May 25, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 8 Comments

Welcome to TTT! I flaked this week… So sorry! Quarantine brain, I suppose. Anyway, the topic for the week is “Opening Lines” and you can interpret this any way you want. Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc. Sometimes I can throw together a post in 15-20 minutes when TTT slipped my mind, but this one takes a lot more thought than some. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to think! I’ve been VERY busy planning two fun things for this summer, though, so get excited about those and watch this blog over the next week!

Which books have particularly noteworthy opening lines?
And have you been plagued by quarantine brain any over the last two months?


Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Audiobooks

Posted May 18, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

Before I begin, I’d like to ask you to please excuse any typos you might find in this post. I have a cat laying across my hands as I type, and he is demanding attention. He keeps putting his paw on my laptop’s touch pad and pressing keys. It’s adorable and frustrating! Anyway… today’s TTT gives you lots of flexibility to write about basically anything you’d like: “Reasons Why I Love [insert your favorite book title, genre, author, etc. here]”. I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks lately, so that’s what I’ve decided to post about!

Photo by Findaway Voices on Unsplash

1. I can read any time ever! I can read while I’m in the shower, while I’m doing my hair and makeup, while I’m driving somewhere, while I’m working out, etc. I can even read when I’ve got a horrible headache and must lay in the dark with my eyes closed. Oh, and my cat here would like me to add that handless reading is his favorite because then he gets double the pets.

2. So, by extension, audiobooks allow me to read MORE books overall!

3. The narrators! It took me a while, but I have found some narrators I LOVE. Good narration can make a book even more exciting, suspenseful, romantic, funny, etc. They bring the characters and the stories to life. And if a favorite narrator is reading a book by a favorite author, you’re doubly winning!

4. Full cast narrators. Sometimes there’s a duet or trio of narrators that rotate reading chapters, but I just finished Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely last night, which had 5-6 narrators and it was SO MUCH FUN! Every character had their own narrator, and these narrators read the lines for their individual character every time the character spoke. It felt like an episode of Friends. They laughed when their character did, they sounded sarcastic when they were supposed to… I just loved it so much.

5. Music and sound effects can be added! I’ve listened to a few books that included music and sound effects before, which is very fun. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater even included music composed by Maggie herself!

6. This is how I read classics, because a good narrator can make a heavier or less action-packed novel completely bingeworthy. I’ve been working my way through the Sherlock Holmes books, and I just found Jane Eyre read by Thandie Newton on Audible’s free stories for kids (a limited time offer due to COVID-19) that I really want to listen to. The sample sounds amazing!

7. This is also how I re-read my favorite books. I have so many books to read and so many that I want to be reading, that sometimes I feel guilty re-reading my favorites or refreshing my memory on previous books in a series before starting the next one. Audiobooks are bonus books for me because I’m always reading one or two physical books in addition. I also think it’s fun to rediscover my favorites or see them in a new light by listening to them the second time around. It makes an old-to-me story feel new again.

8. I find audiobooks to be very soothing and comforting. Who doesn’t love being read to? I think it’s so relaxing.

9. Scary books are made less scary when there’s a voice in your room instead of quiet stillness. If I’ve got someone reading to me and there’s a particularly creepy moment in the story, I’m listening to the narrator instead of the creeks in my settling house or the wind brushing a branch across my window.

10. I think listening to audiobooks and being able to grasp what you’re hearing is a great skill to have. I was a crummy audiobook listener when I first started listening to them, and it took a lot of practice and determination for me to learn how focus on the story (especially while doing other things). I had to zero in on the book instead of letting my mind wander, and I honestly think I’m a better listener than I used to be.

Do you love audiobooks, too? Why or why not?
What topic did you choose for this week’s TTT?

 


The Last Ten Books I Abandoned

Posted May 11, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 23 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic was submitted by Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza (cute blog name, right?) through my TTT topic suggestion form. These could be books you recently DNFed (did not finish), decided you were no longer interested in, or abandoned for some other reason. I’ve chosen to focus on my recent DNFs and why I couldn’t finish them as well as some titles I was interested in at one point but not anymore.

5 Books I Recently DNFed

1. The Safe Place by Anna Downes
DNF @ 20%.  Very boring. Too many needless details and not much dialogue. So much telling!

