Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is talking about characters and desert islands, but I’m talking about books I want to re-read. I used to ONLY re-read the books I already owned, or check out certain books from the library over and over again. In the last few years, probably upon discovering Goodreads yearly challenge, I evolved into a different kind of reader. I will still re-read for a series refresher, but that’s about it. There are so many books I’ve read and loved and I feel like I can’t fit the time for a re-read into my reading schedule (which I’m basically doing away with, but more on that at a later time).

So, without further ado, here are the first 10 books I plan on re-reading that aren’t for a series refresher (otherwise please add The Diviners and The Raven Cycle books).

  1. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta – someone said JONAH GRIGGS on twitter last week and that was enough of a reason
  2. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley – one of the first books I read after becoming a book blogger, and still one of my favorites
  3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – since I secretly started playing a MMORPG again AND I loved this book I feel like it’s time for a reread
  4. After I Do/Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I JUST read these, and I’m already dying to read them again
  5. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – I need a reread for tattoo inspiration anyway, but this series of graphic novels is my favorite
  6. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness – (muffled sobs)
  7. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – (muffled sobs continue)
  8. God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo – Still with the sobbing, but I just really love to be emotionally ruined by books
  9. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – What if I read all these books one right after the other and just sobbed for two weeks straight?
  10. Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer – This book instantly became a part of me and I’ve been dying to reread it ever since I read it last year.

Coffee Talk: Authors With Multiple Names

coffeetalk1(Disclaimer: I wrote this several weeks ago, so while my thoughts still apply, my main point may seem a little behind the times.)

 

If you haven’t already heard, Katie Finn is Morgan Matson and she is the reason for today’s Coffee Talk.

I, for one, am not crazy about all these authors using different names. If I like your books, I want to be able to find more of your books. This is quite a departure from Second Chance Summer, Since You’ve Been Gone, and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, so I can’t help but think authors are trying to keep their fans from their work, especially if some of it might be deemed inferior.

When I don’t like it: It makes a little bit of sense to me when the author goes the NA route, like Diana Peterfreund or Veronica Rossi (for example) have done. I appreciate that they made big announcements saying they were publishing books under other names so the information was accessible. Not like with Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things To Mend where it was like a big guessing game until you went to Katie Finn’s goodreads page or website and it was obviously a picture of Morgan Matson. She has written several books under that name that I’ve never heard of, and now I have no inclination to read them because of my feelings towards Broken Hearts.

Another, and perhaps most recognizable, example is Jennifer Armentrout, or J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout, or whatever other combination of names she writes under. She puts her full name WITH the alias, so I’m extremely perplexed as to WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT of that. I’ve read one of her books and I didn’t much care for it so I would not be interested in reading her other books under her other names – even the much fawned over Lux series.

The Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant Conundrum: Because I’m only familiar with the Mira Grant titles, I have no desire to read Seanan McGuire’s work under that name because there’s got to be a reason to keep the work separate right? Even if it’s well known that they’re the same person, I feel like it’s taking too big a chance. If they all the work was similar in scope and style and terrificness (I LOOOOVED Newsflesh series and tore through last years Parasite), they would all be under the same name.

I mean, if Neil Gaiman started producing works under an alias, I would still read the crap out of them. As it is, he writes adult books, graphic novels, middle grade, AND children’s books all under one name. It’s name that carries more weight in the publishing world than others mentioned, but it’s easy to find – if not easy to sort through such a collection.

I’m interested in what other people think about this. What do you like or dislike about authors using multiple names? Would an alias stop you from reading your favorite author?

 

Review: The Sea of Tranquility

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Title/Author: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Publication Date/Publisher: November 13, 2012/Atria Books
Series: No
Source and Format: Own for kindle

Rating: 5 stars

From Goodreads:

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

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I bought The Sea of Tranquility when it was a kindle daily deal on May 19, 2013. I’m really upset with myself right now for waiting so long to read it. I’m kicking myself for not feeling “into it” this whole long weekend, especially since I just sat down and read 61% more or less without stopping, but it took me 2.5 days to read the first 39%.
The Sea of Tranquility was rough for me to start. Nastya and Josh and both very unlikeable to me. I would never say they don’t deserve their anger, but overall, their abrasiveness put me off.

The relationships in The Sea of Tranquility are top notch: I came around to Nastya and Josh, Nastya and Drew AND Josh and Drew and all of them together, the Leightons, Nastya wanting to friends with Tierney but not knowing how.

The absence of any real parents (besides the Leightons once a week) and the practically living together and Josh’s situation with Leigh make this feel almost more like New Adult that Young Adult. I feel like this could have taken place with a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds and been basically the same story.

The Sea of Tranquility pulled some emotional punches. Millay has some moments of absolutely beautiful writing, and then it’s ruined by Nastya calling someone a cocksucker or something.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Movies

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is talking about some of our OTHER favorites. I had planned on doing TV shows, but I watch all the same shows as everyone else and it wouldn’t be as entertaining as divulging my awful taste in movies.

So all through high school I had one of those little televisions that had the built in VCR. I also lived right across the street from the best Target in the world, and since DVDs were clearly taking over, VHS tapes were super low-priced. They were $5 or less, but the selection wasn’t exactly current.

  1. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is my all-time, numero uno, favoritest movie ever. Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds star in this musical as the owner of a whorehouse and the sheriff, respectively. They’re sneaking around together and singing and just being amazing. I love Dolly Parton SO MUCH and this movie has it all.
  2. Stick It is a movie I love but I feel like it should be a secret. It’s technicalllllly a sports movie which means it’s okay, but it’s mostly all the gymnastics that gets me.
  3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – RDJ and Val Kilmer having a sass off.
  4. Slap Shot/Goon: Obviously I love Slap Shot THE MOST, but Goon is such a good hockey movie too and Liev Schrieber (and Jay Baruchel, if I’m being honest).
  5. Empire Records IF YOU DON’T LOVE THIS DON’T TALK TO ME
  6. Almost Famous (see above)
  7. 200 Cigarettes is everything. Literally everyone is in it and it’s fab
  8. Mallrats is the movie that made me fall in love with Jason Lee and I can’t even explain why I still love it. I can’t really watch it ever because I have the whole thing memorized, but it’s something I can always put on to go to sleep.
  9. Clueless is a movie I appreciate and love more every time I watch it.
  10. Reality Bites/Pump Up the Volume/Heathers: I definitely understand the Christian Slater in the 80′s thing. WINONA FOREVER

Audio Review: World War Z

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Title/Author: World War Z by Max Brooks
Publication Date/Publisher: September 12, 2006/Random House Audio
Series: No
Source and Format: Purchased, Audio CD
Rating: 4 stars
From Goodreads:
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. “World War Z” is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

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They…made a movie out of this?
Okay. I did some internet researching. The only thing the movie has in common with the book is the name. I feel a little bit better about it now.
I should have waited a little longer to start World War Z after finishing the Newsflesh Trilogy. Some of the zombie lore got brought over and jumbled up and it wasn’t really a HUGE deal since a zombie is a zombie but…was it ever explained how the outbreak started? As I noted in my Lord of the Rings audio review, I space out while driving and miss some things – so was it African rabies mutated to undead cannibalism or something else?


I liked the full cast reading – Mark Hamill, Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, and Henry Rollins all appear. I was excited about Henry Rollins until I remembered that I hate him now. Anyway, I’m sure there are some other exciting names on there, but these are the ones that stood out to me.



Some of the stories are more interesting than others, sure, but I really enjoyed the way the whole story was presented and the overall presentation was very well done.

ARC Review: Boomerang

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Title/Author: Boomerang by Noelle August

Publication Date/Publisher: July 15, 2014/William Morrow Paperbacks
Series: Yes, Boomerang #1
Source and Format: Received advanced copy from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 stars

From Goodreads:

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

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Mia wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment and M.I.A. (haha!) underwear. She doesn’t remember the name of her new friend, or what exactly they got up to last night. Ethan isn’t faring much better, but at least he remembers Mia’s name.


Boomerang opens on an incredibly awkward morning after that just keeps going. Ethan and Mia both have somewhere to be for a new job early in the morning, and share a cab…to the same address. They’re about to be co-interns at Boomerang, a new online dating site just for getting that rebound out of the way. Which is what they both just did last night.


Boomerang is SO CUTE. It’s NA where the focus is on the storyline and not just sexual encounters – though there are at least two! (And now we know what Perry and Aria are getting up to…I mean, what?)


It’s mostly a fun, light romance but I shed some tears. I love the rich cast – Mia and Ethan’s families and friends are fully fleshed out characters and more than anything, I loved Mia’s friends/roommates. I love their closeness and was completely envious of their bond.


Boomerang is going to be a great read for the beach or poolside – blame your flushed cheeks on getting too much sun.

(I’m kind of sad that boomerang.com is not an actual tie-in site.)

Audio Review: Gone Girl

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Title/Author: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Publication Date/Publisher: May 24, 2014/Orion Publishing Group Limited
Series: No
Source and Format: Borrowed from Library, Audio CD
Rating: re-read
From Goodreads:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
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I originally read Gone Girl in September 2012 and gave it four stars. I think that rating stands, or is possibly a tiiiiiny bit lower on this audio re-read.


With the movie coming out this year, I wanted the book to be a little fresher in my mind. The trailer made it look promising, but then I remembered the journals. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO DO IT?! I would watch the movie just to find that out.


Once I started listening, the little twists and everything started coming back to me. The narrator for Nick did not really work for me at first, especially knowing that Ben Affleck “is” Nick Dunne – the voice did not have the supreme manly quality that Nick should have, in my mind. The narrator for Amy was practically perfect, because of course she would have to be.


Now I just have to hope I can keep it all in my head until at least October 3.

ARC Review: The Kiss of Deception

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Title/Author: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Publication Date/Publisher: July 8, 2014/Henry Holt
Series: Yes, The Remnant Chronicles #1
Source and Format: Received advanced copy from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 stars
From Goodreads:
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

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Oh hey there unexpected tears through the last 10% of this book. How you doin’?


Almost every tweet and review I’ve seen for The Kiss of Deception spoils it. I don’t know why anyone would describe the major plot twist/DECEPTION, but this will be a spoiler-free zone.


Lia is great. She runs away on her wedding day, she stands up to soldiers manhandling her and her friend in a tavern, she carries a knife on her thigh, and basically gives up her whole cushy royal life to be a barmaid in order to live her life on her own terms. She said “no, thank you” to being queen and uniting kingdoms and PTFO’d, sending the prince a note that she wouldn’t marry him without ever seeing him – and then talks shit about him right to his face!


We come dangerously close to a love triangle, but I feel like it’s mostly averted. Lia makes time with the prince and the assassin, but it’s obvious who her heart belongs to and it’s a pretty good ship.



Beware of cliffhangers! The Kiss of Deception ends mid-scene-ish, much like The Falconer, though not quite as abruptly.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Confessions

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This week, The Broke and the Bookish is asking for our Top Ten Bookish Confessions.

 

  1. I read while I eat and sometimes library books go back a little more crumb filled than I got them.
  2. My cats like books and I “let” them live in the book case. They rub their little faces and teeth on everything…especially library books that smell like other homes. So I’ve also sent books back to the library with little kitten puncture marks.
  3. I have a hard time paying attention to audiobooks. I listen to them while I’m driving and space out a lot.
  4. Once I start DNFing, I get on a serious roll. I’m more likely to DNF multiple books in a row than to just do one and then move on to loving the next book I pick up (which does happen sometimes).
  5. I cheat at my reading schedule ALL THE TIME – like there is practically no point in having one.
  6. I do less reading on the weekends than during the week. This is mostly why my reading schedule fails. For instance, I just had a 3 day weekend and didn’t even finish one book, but I had 3 on my schedule.
  7. I WANT to write notes in the margins of books I own, but I CAN’T. I don’t want to see my old thoughts when I re-read, especially if my opinion has changed. I can’t highlight/underline passages I like either. I keep a stack of post-its with me.
  8. I have read less than half the books I own, yet I keep buying more (I think I’m going to see this on a lot of lists this week!)
  9. I sometimes get legit panicked about all the books I will never read.
  10. I used to be a serial re-reader. This has changed in the last couple of years, but I used to only read the (much smaller amount of) books I already owned over and over again. Now I long for re-reads!

ARC Review: After I Do

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Title/Author: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date/Publisher: July 1, 2014/Washington Square Press
Series: No
Source and Format: Received advanced copy from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 stars
From Goodreads:
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

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This is not a book to finish in the parking lot before work. There are many reasons, I’m sure, to be crying in a college campus parking lot, but a book that makes you take a good hard look at your marriage is probably not high on the list of occurrences. After seeing some great reviews for After I Do and Forever, Interrupted, I knew I had to request this title. I haven’t read Forever, Interrupted yet, but I get the feeling that After I Do is going to be this year’s Nowhere But Home around the book blogosphere.


This is the most truthful account of married life I have read so far – I say this as a married person, though I wouldn’t say I’m like a marriage expert or anything. the underlying question that runs through After I Do – what are you willing to fight for? – really hit me. I’m not the best at making the decisions or letting things go or compromising or being nice, even. So I have to make an effort to do these things because I’ve decided that staying mostly happily married is better than always getting my way or saying every mean thing that pops into my head.


Lauren has conversations with everyone in her family about the separation and what it means and what she should do and how to fix her marriage. Lauren is breaking the news of the separation to her Grams on Christmas and they have an exchange about the importance of happiness in marriage. Grandma asserts that it is impossible (and unimportant) to be happy all the time. At first I was SHOCKED to read this and thought Grandma was WRONG. Of course she’s not, but it took a few minutes for that to sink in for me.


There is no catastrophe that brings Ryan and Lauren to their breaking point. A series of grievances by both parties build over time and erupt during a fight that is not any worse or more important than any other fight. The result is the decision to take a yearlong break with no contact. One day you’re arguing about where the car is parked, the next you’re splitting up your belongings and fighting about who’s going to get the dog.


I’ve been feeling very drawn to books about married life – not post-divorce or pre-wedding, but just regular ol’ married life. I was only engaged for 7 weeks and then we more or less eloped, so I didn’t have very many people even have a chance to give me any kind of advice or insight about what it would be like. So now, almost 2 years after the fact, I feel like I’m searching for the book that will give me THE SECRET to the perfect marriage, which obviously I know is not going to happen. After I Do takes things to a level I don’t think I would ever go to, but everything felt very real.