Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books that Have Been On my Shelves Forever & Haven’t Read

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Oh hey hey hey!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  For anyone who isn’t aware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and each week has a different topic.  This week is actually a FREEBIE week, where you can make up your own topic, or do a topic that you’ve missed in the past.  TTT has been around for MUCH longer than I’ve been blogging, so I wanted to pick up a topic from the past, hence – Top 10 Books that Have Been On My Shelves Forever & Haven’t Read.  This gives me a chance to briefly talk about a few of the books I haven’t mentioned lately (if at all), so I’m all about it.  Let’s just jump into it!

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  1. A Deeper Love Inside – Sister Souljah:  This is the sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever, a book that I read and LOVED in high school.  I think I’ve been afraid of a letdown in the sequel, but I definitely want to get to this soon, if only as an excuse to re-read The Coldest Winter Ever.
  2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky:  I committed the cardinal sin here and watched the movie before reading  the book.  I loved the movie, and have been promised by several people that I will enjoy the book too, so I’m looking forward to it!
  3. Quiet – Susan Cain:  This is a non-fiction book about the power of introverts.  As a self-proclaimed introvert, it can sometimes seem like the world isn’t set up for us to thrive, and this book addresses that and gives introverts some insight into the power that they can have.  I have started this book, but am only about 50 pgs. in, so it’s about time for me to pick this back up!
  4. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins:  This is a book that I have on my PopSugar Reading Challenge List, so I will probably get to it soon, but I’ve had it on my Kindle since it first became a big deal, but I haven’t read it yet.
  5. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit:  This is a nonfiction book, written on the topic of mansplaining, and while I’ve had a bit of experience with this, I’m interested to see where this book goes and what I can learn from it.
  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot:  I have heard so much about this, have owned it for at least 2 years.  As with all of these books, I want to get to this soon, but I’m still  making no promises!
  7. Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch:  The main reason I haven’t read this yet is because I’m avoiding a lot of first books in a trilogy/series so that I don’t  have to rush out and buy the sequels, but I was really interested in this when I bought it, so I might give in soon…
  8. The Quantum and the Lotus –  Matthieu Ricard, Trinh Xuan Thuan:  I have started this book, and already knew that it would be something that I read over time, but I haven’t picked it up in awhile, so it might be time to give this book a little love.  It’s nonfiction, and about the connections between  science and religion; specifically between science and Buddhism.
  9. Tandem – Anna Jarzab:  This was in my first ever BookOutlet Haul, and I didn’t know when I purchased it that it was the beginning of a trilogy, so much like Snow Like Ashes, I have put this off but really want to get to it relatively soon.
  10. Death By Black Hole – Neil deGrasse Tyson:  I am HUGELY interested in outer space, the universe, the possibility of a multiverse, etc., and so I am really looking forward to this nonfiction book, all about black holes and other “mysterious” things about outer space.

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Ok all; thanks so much for reading!  Let me know what you all are reading, and what you think about these books if you’ve heard of/read them!

See you all in the next one!

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Lily and the Octopus: A Review

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Back at it again with another book review!

Greetings all!  Today I will be reviewing Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley, which came out on June 7th of this year.  I received it for free from a Goodreads Giveaway, and providing an honest review was encouraged.  Most of what is written here was initially posted as a Goodreads review, but I’m adding a (very) few thoughts as well.  I entered this giveaway not knowing a whole lot about the book, except that it sounded interesting.

It is hard to review this book because so much of it can be considered a spoiler. I can tell you that for most of my reading experience with this book, I was wholly confused. I understood what was happening, for the most part, but I didn’t understand why (much like you may feel reading this review). I could not connect with the main character, Ted, for most of the book, and had a lot of problems with his family and friends for much of the book because of things I felt they left him get away with. At the end of the book, I realized that the people in his support network were simply seeing him as a whole person going through a tough time, while I could only see him the way that he presented himself -which, to me, was EXTREMELY 2-dimensional.  I think that the author, in trying to show how important the central topic of the book is to Ted, made him seem very flat and not relatable. For most of the book, I thought he was mentally ill, and I’m still not entirely sure that he isn’t, but it was not at all addressed.  I would have no problem with a mentally ill character, but the lack of discussion around this makes me think that this wasn’t the case.  If it were, it probably would have lent itself to a more dynamic and complex story, but again, I think Ted just wasn’t written well.

In terms of the story itself, there were parts of this book where I laughed, parts where I cried, and parts where I wanted to throw something at the wall (I did not entirely rule out having that “something” be this book). The last 50 pages of this book redeemed it for me, and helped me to make sense of what I had read. I think much like with many of life’s truest emotions, coming out the end gave me the perspective I needed to understand and appreciate everything that this book had taken me through.

I don’t know that I would widely recommend this book, because I don’t think it’s for everyone. However, I think I would be able to recognize a soul who needs this journey, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those folks at all.

I gave the book 3 stars because I had high and low points with it, but I do think that it has given me a lot to think about and to try to understand, so I’ll always be grateful that I read it.

Thanks for reading!  If you’ve read this book (or want to), let me know your thoughts.  Catch you all in the next one!

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far

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OMG!

It’s been FOREVER since I last wrote a blog entry, and I am SO sorry!  I have no excuses other than…  you know… life, but I’m back and ready to jump back into the swing of things!

Before I get carried away, let me remind you all that Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so definitely check them out if you’re interested.  And with that, I’m going to go ahead and jump into this week’s topic.

The topic of the week is: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far.  I have been consciously trying to read more books from my TBR (remember the Mount TBR Challenge?), so I haven’t read too many 2016 releases, but I will also include a few books that I want to get to that have already come out, as well as some that I’m looking forward to that are coming out after this post goes up.  Here goes!

2016 Releases I’ve Read (and LOVED)

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  1. The Rule of Mirrors – Caragh M. O’Brien – I’ve talked about this before a bit; it is the sequel to The Vault of Dreamers, one my favorite reads of last year.  It was a GREAT second book, especially considering how the first book ended.  I won’t say much about it since it’s a sequel, but if you like YA psychological thrillers with a very cerebral feel, I suggest this series.  The third and final book is HIGHLY anticipated on my end.  (Rating: 4 stars/5)
  2. Morning Star – Pierce Brown – I have raved about the Red Rising trilogy enough here to last a lifetime, so I won’t go into detail, especially since this is the final book in the trilogy, but I *will* say – if you haven’t read this trilogy, I suggest you drop what you’re reading (unless it’s for school/work) and get to it!  My review of the series is here.  (Rating: 5stars/5)
  3. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare – This is the beginning of the third official series in the Shadowhunter world.  You have most likely heard of this, even if you haven’t read it.  It’s the beginning of a trilogy, but continuing a larger set of stories, so not too much detail here either, but I really enjoyed this book; more than I thought I would, honestly.  There is one main theme/trope that I am OVER (especially from Casssandra Clare), but even though it’s a MAJOR plot point, the rest of the book more than made up for it.  (Rating: 4.5stars/5)

2016 Releases that I Haven’t Yet Read, But Am Anticipating (Already Released)

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  1. The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson – I have only read one Morgan Matson book (Since You’ve Been Gone), but I really like it, so I’m excited for this.  I recently bought Second Chance Summer, so I’ll probably get to that before this one, but I’m still very ready for this one!
  2. Murder – Ella James – I read Sloth by Ella James (and yes, she is writing books based on the Seven Deadly Sins), and it was SO good.  A very tiny bit convoluted because of all the twists and turns, but I like that, so I’m hoping there is a bit of that in this book as well.  Which I’m 115% sure there will be.
  3. A House for Happy Mothers – Amulya Malladi – I haven’t heard anything about this book, but I have a Kindle, and participate in Kindle First monthly – basically you get a book that is being released soon for less than $4.  I don’t remember what this one is about too much, but I know it’s set in India, and that alone makes me super excited.  This was one of the books for May.

2016 Releases that I Am Anticipating (Not Yet Released)

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  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany – Enough said.  (Being released: July 31, 2016)
  2. Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor – I haven’t finished the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (have only gotten to the 1st book so far), but it’s so well-written and increasingly interesting, so I’m  definitely down to pick up this new Laini Taylor book. As always, the blurb basically tells us nothing.  (Being released: September 27, 2016)
  3. Gemina – Amy Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – It took me awhile to get into Illuminae (Gemina is the sequel), but I flew through the last 2/3 of the book, and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.  I hear we are following a new couple which doesn’t really make me happy, but I just…  need it.  So, yes.  (Being released: October 18, 2016)
  4. Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty – She is an auto-buy author for me, and I can’t wait for this book to come out.  She can really draw out a mystery, and generally in a way that is well-paced and the release of information is perfect (even though I get very impatient sometimes).  (Being released: July 26, 2016)

So those are the 10 books on my list this week, and I hope you enjoyed it.  Let me know what you think about any of these books, as well as the books on your list.  I look forward to hearing from you all, especially since it’s been so long…

Thanks all; catch y’all in the next one!