Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Ten of My Favorite Bookish Websites

Posted August 13, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 15 Comments

This week’s topic isn’t book-related, but it’s definitely bookish! I thought it would be fun to share our favorite book blogs and/or bookish websites (besides Goodreads because duh…) because I know I’d love to find some more blogs to add to my reader and great bookish resources to bookmark.

1. What Should I Read Next?
This fun website has you entire the title of a book you loved. The website analyzes your pick and then spits out the title of another book you’ll probably love, too.

2. BookBub
How would you like an email of free and discounted ebooks sent to you everyday? You even get to choose the genres you love.

3. Hoopla
Check out digital books, audibooks, and music with your library card (provided your library participates)!

4. Off the Shelf
If you love Top Ten Tuesday, you’ll love this place. Sooooo many bookish lists!

5. Omnivoracious
Amazon’s book review.

6. BookRiot
An awesome blog for bookish news, reviews, and merchandise.

7. Epic Reads
HarperTeen’s community and blog for young adult book lovers. They post some really fun stuf like infographics and book quizzes.

8. The Literary Gift Company
All the bookish things we need to own!

9. Hot Dudes Reading
Ok, it’s not a site… It’s an Instagram account. But I honestly think it should count in this situation.

10. The Literary Cat
It’s a Tumblr devoted to pictures of cats and books! What’s not to love?

What are some of your favorite bookish blogs and websites?


Top Ten Tuesday Link-Up: August 6, 2018

Posted August 6, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 11 Comments

This week’s topic was submitted by Rissi at Finding Wonderland, and is “Books You’d Mash Together (pick two books you think would make an epic story if combined)”! Which books would you love to smush together and read the resulting story? Or maybe you don’t want to mash-up the entire story, just certain elements or characters? Maybe you loved the world in one book and the characters in another and want to put the best of both books together. Whatever the case may be, I’m excited to see which books you’d like to mash together this week!

Unfortunately, life got ahead of me and I was unable to put enough time and thought into this topic, which is a whole lot harder than I thought it would be! I’m sorry! I promised myself I’d never let this happen! I am, however, posting the Linky so that you can still link-up and bounce around to other blogs.

Tell me some of your book mash-ups in the comments!
Also, tell me how you balance real life with blogging life because I got so behind this week!


Five Books That I Hope Live Up to the Hype & Five Books That Did

Posted July 30, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 41 Comments

We’ve all heard about those SUPER AMAZING BUY THEM NOW kinds of books that are so hyped, and almost always overly so that they end up being a huge letdown. I know I’ve been there countless numbers of times and I think that’s the main reason why I actually tend to shy away from hyped books. Today I’m sharing with you five super popular books that I plan to read and hope live up to the hype for me, and five books that did!

Five Books I Hope Live Up to the Hype

1. Warcross by Marie Lu
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
3. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
4. An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
5. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Five Books That Lived Up to the Hype (for Me)

1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
5. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Have you read any of the first 5 books I listed? Did they live up to the hype for you?
Anything I need to really hurry up and read?
Do you agree with the books I chose that I felt did live up to the hype?

 


Nine Books That are Linked to Specific Moments In My Life

Posted July 23, 2018 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 25 Comments

This week’s topic is books with sensory memories, and was submitted through my TTT topic submission form by Jessica at A Cocoon of Books. These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, what you were feeling, what you were seeing, etc. The topic might feel narrow and difficult at first, but I think it provides so much freedom to be creative and come up with a really personal list this week. I’m excited to see what you came up with!

I chose to share ten books that are linked to happy moments in my life. I don’t know about you, but I tend to attach all kinds of things to events in my life. I have a very vivid memory and have always remembered certain songs that were playing during different times in my life, who I was with when I watched a certain movie, what a guy and I were wearing on a random date 10 years ago, etc. While taking tests in school I could pull up a page of my notes in my mind. Picturing where certain information was on the page helped me remember facts or answers to questions. So in today’s case, I’ll be sharing books that I have very vivid memories about, but not in terms of the stories themselves. These memories surround my reading experience.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
My mom and I read New Moon together a few months before Eclipse came out. During this time, my little sister had weekly choir practice in the evenings at her choir director’s home about 25 minutes away from our house. My mom would always drive her to practice, and I frequently went with her so we could do some shopping or go out to eat while my sister was singing. This time, however, we were so hooked on this book that we each brought ours along with us and sat in the van outside the director’s house reading as the sun went down.

