Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Book Recommendations for People Who Love Downton Abbey

I am SO excited that The Broke and Bookish are back with some new Top Ten Tuesday Topics!  I have recently been binge watching Downton Abbey and I am obsessed.  I love historical fiction and the turn of the century is my absolute favorite time period to read about and watch.  This weeks theme was “Ten Recommendations for….” so I decided to combine my latest obsession with my book obsession.  Here are my Top Ten Recommendations for People Who Love Downton Abbey!

215679No Angel by Penny Vincenzi:  The Spoils of Time is one of my all time favorite trilogies.  It is an epic family saga full of drama, romance, war, scandal, what more could you want?   My favorite thing about this book is the characters.  All of them were so flawed, and yet I fell madly in love with them and their relationships.  The first book, No Angel, was my favorite in the trilogy.

7315573Fall of Giants by Ken Follett:  Ken Follett, made a masterpiece out of this trilogy.  It follows 3 generations of families all over the world, and how their lives intertwine throughout the big events in history.  Fall of Giants follows the first generation during WWI.  The plot is engaging, the characters are complex, and following the links in the families is really exciting.

 

825508A Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follett: Another book by Ken Follett? Yes.  I love him, and this book is incredible.  The social politics and the drama alone are enough to make this book worth while.  Not to mention the characters are lovable (and despicable), the plot is fast paced, and the writing is super juicy.

 

6723017The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: This book gave me a huge book hangover! It had a darker, gothic tone, which I really enjoyed.  It kept me on the edge of my seat and awake way past my bed time.  You can read my full review here.

 

 

14935Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: If you’re in the mood for a classic, Downton lovers, Sense and Sensibility has all of the snark of Aunt Violet mixed with the beautiful writing of Jane Austen.  Find my full review here.

 

 

6867Atonement by Ian McEwan: This book is beautiful, tragic, and perfect for Downton fans.  It has a haunting story that will leave you frustrated (in a good way) and questioning every choice you make and the consequences. The movie is also really well done.

 

 

15701533The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig: Who doesn’t love a good flashback story?  With plenty of dark family secrets, this book will keep you reading and involved in Clementine and Addie’s lives until the very last page.  I got lost in this story on a vacation and I had to be pulled out of it and back to real life.

 

1254951The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: I have raved about this book before on my blog, but I really can’t say enough good things about it.  This is the book that made me fall in love with this time period and its social politics.  Years later, I still vividly remember how invested I was in these characters, and reading it backstage at my dance recital because I couldn’t wait to get home to find out what happened next.

 

9999107The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin:  This book didn’t have the most exciting plot, but the overall feel of it was very grand.  I found it interesting to see the dynamics between the American and the British aristocrats.  It reminds me of what it would have been like for Cora before the start of Downton. Coincidence, the heroine of this book is named Cora too.

 

3682A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: Now if you love Downton Abbey and Fantasy, then this is the book for you.  I absolutely LOVED this book.  The world created was so unique, and the dark gothic style worked really well.  This book was unlike anything else I’ve read, and the rest of the series continued to be just as good.

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read in 2017 So Far

As June comes to an end, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday focuses on the best books I have read so far this year.  I have read a lot of fantasy and am in the middle of a few series as well.  Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this awesome meme every week!  Here are my top ten favorites (not necessarily in order).

28374007Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: I can not express enough love for this book.  It was a surprise find at Target, and I knew it was going to be up my alley right away.  It blew away any expectations that I had and I am counting down the days until the next book comes out! (9/19/17)

 

30253864Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls to Everything in Between by Lauren Graham: Lauren Graham is a huge idol for me.  She is such an incredible actor, and reading all of her stories about the business and her journey to get where she is today was very inspiring.  Not to mention that she is absolutely hilarious, and it feels like you’re talking to your best friend.  I love her.

6723017The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: This book gave me my first book hangover of the year.  It was hauntingly beautiful and I could not put it down.  Historical Fiction at its finest.  Check out my review here.

 

 

17927395A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: After reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, this book rocked my world!  It has been the best book in the series so far, and it gave me my second book hangover of the year.  I loved where she took the story, and the character development was exquisite.  You can read my review here (minor spoiler alert).

 

21853621The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Kristin Hannah does it again.  As one of my consistent favorite authors, I always expect great things from Hannah, but this book really blew me away.  It is very emotional, and gave me a little anxiety (as WWII stories tend to do for me), but I was SO invested in these characters.  I definitely ugly cried at the end.  Click here to see my review.

 

140079Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris:  I am a huge fan of this series, and this one (Sookie Stackhouse #6) has been my favorite to date.  Sookie is so lovable, and I really liked where she went with the plot.  These books are always really quick reads, but I devoured this one even faster than normal.

 

19486412Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: I wanted to read this book before I watched the HBO show, and I was not disappointed.  I loved the way it was written, and I thought the tv show was a really good adaptation of it too.  See all of my thoughts here.

 

 

10507293The Selection by Kiera Cass: This whole series was like literary crack.  They are really quick YA reads, and I finished the whole trilogy in three days.  The story was addicting, and I was genuinely invested in the characters.  I had a minor book hangover after finishing the third book.

 

110896Dancer by Colum McCann: This book about Russian ballet dancer, Nureyev, was a beautifully written account of his life and career.  The prose was absolutely stunning, and painted such a complex picture of who this man was.

 

 

1Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: Ok. It’s my 5th time re-reading it, but I couldn’t not include it on this list.  It’s my favorite.

 

 

 

What are your favorite books you’ve read so far this year? Let me know in the comments, I am always looking for new reads 🙂 Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start But Haven’t

I missed last weeks Top Ten Tuesday, because life happens, but here is my list for this week!  The theme from Broke and the Bookish was Top Ten Series I have been meaning to start, but haven’t.  I have so many books on my TBR list, and sometimes it can be hard to commit to a new series, especially since I am still in the middle of so many!  I will get around to them eventually…

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

2. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

4. Time Quintet Series by Madeline L’Engle

5. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

7. Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

8. Cormoran’s Strike by Robert Galbraith

9. The Bridget Jones Series by Helen Fielding

10. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

What other series should I add to my list?  What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments 🙂

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Fantasy Books On My TBR List

Happy Top Ten Tuesday bookworms! This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “10 Books from X Genre That I’ve Recently Added to my TBR List,” so of course I chose fantasy because it’s my favorite.

256683City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: This one has been on my list for a while, and has been staring at me from its spot on my shelf.  It has rave reviews and is now a TV show too.

 

 

32304242Trials of Magic by Thomas K. Carpenter: I found this one on goodreads and it sounded exactly like something I would love and it has over a 4 star rating! I added it immediately.

 

 

19161852The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison: This is one of my roommate’s favorite books and he keeps pushing me to read it, so I had to add it to the list.  Don’t worry Joey, I’ll get to it eventually! 🙂

 

 

7896527Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I am currently obsessed with Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series, and I want to read everything else she has written.

 

 

21416690The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman: A book about books? Count me in.  I first found this book while browsing the shelves at Barnes and Noble, and now I’ve been seeing the series everywhere.

 

 

68428Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson: This one was recommended to me by my favorite elf from The Elf Shop, Erica, and I take her her opinions very seriously. I am excited to jump into this series!

 

 

20764879A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: I read the first book in this series, and have the second one waiting on my shelf!  I’ve also heard that this one is better than the first, which is always exciting.

 

 

30165203American Gods by Neil Gaiman: I had been meaning to read this before the TV show came out, but I didn’t get around to it in time.  I haven’t read any Gaiman and as a fantasy lover, I know that’s almost sacrilegious.

 

 

43763Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice: Another cult classic that I know I need to read.  I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Witching Hour, but I’ve been assured by multiple people that this one is worth it.

 

 

23174274Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard: The second book in the Red Queen Series.  I didn’t love Red Queen, but I enjoyed it enough to need to know what is going to happen next!

 

 

What do you think of my list? Have any more I should add? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For the 2nd Half of 2017

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish was “Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for the 2nd Half of 2017!” I kind of struggled with this one a bit because I am in the middle of several older series, and haven’t been paying enough attention to new releases lately.  I still have a bunch to be excited about though!

33571713

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett-September 2017: Ken Follett’s historical fiction are up there in my top favorite books of all time, so when I found out that my favorite books were getting a new addition, I freaked out a bit. I CANNOT WAIT for this book.

