Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

It's time again for The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2015

My year so far has been a lot busier than I anticipated, so I way behind on my goals. I have only read 19 books so far this year.  But out of those 19, here are my 10 favorite: 

1. Night by Elie Wiesel: It's definitely a difficult read, but it's eye opening and powerful.

2. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: He was funny and thought-provoking; a wonderful combination. 

3. Stardust by Niel Gaiman: This audiobook was also read by the author and totally worth it. 

4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman: I had heard of the story before, but never read it.  It's a great story. 

5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman:  AWESOME!!!!  I even convinced my book club to read it. 

6. Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman:  Sensing a trend in the books I have read this year???

 7. Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett: Such a funny read with an awesome main character.

 8. Rosanna by Maj Sjowall:  A murder mystery that is very well done.

 9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: This book was very thought-provoking and interesting.

10. Dirty Chick by Antonia Murphy:  This is a fun read by a hilarious woman who looks at life in a unique way.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Making Up For Monday: Spread the Love!

It's time for Making Up For Monday! This is a weekly meme hosted by me that asks some fun literary questions. Feel free to play along! 

This week's question: Spread the love!  What are some of your favorite blogs to follow and why?  (Besides mine of course!) 

Here are my top three: 

The Broke and The Bookish:  Not only to the have fun features like Top Ten Tuesday and Secret Santa, but this group of gals write some super fun reviews.

Words For Worms: She's quirky and weird; just my style!

Never Enough Shelf Space: Page's reviews are well thought out, helpful; and honest. 

What about you: 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Paper Towns: 3 Stars

Paper Towns by John Green 

John Green is one of my favorite authors who happens to write books I don't really care about. I think he is funny and brilliant, but not necessarily in his books. I follow a lot of what he writes and says outside of his books, and can't get enough.  For that reason, I keep reading his books.

Paper Towns is a book about a nerdy boy and the popular girl next door he is in love with. They were friends as kids, but as they grew up, they stopped spending so much time together. One night, Margo (the popular girl) climbs into Q's (the nerdy boy) window and wants to sneak out with him to extract revenge upon those who have wronged her. After a night of adventure, Margo doesn't show up to school for a few days and Q sets off to find her.

As with Green's book Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns shows a boy who likes a girl based upon what he created in his mind, and not really the person. Q seems to miss that Margo came to him not out of unrequited love, but because he was close and had a car. He then spends most of his time and energy (and his friends' time and energy) in search of a girl who hadn't given him the time of day in years. I liked this because it's more realistic than most movies/books.

As with his other novels, my favorite character was a side character.  Radar was Q's best friend. Along with having a fun personality and being a loyal friend, Radar had to live with parent's who had the world's largest black Santa collection that they showed with pride. It was an awesome side character to put in a book and added an element of sarcasm and humor.

In the end, I thought the book was okay, but not great. It was boring in the middle and I hated both Margo and Q throughout the majority of the book. Once again, I am not sure if I am disappointed because the book wasn't that great, or if I built up anticipation because of the author. Read for yourself and tell me what you think.

Rating: R (language and sexual content) 

Recommended for those who enjoy: coming of age stories, teenage love stories, and sarcasm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Making Up For Monday: To Tell the Truth or Lie

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It's time for Making Up For Monday! This is a weekly meme hosted by me that asks some fun literary questions. Feel free to play along! 

This week's question: What do you do if someone you love recommends a book and you end up hating it?

This is a tough one. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings but I don't want to lie. For one, if I tell them I like it, they may keep recommending the same type of book, and then you are stuck. But if you tell the truth, it might really hurt their feelings. 

My approach is to tell them that it just wasn't my style. This way they may understand that it isn't a personal thing, just a matter of style. 

What about you?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Making Up For Monday: Pet Peeves

It's time for Making Up For Monday! This is a weekly meme hosted by me that asks some fun literary questions. Feel free to play along!

This week's question: What is your biggest pet peeve with authors?

This is an easy one for me because it's been on my mind a lot lately.  I love reading books becasue they become so personal to me. The story and characters combine with my thoughts and experiences to give me my own personal view and opinion of the book. What I get out of a book is a unique experience. Books are a form of art and as with most art, it's not about what the artist puts into it; it's what others get out of it.

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighter once said: 

“That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.”

While he was talking about music, I think they same applies to books. The author may write it for one reason, but everyone reads it  for a different reason. 

So what's my pet peeve?  Authors who come out and say what I should have gotten from the book. No! You do not get to tell me how I should interpret your book. I am a unique individual with a unique life experience and I will get something different out of than what you thought you put in.  AND THAT'S OKAY! I absolultely hate being told I interpreted a book wrong. Ugh! 

I leave you with a quote from William Golding:

“There have been so many interpretations of the story that I'm not going to choose between them. Make your own choice. They contradict each other, the various choices. The only choice that really matters, the only interpretation of the story, if you want one, is your own. Not your teacher's, not your professor's, not mine, not a critic's, not some authority's. The only thing that matters is, first, the experience of being in the story, moving through it. Then any interpretation you like. If it's yours, then that's the right one, because what's in a book is not what an author thought he put into it, it's what the reader gets out of it.”

Monday, June 8, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

It's time again for The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

I only have five for this week's top ten, since I am really behind on reading and what is coming out.  But here is my list:

1. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee:  I love To Kill A Mockingbird so much and was always sad that there were no other Harper Lee books. I hope this one is awesome and I can't wait to read it.

2. Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham: I will read anything he puts out. Seriously, I will read whatever he puts out because I think he is a brilliant writer who is a master of character development.

3. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough: I know very little about the Wright brothers and McCullough has a way of informing and entertaining.

4. Love May Fail by Matthew Quick: His books have been disappointing for me lately, but I am not ready to give up on him yet.

5. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella: She is one of my "guilty pleasure" reads. I just can't do the Shopaholic series so I like when she writes stand alone novels.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Making Up For Monday: New Ending

It's time for Making Up For Monday! This is a weekly meme hosted by me that asks some fun literary questions. Feel free to play along!

This week's question: Is there a book you would like to change the ending to? If so, how would you change it?

YES! I would change the ending to The Help. I didn't like that Skeeter ended up alone. While I didn't want her to end up with the guy she was dating, I wanted her to find someone more like her.

What about you?  Any books you want to change the ending to?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/Tv Shows

It's time again for The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic:  Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/Tv Shows

I am totally cheating because I did this one before and honestly, my answers are the same. 

1. The Dinner: While this was definitely not my favorite book ever, I found the topic and theme intriguing and think that the medium of film might actually do it justice. As far as the casting, I would suggest perhaps Tom Hiddleston as the main character. He needs to be someone with a dark side but you understand why he has a dark side and feel pity for him, almost cheering for his evil.  We all know Mr. Hiddleston's got that down pat!

2. Boy21: I loved this book. It was all about a young man who is trying to find his way in the world and is suddenly given the responsibility of watching over someone else. That someone else is a troubled young basketball star who recently lost his parents and now believes himself to be an alien. This tale really goes into what some teenagers are forced to deal with and coping with tragedy. As far as casting, I have no idea.

3. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald: We hear and read a lot about F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are countless movies about the man.  But what about  from Zelda's perspective?  They were a young couple newly married thrown into fame and somewhat fortune. Scott had his issues with wanting to write the great American novel and alcoholism.  Zelda struggled with loneliness and eventually schizophrenia. In a time when mental illness was treated with electricity, she tried to rise about it all, only to be dragged down. I think a good Zelda Fitzgerald would be Emma Stone

4. Calico Joe: Baseball always makes me happy and this tale of the rising star who was humble and sweet is brilliant. I would go with a young Robert Redford for this one (we are in a perfect world, remember?)

5. The Screwtape Letters: Ok, so I am not exactly sure how this one would work, but I love it none the less. I was thinking maybe as a miniseries or TV show.

6. The Count of Monte Cristo: I know what you are thinking. "There are a ton of movies based on this book."  And you are correct. HOWEVER, none of these movies actually follow the book!  Again, this one may not be good for a movie.  A mini-series would be better since there is so much to cover.  But I don't want to see Edmund Dantes happy and smiling at the end!  Did no one read the book?! And as the lead character, hmmmm, that's a tough one. You need someone who can pull off innocence, ruggedness, desperation, and evil. Maybe Jude Law?  What do you think?

7. The Shadow of the Wind: I ADORE this book. I have a mad crush on Julian.  Who could play him?  Hmmm.... I haven't a clue!

8. I've Got Your Number: This one was my guilty pleasure. This would be a stereotypical chick flick.

9. Angels and Demons: Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon?  NO!!!!!!  Let's redo this with someone who is ACTUALLY like the character in the book. I am sorry Tom Hanks, but that's not you.  I am looking for a Daniel Craig, or a Michael Fassbender.