Top Ten Best Bookish Memories

top-10-tuesday-bannerSo I didn’t think I was going to have anything to write for this week’s prompt, for the top 10 meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, because I haven’t gone to any book signings or big conventions or anything like that.

However, I was lying in bed this morning, and it occurred to me that I have had plenty of cool bookish memories, I just needed to reset the way I was thinking about it. So here is my list:

  1. Watching my boys (now 13) become readers. The books that got them to really be interested in reading on their own? The Captain Underpants series. Lately, their reading has gotten eclipsed by video game playing, so we need to work on balancing that back out. I’m so glad that they enjoy reading for pleasure.
  2. Being a part of the renovation of our local library. One interesting memory is helping to move the library’s collection across the street to it’s temporary home. Books were carried across the street in boxes by a line of dedicated helpers. Of course, a year later, we had to reverse the process, but it was all worth it. The renovation/addition cost $3 million, but it looks like we spent $10 million. It is that gorgeous.
  3. Watching the ALA awards last week, when The One and Only Ivan received the Newbery. I think my favorite thing to come out of the subsequent press is Katherine Applegate’s comment about wanting to write in “first person gorilla.” Yes, it’s from the view of a gorilla, and you are thinking something like…I don’t read middle grade…or I don’t read about animals…or…the viewpoint of a gorilla? Set aside your doubts, this is a must-read for everyone.
  4. This sort of relates to number 1, but…I loved reading children’s books to my boys when they were little. Sure, there were some duds that I would have preferred not having to read ever again, but we read a lot of good books over the years. I miss going to the children’s section of the bookstore and library!! Like many parents, we had large portions of Dr. Seuss’s oeuvre memorized, and I bet there are some other books that I could probably still recite parts of. One of my favorites that comes to mind right away, is The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood. Come to think of it, I need to go find our copy and reread that one.
  5. Reading a new book from my favorite author(s) for the first time. Sure, there’s always that trepidation: am I going to love this one as much as I have loved their past novels? Only a few times have I been disappointed. Mostly, I’m thrilled to have another visit with favorite characters and locations.
  6. Finding new favorite books and authors (such as The Archived by Victoria Schwab).
  7. The day that a teacher at my school brought me a stack of his favorite books (some of which were signed, and were prized possessions), and asked if I wanted to read them. I have teased him about him being a book pusher, and about how I have enough to read without his help, but I really did appreciate the trust he put in me (I was very careful!), and also the fact that he BROUGHT ME BOOKS. Books that he loved, and that I also ended up loving, too.

I hate to end on an odd number, but I’m running out of time, and that’s all I can think of for now. I hope to visit everyone else’s lists later tonight or tomorrow. I’m glad I kept thinking, because this was kind of a nice trip down memory lane. Happy Tuesday!


Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.


I started a top 10 post last week (the theme was settings I want to see more of), but I couldn’t really think of any good answers, because mostly what it boils down to is setting is not a particular thing I look for in a book. I don’t really choose books based on setting, ever, so I couldn’t really think of any place in particular I want to read more of. (I lie. I sometimes choose NOT to read a book because the setting is not interesting to me.)

What it boiled down to was the topic was TOO HARD. And now this week? Seems even harder, but I’m not going to weasel out of this one, especially since it’s been two full weeks since I’ve blogged. How did that happen?

Oh wait. My life happened.

Moving on:

Most Frustrating Characters Ever

This is never going to end up being an actual list of 10 actual characters, because I’ll never remember all of them, and I suspect that characters I found annoying 10 years ago or even 1 year ago would read differently to me now. Instead, I’m going to go for more of a “this type of character is frustrating” list, and if I think of anyone specific, I’ll throw them in.

  1. Characters who do stupid things that are out of character purely because the author apparently couldn’t think of any other way to advance the plot.
  2. Characters who don’t just freaking talk to each other. Don’t rely on stolen glances or what someone’s second cousin twice removed told you in the bathroom at their other cousin’s wedding. (OK fine, some amount of I can’t talk to her/him is OK to build tension, especially if it’s appropriate for the time period, but good lord, if the whole plot could be fixed with a two minute conversation, you have probably frustrated the dickens out of me).