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
I love reading Christmas books during Christmastime! My mom and I got tickets to a Christmas concert in Salt Lake City, and we went up early to be in our seats on time. You know how it is, though. The wait from when you’re seated until the show starts is always super long. What bookworm doesn’t bring a book with them in these situations? I remember it was freezing outside, so my mom and I wore nice pants and snow boots instead of dresses/skirts like usual. The center was beautifully decorated and the buzz of excited concertgoers made it tricky for me to focus. I did get some reading done, though!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I started this after a breakup with a pretty crummy guy. I was looking forward to a non-sappy book with people killing each other. :’)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I took this hardback on a cruise, which is absolutely insane. lol. In what universe did I ever have enough luggage space to bring multiple hardback books? I could never cart a bag of hardbacks with me on cruises now. I bring too many clothes and essentials. I remember sitting in a lounge chair by the pool after I had gone swimming. The bottom of the pages are rippled because I rested the book on my stomach while I was reading, and my swimsuit was still wet. The book ended on such a cliffhanger that I was tempted to throw it overboard in frustration. lol.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
My mom and I were in North Carolina for a family wedding, and we had major plane issues going home. Long story short, we were offered free first class upgrades as long as we were ok with not sitting together. We were all about flying first class for the first time ever, so we were fine with it. I ended up sitting in a window seat next to an older guy who fell asleep. I spent the flight reading Poison Study and praying like crazy that I wouldn’t have to pee!

The Maze by Catherine Coulter
Long ago, I worked as a customer service rep for American Express’s small business network (for a few weeks. lol). The job was boring and slightly stressful. I read this book while on the phones. Sometimes I read while I was working with a customer because everything was so engrained in my head at that point that I didn’t have to think much. I also brought coloring books to this job. Anything to pass the time!

Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley
I actually read this while I was substitute teaching an elementary school music class. The teacher left me instructions to play a movie for them, and I sat in the back and read this book while they watched.

Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
I read this while on a transatlantic cruise! The heroine was on a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, and I was sitting on my cabin’s balcony reading this as we crossed from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. You could tell because the water was doing some really cool swirly stuff and flowing in all different directions. I had to set my Kindle down and watch. It was pretty amazing.

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
I read this book on my road trip to Georgia with my mom for grad school orientation. I remember I really didn’t want to bring it with me because I was trying to limit my books to Kindle only, but I hadn’t finished this one yet. I read, like, 2 pages a day because I was so busy that I hardly had time to read.

What direction did you take this topic in this week?
Have you read any books that are linked to specific events or times in your life?


Five of My Favorite Novellas and Five I Want to Read

Posted July 16, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 18 Comments

This week’s topic is about short stories and novellas you’ve read and loved! As I was going through my list of books I quickly realized that I suck at reading novellas. I own them, but I don’t read them often because I like longer stories. And he ones I do read are frequently Christmas ones. That’s why this week I’m sharing with you five of the novellas I’ve read and seriously loved everything about, as well as five novellas I’d really like to read.

Read and Loved

Operation White Christmas by Nicki Edwards
This is one of my favorite Christmas stories. I loved the characters, the dog, the baby llama, and particularly the ending.

Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
This is such a cute Spindle Cove novella with a blacksmith hero who will steal your heart.

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis-Graves
This is the novella companion to On the Island takes Anna and TJ head back to where they were stranded, although they are not the main focus of this story. It’s pretty much about a guy named Owen. I won’t say anything more because spoilers! But this is seriously a MUST read if you loved On the Island!

Just One Night by Gayle Forman
THIS was the ending we needed after Just One Day. You can skip Just One Year, for all I care.

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Another of myfavorite Christmas stories about two college students who decide to carpool home for Christmas and a snowstorm has other plans for them.

Want to Read

The Demon In the Wood by Leigh Bardugo
I loved The Darkling in this trilogy, and I’d love to learn his backstory!

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows
I’d love to learn more about one of my favorite book boyfriends, Sam!

Compulsion by Vanessa Garden
This is a prequel to Submerged Sun, which is a favorite of mine. I didn’t even know about it until I was putting this list together! And I don’t know how to get it because I can’t find it anywhere online!

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare
It’s my goal to read anything she writes, and this sounds wonderful!

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
I’ve never read a book by Jojo, but this is Paris and new romance and I’m here for it!

Are you a novella person?
Have you read any of these? Do you want to?
What novellas do you love that you think I might, too?


The Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far!)

Posted July 9, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 42 Comments

I cannot believe we’re over halfway done with 2018 (obviously, since I totally forgot to put this topic into the calendar and had to swap it out for the freebie that was originally scheduled for today). It feels like just yesterday I was packing up the Christmas decorations on a dreary January morning. Now it’s blisteringly hot outside and I’m  itching for fall weather to blow in and cool us off again. And then it’ll be 2019 before we know it! There’s still lots of reading to be done, but today let’s talk about the best of the best that we’ve read this year!

I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
This marriage of convenience story is seriously so heartwarming and wonderful. It’s also filled with swoons! Emmy is conned out of a place to live on campus (as well as all of her money), and recently dumped Beckett remembers that his apartment is in married student housing. Rather than drop out of school, Emmy and Beckett decide to get married and share the apartment. They have to play the part of a newlywed couple for all their new friends, and I loved watching them convince themselves that they’re great together as well.


Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Love & Gelato was everything I had hoped for and more. I love stories set in Italy, and this one was pure perfection. Read my review for more info!

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
The bulk of Love & Luck takes place on a road trip across Ireland in dilapidated old car, passing castles and historic sites and tons of beautiful scenery. It’s seriously such a fun story, and Jenna’s writing is wonderful.


Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
I loved Starry Eyes. It’s swoony and deep and angsty and full of so much reality, set against the love-hate relationship between two best-friends-turned-enemies as they traverse the elements and depend on one another to survive the literal wilderness, as well as their own wild, untamed lives. Read my full review!


Roomies by Christina Lauren
I love marriages of convenience and fake/sham romances, books set in New York, stories surrounding the theme of music, and hot Irish men. This one did not disappoint! Read my full review.


The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a Tracey fangirl and have been following her since the very beginning of her writing career when she self-published On the Island. TGHUtK is her first plunge into women’s fiction, and I loved it! It features a heroine on the Autism spectrum, a romance from the past, lots of feelings, and characters who find themselves in each other. I don’t want to talk too much about i because it comes out in April of 2019, but keep your eyes peeled for more on this one in the coming months!


Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci
Here’s another Italy romance! A chance encounter with the sexy Italian man who got away years ago brings lots of romantic moments and feelings.


Save the Date by Morgan Matson
I’m SO glad I finally jumped on the Morgan Matson train! I hope her others are just as wonderful for me as this one was. I loved the family dynamics, the wedding craziness, and all heart and feeling that swirled around it all. Read my full review.


The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
I REALLY love the audio for this one. It is amazingly well done. And the steampunk historical fiction mixed with a little suspense/intrigue and hints of romance made this a very unique and enjoyable read.

Which books have you read and loved this year so far?


Ten Red, White, & Blue Books I Want to Read

Posted July 2, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 31 Comments

Since 4th of July is tomorrow here in the United States of America, I thought it would be fun to showcase book covers that have country colors on them today! I love learning where my fellow book nerds live. If you live in another country, I hope you’ve chosen book covers with the colors from your country’s flag! If you decided to helped me celebrate the 4th of July, though, and chose red, white, and blue covers then that’s also awesome.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Study abroad at Oxford and romance!

Freshmen by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
A funny look at Freshman year at college.

Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Her dad is the Republican nominee for President of the USA, which his mom is he Democratic nominee. This could be interesting.

Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Scotland, for one thing. And there’s a prince in disguise!!

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I’ve been wanting to read this Kate Middleton/Prince William-inspired romance for a LONG time.

Enchantée by Gita Trelease
1789 Paris. A double life. Magic. Blackmail. Marie Antoinette.

Girl on a Plane by Cassandra O’Leary
A flight attendant falls for the sexy Australian in First Class on a flight from Melbourne to London. There’s also an unexpected landing in Singapore.

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash
If the title alone isn’t enough to get you, then I don’t know what to tell you.

The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
This sounds very Prince and Me/Princess Diaries, and I am here for it.

My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
A choose your own adventure romance novel! Yes please!

Which country do you call home?
If you’re in the USA, what are your 4th of July plans?


Ten Book Series I Really Want to Catch Up On

Posted June 25, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 28 Comments

I don’t know about you, but it’s really hard to keep series books straight. I have to really love a book and the characters and/or the world that the author has created to be willing to invest the time and memory space required to stick with a trilogy or series for its entire run. Today’s topic is technically about the series or trilogies I don’t plan to finish, but as I was writing up my list I came across so many series I’ve kind of abandoned but really want to finish someday (also, I did a similar TTT topic years ago and don’t have many new series to add to it)! So I decided to tweak the topic a bit to suit my needs. These are all series I appear to have quit, even though I loved what I read, but would actually really love to continue on with.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (I’ve read books 1 & 2)
2. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (I’ve read books 1 & 2)
3. Rebel of the Sands trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton (I’ve read book 1)
4. Gideon’s Cove trilogy by Kristan Higgins (I’ve read book 1 & 3)
5. Boomerang trilogy by Noelle August (I’ve read books 1 & 2)
6. Frost Chronicles by Kate Avery Ellison (I’ve read books 1 & 2)
7. The Conspiracy of Us trilogy by Maggie Hall (I’ve read book 1)
8. Firebird trilogy by Claudia Gray (I’ve read book 1)
9. Heist Society series by Ally Carter (I’ve read books 1 & 2)
10. The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski (I’ve read book 1)

Which series should I prioritize?
Which do you recommend I not worry about?

 


Ten Beach Reads to Grab This Summer

Posted June 18, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 53 Comments

Today’s topic is beach reads! Or you could have chosen to feature your summer TBR list. I tend to not do a summer TBR because I like to give myself the opportunity to make my reading choices in the moment rather than sticking to a schedule this time of year. So I chose beach reads!

When I hear “beach read” my mind immediately jumps to light and fun contemporary romances that I can read a little at a time or in one big binge session. I absolutely love these kinds of books because they give me warm fuzzies and goofy smiles. I’ve selected some older and newer releases, along with new adult/adult titles and YA titles. All of them are wonderful, and books I wholeheartedly recommend.

New Adult/Adult

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci
I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Roomies by Christina Lauren

 

Young Adult

From What I Remember… by Stacy Kramer & Valerie Thomas
Golden by Jessi Kirby
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland

Which beach reads would you recommend I try?
And if you chose to do your summer TBR for today’s topic,
which books are you hoping to read this summer?


Twelve Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Posted June 11, 2018 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 51 Comments

Don’t worry! You’re in the right spot! I unveiled my new blog design today, and I’m pretty much in love with it. Things needed to change! I’m still working out some little kinks, but I wanted to make sure it was live and working in time for TTT!

Books with travel aspects (or that just make me want to pack my suitcase and jet set somewhere amazing) are my absolute favorite kind of books! I especially love books that take place in places I’ve been to before because it’s a cheap way to go back for a visit. lol. So today’s topic highlights 13 of my very favorite books that awaken the travel bug in me!

 

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (Florence and Rome, Italy)
This book takes place in Florence and Rome, Italy and it is amazing. Lina moves to Italy after her mother’s death, and learns all about who she is, who her mother was, and that she’s not as alone as she thought.

Love, Lucy by April Lindner (Florence, Italy)
This book is actually a modern YA retelling of A Room With a View by E.M. Forster. I can’t really comment on the retelling aspects of the story because I’ve never read A Room With a View, but I really loved Love, Lucy. It’s the perfect summer love story that blossoms while Lucy is backpacking through Florence and drinking in everything from the food to the architecture. She falls for a street musician, and I pretty much fell for him too!

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae (Rome and Cinque Terre, Italy)
BAH. This book is one of my greatest loves! Pippa is off to Florence for art school, but ditches that plan to explore instead. She finds herself traveling solo through Italy and ends up in the beautiful Cinque Terre, living with the cashier from a coffee shop and her family. She goes on long walks, explores ruins, eats a lot, souvenir shops, goes on train rides, swims in the Mediterranean Sea, works in a restaurant, and goes sightseeing.

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson (Italy)
A few days before a class trip to Italy, Jessa discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. Before she leaves, her best friend equips her with a list called “Top Twenty Reasons He’s a Slimy Jerk Bastard”. She also gives her instructions to do one thing out of her comfort zone each day she’s gone in the hopes of getting her through the heartbreak.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Paris, France)
I love Paris. I could picture Allyson and Willem on the train, walking the streets of Paris, eating crepes, gazing over the river, even walking past all the street vendors. I loved that they did not do the typical touristy things, though. They experienced Paris in a way that most people who only have one day there don’t. I want to do what they did, and I want to find a guy like Willem to be right there next to me.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Paris, France)
This is just SUCH a cute boarding school story set in Paris, with a pretty cute boy. Paris is described so perfectly, and brings the entire city to life.

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (Central America, namely Belize)
Artsy Bria goes on this crazy adventure through Central America. Along the way, she learns so much about herself and gains a lot of life experience. Plus, she sees amazing places, experiences new things, meets cool people, and falls in love.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill (London, England)
A class trip to London results in a really cute love story. The author paints a really great picture of the city, and I felt like I was there, wandering the museums, running in the rain, and soaking in an old fashioned bath tub after a long day of walking.

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch (Ireland)
Addie, her brother, and her brother’s swoony online friend drive all over the Irish countryside in a tiny dilapidated car, looking for important sites that are tied to a popular band. It’s both funny and romantic.

Austenland by Shannon Hale (England)
Jane is obsessed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Seriously obsessed. After her great aunt’s death, Jane’s learns that she left her an all-inclusive, all expenses paid trip to Pembrook Park to experience what it’s like to have your very own Mr. Darcy. It’s fun and fluffy, and I loved it.

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker (Summer on a sailboat)
Clem and her family spend the summer aboard a sailboat, spending time together, eating disgusting meals made only from canned foods, eating s’mores by blow torch, star gazing, sunbathing, laughing, and bonding. Clem, Olive, and red spend many hours hanging out trying to catch fish, perfecting their Little Mermaid moves, giggling, and teasing each other.

Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley (Road trip through the English countryside)
Carrie’s fiancé comes home from a stag party and tells her he can’t marry her anymore. Her best friend, Rowena, decides the two of them need to go on a road trip to Italy and beyond. But then Rowena gets a job on a soap opera and has to back out of the trip the morning of. She mischievously calls on Dr. Matt Landor, an old friend from college, to go with Carrie instead. Carrie is mortified at this change in plans, but Matt finally talks her into going on a trip with him. They spend just over a month traveling around the English countryside meeting new people, and getting to know each other far better than they expected. Love blossoms among several different sets of characters. There’s even a bit of a scary twist that makes you worry for the characters!

Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson (Summer aboard a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean Sea)
Luxury yacht in the Med, guys. And the book has history, mystery, adventure, suspense, romance, and humor. It’s the complete package, and I LOVED it.

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