Top Ten Tuesday!

Welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday! This week I’m talking about the Top Ten TBR Winter edition. My top ten is a blend of bookish and non bookish things. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog post hosted by The Broke and Bookish

White Fire by Preston & Child I’m utterly obsessed with the Pendergast series, and I’m so happy to see Corrie make a reappearance. Still Life with Crows is one of my favorite Pendergast books, and she’s a large reason why I love it so much.

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey This has been recommended to me several times, I just haven’t read it yet.


Continue reading


Top Ten Tuesday! Thanksgiving Version.

Welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday! This week I’m talking about the Top Ten Things I’m thankful for. My top ten is a blend of bookish and non bookish things. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog post hosted by The Broke and Bookish

The Top Ten Things I’m Thankful for.

10. I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to be a Municipal Liaison for my county during NaNoWriMo (more on this in the November wrap up). It’s been a wonderful experience, and I not only got to meet some amazing people, but I got to make friends and encourage tons of people to write a novel. I know November’s not over, but I’m loving all the purple winner banners that are popping up when I check in on my county page.

9. I’m really thankful for the indie publishing scene. I get to read books put out by people who have a passion for writing and publishing. I’ve come across some amazing, formidable writers in the indie/self pubbing scene. I’m really happy that the scene is exploding, because I get to read more books–some that if traditional publishing was the only opportunity available I wouldn’t be able to read. Some of my favorite books this year are on the indie/self scene and I’m blown away by the talent pool.

8. I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead a Girl Scout troop. I actually started a troop last year, and this year we’ve tripled our amount of girls in the troop. I’m so happy to help educate and give these girls a safe place to learn and grow and discover the world around them.


Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish
giving bloggers a chance to create their own Top Ten Lists based on a certain subject. This week it’s the books with the scariest covers. This one was a lot of fun for me to do.

These aren’t in any particular order, and most of them are from my childhood that really messed with my head.

1. MPD-Pscho by Eiji Otsuka- This is a manga that is extremely disturbing and violent and twisted, one that I really love. The covers are all rather disturbing. If you’re into something that can really play mind games and you’re not squeamish, check this series out.

2. It by Stephen King. This book messed me up as a teenager, and I knew I shouldn’t have read it as I have a thing with clowns, but I did. And I regret it, and this cover still freaks me out.

3. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. I think this book and the sequels are going to show up on a lot of lists. These stories really scared me, and the illustrations/covers that went along with them are downright terrifying.

4. Night Shift by Stephen King. This cover was one that drew me in constantly. It was on my parent’s bookshelf and I wanted to read it so bad. I think I made the biggest mistake in my reading life by reading this at night. For me Stephan King’s shorts are scarier than his full length novels.

5. Hex and the City by Simon R. Green. While the story itself isn’t scary, this cover freaks me out. I’m not sure what it is about it, but I don’t like it. It gives me a very eerie feeling.

6. Fear Street: Cheerleaders the Second Evil by R.L. Stine. I think there are going to be a few of his books on here too. I think it’s the way the center cheerleader is staring straight at the reader. This series freaked me out content wise too.

7. Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Plus I made the mistake to read this in the middle of the night, with a doll staring at me from across the room. Nine year old Shelly was a reading dare-devil.

8. A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle. This cover just makes me feel so uncomfortable.

9. Night by Elie Wiesel.

10. DayWatch by Sergei Lukyaneko. I love this series, but this cover really scares me. I don’t like the negative image, and the screaming open mouth is not something I really like.

What makes a book cover scary? Is it the imagery or things that you’re uncomfortable with? In the spirit of Halloween, let’s talk about more scary books. If you also did a top ten post, go ahead and link it here.

Top Ten Tuesday!

Good morning and happy Tuesday! Today I’m going to be participaiting in the weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday. It’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week we’re supposed to talk about our Top Ten Book Turn-offs. Without further preamble, here is my Top Ten Tuesday.

Thankfully, I don’t come across this too much. But it one of the things that will make me toss a book across the room and never look back. Abuse is not something to be glorified, nor is it something to be condoned. I can’t stomach it in reality, I’m not going to tolerate it in my books.

Here I’m talking about prose that is so purple it’s got can trace it’s noble heritage. I’ve never understood the concept of using a six point vocabulary word when a word normally found in everyday vernacular is acceptable. (see what I did there?)

Telling me rather than showing me drives me absolutely crazy as a reader. I like to come up with my own mental pictures, some guidance is nice, but I don’t like to have to read every single detail.

This is another one that really should be higher up if I gave any weight to the ordering system. Costume porn, down to the minute detail. I don’t mind talking about outfits, or fancy dresses, but telling me how many holes for shoe laces the main character’s shoes have is a little much.

