Category: Top Ten Tuesday

The First Ten Books I Ever Reviewed

Posted April 22, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Thanks to Rissi at Finding Wonderland for this week’s topic! I started blogging at The Broke & the Bookish in June of 2010 and started recording my thoughts on Goodreads even earlier, so holy moly I’ve been reviewing books for a LONG time. This week I’m sharing the first ten books I ever reviewed (the date my review was posted, along with the outlet it was posted on appears after the title).

I’m excited to see the first ten books you reviewed! Now, these reviews don’t necessarily have to be long, formal reviews. They could just be a sentence or two on Goodreads or a book retail site. Whatever your heart desires. Does anyone else read their old reviews and cringe a little bit? I do!! It’s also kind of crazy to see how my tastes have changed over the years.

1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer (March 10, 2008 @ Goodreads)
I joined Goodreads in March of 2008, and I’m pretty sure this was my first review there.

2. Traitor by Sandra Grey (May 25, 2008 @ Goodreads)

3. Sailing to Capri by Elizabeth Chandler (June 11, 2008 @ Goodreads)

4. Her Good Name by Josi S. Kilpack (May 1, 2009 @ Goodreads)

5. Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark (July 26, 2009 @ Goodreads)

6. Austenland by Shannon Hale (July 1, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
My first review ever! Oh, how I agonized over this review. It took me hours and I was so scared to post it!

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (July 25, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)

8. Finding The Right Man For You: Dating Advice for Women by Lawrence J. Danks (August 15, 2010 @ Amazon)
This book should be fed to the goats. It was SO awful. lol. It made me SO mad (just go read my review). We were getting very few review requests, so I agreed to read this because “Yay! I’m a grown-up blogger who people are noticing!” I’m much more selective with the titles I accept now. I refused to even post this review on our blog, so it became the first review I ever wrote for Amazon.

9. Jane Morris: The Pre-Raphaelite Model of Beauty by Debra N. Mancoff (August 13, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
This is so not a pick that is characteristic of me and my blog here, but we were trying to review a very wide array of book genres so I threw in this book from an art history paper I was writing in college at the time that I loved so much I went and bought a copy for my own collection.

10. 501 Must-Visit Destinations by David Brown, Jackum Brown, Kieran Fogarty, and Rebecca Walder (September 9, 2010 @ The Broke & the Bookish)
I love travel, and I was still trying to not just read and review YA for TB&TB so I chose to highlight this one!


Top Ten Rainy Day Reads

Posted April 15, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 9 Comments

It’s been raining a LOT here in my neck of the woods lately, so this topic is pretty perfect for me. Thanks to Shayna at Clockwork Bibliotheca for submitting such a fun topic through my request form! What do you consider to be a “rainy day read”? When I think of these kinds of books, I think of cozy stories that I can jump into for an entire day rather than just an hour or two here and there. I’ve been going through some hard life stuff for the last week and a half and now I’m passing a kidney stone, so I’ll hopefully be back later to update my picks! For now, here’s the link-up.

What makes a book a rainy day read?
Which books did you pick this week?


Five Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done Because I Love Books

Posted April 8, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 13 Comments

This week’s topic (Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books) was submitted by Aggie’s Amygdala, and is a pretty daunting topic if I’m being honest! I’ve said it before, though, I’m not just going to select topics based on ones I can easily complete myself! There’s a lot of participants! If the word “outrageous” doesn’t fit your list, then change it! Shocking? Bold? Crazy? The point is to show off our nerdy, bookish badges of honor. Anything goes this week. Now, I’m not one to jump outside of my comfort zone often, so I chose the word “uncharacteristic” to describe my list picks. These are things I normally wouldn’t do.

Started My Own Book Blog
I was never a blogger! I tried personal blogging and whatever, but fell out of love with it. This is honestly the longest hobby I’ve ever had, and that baffles me!

New Moon Midnight Release Party On a School Night
The Twilight series was the first series I really went crazy over. I was not much of a recreational reader since school ruined books for me. Up to that point I never understood the appeal of midnight release parties, but I was SO EXCITED to get New Moon in my hands that I went anyway and was totally exhausted the next day.

Went to ALA Las Vegas with Really Bad Pneumonia
I LOVE attending ALA, so much that pneumonia wasn’t going to keep me away. I sat on everything I could, and I had this pale, cold, clammy sheen to my face the entire time. I was dragging my dead corpse around the convention hall, basically.

Went to Kathryn Purdie’s Burning Glass Launch Party with a Migraine with Aura
Similar to the above, I do bookish things instead of taking care of myself.

I Got Rid of Clothes to Make Room for More Bookshelves
I seriously never thought I’d do something like this, but I got rid of a dresser to get more bookshelves!

What nerdiness is on your list this week?


Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book

Posted April 1, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 30 Comments

This week we’re talking about why we read the books we read! I’m pretty sure all of us have a list of things we look for when we read a book’s synopsis or read book reviews. Some of us might even be sold on a book’s cover alone! These are the things we’re talking about today. Hopefully you’ll have some suggestions for me based on my list!

1. Travel Destinations

This first one is a bit of an umbrella pick for me, but I had to do it this way or else all ten of my picks for this topic would be different countries! I love traveling to my favorite places and places I’d like to visit through books, so if I see that a book is set in Italy or France or Greece, etc. my interest is immediately piqued.

2. Characters On Vacation

In the same vein as above, I’m all about going on vacation with book characters. If characters are traveling abroad, going on class trips, going to boarding school, or road tripping I get excited!

3. Fauxmances/Relationships of Convenience

This is a HUGE one for me! I love the fake romance/fake marriage turned full-blown love story.

4. Non-Paranomal, Non-Erotic Romantic Suspense

I LOVE romantic suspense, but so much of what’s out there has a paranormal aspect to it or is too explicit for me. I don’t want a romance to be suspenseful because he’s a werewolf. I want a murder or a missing person or a serial killer or SOMETHING with a strong accompanying romance. Those are so exciting and swoony to me, and are my absolute favorite kinds of books.

5. Workplace Romance

I love the tension of a really great, forbidden workplace romance!

6. Nerdy Characters

I love the sexy nerds as romantic interests. I also love nerdy or bookish heroines that I can relate to.

7. On the Water

I love books set on cruise ships, pirate ships, sailboats, yachts, ferries, lifeboats, etc. I gobble them up like you wouldn’t believe.

8. Heists

I love heists! Jewelry, art, antiques, rare books, I’m here for all of it.

9. Wilderness/Survival Settings

I love it when characters are off the beaten path, whether by choice or not. Camping, hiking, getting lost or stranded on a beach or in the wilderness… Perhaps a boat goes down or a plane crashes and the characters have to learn to survive. Throw in a little suspense or danger into one of these settings, and it’s even more of a must-have for me.

10. Underwater Settings

I love books that take place in fantasy underwater cities or compounds. Mermaids are an added bonus!

Do you have any books you’d recommend to me based on my list?
What makes you want to read a book?


Five Audiobooks I Loved & Five I’m Excited to Listen To

Posted March 25, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

This week’s TTT is an audio freebie! I’ve recently jumped onto the audiobook bandwagon, and so I was really excited to do this week’s topic because I’m hoping to find a lot of audiobook recommendations from all of you! Narrators make or break an audiobook for me, and you’ll see from my picks below which narrators are my favorites!

Five Audiobooks I Loved

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 
Steve West made me fall in love with Shawn Kendrick.
I also love the musical elements, which Maggie composed herself!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Jennifer Ikeda does a really great job with this book!

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
Fiona Hardingham is great, and I felt like the atmosphere of the
audio was perfect for the tone of the book.

A Tale of Beauty and Beast by Melanie Callier
I can’t pinpoint why I loved this so much, but I did! I’m a sucker for
B&B retellings, and even though the narrator did a rather crummy job on the
Beast’s voice, I still enjoyed listening.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Phoebe Strole and James Fouhey both have great voices, and I loved listening
to this. It was so rich and exciting.

Five Audiobooks I’m Excited to Listen To

Sherwood by Meagan Spoooner
Fiona Hardingham is wonderful to listen to, and
I loved Meagan’s Hunted so I can’t wait for her next retelling.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Steve West is one of the narrators, GUYS. I don’t even know what the story is
about, but I bought it anyway.

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas
I’ve actually read and loved this book already, but Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell)
herself narrates it so I need to re-read!

Made for You by Melissa Marr
I’ve heard great things about MacLeod Andrews, and this book sounds great!

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Julia Whelan reads her own book! I’ve heard she’s an awesome reader, but
I bet she’s even better reading her own book!

What are some of your favorite audiobooks? Why?
Can you recommend any amazing narrators (I LOVE STEVE WEST)?


Top Ten Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

Posted March 18, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 38 Comments

Can you believe Spring is in just a few days?? I LOVE winter, but I’m actually kind of looking forward to warmer weather. I never expect that it will happen, but it always does. This week’s topic might break your wallet, but that’s kind of ok right? What’s on your Spring TBR?

Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash
Virtual reality dating service. What could possibly go wrong?

Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
This little novella sounds like so much fun!

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
I love a good murder mystery, and this one set in an idyllic little hamlet sounds like the perfectly creepy kind.

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
I’m reading Cleeton’s first “Cuba” book right now and can already tell I’m going to want this companion ASAP. I love the writing!

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
This is out today!! I loved Meagan’s Beauty and the Beast retelling, Hunted, and am excited to see how she retells Robin Hood! Also, I’m pretty excited that Steve West and Fiona Hardingham narrate the audiobook I’ve pre-ordered.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West
I love Kasie West, and her books are just the kind of light and fluffy springtime happiness I need.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
It’s time, guys! I’ve been wanting to read this for years and now I’m buddy reading it with a friend, so it’s finally going to happen!

The Way You Love Me by Miranda Liasson
This sounds so sweet and heartwarming, plus we’ve got a bookish heroine!

You Say It First by Susan Mallery
This new series sounds like a lot of fun, and centers around fairy tale destination weddings!

The Beholder by Anna Bright
I love a good swashbuckling fantasy, and this one is a mash-up of The Odyssey and Cinderella. I’m there.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?
Do we have any picks in common?
What kind of books do you like to read this time of year?


Ten Standalone Books I Wish Had a Sequel

Posted March 11, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! This week’s topic is about standalone books I wish had sequels (we did this same topic back in 2013. See mine here!). I used to really love series, but now I really appreciate a good standalone that I can just read and be done with and not have to worry about cliffhangers or remembering what happened a year later when the next book comes out. That’s not to say, however, that I’m always happy when a standalone ends. Sometimes I want more of the characters, or sometimes there’s a secondary character I read about that I’d like to see at the front of their own book! Whatever the case may be, here’s my list of books I’d like a sequel for.

1. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
This book isn’t even out yet, but I SO want a book about Birdie’s Aunt Mona!

2. I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill
I love the two main characters, and I want to know what happens to them after this book ends. Maybe a really long epilogue would suffice.

3. Till Death by Jennifer Armentrout
Ok, so I don’t technically need a sequel… I just need more romantic suspense like this because it’s amazing. Maybe sexy FBI agent Cole can tackle more serial killers.

4. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
I just need more Josh and Lucy!!

5. Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
I love this world, and I’d love more Finn!

6. Love, Lucy by April Lindner
I loved Jesse and Lucy so much in this book, and I want more of their story! What’s college like for these two? (In know there is a companion novella, but it’s not an additional story. It’s just Jesse’s point of view.)

7. Atlantia by Ally Condie
Another awesome world that I’d love to read another book set in!

8. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
There was SUPPOSED to be a sequel and the publisher decided to pull a sucky move. I’d still LOVE to read it!

9. Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett
I just loved this book, and think a sequel would be amazing! I love the world and the characters, and there was room left for more development.

10. Winter by Marissa Meyer
I just really miss my Lunar Chronicles team, and all the companion/sequel novellas aren’t enough! I’m also sad that I haven’t liked anything Marissa has written since… *weeps*

Which books do you wish had sequels?


Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Posted March 4, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 9 Comments

This week’s topic was submitted by Sara @ A Gingerly Review, and is “top ten characters I’d like to switch places with”. What a fun topic! Sadly, my life got away from me and my list will be delayed. I’m sorry! Hopefully I’ll have time to come update it later today!

Which characters would you like to switch places with?


Top Ten Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit

Posted February 25, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 14 Comments

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! I love visiting new worlds while reading books. That’s one of the biggest perks I get from reading, in all honesty. Today’s topic focuses on places mentioned in books that I’d love to visit, and they can be real or fictional. Thanks to Georgia @justreadthemm for submitting such a fun topic suggestion through my TTT topic submission form!

Havana, Cuba from Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton
I’ve always wanted to visit Cuba. It’s a place that seems frozen in time, and it sounds beautiful.

Irish countryside from Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch
There are castles and historic sites and there’s so much pretty scenery! Plus, the author writes really great scenery descriptions. Check out my dream Irish excursion here.

Santorini, Greece from The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey
I’d LOVE to explore Santorini!

The wilderness in Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Well, only if Lennon is there too!

Romania from Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
I’d love to explore Dracula’s castle, but I’d also love to see all the nature and the hostiry and the architecture!

Caraval from Caraval by Stephanie Garber
This world is amazing. I’d love to visit, but it might be too mysterious and unknown for me unless I have a swoony boy there too!

The Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I LOVED The Night Court and the secret, beautiful city of Velaris. The setting was just so pretty and magical. I also loved the people there, and all the new characters I got to meet. Plus, Rhys…

London, England from Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
London, baby!

Istanbul from The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
I’ve wanted to visit forEVER!

Cinque Terre from Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
I’ve seen his place in movies and it’s beautiful, but reading about it made it sound like so much more than just a pretty place.

Which places have books taken you that you’d love to visit yourself?


Top Ten Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Posted February 18, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 26 Comments

This week’s topic shows some love to the books that aren’t getting much. What books have you read and loved, but there’s not many ratings or reviews on Goodreads (or any other book pushing/retailer sites)? I’m hoping we all find some great hidden gems for our own TBRs this week!

Love, Lucy by April Lindner (1,678 ratings)
This book is AMAZING, you guys! It takes place in Florence, Italy and is the sweetest romance and coming of age story. It’s also a retelling of A Room With a View, which is very cool.

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore Stultz (1,232 ratings)
A very sweet romance with tons of references to well-loved romantic movies, a beautiful friendship, swoony boys, girl power, and an important message to readers young and old.

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae (1,791 ratings)
OH MY GOODNESS. When I discovered that this book had so few ratings my jaw dropped. It’s a wonderful book. Seriously, this book will fly you to Italy and deposit you right into the middle of the best parts of it. My very favorite part was Italy, but the romance and the gelato and the wonderfulness of growing up and discovering your independence and your identity solidified my love.

Captivate by Vanessa Garden (1,432 ratings)
The world in this one is gorgeous and colorful and sparkling and so unique! Humans live on the ocean floor in a huge city that has rivers and gondolas and a modern colosseum where people go to watch criminals get thrown to the sharks in a big aquarium-like tank. The ocean is their sky. Their world is lit and warmed by light crystals that sparkle, and oxygen is brought down to them through air shafts. There’s a garden and a park with real grass. I could go on and on. I’m in love with this place, and the writing is beautiful.

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney (717 ratings)
The premise of Starry Nights is SO unique. I’ve always wanted to read a book with such a huge emphasis on art history. The fact that 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 made me love it so much. And there are some twists which make it pretty exciting. Who is she? Why does she come to life at night? Why is Julien the only one who can see her? Yeah, these questions are answered in a blend of excitement, suspense, and the love of art.

Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (1,405 ratings)
This book will think about your own life, and you will most likely end up making some goals for yourself as you move forward. I was touched by so many of the passages, and related to the emotions that were discussed.

Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams (1,245 ratings)
An amazing cast of characters and a unique story that takes place during a reality TV cooking show for teens. It’s like reading an episode of Iron Chef, and made me SO HUNGRY.

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton (1,298 ratings)
A fun NA Christmas novella about two people carpooling home for Christmas and getting stranded in a blizzard. SOOO SWOONY.

Degrees of Wrong by Anna Scarlett (432 ratings)
Anna Scarlett is Anna Banks’s pen name! You know Anna. She wrote Of Poseidon, Nemesis, Joyride, etc. This is her adult sci-fi and it’s AMAZING. A doctor on a mission to find the cure for a deadly virus… and terrorists hoping to kill her before she gets the chance? YES. High-tech equipment, underwater battleships, transport pods, giant squids… YES. The heroine and I would be BFFs until I tried to steal her man. Nicoli is this strong military-type with a hardened exterior and a mushy center reserved for those he cares about.

By Love or By Sea by Rachel Rager/Harlin (137 ratings)
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! And look at that cover.

What books do you love that deserve more attention?
Will you be adding any of my picks to your TBR?

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