Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I Love

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Character Traits that I Love.” Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish but is currently being run by That Artsy Reader Girl. I haven’t participated in a long long time but I love this meme. Today I would like to focus on my top character traits that I enjoy in my Halloween themed reading.

  1. Clever. Who doesn’t love a clever character? But, when you are reading spooky books clever comes in the form of characters like Velma Dinkley, the calm logical mind in the midst of chaos. I am always so thankful for a clever character because I know when faced with a possessed doll or ghostly visitor I would just run around screaming.
  2. Special Talent. I know, I know. It’s a bit silly but I am a sucker for a character with a special talent. For example, Agent Aloysius Pendergast from Relic (and all the amazing books by Preston and Child) is an expert in an eclectic mix of subjects. It makes the books so nuanced and my connection to the character so deep. Also, I wanna be cool like Pendergast!
  3. Humor. Even the scariest of moments in enhanced with humor. Perhaps this is why I love dark-comedy as much as I love light-scary. I mean, Crowley, from Good Omens is such a perfect example. The world is ending you say? Chastise the plants.
  4. Self-DepricatingI love when a strong and smart character is confident enough to make fun of themselves. Peeta from the Hunger Games won me over with his self-depreciating commentary.
  5. Loyalty. I love characters that are loyal to the very end. This is especially true in scary stories where your very life could depend on the loyalty of friends.
  6. Adventurous. This is probably because I am fairly risk-averse but I love an adventurous spirit in a character. Not too much, just enough to step out of their comfort zone. Because, as we all know, too much adventure in a scary story usually leads to death.
  7. Dedicated. Like Jack in The Shining, I am always interested in anyone who is so dedicated to their craft that they are willing to upend their whole life. Obviously, dedication takes all forms…
  8. Naughty. I like when characters are a bit…badly behaved. Nothing terrible, just the sneaking suspicion that they aren’t following the rules. My obsession with The Illuminae Files is only fed by the naughtiness of Kady and Hannah. Oh, and the naughty snark of Aidan? Yes, please!
  9. Weird. There is nothing more fun than a weird character. The ones who march to the beat of their own drummers! The Luna Lovegoods. I love them all.
  10. Kind. This one is a bit harder to find in frighteningly good reads but a kind character will capture my heart forever. A sweet older person who helps the kids avoid the witches, a next door neighbor, it doesn’t matter. These kind characters are the ones that always make me fall in love with the story.

Tell me, please!

What are your favorite character traits?


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall Book Covers


I love Top Ten Tuesdays hosted by The Broke and The Bookish but I have been so busy immersing myself in the Frighteningly Good Reads that I have not had time to participate. But, today – yahoo! – the theme is Top Ten Fall Book Covers. I have that in spades!

Here is a little preview

Now, these covers all scream Halloween to me because the Fall is all about Halloween in my house. I love the leaves and the weather and the change in food the fall brings but, mostly, Hello Halloween!!

FullSizeRenderThis is one of my favorite books for the whole year but I really love it in the fall. I just reach down inside and get in touch with my inner-Witch. You can see my full review here.





fullsizeoutput_d9 This is one of the scariest graphic novels I have ever read. I reviewed it hFrighteningly Good Reads #4ere and besides loving it for freaking me out, isn’t the cover awesome?





FullSizeRenderThe cover of this classic ghost story book is scary but the stories are very mild. This is just fun to have around the house for when someone wants a short spooky story.







I picked this little gem up at the local library book sale and reviewed it heFrighteningly Good Reads #9re. I love the ridiculousness of the cover!






IMG_3075I couldn’t help grabbing this book of a display. Murder, Magic and What She Wore is like a Halloween checklist for me. I cannot wait to read it.






FullSizeRenderI love the Flavia de Luce series so much. Flavia is an amazing character and Alan Bradley always writes great stories. I haven’t read The Dead and Their Vaulted Arches yet but I ja’dore this cover!






I am not a big Disney fan. I have never been to any Disney park and I really don’t want to go. However, my favorite podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class did a feature on the history of the Haunted Mansion and I find myself completely fascinated. Also, I admit, I loved the Eddie Murphy movie. I am excited to see if the story can live up to the cover.




And, I have to give big props to Disney for this cover. Amazing. I’m not even sure I know what the story is about but I am loving that artwork.






FullSizeRenderAnd, speaking of art, look at this cover art. I cannot wait to get into this Graphic Novel by Vera Brosgol.








Finally, for # 10 I love this cover for the children’s book The Supernatural Sleuthing Service. I am almost finished with the book and if it finishes as well as it has been going so far I hope to review it soon!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Five Tuesday: Top 5 Modern Classics

Usually when I participate in a Top Ten Tuesday I follow the Broke and the Bookish. This week their theme is Top Ten Books You Struggled to Get Through (or Didn’t get through at all) and for me, this list would be nothing but books I hated.  I tried to come up with books that I started and struggled with but then adored but I couldn’t really come up with enough to make a list. Still, check out that participants when you get a chance because some of the lists are amazing.

So, instead, I wanted to try the Top Five Tuesday from Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Her theme is Top 5 Modern Classics and you should check out her list. For my purposes I am including books that were published after 1980 (the “modern” part) and that I think everyone should read (the “classic” part) So, here we go in no particular order!


#1 Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, 1996.

I know what you must be thinking, really? But, think about it. This cute little story was the beginning of the chick lit movement which has evolved into booksellers finally understanding that women buy books – lots of books – and that we enjoy a variety of offerings (not just chick lit!). The book itself might be a piece of delightful fluff (I loved it) but it was a turning point for getting women published at a more competitive rate and that makes it a modern classic in my book.


#2 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, 1985. This is the modern marriage of A Scarlet Letter and Canterbury Tales. The fact that this book continues to be “rediscovered” every few years – and is soon to be a major motion picture – is a clear indication of a modern classic for me.




poinsonwoodbible#3 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, 1998.

A white Christian man takes his family to post-colonial Africa and they are totally unprepared for anything. Watching the Father unsuccessfully attempt to change the Congo and the people to match his ideals would make this an important book. But when you consider that the story is told from the perspectives of the Mother and the four daughters, the book is given important social and gender commentary that takes a beautifully told story and makes it a modern classic.




#4 The Color Purple by Alice Walker, 1982

I don’t think this one needs any explanation. Frankly, I was shocked to find that it was published in 1982 as I had just considered it a plain-old classic.




harrypotter#5 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 1997.

Every time.




Tell me, please!

Do you agree with my choices? Do you have any to add?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday


The Broke and the Bookish‘s hiatus from hosting the Top Ten Tuesday continues so I get to pick my own topic. Today I bring you….

The Top Ten Books I was Required to Read but Still Love

The books below were all required summer reading that I would not have read otherwise or were heavily recommended by someone I admire. I hate being told what to read. To this day, if I am pushed too far to read a certain book I will avoid it. These books were all required reading that I went into with a negative attitude. By the end, I loved them all. They are, in no particular order:


#1 The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. My high school English teacher tried to make this all about waking and dreaming (or something) but I knew it was just an epic love story. The lengths Jay went to in an attempt to win back Daisy….sigh.




thecolorpurple#2 The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This was a hard book for me to read but I will never regret meeting Celie. The violence was new to me but it really opened my (then) young high school eyes. I have re-read it several times since and each time I am deeply affected by Celie’s tragedies and triumphs.




the killer angels#3 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. I was required to read this book before my freshman year of college. I have always loved history but the Civil War….meh. But this book took me on the epic adventure that was the Battle of Gettysburg. I remember finishing the book, looking up, blinking and feeling stunned to find myself safe at home.




lordofflies#4 Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I did not want to read a book about boys who loose their minds when unsupervised. I think this one was before freshman year of high school. I figured this would be fairly boring. Wow. These kids loose their minds. Poor Piggy. This book is still classic novel I casually reference the most as in, “Those kids are one conch short of reenacting Lord of the Flies.”



littleprincess#5 A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A librarian I admired recommended this book to me. I know she meant it gently but I wanted to please her so much that I knew I had to read the book. I didn’t want to read it. I had seen (and enjoyed) the Shirley Temple movie version and I wanted to move along to something else. But, read it I did. I still love Sara Crewe and her riches to rags story.




#6 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My Mom has a magical memory associated with this series and has always encouraged me to read the books. I hated the whole idea and I really despised the television show. To prove to her that I was right and she was wrong, I read the first book. Sigh. Mothers are always right. The whole series is wonderful.




civilaction#7 A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. This was required reading before my first year of law school. Doesn’t it look bleak and boring? Well, it isn’t. The author managed to takes years of boring motions and court rulings and turn it into a procedural drama. More importantly, it is a really good look at what a class action lawsuit looks like from the civil litigation attorney’s perspective.




#8 Separate Peace by John Knowles. This book was required summer reading during high school, maybe before sophomore year. I was beginning to realize that friendships were complicated things and this book captured that feeling exactly.  I didn’t want to read it and now I can never let it go. I still have my used and battered copy.





#9 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. My Dad would often refer to this book as the, “greatest story of revenge ever told.” He didn’t make me read it, but I didn’t want to let him down when he recommended it. Obligation quickly turned to excitement. Ol’ Dumas can really tell a story.






#10. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. That’s right people. I didn’t want to read it. My Mom called me one night when I was in college and recommended it, heavily. Of course, I told her that she had no idea how much reading I was doing in college (she has a Masters in Communication and I was being stupid). Did she really think I had time for a children’s book?!? Thanks Mom. Sorry Mom. Let’s all say it together, “Mothers are always right.”


So, there you have it. Books that started as obligations and became treasured friends. Do you have any books that started as requirements and became relished reading?