My TBR stack is never-ending. Just when I think that I might be done buying books, some new sale happens and I end up buying way too many books! #booknerdproblems am I right? As part of That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, I’ve written my own TBR list for the winter. Well, anyway, here is my current TBR list for the winter. At least until I hit the library and decide to add about a million more books to the list.
- Sometimes We Tell The Truth, by Kim Zarins – I just heard about this book the other day and I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited that it exists!!! It’s a contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales featuring teens each telling a different, sometimes fantastical story on a bus ride to Washington, DC. It looks fantastic. (Check out Kim Zarins’ site here if you want to know more).
- The Kiss Quotient – I’m hoping that this book fulfils my quirky romance quotient. See what I did there? Did you?
- The Boat People, by Sharon Bala – Not gonna lie. I picked this one because I loved the cover. Also, it seems like a timely topic.
- Damn Fine Story, by Chuck Wendig – Because when is it *not* a good idea to read something that Chuck Wendig wrote? That guy is a hilarious, awesome genius who I sort of, kind of worship. (He also has an equally hilarious blog).
- You Think It, I’ll Say It, by Curtis Sittenfeld – Because short stories are important, too. Don’t let the lame grade nine collection of short tales turn you off this genre!
- Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata – A book about a strange, alienating person. I like strange books.
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue, by Mackenzie Lee – YES I know. I KNOW! I should have read this one ages ago. Boarding schools and not-so-gentlemanly gentlemen? YES PLEASE.
- Precious Cargo, by Craig Davidson – A little non-fiction is good for the soul, and since Craig Davidson has written some pretty excellent fiction titles, I think I’ll give this one a whirl. Bonus points for Davidson, because it’s about his time as a school bus driver. This sounds hella cool.
- The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman – I feel like this book will have a lot of the same whimsy and magic that Practical Magic had.
- Spoonbenders, by Daryl Gregory – Because who DOESN’T want to read about a family of psychics?
*Insert about five million, billion other titles here.
Today for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, it’s all about the bookish internet. Where do you go on the web to find great reading and writing resources? Although I’m partial to reading books on writing, there are a few sites or apps that I frequent when I’m looking for a good book review or some much needed advice:
- Sarah Selecky – For the writerly folk out there, this is my favourite place to go when I’m looking for great resources, well-written posts and excellent advice. (As a bonus, Sarah Selecky’s online writing school is excellent).
- Litsy – I’m a fan of bite-sized book reviews, so I like to check Litsy when I want new book recommendations. The community is also extremely friendly, with book swaps and buddy reads an ongoing event. It’s a fun way to meet other book nerds!
- Book Fight – While not a website, this literary podcast is equal parts hilarious and informative. Not only do the hosts have interesting conversations about books, but I love all of their weird and wonderful segments, like “raccoon watch” and “fan fiction corner.”
- Literary Hub – This site has everything from publishing news, to fascinating essays. There’s always some new perspective to consider!
- Book Riot – I’m a fan of Book Riot for their short, interesting bookish articles. In particular, I like that they cover several different sub-sections of book related topics, such as “gifts for book lovers” or “book lover travel destinations” as well as reviews and listicles.
- Netgalley – If you are a voracious reader and also like to write reviews, Netgalley is a great place to request galleys!
- Off the Shelf – This is a great place to find any sort of curated book list to satisfy any of your literary cravings.
- The Rumpus – While this site isn’t just about books, there are fun comics, essays and all sorts of good reading to be had.
- McSweeney’s – I love this site! It’s hilarious. Seriously, though, if you want to laugh so hard that you pee yourself, this is the place to go.
- Publisher’s Weekly – This one is more from a publisher’s standpoint, but it can also be useful for aspiring writers and other bookish folk who might be looking to get an inside scoop on upcoming releases.
This week for Top Ten Tuesday, it’s all about my favourite books that I’ve read so far this year. Tough choice! There were a lot that I thought about listing, but in the end, these books stuck with me:
- My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix – I blew through this one in a day while floating in an inner tube at the cottage. My husband had to bring me food periodically, because I refused to put the book down. Seriously, it was that good. (Stay tuned for a full review of this book on Friday).
- The Girl with All of the Gifts, by M.R. Carey – This is another deeply creepy narrative, but told from the fascinating perspective of a zombie girl who is discovering what it means to be “alive.” I liked it because it felt in places like a twisted coming of age story.
- The Favorite Sister, by Jessica Knoll – Not only is this book a great thriller from the first page, but there is an interesting discussion around female success and cattiness. Also: it’s all about reality TV. If you’re like me and you like tuning in to The Bachelor, then this book will keep you reading.
- Educated, by Tara Westover – Heartfelt, disturbing and powerful, this memoir had me captivated. It reads like a cult – escape narrative in some ways, which kept the momentum quick, but what struck me as the most fascinating were the family dynamics that Westover describes.
- Strong Female Protagonist, by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag – I loved this graphic novel because it was campy and quick-paced and the artwork was excellent, but I also appreciated the original perspective on the super hero narrative.
- The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay – I know that I talk about this book a lot, but to be fair, it is really fantastic. I loved the atmosphere that McKay creates and the beautiful prose, among other things. Read more about it here.
- The Impossible Fortress, by Jason Rekulak – I picked this book up because it described 80’s nostalgia, and I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. What I ended up loving was the quirky romance and the hilarious heist narrative that piggy-backs on the larger story about a boy who loves to code video games. I would compare it to Ready Player One, but for me, it was better.
- Love and Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch – Fun, flirty and set in Italy? Who wouldn’t want to read this book?
- The Last Black Unicorn, by Tiffany Haddish – I’m not normally interested in reading celebrity autobiographies, but this one was hard to put down simply because of all the crazy stuff that Haddish had to go through in her life. It was enlightening and at times quite funny.
- Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero – If you loved Welcome to Night Vale and Scooby Doo, then this book will have you riveted. I loved all of the nods towards the classic TV show and found the plot to be captivating.
What are some of your favourite books that you’ve read (so far) this year?
I’m taking some liberty with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl), since we’ve just had Canada Day in my neck of the woods, and also since most of my bookshelf has been packed up I don’t have that many “red, white and blue” books in my possession at the moment. So here are a few of my favourite Canadian books in honour of Canada Day:
- The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I love books that are disturbing because they feel just a bit too familiar and Margaret Atwood is the queen of writing narratives that hit just a little bit too close to home.
- A Complicated Kindess, by Miriam Toews – Life in the strictly religious Mennonite town of East Village isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. At least, that’s what hilarious, sardonic Nomi Nickel discovers. This book will break your heart in all of the right ways.
- The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shields – I’m a sucker for anything even the slightest bit meta-fictional, because, well, I just like books that seem to be aware of their… book-ness. Also, the fictional autobiography that Shields creates is pretty unique.
- The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay – Witches! History! Nudity! McKay delivers it all! (*I can’t actually remember if there was nudity, but it just felt like there needed to be a third thing in there and nudity seemed to fit.)
- The Diviners, by Margaret Laurence – I think I loved The Diviners mainly because Morag Gunn was a writer, but also because it was an interesting female coming of age story.
- SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki – A satire on the genre of “kid goes to magical school,” Tamaki’s own version of a magical high school is hilarious because it is full of underage drinking, teen angst and of course, unrequited love. It is supremely hilarious!
- Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton – Another hilarious graphic novel that I will never stop reading. Who says history has to be boring?
- Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maude Montgomery – I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables when I was a little girl, but if I’m being honest here, I kept on re-reading the series because I had a HUGE crush on Gilbert Blythe.
- Fifteen Dogs, by Andre Alexis – ” I wonder”, said Hermes, “what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.” And then? Things get weird and wonderful and thought provoking.
- Fifth Business, by Robertson Davies – This book blew my mind in high school. It’s all about discovering that there is truth in the uncanny.
Even if you aren’t Canadian, what are your favourite Canadian books?