TTT: Books I plan to read this fall

It is officially the end of summer.. or is it? While we are starting to get cooler mornings and nights, the afternoons are still peaking between 78-80 degrees here in upstate New York. However, it may be coming to an end. Today, the high is 73 and it looks like next week, the weather is officially in the 60s – officially sweater weather.

There is a lot going on this fall in terms of life changes, so I am not sure how much reading I am going to get done in the next two months, but it’s always good to have goals. I will have more news about that soon in an upcoming post. So let’s get on with this week’s Top 10 Tuesday with what I plan to read this season.

I am ashamed at how long this book has been on my TBR shelf and I am determined to read it once and for all, sooner rather than later.

Another book that I bought and never read. I have heard mixed reactions to this last book in the series, which takes the POV of Edward. I am quite interested since I have always been on Team Edward. The Twilight books have always been quick reads for me, so I plan to knock this out in a weekend.

This is a fairly recent release, but I have already seen quite a few reviews on it, and boy have they been mixed. It seems that you either love this book or hate it. I guess I have to read it to find out. I haven’t read Michaelides yet, but there is nothing like murder and secret societies at an old university to set the tone for the season.

If memory serves me right, I was supposed to read this last fall and never got to it. I am so intrigued by this book that my curiosity is at an all-time high. I am determined to get this off my TBR this season.

This book is coming out next week and I can’t wait. Nicholas Sparks is back to writing the way he used to when he first started out and I have absolutely loved the last few books he wrote. It has made the anticipation of this book so much harder. You better believe I am buying this book the day it drops.

Murder, secrets, family drama….sign me up. I have become a Liane Moriarty over the last few years and while I have not read all of her books as of yet, I liked what I did read. Her most recent book has come out just in time for fall.

We are reading this book for November in the Metaphorially Speaking Book Club, but how could I not put it on the list? This is a coming-of-age novel about Emmaline who lives on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world with her senses. When she is thrown into the real world, Emmaline learns about love, ambition, betrayal and revenge. To understand her past, she must figure out who she is. I really can’t wait to read this book.

This book has been calling to me from my bookshelf since I bought it a few weeks ago. I have heard this book is really good and it just sounds so charming. This is definitely a book to crack open on a day when I can pass away the hours cuddled in a blanket in my reading chair.

For some reason I have a sudden urge to read this book and I keep thinking about it. I have yet to read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid but I have heard nothing but good things about her writing. I think it is time to rectify this situation.

November is Native American Heritage Month and I wanted to read something about the culture. This book came up on the list when I did some research. I feel like I don’t read enough stories about Native American culture and I am trying to rectify that this year.

What do you plan to read in the fall? Have you read any of the books on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books I have enjoyed with numbers in the titles

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, we were asked for our Top 10 books with numbers in the titles. I was actually surprised by how many books have numbers in the titles, and how many of them I have actually read. Here are the ones that I have read the most recently and have enjoyed:

What are some other books with numbers in the titles that you would recommend? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books guaranteed to put a smile on your face

When I saw this week’s Top 10 Tuesday’s prompt, I smiled to myself. If there is one gripe that we get in the Capital District Book Club, one of the biggest of the book clubs I am a member of, it’s that most of the books we read are heavy and focus on serious themes. Members have asked if we can read some more light hearted and happy books. And of course the one “happy” book that everyone picked to read, no one liked. But then I got to thinking. What are some of the books I have read that made feel warm and happy inside. Here is what I came up with.

Ok so you had to know that this was a given for this list. I used to read this every year and to this day, it remains one of my “feel good” reads. I absolutely love this book and it remains in my Top 10 all-time favorites.

This book is just so magical. Yes, Matilda goes through some hardships, but it’s those hardships that makes Matilda find the magic inside of herself and overcome the obstacles in her way. And the ending just makes you all warm and fuzzy. I want a Ms. Honey in my life and I am 34 years old!

