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

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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!

 

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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?
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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Wish Could Have Their Own Book

toptentuesdayThis was such a hard post to write! I have no idea why, but I spent so much time wracking my brain trying to think of characters I’d want to see more of. I even had to ask my husband for suggestions ;) But I could only come up with nine! So you’ll have to give me suggestions for a tenth one…

Characters I Wish Could Have Their Own Book (or Spin-Off):

Sloane from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Firstly, I loved this book. It’s probably the second best book I’ve read all year (the first being Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments). Right after I finished it, though, I started thinking about how cool it would to read a sequel or a companion novel told through Sloane’s POV. We don’t see much of Sloane in the book, but we do get to see how interesting and conflicted she is. I would love to know what happens with her after the book ends.

Little John from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle – This book is actually told through the 3rd person, but it obviously follows Robin Hood’s adventures, and the adventures of his Merry Men after they join the gang. I’ve always had a soft spot for Little John, and I’d like to see what could become of him after the band goes their separate ways.

Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen – I know there are already books from his POV, but I haven’t read any yet. I really want to though!

Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – I know I’m not the only one who’d love to read about Neville’s adventures after Hogwarts. I feel like his story was only just starting to begin when Deathly Hallows ended.

Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Another HP character for this list (she’s also my favorite). I’d love to have a story told from Ginny’s POV during her 6th year at Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were off hunting horcruxes but we know Ginny was fighting off Death Eaters with the remainder of Dumbledore’s Army. There’s so much potential for a companion novel here!

Bailey from Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – This happens to be my favorite book from the entire Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I loved how the Sisterhood’s stories were resolved, but I think it would be wonderful to know what happens to the next generation. It would be kind of fitting with the original origin of the Sisterhood.

Haymitch Abernathy from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I would love to read a prequel to The Hunger Games when we get to discover all of Haymitch’s back story. A lot of it was shortly covered in Catching Fire, but I want more!!!

Lucien from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – Another one of Morgan Matson’s characters for this list! She has awesome characters. Lucien is a very minor character, but he was so sweet and interesting! If you’ve read the book you know how his story is kind of just cut off, and I’d like to know what happens after his weekend with Amy and Roger.

Flynn Rider from Tangled – I can’t tell if I’d want to see a sequel with more of Flynn’s adventures or if I’d want to see one that involves his and Rapunzel’s (future) children. But I know there is plenty of potential for a Tangled sequel…Disney’s just making us wait =P (to be fair they did give us the Happily Ever After short)

Ok, which character would YOU like to see have his/her own sequel? Books, television, movies…which fictional character would you like to see more of?

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn Reads (plus some life updates!)

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Scroll down to see my belated Top Ten Tuesday list for “Autumn Reads,” but in the meantime here’s a little update about what has been going on in my life lately:

Please forgive me for my very long and unannounced hiatus! I meant to write a post about all of the changes in my life these past couple of months, but I never could seem to find time to pen them all out. For those of you who know me in real life, or if you converse with me regularly, you know that a little over a month ago my husband and I moved back to the U.S.

It had been long-expected for us and for our close friends and family (we bought plane tickets back in May), but we didn’t make any big announcements until shortly before the actual move. The reason I am just now writing on my blog about it is because I’ve been in a conundrum about its future. Obviously, the title An American in France is no longer appropriate, but my ties to France are still very strong considering my husband is French and we do plan on moving back there one day. But this gives me an opportunity to change not only the title of my blog but the theme as well. I’d love to still blog about French things, but I also enjoy blogging about books, so I am brainstorming new title options. For now, I will keep blogging on An American in France, and I will do my best to be more regular about posting (I really do miss blogging and reading all of your blogs as well!). If you are really talented with thinking of blog titles, please share with me your ideas in the comments below! I’d really appreciate any input :)

And now, the fun stuff! (yay for Top Ten lists!)

Top Ten Books I Plan To Read This Autumn

I actually made this list back at the start of autumn, so half of these I have already read, but they fit the category nonetheless.

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Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson – I read this novel in early September, actually, but it’s the perfect type of suspense novel to keep you interested this autumn. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this book, and the end is so creepy it stayed on my mind for a couple of months after I finished it. There’s also a movie version with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong coming out on Halloween of all days! But, as always, read the book first :)

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares – This summer I went through a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants phase and read the entire series over the course of a few weeks. I had never read it before, and I had always thought the movies were pretty cheesy, but the series greatly blew my expectations. I loved each of the books, but this last one in particular, which is definitely NOT a young adult book like it’s predecessors, was my absolute favorite. If you’re familiar with the series, and even if you aren’t, this book will break your heart and then stitch it back up just when you think all hope is lost. It’s definitely a somber read, perfect for those grey autumn afternoons.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I guess this book would be great to read during any season. It takes place during Christmas, but in California where it always feels like summer. And like Rainbow Rowell’s other novels, it deals with broken people, another autumn-appropriate theme. I read Rowell’s first novel, Attachments, earlier this year and so far it may just be my favorite book I’ve read all year. Landline has her same adult fiction style (which I prefer over her YA style), and you’ll be laughing, crying, and hoping for a happy ending.

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall – Ok, this is probably more of a summer read, but it takes place during an entire school year so it does have some “Back to School” themes as well. The title of this novel fits perfectly. It’s a love story told through the eyes of 14 other people (including an animal and an inanimate object), and it’s totally swoon worthy. The main characters are awkward and loveable and will have you laughing and gushing as they trip and fall over themselves.

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Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins – Another set of books that I would normally save for the summer but which also fit the back to school theme (at least the first one does. I haven’t read the other two yet). I’ve heard so much about these books, and maybe that gave me too high expectations because I didn’t find Anna and the French Kiss as amazing as everyone said it was. So hopefully the next two are more intriguing.

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The Here and Now by Ann Brashares – I saw this beautiful book cover all over the bookstores in France this summer and since then I’ve been dying to read it (I’m a stickler for pretty book covers, another reason I loved A Little Something Different). It’s kinda science-fictiony, another type of book I like to read during this season.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This book has been on my TBR list allllll year and I finally started it not too long ago. Most people know how this book goes so all I’m going to say is that I hope I finish reading it before Christmas ;)

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Another book-to-screen story that I’d like to read before it leaves theaters. I’ve been on the hold-list at my library for about a month now…

There’s my TBR list for this autumn! Have you read any of these books yet? Oh, and if you have any spooky suspenseful book recommendations, please leave a comment for me! I’m looking for good Halloween reads :)