Yay! Another Top Ten Tuesday! (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)
I’m changing this up a bit and including
- New To Me Authors that I Plan On Looking For More of Their Books
- Old to Me Authors that I Discovered Before 2013 and Read More of In 2013
in order to make this more interesting. Furthermore, I won’t be writing too much about each book because due to December entailing an awful lot of “summary” and “yearly review” posts I end up repeating myself a whole lot more than I’d like to. Alright? Alright.
New To Me Authors that I Plan On Looking For More of Their Books
- Eshkol Nevo – I need to read more Hebrew, and since I loved World Cup Wishes (משאלה אחת ימינה) I’ll definitely be looking for more good books by this incredible man. (World Cup Wishes)
- Emma Donoghue – Discovered her through Room, which is now one of my favorite books. (Room, Landing)
- Tom Perrotta – great writing, very enjoyable reading. (Little Children)
- Mohsin Hamid – (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
Old to Me Authors that I Discovered Before 2013 and Read More of In 2013
- George Orwell – loved Animal Farm last year, read 1984 this year. (Animal Farm, 1984)
- Libba Bray – genius. Just… genius. (Going Bovine, Beauty Queens)
- John Verdon – my friend recommended Think of a Number to me last year, we both loved it. When Shut Your Eyes Tight came out she spent ages trying to get me to read it till in January she got it for me for my brithday and said “that’s it. you have no excuses.” Took me eight months to get to it, three to actually read. (Think of a Number, Shut Your Eyes Tight)
- Douglas Adams – To save y’all the repetitiveness, this guy is my inspiration, love, lord and savior. Basically. (Hitchhiker’s Guide Series 1-5, Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency, *Douglas Adam’s Starship Titanic: A Novel By Terry Jones)
- David Levithan – inspired my writing this year. (Will Grayson Will Grayson, How They Met & Other Stories)
What new authors have you all discovered? Do you plan on reading more of their books? Are there authors you discovered before 2013 and read even more of this year?
This week’s TTT topic, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR. Winter in Israel isn’t very… wintery, nor is it very long. Our seasons can pretty much be summed up into SUMMER and KIND OF COLDISH SUMMER. It’s currently in the 60s and it’s rained maybe three times, lasting no more than an hour each. So yeah. No winter. However, seasons have nothing to do with my reading and seeing as there’s a fixed TEN spots for this list the length of said nonexistent winter does not matter! Yay!
Also, I’ve just looked up the list for 2014’s Eclectic Reader’s Challenge. It’s in its third year, and so far I’ve failed the previous two, but I’m determined to complete 2012’s this year and do 2013 along with 2014 next year. This means making a plan and starting early – two things I keep not doing and keep failing because of. Here’s my list, paired with the category it fits into. 2014 is the year in which I FINALLY SUCCEED IN COMPLETING MY OWN CHALLENGES GODAMMIT. *ERC 2013 *ERC 2014
Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR
- Wish Me Away – Chely Wright (memoir, 2013)
- Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell (published in 2013, 2013)
- Wide Awake – David Levithan (lgbt, 2013)
- World War Z – Max Brooks (made into movie, 2013)
- Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks (humour, 2013)
- The Boyfriend App – Katie Sise
- Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven – Susan Jane Gilman (travel-non fiction, 2014)
- Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz (award winning, 2014)
- One Handed Catch – MJ Auch
- Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (alternative history fiction, 2014)
Failing is one of my greatest talents. I have managed to fail pretty much every reading challenge I took on this year. 2014 SHALL BE DIFFERENT… I hope. So here’s an organized plan that includes books I’ve been wanting to read anyway, which should help it feel natural, as opposed to forced, and keep me on track. Hopefully this all works.
Hey folks! Another Tuesday has arrived, and with it another The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday meme post! However, I’d decided to stray from the offered topic and to COMBINE two from the old ones I’ve never done instead! As I’ve mentioned ENDLESS times before, I haven’t been reading many series lately and so I feel like this week’s topic of best/worst series endings isn’t very relevant for me. Instead, I’ve decided to go with
Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors + Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author
And create the hybrid I’m now titling – Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors and Their Best Book I’ve Read
*best book shall be colored in a lovely blue
Let’s get to it!
- Douglas Adams – anyone who’s been following me for over a week will probably have noticed this man’s name come up… quite a bit. No need to elaborate – he’s mentioned all over my posts. The man is a genius. His writing is freaking fantastic. Books I’ve read: Hitchiker’s Guide Series (1-5), Dirk Gentley’s Hollistic Detective Agency, *Douglas Adam’s Starship Titanic – A Novel By Terry Jones – The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Libba Bray – enjoyed Going Bovine, fell in love during Beauty Queens. Bought two more of her books when I was in the US in August, can’t wait to get to ’em. Books I’ve read: Going Bovine, Beauty Queens – Beauty Queens
- John Green – his books basically define my favorite genre. Sophisticated Young Adult, I like to call it. I have to admit, I’m kind of sick of the whole intellectual teen type thing, but he just does it so well. Books I’ve read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson, The Fault in Our Stars – TFiOS (although WGWG was wonderful, but I think it’s less… likeable by most, as opposed to TFiOS which was literally loved by every human who ever read it)
- Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket – read Series of Unfortunate Events in 3rd grade, rediscovered him as a young adult writer sometime last year. Another author where the writing matters more than the plot. Books I’ve read: Series of Unfortunate Events (1-12.5), Why We Broke Up, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming – Why We Broke Up
- JK Rowling – got A Casual Vacancy the day after it came out – only b/c I assumed it wouldn’t come out in Israel the very same day it did in England. Gotta say it kinda threw me off JK – the writing was wonderful, the plot bore me to death. The week I finally gave up on it I read FIVE WHOLE OTHER BOOKS and rediscovered my Kindle and its wonders. Now I’m slightly more hesitant with her, not gonna lie. Books I’ve read: Harry Potter Series (1-7), 1/3 of A Casual Vacancy – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- Jodi Picoult – again, one I’ve cooled down with. I had a crazy Picoult stage after I read My Sister’s Keeper and then recognized her name on Plain Truth at the library I never visit and hate. After that I devoured her books, and I own nearly ten, I think, although I kind of took a break from her, she got sort of… repetative with her style and endings and I kind of lost interest – although that didn’t stop me from continuing to buy her work. Might return soon. Books I’ve read: My Sister’s Keeper, Plain Truth, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact, The Tenth Circle, House Rules – My Sister’s Keeper
- Daniel Levithan – insta-love after Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Books I’ve read – Will Grayson, Will Grayson, How We Met & Other Stories – Will Grayson, Will Grayson (I refuse to let John Green outshine him)
- Stephanie Perkins – I’ll admit, I’ve only read one of hers, but there was something really simple and easy to like about it. If I come across more, I’ll definitely check ’em out. Books I’ve read: Anna and the French Kiss – obvious.
Well, what did y’all think of my hybrid? Feel free to use it on your own blog, or create your own hybrids for those Tuesdays where the theme just doesn’t fit your needs! Share any of my choices? Have good ones of your own? Lemme know, and if some of mine were new go try them out – I gaurantee fantastic-ness for all of them!
The Monday meme, hosted by Should Be Reading, in which we… muse about stuff!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
As y’all know, I’m attempting to complete TWO Ecelctic Reader’s Challenges this year. I think this is a bit… much. I took one on last year as a challenge, but the combination of never letting things going along with OCD has lead me to repeat it this year due to my 2012 failure. (I BLAME YOU, STEPHEN KING). Anyhow, I’m redoing it, but I’m also doing the 2013 one. I really want to finish them but I have all of the… not as much my type genres left and 11 books to read in three very intense school months. Thing is, if I don’t finish at least 2012 I’m not going to do THREE next year. So I’m kind of stressed. Hm. Yeah, it’s a silly rant and a silly problem but it’s been on my mind lately. I might just try completing the 2012 one so I don’t have to drag it on forever. Right now I’m kind of stuck in my book b/c I’m not really into it. We’ll see what I do.
Anyone else struggling with challenges?
This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you as usual by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish is:
Top Ten Book Turn-Offs
This topic reminds me of the one we did a while back regarding book COVER turnoffs, though this one has to do with plots. To make it more interesting I’m also going to include certain plot-lines that usually affect my liking of certain characters.
- Cheating – I find it very hard to like cheaters in books. Tom Perrotta’s Little Children proved to me that this isn’t exactly 100% true, but I do struggle with liking people once I know they’ve cheated.
