Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Laugh

toptentuesdayAhh, it feels good to be blogging! I have had an extremely busy month and finding the time (and in some cases, the desire) to blog was nearly impossible. But I’m back today for a fun Top Ten Tuesday all about books that have made me laugh.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Laugh

The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir – Do I talk about this book too much on my blog? Probably, but it’s all well-deserved praise! Astronaut Mark Watney, this book’s narrator, is extremely sarcastic and witty. Several times during my reading of this book I had to put it down to laugh or immediately find my husband to read excerpts to.

attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – Another book that I love to gush about! Rainbow Rowell’s humor is perfect for dorks like me. Half of this book is composed of witty email exchanges between BFFs Jennifer and Beth. Their sarcastic rants will make you want to joke around with your own best friend.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – I recently reread this book for the umpteenth time and even though I know the story by heart, I still laugh at the smart alecky dialogue between the characters. My favorite example from Azkaban is when the Marauder’s Map insults Professor Snape!

Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – The last thing I expected when I started to read this book was to find myself dying of laughter. But Will and Lou are absolutely hilarious. It probably has something to do with the fact that they’re British and love to tease and insult each other.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – “It’s been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.” Oh, Mr. Collins, you are so stupid.

earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – John Worthing and Algernon Montcrieff are so ridiculous sometimes, it’s almost impossible not to laugh. Especially when they argue about muffins.
Earnest

AoGG

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – I have always loved how dramatic Anne Shirley is, with her graveyards of buried hopes and dreams and her dyed green hair. Some people find her theatrics annoying, but not me :)

robinhood

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – I can’t imagine a version of Robin Hood that isn’t funny. He always has the perfect comeback, and even when someone bests him he still finds a way to laugh about the situation. I laughed a few times while reading this book, but the 1938 movie version makes me laugh the most. It’s my favorite adaptation of the Robin Hood legend.

muchado

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – My favorite Shakespearean comedy! Beatrice and Benedick make me laugh so much, especially the scene where they’re tricked into thinking the other one is in love with them. Since it’s Poetry Month AND currently Shakespeare week, I think it’s the perfect time to watch the movie adaptations of this play, and laugh and laugh about this scene:
dogberrygif

15638

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand – I’m sure this play is extremely cleverer in it’s original French, but unfortunately I’m not quite skilled enough to be able to understand all the puns. It’s still pretty funny to read in English, however, and I also enjoyed the Gerard Depardieu film version. Just imagine Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night but Viola is replaced by a French man with an enormous nose (that’s a really bad summary but you get the idea).

Thanks for reading! Have you laughed while reading any of these books? 

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Books!

toptentuesday

Whew! I took an unexpected week off from blogging and I think it did me a lot of good. I’m going through some personal things at the moment, some of which I’m hoping to post about tomorrow on my late February wrap-up.

But for now, let me ease back into blogging with my favorite meme, Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)! This week’s topic is about our favorite books. For a long time now I’ve had a very stable Top 5, so for today I had to decide on my top 6-10, which was hard! I almost cheated…

Top Ten Favorite Books

AoGG Pride and Prejudice janeeyre Persuasion Harry Potter

attachments IMG_2049 tokillamockingbird littlewomen Hamlet

Anne of Green Gables is my all-time favorite book, but Anne of the Island should be on this list, too! I only left it out to make room for some others. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Persuasion are so close I could easily switch them around. Yes, my favorite Harry Potter book is the last! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows made me feel all the feels, and I thought it was the perfect ending to a favorite series. The rest of the books on this list probably don’t belong in that order, but I haven’t given it much thought before now. Those would be my next favorites, though. Attachments is my favorite book from this decade, so far. Short Straw Bride is my favorite historical novel. What else can I say to justify To Kill a Mockingbird‘s place in my heart and on this list? Little Women is another book that makes me feel so deeply! And Hamlet has always been, and most likely always will be, my favorite Shakespearean play (and favorite play in general, for that matter), no matter how cliché it sounds :)

There you have it: my ten favorite books! Do you like any of my favorites? And what are your most beloved reads??

Top Ten Tuesday: Romance Novels

toptentuesday

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about what we like and dislike in romance novels. I actually wish there was another term for “romance novel,” because it automatically brings to my mind those old Harlequin paperbacks with Fabio-esque characters on the cover. In reality, the romance genre is very wide and varied, and they don’t all feature Fabio.

