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

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Top Ten Tuesday

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!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is already half way over??? I’m still not used to how far along we are in the twenty-first century. Every time someone mentions the 90s my first thought is “Ah, yes, that decade ten years ago.” But that is NOT THE CASE and it’s kind of scary… Anyways, thanks so much to Inside My Library Mind for tagging me in this Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

Must we start with the most difficult question ever??? I’ve read so many great books this year that choosing just one is really hard, so I’m going to go with two: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky and Sartoris by William Faulkner. (Could you get two more opposite books??)

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

I actually don’t think I’ve read any sequels this year!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

When I heard that John Green was releasing a new book this fall I literally squealed in delight, surprise, and excitement. ANOTHER JOHN GREEN BOOK, PEOPLE. From what he’s shared about the basic premise of Turtles All the Way Down it promises to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, and story about adolescence, mental illness, and life. October can’t come soon enough!!!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’m honestly not very up to date with new releases for the second half of 2017, so I don’t think I have an answer to this question.

5. Biggest disappointment.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This was the first book I read (listened to, actually) in 2017 and I was so disappointed by it. I disagreed with many of her points and was frustrated by her tendency to focus on problems that were fairly tedious and insignificant compared with the more serious issues that some women have to deal with on a regular basis. The potential was there for this to be a great book, but in the end I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sartoris by William Faulkner. Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite Faulkner novel that I’ve read thus far. I had never heard of it before taking a closer look at the Faulkner section of my local library because usually people stick with his most well-known texts (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, etc.). Sartoris is under-rated, under-appreciated, and certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

E.M. Forster. I read his novel A Room with a View earlier this year and was absolutely enthralled by it. Not only is his writing beautiful, but the novel was incredibly thought-provoking and captivating. I look forward to reading more of his writing!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Vincent from On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Not only is Vincent incredibly musically gifted, but he’s also sweet, thoughtful, loyal, caring… what more could you want? This entire book is adorable and romantic in general– I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something really sweet, captivating, and heartwarming .

9. Newest favorite character.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. 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.

10. Book that made you cry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Though I didn’t physically cry while reading this poetry collection, I did feel emotional and sense tears welling up in my eyes at times. Rupi Kaur’s poetry is raw, honest, and beautiful. I highly recommend this collection!

11. Book that made you happy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I never read this book when I was a kid (are we sensing a trend here?) but I definitely wish I had because it’s SO FUN. I couldn’t help but smile all the way through this creative, hilarious, adorable book. Roald Dahl is the best! Also, now I really want to watch the movie adaptation directed by Wes Anderson. I’ve heard really great things about it!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky. I love everything about this cover design– the color, the simple design of handwriting on a solid background, and the way it’s messy but not overwhelmingly so. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve photographed this book (although looking at my bookstagram will give you a pretty good idea). This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, so I would highly recommend it!!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY. A novel I’m hoping to read by the end of the summer is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

Ahhh, there are so many!!! I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart ❤ For the sake of this tag, I’m going to give a shoutout to:

  • Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read. Not only do Shar and Shanti post thought-provoking, creative content on they’re blog, but they’re also both incredibly kind individuals. They leave the most thoughtful comments that always make me happy. If you haven’t checked out their blog, definitely do so!! ❤
  • Ariel Bissett. Ariel has been my favorite booktuber for YEARS. A smile immediately lights up my face every time I see that she has posted a new video because they always manage to brighten my day. I love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality and knack for creating content that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, creative, and entertaining.
  • Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel). I love her book blog, but I especially look forward to the photos she posts on bookstagram. They’re beautifully shot and always contain the most gorgeous editions of books. ❤

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How was your reading in the month of #may? Time for a #wrapup. – – 5⭐️ : The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (love the lyrical prose and choice of words) 5⭐️ : Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (loved minute observations of life in Russia & character sketches) 4.5⭐️ : The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (made me feel fortunate for medical advancements. Written in a stream of consciousness style) 4⭐️ : First Love by Gwendine Riley (imperfect lives and flawed characters told in minimal words) 4⭐️ : Lord Edgware dies by Agatha Christie (kept me on toes guessing the killer) 4⭐️ : The Muse by Jessie Burton ( moderate pace, predictable but enjoyable) 3.5⭐️ : Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (beautifully written story of a marriage between a young wife and older husband) 3.5⭐️ : Mr Tibbit's Catholic school (charming boarding school stories and nuances of headmasters) : : What was your favourite book of the month? : : #bookworm#maywrapup #thebooksatchelwrapup #coffee #booksbooksbooks #books

