Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: What book(s) have you read that you’re secretly ashamed to admit?

I feel rather sheepish when I admit that I quite enjoyed the Twilight series on the first go-around (and they still remain on my bookshelf). Thankfully, I never feel the urge to reread them. Many of the historical romances that I’ve read throughout the years have caused me shame, but that’s usually due more to the fact that so many of them have embarassing covers than to the actual content.

I don’t tend to feel much shame for the books that I read. I’m an advocate for my reading choices, for the most part; as long as you’re reading something, I usually find that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Usually, the only times that I feel reticent to admit to reading something is after popular culture attaches a media-related stigma to it. I never felt that Meyer’s writing was stellar (or even good), yet I would have had no problem admitting to reading the books before the movie franchise reached epic heights of teenage obsession. Now, I’m a bit more hesitant to reveal my association with the series not necessarily because of Meyer’s abilities, but rather because of the ridiculousness that the films represent. Still, I’m a proponent of pride in reading, whether your choice winds up providing true literary merit or something more akin to shallow entertainment.

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 You’d Like To See Made Into A Movie

1. Nightlife by Rob Thurman

Filled with wry humor and things that go bump in the night.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

A romcom with substance, this one would entirely depend on the soundtrack and choice of actors.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

I adore cloak and dagger type fantasy, and this one has it in spades, with a kick-ass heroine to boot.

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This one would be all atmosphere and sparse dialogue and muted colors, and it would be beautiful.

5. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

I vote for this one simply to see one of my favorite and most feared villains come to life on the big screen.

6. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

A fresh gothic romance whose visual elements demand cinematic attention.

And three that I wish had been made into better movies.

7. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Alright, I admit it; I actually liked the first one before all the hype. It’s by no means literary gold or the portrayal of a healthy relationship, but it was romantic, and I envisioned it playing out like an indie film.

8. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The Neverwhere in my head is a wild and expansive thing, and the BBC version failed its surreal promise.

9. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

I understand that the sixties were a time apart film-wise, but this truly eerie classic calls for an update that allows the horror elements to shine.

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 That Were Totally Deceiving

I’ve only got seven this week; I guess I’m difficult to fool.

1. Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling

Had I allowed myself to judge this series by its mid-nineties covers, I might not have picked it up. Thankfully, I owe it to my fellow bloggers for setting me on the track that led to picking up Luck in the Shadows, and Flewelling’s series now ranks among my absolute favorites.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

It seems that Perkins’ first effort relied largely on recommendations by the blogging community urging people to pick up this seemingly frothy novel. Anna‘s rather unfortunate cover and title were off-putting to many, but with a bit of prodding we discovered a surprisingly well-rounded heroine whose story is both relatable and charming.

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

When I first flipped through this book, I was convinced that I would have nightmares for weeks if I allowed myself to read it. After finding it for a dollar at a library sale, I couldn’t resist giving it a shot, and was shocked to find the story rather mild in comparison to its provocative visual elements.

4. Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi

I swiped this title off the free shelf at a local bookstore, and based on the classic Scholastic cover and brief blurb, I was expecting a two-dimensional children’s take on the American Revolution. Yet I was quickly absorbed into a story whose multi-faceted and nuanced narration belied a depth I’ve rarely come across in children’s literature.

5. The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Based on Meyer’s previous efforts, I had pretty low expectations going into this one. By the two-hundred page mark, the slow pace and tedious narration almost convinced me to throw in the towel, but I persevered. Meyer’s writing might be saccharine and maudlin at times, but she sucked me into Wanderer’s world and left me a blubbering mess by the end.

6. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

This title screamed chick lit, but I’d seen it mentioned on several blogger lists so I decided to give it a shot. Cal and Min swept me up in their witty banter from the first page, and by the last, Crusie had claimed a place as one of the few authors whose book I hugged upon finishing it.

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

One would be forgiven for assuming that Turner’s books are simple children’s adventure stories; they are after all found in the youth section. But take nothing for granted when it comes to Turner’s writing. To say more would spoil the experience.