I’m all for bending and breaking the rules. However, I also think that an author should research and have knowledge of their subject before they break all the rules. Because if research isn’t done properly it can cast a culture/subculture/way of life into an unflattering light.

Every book needs a villain, or someone who simply is a pain in the rear to the protagonist. But I have honestly thrown a book simply because a character was bitchy for no reason. She had no motive, not even simply NOT liking the protagonist. This character was just a bitch without a reason. Irritates me every time.

This is something that I encountered first in fan fiction, where the author would insert massive paragraphs of prose in another language (mainly Japanese) for no reason, and without translation. I’ve seen it creeping in more and more into books and it drives me nuts.

This one is pretty self explanatory, and a trope used that I feel only makes the main character look like even more of a special snowflake that’s the best at everything.

Even Dragon Ball Z characters had to work for their level ups. They have limits, they have flaws. Show me your character working hard, failing, and continuing to strive toward better. Don’t make them someone who can’t lift a ten pound weight without working at it, and then being able to bench press a mini-van.

I will not read something with insta-love. Love to me doesn’t work that way. I like the slow build, the slow burn. Most things that are passed off as love at first sight I consider Lust at first sight. It’s at trope that drives me nuts, and I’ve not so calmly put books back on the shelf after reading the synopsis.

Thanks for stopping by and checking my list out. Let’s talk more! What’s the one thing that makes you put a book down? Go ahead and leave a comment, and if you’ve done a TTT feel free to leave your link. 🙂

Have a great day!


Waiting on Wednesday: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to talk about the books that you’re eagerly waiting for.

Red Hill By Jamie McGuire.

Release Date: October 1, 2013

What it’s about: For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone means fighting for tomorrow is an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Shelly’s thoughts: I’ve read a couple other books by Jamie McGuire, namely Walking Distaster and Providence. I was poking around Amazon and found that she had a new book coming out in October. Since I’ve been on such a huge apocalyptic genre kick I immediately gravitated toward this book. I really love the worlds that McGuire builds and I know that this will become a book that I’ll shove at everyone demanding that they read it. Plus it sounds spooky, which will be perfect for October and Halloween season.

What releases are you looking forward to? Go ahead and leave me a link to your Waiting on Wednesday post and I’ll check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

Top Ten Tuesday!

I love movies set in small towns, and the setting of the Chesapeake Bay books would be amazing cinematographic scenery. Plus I’m madly in love with the Quinn brothers and it would be lovely to see their relationships play out on the big screen. (Nora Roberts)

I think Tent City is a fresh take on a pre-apocalyptic world with great characters and again sweeping visual interest. I can think of a couple scenes in particular–and the ending/cliffhanger would leave people scrambling for the sequel. (Kelly Van Hull)

This would be an epic fantasy series. I can almost see Peter Jackson directing it, simply because of the world descriptors and I think it would fit with his director’s aesthetic. There are beautiful scenes and some really amazing creatures that I’d love to see brought to life on the main screen. Plus, there’s not enough witches/fey in theaters at the moment. (Anne Bishop)

Considering how descriptive heavy this book is, I think it would make a brilliant movie. I think it would be fun in black and white with splotches of color–kind of how Sleepy Hollow was done. I can see this as a Tim Burton movie, and the little added quirks would just send me over the edge. (Erin Morgenstern)

Again, I can see this Tim Burton-esque in style. I just think it would be fun to have a well written/well filmed Steampunk genre movie. I love the characters, even though I fell out of love with the series, I’d certainly watch them on the big screen. (Gail Carriger)

This would be tons of fun to see on the big screen. A great introduction to high fantasy that would translate well onto screen. New creatures, great story line, and I personally think Adrian Brody would make a great Numair. But that’s just my love for Brody and wanting to project him into anything I read/watch. (Tamora Pierce)

Demons, vampires, werewolves, and a whole lot of trouble. This would be a great summer series, probably sandwiched comfortably between Marvel releases. I think it would satisfy the cravings of the fans of Supernatural, the tv show, but at the same time stand alone and give a really great movie experience. (Rob Thurman)

I’ve really got a thing for Apocalyptic movies right now, and this book would be a great start to the movie trilogy. I can see it shot on a gritty hand-camera set up, muted tones, and an amazing soundtrack. I just want this to happen. (Ben Winters)

I think this would be a great guys-guys movie series. I love these types of movies, lots of action, and magic with a touch of fantasy and some sexy things going on. The soundtrack would be epic to this. Frankly, I just want to see it on the big screen. (Kevin Hearne)

I’ve come up with my own fantasy cast for this series, and I was over the freaking moon when I found out that Simon R. Green had a work turned into a movie. Unfortunately it’s of a series I’m not particularly fond of. But this series, I can see either as a massive movie franchise or something that would actually work really well as a television show. I’d love to see this happen. There’s tons of great aspects to this series, great action, great dialogue and amazing world building. (Simon R. Green.)

