Top Ten Tuesday! Books that have been on my TBR list the longest!

TTT-Big2This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish and has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s prompt is going to be about the books that have been on our TBR list.


We will start with my eBook portion as they have been with me longest.  From Nook:

2 am at the cat's pajamas A nine year old jazz singer, a divorcee looking for love, and a jazz lounge in trouble.  How can I resist?  I seriously want to read this!

Strange the dreamer  I read so many amazing reviews about this one, and had to have it.  Why haven’t I read it?  For one, I am at odds with Barnes and Nobles now and rarely go into that app at all.  Silly, I know, I was buying my books from them nearly exclusively for years so this is the majority of my library.  I just hate that they require me to have a debit card on file in order to open a book I paid for years ago.

the first fifteen lives of Harry AugustNo matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Lord, that blurb!  How could I not want to read this?

everything I never told youLydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

I was so excited about this one!  I still have to read it.  I also have her newer book on my TBR.

this is where it endsA school shooting told in four voices.  It sounds crazy good.  I really want to read it.





fly away homeI saw a review for this one forever ago, and it sounded great.  I love books like this and am still super excited to read it.




imaginary thingsWatching children play and invent whimsical games of fantasy is one of life’s great joys. But what if you could actually see your child’s imagination as it unfolded? And what would you do if your child’s imagination suddenly became dark and threatening?

Holy crap this sounds great!  Why haven’t I read this?


Now for my paper TBR:

teach me to forgetA girl ready to die is pushed to live.  This one sounds like it will wreck me, but it sounds so good.  I bought a paper copy immediately after reading a review for it.




welcome to the worldI had just read Fried Green Tomatoes and loved it.  Then I found this at my favorite used book shop for $2!  It’s been on my shelf ever since, but I swear I am going to read it!





literacy and longing in L.A.Some women shop. Some eat. Dora cures the blues by bingeing on books—reading one after another, from Flaubert to bodice rippers, for hours and days on end. In this wickedly funny and sexy literary debut, we meet the beguiling, beautiful Dora, whose unique voice combines a wry wit and vulnerability as she navigates the road between reality and fiction.

So this one just stole my bibliophile heart.  It was at the used book store too.


So that’s my list.  What’s on yours?

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Top Ten Tuesday! January 30th, 2018


This is a meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week it’s all about 10 books I can’t believe I read.  For this, I will only be dealing with books I finished and not my DNF pile.  Let’s start with the books I read so that I could see the movie without feeling bad. winter's tale1.Here’s a couple weeks worth of my life that I will never get back.  I wanted to see the movie- it looked so good and the premise of the story was one that I was really, really interested in.  The author was jumpy and erratic, could not stay on topic, and went on forever about things that simply didn’t matter.  The movie took like 2/3 of the book away, and it was better for it.  700 pages, and I wanted to throw my tablet by the 200th page.  Just watch the movie.



2.the martian  Okay, I am pretty rough on this one.  My husband wanted to see this movie so badly.  I had to read the book first.  The premise is good, the writing style was fluid and the characters were engaging.  This is something Warren calls hard science fiction, though, and apparently that is not for me.  TMI.  Weir would go on tangents about the workings of things- or the math behind it.  I don’t care!  It took me out of the story and bored the heck out of me.



the princess bride3.  I loved this movie- I loved it so much and I still love it.  I made my husband watch it the week we moved in together.  Great characters, high adventure, hilarity, true love and huge ass rodents.  What’s not to love?  The book.  I hate Goldman.  Harsh, I know, but he couldn’t stay on topic.  We’re getting along in the story, the plot’s great… and then we are at a hotel pool where’s he’s ogling some hottie?  Nope.  Not interested.  Just watch the movie.




hidden figures4.  This could have been so good, but it read like a text book.  There was no spark and I found it terribly dull.  The movie was everything I had hoped the book would be.






catcher in the rye5.  This book was required reading at every high school I went to (3) for different grades (which was strange let me tell you).  I hated it the first time.  It wasn’t any better the second time.  I gave up the third time and threw in my towel.  Holden’s a little shit.  He’s unrealistic and unlikeable.  There were other required reading that I didn’t love, but none I hated like this.




fifty shades of gray6. And…. I am about to be unpopular.  I wanted more plot.  There was a lot of sex and kink, some was way too detailed.  I don’t need all that.  What makes a book sexy to me is the play between characters- the chemistry.  I wanted… more.  Of everything but the sex.  Thankfully I waited in line for the library’s ebook instead of buying it or I would be truly pissed.




gone girl7.  The premise was interested and there was so much hype it was unreal.  I feel like the execution failed.  I couldn’t get a good feel for the characters- both unlikeable and irredeemable.  The writing was choppy and it just didn’t hold my interest.  I wouldn’t say it was awful…. but it certainly didn’t make me go buy her other books.




I actually think that’s it for my list.  There is my DNF pile…. but that’s another story.  What’s on your list?

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Look what I got the other Day!!!!!

A little bit ago I reviewed an eARC I received for Take Me With You, Andrea Gibson.  I had loved it so very much that I immediately preordered the paperback copy.  I promised myself I would share some of my favorite pieces…. and it may have gotten a wee bit out of hand.  I chose to just take pictures of the book because I don’t have a scanner (and did not want to risk my book’s binding) but I wanted the pictures that Sarah J. Coleman brought to the book.  So, without further ado:



The books that have meant the most to me, both this year and in the past.

This Year:

While both books are very recent reads for me, I know that they have shaped me and my way of thinking.  I have always been a firm believer that if I don’t understand something, or am confused, I had better get educated.  For me, the easiest way has always been to find a book.  A pastor I once knew told me that we (then I believed he meant Christians, but now I think he meant people) must learn about what we don’t understand because misunderstandings can lead to fear, leading to hate, violence… all of that can be reciprocated, pushed back.  Doubled.  All of it could be nipped in the bud by just reading up on a subject, putting yourself in another person’s shoes.  Asking questions…. just looking at someone and saying: I accept you.  There’s so much fear in America right now about “foreigners”, immigrants.  So many are screaming for them to be sent back- to never be allowed to be here in the first place…. but have they thought about what these people came from?  Why they needed us, and what they actually receive in way of help.  Have they thought about how long a refugee must wait, the hoops they have to jump through, just so their kids can have the life we take for granted?  It’s the same with the transgender question- which should never have become a question in the first place.  People are afraid of what would happen if they were allowed to pee in peace for crying out loud.  The world has gone mad and violence won’t solve it- only knowledge and acceptance.

Since I began my blog:

The Eagle Tree was a phenomenal book whose main character is autistic.  It goes into depth on March’s feelings, intellect, frustration and how he sees the world.  Having spent a lot of time working with autistic children, I feel like Hayes has a unique grasp on the struggle of autistic children.

Highly Illogical behavior addresses agoraphobia.  Solomon was a great character that brought to light a lot of heavy issues and still seemed to keep things light a lot of the time through the book.  It left me feeling wrecked and reworked.  I loved it.

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko is a book that I have spoken of several times.   It is both a coming of age, and a tutorial on how to survive with severe defects.  It is a study in fury and grace.  I loved it so much!

The Diary of Ma Yan wrecked me for a different reason.  Like nearly every other kid I have ever met I never respected the gift that education is.  There are those that can’t go to school- where it is so hard as to be nearly impossible to attain.  It made me grateful for the things I have in my life, for the chances I have been given.  It is one girl’s sweet search for knowledge.

Invisible Ellen moved me because of the way the author showed Ellen.  She was so obese as to be ashamed, to wish for invisibility and feel like she could never change.  Never get better.  Her best chance is to live a life where she is ignored.  Through the book she changes with the help of a new friend- but not it the magic “poof, now I am skinny” way a lot of books seem to- as if being skinny would magically cure her image of herself.  She made changes, got healthier, started believing in herself more…. understood she was worth the work.  That is why this book inspires me.

And just a few books that moved me from my past:

It is rare to find a book like I Shall Not Hate.  The author spent his life moving back and forth between sides of the Gaza strip trying to bridge gaps and bring health care to patients.  Even after the war cost him two children he refused to give in to hate.  This inspires me.  He, who had every reason to be angry, chose to preach peace and love.  Every time I even think of this book I am moved near tears.

The Book Thief inspired me simply by watching what the characters went through, how they reacted to one another, what was important to each of them.  It was beautiful and thought provoking.

I Am Nujood forced me to take a good look at the way of life in other areas, and the things we take for granted in our own.  It is a gorgeous, heart breaking story of a girl with more courage than I can even imagine.

I Am Malala, well, see above.  Like I Am Nujood and The Diary of Ma Yen it showed a girl fighting for something that should never have been in question in the first place.  Here, it is the right to education.  She was threatened- she was shot! And all for wanting an education.  It made me sick, and it made me desperate for change.  It made me think.  Stories like this, while hard, remind me to be grateful for what I have and remember that these are things worth fighting for.

A Monster Calls is maybe an odd book to have in this list.  A young boy trying to cope with the illness and possible loss of his mother.  A monster, is he of the boy’s making or working beside the boy?  It is a sad book, intense and fraught with emotion, that left me drained.  And yet it is one that I think of all the time.  It shaped how I thought of grief, and the strength needed to overcome.

Lastly, the book that meant the most to me through my life:

eva luna

I cannot explain it.  I have come back to this book every year for twenty years.  I don’t always read the whole thing, it’s more that I visit sections.  When I am frozen and feel like I will never be warm again I go to the jungle.  Allende’s description of the hot air, the lush jungle, warms me every time.  The characters have become like old friends that I miss if I don’t visit often.  Eva’s story has never failed to bring me out of myself when depression hits.  Before I found it in eBook I had bought eight copies of this book because I had either read the current copy so much that pages were coming loose or I had loaned it out and never got it back.  I literally cannot function without access to this book.  (I still have the eighth paper copy as well).