Another magical book. I recently just rewatched the movie and I love it. Sara is sent to a boarding school when her father has to go off to war. At first, Sara is welcomed and treated like a princess. But when her father dies and leaves her penniless, Sara is subjected to work for the boarding house. However, Sara has a powerful imagination which she uses to overcome her hardships. I still cry out of happiness at the ending of this story.

This is a charming and endearing book about books. It’s a collection of letters between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer and a used-book dealer in London over a period of 20 years. I absolutely loved this book and thought Helene was hilarious the way that she would pester the book store when they couldn’t find a book she wanted. Even though Helene and the book seller never meet, they have an incredible friendship and it just shows how powerful letters can be. I seriously wanted to pick up a pen and write a letter to someone.

I will never forget reading this book for the first time (for fun) and the minute that I fell in love with it. It’s the classic love story and I am sure that it will make quite a few lists for this prompt. I think everyone knows what this book is about so what else is there to say?

The only time I was sad while reading this book was when it ended. I actually listened to the audiobook for this and I am glad I did because the narrator was able to apply the right voice. The book is a collection of letters by Annie Spence, a librarian, to the books that she likes and dislikes as well as the books that are circulated in the stacks that need to be replaced and other that have long been forgotten and need to be “retired.” I absolutely loved listening to this book.

This is a book that is somewhat of a fairy tale. Set in 1920’s Alaska, Jack and Mabel are childless and are drifting apart. Then one snowy night they run outside and make a snow child. When they wake up the next morning the snow child is gone but they discover a little girl at the edge of the wood. As they try to understand this child who seems to be out of a fairy tale, Jack and Mabel begin to think of her as their own daughter. This was definitely a magical read that made me want to hug the book to myself.

What books would you recommend that put a smile on your face? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Titles or covers that made me want to read/buy the book

I considered skipping this week’s Top 10 Tuesday simply because as of late I have been primarily reading books that have been picked by my book clubs. However, I looked over my book shelf and several books immediately popped out. These were the same books that drew me to buy them in the first place. I know that we aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover but I would be lying if I said that a colorful cover or a quirky title didn’t give me pause in a book store or the library. So here are the books that I ended up buying and better yet, even read.

As soon as I saw this book, I immediately wanted it. I honestly didn’t even know what it was about, but when it popped up in the Book of the Month queue, I added it to my box. It was almost sent to a fate that most books go to once bought, to languish on a book shelf for years collecting dust. However, this book only sat for a few months before I jumped in and I was so glad I did. It was a compelling story about two sisters who are trying to deal with their racial identity and the decisions they make over the years that affect not only themselves but each other and their families. This was a pleasant surprise.

Both the title and the cover captured my attention. I immediately wanted to know what the author meant by the “Louding voice.” I don’t think I even read the summary before I chose it for another Book of the Month box. This book is so powerful and honestly I think it’s a must read. Everyone needs the opportunity to find their louding voice.

I knew as soon as I saw this book that it was going to be a good book. I normally don’t read young adult books unless they are chosen for book club, but this book I had to have. First off, look at that cover and then the title – it has so many meanings, which you don’t find out until you read the book all the way through. I absolutely loved this book and I am so glad that I own it.

I remember where I was when I bought this book. I was taking my second walk through of a local library book sale. I needed another book to make the sale even (I think it was a 3 for $1 deal). Then I happened across this book. The cover isn’t much to look at. But it was the title that grabbed me. I wanted to know everything that this person never told me. What I wasn’t expecting was just how much wasn’t said. This book has ended up in my Top 10 lists and is one that I have recommended to so many people.

This was my Book of the Month pick last month and I picked it because something about the cover just appealed to me. I have yet to read it but every time I look at it, I itch to pick it up. It just looks so enticing. I have heard mixed reactions to the book since purchasing but I am not going to let sway me either way. I plan to get to this book before the summer is over.

There was something about the title “Behold the Dreamers” that really caught my attention when this book came out. I remember seeing a review for this at the job in the paper and immediately making a note to check it out. As soon as I could get it, I checked it out of the local library. Once again my instinct was right. This is another one of my top 10 favorite books and have recommended it to everyone I can.

