Monday, March 20, 2017

*Top Ten Tuesday* Ten Books to Read the Day Away

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is "Read in one sitting." Now, I'm a parent of small children and for me there is pretty much no such thing as a book that I can read in one sitting, even if I'm taking short stories into account. There are books that make me want to pretend that feeding my minions is not something I'm obligated to do as their parent in favor of just reading the day away however, so that's what I'll be focusing on this week.

Title: Sorry Not Sorry
Author: Naya Rivera
Genre: Memoir
Published: September 13, 2016

Blurb: Funny and deeply personal, Sorry Not Sorry recounts Glee star Naya Rivera's successes and missteps, urging young women to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let past mistakes define them.

Navigating through youth and young adulthood isn't easy, and in Sorry Not Sorry, Naya Rivera shows us that we're not alone in the highs, lows, and in-betweens. Whether it's with love and dating, career and ambition, friends, or gossip, Naya inspires us to follow our own destiny and step over--or plod through--all the crap along the way. After her rise and fall from early childhood stardom, barely eking her way through high school, a brief stint as a Hooters waitress, going through thick and thin with her mom/manager, and resurrecting her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, Naya emerged from these experiences with some key life lessons:

Sorry:
-  All those times I scrawled "I HATE MY MOM" in my journal. So many moms and teenage daughters don't get along--we just have to realize it's nothing personal on either side.
-  At-home highlights and DIY hair extensions. Some things are best left to the experts, and hair dye is one of them.
-  Falling in love with the idea of a person, instead of the actual person.

Not Sorry:
-  That I don't always get along with everyone. Having people not like you is a risk you have to take to be real, and I'll take that over being fake any day.
-  Laughing at the gossip instead of getting upset by it.
-  Getting my financial disasters out of the way early--before I was married or had a family--so that the only credit score that I wrecked was my own.

Even with a successful career and a family that she loves more than anything else, Naya says, "There's still a thirteen-year-old girl inside of me making detailed lists of how I can improve, who's never sure of my own self-worth." Sorry Not Sorry is for that thirteen-year-old in all of us.



Title: Talking As Fast As I Can
Author: Lauren Graham
Genre: Memoir
Published: November 29, 2016

Blurb: In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).


In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.


Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).


Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.







Title: Scrappy Little Nobody

Author: Anna Kendrick

Genre: Memoir

Published: November 15, 2016

Blurb: A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch PerfectUp in the AirTwilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).





Title: Nerve

Author: Jeanne Ryan

Genre: YA Fiction

Published: September 13, 2012

Blurb: ARE YOU PLAYING THE GAME OR IS THE GAME PLAYING YOU?

Vee doesn't know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever's behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it's easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it's thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?





Title: Lift and Separate

Author: Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Genre: Chick Lit

Published: December 1, 2016

Blurb: Marcy Hammer’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband, the head of a global brassiere empire, didn’t think twice about leaving her after thirty-three years of marriage for a 32DD lingerie model. Now Harvey the Home-Wrecker is missing in action, but Marcy’s through thinking about what a cliché he is. What she needs now is a party-size bag of potato chips, a good support system, and a new dress.

Striking out on her own is difficult at first, but Marcy manages to find traces of humor in her heartbreak. Even while devastated by Harvey’s departure, she still has her indomitable spirit and her self-respect. She has no intention of falling apart, either, even when her adult children drop a few bombshells of their own and she discovers a secret about her new, once-in-a-lifetime friend. Life may be full of setbacks, but by lifting herself up by her own lacy straps, Marcy just may be able to handle them all.




Title: A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman

Genre: Literary Fiction

Published: August 27, 2012

Blurb: A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.




Title: Tainted
Author: Ginna Moran
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: June 30, 2016

Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Cami Anders uses one word to describe her life: Purgatory. What she doesn’t know is she’s closer to Hell than she thinks.

On the run from the demon that killed her parents, Cami struggles to find her place on the fringes of the Veiled Realm, the part of the world where demons and other creatures lurk in the shadows. Striving to find a normal life in the care of a former demon hunter, who would punch even an angel to protect her, is harder than Cami ever imagined. There’s nothing ordinary about sipping holy water like it’s her beverage of choice, having stare-downs with animalistic demons, and relying on a hunter with enough secrets to fill an ocean to keep her soul safe. 

When the demon from Cami’s past arrives to collect her soul, which he believes is rightfully his, she must unravel the secrets her protector has spent the last three years keeping from her. She finds herself questioning her existence and learns that running isn’t the answer. The only way to find normalcy is if she fights for it. But is it worth the risk of losing everything, including her soul, in the end?





Title: From Gods
Author: Mary Ting
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: October 2, 2013

Blurb: Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? It’s not from Mother Nature. It is most likely from Mason Grand, swoon-worthy demigod, one of Zeus’s descendants.

Skylar Rome is supposed to be having the best summer ever before she heads off to college. Little did she know, her whole life was about to change while visiting her cousin. Nearly drowning at the beach due to unknown forces, one of the Grand brothers she’d just met, Mason, saves her life. Cool, collected, mysterious, and dangerously good-looking, Skylar is drawn to him from the start. Though she knows he is the type of guy good girls stayed away from, it seems he is always saving her life, and the attraction was inevitable.


Upon meeting the brothers, strange things begin to happen. When she accidentally kills one of the brothers, it throws her life into turmoil, as they search to find the answers. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world of the decedents of ancient gods, all who have super powers. Not only is her discovery difficult to accept, evil beings are after her. Running out of time and running for her life, she must unravel a mystery. What do they want from her? Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will she find the answers, or will she die trying?




