Top Ten Tuesday~ Literary Turn-Offs

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is the exact opposite from last week, ten things that instantly make me NOT want to read a book. As I mentioned last week, I will read just about anything, but there are some things that just make me say “No” right off the bat.

  1. Horror, blood and gore~ I’m not a fan of the horror genre in movies or books, and I don’t like there to be a lot of blood and gore in anything I read or watch. It’s just not my thing.
  2. Vampires~ It’s no secret that I am not a fan of vampires and tend to avoid books where the MC or pivotal characters are vampires. There are of course some exceptions to this rule, and there are a few books with well written vampires that I enjoy.
  3. Accepted abuse~ Abuse can play a part in advancing a plot, but it needs to be addressed as abuse and there needs to be some sort of punishment for the abuser, or at the very least, escape for the abused. This applies to animal abuse, as well as child abuse or domestic abuse. If the abuse is not addressed and seems to just be an accepted practice, I can’t read further.
  4. Politics~ I don’t discuss politics and I don’t want my stories to be filled with politics either. Reading is an escape for me and there is too much politically motivated stuff in my real life, so I want none of it in my reading life.
  5. Flat characters~ I mentioned last week that I can forgive an awkward plot for great characters, unfortunately the reverse is not true. If the characters are one dimensional and not fully fleshed out and human, no plot, no matter how great, is going to safe the story for me.
  6. Fraudulent experts~ This applies mostly to non-fiction and/or self-help type books where people claim to be experts in a particular field and have no real training or education. Especially when it comes to people who claim things like depression aren’t real and you can change your attitude and everything will be great.
  7. Mean Girls~ I am just not a fan. If there are mean girls, they need to not be central characters and will hopefully get their comeuppance in the end. I prefer to see strong, nurturing, supportive relationships between characters.
  8. Authors who make offensive statements on social media~ This one is kind of a hot button for me. I realize that authors are people and have their own opinions, but after some of the posts I saw on Twitter a while back it started affecting my desire to read their books. One author in particular posted something so offensive to me {and I was not in the group of people that the post was directed at} that I took their books off my TBR. This whole incident prompted me to unfollow ALL authors on Twitter {the worse offender} to keep the magic of books, and the mystery of the authors’ lives, intact for me.
  9. A religious agenda~ I have no problem with religion in books if it helps with the plot or in the development of the characters, but I do have a problem with books written as a work of fiction that are trying to promote a religious agenda. I have done some study on most of the world’s religions and support everyone’s right to believe and worship in their own way, but don’t try to force your beliefs on me in a work of fiction.
  10. Forced diversity~ Don’t take me wrong, I love diversity in books and agree that we need more diverse reads written by diverse authors. BUT I want genuine diversity, not diversity that is forced into a book to try to appease the demand. Diverse characters need to be researched {if the author is not personally affiliated with the ability, race, religion, gender, etc.} and well written, not a hodgepodge of stereotypes. I would personally prefer the author not include a diverse character if they cannot write the character in a real, genuine way.

Top Ten Tuesday~ You Make Me Want {to Read} You

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is things that instantly make me want to read a book. I will read {almost} anything, so there’s not a lot off limits for me {come back next week to see those}, but the elements below are sure to draw me in.

