Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Cover Buys


Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

FEBRUARY 6TH – Top 5 Cover Buys

Now, I don’t actually buy a ton of books, so I just talked about the books that I added to my TBR because of their cover. Not just because of their cover, though – their summaries enticed me to, but the major draw was the cover.  I…kind of overdid this a bit, since I have nine and not five books, but oh well. Pretty covers and all.

Does anyone see the pattern? Because I sure do! It seems I love really detailed, busy covers with a ton of color and pattern-work.  I think the exception is The Crimson Ribbon? I especially love it if covers are bordered in the corners (I’m sure there’s a word for this), like Under the Pendulum Sun (the only book here I actually own, purchased without reading the summary, because THAT COVER), Jane Steele, A Curious Beginning, and Beast.

Don’t get me wrong; I sometimes like simple, minimalist designs as well, but there’s just something about this style that makes me feel like the artist is taking full advantage of the fact that they’re, well, an artists.  You know? Pretty much anyone can make a decent minimalist cover design, but these covers here take some serious skill.

P.S. I have to give a shout-out to The City of Brass and the two books in the Dreamblood Duology.  They don’t really match the style I discussed above, but they’re absolutely gorgeous and take some serious artistic skill too.

If I ever get a book published and I get to have some say over the cover, I’m showing them this post.


Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Intimidating Books!


Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 29TH – Top 5 intimidating books

I chose to go with books still on my TBR that I’m a bit afraid to start because of the commitment they require.  (I may have included six books instead of five because I couldn’t decide, but shhhh!)


malazanGardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erickson: Adult fantasy is always a little intimidating, but none more so than this book in particular. It’s not especially long – for adult fantasy 666 clocks in at just shy of average – but it’s ridiculously dense. I think I read the first chapter a few years ago and had to put it down because it was just too much.  It’s also the first of TEN books, all of equal or longer lengths. It’s a time commitment and one hell of an investment.  Not to mention that I’ve heard a lot of people say that it takes a long time to really understand what’s going on; the author just sort of tosses you in and you’re left to fend for yourself. But I’ve heard so many great things about this series that I really want to give it a shot, at least.

93134The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe: This is THE Gothic novel, but classics are always such a hit or miss for me that I’m afraid to take on such a huge tome when I might end up struggling with it. In general I think I like Gothic novels (lmao I think I’ve read all of two), but not only is this one long and dense, it’s super old (published in 1794), so I’m also up against outdated language that may make the reading process much slower than it otherwise would be.

271276Middlemarch by George Eliot: I’ve heard such great things about this book from people I respect, but again, it’s a hit or miss classic, and it clocks in at a whopping 900 pages! It’s written a bit more recently than Udolpho, in 1871, and I’m actually a tiny bit obsessed with the 19th century, but this is still a super intimidating read for me.  It’s one of those books people read in high school or English Lit classes and hate, you know? So I don’t know. I want to try it someday though!

29983711Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: So many of my friends on here have read this book and loved it, and it’s definitely subject matter that is interesting to me (Korea and Japan in early 20th century), but it’s also the type of book I normally go out of my way to avoid. Omniscient narration of a family saga? Ordinarily I wouldn’t touch it, but my friends think so highly of it I think I have to at least give it a shot.

870998In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif: So, Ahdaf Soueif is a really prolific and prestigious Egyptian author who is known for incisive commentary on gender and politics.  This book is supposed to be one of her truly great ones, a chronicle of the life of a young Egyptian woman.  I’m always looking to read more literature that directly relates to my heritage, but again, I’m usually not into this type of novel.  I may enjoy all the references to my own years in Egypt and my own culture, but it’s very likely I will struggle through what sounds like a character driven novel.

10692The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: This book is so weird. I don’t think I even understand what it’s about, only that it has something to do with Dracula. I still remember when this book was first published, how frenzied publishing houses were and how much praise was heaped on it.  It also involves old libraries and international travel and rare archives and things that make me shiver in delight! And of course, Dracula! The summary just make it sound so creepy and fascinating, but I’m worried that I’m completely misunderstanding what this book is about and I will end up super disappointed.

Have y’all read any of these books? What were your experiences? Let me know!

Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Want to Start This Year


Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 series I want to start this year

I’m generally not especially good with series unless they really, really wow me. I find that most series don’t really need to be series, or at least don’t need to be as long as they end up being. Furthermore, I have a really, really crappy memory, so I often need to wait until the entire series is out so that I can read it all at once, which is kind of annoying. I don’t always dislike series, however – there are some series that I wish would stretch longer, because I love them so much! Fingers crossed that the ones I talk about below turn out to be like that!Read More »

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books on my 2018 Bucketlist


Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic:

JANUARY 9TH – Top 5 books on my 2018 bucket list

28449207Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: I’ve been meaning to pick this up since the day it came out. It’s even on my Kindle! I’ve also been meaning to read her first series (I actually read the first book in it years ago, liked it a lot, but didn’t continue with the series for some reason). I’ve heard some amazing things about Strange the Dreamer, so here’s hoping I finally get to it this year.

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: This is a controversial book, begetting strong feelings of either love or hate in its readership. Apparently it’s written in a really weird way, but the plot sounds so damn cool! It makes me nervous that it’s shelved as DNF for so many people, but I just have to check it out.


25895524Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: Killers nuns. The books begins like so: “It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.” I mean. Need I say more? Plus I’ve been meaning to read more adult fantasy, so this can be my foray into that.


19547856Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I’ve only read one book by this author but I loved it, so I want to pick up this more famous novel of hers! Everyone talks about this book. Plus it’s apparently turning into a movie this year so I’d like to read it before that.


35527721The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: This book is sitting and waiting for me on my Kindle and is also being turned into a film. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten to it yet, except that I generally don’t prefer YA Contemporary. But this book has gotten so much praise that I’m certain it will be unlike any other YA Contemporary I’ve ever read.

Top 5 Wednesday: 2018 Reading Resolutions


Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

January 3rd: 2018 Reading Resolutions: Self explanatory. Let us know 5 of your reading goals for the year.

1. Read at least 70 books. This year I read 75, which is more than I’ve ever read in my adult life (in a single year, obviously). I know perfectly well I can achieve this if I devote enough time to it. I already read on my long commute but I also want to dedicate extra time at home to read, like on the weekends, which I normally spend lounging around doing absolutely nothing.

2. Read more outside my preferred genre. I started doing this a bit this year, but the majority of my reads still fall within YA fantasy. It’s my comfort genre and of course there’s nothing wrong with it, but I think I really need to expand my tastes a bit.  Of course I want to branch out more into literary fiction and classics, but I also want to read more adult fantasy, women’s fiction, historical fiction, and mystery.

3. Read more non-fiction! I used to read non-fiction all the time  but for some reason halfway through this year I kind of just…stopped? I have a bunch of non-fiction books on my shelves and on my Kindle that I’ve been meaning to read , so I definitely want to incorporate a few of those into my reading schedule.  I still want to prioritize fiction because of course fiction is what I write, but I also like to learn!

4. Read one book in Arabic. I say one, because I know even reading just one will be a slog. I have a bunch of Arabic books, including one of short stories, and Prisoner of Azkaban. I’m technically bilingual and I can read Arabic but it takes a loooooot of concentration and asking my mom what various words mean, so it’s less of a “curl up under the covers with a book” situation and more like a “sit at a desk with a pen and notebook” situation. Still, I really want to keep my language skills strong.

5. Don’t be afraid to re-read! This year I kind of implicitly forbade myself from re-reading because I wanted to spend my time learning a new writing style, a new kind of worldbuilding, etc. I guess I thought of re-reading as a waste of time? But I also don’t want to forget the absolute joy of reading something I’m in love with. I haven’t re-read Harry Potter or Sweep in years, so this just might be the year I do that, especially since Goodreads has that fancy new re-read feature now.

Top 5 Wednesday: 2018 Wishlist


Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

December 27th: 2018 Wishlist
–Looking forward into the new year, this is a list of the types of books you’d like to see more of in 2018! Try to avoid actual titles, and discuss themes, genres, or tropes you’d like to see more of in the new year!

Yes, it’s Thursday, but let’s just…pretend it’s still Wednesday. Yesterday I went to bed at 9pm instead of writing this post, and then I woke up at 12:30pm the next day. Yes, that’s about fifteen hours of sleep. The worst part? This isn’t out of the ordinary for me.

Anyway! There are plenty of things I’m dying to see in the books I read, especially YA fantasy, so it was difficult narrowing down to just five!

Read More »