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!

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!

Books written before I was born I want to read

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, it’s all about the books written before we were born that we have read or want to read. I decided to focus my list on the books I want to read that are currently on my bookshelves. Except I am now feeling old because all the books I have that were published before 1987 are classics. Hmmm.

Farewell My Lovely‘ by Raymond Chandler (1940)

I think I received this book in a book swap some time ago and I have even written about it as being one that I wasn’t interested in reading. However, I have seen nothing but good reviews about it and now I am intrigued. I may read it one of these days.

The Golden Notebook‘ by Doris Lessing (1962)

Another book I bought that I have yet to read. However, I may do so sooner than I thought as this is on the list of future reads for the Modern Library Book Club.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn‘ by Betty Smith (1943)

I have seen this book on so many must read lists that I eventually just bought it. I figured that if I had it on my shelf I would read it. I don’t know why I haven’t yet. Even though it’s another highly rated book, I think I am afraid that I am not going to like it.

The Good Earth‘ by Pearl S. Buck (1931)

There is something about this book. I have had it on my shelves for years but I really do want to get to it.

Watership Down‘ by Richard Adams (1975)

I am going to be honest here and I bought this book originally because it was a classic and it had been on another one of those must read lists. I didn’t know what it was about nor had heard much about it. Lo and behold when I went and did my research, it’s about animals, more specifically rabbits and “bad-ass rabbits” at that. It had rave reviews. Now I want to read this book more than ever.

The Hobbit‘ by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)

I absolutely loved “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, both the books and the movies. While I couldn’t get into the Hobbit movies, but I really want to read the book. I loved Tolkien’s writing and I really want to know the story of Bilbo Baggins.

A River Runs Through It‘ by Norman Maclean (1976)

I think I acquired this book at a library book sale because for some reason it sounded familiar to me. It kept on bugging until I finally looked it up and saw that it was a movie, which I think I saw. And if the book is anything like the movie, I think I am going to like it, maybe even more.

Things Fall Apart‘ by Chinua Achebe (1958)

We are going to be reading this book in my Modern Library Book Club at some point and I can’t wait. I have heard great things about this book.

The Sound and the Fury‘ by William Faulkner (1929)

I could have sworn that I read most of Faulkner when I was a teenager, but I can’t remember anything. I just think my little brain wasn’t ready for the words of Faulkner at the time. I had to read “As I Lay Dying” a year or so ago for book club and I absolutely loved it and I can’t wait to read more of him. In fact I began to acquire his books at the local library book sales. And this one is probably one of his most known works.

The Jungle‘ by Upton Sinclair (1905)

Another book we are planning to read in The Modern Library Book Club in the next year and I can’t wait to read it. I may even read it sooner.

What books published before you were born do you want to read? Share your own Top Tuesday in the comments

New-to-me authors I read in 2020

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, was a little challenging, mainly because most of the books I read in 2020 were from my favorite authors. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it to 10 but there were a few that I completely forgot were new to me.

  1. Christina Baker Kline – I finally got around to reading “Orphan Train” last year and it became one of my favorite reads of 2020. I know that Kline recently came out with another book and to say that I am excited to read it is an understatement.
  2. Ann Napolitano – I honestly never heard of Napolitano until I had to read her newest book “Dear Edward,” which also made to my favorites of 2020. I was surprised to learn that Napolitano has two other novels out. I think I may have to check them out.
  3. Madeleine Miller – I know that many of Miller’s books have been on raved about for a few years. I’m not one to read fantasy or greek mythology but thanks to book club, I ended up reading “Circe”. I didn’t think I was going to like it and ended up loving it.
  4. Susan Orlean – Loved “The Library Book” which I acquired through a care package from friends during the COVID-19 crisis. It was another book that I thought I wasn’t going to like because it was nonfiction and ended up loving it. It even made it to my favorites list for nonfiction.
  5. Delia Owens – We had to read “Where the Crawdads Sing” for book club. Owen’s writing is absolutely beautiful and I was surprised that it was her first fiction book. She seriously needs to write another.
  6. Kristin Hannah – I know that Hannah has been around for awhile. In fact, I have been wanting to read her books for years, but for some reason I never got around to it. Thank goodness for book club because we got to read “The Great Alone” and I absolutely loved it. I totally plan to check out her other books. She even has a new book coming out later this year.
  7. Tayari Jones – I had no plans to read “An American Marriage” but then when I received it in the care package, I thought why not. I remembered all the hype about it and though I was late to the party, I wasn’t disappointed. Jones has created characters that you love and hate and weaves a story that makes you look at things in all perspectives. I am glad I learned that she has written other novels because I plan to check them out soon.
  8. Pat Barker – I had never heard of Pat Barker before until we had to read “Regeneration” in book club. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am even considering reading some of her other works, especially the continuation of this trilogy.
  9. Shirley Jackson – Why it has taken me so long to read any of Jackson’s works I have no idea. I finally got around to reading “The Haunting of Hill House” and I definitely want to read more of her works.
  10. Stephanie Garber – Ok, so I have repeatedly seen “Caraval” make the rounds in the book blogosphere. I wasn’t planning to read “Caraval” but when I received it as a gift, I figured I would give it a try. And I am sorry to say that I just didn’t enjoy it. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t read any other works by Garber but the Caraval series stops with book one for me.

