Top Ten Tuesday: A Break from Romance

Happy Tuesday!! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, meaning it’s time for a Top Ten Tuesday love-themed freebie. Instead of talking about my favorite fictional relationships or how I hate love triangles when used as a major plot point, today I’d like to highlight ten books with little to no romance in them. It’s unsettling– though not very surprising– how challenging this list was to create. Why do writers feel as though every single story has to revolve around romance? Aren’t there other aspects of life that can create plots that are just as interesting, entertaining, and captivating? If you’re tired of the love bug this Valentine’s Day, here are some books to check out:

 What books do you like to read around Valentine’s Day? What are your favorite books with little to no romance? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!




Top Ten Tuesday: Longtime Members of My TBR

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) exposes all of those books we’ve been putting off reading for months and months (and years and years…). Today I’m going to share the unread books that have been on my TBR the longest. (Hopefully I’ll be able to read at least a few of these this year! No promises, though…)

Which books have been on your TBR for the longest time? What do you think of the books on my list? Which one of these should read first? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: LONG Books I Can’t Believe I Read

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic set by The Artsy Reader Girl features ten books that we can’t believe we’ve read. However, instead of talking about the actual content of the books, I’ve decided to take a different perspective on this topic; instead, I’ll be focusing on book length. Without further ado, here are ten LONG books I can’t believe I read (what a time commitment!).

What are the longest books you’ve read? What books are you surprised you read for whatever reason? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can Never Remember

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is brought to the book blogging community by That Artsy Reader Girl who wants us to share books that we really liked but can’t remember much about. Honestly, there are SO MANY books that I could list here because I’m notoriously bad at remembering tiny details of books. Character names? Plot twists? Basic summaries? They all tend to vanish from my memory as soon as I finish reading the very last page. It’s a shame because these books definitely deserve to be remembered!

What books do you have a hard time remembering? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Bookish Resolutions

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (now brought to us by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share our bookish resolutions for 2018. Now that the new year is well underway and I’ve done some reflecting on 2017, I think it’s time to set some new goals. I don’t like to put an exorbitant amount of pressure on myself to meet unrealistically high expectations, so these are ten relatively simple goals that I’d like to keep in mind throughout the next year.

1. Read 24 books. I’ve made this my Reading Challenge goal on Goodreads for the past few years now and it’s worked out really well. This is a number that I can meet without any added stress, which is precisely what I need from a yearly goal.

2. Balance reading for classes, reading for fun, and blogging. I absolutely LOVE studying abroad at Oxford, but when term is in session I miss blogging and reading for fun so much! I’m hoping I can figure out a way to balance all of these things better during my last two terms there.

The main library at Mansfield College, Oxford.

3. Be more engaged with the blogging community. This goal is one that I wish I had done better at in 2017… so I’m carrying it over into 2018! As with the previous resolution, I’m hoping that I can find a way to make this work while balancing everything else I have to do.

4. Read more nonfiction. I’ve read some really great nonfiction books recently, which makes me feel motivated to read even more of them in the new year. Any recommendations would definitely be appreciated!

5. Read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Now, what would a Holly resolution list be without this novel inevitably included? I vow that someday I will read this book!

6. Continue writing discussion posts regularly. This is a resolution I accomplished in 2017, but I would really love to keep it up this year as well. Creating interesting, thought-provoking content that sparks engaging discussions is something that I want to always strive towards with this blog.

7.  Keep better track of the books I want to read. More often than not I forget to write a book title down when someone recommends it to me, leaving me without a list of books I want to read whenever I go into a bookstore or decide to order books online. Putting them on a list in my phone or something similar would be so helpful!

8. Be more creative with my bookstagram posts. I love taking photos and updating my bookstagram, but in the midst of writing pages and pages of essays it’s easy to revert back to posting the same kinds of photos every single time. This year I’d like to be more creative with my books, props, scenery, etc.

9. Be more open to talking about this blog IRL. I rarely ever mention my blog to people unless they bring it up first, and even when they do I’m pretty hesitant to talk about it (as I’ve discussed in this post from a while back). In 2018, I’d like to be more open about talking about my blog if people bring it up.

10. HAVE FUN!! As always– what’s reading without a little (or a lot!!) of fun?

Happy New Year, everyone!!

What are your resolutions for 2018? What do you think of mine? Any advice on how to accomplish them? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2017 (But Didn’t)

Happy Tuesday!! As you have probably noticed by now, I’m pretty awful at sticking to TBR lists. Whenever I make one for a specific month, season, or read-a-thon I inevitably end up scrapping the entire thing and just reading whatever seems appealing in that moment. As a result, there are SO MANY books that I mean to read in 2017 but didn’t find the time to do so. Fortunately, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic focuses on just that! Here are just a few of the books I meant to read in 2017 but didn’t:



What books were you hoping to read in 2017? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors in 2017

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic takes us back to what we read last year (it’s so strange to say that already!). Today I’m here to share the top ten new-to-me authors that I read for the first time in 2017. Fortunately, I have many, many great authors to choose from! In the order that I read them, they are:

What were your favorite authors in 2017? What do you think of the authors I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Books of 2018

Happy Tuesday!! The new year is right around the corner, which means that it’s time to start thinking about the new books that will hit the shelves in 2018. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic highlights books we’re anticipating in 2018 and I’ve decided to focus specifically on new releases. I’m awful at keeping up with new releases in general, so making this list will force me to actually do some research about books coming out next year. Without further ado, here are some new releases that I’m anticipating for 2018: 

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

A young adult science fiction novel to be released on January 9, 2018…. the duo that brought us These Broken Stars is back! I’m eager to see how this one measures up to their past collaborations!

Americanized by Sara Saedi

The memoir of an undocumented teenager from Iran growing up in the United States to be released on February 6, 2018. I’m eager to read a memoir from such an interesting and important perspective. Being a teenager is hard enough, never mind with the added challenge of an undocumented status!

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

A young adult fantasy novel to be published on February 27, 2018. I really enjoyed Hartman’s novel Seraphina, so I’m excited to see where she takes readers in her fictional kingdom of Goredd this time. ( Fingers crossed there are still dragons!)

Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead

The story of a single mother raising her daughter in the Upper East Side of New York City in the 1980s. Structured as a series of vignettes, this novel is set to be released on March 13, 2018.

Let’s No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda

A Souther Gothic bildungsroman (AKA my ideal fiction combination) to be released on March 20, 2018. The synopsis of this novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read… this is definitely going to be near the top of my 2018 TBR list!

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

A romance novel about an American studying English literature at Oxford to be released on April 24, 2018. What better time to read this than when I’m actually studying abroad at Oxford?

They Come in All Colors by Malcolm Hansen

The story of a biracial boy growing up in the sixties and seventies to be released on May 29, 2018. Filled with racial and regional tensions, this novel seems like an important reminder that these conflicts of the past still haunt us today.

I’ve only managed to come up with seven new releases, mostly because it’s too early to know much about what will be released in the latter half of the year. Nevertheless, these seven novels sound like ones that I’ll really enjoy!

What new 2018 releases are you highly anticipating? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings

Happy Tuesday!! As per usual at this time of year, the lovely bloggers behind The Broke and the Bookish set the annual Christmas topic: What books do you hope Santa brings? Last year I had a blast creating a list of fictional titles that I wish existed, so this year I’ll be doing the same. In the festive spirit of the season, here are the ten books I hope to find sitting under the Christmas tree:

What books do you hope Santa brings (real or otherwise)? What are your thoughts on the titles I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!



Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

Happy Tuesday!! The end of 2017 is just around the corner (!!!), meaning it’s time to reflect on what I’ve read thus far this year. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme highlights the best books we’ve read in 2017, and fortunately I have plenty of fantastic texts to choose from. I’ve decided to limit my list to the books I read for the first time this year because there were many, many rereads thrown into the mix. Here are my favorite books of 2017 in the order that I read them:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

From my review: I bought a copy of Milk and Honey on a whim because I had heard a lot of great things about it. What I didn’t realize was that Rupi’s words would resonate so deeply with me and linger on in my mind long after I had read them. These poems are for anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not you’ve read or enjoyed poetry in the past. Rupi Kaur has written poetry for human nature.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

From my review: Reading this book felt like having the a random, hilarious, and well-spoken conversation with Watsky. How to Ruin Everything is definitely something I’ll be returning to in the future– for a laugh, for inspiration, and to be reminded that there’s nothing quite like the power of a good story.

The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

From my review: I was enthralled by this novel. Everything about it captivated me from the very first sentence to the very last word. In fact, I was enjoying it so much that I marked all of my favorite passages with sticky notes, only to realize halfway through that I would have to take them all out when I was finished (it was a library book).

Sartoris by William Faulkner

From my review: When I first started reading Sartoris I was so confused by the many Johns and Bayards that I actually created a character web or family tree of sorts in an attempt to keep them all straight in my mind. However, I thought this would be a much larger hindrance than it ended up being in the long run because the characters became more defined as I became more invested in the story. In fact, the links between the characters– both linguistically with names and in terms of their relationships and personalities– soon became my favorite aspect of this novel. Faulkner uses the Sartoris family to ask a fascinating question: Are these events caused by the fate of the family or a logical cause-and-effect reaction? In other words, are these people responsible for their actions or have they already been destined (or doomed)?

Matilda by Roald Dahl

From my review: I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

From my review: I enjoyed The Woman in White far more than I had initially expected to when I turned to the very first page. Collins’ meticulous attention to details and carefully developed characters make for an impressive, memorable, suspenseful, and thrilling story. I’m so thankful that this novel was on my required reading list for this term– sometimes they contain unexpected gems!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

From my review: As the facade fades away, the reader realizes that what appears to be a utopian world is actually a dystopian society masked in false promises and illusions. I love Brave New World for the way it makes you think about our own society and what we value in our lives today. It’s interesting to think about how this novel was first published in 1932 yet it’s still relevant almost a century later. To me, this endurance is the definition of a classic.

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

From my review: For me, the most challenging aspect of this novel was deciphering exactly what happened in the Sutpen family. Who married who? Who killed who? Who had children and who didn’t? Who is still alive? In what order did this all take place? These questions and many others remained at the forefront of my mind the entire time I was reading. There are so many characters, voices, and events– not to mention the fact that it’s not told in chronological order. It was fascinating and exciting to constantly learn new information; however, it also makes it much more confusing to read. I think this is a novel that would absolutely benefit from being reread in the future now that I have the basic plot in my mind.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Sneak peak of my upcoming review: Cain has done incredible work providing both introverts and extroverts with a guide as to the importance of being “quiet.” As an introvert, I constantly found myself nodding along with her ideas and examples, seeing myself accurately reflected in her words. If more teachers, employers, friends, and family members read Quiet, the world would be a brighter, more productive, less stress-inducing place for introverts everywhere.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I haven’t yet posted my review of John Green’s most recent novel, but rest assured that I enjoyed it immensely. The representation of mental health issues is incredible and I became invested in the characters almost immediately. You know a novel is great when you find yourself still thinking about it days later!

What are your favorite books of 2017? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!