Top Ten Books I’ve Read Since I Started Blogging!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week we have been asked to list the top ten books we’ve read during the lifespan of our blogs.  My blog will be 1 soon!  Here are the top ten books I’ve read this past year:

1. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – great story.  great characters. powerful storytelling. a beautiful read.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – SO much fun! A girl who kicks ass and has two cute boys vying for her attention?  What’s not to love?

3. The Awakening by Kate Chopin – oh what women have gone through…

4.  The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan – an absolute fun, fun time!

5.  The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson – cool.  intriguing story.

6.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I didn’t write a review or my thoughts on this one…but it is a long-time favourite that I love to re-read every so often

7. The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp PhD. – because I’ve become the toddler-ese Queen (toddler-ese is toddler language)!  Yes, this language still works with a very upset pre-schooler.  This book helped me to communicate with my son – it is remarkable to see his eyes light up when he feels understood and validated.

8. Splat the Cat books by Rob Scotton – have you read Splat the Cat?  Your toddler/preschooler will love Splat.  He is funny and whimsical.  The stories are highly creative (yet, simple) and the art is brilliant.  Please read Splat the Cat to a child near you.

Share yours with me in the comments below or at The Broke and the Bookish through the above link.

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Top Ten Posts That Most Tell You About Me!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week we have been asked to list the top ten blog posts that are most telling of our personalities.  I vary from very serious about the books I read, to passionate about certain topics and occasionally, I allow my cheeky side to come through – I think the more comfortable I become with blogging, the more of that will come out.

1.  Wannabe Lisbeth Salander: I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy at the beginning of the year and got a little obsessed with Lisbeth Salander.  She is so cool and smart and doesn’t give a shit about anything.  Awesome.

2.  A woman’s life: the more I write this blog, the more I realize just how much a woman’s life, roles, expectations placed upon her and those she has of herself, intrigue me.  I love books about the way women choose to live their life and books that showcase our strength.  I love writing about it too.  This post is an article I wrote that shows just that.

3.  The article Women Still Can’t Have It All gets me going:  see above.

4. Using a toddler book to understand teenagers:  I reviewed Harvey Karp PhD.’s Happiest Toddler on the Block and showed its applicability to teaching high school students.  I love this post because it was so much fun to write and it really showed me that I can do this.

5.  Mothers in Literature: part of my mother’s day gift included time to write (which is so precious) and I remember spending part of that Sunday morning writing this post – it was also included in The Major Genre Daily.

6. Teaching Inspired: I was inspired by another blogger and told a story about reading an entire novel to my English class.  Yes.  I read every word aloud to a high school English class because some in the class had admitted to never having read a book.

7.  I couldn’t finish a book:  this has never happened.  I hated the protagonist and I really struggled with giving my honest opinion.

8.  I get on a soap box:  and tell a story about a man who was belittled by his teacher in elementary school.

9.  My view on the age-old debate movie vs. book: tough one with movies being so good now and it sometimes depends upon which you experience first.

10.  Kate Chopin: I just started reading her this year!  And, I love all her writing.  The Awakening, Short Stories and other musings.

So far, these are my ten.  Any thoughts?

Share yours with me in the comments below or at The Broke and the Bookish through the above link.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Want to Be for 24 Hours!

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week I’ve been challenged to think of characters that I’d switch places with for 24 hours:

1. Marianne Engel from The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – she is the epitome of feminine confidence.  Beautiful, exotic and can remember her past lives.  In love with the same man for 700 years!  She is a also a master storyteller – yes, she is schizophrenic, but who cares?  The rest of her is uber cool.  For 24 hours…when she’s sculpting like crazy.

2. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – me and half the female population on earth.  For my 24 hours I choose to go traipsing around the English countryside where Elizabeth manages to snatch up the guy with the biggest estate and income.

3. Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Can I spend 12 hours in Italy eating, then 12 hours in Indonesia swimming off the weight I’ve gained at a spectacular beach?

4. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – because she’s brilliant, she can do anything and I’d love to go to Hogwartz for a day.

5. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I don’t know that I’d survive the hunger games as well as Katniss does, but I could go for all the pre-games primping.

6. Emma Woodhouse from Emma by Jane Austen – more problems of the upper class…love, matchmaking, gossip and rumour.  I’d like to be the immature version of Emma for 24 hours – spoiled, the center of attention, every whim, satisfied.

7. Ria Lynch or Marilyn Vine from Tara Road by Maeve Binchy I like the idea of switching homes & lives with someone for the summer and in the process, learn more about your own happiness.

8. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – just because I’d love to hack into computer systems all over the world for 24 hours.

9. Tina Fey from Bossypants by Tina Fey – because I’d love to be as funny as she is for 24 hours.

Can’t think of a tenth….lots of movie characters I’d love to be…Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman for instance, but can’t think of another character from a book…

Who would you switch places with for 24 hours?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

This week’s top ten list is all about summer reading.  I recently published my summer TBR list, since then I have come across some tantalizing titles that I would love to delve into once my short summer list is done.  First you’ll see a recap of my Summer Reads (#1-5), followed by my “if-I-have-time-wanna-reads” (#6-10).

1.  Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

2. Wild Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

3.  The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

4.  The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

5.  Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (kinda regretting this choice…we’ll see how it goes!)

6.  Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda – because every time I pick it up I really want to read it, but there’s other things that keep me from it.  Hope to read it by the end of the year in any case…

7.  Graceling by Kristin Cashore – found this recommended by other sights and on Goodreads.  Love novels about girls that kick ass.

8.  Something by Phillipa Gregory – girls kicking ass Tudor-style.  Or at least I’d like to think so…She has published so many books, I’m having trouble narrowing it down to one.  I’ve read one historical fiction novel (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane) and rather enjoyed it.  Several readers recommended historical fiction as a genre.  I might take them up on it.

9.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgentsern – like Secret Daughter, this is one I pick up and put back down again – at first I felt ambivalent…but after reading a few great reviews I think it is a must read for me.

10.  As much as I’d love for there to be a #10, this spot is reserved for work-related reading I’ll have…Alice Walker, Carol Ann Duffy, Kate Chopin, Oscar Wilde…plus figure out how to teach them. Fun times ahead.

So, what’s on your Summer TBR list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

(a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

Heading to the beach this summer? If you’re looking for something to read while you’re desperately trying to keep sand from sticking to your sunscreen or while you’e sneaking an extra five minutes of sunshine during your lunch break maybe my Top Eight Beach Reads can help.

Why not 10? You ask (considering it’s Top Ten Tuesday).

I had lots of trouble concocting this list – and I realized why.  I’ve spent the past several years reading classics, reading essays, reading literary theory, and devising all sorts of creative ways to deliver English curriculum in a captivating way to high school students.  Little time was left for reading things I wanted to read…even my summers were eaten up by reading for the school year.

Starting this blog was a way to get back in touch with the “Me-Who-Reads-for-Pleasure” (I really liked her).  I’m sad that I can’t offer more scintillating beach reads, but I realize that that might be where I want to go with my reading/blog: read more modern titles, and perhaps, lighter titles, too.

Well, here are some books that I think will keep you entertained this summer:

1.  The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson – a must-read for any true romantic.  Love that survives 700 years, masterful story telling, stories within a story, archetypal imagery…simply put, riveting, beautiful, will stay with you.  Hmmm, I think I really liked this book

2. Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman – a story of two different time periods: post WWII Scotland and Australia; modern-day Australia and England.  A granddaughter discovering the secrets of her grandmother’s life as she combs through the old sheep station she inherited from her grandmother.  A moving story of love, family history, self-discovery and relationships.

3.  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful story that will make you totally envious that your employer doesn’t give you a $30K advance on your next book so you can travel the world and find yourself.  Seriously though, if you can’t travel, this book will take you to three awesome countries with loads of laughs, moments of sadness, nostalgia, and hope.

4.  The Help by Kathryn Stockton – hilarious, sad, thought-provoking.  Oh what women do…

5.  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – maybe this is your summer to do something wonderful for yourself…like become happy…or, happier.  The Happiness Project will offer many ideas to help you get there – without being overbearing or preachy.

6, 7, 8.  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – The Hunger GamesCatching FireMockingjay (yes, I cheated by numbering each individually…but, unless you’d like to read some essays on King Lear, you’ll go with it).  Fun, fun, fun.

So, I hope there’s something there for everyone…my mission: come up with a better list for next year.

What are your summer favourites?