Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books With Under 2,000 Ratings

Bet you thought you’d seen the last of me! But alas, I’m giving this blogging thing another shot. While I’ve been writing and reading a lot, I’ve missed talking about books. So bear with me while I try and get my blogging-feet under me again.

I’m making my triumphant return with a Top Ten Tuesday, though of course I’m not starting with an easy one. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books with Under 2,000 Ratings. As it turns out, I’ve read fairly few books (only 17) with under 2,000 ratings, and I wasn’t crazy about most of them. The ones I’ve included below are either 1) books I read and enjoyed, but maybe didn’t love, or 2) books I read and liked a long time ago, though my memory of them is a little fuzzy now.

Martha Quest by Doris Lessing: I took a class on bildungromans in college and I liked a lot of the books we read for it. This was one of them. I remember loving Martha, difficult though she was.

The Intended by David Dabydeen: Another book from the bildungsroman class. This is definitely one of the ones I liked but no longer remember very well. But, weirdly enough, I remember verbatim the exact line from which the title of the book was taken: “You are everything I intended.” It’s a very telling sentence within the context of the book, and clearly it stuck with me.

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson: This was a Goodreads Giveaway book. If you’re looking for something quick and creepy (and occasionally gross), this would be a good choice. While I managed to predict a couple aspects from the ending, there were still moments that had me cringing.

Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett: This was another college assignment, this time for an adolescent literature class. As I remember almost four years later, it was creepy (can you tell I like creepy books?), with a good dose of magical realism and unreliable narration that gave it a surreal, dreamlike feel. I remember really liking this one, it’s definitely my favorite book in this post. I’ve been thinking for a while that I should revisit it.

Social Death by Tatiana Boncompagni: Another Goodreads Giveaway pick. I enjoyed getting to know the heroine. This book really shows you the ugly side of her struggle with addiction. As a whole, I found this book very entertaining.

 

This was a rather difficult TTT with which to jump back into blogging, but I’m glad to be back. Thanks for stopping by.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Hiatus Books

Hello from Boston! I mentioned in my last post that I would be moving to Boston in March and here we are. Three weeks later, I’ve moved, started my new job, and settled in, so it’s high time I get back to blogging.

It turns out that my lazy blogging streak actually started several months ago. Though I’ve been reading even more than usual, I haven’t posted a monthly wrap-up since November. I openly admit that’s absurd. So I thought for this TTT (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish), I would adapt the topic to be the Best Books I Read During my Hiatus (December-February). On we go, in order of when I read them.

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu (December 3): Marie Lu sets up her world so well. Adelina is such a great character, and I like when I can’t pick out who’s right and who’s wrong. Who doesn’t love some moral ambiguity?

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (December 10): This isn’t my favorite from this list, but still a great read from the past few months. The angst is too real with this book, and I expect it only gets more intense as the series goes on.

Scarlet / Cress by Marissa Meyer (December 16/January 31): I love this series. I’ve enjoyed each book and I’m honestly super angry that someone wrote a huge fairytale scifi series before I got a chance to. This series is so much fun and larger-than-life. I just love it. If this doesn’t become an enormous movie franchise, I’ll be livid.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (December 22): This was exactly as charming as everyone says it is. And I finished it just as they announced that Dumplin’ would get a sequel.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (December 27): This was bizarre. It’s such a strange, otherworldly book. But if you don’t mind a little surreal flavor in your books, it’s worth a read. It has been months since I read Bone Gap and I still think about it at least once every couple of days. It stays with you.

Graceling / Fire by Kristin Cashore (January 6/January 14): I have a friend who has loved this series for years. I trust her taste in books so I really don’t know why I didn’t read this series sooner. I was a little surprised when Fire was such a deviation from Graceling, but both were amazing. Such perfect fantasy.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (January 27): I’m honestly so surprised that QoS makes it onto this list. While I enjoy the Throne of Glass series, I never think it deserves the amount of hype it gets. I was fully prepared to be underwhelmed by this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I still don’t think it’s worth the hype and there are certainly aspects of this series I can’t stand (like I can’t bring myself to care about Rowan and Aelin), but I did enjoy this installment.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (February 5): I resisted reading this book for so long because I don’t actually know anything about the eighties or video games. Nevertheless, it was a great read, and one I was able to recommend to my boyfriend when I was done. (Unfortunately, our reading tastes rarely overlap.)

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (February 28): I love when a cover for a book matches how good the book is, and this cover is incredible. The concept was great and full of high stakes and suspense. I couldn’t stop talking about it.

Let’s hope it won’t be another three weeks before my next blog post. Thanks for stopping by.

 

Major Changes

Hello! I’ve had a bit of an absence from GE thanks to some big life changes. I know I had mentioned on this blog that I was looking for work. I worked at a nonprofit from July 2014 t0 January 2016, and I was applying for jobs almost that entire time. I’m happy to say that I’ve accepted a new position, which I will start towards the end of this month.

While I’m quite happy to be away from my old position and to be starting a job I find more interesting, this change doesn’t come without growing pains. I’ll be moving from my beloved hometown and relocating to Boston. For several personal reasons, I’m not thrilled about having to move, but it is what it is.

So basically I’m saying that my big life changes have only just started. Working full time and having an absurdly long commute means I’ll have a lot less time to read (and write). Plus I’m moving within the next two weeks, so that’ll bring its own bout of chaos.

But I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to keep reading and (hopefully) start up blogging again with the help of a well-planned schedule. I’ve made reading a priority within the last couple of years and I intend to keep it that way.

On that note, I’m going to go work on some blog posts (and avoid packing).

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, and it conveniently gives me blogging topics when I’m being a lazy blogger (which is all the time). This week we’re talking our favorite historical or futuristic settings.

