Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Put On Hold

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (determined by That Artsy Reader Girl) is generally about series and whether or not we’re going to finish them. If there’s one bookish tidbit you need to know about me, it’s that I’m usually awful at staying up to date with series (this also includes TV series… I’m always SO BEHIND). Even though I might fail from an execution standpoint, most of the time I really do have the best intentions to follow through to the end of a series. This week I’d like to share ten series that I do plan on finishing someday… I’ve just put on hold for now while I’m distracted by other things. 

Which series have you given up on, momentarily or otherwise? What do you think of the series I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is the Top Ten Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In. Something tells me that there are plenty of unpleasant bookish settings to choose from and that most of these are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s jump right in!

What bookish worlds would you never want to live in? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-human Characters

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic highlights characters that share specific qualities. This could be literally anything under the sun: gender, race, location, beliefs, names, magical powers, etc. In no particular order, here are ten great books with non-human characters: 

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

Yours,

HOLLY

Classic Couple

A Classic Couple: 1984 and Illuminae

It’s time for another Classic Couple, a feature inspired by a past Top Ten Tuesday list. George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 is known for being an unsettling masterpiece of dystopian fiction. Its literary influence spans decades since its initial publication in 1949, as shown by the many elements it shares with contemporary fiction such as Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Though one the former novel takes place in a not-so-distant society on Earth and the latter is set in outer space, there are a surprising number of similarities between these two books.

 

Themes || Control. Authority. Civilization. Resistance. Rebellion. Independence. Individuality. Freedom. I could go on and on listing the countless themes and topics that permeate this classic couple. These themes are universal and always relevant in any society, which is likely why 1984 has thrived in the literary limelight.

A look ahead || These novels offer very different views of the future, one clearly more near than the other. Beneath the surface of these outlooks are warnings about what lies ahead should we take the wrong turn as a society. Will we let technology control us? Will we ruin our own planet? Will we lose all sense of individuality, freedom, and independence? The power of literature allows us to remember these warnings and (hopefully) take them to heart.

Technology || Technology plays an important role in these books, largely involving supervision, subjugation, and maintaining control. From AIDAN that controls the space ship to Big Brother that monitors everything and everyone, technology these writers clearly view technology as a tool that can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

A jaw-dropping ending || These books left me speechless as I turned their final pages. It sounds strange to say, but the endings are similar in their inhumanity: the torture described in 1984 is unimaginable and the rigid consciousness of AIDAN seems like a mockery of the human mind. I wish there was a sequel to 1984 like there is for Illuminae because I would love to see where that society goes in the future.

I still have yet to read the sequel to Illuminae, but I desperately want to! (I know, I know, I’ve been saying this for the longest time…) I highly recommend both of these fantastic books!

What do you think of this classic couple? What other books would you pair with 1984? What are your thoughts on either or both of these books? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pair with Classics

Happy Tuesday!! August is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start thinking about going back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is back-to-school themed, which means I’ve decided to focus on classic literature. Classics definitely get a bad reputation from required reading lists in classrooms; however, I think looking at parallels between classic and contemporary literature help demonstrates how books from the past influence what we read and write in the present. Here are ten classic couples to check out!

I’m thinking of starting a series of posts in which I go into more detail about some of these pairs. There are so many parallels between classic and contemporary literature!

What books would you pair with some of your favorite classics? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Bookish, Tags

What Cats Do | Book Tag

Cats are great. If I wasn’t allergic to cats you can bet that I would be getting one as soon as I lived somewhere without dogs that would torment it. Cats are independent, their purrs are adorable, and they have the prettiest eyes. Knowing my affection for cats, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered the existence of the What Cats Do Book Tag. This tag was created by Kate @meltingpotsandothercalamitiesThanks so much to Zuky @ Book Bum for tagging me!!

Purr: As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I reread this book almost every summer because it’s such a beautifully told story. I feel like I mention it in nearly every tag I do, but it honestly deserves all the recognition it can get!

Sleep: What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

Last semester I took a course on Renaissance poetry and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) never having to do that again. Not only am I not really interested in that time period, but I just couldn’t take how sexist and repetitive the majority of those sonnets are.

Twitch while dreaming: Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

YES. I vividly remember dreaming of Hogwarts and adventures with Harry and his friends when I first started reading and watching Harry Potter. I think it had something to do with getting Hedwig back after Draco Malfoy had stolen her…

Seems to play nice…until the claws are out!:  Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The end of this book literally made my jaw drop. I’ve been saying this for EONS, but I can’t wait to continue on with this series!

Cuddles: Which book character would you give a hug to?

Stanley Yelnats from Holes by Louis Sachar. I just feel like this kiddo could use a hug after everything he’s been through. Plus, he has one of the best names ever and I’m so jealous.

Catnip: What’s a book that made you have warm and fuzzy feels?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling. I love Mindy’s books because they’re honest, hilarious, and always leave me with a new perspective. (Also, shout out to the adorable chapter about her friendship with B.J. Novak!)

Cat breeds: Your favorite book(s)?

One of my favorite books is My Ántonia by Willa Cather (whose grave site I recently visited!). Cather’s writing is beautiful and this story dives into some really interesting ideas about travel, nostalgia, and how we develop our own identities.

Getting the cat: How did you find your favorite book(s)?

