Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Thanksgiving freebie — tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for!

As someone who’s been a reader my whole life, I’ve read a lot of books. Obviously. But there’s only a handful of those books that have actually changed me, moved my insides around and gave me a new outlook on life. I will forever be thankful for those books for making me who I am today, and I couldn’t be more excited to list them here for you.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I’m sure this one is obvious, but I will never be able to properly express the way I feel about this series. I’ve always been someone who reads, but Harry Potter made me a reader. Harry Potter made me a voracious reader. Growing up with Harry and the crew put magic into my life and I’ll never forget that.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. A friend recommended this book to me my freshman year of college, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Meeting Charlie was exactly what I needed to come out of my shell and find myself in college. I’ve read this book more times than I can count and every single time I do, it means something else to me.

The Falls

The Falls by Ian Rankin. The first time I read The Falls, I was just a few months away from spending a month in Scotland for the very first time. I fell in love with the idea of Scotland in the book and I couldn’t wait to see it. The first time I walked across the North Bridge, which is part of a big scene in the book, I was filled with a sense of belonging and happiness and contentedness that I’d never felt. I went on to read every single book that Ian Rankin had written and wrote my senior honors thesis on his books and Edinburgh within them.

The Humans by Matt Haig     Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig. At some point in every person’s life, they feel like an outsider, like an alien from another planet that no one understands. This book came at a time in my life when I felt like that, and it’s there for me every time I feel like that. It reminds me that I’m alive and I’m human and everything will be okay.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. Why, yes, I do have two books by Matt Haig on this list. Both of these books came at a time in my life when I really needed it. I read Reasons to Stay Alive at exactly the right time. Reading about Matt’s struggles with anxiety and depression helped me to understand my own more. It helped me to find hope and to find ways to hold on through the hurricane I was in.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy Cover

The Incredible Book-Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. I think by now you all know I’m a little bit obsessed with Oliver Jeffers books. I first read this a few weeks after starting at my first library. It reignited my love of picture books, reminding me that they are happy things, easily digested for when things are tough and you just. need. to. finish. a. book.

What books changed your life?

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Thursday Thoughts: Andi’s ABCs Pocket Letter Exchange

Last month I signed up to participate in Andi’s (from Andi’s ABCs) Pocket Letter project. According to Andi’s post, “Pocket Letters are penpal letters in. pocket format. Basically, you fill all the pockets of a 9 Pocket Page Protector (or similar) and send. ~Pocket Letter Pals.” I love being crafty and making fun things for people, so I immediately jumped on this. I was paired with the super lovely Erica from Escape Under the Cover and she completely blew me away with her pocket letter. I had to share with you!

We had to fill out a little form with information about ourselves, so, of course, I included that I’m a big Potterhead – so Erica designed and created an entire pocket letter that was HP themed! Every single thing she included was Harry Potter related. SO COOL!

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This is what the overall letter looked like. It was obvious right away what the theme was and I got so excited as I started looking at all the pieces.

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One of the pocket had to be dedicated to an actual letter to your partner, so Erica addressed the letter to Mr. H. Potter – how cute is that?! If you look at the overall letter above, you’ll see that the pocket the letter was in was actually labelled Owl Post, which is adorable. The letter explained how each of the pockets fit into the theme.

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Erica also included a snake ring to represent Nagini. It was a perfect fit – in fact, I’ve pretty much worn it every day since I got the letter. I LOVE it! I’ve gotten several compliments on it as well.

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In the middle pockets, Erica put five bookmarks that she actually made herself! I got Harry, Hermioine, Ron, Luna, and Bellatrix! The last two are made from pages from the books, which is awesome (p.s. you should definitely check out Erica’s Etsy shop if you like these bookmarks because she sells them!).

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The bottom right pocket was labelled as Vault 713 and included a Gringotts Wizarding Bank Receipt – this was a gift card to Barnes & Noble. I mean, just SO ADORABLE and thoughtful. I love how everything she included was tied into this theme.

OTHER ELEMENTS

The other three pockets were some sticker flags that were almost the house color, some chocolate just in case I’m attacked by dementors, and three recipes – for Fizzing Whizbees, Elven Lembas Bread (from Lord of the Rings), and Merida Rebel’s Cherry Topped Drop Cake (from Brave). I haven’t been able to make any of these yet, but I can’t wait to try them! Plus, all of the backgrounds for the pockets were pages from books 3-5.

I just can’t believe how much thought Erica put into the project, and I LOVE every single element she included.

Make sure you check out Erica’s Etsy shop if you are as in love with those bookmarks as I am!

The Disney Book Tag

This tag was created by Katytastic over on YouTube to celebrate the release of The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. I was tagged by Aria at Book Monster and Maren at The Worn Bookmark! Thanks so much for the tags, Aria and Maren!

Disney

  1. The Little Mermaid – a character who is out of their element, a “fish out of water”

Rachel from Jennifer Mathieu’s latest novel, Devoted, leaves the home and family she’s known her whole life to start fresh in the “real” world. She doesn’t really understand how the real world works and must navigate first jobs, first roommates, and figuring out what she truly believes.

  1. Cinderella – a character who goes through a major transformation

Kristin from I.W. Gregorio’s debut None of the Above finds out that she is actually intersex. Her life, identity, and world are completely turned upside down and she must figure out who she really is while everyone else does too.

  1. Snow White – a book with an eclectic cast of characters

I’m going to go with a children’s book for this one: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers is filled to the brim with eclectic characters…er, crayons. Overworked Blue and Mediator Green and WHO IS THE TRUE COLOR OF THE SUN? Yellow or Orange?! Love it.

  1. Sleeping Beauty – a book that put you to sleep

Hands down: If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Ugh.

  1. The Lion King – a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

Harry Potter. Duh. He had like a million traumatic things happen to him while he was a child. Actually, all of those kids who went to Hogwarts during those years had pretty traumatic things happen to them.

  1. Beauty and the Beast – A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber is 500 pages long and absolutely intimidating. I’m so glad I read it though. Not only is it physical beautiful (the pages are gilded – they are gold-edged) but the story is incredibly fascinating and strange and…definitely beautiful.

  1. Aladdin – a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

I’m going to have to go with Maren on this one: Simon from Becky Albertalli’s debut Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda wishes with everything he has to meet Blue, the boy he’s been emailing back and forth for months, and is it for better or worse? You’ll just have to read it and find out. 🙂

  1. Mulan – a character who pretends to be someone or something they are not

Lila Bard in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic dresses up like a man in order to be accepted socially, or at least so she doesn’t draw attention to herself. I chose her because even though she’s pretending to be someone she isn’t, she’s an incredibly badass character.

  1. Toy Story – a book with characters you wish would come to life

Hands down, I would want the characters from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle books to come to life. I just want to be best friends with all of them: Blue, RONAN, Gansey, Noah, Adam, and definitely Chainsaw. I want to hang out at 300 Fox Way and fly around in helicopters looking for Glendower.

  1. Disney Descendants – your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character

I’m a big fan of morally ambiguous characters in books. They are often more complex, more interesting, and more terrifying than the protagonists. My favorite is probably Kevin from We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. He may not be so morally ambiguous. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that he is absolutely evil, but why is he that way? Nature? Nurture? It’s just absolutely fascinating to read about him. Plus, Ezra Miller does a pretty amazing job at portraying him on screen.

I’m tagging: 

Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek

Alison at Hardcovers and Heroines

Shaina at Shaina Reads

Kay at It’s a Book Life

Joey at Thoughts and Afterthoughts

Top Ten Tuesday: Books from My Childhood I Want to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit

I’m going for a mix of books from my childhood and teen years.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone   Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by  Camille Rose Garcia   Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie   Lord of the Flies by William Golding   And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (isn’t that cover illustration awesome?!)

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Matilda by Roald Dahl   Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson   Uglies by Scott Westerfeld   Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan   The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (I’ve actually only read the first three, I think, so I’d like to go back and read them all)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

What books from your childhood or teen years do you want to revisit?

I’m kind of obsessed with the new Harry Potter illustrations by Jim Kay

You guys may or may not be aware that JIM KAY (illustrator of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness) will be illustrating Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Philosopher’s Stone in the UK), which will be coming out in October of this year! As a HUGE Potterhead, I’m obviously very excited about this, both because I always want more of this world and because I love Jim Kay’s illustrations. I think his dark, strange, and unique illustrations will be absolutely perfect  Today, Scholastic released four images by Jim Kay (of Draco, Hermione, Ron, and Hagrid!). My favorite has got to be Draco (Draco is one of my favorite characters), but I also really love Hermione’s illustration (if you zoom in you can see all kind of cool engravings in the door – Lupin, Riddle, Snape). I do not own any of the images; they are available for download in the Scholastic Media Room.

Draco Malfoy by Jim Kay

Hermione by Jim Kay

Ron Weasley by Jim Kay     RubeusHagridJimKay

BookBlogWriMo: #TBT – Favorite Childhood Books

It’s day 6 of BookBlogWriMo, and the topic today is “Favorite Childhood Books”.

This is both an easy and hard topic. What part of my childhood should I tell you about? Should I give an overview of a few books from when I was really small to my teen years? I could go on and on and on, but I think I’ll limit it to the first five books that come to mind.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan by JM Barrie – I love this book and the play and the movie(s) and everything that has to do with it (I even watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates when I babysit). I have a Peter Pan tattoo. I own at least six different editions of the book. I love it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling – Duh. I grew up with Harry Potter. I was about 10 when the first book came out. I was 17 when the last one came out. I went through my angsty teenage years when Harry WAS YELLING IN ALL CAPS. I love this series. So much. I also have a HP tattoo.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I know, I’m a weirdo, but this book is what spurred my love of dystopian novels. This was one of the required books in middle school (?) or high school, I can’t remember, but I devoured it.

Love You Forever

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch – I love this sweet book. My parents read this book to me when I was small, and I will do the same when I have my own kids.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – A beautiful novel of acceptance and love. Another “required” book that I am so happy to have had the opportunity to read. I’ve read this one several times since I was supposedly forced to read it and I love it just as much every time.

What are some of your favorite childhood reads? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Movies to get you in the Halloween spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books/Movies To Read Or Watch To Get In The Halloween Spirit OR Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

I’m going to do movies because I’ve already planned a Halloween Reads post for Friday. So here are ten of the movies you can watch to get you in the Halloween spirit. I’m not a huge fan of scary movies, so most of my choices won’t be scary. They also might not necessarily be Halloween-themed movies, but whatever.

Hocus PocusHocus Pocus

The Nightmare Before Christmas (this one is a favorite of mine; it’s perfect because you can watch it for Halloween or Christmas!)

Edward Scissorhands

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Corpse BrideCorpse Bride

ParaNorman

Coraline

Beetlejuice

And because ABC Family shows them pretty much all month and if I could, I would watch them 24/7 – the Harry Potter films

What about you? Which movies get you in the Halloween spirit?

Top Ten Tuesday: Difficult Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read (because difficult of book, subject matter, because it was cringeworthy– however you want to interpret)

As always, titles are linked to their corresponding Goodreads page. If I’ve reviewed the book on my blog, I’ll link to it after the title.

It's Kind of a Funny StoryBECAUSE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – here’s my review

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – here’s my review

BECAUSE I KEPT ROLLING MY EYES

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – here’s my review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I reviewed this one on WatchPlayRead

BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT THE SERIES TO ENDExit Music

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Exit Music by Ian Rankin – thank goodness this ended up not actually being the end.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – this was hard for more than one reason. I’m sure you could guess all of them

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

What about you? What books were difficult for you to read? Why? Link me up to your TTT!