Posted in book tags/memes

Top 5 Wednesday: Horror Novels By Women

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. (Sam is taking a break from T5W, but we have tons of old topics to use/revisit during that time, so I’m planning to do a combination of that and making up my own topics while we wait and see if T5W officially comes back.) You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


I wasn’t really feeling it this week, but then I realized I’ve never talked about this topic here. Or, if I have, I can’t find a post about it.

In no particular order, as usual…


Sawkill Girls

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (AKA, the book I will not shut up about) is not only one of my favorite horror novels, but it’s on my general list of all-time favorites. I. Am. OBSESSED. (I screeched more about it in my review.)

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
The Suffering (The Girl from the Well, #2)

I’m cheating and saying Rin Chupeco’s The Girl from the Well duology because I loved both books. I actually liked The Suffering a tiny bit more than The Girl From the Well, but both were fantastic in my opinion, and I highly recommend them, especially if you like movies like The Ring.

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill has stuck with me, and I don’t even really know why. I actually gave this one (I think) 4 stars out of 5, but it’s still a favorite because I can’t shake it. (I also really like the movie.) If you like classic ghost stories, check this one out.

Newsflesh (3 Book Series)

Mira Grant’s (AKA Seanan McGuire) Newsflesh Trilogy is also kind of cheating because I’m not narrowing it down to just one, but I liked the whole trilogy fairly equally. I think I liked the third book least, but I still gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I love that this zombie trilogy opens way after the outbreak, so everyone is already used to them. It was an interesting change.

Undead Girl Gang

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson is my latest obsession, and I might have a review coming later this week if I can motivate myself to organize my thoughts and write it 😛 If you like witchy stuff, zombies (but not mindless zombies, more like Liv Moore from iZombie minus the brain-eating), and mysteries, try this one.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Okay, I know it’s Top 5 Wednesday, but I couldn’t leave off Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This is still one of my favorite vampire books ever, and I’ve been itching to re-read it for a while.


I could list a few more as honorable mentions, but I’m starving so I’m wrapping this up here so I can go grab some food and coffee 😛

Do you have a favorite horror book/story written by a woman?

Posted in books

30 Years of Favorite Books

I got this idea months ago and saved it for Blogtober, mostly because my birthday happened to be this month. And then, like the absolute moron that I am, I forgot about it last week (when my birthday was), so I’m doing it now 😛

These are my favorite books that were published in the listed year. I’m starting with 1989 excluding 2019 because we still have a couple months left, and I really don’t know what my favorite book from this year could be.

For most of them, I did not read the the year they were published. I think I really only did that with the Harry Potter books and a few from the 2010s because I rarely had access to new/newer books until quite recently.

Also, for a few years, I didn’t have a true stand out favorite, so I just went with the book I’m pretty sure I liked best.


1989

The Crow

The Crow by James O’Barr

1990

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

1991

More Tales to Chill Your Bones (Scary Stories #3)

More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz

1992

Say Cheese and Die! (Goosebumps, #4)

Say Cheese and Die! by R.L. Stine

1993

The Haunted Mask (Goosebumps, #11)

The Haunted Mask by R.L. Stine (or The Giver by Lois Lowry? I don’t remember that one well enough to say which of these I liked better.)

1994

Good Bones and Simple Murders

Good Bones & Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood

1995

Escape from the Carnival of Horrors (Give Yourself Goosebumps, #1)

Escape from the Carnival of Horrors by R.L. Stine

1996

Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5)

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton

1997

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (7 years could be HP books, so I’m going to try to pick other stuff I also liked for the rest)

1998

Digital Fortress

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

1999

Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

2000

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

2001

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares (Honorable mention to Persepolis 2)

2002

Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2)

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

2003

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (Honorable mentions to Order of the Phoenix, The Da Vinci Code, and Inkheart)

2004

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

2005

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

2006

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

2007

Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Honorable mention to Deathly Hallows and Vampire Academy)

2008

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2009

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

Soulless by Gail Carriger (Honorable mention to Gothic Charm School)

2010

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)

Feed by Mira Grant (Honorable mention to The Lost Hero)

2011

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2012

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

2013

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Honorable mentions to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Fangirl, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown)

2014

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Honorable mentions to Birdbox and Milk & Honey)

2015

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (I refuse to pick just one, sorry)

2016

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Again, I just can’t choose)

2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (Honorable mention to Spellbook of the Lost and Found)

2018

Sawkill Girls
The Poet X
The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, and The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang. I tried, but could not bump any of these.


What I learned from making this list is that I apparently haven’t read a ton of books from the ’90s :/ Well, I did, but it was mostly all Goosebumps books haha. I have a ton on my TBR, though, which I didn’t have access to (most of) until recently, so I’m hoping to get through some of those in the next couple of years.

Posted in book tags/memes

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Gothic Novels

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. (Sam is taking a break from T5W for the summer, but we have tons of old topics to use/revisit during that time, so I’m planning to do a combination of that and making up my own topics this summer.) You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


I fell in love with Gothic fiction about 20 years ago when I first started reading Edgar Allan Poe, but I don’t actually read a ton of it. Or maybe I do? I feel like Gothic lit is one of those sub-genres that’s a little hard to nail down and define precisely, because there are so many elements that can be combined to create a work of Gothic fiction. Or maybe it’s just me, and I overthink things, who knows. Anyway…

For this post, I’m focusing on books that may or may not have a hint of paranormal, but not books that focus a lot on hauntings, vampires, etc. (Which is why things like The Woman in Black by Susan Hill didn’t make this week’s list.)

In no particular order, as usual…


Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë was the one piece of Gothic literature I was most nervous about reading, because I read Wuthering Heights first and hated it. In my opinion, Jane Eyre is worlds better. (I can enjoy unlikable characters. That wasn’t my only issue with Wuthering Heights.)

The Picture of Dorian Gray

It took me like a month to finish The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and I really don’t know why. I think maybe I was savoring it, because I absolutely loved it. Wilde’s writing is some of my favorite ever, and I really want to re-read this one in the near future to see if I love it as much (or more) the second time.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is so hard to nail down, because it has so much genre crossover. But I’m including it on this list for reasons. Reasons I can’t really remember specifically, but I remember the feeling this book evoked.

Ghostwalk

I’m going to be honest: I’m not sure if Rebecca Stott’s Ghostwalk is truly Gothic fiction, but I think it’s definitely close enough. This book is, in my opinion, highly underrated. I think it might be because people went into it with expectations that weren’t met, but I’m not sure. I went into it with no expectations because I randomly found it somewhere for $2 and was drawn in by the cover 😛 I don’t even think I retained more about the synopsis than “alchemy, Isaac Newton, Cambridge, deaths,” but I was sold.

Rebecca

And finally, my most recent Gothic read, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Finally. It took me forever to actually get around to this book, despite having it on my TBR for over a decade. I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, but I think that was just because it is soooo hyped still. But it was very, very good, and I do recommend it if you haven’t read it yet.


Do you read Gothic literature?

What’s your favorite?

Are any of these on your TBR?

Posted in book tags/memes

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Read, Loved, and Wish I Owned

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.


Eesh… it’s been a while :/ It’s been over a month since I did a TTT, or made a post of any kind, for that matter. I’m not saying I’m back, because I’m still not totally out of my reading slump, and this particular depressive phase is not letting go yet either, buuuut… maybe I’m back to blogging? We’ll see.

I’m taking it day by day and won’t be forcing myself to post when I’m really not feeling it, because I think doing that might have contributed to burnout in the past. That said, I am hoping to get a few posts up this week, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


This week is all about books we read and loved, but don’t own a copy and wish we did. As usual, these aren’t in any particular order. (And, also as usual, I kinda cheated by using series for several, but I’m only putting in the cover of the first book.)


Sawkill Girls

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand is one of the newer additions to my “All Time Favorites” shelf on goodreads and I am so mad at myself for not buying it. I’m really hoping I’ll get a copy soon(ish), though.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is a double cheat because I own the Kindle edition of The Raven Boys and I’m using a series, but I had to include it. I loved this series, the physical editions are stunning, and I want them on my shelf!

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)

A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole was not my favorite (I think I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars), but it has a special place in my heart anyway, and I wish I owned a copy because just a few days ago I was wishing I had it so I could re-read a few parts ❤

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)

I’m cheating again with a series and going with the Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel. (If I had to just pick one book from the trilogy, it would be Waking Gods because that one made it to my “All Time Favorites” shelf.)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act

Another one I’m kicking myself for not buying is The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen. I just read the first volume (finally!) earlier this month, and I loved it. The art is so gorgeous, and I probably will buy this one (and the rest of the series) eventually.

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1)

A kind of cheat is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. We do own a few of the books (three, I think), but they’re some of the newest ones and I want the whole series. Husband and I both love this one, so hopefully we’ll eventually get them all.

The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman was both beautifully illustrated and a great story. It’s fuzzy in my mind now, but I remember going into it thinking it was just a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but I feel like there were elements from something else in there. Regardless, it’s so pretty and I want it.

When She Woke

I think I’ve almost bought Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke a dozen times since I read it, but I always back out because I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever re-read it. I did really enjoy it, though.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1)

I can’t believe I still haven’t bought Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently books, because husband and I both love his writing, and husband hasn’t read these two. I really need to get them :/

Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen surprised me with how much I loved it when I read it, because I’d seen it recommended for people who loved Practical Magic and…I didn’t :/ I love the movie, but the book was so underwhelming for me. I love Sarah Addison Allen’s writing, though, and I’m slowly trying to acquire all of her books. (But, the ones I’ve already read are lower priority than ones I haven’t, so it might be a while before I get this one.)


What are some books you’ve read and wish you owned?

Posted in book tags/memes

Top Ten Tuesday: (Character Freebie!) My Precious Book Children

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.


This post almost didn’t happen, ugh. I hit my head over the weekend and I think I might have had a concussion :/ (I’m feeling a bit better today, but if I hadn’t been, I probably would have gone to the doctor because it was starting to worry me.) I spent all of yesterday sitting very still and watching Harry Potter because I was too dizzy and nauseous to do anything else, so that was fun (*sarcasm*). Anyway… I still feel a bit weird, but at least I can look at my screen and type without the vertigo intensifying/flaring up.

I’d like to preface this list by saying that I have a lot of “book children” (meaning characters from books that I feel protective of, etc.), so narrowing it down to just ten is basically impossible 😛 These are a mix of the ones I always think of when I think of my book children, and the ones that came to mind as I was making this list, and these are in no particular order.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Neville Longbottom was probably one of my first bookish children, even though I was pretty much the same age as the Harry Potter characters as the books were released. I was just so proud of him, and always defended him when people dared to say something unkind about him 😛

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

Ronan Lynch from The Raven Cycle was probably the first character from the Gangsey that I latched onto and thought, “I must protect this precious child.” Ronan is not a nice guy, really, but I love him. And I kind of have book grandchildren because of him, which is kind of weird to think about, so let’s move on…

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2)

Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha trilogy oh my gods. As soon as he popped up, I was like, “Yes. This is my child,” and I wanted to wrap him in a protective bubble.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Nina Zenik from the Six of Crows duology also had to make this list. I honestly wanted to go with Nina and Inej, but I settled on Nina by using the super scientific method of “eeny meeny miny mo”-ing between them 😛

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Victor Vale from Vicious is not a character I expected to consider my bookish child, but here we are. My adoption of Victor wasn’t immediate, but by the end of the book it had happened and I’m still not sure when.

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)

Sybella d’Albret from His Fair Assassin is not a young woman who needs protecting, but I just want to wrap her up in a fierce hug and protect her anyway. I absolutely love her and I just want her to have a happy life omg.

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)

Holland Vosijk from the Shades of Magic series is a character I think might be the book child of a lot of us haha. I just remember reading the third book and shouting into the void about how I shipped Holland with some damn peace.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Zuzana Nováková from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is one of my favorite characters, and I adore her so much. Zuze doesn’t really need protecting, honestly, but she’s one of those characters I think about and think, “I’m so proud of my book child ❤ “

The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)

Okiku is possibly a weird pick, because she’s the ghost from the Girl from the Well duology by Rin Chupeco, but I love her and I want her to find peace and happiness omg. I had some moments of intense panic while reading those two book, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to Okiku.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Gavriel from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is also not a character who really needs any kind of protection, but I just want to wrap him in a big hug and soft blanket and protect him, anyway.


Do you have any “book children” or characters you feel protective of?