Top 5 Wednesday: Children and Middle-Grade books

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is top 5 books for the Children.

This is an excellent topic. It made me think about the books that made me fall in love with reading. What are the books that I will give to my friends’ children as they get older (Other than those 7 books about the Boy Wizard)? This list became a list of books I read in 3rd grade. From the looks of it, I read approximately 700 books when I was in 3rd grade. Go 9 year old me.

 Harriet, the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Okay, first of all, I just now when getting the cover off Goodreads that this is a series of books and I never knew that and I’m kind of sad about that. You’d better believe when I gift this to my friend’s child this Christmas, she’s getting all 3.

This book was assigned reading in third grade. The movie with Michelle Trachtenberg and Rosie O’Donnell came out around the same time. So it was, like, a thing in 1996. I loved this book. This book made me pick up a notebook and start writing.  I mean, I may have missed the main point of the book by doing that, but I might not be doing this if I didn’t read Harriet, the Spy. Considering this book came out in 1964 and held up in the mid-nineties when I read it, I think this would still hold the imagination of the next generation.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I would safely bet that I read 20 of these books, in 2nd and 3rd grades. These stories (according to Wikipedia) have been around since the 1920’s, and book #145 was published in 2016. Between books 69 and 70 there is a 50-year gap, and I’m going to take a leap that Gertrude Chandler Warner didn’t write the books after book number 69 in 1948 (mostly because she passed way in 1971). All the ones I read were in the first 69. The later ones have all been published after I moved on to a different series.

These books are about 4 siblings that have no family and live in a train car at the start of the first book. Pieces of these books still stand out, like the youngest sibling’s chipped pink cup. They are sent to live with a grandfather in the first books, and from there they go on crime solving adventures. I feel like these books were in the same category as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. There were kids that read those and kids that read The Boxcar Children. I read The Boxcar Children. I’m starting to think these books made me fall in love with crime stories.

 

Ramona Quimby by Beverly Clearly

I was looking for Ramona Quimby age 8 and discovered that it wasn’t the first book in the series, so I have included the first book as the cover featured. I probably read all of them, but Age 8 stands out the most in my head.

These are books about an energetic, odd little girl, Ramona, and her older sister. I think I was supposed to relate to Beezus, but I found something to connect to with Ramona as I sat in the reading corner and gobbled a bunch of these books up.

 

 

Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

This is another set of stories similar to Ramona and Beezus but about brothers. Fudge is a more popular/ gets more attention younger brother of the main character, and I remember really relating to that because my brother was always able to be the center of attention while I wasn’t ever like that, even as little kids. I was always known as my younger brother’s sister. Even now if town I say my name and they say “Oh, {my brother’s name} sister?”

Bonus, it’s written by Judy Blume and is there a better author for children than Judy Blume? {The answer is no btw}

 

The Little House books By Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books. Okay, so I was reading these books (there are 9 of them) when I discovered Harry Potter, and I didn’t finish the series. I started reading them in 3rd grade and loved the story. I related to Laura and it there was a bit of adventure, and I knew it was a true story.  They are fun stories, interesting historical stories about what it was like to live in the new American West in the early 20th century.

 

 

 

SPECIAL BONUS BOOK!

So I’ve decided that with the top 5 and top 10 lists that I will add a Special Bonus! where I ask my friend Jen what she would add to the list and include that in the post.

Jen’s suggestion for books that got her into reading is a series that I have never read, but I remember my friends in elementary school reading.

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Redwall by Brian Jacques

So I read a Wikipedia article about these books and I’m still not 100% sure what these books are, but from what I gather they are books the talk about medieval times but with mice. Which, honestly, sounds pretty cool. Jen recommends them. There is magic and talking animals (except some talking horses), elements of supernatural and ghosts. It sounds pretty fantastic.

What books you remember reading in 3rd grade? Did they set up your reading choices for like like mine apparently did?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday- Books for Slytherins

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is books that represent your Hogwarts house. I am a very proud Slytherin, so my book recommendations this week are for my housemates in Green and Silver.

Before I delve into this topic, I must ask a question. Why is Harry Potter on every single list of books for your Hogwarts house? I mean, like, if you know your Hogwarts house I’m going to take a wild guess that you’ve read Harry Potter but anyway, back to the post!


Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.

So, fun story, I am a Slytherin, in researching a little bit for what books really represent the ambitious, cunning, and resourceful nature of Slytherins, I discovered I read much more like a Gryffindor-Hufflepuff hybrid. So that was interesting, but anyway, here are the Top Five books I think represent Slytherin.

