Top Ten Tuesday May 26: Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

May 26: Opening Lines (Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.)

1) Favorite famous quote: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

2) Gripping: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The Cast of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe.

3) Unique: “August 25, 1991
Dear friend,
I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.” The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

4) Accurate character description: “Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.

5) Funny and unique: “There is a pirate in the basement. (The pirate is a metaphor but also still a person.) (The basement could rightly be considered a dungeon.) The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

6) Gripping: “The circus arrives without warning.” The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

7) Gripping: “I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.” Red Rising by pierce Brown

8) Haunting: “It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.” A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

9) Haunting: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

10) Thought provoking: “The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.” The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Top Ten Tuesday May 12: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

May 12: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned (this could be books you DNFed, books you decided you were no longer interested in, etc.)

1) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

2) Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Führer by Walter Shapiro.

3) The Drafter by Kim Harrison.

4) Dodgers by Bill Beverly.

5) A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan.

6) Burn the Dark by S.A. Hunt.

7) The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton.

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Set in the magical world of Renthia, The Queen of Blood is Sarah Beth Durst’s ambitious entry into adult epic fantasy. With the danger of Peter Brett’s The Warded Man, heart of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, this is the first chapter in a series destined to be a classic.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

I first received The Queen of Blood (Book One of The Queens of Renthia) as a panel giveaway at Book Con in 2017.

Then at NYCC 2019 I bought a mystery box from Harper Collins. The theme was Fantasy Quest and one of the four books inside was The Queen of Blood.

I took that as a sign that it was time to finally read it and I’m glad that I did.

The world building is well done. So is the character development. What I really liked was the positive female friendships.

There’s action, humor, mystery, and some romance. It was such a relief to read about a romance that is not a triangle and not childish. It also doesn’t focus much on the romance, but just enough so you understand the characters feelings.

This was my favorite quote because it made me laugh:
Page 211: “Even a handfull of gravel is a useful weapon when thrown at the right time. My mother embroidered that on a pillow.”

I liked the message that while Daleina is not a natural talent she works hard, studies hard and pushes through difficulties. She discovered what she was good at and developed that skill.

When I first saw the thickness of the paperback I was a little apprehensive, but the pacing is just right. Durst knows how to balance the action with the quieter moments, and knew when to have the story jump forward in time.

I will finish the trilogy eventually. I’ll either borrow the books from the library (when they open again after this Covid-19 pandemic is gone) or with a B&N coupon.

4 out of 5 Spirits.

Top Ten Tuesday February 18: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

February 18: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover (submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

These books left me with a hangover either because they were intense, thought-provoking, or heart-wrenching.

1) Dark Age by Pierce Brown
2) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
3) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
4) The Fountains of Silence  by Ruta Sepetys
5) The Starless Sea by  Erin Morgenstern
6) The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
7) The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
8) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
9) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
10) The Shining by Stephen King
11) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Rapid Fire Book Tag

This looks like fun! I saw this on Purple Manatees.  It was created by GirlReading. 

E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical books. It is easier on the eyes. Though when it comes to big books, 500 pages or more, I prefer to commute with the e-book or audiobook. I can’t carry all that weight. Also I do like e-books for there search feature.

Paperback or Hardback?

Paperback for commuting. Hardback for autographed copies of series I love that don’t leave my book shelves.

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In store. I like touching the book and flipping through. I also can check it for damages.  Often when I have bought online it comes with some cover damage and that is so annoying.

Trilogies or Series?

Oooo, depends. I more often prefer trilogies. Three and done.  But, if it’s anything as good as Harry Potter then series.

Heroes or Villains?

Why not both? Can’t have one without the other. It also just depends on how well developed they are.

A book you want everyone to read?

Red Rising (saga) by Pierce Brown. The world needs more Howlers.

Recommend an underrated book?

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe

The Lightless trilogy by C.A. Higgins

The last book you finished?

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro.

The Last Book You Bought?

Dune by Frank Herbert and The Secret History by Donna Tart on Audible.

Weirdest Thing You’ve Used as a Bookmark?

Not sure. I only use actual bookmarks. Maybe a capped pen?

Used Books: Yes or No?

I don’t often buy them but I am not opposed as long as they are in good condition.

Top Three Favorite Genres?

Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction.

Borrow or Buy?

I more often buy but if I am iffy and want to save money then I borrow.

Characters or Plot?

Characters. When a plot is good but I feel nothing for the characters then the book becomes DNF. There have been times that I thought a plot could use some work but liked the characters and so I continued.

Long or Short Books?

Depends on many factors. Is it a series or a standalone? Is the writing excellent or mediocre?

Long or Short Chapters?

Short, definitely. I need to take breaks to rest my eyes.