  1. It takes place in a library~ What book lover doesn’t love a story where the plot revolves around books? Or at least the home of lots of books. And it doesn’t have to be a library, a bookstore works too, or a house that just has lots and lots of books.
  2. There is magic involved… preferably a magic school~ I love magical stories, especially of witches {or wizards} who are just discovering their power. Many times this happens in schools, but not always. And not always young witches, sometimes they are already established adults and either haven’t understood their power or have blocked it {or both}.
  3. It takes place in a school… preferably a boarding school~ Because I love transitional books and school is such a time of transition, I tend to love books that take place in school {especially college}. Because I like the whole idea of being on your own and finding yourself, boarding schools tend to be a particular favorite.
  4. One of the MCs is a Seal or Special Forces {FBI agents are ok here as well}~ Because I like my romance mixed with a bit of action or suspense, I really enjoy series that revolve around Seal Teams, Spec Ops teams, teams made up of former Seals/Spec Ops, and those that revolve around FBI agents.
  5. There’s a romance pivotal to the story~ I love me some romance {I even like insta-love, sorry, not sorry}. While not every book I read and enjoy has a romantic element to them, I see a romance as an added perk. I love love, especially the fairytale kind.
  6. The MC is overcoming a loss {breakup, death, job loss, school issues}~ I mentioned above that I really like transitional stories, and that’s where this one comes in. I tend to be drawn to characters who are battling something in their lives. It doesn’t have to be a death or breakup, anything that brings them to the point of needing to re-evaluate their lives and direction is good for me.
  7. There is a quest involved… or maybe just a road trip~ One of my bucket list items is to take a road trip, so this may be why I am drawn to stories that involve lots of travel or quests. I feel like I am along for the ride with the characters.
  8. Cats play a big role~ Do I really even need to explain this one?
  9. The author’s name is Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Suzanne Brockmann, Rick Riordan, John Green, Jennifer Niven… or a whole host of other names~ I think this is another one that really doesn’t require explanation. There are certain authors, like those listed and many more, whose books I automatically purchase without even looking at a synopsis because I just know that I am going to love them.
  10. The MC is flawed, tragic, and most of all human~ I am very character driven and can forgive a slow or awkward plot if the characters are well written. Characters should have flaws, and probably some tragic moments during the course of the story. I need to be able to relate to the humanity of the character and immerse myself in their POV.

What makes you pick up a book?

Top Ten Tuesday~ Totally Unique

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is the most unique books you’ve read. This is a tough one because I can’t think of a lot of unique books that I’ve read, since so many things become standard after a while. I wracked by brain to come up with some unique stories, formats, etc, some of which may be common now, but were the first of their kind I read.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae

This one has such a unique format, told through transcripts of communications, art work, and other methods. I’ve never read anything like it before.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Before reading this book, I had never read a book presented entirely in letter.

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)

Inkheart

I had never read a book with such intense world building before this one.

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living

Julie & Julia

Julie and Julia is the first book I ever read written by a blogger… and about their blog.

No Opportunity Wasted: Creating a Life List

No Opportunity Wasted

I honestly can’t really say what was so unique about this book, except that it completely inspired me. And technically was the first book written by a celebrity that I ever read.

Nora & Kettle (Paper Stars, #1)

Nora & Kettle

This was one of the first re-tellings that I’ve read that wasn’t a direct re-telling.

Room

Room

An incredibly serious subject told from the POV of a 5 year-old… definitely unique.

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

Nevernight

Such an intense book with incredible world building. This was my first darker, assassin read.

Unlocking Worlds: A Reading Companion for Book Lovers

Unlocking Worlds

This was an interesting one. While it is a book about books, it looks more at the worlds within each book rather than just excerpts or synopses.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

This is another one with great world building. And about gamers, which is not something I ever thought I would enjoy.


**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday~ Fangirling

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about Fandoms. As I am a bit older than the average YA reader, and was already well into my adulthood before the glory of the fandom was introduced, I really don’t consider myself a member of many fandoms. There are only 2 that I can sincerely claim membership in… the Disney fandom and the Harry Potter fandom. So this week I will share some ways that I show my obsessions for these two worlds.

  1. The wall art for my bedroom is all Disney. I have prints and oil paintings of Eeyore, Cinderella and Walt himself that grace my bedroom walls.
  2. I do a full Harry Potter movie marathon at least once a year, and re-read the entire series at least once every other year.
  3. When I still lived in California, I had an annual pass to Disneyland {and California Adventure} so that I could visit often… and I did, usually at least once every 6 weeks I would drive the 150 miles north  to visit the parks for the day {or two}.
  4. I have been sorted into both my Hogwarts {Gryffindor} and Ilvermorny {Thunderbird} houses and have been chosen by my wand {11″ hard Cypress with unicorn hair core} and my Patronus {An Aardvark}. All on Pottermore of course.
  5. On my application for my current job, under the “special skills” section I put Disney trivia {true story}.
  6. My most active Pinterest board {even more than my ones dedicated to books and cats} is titled HP, dedicated to all Harry Potter memes and pictures. {I also have a board titled <3 Disney}.
  7. I named my cats Disney {today would have been her 9th birthday} and Cheshire. I also have names picked out for future kitties which include such gems as Cinders, Pixie {for Pixar}, Figaro {if I ever get another black/white tuxie}, and Pooh.
  8. My Amazon wish list is full of Harry Potter memorabilia in the hopes that they will be gifted to me. I will, of course, eventually purchase them myself. I really want a wand and a Marauder’s Map.
  9. My ultimate dream vacation is a Disney cruise… the destination doesn’t matter.
  10. I held a Harry Potter party for my co-workers a few years ago.