What new authors did you read in 2020? Are any on this list? Let’s discuss!

TTT: Books I meant to read in 2020 but didn’t get to

For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, by That Artsy Reader Girl, I couldn’t help but cringe a little. I know for a fact, based on the number I was shy in my Goodreads challenge, this wasn’t going to be fun. Yet, upon looking back there weren’t a lot of books that I planned to read and didn’t get to in 2020. I think because I kept putting the same books on my monthly TBRs until I did read them or I just didn’t do the seasonal TBRs for the simple reason that when I make the list I don’t read them. Even so, I still managed to fill the list, because let’s face it, aren’t there always book “we meant to get to?”

I swear when this book came out last year, I was going to read it immediately. It was one of those books that just called to me. Or so I thought. It sits on my bookshelf still waiting for it’s spine to be cracked open. Maybe this year.

I was super excited when this book was released. It was on my fall TBR and I went out and bought it shortly after it came out. I still haven’t gotten a chance to read it.

You should all know by now that I haven’t gotten to this book, given that it has been on my monthly TBR for three months in a row. It’s funny because I LOVED “Homegoing”. I’m chalking it up to the fact that I’m just not ready for it yet. When I do finally sit down to read it, I am going to love it all the more.

I read “Station’s Eleven” right before the pandemic hit (ironic, huh?) and loved it (well before I thought the events in the book were really happening). Anyway, when I learned shortly after finishing Mandel’s first book that I didn’t have long to wait to read her next one, I was glad. And yet, it’s so many months later and it’s yet to be in my crosshairs. Didn’t even make an attempt to buy the book, but I am sure I can loan it from the library at some point. Just looked and all the copies are on loan.

I absolutely loved “The Night Circus” and my husband was all so nice to make sure to get me a copy of this book for Christmas 2019. So why, guys, have I not read this book yet? It sits on my bookshelf judging me. Though my husband did buy me a copy of “The Night Circus” this Christmas so I am hoping a reread of that will give me the motivation to move on to “The Starless Sea.”

I had every intentions of reading this book, especially since the synopsis sounds intriguing. Yet, another book simply kept getting in the way.

Ok so this one is no fault of my own. This was a book club read and I planned to read it, especially because it would have been a great October read. However, the book store I ordered it from, never filled the order. Nor did I get any correspondence about the order being backordered. I think it’s all but lost at this point.

This one doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria since I did get to it, but just didn’t finish it. I haven’t DNF’d it, just laid it aside for awhile. I will get back around to it at some point.

“The Orphan Train” was another book I only read this year and loved it. And ironically, her newest book came out right around the same time. I did have this book in my hand at the bookstore a few months ago and yet I put it back. What is wrong with me?

I started this one for book club and didn’t finish. Not sure why. It was really good. I guess I am just not in the right head space at the moment. I seriously do want to finish it though because people keep alluding to how good it was, and I need to know what the hype is about.

So even though I didn’t get around to these books in 2020, that is not to say that I won’t in 2021. Last year, when I did the this type of post for the books I didn’t read in 2019, I ended up reading those books. So there tis hope yet.

What books didn’t you mean to read but didn’t get to in 2020? Have you gotten to any on this list? Let’s discuss!