Posted in reading challenges

Tome Topple Plans

The next round of Tome Topple begins Friday the 16th at midnight! (For me, that’s about 4 hours from the time this posts.) If you don’t know what Tome Topple is, check out Sam’s (Thoughts on Tomes) video.

Basically, it’s a read-a-thon that lasts 2 weeks, and the goal is to read books 500+ pages in length.

This post was supposed to have a picture, but… Well, between the weather and NaNoWriMo, I never got around to it :/

I really doubt my ability to finish a single book. Honestly, most Novembers are terrible reading months for me because of NaNoWriMo taking up so much of my time. After writing, I don’t have it in me to read, so I usually end up watching/re-watching shows to let my brain chill out.

But, I do have a tentative TBR:

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff– This book has been on my TBR since before it came out. I picked up a used copy last summer or early autumn, and…it’s sat on my shelf all this time. But, now I have my physical copy and the audiobook from the library, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My copy has 496 pages, but other editions are listed as over 500, and in my opinion, 496 is close enough anyway (especially for non-fiction).

Night Film by Marisha Pessl– I got a copy of this from the Dollar Tree at some point :O To make it easier, because this is NaNo month, I also checked out the audiobook. This book is one of those with extras (photos, articles, etc.), so I need my physical copy handy for that stuff, but at least I can kind of multi-task while listening when I’m on regular pages. This one has 606 pages, and I have already started reading it, but I still have about 550 pages left to read.

Those are the only two I’m really, really hoping to read during this round. (I actually started The Witches a few months ago, but I didn’t get far, so I’m going to start over.)

If, by some miracle, I get through those, or just can’t get into either of them? I’ll probably move on to The Diviners by Libba Bray. That one has been on my TBR at least once before for Tome Topple, I think. I’m too lazy to go check the page count, but I think it’s between 500 and 600.

If you’re participating, what are you hoping to read this round?

Posted in book tags/memes

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I read before bookish social media


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


August 23rd: Books from Before You Joined ________
— These are some of your favorite books from before you joined the online book community, whether that be booktube, goodreads, blogs, bookstagram, twitter, tumblr, etc. 


This was one of those topics I knew was going to be sooo easy, but when I started to come up with my list, every book I read before 2010 (I joined goodreads in 2010, and that was probably about the time I started checking out book blogs and the like, too) vanished from my head :/

But I finally came up with 5, so, here we go…


The Bell Jar
by Sylvia Plath–
I can’t remember exactly when I read this, but it was definitely before I joined goodreads. I think I read it sometime between age 16 & 20, and I’m really looking forward to re-reading it sometime soon(ish).



Digital Fortress by Dan Brown– Ok, so I really could have listed any of the four books that came before The Lost Symbol because I read them in high school, but I went with Digital Fortress because I remember really loving it at the time and enjoying people saying things like, “Wait, the Da Vinci Code guy wrote other books?”



The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares– I remember seeing the first book around when I was in middle school, but I didn’t actually get to start the series until high school when the nearest library finally got the first two books. I absolutely loved this series. So many emotions 😥



White Oleander by Janet Fitch– I read this when I was 13-15 and was head over heels about it. I barely remember much of it now, but I remember it being dark, depressing, and very well-written. (I really need to re-read this a much more critical adult and see how I feel about it.)



A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray– This. Trilogy. ❤ I still haven’t encountered many people (online or off) who’ve read it, but I became obsessed after the first book and I’ve probably read it at least half a dozen times. It’s just awesome and I recommend it all the time.


What are some of your favorite books from before you found the bookish corners of the internet?

Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: Favorite Minor Characters


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


May 24th: Favorite Minor Characters
–Minor characters are less than a sidekick or a side character (but not in our hearts!)


I got too caught up in trying to decide who was a minor character and who was a side character, so I’ve been stressing about this for days. Finally, I just decided to go with the ones I initially thought of and be done with it. So, in no particular order, here we go…





Brigid (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray)– She was the housekeeper at Spence Academy and I adored her. I thought she was amusing, but also kind of like a stern aunt or something.





Tabitha Devereaux (The Chronicles of 6696602Nick/Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon)– I don’t really remember when she shows up, but I think it’s in the first book. I also can’t remember how big of a character she was in either series, oops :/ I just remember that I really liked her.






Oliver Wood (Harry Potter seris by J.K. Rowling)– There were so many great characters, minor and major and side, to choose from from the Harry Potter books, so I honestly just randomly picked one minor one I liked. I’m not even sure why I liked Wood so much, but I think his obsession with quidditch was kind of comedic relief.





Horace Somnusson (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs)– Full disclosure: I can’t remember how much we see him in the series :/ I want to say he’s like on the line between side and minor character, depending on where you are in the series, but I’m including him anyway. I thought Horace was interesting, and I remember wishing we’d learned more about him in the trilogy.





Tieren (The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab)– I almost used Hastra, but I think Hastra is more of a side character? Anyway, I liked Tieren and was interested enough in him to wish we saw a lot more of him.



Do you have any favorite minor characters?

Posted in book tags/memes

Top 5 Wednesday: Books that Would Make Good Video Games


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


April 12th: Books That Would Make Good Video Games
–Since I’ve been in video game hell (in a good way) for the past year, this topic is timely. Remember, not all video games are action games! The Sims has proven that 🙂


Confession time: I don’t play many video games. I want to, but I am so bad at basically anything that isn’t Nintendo (and I suck at plenty of Nintendo games, too). So, I’m really unqualified for this topic, but I’m giving it a shot :/




A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab– Ok, I think it would be so freaking cool to explore this universe and play as your favorite character.








Anything from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha-verse– I want to be a Grisha! Or break into the most secure prison in the world, or…Well, basically I want to do anything in that universe.




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Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling– Yeah, they already exist, but I think most of us can agree that they could have been better. I want to actually take classes and stuff.






Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy– Magic! Victorian boarding school! Girls rebelling! Mystery! I may be alone in wanting this, but I still want it.







The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– How would this work? Could it work? I honestly don’t know. It’s been a few years since I read it, but I remember thinking at some point after reading it that I would like to play a game based on it.



What are some books you think would make good video games?

Posted in book tags/memes, must read mondays

Must Read Monday


When I read it:
I’ve read it at least 3 or 4 times.

Genres: ya; fantasy

Recommended for: If you like the sound of a magical fantasy set in the Victorian era with a secret magical order, young women rebelling against what society expects of them in whatever ways they can manage, female friendships that feel real, and wonderful writing and storytelling, I recommend this!

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What it’s about:

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy—jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.

I still remember when this book was published, because it was way back when I was in middle or early high school and I first read about it in some teen magazine I was subscribed to. The cover was the first thing that caught my attention, and I then spent about a year trying to actually find a copy. When I finally did find it in a store, I actually attracted stares and embarrassed my grandma (who had taken me to the bookstore) because I gasped and squealed and clutched it to my chest.

I still have to fight the urge to react that way when I see a copy in a store, because this is one of my favorite books, ever. Over the last 13ish years, I’ve read this book again and again, and I always love it. I love the whole trilogy, but this first book stole my heart, and often my breath, and I try to get everyone to read it. This is kind of weird maybe, but I knew I was going to love it when I flipped it open and found an excerpt from one of my favorite poems in the first pages (“The Lady of Shallot” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson).

Libba Bray’s writing is amazing, her characters are so well developed, the relationships feel real, and it’s just a really great story, in my opinion. There’s magic, adventure, a bit of romance, strong female characters, and so much more! I highly recommend this book (and the other two in the trilogy).

Have you read it? What did you think?