- Bad Boy Falls for Nerdy Girl – these aren’t nessecarily bad, there are just WAY too many of them and they tend to all follow the same template. Repetitive? No thanks.
- Girl’s Entire World is Saved by Guy – I mean this not in the supernatural sense, but in the oh-I’m-so-clumsy-and-weak-and-silly-I-need-a-man-to-save-me sense. (ahem ahem Twilight?) I don’t mind infatuation, I just don’t really think books that perpetuate the stereotypical weak woman needing a man are very good for promoting progress and change in society, and that’s one of the things books are supposed to do.
- Historical – again, not 100% true, but I tend to go for more modern stories. I’m not a big fan of historical fiction. I’d say most of the stories in the books I read take place no more than… thirty years ago. I like feeling like I’m in the character’s world and recognize things that relate to myself. I mean, you can “get lost” in historical novels as well, but for example one thing I found lovely in the Pretty Little Liars series was that they’d suddenly mention some famous singer or movie and I’d be like OHMYGODTHAT’SFROMREALLIFE and it was great.
- Absent Parents – at least give us an explanation! Maybe they don’t care much, work late, are busy, etc. But there is NO way a teenager spends an entire novel not mentioning them even ONCE. I know there’s a spectrum for parental involvement, but even when they aren’t there they still exist in the kid’s brain – so SAY SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
- Very Big Books – I’ve mentioned this multiple times on this blog, my downward spiral from big-book-lover child to -big-book-coward… older person. I feel like big books are this huge burden, this huge commitment and that I’ll never ever finish them. The Kindle has actually helped with that, not seeing the book in pyhsical form makes it easier mentally to take on, despite the length.
- Long Series – something I used to love and no longer do. When I read a series I read it in proper order and straight through, so taking on long series means committing to something specific for a very long time and I don’t like doing that.
- Very Long Nature Descriptions – no thanks. Everyone told me The Hobit’s full of ’em, but it turned out pretty okay. I understand the desire to create a believable setting, but sometimes it’s just too much.
- Sci-fi Books That Break Their Own Universe Rules – I’m perfectly alright with stories taking place in fictional worlds, but if there’s a set of rules in said universe YOU. MUST. STICK. TO. THEM. You CANNOT break your rules for the sake of a plot-line, even if you’re the one who wrote them. No. It makes it seem messy, not well thought through and hard to believe. Stop it.
- Tiny Font – tiny font can make even the smallest book feel like #6 Very Big Books. Why must you print so tiny? It makes me give up before I’ve even started. Plus, not a big fan of squinting, thank you very much.
So, that’s it! This was actually an interesting one… y’all should give it a go! Lemme know your answers – link, comment, whatever. Go go go!
Hey there folks! As many of you may have heard or read, this week is Banned Books Week. To honor the importance of such a week I will be straying from The Broke and Bookish‘s weekly topic, and choosing to follow in the footsteps of Words for Worms‘ idea of listing favorite banned books!
Top Ten – Favorite Banned Books (A Banned Books Week Celebration)
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes – I’ve mentioned this book here before, it’s a beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking story about a human test subject, told through his point of view. According to Wikipedia is 43rd on the American Library’s Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999. The reasons for the challenges vary, but usually center on parts of the novel in which Charlie deals with his sexual desires as the medicine affects his brain.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – one of my all-time favorites. Do we really need to mention the controversial issues here? The entire book is basically just a list of social “weak spots.” Drugs, acohol, homosexuality, sex, abuse, and all of those involving teenagers.
- My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – well, whaddaya know! Even the loveliest family-life, coming of age, semi-cancer child story can be a challenged book! This wonderful creation was 7th on the ALA’s 2009 list of most frequently challenged books because of sexism, homosexuality, sexual explicity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuitability to age group, drugs, suicide, violence. Holy shit.
- Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park – not sure if I’m supposed to laugh or cry at this one. Apparently, Miss B. made it to the ALA list at #71 for the most challenged between the years of 2000-2009, and this is because she isn’t considered as a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. I just… is this a joke?
- 1984 by George Orwell – I think the reasons here are pretty clear. Great book. Go read. You can never look at anything political the same. IT ALL FEELS LIKE A CONSPIRACY NOW.
- Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary – apparently the book was removed from some school in California because a kid came across the entry “oral sex.” We start bannin’ dictionaries – everything’s going to go downhill from here.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – violence is definitely a big issue here, so I do think it’s okay to avoid letting younger kids read it, but the message of the book is one ALL people need to understand, so banning is not the option, but monitored/supervised reading for the younger ones.
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – a favorite of mine growing up. The book deals with issues deemed controversial when addressed in a kid’s book, although that’s the whole porblem because the book discusses subjects which MUST BE DISCUSSED WITH KIDS but aren’t because they’re considered taboo. That’s really the irony of censorship in general. If you decide to hide something, chances are it’s something everyone needs to hear.
- Harry Potter by JK Rowling – too many people are under the impression that JK Rowling wants to create a generational Satanic cult.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry – probably need to re-read this. At the time I did not get the point of dystopian novels and so the end pissed me off. To be frank, I still don’t really get it. 1984 inspired a fit of rage, followed by acceptance of the ending and complete awe and admiration for Orwell dearest. I have a feeling dystopians tend to become Banned Book List favorites. Censorship is EXACTLY aimed at making… everything bad sort of just disappear.
That’s all for now. This has been a great learning experience – turns out there are SO many more challenged books than I thought. I may follow up with some more banned book themed posts this week, maybe even let it continue till the next. It’s a very important topic – seven days aren’t nearly enough. It should ALWAYS be on our minds. So, what banned books did YOU like? Or are you a rule follower and thus have a wonderful new by-the-host-topic-choice TTT to share with us all? Go ahead! Comment! Share!
Keep Calm and STOP CENSORSING BOOKS.
The weekly meme, hosted by Should Be Reading, in which we answer three questions about our past, present and future reading plans.
• What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading John Verdon’s Shut Your Eyes Tight. My friend and I both read and loved his debut novel Think of a Number and then when this one came out she read it and immediately urged me to do the same. I kept putting it off and then, in January, she bought it for me as a birthday gift and said that now I had no excuse, so now I’m finally getting around to that, also because it’s part of my Eclectic Reader’s Challenge 2012 2nd attempt.
• What did you recently finish reading?
I recently finished reading Tom Perrotta’s Little Children, which my cousin got me when she came to visit last week. It was excellent, and I’ll be checking out his other books as well. It took me only three days!
• What do you think you’ll read next?
Definitely something from my last Top Ten Tuesday post. Probably something short – my current read is over 550 pages. Maybe Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List? The Little Prince? Neil Gaiman’s new book? We’ll see. But def something for the Eclectics.
- Read questions.
- Think up answers.
- SHARE WITH ME.
HEY EVERYONE. I’ve just returned home from a week long medical course as part of my EMS volunteer work… and in four hours I leave for the airport and a two week trip in the US – THREE STATES. I’m dead tired and dead happy. I also owe y’all a post and so here I go. I’ll try and keep up my posting as much as possible while I’m away, even if I’ll have to keep it short.
Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels
Today’s topic, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels. This one’s an interesting one because when I was younger I hated reading short books and I loved series because that way I got to have the character for longer, as oppsoed to these days when I fear long books and stick to smaller, sequel-less novels. I’m not sure I can answer this very well because sometimes I want a sequel but on the other hand I feel as if there’s a reason the story ends and it doesn’t have to go on. I can think of a million characters I wish I could meet again in new stories and situations but if I try and imagine a continuance to their novels it seems off. I can’t really answer this because in all honesty I don’t know what to write. For example, I love Harry Potter but I can’t imagine it going on any longer than it already has. There’s a reason books end where they do, and I can’t really see them continue further. I think the only exception to this rule is Douglas Adams’s Hitchiker’s Guide series because with him it’s less about the characters – or even the plot for that matter – and more about the writing style. So yeah. My biggest cheat yet. I’m not even answering. Well, I am. But in my way. You get my point?
The usual three question meme brought to y’all by Should Be Reading.
- What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison by TJ Parsell, my 2nd “prison book” in a row. I don’t think this is very healthy. I read Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison in three days, watched the entire thirteen-episode series in one, and then started this. And then had a realistically scary prison dream. I think I need to take a break from these.
- What did you recently finish reading?
