Archive | February, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Heroines

24 Feb


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Ten Favorite Heroines From Books.

1. Hermione from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

I know it is probably very obvious and we will see a lot of her today, but she is pretty amazing!  Hermione is smart and pretty tough as well.  She is an excellent role model for readers.

2. Vix from Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

This is my favorite book of all time.  I always loved Vix as a character and felt a connection to her even the first time I read this book as a teenager.  Every time I read this book, I connect to a different part of Vix’s life.  She is a character that will always stay with me.

3. Juliette from Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette begins very afraid, being especially fearful of herself and her power.  I love how she grew in the series and learned to control her power and gain confidence in herself.  She was a character I rooted for and loved to watch develop.

4. Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda is a character I will never forget.  She went through hell and had to fight her way back, but she made it.  I love her voice and her views of the world as well.

5. Tana from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana is another tough girl.  She handles her situation with nothing but fight.  She doesn’t give up even when things seem hopeless and she does whatever is necessary to do what needs to be done.

6. Astrid from Ask the Passengers by AS King

Astrid is all about giving love, even to people she doesn’t even know flying in the airplanes above.  And she just wants to be herself, not just a label.  She is another strong character whom I adore.

7. Rory from The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

I am seeing a theme…I love tough heroines that fight on their own.  Rory works with ghosts and is hilarious!  I can’t wait to continue reading her story.

8. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is another character I really connected to.  I loved watching her grow to accept herself.

9. Skeeter from The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Skeeter is a girl who strives to be true to herself.  She follows her dream and she strives to stand up for what she believes is right, even if it means going against the grain.

10. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen

What is not to love about Lizzie?  She is another tough girl who stays true to herself through and through.

Who are some of your favorites?


It’s Monday, February 23, 2015! What are you reading?

23 Feb


It has been a few week since I have checked in with one of these posts!  Here is an update on my reading life.

What I Have Read Lately

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafai

I loved this book and just posted my review yesterday.  Cannot recommend this one enough!

 The DUFF: Designated, Ugly, Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

I read this with movie recently being released.  To be honest, I am a little torn on this one.  I couldn’t put it down, but I’m not sure how much I loved it.  The wanting to keep reading factor had me give it 4/5 stars.  I’m still kind of on the fence though.  I have not been this torn on a book in awhile.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

I was impressed how quickly I read this 599 page book.  I won’t say much yet because a review is definitely forthcoming.

What I’m Reading This Week

Lola and the Boy Next Door & Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins 

I read Anna and the French Kiss back in 2013 and LOVED it!  I am finally getting to the other books in the series.  I have heard that these are great as well!

What are you reading this week?

I Am Malala: A Review

22 Feb

Title: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Author: Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

Format: ebook on Nook, Personal Purchase

Release Date: October 8, 2013

Summary (from Goodreads): I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

Yet again, this is a book that I waited far too long to read.  Ever since I heard Malala’s story, I wanted to read this.  Seeing her interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show made me immediately buy the book. And then it sat on my ereader for months upon months.  I had plans to read it, even mentioning it in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? posts.  But it took the urging from my good friend Jacqueline for me to finally sit down and read it.  So glad I did.

I will admit, it was a little hard for me to get into at first.  The writing seemed to jump around at first and I had a hard time keeping people and new terms straight.  I did not realize until after I finished the book that there was a helpful glossary at the end (a downfall of e-readers – I never pay attention to the table of contents once I click the link to the first chapter) and it was harder to flip back on the e-reader.  However, the look-up function on the e-reader was very helpful at times.  Once I got into the first few chapters, I picked up the flow of the book and was hooked.

One thing about this book is how much I learned.  I learned quite a bit about life in Pakistan: its history, daily life, and people.  I guess I always assumed the Taliban had always been there; clearly, I was wrong.  Reading this book reminded me of how much I don’t know about the rest of the world, even if it is a little embarrassing to admit at times.  This reminds me of the power of reading: to experience and learn about the world outside of where and how you live.

This book also made me very grateful for the life I have and the opportunities I have been given.  Jacqueline and I talked a bit while reading and she hit the nail on the head when she said how this book is a reminder of how much we take for granted.

I enjoyed reading this for all that I learned and reflected on.  I also loved Malala’s voice in the writing.  I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

5/5 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book Related Problems I Have

17 Feb


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week they post a new list for bloggers to answer.  This week’s topics is Ten Book Related Problems I Have.

1. Books, books, books EVERYWHERE

I have books everywhere, even with a classroom to store most of the books I buy.  There are piles in the bedroom, office, living room…everywhere.  Even in the classroom, I am running out of room for all the books.  There is probably no less that three books on my desk at this very moment.

2. Getting behind on TV shows 

I love to read, obviously.  I would rather read at night as a way to unwind than just about anything else.  Because of that, even with DVR, I end up getting behind on some of my shows.  I even stopped watching some shows when I have fallen too far behind.

3. So many ideas, so little time

I have so many ideas of the reading experiences I want to share on here and then I get busy with other things and the blog gets pushed to the back.  I want to review so many books, but have so little time.

4. To-Read Pile Never Gets Smaller

The list of books I want to read keeps getting longer and longer and longer.  It seems no matter what I do or read, there will be at least three more books that I want to read.

5. Never Enough Money

Whenever we do the “What would you do with a million dollars?” prompt, I tell the students I am buying a house with a HUGE library to fill up with all the books I want.  This is closely related to item #4 – there is just not enough money for all the books I want.

6. People Don’t Understand References

There is so much in life that reminds me of something I read. I want to share the connection or the joke, but so few people get it.  So many jokes are wasted.

7. I Always Need a Big Purse

My husband is always amazed at how huge my purses are.  I buy purses based on if a book and/or my iPad will fit in it.  I hardly go anywhere without a book, so I need to make sure I have the means to carry it.

8. My Bag is Always Heavy

Whether it is my work bag or purse (see above), whatever I am carrying will always be heavy because at least one book will be in it.  It makes for tired, sore shoulders.

9. Laughing Out Loud/Crying in Public

I will read just about anywhere, especially if I am really into a book.  I also get very emotionally wrapped up in my books.  So if a book is especially funny or sad, I will be that person expressing my emotions wherever I am.  I have wiped away tears during a class, yelled out loud at a book, and laughed while walking on a treadmill, just to name a few instances.

10. Defending What I Read

At times, I do feel I have to defend that I read a lot and that most of what I read is considered YA.  Reading is reading.  There is nothing wrong with loving to read, and there is nothing wrong with what we love to read.  Yet, at times, we still have to do it.

What are your book related problems?