Top Ten Tuesday: Series I Need to Finish

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is technically about book series that I want to start; however, the more pressing issue on my mind is the fact that there are SO MANY series that I need to FINISH. Once again I’m going to break the TTT status quo and switch it up a little by sharing the Top Ten Series I Need to Finish. 

What series do you really need to finish? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: I Recommend Books to My Dad

Happy Tuesday!! Father’s Day is right around the corner, and the lovely bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish are celebrating by dedicating this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme to those delightful dads. Since I recently made a TTT list about my mom, I’ve decided to make this TTT list about my dad. Here are my recommendations of ten books I think my dad would really enjoy:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

My dad is an avid hiker, but since we live in New England we’re much more familiar with the Appalachian Trail than the Pacific Crest Trail on the west coast that Cheryl hikes and talks about in this memoir. I think he would find this really interesting!

One More Thing by B.J. Novak

My dad has an awesome sense of humor, and so does B.J. Novak. Plus, these short stories are perfect for reading in small chunks of time since my dad is usually really busy. This is a book that can easily be picked up and put down again over a longer period of time (hence why I took nearly two years to read it!).

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This book is SO LONG but very worth the time commitment it takes to read it. It’s such a unique, dark, intriguing story and I would love to hear my dad’s thoughts on it. It’s also written by an author who graduated from one of the colleges I initially applied to.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Okay, I don’t actually know if he would enjoy this one because everyone but me seemed to hate it when I read it with my AP English class. But I know he really liked A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving and this classic reminds me of that book for some strange reason… maybe because of the younger protagonists?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I’m recommending this book because a) I’m a firm believer that everyone should read this because it’s fantastic and b) I really want to know if he can predict who the murderer is! (Side note: I was SO WRONG with my prediction when I first read it!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

He and my mom really enjoy watching the Hunger Games movies and I think he already read the first book in this trilogy, so the sequel would be a perfect summer read. It would also give me an excuse to make fiery summer puns (get it?).

1984 or Animal Farm by George Orwell

Talking about The Hunger Games made me think about darker, twisted versions of our own society—what better author to recommend than George Orwell? I would love to hear my dad thoughts on these novels, especially how they end.

Why I Write by George Orwell

While we’re already aboard the Orwell train, why not add another one? My dad is a great writer and he has to do a lot of it for his job, so I feel like he would find this both really interesting and really useful. It’s also fairly short, so it makes for a very quick read.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I have a feeling he might have already read this book (or maybe another book by this author) but I’m going to put it down anyways because I think it’s the kind of touching story that my dad would really appreciate.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Harry Potter

I’m recommending this purely because I feel like it will explain SO MANY of the references I make on a regular basis. (Also because it’s Harry Potter and literally everyone on this planet should read it.)

Happy (early) Father’s Day, dad! Thanks for being the best ❤

What books would you recommend to your dad? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Non-fiction

Happy Tuesday!! This week the wonderful bloggers of The Broke and the Bookish are focusing on books that we’ve recently discovered in specific genres. Today I’ll be sharing my list of ten non-fiction books that I recently added to my TBR list. I’m hoping to read quite a bit of non-fiction this summer, so this seems like a good starting place!

What non-fiction books have you recently added to your TBR list? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: General Excitement

Happy Tuesday!! The lovely bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish have decided that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme involves our most anticipated upcoming 2017 releases. However, as I sat down to make my list I realized that I don’t actually know any books being released soon. It’s not that books aren’t being released in the next six months or so; rather, I’ve been stuck so deep in the hole that is college course work that I haven’t been paying much attention to bookish happenings lately.

In short: I’m literally not anticipating any upcoming releases.

Now you understand my current dilemma. What does one do when you’re unable to even begin making a Top Ten Tuesday list on the appropriate theme? *gasp* THE HORROR.

Instead, I’m going to talk about Ten Things That I’m Generally Excited About. Sound like a good compromise? (I’m going through with it regardless, so here we go!)

I’m really looking forward to relaxing and reading a lot this summer (and working, but that can be fun, right?). For me, summer also means spending a lot of time with family, which is something I haven’t gotten to do a lot recently because of school.

I’m determined to visit some of my friends from college this summer. It’s difficult because we all live in different states, but I know that we can make it work somehow! I miss them too much not to see them for such a long time. ❤

You might be asking yourself: Why on Earth is this girl excited about cleaning her bedroom? The answer to this is that moving back home after living away at college means that you accumulate a lot of extra stuff that suddenly all has to fit in one space instead of two. It’s taken me quite a while, but I’ve finally managed to clear out a lot of my old stuff and organize everything so I can actually see the floor, work at my desk, and open my closet door without causing an avalanche.

I’ve been journaling pretty consistently since around March and I’ve loved keeping a regular record of what’s been happening in my life. I even purchased some colorful highlighters, pens, and washi tape (my new love) to spice things up. {If you have any recommendations for good places to buy washi tape, definitely let me know!}

It’s almost been an entire year since I first started my bookstagram account (@nutfreenerd) and I’m having so much fun with it. I can’t wait to take some summery pictures outside now that the weather is finally nice!

Contributing to my excitement about bookstagram is the fact that my brother was recently kind enough to gift me his old camera since he purchased a new one not too long ago. I’ve never had a *fancy* camera before, so I’m really excited to start taking more photos!!

I’m currently in the middle of watching the original Twin Peaks series (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!!) and I love it so much. I’m trying to finish it ASAP because I MUST know who killed Laura Palmer!!

I have an hour commute back and forth from work every day in the summer, which translates to A LOT of time to listen to music. Lately I’ve been loving bird.bird, Watsky, the Dear Evan Hansen cast recording, and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 soundtrack (what is my music taste?!?!?!).

I’ve been home for about two weeks and it’s amazing how much reading I’ve been able to do!! I can’t even express how great it feels to have time to read outside of class again. I miss it so much when I’m at school!

Similarly, I’ve also had a lot more time to blog since I’ve been home. During the semester I’m able to squeak in just enough blogging time to keep my blog updated, but not enough to write longer posts, in-depth reviews, post more frequently, or read and comment on other blogs. But now I’m BACK and ready to blog!! ❤

What are you generally excited for at the moment? Also, PLEASE tell me what books you’re anticipating for the rest of 2017 because I definitely need to be updated!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer 2017 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! June is almost here, meaning that summer is right around the corner! (In my mind it’s been summer for a few weeks now because my semester ended a while ago, but I guess if we’re talking seasons then we still have a bit to go…) Anyways, today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish is anything having to do with summertime, so I’ve decided to share the top ten books on my summer TBR list. My next term of classes doesn’t start until late September, so I have nearly four months to read whatever I please. (Can you feel how excited I am?!?!) In no particular order, here is my summer TBR:

The Heroic Slave by Frederick Douglass

Recently for one of my final papers I did a study of the critical reception of Douglass’ works. I knew that he had written three different autobiographies, but I had no idea that he also published a novel. I’m really intrigued to see what Douglass’ only piece of fiction is like, especially since I now know all about the historical, social, and critical context of his writing.

More plays by Shakespeare

Every summer I try to read a few plays by Shakespeare to knock them off my TBR list. They are referenced so often in literature that I feel as though it’s beneficial for me to spend some time on them (even though I’m not a super huge fan of the Bard as of now….). So far I’ve read Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. If you have any recommendations for which plays I should read next, let me know!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This novel has been recommended to me countless times, both online and in real life. I can’t wait to see how she tackles fascinating and interesting topics such as race, cultural identity, nationhood, and love for people and places alike. I feel as though summer will be the perfect time to dive into what promises to be an incredibly eye-opening read.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read since high school but just haven’t gotten around to doing so. (To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t had to read it for a class…) Considering the enormous reputation it has in American history, I’m really looking forward to finally understanding the controversy surrounding this novel.

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

I’ve been in the middle of reading this book for MONTHS. It was a great book to keep on my nightstand in college because I could quickly read a story or two before bed if I couldn’t fall asleep. Of course, the downside to this method is that it’s taking me forever to get through. Hopefully I can read the rest of these hilarious, witty stories this summer!

An Unreliable Guide to London by too many authors to list

Rumor has it that a certain bookworm will be traveling to a certain European county in the near future, meaning that this quirky collection of short stories would be the perfect book to read alongside many travel guides this summer.

More by William Faulkner

Next term I’ll hopefully be taking an entire course about William Faulkner (fingers crossed!) so I’m planning on reading a lot of his work this summer. Besides rereading The Sound and the Fury again, I’d also like to read Absalom, Absalom!, The Hamlet, Go Down, Moses, and several of his short stories. If you have any recommendations for more of Faulkner’s writing, please let me know!

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

I’m sure you’re sick and tired of hearing me praise Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road in every single post, so I think it’s high time that I branch out and read more of her work. I’ve been meaning to read this book ever since I read Jellicoe Road for the first time!

The Quartet : Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789

I absolutely love learning about these formative years in the history of the United States. After reading and adoring Ellis’ book Founding Brothers several years ago I’ve been eagerly anticipating this next read. (It’s also been glaring at me from my bookshelf for quite some time.)

Matilda by Roald Dahl

I thought I would end this TBR list on a really fun read that I’ve been meaning to get to for AGES. I feel like I’m the only twenty-year-old bookworm who has yet to read this charming little book! Every time I go to my local library it has already been checked out, but fingers crossed that I can finally snag it this summer.

What books are you hoping to read this summer? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: My Mom’s Favorite Books

Happy Tuesday!! In the spirit of the Mother’s Day season, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about MOMS. Mothers are the real MVPs– I, for one, don’t know how I would have made it to this point in my life without mine. In honor of Mother’s Day I decided to have a little fun with this list by asking my mom to the best books she’s ever read. Without further ado, here are My Mom’s Top Ten Favorite Books!!!

What do you think of the books on this list? What are some of your mom’s favorite books? Do you celebrate Mother’s Day? Have any fun traditions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

P.S. Shout out to my mom for actually doing this. You’re the best ❤

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Wish Existed

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme involves talking about bookish wish lists– things we want to see more of in books, from tropes and characters to settings and themes. The more I thought about this kind of list, the more I honed in on a different idea that’s been on my mind a lot recently. Back in December I made a TTT list of the Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me; however, the list contained only made-up titles of books that I really wished existed in real life. In the same vain, today I’ll be sharing the Top Ten Books I Really Wish Existed because I could desperately use some great advice at this point.

What books do you really wish existed? What do you think of the titles I’ve included on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Covers that Scream Spring

Happy Tuesday!! Now that May is officially here I think it’s safe to say that spring is here to stay as well (at least until summer rolls around!). Since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a cover design freebie, I though I would share with you all my Top Ten Covers that Scream Spring. Who doesn’t love a colorful, happy, vibrant cover to brighten their day?

1. Not Just Jane by Shelley DeWees

I love the mix of bright blue and pink on this cover. You can’t see it from this angle, but the spine is also fluorescent pink as well. This color scheme makes me think of blooming flowers like the ones in this photo (which was taken in the garden at my home last summer). I always associate flowers with the coming of spring.

2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

This gorgeous cover design makes me think of warm weather in general, so it’s perfect for both spring and summer.  I love the bold pops of orange, teal, and pink as well as the different shades of green blended together to create the background. The bird and the snake also remind me of the way animals seem to suddenly appear out of nowhere in springtime.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This Penguin English Library edition of P&P highlights flora and fauna, two things closely associated with springtime. The colors are vaguely muted, like the way spring can be viewed as a subtler, paler, muted version of summer with its hesitantly hot days and newly blossoming buds.

4. Emma by Jane Austen

The Penguin Threads edition of Emma immediately makes me think of Easter eggs and the colors surrounding this springy holiday. I especially love the polka dots in the background and the way her hair is a mix of many different colors. Easter has always been a marker of springtime for me, so it’s no surprise that this cover design would be included in this list.

5. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

Green is closely associated with spring in my mind, which is why this overwhelmingly green cover always reminds me of this lush season. I also first read Willa Cather in the springtime (spring semester of my freshman year of college), so perhaps that has something to do with why I tend to link her with this time of year.

6. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

What screams spring more than a lawn of freshly cut green grass? Even though this book takes place during the summer, I can’t help but be reminded of spring whenever I look at the cover.

7. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

This is another novel that takes place during the summertime, yet its cover is much more reminiscent of spring to me. It makes me think of the feeling of waking up in the morning and realizing that the birds have finally begun to chirp again.

8. When We Collided by Emery Lord

I love how colorful, fun, and creative this cover is. Even though this novel can be emotional and intense at times, I think this cover does a great job at capturing Vivi’s lively and vibrant spirit. Definitely how I feel on a warm spring day! (Also, do these colors remind anyone else of Easter eggs?)

9. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

I can’t help but add yet another beautiful Penguin English Library edition to this list. I chose this cover for its bright greens and muted blues, both of which I associate with coloring Easter eggs. (Can you tell that I’m quite a big fan of Easter eggs?) The novel itself also carries a feeling of spring, as characters find new beginnings and experiences that gradually help them grow.

10. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Even though this cover isn’t colorful, it still screams spring with its cute little bees and simplicity. These poems are also all about endings and new beginnings, both of which take place in the springtime. (Honestly, this beautiful cover can work for any season!)

What book covers remind you of spring? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I (Probably) Won’t Read a Book

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is the exact opposite of last week’s topic, bringing us full circle with what we look for in books we’re thinking of reading. I’m pretty open-minded about what I read and will generally give just about anything a chance; however, there are nevertheless a few factors that will make me hesitate to pick up a book. In no particular order, here are ten reasons why I (probably) won’t read a book (disclaimer: there will always be exceptions to this list).

1. An overwhelmingly negative buzz surrounding a book. A negative review here and there is to be expected of all books; however, I start to worry when the majority of people seem to have similar problems with a book. There’s definitely strength in numbers when it comes to reviewing.

2. I didn’t enjoy another book by the same author. There are so many fantastic writers out there whose writing I absolutely adore that it seems silly to spend time on books I likely won’t like.

3. Annoying protagonists. Have you ever just not clicked with the voice or personality of a protagonist? (Personally, Belly from The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han comes to mind.) Usually this is something I realize after I’ve already started reading a book; however, it’s one of the few things that can make me actually abandon a novel part of the way through. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves!

 

4. Animals + sadness. Several people have recommended that I read books like A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, but the prospect of reading something that could possibly involve an animal being sad, mistreated, neglected, etc. is just not something that appeals to me in the slightest.

5. Extremely graphic violence and/or gore. Whether it be in movies, on TV, or written on a page, I’m not a fan of unsettling violence or gore in any form. A few scenes here or there is fine, but generally I try to avoid reading books that are permeated with disturbing moments.

6. I know it’s going to be generally and overwhelmingly sad. I like to read to learn, to laugh, and to relax– not to cry into the crack of the spine when a character dies or something unbelievably tragic occurs. If I know that a book is going to be super sad, I’ll usually keep my distance.

7. Zombies. There’s no particular reason for this other than the fact that I just really dislike zombies. (They’re so creepy!!!)

8. Biological warfare/contagion/etc. Sensing a theme here? Books about viruses spreading or diseases breaking out all over the world are definitely not my forte. (Hence why I also steer clear of things like The Walking Dead TV show.)

9. Unrealistic or offensive stereotypes. There’s enough negativity in the world without perpetuating horrible generalizations and false representations of people through literature. If I’m aware ahead of time that a book contains such characters or ideas, then you can be sure that I’ll be leaving it on the shelf unread.

10. An unappealing cover. I’m not going to lie: a poorly designed cover can definitely prevent me from picking up a book in a bookstore, especially if I haven’t heard anything about it before. This is particularly true with books that use real people as models on the cover– I’d much rather create my own idea of what the characters look like than have that image decided for me by a publisher.

What things make you hesitant to read a book? What do you think of the factors that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I’ll Read a Book ASAP

Happy Tuesday!! This week for Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be sharing the Top Ten Reasons I’ll Read a Book ASAP. In other words, these are some aspects of books that I look for when deciding what to read next. There are so many that I could list, but these are the first ones that come to mind.

1. An eye-catching cover design. I’m a sucker for a well-designed book cover, especially ones that are simple and have beautiful typography.

2. It’s written by one of my auto-read authors. There are some authors whose writing I will read no matter what the story or work is about. A few examples are John Green, Michael Crichton, and Joseph J. Ellis.

3. I love the author’s other work (both books and movies/shows/music/etc.). This applies to books written by people who are famous in other fields as well, such as acting, music, art, etc. A few of my personal favorites are Mindy Kaling, Stacy London, and George Watsky.

4. The book is highly recommended by my friends, professors, blogs, online reviews in general, etc. I love when people recommend books to me, especially when they are books that I’ve never heard of before. It’s the best feeling to discuss a book with the person who originally recommended it to you.

5. It has a boarding school setting. Surprise, surprise! I feel like I mention this fact a lot, but I’ve always gravitated towards books that take place at boarding schools or similar settings. I’ve loved Looking for Alaska by John Green, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta– even Harry Potter!!

6. The story takes place during or around the Civil War in the United States. The Civil War in the United States has always fascinated me, likely due to the countless different factors that ultimately culminated in such an unthinkable event. For this reason, novels like Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell always capture my attention immediately.

7. I loved the movie adaptation. Though I prefer to read books before watching their movie adaptations, sometimes its unavoidable that I’ll do it in the reverse order. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy several books after seeing their movie adaptations, including The Shining by Stephen King and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

8. It’s about hiking. Hiking mountains is one of my favorite things to do, which means that I also love to read about people’s personal experiences walking in the woods. For instance, I had a great time listening to the audio book of Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

9. It’s associated with a holiday. My enthusiasm for celebrating holidays definitely bleeds over into my reading choices. If it’s December and I see a book relating to Christmas, you can bet that I’m going to pick it up! A few recent examples of this are Skipping Christmas by John Grisham and My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins.

10. I can personally relate to a character’s experience in the story. If there’s a book about someone struggling with an allergy, trying to make it through college, or traveling abroad, then you can be sure that I’ll be picking it up ASAP!

What things will make you want to pick up a book? What do you think of the reasons I’ve listed? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY