top ten tuesday: childhood favorites to revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

March 24: Childhood favorites to revisit 

This was a wonderful topic to ruminate on: which books from my childhood I’d like to revisit. I LOVED these ten books when I read them as a kid, mostly I remember the feeling of loving them more than their entire synopses. In alphabetical order by title:

kids books 1

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: Redhead girls, yay! I also think I read Pippi Longstocking, but don’t remember for sure…

The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.: One of the few fantasy books that hooked me. Gateway book to Orwell’s Animal Farm?

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: A beautiful classic, who doesn’t want to revisit this one?

Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl: Was I the only kid who liked Danny?

I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier: I remember a sense of urgency and mystery, but nothing else!

kids books 2

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell: Adventure AND a female protagonist!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli: Orphan runs everywhere and liked spaghetti a lot? Maybe?

Matilda by Roald Dahl: The best.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster: Another adventure classic! I have no idea what happened!

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: So imaginative and funny, and I loved the black-and-white illustrations.

What books from your childhood would you like to revisit?

top ten tuesday: spring 2015 tbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

March 10: Top ten books on my spring 2015 TBR 

I’m skipping ahead on the TTT topics—spring TBR is slated for next Tuesday, but that’s St. Patrick’s Day and I think I’ll either post about that, or be too busy to post! But I definitely wanted to make sure I get in my spring TBR list. Not sure I’ll read all of them between March 20 and June 20, I’m a bit of a “mood” reader, after all! But here’s my list, in no particular order:

spring tbr 1

TransAtlantic … Colum McCann (TBR Pile Challenge)
The Green Mile … Stephen King (Ebook Challenge, maybe King’s March linkup)
The Silent Wife … A.S.A. Harrison (KC Library Love on the Rocks)
Find Me … Laura van den Berg
An Untamed State … Roxane Gay

spring tbr 2

Station Eleven … Emily St. John Mandel
Behind the Beautiful Forevers … Katherine Boo
Americanah … Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Rivers … Michael Farris Smith (Ebook Challenge, finish)
Shotgun Lovesongs (audio) … Nickolas Butler (KC Library Love on the Rocks, finish)

What are the you planning to read this spring?

top ten tuesday: best of last three years

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

March 3: Top ten books I read in the last three years

This is a nice topic to think about today! I’m not counting anything I’ve read in 2015 so far, but just looking at the calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. There were many excellent books I read in those years, and each year has gotten better and better for my reading since I finished school and got back into reading for pure enjoyment. Here are my favorites from the last three years, in chronological order by when I read them:

best of 3 yrs_1

Bossypants … Tina Fey (read in 2012)
A Fine Balance … Rohinton Mistry (read in 2012)
Arcadia … Lauren Groff (read in 2012)
Lizz Free or Die … Lizz Winstead (read in 2013)
Me Before You … Jojo Moyes (read in 2013)

best of 3 yrs_2

The Godfather … Mario Puzo (read in 2013)
MaddAddam Trilogy … Margaret Atwood (cheating… three books! read in 2013–14)
+++Oryx and Crake
+++The Year of the Flood
When Pride Still Mattered … David Maraniss (read in 2014)
Helter Skelter … Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry (read in 2014)
A Fighting Chance … Elizabeth Warren (listened to audiobook in 2014)

What are the best books you’ve read in the last three years?

top ten tuesday: heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

February 24: Top ten heroines

What a great topic for Top Ten Tuesday: favorite heroines! The ladies at Broke and Bookish said your heroines could come from books, movies, or TV, but I decided to go with books because I missed this topic last time around. I sort of stretched my choices too—it’s hard for me to call a fictional character a “hero” for me because, while they can be heroic in their stories, real-life inspires me so much more. I enjoyed these ladies in the literature realm but they’re heroes to me beyond their books. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

heroines 1

Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance (my review). She is just the best. I loved her book and I love her tenacity and dedication to her causes.

Rachel Maddow, Drift (my review). Okay okay, she’s not in the book—it’s not a memoir. But Rachel is also amazing in how she tells it like it is and calls BS when she sees it.1

Lizz Winstead, Lizz Free or Die (my review). Her memoir had me crying at the end. Lizz co-created The Daily Show, and she’s an activist for women’s rights. So awesome.2

Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist (my review). Reading Roxane’s collection of essays a couple months ago opened my eyes to differing perspectives of issues I’ve wanted to learn more about, and I really admire her coolness and style in handling haters.3

heroines 2

Julia Child, My Life in France. Who doesn’t love Julia Child? She had a fascinating life and is an inspiration to people finding their true purpose later in life.

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya has a way to be both moving and funny, describing a difficult early life with dignity and grace.

Tina Fey, Bossypants (my review). Brilliant and hilarious! Tina is the greatest and so endearing. I loved reading about her blossoming from a nerdy, awkward kid to an amazing powerhouse comedy writer and actor.

Amy Poehler, Yes Please (my review). Same sentiments as Tina’s book! The best part of Amy’s book for me was how she learned from and rose above her mistakes. It’s hard to admit being in the wrong and ask for forgiveness, and she does so with class.

Who are your favorite heroines (in whatever media)?

[Photos from Goodreads, except 1 / 2 / 3]

top ten tuesday: book-related problems

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

February 17: Book-related problems I have

Today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is a fun one—nothing is perfect, not even reading books. (I know, right??) Here are some book-related issues I face being a bibliophile, in no particular order:

All your library holds coming in at once
This is a new one for me—I wanted to go easy on buying books in 2015, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up reading new books! I went a little hog-wild last month with holds at my local library and wouldn’t you know it, almost all of them became available at the same time. PANIC!

The ever-expanding TBR pile
Forever and always. I’m trying to pare this down thanks to the TBR Pile Challenge but haven’t completed it yet once. Third year’s the charm? Here’s hoping…

I loved having an e-reader at first. All the books in my pocket?? And just a buck a book? So amazing! But sadly I just end up forgetting about them on there—I’m much more of a physical book kind of person. At least science is showing that I’m not alone, but still. I want to knock down my ebook collection a bit this year too, with a challenge to myself. I think I need to be done buying and reading ebooks though, and move entirely back to physical books.

What to read next?!? I want to read ALL TEH BERKS at the same time! This one? That one? I really want to love this one, what if I don’t love it? This one is too long for right now, but this one is too short. The struggle is real.

Too busy to read
Regular visitors to this blog know I’m super busy most of the year: I have a FT job, a PT job, and three orchestras in which I play bass, not to mention a family and home stuff and working out and friends and everything else people do on the regular. I often have weeks where I barely can squeeze in 30 solid minutes during lunch to read, especially in the fall and spring.

Now usually it doesn’t bother me all that much to be interrupted in public while reading—like, if they ask what I’m reading or keep it really brief. You’re out in public, after all. But once I was reading during an orchestra rehearsal break (just 10 minutes—you see how desperate and sparse my reading time can become) and another musician came up to me and started a conversation about what a big reader he is and how he tries to read any spare moment he has… oh really? Then you’d know not to interrupt! (smh)

You know what I’m talking about. The never-ending boxes. Box after box after box. HEAVY boxes. Sometimes rolling luggage bags. Ugh what a hassle. Here’s where ebooks have the advantage.

So many books, so little time
The existential crisis every book lover faces a few times (or more) in their life. Isn’t it both depressing and wonderful to know you’ll never live long enough to read everything you want to read? Isn’t it freeing to realize you can quit a book you’re not loving? (Yes I just figured this out in the last year or so.)

What are some book-related problems you experience?

top ten tuesday: favorite non-book websites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a fun way to get yourself thinking and sharing about books and bookish things.

January 20: FREEBIE

Hey everyone, today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a FREEBIE! I’ve chosen to list my top ten favorite non-book blogs/websites. In no particular order:

  • … Kansas City’s online journal of the arts! (yes, I’m biased 🙂 )
  • The Nation … oldest weekly magazine in the US: politics, culture, society, etc.
  • Green Bay Packers … I bleed green & gold, life-long fan, no matter what!
  • Daily Kos … Liberal website with political analysis of current US events
  • Think Progress … progressive, independent American blog; politics, climate, etc.
  • Tom and Lorenzo … “fabulous & opinionated”—Love them!
  • Vox … all-purpose current events site: politics, science, world affairs, culture, etc.
  • Reductress … hilarious satirical women’s magazine
  • Thrillist … food and restaurant lists, city/state-specific

What are your favorite non-book sites online?