Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday

(The above image was taken and altered by me via Canva. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.)

Hello Readers!

It’s September, and that means that it is finally Fall! Fall is truly my favorite season. Fall, to me, means sweater weather, beautiful fall foliage, and my favorite holiday – Halloween. It also means that with the cooler weather setting in, I can snuggle up under a warm blanket and a good book.

Now, I always have a TON of books on my TBR list. But the books on this list, are the ones I’m most excited to read. The books I’m going to try my VERY hardest to read.

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King –  Pet Cemetery was the first horror movie I really wanted. I was young, probably too young to really be watching it, but I watched it nonetheless. I remember being both terrified and entranced by it. I loved the movie, and I went on to watch and love many of his Stephen King’s movies.  What I haven’t done though is read his books. I’ve only read Carrie. So I decided that I should read more Stephen King. It would be good for my horror-loving heart. I decided that since I read Carrie – which was his first published book – that I should read in order. ‘Salem’s Lot is his second published novel.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes – I came across this book when my coworker received an ARC of this book. I hadn’t heard of it, and I really knew nothing about it. But that cover just pulled me in. I looked it up on GoodReads, and it sounded like a total me book. Ever since, I’ve been wanting to read this one. I’m going to make it a priority.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater – It’s Maggie’s new book … do I really need to say more?!

The Possible by Tara Altebrando – One of the first book signings I went to was for the book Dreamland Social Club, a book set in one of my favorite places: Coney Island. This book was written by an author, at the time, I hadn’t heard of – Tara Altebrando. I read … no wait, I devoured this book. Everything I want in a book was found within Dreamland Social Club’s pages. It’s a book I’ve read many, but this is the one that has stuck with me until this very day. I have loved every one of her books since, and I’m certain that I will love this one too.

Warcross by Marie Lu – Admittedly, this does NOT sound like a Nicole kind of book. But I’m very curious about it, and VERY, VERY excited about it. And that cover!

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken – I’m a rather new Middle Grade reader. But when one of your favorite author publishes her first MG novel, you read it!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – I’m shocked that this is on the list. I didn’t think I’d be interested in this one. But then I saw Wonder Woman, and I became obsessed. This was soon added to my list.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – I haven’t read Becky Albertalli’s debut Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. And there’s a reason why: I’ve been on the fence about it. While it sounds like a great book, a book that I would really love reading. I hadn’t planned on reading this book, but than it was gifted to me, and I feel that even though I hadn’t planned on reading it, I should because it was gifted to me. Albertalli’s second novel is a different story altogether. It was one I didn’t know I wanted to read until I won a copy at BookExpo (Thanks Owl Crate!). After winning a copy, and looking it up on GoodReads, I soon realized that The Upside of Unrequited totally seems like it’s a that I would genuinely love.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner – Bff Emma (Miss Print) told me I needed to read The Serpent King. She said it’s one hundred percent a Nicole kind of book. She said I would love it. And she was one hundred percent right.  And I fully intend to one hundred percent to love Goodbye Days as well.

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jone – Between the cover and the mere mention of a demon I was sold.


(All cover images from GoodReads)


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Loved When I Started This Blog

Top Ten Tuesday

(The above image was taken and created by me via Canva for the purpose of this post. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. )

Hello Readers!

And welcome back to another fun-filled edition of Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve been blogging for about seven (7) years already. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. While this ride hasn’t always been easy, it sure has been fun.

Today, I’m going to step back in time and tell you all about the top ten books I loved when I first started The BookBandit Blog way back in 2010.

In 2010 (if I remember correctly … I don’t necessarily have the best memory) I was in Grad School working towards my degree in Library and Information Science. Because of that I tried to balance what I was reading. Much of what I read was for various classes in which I was taking, others were pleasure reads that I managed to squeeze in.

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Liar by Justine Larbalestier

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt

Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

Looking back to 2010, I read A LOT of Maureen Johnson. I also read a lot of Laurie Halse Anderson as well. I also discovered one of my now favorite authors, E. Lockhart. And I even picked up books I wouldn’t have picked up on my own, and found that stepping outside of your reading comfort zone isn’t a bad thing. And I realize, that I miss simply perusing the shelves at my local library and picking up random books to read.