This honestly isn’t the best topic to ease me back into blogging. I like history and sci-fi, but if I’m going to be heart-eyed over a setting, it’s almost always a fantasy setting. So I’m tweaking this a little and listing settings I would like to read more of.

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1. Regency: I had a Jane Austen phase in college and it’s nice to step back into a time period with which I’m already familiar, since I have a decent idea of what constitutes acceptable behavior. That way, I can be properly scandalized when characters break the rules.

2. Victorian: Speaking of rules, what setting has more rules than the Victorian era? I love how uber-feminine it feels. I feel like everyone likes a nice Victorian setting.

3. Edwardian/WWI: I’m not going to lie. My interest in this time period can be attributed to my college women’s history class and Downton Abbey. But I’m interested all the same! I feel like the Edwardian era is overlooked since it’s sandwiched between the more popular Victorian and Twenties periods.

4. Non-Western settings: I actually feel guilty about this one. I almost never read translated works. I very rarely read books taking place anywhere other than England or the US. I don’t even read all that much by Hispanic authors, which feels like an insult to my own background. So I need to make an conscious effort to be more varied in my reading selection.

5. Russia: I don’t even have a specific time period for this. I’m just interested in reading more about Russia.

6. Revolutions (American, French, Russian, etc.): I love a good revolution. The American and French Revolutions were always my favorite history topics in school. I always associate revolutions with reckless optimism, which makes them such interesting environments.

7. Dystopian: Yeah, I’m still not over that dystopian trend from a few years ago. Like I said, I love a good revolution. Give me an oppressed people overthrowing a corrupt system any day of the week.

8. Space-based sci-fi: Maybe it’s my recent Star Wars kick, but I want to distance myself from Earth a little. I want to read a novel taking place on some sort of spaceship.

 

It’s a shame I don’t read more historical novels. I genuinely do like history, as I like to be a collector of information and insight. If you have any recommendations for books with these settings, please point me in the right direction!

Best of 2015

January has been unbelievably hectic, so I’m still playing catch-up from the beginning of the month. My streak of lackluster blogging marches proudly into 2016! I wanted to do a post of the absolute best books I read in 2015. I’m sure they’ve been in plenty of GE posts, and will continue to make appearances, but I wanted a moment to celebrate how much I loved them. On we go!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Interesting Yet Unread 2015 Releases

It’s Tuesday again, which means I’m obviously participating in Top Ten Tuesday (from The Broke and the Bookish). I may not be a super consistent blogger, but my TTTs are always reliable. This week we’re discussing 2015 releases we meant to read last year, but never got around to. I struggled with this week’s topic. It turns out that I read most of the 2015 releases that caught my eye, but here’s a list of the sneaky ones that managed to evade me. It would appear that there are two different kinds of books I’m interested in but still don’t read: the kind I don’t go searching for, and the kind I just can’t get my hands on. The first three on this list are the latter type, while the last three books on this list are of the former type.

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: I spent much of 2015 reading the first 3 books of this series, then I requested QoS in ebook form from my library. I finally got it in the last week of December, but had to return it unread thanks to a couple of unlucky coincidences.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu: I read the first book in this series a month or two ago, towards the end of 2015. I’ve been on my library’s wait list for The Rose Society ever since.

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch: This was another series I started towards the end of 2015. Unfortunately, my library doesn’t yet have the ebook available for this sequel.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Moving on to the books I didn’t even try to read. Everyone loves this book, so I hope I get around to it in 2016.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman: Another book with good buzz. Another book I may have neglected to look for.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: I’ve been following Sarah Dessen on Twitter for years, so sometimes she feels a little like an aunt. She seems like the sweetest woman in the world and I feel almost like I know her. I would like to read her newest book at some point, to both support her and indulge in a little high school nostalgia.

 

There were an awful lot of books by Sara/Sarah’s in this post, weren’t there? Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave me your TTTs in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Resolutions

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday here at Great Exhortations, hosted as always by the Broke and the Bookish. In honor of the new year, this week’s topic covers our resolutions for this year. Read on to see mine.

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1. Read 60 books: As I mentioned in my last post, my reading goal for 2016 is 60. This is the same as my goal from 2015, but I’m anticipating having less free time this year.

2. Be more active on my GE Twitter: I have a personal Twitter, which I use quite a bit (mostly to tweet funny things my friends say), as well as a Great Exhortations Twitter, which I neglect. I want to get better about tweeting and interacting with the book blogging community.

3. Create a GE Instagram: I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but I haven’t because having to sign in and out of two Instas on my phone seems like a pain. Thankfully, my boyfriend got me a tablet for Christmas, which I’m planning to use for a GE Instagram.

4. Finish writing my novel…: I wrote about 23k words of a novel in December and I want to finish a preliminary draft soon.

5. …And iron out the details…: I love fantasy. I live for it. But world-building takes a ton of time, and I am totally the type to get caught up on details.

6. …And make progress in editing it and getting criticism: Writing is all about revision, and I’m really looking forward to reaching the point where I can actually comb through my scenes, get opinions, and make improvements.

7. Move to a job I like: This has nothing to do with reading, writing, or my blog, but I really need to move to a new job this year. I’ve been at my current job for about a year and six months now, and I’ve disliked it this entire time. I need to move to a different sort of environment.

8. Get better about blogging: My blogging in 2015 was sporadic, unpredictable, and mostly on Tuesdays (for obvious reasons). I want to get better about blogging on a set, regular schedule.

9. Finally read Ferragost by Melina Marchetta: WHAT AM I WAITING FOR??

10. Try audiobooks more: They’re so convenient for driving, walking, or doing mindless work. I have a problem staying focused (my mind tends to wander), but I very much enjoyed my first audiobook experience last month and I’m keen to try it again.

 

Share your resolutions with me in the comments! Thanks for stopping by.