In which Suzanne realizes she was making this too hard

So, I read the original topic and equated “frustrating” with “annoying,” but it now occurs to me, after I’ve spent more time than I care to admit agonizing over what to write, that it could also be read as “frustrating, because they make choices that bring them pain, but I love them anyway, which is the whole point of why I read books.”

With that in mind, the list-making gets a little easier…

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy (Did you know it was the 200th anniversary of Pride & Prejudice on Monday?)

Miles Vorkosigan (Vorkosigan Saga)

Inspector Lynley (and Barbara Havers, and…come to think of it… pretty much everyone in the Inspector Lynley series of books)

Ramses and Nefret and Amelia and Emerson (from the Amelia Peabody series)

I have been perusing my Goodreads list again, with this “frustrating, but that’s why I like them” mindset, and now I feel like I could add every character ever, so I think I’d better quit while I’m ahead.

Especially because what I most want to do after making this list is go back and reread all of those series, and that’s like…54 books right there.






Top 2013 Debuts I’m Looking Forward To


This is supposed to be a top 10 (I’m following the top 10 topics created by The Broke and the Bookish), but I’m a cheater, and my list has 12 books on it. And I wrote it several weeks ago, when I was creating my list of books for the Debut Author Challenge.

Oddly enough, I was just perusing a list of 2013 debuts, and clicked through to one that sounded really super awesome…and….had to laugh, because it’s already #12 on this list.

  1. Splintered by A.G. Howard
  2. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
  3. Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
  4. Pantomime by Laura Lam
  5. Poison by Bridget Zinn
  6. That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard
  7. Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
  8. Ink by Amanda Sun
  9. Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
  10. Starglass by Phoebe North
  11. Prophesy of Oz by Megan Shan
  12. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

I’ve already read Splintered (and enjoyed it!). I hope the rest of the books on this list live up to my expectations!

How about you, are there aren 2013 debuts that you are particularly looking forward to?


Blogspiration – {1} (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

One of the things that I see on a lot of the blogs I visit are the same memes over and over — and some of the blogs seem to be nothing but memes. I’m not interested in doing tons of that sort of thing, but this is a meme that does speak to me, and I’d like to give it ia whirl. And yes, this is my 3rd post for the day, and yes, it’s the third one to reference Alice.


Blogspiration is a weekly meme hosted by GrowingUp YA & Saz101. The meme was created to help spark inspiration among bloggers, readers & writers alike. An inspirational quote/picture/video is posted weekly, on the day of the author’s choosing, so that it may inspire creativity, conversation & just a little SOMETHING.

This week, I’m inspired by Lewis Carroll and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and A.G. Howard and Splintered. (Links are to my reviews of those books).

"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on  till you come to the end: then stop. -Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The imagination on display in both books is inspiring to me. I want to write, and I need to keep remembering to just do it. Start at the beginning. Keep going until I get to the end. Wherever that end may lead me.

Bookish Goals for 2013


This week’s top 10 topic, (a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Top 10 Bookish Goals for 2013.

I’m not sure I actually have TEN goals, but I’ll see what I can do:


1. Read 120 books in 2013. (2012’s goal was 100, I read 118…). I’m currently at 5, and while that pace won’t continue, I’m pretty confident this is a goal I can easily attain.

2. Read as many of the books on my Classics to Read in 2013 list. I’m partway through Persuasion, and am thinking that listening to these is the path to success.

3. Read the books on my 2013 Debut Author list.

4. Participate in an online course at Coursera:

Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World
taught by Eric Rabkin
We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world.

(This goal will include reading a number of older (i.e. classic!) SFF books and stories, including Dracula!)

5. Reread some old favorites. For the last two years, I’ve been trying to focus on reading new things, but it’s about time for some rereads. (Like, the entire Vorkosigan series…)

6. Read books that have been on my to-read list for a long time.

7. Write. Every day. Blogging, journaling, stories.

Seven is kind of a weird number to have in my list, but if I try to list anything else, I’ll just be making up nonsense.


What about you? Any interesting book goals?