Category: Top Ten Tuesday

Feb 20

Top Ten Romance Novel Heroes

Romance, Top Ten Tuesday 3

Howdy Bookworms!

Back when I was blogging all the time I used to put together Top Ten lists weekly. There was a Top Ten Tuesday meme (which I think is probably still a thing?) where a theme would be selected and you’d choose your Top Ten for a given topic. I did so many of those that I got burnt out, especially when the topics started to get repetitive. That said, I’ve read a boatload of delightful romance novels in the past couple of years, most of which I never wrote about, and I’d like to give some of my favorite suitors a bit of credit. Let’s talk about my favorite romance heroes, shall we?

Please note: while I still hold Jamie Fraser in the highest regard, I don’t consider the Outlander books to be “romance” in the strictest sense. They’re a historical/sci fi/steamy/adventure mashup. In my personal narrow definition of “romance” as a genre, I need a guaranteed “happily ever after” at the end of a single book. Series can be linked together, but only insofar as we see happy couples we met earlier continuing to be happy. Not being shipwrecked, presumed dead, having their families ripped apart, etc.

ONE: Theo from The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory- Theo was the impetus for this entire post– I was reading another book recently and thinking about how much better Theo was at the uptight/well-dressed/driven-worker-bee vibe than that book’s hero. Theo is BY FAR my favorite Guillory love interest. He’s smart, he’s stylish, he appears aloof but is a secret marshmallow. When he drunkenly showed off his N’Sync dance moves to Maddie, my heart was forever his. I’d also like to give a special shout out to Maddie, who shares my taste in pizza toppings. Pepperoni + Black Olive is the secondary true love story in this book.

TWO: Cross from One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean- This is easily my favorite book of The Rules of Scoundrels Series thanks in large part to Cross being extremely swoonworthy. He’s got a brilliant mathematical mind and a tortured past full of excesses that he’s given up… But a bookish beauty wins his heart. Obviously. (Phillipa Marbury would be BFF with Minerva Highwood from Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series, by the by. Is a crossover bestie novel too much to hope for? I bet there’s a fandom somewhere shipping these two… I could get on board that ship.)

THREE: Michael from The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang- He’s an escort who falls head over heels for a his client, Stella, who happens to be on the autism spectrum. He’s so patient and intuitive with her and her needs it’s just heart melting- especially considering she’s had some pretty terrible romantic experiences in the past. Plus, I’m a total sucker for the “sex worker getting the HEA” trope. I blame it on my early exposure to Pretty Woman.

FOUR: Logan from When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare- You knew I wasn’t going to have a list like this without at least one dude in a kilt, right? Jamie Fraser is not the only swoony Scotsman in literature. The way Logan cares for his beleaguered troops is enough to endear him to me, but the way he fell in love through letters he was never meant to receive? The swoon is strong with this one.

FIVE: Samson from The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai- I don’t even like sports, but Samson is the most perfect cinnamon roll of a professional football player who has ever existed in fiction (and most likely IRL too.) He gave up his lucrative career to defend the noggin of his teammate (because CTE is no joke.) He’s really good at apologizing and being decent. I love this guy.

SIX & SEVEN: Both Henry and Alex from Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston- When your romance novel stars an actual prince and the adorable son of the US president, you can’t expect me to choose just one. Alex’s saucy banter and Henry’s proper Britishness gone awry make this one of the best books I read in 2019. Also? I totally want to live in this alternate political reality. History, huh? #LoveIsLove

EIGHT: Gus from Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole- I am endlessly smitten with the entire Reluctant Royals series, but Can’t Escape Love is a companion book with zero actual royals involved. Gus is obsessed with puzzles, super smart, and endlessly soothing to Regina. He makes delicious salad dressing. He cannot help but profess his feelings even when he knows it’s too early and might make things weird. He’s a gem and I love him forever.

NINE: Red from Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert- Sensitive artist with a history of being in a crappy, abusive relationship falls for sharp tongued woman with a chronic pain disorder. Much banter, extremely sexy, and there’s a hilarious tree climbing rescue incident. Red is awesome with Chloe and he loves his mom. 10/10 would recommend.

TEN: Rafe from RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon: I had this list mostly completed, and had planned to post for Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t get it finished in time. I realize now that it was clearly the universe telling me that I couldn’t complete the list until I’d read RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny. Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe: the buffest, male-st, nanniest of romance heroes. Looks like a Son of Anarchy, bakes like a son of Betty Crocker. Gentle with your kids, gentle with your heart, and as gentle (or not) as you desire in other aspects of life. Whew. Steamy steamy Rafe.

