Top 5 nonfiction books on my tbr

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic revolves around Nonfiction November, and is a bit open-ended as far as what to actually write about. So I’ve chosen to do the top five nonfiction books I want to read out of all the unread ones that I own.

I don’t talk too much about nonfiction, as I rarely read it. When I do read it though, I tend to enjoy it. I just have to be in the mood. In my house there are about one and a half book cases worth of nonfiction books. Most of them are my husband’s, but I have a chunk of them too. According to my Goodreads shelf, I own twenty-two nonfiction books that I have yet to read. Looking through those, these are the five that most grab my attention, in no particular order:

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – I picked this up a few months ago after the author gave a presentation for my work. I’ve seen the movie and loved it, so I wanted to give the book a try as well.

The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku – If I’m being honest I basically wanna read all of Kaku’s books, but this is the one I own. My first college degree was in psychology, so this subject in particular is fascinating to me. This book I believe deals with speculative projections of what could possibly happen to human consciousness in the future as technology continues to advance.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – This is a memoir, and from what I’ve heard, a really powerful one. My sociology professor recommended this to me back in 2009 or so I think. I have it, haven’t read it yet because I’m scared it’s gonna break my heart.

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone – I picked this book up a few years ago when I went to Chicago and saw Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! recorded live. Paula Poundstone wasn’t on that particular episode so that was a bummer, but I really like her sense of humor and her opinions on a lot of things. So I picked up her book at the merch tables they had!

DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman, M.D. – I picked this book up years ago when I was studying for my psychology degree as a bit of side reading, but never got to for one reason or another. Despite me working as a software engineer now, I still really do have a love for psychology (and would have stuck with it professionally if it paid the bills). So I am still very interested in this book. DMT is a chemical that is made by the human brain during near death experiences, and those who take it synthetically report to have spiritual experiences. So the whole thing is rather fascinating to me, as this molecule can both be seen through a scientific and spiritual lens, and I wanna know more about it.

And that’s it! There are a bunch of other books on my nonfiction tbr as well so if you’re at all curious, you can check out the shelf of them I made here.

Happy reading!

Top 5 translated reads

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic is translated reads: ones that I read in English that originally weren’t published in that language.

Inkeart by Cornelia FunkeGerman – This book was one of the very first ones I bought with my own money when I was a kid. It fills me with nostalgia, man.

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko – Ukrainian – This is my most recent translated read and I loved it. It’s so weird and most of the time I had no idea what was going on, but in the best way.

The Diary of Ma Yan by Ma Yan – Chinese (unsure which dialect) – This is a nonfiction diary of a young girl in China who wants to go to school, and her struggles to get there. This is a really powerful one.

 

The Good Women of China by Xinran – Chinese (unsure which dialect) – This is another non-fiction, depicting the stories that women shared on the radio anonymously in the 80s. Again, this is a powerful one.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Lerous – French – This is another recent read that I loved. I even went out and bought the musical as a follow up. Gonna watch it soon-ish.

And that’s it! I tried to stay away from manga as I could totally just make a list of ‘best manga’ on its own, and that wasn’t my goal here.

Lemme know what you think!

Top 5 books that took me ages to read

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic is books that took me ages to read, ones that I spent so long on that I grew a beard and shaved it off. I swear I’ve posted something like this before but when I scoured my past posts I couldn’t find it, so maybe I’m imagining it. Anyways, these are the books that took me the duration of the Jurassic period to get through:

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman – I read this in May of… last year? 2018? Something like that, for a readathon, and man it took me all month. This is a short story collection and I should have known better.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – I have such a love-hate relationship with this one. It’s creepy when it wants to be but it’s also amazingly dull. I loved the actual scary parts of the book but to be honest, most of it was a slog to get through.

Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams – This book I read out loud with my husband. It took us a year, literally. If you go back in my posts to 2017 or so, you’ll see this book in my ‘currently reading’ for decades.

The Broken Eye and The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks – Both of these books took me months to read. The latter of the two, I actually ended up restarting because I forgot what was happening in the middle.

They both got five and four stars though, so it’s not like I didn’t like them. Who knows what it was!

And that’s it! If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know how long it took you! Happy reading!

Top 5 book blasphemies I’ve committed

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Today’s topic is officially ‘TL;DR’ – meaning books where I’ve watched the movie/tv show but haven’t read the books. I changed the title a bit though because I mean it’s an atrocity, so…

And it’s not that I didn’t read them because they’re too long necessarily, it’s just that I’m a terrible human! :”D

The Lord of the Rings is honestly one of my favorite movie series. I literally watch them probably once a month or so. So me not having read the books is really bad.

I did try reading The Hobbit a year or two ago and didn’t care for it, so that’s why I’m hesitating here. I think an audio book might be needed.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – When this came out in theaters, I saw it really quickly and loved it. And then within the last couple months, the author did a presentation for my work, which made me pick up the book as well. So I intend to read this, I just haven’t gotten that far yet.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This one is particularly bad that I haven’t read, as it takes place where I live. So seeing the movie, by the way, was so surreal.

Back when I was first getting my psych degree, The Silence of the Lambs was one of my favorite movies, and I still have a bit of a soft spot for it. At the time I didn’t even know it was based on a book at all. Looking at it now, it’s book two in a series, so I don’t feel bad for not getting to it yet. I do own this, buuuut I haven’t decided if I wanna read it or not. It might end up in a purge, we’ll see.

Out of all of the books on this list, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is probably the only one I definitely don’t intend to read. And that’s not a negative to it by any means, it’s just not a genre I gravitate towards. That being said, I did really enjoy the movie. It was cute and funny and I really loved the relationship the main character has with her sisters. Honestly typing this up now makes me wanna rewatch it.

And that’s it! If you’ve read any of these books, do let me know if they’re worth the investment or not! Happy reading!

Top 5 books with autumn vibes

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy autumn! Today’s post is about books with fall-y vibes. I’m going with books that feel like autumn, as opposed to having fall-y covers, etc. That’s another post, pbtbt. And by ‘feel’ I mean… well, I mean feel! I don’t know how to explain it to you man. Work with me.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I don’t remember off the top of my head what season it is when the book takes place, but to me, the combination of the entire tone of this book would just go so well with bustling leaves and chilly nights, don’t you think?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Again, same as above, I don’t remember the actual season in the plot, if it’s mentioned at all, but the spookiness of October just seems right for this book, particularly taking into consideration the monster that shows up, y’know. :p

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – This one I do remember better. While it’s not fall throughout the book, they definitely enter a fall zone, and that’s the part of the setting that sticks out to me the most clearly, so it makes the list.

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio – I feel like the cover alone could qualify this, but as I’ve already stated I’m not basing this off of covers. This one I chose because aside from the creepy tone throughout the thing, it’s also set in college, and in my mind college = back to school = hoodies and jeans. Fall.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – Last one. I chose this one for the same reason as I chose the one above: the school setting. School and fall are basically inseparable in my mind. Why? Well, I mean, twenty-one years of going back to school in the fall will do that to you.

And that’s it! Lemme know what you think of the above! Happy reading!

Top 5 “Reader Canon” books I haven’t read yet

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

Happy Wednesday! Today’s topic is reader canon books I haven’t read. Meaning, books that considered ‘essential reading’ for one’s niche of reading, in the way that Pride and Prejudice is to classics for instance. Well known ones, y’know! I read a lot of fantasy, so that’s the genre I’m going to be sticking to today! To make it harder (or easier?) I’m going to limit this to books I physically own. I want to read all these, man. I just… haven’t.

And today I have six to talk about!

Starting with the most intimidating ones. The reason why I haven’t read these is well, they’re intimidating. All of them are big and thick and dense and they scare me. I’ll read them someday. I might need a buddy read to do it, honestly. I read scary books like this better in that situation.

These three are a bit more modern, and not nearly as intimidating. I don’t really have a good reason why I haven’t read these yet other than ‘I just haven’t’, I suppose. I have a buddy read lined up for The Fifth Season at least… at some point. We’re in the middle of Juliet Marillier at the moment, and then we’ll hop over to N. K. Jemisin. For the other two? No idea. They’ve survived multiple cullings though so I definitely do wanna read them, I just don’t know when it’ll happen.

And that’s it! If you’ve read any of the above, particularly the top three, lemme know. Give me hope that they’re not as dense as I imagine them to be. Happy reading!

Top 5 Wednesday: Books the internet didn’t force me to read

Top 5 Wednesday topics can be found here!

So technically today’s topic is ‘BookTube Didn’t Make Me Read It’ but obviously, I’m not a youtube person, and most of my online participation in the book community is done through blogs. So I tweaked it a bit to be more general.

These are books I picked up either before I made my blog or books I picked up without hearing about them online somewhere first! Aka, the internet didn’t force me to read them with its damn peer pressure.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – This one is a sort of cheat, I guess. I bought it a long time ago, by randomly pulling it from the shelf at the store and reading the back. It sounded interesting, so I got it.

Then… it sat on my shelf for years. When I first started my blog, I saw it floating around, and went ‘oh yeah I have that’ and I read it. So… technically the internet did make me read this, but I’d already decided to read it before it made me read it? That counts, right?

This story follows a young boy living in a world where everyone’s thoughts are broadcast for everyone to hear. Everybody’s. Humans’, animals’, and even bugs’ thoughts, all amassing into a wall of noise. Then one day, the boy comes across a patch of silence.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville – I picked this up shortly after I started my blog, though it was of my own volition: It had been sitting on my shelf for a while and I finally decided to give it a try. It ended up being one of my first reviews.

This story is… hard to explain. It takes plan in a city resting a giant rib cage, the remains of some long-dead leviathan, and includes garuda and mad scientists and strange creatures and ladies with bugs for a head. It’s really out there, but it’s really good.

The Fold by Peter Clines – This book I picked up after I saw its cover gleaming at me in the window of a beach side bookshop when I was on vacation. So yes, it was a total cover-buy.

I ended up really loving this though, so turned out good! This story follows a group of scientists experimenting with a teleportation portal, and things aren’t… quite what they thought. Writing this out makes me wanna reread it, man.

Scar Night by Alan Campbell – This is one of my long-time favorites. I haven’t read it in about a decade though, so I’ll have to reread it soon to see if it holds up. This was one of my first dives into adult fantasy and man, it was really cool.

This takes place in a city suspended by chains over a seemingly bottomless abyss. It’s very steampunk, and has renegade angels and false gods and men anchoring dieties to the earth. I gotta reread it soon, man. I gotta.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – I read this about the same time in my life that I did Scar Night. I was maybe 20 or so. Only recently did I actually reread this, and actually went through and finished the nine book series. Originally I had only read the first five or so. It was so worth it though, rereading it from the beginning. The whole series is so satisfying and wonderful.

This is a historical fantasy, set during the Napoleonic Wars and focuses on dragon aerial combat. It’s really detailed, it’s historically accurate (except for like.. the dragons, duh) and really well written. This series is amazing and if you like fantasy you should really check this one out.

And that’s it! I really liked this topic. If you’ve read any of the above or if they sound interesting to you, do let me know!

Top 5 songs that remind me of books!

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Top 5 Wednesday is back!!!

Today’s topic is songs that remind me of books! If you’d like to do T5W, you can find the list of topics here!

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5 – The Lay of Thrym by Tyr

This song I associate with Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer series. I must have been listening to it or something when I originally read the first book, because now whenever I hear this, the characters pop in my head!

4 – Iron by Within Temptation

This song doesn’t remind me of a single book in particular, but it reminds me of the kind of book where the main protagonist has to overcome some obstacle and inevitably has one of those ‘don’t give up, never surrender’ moments.

3 – Don’t Stop by Innerpartysystem

This one and the remaining songs on this list will be technically cheating, because they are related to the book. This song – Don’t Stop by Innerpartysystem – is related to Death Note because it’s on this AMV I have linked. It’s pretty well edited too so I suggest checking it out

2 – Hollow by Submersed

Again technically cheating because I relate this song to Fullmetal Alchemist because of this AMV. it’s pretty great though!

1 – Hand of Sorrow by Within Temptation

I just learned the other day that this song was written about Fitz from Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy, so how could I not include it?!?! I’ve known this song for like a decade but it never clicked that it was about him until I saw it on the internet and now I feel like a ding dong for not seeing it earlier! It’s totally about him, man.


And that’s it! Lemme know if you listened to or liked any of these songs! Happy reading!

Top 5 bookshelf collectibles

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https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifHello, Happy Hump Day! Today’s topic is top collectibles on the bookshelf, whether they be collectible books, decorations, etc. I’m hoping the ones that I picked turn out to be a bit unique. But who knows, I might be totally unoriginal. Onto the things!

If you would like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!

McGonagall’s wand

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I went to Harry Potter world this past October, and I picked up McGonagall’s wand! It stays in its box, because I don’t trust myself not to break it.

The Fullmetal Alchemist pocket watch

…and action figures and staff. My sister got me the pocket watch as a gift one year and I absolutely adore it. While not directly on my bookshelves, it’s on a display shelf right next to them. 3 Oct. Don’t forget.

Globe bookends

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These were a gift from my parents for Christmas two years ago. I had no idea something like this even existed. I almost cried when I got them though. They’re fully functioning – they spin and everything. I. Love. Them.

Sonata Arctica drumstick

Sonata Arctica is one of my favorite bands – I’m particularly a fan of their older stuff. Once upon a time, I went to their concert and was pretty damn close to the front of the stage (another time I was at the front, but that’s a different story). At the end, the drummer threw sticks he had used and yours truly caught one. You can see, it’s all beat up.

Masks

I don’t know what it is, but I really like the aesthetic of these things. I bought them a long time ago, back in 2008 or so, from a store called Earth Bound, which has since closed down, at least in my area. Man, I love these masks.


And that’s it! I don’t have too much on my shelves, but what I do have, I really like. Happy reading!

Top 5 books that started out iffy but ended up spiffy

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https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifAnd if you can bare with me here, we’ll be done in a jiffy!

Hello, Happy Hump Day! Today’s T5W topic is books I thought I would hate but ended up liking. Problem is, I don’t pick up books I think I would hate. So I’m altering the topic a bit. Today will be books that started out iffy: either books I knew had mixed reviews going in, or books that when I started them, they weren’t really speaking to me, and then ended up spiffy: then I ended up really liking them! So.. a milder form of the topic, I guess?

If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

So, this series overall I like pretty decently. It’s not my favorite, but I like it. Going into this one, I had heard it was very divisive among the fan base. Plot and world-expansion wise, it went over well… with some people. And with other people, it basically caused them to drop the series. Well, I read it, and I really liked it. This is probably my favorite one in the series, honestly. I really like the direction the plot went in it, so I’m hoping the next one will be good, too.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)

I read this back long before I started my blog. At the time, I didn’t read too many long novels (shocker I know) so the size of this one intimidated me. I had also never read a mystery thriller of its scope. And when I started it… the writing dragged at me. I remember struggling through the first hundred and fifty pages or so. But soon after that, the plot picked up and I buzzed through the rest of it in a few days. I really liked this one.

Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)

Same as above here – the writing was dense for me at first and I couldn’t really connect with anything. I picked it up on audio though, and then I was able to fly through it. Once it got to the point where the characters started telling their stories, I was hooked. It just took me a bit to adapt to the premise, I guess? Who knows. I really enjoyed this book though.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)

This book, it was the writing – again! The main character in this book speaks in an accent, and the accent is written out in the book. Since the book is told from his point of view, the words are written out how he would spell them. It definitely took me a few chapters to get into the book because of it, and I didn’t find myself invested until maybe half way through. I’m glad I stuck with it though – this series ended up being one of my all-time favorites.

Twelve Kings of Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands #1)

This is number one because it’s the most recent case. I started this book back in July or so and got about half way into it. I honestly was rather bored. I can’t even put my finger on why. But since it was a buddy read, instead of DNFing it, I put it on the back burner. My buddy reader did as well. Only in the last week or so did I pick it back up. And man, I don’t know what changed, but I must have been in the mood for it this time around, because I really liked the second half of it. The book, had I forced myself through it last summer, would have gotten a 1 or 2 stars from me. But putting it down and letting myself come back on a fresh start bumped the book up to 3.25 stars. It was solidly entertaining, and I’m glad I gave it that break.


And that’s it! Have you read any of the above? Do you plan to? Lemme know!