Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011

Posted December 27, 2011 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 5 Comments

TTT

This was a majorly amazing year of reading for me! My goal may seem small to many of you, but I read more books this year than I have in years past (if you don’t count textbooks!). I read a lot of really great books this year, and picking 10 might be tricky for me! These are actually listed in the order I read them this year.

Nocturne, by Syrie James
LOVED this book. It’s all about a man and a woman who find themselves trapped in his remote home during a majorly huge snowstorm. He’s a vampire, and she’s freaking out. And then… the romance happens. Loved it, and Syrie’s writing is gorgeous.
Read my review and author interview here. (Over at The Broke and the Bookish)

Firelight, by Sophie Jordan
I really liked the new paranormal subject matter of this book: Dragons. A dragon falls in love with a dragon slayer, and all hell breaks loose. Now that Vanish, book #2, is out you don’t even have to fret about the cliffhanger at the end!
Read my review here. (Over at The Broke and the Bookish)

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
Do I even need to explain myself here? Love is marked as a deadly disease, but who on Earth can avoid falling in love? Especially if you’re told not to… Pandemonium can’t come soon enough!

Illusions, by Aprilynne Pike
Oh, I do love fairies… This is book 3 of the 4-part series, but I actually loved it the most (so far)! It was magical, romantic, adventurous, and I got through it in 24 hours!That’s a sign of a good book for me. I never have enough time to read that much!
Read my review here. (Over at The Broke and the Bookish)

(Wow… I just realized I love books with one word in the title…)

The Forgotten Locket, by Lisa Mangum
This was the end of a trilogy that I pretty much love. It’s not very well known in the blogosphere, but I adore it. Basically, the Hourglass Door is a door that Da Vinci designed to travel through time. It can also take you to “the river” which is where you can actually see time and change it. Dante, the main guy… was Da Vinci’s apprentice, and came through the door 500 years later in the present day (as punishment for being framed as a traitor to his country, Italy) and falls in love. But the wrong people get a hold of this door, and come forward to cause major problems that Dante and his love interest, Abby, need to fix. All three books talk about this door, and their quest to save time before the world is destroyed. It’s very exciting. Lisa Mangum’s writing style is beautiful. I found myself re-reading passages because they were incredibly captivating. She described everything in such intricate detail and left me feeling like I was actually there.

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Definitely my favorite read of the year, and one of my favorite books ever. This book got me hooked on contemporary romance, and now I just can’t get enough of it! Stephanie Perkins is my hero.

Learning to Swim, by Sara J. Henry
This book totally surprised me. I ended up really loving it. It was suspenseful, mysterious, exciting, and heartwarming. This woman is on a ferry headed home, when she sees a bundle thrown off the back of a passing ferry. For some reason, she is convinced the bundle is a child, and dives into the freezing water to save him. He’s only 6 years old, and he only speaks French. The story follows this woman as she takes the boy in, tries to find out who he is, grows really attached to him, and has some run-ins with the scary peeps who tried to kill him. It’s very exciting, and I could not put it down.
Read my review here. (At The Broke and the Bookish)

Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Again, Stephanie is my hero. Loved this book so much for the same reasons I loved Anna.

Carrie Goes Off The Map, by Philippa Ashley
This book was lovely for several uncommon reasons: 1. The characters are my age! I’m so used to reading about tweens, teenagers, and middle-aged adults. I rarely read about characters who are mid-to-late twenties. It was refreshing. 2. This is an amazing book to help you feel better after a nasty break-up. I wish I’d had this book a few years ago when I went through one of those. 3. Traveling!!!!! I love books where people travel, and what’s better than driving through England in a camper van named Dolly? Carrie’s road trip happens as a result of needing time to get over her cheating fiance. She brings along a guy she barely knows, but who also needs some time away. I’m sure you guessed that sparks fly!
Read my review here.

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
I love the three intertwined Christmas romances in this book. Maureen and John write amazingly perfect and hysterical stories. Lauren’s disappointed me, but not enough to make me love this book any less. It’s pure magic.
Read my review here.


Top Ten Childhood Faves

Posted December 6, 2011 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 10 Comments

TTT

This topic is a little tricky for me! When I was a younger, I pretty much hated reading. I went to a school that made reading really, really suck. They’d give us a reading schedule and packets and packets of in-depth questions to answer as we went. And then they tested us, and made us write essays. I could not just read for enjoyment. I had to memorize the questions and then look for the answers as I read. It was awful. I loved reading as a very young girl, but once I got into grades 4-6ish, I quit unless I was required to read for a grade. It was not until my early college years that I re-discovered my love of reading. And you’re going to laugh when you find out how! I was in a color theory class, and we were assigned to bring in products that utilized color, making them more appealing to the average passerby. A guy brought in Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. He said his wife was obsessed with this new book series about vampires. Then he went on to talk about how the cover is a very effective use of color and symbolism. When I ran across that cover again, I decided to try it. A new reader was born!

Anyway, a lot of my childhood faves are picture books, mixed in with a few middle-grade/young adult that I either enjoyed in school, or stumbled across in my school’s library while looking for books to do reports on or to supplement research papers. It’s kind of funny that I ended up as a book reviewer, because now I essentially read and analyze books… and write an “essay” on it. It’s my choice, though, so I guess that makes it ok! So, here we go!

Henry the Duck series, by Robert Quackenbush
This series features 4-6 books about a duck named Henry who is always getting himself into trouble. He floods his house, or takes on too many babysitting jobs. It’s pretty hilarious, and the pictures are adorable. I recently bought used copies of all of them so I would have my own set when I have children of my own. My mom would kill me if I took the copies I read. She’s saving them for her grandkids!

Sherlock Chick series, by Robert Quackenbush
This series was written by the same guy as Henry the Duck. These books are all about a little chick who dresses like Sherlock Holmes and solves random mysteries, like what’s making the sound in the barn… or where the gargantuan Easter egg went. Again, very cute. I bought these as well.

The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
I read this in school, and really enjoyed reading about a small family that lives in a really big home, all the while hiding from the owners and stealing their food and odds and ends around the house. I always envisioned having my own tiny family living in my house. I looked for them often, and I’m pretty sure I found evidence that the were there!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
Any book that allows children to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is my kind of book. I love that museum, and can totally see why it would be a fun place to live.

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
I saw this book as being so incredibly adventurous. I’d never heard of a plane crash survivor living on his own on a deserted island before, and thought it was so cool! The idea is no longer groundbreaking, as plenty other novelists and tv show/movie producers have worn it out. I loved reading about the adventures, and how this boy was able to survive for so long.

Full House Stephanie series and Full House Michelle series by a whole bunch of different people
I loved Full House as a child, so when my mom gave me some of these books in desperate hope to re-kindle my love of reading, I obliged. I rembeber feeling so accomplished after finishing one of them! Haha.

The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This book scared the crap out of me, and I found it really hard to understand. However, the mystery and creepiness of the story really drew me in. This is the book that made me decide I love mysteries.

Nancy Drew series, by Carolyn Keene
After discovering I loved mysteries, Nancy Drew was the next logical step. I loved this series.

Catherine and the Pirate, by Karen Hawkins (And all of the other books in this series.)
I loved this book so much! I found it in my school’s library (yes, my school library had romance novels!?!?!). It’s a very tame middle-grade romance on the high seas. It was the very first pirate romance I ever read, and I’ve been addicted ever since. This book is one of an entire line of young adult romance, and all of them are now out of print. Luckily I bought all of them before they were discontinued!

I think I’m going to have to stop with 9! I’m so sad that I missed out on so many years of reading as a child, but I got to read a lot of fun middle-grade books with some of my reading students. It all evens out in the end, and it’s never too late to catch up! :) What were some of your childhood favorites? What did I miss?


Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter

Posted November 29, 2011 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 26 Comments

TTT

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I love Christmas and NYC, so this is definitely a must-read for the holidays!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Trisha Ashley
This is a cute-sounding Christmas romance that takes place in a remote town on the Lancashire moors in England. The heroine does not like Christmas much, and jumps on house sitting to get away. While she’s there, the town gets snowed in and she meets a guy (obviously!). I bet love is involved. I love Christmas books!

Fairytale of New York, by Miranda Dickinson
This is part of my fall/winter reading challenge with the Goodreads college students group. The cover is snowy and cute, and I can only assume the story will be the same! And I seriously love NYC (had I mentioned that before?) :P

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
Do I need to explain this? Three stories written by three great YA authors? I’m so there. I tried to read this last Christmas, and got really busy… and then Christmas was over, and I refuse to read Christmas books after December 25th.

The Snow Bride, by Debbie Macomber
During the holidays, I need some corny in my life (name the movie that inspired this quote!), and Debbie Macomber always delivers some of that. :) This one sounds pretty good, though! Internet dating… an Alaskan Christmas to go randomly marry him… BUT on the flight over, she meets another guy who does not approve of her insane idea to marry this guy. So… he changes her plans for her and takes her to his own cabin. And again, a blizzard happens. And again, love probably does too. Haha. What is it with blizzards and love stories? Maybe I need to find some hunky man in a Colorado ski lodge and pray for a lot of snow.

The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman, by Louise Plummer
A reader from another blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish, recommended this book to me. I read the description on the back cover, and ordered it. It sounds funny, cute, and like a great pick-me-up for a cold, wintry day!

Crossed (Matched #2), by Ally Condie
I’ve asked for this for Christmas, and it has been so hard waiting so long to find out what happens next (after Matched).

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
This is also part of my Goodreads winter challenge, and I am completely determined. I love P&P fan fiction, but have not read P&P! I know I will appreciate all of it more once I read this. Plus, I have the sexy Barnes and Noble leather bound classic. It’s so pretty!

Pure, by Julianna Baggott
I got an ARC for this from netgalley, and am pretty excited about it. It’s a dystopia that sounds pretty good! Look out for my review here sometime in January!

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
I also got this from netgalley. A cyborg Cinderella? It’s a brave storyline, and I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it! It comes out on January 3rd, so my review will be posted here around that time.

And of course… Pandemonium, by Lauren Oliver and Fever, by Lauren DeStefano. SO excited for both of those!

So, what are you must-reads for the winter season? I’m always on the lookout for cozy reads. This is seriously the best time of year to always be found with your nose in a book. :)


Top Ten Unread Books on My Bookshelf

Posted November 15, 2011 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 14 Comments

TTT

This week was actually my week to post at The Broke and The Bookish, but I wanted to post here too! I can’t miss my very first Tuesday as a solo blog owner, now can I?

If only I had more hours in the day. If only I had more money in my bank account. If only my only responsibility was to read books. Those three little things would make my to-read list much less ominous and overwhelming. Do you ever sit in front of your collection of books and want to read so many of them all at once that you just give up and do something else? I do. Or… I’ll look at all my books and decide I’m not feeling any of them, and hop on Amazon to buy something new! The following is a list of books I’ve been wanting to read for so long, but other books (or life) has continually gotten in the way.

Juliet: A Novel by Anne Fortier
A great friend of mine on Goodreads posted her love of this book over a year ago. I’d had my eye on it for a while, but it was really expensive so I decided to wait for a few months until I found it cheaper. She loved it so much that she sent it to me! I was ecstatic! Why have I not read it yet? This is the story of modern-day ancestors of Romeo and Juliet, who believe they are victims of a curse that has plagued the families for 600 years, ever since Romeo and Juliet were not allowed to be together. Conspiracy… romance… Romeo and Juliet. I should have read this forever ago.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Two words. Richard Armitage. I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I saw BBC’s mini-series. I’ve heard the book is just as amazing as the show. I wonder if Elizabeth’s Thornton will live up to sexy Richard.

Heat Wave (Nikki Heat #1) by Richard Castle
I absolutely LOVE the TV show Castle. It’s one of my favorites, and I own all of the seasons so far. The main guy in the show, Richard Castle, is a writer who assists the NYPD with their cases so he can gather information for his latest crime fighter book series. This book was written by someone the studio hired to write under the pen name of Richard Castle. Every season, a new book is released. I love that the books he spends the different seasons writing can be purchased! It makes the show seem more real to me. I can only assume this is as wonderful as the show, and book 3 was just released! I have to get moving on this!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ok, shoot me. I know, I know. I claim that Austenland is one of my favorite books, yet I have never read the INSPIRATION for it. I even bought the sexy Barnes and Noble leatherbound classic! I feel like I have sinned for not reading this yet.

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
Magical. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, and I feel bad that I read Alex Flinn’s (Beastly) first. This has been collecting dust on my shelf for years, and I don’t know why.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Gah. Not only does this book sound amazing, and have a reputation of being pure awesomeness, but it’s a historical romance/mystery! MY FAVORITE.

Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
Ok, I read Poison Study forever ago and I swear I have forgotten the entire thing. I don’t even know the main girl’s name now. I should have read this sooner, because now I’m going to be really confused. This might never get read.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
I’ve been hearing great things about this series for years now. Again, historical romance/mystery. MY FAVORITE!

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan
Christmas and New York are my two favorite things. If you put them together, I’m basking in celestial glory. Why have I NOT read this romance that takes place in NYC at Christmastime? Ugh!

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Other than the Beach Boys, this story provided some of the most beloved music of my childhood. I remember dancing to this in my living room as a wee thing. Why have I not read the book that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber to be a genius and create one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever tuned my ears to? I love this show!

So, what books are really desirable to you, yet you haven’t picked them up yet? Do they intimidate you? Do you have too many other book-reading commitments that you have no time to read what you really, really want to read? Are they out of print, so you’re attempting to find a used copy in some second-hand store? Let me know what your choices would be! I love reading other peoples’ lists. It’s so much fun to discover new books to read!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...