There we are, Bookworms. My Top Ten Romance Heroes are all present and accounted for. This list is likely to change over time because I’m definitely going to continue reading excellent romances, but my Top Ten Lists mean about as much as my Goodreads star ratings. Who are some of your favorite romance heroes? Or, just, like, favorite characters who aren’t in romance novels (since I know romance isn’t everyone’s jam.) Tell me about it, Bookworms!

If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links in the above post direct to Amazon, but if you prefer to shop through local, independent book stores, please see the links below:
The Wedding Party
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover
The Kiss Quotient
When a Scot Ties the Knot
Red, White & Royal Blue
Can’t Escape Love
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny


Apr 11

Recent Rom Com Faves: A Top Ten List

Romance, Top Ten Tuesday 6

Hiya Bookworms!

I’ve been binge reading romantic comedies recently, and I’m proud to admit it. I was just chatting with a friend and described my recent reads as, “Just delicious. The same warm fuzzies as Hallmark movies but infinitely wittier and, dare I say? More charming!” I read a lot, obviously, and I enjoy most of what I read, but I’ve been feeling especially enthusiastic about romance lately. Like, bubbly and wonderful and fizzing over with joy. Romance is a wide and varied genre, and there’s something for everyone. People who don’t read romance tend to get this Fabio-on-a-Horse impression that really only fits a sliver of what’s out there. I’ve recently discovered this sweet spot of cheeky, smart girl, pop culture laden banter, and explicit consent that is just *chef kiss* wonderful. Remember back in the early days of this blog when I used to put together top ten lists all the time? It was a formal thing, with like, other participants, but whatever. TOP TEN ROM-COMS COMING UP!

ONE: Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren- I loved absolutely EVERYTHING about this book. The protagonist is a successful Hollywood agent who meets her love interest by accidentally wearing coordinating Harry Potter costumes to a Halloween party. Of course, he couldn’t just be a cute guy she happened to meet at a party. He’s another Hollywood agent and the two unexpectedly find themselves working together and in direct competition. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun! This book literally had me from scene 1. You know how when you’re texting you “LOL” when it’s really more of a quick exhale and sly grin? I legit guffawed while reading some of these scenes. This book was my Christina Lauren gateway drug and I’ve since read almost all of their standalone novels. This is still my favorite, but they’re all pretty great, so pick up whichever one finds you first.

TWO: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon- This is easily the best YA rom-com I’ve ever read. I read it while I was still pregnant with Sammers and have meant to give it its own glowing review for ages, but have never figured out a way to appropriately capture its brilliance. That’s not a good enough reason to keep it to myself though, so READ THIS BOOK. Dimple is a driven, brilliant, teenage computer coder whose parents secretly try to set her up with Rishi, a suitable Indian boy en route to a suitable career. It is all very suitable. Except Dimple wants none of it. Only Rishi is a total dreamboat of a guy so, well, she maybe kind of falls for him? Nothing more annoying than having your traditional, overbearing parents be right about something, you know? It’s so, so sweet. And there’s a sequel that should be out soon which I am more than a little excited about. Eeeeep!

THREE: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole- THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN A SERIES. You will want to start with A Princess in Theory, which is also excellent, but since I started out of order, this will always be my first Alyssa Cole and therefore I shall always love it a little bit extra. Our protagonist is bright and charming, but hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to be when she grows up, so she applies for an apprenticeship with a Scottish swordmaker. As one does. Of course, #swordbae is all dashing and handsome in a rugged, bristly, blacksmith sort of way. And he might have a royal title he’s unaware of. These things happen sometimes.

FOUR: Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole- This is a novella and part of the aforementioned Reluctant Royals series but it is my super favorite of the bunch and I can’t even. The protagonist from A Duke by Default has a fraternal twin sister who runs a geeky girl website and her love interest is obsessed with puzzles. Everything about this book is adorable and I very much want to taste the miraculous salad dressing that Hottie McHotstuff (his name is Gus, although, I think the nickname is apt) used to woo his lady love. I hate cooking, so I find romantic heroes who cook extra swoonworthy.

FIVE: Geekerella by Ashley Poston- I’m honestly awed by what must go into crafting any book plot, but when an author manages to create a whole plot within a plot I’m doubly impressed. I’ve seen it done before (shout out to Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (review), whose fictional universe actually spawned its own book, Carry On (review), etc.) but it’s like watching someone do back flips. Just, dang. This is a modern Cinderella story, only Elle’s last link to her parents is an intense fandom for a short lived sci-fi TV show. When a big screen adaptation is in the works, our protagonist is devastated to see a cheesy soap star land the lead role. Little does she know he’s secretly as big a nerd as she is. Cosplay ensues. So much cute.

SIX: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang- Imagine, if you will, the plot of Pretty Woman, only way, way better. Stella has a brilliant mathematical mind, but her devotion to the job she loves has left her with little in the way of a social life. The fact that she has Aspberger’s and imagines kissing as more nature documentary than sweeping romance has also hampered her dating life. Being extremely logical, Stella decides that the solution to this conundrum is that she needs professional help. From an escort. Enter Michael Phan, outrageously handsome gentleman caller. This book is equal parts sweet and steamy. I turned into an actual heart-eye emoji while reading it.

SEVEN: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory- Meet cute in a broken elevator? Yes please! Alexa and Drew happen upon each other by chance and she impulsively agrees to be his last minute date to a wedding, so he can save face in an awkward situation. Obviously, they both catch feelings, and, well. Romance. It’s a super fun read with lots of extremely delicious-sounding takeout.



EIGHT: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han- This book is SO PURE. Lara Jean writes letters to her crushes as her way of dealing with heartbreak. When the letters are mysteriously mailed to all the recipients, shenanigans ensue. This book kicks off a trilogy which is wonderful, but the first book is where it’s at for peak swoons. I haven’t seen the Netflix movie, though I hear it’s amazing and getting the sequels it so rightfully deserves. Lara Jean gets me, I tell you what.


NINE: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne- I love a prickly female protagonist, and Darcy is one of the best. She’s also a steaming HOT MESS which is something I can appreciate. She’s been in love with her twin brother’s best friend since childhood, but knows he’s “off limits.” So, she takes her hot mess self on a worldwide tour of general self destruction only to end up back where she started, embarking on a home renovation with the object of her affection. It’s a slow burn with lots of tension and tons of snarky dialogue. Bonus points for the BFF who designs comfortable underwear with profanity emblazoned across the seat.

TEN: Roomies by Christina Lauren- Irish guitar virtuoso love interest. IRISH GUITAR VIRTUOSO LOVE INTEREST!!! Sorry, got ahead of myself for a second. Our girl Holland has a mad crush on this hottie who plays guitar for tips in a subway station. Because he’s insanely talented, she lands him an audition for her uncle, a super Broadway producer guy. It’s all going great… Until it’s discovered that Calvin (the Irish guitar virtuoso, natch) massively overstayed his visa and will be deported to Ireland if he accepts above-board work on Broadway. Which obviously means… Sham marriage time!


What are some of your favorite Rom-Coms, Bookworms?


*If you make a purchase through a link on this site I will receive a small commission.*


Feb 09

It’s a Love Story, Baby Just Say Yes (Top Ten Tuesday)

Humor, Romance, Top Ten Tuesday 12

Helloooooo Bookworms!

Valentine’s Day is creeping up and the gals from The Broke and the Bookish have offered up a Valentine’s themed freebie topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. I’m a sucker for romantic comedies, I’ll own up to it. I dig love stories with impossibly ridiculous premises in my movies… And in my books. Let’s talk literary rom-coms, shall we?

  1. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (review)- Suspension of disbelief is absolutely essential with this novel, but once you’ve committed to the singing telegram and the lost and found cell phone, you can’t help but enjoy yourself.
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (review)– How can you not love Don and Rosie? One of the most charming and quirky love stories of all time. Plus Australia. Be still my heart.
  3. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert (review)– This is a super cute romantic comedy with a foodie twist. It’s set in Milwaukee, so the Midwestern aspect had me double smitten. I mean, there are cheese curds, for heaven’s sake.
  4. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding– I read this book for the first time when I was in high school and I have adored it ever since. Bridget is the quintessential hot mess who finds love in spite of herself. Timeless. Adorable. Someone get me some vodka. And Chaka Khan.
  5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (review)- Awww yeah. Falling in love through eavesdropping, as one does. Lincoln and Beth are positively delightful.
  6. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (review)- What’s this? Another foodie rom-com? Heck yes! No cheese curds, but it’s still pretty… Delicious. (Yep, I went there.)
  7. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (review)- Holy macaroni, I laughed so dang hard reading this. Sophie Kinsella, what have you done to me? High powered lawyer goes undercover as a housekeeper. Hilarity ensues.
  8. The Royal We by Heather Cox & Jessica Morgan- I haven’t officially reviewed this one yet, but holy smokes. For a book that is basically Prince William and Kate Middleton fan fiction, it was clever, quippy, and downright charming. I unabashedly loved this book.
  9. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (review)– Awww yeah. A sweet little romance novel. Also a lot of food in this one. Apparently I find food romantic?
  10. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (review)- Yaaaaaaaaas more food! Also magic. You really can’t go wrong with Sarah Addison Allen as a general rule, but often her writing doesn’t necessarily fall into rom com territory. Rom, yes. Com? Less so. This might be a minor stretch, but it’s my list and I like breaking rules. RAWR.

In making this list, I realized I need more romantic comedies in my reading. Talk to me, Bookworms. What are some of your favorites?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


Jan 26

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Potter Binge Highlights

Top Ten Tuesday 10

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

It’s been an age since I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish. Me and my lazy pants blogging haven’t been feeling up to the challenge. Today’s topic is a freebie, though, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put together my highlight reel for the Potter Binge! I’m going to list out my favorite notes from each of my eleven Potter posts. I like breaking rules, okay? And because I can’t contain myself, I’m adding additional commentary in bold.

  1. If Hagrid is allergic to cats, does that mean he can’t be around Professor McGonagall? Or perhaps only when she’s a cat? Are animagi hypoallergenic? This mystery has yet to be solved. (Original Post)
  2. Who does wizard laundry if house elves can’t handle clothes? I have a hard time imagining Narcissa Malfoy scrubbing anyone’s under drawers… This has been bothering me for years. Yes, I am sure laundry spells are a thing, but so are cooking spells and cleaning spells, yet Wizarding families keep House Elves anyway. A weird tweet to JK Rowling was not answered, not that I expected it would be. I may never have closure. (Original Post)
  3. I GET that Snape hated James, but what kind of person bad mouths an orphan’s parents to their sorcerersstoneface? Seriously douchey move, Snape. Probably why I can barely muster any sympathy for the man. Ever. Besides. Everyone knows that the best revenge is making the child of your enemy think you’re cool. Duh. I stand by this statement. Making the children of your enemies think that you are awesome is, indeed, the best revenge. Way to muck it up, Snape. (Original Post)
  4. When you have to be kept alive by milking your enormous horcrux snake, you should question your life choices. (Cough, cough, VOLDEMORT.) Seriously, could your method of survival BE any grosser? (Original Post)
  5. I want the prefect’s bathroom in my house. Minus Myrtle the voyeur. The hazards of teenage ghosts, I guess. Though speaking of bathrooms, why is this one so far away? I know it’s just for the prefects, but it seems inconveniently located. They’ve got to have toilets in the dorms somewhere, don’t they? I mean, since students aren’t technically allowed out at night and all? This thought contributes to my deep and abiding concern that ghosts may be watching me shower. This is in no way helped by the very dearly departed Alan Rickman’s commentary on the subject in Dogma. (Original Post)
  6. This has been bugging me for a while now, but why all the handshaking? Like, Lupin sees Harry for the first time in a year and is all “let me shake your hand like we don’t actually have feelings.” I hug the children of my dear friends ALL THE TIME and usually give them a big fat smooch on the cheek to boot. Granted, the oldest of them is 7, but still. Prepare yourself, Jack, Crazy Aunt Katie is going to be hugging you until forever. Are British people just less huggy? Is it a guy thing? Teen angst Harry needs more hugs, guys, and Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, and Hagrid can’t be expected to do all the hugging. (So far, the only three Harry huggers I’ve noticed. But big props to Hagrid who apparently doesn’t buy into non-sentimental machismo.) So, Sirius eventually gives Harry a one-armed hug and Lupin hugs Harry when he asks him to be Teddy’s Godfather. They both die shortly thereafter. That’s enough to give anyone a complex. (Original Post)
  7. Dear Dumbledore, Sirius was many things, but he was not the closest thing to a parent Harry ever had. That honor belongs to MOLLY WEASLEY. #TeamMolly Despite any flaws Molly may have had, she was certainly the most parental figure in Harry’s life. Sirius was awesome, but he so often treated Harry like his long lost BFF James that he wasn’t especially fatherly. (Original Post)gobletoffire
  8. The tale of the Gaunts is so utterly troubling. Generations of cousins marrying cousins is never a good idea. Science affects wizard kind, too, and that concentration of genes is never a good thing. I mean, look at the royal families of Europe. We actually studied that family tree as an example of the inheritance patter of hemophelia in biology. I didn’t really want to google the consequences of inbreeding on mental health, but I’m sure it’s a terrible idea. All that aside, though, I can’t help but assume that Merope and Morfin did not attend Hogwarts. I’ve stated before that wizard kind could seriously use a social services department, but I don’t think either child would have been so thoroughly broken had they spent large swaths of their childhoods out from under the thumb of their fanatical father. They’d have had the option to stay at school during holidays and likely would have made friends that would have offered them some respite during the summer months. And even if they had to suffer through summers and holidays with the man, once they were of age they’d have been independent enough to break free, get jobs, and stop living in crazytown. Also, how would homeschooling work in the wizarding world? The reasonable restriction for underage magic was written in 1875 (I looked that up) so how would the Gaunt children have been able to perform spells outside of school? I wonder if there’s some sort of waiver… Hmmmm… I’m more than a little long winded with some of these soliloquies. SorryNotSorry. (Original Post)
  9. “You thought I would not wish to marry him, or perhaps you hoped? What do I care how he looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I think. All these scars show is that my husband is brave.” And with that, Fleur cements her place in my heart. And Molly’s, apparently. (Yeah, yeah, I took out the accented spelling. I was listening to the books because JIM DALE is the man and I didn’t feel like looking up Fleur’s accented speech.) Honestly, this was probably the only thing Rowling could have done to make Fleur less annoying. I’m surprised at how genial her family turns out to be when they visit for the wedding. (Original Post)HP
  10. Ugh. FIGURES Umbridge would end up with a horcrux as a friggin accessory. That woman. And stealing Mad Eye’s magical eye?! What the what? You’re grave robbing now? That’s just gross. Given the massive body count in this book, I can’t say I’m not disappointed that Umbridge wasn’t among the dead. I can’t even think of her name without scrunching up my nose in distaste. It’s involuntary. She’s just that bad! (Original Post)
  11. Voldemort had a serious case of James Bond villain syndrome. He and Harry have quite a long conversation before either attempts to cast a spell, most of it Voldemort posturing and over-explaining himself. Why don’t you just throw Harry into a tank of sharks with frickin laser beams on their foreheads? I realize that Voldemort’s speeches serve to provide some closure and explanations, but you’ve got to wonder why a dude who was so into murder would stall so dang much. (Original Post)

Alright, I promise that’s my last Potter Binge post. Probably. Thanks for bearing with me, I had the best time. I’m sure I’ll read the books again (and again, and again…) but this free form blogging thing? SO much fun.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What is your theory on wizard laundry? Apparently JK just doesn’t want us to know.

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


Oct 27

Scary Books That Kept Me Up At Night

Top Ten Tuesday 33

Greetings Bookworms!

This week the folks at The Broke and The Bookish have graciously offered up a Halloween Freebie as a topic. In the past I’ve talked about cool literary costumes and the like, but today I thought it would be fun to talk about some books that scared me to the point that it affected my sleep. Nightmares, fear of turning off the lights, whatever. Of course, it should be noted (and has been several times) that I am a big giant chicken when it comes to scary books. Therefore, my definition of scary might not be the same as yours. Still. We’re going to talk about it anyway. Ready?

  1. Bag of Bones by Stephen King: This was my first Stephen King novel and it freaked me out so badly it was a good 10 years before I read another one of his novels. It’s not even one of the super scary ones! I was 16 and had a wild imagination, okay? I seriously couldn’t look at refrigerator magnets for a while after I finished it. And the night I finished it? I was up until 3am because I was powering through the fear, only to be left too afraid to turn out the lights and close my eyes. When I finally fell asleep, I totally had nightmares. Because chicken.
  2. The Passage by Justin Cronin (review): In the years since I read that initial Stephen King, I’ve branched out and will read frightening books periodically. (As long as they don’t involve ghosts or evil spirits. I can’t afford to be afraid of inanimate objects.) I can’t think of a book that made my chest tighten in panic the way The Passage did. The unholy union of vampire lore and zombie apocalypse was intense and unequivocally terrifying. I had to switch to reading a classic for a while just to calm my nerves enough to sleep.
  3. World War Z by Max Brooks (review): I’ve been known to have the occasional Walking Dead inspired nightmare (and don’t even get me started on this week’s episode because I just CANNOT), but World War Z kicked those nightmares up several notches. This was another book I had to follow up with an innocuous book in order to fall asleep.
  4. The Stand by Stephen King (review): Since the Bag of Bones incident, I’ve tried to avoid any Stephen King involving ghosts and/or unsettled spirits. Luckily, that leaves plenty of novels for me to read, and The Stand is one of my all time favorite books. All time. Seriously. I’ve read a lot of books and it’s really high on the list. It’s about a super flu apocalypse and believe you me, that is some scary stuff. It wasn’t much of a nightmare inducer but it sure as heck kept me up late because I couldn’t put the darn thing down.
  5. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (review): Bleak bleak bleak! I had nightmares involving shopping carts and cannibals after finishing this one. Super good, and though not traditionally spooky, it’ll stick with you.

I’m going to tap out at five books this week because Hocus Pocus just came on. You can’t expect me NOT to watch it. While I’m running amok amok amok, why don’t y’all tell me about some of the scariest books you’ve ever read? What gave you nightmares, Bookworms? What was that last book you read that left you too scared to turn out the lights?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


Oct 20

Wishes from a Book Genie: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday 19

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

I had planned on putting together a lovely post for you last night buuuut I had some technical difficulties with website-y things and you know the old addage. The best laid plans of mice and Katies, yadda yadda, yadda. But I’m here today and we’re going to play the imagination game. (It’s really the best game, isn’t it?) The folks at The Broke and the Bookish have posed a doozy of a question. What are the top ten things you’d wish for if you had a Book Genie at your disposal?

  1. More Wishes! I realize this is cliche, but I’d start the proceedings by asking if I could wish for more wishes. It’s probably against the rules, but I’m a greedy Gus and I’d always wonder if I didn’t ask.
  2. A Way to Get More Books Into My Brain! It’s depressing to realize that even if I quit my job and did nothing else ever, I would never ever be able to get through all the books I’d like to read in my lifetime. If books could be like, injected into my brain, I’d be pretty stoked.
  3. A Way to Jump Into my Favorite Scenes Temporarily! There’s an element in The Eyre Affair (review) that has literary tourism going on. I wouldn’t mind giving that a whirl. Mostly so I could ogle Jamie Fraser in the flesh. I mean… Who am I kidding? That’s exactly what I mean.
  4. More Harry Potter Books! They don’t have to be Harry’s adventures, necessarily, but I need more time in the magical world. I just do.
  5. The Ability to Read an Entire Series Even When It Hasn’t Been Released And/Or Written! There is little that is more frustrating than being super into a series and having to wait for the next installment. It’s AGONY. My Genie would save me from that fate. It would probably involve time travel, but hey. Genie. Right?!
  6. The World’s Coziest Reading Nook! Wouldn’t it be loverly? I mean, I’ve got some delightful places to read, but the WORLD’S COZIEST READING NOOK? How could that not be amazing? (If you don’t have show tunes stuck in your head right now, you should go watch My Fair Lady. For educational purposes.)
  7. A Home Library Complete With Sliding Ladders! THIS. IS. THE. DREAM.
  8. The Ability To Judge A Book’s Awesomeness Before Investing In It! Precognition of a sort. I’m not demanding to know what is in each and every book, but it would be so awesome to know that every single book I picked up would seem like the most amazing thing I’d ever read.
  9. The Ability To Function Without Sleep! Think of how much more reading I could get done! I really do like sleeping, but it would be nice if it were optional as opposed to necessary.
  10. Oodles of Cash! I’d settle for one oodle, really, but the idea that I could acquire any book I’d like at any time and/or purchase said books for anyone ever would be delicious. Plus I wouldn’t have to work because that oodle would pay my mortgage so it would truly be a win-win.

What would you wish for, Bookworms?! Tell me your hopes and dreams and Genie things!

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


Oct 13

Dream Author Duos: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday 17

Howdy Howdy Bookworms!

It’s Tuesday and therefore we should be making lists, don’t you think? This week the folks at The Broke and the Bookish have proposed a delightful topic! We’re talking about our dream author duos. I KNOW, RIGHT? Like take two amazing authors. Make them write a book together. MAGIC ENSUES. I have visions of author buddy comedies dancing in my head. This shall be glorious!


1. Diana Gabaldon and George RR Martin. They’re already BFFs, I’m actually terribly confused as to why this is not already a reality. Epic adventure series unite!

2. Sarah Addison Allen and Alice Hoffman. Magical realism with a dark twist plus magical realism with a light twist. I’m terribly curious to find out whose magical realism would win out. Also, I feel like apples would be involved somehow. So few fruits get the literary attention that apples do. Let’s work on this fruit elitism, world, okay?

3. Fannie Flagg and Sophie Kinsella. What? You think neurotic British chick lit can’t meld with Southern Fried Fiction? Well, I think I’ll be the imaginary judge of that. And as said judge? It is awesome and you are all the wrong. So there.

4. Maggie Stiefvater and Neil Gaiman. They’re both sort of obsessed with creepy British Isles folklore. Can you imagine what sort of craziness they’d come up with together? It would be dark and mysterious and delicious.

5. Rainbow Rowell and Jojo Moyes. I have no good reasoning behind this pairing, I just like them both a whole lot and they both have new books out and I’ve read neither of them. WHY AM I BLOGGING WHEN I COULD BE PUTTING BOOKS IN MY BRAIN?!

6. Mark Twain and Jane Austen. Okay, you guys, Mark Twain said some suuuuuuper douchey things about Jane, but in my mind he did so only because he was secretly in love with her and it’s not socially acceptable to be in love with a dead author. I shan’t listen to anyone who argues otherwise. LALALALALALAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

7. Jenny Lawson and David Sedaris. This would be so weird and irreverent and magical and bizarre. There would be taxidermy and neuroses and hilarity would ensue. I want it to happen.

My brain is exploding with the awesomeness of the imaginary potential of these author pairings. Seven is a powerful number, maybe if I stop my list here, the universe will make one of these happen? (I’m definitely not stopping because I’m too lazy to come up with anything else. Definitely not.) So tell me, Bookworms. Who are your dream author duos?

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Sep 15

Excuses, Excuses: Top Ten Tuesday

Blogging, Personal, Top Ten Tuesday 39

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s been a while since I’ve made a Top Ten List for the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is a freebie so I’m going to tell y’all a little about WHY I have been such a terrible blogger lately. I haven’t been keeping up with anyone else’s blog, I’ve barely been keeping up with writing mine, and I figure you all deserve to know the reasons. Even if they’re terrible reasons.

  1. I’m extremely lazy. Sometimes I’d rather lie on the couch in a semi-comatose state and watch terrible television than read or blog.
  2. Adult coloring. It’s super fun, and when I think “I should treat myself to not blogging” it usually ends in me coloring for hours and hours during blogging time. It’s addictive.
  3. I’ve been pretty bummed out. For reasons. Of course, those reasons seem worse thanks to crappy brain chemistry. In any case, I keep cutting myself slack when I don’t feel like doing anything, which is a bad idea because doing nothing always makes me feel much worse. R&R is apparently not the cure for what ails me. (Seriously, don’t worry. This too shall pass.)
  4. I’ve been exercising a lot. It’s is a good and healthy thing to do, especially for the chronic mopeys. However, by the time I get home from work and the gym and shower and eat it’s kind of late. Then coloring happens.
  5. Hair bows. My Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law just had a baby girl. I was feeling crafty, and now I’m obsessed with Pinterest and ribbons and hot glue. I don’t even know myself anymore. Crafting? ME?!
  6. YouTube. My husband has become obsessed with watching The Tim Tracker. They’re a husband and wife daily vlogging team who live in Orlando. They go to theme parks a ton which we love because Disney World and Universal are made of magic. They also have two really cute dogs and have somehow managed to make dull daily chores entertaining. Plus, Tim has the jauntiest mustache in the history of ever. They’re like imaginary friends, who are real, only we don’t know them and they have no idea we exist. Hi Tim and Jenn! We love you in the least creepy way!
  7. Work. It’s busy there.

That’s it, you only get 7 excuses. Par for the course, really. At least you know what I’ve been doing while being a half-assed blogger. Sorry, y’all. You deserve better. I’ll try harder, really I will.

Tell me something, bookworms. What’s the best excuse you’ve ever used for being unproductive? 


Aug 25

Apocalyptic Fiction 101

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Top Ten Tuesday 31

Greetings Bookworms!

Today I’m putting on the professor hat I will likely never wear otherwise and curating a list of books for my pretend syllabus. This is all the fault of The Broke and the Bookish who prompted the book blogosphere to create a syllabus for their imaginary master class in a certain genre. Or something like that. Let’s go back to school with some apocalyptic fiction, y’all. It’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Now, before I get to the listing, I would like to point out that this list of books has to do with apocalypse scenarios and the immediate aftermath. This DOES NOT include dystopian societies. All the scary government rules, policed reproduction, oppression, and death sports will be covered next semester.

apocalyptic fiction

1. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (review): This book is the perfect primer. It was written during the Cold War and deals (unsurprisingly) with the aftermath of a nuclear war. A poignant view of the human condition, Frank’s classic totally holds up. A lack of electricity is truly the great equalizer.

2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (review): I’m toting out the big guns early in the semester because this level of bleakness explored after daylight savings time ends is a recipe for severe Seasonal Affective Disorder. We never really learn what disaster befell humanity, but McCarthy’s stark portrayal of the aftermath is haunting.

3. The Stand by Stephen King (review): Any list of apocalyptic novels that doesn’t include The Stand will get the side eye from me, I’ll tell you what. Far and away my favorite King novel, the story of Captain Tripps and what lies beyond is masterful. Even if it does stray a little into the supernatural. A lot of apocalypse tales do. Stay tuned, folks.

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (review): This book was the darling of the literary world for good reason. In case you needed more of a reason to stock up on hand sanitizer, another flu pandemic decimates the world’s population. Mandel’s novel takes a fascinating look at the role of art in rebuilding society.

5. California by Eden Lepucki (review): Just when you think it’s a good idea to go completely off the grid and fend for yourself in the woods, California offers a troubling portrayal of societal breakdown and the fact that it’s nearly impossible to escape.


6. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (review): I know it’s fully supernatural. Vampires happen and ONE DUDE is left. There’s a reason this book has been around for as long as it has, you guys! And seriously, don’t judge the book based on the movie in this case. I mean, I love Will Smith as an action hero as much as the next gal, but it wasn’t a great adaptation.

7. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (review): It’s not the flu and it’s not a monster that takes aim at humanity this time. It’s Earth. The rotation of the planet decides to slow the heck down which wreaks utter havoc on the fabric of society. Told from the perspective of a 12 year old girl, this novel will hit you in the feels.

8. The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey (review): Yes, more supernatural stuff. But only because it’s AMAZING. Zombies and evolution and science and disease and WHOA.

9. MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood (review): You didn’t think this list would be without Atwood, did you?! This trilogy is insanely good what with the human foibles ultimately leading to their own destruction. This is a wee bit of a hybrid because the society pre-breakdown was traipsing into dystopia territory, but the aftermath was pure apocalypse. Seriously, check it out.

10. World War Z by Max Brooks (review): I know I talk about zombies and this book in particular a lot, but it’s simply one of the best of its kind. When your friends and neighbors suddenly think it’s a good idea to feast upon your flesh, crazy shiznit is bound to go down.

apocalypse2Tell me, dear Bookworms, did I leave anything excellent and apocalyptic out of my syllabus? Also, what haven’t I read in this genre that I should? 

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Aug 04

Fairy Tale Retellings: A Top Ten Tuesday List

Fairy Tales, Top Ten Tuesday 12

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

There are very few things I love more than a good list. I’m extra super excited today as the folks at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list our favorite fairy tale retellings. Buckle up your “once upon a times,” bookworms, we’re heading toward a “happily ever after.” It’s TOP TEN TUESDAY TIME!


1. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: I just finished this last week and what fun! It takes the classic The Twelve Dancing Princesses and places it in 1920s New York City. I wasn’t super familiar with The Twelve Dancing Princesses as it managed to escape my childhood collection of books, Disney movies, and Faerie Tale Theatre episodes. I think that made The Girls at the Kingfisher Club an extra fun experience for me.

2. The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter: This book is a fabulous collection of short stories based on fairy tales with a feminist twist. I highly recommend it for those of you craving empowered heroines.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (review): I couldn’t possibly make this list without including The Lunar Chronicles. Cyborg Cinderella is simply too much fun to be missed!

4. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire: From the dude who gave the Wicked Witch of the West some depth, the “ugly” stepsisters are finally getting to tell their side of the story. It had some unexpected twists I was rather fond of. A great departure from your standard Cinderella

5. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (review): Little Red Riding Hood is one of my favorite fairy tales ever. Girl had style, you know? That cape! Marissa Meyer’s crazy Lunar Chronicles continue with Scarlet, driven from the obscurity of her farm in the French countryside and into the arms of the big bad wolf. Rawr.

once upon a time

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer (review): Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair! From your satellite where you’ve been imprisoned doing computer things. Muahahahaha! This series is so darn fun. The Lunar Chronicles, FTW! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet tackled the latest installment on the series, but don’t worry. I will get there!

7. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (review): Historical fiction mixed with another retelling of Rapunzel? A winning combination. I love when authors dig down into a fairy tale’s origin story. Delicious.

8. While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell (review): Sleeping Beauty, represent! Another historical fiction meets fairy tale. I was kind of hard on this book when I initially reviewed it because I have such low tolerance for insta-love, but you sort of have to expect such things in fairy tales, right?

9. Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire (review): In this retelling of Snow White, Gregory Maguire not only delved into historical fiction, but he also used an ACTUAL historical figure in the novel. Though I think he was probably pretty unfair to Lucrezia Borgia, it was a rather innovative interweaving of real happily ever afterhistory, magic, and general craziness.

10. Once Upon a Crime by PJ Brackston (review): Ever wondered what happened to Hansel and Gretel after they escaped the witch in the gingerbread house? Well. Gretel is a private detective solving fairy tale crimes, naturally. Hansel is kind of a drunk, but a lovable one. You can’t expect to be imprisoned and threatened with being eaten and come out of it without some psychological damage.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What are some of your favorite Fairy Tales? And do any of y’all have a recommendation for a fractured or historical fiction or generally fun version of Beauty and the Beast? I’ve got a hankering for MORE FAIRY TALES!

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