Goodreads Reading Challenge – June 2016

Well, the year is officially half over (yikes!) I’m almost halfway through my goal of reading 30 books in 2016 though so that’s good! Here is what I read in June:

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Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher: Oh, this book. This book is well reviewed on Goodreads and I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. Here is a quick blurb:

              A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

              A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

             She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I do think that it’s well-written and it kept my attention. BUT…we are supposed to eventually sympathize with Ty, the man who kidnaps Gemma, because he’s (a) really attractive, (b) had a rough childhood, and (c) doesn’t rape her, etc. Nah. He stalks her for years (creepy) and then drugs and kidnaps her (creepier.) I just really really didn’t feel bad for or like Ty at any point. But lots of people on Goodreads feel completely differently so it’s probably just me!

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The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau: This is a YA dystopian book and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I think if you enjoy books like The Hunger Games or Divergent you’ll enjoy this one. The Testing is the first book in a trilogy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next two books are also good.

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Shizzle, Inc. by Ana Spoke: This book is pretty darn funny. It’s an indie title and I was really entertained by it. To me it had sort of a Janet Evanovich vibe, because there are some super zany characters and one-liners. This gives you an idea of the main character, Isa:

“The hurt feelings of last night didn’t seem as immediate in the morning light, but it was important to give Tara an opportunity to admit that she was wrong, and that I’m hot enough to seduce billionaires and cops.”

Isa is totally (I mean, really truly) clueless so some readers may find that irritating after a while but I found it amusing and look forward to the sequel!

That’s it for me – what did you read in June?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Freebie Week!

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This weeks’ Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie week!

I’ve decided to pick a previous TTT topic – Top Book to Movie Adaptations!

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1. To Kill a Mockingbird – This is one of my all-time favorite books AND one of my favorite movies. I think they did such a great job with the casting of this film; I can watch this movie over and over.

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2. Pride & Prejudice – Confession: I am a total sucker for all things P&P! I enjoy most adaptations of this novel. I just really enjoy the story and characters!

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3. Little Women – I absolutely adore the film version with Winona Rider and Christian Bale (any other Christian Bale lovers out there?) I like to watch this at least every other winter!

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4. Harry Potter – Okay, of course I’m putting this on the list. I mean, come on!

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5. Stephen King Adaptations – I’m cheating here but there are SO MANY great film adaptations of King novels. I’m thinking particularly of Stand By Me, Carrie, and The Shining, just to name a few!

Honorable mention to Gone Baby Gone/Mystic River/Shutter Island – film adaptations of Dennis LeHane books tend to be pretty darn good, in my opinion!

You’re turn! What are your favorite adaptations?

Top 5 Wednesday – Literary Fathers

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It’s Top Five Wednesday time! Click here to join the Goodreads group!

In honor of June 19 being Father’s Day, this week’s topic is Favorite Literary Fathers/Father Figures!

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1. Will Freeman in About a Boy – He’s not your typical father figure but I think it still counts! If you haven’t read About A Boy I highly recommend it!

Will Freeman may have discovered the key to dating success: If the simple fact that they were single mothers meant that gorgeous women – women who would not ordinarily look twice a Will – might not only be willing, but enthusiastic about dating him, then he was really onto something. Single mothers – bright, attractive, available women – thousands of them, were all over London. He just had to find them.

SPAT: Single Parents – Alone Together. It was a brilliant plan. And Will wasn’t going to let the fact that he didn’t have a child himself hold him back. A fictional two-year-old named Ned wouldn’t be the first thing he’d invented. And it seems to go quite well at first, until he meets an actual twelve-year-old named Marcus, who is more than Will bargained for…

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2. Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird – I’ll be surprised if the majority of bloggers don’t put Atticus on their list! I haven’t read Go Set a Watchman – I think that may change my view of Atticus a bit? Have any of you read it? And yes, I picture Gregory Peck when I read the book!

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3. Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables – I know I’m constantly referencing this book but I can’t help myself.

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4. Hans Hubermann in The Book Thief – The first time I read this I couldn’t get into it and stopped after a few chapters. The second time around I absolutely loved it! I’m pretty sure I went through an entire box of tissue by the time I was finished. The relationship between Hans and Liesel is great.

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5. Baba in The Kite Runner – I’m a huge fan of Khaled Hosseini (does anyone know when he’ll release another novel?) This is one of those can’t-put-it-down books.

Your turn! Who are some of your favorite literary fathers/father figures?

Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Character Names!

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This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is a fun one – Favorite Character Names!

Years ago I briefly worked in a call center and got a kick out of some of the names people had (Kim Schlim and Cinnamon Stickle were my personal favorites – actual legal names, btw.) Here are five of my favorite literary characters names!