2. In the Dark by Loreth Anne White
I didn’t make it very far before I realized that I don’t like the author’s writing style very much. There was so much telling, so many details that I didn’t need to know. By the time I got about 15% in, there was still no cabin. I actually had to make sure I was reading the right book because nothing from the synopsis was happening at all. I’m not an Agatha Christie fan, but I do love isolation/locked room mysteries so I was excited about this one. I just couldn’t hang in there long enough, and when I went and read 1-star reviews to see if anyone agreed with me I came across some trigger warnings that sealed this book’s fate.

3. Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin
This was outside my normal reading happy zone, so I guess I’m not surprised that I DNFed this. I don’t really like the rich, socialite type of book character, and the fact that this was a book about a group of rich, socialite Instagram moms made it worse for me. lol. I have nothing against moms in books, but I hated how these ones were raising their babies to be just as spoiled and entitled as they were. The dark humor also didn’t work so well for me. It was a very uncomfortable read that I abandoned early on.

4. My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
I DNFed at 7% because the writing style was bothering me so much. It didn’t feel like a historical romance novel except for a few times here and there… so I kept getting thrown out of the story.

5. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
I DNFed this at 22%. This book was too business-oriented for me. I didn’t care about the ins and outs of their internet dating platforms. I quit after the main characters had a whole debate on a talk show about whose platform was better, and I just got sooooo bored. There was no romance at this point. Nothing funny had happened. I got tired of listening to Rhi hate Samson. I never got attached to either character… It was all so meh to me.

5 Books I Recently Lost Interest In

For basically all of these, pretty much the only reason I’ve lost interest is because I’ve fallen a bit out of love with YA over the last year or so. I’m getting tired of the drama surrounding the YA book community, but also the stories are starting to feel overdone. Some of my favorite YA authors have either switched genres or slowed down. Some have quit publishing completely. It left me feeling very “left out in the cold”, for lack of a better explanation. Maybe I just don’t see myself in these books like I used to. That’s not to say I’ll never read another YA, or that there’s something wrong with the books being published now… There’s actually a few coming out in the next year that I’m excited about. Overall, though, I just find myself getting excited over different books than I used to.

6. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
7. Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
8. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
9. Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
10. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder (I loved Poison Study, but that was eons ago…)

Have you read any of my picks? Do you agree with my thoughts, or did you have different feelings?
What about my thoughts on YA?
Have your reading tastes ever changed drastically like mine have?
Do you think I’ll go back to YA again? Should I read one of these books I’ve lost interest in? Tell me!
Which books have you abandoned recently?

 


Top Seven Things I’d Need to Throw a Cozy Bookish Christmas Party

Posted May 4, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! It’s like past Jana knew we’d all be tired of isolation and social distancing right now… lol. During this time of social distancing and quarantine (for me, anyway), it’s fun to dream about being with people again! The topic is: Things I’d Have at My Bookish Party. You pick 10 things that are essential, and you can even pick a specific kind of party you’re planning if you’d like to. That’s what I did! If you know me at all, you know Christmas is my happy place. So when my mom asked me what today’s topic is (like 2 hours before this post was supposed to go up because I lack all sense of time right now), she immediately said “Bookish Christmas party, right?” GENIUS. I’m so frazzled today that I hadn’t even thought of it. So! Here’s how I’d host the most amazing bookish Christmas party.

Venue

A snowy cabin, of course! What better place to celebrate A Bookish Little Christmas than in a cozy cabin with a roaring fireplace and windows opening to a pristine view of blankets and blankets of snow?

Photo by Cyril Gervais on Unsplash

Guests

You! It wouldn’t be a bookish party if you weren’t there!

Decorations

Of COURSE I’d have a few Christmas trees made out of books, but there’d be a real Christmas tree too! And so many lights.

Photos by Toa Heftiba, Taylor Simpson, and Gvantsa Javakhishvili on Unsplash

Cozy Places

Pretty much all we’d do is read, watch some Christmas movies, pet cats, and eat so we need cozy places to do that!

Photos by Alisa AntonSincerely Media, Allie, Александр Малкин, Clay Banks, Annie Spratt, and Drew Coffman on Unsplash.

Food

The most important part, and I’ve chosen things that are easy to consume while reading or being cozy! There’d be Christmas cookies, hot cocoa, and lots of fun snacks and finger food!

Photo by Marie Despeyroux, Fran Jacquier, Yulian Karadzhov, Jornada Produtora, and Eduardo Casajús Gorostiaga on Unsplash.

Games/Activities

In addition to reading and watching Christmas movies, there’d be games and puzzles!

Photos by Morgan Vander HartRoss Sneddon, and JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash.

Gifts

Everyone who comes to my Christmas party gets a copy of my favorite Christmas romance, Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar! It’s perfection and I know you’ll love it! It’ll be the perfect book to read in one of those cozy spots I mentioned above!

Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancé dumps you a week before your wedding…

Sylvie’s best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie’s mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got away.

When they meet, Stellan’s still gorgeous – and her heart is warmed when he shows her the romantic delights of Lapland (as well as some adorable Husky puppies). But when she returns to England, can she really leave Stellan behind? Or will she find that her heart belongs in the frozen North?

So, are you coming to my bookish Christmas party?
What king of bookish party would you enjoy planning?


22 YA Contemporary Romances Teen Me Would Have Loved

Posted April 27, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

Happy TTT! Is it just me, or are the weeks both flying AND dragging? I feel like I’ve been in isolation forever, yet I also feel like I’m writing up TTTs every single day. It’s weird how that happens. Oh, before I forget. I’ve updated the TTT topic schedule through June (including TTT’s 10th birthday topic) and will be adding July soon!

Today’s topic lets us think back to a simpler, less chaotic time in our lives. As you can see by my post’s title I switched the topic up a little, but the actual topic is Top Ten Books I Wish I’d Read As a Child. Maybe you weren’t much of a reader as a kid (a.k.a. me), maybe the book you’re thinking of hadn’t been published yet, or maybe you just simply didn’t have the opportunity to read it then. Whatever the reason may be, tell us about the books that little you would have really loved or really needed to read.

I turned 13 in 2000, and contemporary YA romances were just not a thing back then. Actually, YA lit was barely a thing and if it was nobody knew about it. lol. When I went to the bookstore, I never saw any evidence that there were books written just for me. Apparently there was a shelf of “teen reads” in the back by the huge kids section, but I never noticed it. I read historical romance and mysteries instead. YA has now exploded and become an expansive ocean of books that I wish existed when I was a teen. The titles I’m sharing today are all 5-star favorites of mine, and I know I would have loved even MORE if I’d been able to read them as a teenager instead of as an adult. And no, I couldn’t limit it to 10! The book links will lead you to my review, which is where you will find more info on the book and all my thoughts!

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland
From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore Stultz
Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Night by Gayle Forman
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman by Louise Plummer*
(*This is the only one of my picks that was actually available when I was a teen.
I SO wish I’d known about this hidden gem! It’s exquisite!)

Are there any YA contemporary romances you wish you’d been able to read as a teen as well?
Or any books at all that you’ve read, but would have loved to read as a teen/younger child instead?

 


Top Ten Book Titles That Would Make Great Band Names

Posted April 20, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 34 Comments

This week’s TTT topic was submitted by Michelle from Pink Polka Dot Books, and I thought it sounded like such a fun, light-hearted topic to do this week. This list is a mix of books I’ve read and hope to read. I’m not including covers because it’s all about the title this time!

1. Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
2. Headliners by Lucy Parker
3. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
4. Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
5. After Sundown by Linda Howard
6. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
7. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
8. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
9. The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott
10. Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino

What do you think of my picks? 
Which book titles did you pick this week?


Top Ten Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

Posted April 13, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How are you doing today? Taking care of yourself and staying safe, I hope! This week’s topic is so much fun because it allows me to share my thoughts on books I rarely/never talk about here on the blog. Maybe these are books I read before I became a blogger, or maybe they’re just books that have fallen through the cracks! This is also a great time to share some books that, for one reason or another, never really fit a TTT prompt. Whatever the case may be, these are the kinds of books I’m sharing today!

1. Kiss and Tell by Suzanne Brockmann
I read this just a few weeks after we started The Broke and the Bookish. During that time, I was only assigned maybe 2-3 days a month to post reviews and this one kind of fell through the cracks! The entire trilogy is great, but this one was my favorite. I loved everything about this book… the setting, characters, plot, etc. I wish this kind of story would happen to me. I find the whole mysterious, masqueraded man kissing the lovely lady at midnight at a New Year’s Eve party and then vanishing, leaving her to find him extremely sexy and entertaining.

2. By Love or by Sea by Rachel Rager/Harlin
I have only three things to say.

1. The writing was beautifully done.
2. I want a Caleb Newman of my very own.
3. This was seriously one of the most adorable, clean romances I’ve ever read!

3. Austenland by Shannon Hale
This was actually the first books review I ever wrote for The Broke and the Bookish, almost 9 years ago! I’ve since published it here on That Artsy Reader Girl for sentimental reasons, so go have a read if you’re interested. Surprisingly enough, I’ve hardly talked about it since the day I wrote that review. I HATED the movie, but the book will always have a special place in my heart. I still giggle thinking about it.

4. Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James
Back in the olden days, this kind of books was very much out of my comfort zone. I was quite reluctant to buy it, but I kept thinking about it. When I found a good deal, I jumped on it and ended up really loving this beautiful story of love, deception, obsession, survival, and sacrifice. I was riveted, and could not put it down!

5. Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
Did you know that Anna Scarlett is young adult’s very own Anna Banks (Of Poseidon, Joyride, Nemesis)? This is one of her adult reads, and I LOVED it. I read this for her back before it was published. She sent me a print-out of it with a clear plastic protective cover, back before it even had a cover image. I dug in right away, and was taken to another world. I can’t say a bad thing about this book. It’s got a little bit of everything (romance, sci-fi, action, amazing storytelling, perfect characters, etc.) and I think it would appeal to pretty much anyone. I can’t tell you how many times I’d told Anna how much I want a sequel.

6. Sleigh Bells In the Snow by Sarah Morgan
One of my favorite Christmas romances to date! It’s got a wonderful family dynamic, a cozy setting, and a swoonworthy male lead.

7. What I Did For a Duke by Julie Anne Long
This is a very slow-burning romance, filled with witty banter and sexual tension. And the ending. HELLO. I have never read a better ending in my life.

8. Boomerang by Noelle August
I read this 6 years ago, and it was the first NA book that I really loved. At the time, I felt it was so nice to see an author view my age group (NAs) as being about more than drama and poor life decisions.

9. Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout
This is the second book in a trilogy that I binged one right after the other. I NEVER do this, but all three books were just so gripping and exciting. They’re part mystery, part romance, and part suspense/thriller. And it all takes place on a sprawling family estate in New Orleans (it felt like a planation home) that might be haunted.

10. A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
This might be my favorite Spindle Cove novel! I love our strong heroine, Minerva the geologist. She’s a bookish geek, and I love seeing those in historical romances.

What books did you share this week?

ALSO… I’ve mentioned this a couple times in a couple different places, but… on June 22nd (my birthday) Top Ten Tuesday turns ten years old! The next day (6/23) is a Tuesday, and it just so happens to be the 500th TTT topic. I’ve put out a call for opinions/help on how we should celebrate TTT’s birthday that week. Please visit this post for more info and answer the survey! I’d so appreciate your help!


Top Ten Tuesday Turns Ten!

Posted April 8, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 7 Comments

I can’t believe we’ve been at this as long as we have, but on June 22nd (my birthday) Top Ten Tuesday turns ten years old! The next day (6/23) is a Tuesday, and it just so happens to be the 500th TTT topic. I absolutely love that the numbers coincide in such a cool way! Anyway, I need help. I want that 6/23 topic to be fun and exciting and a way to celebrate a DECADE of TTT! I’ve been wracking my brain for months now, trying to come up with a topic people would really enjoy. Five things have come to mind:

  1. Top Ten Favorite TTT Lists I’ve Posted On My Blog
  2. Top Ten Favorite TTT Topics Ever Done
  3. TTT Throwback – Pick any past TTT topic
  4. TTT Update – Reactions to previous TTT’s you’ve done. For example: Have you read all/most/none of the books on your seasonal TBRs? Would you have picked different books for previous topics now? Did you finish the series you had hoped to finish? Did you accomplish any of your goals?
  5. Top Ten Things TTT has Done for Me – (helped you make friends, helped you find your favorite book, inspired you to create your own blog, expanded your reading horizons, etc.)

I’ve put out a call for help on Twitter, and have mentioned this milestone on a previous TTT topic. Some people have submitted topic ideas (pretty much variations of the first three of my ideas listed above). Either of the first two topics could be fun, but are they what the people really want to do? Is the third topic special enough? Will the 4th one even work because the blogging community has changed so much that many of the blogs that were around at the beginning aren’t even here anymore? Would the 5th topic even matter to most people?

Please fill out this survey with your opinions on TTT’s 10th birthday (especially if you’re a TTT participant or would like to celebrate with the bookish community on June 23rd).


Ten Books I Bought After Asking Twitter for Recommendations

Posted April 6, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 33 Comments

Happy TTT! Another Tuesday, another week of staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I hope you’re doing well and staying safe! This week’s topic is a fun one! I frequently ask Twitter for book recommendations, and the books I’m sharing today are ones I bought as a result of those tweets. I’ll share my tweet, and then list off some of the books I bought/acquired because of the recommendations I received!

1. Well Met by Jen DeLuca (Loved!)
2. Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne
3. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (DNFed…)
4. Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

 

5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (recommended by Riley Sager himself!) (SO GOOD)
6. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
7. An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

 

8. Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (listening now and I LOVE IT)
9. Mercy House by Alena Dillon
10. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (SO MUCH LOVE)

What books have you bought/read because someone recommended you read it?
I’d REALLY love to know if you’ve ever read something because I recommended it
to you, so please share if that’s happened!
Also, do you have any recs for me? I’m always looking for more books!


Top Ten Reasons I’m Obviously a Book Lover

Posted March 30, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 21 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! How are you doing? I don’t even know how long I’ve been self-quarantining and staying home at this point, but it’s been at least 7 months by now right? I hope you’re healthy, and if you’re unable to stay home I hope you’re staying safe. This week’s topic is a fun change of pace. I’m keeping it bookish, but book-free. What bookish qualities do you possess that make it obvious to everyone who knows you that you’re a book lover? I got a little help from my family on this one, and we had a lot of fun!

1. If I’m not reading books, I’m talking about them. My mom told me I spend at least 50% of our time together talking about a book I’m reading or pushing her to read books I love.

2. I spend an insane amount of time researching books. I will admit that I can very easily fall down the rabbit hole and into the land of books. I’ve spent hours searching online for books that have certain tropes, settings, or elements that I’m in the mood for. Recently, I wanted to find books set in creepy buildings and I researched this for hours. I posted to Twitter asking for recs, I googled the topic in the hopes of finding lists or reviews of books like this, and I studied and read about each recommendation that was given to me. HOURS. I’ve done this with Gothic novels, romances set in Italy, romances set on ships, non-erotic romantic suspense, etc.

3. I’ve been known to spend entire DAYS organizing my Goodreads shelves. I’m not kidding, and it seems like such a waste of time when I look at myself through the eyes of people who don’t understand. But it’s necessary to my sanity and my happiness!

4. I’m obsessed with bookish merchandise. I’m not a collector of merchandise related to specific books here. I’m talking about merch related to books and reading in general. Anything with a book on it, and I’m a goner. I’ve got a bookish Christmas ornament collection, for example. If you know me at all, I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you.

5. When I travel, I scope out which bookstores I have to visit. I can’t tell you how many BAMs I went to on my family’s road trip down south a few years ago (Books-A-Million does not exist where I live).

6. Book mail is the best mail. It’s so exciting!

7. I spend way too much time curating themed book lists for trips and holidays.

8. My physical therapist asks me what I’ve been reading lately. Actually, everyone I know does.

9. I have a lot of book hangovers. I get super attached to characters, and when the book ends it feels like a real loss.

10. I go to bookstores to look at the books I’ve only read digitally because I never got to hold them in my hands. I like seeing the covers and if they’re textured or shiny. I like seeing how thick they are and what the layout looks like inside.

Are you like me at all? lol. Do we have any of these in common?
What makes you an obvious book lover to your friends and family?