Top Ten Tuesday

2018 Top Ten Reads

top ten 18

So, I know this was a Top Ten Tuesday post for last Tuesday, but I didn’t have time to get it up by then. I really wanted to do this one, so I decided to do it for today. Hope you enjoy!

I read a total of 160 books in 2018, and it was hard to choose my ten favorite, but I finally narrowed them down. Here they are:

  1. To All The Boys I Ever Loved by Jenny Han and From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon I put these two together, because they are both fun YA contemporary reads, and I couldn’t decided which one I liked better.
  2. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kirsten White This was a clever retelling of Frankenstein. Perfect for an October read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  3. A Light So Lovely: The Spiritual Legacy of Madeleine L’Engle by Sarah Arthur The new Wrinkle in Time movie came out this year, and sparked several new books about the author. This was a nice look at L’Engle’s life and faith, and how it influenced her writing. It was inspiring, and the title was taken from my favorite L’Engle quote:                  light so lovely
  4. Ghost by Jason Reynolds This is a middle grade book, which I read as part of The Great American Read, and I really liked it. I’ve found I really enjoyed anything Jason Reynolds has written.
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood I was inspired to read this after seeing the TV show based on it, and was surprised to find out it was written in the 1980’s. Of course, it is better than the show.
  6. Becoming Madeleine by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy This book was a biography of L’Engle’s life written by her granddaughters. A really nice tribute, it was a shorter book aimed for a YA/MG audience, but was great to read even as an adult. It was inspiring and I’d recommend it to any aspiring author.
  7. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson This was the best YA mystery I read during the past year, and I can’t wait to read the next book. I already have it on hold at my public library.
  8. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows This was one of the best fantasy books I read, and I was able to meet the author and get the second book in the series signed. 🙂 

  9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie I also read this book as part of The Great American Read. I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before, because it is Agatha Christie at her best! Typically, I figure out the ending before I get to it, but this one had me still trying to figure out what was going on until the end. If you love mysteries, you need to read this one.
  10. Cress by Marissa Meyer And last but not least, one of Marissa Meyer’s books! I love her books and she is an auto-buy author for me. Truthfully, I could have put all of the books in the Lunar Chronicles on here, but I decided to just choose my favorite. If you love YA fantasy, this series is a must read.

What about you? What were your favorites reads of 2018? How many of these have you read? Let me know in the comments!

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Reading Challenge

Reading Challenges for 2019

Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2019 is here. It seems like 2018 just flew by.  I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! I know I did. I was able to spend some quality time with family, as well as welcome a new nephew to the world. 🙂

Now I’m focusing on my goals for the New Year. Part of that includes my reading goals. I’ve set my Goodreads challenge at 175 books. I read 160 in 2018, so I wanted to up it a little. Besides that, I ‘ve also chosen four other challenges to participate in.

First, I’m participating in my library’s challenge – they provide a theme for one book per month. I’ve already finished the book for January. I read Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino.

aacpl challenge

I’m also participating in the #grimmreads2019. The goal is to read all the way through Grimm’s Fairy Tales, by reading a few stories each week. I have an abridged version of the fairy tales, so I may also do an abridged version of the challenge where I just read through the book I have. I’m starting with “The Frog King”.

grimm reads challenge

I’m also participating in the #YearofEpicReads challenge sponsored by Epic Reads. They have three tracks – monthly, quarterly, and weekly. I’m going to try the weekly challenge. Each week Epic Reads posts a theme for your read. The first theme is “Read a Book with Your Favorite Color on the Cover”.  I’m reading The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser.

epicreads challenge

The last challenge is one I did last year as well – Unread Shelf Challenge. I’m going to focus on reading mostly my own books (ones I haven’t read yet), try not to buy very many more books this year, and not go crazy checking stuff out at the library. 🙂

There’s a prompt for each month for this challenge. The Book Jumper will also fulfill my requirement for January’s theme. 🙂

January – any unread book
February – a book gifted to you
March – the book that’s been on your shelf the longest
April – the book you most recently acquired
May – a book you bought because of the movie/TV/theater adaptation
June – a book about travel or set in a country you’ve never been to
July – a book from a series on your shelf
August – a book voted for you to read by Bookstagram
September – a book you can buddy read with someone
October – a book that scares you, whether because of length, content, or actual horror level!
November – a book from your favorite genre
December – the shortest book on your shelf

unread shelf 2019

How about you? What reading challenges are you doing this year? Let me know in the comments.

Reading Challenge, The Great American Read

PBS’s The Great American Read

american read

So if you saw my post about the National Book Festival, then you know I found out all about the Great American Read there. I had heard of it before, but didn’t really know what it was, and I can’t believe it took me this long to check it out.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’re going to want to check it out: https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/

PBS hosts the event. The first show aired in May, and there will be seven more shows starting on Septemeber 11th. PBS created a list of the top 100 books Americans love after conducting surveys.

There are so many great books on the list! Some I’ve read, some are on my TBR list, and a few were books I’d never heard of.  Each day until the end of October, you can cast one vote for your favorite book(s).

If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram, then you’ve may have guessed my first vote went to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book has been a great inspiration in my life, so I had to cast my first vote for this novel. But there are a few other books I’ll have to vote for too – The Outsiders, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Harry Potter, Frankenstein, and Charlotte’s Web – to name a few.