What I Like in Romance Novels:

  1. Hilarious and often embarrassing situations.
    Yes, I love laughing out loud, but I also love the aftermath of embarrassing situations when characters make amends and you find out how likable they really are :)
    Fiance muchado
  2. Pride-and-Prejudice-types of romances.
    Lizzie and Darcy’s relationship is classic, and I don’t care how often I see it repeated in other romances. If it’s done well, there’s a high probability that I’m going to love it.
    NorthandSouth AoGG
  3. Unrequited love and tragic situations.
    I don’t care how sad these types of books are, I love unrequited love stories (especially if it’s no longer unrequited at the end). I also feel the same way about tragic books, when a fictional couple faces a dramatic conflict and they have to recover from it. I learn a lot of lessons from those types of novels.
    senseandsensibility janeeyre
  4. Letters! (or emails or text messages)
    I think Jane Austen said it best: “Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.”
    attachments meanttobe Persuasion
  5. Character growth.
    I always enjoy a story with deep and well-developed characters. One of my biggest bookish pet peeves is trying to suffer through a novel, especially a romance, when the characters are utterly flat and unmotivated. (these books definitely show great character growth!)
    lastbestkiss sisterhoodeverlasting
  6. Deep themes and serious issues.
    I love books that make me feel those deeper emotions. When it comes to romantic books, I really enjoy the ones that deal with sad, and even dark issues unrelated to the central romance. Also, maybe I just like books that move me to tears because that means it’s some pretty powerful writing.
    secondchancesummer mara dyer Redeeming Love

What I Dislike in Romance Novels:

  1. CHEESINESS.
    I can handle one or two clichés, but a whole book full of them? Not so much.
  2. Explicit descriptions and foul language.
    Nope. I don’t finish any book, from any genre, that is overtly explicit/graphic or that includes too much foul language. Nothing turns me off quicker than seeing a dozen curse words splattered across a single paragraph, especially when they’re the weirdest and rarest ones I’ve ever heard. If an author can put THAT much creativity into which curse words their characters spew, surely they can come up with some less abusive vocabulary? (ok, rant is over–see, I told you it bothers me!)
  3. Unrealistic characters, plot lines, or dialogue.
    If it’s unbelievable, it’ll be unenjoyable for me too.
  4. Characters who are obsessed with their significant others.
    I’m talking New Moon Edward and Bella obsessed. I don’t want to read books where characters mope around and don’t know how to survive when their significant other leaves them or is gone for one day. It’s pathetic, dangerous, and in the case of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, just plain creepy.

What’s your favorite romance novel? Do you share any of my pet peeves or favorite motifs when it comes to romances?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite 2014 Reads

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about the best books we read in 2014! I am very happy that my Top Ten is filled with so many classics! It’s not surprising, because I love classics and they usually fill up about half of what I read, but this year I read so many young adult books that I wasn’t able to read as many classics as usual. I guess this just means that I picked a few really good classics ;)

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

robinhood secondchancesummer muchado sisterhoodeverlasting littlewomen

10. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle: Robin Hood, my love <3 Your tricks and mischievous ways never fail to entertain me :)
9. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson: This book made me bawl like a baby, and only the best books can make me do that. This was the third Morgan Matson book I read, and before that I was already convinced that I’d preorder her future books because they’re that good.
8. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: Usually I prefer Shakespearean tragedies, but Much Ado was so funny and suspenseful that I found myself really enjoying it despite its “shallowness.” The recent film version is great as well.
7. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares: I just read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series for the first time this summer, and I loved the four sisters so much! When I went to read this 5th, more adult book, I knew it was going to be a lot different from its predecessors. It’s darker and sadder, but also so much fuller than the other four books. Several chapters made me cry, but not just out of sadness. There’s one scene in particular involving my two favorite characters that is giving me butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it <3
6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: The beloved March family! I so wish I had read this book as a young adult. It would have gone well with Anne of Green Gables, but in any case I loved it so much when I read it earlier this year. And of course, the Winona Rider/Christian Bale movie is spot-on. I could watch that all day, AND it’s a Christmas movie so that means I will be watching it soon!

 

tokillamockingbird sinceyouvebeengone meanttobe NorthandSouth attachments

 

5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: This is one of those classics that is usually assigned in school, but it wasn’t for me, and after reading it I totally wish it had been! But maybe not, actually, because there’s always that dreaded assigned reading curse that can destroy books for us =P It doesn’t matter what age you are, this book will touch your heart.
4. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson: This book is perfect for summer reading. It made my heart smile with giddy happiness and it’s a Morgan Matson book so obviously it’s amazing.
3. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill: This book was so cute! I seriously could not put it down. I love books that mix in multiple communications platforms, and this one deals a lot with texting mishaps. Plus, if you love travelling, especially to the UK, you’ll love this one. The whole book takes place in London and Lauren Morrill makes you feel like you’re actually there. I’ve been dying to see all the places that were mentioned in the book ever since I read it.
2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: I just finished this book a few days ago and I am still on the book hangover. Some people might think it’s weird to rave about a book that’s been around for over 150 years, but right now all I want to do is rave about North and South. The last time I felt like this was when I read Jane Eyre for the first time last September. My best friends can attest to it, I talked their heads off about that book (but I even converted my BFF into liking it after she HATED the movie!).
1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: This has been my favorite read of the year so far. I’ve talked about it so many times, I don’t know what else to say besides IT’S WONDERFUL!

 

There you have it! That was a lot easier than I thought it would be, actually. I rated all of these books 5/5, and there were around 6 other books I also gave a 5 star rating this year. It’s been a good reading year for me :)

 

What has been your favorite read of the year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New-To-Me Authors

toptentuesdayToday’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, created by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish, is all about authors we read for the first time in 2014! This was actually a fun and easy post for me since I read a whole bunch of “new to me” authors this year, and I got to meet some of them too! :)

Top Ten “New To Me” Authors in 2014

IMG_2491

Meeting Rainbow Rowell at YALL Fest was DEFINITELY one of my highlights from 2014!!

Rainbow Rowell – By far my favorite author of the year. I read Attachments back in January after seeing so many recommendations from fellow bloggers. I LOVED IT. I know it came out a few years ago, but I talked about that book to all of my friends because it was so wonderful. Since then I’ve read Fangirl and Landline, and I’ve decided that I prefer Rainbow Rowell’s adult fiction to her YA fiction, but I’m still waiting to read Eleanor & Park :)
Veronica Roth – This year I also read the Divergent series. It wasn’t my favorite series, but I did like the world Veronica Roth created (and I really liked the first movie!).
Lauren Morrill – My second favorite author I discovered this year! She wrote Meant to Be and Being Sloane Jacobs and if I could give her an award it would be for prettiest book covers one & two.
Ann Brashares – This year I read the entire Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and I especially loved the most recent 5th book. When I met Ann Brashares at YALL Fest (and totally fangirled), I got to chat with her a bit about it and she was really happy to know that I enjoyed the last book since so many people don’t want to read it because it’s sad. I had her sign a copy of her new book, The Here and Now (which also has a gorgeous cover), and I’m excited to read it soon!
Louisa May Alcott – I still don’t know why I waited so long to read Little Women, but I’m so glad I finally did this year! I’m looking forward to reading Alcott’s other novels as well.
Morgan Matson – After hearing so many good things about Since You’ve Been Gone, my book club voted to read this earlier this summer and we all fell in love! Since then I’ve read all of Matson’s other novels, I’ve laughed & cried, and now I can’t wait for her to publish more!
Jennifer E. Smith – It is very rare for me to read a book by an author, not really like it, and then decide to give out a second chance and read another of his/her novels. I’m glad I did this with Jennifer E. Smith. I read The Geography of You and Me a few months ago and felt “Ehh” about it. But then I checked out This Is What Happy Looks Like on audiobook and I actually rather enjoyed it. I think I’ll give The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight a chance next.
Cindi Madsen – I won a copy of Madsen’s Falling For Her Fiancé a couple of months ago and adored it! I speed read it and then bought the two sequels and finished them in roughly two days. If you like clean, funny, romances, Cindi Madsen writes some pretty great ones :)
Harper Lee – I was never assigned to read To Kill A Mockingbird, but maybe that’s a good thing, because when I finally felt like reading it this year, I loved it. I wrote all about my feelings on the novel here.
Huntley Fitzpatrick – I had been eyeing My Life Next Door for months and maybe it was delayed gratification, but I loved that book so much more than I thought I would. It’s definitely not all that it seems; it’s better :)

What are some authors you read for the first time this year? I’d love some recommendations!

Top Ten Tuesday: To Read or Not to Read?

toptentuesdayFinally! I’m finally home after lots of traveling and vacation which means I’m actually able to sit down and post this Top Ten Tuesday post on Tuesday. This week’s meme topic is “Books I’m Not Sure I Want to Read,” but I’ve also included books I do want to read, but have put off for months/years, and also books that I know I never want to read.

Top Ten Books That Have Me Asking Myself, “To Read or Not to Read?

