Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Posts I Think Give You the Best Glimpse of Me

Given the fact that I just got back from the Wizarding World and am still lamenting immersion back into every-day life, this post is a given. I also really wish that I had come upon one like it before I make my own journey down to Orlando.

The Nightrunner series is hands-down the best literary discovery I’ve made this year, so my excitement when Ms. Flewelling responded to my interview query was through the roof. I adored being able to converse not only with the wonderful author who had brought some of my favorite characters to life, but with those very characters as well. The best part, though, was how she took my leads and ran with them, making this interview a true discussion among the four of us (that would be Ms. Flewelling, Seregil, Thero, and myself).

Continuing the author theme, Ms. Crane was the first author to consent to an interview, and I couldn’t have been more delighted. She also gave me the opportunity to have a little chat with my favorite character from her wonderful Disillusionists series, which made the book nerd in me squeal with glee.

Ms. Elliott was the first author to reach out to me and offer me a review copy of her novel. I’d already ready and loved the first in the series, so it was an honor to be given the chance to voice my thoughts on her latest book. The fact that she used a pull-out quote from my review on her blog on the book’s release day was the greatest thrill.

Really, this is the greatest book purchase of my many years of collecting dusty tomes. Perhaps I’m bragging a bit, but I can’t help myself.

I’d just discovered this series when I started blogging, so it was on heavy rotation in my thoughts. When I happened upon a Deviantart gallery that perfectly portrayed the characters as I imaginged them, I knew I needed these beautiful images on my blog. I really need to start digging for more fanart creations for future posts, as I love the juxtaposition of different art forms.

I’ve only posted one of these features so far, but rest assured, I am always planning ways to incorporate food and design into my film and literature obsessions. I’ve got a bunch on the backburner waiting to be posted, but this Harry Potter themed night gives a good representation of the extent to which I will geek out when I enjoy something.

My lonely attempt at a meme that has never quite caught on, I’m still enamored of the idea of spotlighting literary couples who seem to fly under the radar. This is probably my number one couple in that regard.

I’m a very visual reader, and I can’t help but cast novels in my head as I read. This was my first attempt at sharing my visions of a series with readers, and also the first of many BDB-themed posts that made their way onto my blog in the beginning.

10. All of my reviews

I cannot pick one. Whenever I attempt to pick one, the others insistently nudge me with a sentence or a remembrance that makes it impossible to choose. So please, if you find our reading tastes to be similar, perhaps take a peek at my back catalogue and comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters I would Switch Places with for 24 Hours

1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Obviously, this series is my number one priority in terms of getting to live in it myself (my recent trip to the Wizarding World only strengthened my belief that Hogwarts would be the greatest place to live in the world). I see more of myself in Luna than in any of Rowling’s other characters (though Hermione is a close second), and if I had to stand in someone’s shoes for a day, I’d pick Luna hands-down. She’s smart, quirky, doesn’t care what others think, loves eccentric animals, has a brave sense of fashion, and just so happens to be a fellow Ravenclaw.
2. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be Buffy. She never fails to have a quippy comeback at the ready, and, more to the point, she kicks ass. But since I haven’t read a Buffy-related book since high school, I’ll have to get my vicarious fighting kicks through Kate instead. Having Curran by my side would only sweeten the deal.
3. Clare from The China Garden by Liz Berry
Ever since I first picked this book up in high school, I have longed to visit Ravensmere. If I were to trade places with Clare for the day, you’d be hard-pressed to tear me away from this gloriously quaint-sounding village.
4. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Many will probably go with Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door, but for me, Anna is the girl I’d want to be (and be friends with once my twenty-four hours were up). I’ve never been out of the country, so spending a day in Paris with a great group of friends and one swoony male named Etienne sounds like heaven.
5. Amy from the Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund
I switched majors from journalism to geography in college, and I was never a part of the Greek life, so the Secret Society Girl series represents an intriguing peek into the college experience that I never had. Granted, my decisions were made intentionally, so I don’t regret never having been in a sorority or other society, but Peterfreund’s series made me wonder what it would be like nonetheless.
6. Penelope from Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Whenever I read a historical romance or one of the classics, I can’t help but ponder what life would have been like as a woman living amidst the restrictions imposed by society, class, and corsets. As unpleasant as many of the details seem, though, I’d like to experience it if only for a day. I’m bypassing classic heroines like Lizzie Bennett and my beloved Jane Eyre here and instead going with a more lighthearted take on the general era.
7. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Originally I was going to go with Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Then I remembered the excruciating pain that Elena experiences during transformation as a werewolf, and I decided that if I were really going to get my fuzzy alternate persona on, I’d be better off as a shapeshifter.
8. Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Dressing in eccentric outfits, baking holiday cookies, browsing The Strand bookstore, and exchanging witty journal entry dares with a mysterious penpal…I’d trade places with Lily in a heartbeat.
9. Tish from Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
This is yet another entry chosen solely for the opportunity to visit the wonderful world in which the story takes place. Sang sounds like an absolute trip, and one that I would gladly take.
10. Anyone from one of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels
I spent the better part of ten minutes trying to choose one of Allen’s novels, but I honestly cannot limit myself to only one. As a North Carolina resident, I could pretend that I do actually live amidst the subtle magic that winds itself throughout all of Allen’s narrative threads, but it’s simply not the same. None of the trees in my backyard throw enchanted apples at me, and the wallpaper doesn’t change to reflect my mood. I long to be a part of the quietly magical realm that Allen has created.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books for People Who Liked Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

1. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner

These two talented ladies found inspiration in each other’s work, and it shows. There’s much of Howl in Gen, including an impossible wit and proclivity for temper tantrums. There’s also just enough fantasy to keep genre fans satisfied.

2. Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling

Flewelling’s series juggles numerous adult themes and so the tone is more mature than that of Jones’s classic children’s book. However, Alec and Seregil constantly snark at each other and get into hijinks reminiscent of Sophie and Howl’s adventures.

3. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

There’s decidedly less humor in Cashore’s series, yet fans of Diana Wynne Jones’ writing will surely find much to love in Cashore’s lush worldbuilding.

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unlike Howl, Unspoken is set in modern times, yet Brennan has infused her story with the same wry humor that Jones was so well known for. Had Jones decided to write a gothic romance novel, Unspoken surely would have been its doppleganger.

5. A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede

Mairelon reminded me quite a bit of Howl, though he was rather less prone to histrionics. A Matter of Magic is a slower read than Howl and rather less funny, but it’s a great example of a fantasy of manners.

6. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman can turn anything into gold, and his attempt at an original fairy tale is no exception. Both Howl and Stardust excel at not taking themselves too seriously, which I believe is an important but oft-overlooked elemet to any humorous fantasy novel.

7. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

McKinley is the queen of fairy tale adaptations, yet her Damar stories are just as brilliant. While Howl fans should seek out McKinley’s entire catalogue of work, The Blue Sword is a good place to start.

8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

If you’re after humorous fantasy, you can’t do better than The Princess Bride.

Some other titles that aren’t quite as similar yet that might interest Howl’s fans include: Chronicles of Lumatere series by Melina Marchetta, Study series by Maria V. Snyder, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith, and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week is a freebie week, and I’ve decided to do: Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

Disclaimer: I am not proud of my reaction to many of the following books. Procede your own risk (well, really, it’s a risk to my credibility as a blogger, but regardless…).

1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I’m not a hardcore Twilight hater. I’ll admit, I have the books, and while they don’t tend to make their way into my reread pile, I probably won’t discard them anytime soon (all flaws and abusive relationship portrayals aside). The same goes for the movie (though luckily, I have enough pride to have limited myself to owning only the first, and that’s because it’s hilarious[ly bad]). However, I actually think The Host is rather underrated. Meyer will never be a literary author, but after slogging through the first two-hundred pages, I was shocked to find myself tearing through this. And when I reached the end, I was sobbing: big, heaving, ugly sobs. I’m not saying it’s great literature, but give it a chance; it might surprise you.
2. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
All kidding aside, Sparks isn’t an author who usually makes it onto my TBR list. However, I hold a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf for this one title. I’m not quite sure why, because I really don’t like Jamie very much, but Landon gets to me every time. The setting (unlike the movie, the book is set in the 1950s) also really works for me. I like that Sparks left the ending of the book purposefully ambiguous, because otherwise I would be an utter wreck whenever I finished this one.
3. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
This book gutted me, utterly. It remains my favorite Marchetta title, and Tom is my absolute favorite of her characters. The intertwining of his troubles with those of his family is painfully raw, and though he manages to come out in a positive place, the journey is excruciating at times.
4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I wasn’t a huge fan of Forman’s If I Stay duology, but I have to admit that the first book did have me teary-eyed at times. It was more of a mist than a full cry, but it gets credit nonetheless.
5. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler’s Wife ruined me for all other books for months. I still haven’t gotten over the beautiful tragedy of Claire and Henry’s romance, and I doubt I ever will. This is one title that, as much as I loved it, I haven’t been able to reread since my first experience because I just can’t bear putting myself through the pain a second time.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Alright, I admit it. For as much as I’ve ragged on Rowling’s writing in the past, this last one got to me. I believe that Fred’s death was what did me in (same goes for the movie the first couple of times I saw it). And for those who haven’t yet read or watched Harry Potter…whoops.
7. Lover Awakened/Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
These two are by far my favorite installments in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. After a dubious start with Dark Lover, Ward managed to create a world and characters so dynamic that my heart beats alongside theirs despite the more ridiculous elements of the stories (slang and product-placement being among its foremost flaws). Zsadist and Bella, John Matthew and Xhex: my favorite couple is a toss-up on any given day. Of course, that’s not including Qhuinn and Blay, the conclusion to whose story we will finally be getting next year.
8. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
This book nearly collided with a wall. When I think of reading experiences in which I became fully immersed in the story, to the point where the outside world ceased to exist, this one usually to comes to mind. The last few pages threatened to shatter the delicate thread of emotion that had built up within my seventh-grade heart throughout the day.
9. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I read spoilers. I read the last page of a book before I buy it. I knew what I was getting into. That didn’t make the inevitable any less severe. I fell in love despite myself, knowing all along that my heart would get broken, and even so, I’m already looking forward to my next reread.
That’s all she wrote for this week. My choices are a bit unconventional, to say the least. What can I say; I’m a hardened cynic except for when I’m not, and that’s usually at unexpected times. Are there any books that are guaranteed tear-jerkers that I’ve omitted?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Author

I decided to mix it up and interpret this week’s theme a little bit differently.

1. If you like Neil Gaiman, try Tim Powers.
Powers is a master of his class, yet unfortunately his name isn’t nearly as well known as it should be. His works take work, though; Powers is quite the ambitious author, often utilizing existing cultural figures to construct alternative histories replete with lamias, psychotic serial killer clowns, werewolves, time travel, and the gods.
2. If you like John Green, try David Levithan.
So this won’t come as a shock to many of you, especially since these two authors have actually collaborated before. (If you haven’t read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, do so immediately). Still, for those of you not in the know, Levithan’s writing often reaches the exhalted heights of wry youthful optimism that Green is so famous for.
3. If you like Ilona Andrews, try Seanan McGuire.
The Toby Daye series exhibits some of the best worldbuilding and characterization in urban fantasy today. For those who love Kate Daniels’s toughness and capability coupled with a quick wit and unbearable sexual tension, you’re missing out if you’re not reading about Toby.
4. If you like Holly Black, try Rob Thurman.
Though I’ve mentioned this before, I’ll say it again: Cassel Sharpe and Cal Leandros would be best buds. Though the worldbuilding in each series is starkly different, they share an easy and sarcastic narration that strikes a chord with my cynical nature.
5. If you like Diana Wynne Jones, try Megan Whalen Turner.
These two remarkable ladies drew inspiration from each other’s writing, and it shows in both of their most ubiquitous narrators. I would have loved to read a crossover book starring Gen and Howl.
6. If you like Kristin Cashore, try Sherwood Smith.
If you’re a fan Cashore’s lush prose and mixture of romance, political intrigue, and fantasy, you’ll find all that and more in the Crown Duel duet. Mel is a great heroine, and while there is slightly less magic in Smith’s work, the feel is very similar to that elicited by Cashore’s series.
7. If you like Karen Marie Moning, try Anne Bishop.
While Moning’s Fever series and Bishop’s Black Jewels series have little in common, they will forever be linked in my mind since I discovered them (and fell in love with both) in a short two-month period. Despite their differences, I believe that fans of Moning’s dark fantasy tone will be able to appreciate Bishop’s world and the ambiguously drawn characters that inhabit it.
8. If you like Stephanie Perkins, try Cath Crowley.
Perkins is undoubtedly one of the hottest names in young adult contemporary, due mainly to her remarkable ability to write main characters who seem all at once too good to be true yet utterly believable. Crowley’s work is eminently relatable yet a little grittier than Perkins; still, fans of Perkins work will likely adore Crowley’s writing as well.
9. If you like Maggie Stiefvater, try Liz Berry.
I’ve adored Berry’s The China Garden for nearly a decade now. It’s lovely and unique and criminally unrecognized, especially considering the recent surge in interest for young adult paranormal. Fans of Stiefvater’s lyrical writing will recognize the same quality in Berry’s.
That’s all I’ve got this week. Happy Fourth, all ye readers!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters Who Remind Me Of Myself Or Someone I Know In Real Life

I concede defeat to this list before even starting, since I know I’m not going to come close to ten this week.

1. Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I feel a certain affinity for Jo due to her nearly uncontained passion for literature. Granted, her passions run toward the writing end of the spectrum rather than reading, but regardless I can’t help but sympathize with someone who loves the written word so very much.
2. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
While my smarty-pants tendencies have decreased somewhat as I’ve gotten older, I have been known to be an insufferable know-it-all in the right circumstances. I identify with Hermione’s need to have the answer, no matter how annoying the habit might come across to others.
3. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
And in a complete contrast of character, I like to think that on my better days I channel Luna’s aloof spirit. I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drummer and endured a healthy dose of ridicule for it from my peers as a child. Yet like Luna, I know the value of staying true to yourself, even if that makes you a flamingo among sparrows.
4. Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
On most accounts, Anne and I are as different as they come, for I’ve never been one to speak my mind. However, I understand Anne’s romantic nature, even if I don’t express it as ebulliently as she does.
5. Cal Leandros from the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
I’ve always loved Cal, even when he is at his darkest and other reviewers find little to connect to. I’ve never quite understood why Thurman’s series isn’t more popular, and this is probably partly due to the fact that I simply get Cal. I love his witty sarcasm that permeates every thought. I guess I’ve always harbored dark cloud tendencies, so it’s nice to witness someone else be unabashedly sarcastic without devolving into melodrama.
6. Sam from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
Firstly, no, my boyfriend does not turn into a wolf. Nor is he musically inclined, let alone prone to composing his own tunes. But there’s something about Sam’s quiet sensitivity and devotion to Grace that reminds me of my own boyfriend. I’m a lucky girl, aren’t I?
7. Sophos from the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Continuing with characters that remind me of my boyfriend, Sophos was a delightful character to accompany on his journey from timid boy to grown man. He has reserves of strength that are evident early on, yet that he is unaware of. My boyfriend has the same kind of strength, not overt and loud, but resonating from within.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

While I’ve got more books lined up to read than I can keep track of, I’ve decided to limit this list to titles being released this summer.

1. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
I was lucky enough to win this in a content recently and am currently waiting for it to show up in my mailbox. I’ve heard lots of reviewers have loved this one, and just have many have been disappointed. At the very least, I’m excited to revisit with Katsa and Po.
2. Lothaire by Kresley Cole
I’ve been waiting for months for this one to be released in trade paperback. I love it when former villains are transformed into (anti)heroes, and Lothaire’s story has been a long time coming.
3. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
I’ve never read anything by Summers before, but based on the stellar reviews I’ve read for this contemporary/zombie apocalypse hybrid, I might as well start with this one.
4. Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
I adore nearly every character Frost creates, and Vlad is no exception. Early reviews for this one have been raving; some have even proclaimed it her best work to date. I can’t imagine what could possibly upstage Bones, so to say I’m excited for this release is a gross understatement.
5. Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning
I’m not a huge graphic novel fan, especially when the treatment is applied to a beloved book series. I prefer to imagine the characters’ visages myself, minus the standard comic book caricatures. However, I’m giving this one a pass,  because it’s an original Mac and Barrons story.
6. Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong
I admit- I haven’t read the last two books in the Women of the Otherworld series. The witches have never been my favorite protagonists, and Savannah in particular has failed to capture my interest in previous installments. From what I’ve read, she hasn’t matured all that much even as the main narrator. However, given that this is the final book in the series and all my favorite characters (read: Clay and Elena) are scheduled to appear for a big showdown, it’s probably time I caught up.
7. Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
I’m not sure whether to be delighted or dismayed that two of my most anticipated releases happen to be spinoffs of favorite series (see Once Burned above). Andrea’s story is sure to be as high-octane as Kate’s usually are, and I’m anticipating some major development concerning a certain Bouda shapeshifter.
8. Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh
While I had plenty of criticisms to level at its predecessor, Nevermore, I can’t deny that I’m on pins and needles to see how the unexpected fallout of events plays out.
9. Endgame by Ann Aguirre
It’s been a long, tough road for Sirantha Jax, and I’m expecting nothing less than heartbreak in this final installment of the series. I can’t be the only one hoping that the endgame is in fact Sirantha and Vel, can I?
10. Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
There must be something in the water down under, because nearly every Aussie young adult contemporary in recent years has far outshone its peers. I’ve been waiting for this one to get its American release for ages.