Top Ten Topics

Top ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.



This Tuesday we are talking about the words or topics that make me instantly want to pick up a book.

In no particular order here is my list.



I love London.  I studied abroad there and want to go back soon.


I am a sucker for a dog on a book.


I don’t think I am done with this trend yet.


Travel is a win in my book.  Road trip, air travel, hiking, backpacking, and so many more.

Single Girl/ Big City

Single girl making her way in the big city.  Smart girls please!


Murder can be the topic to start off the story or be the mystery that the characters are solving.  I tend to want to read more.  Morbid, I know.

Realistic Romance

I am a sucker for a well done romance.


I want to imagine I am on the beach.  Just not like in Beauty Queens, I don’t want to be stranded.

Historical Drama 

I am really interested in history and it provides some great drama filled stories.  It can be real or fiction.

Strong Female Characters

This should be more consistent in books.  Strong female characters are a must and will make me grab any book, no matter the genre.

What topics or words do you gravitate towards?


25 Random Bookish Things About Me

1. If I watch the movie before the book, odds are I won’t read the book version.

2. I love family dramas.

3. I spend more time looking for new books than I do reading.

4. I rarely never finish a book, even if I am not enjoying it.

5. Most of my books come from the library, book sales, or thrift stores due to my budget right now.

6. I want to travel to famous book stores and libraries.  Shakespeare and Co in Paris and Powell’s Books in Portland I am looking at you.

7. If I love a book I will badger my family and friends until they read it.   And…..

8. I am stubborn when other people recommend me books.  I have to be in the mood to read them.  It is just shameful.

9. I mostly read at night.

10. Winter is my favorite time to read.  It gives the best excuse for sitting on the couch and enjoying a good book.

11. Dog earing pages is not cool by me.  I will use anything and everything as a book mark.

12. I never use to read new releases when they came out.  It would take me a year or two to get around to a new book.

13. I really enjoy looking at the recommended by employees shelf at a bookstore.

14.  However, if the employee has recommended a book I hated, I dismiss all the other recommendations on the shelf.

15. Audiobooks are the best things for a long road trip, but I hardly ever listen to them other than during a trip.

16. If a cover has a dog on the book I am going to pick it up.

17.  The main characters make or break a book for me.  If I hate the main characters, overall I won’t like the book.

18. Big books can intimidate me.  I have had I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb on my shelf for so long.  Over 900 pages is crazy.

19. I will read any types of genre.

20. When I was a child I would check out a huge amount of books to read for the week from the library.

21. I went through a few years after high school when I didn’t read much of anything. I call these my dark years.

22. I wish I could read faster, but I could read more.  Instead I get distracted by everything else.

23. I never reread books.  I wish I did, but I just never do.

24. I feel a bit of glee when no one is in the break room or next to me on a plane.  That means I get to pull out whatever I am reading and I don’t have to feel antisocial.

25. Someday I would love to work in a library or a bookstore.

Originally saw this on

Review: Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

someday, someday maybe

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three-year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.

Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet. 

I didn’t know what to expect going into a book by Lauren Graham.  She is very funny and witty in her interviews, but would that translate as a writer.  The book is a light read and I found myself wanting to keep reading.  I loved the voice of Franny and the time period of the middle 90’s.   I feel like I would have passed right over that time period.  Once I started reading the novel, I thought the time period is perfect.  It was brilliant.

I don’t know what it would be like to pursue a career in acting.  I think if you are interested in what it would be like, this novel does a really great job of putting you in that position.

I could see a critique of the novel to be that it is predictable.  I don’t know about anyone else, sometimes a little bit of predictability is not bad.  As a reader, I don’t always want to be on the edge of my seat.  This book was like sitting back on your couch with your favorite drink and a movie you love.  You may know what is coming next, but you are loving every minute of it.

I really enjoyed the voice of each character.   I felt that they were distinctly their own and true to how the characters were portrayed.  The ending seemed to fit well.  It left the book with some closure, but open-ended enough to even have a sequel.  There are actually a few ways Lauren Graham could continue with this and make it a series.  She definitely has a great writing voice and I look forward to whatever she writes next.  If you are fond of Lauren Graham, women’s literature, light, or fun reads pick this one up.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Someday, Someday Maybe is set to be published April 30th 2013.

Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like…..

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.


This week the topic is all the books we thought we would like more or less than we actually did.  I decided to sort it into two lists.

It seems I had to scale down my list of those that I liked less.

Books I thought I would have liked more than I did.

“But I guess everything in life is a bit disappointing, isn’t it?” 
― John Stevens, The Emerald Atlas

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

    pride and prejudice and zombies wicked dead until dark gone girl darkly dreaming dexter

Books I thought I would like less than I did.

