Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Bought (Basically) for the Cover

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This week’s TTT topic is “Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated” but I couldn’t come up with a full list for either of those options, and I didn’t like the list I came up with for a combo list, so I decided to stick with the cover theme and do a “BookS I Bought (Basically) for the Cover” list. The “basically” is important, because while I am occasionally swayed by a pretty cover, but I’m too frugal to buy ALL the pretty books. 😝

Yikes, I’ve only read 4 of these books.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. Firelight by Sophie Jordan


Wow, this is an older book (2010!), but I remember picking it out in Barnes & Noble, so I must have used a giftcard on it. Nowadays I’m not a big fan of faces on covers, but younger me had no standards for book covers and loved all things YA fantasy. And it involved a girl who could turn into a dragon, so duh, of course I bought it.

2. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

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I mean, how can you not throw all your money at Charlie Bowater covers? Sadly, the actual book wasn’t as great as the cover. I thought it was decent, but it wasn’t amazing or anything. :/

3. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


Same here. Plus, I’ve heard so many great things about this book, so I can’t wait to (hopefully) pick it up this month!

4. Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta

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Kinda ugly, but I also weirdly love the cover? Tho I ordered this book from B&N during a sale in 2017, so it’s been almost two years and I still haven’t read it.

5. Roar by Cora Cormack


It’s soooo pretty isn’t it? Tho this is another one I still haven’t read. Lol, every time I see the title, I think of the Katy Perry song.

6. The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee


Aaay, this is a redesigned cover! Lol, it’s so much nicer than the 1975 edition. πŸ˜‚

7. Hans Christian Anderson Fairytale Collection (B&N Collection)


IT’S SO PRETTY AND FANCY AND LEATHERY AND I GOT IT ON SALE LAST YEAR!! Again again, still need to read it though…

8. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser


Another book with a pretty cover but only a mediocre story. But it was ACTUALLY GLITTERY so how could I have not bought this book?

9. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn


I don’t usually like busy covers like this, but for some reason I just adore this one? (and the following ones in this series!). I really enjoyed this cheesy, romance-filled superhero story and I can’t wait to pick up the next one!

10. The Girl in Red by Christina Henry


Yeah, so I literally bought this yesterday, so I just had to include it on this list! Okay, yes “Dark Red Riding Hood retelling” was a big factor in buying it, but I also just adore the cover so much! And I had a giftcard to use up! πŸ˜€

Bonus (A Trilogy I Want to Buy): The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

LOOK HOW PRETTY THESE ARE!! Okay, this addition to the list was basically an excuse to shout about the cover redesign for The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. BUT AREN’T THEY SO GORGEOUS?!?! I must own them–I loved this series so many years ago (like, I’m putting them on my Christmas list now). And also apparently Rae Carson announced a companion book to this series and I DIDN’T KNOW THAT I NEEDED THAT UNTIL NOW!!!!!

Okay, happy scream over now πŸ˜€

What books have you bought because of an awesome cover? Do we have any that overlap?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

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This week’s TTT topic is “Books From My Favorite Genre”. But in an effort to avoid talk about my favorite YA Fantasy books for the 10th billion time (my favorite genre and age category), I thought I talk about some of my favorite adult books, an age category I only occasionally venture into! Lol, it turns out that making this list was SUPER hard (I was originally only going to do fantasy but I needed to add sci-fi to reach 10) and has shown me that I really need to make an effort to read more adult books.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


This is fantasy book that I know has appealed to lots of YA readers. It could probably be classified by NA, but I think most people consider it adult. It’s been a few years since I read the book, but I loved watching Kelsea come into her own as the queen. Hoping to reread the first & second book in this series in July so I can finish the trilogy!

2. Circe by Madeline Miller


Madeline Miller has some of the most gorgeous writing that I’ve ever read. Before reading this book, I couldn’t keep Circe and Calypso straight, but Miller without a doubt made Circe memorable. This retelling of Circe’s life story is a true treasure.

3. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn


I read this book back in high school at the recommendation of one of my good friends. This is the first in a companion series called Elemental Blessings. As a fantasy reader, fictional worlds often tend to blur together, but this unique and fleshed out world has forever lingered in my mind since I read about it. This is another book I hope to reread soon!

4. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler


Okay, I haven’t read this since 10th grade (so over 5 years ago), but this is hands down the best book high school ever required me to read. This was also my first introduction to Octavia E. Butler. Looking back, I realize it was kind of an intense book, but I remember being completely enthralled by the novel.

5. Beowulf by Unknown


Okay, this is less an “adult book” and more of a classic/epic poem, but I told ya this list was tough, didn’t I? Beowulf (besides Jane Austen books) is my favorite classic. I’m completely grateful that I’ve had to read this for school multiple times. I actually have a couple of Beowulf retellings sitting on my shelf that I’m super excited to pick up soon.

6. The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams


Holy crap, this is epic fantasy book if I ever read one. This is the first in a companion series to Williams’s other series, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, but it doesn’t need to be read in order to enjoy this book (I for sure didn’t read the first series). I have the sequel currently on my shelf, and I can’t wait to revisit my fav characters (they still have so much to grow! And omg, the secrets that came out at the end of TWC!)

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


Unique. That’s the word that instantly comes to mind when I think about this book. This was my last read of 2018 and honestly a great one to end on. I accidentally got spoiled on part of the book because I went to a talk on the book before I finished reading it, but I was still astounded upon finishing it. The writing style and alternating-timeline format are so unique!

8. Monstress: Awakening by Majorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda


Technically, a graphic novel, but it’s most definitely an adult book! Monstress is super dark, gritty, and horrifying in all the best ways. Sadly, this is another book in a series that I need to finish reading. I have the sequel checked out from the library, and it’s due back Friday, so I’m actually going to be rereading this one SUPER SOON, if I’m not all ready today when this post goes up!
(Praise the lord I was able to renew the sequel because I really didn’t want to rush to read these graphic novels! They should be savored.)

9. Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier


It’s so frustrating when people on Goodreads tag books as “young adult” when they’re adult?!? I don’t think this book is YA (I wanna say the protagonist is in her young 20s??), at least for the sake of this list, I hope it’s not. This is a unique Beauty and Beast retelling and I’m sad to say that I don’t remember much of the story other than that I adored reading it. Time for another reread I guess!

10. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn


A super fun superhero tale/parody. It’s ridiculous, hilarious, and I adored all of the character relationships. I can’t wait to pick up the sequel/companion! And isn’t the cover beautiful?

What are some of your favorite Adult SFF books? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any recommendations for me?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to leave a link in the comments. I would love to check them out!

December Wrap-Up: FINALLY Completing My Fall Semester + Finishing My Current Reads

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How are we already on December 31st? How have I already been on winter break for 2 weeks?

December was a crazy month. The first two weeks were extremely busy and stressful with all of my final project work and then the last two weeks have been…extremely lazy, whoops. Even though I enjoyed a couple of my classes, I’m really grateful that they’re over and that I survived my semester (because honestly there were a couple of points where I thought I might suffocate under all the work I had to do)! I still can’t believe that next semester I’ll be studying off-campus in New York instead of back at my small college. Hopefully I have lots of (fun) adventures ahead of me!

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post of my favorite reads of 2018 and a couple days after that (so January 3rd or 4th) I’ll be posting my wrap-up of 2018 and my goals for the new year!


eight books stacked in front of a christmas tree with a mini plush dog on top

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

I finally read Six of Crows! I adored the book and it was such a fun book to discuss with my book club (this book probably produced the best book discussions all semester). My only real complaint with the book is that the protagonists should have been in their late twenties, not 17-ish, but oh well, that’s YA for ya. πŸ˜…
I can’t wait to continue onto Crooked Kingdom!

2. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney

Rating: 5 stars

This is a graphic memoir about about a cartoonist who finds out she has bipolar I. Her memoir follows her through manic and depressive episodes and as she struggles with how to value her creativity with her overall health. This was such an insightful book in so many ways and I would recommend this book to essentially everyone!

3. Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Rating: 3.25 stars

A really fun read that parodied the expectations and perfections of superheroes, but I wasn’t sure what else I was suppose to get out of it besides that? And at times, it was just TOO ridiculous. I really love the cover though, so I’m tempted to go out and by the other 2 books in the series…

4. Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Rating: 2.25 stars

Essentially this was a shallow and clichΓ© fantasy that wasn’t very remarkable. It took me months to get through my ARC of this book. You can read my full thoughts here.

5. Celtic Tales: Fairy Tales and Stories of Enchantment from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and Wales by Kate Forrester

Rating: 3.5 stars

This was an interesting collection of tales that I had never heard before. But maybe because I didn’t have any familiarity with them was the reason I found them a bit lackluster? The illustrations are all gorgeous tho and I loved how the collection was divided up into 4 sections: Tricksters, The Sea, Quests, and Romance. The last section was of course my fav. πŸ˜‰

6. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 4.5 stars

It only took me a year, but I finally finished my reread of the Grisha trilogy! It had been ~4 years since I last read all these books and it was so much fun to dive back into this series. I love Alina’s morally grey character and I can’t wait to read more Leigh Bardugo in the future!

7. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Rating: 5 stars

I read this collection of short stories for my fiction writing class and I enjoyed it! Elizabeth Strout’s writing is so unique, amazing, and powerful. I can only dream of writing like her. I’m quite curious to see the mini-series inspired by this book now…

8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Rating: 4 stars??

I haven’t actually finished this book yet (I’m about 2/3 of the way through) but I wanted to include it since I’m planning to finish it before 2019. I also wanted to post this wrap-up before the end of the day since I’m hoping to participate in Top Ten Tuesday tomorrow and I don’t like to post back to back.

Mandel writes in a nonlinear timeline and uses a somewhat blunt writing style which is quite captivating. I’ve been partly spoiled for the end but I’m still eager to see the book through.

January TBR:

three books lying against a red background

But then again, who knows at this point? There are so many books I want to read, but I can only take so many with me to New York. Not to mention I have so many to choose from (check out my December book haul here)! And I just realized that I haven’t read any of the books on my Winter Break TBR, yikes. 😬

Random Life Updates:

  • I FINISHED MY FALL SEMESTER OF CLASSES!! Praise the lord it’s overall– all that work was so stressful.
    • But I am really sad that I won’t be able to see my roommate for at least half a year now, given that we’re both studying off-campus next semester.
  • I got to see a bunch of relatives for Christmas!
    • My family hard core procrastinating on decorating this year. We didn’t get our tree up until the evening December 23rd. 😁
  • My sister is trying to pressure me into cleaning my room. We’ve had little success so far (my room really needs it tho; you can barely see the floor)
  • I really should be writing, but I haven’t since I submitted my final portfolio for my fiction writing class. (This was probably not the best thing to confess here since my writing buddy reads my posts, whoops)
  • There’s probably more I’m forgetting to include on this list, but I’m totally blanking. Goal for 2019: Stop making this the last section I fill out on these wrap-ups before posting. I always rush this section and thus it always ends up being half halfheartedly filled out.

Wow, this is my last post of 2018! Thank you to everyone who has read my posts this last year! ❀

How was your December? Did you do anything fun for the holidays? If you posted a December wrap-up, feel free to link it up in the comments; I would love to read it!