In the case of My Ántonia, I was assigned to read it for a Cultural Diversity in American Literature class I took during my second semester of my freshman year of college. I LOVED that class, both because of the professor and the subject matter.

Being in places they shouldn’t: Least favorite cliché?

I think one of the most cliche tropes in books is the love triangle. I can’t even explain how much I dislike love triangles in any form, especially when they’re either the entire basis for the plot or completely unnecessary aspects of the plot. (Unfortunately, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is a great example of this latter point.)

The good old cardboard box: Most underrated book series?

I LOVED the Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch when I was younger, but I only know a few other people who have read it. This series is incredibly clever, creative, and suspenseful!!

Thanks again to Zuky for tagging me! This was such a fun tag! It makes me want to get a cat so badly….

What are your answers to these questions? Do you have a cat? Are you more of a cat person or a dog person (or both!)? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

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

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

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Pictures Worth Ten Thousand Words

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Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is one that I don’t talk about often on this blog: pictures and visuals in books. Though I haven’t read very many graphic novels or comic books, I have come across some memorable illustrations and creative uses of images in many of the books I’ve read. Here are ten books whose illustrations, images, and design I’ve thoroughly enjoyed:

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What are your favorite books with pictures? Any specific illustrators you like? Have any recommendations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Tags

STRANGER THINGS Book Tag

created by- arunning-commentary.blogspot.com

First, let me get this out of the way: I LOVE Stranger Things. I love its creepy vibe, the multiple story lines, the characters that you can’t help but support even when though they might make mistakes (I’m looking at you, Steve). As soon as I finished watching the first season I immediately felt the desire to go right back to the beginning and watch it all over again. (I didn’t, but if I had had a smidgen less will power I definitely would have.)

With that being said, I was ecstatic when I discovered that a book tag had been created by Nisha @ A Running Commentary based on this brilliant show. I haven’t been officially tagged by anyone, but I couldn’t resist joining in! Besides, it’s the perfect book tag for this Halloween season!!

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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THE FIRST BOOK IN A SERIES THAT LEFT YOU INTRIGUED AND SLIGHTLY CONFUSED

IlluminaeIlluminae by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

I feel as though I’m destined to mention this book in nearly every book tag that I do. It just applies to so many different scenarios! This first installment definitely left me intrigued and excited for the next book, though I was a bit confused by the sudden burst of information released at the very end. I can’t wait to read the sequel!

theupside-downA BOOK WITH A SETTING YOU WOULD NEVER WANT TO LIVE IN

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I feel like this is a pretty obvious choice, especially since both Panem and the Arena have been made even more gruesome by their time up on the big screen. Living in the Arena would be absolutely terrifying, though I imagine that living in Panem in general wouldn’t be much better. These settings are horrific enough to be the fuel for nightmares!

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A BOOK YOU OWN THAT IS SOMEWHAT DAMAGED, BUT LOVED TO PIECES

the outcasts of 19 schuyler placeThe Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg

I bought a copy of this book at a Scholastic book fair when I was in third grade (remember those golden days?) and I have read it countless times since then. My copy is pretty beat up and torn in some places at this point, but it holds too many memories for me to part with it just yet!

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A TRILOGY YOU ALWAYS GO TO WHENEVER YOU NEED A PICK-ME-UP

lord of the rings coverLord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I have read this trilogy so many times that I feel like I could recite it by heart at this point. I first read them as I was entering middle school, a time when I definitely needed the comfort of a captivating story. These will forever be three of my all-time favorite books, and I cannot wait until the next time I sit down to reread them again.

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A BOOK WITH A TERRIFYING BEAST YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO FACE IN A DARK ALLEY

438353-2The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Is it just me, or are the R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size) that Westley and Buttercup encounter in the Fire Swamp super terrifying?! (No? Just me?) They’re huge, they’re hairy, and they’re not afraid to pounce unexpectedly whenever the opportunity to attack arrives. Despite their numerous frightening qualities, I can’t help but adore their acronym. It’s so clever!

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A BOOK WITH A VILLAIN WHO IS BOTH MANIPULATIVE AND DEDICATED

Vicious by V.E. SchwabVicious by V.E. Schwab

There are so many great villains out there, but I think I’m going to have to agree with Nisha and go with Eli Ever. Not only is he incredibly intelligent, but he’s also extremely talented at getting what he wants from people. He sort of reminds me of Moriarty in the BBC Sherlock series (at least, that’s how I picture him in my mind).

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A BOOK YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO LOVE

10974As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Although I enjoyed reading Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, it didn’t quite resonate with me as did As I Lay Dying. I love how this seemingly simple story unfolds with countless wrinkles and surprises as the tale is told. Faulkner is a master of authentically capturing dialect on a page. Long story short, this novel has officially converted me into a Faulkner fan.

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A BOOK WITH A SETTING THAT’S JUST A LITTLE BIT STRANGE

497118The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Somehow this is yet another fantastic children’s novel that evaded the reach of my reading radar when I was younger. The Phantom Tollbooth is honestly one of the most clever, creative, witty, and hilarious books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I’m so glad I finally read it… it only took me nineteen years!

Since I don’t know who has seen this show and who hasn’t, I’m going to tag ANYONE AND EVERYONE. Feel free to do this tag if you’d like to!

Do you like Stranger Things? (Who am I kidding– what’s not like?) What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY