Top 10 Tuesday: Re-Reads

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Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010. It combines what I love most in this world into one—lists, books, and blogging. It couldn’t be any better suited for me! This week I’ve decided to let you guys know about the books I’ve read, but would really like to read again for various reasons. Let’s go!

J. D. Salinger
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Everyone loved this book when we read it in high school, but I HATED it. I found Holden to be an extremely frustrating character while my classmates related to him. I’ve heard from many teachers that it’s one of those books that you can read at different times of your life and get a completely different perspective on the characters.

Phantom Tollbooth.jpg
2. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
This is one of my friend’s favorite books, and I read it so long ago I can’t remember much from it. I know it’s a children’s book, but I’d love to see what I get out of it at this age.

3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
This is another novel I read in high school that many of my classmates loved. I think I would enjoy the novel more if I weren’t required to have read it for class so I’d love to read it in my free time.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I absolutely loved reading this back in high school, but I honestly can’t remember enough about it! I can’t wait to read it again when I have free time just for the sake of reading.

The-Mortal-Instruments

5. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instrument series was one of my favorites in high school, but it’s so complicated I forget the majority of what happened. It’s one of those books I would love to read again on a rainy or snowy day when I know I’m not leaving my bed for three hours.

Alice in Wonderland
6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
by Lewis Carroll
My grandmother left me a beautiful original edition of Alice’s Adventures. I’ve read it many times as a child, young adult, and adult, but I always discover something new within the pages. It’s such an interesting, elaborate read that I always find something new.

7.  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I read this relatively recently, but I still feel like I didn’t get as much out of it as I wanted to. This was my plane read on my way home for Thanksgiving break one year, and I never truly immerse myself in those reads. I’m always half-asleep on the plane, so I’m excited to read this when I can give it my full attention.

The Giver
8. The Giver by Lois Lowry
I despised this book in 7th grade. I believe it was due to a combination of my rebellious teenage years as well as my great disdain for anything that ended without a real ending. That being said, I’d love to give it another try. I really loved “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, which is extremely similar to “The Giver.” I believe in second chances, with books and people.

That’s all I’ve got for you this week! Let me know what books you want to re-read in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Kimberly

 

For Your Eyes Only: A Review

As mentioned in my latest Treasure Tuesday, Ryan is back for a little bit from Germany. While visiting, he finished “For Your Eyes Only,” a collection of short stories by Ian Fleming featuring everyone’s favorite spy and decided to write a review for you all.

Happy reading,
Kimberly


 

Fleming departs from novel form, still remains king
For Your Eyes Only, a collection of James Bond short stories, shows Ian Fleming is still the king of thrillers

Title: For Your Eyes Only
Author: Ian Fleming
Genre: Thriller
Quotation: “He turned the docket round and pushed it gently across the desk to Bond. The red san-serif letters, still damp, said: FOR YOUR EYES ONLY…”
Would Recommend to: anyone looking for short stories with all the intrigue of a full novel

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only is the 9th edition of Ian Fleming’s genre-defining James Bond series, falling in between Goldfinger and Thunderball. It marks a distinct departure form Fleming’s normal style of full novels. For Your Eyes Only is a collection of five short stories, including names film fans will recognize, such as From a View to a Kill and Quantum of Solace (sorry, Bond fans, the stories match in name only). Though no film material comes from the short stories, they stand alone in their own right — Ian Fleming proves that thirty pages is more than enough to pack in thrills, intrigue, and mystery.

In my personal favorite story, Risico, Bond’s adventures lead him to Italy, where a Mediterranean smuggling war heats up, leaving our hero to deal with a shady CIA informant, a beautiful Austrian fräulein, and an opiate trader out to settle a score. Like every other story, Risico develops Bond as a character while keeping the thrills coming.

In the middle of a truly incredible series of novels, this short story collection is a welcome respite and an easy read. For Your Eyes Only exhibits a collection of what a short story should be — great characters, exciting action, and an ending that leaves you wanting more. Though nothing compares to starting at the beginning, For Your Eyes Only serves as a great primer for readers looking to get into the Bond series.

A quick read that fans of thrillers will enjoy, FYEO satisfies in every way imaginable.

-RYAN
Where one burns books, in the end, he will also burn men.” Heinrich Heine, 1820

 About the Author Ryan is a student of business, politics, and German. Holiday season in Europe provided Ryan with great opportunities to eat too much chocolate at too many markets. He read nearly fifty books in 2015 and is trying to keep up the pace in the new year. Up next on his reading list is Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos, and Bill Nye’s Undeniable.

Top 5 Wednesday: Buzz Words

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This Top 5 Wednesday is all about the words. Nope, not the words in the books, but the words that get you to buy the books. You know what words I’m talking about — the buzz words on EVERY book cover that make you think, “Oh my god, I do have to read this book or my life will not be complete.” Let’s get started!

1. “Brilliantly Defies” or “Standout”
Any book worth reading, according to book jacket authors, is a “standout” on the shelves or “brilliantly defies” the genre it belongs to. There’s always that one-in-a-million book (PSST “All the Bright Places”) that really does this buzzword justice, so I’m always drawn to books that are described in this way for the one-in-a-million shot.

2. “A Real Tear-Jerker”
Anything by Nicholas Sparks. I personally love reading a book that makes me cry because it means I know WHY I’m crying. Sometimes it leaves my heart crushed, but I soldier on and keep purchasing these books that leave me in pieces by the final period.

3. “Promising Debut”
This is usually slapped across anything good by a new author. Unfortunately, they are typically a one-hit-wonder, but this one-hit portrays the best of the best. I love reading new authors and discovering new writing style.

4. “Gripping”
Reserved for novels with dark twists and turns, like “Gone Girl”, “gripping” is always likely to make me pick up a book. I love books that slap me with a surprise ending and leave me wondering what kind of mind could come up with something so dark and twisty.

5. “Provocative”
It usually pushes the boundaries about race or religion or sex roles. It’s usually the only one on the shelf, and it’s usually not that provocative. But unfortunately, I usually pick it up anyways because I’m looking for something to shake up my shelf.

Sometimes I agree with the words on the book jacket and sometimes I don’t, but most of the time I just ignore what the book jacket says and go with my gut and recommendations from friends and family.

What are your favorite buzzwords? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Top 10 Tuesday: New TBR

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Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010. It combines what I love most in this world into one—lists, books, and blogging. It couldn’t be any better suited for me! Today I’m going to focus on the new releases I’ve added to my TBR read list for 2016. I probably won’t get through them all, but it’s always better to have too many books to read than not enough.

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
It takes place in World War II and features a blind French girl and a German boy. Their paths cross and they learn how important it is to be kind to those around us. I’ve heard from many people that it’s an inspiring read and I can’t wait to pick it up.

Luckiest Girl Alive
2. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
A friend recommended this to me while I was on a trip, and I’d love to read it. It gives you the back story to why the mean girl does what she does. It looks like a book with a lot of twists and turns that keeps the reader engaged.

Fates and Furies
3. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
This book follows a married couple through all the trials and tribulations of their life together. I’m particularly interested in reading this novel because it includes different perspectives of the main characters, which we all know I love.

we all looked up
4. We all Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
This highly acclaimed novel follows the story of four high school seniors as their world’s are about to be changed forever. An asteroid hurtling toward Earth promises a great tale.

This is Where it Ends
5. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Nijkamp tells the story of a school shooting from four different perspectives. It’s 54 minutes that ultimately mean life or death.

6. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Anders
The world is ending and two old friends reconnect to either save everyone or further the destruction of the planet. This apocalyptic tale seems nothing if not interesting.

Wink Poppy Midnight
7. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Tuchokle
A story told from three perspectives with twists and turns that reveals that not everyone is as they seem. I think perspective is going to be my thing for 2016.

8. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
These are just stories of Barrymore’s life, and I’d love to learn more about her. I think she’s an inspired actress, and I wouldn’t mind jumping into her memories.

The Year we Fell Apart
9. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
A YA read featuring a young girl whose coping with her mother’s cancer — and she may not be coping that well. The story shows the reader how Harper learns to deal with her past and learn from it.

10. Harry Potter Coloring Book
Because I’m an adult, but I can still enjoy coloring.

What’s on your TBR for 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Treasure Tuesday

treasure tuesday banner1. I am currently reading “Looking for Alaska” by John Green.

2. R.I.P to Alan Rickman. He brought to life one of the most influential men in Harry Potter and he will never be forgotten.

3.

Book Quote 38

4. You’re favorite guest author (Ryan) is in town for a visit! It’s the first time we are seeing each other in person in almost six months!

5. I just read “Wind in the Willows” for my literature class and it was a surprisingly wonderful read. Beware: It’s a children’s novel, but it’s really adorable.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Fangirl: A Review

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult
Quotation: “In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”
Would recommend to: people who understand the draw of fan-fiction.

Fangirl
“Fangirl”, in my opinion, was a huge disappointment. It didn’t live up to the hype and excitement. Everyone that had read the novel had helped me set my expectations WAY too high, unfortunately.

The basic premise of the story is that twins, that have been attached at the hip since birth, are going off to college where everything is about to change. Cath (the main character) spends her Friday nights writing fan-fiction about Simon Snow (who is far too similar to Harry Potter in my opinion). Her twin sister Wren, on the other hand, spends her Friday nights at bars.

The story follows Cath through the roller-coaster of her freshman year involving issues with her Dad’s mental stability, her absent mother, boys, twins, roommates, classes — the list goes on an on.

I love that Rowell brings all these in-depth issues into the book because these are real issues that college students face these days. What I don’t love, is how many ends she left untied. There were so many intricate problems Cath faced that were interwoven with each other that Rowell just left for us to deal with in the end.

I clearly remember finishing the book. Placing it down next to me gently. And texting my friend, “What even was that ending?” I felt, and still feel, extremely up-in-air about how Cath’s life is now, if she really learned from her freshman year, if Wren is ever a character I will like, etc etc.

I will say, I love Rowell’s writing style and how easy it was to immerse myself in the story, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the inclusion of the fan-fiction Cath wrote. It bothered me for many reasons, one being that Simon Snow was much too similar to Harry Potter. Another being, it didn’t further the plot in any way, shape, or form and felt like filler space.

Personally, I don’t understand fan-fiction, so if you currently read or have read fan-fiction, you’ll probably get a little more out of the books since you understand the draw of it.

I know I have very different thoughts than a majority of people out there (everyone raved), so if you have any thoughts you want to share, I would love to hear them in the comments below.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

 

Top 10 Tuesday: Looking Back

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Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010. It combines what I love most in this world into one—lists, books, and blogging. It couldn’t be any better suited for me! This week’s topic is all about the books released in 2015 that you just didn’t get around to.

I’m actually going to focus on ANY book I wanted to read last year that I didn’t get to because the year of a book release isn’t very important to me — I just care about the book. Let’s get started!

F. Scott Fitzgerald
1. The Great Gatsby 
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I bought this in a used bookstore last year, but I always had other new books to read. This year I promise to read it!

2. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
But I finally own this, and I’m definitely reading it this year!

3. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
I also bought this collection last year, but I haven’t had the time to devote to them that I would like. Hopefully 2016 is my, and Chaucer’s, year.

Every Last Word
4. Every Last Word by Tamara Stone
Understanding how one girl handles her OCD and how being introduced to a new way of life can change everything, “Every Last Word” has been on my list since I saw the cover on the shelves.

5. Treasure Island by Robert Stevenson
I started this book last spring and couldn’t get into it. I’m going to give it another shot this year!

We Were Liars

6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Promising suspense, I know E. Lockhart won’t disappoint.

The Girl on the Train
7. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Another suspenseful journey, that I’m told simulates “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I got this for Christmas (Thanks Mom & Dad), so I’m going to tackle it in 2016.

8. The Martian by Andy Weir
I always meant to pick this up at Barnes and Nobel, but for some reason never got around to it. I heard the movie was amazing, but I’d love to read the book first.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

9. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Honestly, this looks like a really fun, YA read that I could breeze through on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I definitely want to pick it up for one of those days. I’ve also heard amazing things about it!

10. Bossypants by Tina Fey
After reading, and loving, Amy Poehler’s book, I knew I would have to read Tina’s. I’m sure it’s just as amazing!

What’s on your list?

Happy reading,
Kimberly

 

Treasure Tuesday

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1. I am currently reading A LOT for my literature class that I am taking right now.  I’ve read some sections from “Tales from 1,001 Nights” as well as many excerpts from “King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table”.

2. What books are you most excited for in 2016? Here’s what readers have told Buzzfeed they are pumped for in the upcoming year.

3.

Book Quote 37

4. It’s the second week of January! Let me know how your new years resolutions are going so far in the comments below.

5. I am currently binge-watching “Criminal Minds” on Netflix, and it is teaching me so much about the human psyche. Be careful how you treat others!

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Me Talk Pretty One Day: A Review

Title: Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris
Genre: Essay
Quotation: “I can’t promise I’ll never kill anyone again…It’s unrealistic to live your life within such strict parameters.”
Would recommend to: anyone that likes short stories.

Me Talk Pretty One Day
This is one of those books you read excerpts from in high school and people rave about after they read. It’s one of those books you may have heard about since being a kid and just haven’t gotten around to but swear you’ll read it next year. It’s one of those books that people say you’ve just GOT to read. But I’ve got to say…I wasn’t not blown away.

Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a great book – just not great enough to have heard about how great it was for almost six years.

Essentially, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is a compilation of short stories about Sedaris’ life. They are witty, imaginative, funny, and real. Most of all, they are real. They are stories that could have happened to me, which makes the book pretty appealing.

Sedaris is very upfront about his experiences and how they shaped him into the person he is now. I love that. I love that he talks about his childhood and his adulthood and everything in between. You learn where he started and where he is going. But there’s nothing else to this book.

You aren’t going to put this book down and feel like you’ve figured life out. You aren’t going to be inspired to learn a new language (he talks about learning French a lot). You aren’t going to fall in love with David Sedaris (at least I didn’t).

But you are going to have read a great set of stories that passed the time in a pleasant way.

Maybe I’m looking for too much from a book. Maybe that’s not what I was supposed to get out of talking pretty. But it’s kind of what I hoped for, especially after getting my hopes up since junior year of high school.

I don’t want you to think I hate this book. I don’t. I actually really liked it and enjoyed reading it on my plane ride back to school. I just didn’t get out of it what I expected.

So if anything, I recommend this book to anyone wanting to waste a little time or anyone wanting to pass the time at work a little more enjoyably.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Top 5 Wednesday: Fandoms

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy new year! We are starting this year off right with a discussion about our favorite fandoms. I really don’t consider myself as a part of any fandom since I don’t actively participate in them, but I obviously do enjoy a lot of series books. Here are my favorite fandoms in no particular order.

HP Series

1. Harry Potter
I think I’ve talked about it enough that you all know I’m pretty into Harry Potter (I even went to The Wizarding World for my birthday!). I’ve read all the books at least 10 times. I’ve read them in ascending and descending order. I’ve read them on planes and in trains. I’ve owned hard-cover and soft-cover. I’ve waited up for the release of the books. I even read the sixth one in two days. I am a Harry Potter fan. I know pretty much everything there is to know about it, and I always learn more every time I read it.

Trilogy

2.Divergent
I read the Divergent series last summer and I immediately became obsessed. I finished all three books in less than two weeks (I was traveling during the time) and really read into the meaning behind the books. I haven’t had the chance to read them a second time through simply because I just read them so recently, but it’s definitely on my list. I’d love to read more about the series online and find out theories people have about the characters or their thoughts on the last book.

3. Hunger Games
What high school girl wasn’t into the Hunger Games? I believe I picked up this series because it was all anyone could talk about, and I really wanted to understand the hype. I breezed through these books. They are super easy reads (I’m pretty sure they are meant for fourth graders), but an extremely deep meaning is behind every word. Despite being simplistic, Collins knows how to tug at her readers heartstrings and make them relate to the characters she writes about. I loved (almost) every moment of the series and there seriously could not have been a more perfect ending.

The-Mortal-Instruments

4. The Mortal Instruments
I absolutely loved these books from the moment I opened them. I was immersed in the plotline, devoured all the twists and turns and just couldn’t wait to get my hands on more books. I don’t remember as much from this series because SO much happened and I read it so long ago, but it’s a series I would love to dive into. And as I’ve talked about before, there is a Clockwork spin-off that I would also like to try reading again. I love the world of the Shadowhunters.

5. Twilight
The shame of all shame to admit I was a Twihard. Honestly, I always hated the movies — they are absolutely atrocious — but the books still have some charm. While I understand that Bella is probably the worst protagonist or female lead ever (sorry), the book is still a good read on a cold winter day when you just want to curl up in bed and finish something. I read this in middle school and all my friends were obsessed (I’m talking room decor, locker decor, t-shirts, blankets, EVERYTHING). I think because they were so obsessed, I never really got sucked into it, but I do think the fandom is pretty great. You will always meet an interesting Twihard with a great background story!

What are you favorite fandoms? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Kimberly