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Top Ten Tuesday: Had to buy! Still unread...

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the creative girls over at The Broke and The Bookish.

This week they ask: What are the Top Ten Books I had to buy but are sitting on my shelf unread?

I don't have a lot of good explanation for why I haven't read these.
J. Law puts it best.

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz. You guys - this is a serious throw back. I bought this book when I first started reading and reviewing YA like FIVE YEARS AGO from a Half Price Books. And I haven’t read it...but I still can’t give it up. I think I was expecting to be REALLY into the vampire scene, but instead my interest in it comes and goes. So there it sits. Waiting.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I DEVOURED Oryx and Crake by Atwood and I wanted to read something else by her immediately! So I rush out and buy this book because I’ve heard of it and am assuming it will be amazing! And yet, somewhere between the purchase and now, I’ve done nothing. I’m still really interested in reading it, don't’ get me wrong...it just doesn’t have that same importance it once did. Sigh.

Once by Anna Carey. It’s no secret that I adored Eve and was anxious to start the next step in this series! So when the book was getting all the buzz it deserved, I was entering contests for it like a mad woman. I ended up winning a copy of Eve and Once from Anna at Anna Reads and thought to myself YES. I can reread Eve and then read Once and all will be well! That’s still the plan...just a bit delayed. Heh.

Prodigy by Marie Lu. I really really REALLY liked Legend by Marie Lu. I mean, I sincerely like dystopian already but this world was different enough and the characters were so unique and unlike anything else I’d read at the time that I was GUNG HO about the next one. Maybe I’m afraid it won’t live up to the hype? Maybe I’m afraid of middle book syndrome? Maybe I’ve got the same qualms as I do with Eve & Once in that I need to reread Legend first? I dunno.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. After reading Marcelo in the Real World, I heard this was a book akin to it in style and also really really good. I admit that the summary captured my interest as well. So why the delay?! I got nothing.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. Obviously, I’m an Iron Fey superfan so reading anything and everything by Julie was a no-brainer. I can blame this delay on the fact that I’m trying to read the Vampire Academy series and I don’t want to read two vamp series at a time. Finally, an excuse that’s kind of valid!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I KNOW YOU GUYS. I know, okay?! I preordered a signed copy and everything. I think I’m just scared of the feels. Give me time.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I’m just so in love with this world and I don’t want it to end, okay?! But since I’m participating in the #cashoregoodtimes and we’re starting Bitterblue today! I guess it will come to an end. I’ll pretend like I’m not totally excited and crushed at the same time.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Everyone and their mom has told me how awesome this book and this series is. At first, I put it aside for reading the Song of Ice and Fire series (you can’t blame me there), but now I think it’s the sheer size that frightens me. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it.

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. I was head over heels for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. The writing style, the character development, the plot...all of it hit me JUST right as a reader. I don’t know why I’m putting this one off, but I can promise you that it’s sitting on the top of my to-read shelf. Honestly! It is!

OKAY. Enough of the shame! Are any of these on your shelves waiting to be read by you? Or have you read one or more of these and want to push me into it’s loving arms? Do share!

On reading classics...

I want to read more classics. I really do. The trouble is I get caught up in the newest and brightest of the book world and the classics get put aside for another day. And put aside again, and again, and again. It’s a shame, really.

This month for the book club at work, one of my coworkers picked Jane Eyre. Typically they pick books I have ZERO interest in reading, so I pull the “Oh I can’t make it, sorry!” card and sit it out. With the exception of Gone Girl and The Book Thief, they are just not into the same books I am. (I picked Where Things Come Back and only my awesome coworker Jaime liked it. So obviously they are not my people.) And I know that book club is supposed to stretch your horizons and all that, but can we agree that when your TBR is as big as most of ours are, it’s okay to say no to books that don’t hold interest? Thank you!

Anyway, I decided that this month I’d give Jane Eyre a try because I have the motivation with book club and it’s free on my Kindle so really, I’ve got nothing to lose! I was really intimidated because I’m such an Austen fan and for some reason I thought you could only like Austen or Bronte (I haven’t read anything by either Bronte sister before).