Which books mean the most to you?

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100 Notable Books of 2017- NYT Edition!

Can you believe there’s only a month left of this year?  It went so fast!!  I was going through the New York Times website and saw this list for notable books of 2017.  I have to admit to not having read a lot of them, but there are so many that look interesting!  Go through the list- do you have favorites?  Are there books that didn’t make the cut that you think should have?  I really want your opinion!

Here are the books I have added to my TBR list due to the list:

Also, a couple books that I feel really ought to be on the list:


Maybe I am biased, but…. oh,  I loved these books!  I am actually still reading This is How it Always is but I love it already.

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Times where the first page clinched it for me.

If I live to be three hundred I will probably still have books I want to read and haven’t gotten to.  I have over a thousand eBooks and a well loved two book shelves that I am particularly picky about because of space constraints.  Still, there are thousands of books that I want to read- or would if I knew about them- and more coming out all the time.  You have the classics that you swear you’ll get through eventually and your just-for-fun books.  You have the books that make you weep, and the books that make you think.  How is a gal with limited time and even more limited funds supposed to pick one?   I will admit there are times where the cover has been so breathe-taking, so compelling, that I could not resist.  Then there’s the times when the blurb won the day- looking at the description on Goodreads or Amazon, I could not resist.  Other times I will be on the fence forever, poring over book reviews and Litsy, waffling on the merits of a book, until I read the first page.

That’s what I want to talk about today- times where the first page swayed me in favor of the book.  Some of these were read-for-reviews I was skeptical of, and some are books that I kept telling myself that I did not need…. and yet they won.  I am going to put the cover, lines, and link to my reviews below for each of these gems.

  1. Reincarnation Blues, Michael Poore:

reincarnation bluesFlorida Keys: 2017

This is a story about a wise man named Milo.

It begins the day he got eaten by a shark…..’

Wait… what?  I had to read this.







2. Turtles All the Way Down, John Green:

turtles all the way down‘At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time between 12:47 and 1:14 pm by forces so much larger than myself  I couldn’t even begin to identify them…’

     And now I knew that my narrator and tour guide for this ride was a bit OCD, nutty and oddly hilarious.  Hot damn, I’m in! 

Oh, I had told myself all the normal things a bibliophile does.  I already spent too much on books, it isn’t really in the budget.  I can borrow it at the library if I just wait for the 58 people in line in front of me to be done (this, by the way is no exaggeration, but my place in line when I tried to put the eBook on hold before it came out).  I already had books, etc.  Then I perused the book isle at work- usually safe as they never have any of the can’t-live-without books…. and there it was- fairly cheap and signed no less!  I opened to the first page and was nearly late coming back from my 15 minute break!  I rationalized the purchase as this obviously being a “to-share” book and I would need a hard copy eventually- can’t share eBooks or Audible.  I was right- it’s fantastic, and it’s loaned out with at least two people waiting their turn.

3.   The Hidden Oracle, Rick Riordan

the hidden oracle‘My name is Apollo.  I used to be a god.  In my four thousand six hundred and twelve years, I have done many things.  I inflicted a plague on the Greeks that besieged Troy.  I blessed Babe Ruth with three home runs in game four of the 1926 world series.  I visited my wrath upon Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV  Video Music Awards.

   But in all my immortal life, I never before crash landed in a dumpster.’

I waffled on this series forever- let’s face it, Apollo is not my favorite character and I could not see this being on of my have-to-have series.  And yet I read that in a Walmart and started grinning.  Why not?  The next book was the same for me and if I don’t know if I want to continue next year, the first page will no doubt bring me back again.  I do, after all, love Riordan’s writing style and world building.


  This is just a few of the books where page one made all the difference.  Are there books like this for you?  What are your favorite starters?

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Can someone explain this to me?

Sometimes through the course of a work day I will come across something that just makes me stop and wonder.  Some times it has to do with one’s mode of dress (if you “sag” your pants at least wear underwear… just saying), sometimes it has to do with one’s actions ( a drunk man came dancing up to my lane to buy alcohol.  I refused.  Not only was he not mad, he proposed to me);  and sometimes it has to do with items we sell.  Today I sold two of these things in half an hour.  They are full-on furry animal masks and sell for $19.98.  You know the Mickey Mouse heads?  Yeah, this is it.  I tried to get info on these things through google, but got a lot of clips for a band and not much else.  Am I missing some internet meme or something here?

Mostly I just want to know if I will be ringing up a lot of people while they wear these.  Do you know what this is about?  Do you have one?  Post (an appropriate) pic in comments.

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