Top Ten Books I Read in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

My Most Excellent Year

1. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

This. Book. Was. Awesome. Like, literal paperback perfection. Asdlfjkdfs.

2. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (actually the entire Gallagher Girls series, which is made of awesome)

SOMEBODY GET ME MY PAPER BAG. This book was possibly my favorite out of the series because of the intensity and suspense of it all, and the book just sucked me in and spat me back out at the end blubbering and leaking feelings all over the place.

The Mad Scientist's Daughter

3. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

This was just beautiful written and made me cry and uuuuugh.

Weather Witch

4.  Weather Witch by Shannon Delaney


Jane Eyre

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This is now one of my all-time favorite classics. The love story and self-discovery are amazing.

Fuck It

6. F*ck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way by John C. Parkin

This really made me think and question everything and I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to make the reader uncomfortable.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

7. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Beautiful, beautiful book that made me cry and laugh and go through every emotion under the sun.

Shattered Glass

8. Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander

Possibly one of my favorite LGBT romances. The main character is just so human and unique and complex, and the entire story is so fantastic asdfajksdlfj.

Queens Consort

9. Queens Consort: England’s Medieval Queens by Lisa Hilton

This book really got me into medieval history and introduced me to the realities of being a female monarch in medieval times.


10. Ash by Malinda Lo

Okay, so it wasn’t perfect, but Malinda is a FANTASTIC writer and it was just lovely to read. Also, Kaisa is a badass and I want to marry her. *fangirls*

Those were my picks for 2013. I can’t wait to find more fantastic reads in 2014! Here’s to a great new year filled with good books and friends and adventures and general awesomeness. Happy New Year!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!


1. Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) by Aimee Carter


2. Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A. G. Howard

The Nightmare Affair

3. The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1) by Mindee Arnett

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of A Creative Life

4. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of A Creative Life by Dani Shapiro


5. Huntress by Malinda Lo

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Archived

8. The Archived (The Archived, #1) by Victoria Schwab

Some Quiet Place

9. Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place #1) by Kelsey Sutton

These Broken Stars

10. These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman

You have no idea how hard it was to narrow it down to ten. NO. IDEA. I was looking through my wishlist on Goodreads and I was just like, “Shit, how do people do this?” But I managed it, and I am absurdly proud of myself. Somebody give me a medal.

Meanwhile it’s Christmas Eve. AHHHHHHH!!! Happy holidays, my loves!

Love, Sam

Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

Game of Thrones

1. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I’ve started this like 3 times but never got around to finishing it. I’ve watched most of the first season, so I know the basic plot, but I did like what I read and I want to get to the end this time.

Peter Pan

2. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

I’ve had this book for years but never got around to reading it despite the fact that I adore all things Peter Pan.


3. Proxy by Alex London

I’ve been wanting to read this for so long and I finally happened across it in my local used bookstore for like half the price it would’ve cost me for a new copy. Praise the literary gods.

Anyone But You

4. Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

I love retellings. Like, LOVE them. And anything involving food and/or Shakespeare is awesome, so this Romeo & Juliet foodporn is the stuff of the gods in my opinion.


5. Legend by Marie Lu

I’ve actually had this for almost two years (I bought it at Powell’s in Portland) but I never got around to reading it. With the release of Champion, I figure it’s as good a time as any to catch up.


6. Stormbringer by Shannon Delany

If you saw my review yesterday of the first novel in this series, Weather Witch, you know that I am now obsessed. It’s Philadelphian steampunk awesomesauce, so when the sequel, Stormbringer, comes out on January 14, I will be first in line.

Henry VIII: The King and His Court

7. Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir

I checked this out of the library months ago, so I really need to get past the first 50 pages. Alison Weir is awesome, so I’m looking forward to it even if Henry was a jackass.

Moll Flanders

8. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This is part of my senior project and I’m pretty pumped to read about 17th century prostitutes. It’s not your everyday book.

The Maze Runner

9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’m so late for this, but the movie is coming out soon (starring my spirit animal, Dylan O’Brien) so I’m going to try to at least read this one and maybe the sequel if I can.

The Book Thief

10. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I got maybe 100 pages into this before I put it down and forgot about it. I loved what I read but I think because it was a school assignment I couldn’t enjoy it like I wanted to. But with the movie on the way and a new year looming, I want to see what everyone has been raving about.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to My 13-Year-Old Sister

Books for Vivienne

Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

1. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

I cannot express how much I love this book. It’s universal and I think my sister would not only love it, but also learn from it.

2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

If you’ve been on my blog before, you have probably become aware of the fact that this book is very dear to me. It showed me the magic in writing, reading, and life. Even if my sister doesn’t get as much out of it as I did, I still think it’s a gorgeous book that always reminds me that life doesn’t have to be complicated or unhappy if you just look for the simplicity and the goodness in all the little things that make up each day.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne taught me to always dream and be myself. *tears up*

4. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Actually, the entire Gallagher Girls series is made of awesome. And I know that reading this will only make my sister even more bummed that she has to go to normal high school next year, but the books are so fabulous I don’t think she’ll really care.

5. Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski

I can’t help it. I just absolutely adored this series. It was so fun and I had a blast reading it.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

I’m planning on putting my children to sleep on The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Obviously I want my sister to read Harry Potter.


7. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

I adored this series when I was thirteen. Just the thought of being able to live inside a story gives me thrills.


8. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

This. Book. Is. Awesome.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

9. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This series is the best. She’ll love it.

Pride and Prejudice

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I mustn’t allow my little sister to neglect her Jane Austen. It would be very remiss of me if I did, and here’s to hoping that she will realize that the boys she will be in high school with next year can in no way hold a candle to Mr. Darcy and therefore aren’t worth her time. (Can you tell I’m terrified of my baby sister dating? Or am I hiding it pretty well?)

I’d love to know about your own book recommendations (not necessarily for your little sister) so drop a line in the comments and I’ll pop over to see! Happy reading!

Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween

Top 10 Tuesday Halloween

***Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!

I’ve linked everything to Goodreads, so just click if you’re interested!

Harry Potter pumpkin

1. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

I don’t think this even needs explaining. Witches and wizards and dark forests and castles and pumpkin juice sort of embody Halloween. Plus, is there ever a bad time to read Harry Potter?

2. The Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esmé Raji Codell

I’ve loved this book since I was young. It integrates fairytales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but mainly it’s just this really cute story about a young witch figuring out where she fits in, and in the meantime, there’s some hilarity and chaos.

3. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

It’s a musical AND a book, aka my two favorite things. I actually read this book over the weekend because I saw it in the bookstore and had a “Yes! I need you!” moment. It’s sort of vaguely creepy but also lovely and mysterious and the narration makes it a very charming read.

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

To be honest, I didn’t like this book. For one, while I have a weak spot for beautiful writing, Shelley just goes on. And on. And on. And by the end of it I actually threw down the book and scowled for a good hour. But still. It’s a classic for a reason, so I’m sure there are plenty of people who would enjoy it, plus the scary/creepy factor is definitely there.

5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

I adored this book when I read it for the first time. I haven’t read it in years, but it’s still an old favorite. Kit, the main character, is a serious badass, and the whole Puritan background contrasts against that and highlights her fiery, exotic nature. It’s not really scary, but I still love it.

6. The Magic in Manhattan series by Sarah Mlynowski

This series is kind of awesome. Teenage witches are one of my favorite things, and I love all the fun and madness and coming-of-age hilarity.

7. Edgar Allan Poe

Poe needs no explanation. He’s friggin’ POE.

8. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman*

So I haven’t read this, but I adored the movie and I love the premise of little soon-to-be witches going to live with their eccentric aunts and growing up and living their weird lives.

9. Coraline by Neil Gaiman*

Who doesn’t love Coraline?

10. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Double, double, toil in trouble! I mean, witches and murder and prophecies are the stuff Halloween is made of, and it’s got a nice, dark vibe that’s not precisely spooky, but not exactly a walk through a field of daisies either.

Also, if you’re looking for something Halloween-y to watch, my personal favorites include Hocus Pocus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Bewitched, Harry Potter, The Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, and The Phantom of the Opera, among many others.

If you have some good Halloween books/movies to suggest, I’d love to know about them! My bookcase hasn’t toppled over yet, so that means I still have room for more books! Let me know your favorites in the comments below.

See you Thursday!

*I haven’t actually read this (yet), but I’m still recommending it based on friends’ recommendations and what I know about the book.
Credits: Graphics courtesy of Obsidian Dawn.

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten Character Names I Love

1. Gavriella

I know it’s kind of vain to have one of your own characters on this list, but I really like the way this name rolls off the tongue and it’s pretty without being too prissy. (Or at least that’s how I feel.)

2. Jace

Tawny eyes. Angel with a bad-boy streak. Total badass with a love complex. ‘Nuff said.

3. Fitzwilliam Darcy

I named my bloody CAR after this man. Darcy is an iconic name that instantly makes me think love, devotion, happiness, gushy girly feelings.

4. Coraline

I don’t even know, it’s just pretty and quirky and makes me feel good.

5. Dickon

The Secret Garden was a huge part of my childhood, and Dickon just inspires this feeling of hope and life and magic that instantly cheers me up.

6. Annabeth

Okay, so Percy Jackson isn’t, like, my favorite series ever or anything, although it was a fun read, but this name is just so bloody perfect. It’s sort of frilly but at the same time so down-to-business, and I love the names Anna and Beth individually so together=love.

7. Jesse Tuck

I mean, come on, Tuck Everlasting. How can I not love this name? It’s simple but romantic and meaningful and inspiring.

8. Harry Potter

Does this even need an explanation? HARRY. POTTER.

9. Wendy

Wendy Darling is basically the most perfect name ever. J. M. Barrie created a name that’s so iconic, it’s hard not to love it. Wendy is someone everyone wants to be, Wendy is the child that got to taste magic and adventure, Wendy is the girl who flew to the stars and back.

10. Gatsby

I can’t even…how do you explain why you love a name? I love this name because of what it brings to mind: passion, power, dreams, eternal hope, a slow fall into impossibilities. It’s a name that everyone knows, universal and timeless.

***Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, with a new Top Ten prompt every week. Check it out!