So basically I am LOVING Jane Eyre. I’m all about getting absorbed in this classic. I’m sneaking it at work. I’m reading in bed until I fall asleep. I’m only at 10% of the book and I’m absolutely adoring Charlotte Bronte’s writing. It’s slow and deliberate and incredibly detailed, but never boring. Exactly what I adore about classic literature! Even though I know the story from seeing a play, I’m still stoked to read about it!

Which got me thinking - are there classics you read that you didn’t expect to love but totally adored? Or are there classics you thought you’d adore and ended up giving up on? Do share!

Knittaz 4 Life

I laughed at this for like a good 2 minutes when I saw found it. I love Bob's Burgers and obviously Linda is the bee's knees.

Also I'm all into nesting these days for Nubby so the knitting is right on the forefront of my brain.

Knit Bros

In which I reread Fire

Previously, I reread Graceling. These are my thoughts

I'm writing this as I JUST finished the last pages about 10 minutes ago, so please forgive me when this is all glorious afterglow and praise and no criticism.

I remember being completely captivated by Graceling. I also remember really liking Fire, but for some reason I didn't remember my love as strongly. Turns out, I wasn't as into it when I read it the first time, based on my review

But this time? I think it's fair to say that I loved Fire even MORE than Graceling, which is kinda like saying I love sweatpants more than lounge pants. It's really close and my adoration for both is outta this WORLD.

Anyway, on to some more coherent thoughts on the reread of Fire for #cashoregoodtimes!

- Isn't it amazing how Cashore can create incredibly strong, feminist heroines that want completely different things? Katsa wanted nothing to do with having children or with being a Lady and we respect her for it. Fire fights against her desire to have children because she knows what they might become and the life they might lead, but we respect her desire to be a mother. Opposite desires, yet both women are strong and feminist and rad. Well played, Cashore. 

- Clara is one of those characters I totally forgot about in Fire but found myself utterly adoring. Well, really the relationship between all those royal siblings was pretty great, but how Clara found to assert herself in a non obnoxious way among all her brothers was fantastic. Always ladylike, yet outspoken and confident. 

- Fire's relationship with her horse, Small, is one of those things that seems hokey at first but by the time Brigan has him delivered to her at the camp, I wept. She loves Small in a way she hardly allows herself to feel towards anyone else, which I think a lot of people can relate to. People can hurt you, disappoint you or abandon you...but not so with animals. They are loyal and loving and exactly the kind of comfort we need from time to time.

- I actually really liked the military aspects of this book. The Dells are at war with one another and Fire is expected to help with all of that, but something about the court intrigue and the planning and the strategy really held my interest. I know I got a taste for that in A Song of Ice and Fire, so maybe that's why I liked it so much again? War just fits in with fantasy books, I suppose. 

- How on earth did I forget that the silver thread from Graceling to Fire was Leck?! I'm still not sure what it meant for him to "fall through the mountains" and back again, but I'm stoked to see how that shapes up for Bitterblue!

Ultimately, rereading Fire reminded me of why I adore Kristin Cashore's writing, her world building, and her characters. There are so many different heroines to choose from to relate to, and the male characters in Fire especially are varied and will win your heart over time and time again. I've always said I'd rather take a book with amazing characters over a book with great plot and 2d characters - but when you read a book like Fire that pairs deep character development with a fascinating fantasy plot, THAT is love for this little bookworm.

Up next on March 18th, we start Bitterblue! Here's the schedule if you want to join in:

3/18-3/22 Ch. 1-5
3/25-3/29 Ch. 6-10
4/1-4/5 Ch. 11-15 
4/8-4/12 Ch. 16-20
4/15-4/19 Ch. 21-25
4/22-426 Ch. 26-30
4/29-5/3 Ch. 31-35
5/6-5/10 Ch. 36-40
5/13-5/17 Ch. 41-end

So here's a question for you...

We just moved into a new house! Yay! More room for both of us, Albus, and Nubby on the way!

But the best part?

It has a room with built in bookshelves. A LIBRARY YOU GUYS. Basically I was like


So we're moving my 5089 boxes of books and I start putting them on the shelves and I'm feeling okay but not great about my shelving system. Then I started to hit bumps like where certain things OBVIOUSLY don't belong but I don't have other spots for them...so now what?!

So help a girl out. How do you organize your shelves? Do you sort by to-read?  By genre? By author? HALP.