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I hope you’ve had a great first half of 2017 and that the second half is even better! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? How has your 2017 been so far? 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

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Ah, the movie that everyone has been talking about for what feels like ages. I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant to watch the new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast; however, I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, there were some parts that I definitely could have done without (how about that little time travel scene through the random magical book?!) but as a whole I thought it was pretty well done. Gaston and Lefou stole the show with their humor and chemistry, and I haven’t been able to stop the Beast’s song “Evermore” from playing over and over again in my mind. But don’t worry: the original animated version will always hold a special place in my heart. ❤

Today I’m here to share the Beauty and the Beast Book Tag! Thanks so much to Silanur @ Aloof Books for tagging me!! Without further ado, let’s get on with the questions. (In case you’re wondering, these awesome Beauty and the Beast graphics are from the original creator of the tag, Du Livre.)

A villain you can’t help but love.

I’m not sure if he is technically considered a villain or more of an anti-hero, but regardless I’m going to say Victor from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I love Schwab shows us the softer, moral side of him, causing us to even question his villain status in the first place. He and Eli also concoct one of the most interesting evil schemes I’ve ever read about. As someone who regularly carries epi-pens around with them for allergy reasons, the thought of them being used to revive people from near death and give them superhuman powers is super fascinating to me.

Your OTP. 

As per usual, I’m going to answer this question by saying Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. In the realm of fictional romantic relationships, theirs is one that strikes me as nearing the realm of realistic (obviously not entirely, but sort of close). Their relationship takes time to develop and there are plenty of ups and downs, just like in real life. Each time I reread this book (which, at this point, has been more times than I can reliably keep track of) I can’t help but eagerly root for them again and again even though I know how the story will end.

A character that’s destined for bigger things. 

Though there are a plethora of characters that fit this description, I’ve ultimately decided to go with Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Not only is Blue intelligent, determined, and hard-working, but she is also incredibly kindhearted and deserves to achieve her dreams in life. Whether those goals include attending college, exploring the world, starting a family, or all three, I hope she gets there. Fingers crossed that fictional life treats her well!

A book that makes you hungry. 

It might seem strange at first, but I’m going to say The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Even though the majority of this book discusses the many issues plaguing our modern-day food production industry, it nevertheless makes me want to chow down on some local veggies or freshly picked fruit. One thing’s for certain: it definitely doesn’t make me eager to swing into a McDonald’s drive-thru window any time soon!

Opposites attract. 

The first couple that popped into my mind when I read this prompt was Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which I think is pretty fitting. Though they are both headstrong and have dynamic, bold personalities, they nevertheless come from very different positions in society. Hardly seem to agree on anything.

What books would you have chosen for this tag? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Most importantly, what did YOU think of the new Beauty and the Beast movie? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To

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Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all doing well after the holiday season. I know that I always feel a bit blue, but Top Ten Tuesday never fails to cheer me up. This week I’ll be sharing the Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To. My list of books was so long that it was actually kind of difficult to narrow it down… but I managed!

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What are some books that you meant to read in 2016 but never got around to? What do you think of the books I mentioned? Which one of these should I put at the top of my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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The Jingle Bell Tag

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If I had to name my favorite genre of music, it would probably be Christmas music. Not only is there a song for every mood and situation and level of festivity you’re feeling, but holiday tunes also never fail to make me smile. (Except for “Christmas Shoes.” That song is the definition of SAD.) As you can imagine, I was so excited when I discovered that I had been tagged in the Jingle Bell Tag, created by Richard @ The Humpo Show. Thanks so much to Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for tagging me!

Now, on with the merry festivities!

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” | What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

I actually didn’t ask for any books for Christmas this year (*gasp* I know, I’m trying to show some self-control). Honestly, if Santa could buy me my textbooks for next semester that would be superb…

My Antonia“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” | What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

Oooh, what a tough question! I don’t think I’ll be able to choose just one because I’ve read a bunch of fantastic books in 2016, so I’ll go with three that come to mind: My Ántonia by Willa Cather, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

The_BFG_(Dahl_novel_-_cover_art)Elf | What book unleashes your inner child?

The BFG by Roald Dahl is always my go-to answer for this kind of question. It was my favorite book when I was in elementary school and after rereading it recently I can say that it’s still one of my favorite stories. Not only is it adorable, but it’s incredibly clever, witty, and well-written. If you’re not convinced, here are my top 8 reasons why you should read this lovely little gem (but believe me, there are way more than just eight!).

my true love gave to me cover“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” | Which book has the most festive look to it?

Definitely My True Love Gave to Me! This collection of holiday stories edited by Stephanie Perkins is perfect for this festive time of year. I love the variety of authors as well as the many different holidays that are represented within the twelve stories. There’s bound to be something for every reader to enjoy, no matter what holiday you celebrate or what kind of festive mood you’re in!

Vicious by V.E. SchwabThe Grinch | Your favourite villain…

Again, here’s another go-to answer of mine: Victor and Eli from Vicious by V.E. Schwab. These villains are dark and twisted, but there’s also a sense of morality and ambiguity to them. This is particularly true with Victor, who might be considered more of an anti-hero than an actual villain. Regardless, these characters have stuck in my mind ever since their first wild adventure.

jane eyre coverThe Holiday | Name your favourite TWO couples…

One: Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (as if I haven’t talked about this adorable duo enough on this blog…). Two: Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Even though they’re not actually a couple for the majority of the novel, I think the way they come together at the end is really beautiful. They’re certainly not perfect, but they show that love doesn’t have to be.

16130What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Oh, so many amazing books to choose from! I think that I’ll have to go with Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. This hefty biography is incredibly well-written and Hamilton’s life is so interesting and unbelievable that it almost reads like fiction. It’s also really fun to read it with songs from the Hamilton musical playing in the background– so much US history at once!!

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I also tag YOU, lovely reader!!

What are your answers to these prompts? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Most importantly, what’s your favorite Christmas song? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated 2017 Releases | Part 1

foodie-facts-about-me-11Happy Tuesday!! Today I’m here to talk about the Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to for the First Half of 2017. Because I’ve been up to my ears in homework for the past three months I’m not very up-to-date with all of the upcoming books being released soon. I can’t list a full ten books, but I do have a few that I’m really looking forward to reading.

29939230A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Though I still have yet to read the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m nevertheless really excited about the prospect of another installment in this unique fantasy series. I’ve loved everything by V.E. Schwab that I’ve read thus far, so I’m really looking forward to reading even more of her work. (Also, how gorgeous is this cover?)

24485589Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Ever imagined a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Belle as a hunters? If so, 2017 is your lucky year! This book sounds really fun and unique, especially since I haven’t read very many Beauty and the Beast retellings. Also, Meagan Spooner cowrote the fantastic These Broken Stars with Amie Kaufman, which I loved. Can’t wait to see how this book measures up to my expectations!

30038906The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

After reading When We Collided over the summer and really enjoying it, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Emery Lord. I’m always up for a good summer camp story, especially when it’s sure to discuss some hard-hitting topics. Emery Lord knows how to address taboo topics, such as mental illness, that are not often effectively or appropriately addressed in the Young Adult genre.

And…. that’s about all of the upcoming releases I know about! Clearly, I need some recommendations. What upcoming 2017 releases are you highly anticipating? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBR

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Happy Tuesday!! My favorite season has finally arrived: autumn. I love everything about this transitional season, from the crisp chill in the air to the golden hues of the foliage. In the spirit of the pumpkin-spiced season, the theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books on My Fall 2016 TBR List. Since the semester is currently underway, I don’t have much time for reading other than what I’m assigned to read for my classes. Still, I’m hoping to get some reading in on breaks and if I have a moment or two to spare here and there. Here are some of the books that I’m hoping to read this fall:

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I know I won’t be able to read all of these books in the next few months, but I would be ecstatic if I could get around to reading two or three of them.

What books are you looking forward to reading this fall? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY