Top Five Wednesday Rewind: Children’s Books to Read as an Adult

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This month the Top Five Wednesday group gets to write about topics that we may have missed the past few months.  Choosing the topics was fairly easy for me and I am excited to share my lists with you. This week, I am recycling the topic from March 14th, 2018: Children’s Books to Read as Adults.  As someone who dearly loves middle-grade and children’s classics, I am thrilled to be able to write this post. The Goodreads group for Top Five Wednesday can be found here. and is hosted by the lovely #ThoughtsonTomes and #gingerreadslainey.  

  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Rick Riordan’s original mythology series is one of my favorites of all time.  It is hilariously narrated by Percy Jackson, a young man who discovers that he is a demigod and must deal with all the trials and tribulations that come with being the son of a Greek god.  In the first book, The Lightning Thief, Percy is only twelve years old, but despite his young age he is hilarious and insightful and I think any age group can relate to him.  I did not read these books until I was in my early twenties (#regret for not reading them sooner) and I absolutely adored them.  I marathoned the entire series and read the last installment, The Last Olympian, in which Percy is 16, in one sitting.  I highly recommend this series to everyone.  
  2. Harry Potter (Duh.) – I cannot make this list without mentioning Harry Potter.  While there is some controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling these days, Harry Potter will forever and always be my favorite series.  It has such valuable life lessons for children and adults alike. In my opinion, this series is as close to perfect as a series can get, and I believe that everyone should read it.  My grandmother adores this series and she was in her sixties when she read it, so I know that any age group can enjoy these books. If you haven’t read Harry Potter, please give it a try, because it is truly amazing.  Except The Cursed Child. Ignore that one.
  3. Little House on the Prairie – I chose this book series for one simple reason: it is delightful.  Laura Ingalls Wilder takes us back to her childhood and we get a glimpse of what life was like in America in the 1880s.  It is full of childish wonder and innocence and recently provided me with a much needed escape from reality. If you’re looking for a book to read to your children, or just a quick joyful book from a child’s point of view, I highly recommend picking up this series.  Little House in the Big Woods is the first in the series and remains my favorite to this day.  
  4. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White’s classic children’s novel was one of my favorite childhood reads.  Wilbur the pig remains one of my favorite protagonists because of his unique voice. While this book is a bit of a tear-jerker if you’re sappy like me, I highly recommend it.  I plan to read it to my son when he gets a little older and I hope he loves it as much as me.
  5. – By far my favorite Dr. Seuss book and, in my opinion, one of his most important works.  This famous children’s book provides the reader with a message of encouragement that I think we all need sometimes.  I recently procured a copy for my young son and as I was reading it to him, I realized that the message was one that I needed to hear as well.  It tells readers young and old that you can and will do great things in life. The book explains that there will be bumps along the way, but as long as we keep pushing forward, everything will be alright in the end.  If you’re feeling down about where you are in life or feeling like you haven’t achieved your goals, I suggest giving this book a quick read. It did wonders for my attitude.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  If you did, leave me a like and a comment and let me know which children’s books you’ve loved and think everyone should read.  I’d love some new recommendations. I’ll see you all in the next one!

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Top 5 Wednesday: 2018 Reading Resolutions

This is late and I am so sorry for that.

It’s that time of year again.  Time to make yourself promises that will more than likely be broken before the month is out.  At least that always seems to be the case for me.  This year I’d like to break my losing streak when it comes to new year resolutions.  I am hopeful that I can achieve these goals this year and feel very accomplished when 2019 rolls around.  

As always, the Goodreads group for Top 5 Wednesday, which is hosted by the lovely #ThoughtsonTomes and #gingerreadslainey, can be found here.  

2018 Reading Resolutions

1.  Actually Complete My Goodreads Challenge

  Much to my dismay I was unable to achieve my goal of reading 50 books this in 2017.  Reading slumps hit me hard last year and for the last few weeks of 2017 I was simply not in the mood to pick up a book.  I did read 44 books, which is not bad, but I have faith that I can do better.  I set my goal for 50 books again this year so wish me luck! 

2.  Reread The Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling

  It’s been a hot minute since I read Harry Potter.  I miss the world and the characters dearly, so I am making them a priority in 2018.  I have a soon-to-be four year old, so I’m considering buying the illustrated editions that have been published to read to him.  

3.  Read Diverse Books

  I feel that everyone should make this a priority.  I want to better understand those who are different than me, and I want to see the diversity of humanity represented in literature.  We should all be able to find characters to whom we can relate.  

4.  Read At Least 3 Non-fiction Books

  I never read non-fiction books voluntarily.  Since I’ve been out of school for a couple of years, I feel as though I’m not learning as much as I should.  To remedy that, I want to pick up some non-fiction about things I’m interested to learn about.  

5.  Read Manga 

  I love anime, so I don’t know why I’ve never read manga.  I’ve seen a lot of manga intrigue me, so that’ll be happening in 2018.  

  I hope you guys liked this post!  If you did be sure to leave me a like and a comment and tell me some of your reading resolutions!  Thank you so much for reading!  Talk to you in the next one! 

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books of 2017

2017 has been a really good reading year for me.  I read so many fantastic books; narrowing it down to five was extremely difficult.  As always, the Goodreads group can be found here.  The group is hosted by the lovely #ThoughtsonTomes and #gingereadslainey.  It is a lot of fun to come up with these lists every week, so come and join us!  Without further ado, here is my list of the top five books of 2017.

1.  The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

I love this series so much.  At the urging of my husband and Reagan of #peruseproject on booktube, I picked up The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima.  I was blown away by this fantasy world and this is one of my all time favorite series now.  The Crimson Crown is the fourth and last book and it was my favorite.  It was absolutely incredible.  Please read this series!  It isn’t nearly as popular as it deserves.  

2.  Winter by Marissa Meyer

Picking my favorite of The Lunar Chronicles was almost impossible.  I loved every one of them, but the finale was the book that knocked my socks off the most.  It was one of the most successful conclusions to a series I’ve ever read and I will most likely be rereading this series soon. 

3.  The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

The fourth installment of The Heroes of Olympus was definitely my favorite.  I loved the intensity of this booking was thrilled with all of the amazing Percabeth moments we got.  It gave a lot of depth to already incredible characters and I could not put it down. 

4.  The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Kudos to Rick Riordan for claiming two spots on my list.  The Last Olympian was my favorite of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series which is a high honor because I adore the entire thing.  I read this book in one sitting and I cried when it was over.  I love Percy and Annabeth and their world so much. 

5.  Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This.  Book.  I am still obsessed with Carry On and it’s been weeks since I read it.  SnowBaz is life.  This books is a must-read and I cannot contain my love for it.  Instead of reading books I can count toward my Goodreads goal, I’ve been reading Simon Snow fanfiction.  It’s amazing and I highly recommend it! 

I hope you guys liked this post!  If you did please leave me a like and a comment and tell me what your favorite book of the year was!  See you guys in the next one! 

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters On The Naughty List

We all have characters we hate.  The ones that just get under our skin and make us want to smack them.  This Top 5 Wednesday is my list of characters I think belong on the Naughty List.  As always the T5W is hosted by #ThoughtsomTomes and the Goodreads group can be found here.  O don’t mean to offend anyone with this list; if I dislike your favorite character, I’m sorry, but these are my opinions.  Let’s get into the list! 

1. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter by JK Rowling)

  I simply had to include one of my least favorite characters of all time.  We all love to hate her and do so with a feiry burning passion.  

2. Levana Blackburn (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)

  This bitch.  I cannot describe to you how much I hated this evil queen while reading The Lunar Chronicles.  She’s ruthless and psycho and a fantastic villian, but good Lord did I hate her. 

3. Gavin Bayar (The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima) 

  F**k this guy.  I can’t even.  He’s horrible and I wish every hardship on him.  

4. Warren Barber (The Heir series by Cinda Williams Chima) 

  Just a self-serving dick who enjoys hurting other people.  He made me feel bad for a character I disliked because of his treatment of her.  Hate him.  

5. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter by JK Rowling) (yes you read that right) 

  I know a lot of people will want to crucify me for this, but I can’t help it.  Whole I definitely don’t hate him as much as the other characters on this list, I cannot brimg myself to like him.  Defend him if you want, but in Half-Blood Prince he admits that he knew of the Dursley’s mistreatment of Harry and he did nothing.  He left Harry to suffer every summer.  Now it’s true that the Dursley family deserves a spot on this list as well, but I cannot abide by knowingly allowing a child to stay in an abusive home.  

  I hope you guys liked this T5W!  If you did please leave me a like and a comment and let me know some of your disliked characters!  See you all in the next one!  

Non-spoiler Review: The Blood of Olympus: Book 5 in The Heroes Of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Finishing a series is bittersweet.  I am always so excited to reach the end and find out how the story plays out, but it’s very hard for me to let go.  I spend all this time with the characters in these amazing worlds and then suddenly it’s over.  I have to say goodbye and return to my everyday life.  I feel as though I’m losing close friends and closing the door on an entire world.  

As you no doubt guessed, I have finally finished The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan, the final book in The Heroes of Olympus series.  It was a thrilling novel and I am very happy with it, but there were a few unanswered questions.  Had I read this when it came out, I may have been irritated by the questions, but I know that we see some of these characters in the next series, The Trials of Apollo.  

Despite the unanswered questions, this book was fantastic.  It was exciting from start to finish and while it wasn’t my favorite in the series, (The House of Hades for the win!) it was well written and hilarious just like the rest of Rick Riordan’s books, and it did contain some of my favorite scenes of the series, including some kick-ass battles and an oh-so-adorable Percabeth scene that made me squeal.  

My only complaint is that I wish I could have seem from all the main demigod’s perspectives.  I understand why Rick left some of them out; it would have been a bit much to keep up with all those points of view.  Though I love them all dearly, I will miss Percy’s perspective the most.  He’s out main man, the star of the show, and though I’m sure he appears in the other books, this was our last with Percy as one of the main characters.  He is one of my favorite characters of all time and losing his voice as a narrator is like losing a piece of my heart.  

This book was wonderful and I am so happy to have completed this series.  It is now one of my all time favorites and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  

4.75/5 stars to The Blood of Olympus and 5,000,000/5 stars to The Heroes of Olympus as a whole. 

I hope you guys liked this review!  Leave me a like and a comment; I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about these books!  Thank you so much for reading!  See you guys in the next one!

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to carry on as I am.” – Baz

  I have found a new favorite 😍.  This is my second Rainbow Rowell book and I was blown away.  Carry On is Rainbow Rowell’s take on the characters to whom we are introduced in Fangirl, a novel about a girl named Cath who is starting college and who writes fanfiction about Simon Snow and Baz Pitch, characters from a fictional series similar to Harry Potter.  You do not have to read Fangirl before you read Carry On, but it is a fantastic book as well and I recommend it.  Carry On is one of my favorite books of the year and probably one of my favorite books of all time. I loved every second of it. 

  The magic system is very creative.  I love that the power of the spells is affected by the relevance of language and how important phrases are in modern speech.  That system ensures that magic changes with the times and can grow as society does.  There were many pop culture references that I appreciated because it kept this fantastical world grounded in the real world.  

  The characters are as flawed and realistic as magicians can be.  Obviously, Simon and Baz are my favorite characters.  How could they not be?  They are so different, but when they are together they are completely unstoppable.  Their relationship is one of the cutest I’ve read about in a long time.  Honestly, I could go on and on about them, but spoilers.  Just read it, okay?  Please? 

  I listened to the audiobook for Carry On, and it was spectacular.  I’m pretty picky about audiobook narrators, but Euan Mortan did a phenomenal job.  He is able to capture the character’s personalities with subtle variations in his voice.  If you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend this one.  

  Though the characters are the stars of the show, the plot was captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat.  Who doesn’t love a good twist on the “Chosen One” trope mixed with a little murder mystery?  Add in the Hogwarts reminiscent setting and you’ve got me hooked.  I was tempted to just restart the audiobook as soon as I finished it, but alas my TBR is guilting me.  

  I HIGHLY recommend this book to fans of Harry Potter and fantasy, although I believe anyone could enjoy it.  It was funny and whimsical and absolutely amazing.  5/5 stars for sure! 

  I hope you guys enjoyed this review!  If you did, leave me a like and comment because I’d love to discuss this book!  See you in the next one! 

  

Bookish Pet Peeves 

Pet peeves. We all have them and no matter how insignificant they may seem to other people, pet peeves drive us as individuals crazy. For book lovers, our bookish pet peeves can be some of our worst. I am a pretty high-strung person in general, so it’s not surprising that I have several pet peeves when it comes to my books and reading life. I’m sure most of you have heard at least some if not all of these annoyances as they are pretty common within the reader community, so I hope you can relate to my bookish pet peeves! 

THINGS OTHER READERS DO THAT ANNOY ME: 

1. DAMAGING BORROWED BOOKS

I know this irritates a lot of readers. We lend out our precious books to a friend or family member we believe we can trust and then it’s returned in less than stellar condition. Broken bindings, bent back covers, dog-earred and (gasp) torn pages. Book damage is one of a reader’s worst nightmares. Now, I’ve been known to damage my own books (accidentally of course), but if I lend a book out to someone, and they return it damaged because of carelessness…I can’t even. If you borrow someone else’s property, treat it with respect. It’s common courtesy. When I borrow books, I treat them like a priceless treasure, because I know how upsetting it is to have a damaged book returned to you. If you damage my book simply because you don’t care about it’s condition, you will never borrow another. I’m not completely unreasonable. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to genuine accidents, but avoidable damage done by carless handling is something I cannot handle. Just be nice to my stuff. Please. 

2. INTENTIONAL SPOILING

Why would you do this? Why? This is the epitome of rude, especially if the individual being spoiled really cares about the book (or show/movie) in question. I’ve had people intentionally spoil me for things because they think it’s funny when I get angry. It’s not funny; it’s rude and disrespectful to completely disregard someone’s feelings like that. While you may not care very much about a story, I am probably emotionally invested and it’s so not cool to utterly devastate my feelings by ruining the ending for me. If I’m going to be emotionally destroyed, let the characters do it. Geez. Accidental spoilers suck, but must be forgiven. Intentional spoilers are evil and if someone spoils you on purpose I give you permission to seek revenge by spoiling something they love. 

3. SHAMING OTHER READERS

No one should ever make anyone feel guilty or inferior about what they like to read. Reading is about enjoyment and whether you enjoy hardcore erotica or children’s books, you are a valid reader. If you were the only person to enjoy a certain genre, it wouldn’t exist as a genre. If you’re that person who looks down on the girl reading 50 Shades of Grey, maybe you should take a step back and think how sucky it would be if someone made you feel inferior for enjoying something that you love. Don’t shame each other. Have good discussion about what you do/don’t like. Remember, if someone is reading something you don’t like, it’s not hurting you. Let them to them and you do you. 

4. “AUDIOBOOKS DON’T COUNT AS READING”

Yes. They. Do. Why wouldn’t they? Now, I know someone’s going to be thinking, “well, technically it’s not reading, it’s listening,” and that statement is correct. However, invalidating someone’s reading experience because of the medium they choose/have to use is very ableist and wrong. That small technicality seems to make some believe that people who primarily listen to audiobooks can’t be real book lovers. Listeners and physical readers are consuming the same story. Why does it matter how the words are absorbed? Instead of bickering over meaningless differences, let’s all just gush over mutually enjoyed stories. Then everyone wins. 

5. BASHING YA

Young Adult books have a bad reputation in some circles. I think most of this stems from the fact that for some people “young” equates to “stupid.” I am beyond tired of hearing that young adult books are not good enough for adults to read. I am an adult woman, but I still primarily read YA. Don’t let the idea of a young protagonist prevent you from enjoying a story. This goes for middle-aged as well. I didn’t read Percy Jackson and the Olympians until I was 22 years old and it is now one of my all time favorites. YA books can be just as (sometimes more) impactful as adult books. It is extremely important for teens and young adults to feel represented and understood. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes the only place teens feel accepted is between the pages of a book. My favorite characters have been my best friends and have helped me through countless tough times. I will forever and always read YA. 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading about some of my bookish pet peeves. If you guys agree or disagree with me or have some of your own irritants to discuss, leave me a comment! I’d love to talk. I’ll see you guys in the next one!