 

Top Ten Tuesday~ Dream Dates

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are sharing 10 authors we are dying to meet. I’ve shared some of my favorite authors that I would like to meet in the past, like Nora Roberts and JK Rowling, so this time I’m going to select some different authors that I’ve recently discovered.

As I put this list together, I realized it effectively shows the evolution of my reading preferences over the last year. My list includes Adult, New Adult, Young Adult and Middle Grade authors. There is a Science Fiction author on here! And, most surprising of all, half of the authors that made the list are men!

Can You Keep a Secret?   Remember Me?   Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1)

Sophie Kinsella

Losing It (Losing It, #1)   Faking It (Losing It, #2)   Finding It (Losing It, #3)

Cora Carmack

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)   The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman, #2)   The Best of Adam Sharp

Graeme Simsion

Seducing Summer (The Four Seasons #1)   Treat with Caution (Treats to Tempt You, #1)   Stranded with a Scotsman

Serenity Woods

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)   Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)   Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Cassandra Claire

All the Bright Places   Holding Up the Universe

Jennifer Niven

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)   The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)   The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)

Rick Riordan

The Martian

Andy Weir

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)   Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics (Mr. Lemoncello's Library, #2)   Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #3)

Chris Grabenstein

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)   The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)   The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)

Dan Brown


**All covers link to Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday~ Quick Reads

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the topic is books you’ve read {or can read} in one sitting. I used to be able to sit down and finish a 200-300 page paperback in a sitting, but have found I just can’t do that anymore. So today I am sharing 10 novellas that are currently sitting in my TBR. These are all under 200 pages {most under 100} and easily finished in one sitting.

Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5)

Keeping Her

Seeking Her (Losing It, #3.5)

Seeking Her

Beautiful Boss (Beautiful Bastard #4.5)

Beautiful Boss

Zoey's Post-It Notes

Zoey’s Post-It Notes

The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Cassandra Jones: Walker Wildcats Year 1: Episode 1: The New Girl

The New Girl: The Extraordinarily Ordinary Life of Cassandra Jones

Sugar and Sawdust

Sugar & Sawdust

JELLYBEAN KISSES: Book One

Jelly Bean Kisses

Summer Spark

Summer Spark

Stranded with a Scotsman

Stranded with a Scotsman

Those Were the Days: A TATM Short Story (The Moments Series, #1)

Those Were the Days

**All covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday~ Spring Reading

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about our Spring TBR. As I have multiple TBRs in different categories, I decided to pick 10 random books I hope to get to this spring…

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Anna and the French Kiss

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The Selection

A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1)

A Dog’s Purpose

Stars of Fortune (The Guardians Trilogy, #1)

Stars of Fortune

Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder

The Promise Kitchen

The Promise Kitchen

Today Will Be Different

Today Will Be Different

Paris for One and Other Stories

Paris for One

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing in the Rain

**All covers link to Goodreads, all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday~ More Freebie Time

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, I picked another Freebie topic as we wait for The Broke and the Bookish to return from hiatus. I chose to go with an oldie but goodie topic from past prompts and am sharing the 10 books I would want on a desert island (aside from the obvious… How to Build a Raft and Identifying Edible Plants).

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7)

Harry Potter Series

This counts as one book for me because I do have the box set and they are all in one box. I figure I will need an epic read if stranded on a desert island.

No Opportunity Wasted: Creating a Life List

No Opportunity Wasted

I want this one with me because it will help me to look on my stay on the desert island as an adventure.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works

10% Happier

This book makes the cut because it reminds me that I can be flawed and still be mindful. And I think it would really help to be mindful on a desert island.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh

One should always have friends, even on a desert island, and the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood have always been my friends.

