Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Reads

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is all about the books I’d love to read with my book club! The book club I’m in right now focuses on YA books, and we’ve read some really great ones! We’ve also read some not to great ones, but I still really enjoyed talking with the girls in my book club about why we hated a specific book. There’s just something about having a mutual “I hated this book” rant with your friends, isn’t there? So today I’m going to talk about some books that I would only want to read with a book club, because at least I’d know for sure I’d have people to vent to if I ended up hating the book.

Top Ten Books I’d Like to Read With a Book Club

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Anything by Gillian Flynn – I read Gone Girl last year and I was really intrigued by it at first. Up until the 2nd half of the book happened and I realized how awful the characters were. I have a really hard time liking a book if I can’t root for a character, and I hated the ending of Gone Girl so much, I don’t even think liking a character would have helped. BUT, I did enjoy ranting about this book with my mother-in-law, who recommended it to me! (She also hated it, but she loves Ben Affleck and wanted to see the movie). All that being said, I wouldn’t mind reading another of Flynn’s novels IF it was a group read with other people who might not like her writing style either.

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Atonement by Ian McEwan – I’ve seen the movie version of this book, and despite the fact that I love James McAvoy and Kiera Knightley, I really did not like the movie. I think it was the ending…and I don’t know how closely the book follows the movie, but I’m assuming at least that part remains the same. I wouldn’t mind reading this book in a book club, because I’m sure there are tons of deep things to talk about.

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – Do you ever have those books that just scare  you to read? That’s how I feel about The Bell Jar. I have NO idea why, but something about the book terrifies me. I think I could give it a chance if I read it with some friends, but I don’t really feel like reading it on my own.

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – I really don’t think I’d like this book. I don’t really know much about it, but based on all the references to it that I’ve seen in other books, I don’t think this is a book I’d like too much. I would only be able to get through it if there were other people reading it with me.

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – I’m not really into cult films like A Clockwork Orange (the exception being Rocky Horror…but that one is fun to dance to; can you dance to this one?). It’s just not my style, and I get really creeped out just by looking at the cover of this book or the poster for the film. Ugh *shivers*

cormac mccarthy

Anything by Cormac McCarthy – I’ve seen both film versions of No Country for Old Men and The Road and I hated them both. No Country for Old Men is probably my most hated film ever. I hate it even more because it won Best Picture. And Javier Bardem is officially the creepiest villain ever–he was pretty creepy in Skyfall, too. So I have no intention of reading any of McCarthy’s books, but if I somehow found my way into a book club that really wanted to read one of his novels, I’d sacrifice give it a try. I did read any interview of McCarthy once where he criticized books that didn’t deal with death in some way, and I respected that a lot, because whenever I find myself writing a story, death always weaves its way into it (but never in that dark and depressing way).

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I know this book is hugely popular right now, but I have a feeling it’s too much like Game of Thrones. Am I incorrect in thinking that? I gave the first three Game of Thrones books a chance and I just couldn’t do it anymore. Those graphic medieval tales haunt me. I’d only want to read another one if I could vent about my frustrations with other people.wuthering heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – Remember when I said I can’t enjoy a book if I don’t like any characters? Wuthering Heights is the closest I have come to disproving that theory (close, but I still don’t like it). I actually read this book last January as a read-a-long with some fellow bloggers, and it was nice to rant about what we hated about this book, but I also learned that there were some things I did enjoy from it. The only redeeming things about this book, for me, are Brontë’s captivating writing style, and the fact that I learned HUGE morals from all these characters’ faults.

Hmm…I seem to notice a theme with all of these books: they’re kind of dark and depressing, aren’t they?

Have you read any of these books and LIKED them? I’d love to hear your thoughts! (And I encourage you to persuade me to read any of them!)

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25 Things Update!

25thyearEarlier this year I posted a list of 25 things I wanted to do in the year before my 26th birthday. I feel like I’m a little behind, and there are already a few entries on the list that I know I won’t be able to cross off this year, but that’s ok. The whole point of this list was to give me some fun goals for the year and I’m already very pleased with the fun things I’ve been able to do so far.

Over the past several months I have been able to cross off some things from my list that I never got around to posting about! I feel bad about that because I could have easily made individual posts for these things and shared with you more pictures. But sometimes a shorter update is better :)

Here are four things I crossed off earlier this year that I never got around to posting about!

#12 Swim in the Mediterranean

Before we left France we took a day trip down to St. Cyr, which is about an hour east of Marseille. The water was so clear and blue, I can totally see why so many people like to vacation in the south of France. The beach was really crowded, there were even people waiting for other people to get up so they could take their spots. The weather was beautiful and although we had to drive three hours there and back, it was such a lovely day. I would have really regretted living in France for two and a half years and never getting to see the Mediterranean.

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#14 Join a club

Several months ago my blogging friend Regina @ The Sunflower Pages mentioned that she wanted to start an online book club focusing on Young Adult books and I immediately jumped on board! I love reading books with other people, and the fact that it’s an online club was even better for me since I was living abroad at the time. Now that I’m back in the States it’s still nice chatting with people from all over the place.

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So far we’ve read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (LOVED IT), If I Stay by Gayle Forman (just in time for the movie),  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Right now we’re reading Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.

#20 Attend a masked ball or period-era ball or maybe just a really elaborately themed party

In June we had to say goodbye to our Grenoble community, and it was even more bittersweet than I thought it would be because they threw us a Disney costume party! It was so well done between the decorations, the food, the games, and of course the costumes :)

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Matt and I as Peter Pan and Wendy :)

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Winnie the Pooh and Mickey & Minnie Mouse cakes!

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My friend Laure (Minnie) who drove down from Lyon to see me, and my American friends Joy and Lisa who planned the party :)

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My wonderful friend Dalene who was one of my closest friends in Grenoble. I miss her so much!

#21 FIND A NEW JOB

This was one of the biggest things on my list, and in my October Highlights post I shared with you that I had an interview in the beginning of November. Well…I GOT THE JOB! I started last Wednesday so this week is my first full week. So far, I love it! It’s a very small office (there are 4 of us), but that makes everything so much more personal. The job itself is low-stress and relaxed, which is a nice change of pace. I’m very excited for this new direction I’m taking, and I’m also looking forward to my husband finding a job so we can find a place to live & finally be able to settle down and unpack our wedding gifts (they’ve been in their original boxes in my parents’ basement for nearly 3 YEARS because we moved to France right after getting married).

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, and gave me interview advice! I am so so thankful :)

Discovering Grenoble: An English Cafe in France!

A couple of months ago Matt and I passed by this cute looking cafe called The Bookworm Cafe. It was closed for the summer, like many French businesses are, so we decided to come back in September when it reopened. The other day we wanted to go somewhere to study Romans together, and we walked by the cafe to see if it was any good.

It. Was. Amazing. I felt like I had walked into London when I walked through the door, and I’ve never even been to London. Right away the lady working there greeted us in this lovely, stereotypical English accent and offered us tea, scones, carrot cake, and many other delicious things. Apparently the cafe is also a secondhand bookstore, and you can come to read or buy the books (90% of them are English…classics, fiction, crime and thriller, science fiction, children’s, reference, etc.), have tea time, and they also have monthly book clubs which I am looking forward to learning more about.

We spent about an hour and a half there and can’t wait to go back often. Not only were the employees very nice but the atmosphere was like a dream; very romantic and basically everything I’ve ever wanted in a cafe/bookstore.

An instagram collage of our visit to the Bookworm Cafe.