So this title is definitely a tongue twister, but it definitely caught my attention. At first I wasn’t going to read it because I had heard mixed reviews, but that damn title kept pestering me. I needed to find out what it was about. It was rather a surprising story and one that I enjoyed.

To this day I can’t say why, but there is something magical about this cover. Which I guess is the point since that is what the book is about but I didn’t know it at the time. I ended up loaning it at the library and I ended up loving it. And because I loved the cover so much, I needed it on my bookshelf.

This is a book that I read because of the cover and the title. However, my like for the book stopped at the cover. I ended up not liking the story and it went into the donation box once I finished it.

So if there is one thing I am a sucker for, it’s a title that has a metaphorical meaning. You can thank “To Kill a Mockingbird” for that one. I had never heard of David Guterson before buying this book at the library but I ended up buying it because of the title. It sat on my shelf for awhile before shoving it into a carry on bag when I was going on vacation. Let’s just say that I finished it before my vacation was over.

What cover or titles made you want to read the book? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books I plan to read this summer

Summer is finally here! And with it comes a whole new TBR list of books. Past seasonal TBR reads have proven that I really shouldn’t do these lists, and yet I just can’t help myself. I think part of the problem is that I usually make the list and promptly forget about them. Well not this time. I have created a seasonal list that I have since placed in my planner so that I will be reminded every time I open it. So without further ado, here are the books on my Summer TBR.

This going to be a doozy of a read as this is 900 pages, but book club is talking about doing this over two months so I will have no excuses. I have heard nothing but good things about this book so I am quite excited to read it.

This is our book club read for July and I am quite intrigued by it. I saw this book being talked about when it first came out and had put it on a shelf in my mind, but never got around to reading it.

I have yet to read V.E. Schwab, but thanks to book club I will be introduced to her in August. With all the hype surrounding her, I’m hoping that this will encourage me to read all her other books I missed.

This book just arrived in the mail and I can’t wait to read it. There is nothing like murder and secret societies at an old university that grabs my attention. I haven’t read Michaelides yet, so maybe this will urge me to read his previous book “The Silent Patient.”

According to Goodreads, I shelved this book back in 2018. And then promptly forgot about it since its taken me three years to actually purchase it and put it on an immediate TBR list.

So this was book was on my Spring TBR but didn’t get a change to read it. I am kind of bummed that I didn’t so I am putting it on the list for the summer.

Another book that didn’t make it off my Spring TBR list so it’s moving on to this list. I have heard this is not as good as “Behold the Dreamers” but I am not going to let that stop me. As you know by now, I like to know for myself.

I just obtained this book in a recent Book of the Month selection and I can’t wait to read it, though it seems like it’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster.

If there is one book I know I will get to this summer, it’s “Broken.” I was so glad to get this book as a gift for my birthday. I was getting sucked in reading the first page and had to put it down or I would have been late to work. I really want to pick a day when I can really enjoy it. I know it’s going to be a book I read in one sitting.

I am determined to read everything by Geraldine Brooks so I was glad I found this one during a bookstore stop on my honeymoon. If there is one thing she is strong at it’s writing historical fiction. I loved “People of the Book” and “Year of Wonders” among others.

What books do you plan on reading this summer? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books that made me want to read more like it

It’s that time again for another Top 10 Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we are looking at the books that we have read that when we finished, we wanted to read something else just like it. I had to really think about this one, but I was surprised by how fast I could think of books that fit this description. That is, if I did it right.

Michelle Obama’s book was the first memoir from a former First Lady that I read and I enjoyed it so much that I became curious as to how many other First Ladies’ memoirs I could get my hand on. Their husbands are always the ones that everyone knows about and while each First Lady has that one thing that they are known for, we should know all the other things they have done. It’s my goal to start reading the memoirs of each First Lady along with their husbands in the future, though I am hoping that phrase will be switched to Madame President and First Man soon.

