Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Would Want to Read in a Book Club

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Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different bookish topic and bloggers are asked to post their own top ten list based on the topic. This week is a listing of the Top Ten Books you would pick for your book club to read if you were lucky enough to be in a book club (unfortunately I am not so lucky due to a combo of lack of time and resources). So I put my thinking cap on and thought that if I were in a book club, what books would I like to discuss with my fellow club attendees.

1. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
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I
¬†am currently in love with Giffin’s books after reading her Something Borrowed and Something Blue recently. Her books are intense and thought provoking and I think that they would make for a great discussion.

2. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
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This book has been on my to read list since before it came out in 2014. I think the subject of addiction in this book would make for a great discussion starter.

3. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
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This was a highly praised book in 2014. I read many good reviews on it and I am honestly fascinated by the topic. A pandemic causes chaos to erupt and a new world forms amongst those who survive. Sounds freaking awesome.

4. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
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A young woman without any prospects is asked to marry a wealthy family’s dead son, well actually to marry his ghost. I think this would be a great book to discuss since its subject is so unique and unusual.

5. Redeployment by Phil Klay
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My husband and I met when he was in the Marines. I waited (not at all patiently I might add, though I wish I could say differently) while he went to Afghanistan on deployment. I think that I have to read this book. I think it might give me a better glimpse into the complicated world he lived at that time. I also think it would be a great eye-opener for book club readers.

6. It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
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Many women in this day and age have weight issues and body image issues. The media blasts us with images of “beautiful” women, all of whom are a size 0. This just isn’t realistic. This memoir is all about learning to love who you are and learning to love your body. I think this would be essential for a women’s book club and a great discussion piece for book clubs that can be candid with one another.

7. The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
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This book brings up a big discussion point: mental disorders. In this novel, a woman with bipolar disorder was the last person to see one of her friend’s alive and suspects she might actually be the killer.

8. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
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I know this is going to sound like a poor reason to have this on the list, but I heard this turned out to be a great movie. I think it would be an interesting book to read and discuss in a book group.

9. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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I almost can’t believe it myself, but I’ve never read this book or the rest of the series. Astonishing, I know, considering how popular the book series was and even how much I have loved the movies so far. For those reasons, I’d love to read this book and discuss people’s thoughts on it.

10. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
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This is a classic that I have always wanted to read but never found quite the right motivation to actually pick it up.

So that’s my list! Anyone else see books on my list they’d like to read? Maybe we could start our own book club ūüôā Let me know what you’d put on your lists!

2015 Book #8 – Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

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Title: Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock
Author: Carolyn Keene
Date finished: 1/25/15
Genre: Mystery, ages 8-12, graphic novel
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication Date: May 1, 1930
Pages in book: 180
Stand alone or series: #1 in Nancy Drew series but can be read as a stand alone

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my ‚ÄúBookish Bingo‚ÄĚ reading challenge, marking off the ‚ÄúMiddle Grade‚ÄĚ square. I have always loved Nancy Drew books ever since I was little girl. Re-reading one as an adult was not quite as thrilling as I expected though. Most of the conversations felt stilted and overly-simplified, which makes sense for a book written for children between ages 8 to 12 but was awkward and somewhat boring to read as an adult.
Other than that though, it was a good book with an interesting mystery. I like that the Tophams got what they deserved in the end.

The bottom line:  I would recommend this book to a young girl and maybe to women who are feeling nostalgic.

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Secret-Old-Clock-Anniversary-ebook/dp/B001R11CJY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1422313866&sr=8-1

2015 Book #7 – Babymouse, Queen of the World by Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm

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Title: Babymouse, Queen of the World
Author: Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Date finished: 1/24/15
Genre: Fiction, ages 7-10, graphic novel
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 27, 2005
Pages in book: 96
Stand alone or series:¬†Was ok for a kid’s book

Blurb from the cover:

Meet Babymouse, a sassy young mouse who dreams of glamour, excitement, adventure, straight whiskers, being queen of the world, and of course, being invited to Felicia Furrypaws’s oh-so-exclusive party. Readers will love Babymouse’s vivid imagination–an empty locker becomes a black hole that sucks her into space, boring party becomes a Wild West adventure–and the clever illustrations and hilarious storyline of brother-sister team Matthew and Jennifer Holm.

My rating: 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my ‚ÄúBookish Bingo‚ÄĚ reading challenge, marking off the ‚ÄúGraphic Novel‚ÄĚ square.¬†This was an ok book, but it was a kids book. Nothing thrilling. If you’re a kid though I think it would be a cute book to read. In this installment, Babymouse learns who her true friends really are. I like that the illustrations were all in pink, black, and white. It was cute but if it weren’t for the bingo I wouldn’t have read it.

The bottom line:¬†¬†I¬†would recommend this book to a kid around 7, particularly if they haven’t read a lot before. Its more like a comic book anyway.

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Babymouse-Queen-Jennifer-L-Holm/dp/0375932291/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1422138046

2015 Book #6 – Something Blue by Emily Giffin

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Title: Something Blue
Author: Emily Giffin
Date finished: 1/23/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 21, 2006
Pages in book: 338
Stand alone or series: Stand alone kind of but there is a related prequel, Something Borrowed

Blurb from the cover:

Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she things until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply – and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my ‚ÄúBookish Bingo‚ÄĚ reading challenge, marking off the ‚ÄúBlue Cover‚ÄĚ square. I absolutely loved Something Borrowed, and after reading it I just couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to selfish, narcissistic Darcy. I even left work early (8pm but that’s early by tax season standards) and went straight to Barnes and Noble to buy Something Blue because I could not wait one more day to start reading it! This is the second book I’ve read by Emily Giffin and I have to say I just absolutely love her books. I am excited to read her other books that she’s published as well. She infuses such emotion and depth into her characters. Even with this book, I went into it not sure what to expect since after Something Borrowed I couldn’t help but think of Darcy as a bad person. But her growth throughout the novel was astounding. And there is so much put into each characters’ personalities, I feel as if I know them. They become real to me as I read the story and I find myself unable to put the book down. I think it was a wonderful story about love, friendship, and how much a person can change for the right reason. Darcy was determined to become a better person for her sons and I am so glad that she found love.

The bottom line:  I would definitely recommend this book! I loved it! The previous book, Something Borrowed, is great too!!

Author website:
 http://www.emilygiffin.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Something-Blue-Emily-Giffin/dp/0312548079/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1422112177

Friday Finds (Jan 23)

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FRIDAY FINDS¬†is hosted by Should Be Reading¬†and showcases the books you ‚Äėfound‚Äô and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.¬†¬†Whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library ‚ÄĒ wherever! (they aren‚Äôt necessarily books you purchased).

My finds this week include an upcoming YA release, a gothic mystery / romance and of course a romance:

1. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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First of all, sick cover. The cover alone would probably make me want to pick up this book. Plus the synopsis of the story sounds really interesting as well. And finally, it is described as being a cross between The Selection (which is very high on my TBR list, I’ve been dying to read this series for awhile) and Graceling (which I hadn’t heard of before but sounds really interesting).

2. Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall

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Said to be reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier‚Äôs Rebecca, this book is described as a dark and thrilling ghost story. I discovered it in an email that Amazon sent me with a listing of popular romance novels, so I’m not sure exactly where the romance will be in this ghost story but I guess we’ll find out!¬†Some of the reader comments look a little dark (and slightly unnerving) so I have to say I don’t think this book will be good for the faint-hearted. I thought it looked interesting though!

3. You’re So Fine by Kieran Kramer

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I heard a lot of good things about Kieran Kramer’s March 2014 release¬†Sweet Talk Me. Though I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, it is also on my TBR list.¬†You’re So Fine also looks like a sweet story and a fun read. Might save this one for a beach read for this summer since the cover is.. well a beach ūüôā

So those are my finds this week! Please feel free to share your finds or leave a link to your own ‚ÄúFriday Finds‚ÄĚ blog posting below! Happy Friday!

Waiting on Wednesday (5): Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

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‚ÄúWaiting On‚ÄĚ Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at¬†Breaking the Spine¬†that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week’s spotlight is on:

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Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Blurb from the cover (Amazon):

From the world of Beautiful Creatures–a dangerous new tale of love and magic continues in the sequel to Dangerous Creatures.
Love is ten kinds a crazy, right?
Let me put it to you this way: If you can get away, run. Don’t walk.
Because once you’re exposed, you’ll never get a Siren outta your head.
Some loves are cursed. Others are…dangerous. Especially the love between wannabe rocker and quarter Incubus, Wesley “Link” Lincoln, and Dark Caster, Siren, and bonafide bad girl, Ridley Duchannes.
But now Ridley is missing, and Link was with her–right up until she vanished. Determined to find her, Link reunites with his New York bandmates and the mysterious Lennox Gates, who wants Rid for himself. Together they travel to the deep south, find the crossroads where blues guitarist Robert Johnson made his deal with the devil, discover a menagerie of Casters locked in cages, and uncover an evil in New Orleans that threatens to destroy them all.
This time, love might not be enough.
Why am I waiting?
I loved the Beautiful Creatures series and also enjoyed the first book in Ridley’s spin-off series. I am looking forward to see what happens next for Link and Ridley.

2015 Book #5 – Something Borrowed

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Title: Something Borrowed
Author: Emily Giffin
Date finished: 1/20/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher:¬†St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Pages in book: 322
Stand alone or series: Stand alone kind of but there is a related sequel, Something Blue

Blurb from the cover:

Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my ‚ÄúBookish Bingo‚ÄĚ reading challenge, marking off the ‚ÄúPink Cover‚ÄĚ square.¬†I have had this book on my to read list for quite some time and I saw the movie adaptation a month or two ago (even though it came out in 2011) and loved the movie. I haven’t ever read anything by Emily Giffin but her books always have looked good to me and almost all her books are on my to read list. And just as a side note I think they did a great job with the movie adaptation, the cast they selected to play the characters in the book was superb and though they skipped some details and swirled some others around, the emotions portrayed in the book came through loud and clear.
I loved this book, I just couldn’t put it down. Even having already seen the movie and knowing what was going to happen, I was drawn into the emotions of the book. It was fascinating to me to read a book where the heroine was someone I normally would’ve classified as the villain. Rachel has sex with her best friend’s fiance. A girl that she has known and thought of like a sister since she was a child and she betrays her in the most awful way. And yet somehow I find myself rooting for her, hoping that everything works out for her in the end. I can feel her pain in hurting her best friend but also her fear of losing the one thing that has ever mattered to her and the one man she’s ever truly loved. I love that this story contains a romance that isn’t cut and dried because that’s life. Life isn’t neat and tidy where everyone lives happily ever after. Real life and even real love is heartache and sadness and sacrifice. I can not say enough good things about this book, I just loved it.

The bottom line:  I would definitely recommend this book! I loved it! The movie is good too!

Author website:
 http://www.emilygiffin.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Something-Borrowed-Emily-Giffin/dp/031232118X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1421811075

National Readathon Day – January 24, 2015

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During my perusal of Facebook the other day I came across a link to a site on Penguin Random House’s website discussing something called “Nation Readathon Day”. According to their website “40% of American adults are either at or below basic reading proficiency, and 14% are fully illiterate.” In recognition of that, Penguin Random House, Goodreads, Mashable and the National Book Foundation have banned together to create this fundraiser in the hopes of funding “efforts to educate, tutor, create and sustain a lifelong love of reading.”

Anyone can get involved simply by reading on January 24th between noon and 4pm. You can create your own FirstGiving fundraising page to try and raise more money towards helping this effort. Or you can show your support by just making time to read and spreading the word that you believe in the transformative power of literature. And since I certainly believe that books can feed the soul, I will be participating in National Readathon Day!! Hope to see you all getting involved as well.

2015 Book #4 – Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Title: Trust No One
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 1/18/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Pages in book: 327
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Working for a guru of positive thinking couldn’t be a better experience for Grace Elland. Used to bouncing from job to job, she’s finally found stability and success with the Witherspoon Way. Her marketing and social media skills have made Sprague Witherspoon the top motivational speaker in the Pacific Northwest.
Then Grace finds Sprague murdered. A vodka bottle on his nightstand is a terrifying reminder of the horrors of her past, a message to Grace that can be no coincidence.
When Grace retreats to her childhood home, Cloud Lake, to regroup, she suffers through sleepless nights and nightmares. She turns to breathing exercises, mantras, and meds to quell her fears. She tries to put everything she’s learned about positive thinking into practice – a process that is seriously challenged on a blind date. “Awkward” doesn’t begin to describe her evening with venture capitalist Julius Arkwright. She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, by any means necessary.
But the intense ex-Marine has skills that Grace can use Рto figure out her future. Living by a simple set of rules РTrust no one and Everyone has a hidden agenda РJulius is the perfect man to help Grace, when it becomes clear that she is being stalked.
And as Witherspoon’s financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will walk Grace step by step into her past to uncover a devious plan meant to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her as well….

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my ‚ÄúBookish Bingo‚ÄĚ reading challenge, marking off the “Free Space” square. I am a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz (as well as her other pen names) and I really have been looking forward to this new release. I really enjoyed reading this book, I didn’t want to put it down. I did find the plot to be a tiny bit predictable, but there were some surprises thrown in there. At no point was I really thrown for a loop though. My rating would’ve been closer to a 5 if I had in fact been thrown for a loop.
Other than a slight lack of surprise, the book was quite good. I liked Grace’s character alot, she was strong-willed but also honest and genuinely cared about those around her, even the not so good guys. Julius was a pillar that Grace could lean on when she needed him most, and best of all he was¬†smart. Some romance novels, the hero ends up being a glorified body-guard but Julius was such a successful and brilliant businessman and his company helped the police figure out the embezzlement of Sprague’s revenues. Julius was the strong, silent type and even when Grace protested he still was there to support her.

The bottom line:  I would recommend this book!

Author website
: http://www.krentz-quick.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Trust-One-Jayne-Ann-Krentz/dp/0399165134/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1421602723&sr=8-1

2015 Book #3 – By Winter’s Light by Stephanie Laurens

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Title:¬†By Winter’s Light
Author: Stephanie Laurens
Date finished: 1/14/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Pages in book: 347
Stand alone or series: Series ‚ÄstCynster family series¬†Holiday special, 1st book in Cynster Next Generation series

Blurb from the cover:

It’s frosty December and six Cynster families come together at snowbound Casphairn Manor with members of their households to celebrate the season in true Cynster fashion‚ÄĒand where Cynsters gather, love is never far behind.
The festive occasion brings together Daniel Crosbie, tutor to Lucifer Cynster’s sons, and Claire Meadows, widow and governess to Gabriel Cynster’s daughter. Daniel and Claire have met before and the embers of an unexpected passion smolder between them.
However, Claire, once bitten, twice shy, believes a second marriage is not in her stars. Yet Daniel is determined. He’s seen the kind of love the Cynsters share, and Claire is the lady with whom he dreams of sharing his life. Assisted by a bevy of Cynsters‚ÄĒinnate matchmakers every one‚ÄĒDaniel strives to persuade Claire that trusting him with her hand and her heart is her right path to happiness.
Claire is increasingly drawn to Daniel and despite her misgivings, their relationship deepens. But then catastrophe strikes, and by winter’s light, she learns that love‚ÄĒtrue love‚ÄĒis worth any risk, any price.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:¬†This book will count¬†towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “2014 Release You Missed” square. I have read all the other books in the Cynster series up to this point (many for which a review is posted on my blog, see link above) and I am very much looking forward to reading Lucilla’s story (to be released February 24). By Winter’s Light is the 23rd (technically) book in this series, with a seemingly never-ending listing of possible novels to come in the future. Laurens is just about to begin writing about the “next generation” with Lucilla’s story, and since Lucilla is one of about 70 cousins and extended cousins, we could see another 69 books from this generation (Jeez Louise that’s a lot). Anyways, its hard to keep who’s who straight sometimes. Luckily, Laurens has developed an extensive family tree that can show you all the children in each family (scroll over the couples to see the children’s names) that can help us make sense of where we are in the Cynster world.
I have to be completely honest. I went into this book expecting not to like it. I read about the whole Cynster family thus far and I’ve been so excited to get into reading about the next generation that I couldn’t help but think, who cares about the damned tutors?? But Laurens managed to surprise me yet again but making this a fun and interesting read. I found myself becoming involved in Claire’s story and rooting for her to open herself up to love. I also loved the back and forth between all the different P(s)OV. It made the overall story very well rounded and fun to see from all sides. Lucilla and Thomas’s interactions make me that much more excited to read her story on Feb 24.

The bottom line:  I would recommend this book both as part of the series and also based on the merits of the book itself.

Author website
: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winters-Light-Cynster-Stephanie-Laurens/dp/0778317471/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1421331366&sr=8-1