Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with a full ten answers for this week’s prompt, but I do have some fun bookish memories to share with you all.

 


Bookish Memory #1
: Falling asleep while waiting for my dad to come home from a late night at work. I always wanted him to tell me stories about his childhood again. He had a marvellous way of turning his childhood into something just as exciting as any novel! I especially loved his story about accidentally setting his bed on fire when he was pretending to be big and powerful like Superman. He threw one lit match on it and then tried to blow it out just like Superman would do. (The fire was soon put out, and he never tried anything like that again. It was truly an innocent mistake). Sometimes I’d quietly retell his stories to myself as I waited to see ifPerson holding an annotated paperback book open. The book has a sticky note in it that says remember. he’d be home soon!

Bookish Memory #2: My mother reading the first few Little House on the Prairie books to me. I took over reading them as soon as my reading skills were strong enough because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and she needed to look after my younger siblings.

Bookish Memory #3: Being so bored in church that I read portions of the Bible that weren’t being discussed during that week’s sermon. I was a preacher’s kid, so I had plenty of opportunities to “read ahead” so to speak.

Bookish Memory #4: Occasionally getting away with reading secular books during long church services. Shh, don’t tell my parents. 😉

Bookish Memory #5: Discovering a fairy tale my aunt had started writing but not finished when she was a little girl. So far as I can recall, it was about a princess and a magic necklace.  I added a few more scenes to it and then tucked it away where I found it. Maybe someday another little girl in our family will find it in that cupboard and finish it!

Bookish Memory #6: Being excited to start high school and later on college because of the wonderful new school libraries I was about to gain access to! I remember staring into the dark windows of those still-empty libraries just before the school year began and wishing they’d open early for me. I would have promised to leave everything exactly how I’d found if I could only browse the shelves for an hour and take note of which books I’d hope to check out first.

Bookish Memory #7: Memorizing the summer hours of our local public library and timing my walks there so I could arrive first thing in the morning or later in the evening depending on my work schedule. I knew exactly how long that walk took and was often the first (or last) patron of the day.  Let’s just say that July and August are quite hot and humid in the Midwestern portion of the United States. You do not want to be walking around in the full heat of the day for too long. Sunburns and heat strokes can happen terribly quickly if you’re not careful.

Bookish Memory #8: Attending the annual book sale and book/art festival in support of that same local library. I’d often find a few secondhand books that piqued my interest after I’d bought a slice or pie or some other treat.  We lived in a small, sleepy town, so events like this were a big deal for everyone who loved the local library!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Tropes I’d Love an Update On

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The original topic for this week was “characters I’d love an update on.” It’s a good topic, but I’ve had some disappointing experiences with sequels that either ignore the previous world building and character development or veer off into storylines that don’t fit the original trajectories of those worlds well at all.

I’m sure there are plenty of authors out there who know how to reintroduce characters to their audiences while staying true to the character and story development they had previously established. Since I’ve had trouble finding them, I’m going to quietly read all of your answers this week and talk about something slightly different instead.

Tropes I’d Love an Update On

That is to say, here are some common tropes I wish could be updated.

Man wearing a red superhero cape and a red eye mask holding his fist forward. He’s wearing scrubs and gloves and so is probably a healthcare worker. The Chosen One 

Most of the stories I’ve read about the Chosen One involve people who were given that title due to factors like who their parents were, which magical item they found or were gifted,  or what abilities they happened to be born with.

I think it would be interesting to read about characters who became the Chosen One after many years of preparation and hard work  or who stepped up to the plate after realizing there was no Chosen One coming to rescue everyone after all.

 

Love at First Sight 

Queer black woman cuddling a queer white woman.

The concept of meeting someone is fuzzier than it used to be.

Should you say you first “met” someone the first time you watched one of their Tik Tok videos or read a tweet from them?

What about the first time you sent them a private message or exchanged phone numbers and started texting?

Should in-person meetings be the dividing line instead?

Romance isn’t a genre I read very often, but I do think there’s something to be said for playing around with the idea of what does and doesn’t count as a first meeting between two people.

You could theoretically have two characters who have been online friends for years or even decades finally meet up in person and realize their feelings for each other are anything but platonic.

 

Uploaded Consciousness 

An artistic and metallic rendition of a human head. There are green beams of light shooting out from and circling it.This is a common science fiction trope that 50% of me thinks is awesome and 50% of me thinks is terrifying.

Many of the tales that include it assume that the human body or mind would struggle to adjust. Those possible outcomes make sense, but what concerns me more than that, though, is just how unstable online communities and places can be.

