Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Voluntarily Read

Copy of TTT #10.jpg

This Top Ten Tuesday’s topic is “books I can’t believe I read.”  I’m listening books that I voluntarily read.  They were’t school assignments or book club choices.  Some of them were great and I’m glad I read them and some of them I didn’t enjoy all that much.  But they weren’t something I’d typically choose to read.


Anna Karenina
  by: Leo Tolstoy

Yes, I voluntarily read this because I typically enjoy classics and I wanted to read more by Russian authors.  I didn’t enjoy it so much, but that’s okay, at least I tried!


Fifty Shades trilogy  by: E.L. James

I knew what they were about and don’t ask me why I decided to read the first one.  And the second one.  And the third one.  And I rated them low on Goodreads for some reason, but I actually kind of liked them all. 😉



Saga, Vol. 1
  by: Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

I never, never thought I would ever pick up a graphic novel, but the awesome cover drew me in and I’m super glad I started this series!



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  by: J.K. Rowling

I didn’t intend to read this for a couple of reasons.  I didn’t think an eighth book was necessary, it didn’t get the best reviews, and I don’t really like reading plays.  However, a friend of mine gave it to me as a gift so I read it a few months later.  Eh.


Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker
  by: Gregory Maguire

I didn’t like the other books by Maguire I read and over the years I’ve had no desire to read any more.  The idea of a Nutcracker novel drew me in and I’m glad I gave this a chance.


The Martian
  by: Andy Weir

I checked this out from the library after hearing it was good and it sounded like something my husband would enjoy.  He read it and said he didn’t think I’d like it because of all of the technical details.  I secretly didn’t think I’d like it either, but I gave it a chance and loved it.


First Frost
  by: Sarah Addison Allen

I usually don’t like the magical realism genre, but my mom said she liked this book so I gave it a try.  I liked it enough to also read the first in the series, Garden Spells.  They weren’t amazing, but I’m glad I gave them a chance.


How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (And They Will)
  by: Chuck Sambuchino

Does this really need an explanation!?  It was a gift from a friend (along with a gnome figurine).  It’s hilarious, but obviously not something I would have chosen for myself.

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Can’t Remember

Today’s TTT topic is to list 10 books I really liked but can’t remember much (or anything) about!  This meme is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

TTT #10


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  
by: Stieg Larsson
Out of all the books I’m listing, I remember this the best, but still not much of it.  Something about a young woman and an agent of some sort working together to catch someone?


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  by: Susanna Clarke
I remember loving this book so much, but I don’t remember much about it except that it was long, so I’m hesitant to re-read it.



Gentlemen and Players
  by: Joanne Harris
I rated this 5 stars but don’t ask me why…because I literally can’t remember!  A boarding school for boys???  That’s it.



The Sandalwood Tree
  by: Elle Newmark
5 star rating and I don’t remember anything about it.



State of Wonder
  by: Ann Patchett
I’ve seen this book mentioned on Facebook’s Silent Book Club and I did rate it 5 stars, but I don’t remember even a single detail about it.



  by: Franny Billingsley
This is another that I remember loving, but I can’t remember what it’s about.  I’ve been meaning to re-read it for awhile now.



The Last Runaway
  by: Tracy Chevalier
I remember not liking a couple of books by Chevalier, but I guess I enjoyed this one since I gave it a good rating.


Notes from the Underground
  by: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I read this in college and I remember being surprised by how much I liked it.  I should re-read this as well since it’s short and I own a copy.



Their Eyes Were Watching God
  by: Zora Neale Hurston
I also read this in college and remember thinking it was profound, but now I can’t remember why.



Howl’s Moving Castle
  by: Dianna Wynne Jones
Yet another book I’ve been meaning to re-read for awhile.


Top Ten (Eight) Tuesday – 2018 Books

Once again I’m only listing 8 books for The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday meme.  This week is 10 books I’m looking forward to in 2018.  Because I feel like I’ve already done a lot of TBR lists for TTT (TBR in winter & books I want Santa to bring), I decided to make this books being published in 2018 that I’m looking forward to reading.  I don’t really keep up with anticipated releases, but all of these are the next in a series I’m in the middle of, so that’s why I’m listing only books in series.

