Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Blogger

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: top ten reasons I love being a book blogger.

1. Having somewhere to direct people who need book recommendations (one of the reasons I started in the first place!)

2. Guest-blogging! (I want to do more! If you do guest blogging, send me an email!)

3. All of the awesome people I’ve met through my blog

4. Learning new things about people I already know based on shared (or not-shared) book preferences

5. Getting the 411 on new books early from people who get ARCs and/or attend book conferences

6. The book blogging community is so, sooo nice

7. Having a readership of people from all over the world (it’s seriously so cool looking at your stats and seeing people from Russia, Brazil, India, China, logging on and seeing my words!)

8. Doing fun weekly memes like Top Ten Tuesday

9. Getting to participate in Book Exchange Secret Santas

10. Having a place to write down my thoughts and keep track of everything I read

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things on my Reading Wishlist

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: top ten things on my reading wishlist. These are topics I wish authors would write about, settings, time periods, etc.

1. 1890-1900 time period: It’s a time period I’m dealing with now in my own writing and I wish there was more to read that showed how different authors dealt with this period.

2. Colorado: There aren’t a lot of books set in Colorado

3. Dystopian societies: All dystopia, all the time

4. Genetic engineering: Especially in humans…I just find it so fascinating!

5. Atlantis: I love books that deal with the lost city!

6. Egypt: I really enjoy books set in Egypt

7. Modern/ historical thrillers: Think DaVinci Code…someone finds a lost relic, mystery, etc. from hundreds of years ago and things get crazy.

8. Animal evolution: I love books that deal with animals other suddenly evolving into something new or someone discovering an animal that has evolved on its own, somewhere deep in the jungle, that is intelligent and/or human like.

9. Anything that feels slightly Gothic in tone or style. It may be over-the-top by today’s standards, but I love it.

10. Boarding school setting: I just find it so interesting!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Goals for 2014

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: top ten goals for 2014. I chose to do a combo of bookish and non-bookish goals.

1. Read forty books (My goal for 2013 was fifty and I fell short of that)

2. Get published in a top literary magazine

3. Win a writing contest

4. Learn to swim properly (this has been a goal for awhile and I just finally need to do this)

5. Take a vacation (!)

6. Finish editing my book and start trying to find an agent

7. Finish the first draft of my next book

8. Run another 10K

9. Find a few more easy, go-to recipes I can make for work night dinners

10. Find one new (or new-to-me) author that I love

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things I’m Thankful For

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. In honor of Thanksgiving on thursday, today’s theme is top ten things I’m thankful!

1. My continued good health

-After getting pneumonia at the end of 2010 and needing a good year and a half for my lungs to truly recover, I am so happy that I’m healthy enough to work out as much as I want (though maybe not as much as I could) and that I now have strong lungs again that allow me to run an entire 5k!

2. My awesome and loving parents

-If I had a million lifetimes, I don’t think I could ever adequately thank them for all they do for me!

3. My amazing boyfriend

-A year ago, he wasn’t in my life. And now I can’t imagine life without him. I love you, Austin!

4. My sweet dog, Elliot, and my baby boy horse, Escobar

-No words. I just love them and am grateful to have them. Especially with Escobar being hurt these last few months, it’s really made me appreciate him all the more. Having had him more than ten years, it’s easy to take the constants in your life for granted.

5.  My apartment

-This year I moved into my own place and it has been amazing. Sure, it’s a lot of work to do all the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of things when they break, but I wouldn’t trade it back.

6. Being able to write

-The older I get the more I realize that being able to write and string a good sentence together is a rare gift that is usually greatly undervalued, especially in the Western World. Where high literacy rates have been the norm for many, many years, people don’t think of the ability to write (and conversely read) as anything all that special. But the more people you meet who struggle to write a short letter or even an email, the more you realize what a valuable skill it is.

7. My friends, near and far

-My friends seem to get further away, but the love doesn’t diminish. My best friends are in Colorado, Washington D.C., San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even all the way in Zurich. While I wished they all lived near me so I can see them everyday, I love having a large extended family all over the world!

8. Helping people with my skills

-Whether it’s reading someone’s story and giving my opinion, writing articles for others, editing someone’s writing project, teaching them about social media, or Photoshopping a picture for them, I love, love helping and teaching others.

9. Living in San Diego

-I might not have liked it when I first moved here, but now I don’t want to leave! We might not have four seasons, but it’s enough. And besides, it’s nice living in a place where other people like to vacation..it makes catching up with friends and family easier!

10. Being able to keep a blog on the internet where I write about writing and reading and books and literature and get to talk to all these cool people all over the world!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books To Recommend To a Reluctant Reader

As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: top ten books you would recommend to someone. I choose to compile a list to recommend to reluctant readers of all ages.

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

-I couldn’t compile this list without this series.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

-This has turned a lot of younger teens into readers. Controversial maybe, but if it gets people reading and searching for more (e.g. the YA dystopia explosion), then that can only be a good thing in my opinion.

3. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

-Say what you will about it, but it gets people to read.

4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

-An enduring classic, it’s straightforward, imaginative, interesting, and thought-provoking enough for older teens and adults.

5. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

-The first twenty pages or so are difficult, but what I really love about this book in particular is that, as it’s modeled after Chaucer’s The Canterbury tales, you get a range of different stories. And in this case, those stories are pretty well representative of different genres, which makes this a decent starting point. Also it’s intriguing, imaginative, and just awesome.

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

-Okay, so this might be good for a very specific reader. Yes it’s sad, but before it gets really heartbreaking it’s interesting, fun, beautiful, and keeps you turning the pages. This is a good book for a person ready to be introduced to the power books have to move people.

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

-A good one for adults. Picoult’s are well-done, thoughtful, and easy-to-follow. Also her style is similar to a lot of other authors in a similar genre, setting a new reader up with a vast realm of possibilities.

8. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

-Dessen is a great YA author and this novel is one of my favorites of hers, as well as being the first one I read.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

-More of the traditional style of novel. This book finds meaning in the simple and the not-so simple. Whether it’s Scout’s fear of Boo Radley or Atticus in the courtroom, there are many opportunities for a reader to be drawn in.

10. The Passage by Justin Cronin

-A lot of these titles I’ve picked supposes the reader isn’t used to reading and maybe possesses only an average vocabulary. This book is for the educated reader who for whatever reason, doesn’t really enjoy reading. Interesting, imaginative, sweeping, dramatic, beautiful, scary, haunting…this is one of my favorites.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unusual Character Names

As always TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: Top Ten Unusual Character Names. I love names and I love collecting names and/or making up new names. So I absolutely loved this TTT!

1. Nymeria (A Game of Thrones)

2. Katniss (Hunger Games)

3. Ellaria (A Game of Thrones)

4. Cassia (Matched)

5. Kiran (Private) <–Personal favorite!

6. Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird)

7. Lyra (His Dark Materials)

8. Thibault/Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet)

9. Eveline (Dubliners)

10. Aramis (The Three Musketeers)

11. Alma (Redwall)

12. Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)

13. Dorian (The Picture of Dorian Grey)

14. Aslan (The Chronicles of Narnia)

15. Daenerys (A Game of Thrones)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools

***Note: I acidentally switched this week and last week’s TTT topic! *** As always, TTT is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic: Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools. Interestingly, but probably not at all surprisingly, most of these books have occupied spots on the Banned Book Lists.

1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

2. Native Son by Richard Wright

3. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doestoevsky

5. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

7. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

9. Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov

10. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

If you read any of these books in school or have put them on your syllabi, I’d love to hear about it!