My Best Friends in Books (and a Request for Recommendations)

Brienne of Tarth, from Game of Thrones: tough, loyal, and completely un-girly. Jessica Jones, from Marvel comics: badass, superhuman strength, helps people while dealing with her own trauma. Hermione Granger: brilliant, intellectual, compassionate, and brave. Violet, Hannah, Dee, and Betty from Rat Queens: sex-positive, booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens for hire, and also a family. Jo…

New-to-Me Authors in 2017

I switched the topics for this week and two weeks from now, because I can’t list my favorite books until I’m sure the year is over. Authors I’d been intending to read for a long time, and finally got to in 2017: Angela Davis Charles Dickens (I’d read A Christmas Carol before but this was my first…

Book Settings I’d Like to Visit

Most of Middle Earth, Lothlorien, Rohan, and Rivendell in particular. I’ll skip Mordor, please. Yes, Hogwarts, I cannot resist.   Vianne Rocher’s chocolaterie from Chocolat, by Joanne Harris. Though I have to admit I’m thinking of the film version, because I’d like Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Lena Olin, Alfred Molina, and Johnny-Depp-in-character (not Johnny Depp in real…

The Bookshelf Test

You know how you can get to know someone just by looking at their bookshelves? It’s my favorite part of meeting someone new. So here’s my shelf—these are some of my favorite books (in no particular order), the ones I love and own, or plan to own, and feel like I should say hi when…

Fall of Pocket Classics

I’ve had these books on my shelves for over ten years now, and I suddenly feel a strong desire to read them all. This is why I can never adopt e-books although their convenience (and my back pain) make me wish I could: the physical format of a book is a huge part of my…

Revisiting 2014, My Best Reading Year

In the nearly three years since, I’ve realized that 2014 was an unusually good year for my reading. I encountered a disproportionate number of books which went on to become favorites, and I find myself still thinking about many of them. In fact, I find myself thinking about 2014 itself, because in my memory it now…

Abandoned Books

It’s generally very difficult for me to give up on a book, especially if I had a particular reason for reading it. But sometimes I have to let myself, and these are some I couldn’t get through. I attempted to read Angela’s Ashes in the months just after I got married. It was a weird, exciting,…

Hidden Gems in Biography and Memoir

I won’t write about every one of these, because in some cases (Angela Davis, Meghan Daum, Mara Wilson) I’ve already written more than you wanted to read. In some cases—Anjelica Huston, Helen Mirren—the books are just a deep, interesting look into the life of a fabulous, fascinating woman (ha! and I have just realized that…

Books for People Who Wonder Why Everything Is So Fucked Up

Because that’s what I’ve been reading for several years now, but this year, it’s almost all I can read. Rather than explain in advance, because I am on the verge of developing carpal tunnel after a week and a half spent cataloging Vietnamese books for the library, I will just put this random collection here—if you’re wondering…

So Far This Year (Plus Mini Reviews)

This was meant to be a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I’m about a week and a half late and deciding to share it anyway. As usual, putting together a mid-year list of the best books I’ve read makes me think that my end-of-year list will be impossibly long—although admittedly, there are a few books…

Series I’ve Yet to Start

Surprise! They’re all fantasy. Because I love fantasy, but god, those giant tomes are daunting. Check out everyone else’s Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Books I Read Because I Liked the Covers

A really great cover is guaranteed to make me pick up a book to see what it’s about, and I have gone on to read a lot of wonderful books that way. This is, of course, contingent upon my reading the description and not being turned right back off to it—which does happen, and I’ve actually been…

Favorite Quotes from Books

This is another Top Ten Tuesday I’m reposting from my old blog, although only a few of the quotes are actually from that original post. All but the last few are from books I’ve read (ending with the Mindy Kaling quote); those few are ones I came across elsewhere that really affected me, and are probably what made…

Books You Can Read In One Sitting

Look for everyone else’s Top Ten Tuesday list on The Broke and the Bookish. I forgot to post this last week, so here it is instead. I’ve seen authors speak, but only really met one, so it’s not worth writing a whole post anyway. I’ll just tell you who it is at the end of this…

Favorite Minor Characters

I first discovered The Broke and the Bookish back in 2010 or so, and I did a few of their top ten lists on my old blog before I stopped writing there. I recently came across a couple of them that I thought I would like to repost here. Most of this list is from…

Underrated Books I Read Last Year

Check out everyone else’s Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. A+E 4ever is a graphic novel about two gender-nonconforming teenagers, and it’s as physically beautiful as it is engaging. The book is a full 8 x 11″, with a sort of velvety cover and lovely illustrations that look almost like an art journal…

FABClub Challenge 2016

This is a challenge I’ve done for a couple years now, and it’s another great one. FABC is the Female Authors Book Club on Goodreads, and the challenge provides categories for reading books by and about women, focusing on diversity, gender issues, and feminism in general. It’s the other challenge I didn’t finish, though I…

Reader’s Room Winter Challenge

I started following The Reader’s Room almost exactly a year ago, about a month after they’d begun their 2016 winter challenge. It was a scavenger hunt, and it sounded really fun, and I came across it the very day of the deadline for one of the items on the list. So I joined, and I spent…

Best Books of 2016

There are so many, which is funny given how garbage a year it was in general. I didn’t review all of them, unfortunately, but I’ve linked to those I did, and I wonder if at some point I might go back and do the ones that have really stuck with me. (It always bothers me…

2017 Reading Plans

Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. I haven’t done a specific reading theme for the past few years. Since 2014, my theme has just been diversity, and trying to get as much of it as possible—but this is no longer a reading event for me, it’s just the way I…

Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. I read a lot of authors for the first time this year, but there were two subcategories that stood out to me, so I decided to limit the list to that. First, there are authors who have several books, at least one of which…

Characters I’d Name a Pet or Child After

I always used to tell Mike that when we got a pet, it could be a cat under the exclusive condition that I be allowed to name him Mr. Tumnus, from The Chronicles of Narnia. (This was before I learned that, contrary to my upbringing, I am actually a cat person rather than a dog…

Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me

I’m very picky about what I read. I do so much of it that it’s almost like a second job, and I expend an enormous amount of energy on it even outside the actual flipping of the pages. It’s lucky that I’m usually the one being asked for recommendations, because most people don’t realize just…

My Fall TBR

Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

Best Audiobooks

Instead of just choosing my favorites of the books I’ve happened to listen to on audio, I decided to list books that I think work particularly well in that format. Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Nathaniel Parker—This is a really fun fantasy series about a twelve-year-old millionaire villain who kidnaps a fairy police officer…

All-Time Favorite Historical Fiction

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. In fact, many of my favorites within the genre also make my overall list of favorites. I realized recently that I’ve been reading a lot less of it than I used to, and I think it’s because for the past couple years, I’ve been making…

Books I Own But Haven’t Read

Check out Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. For a while I was trying to be better about this, but I think at this point it’s something I have to accept about myself: I will always collect books faster than I can read them. I actually think I’ve been much worse than usual lately,…