#FridayFives | Books I Recommend

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

One of my favorite parts of reading, besides the actual reading, is to talk about books with others. But I can’t do that if the person hasn’t read the book. So, here are the top books I’d recommend. For anyone who has read them, drop a comment about your favorite part or why you liked it so much.

Just go ahead, drop everything you’re doing, find the nearest bookstore, and buy this book! You will not regret it. Code Name Verity is a wonderful book about friendship during a time of war, but it’s also such a mystery as well, and it’s just so beautiful and heartbreaking.

“It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

Goodreads

Gosh! What can I say that the review at the bottom doesn’t cover. “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” I mean what more do you need in life?!

“Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting…that thousands of years after you’re gone…is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice is.”

Goodreads

The creativity to have the narrator be Death was truly what drew me in. I truly appreciated that death wasn’t cruel or mean, but that he was just tired. Tired of working for tyrants and dictators.

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know?”

Goodreads

I forgot how well written and how much fun this book and series is! I’m definitely enjoying going back down memory lane with this series, plus I cannot wait to get my hands on the other Riordan has.

“It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality.”

Goodreads

To be perfectly honest, this book definitely raised my anxiety levels. It was heartbreaking and nerve-wracking to see what can happen if we don’t stop hurting the earth and mother nature. Definitely one that will stay with you and make you think!

“That in our self-importance, in our search for meaning, we have forgotten how to share the planet that gave us life.”

Goodreads

Happy Reading Darlings!

#FridayFavorites | Heroines

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

NOTE: NEXT WEEK this will be #FridayFives instead of #FridayFavorites.

Today’s topic is about some of my favorite heroines from books. Some of them are heroines in the traditional sense (actually fighting wars) and some are heroines in a sense of fighting against the patriarchy.

Jo March – I just feel such a connection to Jo, as a writer and a character in general. And I absolutely love the new Little Women movie

Elizabeth Bennet – I mean I had to include my original favorite. I really don’t remember a time that I didn’t love Elizabeth Bennet.

Hermione Granger – I love how Hermione showed that girls can be smart and read books, but also fight and be a warrior.

Sansa Stark – I know most people are all for Arya, but I love Sansa so much more. She’s so subtle in how she manipulates the Lannisters. It’s also so amazing how throughout the show she learns from everyone Cersei, Joffrey, Little Finger but tries to be better than them. To the Queen of the North, long may she reign.

Zélie – gah, I couldn’t put down Children of Blood and Bone (I desperately need to read the second one) and I absolutely love Zelie and her courage and her strength of character.

#FridayFavorites | Desert Island Books

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

NOTE: This will soon be changing to #FridayFives instead of #FridayFavorites.

Today’s topic is about books I’d take with me if I was stranded on a desert island…or if I decided to runaway to a desert island.

Happy Reading Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | Books with a One-Word Titles

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic is a simple one with books that have one word titles!

The library I work at just got all of the annotated Jane Austen books, so I cannot wait to delve into them.

This book was so amazing and is still with me months after I have read it.

Such a fascinating book about white culture and white supremacy.

This book!! Gosh, I cannot tell you how much this affected me and the ending was just so amazing, even though it didn’t wrap everything up. I knew about the ending beforehand, so that may have been a factor.

I mean there’s nothing I need to say, as Toni Morrison can say it way better than I could ever.

#FridayFavorites | Characters I’d Like to be Friends With

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic is about characters I’d like to be friends with.

Addie LaRue – from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, I mean I have to include Addie for the simple fact that who else can I talk to about living through history. Also, I’d love to get the chance to talk to her about how it all felt of living through history and having no one remember you.

Monty – Oh Monty! I just love this useless bisexual so much. It would be so much to hang out and party with Monty (and Percy and Felicity).

Mor – from The Court of Thorns and Roses series – I love her! Mor has overcome so much and still retains so much joy and positivity. She’s strong and loyal, and I know if we became friends she’d protect me with her life.

Sansa – Also another character who has been through so much and overcome so much. I don’t know how or if I would’ve survived what she went through. I know most people like Arya over Sansa of the two sisters, but I find Sansa so much more compelling of a character.

Fleur – Another character that has unneeded hate (from the characters and some of the fandom). Fleur competed in the Triwizard Tournament and yes, she didn’t make it through but she was chosen as the best. She also never cared about appearances (like most people think) and cares more about what’s inside the person.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | Fantasy Books (That are not Harry Potter)

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic are fantasy books that are not Harry Potter.

Victorian England, demons, magic, and a mysterious girl. The Infernal Devices is probably my favorite series of Clare’s books. I feel such kinship with Tessa. Will and Jem are not only adorable but truly show non-toxic masculinity. Also, I’m obsessed with books set in Victorian England!

I cannot fully describe in words how amazing this book is (I haven’t read the second one, I know I really need to). I just love how it is a fantasy series with Nigerian elements and stars non-white characters!

Such an amazing series and a great way to get kids into mythology. I also love how in each book/series Rick Riordan becomes not only a better writer but a better person by including non-white and LGBTQ characters. The origin of Percy Jackson is amazing as well, as Riordan created the series for his son who has dyslexia and ADHD.

I know vampires have been done and overdone, but I truly enjoyed this one from Renee Ahdieh. I especially love the fact that it’s set in New Orleans!

I mean I couldn’t not include A Song of Ice and Fire (that is the official name of the series). I mean dragons, zombies, political intrigue, there’s something for everyone in this series.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | Platonic Relationships

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic covers some of my favorite platonic relationships, and because of how I’m grouping them, I list six instead of five.

Girl/Girl

Lydia and Piper – these two girls have grown up together and when Piper goes missing, Lydia will do anything to find her friend. I love women/girl friendships since media represents so much cat fights among women. It’s a refreshing change of pace!

Yes, we don’t get much interaction between the two in the books. But I like to think Hermione and Ginny are really great friends!

Boy/Girl

Harry and Luna’s friendship is probably one of my favorite friendships in the Harry Potter series! They’re both so adorable and their friendship is so sure and pure.

Jamie is the descendant of John Watson and Charlotte is the descendant of Sherlock Holmes. Jamie is determined to not be friends with Charlotte, but circumstances at their school throw them together. I truly love the fact that their friendship is platonic and not romantic in anyway (so far, I haven’t read the latest book, so don’t quote me).

Boy/Boy

I cannot get over the beauty and love and wonderfulness aspect of Will and Jem’s friendship. They love each other so much and so purely, it’s beautiful!

Oh Samwise Gamgee!! One of the greatest friendships in literary history. Sam and Frodo’s friendship is the reason they make it to Mordor, and more importantly, it’s Sam’s love for Frodo that gets them there and through the end.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | Short Stories

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic is on some of my favorite short stories.

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

This one messed me up when I first read it; I think it was around late middle school. I love Shirley Jackson but in this one, the way she conveys the fear and horror of the story in only a few short pages is magnificent.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Such a classic tale, and also one I read in middle school. The way guilt eats at us and how it causes us to react is so fascinating.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Okay, finally one that I didn’t read until….high school…maybe college. I’m totally blanking now on when I first read it. Either way, one of the first blatant feminist texts I read. Ah, the patriarchy!

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor’s titles do not mean what you think they’re going to mean. I did not know this when I first read O’Connor, so I was not expecting the ending to this one either.

Good Country People by Flannery O’Connor

As O’Connor did with “A Good Man is Hard to Find” she does with “Good Country People” by using irony and finely controlled comic sense to reveal the world as it is – with no vision or knowledge. She uses both her stories to show how misconceptions, prejudices, and stereotypes ultimately harm those around us.

By complete accident, all of these do fall into a Halloween theme.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | International Locations

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic covers books that take place in a location other than where I live. I decided to exclude everything with the United States to make it a bit more fun.

Location: India

Summary: Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India’s independence, and found himself mysteriously “handcuffed to history” by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent—and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times.

Locations: United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Algeria

Summary: Felicity Montague must use all her womanly wits and wiles to achieve her dreams of becoming a doctor—even if she has to scheme her way across Europe to do it.

Location: Italy

Summary: The story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera.

Location: East Prussia

Summary: Four fictionalized but historically accurate voices to convey the real-life tragedy of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army.

Location: France and Germany

Summary: The interweaving stories of two children who grow up during Hitler’s reign, one who is blind and lives in a sea-side town in France and one who lives in Germany and joins Hitler Youth. Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

#FridayFavorites | Banned Books

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Today’s topic in honor of banned books week is over some of my favorite books that have been banned. For more information on this, you can go here.

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban: sexual violence, Islamophobia, inspires terrorism, promotes Islam, homosexuality, language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Notable Bans/Challenges: The Kite Runner was notably banned in two locales: Gilbert, Arizona and Fishers, Indiana. Gilbert didn’t undergo a review process, while Fishers did for the book.

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban/Challenge: offensive language

Notable Bans/Challenges: The book was challenged by parents from the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Minnesota. They decided to keep the book, as it was relevant, realistic, and powerful. Rainbow Rowell commented on the controversy that “Eleanor and Park themselves almost never swear. . . . I use profanity in the book to show how vulgar and sometimes violent the characters’ worlds are.”

Image from Goodreads

Reason for Ban/Challenge: sexual content

Notable Bans/Challenges: A parent from the Northville school district in Michigan thought Frank’s descriptions of her body “pretty pronographic.” Also, in 1983, the Alabama State Textbook Committee commented that the book was a “real downer.” Because books about and written by Jews in hiding are supposed to be happy?

Image from Goodreads

Reasons for Ban/Challenge: LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; sexual references; conflicting with religious viewpoints and “traditional family structure”

Notable Bans/Challenges: In 2017, Wichita, Kansas school system decided not to have George in district libraries due to language and inappropriateness for young children. The group One Million Moms (psst, it doesn’t have a million moms) contacted Scholastic to have them stop printing the book. Two Oregon School districts decided not to participate in the state’s Battle of the Books program because George was among the titles; no reason was given.

Reasons for Ban/Challenges: vulgarity, obscenity, language, violence, portrayal of Christians, and depictions of firemen

Notable Bans/Challenges: Panama City, Florida remove the books from the classroom. Due to a class-action lawsuit, a media stir, and student protests, the school board abandoned their tier-based censorship and approved the currently approved books. In Irvine, California, the school gave copies to students with all the “obscene” words blacked out. Parents did contact the media and were able to reinstate the uncensored copies (good on these parents). This last one is the most ironic, and of course, it happens in Texas. In 2006, a high school student’s mom in Montgomery, TX demanded the book be banned from the English reading list. The daughter stopped reading a few pages in due to the offensive language and the burning of the Bible. The parents protested the above reasons as well.

Let me know what some of your favorite banned books are below!

Happy Reading Lovelies!