Iron Gold  by: Pierce Brown, Red Rising Saga #4  (Jan.)

Shadowsong  by: S. Jae-Jones, Wintersong #2  (Feb.)

Obsidio  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, The Illuminae Files #3  (Mar.)

The Winter of the Witch  by: Katherine Arden, Winternight Trilogy #3  (Aug.)

Book #3 of the Nevernight Chronicle  by: Jay Kristoff  (Sep.)

Dark Age  by: Pierce Brown, Red Rising Saga #5  (Sep.)

The Thorn of Emberlain  by: Scott Lynch, Gentleman Bastard #4  (Sep?)

Doors of Stone  by: Patrick Rothfuss, The Kingkiller Chronicle #3  (I can hope!)



Top Ten (Eight) Tuesday – Books I hope Santa brings

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is books I hope Santa brings me.  I typically don’t buy or ask for books as gifts because I check all of my books out from the local library, but I happen to have a few books on my wish list this Christmas.


Sunbolt  by: Intisar Khanani

Voyager  by: Diana Gabaldon


Fear Nothing  by: Dean Koontz


Artemis  by: Andy Weir


A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii  by: Stephanie Dray


Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps  by: Martin Vargic


Half Way Home  by: Hugh Howey


What Falls From the Sky  by: Esther Emery

Top Ten Tuesday – 2017 Favorites

TTT #7.jpg

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Here are 10 of my favorite books that I read this year, in the order I read them.


Under a Painted Sky  by: Stacey Lee


The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy  by: Rachel Joyce


Lightning  by: Dean Koontz


The Bear and the Nightingale  by: Katherine Arden


Call the Midwife  by: Jennifer Worth


To the Bright Edge of the World  by: Eowyn Ivey


Oryx and Crake  by: Margaret Atwood


Doctor Sleep  by: Stephen King


The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women  by: Kate Moore


Beneath a Scarlet Sky  by: Mark T. Sullivan

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Settings

TTT #6

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s theme is book settings I’d like to visit.


Hogwarts – Harry Potter series
download (1)

Who wouldn’t want to visit Hogwarts?





Scotland – Outlander series
download (2)
I do hope to visit Scotland someday, but I bet it was even more beautiful in the 1700s.  I wouldn’t want to live then with all of the hardships, but maybe I’d consider staying if I lived with Jamie.




Space station Heimdall – Gemina

Would I want to live on a space station?  Probably not, but I would definitely want to visit for awhile, just not while maniacs are raging around with guns.  Click on the picture to go to the art credit.





Biltmore House – Serafina and the Black Cloak
I’ve visited the Biltmore House before, but I’d love to live there like Seraphina and have free run of the house!




The Archives – The Name of the Wind
I was so mad when Kvothe couldn’t access the Archives and when he finally makes it in I wish I could be there too!  Hidden rooms, mysterious doors, and so many books.  Click the picture to find where I found the fan art.


The Shire – Lord of the Rings series
download (3)
Like Hogwarts, who wouldn’t want to visit this place?  Click the picture for credit.


Rivendell – Lord of the Rings

If I lived in Middle Earth I would be an elf and I’d live in Rivendell.



Wolverine River Alaska – To the Bright Edge of the World

I hope to visit here someday as well.  The descriptions in the book pulled me in and made me want to visit so badly.  Click the picture for credit.

The island – Island of the Blue Dolphins

Apparently the book was based on a true story and the real island of San Nicolas.  I was fascinated by this book when I was young and while I wouldn’t want to be stranded there alone, I would love to visit the island and see what Karana saw.



Pern – Dragonriders of Pern series
This isn’t one of my favorite series, but I was intrigued by the world when I read these and always imagined myself living there.  Click the picture for art credit.



Where would you like to visit?  If you have a TTT link, leave it in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday #5 – Winter TBR


TTT #5 (1)

This week’s meme by The Broke and the Bookish asks us to list the top 10 books on our winter TBR list.

1. Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker  by: Gregory Maguire
I recently added this to my TBR list and thought it would be appropriate to read around Christmas time.  I haven’t been a fan of the books I’ve read by Maguire in the past, but a Nutcracker story sounds original and intriguing.



2. And Then There Were None  by: Agatha Christie
I’m going to read this for my book club’s meeting in December.  We read Hallowe’en Party for our Halloween book club meeting and realized that we all had this on our TBR list as well so we chose it for December along with Wintersong.



3. Shadowsong  by: S. Jae-Jones
This is the second book in the Wintersong series and it’s scheduled to be published in February.  I’m hoping to read it soon after it’s available at the library which should still put me in the winter season!



4. The Girl in the Tower  by: Katherine Arden
This is the second book in the Winternight trilogy and it’s scheduled to be published in December.  I loved The Bear and the Nightingale and can’t wait to read the second book!



5. Voyager  by: Diana Gabaldon
This is the third book in the Outlander series.  I like to own these books since they are so long and checking them out from the library stresses me out since I’m afraid I won’t finish in time.  This is on my Amazon wishlist, but I’ve already decided that if I don’t receive the books on my wishlist for Christmas, I’ll buy them with the money I received last week for my birthday.


6. Sunbolt  by: Intisar Khanani
This one is also on my wishlist since it’s not available at my local library.




7. Fear Nothing  by: Dean Koontz
And this is also on my wishlist!  I received Seize the Night, the second in the Moonlight Bay series from my grandma a few years ago.  I kept putting off reading it since the first isn’t available at the library.  After I read Lightning by the same author, I was motivated to acquire this book since I’m hoping I’ll like these as much as I enjoyed Lightning.

8. Amy Snow  by: Tracy Rees
This book has been on my TBR list for over a year, but the name of the book inspired me to put it on this TTT list!




9. Silent Screams: An Anthology of Socially Conscious Dark Fiction  by: Josh Strnad
I just bought this book of short stories that was edited by my friend from high school.  I kept meaning to buy it, especially since an old friend’s younger sister wrote one of the stories, but like all of the books I mean to buy, I kept putting it off.  I finally decided to buy it a couple of weeks ago and I hope to read it soon!

10. The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life  by: Ann Voskamp
I’ve owned this book for a few months and read the first couple of pages, but I put it down.  I think I’m ready to pick it up again.




Top Ten Tuesday – Thankful

TTT #4

1. The Blue Sword  by: Robin McKinley
My mom recommended this book to me when I was a teenager and I loved it!  It is the book that started my ongoing love for the fantasy genre.


2. Beauty  by: Robin McKinley
This is one of my all time favorite books.  I’ve read it countless times and have lent my copy to several friends to read as well.  Thankfully it’s always been returned to me, so my well loved copy is still on the shelf so that I can enjoy it in the future.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by: Eric Carle
This is an adorable book and I’m very thankful that we own it because I’ve read it hundreds of times over the years to my 2 boys.  They’ve outgrown it now, but I still have it memorized!  One year for Halloween my oldest (2 at the time) was the Very Hungry Caterpillar and my younger son (6 months at the time) was an apple with a hole.  Yes, I made the costumes with the help of my mom and her sewing machine.

4. One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Grace  by: Ann Voskamp
This is a Christian devotional/Bible study book, but the concept of being thankful for something every moment is one that anyone, regardless of beliefs, can appreciate.  I have a tattoo that says “eucharisteo” which is Greek for Thanksgiving.  This devotional helped me adopt the habit of counting the things for which I’m thankful, the big and the small.  It really is a habit and now I can try to find the good in every situation.  I don’t think the religious aspect is overwhelming, but if you don’t want to read it the concept is to make a list of 1,000 things you are thankful for.  Just start writing them down.  Keep your notebook somewhere handy and a few times a day write them down.  Or put them on your smart phone notepad.  Or just think them in your head.  It’s been life changing for me.

5. The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are  by: Kevin Leman
I’m the oldest of three kids, an introvert, a perfectionist, I could go on and on.  I was raised thinking that being an introvert was a bad trait and never understanding the depression and anxiety I experienced in jr high and high school.  I didn’t even know the shortness of breath I had problems with were caused by anxiety until I was 22.  I read this book around the same time and was amazed to discover that a lot of people are similar to me….and it’s normal!  And okay!  Understanding my personality more has enabled me to treat myself better and accept myself.

6. Shadows and Monsters: Stories for Halloween  by: Grace A. Dow

The author of this book of short stories is one of my best friends!  Books brought us together (she was a friend of a friend and noticed my Goodreads account and asked if I’d like to be in a book club) and after I found out she had published a book of short stories I was intrigued.  I wondered if I should look on Amazon to see if there were any copies for sale but I never did.  Of course I’d never ask her for a free copy, but she gave me one as a gift a couple of months later!  I love them all and have read a few several times now.  So I’m thankful for this book because of the great stories, but also because of the friendship behind the gift.


7. The Book Thief  by: Markus Zusak
This is a powerful book and my overall thought after reading it was that the narrator Death made me more comfortable with the thought of my own death.  Read my review of it HERE.



8. Call the Midwife  by: Jennifer Worth
This was a great book that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I laughed out loud at times and had tears in my eyes at other times.  I’m also thankful to have read it because it introduced me to the show that I’m now watching.  I just started season 2 and it’s really great too!


9. Chocolat  by: Joanne Harris
This was a good book, although not super amazing or even one of my all time favorites.  However, I’m thankful for this book because of the memories that I have of quality “girl time” with my mom.  She read the book at the same time and then we watched the movie together while drinking hot chocolate.  We rarely do that kind of thing together so I treasure that time.


10. A Monster Calls  by: Patrick Ness
After I finished this beautiful book I thought, “I’m so glad someone wrote this.”  I ugly cried for a long time while reading and after finishing.  It’s a hard subject, but sometimes reading that kind of stuff is good for me.

Top Ten Tuesday #3

TTT #3

This is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s theme is Top Ten Books You Want Your (Future) Children to Read.

I already have two young sons.  They’ve already read some great books like The Very Hungry CaterpillarWhere the Wild Things AreMr. Popper’s Penguins, and plenty of others.  However, the list I’m making now (in no particular order) is of books I want them to read in the future.  Some are appropriate for elementary grades, some are middle grades, and some are for young adults.

  1.  Island of the Blue Dolphins  by: Scott O’Dell
    I loved this book when I was young and read it several times.  Karana’s courage and persistence is admirable.  It’s a great tale of survival for both boys and girls to enjoy.
  2. James and the Giant Peach  by: Roald Dahl
    Here’s a classic story for elementary school kids to enjoy!  It’s fun and weird and kids love to imagine going on a similar adventure with James and his insect friends.
  3. The Eagle of the Ninth  by: Rosemary Sutcliff
    I don’t remember this in detail, but I do remember I loved it when I was in middle school.  It launched an era for me of reading Roman military books.  I think it’s a good one for middle school readers.
  4. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch  by: Jean Lee Latham
    I really loved this book in 4th/5th grade!  In 5th grade we had a book report/dress like your favorite character day.  I dressed up like Nat Bowditch and gave a presentation on this book.  I wish I had the picture my mom took!  That was in the days before digital cameras so it’s in a box somewhere in my mom’s attic.  This book won a Newbery Medal for a reason and I think my boys will enjoy it as much as I did.
  5. The Harry Potter books  by: J.K. Rowling
    Aren’t these on everyone’s list this week?  My kids have already watched most of the movies and I can’t wait for them to be able to read the books!  They would probably enjoy having them read aloud to them now, but I think it would be better to wait a couple of years and let them read this series for themselves.  We already have to explain what’s happening in the movies since they aren’t quite old enough to understand everything.
  6. Where the Sidewalk Ends  by: Shel Silverstein
    I just need to go ahead and buy a copy of this for my kids.  They would enjoy these poems now and continue to do so as they grow older.  I remember my brother and I loved all of Silverstein’s books of poetry when we were young.  The poems are goofy, funny, and sometimes thought provoking.
  7. 1984  by: George Orwell
    This novel is one I want my boys to read in high school.  It’s one of my all time favorite books and is incredibly relevant today.  I quote it and think about it regularly.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird  by: Harper Lee
    Here’s another high school read.  One of their cousins is named after a character in the story, but even if that wasn’t the case, this is a great classic that everyone should read at some point in their lives.
  9. Ender’s Game  by: Orson Scott card
    This is a fun book that they can read in junior/high school.  I love it, my husband enjoyed it, and I think my boys will too.
  10. Bud, Not Buddy  by: Christopher Paul Curtis
    I didn’t read this until I was in college, but I’d love it if my boys could read it in elementary school sometime.  If I remember correctly, it would be a good read aloud or one for them to read themselves.  Bud is a brave boy on an adventure that will make readers smile at times and feel sad at times.  But it’s also a great way to introduce a little history in the form of fiction.


Please leave a link with your list!



Top Ten (Eight) Tuesday #2

Copy of Friday Finds

This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s theme is: Ten Characters Who Would Make Great Leaders (Leaders of what? That’s your decision. Who could lead a country, an army, a book club, a classroom, etc. Or maybe characters that would be trendsetters?)

  1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series): Who wouldn’t have Hermione Granger on this list?  She can guide her friends, start an organization to protest enslavement of house elves, help organize Dumbledore’s Army, and hold a Ministry of Magic position (according to The Cursed Child.)  She’s perfect for any type of leadership.
  2. Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows series): I kind of have a crush on Kaz.  He can be ruthless, but he genuinely cares about his team of thieves and pulls off all kinds of crazy heists.  So he does a great job as a leader of a gang, but he’d do just as well leading a group that doesn’t have such questionable morals.
  3. Danny Torrence (Doctor Sleep): As I said in my review, I was impressed with adult Danny’s maturity and compassion.  He has special abilities, but also has a confidence that makes people trust him.  He does lead a “battle” against a group of evil people, but I could also see him leading other types of battles in another life.
  4. Mark Watney (The Martian): Mark proved himself to be a great innovator, someone who stays calm under pressure, and maintains a sense of humor and good attitude in the worst possible situation.  If he can stay alive alone on Mars for years, he could do well leading through anything!
  5. Harold Fry (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry): Harold is a different kind of leader.  He wouldn’t lead an army or even hold a government position, but he is inspiring in so many ways.  I can see him leading a protest or an organization for a cause.  I also think he would be a pretty good teacher.  He’s humble, doesn’t give up, and truly listens to other people.  He made mistakes in his past, but learns from them.
  6. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird): Atticus shows maturity and bravery in his handling of racism in the South.  He fights a losing battle for the sake of doing right and is a great role model for his kids.  While he may not necessarily be a traditional leader in that he changes the world he lives in and the opinions of everyone he meets, he does what he can and changes his childrens’ worlds.  Sometimes that’s all you can do and I think he is worthy of all types of leadership, whether in the court room, a school room, or in a government position.
  7. Jo March (Little Women series): Jo is determined and outspoken.  From simply influencing the “productions” she and her sisters put on as children to running a houseful of orphaned boys, she proves herself a great leader.  She would make a great general, president, principle, or teacher.
  8. Jon Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire series): Jon Snow is already a great leader in the five current books that make up A Song of Ice and Fire.  He leads the Night’s Watch, the North, and who knows how far he’ll go?  He keeps cool under pressure, makes wise choices, and considers other people before himself.  I think he’d be a great ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

I can’t think of any more!!!!!!  You will have to make do with 8.