Like I said above, I’ve just finished Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison. These people aren’t very creative with their titles. Kind of sound the same. I didn’t write up a review, I might do so later. It was fantastic. The show is even better. GO.
- What do you think you’ll read next?
Great question. No clue. Maybe 1984? I haven’t decided yet. Maybe another prison book. I know, I know – I said I should stop, but I really enjoy them. We’ll see.
ANSWER THESE TOO.
I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages! THANK YOU THE BROKE AND THE BOOKISH.
Beginnings and endings of books can be major factors in whether or not one will continue reading or evne like the book when it ends. Like a first and last impression – a first, because it’s your first time coming in contact with said book, and a last because once you finish it you’ll never be able to experience that “first read” again. From this point on it’ll only be rereads. There’s something so wonderful about a good ending. It can make the difference between an okay book and a really amazing one. They don’t have to be powerful. Sometimes even just a simple one can do the trick.
Some of these are even quotes I’ve memorized. I’ll mark those with an asterisk (*). For example, the first and last Potter sentences. I know the very first sentence in the series and the very last. Very proud of the fact.
July 30: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books
- *But it wasn’t, and we weren’t: Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim. One of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever read, especially for a book ending. It’s on my list in my post about potential literary tattoo ideas. I remember finishing the book and just being… astounded at such a simple and honest ending for such a complicated novel.
- *Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four. Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling. I just really like this one for some reason. It’s a very simple, very exact sentence that perfectly sums up the essence of the Durlseys and, in doing so, does a perfect job of explaining the very core of the difference between them and Harry, and why their lives don’t really work very well together.
- *All was well: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling. Again, Rowling does an amazing job of summarizing. It’s funny how the last sentence to an extremely long, twisted, messy tangled plot is just three short words. It sounds as if nothing ever happened. It’s the perfect way to end a close to ten year journey – and a generation. The childhood of so many people. Rowling is telling us how in the end, when everything was cleared up, they all kept on living and enjoying the world. People died, friendships were destroyed, hearts were broken – but in the end, it was okay.
- This book begins with a plane crash: Beauty Queens, Libba Bray. This is just the first sentence in a hilarious opening that appears before the first chapter. It’s so straightforward. I love it. Lemme give you the next few as well. We do not want you to worry about this. According to the US Department of Unnecessary Statistics, your chances of dying in a car crash are about one in half a million. Whereas your chances of losing your bathing suit bottoms to a strong tide are two to one. So, all in all, it’s safer to fly than to go to the beach.
- The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World: Going Bovine, Libba Bray. The lovely Bray yet again. Although really the best sentences are in the Acknowledgments that appear on the first page. I fell in love with her through those, even before the real story started. EVERY SINGLE REVIEW FOR THIS BOOK RECOMMENDS READING THEM. In them she thanks everyone she’s ever kissed or punched and anyone who has ever kissed or punched her. She thanks the guy who once validated her parking ticket and a homeless lady who said her hair looked like a dandelion with pieces blown away. Just… go read it. Even just that, without the book.
- There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. If I remember correctly, this was definitely the weirdest book in the series. It seemed sort of out of place. It really didn’t have much of a point, so this sentence excused it from the “pointless books” section, and gave it a perfectly good reason for being redundant – it was just that. Pointless. Even Adams thought so. The book is a romance, and very different from the others. According to Wikipedia “Adams’ editor Sonny Mehta moved in with the author to ensure that the book met its (extended) deadline. As a result, Adams later stated that he was not entirely happy with the book, which includes several jarring authorial intrusions, which fellow author Neil Gaiman described as “patronising and unfair”. Makes sense. There was something I sort of didn’t like about it either. But this ending made me forgive him.
- The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This had made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams. Classic Adams. These are the kind of sentences that made me fall in love with him. Intelligent humor.
- That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year. It was cold and windy, which was normal. It started to rain, which was particularly normal. A spacecraft landed, which was not: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Douglas Adams. Same exact reason as the previous one. Adams’ writing style is just… fabulous. And it’s these quotes that showcase it in the best way possible.
- The afternoon my parents died, I was out shoplifting with Irene Klauson: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M. Danforth. No reason for this one. There’s something very alarming, yet also very calming in this one.
- The ending of The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. I’d like to meet the person who couldn’t have sworn this book was going to end midsenten