All in all, 2010 was a good reading year I’d say!

Around the Web (#12)

Around the Web

(The above image was created by me for the purpose of this post via Canva)

Libba Bray has a lot to say about Hollywood’s Woman Problem. Go Libba!

Hurricane Harvey was a disaster. And my heart goes out to all who have been affected. But out of disaster, comes something great.

Storybook Island: my next vacation destination (I’m kidding … or am I?)

In celebration of all things Stephen King and the remake of the classic clown horror flick, It, take this quiz to find out which Stephen King novel you are. (If you are interested, I got The Shining. Honestly, this fits me perfectly as it’s one of my most favorite Stephen King movies.)

Is Taylor Swift’s new song really about Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns?

Tumble & Blue has been on my radar for a while. Maybe it’s on yours too.

E. Lockhart’s talking about stories with difficult women.

Speaking of E. Lockhart, you should check out this trailer for her upcoming YA novel – Genuine Fraud.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Put Down

Top Ten Tuesday

(The above image was created by me via Canva for the purpose of these posts)

Hello Readers!

A long, long time ago I would pick up a book, and I would read it all the way through, no matter if I liked it or not. Books I absolutely didn’t like for one reason (or several) I’d struggle through, feeling like I needed to read the book.

And than it dawned on me that I was wasting a whole lot of time reading books that I didn’t like and was gaining nothing but frustration from. I realized that if I were to just walk away, I could move onto another book, one I would possibly love. I decided then and there from that moment on I would not finish a book if I wasn’t enjoying it.

And since then, I’ve stuck to it.  So, here are just some of the books I’ve put down, walked away from, and probably won’t pick up again.

Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn

Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick

Lust by Robin Wasserman

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Middle Grade Monday: Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret

Middle Grade Mondays, Reviews

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Twelve-year-old Margaret Simon isn’t thrilled to be moving from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. She isn’t thrilled that she’ll be miles and miles away from her beloved grandmother. She isn’t thrilled to go to a new school. And she surely isn’t thrilled to experience all the ups and downs of being a preteen without a group of friends by her side.

But once she’s in New Jersey she starts to realize that things aren’t so bad. Her grandmother visits her, and she often visits her grandmother in New York. School is school, no matter where you are. But it’s better now that she has made friends with some of her classmates.

Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie have become fast friends. They tell each other things they wouldn’t dare tell anyone else, not even their parents. But there’s something that Margaret hasn’t even told her new friends. Margaret, though not religious, talks to God. She finds comfort in their conversations.

But will God be able to answer all of her prayers?

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is a classic kid lit novel written by author Judy Blume.

Author Blume is a true storyteller. Her writing is strong, and more than that it’s inviting. Young readers will easy absorb this book. They will find it incredibly honest, incredibly realistic, and incredibly realistic.

Margaret is a young girl on the verge on entering her teen years. She’s at a point where, not only is she starting to form her own opinions, she’s starting to change physically. While Margaret doesn’t necessarily fully understand all the changes her body is going through, she’s ready for them. So much so, that she welcomes them.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, which was originally published in 1970. But that fact doesn’t hinder nor date this book. Young readers today will easily see themselves in young Margaret.

As a character, I really liked Margaret. I felt she was a great lead character who readers will easily see her growth from the start of the book to the end. She smart, and mature. And I credit her parents to that. Not only were they caring, involved parents but they were the kind of parents who let Margaret form and have her own opinions, they let her figure things out while guiding her.

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret deals with a lot of issues that many young girls face during those trying preteen years. And while I didn’t necessarily see myself in Margaret (I realized through reading this book that I was vastly different from the average twelve-year-old. I wasn’t praying for my body to change … at all), I feel like many young girls will. And still, I feel that those growing pains and all those issues that girls face are addressed with honestly and with grace.

Going into the reading of this book, I didn’t expect to like it. Why? Mainly because I haven’t been a twelve-year-old girl in quite some time. But I was surprised to find that I did enjoy this book. I enjoyed it because I had a chance to think back to that time in my own life. Beyond that, I realized that this is a classic for a reason – it’s universal. Generations of young readers will discover and devour this book. If you haven’t read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, I would definitely recommend you do – no matter how old you are.