Top Ten Things on my Bookish Wishlist

It seems like the last two months have just been so-so for my reading.  Nothing has wowed me.  This Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, has come at just the right time.  These are things I want to see more of, or discover more of.

  • Slow building, realistic romance – I wonder why more authors of series don’t create slow building romance.  This is where writing a series would lend beautifully to this idea.
  • Travel books -books that have more than one setting in the world.  Fiction or non-fiction, I don’t care.  I just want more travel in my life.
  • Real love interests- A bad boy is great and all, but it has been done.  I really enjoyed real love interests.  Some of my favorite male love interests, Levi, Jase Garrett, Owen Armstrong, and Tom, were all nice, good guys.
  • Coming of age stories- I think there have always been coming of age stories.  I just can’t get enough.  More please!
  • Adult road trips- I love to read about road trips.  I think creating a road trip that is based around adults would be fantastic.  It could be a couple, friends, family members, or whatever.  If it is written well, I am down for the ride.
  • Laugh out loud reads- Of course this is hard to define.  So many people find different things funny.  However, it has been a long time since I have felt a novel is really funny.  I am looking at lovable characters that get into some hijinks, except not in the ridiculous way.  I am sure that is clear as mud for all the authors out there.
  • Real Mysteries- I want something with twists and turns, but not just with a hard-edged cop.  A serious mystery that doesn’t have such a serious protagonists.  It may be an oxymoron, but I want it.
  • Well Done Stand Alones or Series that are Ready to Roll-  I am sick of investing so much time in series that are drawn out.  Sometimes to the point of just making some more money off of it.  Make the book a stand alone.  If not a stand alone, have the series plotted out.  Rock out a first book, but have an idea of where the story is going.  Then publish the next books not so far off from the others.  I don’t want to wait forever to find out what happens next, AND the author doesn’t want the reader to lose interest in the series.  Or worse yet forget what was even happening in the series.
  • Real Life Problems-This would include characters facing real world problems.  I want someone who is struggling to pay the bills, or looking for work, or someone struggling to find their place in the world.  Most people don’t find jobs easily, have unlimited funds, or know exactly how they fit.
  • Lovable Cast of Characters-The main character(s) are important.  If the book doesn’t have a good main character, it just won’t cut it for me.  However, have a good main character and add-on a wonderful set of side characters it is a win.  Some of my favorite books of last year have a wonderful addition of well-rounded characters.

What would you like to see more of in literature?

Advertisements

That Not So Loving Feeling

Recently I have not been loving what I have been reading.  I don’t think it is a full on reading slump, but more a reading ho-hum feeling.  I have still been reading, but not feeling excited about the books I am reading.  Part of this has to do with the fact that I read some fantastic books last year.  I think January was an excellent month, for me, last year.  For awhile there I felt like I was throwing four and five-star ratings like someone throws beads at Mardi Gras.

Here is how I plan on getting back into the swing of things.

I am reading something I love.  Currently I am re-reading The Hunger Games.  I don’t normally re-read books.  I always feel like I don’t have the time.  However,  I need something that know I love.  So far it hasn’t totally jump started that love, but I am enjoying being back in that world.

I am planning a trip to the bookstore.  I am not a person who buys books often.  In fact, I haven’t bought books in a long time.  I have been using the library a lot, and staying away from the bookstore.  It has helped me continue to pay down debt.  This will be one exception to my book buying halt I have going on.  I want to be able to just browse and grab something that sounds so great to read.  Plus, the library where I live is ok, but doesn’t have a bunch of things I have been wanting to read. Nothing gets you jazzed about reading like a bright, shiny new book.

I am going to be reading a few different kinds of books at the same time.  I normally don’t read a bunch of books at once.  However, I need to hit on that book that I can really get into.  I don’t want to start a book and get stalled.  Then have nothing else to turn to.

The last thing I am doing is taking a break when I need it.  I am reading both books really slow.  If I don’t feel like reading, I am not going to force myself.  I have been in the mood to watch T.V., or talk to friends, or do something else.  If I force myself to read every night, I am only going to loathe whatever I am reading.  No matter how great the book is!

What do you do to get back into reading?  How do you find the next book that will jump start your love for books?

Best Books of 2013

It is already 12 days into January.  However, I do want to post something dedicated to the books that I felt were the best.  The survey gave a good idea of most of those book, but I want a list for them.

These are the books I loved in 2013.  It is not just books that were published in 2013, but books I read in 2013.  I couldn’t narrow it down to just ten, and eleven just seemed like a strange number.  So, I decided to add my two favorite picture books from the year.  Then it made thirteen.

13.  Journey by Aaron Becker  journey

There are no words in this book. The book is gorgeous and pulls you in.  It is a great book for kids that have big imaginations.

the dark12. The Dark by Lemony Snickett

I found the book to very clever.  I particularly enjoyed the alternating points of view of the child and the dark.

11. Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell before I met you

I enjoyed the back and forth aspect of the novel between the grandmother and granddaughter.  The story setting of London I really enjoyed, and the time period between the 90’s and the 20’s.

10. Dare You to by Katie McGarry dare you to

The second novel I read by Katie McGarry and I really liked it.  I didn’t think that was possible, especially since I didn’t really care for the character of Beth in Pushing the Limits.  I liked the love story a lot  and I will be reading more from this author.

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth divergent

I was late to the party, but enjoyed the first in the trilogy.  The dystopian novel was fast paced and had an impressive setting of factions.  This showed a promising start.

8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer cinder

The story is based on Cinderella.  That is just a jumping off point for this novel.  I felt like Marissa Meyer was inventive in how she created a story around the theme of Cinderella.  It never felt like just rehashing something we all know, but instead she created something new.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell fangilr

Fangirl is the type of book that you read and then fell generally in a better mood.  All the themes in the book aren’t light, fluff.  I just felt like I really enjoyed the characters.  The main character is one who tries to keep her head up, even when she is feeling doubtful about the people surrounding her.  Her roommate is a sullen, but conveys so much warmth towards her roommate.  Then there is Levi, who is the most happy, upbeat, and delightful male character I have read in a long time.  I have read one book by Rainbow Rowell and now I can’t wait to get more.

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen just listen

The story is not a light read.  The family and high school drama is heavy.  It was heavy, but the romance lifted the story up.  I loved the character of Owen and the incorporation of a love of music.  The family was realistic.  It added a lot to the story.  I ended up really touched by this book.  It was a great surprise.

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo siege and storm

More than any other book of the year I got lost in this world.  It was even better than the first book in the series.  It added additional characters, elements, and a rich plot.  I can’t wait to see where the story goes in the next book.

4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick my life next door

A sweet, sweet family drama.  It has a bit of depth to it, so it isn’t just a light read.  I loved the romance and relationship in the book.  However, the best part of the book is the family the Garretts.  Huntley Fitzpatrick wrote each family member a bit different.  Plus, the parents relationship was just wonderful.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky perks of being a wallflower

Charlie is such a fantastic character.  His voice is very distinctive.  I enjoyed the letter format of the book, and the way that the story unfolds as if it is being told to a friend.  A coming of age story that was very engrossing.

2. On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves on the island

This was an unforgettable love story.  The story is about two people who are stranded on a desert island.  There wasn’t a dull or slow down in the pacing of the story.  The main characters are wonderful.   I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading.

1. Just One Day by Gayle Forman just one day

I was surprised by this novel.  It is described as a love lost, and I figured that the love story would dominate over all.  That wasn’t the case.  It is important to the story.  However, the story of Allyson is a coming of age one.  Her struggles are realistic.  I went with her on her journey to find who she really is.  Another reason this was my favorite of the year are the secondary characters.  Many of the people she meets are just as remarkable as she is.  When I first read the book I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  After awhile it just stayed with me.  I know I must re read this book and give it the five stars it deserves.

What were your favorites of the year?

2013 End of the Year Book Survey

Yes, I know 2013 is over and it is January.  Except I wanted to complete the End of the Year Book Survey, hosted by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner.

2013 book survey

Note: The survey is for books you read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and is not limited to just books that came out in 2013!!

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

I just can’t choose one.  The best children’s book The Dark by Lemony Snickett, best contemporary On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, best science fiction Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Monsters by Ilsa J Bick

I loved the second novel Shadows, but felt the last novel in the series went off the rails.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I thought it was going to be different from what it was.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

The Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout.  I don’t think it is the best series, but I read through a lot of the books this year.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Rainbow Rowell
I only read one of her books, but can’t wait to read more.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I really don’t re-read books, but let’s just say I decide to, I am picking My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

statistical probabilityI loved the cover more than the book.

11. Most memorable character in 2013?

Arlette from Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

We should all pay a little more attention to one another.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

“Sometimes fate or life or whatever you want to call it, leaves a door a little open and you walk through it. But sometimes it locks the door and you have to find the key, or pick the lock, or knock the damn thing down. And sometimes, it doesn’t even show you the door, and you have to build it yourself. But if you keep waiting for the doors to be opened for you… I think you’ll have a hard time finding single happiness,let alone that double portion.” 

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest (besides picture books): Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaimon at 114 pages

Longest: Monsters by Ilsa J Bick at 688 pages (which felt like 1000)

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

I guess I have to go with the end of the Divergent series.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Anna and T.J. in On the Island and the Garretts in My Life Next Door.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

I read a lot of Young Adult and Contemporary.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

Journey by Aaorn Becker is the best I “read”.  It doesn’t have any words, but is very beautiful.

journey

 

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The Future of Us by Jay Asher

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I did not see it coming, but this book made me cry at the end.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

Run to Me by Diane Hester

This is a fast paced, thriller that I think would appeal to a lot of different people.

blogging this

Canvas bag from HandmadeandCraft

Book Blogging/Reading Life 2013

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

I could say all of them, but that wouldn’t be helpful.  I only really discovered the many great book blogs this year.  So, I have a lot that I have discovered.  I will narrow it down to two that I always seem to find good content on their blog:

Ode to Jo and Katniss

Book Rock Betty

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

I really think I am still learning on how to write an effective review.  If I have to pick one it is:

Shadows by Ilsa J Bick

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Books I Am Embarrassed to Admit I Have Not Read

I still haven’t read most of them.  Ah, well!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Wow, I am sure I read one.  I just don’t remember what one it would be.  I will have to edit once I think of one.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I stumbled upon an author signing. Score!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

Well a big one is starting this book blog.  The other is getting hired in a position where I am surrounded by books.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Most commented is Top Ten Book, So Far

Most views is Books to Read Before the Movie Comes Out

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I understand why, since I posted this when I first started my blog, but it would be 10 Ways to Increase Your Number of Books This Year.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Not totally book related, but I love Bloglovin.  It keeps all of the book blogs in one spot.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

The Goodreads challenge to read 55 books and I read 72 books.  I also completed my categories challenge (find it here).  Some of those books I changed, but for the most part they stayed the same.  I finished all the categories, except I am still finished The Book Thief.  I also tried to do the A to Z book challenge, but failed.

looking ahead

Look Ahead and Believe necklace by BlansetCreations

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

I need to say The Book Thief.  That way I can say I finished all of the categories from last year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

Is linking my Most Anticipated Books cheating?  If I have to pick one it will be The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

Plus, I just saw on Goodreads they have a Veronica Mars book coming out.  WAIT, what!?

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

This one I am unsure.

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Mara Dyer and The Grisha

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

I am just looking at simple things like read more, enjoy more books, and stay consistent on blogging.

 

What are your thoughts on the 2013 books and blogging year?  Do we have any of the same favorites?  Did I miss something?  Any book you think I MUST get my hands on and read next?

 

 

2014 Resolutions

I can’t believe 2014 is already here.  2013 was such an up and down year.   However, before I look back at the year of 2013, I am going to look ahead to 2014.  I am going to list the challenges and resolutions I have in my book life.  At the end I will add a few extra life resolutions.

I have set a Goodreads goal of reading 75 books in 2014.

I would also like to read more children’s fiction books.  It will be important for my job.  I may incorporate some of those reviews into this blog.  I will resovle to read 1 children’s book a month-12 for the year.  Hopefully I will read more, but I am going to start small.

I want to read 5 classic books this year.  I look at some of those classic lists and my list of what I have read is definitely lacking.

I want to reread 5 books this year.  I NEVER reread books.  Most times I feel like I don’t have time.  The problem is I look at my enormous TBR list and figure who has time to reread.  There will never be a perfect time to reread a book, but I am going to just fit them in.

My categories for this year are:

A book that is from a debut author or a first book from an established author.
A book that is non fiction.
A book that is a graphic novel.
A book that is set in the winter.
A book that has been sitting on your shelf for a long time.
A book that takes place in an urban city.
A book that is set at the beach or in a beach community.
A book that is a mystery, thriller, or horror.
A book that is set in the southern United States.
A book that has something to do with a war.
A book that is considered a children’s classic.
A book that has been adapted to a movie.
CHALLENGE: A book that is recommended by someone else.
CHALLENGE: Pick 3 books that have all been published in 2014.

Let’s break this down.  My goals are

75 books total

12 children’s fiction books

5 classics

5 rereads

16 books from my category list

Personal goals:

Pay down more of my debt

Keep in better contact with friends far away

Research and try to finalize my plans for a Masters degree

Cook more, travel more, and live in the moment

What are your resolutions for 2014?  Is there something you are really looking forward to accomplishing in 2014?