Posts Tagged ‘Best of’

10. Tiny Library
This blog is mostly reviews with a few giveaways. I enjoy the fact that most of the reviews are from books I am not familiar with, so this blog is great for tuning me in to books I might never have heard of otherwise.

9. http://irmasworldatuncg.blogspot.com/
Though technically not a book blog, per se, Irma’s World is the blog that is run by the fabulous librarians at the campus main library where I attended both college and graduate school- The University of NC @ Greensboro. I loved everything about this campus (which is why I elected to go to the same school for graduate school that I went to for college) especially Walter Clinton Jackson Library.

8. The Broke and The Bookish
These are the guys that host this TTT fabulous meme. In addition to several other bitchin’ memes (my favorite is Cocktail and a Conversation Wednesdays) these guys also post reviews of books I am either extreamly interested in reading or have already read. There are several contributors to this blog so the levels and genres of books reviewed is very varied. They also host several giveaways and they update often.

7. That’s What She Read
Okay, Okay, I will admit that I was first drawn to this blog solely for the awesome title. However, after exploring it for a while, I discovered that it’s actually a really gnarly blog! I love the layout and the header is TOO CUTE! I love her selection of books and she updates often,usually, every day.

6. A Room of One’s Own
Jillian is SUCH a great blogger. She is my blogger role model. The layout of this blog is not too overwhelming, but with enough graphics and words to keep you interested. This blog is slammin’ because Jillian is so involved (this is the blog/blogess that hosts the Classics Club that I am apart of. See tab at the top of this page for the page on that). In addition to The Classics Club this blog also has a ton of read-alongs and excellently written reviews.

5. Dead White Guys
I started following the DWG blog because I first started following Amanda on Twitter (I found her through Book Riot who she also writes for). This blog is so funny; I adore her writing style. Even though it’s mostly about, well, dead white guys (read: Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Poe, Dickens, etc.) it is so modernized mainly because of all the hilarious gifs and illustrations that she places in there that fit the posts so perfectly.

4. Roof Beam Reader
Well I had to include a dude on this list (because dude book bloggers are very few and very far between) and RBR is the best. I actually just looked at my list of blogs I follow and I don’t have any other dudes on there… Hmm.. Even if I did though, I’d still pick this one. RBR is cool because he is the fellow that hosted the Austen in August Reading Event I participated in last month. In addition to awesome reading events, RBR also has a beautifully laid out blog with quality reviews (I’m pretty sure I gathered from one of his tweets that he’s pursuing a PhD in literature).

3. Sarah Reads Too Much
This was the first book blog I ever followed. I don’t remember how I discovered Sarah (maybe I was reading reviews of a particular book one day and stumbled upon her blog) but I am so glad that I did. She offers great reviews of books I’m super interested in so I am always excited when she posts about a book I’ve not yet discovered. Plus, she’s awesome because she is going for her MLIS degree starting this fall and I wish her the bestest best of luck!

2. The Story Girl
This blog has possibly the best look to it of any of the blogs that I follow (book and otherwise). This blog offers great reviews of books I’m interested in and she participates in a lot of cool memes (she’s doing the RIPVII meme, too!) and, best of all, she loves Anne of Green Gables!

1. Musings of a Bookshop Girl
This is my favorite blog to read. I check it everyday for updates and I get really excited when there is one. Through this blog I discovered the RIPVII reading event. Ellie is an Englander who owns a bookstore with her mom- I. Love. That! Really awesome reviews of super cool books can be found at this blog and she participates in fun memes.

So, I hope I have lead you to discover some cool new blogs. It was so hard for me to pick just 10, there are so many blogs that I enjoy reading, but these are the 10 I wanted to share with my readers. Do you have any favorites that I need to check out ASAP?! Leave a link and I will look forward to discovering some new blogs of my own!

‘Til Next Time!


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 Some things are melting now, well what’s it gonna take till my baby’s alright? -Tori Amos

On GoodReads I challenged myself to read sixty-one books this year. Tonight, December 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM I reached my goal. My (possible) last book of 2011 was The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. (side note, I highly recommend you watch that interview with Bohjalian that can be found by following that link. It was great to hear how he came up with the idea for the book and how he himself had moved into a creepy house much like the Linton’s do in his novel.) I have given this book three stars on GoodReads which means I liked it. I did. I liked it. Right up until the epilogue. I sat for a moment thinking about what kind of post I wanted to do tonight. Perhaps one expressing my ire at poor epilogues. How can one futuristic look at the lives of beloved characters ruin an entire story? I’m not sure how, but I know that it sure can.

I came into the office and recorded my book on GoodReads as read. I was then greeted with a congratulatory box stating that I had reached my goal. I then decided to look at all of the books that I have read over this past year. Looking at the covers brings back a specific memory of exactly where I was at (physically) and where I was (emotionally) when I was reading that book. The first book I read in 2011 was To The Lighthouse by Virgina Woolf. This brings back memories of last Christmas at my parent’s house. It was a horrific holiday. I was snowed in and missed two trains that were to take me to see my boyfriend who I was in a very long-distance relationship with at the time. I spent too much time cooped up with my parents and as a result we fought. Big time. I retreated into my bedroom (slamming the door and screaming as if I were right back in high school again despite the fact that I am a 26 year old adult) with the Ramsay’s. I didn’t care for this book at all. In fact it is still sitting in a basket in my old bedroom at my parent’s house. I gave it two stars. As I look back at the reviews of it on GoodReads I have to wonder if it was truly the book that I didn’t care for, or was it the prisoner-like way I was being held against my will and being treated?

I read the entire Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson (read my post on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo here) this year. I remember reading all of them in my second-story bedroom in coastal, NC. The first I read as a borrowed copy from G’s mom. I started it on the road back from Raleigh where we spent New Year’s Eve. I remember reading it in G’s jeep as we crossed the entire state. I read the second two as borrowed copies from the library. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest was read in late spring, mostly on the beach.

I read the last two books of the Hunger Games trilogy this year. Both on my Nook that I got for my birthday in March (read about that adventure here).

I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in May. It took me five days to read it. I read it in the midst of an emotional crisis. I remember finishing it on the beach on a breezy, cool day by myself. I remember people walking by, but I don’t remember anything specific about those people because I was so engrossed in the book. I was alone as I read it. I went to the end of the island and turned off my phone and I faced my towel towards the horizon and I devoured the atrocity that was the medical field.

This year, I am selecting The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as my book of the year. I am selecting it for many reasons and before I do an entire post on it I feel the need to collect and focus my thoughts on the book a little bit more. However soon, look for my 2011 book-of-the-year post. Until then, revisit last year’s post on The Help which I selected as my 2010 book of the year.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Christmas, Have a blessed new year. Until Next Time…

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“I listened wide-eyed, stupid. Glowing by her voice in the dim light. If chocolate was a sound, it would’ve been Constantine’s voice singing. If singing was a color, it would’ve been the color of that chocolate.”

We had a “huge snowstorm” yesterday (barely 3 inches, but here in the costal south that’s a LOT) which led me to be out of school all day so needless to say, I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I was clicking around on NPR and saw an article that they had where the people affiliated with NPR had selected their choices of the best books for 2010. Since January 2011 just started I thought that I might blog and throw in my pick for the best book of 2010.

I have selected The Help Kathryn Stockett as the best book of 2010. Okay okay okay, I know that the book came out in 2009 but I did not read it until 2010 and it seemed to be such a very popular book last year. As I am writing this I just checked the NYT Bestsellers List and The Help is still standing strong on that list at #11 (January 11, 2011 6:40 PM EST). I am also excited to report that the theatrical version is set to be released on August 12 of this year. I read this book over the summer as I was moving from Greensboro, NC to the coast (about a 4.5 hour move). I was in the passenger seat heading back to Greensboro after a few days at the coast and my boyfriend was driving as I was reading this book. For several minutes we had been silently going down the highway when a minivan came up next to us and the wife was also reading The Help. She pointed this out to us and we both gave it a thumbs up. That’s when I knew it was a popular book! The book brought us two strangers traveling down I-40 together just for a split second. The book brought the characters and the different segregated races together for a lifetime.

The quote that I selected to start this post off is the narrarator, Skeeter Phelan reminiscing about her families former maid Constantine who rasised Skeeter. Constaintine was Skeeter’s friend, mother, confidant. Skeeter is a character who is so precocious and driven in her beliefs that you know from the start that that despite any hardships that may befall her, and believe me there are plenty, through the book her ending will be a triumphant one.

Skeeter is 22 years old and has just returned to her small southern town after graduating from Ole Miss. Skeeter has returned to a very unwelcoming situation. Her mother is a pain (as mothers almost always are) who wants the brilliantly talented Skeeter to get married despite the fact that a talent for words and writing ooze from Sketer. To make matters worse, Constaintine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone or the circumstances behind her sudden and (to Skeeter) unexpected disapperance. Despite the fact that Skeeter is our narrarator and the character in the story that I could most relate to, my favorite character undoubtedly is the sage-like Aibileen. Aibileen has lost her own son to an unfortunate and preventable accident. Raising her seventeenth white child Aibileen becomes the mother to this child that she can no longer be for her own son. Aibileen is such a rounded character. At times Aibileen is funny, wise, careless, thoughtful, and above all heartbreaking. Aibileen works for Skeeter’s best friend Miss Hilly. Miss Hilly is one of those characters that you wish was real, just so you could kick their teeth out.

The book centers on Skeeter’s need to connect to the silent Constantine again by telling the stories of all of the maids in the town. Though this just about the most dangerous thing that she and the maids can do, they all realize that it is something that they must do. While composing the histories of the towns help Skeeter grows up and becomes her own person, WITHOUT a wedding ring, I might add! She experiences heartbreak, loss, fear, ostracism, shame and disappointment. In one fashion or another, each of the maids as well as the other society women that make up Skeeter’s group of friends do as well.

The book is well written and it takes into account the views of each character. The book got under my skin and it made me want to be a part of the history much in the same way that Skeeter was. I would recommend this book to anyone. This book is a great one for book clubs. The discussion that can come from the action and the issues in the book is plentiful. Above all, this book is about connections made and friendships savored. I hope that you love it as much as I did!

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