Also, since I’ve only read 30 of the 100 books, I’m planning to read several more before the finale airs. I’m starting with books in the YA genre since that’s my favored genre, both to read and write.

Here are the books I’m starting with:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Hachet by Gary Paulsen

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

What about you? Are you participating in the Great Read? What book(s) are you voting for? Are you reading any books from the 100? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Binge-Worthy Shows – Top Ten Tuesday

TTT-Big2

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Girl. To find out more about the top ten theme, or to join in the fun go here.

I love to read but I also love a good TV show or movie series. And this week’s top ten theme is binge-worthy shows. It was hard to decide exactly what I wanted to include on this list, but I narrowed it down to the ones I think are best for bingeing. Also, I have to warn you my tastes are wide! I like comedies, dramas, mysteries, and some supernatural stuff.

tv binge

1. Pretty Little Liars – I had to include this one since it’s based on a book series. I love this show because it’s full of mystery and drama. It’s no longer airing on TV, but is available on Netflix or DVD.

2. Gilmore Girls – Any reader can appreciate Rory’s bookish references and nature. This is such a watchable show, no matter how many times you’ve seen the episodes you can always watch them again. And hopefully Netflix will make more revival shows!

3. I Love Lucy – Okay, I know I’m going way back with this one, but I love this show. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen certain episodes, they still make me laugh! This is classic television at its best.

4. Superstore – This is a sitcom that airs on Thursday nights on NBC, and it’s hilarious. I love it! And America Ferrera is in it, so there’s that. I’m pschyed for the new season. 🙂

5. The Originals – This is a vampire series that airs on the CW. However, I mainly watch it on Netflix, so I’m not sure what night it’s on. Lots of drama and historical flashbacks. It’s a spinoff of Vampire Diaries (which I also enjoy), but I like this one more.

6. Hawaii Five-0 – This is the revival show that currently airs on CBS. Again I mainly Netflix this, so I’m not sure what night it airs.  I like the crime-solving of course, but I also love the beautiful tropical setting. (I enjoy CSI: Miami for the same reason. It’s my favorite CSI.)

A side note here too – I like a  lot of crime-solving shows that didn’t make the list but am giving honorable mention – The Mentalist, Elementary, NCIS (it was better before all the actors started leaving the show), and all the Law and Order shows.

7. The Harry Potter movies – I couldn’t leave these movies out. The books are great but so are the movies.

8. The Marvel Avenger movies (including each Avenger’s own movies like Thor and Iron Man) – I’ve been watching these lately, in chronological order, and it’s kind of cool to see how everything fits in.

9. The Twilight movies – I know some people don’t like these, but I enjoyed the books and the movies. I think you either like them or hate them.

10. Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea – Again movies based on books. I’ve watched these movies a million times. I’ve also watched the Netflix series, Anne with an E, and it was interesting. I’ll probably keep watching it, but it’s hard for anybody to match Megan Follows in embodying Anne.

What about you? What tv shows and movies fo you love to binge? What shows are you excited to see this season?

Uncategorized

The National Book Festival

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to the National Book Festival, and it was so cool! They are now hosting it in the convention center rather than on the National Mall. It’s a lot easier to move around and it’s air-conditioned. 🙂

We got there right when the doors opened, so we were able to visit all the exhibits before it got really crowded. I loved the Parade of States exhibit.  Each state had its own table and there was a state booklet you took around to get stamped by each state. The people there from Indiana actually knew of the little town I grew up in, and the people from Illinois knew the tiny town I was born in, so that was cool.

Also, PBS had booth for The Great American Read that was fun. They had a wheel you could spin to win a prize. I landed on the special space that allowed me to pick a prize from a box. I got a journal.

I had heard about The Great American Read, but didn’t know exactly what it was about, so I was glad I was able to find out more about it, because now I’m participating in the event. (More to come about The Great American Read in a later post, so if you’re interested, be on the lookout for that.)

There were three authors I was hoping to meet and get books signed by, and I was able to meet all three and get my books signed.

I got When Dimple Met Rishi signed by Sandhya Menon,  Wonder Woman and The Language of Thorns signed by Leigh Bardugo, and The Darkest Minds signed by Alexandra Bracken.

All in all, it was a great day, and if you ever have the chance to check out The National Book Festival, I’d highly recommend it!

What about you? Have you been to any book festivals?  What did you like best about it?

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Little Mermaid Retellings

Today’s blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaid’s Read-a-thon (details about read-a-thon here) is hosted by Ashten at wonderlandianbooks. The challenge for today is to recommend some Little Mermaid retellings.

I haven’t read as many Little Mermaid retellings as some other retellings, but here are some I really enjoyed:

I’ve read a lot of  mermaid books, but many of them were not actual little mermaid retellings. To Kill a Kingdom was my favorite of these three.

What Little Mermaid retellings have you read? Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Book Spine Poem

The fourth day challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by Kati at toberead.  (to find out more about the read-a-thon, go here).

Today’s challenge is to create a book spine poem with a mermaid feel.  I’ve seen a lot of these on Instagram, but this is my first attempt. It was kind of fun, and I’m thinking I’ll have to do some more of these. 🙂

So here is my book spine poem:

mermaid book spine

 

 

The surface breaks,

A siren’s song

Echoes.

Wild beauty

Rampant.

Have you ever made a book spine poem? Did you make one for the read-a-thon? Let me know in the comments!