There are sites I loved and visited for years that have since been completely erased from the Internet.

Despite what parents and teachers may have warned us, not everything you put online lasts forever.

Sometimes it stick around just long enough to lull you into a sense of complacency before vanishing for good.

 

 

 

Clones 

Toddler twins standing in front of a large wooden door adorned with red lanterns.

Maybe it’s because I grew up around so many people who were twins, but I was never frightened by the idea of a clone.

Some people had womb-mates.

Some people have someone else walking out out there who shares all of their DNA.

None of this is remarkable to me. It’s simply something that occasionally happens among the people in my life who were or are my friends, classmates, and relatives.

 

 

If you know of any books that (lovingly) poke fun at these tropes or have reinvented them, I’d sure like to hear about them!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read if You Love Hard Science Fiction

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m the sort of reader who can find something to enjoy in many different genres and subgenres.

An astronaut standing on Mars. To be perfectly honest with you, I was a little intimidated by hard science fiction when I first encountered it because I didn’t know how much the authors who wrote it would expect their readers to know about the various scientific disciplines and theories they were focused on.

Most of the stories I’d read up until that point were much more fanciful, but I soon found plenty of books in this subgenre that I loved. Here are some of my recommendations for anyone who already loves hard science fiction or who would like to give it a try.

1. Wool by Hugh Howey

What I Loved About It:  The world building, especially when it came to explaining how large groups of humans could permanently live indoors in silos that provided for all of their needs.

 

2. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

What I Loved About It: The descriptions of how Mars was terraformed over the course of many years!

 

3. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (My review)

What I Loved About It: It’s difficult to discuss my favourite portions of this book without giving away spoilers. I did adore the first few scenes that gave a realistic depiction of how weak someone would be after waking up from a long, artificially-induced sleep as well as how long it would take them to recover from it and start building enough muscle to look after themselves again.

 

4. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr

What I Loved About It: Humanity’s painfully slow rediscovery of critical knowledge after a cataclysmic event. There are so many other things I’d gush about if I could, but like Project Hail Mary this is something that works best if you know as little about the storyline as possible in advance.

 

What else would you add to this list? Most of the ones I thought of are older, and I wish I could remember more of the ones I’ve enjoyed that are on the tip of my tongue.  I’m sure there are many other wonderful hard science fiction tales out there.

Top Ten Tuesday: Memorable Things Characters Have Said

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Here is my list. It will be interesting to see how everyone’s interpretations of what makes a quote memorable line up!

 

Photo of a stone angel surrounded by stormy grey clouds“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

 

“Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, of course, but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: “Let’s hear about Frodo and the Ring!” And they will say: “Yes, that’s one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn’t he, dad?” “Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that’s saying a lot.”
‘It’s saying a lot too much,’ said Frodo, and he laughed, a long clear laugh from his heart. Such a sound had not been heard in those places since Sauron came to Middle-earth. To Sam suddenly it seemed as if all the stones were listening and the tall rocks leaning over them. But Frodo did not heed them; he laughed again. ‘Why, Sam,’ he said, ‘to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you’ve left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. “I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn’t they put in more of his talk, dad? That’s what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam, would he, dad?”‘
‘Now, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam, ‘you shouldn’t make fun. I was serious.’
‘So was I,’ said Frodo, ‘and so I am.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

 

 

“You know what would help this boy?” Demeter mused. “Farming.”
Persephone rolled her eyes. “Mother-”
“Six months behind a plow. Excellent character building.”
Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

 

 

“I can’t imagine how anyone can say: “I’m weak,” and then remain so. After all, if you know it, why not fight against it, why not try to train your character? The answer was: “Because it’s so much easier not to!”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

 

 

 

The word doubt printed on a grey background. The “ubt” has been crossed out, leaving only the word “do.” You are the biggest fool of a boy I’ve ever known,” Mott said. Then his tone softened. “But you will serve Carthya well.”
“I wish I felt ready to do this,” I said. “The closer we come to the moment, the more I see every defect in my character that caused my parents to send me away in the first place.”
“From all I’m told, the prince they sent away was selfish, mischievous, and destructive. The king who returns is courageous, noble, and strong.”
“And a fool,” I added
Mott chuckled. “You are that too.”
Jennifer A. Nielsen, The False Prince

 

 

“Don’t the great tales never end?”
“No, they never end as tales,” said Frodo. “But the people in them come, and go when their part’s ended. Our part will end later – or sooner.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

