Top Ten Tuesday – Sand Between the Pages

This week’s topic is right on time. I’m heading off to a sunny, beachyish vacation in about two weeks. I’ve been trying to decide what to bring with me to read. I have a bunch of physical books I’ve purchased and want to read, but those books have made many of my previous lists.

I’ve been terrible at reading this year. I’m relying a lot on my audiobooks. Travelling means diving into my ereader- cause it’s lighter to carry. So this list is comprised of audiobooks from hoopla (if your library allows you access to this service, it’s amazing. check it out) and digital words hiding out on my Kobo waiting for some loving.

I know a lot people select the light and fluffy for their beach reading. And that makes sense. But those are just not my kind of book. So while these are fun and sun books, they’re lighter than some of my usual selections.

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The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page

I avoided Dorothy Must Die for a long time. I was so over this fairy tale retelling schtick. Then I needed a book and that one was there for the listening. And surprisingly, really enjoyable. The follow up will probably make great plane listening. Continue reading

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown (@JenBrownBooks)

Perspective is everything. Everything. As readers, and you know – humans, we have soft spots, blind spots really, based on our perspective. We view people and events through the lens of our experience. The longer you know someone, the more likely you are to see the good in them, even if they’ve done something terrible. We’ve all said things we don’t mean but had people take us seriously because of their perspective. We’ve said things that have hurt someone without our knowledge. Or have said things to hurt someone just to make ourselves feel better. When we read a book, we tend to gravitate towards the characters who demonstrate traits we recognize. How any given person interprets a situation is dramatically different depending on where they were before the event happened. That is the entire point behind The Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

In the wake of a school shooting that left many students dead or injured, we follow the story of Val, girlfriend of the shooter. Told in parallel stories of the events leading up to the shooting and after Val returns to school months later, the reader gets to see if trauma has really changed the way people behave. This is a slow, plodding story. It is not full  of action and suspense. It will not have you at the edge of your seat. And that’s good. The action so often hides the reality. You can wash over what brought these actions about and how people really change, or don’t, after a catastrophe. On its face, this is the story of a school shooting. But scratch a little deeper and it’s about human nature. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – On a Whim and a Prayer

Today’s topic is pretty wide open – books picked up on a whim. So to me that means books that immediately caught my interest and I actually read. Lots of books catch my attention, only some of those make it to the reading pile – with varying levels of satisfaction.

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My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me by Jennifer Teege

A fairly interesting read. Taught me more about history than I expected  and convinced me that I should maybe get around to watching Schindler’s List one of these days.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Grow Up Already

Remember reading books when you were a kid about characters that were a few years older than you who you just wanted to emulate them when you got to that age? Or to have the same exciting shenanigans? Then when you reached that actual age, you’d continued to age your characters to something you could strive for (until adult books became your thing). A lot of these characters are frozen in time at a given age. But what would they be like now? In their 20s or 30s or 40s? That’s today’s topic.

Who would you want to know as an adult?

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The Sweet Valley Universe by Francine Pascal (and her army of ghost writers)

This one is a cheat. We got a ten years later book. It sucked. Hugely sucked. And not a life affirming kind of sucking. There is no good here. None. (my review) As fans who dedicated years (sometimes up to a decade) of our lives to this series (which, let’s be honest, isn’t all that great to begin with) we deserve better than the stinking crap pile we were given. Continue reading