Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Mothers / Maternal Figures


The last Top Five Wednesday of the month! (Is April really almost over?)  As always, click the link to join the Goodreads group and see the weekly topics!

Top 5 Wednesday Topic: Favorite Mothers/Maternal Figures

little women

1. Marmee in Little Women: Little Women was one of the first “big” books I read when I was young and it holds a special place in my heart. I also love the various film adaptations. I always thought it would be fun to live in the March house.

cheaper by dozen

2. Lillian Gilbreth in Cheaper by the Dozen: If you haven’t read this book, you totally should! It is a true story and nothing like the Steve Martin movie. This book is hilarious and both parents are fun and very intelligent. Fun facts: Lillian received a BA and MA from UC Berkley  in the early 1900s and earned a PhD from Brown. She was also the first female professor at Purdue’s engineering school. AND she raised 12 kids!


3. Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables: I LOVE Anne of Green Gables – the books and the movies. Going to Prince Edward Island one day is totally on my bucket list. Marilla is one of my favorite characters and a great mother figure for Anne.


4. Mary Poppins: Does this count as a maternal figure? I’m going to say yes. Who doesn’t want to have Mary Poppins as their nanny?!


5. Mrs. Weasley in Harry Potter: Need I say more?

Who are your favorite literary mothers or maternal figures?

Top Ten Tuesday -Bookworm Delights


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Bookworm Delights


  1. Free Books! Is there anything better than a free book? If you don’t take advantage of your local library, you should!


2. Bookmarks: Especially really fun ones like this.


3. New Releases: Oh, the anticipation!


4. Book-related Candles! I recently bought a Frostbeard candle for a friend and it was a huge hit.


5. Bookstores: Buying books from Amazon is affordable and fast. But there is nothing quite like browsing in a bookstore. (This is the bookstore from Gilmore Girls, if you are wondering.)


6. Snow Days: So I can stay home and read!


7. Bookshelves: I love seeing my bookshelves full at home. And it’s fun to look at fun creative ones online as well.


8. Autographed Copies: When I worked at Borders, I used to love getting autographed copies of books. I still love it, actually.


9. Book-related clothing: I get a lot of this for Christmas. See the picture above (all from Out of Print Clothing) as an example!


10. Visiting Libraries: Okay, this sort of relates to #1 but I’m talking specifically about travel. I’m super excited about seeing the Library of Congress when I visit D.C. in a few months!

What are your bookworm delights?


Top 5 Wednesday – Books You’re Intimidated By


Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group – click the link to join the fun!

This week’s Top 5: Books You’re Intimidated By

I love to read. I have an English degree, I’ve worked in numerous bookstores and libraries,  and between home and work I’m pretty much constantly surrounded by books. Are there any I’m intimidated by? Absolutely! I love classics but there are some I haven’t even cracked the spine on. Here are five:

brothers k

1. The Brothers Karamazov: Along with the length (Amazon lists it as 824 pages) I feel like this book will just really confuse me. Maybe I’m wrong? Have any of you read – and loved – this?


2. War & Peace: Speaking of long books….Amazon lists this as 1296 pages! I don’t hate long books, I swear. But this is a seriously long book. I’ve been told it’s hard to keep track of the characters and that there are a ton of really long, seemingly unrelated passages. I’ll probably try to tackle it one day. But not today.


3.Lord of the Rings: I don’t read many books of this genre and I think that has something to do with the intimidation factor. I have a friend who insists I’ll love it so I’ll try to read it eventually (maybe.)



4. Cloud Atlas: This is a favorite for many people but I haven’t attempted it yet and I’m not sure I ever will.


5. Atlas Shrugged: I actually own this one but every time I pick it up, I immediately put it back down. Now that I think about it, my friend who insists I’ll love LOTR also loves Altas Shrugged. I wonder what books she’s intimidated by…

So apparently I’m intimidated by books that seem hard to follow and/or have the word Atlas in them!

Have you read any of these books? Am I right to be intimidated? What are your Top 5 in this category?

Top 5 Wednesday – Books with Hard Topics


It’s Top 5 Wednesday time! This Goodreads group is open to anyone so check it out!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday: Books with Hard Topics

I’m pretty excited about this week’s topic and am really interested to see what other bloggers pick. As I considered books that would fit into this category, I realized that I’ve read a lot of books with hard topics. A lot. So I am randomly picking five because choosing my all-time favorites would be way too hard.

child called it

1. A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer: This is the true story of one of the worst cases of child abuse in California. And it’s written by the child – now an adult – who experienced it. This book is not an easy read but I could not put it down. When I finished, I immediately read the other two titles by Pelzer – The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. I believe I read this book when I was in my early high school years and it was certainly eye-opening.


2. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen: Another true story, Kaysen writes about the two years she spent in a psychiatric hospital in the 60s. As with most adaptations, I think the book is much better than the film. And speaking of psychiatric hospitals and film adaptations…


3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey: The first time I tried to read this, I stopped after the first few pages. I’m not sure why because when I picked it up again a year later, it ended up being one of the best books I read that year. It’s both hilarious and heartbreaking. And I enjoyed the book and the movie, which is rare!


4. Room: If you haven’t read this, you may be familiar with the title as a recent Oscar nominated film. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I thought the book was fantastic. A woman and her son are held captive in a small room (the five-year-old boy has never been outside of the room). It is about survival, hope, and determination. Speaking of kidnapped girls, I read The Girl in the Box in middle school and it was completely enthralling to me at the time.

good kings

5. Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum: Apparently, I’ve read a lot of books about hospitals/institutions. This is about a group of juveniles with mental and/or physical disabilities living in an institution. The author is very familiar with her topic and there are parts of this book that literally made me squirm. This book is excellent but not an easy read by any means. I liked that it was told from multiple points of view – from patients, from a woman that recruits people to enter the facility, from nurses, etc.I highly recommend this one.

And because I just can’t help it, I’ll give mentions to Go Ask Alice, The Book Thief, We Need to Talk about Kevin, and My Posse Don’t Do Homework.

This Top 5 actually reminded me of when I was in middle school. I went to a bookstore and told the clerk “I want a book that will make me cry.” Without batting an eye, she pulled out three books that fit the bill. I want a book that will make me think and make me feel. These books did that.

Top 5 for next week: Books You’re Intimidated By!

Top Five Wednesday – Rainy Day Reads


It’s that time again…Top 5 Wednesday! This group, created by Lainey, is open to anyone so give it a try!

This week’s topic: Rainy Day Reads!

When I think of books to read on a rainy day, I think of comfort books – books I know I’ll love. Here are my Top 5:


1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I’ve loved this book for so long that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it. It’s like my comfort blanket.

everyone having fun

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling: This book – and Mindy – crack me up. And if it’s rainy and gloomy out, this will cheer me up!


3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: A series I never get sick of!


4. Daphne du Maurier books – While it’s nice to have books that are funny or comforting, rainy days also beg for a good spooky story! I really like Daphne du Maurier books because they tend to have intrigue and mystery. Rebecca, The Birds, and Jamaica Inn are all good places to start.

best short stories

5. Short Stories – I’m leaving this a little vague because there are a ton of short story compilations out there. I recommend starting with a compilation of the classics – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor, etc. and enjoy!

What are your favorite rainy day books? Check back next Wednesday for Top 5 Wednesday: Books with Hard Topics!

Tuesday Talks -Reading Reviews


It’s time for another Tuesday Talks! Click the link to join the Goodreads group and see the monthly topics!

This week’s question: Do you read/watch reviews before or after reading a book?

It really depends on the book and author. For example, I fully intend on purchasing and reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child without reading any reviews. I do this with most of my favorite authors.


I find that reading reviews of books I’m looking forward to actually put me off the book and I would rather form my own opinion. For example, I was really looking forward to Go Set a Watchman but read so many horrible reviews about it that I still haven’t purchased the book. (The reviews for this book were inescapable, it seems. There were everywhere!)


That being said, if there is a book that looks interesting but I’m unfamiliar with the title or the author, I’ll often check the general rating on the book before I make the purchase. If the book has a really awful rating, then I’ll read the reviews to see why people didn’t like it.

If I really loved a book, or was confused by it, then I’ll read reviews once I’m done. I do the same with movies, actually.

How about you? Do you read reviews? If so, do you read them before or after reading the book?