Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most!

As always, "Top Ten Tuesday" is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish. Check them out!


1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My favorite book. EVER. There is so much to be gained from reading this one. It is an absorbing read for a kid, but it is amazingly rich for adult readers, too. I love it.

2. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling. I admit, the first two books weren't that exciting on my first read, but I love the series starting with book three. From there on out, it is my addiction!

3. The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas. This book is so crazy, but I LOVE it. It involves parallel universe theory and all kinds of crazy elements. So good!

4. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I've discussed this one on the blog before, and most of you have already read it (just like you've read the HP series!), but it is worth saying that I think this is one of the most important YA series ever written. I love it.

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Like Southern Gothic?? Yes, please! This book is one of my favorite books ever because of the atmosphere and characters. LOVE IT.

6. Darkroom by Lila Quintero Weaver. Darkroom is a graphic novel on par with To Kill a Mockingbird. You definitely need to check it out. Wow.

7. Bleak House by Charles Dickens. My favorite Dickens novel EVER. I know some people groan at the thought of reading it (it is really long), but I love this one. I love the writing and the characters.

8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Need a side of crazy to go with your romance? Then this one is for you. I used to think this story was so romantic, but after reading it several (*cough*...more like five more...*cough*) times, I am of the opinion that Heathcliff is one of the most pathetic male leads I have ever seen...and Cathy is totally insane. What a pair, huh? Still, I love this book.

9. How to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling. I LOVE this historical romance! It was the first one I ever read by Vicky Dreiling (who is also one of the most awesome people EVER). I laughed so much in this one (and it takes a lot to make me laugh). I also really liked the romance in this book. It was just what I was looking for in a regency!

10. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. I can't say enough good things about Into the Wilderness. It is a retelling, in some ways, of The Last of the Mohicans. I love, love, love this book. And, if you like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, you will love that Jaime and Claire make a cameo! This is such a good story. I enjoyed the second book, too, but I really couldn't get into the rest of the series. Still, this book is good enough on its own to enjoy. READ IT!!!

Working, working, working

What a crazy month! I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the magazine still isn't out of the door. Rest assured that when it is, I will be indulging in a couple of adult beverages. :)

Other items of interest:
--Jeff, my cousin, is fully integrated into basic combat training at Ft. Sill! We received our first letter from him yesterday, and I teared up while reading it. It was so great to hear from him. He is doing well!

--I am reading so many things right now, but probably the next book that I will review will be on this blog. I am reading Outlander (read it years ago...I have't read the rest of the series, so I needed to refresh). I am discovering so many great things about it that I didn't notice when I was nineteen...and I am noticing so many bad things about it that I didn't notice when I was nineteen! Anyway, it is still a great story and an absorbing read, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

--I will begin a book club discussion on Goodreads very soon. Our book club--the Neo-Victorian book club group--is reading The Crimson Petal and the White. If you haven't read this book yet, you should!

--I am participating in an online class with a former professor of mine, and our next assignment is to read On the Road. So, I will be posting about that soon, too.

So....as you see...I have been super busy and reading a lot! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

As a side note:

Please send good thoughts/prayers to two of my family friends and one of my little cousins. Each one of them is suffering from a form of terminal cancer. I wish scientists could find a way to rid the world of this disease.

On the bedside table...

Here is a preview of what I am reading right now...

I am rereading the HP series (Pottermore sealed the deal). I also decided to pick up (FINALLY) The Hobbit. I have never actually read anything by Tolkien. I still can't get used to the hobbits' hairy feet, but I am actually enjoying this book.

I will take a photo of the actual book pile on my bedside table tonight...but this will have to do for now. :)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Pottermore. Yes. I caved.

So, in my renewed obsession with all things Harry Potter (well, okay, let's face it...the obsession has never gone away), I decided to log on to Pottermore during my lunch hour. Holy cow. What a mistake! I spent forever on there! I set up an account when it began, but I was a bit jaded by its purpose at the time. I just saw it as another way for JKR to make money (not that she shouldn't, but I was afraid there would be pointless crap on there).

But today I set up a new account!! Now that I am also totally obsessed with all things digital publishing related, I find this site absolutely AMAZING!!! It is awesome! And it really does provide a great interactive reading experience for kids new to the series as well.

The little girl who lives next door to me just started the series, and today, when I logged on, I thought about her and how cool it would be for her to get on this site. She can totally live out the books as she reads them, finding out new information and deleted scenes, collecting items for play, and making potions....all kinds of awesomeness!

The site is also wonderful for former readers, if you have the patience to get through the intro chapters you explore in book one. I love finding out the extra info (and, I must admit, making my first potion ROCKED!!).  I am curious to know how the Snape content will play out. The site has new content added regularly (of course, you can buy your ebook versions of the Potter series there as well), and it will take me a really long time to work through it.

It is a totally new aspect to fandom, because there seems to be a really strong community around it. I dropped out of the HP fandom for a while (though I continued to read fanfic), but talking with the little girl next door, playing on Pottermore, and, consequently, downloading the first book off the site has filled me with that old excitement!! I really want to go to another convention now!!! (Can't afford it, though...RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference this year!)

So, check out Pottermore. See what you think.

PS: I was sorted into Ravenclaw. I am so happy!!!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A Harry Potter Re-read?

I am getting the urge to read the Harry Potter novels again. This could prove dangerous. :)