Name The First Three Books You Think Of:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?

I cry a lot.  I wish I could find more books that make me laugh.

Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional.  I need an escape from our world.

Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Hell yes! I am trying to gradually move towards listening to mostly audiobooks.

Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Who doesn’t? The cover grabs my attention and if the story sounds interesting then I read it.

Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

TV all the way.  With movies too many details are omitted and there is less time for character development. That’s less so with TV.   I think only short stories should be adapted into movies. Books should become a TV series.

A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Series or Standalones?







2019 Book Challenge

30 Audiobooks + 6 Comic Books/Graphic Novels + 1 Ebook + 7 Hardcovers/Paperbacks + 10 Advanced Reader Copies = 54 Books Total

30 Audiobooks:

1) Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry,  narrated by Scott Brick; 37 mins; January 2, 2019; 3 out of 5 Cradles.
2) The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs,  narrated by B.J. Harrison; 27 min; January 3, 2019; 3 out of 5 Wishes.
3) The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, narrated by Kathleen Gati; 11 hrs and 48 mins; January 16-30, 2019; 4 out of 5 Witchy Women.
4) The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, narrated by Kathleen Gati; 13h 2m; January 31- February 12, 2019 ; 3.5 out of 5 Chyerti.
5) The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, narrated by Kathleen Gati; 14h; February 12-26, 2019; 4.5 out of 5 Mushrooms.
6) Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray, narrated by January LaVoy; 12h 14m; April 1-24, 2019; 4 out of 5 Senators.
7) The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks by Rob Sheffield, narrated by Rob Sheffield, 2h 43m, May 14-22, 2019, 5 out of 5 Shawls.
8) Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds, John Curless, Julian Elfer, Aedin Moloney; 23 hrs and 23 mins; July 14-26, 2019; 4.5 out of 5 Vaults.
9) Thrawn Treason by Timothy Zahn, narrated by Marc Thompson; 13 hours and 13 minutes; July 27-30, 2019; 3 out of 5 Navigators.
10) Rivals! Frenemies Who Changed the World by Scott McCormick, narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Samantha Turret, Khristine Hvam, Gabriel Vaughan, Josh HurleyLength: 2 hrs and 55 mins; August 12, 2019; 5 out of 5 T-Rex Sneaker Duels in Scotland!
11) The Man Who Knew the Way to the Moon by Todd Zwillich, narrated by: Todd Zwillich, Angelo Di Loreto; 3 hrs and 32 mins,  Aug13-14, 2019; 5 out of 5 Apollos.
12) Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves  by The Arabian Nights, narrated by: B. J. Harrison; Length: 1 hr and 38 mins; August 15-16, 2019; 3 out of 5  Oil Jugs.
13) The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia, narrated by: Ambreen Razia; Length: 1 hr and 36 mins; August 20, 2019; 3 out of 5 Tattoos.
14) A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain, narrated by Hillary Huber; Length: 1 hr and 15 mins; August 21, 2019; 3 out of 5 Scientists.
15) TBSC: Kristy’s Great Idea, by Ann M. Martin, narrated by Elle Fanning;  2 hrs and 44 mins; September 17, 2019; 4 out of 5 Babies.
16) The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne, narrated  James Lecesne; 1 hr 2 mins; September 23, 2019; 5 out of 5 Rainbow Sneakers.
17) Folsom Untold: The Strange True Story of Johnny Cash’s Greatest Album by Danny Robins; 2h 21m; September 24-25, 2019; 5 out of 5 Song Writers.
18)  TBSC: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, by Ann M. Martin, narrated by Elle Fanning;  2 hrs and 50 mins; October 12, 2019; 4 out of 5 Creepy House Noises.
19) Carrie by Stephen King, narrated by Sissy Spacek; 7 hrs and 24 mins; October 13-17, 2019; 4 out of 5 Proms.
20) Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar,  narrated by  Harsh Nayyar, Annapurna Srira, Bernard White, Nick Choksi , Rita Wolf; 1 hr and 38 mins ; October 21, 2019; 5 out of 5 Phone Calls.
21) The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, narrated by B.J. Harrison; 1hr 23 m; October 22, 2019; 3 out of 5 Heads.
22) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, narrated by Richard Armitage; 3 hr and 7m; October 23, 2019;  3.5 out of 5 Elixirs.
23) The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough, narrated by Steve White; 2 hrs and 45 mins; October 24, 2019; 4 out of 5 Handcuffs.
24) Dracula by Bram Stoker,  narrated by B.J. Harrison; 17 hours; October 25-31 , 2019; 3.5 out of 5 Fangs.
25) You Can Thank Me Later: A Novella by Kelly Harms, narrated by Lauren Fortgang; 3 hours 5 minutes; December 4, 2019; 5 out of 5 Turkeys.
26) The Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen, narrated by Anne Helen Petersen. 1 hour 48 minutes; December 5, 2019; 4 out of 5 Matches.
27) Murder, We Spoke by The Audible Editors, narrated by Kat Johnson. 46 minutes; December 6, 2019; 4 out of 5 Crimes.
28) Press Pause: A Young Person’s Guide To Managing Life’s Challenges by Catherine Singer, narrated by Catherine Singer. 2 hrs and 3 mins; December 8, 2019; 4 out of 5 Breaths.
29) Holiday Greetings from Sugar and Booze by Ana Gasteyer and Mona Mansour, narrated by Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, and more. 2 hrs and 28 minutes; December 19-23, 2019; 4 out of 5 Christmas Villages.
30) The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, narrated by Richard Armitage. 3 hrs and 53 mins; December 30-31, 2019; 3 out of 5 Guests.

6 Comic Books/Graphic Novels:
1) Star Wars: Thrawn by Jody Houser, Luke Ross (Illustrator), Paul Renaud (Illustrator); January 1, 2019; 4 out of 5 Red Eyes.
2) Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer),  Fiona Staples (Artist); January 15, 2019; 4 out of 5 Betrayals.
3) Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer),  Fiona Staples (Artist); February 10, 2019; 5 out of 5 Escapes.
4) Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer),  Fiona Staples (Artist); March 5-6, 2019; 4 out of 5 Tissues.
5) Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist); April 6, 2019, 4 out of 5 Brothers.
6)  Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer),  Fiona Staples (Artist);  April 6, 2019, 4 out of 5 Cliffhangers.

1 Ebook:
1) Dark Age by Pierce Brown; 879 pages; July 30-August 9,2019; 4.5 out of 5 Storm Gods.

7 Hardcovers/Paperbacks:
1) Year Zero by Rob Reid; 357 pages; February 28- March 17, 2019; 2 out of 5 Downloaded Songs.
2) Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova; 324 pages, March 18-31, 2019; 4 out of 5 Death Masks.
3)  Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice; 340 pages; April 27-May 20, 2019;  2 out of 5 Bites.
4) Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova; 336 pages; September 26-October 10, 2019; 4 out of 5 Hearts.
5) Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett; 506 pages; November 18-28, 2019 ; 4 out of 5 Keys.
6) Dead Voices by Katherine Arden; 236 pages; December 10-15, 2019; 5 out of 5 Bones.
7) The Costumes of Burlesque: 1866-2018 by Coleen Scott; 320 pages; December 29-31, 2019; 4 out of 5 Pasties.

10 Advanced Reader Copies: 
1) Sisters of the Fire by Kim Wilkins; 446 pages; Dec. 31, 2018- Jan. 14, 2019; 3.5 out of 5 Dragons.
2) A Short History of the Girl Next Doorby Jared Reck;  265 pages; May 21-25, 2019; 5 out of 5 Nerds.
3)  The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin; pages 340 pages; May 26- June 7,2019; 4 out of 5 Couture Gowns.
4) Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett; 290 pages; June 9-14, 2019; 3 out of 5 Musicals.
5) More News Tomorrow by Susan Richards Shreve; 259 pages; June 17-21, 2019; 3 out of 5 Canoes.
6) House of Salt And Sorrows by Erin A. Craig; 402 pages; June 25- July 12, 2019 ; 4 out of 5 Fairy Shoes.
7) The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys; 840 pages; August 19-27, 2019; 5 out of 5 Rolls of Film.
8) Jackpot by Nic Stone; 339 pages; September 13-22 , 2019; 4.5 out of 5 Lottery Tickets.
9) The Starless Sea by  ErinMorgenstern, 494 pages, November 3 – 16, 2019; 4 out of 5 Bees.
10) Infinity Son  by Adam Silvera; 353 pages; November 29-December 3, 2019; 3 out of 5 Phoenixes.


Mount TBR Challenge for 2020

I saw this Mount TRB Challenge linked on Twitter and I am going to participate.  I have a huge TBR pile of doom and I added to it after attending Book Con and NYCC in 2019. That doesn’t even include the ebooks and audiobooks I have stacking up.

Knowing how much I read in a year, and leaving some room for new books/series continuations, I am choosing Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s.

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancounver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

Wish me luck!

1) The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander
2) Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
3) The Glass Hotel  by Emily St. John Mandel
4) Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
5) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6) Romeo and Juliet: A Novel by David Hewson, narrated by Richard Armitage
7)  Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
8)  Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, narrated by Robin Miles
9) The Queen of Blood (Book One of The Queens of Renthia) by Sarah Beth Durst
10) I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
11) Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
12) Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed
13) Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston