Top Ten Tuesday: Little Baby French Fry’s Favorite Picture Books

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Even though he doesn’t know how to read, my son is about to share his first ever post on my blog! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about visual books, and I decided to share some of my son’s favorite books, especially since he probably has as many books as I do.

Top Ten Tuesday: Killian’s Favorite Picture Books

 

Cache Cache des Grosses Bêtes by O. Latyk – This is the book that taught Killian how to roar like a lion (ok, technically taught him, but the book helped a lot!).

Où Est Mon Chien by Fiona Watt – Usbourne books are fantastic, and this one is in French! My in-laws send Killian touch and feel books from France and he loves them all. This one he loves so much that he literally destroyed it (it’s in three pieces) but he still reads it so I don’t have the heart to throw it away.

Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen – I bought this book as a stocking stuffer for Killian and we both fell in love with it right away. The other day he actually brought me this book to read it to him, and then asked me to reread it twice more. I can’t explain how much I love that my son is growing up to be a bookworm just like me :)

Dinosaurumpus by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees – This book is so fun to read! I used to read it to Killian before his nap times and honestly I probably enjoyed it more than he did, but I know he liked it because he would sit through the whole book while I read it to him. Dinosaurumpus has lots of fun sounds and rhymes to hold little baby attention spans.

You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis and Caroline Jayne Church – This may have been the first book I bought for Killian. My mom used to sing this nursery rhyme to me when I was little and I always loved it. The song calms Killian down, too, and the illustrations are really pretty.

Une Souris Verte by Olivia Cosneau– Killian has a collection of 3 of these French “comptines” aka nursery rhymes, but this one is his favorite. It’s also super creepy: a green mouse is running in the grass, I grab him by his tail and show him to these gentlemen who tell me to dunk him in oil and then in water, and he’ll turn into a warm snail. That’s only the first verse.

The Berenstain Bears’ Sleepy Time Book by Mike Berenstain – Another book I like to read to Killian before bed or nap time. I loved the Berenstain Bear books when I was a kid, and so far Killian does, too.

5 Minute Pixar Stories – Here’s another book that is able to hold Killian’s attention for longer periods of time.

Mes Grosses Bêtes by Marion Billet – Each of the animals makes a noise when you press on their button, and the all have textures, too. Killian loves this book so much, especially the gorilla. As much as I don’t like gorillas, I was really proud when Killian began chanting “hoo hoo hoo!”

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon – Although there isn’t much to this book, it’s still one of our favorites. Killian loves all the animal sounds, and one time I tried to change “dada” to “papa” because that is what my husband prefers to be called, but Killian corrected me right away. Such a book purist.

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 Bucket List

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie! So I thought I’d use this opportunity to finalize my bucket list for the year :)

I tried doing a bucket list two years ago to celebrate by 25th birthday, but I didn’t quite get around to crossing off all those items (although looking at it now, I’ve been able to do several more of those goals since I turned 25!).

So here are the Top Ten Things on My 2017 Bucket List:

  1. Eat at 10 local restaurants – Wilmington has so many locally owned restaurants and I have been dying to try more of them out. We don’t eat out often because it’s cheaper to eat at home, but I’d like to try out ten different local restaurants here in town this year.
  2. Go berry picking – I’ve had berry picking on my bucket list for two years now, and this year I’m finally going to do it. The berry picking farm always closes way earlier than I think it will, so last year I missed out because we didn’t go early enough. The summer before, I was pregnant, and the last thing I felt like doing was walking around in the heat. I’m gonna make it happen this year, though!
  3. Read at least 10 classics from my Classics Club list – I’m supposed to have finished 50 classics off my Classics Club list by the end of next year, and I’m just a little over halfway there. I have some real chunky classics I need to read (or finish reading *coughWarandPeacecough*), so I hope to get through at least 10 this year!
  4. Gardening – Our front yard is pretty bare and I’d love to put in some low maintenance foliage to make it look more inviting. I am NOT a green thumb, though, so I’m going to have to do some research about which plants will do well before going through all the trouble of planting them.
  5. Write a novel! – My biggest goal for 2017. It’s been forever since I’ve written anything, and I’ve never written anything longer than 30 pages, but I’m taking a few online writing classes so hopefully that helps. I’m still in the outlining phase but I’m really excited to see what I end up with :)
  6. Take a week off– Vague, I know. My husband and I really want and need to take a week-long vacation this year. We haven’t decided a destination, yet, but if I had my way it would be to PEI, Canada so I could really feel like Anne Shirley.
  7. See Hamilton! – Hamilton is coming to Charlotte in November and I am desperate to get my hands on some tickets when they go on sale. But only if they aren’t as expensive as Broadway tickets, because then I might as well just go up to NYC (and cross off #6 and #7 at the same time).
  8. Finish decorating my library – I love my library/guest room. It’s my favorite room in the house. But I still have some decorating to do :)
  9. Finish reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix with Matt – My husband has never read the HP books, so two years ago we started reading them aloud with each other. We’ve gotten stuck on Goblet of Fire (because it is significantly longer than Prisoner of Azkaban), but I’d love to finish it and Order of the Phoenix this year.
  10. Volunteer more – Another vague one. I already volunteer at the library on Saturdays, but I’d love to volunteer at other places, too, especially in areas that challenge me.

There you have it! Check back at the end of the year to see how well I did at accomplishing these wishes for 2017 :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to My ‘To Be Read’ List

toptentuesdayToday I am thankful for slow work days because that’s why I was able to get this post up today ;) I’ve missed making my weekly Top Ten Tuesday lists! With Christmas coming up lately, I’ve been updating my wish lists and most of those lists include books. Here are some of the recent additions to my To Be Read list, and if you’ve read any of them, please let me know what you thought!

Top Ten Recent Additions to My TBR List

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Time Trial: The Graphic Novel by Rysa Walker I still need to post my review for Time’s Divide, the final book in Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files series, but Time Trial is a graphic novel spin-off of sorts. I already think this series would be beautiful to see visually, so I’m excited to get my hands on this collection of comic books sometime soon!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith The newest book from one of my favorite YA authors comes out next summer! I honestly don’t even know what this book is about, but Jennifer E. Smith is an auto-read for me.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman My OTSP Secret Sister sent me this book last month after I asked for some fantasy recommendations. All I know is this book is about dragons, and I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that feature dragons. I’m excited to read it later this month.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Clearly I’m trying to branch out in the fantasy genre. I’ve never read anything by Patrick Rothfuss, either.

Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett – I’ve been straying away from YA Contemporary lately, but this one has a mystery aspect to it that sounds really interesting.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – I found a “like new” used hardcover copy of this book a couple of months ago, and although I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson, I know he’s a favorite author among fantasy-lovers.

Saga #1 by Bryan Vaughan – This graphic novel was also recommended by my Secret Sister. It sounds like Game of Thrones meets outer space.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – Another Secret Sister recommendation :) They have this series at my local library, so I’ll try to read it before the end of the year!

Ruined by Amy Tintera – I haven’t read any reviews of this book, or seen it in bookstores or libraries, but something about it sounds super intriguing to me. Has anyone read it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker – The first installment in Rysa Walker’s new series just came out last month! I devoured her previous series, and I’m sure I’ll do the same with this one. It’s also been a long time since I’ve started a current series, so it’ll be interesting having to wait for the sequels :)

Top Ten Tuesday: All About Audio

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I’m back this week after my summer hiatus from blogging! Yesterday I posted a review to one of my new favorite series, and today I’m talking about my favorite audiobooks and podcasts for Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: All About My Favorite Audiobooks & Podcasts

Audiobooks You Can Listen to For Free!
*because who doesn’t like free entertainment?

  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – Michael Crichton’s books are already hard to put down, but when you stumble upon a perfectly narrated audiobook version, you will spend the next 13 hours with your headphones on, visualizing mad scientists, man-eating dinosaurs, and genetic experiments gone wrong. This was me last summer. My favorite part about this audiobook: William Roberts’s voice is exactly like the one you would hear narrating an actual Jurassic Park ride.
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – I had a Shakespeare professor in college who said that plays are meant to be read aloud, and I wholeheartedly agree with that, especially after listening to this table read of Oscar Wilde’s hilarious play. It’s short (under 2 hours) and I guarantee you will laugh out loud at least once.
  • War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells – The fact that Orson Wells turned this famous science fiction book into a panic-inducing radio broadcast speaks volumes about it’s value as an audiobook. This Librivox version is read by an older British gentleman, and I love the juxtaposition between his calm and proper voice and the chaotic alien invasion he’s narrating.

Favorite Narrators

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I know I will probably shock and disappoint a lot of people when I say this was only an OK read for me. As much as I laughed at the nerdy banter and satiric writing, there was something that kept me from loving this book. BUT, I will have to say that I really appreciated hearing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy narrated by the author himself, Douglas Adams. I’m having a hard time finding a link to that particular version, but I checked it out from the library so I know it exists!
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot – I know there are a lot of people who hate Anne Hathaway (which is crazy to me because my husband and I love her), but I really enjoyed her narration of The Princess Diaries audiobooks. She played Mia in the film versions, and listening to the audiobooks convinced me even more than she was perfect for the role of the awkward teenage princess. I’ve only listened to the first few books in this series, but my local library has the rest so I plan on finishing it sometime!
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These next two are recommendations from my husband (Matt), who listens to more audiobooks than I do!

  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King – Matt and I watched part of the Hulu 11.22.63 miniseries, but I was getting too creeped out by some of the characters, so we stopped and Matt downloaded the audiobook to listen to instead. It wasn’t his favorite book, but he did love the narration by Craig Wasson. He said hearing all the different accents really helped him visualize everything.
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  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – Matt actually listened to this audiobook in French (because it’s the epitome of French literature and when I asked him if he was listening to the English version he pretended to gag), but the narration must have been well done since he talked about this book for weeks after he finished it. Most of that praise probably goes to Victor Hugo himself, but I also know that an audiobook narrator has the power to make or break (or kill) a book.

Podcasts

  • Astonishing Legends – my favorite! I love to put in my headphones and listen to these podcasts when I’m cleaning or commuting to and from work. If you’re into mysterious and unexplainable happenings, this is a great podcast to binge listen to. Some of my favorite topics have been the Oak Island Money Pit, the Dyatlov Pass tragedy, The Knights of the Golden Circle conspiracy, and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.
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  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – The name of this podcast pretty much says it all. Holly and Tracy talk about all sorts of interesting, mysterious, creepy, and legendary historical events and people, and each episode is relatively short (around 30 minutes) so it’s easy to listen to an episode while you’re cooking dinner or walking the dog. Some of my favorite episodes have been about early Danish monarchies and the Jelling Stones, The Great Vowel Shift, The Queen Victoria/Lady Hasting’s scandal, the disappearance of the Sodder children, and some other “history’s mysteries” episodes.
    Stuff You Missed in History Class
  • Rebel Force Radio – This is actually a podcast my husband listens to, but I’ve listened along to a few of them and I can totally see why he loves it so much. The few episodes I listened to were the Star Wars Oxygen podcasts where David Collins and Jimmy Mac analyzed John William’s soundtracks to all 7 of the Star Wars films. I was so impressed by how thoroughly they broke down and analyzed each track. I learned some really amazing facts about how the Star Wars scores add an incredible depth to the films.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is about second chances and changes of heart. Here are ten books that I’ve changed my mind about over the years, for better or for worse.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

 

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – When I first read this novel in 9th grade I must have been going through a brooding, melancholy phase (I was; I was 14) because I really enjoyed this book. When I reread it a couple of years ago, I was baffled at how I could have ever enjoyed a book whose characters were so unlovable. I do give Emily Brontë credit for two things, however: she cultivated my love for classic lit and she wrote a story that was intriguing despite its despicable characters.

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Emma by Jane Austen – Oh, Emma Woodhouse. She’s such a spoiled brat, but I feel that I’ve matured along with her and even though I didn’t like this book as recently as 3 years ago, now I actually enjoy it. I love watching and rewatching the movie and miniseries (except for the Box Hill picnic. I always fast-forward that whole scene).

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Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – I started this series when I was a college freshman and I really enjoyed it at the time. But now it’s one of those stories I no longer feel comfortable advocating or recommending to other readers (especially teens). I know I’m probably stepping on a lot of toes by saying this, but Bella and Edward’s relationship is so unhealthy it’s dangerous. Two things I do like about Twilight, however; are Jasper (<3) and the movie soundtrack.

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Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin – Ok, I loved these books when I first read them back in college. Maybe I identified with Rachel’s personality. But the more I think about it now, the more absurd I find it is to sympathize with someone who has an affair with her best friend’s francé. I will admit, though, that I do like the movie. Probably because it has 3 of my favorite actors.

c6b3625ef9060e64ed4bbc8588586476Anne of Windy Poplars by L. M. Montgomery – It is no secret that I love this series. Anne of Green Gables is my favorite book and I reread several, if not all of the books every other year. Anne of Windy Poplars, however, has always been my least favorite and I typically skip over it. Younger me would say it’s because it was seriously lacking in Gilbert! I think if I reread it now, though, I could appreciate the Gilbert-less events more than my teenage self could.

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The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien – This is a series I did not finish several years ago. I know how beloved it is, but I found it…boring. *waits to be pelted by rocks* I did read all of The Fellowship of the Ring and the first half of The Two Towers and I think that’s giving it a fair chance. Anyway, lately I’ve been having a change of heart and I’m thinking about reading The Two Towers and Return of the King sometime. Mainly it’s because I feel like a bad nerd for not having read the entire series and seen all of the movies!

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I’ve read one novel by John Green and was not impressed. I was actually really into Paper Towns until Margo showed up and then it went seriously downhill for me. But last week a friend encouraged me to give John Green a second chance and he specifically recommended The Fault in Our Stars. I already know the story but I think I’ll try to read it sometime, anyway.

How do you feel about the books on my list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up on a Whim

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is about books I’ve started reading without knowing what they’re about beforehand. This is something I rarely do. Normally I read a book’s synopsis and several reviews before committing to read a book (my reading time is that valuable to me!), but I was able to find some pleasantly surprising impulse reads to share with you today, as well as a few disappointing ones.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Picked Up on a Whim

Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – I started reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s final novel a few months after I finished North and South. I didn’t know anything about it, not even that Gaskell never finished it! But if you’ve seen my review of it you know that I loved this novel, and the miniseries. I’m still dying to know how Gaskell would have finished it, though.

meanttobe

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill – I can honestly say that this is the novel that got me into Young Adult literature a few years ago. I found it through the digital library while searching for similar books to Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments. Both book are now two of my favorites.

Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I actually thought this was another book when I picked it up. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know anything about Me Before You before I started reading it because I may not have wanted to put myself through so many heart wrenching emotions (who am I kidding? I love when stories make me cry!).

Persuasion

Persuasion by Jane Austen – Jane Austen has been my favorite author for a long time, but I hadn’t known anything about Persuasion when I randomly decided to read it while on a road trip a few years ago. It’s one of those books that was incredibly hard for me to put down. I didn’t want to be antisocial sine I was on a trip with a lot of friends, but I definitely spent a lot of time reading (and daydreaming) about Persuasion for the beginning of that trip. I love that a 200 year-old book can still have that affect!

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The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott – This is a book I happened to se on a shelf at the library and decided to check it out even though I had never heard of it before. I think I liked the cover. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator’s voice bothered me at times, but surprisingly that didn’t keep me from enjoying the book. I still think about the ending sometimes, actually.

5290225_origThe Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare – I had an awesome 8th grade English teacher who introduced me to Shakespeare. We read Hamlet and As You Like It, the latter of which we also got to see performed at our local performing arts center. After falling in love with the Bard I decided to read something on my own and randomly picked up The Taming of the Shrew, and that’s when I also found out that it’s the inspiration for 10 Things I Hate About You. I need to reread the play now that I can understand it better. I hope I still like it!

510yzqD6ukL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_ The Princess Bride by William Goldman – I had seen the Princess Bridge movie when I was younger but only remembered that it had a happy ending. When I was a teenager I picked the book up at Barnes and Noble and it was one of those rare occurrences when I actually began reading it as soon as I got home. I was completely shocked by it though, because I thought it had a happy ending and then Wesley DIES. Of course it really does have a happy ending, but I was beginning to think the movie had deceived me.

Here are 3 disappointing books I happened to read on a whim…

15793306Servants’ Hall by Margaret Powell – Originally I was looking for Upstairs Downstairs when I came across this memoir at the library. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it was the basis for one of the love stories on Downton Abbey, I really couldn’t get into this book.

15815333The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – I saw this book at the library one day and remembered that I had added it to my TBR a couple of years ago, but I couldn’t remember why. Sadly I could not enjoy Wolitzer’s writing style and this book became a DNF after 75 pages.

Judge_and_Jury_by_James_PattersonJudge and Jury by James Patterson – Someone gave me a few books to borrow while I was living in France and this was one of them. It was probably my first crime novel and definitely the first book I’ve read by James Patterson. I was really into Judge and Jury until I reached the ending. I did not like the way Patterson wrapped up everything. It was very anti-climatic.

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.

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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.

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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.
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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 :)

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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.

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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:
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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?