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

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Books

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is certainly an interesting one: I’ll be sharing the top ten unique books that I’ve read. I didn’t really have any criteria in my mind while making this list; rather, I chose the first ten books that popped into my head as being remarkably different for one reason or another. Some of these books are unique for their plots and characters, whereas others stand out due to their writing styles or overarching themes. Get ready for an eclectic list!

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

A supposedly extinct Lazarus woodpecker. A small town in Arkansas obsessed with said species of woodpecker. A young missionary whose story intertwines with that of the main character’s missing younger brother as these young people endeavor to figure out what in the world they’re supposed to be doing with their lives.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A literal watchdog named Tock. A trip to the Kingdom of Wisdom, which you can only reach via tollbooth. Princesses called Rhyme and Reason. Places with names like the Valley of Sound, Mountains of Ignorance, and the Island of Conclusions. SO. MANY. CLEVER. PUNS.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

A superhero with the power of both girl and squirrel, who also happens to be a college student studying computer science. A talking squirrel named Tippy-Toe that acts as both sidekick and best friend to Squirrel Girl. The inclusion of online chats, hilarious footnotes in the smallest font possible, and references to countless other heroes and villains in the Marvel universe.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Two college roommates turn into morally ambiguous mad scientists with a plot to develop superhuman powers. A main character who is an anti-hero that you can’t help but root for– and who is aided by a young girl he finds on the road. (I know this book sounds strange, but I swear that it’s fantastic!)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The sprawling narrative of this novel is unlike anything else I have ever read. It is almost as though the chapters are irrelevant; instead, the story barrels straight on through without any pauses or hesitation. Elements of magical realism add an intriguing unpredictability to the narrative that keeps the audience on their toes at all times.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

One of the strangest combinations of childhood nostalgia, fantastical elements, and thrilling suspense… but somehow it ends up creating a short but striking novel characteristic of Neil Gaiman’s remarkably unique imagination.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

An impressively interwoven blend of historical and science fiction that will both confuse and enlighten the reader (the confusion is definitely worth it!). A thin tightrope between reality and memory, spanning across that gray area that everyone dips their toes into at some point. Also, this novel has the best quirky (and meaningful) repeated mantra: So it goes. 

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

An incredibly confusing (yet surprisingly captivating) narrative structure. Four distinct perspectives. Characters with the same names. A plot like a puzzle that has to be pieced together– though there will always be at least one piece missing.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

An unsettling dystopian world centered around the reproductive roles of women in society. A story that is completely and disturbingly relevant in today’s world, especially regarding recent feminist movements and questions surrounding the relationship between politics, sex, and gender.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Waking up in a strange place, completely alone and with no idea of what happened to anyone else. A scary figure on a mission to harm you in some way, though you can’t even imagine how so. This book is so unique that I don’t even want to describe it further for fear of spoiling anything!

Have you read any of these books? What are some unique books that you’ve read? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Newest Fandoms

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a fandom freebie, so I’ve decided to share the top ten fandoms that I’ve most recently become a part of. This semester in particular has been particularly fruitful in the fandom department. In no particular order, here are ten things that I’ve recently become a fan of:

What are your newest fandoms? Are you a fan of any of the things I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Writers I Would Love to Meet

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is one that I could talk about forever. After all, who doesn’t want to meet all of their favorite authors? As per usual, I’ve done the difficult job of narrowing it down to just ten writers. In no particular order, they are:

What writers would you love to meet? What authors have you met? What do you think of the authors on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors of Short Stories

Happy Tuesday!! Since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is one that I’ve already done recently, I decided to go with a bit of different twist. Today I’ll be sharing ten of my favorite authors who have written excellent short stories. I don’t read short stories very often– mostly just when I’m assigned to read them for courses– but some short stories and collections in particular have really stuck out to me over time. In no particular order, here are ten authors whose short stories are definitely worth reading:

What authors are your favorite short story writers? What are some of your favorite short stories? What do you think of the authors on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2017 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! The Broke and the Bookish are back with their weekly Top Ten Tuesday themes, and this week’s topic is a particularly timely one: the Top Ten Books on Your Spring TBR! The snow has just about melted completely where I live, allowing the grass beneath to soak in some much-needed sunshine and warmer air. As winter gradually gives way to spring, it’s time to start thinking about the exciting books we’d like to read this season. Though I likely won’t have an abundance of free time to read until after this semester is over in May, I’m still looking forward to getting a lot of reading done over spring break (AKA this week!). In no particular order, here are ten books that I would love to read soon:

 

 

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read in a Weekend

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Happy Tuesday!! This week is another Top Ten Tuesday freebie, so I’ve decided to share a list of books that I’ve been looking forward to making for quite some time: Ten Books I’ve Read in a Weekend. Some of these books I read over the course of a single weekend because they were very short; however, some of them were just too good to put down for long!

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What great books have you flown through in a single weekend? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons NerdCon Was AMAZING

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Happy Tuesday!! Since the ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish blog are taking a short hiatus from Top Ten Tuesday, I’ve decided to do a few freebie posts until they begin again. Today I’m here to talk about an exciting recent experience of mine: I went to NerdCon in Boston, MA!!! (If you want to learn more about NerdCon, you can check out the website by clicking here.) In no particular order, here are ten reasons why NerdCon was AMAZING:

1. Being in the same room as Hank and John Green.

I started watching the Vlogbrothers’ Youtube channel back when I was in seventh grade. Middle school was a tumultuous time, and the sense of community that Nerdfighteria provided me was invaluable in getting me through. John inspired and captivated me with his novels, Hank made me laugh endlessly with his jokes and songs, and their videos were four minute-nuggets of happiness. I owe so much to these brothers and it was absolutely surreal to see them standing on that stage in front of me, being their genuine and hilarious selves.

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2. All of the Pizza Johns and Hanklerfish.

Never before had I seen so many of these strange and lovely creations all in one place. I even drew my own Hanklerfish on the Hanklerfish wall!

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3. Being introduced to so many new Youtubers and content creators that I never knew about.

There’s nothing better than discovering even more fantastic people to follow! From musicians and writers to Youtubers and artists, I’m so excited to delve deeper into their work (as soon as all of this homework lets up, that is!).

4. Talking with Sabrina and the Nerdwriter.

I’ve been a fan of Sabrina (NerdyandQuirky) for quite some time, so it was awesome to actually meet her in person. I also got to meet the Nerdwriter (Nerdwriter1), who was an absolute joy to talk with.

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5. THE MERCH.

6. Being surrounded by so many people who genuinely love nerdy things.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how wonderfully nerdy the world really is. NerdCon was an important reminder that we’re not alone in being unabashedly nerdy, quirky, and passionate about the things we love.

7. Meeting Watsky.

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8. Seeng Harry and the Potters perform live.

Can you say, instant new fan??? This band was so full of energy and life and positivity on stage that it was impossible not to feel empowered by the end of the performance. (Besides, who doesn’t love being able to jump around and scream about Harry Potter?!?!?!)

9. Feeling the overwhelmingly positive support of the Nerdfighteria community.

Nerdfighteria is truly a community of people unlike any other. A sense of togetherness pervaded the atmosphere of the convention, and everyone was so friendly and kind and thoughtful to one another. It made me proud to call myself a Nerdfighter!

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10. The warm and fuzzy sense of nostalgia and gratitude that continually washed over me throughout the entire day.

It’s not an understatement to say that Nerdfighteria has shaped my life in too many ways for me to count. This day took me right back to my middle school and high school selves, those younger versions of myself that found comfort in the content produced by John and Hank and all of the people associated with their incredible community. I am unbelievably grateful to Hank and John for all that they have done!!

If you ever get the chance to go to NerdCon, I have two words for you: DO IT!! Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick summary of my amazing experience at NerdCon 2017!

What are your thoughts on NerdCon? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Exceeded My Expectations

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Happy Tuesday! Today I’m here to share an incredibly positive bookish list with you all that will hopefully brighten your day with some recommendations. Usually I try to begin reading a book with an open mind, but it’s inevitable that there will be some initial expectations floating around. Fortunately, I’ve read countless books that I’ve ended up loving so much more than I first thought I would. Without further ado, here are ten books that have exceeded my expectations: 

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What are some books that have exceeded your expectations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY