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.

Showcase Sunday

Showcase Sunday is a meme created by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by Tim Burton
  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Stardust First Edition ARC *SIGNED* by Neil Gaiman

This is pretty much the prized piece of my literary collection to date. Words can’t express how excited I am to have stumbled upon this gem in a local book shop.

Gifted

  • World on Fire by Hayley B. James
  • Sherlock Season 2 DVD Set

For Review

  • This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees (from NetGalley)
  • Sight Unseen by Hunter Raines (from NetGalley)
  • Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (from NetGalley)
  • Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught (from NetGalley)
  • Blink Once by Cylin Busby (from NetGalley)

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 Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Stiefvater’s lilting prose and honest characterizations mark her work as a cut above the typical young adult fare. This story of a seaside community whose residents participate in annual water horse races is a beautiful yet disturbing take on an original folk tale.
2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Gruen’s tale of a young veterinarian who joins the circus by luck of circumstance is simple yet moving, and though the characters don’t break any new ground, her lush descriptions of circus life will make you yearn to leave behind the ordinary trappings of your own life.
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Honestly, anything published under Gaiman’s name should be required reading thirty years from now, but since my favorite adult novel of his, Neverwhere, was published more than ten years ago, I’ll stick with this lovely children’s story for purposes of this list. Gaiman’s work in eminently readable by adults and children alike.
4. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Another author whose entire catalogue should be required reading, it was difficult to choose just one Marchetta. The story of Tom Mackee and his broken family is my favorite of her books. It’s painful, difficult to read at times, but always gently, brutally truthful.
5. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
I still haven’t read The Book Thief, but I don’t need to in order to know the strength of Zusak’s writing. Ed Kennedy is one of the most relatable everyman narrators I’ve had the pleasure of reading. His story is at once funny and inspiring.
6. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Allen’s writing is cotton candy rather than a main course, but that doesn’t lessen its blissful impact. She has a real way with words; you’ll want to visit every quirky town she describes and indulge in each delectable dish the characters create. Fiction needs some levity and pure fairy tale happiness.
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Years after first reading this book, I still haven’t healed the massive hole it punched in my heart. It takes a bit of work to get into the swing of the narrative, but once you are immersed in it, it’s difficult not to get wrapped up in the grand arc of Claire and Henry’s story.
8. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Levithan’s image of a high school life where gay is the norm might seem somewhat conspicuous in its improbability, but once that tableau is accepted as a magical realist backdrop, the tale that unfolds is heartwarming and totally familiar. And Infinite Darlene just might be one of the secondary characters most deserving of her own novel.
9. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
It’s not my personal favorite of his, but I believe it’s nonetheless Green’s best work to date. His impossibly witty, pop-culture laden dialogues are unlikely to be exchanged between real teenagers, but it doesn’t matter, because Green understand the human experience in a way that transcends age.
10. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
This one might be cheating a bit since the first two were published more than ten years ago, but since it’s still ongoing I’m going to include it. I’ve yet to come across another author who has utilized such a wide range of literary techniques to consistently fool readers while simultaneously staying completely true to her own style and to her characters. Gen is one of my favorite literary characters ever, and his story is deserving of a spot on everyone’s reading list.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Reading Now

Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found by Sophie Blackall

The Week Ahead

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand

His Heart’s Obsession by Alex Beecroft

Austenland by Shannon Hale

Showcase Sunday

Showcase Sunday is a meme created by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found by Sophie Blackall
  • Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
  • Austenland by Shannon Hale
  • The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
  • The Demon’s Covenant (signed) by Sarah Rees Brennan

For Review

  • Good Bones by Kim Fielding (from NetGalley)
  • The Encyclopedia of Me by Karen Rivers (from NetGalley)
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (from NetGalley)
  • The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abé (from NetGalley)
  • The Amber House by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, and Larkin Reed (from NetGalley)
  • Asher’s Invention by Coleen Kwan (from NetGalley)
  • His Heart’s Obsession by Alex Beecroft (from NetGalley)
  • Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley (from NetGalley)
  • Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (from NetGalley)
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (from NetGalley)

Won

  • For Darkness Shows the Stars ARC by Diana Peterfreund plus tons of bookmarks (I think some giveaways might be in order) (Thanks to Diana!)

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 Authors I’d Like To See On A Reality Show

1. George R.R. Martin on Survivor

Considering how fond Martin is of killing off his characters (particularly those I actually happen to like), I’d get a kick out of seeing how long he would last before getting kicked off himself.

2. Stephanie Perkins on Project Runway

If Lola and the Boy Next Door convinced me of anything, it’s that I would love to see all of the fashions that Perkins described hit the runway for real.

3. Neil Gaiman on Face Off

Gaiman’s imagination seems to have no bounds, particularly when it comes to describing the strange and unexpected. I would love to see what crazy creatures he would come up with on this special effects makeup show.

4. Sarah Addison Allen on Top Chef

Allen’s descriptions of food culture set the perfect tone for her evocative, whimsical stories. I’ve lusted after so many of the dishes described in her stories, so I’d like to see her come up with some new culinary masterpieces.

5. Maria V. Snyder on Hell’s Kitchen

In contrast to Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen is louder, bawdier, and seemingly more cut-throat, so perhaps Snyder could put some her poisons knowledge to the test and cut back on the competition. (Of course I’m joking…sort of…)

6. Rob Thurman on Fear Factor

Thurman is one tough chick, as her kick-ass characters attest. I’d love to see how far she could make it, and whether she would ultimately succumb to chickening out or getting grossed out.

7. John Green on The Real World

Judging by his vlogs, it’s clear that Green is one of the most likable and hilarious people on the planet. I’m not even sure if The Real World is still on air (I suspect it isn’t), but I would resurrect it just to see more of A Day in the Life of John Green.

8. Seanan McGuire on American Idol

I’ve not actually heard any of McGuire’s music, although I’m aware that she has released several albums. It would be great to see someone mix things up on Idol for once, and perhaps drop a few hints about one Toby Daye in the process.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, since I don’t tend to watch much reality television.

Meandering Around the Interweb

In my various hours of wandering through book blogs far and wide, I’ve come across some pretty fantastic posts lately, so I thought I would spotlight my favorites. Hopefully I can make this a semi-regular feature, although my laziness will test the bounds of my determination to do so, so stay tuned for now.

  • The Final Battle in the YA Fantasy Showdown was a delightful bit of wordplay between Howl from Diana Wynne Jones’s Castle series and Gen from Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series. I know that these two ladies were mutually inspired by the other’s writing, so it’s wonderful to see what a meeting between these two unreliable characters might have been like.
  • While I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy of Kristin Cashore’s Bitterblue, this series of letters among Bitterblue, Katsa, Po, Raffin and Giddon set post-Graceling whets my appetite and makes me want to reread the first two in the Seven Kingdoms series.
  • Justin Gustainis recently wrote a pithy post about the tenable distinction between urban fantasy, paranormal, horror, and all the supernatural genres that fall in between.
  • After reading Cath Crowley’s Graffiti Moon earlier this year, I immediately went in search of all of the fabulously described pieces of art that pepper Lucy and Ed’s narrations. Luckily, Adele at Persnickety Snark had already managed to track them all down.