January 26

Top Ten Tuesday: Happy Hour Hangouts

January 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Freebie!!!! I sometimes struggle with coming up with a topic when the whole wide world of books is available to me. For those of you who know me, I love happy hour. It’s just a nice time to chill out with friends (and sometimes meet new friends along the way). So…..after much thought, I decided to give you my list of authors I’d love to go to Happy Hour with! Here’s who I’d enjoy getting to know a little better over cocktails:

Happy Hour YA

Alexandra Sirowy – I was able to spend some time with Alexandra at Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2015, and I enjoyed the time I spent with her. She has a very unique background that I would love to hear more about!

Trent Reedy – I met Trent at the Anderson’s YA Literature Conference in October of 2014, and he is truly one of the kindest, most down-to-earth guys I’ve met. I was so touched with his personal story, and I enjoy following him on Facebook. I’m hoping our paths will cross again someday at some point.

James Klise – Another author I met at the Anderson’s conference in 2014. James gave me so much encouragement with my writing, and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve had the chance to see him again at an event since he is a local Chicago author. I would love to chat more with him about working with kids, writing, and books in general!

Jennifer Niven – As you know, I soooooooo loved All the Bright Places. I follow Jennifer on Facebook, and I just love her appreciation of her fans, her love of her cats, her awesome bookish office, and so much more. I’d love to get to know her in person!

Happy Hour

David Arnold – Truth time – I haven’t yet read Mosquitoland despite the rave reviews and the autographed copy that calls my name every time I walk by it. But…….David was such a pleasure to meet at Anderson’s 2015, but even more…..he is a musician who lives in Nashville! I also love following him on Instagram. His love for his family is so clear!

Bill Konigsberg – I also met Bill at an Anderson’s YA Lit Conference in 2015, and I LOVED his novel The Porcupine of Truth. He is such an amazing voice for LGBT teens everywhere, and he is such a down-to-earth guy. I’d love to get to know hiHappy Hour Adultm a little more!

Liza Palmer – Liza’s writing speaks to my soul, and I just want to get to know her more. When I’m reading her writing, I sometimes feel like she is in my head! I’ve loved both Girl Before a Mirror and Nowhere But Home, and I look forward to reading more of her in 2016.

Suanne Laqueur – I’ve gotten to know Suanne a little over the last year while I read and reviewed her books. I think her writing is simply stunning, and I love how she is so open about her own personal mental health struggles. I would love to sit down and have a drink with her sometime and just connect on a more personal level!

Cheryl Strayed – Wild was such a powerful read for me, and I love the honesty and frankness with which Cheryl conducts her whole life. She is a powerful voice for so many people, and I truly believe she is making a difference in this world with her writing.

Renee Rosen – One of my very favorite authors of all time, and she happens to be local. I became familiar with Renee on a fluke while going to see another author at an event. I immediately fell in love with Renee, her writing, and just her way of interacting with her fans. I think she is awesome, and I’d love to hang out with her more often!!

Who would you like to go to Happy Hour with?

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December 20

My Favorite Reads of 2015

December 20, 2015

I thought I had hit a bad streak of non-blogging back in October, but I have just surpassed that with 3 weeks of nonblogging this month. It’s not that I wasn’t inspired – I simply just had too many other things to do! Winter break is now here, and I’m hoping to not only catch up, but get some posts done ahead of time for January! Wish me luck! Anyway, today I’m here to share my top reads of 2015 with you. These books were not necessarily published in 2015 – they were just the ones I read this year that I liked the most.

Adult Fiction

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I was so moved by this book, and I was equally disappointed with its sequel After You.

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur – Suanne was a new author for me this year, and I fell in love with the beauty and rawness of her writing. I also enjoyed the companion to this novel Give Me Your Answer True, and I will soon be starting her book that will be released in January Here to Stay.

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer – I was lucky enough to win this gem in a giveaway, and I am so glad! I was not that familiar with Palmer before this, and I am now a huge fan. I love her characters, setting, and story development.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – This is one of my favorite, heartwarming, easy-to-read books possibly of all time. I am still trying to get to the sequel!

Adult Nonfiction

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed – Oh my goodness….there are not enough words to describe my love for this one! After borrowing it from the library, I had to go ahead and buy myself a copy. I think that EVERYONE should pick this one up!

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – If you need a good laugh, then this is the book for you. I laughed out loud often while reading this one, and I love Brosh’s honesty and openness throughout!

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton – I am a huge HONY fan, and I check it out daily on Facebook. This book is the best of the best stories, and it will have you feeling all sorts of emotions along the way!

Young Adult

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – I think this is my favorite fiction read of 2015. I loved the characters and storyline, but I was really singing its praises because of the awareness it raises of mental health issues.

The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg – I so enjoyed this very diverse read. Such great characters and settings. I was a bit surprised how much I adored this one.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman – This one is my dystopian shout out for the year. I loved the concept that Shusterman developed, and the writing was well done. I am still trying to get my hands on the audio of the next book in the series.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – This was another audio read for me, and it left me shattered. You will need a box of Kleenex for this one without a doubt, but it is so, so good. I will be completing a review of this one soon!

Middle Grade/Children’s

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling – I know that I am so late to the game on the Harry Potter mania, but I now get it, and I am so on board with the rest of you. I am going to be reading book #4 over my break.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – I was a little late picking this one up as well. I love the empathy and disability awareness that is highlighted in this one. Such a great book for kids to read!

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko – Historical fiction with a character with autism before autism was autism. This book was so good in so many ways, and I loved that it was set on Alcatraz!

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper – Another historical fiction read that I was moved by. If you are looking for a book on civil rights, then this would be an excellent choice.

As you can see, my reading is all over the place, and that’s what I like! There are so many amazing books in this world, and I don’t want to limit myself in any way. There are many runner-ups to this list if you want to talk more!

What were your favorite reads of 2015?

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November 19

Nonfiction November: Mini Reviews of Books of Quotes

November 19, 2015

I’ve never had a focus on nonfiction like I have this month. It’s been a change of pace, and I’m enjoying it more than I would have expected. Today I’m going to feature a couple of short reviews on quote books that I have recently finished (I decided it was a little too hard to write an individual full review on a short book of quotes).

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed:

From Goodreads:

From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes–drawn from the wide range of her writings–that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that’s as irresistible to give as it is to receive.

Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books and in her Dear Sugar columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. Her honesty, spirit, and ample supply of tough love have enabled many of us, even in the darkest hours, to somehow put one foot in front of the other–and be brave enough.

This book gathers, each on a single page, more than 100 of Strayed’s indelible quotes and thoughts–“mini instruction manuals for the soul” that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.

In a nutshell – get this book now! I cannot put into words how much I loved it, and how much it made me think, and how much it moved me. I have always loved the writing of Strayed, but this amazing collection of quotes has guaranteed my life long fandom. I bought one book as a gift right away, and I just ordered 3 more for gifts that I need in the next few weeks. I checked this book out from the library, but trust me when I say, you need to own this one yourself. I found myself copying so many quotes into my quote notebook that I realized I needed to own this gem, because I don’t doubt that I will come back to it again and again in the future!

Slaughterhouse 90210: Where Great Books Meet Pop Culture by Maris Kreizman

From Goodreads:

Slaughterhouse 90210 pairs literature’s greatest lines with pop culture’s best moments.

In 2009, Maris Kreizman wanted to combine her fierce love for pop culture with a lifelong passion for reading, and so the blog Slaughterhouse 90210 was born. By matching poignant passages from literature with popular moments from television, film, and real life, Maris’ work instantly caught the attention (and adoration) of thousands. And it’s easy to see why.

Slaughterhouse 90210 is subversively brilliant, finding the depth in the shallows of reality television, and the levity in Lahiri. A picture of Taylor Swift is paired with Joan Didion’s quote, “Above all, she is the girl who ‘feels things’. The girl ever wounded, ever young.” Tony Soprano tenderly hugs his teenage son, accompanied by a line from Middlemarch about, “The patches of hardness and tenderness [that] lie side by side in men’s dispositions.” The images and quotes complement and deepen one another in surprising, profound, and tender ways.

With over 150 color photographs from some of popular culture’s most iconic moments, Kreizman shows why comparing Walter White to Faust makes sense in our celebrity obsessed, tv crazed society.

In one word, this book is FUN! I loved looking at a wide variety of snapshots from pop culture (celebrities, movies, TV, etc,) in and of itself, but then to pair those snapshots with quotes from books you know and love – pure heaven. Although I may not have been moved as much as I was with Brave Enough, this was a fun and entertaining read. I give lots of credit to Kreizman, because I don’t think I would have her gift of creating pairings such as she did. You will polish this book off in no time – a perfect read for the crazy holiday season when you don’t have much time for thinking or reading!

What book of quotes would you recommend?

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November 17

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Book Quotes of 2015

November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So. As you know, I am a HUGE fan of quotes. I have a special notebook just for the fabulous quotes I come across so this was a fun TTT for me to do! I selected the quotes that have had the biggest impact on me so far this year:

“You are your most valuable asset. Don’t forget that. You are the best thing you have.”

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

“In choosing to be good, cautious, and efficient, I talked myself right out of amazing.”

Girl Before A Mirror by Liza Palmer

“Your hope lies in accepting your life as it now lies before you, forever changed. If you can do that, the peace you seek will follow.”

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“Choose the path of love and not fear. The choice you make out of love will always be the right one.”

Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone

“Perhaps I have chosen to be stuck here. Because we all choose our fate, whether or not we admit it.”

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

“Sometimes bravery is just doin’ what you gotta do.”

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

“Beauty comes from within, but first you must bloom. Live beautifully, my love, and flourish.”

“The Spark” from Propose to Me by Ellyse Roberts

“How could he have imagined love was anything but a force which made you your most authentic being.”

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

“You get to make your life.”

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

“…things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I love quotes so PLEASE share some of your favorites below!

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November 12

Nonfiction November: Fiction/Nonfiction Pairings

November 12, 2015

nonfiction november2015It’s week 2 of Nonfiction November. I haven’t done a ton of nonfiction reading yet, but I should finish up a book in a day or two that will free up lots of nonfiction time for me. In the meantime, let’s chat about fiction/nonfiction pairings. Whether you are a fan of fiction that is looking to read a bit more nonfiction, or a fan of nonfiction that is looking to read a bit more fiction, below are some recommendations to help you out. I’ve included quite a wide range, so you should be able to find a little something that appeals to you!

 

NFF pairing 1

Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center – Both books feature a strong female embarking on an enormous physical challenge in an attempt to regroup and move forward in life in a more positive way. I was inspired by both books, and I could totally see myself doing something like this someday!

NFF pairing 2

Columbine by Dave Cullen and We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – I haven’t actually had the chance to read Columbine yet, but I’ve heard great things. It’s near the top of my TBR, but I am a bit overwhelmed by the size. We Need to Talk About Kevin gives a very interesting perspective into the life of a family of a school shooter.

NFF pairing 3

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larsen and Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail – Both books provide a different twist on typical books set during the Holocaust. Each of these features a relationship involving a Nazi officer in the context of its story.

NFF pairing 7

You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen and The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus – Although these books aren’t on my list of all time favorite reads, they both give you a glimpse into the less-than-glamorous side of the life of nannying for a wealthy family.

NFF pairing 8

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer and The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall – I’ve always been intrigued by polygamy and the fundamental Mormon faith. These are very different books, but give you a peek into what that lifestyle might look like.

NFF pairing 6

True Notebooks by Mark Salzman and Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – True Notebooks had a strong impact on me and the way I view juvenile offenders. Saint Anything is a fictional account of one family’s difficulty coming to terms with a teen that has to go to prison. Both make you take a deeper look at the circumstances that surround tragedies such as these.

NFF pairing 5

Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott and What the Lady Wants by Renee Rosen – I was fascinated by Sin in the Second City and the lives of enormous wealth that madams could build for themselves. One of the infamous Chicago frequents to the brothel featured in the book was Marshall Field Jr, and his habit is mentioned in What the Lady Wants. I love how both books featured Chicago history and famous Chicagoans.

NFF pairing 4

Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Hurry Down Sunshine features a father’s struggle as he goes through the diagnosis and acceptance of his daughter’s mental health issues. All the Bright Places is my favorite read of 2015 so far and also features the struggle of a teen that’s dealing with his own mental health issues. Both books bring so much awareness to mental health issues and the struggles that those suffering face.

What fiction/nonfiction pairing would you recommend? Have you read any of the above pairings? What did you think if you did?

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November 10

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies I Need To See

November 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch. For those of you who know me well, I am dreadfully behind in keeping up with movies. It’s just not something I’ve been good at for quite some time. It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just that there always seems to be something else I want or need to do. With that in mind, here are the movies, I still HAVE to see:

wild moviebook thief movie

Wild by Cheryl Strayed – I can never say enough how much this book impacted me. I can’t even believe I haven’t seen the movie yet. Hopefully soon!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – One of my all time favorite books. It’s a travesty that I haven’t taken the time to watch this yet!

kite runner movielovely bones

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – Although it’s not my favorite book by Hosseini, I was definitely moved by it. I think it would be extremely difficult to watch this one on the big screen!

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – This book haunted me for months after I read it. I can’t even imagine what I would be like after watching the movie.

sister's keeper movie


memoirs of geisha movieMy Sister’s Keeper
by Jodi Picoult – I haven’t read too much by Picoult, but I definitely was into this particular novel of hers. I think it would make for a very strong, but emotional movie. Why is it that the best movies are often gut wrenching?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – This isn’t one of my favorite reads of all time, but I am intrigued with the concept and lifestyle of a geisha. I’m curious how it would play out on the big screen.

maze runner movieThe Ggiver movieiver by Lois Lowry – I’m embarrassed to admit that I still haven’t actually read this one, but based on the recommendations of trusted readers, I know I will. I definitely want to read the book before I check it out though!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t looooove it. I still want to catch the movie if I get a chance though.

harry potter movie

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – I’ve only read through Book 3 at this point, and I’ve only seen through Movie 1. I have all of the mmockingjay movieovies on my DVR so I hope to catch them during the doldrums of winter this year!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – I’m happy to say that I’m not horribly behind on this movie series! Maybe I can catch up in enough time to catch the newest one in an actual theater!

What book to movie adaptations are you wanting to see?

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November 1

Nonfiction November

November 1, 2015

I’m so excited to be participating in Nonfiction November this year. This event is cohosted by 4 different blogs, but the blog that is cohosting that I follow is Doing Dewey. I’m going to attempt to read more nonfiction this month, as well as post on the weekly topics that coincide with this year’s event. Last year, I made a very feeble attempt to participate, completing only 1 nonfiction read the entire month. This year, I’m hoping to get four under my belt in between my other reading.

Here are the books that are on my radar that I’m planning to choose from (since I’m such a mood reader, I like to have options):

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – It’s hard to believe, but I don’t think I’ve ever read this one. I bought a paperback copy at a Scholastic sale, and I’m looking forward to reading this classic.

The Cruel Country by Judith Ortiz Cofer – I won a copy of this memoir from the author, and I’m definitely intrigued. It has been getting some solid reviews, and I’m anticipating good things.

Humans of New York Stories by Brandon Stanton – I follow Humans of New York on Facebook and love the variety of stories that are shared. When I read Humans of New York this last spring, my only complaint was that it didn’t include the stories that I’ve come to love on Facebook, and now here it is! I’m on the hold list at the library for this one, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll get to this particular read.

Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed – I love all things Cheryl Strayed, and I LOVE quotes – this book could not be more perfect for me! I also have this gem on hold at the library.

Primates of Park Avenue by Wednesday Martin – I’ve heard that this book is a highly entertaining look at a life that very few of us will ever glimpse (but I’ve also heard reports that some of the stories included are greatly exaggerated).

On Writing by Charles Bukowski – I’m trying to get back into a writing groove, and I thought that I might find some inspiration here.

Gorge: My Journey Up Mount Kilimanjaro At 300 Pounds by Kara Richardson Whitely – I am definitely intrigued with this one, and Cheryl Strayed gives it rave reviews. I like books that can inspire me in some way that I need to be inspired in.

Two Awesome Hours by Josh Davis – I like reading the occasional book on how to be more organized and/or efficient. This looks like a quick read, and I might give it a try.

Any recommendations on where to start? What are you planning on reading for Nonfiction November?

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September 29

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read If You Like Humans of New York

September 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: This Super Popular Book/Author (ie: you could list 10 different popular/bestselling books or authors with readalike suggestions for each or give 10 books for one best-selling/popular book or author like 10 authors to read if you like John Green or ten books to read if you like Gone Girl. Idea is to give good readalikes that may be less well known). I am a huge fan of things that provide me with some inspiration or motivation. I so love getting to know people and their life stories. This list is for people like me who like short snippets that give us a snapshot into the lives of others. If you like Humans of New York, then give these books a shot:

Books That Give You Brief Snapshots of Life:

Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher – This was one of my favorite reads of 2014, and I know there is another book being released this fall. I just loved seeing copies of actual hand written letters from a wide array of people living a wide array of lifestyles. Truly fascinating!

O’s Little Book of Happiness – Although this wasn’t my favorite inspirational read, I did enjoy the snapshots into the lives of many famous people you are aware of.

Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust – I read this as part of my book club, and I was able to meet a few of the authors of some of the stories included in this collection. A rare look into the lives of so many children who survived the Holocaust by being hidden in the homes of others. This is one you can’t miss!

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed – You all know how much I love all things Cheryl Strayed, and this book is no exception. Even though you don’t know most of the people asking for advice, this book reflects the lives of those close to you. It also gives you such a snapshot of how Strayed approaches life.

Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives by Hoda Kotb – If ever you are feeling sorry for yourself, then check out this book. Here are glimpses into the lives of 6 people who overcome significant odds to lead amazing lives of inspiration. Some stories moved me more than others, but it does put your own problems into perspective.

Books The Provide Life Snapshots Within a Bigger Story:

True Notebooks: A Writer’s Year at Juvenile Hall by Mark Salzman – I was so intrigued with this autobiography of one man’s experience volunteering with the most violent offenders in an LA juvenile unit. You hear the stories behind how the young men and women came to be in prison and what their futures look like. It was a profound read for me! I want to read more of Salzman’s work, but I don’t think it will even come close to having the impact that this book did.

The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley – So this book is totally creepy and very unsettling but so fascinating at the same time. Earley recounts his own medical and mental health struggles and how he developed relationships with killers on death row in his attempt to heal is own wounds. It is so beyond understanding how Earley connects with these men. I will warn you that you may lose sleep, but I was drawn into this book.

The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler – If you have any interest in getting the inside scoop on the First Families from the last several decades, then this is the book for you. It provides you with the good, the bad, and the ugly about people we all know. I did get a little bored by the end, but I did love the inside information I learned (I won’t give any of it away though so that you can learn about it all on your own).

You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen – If First Families don’t do it for you, maybe the inside scoop on the lives of Hollywood bigwigs does. Hansen shares the dirt she learned during her nannying days.

What books do you recommend that share snippets into the lives of others?

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August 18

Top Ten Tuesday: My Auto Check-Outs

August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it’s about…you’ll buy it from these authors!). If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I don’t like to spend money on books, and I make use of my library whenever possible. Therefore, I’ve altered my topic to Auto-Checkout Authors. Here’s who I can’t wait to read (click on their name to be taken to their professional website):

Auto Checkouts collage 1

 

Garth Stein – Ever since I’ve read Racing in the Rain, I’ve made sure to catch up on all of Stein’s work, and I definitely catch his new releases. Although his most recent A Sudden Light wasn’t my favorite, he will still be a pre-release hold at the library for me!

Jennifer Niven – Even though Niven is a new discovery for me with All the Bright Places (my so-far favorite read of 2015), I plan to catch up on my backlist for her, and I will definitely be checking out any new releases that I can.

Cheryl StrayedWild spoke to me when I needed it, and I read everything I could find by Strayed after that. It’s been awhile since she’s had anything new published, but I am waiting patiently.

Neal Shusterman – He is a new-to-me author this year, and I have loved both Unwind and Challenger Deep. I’m hoping to wrap up the Unwind series in the next few months sometime.

Liza Palmer – I am soooooooo glad that I won a contest for Palmer’s most recent release for Girl Before a Mirror, which then led me to Nowhere But Home. I’m not sure I would have discovered her otherwise. I absolutely adore Palmer’s writing style, characters, and setting, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Auto Checkout Collage2

 

Suanne Laqueur – Suanne is also new to me this year, and I came across her work through another contest win (I’ve gotten so lucky on winning entries). I loved The Man I Love, and I was so excited to get a review copy of Give Me Your Answer True. Her writing is exquisite, and you don’t want to miss out on her powerful novels.

Khaled Hosseini – I have been so moved by the stories in all three of his novels, and I can’t imagine myself getting tired of what he produces. His most recent And the Mountains Echoed was not my favorite work, but I still enjoyed it.

Renee Rosen – If you are a regular follower of this blog, you know how much I adore Rosen, both her writing and her as a person. Not only will I read anything she writes, but I will also seek out any book event in the area that I can find. She is a master at taking her thorough research of a time period and blending it seamlessly into an engrossing storyline. I can’t wait for the release of White Collar Girl this fall. In the meantime, make sure you check out Dollface and What the Lady Wants.

Mary Kubica – Kubica has just made this list in the last couple of weeks following my read of The Good Girl. What a great suspense novel. I’m hoping to catch her very new release Pretty Baby soon!

Gillian Flynn – Another master of suspense that I look forward to reading. It’s been awhile since I’ve read something by her, and I need to get a fix soon!

Which authors can you not miss?

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July 28

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish in which they select a topic every week, and the rest of us get to make Top Ten lists based on that topic. This week’s topic: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.). I absolutely love books that feature characters who love to read (or novels that have a bookish twist of some sort). This was a fun list to put together!

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series – I love that Hermione was always doing lots of extra reading with a strong love for knowledge.

 Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars – One of the big events of the book is when the couple travels to meet the author of a novel that they both identified with, a desire I can truly understand!

Cath (and Levi) from Fangirl – I’m currently in the middle of this audiobook, and I’m loving it. Cath is a huge fan of the Simon Snow series of novels, and Levi grows to be a fan of Cath’s fan fiction spinoffs of Simon Snow. I adore when a book can bring a couple closer together!

Jam Gallahue in Belzhar – Jam becomes friends with a close knit group during her Special Topics in English class as they read the works of Sylvia Plath.

A.J. Fikry from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Actually there are so many characters that end up as bookworms in this lovely novel. I also adore the setting in a bookstore in a small seaside town.

Anna Wyatt from Girl Before a Mirror – OK, so Anna is not a huge book nerd necessarily but the novel takes place at a Romance Writer’s Convention…..how could I not include this gem on a bookish list!

Don Tillman from The Rosie Project – One of my favorite parts of this amazing summer read was all of the pop culture references (both books and movies). I thought it was so sweet the way Don used books to help him learn how to navigate various social situations.

Cheryl Strayed in Wild – This might be cheating a bit since this one is a nonfiction book, but I loved how books figured so prominently in Strayed’s journey. It’s a part of the novel I will not forget!

Catherine Warner in Bookends – I read this book eons ago, but I loved how Catherine gave up her job to pursue her dream of opening a book store!

Cornelia Brown in Love Walked In – OK, true confessions time. I read this one awhile ago as well, and I believe that Cornelia makes all sorts of bookish references throughout the novel, but I’m not totally sure. Regardless, this is a charming little novel that would make a good summer read.

Who are your favorite book nerds?

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