ideal books

WANTED: A CUTE BOY WITH MESSY HAIR WHO IS TALL AND SMELLS NICE AND ENJOYS CUDDLES, WHO WILL TAKE ME TO AQUARIUMS AND POINT TO THE UGLIEST FISH THEY CAN SEE AND SAY “THAT ONE IS YOU” BUT WHO WILL ALSO TAKE ME TO PLANETARIUMS AND TELL ME THAT I AM PRETTIER THAN ALL OF THE STARS IN THE SKY.

I love you for so many reasons. If I made a list it would never end. I guess the one way to describe it, is that I love loving you. I love everything about you, and more.
A Tip for Book Lovers

If you go to libraries and if you shop at Thriftbooks (both of which I recommend) then you may already know this fact. But if you don’t, let me enlighten you;

These places are breeding grounds for BED BUGS.

No this is not me telling you to stop. No this is not me calling that places dirty or gross. This is just the consequence of book sharing. Because these books trade hands and houses in a wonderful and perfect system of intellectual freedom. And I think that’s beautiful. But when a book trades houses that many times it’s prone to pick up something. That something is usually bed bugs.

Due to their natural structuring, books are ideal homes. And once a book returns to the library or the warehouse, these bedbugs wiggle out and find more places to burrow and breed.

And here’s another fun fact. Unlike ants, bed bugs are not social insects. They don’t like each other. So if you think you can just put down a single trap and catch them all, you’re wrong. They don’t work like that. If you poison one, it won’t go home and do a secret handshake with a hundred other of its friends. It’ll just die. If you kill one, you’ve only killed one.

Why am I telling you this? To scare you? To ward you away? Of course not. I’m just here to make sure you’re aware AND to introduce you to something that could save you a shit ton of grief.

The moment you bring the book home or take it out of its packaging, PUT THAT FUCKER INTO THE FREEZER.

NO. THAT’S NOT A JOKE. MOVE THE LEAN CUISINE OUT OF THE WAY AND POP THAT SUCKER INTO THE FREEZER!!!

Extreme cold and extreme heat kills bed bugs. And since we’re not Trump and holding book burnings is generally looked down upon, we do the next best thing. Freeze it. No, it won’t damage the book. A few days in there will only leave it cold and bug free. But if you’re worried, pop it into a large Ziplock before you do.

Read safe and stay bug free, my bookish friends! 📚📚📖

Things to add to your bucket list:

Travel:

  • See The Northern Lights 
  • See A Solar Eclipse 
  • See A Waterfall 
  • See Cherry Blossoms in Japan 
  • See The 7 Wonders of The World 
  • See The Mona Lisa, at the Louvre in Paris 
  • See Da Vinci’s Notebooks, Victoria and Albert Museum 
  • Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square 
  • Spend a day at Central Park, New York 
  • Spend Mardi Gras in New Orleans 
  • Spend La Tomatina in Spain 
  • Spend Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico 
  • Use a Cable Car In San Francisco 
  • Visit Anne Frank’s House 
  • Visit Large Hadron Collider 
  • Walk Along the Great Wall of China 
  • Push A Stone at Stonehenge 
  • Wear an Authentic Kimono in Japan 
  • Make A Guard Laugh at Buckingham Palace 
  • Go to an Olympic Game 
  • Travel All Around the World 
  • Stand at The Equator 
  • Backpack Across at Least 10 Locations 
  • Pack Your Bags and Set Off for A Random Location 
  • Live in A Different Country for at Least 6 Months 
  • Set Foot in All the Continents 
  • See A TED Talk Live 
  • Comic Con or Who Con – Any Con 
  • Tee in The Park 
  • Coachella 
  • Go On a Safari 

Achieve Something

  • Achieve My Ideal Weight 
  • Publish A Book 
  • Get Featured in The Media for Something You Are Proud Of 
  • Start A Movement On a Cause You Believe In 
  • Get A Standing Ovation 
  • Get A Street Named After Me 
  • Give £10,000 To Charity 
  • Create A Famous Quote 
  • Start A Phenomenon 
  • Start A Petition 
  • Prove A Theory 
  • Become an Ordained Minister 

People

  • Be A Matchmaker 
  • Contact A Company  Just to Thank Them 
  • Fold 1,000 Origami Cranes and Give Them to Someone Special 
  • Pie Someone in The Face 
  • Personally Know Someone Famous 
  • Do Volunteer Work 
  • Be A Mentor to Someone 
  • Make A Difference in Someone’s Life 
  • Teach Someone Illiterate to Read 
  • Give A Heartfelt Surprise to Someone 
  • Perform A Kind Deed Without Expecting Anything in Return 
  • Meet A Good Street Performer 
  • Shake Hands with PM and President 
  • Meet Someone You Can Only Dream of Meeting 
  • Collect Autographs from All My Favourite People 
  • Donate Blood and Meet Who It Got Donated To 
  • Get A Pen Pal 
  • Write 365 Letters to Someone 
  • Write Letters to 5 People Who Positively Influenced You 
  • Leave £100 Tip for a waiter/waitress 
  • Befriend A Stranger 
  • Get A Drink for A Stranger 
  • High Five a Stranger 
  • Take A Picture with A Stranger 
  • Give Free Hugs on a side-walk 
  • Hold Sign Saying ‘Talk to Me About Anything’ On A Busy Street 
  • Order Pizza and Send It to A Random House with Note 

Something for Me

  • Get A Pet 
  • Get A Complete Makeover 
  • Decorate My Room – Paint A Cool Landscape 
  • Fly First Class 
  • Get My Portrait Painted 
  • Legitimately Play a Song On Any Musical Instrument 
  • Get A Signed Copy of a Book I Love 
  • Dye My Hair an Unnatural Colour – Purple/Blue 
  • Get The Restaurant Staff Sing for my birthday 
  • Get A Mani/Pedi 
  • Have A Spa Day 
  • Receive A Postcard from All Countries from Post Crossing 
  • Get A Star Named After Me 
  • Get Picked Up at The Airport by Someone with A Sign 
  • Authentic Chuck Taylors 

Learn Something New

  • Learn A New Language 
  • Learn Morse Code 
  • Learn to Say Hello in 26 Languages 
  • Learn Sign Language 

Try Something New

  • Try A Profession in A Different Field 
  • Try Every Single Ben and Jerry’s Flavour 
  • Try to Be Vegan for A Week 

Once in a Lifetime

  • Fly in A Hot-Air Balloon 
  • Do Public Speaking 
  • Act in A Film - Big or Small 
  • Be an Extra in a Big Film 
  • Crowd Surf 
  • Indoor Skydiving 
  • Wash an Elephant 
  • Ride A Rollercoaster 
  • Be On a Big Screen 

Participate in/Organize  Something

  • Run A Marathon 
  • Volunteer at A Hospice 
  • Go in A Corn Maze 
  • Join A Book Club 
  • High School Reunion 
  • Participate in Holi Festival 
  • Attend A Jewish Wedding 
  • Attend A Christian Wedding 
  • Attend A Hindi Wedding 
  • Attend A Sikh Wedding 
  • Attend A Muslim Wedding 
  • Attend An Atheist Wedding
  • Attend Any Wedding … 
  • Attend A Random Wedding as a Stranger 
  • Treasure Hunt 
  • Scavenger Hunt 
  • Masquerade Ball 
  • Murder Mystery Dinner 
  • Organise A Picnic Outing 
  • Organise A Barbeque 
  • Organize a Block Party 
  • Throw A Mega Party       
  • Put On a Fundraiser 
  • Foam Party 
  • Zombie Walk 
  • National Novel Writing Month 
  • MONOPOLY – actually complete it 

Something Sentimental

  • Walk/Dance Barefoot in The Rain 
  • Experience A Sunrise 
  • Experience A Sunset 
  • Go Stargazing 
  • Plant A Tree and Watch It Grow 
  • Go Camping 
  • Road Trip 
  • Fly A Kite 
  • Fall Asleep On Grassy Plains 
  • Ultimate Water Fight 
  • Message in A Bottle 
  • Sleep Under the Stars 
  • Make A Cool Snowman 
  • MOVIE MARATHON 
  • All Day with No Technology 
  • Water gun and Water Balloon Fight 
  • Bonfire and S’mores 
  • Blanket and Sofa Fort 
  • Catch Fireflies 
  • Collect Seashells 
  • Messy Twister 
  • Let A Floating Lantern Go 
  • Belong in A Secret Society 
  • Collect A Penny Made in Every Year I’ve Been Alive
  • Food Fight 
  • Leave A Note in A Library Book 
  • Leave A Note On A Car Window 
  • Leave A Shoe at A Ball 
  • Release A Chinese Lantern 
  • Use A Fake Name at Starbucks 
  • Pretend to Be a Window Mannequin 
  • Pull A Fire Alarm 
  • Pull an All Nighter 
  • Put A Pair of My Shoes On a Shoe Tree 

Places to go / Things To See

  • Ballet 
  • Beach 
  • Castle 
  • Concert 
  • Drive-in Movie 
  • Factory 
  • Haunted Place 
  • Laser Quest 
  • Museum 
  • Music Festival 
  • Paintballing 
  • Theatre 
  • Zip line 

Make Something

  • Knit A Scarf 
  • Build A Treehouse 
  • Write A Children’s Book 
  • Start A Vlog 
  • Make A Rubber Band Ball 
  • Start A Scrapbook 
  • Do A 365 Day Photo Project 
  • Wreck-This Journal 
  • Make A Bracelet 
  • Bake Something 

hogwartsexprss  asked:

Can you write a Solangelo fic about your favorite headcanon for them?

Anon said: Bc I love your interpretation of solangelo so much I was wondering if you could write a drabble of any one of your solangelo headcanons x

Nico doesn’t look up from his book when there’s a knock on the door. A moment later, Will’s face peeks around the door, and Nico sighs, waving him in.

“Hey, Neeks,” Will says, shutting the cabin door behind him. It’s as silent as a graveyard in the Hades cabin, as usual, but unlike the eerie hollow silence as before, it’s more of a peaceful, safe silence away from the usual ruckus outside. 

“Don’t call me that,” Nico replies, flipping a page. He doesn’t move as Will makes himself comfortable on the bed next to him. “Thought you were leading the Arts and Crafts today.”

“Leo showed up,” Will says, and Nico winces in sympathy. He can imagine the smoke and sparks and sparkles already.

Will shifts, and then he’s flopping over Nico’s lap, stretching like a cat. Nico lifts his book so Will doesn’t smack it out of his hands. He looks down at the other boy, noting the shadows under those blue eyes, the weary downward tug on those familiar lips. 

Nico lowers a hand into the blond curls, watching as Will’s eyes slip shut at the touch. “Take a nap,” Nico tells him. “I’ll wake you for dinner.”

“You don’t mind?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Will’s eyes open slightly, and he smiles at him, all soft and stupidly adorable. “You take such good care of me.”

Nico ruffles his hair until Will laughs, swatting lightly at his hand. You do the same, Nico thinks, but out loud he says, “Go to sleep, Solace, before I make you.”

“Okay, okay.” Will closes his eyes. He’s still smiling, and Nico isn’t surprised to find an answering smile on his own face. “Thanks, Nico.”

Nico hums, returning to his book. His hand continues to pet Will’s hair, until gentle snores fill the silence of the Hades cabin.

Give me “Gorgeous” characters with scars and stretch marks, characters who have keratosis pilaris or pigmentation problems, give me dark characters with rough skin and worked hands, characters whose beauty isn’t defined by soft pale skin.

17-yo Yuzuru’s thought about figure skating and jumps

This is so precious as he also thought about Pyeongchang laready. Wow, I can never get enough of how deep a thinker Yuzu is. This is excerpt from an interview he did in January 2012 when he just turned 17 (from Aoi Hono 1)

“Quad era, I have thought about how far it’s going to. From Gachinski, there are many young skaters that can do quads, I wonder how high level would the quad era become by the time of Pyeongchang Olympics. Other than quad toe-loop, I think it’s really cool to see Brandon Mroz (USA) jump quad lutz in competition. In Japan, because Honda Takeshi succeeded jumping the lutz in practice, so I do feel like catching up with them. I also have pride as an athlete, so I do want to show things like “ I can jump this well”. But in competition… I don’t think we  need to jump that many types of quad at this point yet. Of course, if we can have a program with a quad lutz in the beginning, a quad toe in the second half, putting in 2 triple axels…, if we can do that, then we would get many points. But right now, is it necessary to have so many jumps? Though it is true that it is an era where having quad is normal, rather than doing many different types of quads, it’s mostly about toe-loop and salchow now. Actually, having just toe loop is fine if you jump properly, and the skating and the whole program is perfect. Because after all, jumps aren’t everything, that’s figure skating.”

Wow, how much I love this paragraph!!! I love how he has always tried to deliver a complete program as much as he can since young age and his mindset about figure skating. 

And wow, since he mentioned a powerful program in 2012 with “with a quad lutz in the beginning, a quad toe in the second half, putting in 2 triple axels”, he’s doing it for real next season I guess.


For anyone who wants to read it in Japanese: (and I really recommend buying the 2 autobiographies, it’s worth it, even if you’re learning Japanese I swear!!!)

I don’t want to be the kind of person that people write stories about. I don’t want my name written on clouds or screamed from the tops of mountains and cliffs. I want to live a simple life with a peaceful mind. I want the roof above my head to be filled with tiny sparkling lights. I want to get all my sleep in your arms - if I could have it, I want my final resting place to be your arms too. I want to go through people unnoticed and unobserved, much like the wind. I want to be able to remain unassuming and unexpecting after meeting a new person. I want to bake cookies and eat them with you. I want to live life sticking to my principles through and through. I want to live life like I want to be after I die; without worry or judgement, drifting in the ocean all alone with you for company, and no end in sight.
—  oscarsins

Remember his comments as a 20-year-old?

Everyone in the studio was speechless after his statement about how parents should raise their children to become someone like him. (this is just a rough translation)

M1:(right after his answer) I give that 100 points *everyone laughs*

W1: There’s nothing left to say, right?

M1: He’s even good (put emotions) in his answers…

W2: Even for parents find it hard to say that (what he said abt there are good points in their children). Last time when I watched GPF together with my son, and he said that he also want to become like Yuzuru Hanyu. But now that I listened to Hanyu, I realized it’s impossible.*everyone laughs*

M2: (was asked for his opinion about Yuzu’s answer as a 20-year-old) Oh, how to say this? It doesn’t seem right haha……

Everyone just went on about how he doesn’t seem like 20 years old at all, from his answers to his expression on ice. 

Guys, I know, I feel the same. This boy is a gift to the world (or an alien). He never seems to be his age, physically and mentally. He looks forever younger and thinks like so much older than his age. Truly belongs to Hanyu planet XD

anonymous asked:

Can you recommend some good books for someone in a slump after finishing all the Outlander books? :)

You want me to recommend books? 😍😍😍

Now, for me, recommendations kind of depend on what kind of thing you’re looking for as well as what some of your other tastes include – i.e. the Outlander series is a good starting point, but I’d need to know more of what you like to give a truly effective recommendation. 

But, there are plenty of books that I can recommend generally, so…

Originally posted by arrowreactiongifs


Lenny’s Book Recommendations Masterlist

Highest recommendations are in all caps. Sorting by genre/category but in no particular order. Also including links to my reviews for the ones I have reviews for. If anyone ever feels like talking books, please, please, please don’t hesitate to drop by my inbox/chat me up. If you have questions, recommendations, etc. I am always ready to talk books.

*These are by no means the only books I recommend. If you send me a list of your 5-10 favorite books/series, I can probably give you a more specific list of recommendations (this is an open invitation to do exactly this; I love tailoring recommendations). 

Update: Newest additions are bolded

Young Adult Fiction

HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins **cannot recommend highly enough** - dystopic young adult fiction at its best

Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Queen of Hearts origin story

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (second book is the weakest but all the rest are fantastic; Winter is my favorite) - if you like reworked fairy tales

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass (mostly just the first and fourth books though) - a bit of a The Bachelor/reality dating show but with a dash of dystopia

Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore - some humans with magical/superhuman abilities; fighting against an oppressive ruler; fantasy setting

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - intriguing narrative structure; does explore a teen’s suicide

HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling (cause duh) - wizard school shenanigans and defeating a dark wizard (if you aren’t already aware)

The Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce - fantasy; four children brought up learning specific magical skill sets based on unique, elementally linked abilities

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - teen girl’s struggles with school and friends after her rape

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES by Sarah J. Maas *recommended to me by @bonnie-wee-swordsman​/ @acotargaryen​; fantasy (very sex positive); a human is brought into fae territory as war appears to be brewing and threatening her own human territory as well; as the series progresses, themes related to consent and agency grow stronger in ways that are ideal for YA audiences; Book 2 (A Court of Mist and Fury) is the best as far as both content and pacing

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - (I’m just starting Book 2) a bit of a cross between dystopic fiction and fantasy (so right in my genre sweet spot); Silvers rule over Reds but one Red girl threatens to upset that balance

Young Adult Historic Fiction

Mine Eyes Have Seen by Ann Rinaldi - John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry as experienced through one of his daughters

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi - Salem witch trials through the eyes of a young woman who knows the accusers

Sisters of the Quantock Hills Quartet by Ruth Elwin Harris - four sisters (artistically inclined) deal with the trio of brothers they love as WW I impacts their lives

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES SERIES by L. M. Montgomery **not really historic fiction as it was contemporary, but SUCH an important book/series for young Lenny** - an eccentric and imaginative orphan girl is adopted by an elderly brother and sister on Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century

Time Travelers Quartet by Caroline B. Cooney - a teen girl stumbles through time to the Victorian era where she meets a young man and gets caught up in his family’s troubles

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene - a young Jewish girl encounters a young German POW during WW II

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse - a young girl’s reminiscences of family tragedy during the Dust Bowl; presented in poems, free verse

Non Fiction

What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club by Gregory E. Pence - bioethics and philosophy in Orphan Black

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport - the lives of the Romanov daughters with quite a bit about their mother as well; also a lot about the family’s life under house arrest and their ultimate deaths

Dead Wake by Erik Larson - the circumstances and events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania

The Pope and Mussolini by David I. Kertzer - the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church under Pius XI and Mussolini as he rose and took power of Italy

Zealot by Reza Aslan - an exploration of the life of the historic figure of Jesus of Nazareth (what history has recorded as opposed to the Bible’s understanding of the man)

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany as experienced by the American ambassador in Berlin and his family

QUIET by Susan Cain **an empowering MUST read for introverts** - exploring introversion, its many facets, and how business culture/society at large works for and against introverts

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr - the search for and discovery of a lost Caravaggio painting

THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson - looking at serial killer H.H. Holmes and the development of the Chicago World’s Fair; both in action at the same time and in the same area

War is a Force that Gives us Meaning by Christ Hedges - a look at nationalistic wars in the 20th century and the patterns, similarities between them

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss - humor, punctuation, and history

Alternative History

The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen - what if Anne Boleyn had given birth to Henry VIII’s son after having had Elizabeth? A novel centered on that son’s reign and the friends he and Elizabeth have in common

The Tudor Legacy Trilogy by Laura Andersen (a sequel trilogy to The Boleyn Trilogy) - what if Elizabeth I had had an heir? Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip II of Spain is falling apart but she has her daughter Anne Isabel as her heir

Science Fiction/Dystopic Fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (LOVED the adaptation; definitely recommend checking it out along with the book) - looking at women’s lives when reproduction falls under state/government control

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER/THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS by Octavia Butler - environmental disaster ensues and chaos reigns but Lauren finds and creates a functioning community amongst fleeing survivors sharing her new and developing religion with them

MADDADDAM TRILOGY by Margaret Atwood (I seriously need HBO to get their shit together and get moving on the adaptation of this trilogy) - the world has ended as we know it thanks to one possibly mad scientist but some of humanity survived along with the humanoid species that scientist engineered

THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST by Claire North - some people turn out to be capable of being reborn into their same life over and over; they can affect the world around them but largely agree altering things drastically should be avoided… but not everyone is willing to follow the rules

Lilith’s Brood (the Xenogenesis Trilogy) by Octavia Butler (not going to be to everyone’s taste, even for sci fi lovers, but I just LOVE Octavia Butler) -aliens save what’s survived of the human race but seek to adapt themselves so that they can continue a new race/species with the humans; those children face trials of their own as the generations continue to develop (really good series if you’re interested in gender identity/non-binary sexuality, etc.)

Fledgling by Octavia Butler - a young surviving alien whom humans mistake for a vampire must find her way after the rest of her family are destroyed but others of her kind consider her an abomination and want her destroyed too

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett - science fiction lite; a virus wipes out nearly the whole of the human race leaving the survivors scattered across space (where population and government issues had forced many to colonize) fighting to find each other and decide what their collective future should be

Historic Fiction

THE KILLER ANGELS by Mike Sharra - the battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of some of the commanders on both sides

The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown - a novel about Caroline Herschel

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert - a little girl escapes one of the trains headed to the death camps in WW II Poland but after the war is transported out of Poland (which is falling under Communist Russia’s thumb) and adopted by a family in Africa

Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - deals with the Armenian genocide during WW I

Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar - a novel about the Bloomsbury Group, specifically Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa

Poldark Series by Winston Graham - the lives and trials of a mine owning family in Cornwall in the late 18th century; social/class issues a central theme

Silence by Shusaku Endo - a 17th centuryJesuit goes to Japan to investigate apostasy of a priest there and witnesses the plight of the local Christians **I had no idea until now that Silence movie I’ve seen advertised briefly was an adaptation of this book**

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré - Cold War espionage in England; there’s a mole giving valuable information to the Soviets and he must be found before too much is compromised

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy - a novel about the concentration camps in WW II and two children who try and manage to escape

North and South Trilogy by John Jakes - two young men bond at West Point and their families become fast friends but as tensions rise and war breaks out, they’re on opposite sides of the Civil War

Literary Fiction

The Golem and the Jinnie by Helene Wecker *recommended to me by @dingbatland - two mythical creatures rooted in different cultures find themselves unexpectedly in New York at the turn of the 20th century

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood - a young woman is accused of murdering her employer and coworker in the mid-19th century and is convicted but there are many who doubt her guilt (inspired by a true case)

ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan **my favorite Ian McEwan novel and a fantastic movie adaptation** - perspective and appearances matter as a young girl’s accusation changes the lives of her sister and the young man she loves with fall out that carries the family through WW II

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver - a missionary brings his wife and four girls to the Belgian Congo in 1959 and it changes the family forever; the story is told in first person narration through each of the girls’ perspectives and is unparalleled

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon - an autistic young man tries to make sense of an incident that happened and what it means for his important routines

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (currently my favorite recent release recommendation) - Russian folktales are woven into a story where the traditions of the rural outskirts of society clash with the power and will of the Church

The Star-Touched Queen Series by Roshani Chokshi - the daughter of a raja is rumored to be cursed but there is one suitor who wants her and brings her to a realm she’s only heard of in stories; rooted in Indian mythology; Book 2, A Crown of Wishes follows the sister of the lead from Book 1 as she accompanies a young (and powerless) prince to the Otherworld to compete in the Tournament of Wishes

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North - a young film maker’s life and death are told and examined by some of the people in her life: former lovers, friends, acquaintances, family

MOTHER NIGHT by Kurt Vonnegut - a politically indifferent playwright who ended up working for the Nazis writes his memoirs while on trial for the role he played in the regime

Room by Emma Donoghue - a young woman and her son escape the man who kidnapped the woman and kept her in isolation for years but then must adjust to the real world again; told from the young boy’s perspective

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - a young, poor African-American girl grows up in Depression Era Ohio; explores race relations, societal concepts of beauty, etc. (Morrison’s first novel)

A Mercy by Toni Morrison - explores the origins of slavery in early America (1692), namely through the women living and working on a farm in Virginia (a group including immigrants, natives, and Africans)

Mystery/Crime/Thriller/Horror

The Yard by Alex Grecian - in the wake of Jack the Ripper, the new homicide division of Scotland Yard is under scrutiny but there also appears to be someone out to kill their detectives; interesting look at the early methods of both the detectives and forensic science

Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling (the second is my favorite cause I read revenge tragedies in one of my grad classes) - Cormoran Strike is a private detective in desperate need of paying clients; when a young woman shows up from a temp agency determined to do more than just reception work about the same time an old friend appears looking for answers in his famous model sister’s death, things begin to change for Strike’s business prospects

The Godfather by Mario Puzo - Italian mafia battles in New York following WW II

The Shining by Stephen King - a family settle into an enormous hotel in the mountains to live as caretakers there for the winter but the hotel appears to have other plans for them and especially the gifted son

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (but watch out for book four; it was ghost written after Larsson’s death a few years ago and is not based on his notes for book four) - a disgraced reporter looks for a project to work on while his infamy blows over but gets dragged into a decades old case; a young hacker with her own issues with the Swedish government and social work system becomes involved too and an odd partnership is born; later the woman’s personal and family history begin to cause problems and garner the public’s attention for the wrong reasons

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie - a group of houseguests arrive at a large and secluded island home for a weekend away but their host doesn’t appear to be present and what’s more, none of them have met him or her; when people start dying, those remaining begin to suspect one another

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - when a child is killed in a hit-and-run crash, the authorities investigating find themselves dealing with a confusing mess while a woman somehow connected to the case and who recently relocated tries to rebuild a life for herself 

Fantasy/Fantasy-ish

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (third book was my favorite) - a young woman who’s long denied her calling as a witch stumbles across an ancient and powerful text that just about everyone in the supernatural world (that she’s done her best to ignore) wants

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - a man returning to his hometown for a funeral begins to recall some strange events from his childhood and the young girl he had been friends with

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern **going to do a reread of this sometime this year** - magicians battle with one another through proxies but those two proxies form an unexpected relationship

THE CHILD THIEF by Brom - a very dark and intriguing take on the Peter Pan story that borrows some Avalon mythology, the accompanying artwork is amazing, even in digital form

LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien (I’m not a fan of The Hobbit though) - the ring of power must be destroyed to prevent a dark lord from taking over MiddleEarth and an unassuming hobbit is entrusted with the task

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - a (wrongfully) disgraced student of magick meets up with a professor’s daughter who longs to learn and truths begin to emerge along with powers neither understand yet

Classics

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - Louis XIII’s musketeers seek to protect the country and their king from the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - a young man’s life appears to be falling into place before he is falsely accused of conspiring to restore Napoleon and imprisoned for twenty years; when he escapes, he seeks revenge on those who locked him away

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - when a young woman’s family circumstances force them to leave their home in the southern countryside and relocate to an industrial town in the north, she becomes acquainted with one of the mill owners and the poor conditions faced by the workers and their families; romantic, socio-economic, and philosophical tensions arise

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen - bad first impressions can still lead to deep love and understanding… eventually

PERSUASION by Jane Austen - when a woman’s former flame returns, she laments the advice that she’d followed years before in breaking off their engagement but is it too late or does he still have feelings for her too?

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky **possibly my favorite novel of all time but it’s definitely not for everyone** - a young man firmly believes that the ends justify the means, even when it comes to murder… until he tries it and finds himself wracked with guilt; can he be redeemed and if so, how?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - a flirtation becomes an affair and a woman must decide how to handle her husband and her lover as her life changes against the backdrop of a drastically changing Russia

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton - a young woman learns the hard way just how difficult it is to keep running in the circles of high society when one has no money and must rely on the generosity of one’s friends, especially when rumors start to fly

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - a family is threatened by the changing tides in revolutionary Paris and they fight to escape to the safety of London 

(**personally, my favorite Dickens novel is Our Mutual Friend but A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations aren’t as intimidating and are excellent for getting used to Dickens’ style**)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - a family is forced off their property by the banks and circumstances during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, so they head west where there are supposed to be plenty of jobs in California but will they survive the journey and will those jobs still be there when they and everyone else in their situation actually arrive

The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck - a town is invaded in WW II and order is imposed by the invaders but it proves not to be as gentle as the invaders would have the people believe and the townsfolk aren’t as compliant as they first appear

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - **you either love magical realism or you hate it; I LOVE it** - the story of the Buendía family and the town they founded, Macondo, where unusual things tend to happen

Guilty Pleasures

Virgin Series by Radhika Sanghani - a young woman wants to lose her virginity but her embarrassing experiences in the past and navigating societal expectations have her worried it will never happen **very funny and body/sex positive*

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Catherine of Aragon and her marriages to two princes of England, Arthur and then his younger brother, Henry VIII

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - the first in her Cousins War/War of the Roses series (I need to 1. watch the Starz adaptation of this book and 2. get around to reading the next books in this series)

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary, who had an affair with Henry VIII first and then watched her sister’s rise and fall

Imagine if this site stanned for Hufflepuff as hard as they do for Slytherin. Wouldn’t that be neat?

Hufflepuff is the best house. If you don’t think so you are factually wrong.