Title: The Winemakers

Author: Jan Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: April 5, 2016


Blurb: A young woman

A family secret

A devastating truth that could destroy the man she loves


Many years ago, the Rosetta family’s hard-won dreams of staking their claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition. Now high-spirited, passionate Caterina Rosetta, who has inherited both her mother’s talent for crafting the finest wines and also her indomitable will, wants nothing more than to win her mother’s approval and work at her side. But that can never happen, because Caterina is keeping a secret that could ruin her: a daughter of her own, fathered by the love of her life, who left her without explanation. Just as she feels she has nowhere to turn, Caterina discovers that she has inherited a vineyard in the Tuscan countryside in Italy, from a grandmother she’s never heard of, and she seizes the chance to start a new life for herself and her child.


But the past is not so easily outrun. In the country of her ancestors, Caterina meets the family of the father she never knew, and discovers that her mother is also hiding her own secret—a secret so devastating it threatens the future of everything her family has worked for. As an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragedy that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past—if she has the strength to face it.


From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.







Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: February 3, 2015

Blurb: Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. 

As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.







Title: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Author: Penny Reid
Genre: Romance
Published: January 1, 2013

Blurb: There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.





Title: Alice
Author: Christina Henry
Genre: Horror
Published: August 4, 2015

Blurb: A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll...

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.



Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 13, 2011

Blurb: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. 

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air. 


Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. 


Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way--a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. 


As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved--the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them--are swept up in a wake of spells and charms. 


But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 


Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance. 


Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.



So those are just some of the books that have made me want to abandon all my responsibilities to do nothing but read. What are some books that make you want to do nothing but read? - Katie 
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23 comments:

  1. I think I have Scrappy Little Nobody, def want to read that. I couldn't even finish From Gods. And I Floved Neanderthal Seeks Human.

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    1. You absolutely should read Scrappy Little Nobody. Anna Kendrick is hilarious as herself. - Katie

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  2. Laura's is a must read for me! Cannot wait to read that one. It looks and sounds like a really entertaining read. Glad to know this as I have it on my shelf and am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. :)

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    1. It was so good. If you get it as an audiobook like I did, listen to it at 1.25 or 1.5 speed, that's just a must with a title like that :) - Katie

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  3. I haven't read a lot of these books! They look intriguing though. :-)

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    1. And I was clearly on a memoir kick for a bit there :) - Katie

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  4. I am a fan of Kristin Hannah. Enjoy, these look good!

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    1. The Nightingale is the only book of Hannah's that I've read so far, but after reading it I started picking up other books of hers when I saw them at my thrift store because I enjoyed it so much. One of these days I'll find the time to read them. - Katie

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  5. I really liked Nightingale and Ove. I must get around to Night Circus. Thanks for your list.

    https://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/03/100-one-night-reads.html

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    1. The Night Circus is so good! It's one I will definitely be rereading at some point, and I don't reread often. - Katie

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  6. I have the Lauren Graham checked out from the library and I am doing borrow-a-thon this week so it would be great to read it in one sitting this week. Thanks for the recommendation.
    My post here https://runwright.net/2017/03/21/10-quick-reads/

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    1. I found it really intriguing and did extra housework just to have an excuse to keep listening. - Katie

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  7. I've had Neanderthal Seeks Human and The Night Circus on my TBR pile for so long. I hope to get to them eventually tho. My TBR pile just keeps getting bigger and bigger. lol!

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    1. Girl, I know all about the neverending TBR pile! Both Neanderthal Seeks Human and The Night Circus were book club selections for me, but once I got started with them, they went so fast. - Katie

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  8. The three memoirs on the top of your list on are on my wishlist. I have Anna Kendrick's book on my shelf and really want to buy the other two. They might end up being summer reads for me. And I really should get to the Night Circus!

    Great list!

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    1. Thanks. They are really interesting books. - Katie

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  9. The three memoirs on the top of your list on are on my wishlist. I have Anna Kendrick's book on my shelf and really want to buy the other two. They might end up being summer reads for me. And I really should get to the Night Circus!

    Great list!

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  10. I was totally sucked in by The Night Circus. It was such a bizarre and yet beautifully written story that I hated stopping to eat or sleep.

    TTT

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    1. Yes!!! And I totally want to GO to the Night Circus itself. I think it would be so amazing. The more I talk about this, the more I want to reread it right now, and I don't have time for that at the moment. - Katie

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  11. The Lauren Graham memoir is lovely. I loved every second of that book!
    Nice pick with A Man Called Ove. I've been really wanting to read it and the other books he has written. Have you read the others? I'm wondering where to start.

    My TTT: https://booksbeyondmeasure.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/top-ten-books-to-read-in-one-sitting/

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    1. I have not read any of his other books yet, although from looking at the synopses, they don't necessarily seem to be related, so I doubt it much matters which book you start with. - Katie

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  12. The only one of these I've read is The Night Circus and I wasn't that keen on it? Guess I'm the black sheep with that book! I really want to read the Lauren Graham and Anna Kendrick memoirs.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/top-ten-tuesday-99/

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    1. It's okay. Not everyone likes the same books. It made it onto my list because I was so drawn into the world of the circus that I wanted to forget the real world.

      But I do also highly recommend the Graham and Kendrick memoirs. They are very witty ladies. - Katie

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