Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Set In Schools

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday Graphic

Top Ten Books Set In Schools

This week, we get to pick our favorite books set in any setting we want!  There are so many possibilities but there’s something about the school setting that I love, so that’s what I went with!

  1. Harry Potter.  I’m not going to lie…I just really wanted to include Harry Potter, and books in a school setting were much more common than the UK.  Is that weird?  Either way, I still want to go to Hogwarts.  (But I’ll also settle for Pigfarts).
  2. This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers.  I liked This Is Not A Test for a lot of different reasons, but taking shelter in a school during the zombie apocalypse is interesting and different enough to get my attention!
  3. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.  A boarding school for magical delinquents?  Totally fun!
  4. Etiquette And Espionage by Gail Carriger.  It’s a steampunk boarding school.  Enough said.
  5. Wander Dust by Michelle Warren.  The cool thing about Wander Dust is that it’s set in a school for teams of students who travel through time.  They all have their own abilities, and I love that everyone has to work together so they can make the most of their abilities.
  6. Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I just loved Anna And The French Kiss, and part of it is because it’s a boarding school in Paris.  What’s not to love?
  7. Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick.  There are some dark and twisted things in Drowning Instinct.  A lot of the book takes place at Jenna’s school, and you’re watching things unfold, wondering how things would have turned out for Jenna if things didn’t lead her to her new school.  And what would have happened had she been a regular student…
  8. Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.  Mia, dealing with typical teenager stuff while also dealing with princess lessons.  I also love seeing the glimpses of how her classmates react to Mia being a princess.
  9. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray.  It’s set in an all-girls prep school set in the Victorian-era.  Historical fiction is pretty awesome, and when it’s set in an all-girls school where a few of the girls happen to come across magical realms, you get a series that that totally gets my attention!
  10. Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg.  It’s set in a performing arts school, which is a school setting I don’t read much of (actually, i think this is the one of the very few) , but I loved Esme’s story and the focus on music and life as a student at a performing arts school.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own Top 10 lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday Graphic

Top Ten Beach Reads

Summer is upon us, and so it is now time for my favorite beach reads.  I find this ironic because the weather is nice enough for me to the beach year-round, and yet I never go.  But if I happen to find myself at the beach this summer, these are the books I’d want to read!

  1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.  Nothing says beach read more than Beauty Queens.  It’s a fun and hysterical read, and a bunch of beauty queens stuck on a not-so-deserted island is a good book for just sitting around and reading.  
  2. Soulless by Gail Carriger.  Soulless was fun to listen to, and Alexia was hysterical.
  3. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.  Going Vintage is so cute, which is why it would be one of my beach reads this summer!
  4. Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine.  I don’t know what Rachel Caine does to her books, because they’re really addicting.  Weather Wardens is one of my current book obsessions, and they’re short and fun books to read while at the beach!
  5. Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent.  I’m sad this series is over, but I have no problem reliving the fun at the beach.
  6. Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  If I’m going to be taken away to Paris, reading Anna is the way to do it!
  7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  Cinder makes the list just because it’s Cinder.
  8. Illuminate by Aimee Agresti.  Illuminate makes the list because Haven has the unique ability to capture who people really are just by photographing them.
  9. Gilt by Katherine Longshore.  Gilt is such a great beach read because it focuses on Katherine Howard (wife #5 of Henry VIII) and her circle of friends as she becomes Queen of England.  The descriptions are totally amazing too, which also makes it great!
  10. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han.  It takes place at the beach, and it’s during the summer!  You can’t go wrong with that.

Top Ten Settings I’d Like To See More Of (Or At All)

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted  by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top 10 lists, based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Settings I’d Like To See More Of (Or At All)

One of my favorite things about reading is reading a book set in a place I know nothing about.  There are some great and truly amazing places out there (some of which I want to visit) so reading a book set in a certain place is a chance to visit a new place.  Here are some settings I’d love to see more!

  1. India.  I’ve read a couple novels that were set in India, and I was completely fascinated.  India made a great backdrop in both Shantaram and Tiger’s Curse- with the busy-ness of India in Shantaram, and the traveling all over India in Tiger’s Curse.  
  2. Pretty much any well-imagined world.  One of the best parts of reading is when an author creates this amazing world that you cannot stop thinking about.  Whether it’s Narnia, Hogwarts or Middle Earth, I love seeing authors come up with a world that’s a great escape from real life.

    Downtown Chula Vista- One Of My Favorite Places

  3. San Diego.  I get so excited when a novel I’m reading is set in San Diego, because it’s so cool to read a book where the local references make sense.  Like, I read a book called Night Walker last, and it was cool seeing the Gaslamp District and the San Diego mission, because those are places I’ve been, and don’t go to often enough.  It’s just cool when a book is set where you live and the places in the book are really familiar.
  4. Africa.  Anywhere in Africa is good with me but Ancient Egypt would be particularly interesting.  Such a fascinating place, so I really need to find some books set in Africa or Ancient Egypt.
  5. Athens, Greece.  One, there’s a lot of history in Greece, and with the Greek mythology re-tellings, you’d think it would show up as a setting a lot more.  And two, it looks so pretty in all the pictures I’ve seen.
  6. Rome.  I so want to go to Rome, partly because I’m fascinated with Rome, partly because I am dying to see the Vatican, and partly because there’s a lot of history there.
  7. Spain.  Because I’m thinking about having a novel set in Spain, so it’s on my mind right now.  And it would be interesting to see what authors do with Spain as a setting…especially historical fiction, but any time period will work.
  8. Asia, particularly in fantasy settings.  Cinder comes to mind (naturally).  And I’m reading this book, Eon, which is a YA fantasy.  It’s definitely not used enough in fantasy settings.  Like, I know fantasy and medieval European villages are BFF’s, but fantasy in a setting that’s not medieval Europe-esque would be a nice change.
  9. Wales.  Because you always see England, Scotland and Ireland as a setting but I have yet to remember reading a novel set in Wales.  Does no one care about Wales?  Also, Wales is the other possible location for the novel I mentioned in #5, so it’s on my mind as well.
  10. Oregon is going to round out the list.  I’ve been to Oregon!  It’s such a pretty state, and it just seems like a cool place to write about.

Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read In 2013

Top 10 Tuesday is hosted  by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top 10 lists, based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read In 2013

Happy New Year!  I hope 2012 was great for everyone and that 2013 will be a fantastic, fun-filled year!  This is a great list to start off the year.  There are so many books I want to read and never got to last year, so hopefully this will be the year that I get to at least some of them.

  1. The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William Shirer.  I got this one as an audiobook months ago, and while I really want to read, I’m intimidated by the fact that it is 57 HOURS AND 13 MINUTES!  Whether I listen to it, or read it, it’s going to be a big book, but still.  It seems so long.  But it’s been on my to-read list for a long time, so I should probably just listen to it and cross it off the list.
  2. Life And Death Of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives.  Another one that I’ve wanted to read, but haven’t.  Plus, it would be pretty interesting to read something that is not by Alison Weir- a different perspective would probably be a good idea.
  3. Romance novels.  I have a ton of them on my to-read list, so I’m hoping I can get through a lot of them this year.  Grouping them seems so much easier than listing all of them.
  4. Dear Mr. Potter by Lily Zalon.  It’s letters and pictures by Harry Potter fans, about how much the series has meant to them.  Why is it taking me so long to read this?  The only problem seems to be actually finding a copy, since it appears that it’s no longer in print.  I’ll definitely have  to track this one down…
  5. Manga!  I have a few manga that I really want to read, so this would be a good year to figure out which ones I really like.
  6. Speaking of manga…I need to finish Fruits Basket.  Knowing how it ends is no excuse for not finishing it!
  7. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  This has been sitting on my bookshelf for months, and I still have not read it. I think it’s time to read it.  Before, you know, it starts mocking me or something.
  8. Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.  Because I loved Anna And The French Kiss, and I really need and want to read Lola And The Boy Next Door.  Plus, I checked it out from the library a few days ago, so now I have the perfect excuse to read it!  Not that I needed one in the first place…
  9. Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols.  Because I’ve heard good things about it, and because I think I’d like it.
  10. Here’s another broad one- all the books I keep hearing great things about but never seem to get around to reading.  Like The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone or The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight.

Let’s Talk About Pottermore!

So, Chamber Of Secrets is officially open on Pottermore.  Kind of.  Technically, only the first 4 chapters are available, and according to the Pottermore blog, Chamber of Secrets is coming out in 3 installments.  I actually like that they’re releasing the book in sections.  I’m not sure why they are- it is possible remaining chapters are not ready to go- but I’m glad they are.  It’ll be a lot easier to go through it slowly, and maybe I’ll even have Chamber of Secrets in front of me while I’m going through Pottermore.

I was super-excited about Pottermore when I became a beta last summer.  I was really into it, and then got really bored, and pretty much forgot about it until I got the emails talking about the House Cup.  Honestly, once you got through Sorcerer’s Stone and made a few potions, there wasn’t anything to do.  Especially because duelling wasn’t up yet.  And because they kept extending the beta period.

They did add sound, which is a big improvement.  I think that was one of the biggest complaints from, well, everyone.  The artwork is still completely amazing.  The potions still take too long- anywhere from 30 minutes, up to 75 minutes (I think), depending on the potion.  But at least they shortened the times a little.  I hate that I can’t sell potions for galleons or something.  I don’t want to gift them, and if I’m going to spend an hour here and there brewing them, I’d like something besides house points.  I’m surprised they haven’t added more potions, but that could come later.

They added a noticeboard to all the common rooms, which is kinda cool, because it does have very general updates on what’s going on.  Like Chamber of Secrets being partially available, or when the house cup is ending.

Chamber Of Secrets, in 4 chapters, is a lot more interactive than (most of) Sorcerer’s Stone.  You get to de-gnome the garden, you get to use floo powder, and several other things, which is cool.  There is a fair amount of point-and-clicking, which is to be expected.  It’s very old-school J.K.R., but there does seem to be a better balance.

They did have an incentive for the House that won the House Cup- Slytherin got to see Chamber Of Secrets a full day before everyone else.  I like that they’re doing that, because it actually gives people a reason to participate and try to earn house points.

So far, the only new material is about the Malfoys.  I liked getting their backstory, and I’m sure we’ll get more as the series progresses.  I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but it is pretty interesting.

There is something I’m wondering.  Like, the House Cup is cool and all, but what happens when all 7 books are out?  How are they going to keep it going when people have done everything they’ve wanted to?  More importantly, how are they going to keep people coming back?  As it is, there’s no reason for people to keep going back once they’ve gone through the books, and you can only brew so many potions and duel so many people.  I know I’m getting way ahead of myself here, but still.  What plans do they have for when Deathly Hallows is released?

Anyway, I hope we get to brew polyjuice potion, because that would be awesome.  And I’m sure they have something up their sleeve for the end of the book, when Harry goes into the Chamber Of Secrets.  I bet the Cornish pixies will be interactive.  They have to be, right?

That’s all for Pottermore…at least until the next section is released.


I know I’m deviating from my usual weekly post on music and podcasts.  But.  I need to talk about the Olympics.  They’re almost here!  Seriously, if I could watch the Olympics all day, I would.

Of course, I’m super excited about gymnastics, swimming and diving.  I’ll probably watch trampoline (yes, that is an actual event)  and volleyball.  Maybe equestrian, if I happen to catch it.  And probably track.  No more softball or baseball, which is sad.

I looked over the schedule, and had no idea what athletics was.  Apparently that’s what they’re calling track.  Seriously, you can’t call it track and field?  But the opening and closing ceremonies should be cool.  I doubt they’ll be able to top Bejing’s opening and closing ceremonies, but that is a really tough act to follow.

July 27th to August 12 will be a super fun time.  Plus, the Olympics are a great way to break up the boredom of summer.  And there will actually be something fun to watch.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the winter Olympics, so I don’t watch it to the extent I’ll watch the summer Olympics.

If anyone wants to check out the schedule for the Olympics, or to get your Olympic fix, check out the summer 2012 website.  You can be sure I’ll be talking about the olympics a lot!

The La Mesa Children’s Book Festival

I did a really fun thing last week: I made my way to the La Mesa Children’s Book Festival.  I had a lot of fun, and I have no idea why it’s taken me a week to blog about it.

I heard about it on Jeff and Jer, which is a local morning radio show.  Jer wrote a children’s book called My Personal Panther, and I really wanted a copy.  So I went, got a signed copy, and also looked around.

There were lots of authors, and 3 different “stage.”  One had entertainment, and I saw the Lakeside Middle School drama club perform songs from Seussical The Musical.  There was also a storytime stage, where different people read from picture books.  The last stage had some sort of illustration thing going on.  I saw some kids drawing though.

It wasn’t as big as I thought, but there was still a lot going on and a lot to see.  I thought there would be a range of books, from picture books to really short novels.  But it was mostly picture books, which is fine because I don’t usually look at picture books.  It was nice to see something I don’t normally look at.

I did end up with a few picture books.  Of course, I got My Personal Panther, which is awesome.  I just loved it!  The illustrations are beautiful, and it just jumps off the page.  And I love the story too.

I also got Kathryn The Grape’s Colorful Adventure, which is very colorful.  And while I’m not someone who normally looks for meaning or messages in books, I think there is a pretty good message in the book.

My last signed book is The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez.  I haven’t read it yet, but from what I can see, it’s a pretty cool book about how different cultures have similar ideas.

I also have a book called The Monster Princess, which I have yet to read.  I love princesses, but it looks cool, and the colors in the illustrations seem to be slightly darker than what you’d normally see in a picture book.

The last book I got is It’s Kind Of A Funny Story.  It’s a YA book about a guy who ends up in a mental hospital.  The cover is really interesting, and it’s nice to see a book about a guy who has issues.  There’s nothing wrong with a female dealing with mental health issues, of course, but it’s nice to see something different every once in a while.

Overall, it was a really fun trip, and I’m really glad I ended up with a few picture books.  I so rarely read children’s books, and I definitely want to read some more of it in the future.