Speaking of Presidential memoirs, George W. Bush was the first President, whose activities I was conscience while growing up. His first term was while I was in high school and his second term finished while I was in college. So my interest in Presidential memoirs started with him. I was curious to read about his thoughts about 9/11 and the war on terror, considering that everyone else had an opinion. I needed to know what he was thinking at that time and what his rationale was behind some of the decisions that he made. And so a tradition was born that has led me to read Obama’s book, which was just as enjoyable. It remains to be seen if this tradition will skip the Trump era, but who knows. I may just get that curious.

I seriously had no plans to read “Circe” because in all honesty, I am just not that interested in Greek classic retellings. However, this became a book club read so I had no choice. And not only did I enjoy it, but I actually realized that I was being a little too harsh on the genre and I wanted to read some more. In fact, one just arrived in the mail, but that will be revealed in a later post.

This book is such a powerful book. It focuses on an hour in time during a school shooting and four characters who are in the school at the time of the incident. This book was so raw and literally pulls the reader into a scene that they hope they never are a part of. I seriously had to put the book down a few times because of my anxiety. However, when I got done reading it, I realized that I never heard of another fictional book like it, and done in such a way that it contributes to the conversation that needs to be at the forefront. I have since read another book, “Finding Jake” but I and my book club didn’t think it was that well done. In fact, I DNF’d it, particularly because it was one parent’s view from the outside, and while a parent’s thoughts and emotions are an important perspective, the one thing we all agreed about in book club was that the parent wasn’t believable. I have recommended this book to the group to see if they agree with my assessment. In the meantime, my search continues.

“Americanah” is the book that opened my eyes to the modern immigrant story and what they deal with when they come to America. I read it in 2016, right when immigration in the United States was flaring up to a whole new debate. This book helped me understand that the issue isn’t so black and white and helped me solidify where I stood in the debate. It has also led me to read many other great books including “Behold the Dreamers” which is one of my top 10 favorite books that I recommend every chance I get, as well as “American Dirt”, which focuses on immigration from South America to the US. Each book opens my eyes to the issue in a whole new way.

I would be remiss not to include “Little Women” on this list because this was the book that made appreciate the classics and go in search of more. It was the reason why I read “Jane Eyre” and “Pride and Prejudice” way before it was assigned in English class. It was the reason why I was the only one to read the summer reading assignment “To Kill a Mockingbird”. If not for this book, I think my reading of the classics would have ended once school was finished. Alas I am in a classics book club because I want to continue to expand my reading of the genre and talk about them.

This book about a single teenage mom trying to achieve her dreams and fighting to do is what people should focus on, but you just can’t forget about the food in this book. I seriously wanted to eat everything that was made. And after reading this book, I seriously wanted to read other books that incorporated food into the storyline. This book was just a pure comfort and I wanted to continue to feel that way.

So I finished this book only recently but it has seriously given me a whole new outlook on the fantasy genre. I read the genre sparingly but honestly, if I can find books that are similar to this one, I think I have my new obsession. This book made me not want to turn out the lights. This is a series I have to finish because I need to know what happens.

Seriously, when did young adult books start taking societal issues such as cop shootings against African Americans and put it into context that everyone could understand? I said it then, and I will say it again, everyone needs to read this book, because until you “experience” it, even if through the words of this book, you seriously can’t “understand” what they are going through. I thought I was passed reading young adult books but I’m learning more by reading them than by watching the news. Now find myself venturing over to the YA section of the book store to peruse the shelves.

“Brain on Fire” is a medical mystery about a woman who begins displaying random symptoms that have many people believing that she is a psychotic. Through the help of her family and, eventually doctors, learns she has a rare condition. Maybe it’s the fact that I suffer from an autoimmune condition that forced me to advocate for myself until the doctors would actually do something that this book resonated with me. Ever since, medical mystery stories have started to pile up on my TBR lists.

What books made you want to read more like it? Have you read any of the books on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Book titles that are complete sentences

It’s been a while since I did a Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl. Honestly I wasn’t going to do one this week because I couldn’t think of any quotes that fit a particular theme, at least not enough to make it worth while. But then I saw last week’s post – Book titles that are complete sentences – and I was intrigued. I wondered how many books I had actually read with titles that were actual sentences. Turns out, more than I realized. Here are some of my favorites.

“The Girl with the Louding Voice”
“My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry”
“One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”
“All the Light We Cannot See”
“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”
“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”
“Everything I Never Told You”
“The Thing Around Your Neck”
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette”
“This Is Where It Ends”

What other books have titles that are complete sentences? Have you read any of the books on this list? Let’s discuss!

Books I want to read in the spring

I can’t believe Spring “starts” this weekend. I say that in quotes because we all know that while spring arrives on our calendars, whether the weather will feel spring like is totally up to Mother Nature. And honestly I don’t really trust her given her attitude of late.

Anyway regardless if I will be able to officially put away my winter coat next week or not, the new season does affect my reading mood. Luckily this year, there is a nice mix of new and old books that I want to get to. Whether I do, will be another matter. So for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, here are the books that are on my Spring TBR. (All book covers are linked to Goodreads).

If there is one book that I am super excited is out, it’s definitely Imbolo Mbue’s latest book. I have been dying for her to write something new since her debut “Behold the Dreamers,” which is in my top 10. I read an excerpt of this and I seriously can’t wait to lay my hands on it.

I have heard nothing but good things about this book and I am so excited that this is one of the selections for book club. We are reading it in May but I may end up reading it before that.

Jenny Lawson’s newest book doesn’t come out until April but if there is one nonfiction book I am excited to read, this is it. I think she is absolutely hysterical even as she touches on real life issues. I loved “Furiously Happy” and my husband, who is not a reader, loved it too. We have officially become Lawson fans.

Ever since reading “The Orphan Train” this past summer, I have been dying to read another Kline books. Lo and behold, she comes out with a book. I haven’t heard too much about it but for that I am glad, so that it doesn’t ruin it for me.

I have heard that this book isn’t as great compared to “Station Eleven” but even so I am dying to read it. I really want to get it off my TBR list sooner rather than later.

“Strange the Dreamer” has been on my shelves since I received it through a care package. I have heard nothing but great things about this book and lately this book has been calling to me from its spot of the shelf.

This book has also been calling out to me from my bookshelf. I am not one to read fantasy but for some reason I have suddenly been wanting some fantasy in my life. I think I will be sitting down with this book soon.

Geraldine Brooks has become one of those authors that I want to read everything she has written. It started when I read “People of the Book” for book club and have since read two others – all of them I have loved. With that said, “Caleb’s Crossing” is the last one on my bookshelf I have yet to read. The fact that I have left it so long untouched remains a mystery to me.

I do want to make sure that I continue to cross off books from my Classics Book Club list so this is one I am going to try to get to sooner rather than later.

I received “Infinite Country” through my Book of the Month subscription and I really can’t wait to read it. I haven’t heard too much about it, but the reviews I have seen have all been 4/5 stars. Funny enough, Jenny Lawson herself has read this book and gave it a review on Goodreads.

What books are on your TBR? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

Spring cleaning: Books put into the donation box

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, we are doing some spring cleaning.

Over the last few years, my habit of going to the library and only purchasing books that I absolutely loved has gone to the wayside. Mainly because I am in four book clubs and sometimes it is just easier to buy the books I need than try to get it at the library. And this past year, when the libraries closed due to the pandemic, my book buying got a little out of control.

In an attempt to control the chaos and keep my book shelves from overflowing, I have started to keep a book donation box on the side. As I read a book that I have purchased or was given as a gift, I decide whether it’s worthy to stay on my shelves. If not, it goes into the box. Every few months, I then go through my shelves and start to purge any books that I don’t think I want anymore. Here are the 10 most recent books that I have added to the box.

I read this book a few months ago and was not impressed. The writing was good and it was interesting, but it wasn’t one of those books that blew me away nor one that I would revisit.

This is a great young adult read about the holocaust. Even reading it as an adult, it tore at my heartstrings, but what book about the holocaust doesn’t? Yet, now that I have read it, I don’t think I need to hold on to it.

Another fun read that I wholly enjoyed, more than I thought I would. However, it isn’t one that I feel overly close to and I don’t think I will be rereading it any time soon.