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


Empire Falls by Richard Russo

One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

Shadows by Ilsa J Bick

A Tree Grows in Brooklin by Betty Smith

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

   one good dog empire falls shadows a tree grows in brooklyn the jungle

These are just my opinions on these books.  You never know when you will find your next great book or a disappointment.  Keep on reading.

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver


Requiem by Lauren Oliver is the sequel to the books Delirium and Pandemonium.   Both of those books I have enjoyed very much.   The anticipation was quite high for the final book in the series.

Here is the synopsis for Requiem.  If you have not read the first two books, I can not guarantee that this does not contain spoilers.

I repeat DO NOT go any further if you don’t want to see any spoilers.

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

Pandemonium left off on such a cliffhanger.  The knowledge that both Alex and Lena’s mother are still alive.  When the book begins I kept thinking, “what happened to her mother”.  They don’t touch on that at all after the big reveal.  I began thinking maybe that is not what I read in the end of the last book.  Other than that the book goes along at the same pace as the other two books.  The big difference is that we are going back and forth between two perspectives.  One chapter is devoted to Hana and the other to Lena.

I enjoyed the back and forth, but I have never had a problem with that in books.  I felt like it gave insight into both “worlds” in the Delirium realm.  In fact, I was quite glad that I finally was able to go deeper into the world of Hana.  Sidenote, there are three short stories that are companions to this series, but I have not read them.  I also enjoyed being able to see a full scope of the wilds and the people that are rebelling.

That brings me to the love story, or love triangle (or square depending on how you look at it).  This is one of the rare times when I was rooting for both guys.  I guess that means I was Team Lena, if I was a team anything.  I was ok with whichever way she chose to go.  Throughout the story I jockeyed back and forth between the two guys.  I guess that is not a bad place to be in, no matter who you chose, they are awesome.

I won’t give away the ending, but I know some people did not like the way that Lauren Oliver chose to take the story.  I really liked it.  I felt like it was really well done.

If you have read the other two books, then you must pick up Requiem.  If you haven’t read this series yet, well why did you keep reading this, sheesh don’t you care about spoilers.  Oh and what are you waiting for!

I would give this book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Top Ten Books That Made Me Think

This week, over on the Broke and the Bookish, top ten Tuesday is a rewind.  We get to pick a topic we haven’t done or one we want to revisit.  I wanted to do a few of the lists, but the one I chose was the top books that made me think.   I am not including school books, which should make you think.  Instead I am picking  the books that surprised me in how much they made me think.

tenth circleThe Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

I read this book last year as I was out in remote Alaska teaching.  The book only has a little bit about Native Alaska, but it made me think about it.

Did Jodi Picoult travel to learn about this?  If she did, what did she think about it?

a child called It

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

As a teacher this made me really think.  How in the world can this happen?  How do I, as a teacher, recognize the children that this is happening to?

beautiful disaster

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I was on the fence about this book.  However, it did make me think.  Why do women really like this type of guy?  Why are women drawn to people who are bad for us?  Why did I find this so readable?

animal vegetable miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

This book really made me think about how we can change how we get our food.  How much of a change could we make if we buy or grow locally?  I really think twice about where I get my food from.

if i stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This book was so good, but it also makes you think.  What would I do in Mia’s situation?

Memory Keeper's Daughter

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

I didn’t realize that people with Down’s Syndrome were institutionalized in the 60’s.  I have met some kids with Down’s Syndrome and they tend to be some of the happiest, sweetest kids I have ever met.  After reading this book I wondered, what would it have been like to have been born with Down’s Syndrome in the 60’s?  It also made me think what does it do to you to keep a huge secret?

Discipline with Dignity

Discipline with Dignity

This book made me think about how to effectively show how we behave in a classroom.  It also made me think about how we can give mixed signals to kids.  How can we make the classroom a better environment?


Columbine by Dave Cullen

This is another that had me thinking as a teacher.  The book takes a look, in-depth, at the two boys responsible for the Columbine shooting.  How can we make sure all of our students are being taken care?

rape of nankin

The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang

I had no idea this happened.  It was such an eye opener when I read it.  How could such atrocities happen?

omnivores dilemaThe Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

This book made me think about the things I eat.  It literally changed the way I eat.  How much do we know about the food industry?  What can we do about as consumers?

What are books that made you think?

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read Before I Was A Blogger

This top ten tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is my favorite books before I was a blogger.  This one is quite easy, considering I just started a blog in January.  Here is my list.

1.The Host by Stephenie Meyer

2. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster

3.The Pact by Jodi Picoult

4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Winston Rawls

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

         The Hostbitter is the new blackthe pactwhere the red fern growshunger games

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

7. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

8. Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella

9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

10.If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

       a tree grows in brooklyn a thousand splendid sunscan you keep a secretcurious incident dog nightimeif you come softly