Review: City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Title: City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)
Author: Jeanne DuPrau
Pub Deets: Random House 2003
Source: Purchased on the Kindle
Challenge: TBR Challenge

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog

In a sentence or so: Lina and Doon both know there's more to life outside their failing city with constant power outages and dangerously low supplies. Will they be able to decipher the map and keep away from the corrupt mayor to bring their people to a new life?

Lina wants nothing more than to be a messenger. At 12, she loves feeling important and running and being part of the central nervous system of the city. She's adventurous, brave, and fiercely loyal to her baby sister Poppy.

Doon wants to do something to help fix Ember. He knows the power outages are going to get worse unless someone finds a solution, and he thinks that just maybe he can be part of that solution. When Lina approaches him with instructions that are partially decayed and partially eaten by her sister Poppy, Doon knows this is his big chance. With Lina, they will find hope for Ember.

This book reminded me of why I adore middle grade so very much. The characters are straight forward, but not simple. The plot is direct, but mysterious and exciting. There's a great pace that keeps your attention while developing a greater world and characters and all the exciting stuff you hope for in a book.

There's corruption with the Mayor. There's mystery as to where the instructions will lead them. There's hope in Lina and Doon and their companionship together. There's also very interesting social commentary that's sprinkled in that as an adult reader, I absolutely adored. Lina and Doon want to do the right thing and it takes getting busted before they realize that not everyone WANTS to do the right thing. Such is life, no?

I'm excited to continue moving forward with this series. City of Ember flows so well that it seemed to fly by. Nothing felt rushed or unexplained, mind you, just had that awesome pace that I adore in middle grade books. If you're looking for a middle grade dystopian series with two main characters that are inspiring and a world that has depth and intrigue, give this book a try! And then let's talk about it because it's awesome.

Fave quote: "Lina felt as though a lid that had been on her all her life had been lifted off." (pg 256 Kindle)

Pairs well with: Reading in the dark! I read this on my Kindle Paperwhite and it was the BEST because Ember is dark and I could read in the dark and so you know. It was awesome.

Fix er up: I mean, part of me gets a little too cynical with this and is wondering why NO ONE ELSE thought to look for a different way of life. But maybe that's the social commentary in a nutshell? That we get complacent and there we are.

This would be perfect...

For all of those times I can't decide whether I want to watch LOTR or play Zelda. 
I mean really.

This is What Happens When You Mix The Lord of the Rings With Zelda

Review: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

Title: In The Hand of the Goddess (The Song of the Lioness #2)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Publisher (for my copy): Simon Pulse, 2005
Source: Gifted from Tara

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog | Twitter

In a sentence or so: Alanna was chosen by Jonathan to be his squire, despite the fact that he knows she’s a girl, which keeps her on the path to becoming a knight. Shady sorcerer is still shady AND Jonathan and George are both in lurve with her which keeps her really busy.

When we last saw Alanna, she’d been chosen as Jonathan’s squire and tried to speak some truth to him about his shady cousin the sorcerer, Roger. Jon was not interested in hearing her badmouth the family so she left it alone. Now, cousin Roger isn’t being quite as sneaky and Alanna is FOR SURE that he’s up to something that may or may not include killing the royal family to get himself on the throne.

In addition to trying to keep evil at bay, the kingdom is threatened by one of the outlying areas Tussaine and so she’s off to war. Before she goes, though, George expresses his love for her (which is AWESOME because GO GEORGE) so she’s got that milling around in her head as well.

Alanna continues to grow into a kick ass knight, which is really cool. She has a special necklace given to her by the goddess and a kind of magical cat named Faithful who speaks to her through his meows which are other awesome things she has going for her. There is some love triangle biz with the whole Jon/George/Alanna thing, but it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the story.

Ultimately, Alanna is all about being the best knight she can be while protecting the kingdom and the safety of those she loves. Romance isn’t a top priority for her...but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some bow chicka bow wow moments mixed in.

I love how this one ended so very much. By the time we’re done, she’s 18 and has proven herself in various ways. She’s coming to grips with what it means to be both knight and a woman and what that means for her relationships. BUT what I adored the most is that she stays true to herself the entire time. She doesn’t give up. She doesn’t lose focus. She’s incredible. I love her a lot.
Pairs well with: FEMINISM!

Fix er up: Oh come ON. As if there’s anything I’d fix about this? NOPE.