The Complete Poems

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

If I’m stuck on a desert island, I’m going to want some variety so a collection of poetry makes sense. And she’s one of my favorites.

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Simple Abundance

What better time is there to explore your authentic self than when on a desert island?

The Martian

The Martian

A little inspiration… Mark Whatney was pretty much on a desert island, of course in his case it was Mars, but same difference. He survived, so can I.

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking

This one was added for some humor and whimsy… and a bit of child-like fun.

My Current Read

I always need to have my current read close at hand. I couldn’t imagine being stranded and wondering what happened to the characters in whatever book I was reading at the time.

Journal/Sketch Pad

I will need somewhere to record all of my thoughts and plans afterall.

**All covers link to Goodreads, all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday~ It’s a Freebie!

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, Top Ten Tuesday is on hiatus and I decided to take this time to choose a freebie topic. I looked back at some of the older choices from when TTT first started out, and chose to do a list of the top 10 characters I would like to be friends with in real life.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Tris
Divergent Trilogy

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

Rosie
Don Tillman Duology

Imperfect Chemistry (Imperfect, #1)

Lucy
Imperfect Chemistry

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Peeta
Hunger Games Trilogy

Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3)

Hannah
Beautiful Bastard Series

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson
Will Grayson, will grayson

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Kady
Illuminae Files Series

The Martian

Mark Whatney
The Martian

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Sam & Patrick
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Bane Chronicles

Magnus
The Mortal Instruments Series

**All covers link to Goodreads, all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}

Top Ten Tuesday~ I Loved You More

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the amazing team at The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is books I loved more/less than I thought I would. Since I was given the option, I opted for more… so the following 10 books are ones that I loved more than I thought I would when I started them.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

I had seen this book around for a while and wasn’t super interested at first, because I’m not much of a gamer. But I was a teen in the 80s, so I thought it might be interesting to read. And while it did take me a little while to get into the story, once I was in, I was hooked and ended up loving this!

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

Nevernight

This was one of the first ARCs I received. I had heard good things about Jay Kristoff as an author and a lot of hype surrounding the book. Once I received it, I thought it might be a little too dark for my tastes, but as I got involved in the story, I became enamored with the characters and the world-building.

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter, #1-7)

The Harry Potter Series

I resisted reading Harry Potter for a long time. I mean, I was an adult when it came out and Harry Potter was a children’s book… right? It wasn’t until a year or so after the last book was released that I finally let myself be talked into reading the series. And I’ve now re-read it a couple of times. Falling in love with Harry Potter opened up the whole world of Young Adult reading to me.

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love

This is another hyped book that I waited to read. And honestly, I don’t remember what it was that prompted me to actually pick up this book, I just know that it was one of the best things I have ever done. This book was life changing for me!

Start Something That Matters

Start Something That Matters

This was the first giveaway that I ever won on Goodreads. I thought the book had sounded interesting when I entered. After I won, it took me at least a year before I finally read it. I was expecting to be mildly interested in the story, but instead was inspired. I certainly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of going into business or looking for ways to give back.

Nora & Kettle (Paper Stars, #1)

Nora & Kettle

The library has brought a few surprising reads into my life, including this one. I liked the premise and thought this would be an interesting read. It was more than that, and incredibly intense and moving read that hit me hard in the feels.

The Martian

The Martian

Another library find that turned out to be a treasure. I had heard some good things about the movie based on this book and thought the plot sounded interesting, but I’ve never been a big fan of science fiction. I picked up the book on a whim and loved it!

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

The Rosie Project

And yet another library find that I had been seeing in the stores and been curious about. I liked the synopses and decided to give it a read. This book was one of the funniest, most charming romance I have ever read.

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works

10% Happier

This books had been on my TBR for a couple of years. I had heard good things and was interested in reading it. When I found it available in audio form at my library, I decided to give it a try. I am so happy that I did! This book really helped me figure out my own meditation practice and re-inspired my interest in Buddhism.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, will grayson

I’m not surprised that I enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed all of John Green’s books, but I was surprised that it became my favorite of all of his books. I loved the characters in this one… especially both Wills and Tiny.

**all covers link to Goodreads; all titles link to Amazon {affiliate}