TTT0812_1

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – This book has been all over the place this year (even though it’s from 2011), but that is not the reason I don’t want to read it, neither is the fact that I already know multiple big spoilers. I don’t want to read it because I don’t feel like being wrecked by a book that I know is going to wreck me in advance…if that makes sense. I may watch the movie one day, and who knows? Maybe I’ll even read the book, but for now it’s on my “Do Not Read” shelf, as much as that has shocked some of my friends.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson – I’ve heard that this series is great, and despite mixed reviews of the film version, I think I may like the story. But I haven’t had enough interest to check the book out. Not yet, anyways.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini – I own hardback copies of the first three books in this series, and my husband really loves these books. BUT, the reason I haven’t read the books yet is because I saw the movie and. It. Was. Awful. Even though I know the books aren’t awful, I just haven’t wanted to read them yet.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett – Another book/movie that I’ve heard so many good things about. I received this book from a Secret Santa this past Christmas, and I’d really  like to read it this year, but, like most of the other books on this list, I haven’t had the desire to read it yet (I think I’m dreading crying).

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – Ok, the reason I haven’t read this series yet is because two years ago I bought the first three books in French, hoping it would help me work on my French, but I gave up after the first chapter took me hours to read. I’m currently trying to read another novel in French and, although my level has improved enough to get me halfway through the novel in a week, I’ve been procrastinating on finishing it as well because reading in French is tiring… I am determined though!
TTT0812_2

A Feast For Crows (and the remainder of A Song of Ice and Fire series) by George R. R. Martin – I bought a bundle of the first 5 books in this series with an entire Amazon giftcard that I had received for my birthday 2 years ago and I am still regretting it. I read A Game of Thrones, freaked out and read A Clash of Kings, gradually feeling more and more turned off by the vulgarity and graphic nature of the writing, and by nearly all of the characters. But I kept on reading up until halfway through A Storm of Swords, and right after the “Red Wedding,” I had enough. I skimmed the synopsis for the rest of the series (so far), just to find out the fate of some specific characters. I have no intention on finishing this series, or watching the TV show. It’s just not for me.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – This is a play that I’ve been told multiple I would enjoy, and it’s on my Classics Club List, so I know I’ll get to it eventually. I am really looking forward to finally reading it one day!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – The movie version of this book is one of my favorite movies. I love sad movies (which may sound contradictory to my reasons for not reading The Fault in Our Stars…), and this movie had me crying for literally 15 minutes after I walked out of the theater. But I LOVED it, and my mom or my brother bought me this book for the following Christmas and I’ve just never gotten around to reading it. I definitely want to, though!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I’ve read two of Rainbow Rowell’s novels, Attachments and FangirlAttachments, an adult fiction novel, is one of the best novels I’ve read this year. Rowell’s young adult novel, Fangirl, however…I really wasn’t into. So since Eleanor & Park is also a YA novel, I’ve been putting off reading it. Maybe one day?

All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare – This is probably the most random entry on this list, but it was a play I wanted to read while I was doing a mini-Shakespeare thing on my blog back in April, but I kept putting it off. I am such a procrastinator! It will get read this year, though. I just don’t know when ;)

What are some books you are on the fence about reading?

January, February, March: Books I’ve Loved and Books I Wish I Hadn’t Finished

I’ve been spending a lot of time reading this year (currently I’m in my 21st book, nearly halfway through the 45 book goal I set for 2014), and there are several books that have made an impression on me already, both good impressions and bad ones…so I figured I’d share with you all in case you are looking for new books to read, or books to avoid! (Just kidding). I never have time to type up posts for every book I read, so I decided to pick the best of my January, February, and March reads to gush about. Enjoy! Read These Now!

attachmentsAttachments by Rainbow Rowell – “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” (from the official Goodreads page; that line sums up the book very well, I just had to share it). Attachments is a wonderful read about love in the digital age. Lincoln, a recently hired internet security officer, is paid to read flagged emails at an Omaha newsroom, which isn’t too interesting of a job, really. That is until he finds himself falling for Beth, a witty movie reviewer whose messages to her best friend and fellow journalist Jennifer always find themselves in the flagged email box. Now, before you write this book off as a creepy tale about an internet stalker, DON’T. I thought it was heading that way, too, but Lincoln is such a caring and trustworthy character that it was easy to see and understand his innocent feelings. Every other chapter is told through Beth and Jennifer’s emails, which is both a very enjoyable storytelling medium and a useful device in sympathizing with Lincoln.

Favorite Moment: The email transcripts between Beth and Jennifer are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Their voices ring vividly from the pages, so much so that I found my own internal thoughts mirroring their witty humor for days after I finished the novel!

Read This Book if: you could use a good laugh and wouldn’t mind picking up a book that is hard to put down.

meanttobeMeant to Be by Lauren Morrill – I usually tend to stay away from Young Adult romances that aren’t of the sci-fi/dystopian genre because I tend to find them flat and shallow, but when I saw the lively and gorgeous cover of Meant to Be, I didn’t hesitate to throw my prejudices aside and give it a shot (I mean, look at how colorful and inviting this cover art is! PLEASE judge this book by its cover). This story is a coming of age tale about Julia, a bookish and athletic goodie-good whose high school field trip to London seems completely ruined when she is paired up with Jason, the attention-hogging class clown who seems only interested in partying and pushing every one of Julia’s nerves. But after Julia begins receiving romantic texts from an unknown number, she accepts Jason’s offer to help her win over her mystery guy in exchange for agreeing to break some rules along the way. Despite Jason’s irritating behavior, Julia finds herself both puzzled and challenged by his carpe-diem outlook on life and begins wondering if her own expectations in life are really meant to be.

Favorite Moment: this is another book that had me laughing out loud several times, and it is also another book that uses a digital medium to deepen its plot line (this time it’s text messages instead of emails). One of my favorite things about Meant to Be was the way Morrill writes about London. The descriptions and locations feel so detailed and naturally weaved in that the city itself feels less like a setting and more like an important character in the novel. Also, this novel is full of surprises that leaving you guessing up until the end, and chances are, if you’re like me, you’ll instantly want to reread it afterwards (without spoilers, let me appropriately borrow a Shakespearean theme and say that not everything is as it seems…).

Read This Book if: you are looking for something cute and funny that’s light reading in some ways but has enough deeper meaning to not be forgettable.

lastbestkissThe Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik – This book was a welcomed breaker of my expectations. As already stated, I do not typically read Young Adult romances unless they come highly recommended (or if they have a captivating cover, like Meant to Be). LaZebnik’s other novel, Epic Fail sparked my interest when I heard it was an enjoyably modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice (my second favorite novel of all time), and maybe my expectations were too high because I was not too satisfied overall (to be honest, I was really into it but the last 1/3 was overly cheesy and clichéd). But still, I was determined to have modern Austen adaptations redeemed, and then I discovered The Last Best Kiss, a retelling of Persuasion (my third favorite novel). I read the book in less than a day and immediately wrote up a Goodreads review, a rarity for me, but I want to gush about this book a little more, because I felt that LaZebnik did a fantastic job of bringing Austen’s themes alive in a modern Young Adult way. The plot unfolds quickly within the first two chapters: Anna Eliot is a pretty and impressionable high school freshman. After starting a secret relationship with the nerdy-yet-enthusiastic Finn Westbrooke, Anna becomes concerned about her friends’  opinions. Not wanting to lose their acceptance, she calls things off with Finn in a humiliating way, breaking his heart and setting herself up for unhappiness in the process. When Finn’s family moves across the country soon after, Anna tries to come to terms with her decision, but she never gets over the meaningful relationship she shared with Finn. Fast forward three years and Finn returns, handsome, grown-up, amiable, and instantly popular. He easily makes friends with everyone (mainly girls)…except Anna, whom he clearly still feels bitter and unforgiving towards. And now we are left to uncover where these two characters are heading and if they let their past hold them back from having a future.

Favorite Moment: Well, first of all, I love how LaZebnik brought the themes and tensions of Persuasion into a modern teenage world without making it cheesy. This novel dealt with several real situations that teenagers (and even adults) face, and even though I loved the main love story between Finn and Anna, I also found myself very interested in the more serious sub-plots of the secondary characters as well.

Read This Book if: you enjoy Jane Austen adaptations and are looking for a quick read that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside :)

And if you are curious about my least favorite reads of the year so far, here you go:

gonegirlshatterme

Gone Girl was recommended to me by a family member, something that really gave it a boost in my early opinion. The novel is very suspenseful and it definitely messes with your mind, and honestly I enjoyed the first third of it. But there were two huge reasons why I ended up practically loathing this book. Firstly, the characters are horribly selfish and messed up people, and having to read from their twisted points of view made me feel very uncomfortable. Secondly, this is one of those novels that is unnecessarily crude and graphic. There was no purpose for most of the sexual expletives and it really was a deal breaker for me. I only finished reading it because of the recommendation, and even though Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are starring in the movie, I do not plan on seeing it.

Shatter Me…I listened to this on audiobook, and that probably made my opinion worse because it’s harder to skip through pages when you’re not reading the book yourself. What kind of pages would I have skipped through? The half-chapter of “I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane. I am not insane…” And also all of the repeated descriptions of the main character’s love interest. Honestly, this book had lots of potential, but when it ended I seriously asked myself, “Wait, that’s it? Just when it gets interesting it ends?!”

So there you have it! My favorite and least favorite reads from the past three months. Have you read any of them yet? If so, I’d love to know what you thought!