 

29923707

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake– September 19th, 2017: I was dying for this book the minute I finished Three Dark Crowns.  September 19th can’t come fast enough.

 

 

34037113The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman– October 10th, 2017: I love anything to do with witches, and I loved Practical Magic, so I am ready to find out more about the Owens family!

 

 

32708664Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkein and Christopher Tolkein– June 1st, 2017: It’s another trip into Middle Earth… Need I say more?

 

 

 

33368917The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory– August 8th, 2017: I really enjoy all of the Philippa Gregory books I have read, and I always look forward to her next one.

 

 

32076675The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder– June 6th, 2017: Who doesn’t love a dysfunctional family and a wedding? In the height of wedding season, I am so ready for a fun family dramedy.

 

 

32926258The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman-July 25th: The circus fascinates me, so when I found this book I was instantly intrigued.

 

 

 

30312855The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell– July 18th, 2017: I am constantly looking for new Fantasy series, and this one caught my eye immediately with its cover.

 

 

33607640The Address by Fiona Davis-August 1st, 2017: I am a sucker for flashback stories, and this one sounds like its right in the pocket for me.  I love the 1800’s and the 1980s, what could be better?

 

 

Doors Of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss– ????: One can only dream….

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Lovin

Ever since I was a little kid, I have been OBSESSED with the movie Grease. Since this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish was a Summer Freebie, I thought what’s better than some “Summer Lovin’?” Here are some of my favorite love stories to heat up your summer!

7135858My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares:  A few summers ago, I devoured this book.  I have always been fascinated with past lives, and this book does a fantastic job of exploring it in a beautiful and romantic way.  The love story literally spans centuries, and is extremely poignant and magical.

 

10964Outlander by Diana Gabaldon:  For me, Jamie and Claire’s love can’t be beat.  James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser might be my favorite male fictional character of all time.  Although long, this book, and their love, is so engrossing that you won’t be able to put it down. Plus, there are plenty more books in the series, and the TV show, to keep you going after you’re done (although they’re not as good as the first one in my opinion).

138202Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty: I read this book when I was 16, and it was incredibly relatable and hilarious.  I followed the entire series, and aged with Jessica and Marcus which kept everything they were going through so relevant to me.  Their love story is real, and sweet, and a perfect mess.

 

18405Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: One of my favorite dysfunctional love stories, Gone With the Wind is a classic for a good reason.  It is a perfect summer read.  It’s epically long and beautiful, Scarlett is an amazingly complex anti-hero, and Rhett Butler is just downright sexy.

 

19448All-American Girl by Meg Cabot: This book gave me my first recognizable book hangover ever.  I fell in love with these characters, and their awkward teenage love blooming in the White House.  This book is one of the reason’s I am obsessed with Meg Cabot.

 

3975186True Colors by Kristin Hannah: If you want a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking romance, then this is the book you want.  It is very emotional, without being over the top, and is an example of Kristin Hannah at her finest.  I love all of her books, but this one might take the cake.

 

8667848A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: At first this book may seem like a grown-up Twilight, but it is actually a lot more complex and well written.  As someone who loves witches, I was instantly drawn into this book and its concept.  The relationship between Diana and Matthew feels really real among the fantasy of the world.

 

42156Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: A little unconventional love triangle between a girl, her best friend, and her best friend’s fiance, Something Borrowed is light- hearted, romantic, and page turning.  It will give you all the feels, with lovable characters, and in my opinion, an even better sequel.

 

301082 Dead Until Dark: I am obsessed with The Sookie Stackhouse Series, aka Trublood. The books are different from the TV show, for those of you who are fans, and they are super easy and fun reads.  Sookie is awesome, and her romantic trysts are always very entertaining and steamy. (#TeamEric)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bad-Ass Literary Moms

In honor of all the amazing mothers out there, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme from The Broke and the Bookish was a “Mother’s Day Freebie,” so I decided to pay tribute to my favorite Bad-Ass Literary Moms!

  1. Molly Weasley- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: Molly is the epitome of a super mom.  She is there, not only for her own children, but for everyone that she brings into her family.  She cares deeply, loves fiercely, and is a really bad ass witch. Enough said.
  2. Cersei Lannister- A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin: Cersei may be a manipulative and cruel queen, but no one can deny her fierceness in motherhood.  It may not be morally correct, but she will do anything, and I mean anything, to see her children come out on top. That makes her a bad-ass mom in my book.
  3. Celia Lytton- The Spoils of Time Trilogy by Penny Vincenzi: Celia is a powerhouse in both her family and her company.  Her ambition for herself and her loved ones pushes them all to get the most out of their lives.  She may not show her love in obvious ways, but there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her family.
  4. Maud Fitzherbert- The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett:  Maud was easily my favorite character in the first book, Fall of Giants.  In the second book, she made me love and admire her even more.  Her morals and strength keep her family from falling to pieces among the horrors of Nazi Germany.  She steps up, against the odds, and does what she has to do to protect the people she loves.  She is the definition of a bad-ass.
  5. Madeline Martha Mackenzie- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Madeline is a fiery person.  She loves drama, and tends to over react, but her passion is the biggest thing that makes her a kickass mom.  She may overstep her boundaries, but it always comes from a place of love and wanting the best for her family.
  6. Claire Beauchamp- The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon:
    Claire sacrifices everything in order to raise her daughter, including crossing the boundaries of space and time, and giving up her true love.  She continues to do whatever it takes to give her daughter a beautiful life, regardless of her own happiness. She always puts her daughter first.
  7. Ellen- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett: Ellen is a strong woman, in a time when that wasn’t always appreciated.  She knows what she wants and stands her ground for what she believes in, and teaches her son to do the same.  That’s pretty bad ass if you ask me.
  8. Clarisse Grimaldi Renaldo- The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot: You may have seen the Princess Diaries movies, but the Dowager Princess Clarisse Marie Grimaldi Renaldo from the Princess Diaries book series is nothing like Julie Andrews.  She is snobbish, elitist, rude, and fabulous!  Her relationship with Mia is strained to say the least, but it is also hilarious, and she is taking care of an entire country after all.  She is a huge part in training Mia to be the best queen she can be. She might not be a typical bad ass mom, but I love her.
  9. Kate Mularkey- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah: Kate is the quintessential mom, but not only is she an amazing mother to her children, she is also a mother to her best friend Tully.  She is the quiet strength, support, and groundedness that Tully lacks from her own mother. She takes care of everyone and always puts her loved ones before herself.
  10. Iza- The Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel: Ayla’s adoptive mother, Iza, stands up to everyone when she takes Ayla in, regardless of her differences from “the Clan,” and the animosity that everyone feels towards Ayla’s people.  She fights for her daughter’s acceptance and teaches Ayla everything she needs to survive in an Ice Age world.  Despite their differences, she loves her daughter unconditionally, and protects her to the end.

Who are your favorite bad-ass literary moms? Do you agree with mine? Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments below!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish was “Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist.”  I had fun with this theme.  I had some immediate ideas that popped into my head, but I had to think hard to get to 10. What’s on your reading wishlist? Let me know in the comments below!

  1. Developed love stories: There are too many contrived romances out there. I want more love stories that feel real and are given enough time and detail for us to really believe in the couple and their relationship.
  2. Turn of the 20th Century: I am so interested in this time period. I can’t get enough. Give me more Downton Abbey, more World War I, more industrial revolution, and more societal propriety. I want it all.
  3. Better Denoument: The worst thing is when you get through a book (or series) that is so exciting and amazing for the first two thirds, and then the end just fizzles. I want more books with dynamite and thoughtful endings.
  4. More epic family sagas: I love me a good family drama.  Especially when it is spread out over a few generations and/or books and you really get into the nitty gritty of the family dynamics. I want more.
  5. Secure women: I would love to see more heroines in books that are unapologetically confident, and actually like themselves. Enough of the self-pity, and the character’s journey being about learning to accept herself.  Give me a story about a girl who already knows who she is, and then does something amazing with it.
  6. More Witches: Always more witches.  I’ve been fascinated by magic for as long as I can remember, and I am always in the mood for a story about magic. I would love to see more stories about witches in normal life versus a fantasy world too, Sabrina or Charmed style.
  7. Middle class protagonists in dystopian novels: I feel like most main characters are usually on an extreme side of the societal hierarchy. I would love to see how someone in the middle of the spectrum deals with the chaos of their dystopian world.  I think it would be an interesting viewpoint and could have some really unique story telling.
  8. Books set in the Mid-West: As a mid-western girl myself, it would be cool to see a story that takes place in middle America that isn’t about getting out of it, or using it for its “small towns.”  There is so much more to the mid-west than that.
  9. Books about the entertainment industry: I have yet to find a fiction novel that accurately portrays what it is like to be a part of the entertainment industry, theatre specifically.  Most are overly glamourized.  Give me the truth!  It would also be cool to be able to show my non-actor friends what it’s really like by giving them a novel.  The entertainment world is very hard to explain to people who aren’t involved in it.
  10. The 1950’s: I used to check out books about the 1950’s from my school library in elementary school, and I was even a 1950’s girl for Halloween in first grade. Part of it was my obsession with the movie Grease, but I became enthralled by that time period, and I would love to read more stories about people in that time.  I’ll dig out my poodle skirt and have a malted milk shake while I read too.
Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Love at First Sight

I am super excited to join the Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and the Bookish, with my first Top Ten list! Today’s topic is  a “Cover Theme Freebie,” so I am giving you my Top Ten Love at First Sight Books.  All of these books instantly attracted me by their covers alone, and ended up being worth it.  After making this list, I realized that all of these covers have similar elements, which I thought was interesting and really highlights what I am drawn to when choosing a new book.

187128861. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: I first saw this book at Target and immediately fell in love with it before even reading the synopsis.  It just looked like something that would be right up my alley, and I was right.  I ended up loving the entire trilogy (all with equally gorgeous covers).

 

36822. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I love this cover.  It is so gorgeous, dark, and mysterious.  I remember finding this in the store back in high school and not being able to put it down because I was so drawn to cover, and I had to know what was inside of it.  I was not disappointed.

 

283740073. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: I was super intrigued by this cover and picked it up right away to see what it was about.  I loved the simplicity and power that it has, and it gives you a good idea of the tone of the book as well.  I loved that it was darker and more vicious than a normal YA novel. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

 

86945224. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston: I love anything to do with witches, so the title of this one, along with the image on the cover made me do a double take.  There is a magical quality to the picture that drew me in.  I also want the boots she is wearing.

 

12549515. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: My favorite era to read about is the turn of the century, so when I found The Luxe, I knew from the cover that I was going to love it.  It is to this day, one of my favorite YA series, and I would die for it to be turned into a TV show.  I even got my non-reading sister to try it because she liked the cover too.

 

161137916. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen: I found this book while browsing on my kindle, and was in the mood for a good, easy romance novel.  This book immediately caught my eye with its cover, so I bought it and I ended up finishing it that same night.  It is a super fast read, full of teen angst, drama and romance.  They also deal with some pretty real issues that I was not expecting.

8167207. The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho:  I found this on my best friend’s bookshelf, and I was drawn in by the contrast of the dark blue background and brightness of the woman, and her pose.  However; this book turned out to be very different than I expected from the cover, but I loved what I found.  It is beautifully written, and I loved the air of mystery surrounding the main character.

10507293 8. The Selection by Kiera Cass: I’ll be honest.  The main reason I wanted to read this series is because of the dresses on the cover.  After hearing a friend tell me what they were about and that they were actually good, I finally picked it up and read the whole series in a week.  They’re not the deepest of novels, but they were super entertaining and they look really nice on my bookshelf.

9. 10002296Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman:  My eyes went straight to the bright colors of this book on a table at Barnes and Noble.  I immediately wanted to know the story of the woman on the cover.  I devoured this book.  I brought it on a plane, and I could not put it down the entire flight.  I love a good historical fiction, and this one really hit the spot.

 

2218810. Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar:  I found the Gossip Girl series in middle school, and I wanted to read it because the girls on the covers were so dynamic and lets be real, I wanted to be them.  I finished the whole series, and gobbled up the TV show (even though they are very different and almost unrelated after the first season).  The series is delightfully dramatic and the books are super quick and easy reads.