 

“What are you reading?” Owen asks.
“Charlotte’s Web,” Liz says. “It’s really sad. One of the main characters just died.”
“You ought to read the book from end to beginning,” Owen jokes. “That way, no one dies, and it’s always a happy ending.”
Gabrielle Zevin, Elsewhere

 

 

 

 

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot”. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly”
Truman Capote

 

 

“Allow me to tell you, Mr Taylor,” said I, but quietly as the occasion demanded, “that one gentleman does not rejoice at the misfortune of another in public”.”
William Golding

 

 

Person putting puzzle pieces together. “To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I’ve left my teens behind me forever,” said Anne, who was curled up on the hearth-rug with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet chair. They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla had gone to a committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party.

“I suppose you feel kind of sorry,” said Aunt Jamesina. “The teens are such a nice part of life. I’m glad I’ve never gone out of them myself.”

Anne laughed.

“You never will, Aunty. You’ll be eighteen when you should be a hundred. Yes, I’m sorry, and a little dissatisfied as well. Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don’t feel that it’s what it should be. It’s full of flaws.”

“So’s everybody’s,” said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. “Mine’s cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or ‘tother, and would go on developing in that line. Don’t worry over it, Anne.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Would Hand to Someone Who Claims to Not Like Reading

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Man peeking out from behind a white desk in a white room. He looks nervous. My first response to this post was to say, “absolutely nothing at all!” I wholeheartedly believe in respecting people’s boundaries if they say they’re not interested in doing or trying something.

For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that this person has not enjoyed reading in the past but is open to hearing a few suggestions of new ways to approach this hobby from someone who knows a lot about it.

My first five ideas will include various types of reading and literacy material that can be easily tailored to someone’s interests. There are so many options out there other than traditional novels. I’ll then mention five specific titles that might work for adults who are reluctant readers. (I’m guessing that most lists this week will focus on books for kids or teens who dislike reading. We’ll see if I’m right about that).

Generalized Bookish Ideas for Non-Readers

1. Audiobooks 

Audiobooks are great for so many different scenarios, from people who struggle to read to folks who don’t have a great deal of time to sit down and read every day while doing nothing else.

2. Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and/or Comic Strips

I’ve known several people who dislike traditional books for any number of reasons but who really connected with specific storylines or characters in these genres because they had so many visual cues about what was going on.

3. Books that Inspired Films or TV Shows 

Non-bookish people might be surprised to know how many shows started out as novels, novellas, or short stories! Honestly, I’m still occasionally surprised by how often this happens.

4. Oral Storytelling 

Some people come from cultures that traditionally passed stories down verbally from one generation to the next instead of writing them down. Others might simply respond better to hearing or sharing a story out loud instead of quietly reading it. I believe in encouraging everyone to engage with stories in whatever ways work best for them.

5. Plays and Musicals 

I struggled to enjoy most of Shakespeare’s plays when I read them in high school and college literature courses, but seeing them play out on the stage (or by streaming a recording of a previous performance) was a much more rewarding and memorable experience. More recently, I utterly adored seeing Hamilton when it showed up on one of the streaming services I use! There are so many different types of plays and musicals out there to appeal to all sorts of personalities and interests.

 

Five Specific Books for Non-Readers

 

6. Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton 

People are fascinating. You never know what secrets a stranger passing you buy on the street might be carrying with them.

 

7. Atlas Obscura – an Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Treasures by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton.

This is a delightful anthology of true stories about history, science, geography, architecture, nature, and so much more. It’s easy to dip in and out of it or to skip ahead to sections that interest you.

 

8. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen 

It’s interesting to compare what was taught in elementary and secondary history courses versus what books written for adult readers have to say on the same topics. I think I would have enjoyed history class more growing up if things hadn’t been so over-simplified and sometimes downright misconstrued to us.

 

9. Animal Farm by George Orwell 

Political satires aren’t for everyone, but they really hit the spot for some readers.

 

10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Adams had such an amazing sense of humour and comedic timing!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Settings

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl I could talk about this topic for ages! Let’s see if I can keep my list down to a reasonable 10 or so answers. I will expound on some, but not all, of my responses. 1. Anywhere that has a cozy fireplace. Yes, I know it isn’t healthy to… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl   I generally write short introductions to Top Ten Tuesday posts, but I think this time my list will speak for itself. 1. Film Covers for Books. They often tend to look dated after a few years. I’d also rather not have actors as my point of reference for how… Read More