1. Huckleberry Finn

2. Ponyboy Curtis (followed closely by Sodapop Curtis)

3. Beloved

4. Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes

5. Holly Golightly

And honorable mentions go to basically every single name in any Harry Potter book!

What are your favorites?

Tuesday Talks – Favorite Book Quotes!

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It’s Tuesday Talks time! Check out the Tuesday Talks Goodreads page to join in the fun!

This week’s topic: Favorite Book Quotes

This is such a fun topic but also really hard (how do I pick just a few?!) I’m going to list four, in no particular order, otherwise I’ll spend my entire day doing this 🙂

1. “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” – From A Girl I Knew by J.D. Salinger

2. “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?” – From Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

3. “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

4. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” From Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

What are some of your favorite book quotes?

Liebster Award!

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I’m so excited that Nancy from Graphic Novelty2 nominated me for a Liebster Award! How cool is that?!

Graphic Novelty2 is a great blog so make sure to check it out! There is a super helpful list of Graphic Novel recommendations for those, like myself, who are somewhat clueless about such things. I think I’ll give A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld a try based on this list!

The Liebster Award is passed around the blogging community as a fun way of getting to know each other. Here is how it works – once you get nominated:

  • Thank the nominator and link back to their blog
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
  • Nominate other bloggers that you think deserve the award
  • Write 11 questions for your nominees
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them

Okay, so I would like to nominate:

  • Pearl Kirkby at Old Fossil Writes – I loved her short story Folded Dreams and her blog posts are great! (Plus she gets bonus points for loving Harry Potter and Midsomer Murders!)
  • Nicole Sewell – Nicole is a blogger and amazing YA writer!
  • Jaed at The Bibliophile Blogs – She reviews a lot of great books and also posts about her travels!
  • Arvenig: Arvenig’s blog is full of book reviews, author interviews, and the occasional giveaway!

My 11 questions for the nominees:

  1. What is your favorite book or series?
  2. If you could do anything (other than your current job) what would you do for a living?
  3. What is your favorite book-to-film adaptation?
  4. What is your least favorite book-to-film adaptation?
  5. On average, how many books do you read each month?
  6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  7. What is the most challenging thing about blogging?
  8. Why is your blog focused on the topic(s) you’ve chosen? If you can write about anything, why this?
  9. How often do you blog?
  10. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  11. Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

And here are the answers to the questions Nancy gave me!

1) What is your favorite book or series? My favorite stand-alone book is probably To Kill a Mockingbird; I can’t remember how many times I’ve read that – I really love it! My favorite series is hands-down Harry Potter. I’m a little obsessed.

2)  What are you thankful for? My family! I’m super thankful that I have an awesome husband that will go on random adventures with me J I also have great parents and in-laws. I love ‘em! Oh, and my two rowdy dogs!

3)  What is your favorite place to visit? That’s a tough one! I always have fun in Vegas (I got married there!) I also really love D.C. and am super excited to be visiting again in a few weeks.

4)  Why is your blog focused on the topics you’ve chosen?  If you can write about anything, why this? My life has always involved books, reading, and writing in one way or another. Along with loving to read in my spare time, I have an English degree as well as a Library Science degree. I’ve worked in various bookstores, for a publishing company, and now I’m an archivist at a library. It just seemed like a natural fit for me to have a book blog.

5)  Do you hold yourself to any sort of schedule as a writer (for example, you must write a little every day or do a post every week) or do you just write when you feel so moved?  Why is this your chosen path? I have a lot of fun doing the Top Ten Tuesday, Top 5 Wednesday, and Tuesday Talks so I try to do at least 1-2 of those a week. I also make an effort to write a recap of the books I’ve read each month. Otherwise I just write when a topic pops into my head.

6)  What would you like to learn how to do? I would love to learn sign language. I know the alphabet but that’s it. We have a school for the deaf and blind where I live and we often get hearing impaired patrons at the library where I work – it would be great to be able to communicate with them more effectively.

7)  What do you want people to remember about you? I would like to be remembered as a kind person.

8)  What is the reason behind the name of your blog? It’s just my name! I suppose I could have been a little more creative with that one J

9)  Which post on your blog would you like to have gotten more readership? I’m always surprised by which posts get a lot of likes and comments. I’m not sure that I have a particular post that I wish had more readership. I am always thrilled when people like my posts though!

10)  Has there been anything challenging about blogging since you’ve started writing for an online audience? The biggest challenge is probably finding time to blog. It was also difficult at first to build an audience and jump into interacting with other bloggers since I didn’t know what on earth I was doing. But I’m getting better!

11)  Lastly, what have you found to be the most rewarding part of blogging since you began your writing venture? I’ve added so many books to my to-read list based on blogger’s recommendations, discovered some great indie authors as well. It’s just great to hang out (virtually) with other book nerds!

Thanks again to Nancy at  Graphic Novelty2 for the Liebster nomination – what a wonderful surprise!