This is my Top Ten for the week. I’ve actually thought about this a lot, and I’m such a visual person I had a hard time just narrowing my list down. Tell me what books you’d love to see as movies…or even your dream cast! Thanks for stopping by, comment and feel free to link your TTT below.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish

The Classics Club: My Love Letter to Catcher in the Rye

Rereading a favourite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you? asked of the Classics Club by Brona at Brona’s Books (Please stop by and check out Brona’s blog, it’s a beautiful, well done blog).

I think at least once in everybody’s life they are Holden Caulfield. I know when I originally read Catcher in the Rye I hate it. I threw it across the room, called the friend who told me to read it and ranted at him for nearly half an hour. I gave it a second chance a couple of months later, when I heard the way a couple of my friends were talking about it. The second time through it just clicked, and everything fell into place. I was head over heels for Holden and his story. Since then I’ve re-read the book at least once a year.

My copy is sitting on the top shelf of my bookshelf, in a prized location. It’s got a duct-taped spine, the white cover has finger print smudges and coffee stains on it. The rainbow on the upper corner is nearly rubbed off, the pages are dog-eared, highlighted and the margins are littered with my handwriting, cramped and tiny as I argue with Holden. It doesn’t close all the way, and there’s still a couple of post-it notes in between pages. I think I have a couple pages taped together. But I can’t bring myself to get a new copy. This is my copy. My Catcher in the Rye, my conversation with both Holden and Salinger. I wasn’t ever one to write in a book–I found it sacrilegious and just wrong. Until I came across this quote:

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

It was almost as though Salinger had given me permission to do what I previously thought was unthinkable. Going through the book page by page and really reading the words, committing them to memory and getting them caught in my mind, so much so that I felt myself falling into the compulsion to write ‘fuck you’ on things. Mainly sneaking up and doing so.

“when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose.”

Catcher in the Rye reminds me with each reading that it’s okay to be a little bit of an asshole–that it’s okay to stick it to others before they stick to you. And to never, ever, be a phoney. As the years have gone by I’ve come to accept that I really am just a female Holden, and I’m okay with that. I’m a smart-ass, I have a big stupid laugh and I identify with not only his apathy, but the well hidden empathy he has.

“I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.”

Have you read Catcher in the Rye? Let’s talk about it….or any other book that you may have found your reflection in.

Top Ten Tuesday!

The Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish

 photo book10_zps9980c676.png by Sue Monk Kidd. I played mental tug of war with the inclusion of this book on my list. Frankly, I hated it. If I was presented it in school, I probably wouldn’t have read it–simply gone to the cliffs notes and gone from there. However, it’s a coming of age book set in the South that’s beginning to break segregation. It’s an interesting culture clash read and it features not one, but four strong female lead characters. Those characters are what put this on my list.

 photo book9_zps3fb7c4e0.png by Paula McLain. I originally read this as part of a library reading program, and I fell in love with it. I dislike Hemingway (trust me, it’s a known fact. Don’t get me started on Steinbeck either). This story though makes him human, and it’s really interesting to see the devolution of this powerful young man into the bitter,  whining, overly descriptive author that all high school English teachers salivate over. [I warned you. I really dislike Hemingway]. What’s really fun for me as a reader is to see other influential authors of the era come to life in the pages of this story.

 photo book8_zpsb6d35fcb.png by C.S. Lewis. While religious in context and tones, so a lot of schools would out right not teach it, I think it’s an interesting take on Man V. Man, Man V. Nature themes in literature. The setting itself lends to both the temptation and salvation of the man that’s the focus of this story. Plus, I really love C.S. Lewis’ work and I think The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe overshadow some really amazing books. The Screwtape Letters being one of them.

 photo book7_zpsb1eb1f57.png by William Golding I didn’t read this in school. One of my friends in school told me to read it, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s a great story and a great classic piece of literature.

 photo book6_zps6b6b8fef.png by Aldous Huxley. This book was taught in my high school. The 11th grade English classes, both honors and standard classes, were told to read this. This is one of the required books that I simply fell in love with. It’s a dystopian universe and there’s just so much going on. I wish this was taught to more schools, because when I mention it I tend to get blank stares.

 photo book5_zps19bb0143.png by Kay Redfield Jamison. I read this as extra credit for my Abnormal Psychology course when I was in college, and I adored it. I’ve heard it compared to Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, and while I haven’t read that in completion (yet), I can see the similarities between that and An Unquiet Mind. This book is an incredible piece of non fiction describing in detail the episodic nature of manic-depressive illness. It’s at times really hard to read, but I think it’s something that would lead really interesting discussions in class.

 photo book4_zps0dda4854.png by Koushun Takami. This book, this book, this book. This mammoth piece of literature. All I can say is read it. It is visceral and beautiful and has a strange poetic grace amongst all of the death and horrible things that go on within this book. You go into this knowing the out come, knowing that only one person survives and it manages to surprise you. It is not an easy book to read- in any sense of the word.I think books that we’re assigned to read for school should challenge us on some level, and this book certainly does that.

 photo book3_zpsbc710053.png by C.S. Lewis. Frankly this is on here because I love C.S. Lewis and I think that the other novels of the Chronicles of Narnia are overlooked.

 photo book2_zps583938f8.png by Madeleine L’Engle. Again, this is on here really just because I wanted to put it on here. I have reasons for the other books, but I think that A Wrinkle In Time is such a great blend of genres and an amazing story that everyone should read it. It’s got great themes and I really love it.

 photo book1_zpsbb5559dd.png by Laurie Halse.  I read this on my own, after wandering through a book store. It’s the story of a girl who survived a sexual assault by one of the most popular boys in school, and the backlash from the community and her schoolmates. This book is a must read for me. I’ll gladly toss it at anyone with while shrieking, “READ THIS”. It’s a coming of age story that feels real and one worth reading.

This was a really fun one for me to do. Some of these books are taught in schools, and a couple of them I read while I was in high school/college–but when I mention them to friends who didn’t go to school with me I get blank looks. So this is my Top Ten Books I wish they taught in school. Let me know your thoughts on my list, and go ahead and link your Top Ten post in the comments below.

Top Ten Tuesday!

 photo number10b_zps43c775a2.png and  photo number10a_zps9c066d5b.png From Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy. I love these two characters, and I love them even more when they get into trouble together.

 photo number9_zpse5144378.png From Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series. Oberon is Atticus’ wolfhound and the two can communicate telepathically–their exchanges are often humorous and it’s fun to see a sidekick written so well.

From Tanya Huff’s Blood Ties and Smokeseries. Tony is one of the first openly gay character in a fantasy world that I read. Tony is a great snarky character who can not only hold his own as a side character, but also hold his own as a main character in the Smoke series.

 photo number7_zpsaaa29b36.png of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. I love the beta of the werewolf pack, and Lyall is a character that I instantly fell for. I can’t get into too much about him without major spoilers, but he is one of my favorite tragic characters and he so very much needs more love.

 photo number6_zps5dfe0bcd.png from Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals quartet. Rikash is an interesting character as he’s so different from the rest of his species. What I really like about him is he brings character development and change to the main character of the Immortals books. As a secondary antagonist he shows that even the bad guys have emotions, and can bring change in a positive way.

 photo number5_zps252c7e90.png from Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments say what you will about the author, or the series, I’m not getting into it here. I’m absolutely in love with Magnus Bane. He’s a compelling, interestingly complex character. I really love him. I’m a little protective of him. And when I saw City of Bones in theaters over the weekend, I certainly wasn’t ready for Godfrey Gao’s representation of him.

 photo number4_zps236e8f4c.png from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Have I ever mentioned how much I love werewolves? I like that Lupin is a different take on werewolves, and I love the Wizarding world’s reaction to them. Lupin is a character that I’m drawn to simply because of his design. He’s heavily flawed, selfless, and just amazing.

 photo number3_zps4334555b.png of Simon R. Green’s The Nightside series. Shotgun Suzie. Otherwise known as “Oh shit it’s her, run.” She’s an incredible character. Deeply flawed, emotionally ruined, and yet she brings a presence to the Nightside novels that furthers the story beautifully. She changes and grows and wonderful things happen to this character.

 photo number2_zps89607bbb.png of Preston and Child’s Pendergast books. I am so protective of Lt. D’Agosta. My friend Kate introduced me to Preston and Child and D’Agosta is the second character I fell instantly in love with. Pendergast is another story all together. I love how D’Agosta is a smart, well written character. He changes and progresses through the series, and steps up to take control when he needs to. One could argue that he’s a main character, and in a way I agree, but compared to Pendergast he’s a secondary character.

 photo number1a_zpse4f2ca0f.png  photo number1b_zpsbfffb770.png of Simon R. Green’s Nightside series. I tried to pick characters from different series, but Eddie and Suzie muscled their way in. Razor Eddie is the second character I immediately think of when I think of the Nightside series. He embodies the Nightside and is a character that I love.

The Top 10 is hosted by: Broke and Bookish