So I got through maybe a quarter of this book before I absolutely couldn’t read it anymore. I love Jane Austen but I felt that Fowler was trying too hard to fit her characters with the characters of the Jane Austen books and it just irked me. If I ever want to try reading it again, I will borrow it from the library.

This was a book club read last year and it was definitely an interesting read. The author attempts to help white people understand why talking about race is important and how to do it without saying the wrong things. However, I thought at times she was being a little preachy about it and didn’t agree with everything she had to say. While it did create a good discussion about during book club, it’s another book that I don’t feel the need to hang on to.

Ok so this book has been hyped about more times than I can tell, so when I acquired it as a gift, I was excited to read it. But I ended up being disappointed. I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters at all and found myself getting bored with the plot. I know this is the first book of a series and she is probably just getting warmed up but in my opinion, each book should be able to stand on its own. This just didn’t do it for me.

This was another book club read over the past year and honestly, as I sit here writing this, I can’t remember what Lindy West had to say. I do remember while she did make some interesting points, I wasn’t over impressed by the book. Can’t you tell?

As you all know, “Little Women” is one of my all-time favorite books and I finally got around reading one of the biographies about author Louisa May Alcott. However I was disappointed. The first half of the book was more about Louisa’s father and while he had an influence on her life, I thought the author could have focused it more on her. There was also too much description about side issues that could have been edited out. I have heard there are way better biographies, which I plan to check out in the future.

I have seen this book on so many “must read” lists. While I thought it was good, it was a story I felt that I had read before. I don’t understand why this book stands out compared to others.

Another book club read. I thought this was a really good book that keeps you in suspense and the pages turning. However, I have no desire to reread it anytime soon.

What books are you cleaning off your shelves? Are there any books on here I should reconsider? Let’s discuss!

Romance books I want to check out

So I was debating about doing this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, simply because it was a Valentine’s freebie and I honestly didn’t know what to write about. I don’t particularly lean toward romance books, except for Nicholas Sparks, so my well of favorite characters, favorite books, anything romantic or lovey dried up. But then I realized there was an endless amount of books that I haven’t read and began to think of the books that I am curious about. And as I began to check out Goodreads and look at the books hiding on my shelves, I realized there were a few on my TBR. There are also the books I want to check out because of the hype.

I wasn’t planning on getting on the Bridgerton band wagon, but I heard so much about the hit show on Netflix. So inevitably I got bored one night and began to play it. Let’s just say by the next day I finished the season and I was hooked. Then I found out it’s a book series! You know I am not one for reading a series, but this one, I got to check out. I am even tempted to just buy the whole damn series so I can just read them in one fell swoop.

Another book I have seen making its rounds that has made me a bit curious. Also I have seen the movie and while it was everything I thought it would be, I am even more curious to read the book.

I liked the Grey series… sorry, not sorry. I have been curious about E L James’ most recent book that came out. I have been biding my time. I will get to it eventually.

Can someone please tell me why I still have not read this book? I just can’t seem to finish this series. If you remember a little over a year ago, I read book 1&2 and was planning to read the third, but never did. I do want to check it out and everyone says the third book is really good. One of these days.

I was Team Edward all the way so I am excited to read the latest book in the Twilight series that is from his perspective. I have only been wondering what he’s been thinking for years now.

I have had this book on my TBR list on Goodreads for a while. I even own a copy of the book. I have seen amazing reviews, so I definitely want to check it out.

I saw the movie years ago but there is something about the book that intrigues me. Every time I see it, I always say to myself that I have to read it. I definitely want to check it out.

I have read a few of John Green’s books. I am not a die-hard fan but “Looking for Alaska” is one that I have heard about enough that I eventually want to check it out.

This book has gotten brought up as a potential read in book club and now I am curious. I have heard really good things about it.

This is one classic love story I have yet to read. And honestly I am tired of hearing about Heathcliff and not knowing who he is. I need to know. It seems like this is a book that you either love or hate, from what I have heard. I am hoping that I love it.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books do you recommend? Let’s discuss!