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Bossypants by  Tina Fey. So when I think famous people who are Slytherins, one of the first that pop into my head is Tina Fey. After listening to the audiobook of her memoir, I am very confident that I am correct in my assumption that Tina Fey is a sister in Green and Silver. She is ambitious and worked extremely hard to get to be where she is. And to be honest, when I think about Tina Fey one of the first things that pops into my mind is the Weekend Update segment where she said: “Bitches get stuff done…” And to me, that’s what she represents.  This is an excellent book, a touch dated at this point as memoirs can be as they age, but still just an excellent listen and probably read as well.

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I know what you’re thinking: “Deanna’s recommending Heist Society by Ally Carter? I never saw that coming!” This is the 4th time this series has made a top 5 or top 10 list of mine, and I am not sorry. This series is about a group of teens that use their cleverness to outsmart adults and police and Robin Hood their way through life. The gang knows how to use their skills to their advantage, and if that isn’t a Slytherin thing than nothing is Slytherin. These books are fun, fast reads that I just love. Kat Bishop is Slytherin through and through.

 

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The Pretty Little Liars series by  Sara Shepard. I have only read the first two books, and it was, like a thousand years ago, but I am fairly obsessed with the TV show (thanks, Jen!) which I know is super different but whatever. With it coming to an end in the next month, it’s hard not to have these girls come to mind when thinking about the traits of Slytherins. The mind games these girls play and that get played on them is straight up Slytherin glory.

 

 

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I chose The Princess Diarist, because this Carrie Fisher memoir is about Princess Leia, and Princess Leia is a Slytherin.  Carrie Fisher, for me, is more of a combination of Hogwarts houses and I’m not sure exactly where to put her, but the General, she’s a Slytherin. A take charge, rescue the boys that came to rescue her, someone has to save our skins, badass that Slytherin is. I have seen a lot of discussion about what houses the Star Wars Characters are in, but cunning, resourcefulness, and Self-Preservation are the traits that stand out in a Slytherin. And Leia is all that.

 

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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Completely honest, I have never read this book, but it’s on every single “BOOKS FOR SLYTHERINS!” list I’ve seen this week, and I feel like I need to mention it and add to my TBR pile. I think I was supposed to read it in college but never did. From reading the description, it sounds like it contains some resourceful, forward-thinking, clever characters.

 

 

 

And that’s my list, what do you think? If you’re a Slytherin what different books would you recommend?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday- Favorite Side Characters.

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is our favorite non-main characters. Those characters that although the story isn’t about them, we love them anyway.

I, personally, have always had a fondness for side characters. With the exceptions of Dean Winchester and Batman, I’m pretty sure all of my favorite characters are not the ones the main narrative is about. So, let us begin.

1. Spencer Martin from Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlet series

So I have this cat.

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And his name is Dr. Spencer Reid. However, he is named after several Spencers. One of them, being Spencer from Suite Scarlet. When I got Spence, there were a weird amount of fictional Spencers in my life. 2010 was a Spencer heavy year in media.

Spencer Martin is the silly, actor, older brother of the title character. He’s a voice of reason, while also being the character dispenses this advice atop a unicycle. He’s holding secret rehearsals for a full stage performance of Hamlet in the basement of this parents’ hotel. Spencer Martin reminds me of a very good friend of mine from college. He’s just this weird, goofy guy that’s also so smart and thoughtful and takes care of siblings/friends. Exactly the kind of person you should name your cat after.

2. The Weasley Twins (Mostly Fred) from the Harry Potter series.

The Weasley Twins (mostly Fred) are my favorite characters in Harry Potter. They are funny and ridiculous. They cause the best kind of chaos by being themselves and reminding us that even as the world is falling apart around us, it’s important to remember to laugh. From the moment we meet these boys at Kings Cross to the moment Fred dies, these boys are smiling and laughing no matter what happened to them. They are a symbol of youthfulness and enjoyment. And I love them (mostly Fred).

3. Ginny Weasely from the Harry Potter series

So this post could quickly become “5 characters from Harry Potter who aren’t Harry because Harry is one of the worst characters in Harry Potter” but I promise Ginny will be my last Harry Potter character.img_4865

Ginny is so important to the story. She is so different from Hermione, and essentially all the other female characters. She’s not afraid to be who she is. I feel like we forget, partly because of the movies, that Ginny was possessed by Voldemort when she was 11 years old. She’s a person that Harry can talk to about what’s happening with him and Voldemort and not just feel bad for him. She gets it, she understands. She’s one of those women who stand out looking at the books. She’s an athlete and fearless. She dates who she wants to date and doesn’t care what people say about her because she knows who she is. She’s Ginny Weasley, and is that bothers you, too bad. She’s living her life whether you like it or not.

4. Iko from The Lunar Chronicles 

I  have only read the first 2 books of the Lunar Chronicles, but Iko stands out as a character that I know I will love the more books I read. She’s exactly the voice that I would have in several of the situations that Cinder finds herself in. The wide-eyed best friend that pushes their friend head first toward what looks to be the best for them. “He likes you, and he’s the Prince. DO IT.” I identify hardcore with Iko’s fangirling and sarcasm. I hope the best for her in future books.

5. Takumi Hikohito from Looking for Alaska 

Why? Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.

But serious, John Green has a talent for creating characters that are relatable in different ways. We don’t know much about Takumi’s life, but I think that many of us have a friend like him. He’s the one that can call you out on you crap, like ignoring your girlfriend for several months or making you realize that maybe, just maybe, the earth doesn’t revolve around you. We all need a friend like Takumi sometimes. He’s a great character.

I should also point out that in a book full of beautiful prose, I remember 3 lines, that one about people being rain, one about Thomas Edison’s last words, and “No one can catch the motherfucking fox.”

What are your favorite sidekicks? I’d love to hear about them.

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday- Summer reads

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is a look ahead to the not so distant future to the summer and our favorite summertime reads. I’m not the biggest believer that books have a certain season that they should be read, but I do tend to read more in the summer, and I do tend to read shorter quick reads. So without further ado.

1. Every single book by Sarah Dessen.

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A few summers ago, I think it was almost 7 years ago now, I read all of Dessen’s books up to Along for the Ride which was the most recent release at the time. Most of her books are fun summer romances, some of them take place during the school year, but most are about summer and the beach and love. Thankfully, there is a new one, Once and For All due out next month! I am excited.

 

 

2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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This is a book is about a girl, Ginny, who’s dead aunt sends her on a mysterious summer adventure/vacation. There’s some love, and a lot of adventure. It’s a fun summer read. I loved it, the sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope is also fantastic. All of Maureen’s books are fantastic but I think 13LBE is the most summer.

 

 

3. Ally Carter’s Heist Society series.

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The way I sell this book to my friends is: it’s the TV show Leverage but with teenagers. Right now there are 3 of them, and they are quick reads. There are art heists and mystery and characters in shades of gray. You end up rooting for people who should technically be the bad guys. These books are great one sitting books that I just love. Perfect for sitting under a tree in a park or under an umbrella at the beach.

 

 

4. All Three of Carrie Fisher’s memoirs

I listened to the audiobooks of these three books, but I think they would be great physically reads. Carrie Fisher was such a gifted writer and just so funny. The books are quick reads to read during a day trip to a lake or whatever. Very entertaining and beautiful books.

5. The Peaches Trilogy by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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These books are very similar to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. They are about a group of friends in Georgia near a peach farm that is a big part of the town’s economy. There is love and pushing the boundaries of friendship as they girls come of age and start to see their town a little bit differently.

 

 

 

Those are my choices for summer reads. I’m excited to hear everyone else’s and add some more to the list as summer inches closer.

Have you read these? What did you think? Anything to add to you list?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors you want more of

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is authors you would love to have more to read from. This was a tough one, I mean, there are so many great authors, so many amazing authors with only one book that I can’t wait to see what comes next. But I shaved it down to essentially my instant-buy authors that I anxiously await their next release.

16830632_669861920978_8152925717903566850_nMaureen Johnson: this surprised zero people, I am sure. She’s written the books in my featured image for most of my blog posts, and she is my favorite author/ person. Her next book which is a new series called Truly Devious comes out later this year or possibly early 2018, and that is not soon enough. I’m looking forward to the next installment in her Shades of London series. If you haven’t picked up a Maureen Johnson book, you should know that Lin-Manuel Miranda posted a picture of himself reading The Name of the Star. So… That is a recommendation.
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Lauren Myracle: I have read one and a half books of her’s, and I just love how she writes. I was introduced to her through her third of Let it, Snow which she wrote alongside Maureen Johnson and some other author, Her book Shine was so brilliant and heartbreaking, I just fell hardcore in love. The book I’m currently reading, The Infinite Moment of Us, so far is beautiful. I know she has a bunch of books out there so of them I’m not exactly into judging from the blurbs, but I will be keeping my eye out for more from her in the future.

 

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Megan McCafferty: So I may have mentioned this before, but I love Megan McCafferty. Her Jessica Darling series is drive across Maine in a snowstorm to get the next book and stay up all night to finish it good (That’s a true story). She’s just such a wonderful writer. I look forward to more from her, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

 

 

 

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Gayle Forman: She is something fantastic. I have loved all 5 of the books that I’ve read of her’s, and I cannot wait until she has more. She wrote Survivor’s guilt in I Was Here in the most beautiful honest way I have seen it portrayed. And the way she writes love stories, oh man. They are love stories that are so much deeper than many YA romance writers go. Powerful Writing.

 

 

 

I remembered that name of that third author of Let it, Snow! It’s John Green1406384

So, as I’ve said before, I’ve been a nerdfighter since 2008. I watched all the Brotherhood 2.0 videos before I picked up a John Green novel and reading his books, for me, are like reading the books of a good friend. I don’t know how to explain it. Anyway, I have lovehis books. All of them. He’s talked on the Dear Hank and John podcast about the difficulty of writing new books after the success of The Fault in Our Stars, but I am hoping for new material soon. It’s just really fantastic writing, and I much enjoy it.

 

And those are my choices. I mean this could be a list of 900 authors, but that rule is 5, so here we are.

What Authors do you want more of?

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

Top 5 Wednesdays, Future Classsics

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post five books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic is books that when we are all dead, our children will read like we read Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickins, future classics. I find this super interesting, guessing what parts of our lives will live on and what that will say about us. How does our media represent us? I had a lot of fun coming up with this list, which I think is a little bit predictable, but hopefully correct.

Here’s my Top 5 future classics:

 

1.  Harry Potter by JK Rowling

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I can’t imagine a time where Harry Potter won’t be relevant. I think that books like Harry Potter, well-written fantasy novels, live on way past its original readers. Already there is a second generation of children reading (and loving) these books.   I can see people, living on the moon, with Harry Potter open on their lap. As long as there are people, we will be reading Harry Potter. The themes run deep and will always be relevant. I don’t see its impact going away anytime soon.

2. The Fault and Our Stars by John Green

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Will the teenagers on the moon in a couple hundred years be reading John Green novels like we read Pride and Prejudice? Maybe. I mean, I feel like it has the staying power of a great story on top of being a great love story. I can see at the very least a second generation of people, our children and children of nerdfighters, reading it. It hurts and has such beautiful prose in it.

 

 

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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I talked about this book in an early post, but this book man. It’s so powerful. Although it’s about World War 2, I think that it can be projected onto other moments in time. It’s one of those books that already feels old. Like it has an old soul while only being 12 years old. I can see many generations reading it.

 

 

 

4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
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This is the oldest book in my group, and I’m sure it’s already considered “classic” by many, but I think that it will continue along the line it’s going on and become one of those books that end up on every single “Books to read before you die” list. It does deal with space travel, so when humans live on the moon, maybe it will have a bigger impact. Who knows?

 

 

 

5. Most of what Stephen King has written

So don’t judge me, but the books I’ve read by Stephen King are On Writing and part of Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. HOWEVER, there is no doubt that this author’s writing has have a profound impact on not only pop culture, but just about everything thing else. Stephen King changed writing, what it takes to have a popular book. He changed the horror genre in ways that it hadn’t been changed since Edgar Allan Poe. This man has so many books, and from what I understand, nearly all of them are amazing. I see people in their space suits on the moon in their lawn chairs on the moon beach reading IT. It’ll happen.

And those are my thoughts about future classics, what do you think?

 

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

TOP 5 Wednesday: Scifi and Fantasy Novels

Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to learn more about the group or are considering joining in, check out the Goodreads group. Each week has a different topic, and you just post 5 books that fit that topic.

This week’s topic: Science Fiction and Fantasy novels.

So this it’s a genre that I’ve read a lot of, and in looking at the posts of people who have posted their list for this week already, I have noticed that I  have read almost none of them. So this list is basically the five sci-fi and fantasy books that I have read.

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I  mean, obviously. Harry Potter shaped and impacted my life in a way that is so profound and intense that I would not be the same person I currently am if I hadn’t read it.  Harry Potter is the most important book I have ever read.

 

 

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I first read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when I was in high school. I literally hated it, probably because I hated that class with every bit of my being, maybe I didn’t get the humor then. However, I re-read it about 5 years ago, and I loved it. It’s just so good and ridiculous. Such a good book. I have the whole series in one of those fancy leather bound books from Barnes and Nobel editions, but I have only read the first one thus far.

 

 

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Oh man, so I kind of like the Hobbit. I read it for the first time my freshman year of high school and just really liked the whole idea of it. I mean, I’m pretty sure anyone reading this has read it or seen the movies, so I don’t have to tell you about how good it is, but if you haven’t, trust me, it’s good.

 

 

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Who doesn’t love 1984? I mean, here in the United States were are basically living in it. This isn’t the book I would choose to live in if I had a choice, but I don’t.

This is another one that I was forced to read in high school, and thought was stupid and then re-read later and greatly enjoyed it.

 

 

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This is a Sci-book, NPR told me so. Also, there are aliens and a person unstuck in time so yeah.

To be totally honest, I read this book about 12 years ago, and I can’t remember exactly what happens but I know WW2 is involved and I remember being very struck by it. This one is worth a re-read soon I’m thinking.

 

What are your top 5 Sci-fi and Fantasy novels?

 

Until next time internet,

Deanna