Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Halloween-ish Books on my TBR

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays. It was a huge disappointment the first year that I was no longer able to go trick-or-treating. Luckily for me, my friends and I looked quite young for our age, so we managed to continue most of the way through high school before finally being forced to stop. I actually don’t really like to be scared and my worst nightmare this time of year were the creepy masks that some people would wear to school, even though masks were generally banned. I love this time of year because of all the decorations, the TV specials (at least the ones that aren’t too scary), and of course, the candy!

When it comes to books and movies, I love a Halloween theme but nothing too scary. My favourite Halloween-ish movies have always been The Addams Family, but I also loved Beetlejuice, and others like that which blend the creepy with quite a bit of humour. With books, I don’t mind when they are a bit darker and scarier. I love psychological thrillers, but I’m not a huge horror fan. For this week’s topic, I decided to look ahead at my TBR and find 10 books I haven’t read yet that I think fit the Halloween theme.

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

1) We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

89724This is a very recent addition to my list, which I added after it played such a prominent role in a book I read not too long ago. I’d heard of this book quite a long time ago, but never really paid much attention to it until I saw the plot summarized in Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. This book is about a girl named Merricat who lives on her family’s estate with her sister, Constance, who has been acquitted of murdering other family members with poison. Merricat attempts to protect her sister from the hostile villagers. It is quite a short book, but the cover art reminds me of The Addams Family. It is a book that I’m likely going to fit into next year’s reading challenges.

2) The Boy Who Could See Demons by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

13497675This book reminds me of Halloween primarily because of the cover art, but also because of the blend of horror and mental health. This book is about a 10-year-old boy named Alex whose best friend is a 9000-year old demon. Alex meets a child psychiatrist who fears for his sanity, and attempts to convince him that the demon cannot possibly exist. I think this book sounds like such a fascinating story that blends the boundary between reality and imagination. The main concept of this book seems to be whether Alex’s demon is real, or all in his head. It sounds like such a fascinating concept! This book has been on my TBR for quite a long time, and I’m looking forward to finally getting a chance to read it.

3) Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler

21412133I was first drawn to this book because of the interesting title, which means “fear of the dark.” This book is about an architecture student, Callie, who moves into a house in Southern Spain with her husband. Callie decides to research the history of her new home, and becomes convinced that it must be haunted. These kinds of books tend to be very atmospheric and creepy. I can definitely relate to the fear of the dark angle, since I was very afraid of the dark when I was younger. This is another book that has been on my list for a couple of years already, but I keep putting it off without any real reasons.

4) Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville

18242996Fairy tales have always had a bit of a creepy element to them, especially the original Grimm’s tales which were quite dark! This book is set in Vienna, focusing on a psychoanalyst who encounters a strange case of a girl who claims not to be human. Several years later in Germany, a young girl named Krysta plays alone, obsessed with fairy tales, whose life becomes quite terrifying. The synopsis is quite vague about the details of the storyline, but I’ve always loved the idea of creepy fairy tales. As far as I understand, this book also uses the fairy tale elements as a parallel to Nazi Germany, which sounds like an interesting angle.

5) Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

25900354It is not only stories about demons and monsters that creep me out. Sometimes the scariest stories are psychological thrillers, which are that much creepier because they seem so possible. This book is about identical twins, Helen and Ellie, who decide to switch places for a day, until one of them refuses to switch back. Part of what seems so fascinating about this story is how the twins’ identities seem to be contingent on their names. Aside from the interesting concept, the book has a very creepy cover with childish stick figures. I’m curious to see how the author manages to create such a convincing switch that others don’t realize the girls have switched places. It sounds like a great thriller!

6) Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

12598982This book seems most Halloween-ish because of the cover art, with the lone slide against a dark night background. The plot itself is more of a typical mystery/thriller. The book is about a mother who rushes into a burning school building to save her teenage daughter, and tries to discover the identity of the arsonist while protecting her children. On it’s own, I wouldn’t necessarily consider it it a very Halloween-themed story, but it does seem like the perfect time of year for thrillers. The reviews on this one seemed pretty mixed, but that seems to be the case for many thrillers. It seems like it could be a creepy one, but just the cover art alone makes it perfect for the Halloween theme.

7) 99 Red Balloons by Elisabeth Carpenter

35157345This is another recent addition to my TBR, and a book that just came out in August of this year. It is another case of a book that seems most Halloween-ish because of the cover art, featuring a silhouette of an empty swing, and a child with a single red balloon. This book is about an 8-year-olg girl who goes missing from a candyshop on her way home from school, and the ensuing police hunt to find her. An ageing widow sees the child’s picture in the newspaper, which reignites her obsession with another child who has gone missing. It sounds like a key plot point in this book is figuring out whether these two cases are connected in some way, and the idea of getting a perspective from the other woman watching the story unfold from a bit more of a distance seems intriguing.

8) Meddling Kids by Egdar Cantero

32905343I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Scooby-Doo. I simultaneously thought the show was so entertaining, but also found it very stupid at times. My favourite was “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo,” mostly because of Vincent Price’s voicework for one of the main characters. I was drawn to this book because of the title, which reminded me of the classic Scooby-Doo villain line about how they would have gotten away with it “if it weren’t for you meddling kids.” This book definitely seems to be an homage to the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, focusing a club of teen detectives who have now grown up, not seeing each other since their last case in the late 70s. I love the concept of this book, following the teen detectives into their adult lives, reuniting to face a past threat. I will definitely have to fit this one into my reading challenges next year!

9) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

18659623I’ve been hearing about this book for well over a year now, and it’s received rave reviews from many of the reviewers I follow. Unlike the other books listed here, this one is a graphic novel, which includes five creepy stories. I’ve seen Emily Carroll’s brilliant illustrations in Baba Yaga’s Assistant (a book I would highly recommend, and another great Halloween read for people who don’t want a scary story), and I was very impressed. I’m not such a fan of short stories in general, but paired with these kinds of creepy illustrations, I think they would work quite well!

10) Naomi’s Room by Jonathan Aycliffe

880062I added this book to my list not long after reading the terrifying Little Girls by Ronald Malfi, and have actively avoided it ever since due to my aversion to ghost stories. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good ghost story, it’s just that they legitimately scare me and make it really difficult for me to sleep. This book is told from the perspective of Charles, a father whose 4-year-old daughter, is murdered, who is trying to uncover what happened to his daughter as well as the strange, paranormal activity going on in their house. It definitely sounds like the kind of story that would terrify me and possibly give me nightmares, but hopefully one day I will be brave enough to give it a chance.

 

 

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The Currently Reading Book Tag

When I first saw this tag done by Destiny @Howling Libraries,  I was a little confused. How many questions could possibly be asked about the book you are currently reading? It turned out that this was a tag that had more to do with reading habits, which I find it strangely fun to talk about. For anyone who is curious about what I am actually currently reading, it is Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories by Audrey Niffenegger, just in time for Halloween!

1) How many books do you usually read at once?

I’ve only ever been able to read one book at a time, which probably explains why I couldn’t do much reading all the years I was in school. When I try to read more than one, I end up prioritizing one over the other anyway so it ends up being like reading just one. If anything, having more than one in progress at once irritates me since I track my reading on Goodreads, and it bugs me when it shows that a book takes too long (or whatever I think is too long) to finish. My TBR list is massive, but I don’t find reading multiple books at once actually helps me in any productive way.

2) If you’re reading more than one book at once, how do you decide when to switch books?

I guess I’ll answer this one hypothetically, since I don’t read more than for exactly this problem. In reality, I wouldn’t switch very effectively. I’d either get so absorbed in one book that I’d abandon the other, or so bored of one that I’d avoid it and keep picking up something else. If for whatever reason I had to read more than one at a time, I’d probably switch depending on my mood or depending what is due back to the library soonest.

3) Do you ever switch bookmarks while you’re partway through a book.

No? Why would anyone do that? The only time I change bookmarks is if I can’t find mine. I don’t collect bookmarks and don’t really care what my bookmark looks like. There are some very nice ones out there, but I don’t see the purpose in randomly switching in the middle of a book.

4) Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading?

On my desk, with a stack from the library of my upcoming reads on the floor next to my desk.

5) What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

In the evenings, mostly, since that’s the only time I have during the week. I work 8:30 to 4:30 every day, and in the kind of job where reading during the day is impossible. Even on my lunch break, it’s often too noisy in the staff room to focus on a book plus my coworkers like to socialize during breaks.  On weekends, unless I’m out for the day, I read most of the day.

6) How long do you typically read in one sitting?

Generally a couple of hours at a time.

7) Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?

I used to only read with the dust jacket on, but I found it was likely to get ripped or dirty that way. Now I leave it off, and safely out of the way.

8) What position do you mainly use to read?

Usually sitting at my desk, but sometimes sitting with the pillows propped up behind me on the bed. I can’t read comfortably lying down.

9) Do you take the book you’re currently reading with you everywhere you go?

When I was in university and college, I always had a book with me to the point where even my TA’s were asking if I was an English major. Now there’s no point since I wouldn’t be able to read in the places I’m going (generally work), and I can’t read on public transit or in cars at all.

10) How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you are currently reading?

Usually I only update once at the end of the day, unless I have a status I want to add about a specific quote, event, character, etc.

For once, I remembered to tag! I will tag:

Harini @ BooksandReaders
Kourtni @ KourtniReads
FNM @ FNMBookReviews
Anushka @ GoingThroughBooks
Beth @ ReadingEveryNight

 

Top 5 Wednesdays: Top 5 Non-Horror Books That Scared You

I’m a coward when it comes to true horror stories, but I really love a good thriller. It can be fun to read books that are a little bit scary or creepy, although I find they tend to haunt me for way too long afterwards. One of the things I found interesting about this week’s prompt is that there are so many ways to interpret it. My first instinct was to choose books that I found scary or chilling, but I’ve also seen several responses where the blogger chose to include books that they were afraid to try, or with a dystopian world that seems a little too realistic. It was a bit tricky to think of books that really scared me!

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) Defending Jacob by William Landay

11367726I feel like I talk about this book all the time, but it is a book that I read two years ago that still sticks with me. This book is a thriller about a lawyer named Andy Barber whose teenage son, Jacob, is accused of murdering a classmate. Andy is convinced that this son must be innocent and wants to do everything in his power to protect him, but his wife is less certain. This book scared me because it really did a great job of leaving you guessing where you stand on Jacob’s involvement in the other boy’s death. Some of the scenes were particularly chilling, especially the shocking ending. It is a book that I never would have heard of without my reading challenge, but I’m so glad I gave it a chance.

2) We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

91aufmu8jtlThis is another very chilling thriller that focuses on a teenage boy. In this book, a young man named Kevin went on a rampage at his school, killing several other students and staff. The book is written in the form of letters from Kevin’s mother, Eva, to her estranged husband as she tries to come to terms with her son’s actions. I thought the book was a very powerful nature vs. nurture story, and like Defending Jacob, it really kept you questioning where you stand. Eva was such an unlikeable character, but for me that only contributed to the power of the story about whether Kevin really was a monster, or just an unfortunate case of a neglected child. This is another book that has really stuck with me.

3) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

12232938To be fair, I did not love this book anywhere near as much as everyone else seems to. This book is told from the perspective of a teenager named Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered on her way home from school, following her in the after-life as she watches over her friends and family as they try to cope with her loss. The book itself wasn’t that creepy for me, although it easily could have been since I tend to find stories about ghosts very scary. The main reason this one scared me was because while reading a specific scene about Susie rushing past someone as a ghost, where she seemed to be only a fast-moving white light, I thought I saw a flash of light in my hallway and it startled me. It really creeped me out!

4) The Ghost at Dawn’s House by Ann M. Martin

371125This may seem like a silly one to add, but while I was thinking about books that scared me over the years, this was one of the earliest I could remember. This book is part of the Babysitter’s Club series, where the girls discover that there is a secret passage in Dawn’s house which she believes is haunted by a ghost. Dawn soon discovers an old book of her grandmother’s that talks about a man who used to live in the house who mysteriously disappeared, and assumes that this must be the ghost. It seems silly now to be so creeped out by this book, but I was so scared of it that I couldn’t even stand to have it in my room! After reading it the first time, I was so scared that I hid it away in the basement so I wouldn’t have to see it.

5) A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

60748This book is scary on a completely different level, although I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing itself. This book is an autobiographical account of Dave Pelzer’s childhood with a severely abusive mother. Dave was brutally beaten, starved, and tortured by a parent who, for some reason, considered him an “it” instead of a person. This was one of the first books about abuse that I’d ever read, and I was truly horrified to learn that people could behave so cruelly toward others, especially toward a child. While I knew that abuse existed, it was shocking to read a first-hand account of what it was actually like to live in that situation. I know that since then the veracity of the book has been called into question, but even if it were fictional, it is still horrifying to read!

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Unique Book Titles

Once again I managed to get a bit mixed up with the order of my topics, and was fully prepared to write my Halloween-themed top 10 post today. I thought it was a bit weird that the theme would show up the week before the holiday, especially with Halloween actually being on a Tuesday, so I decided to check the list, where I soon discovered that I had got them confused for the second time this month. I really need to get more organized!

This week’s topic is a bit of a tricky one for me since I don’t necessarily find titles particularly interesting since most of them seem to fit the book quite well. I can’t really say what it is that makes me classify a title as “unique.” I decided to focus on books from my TBR, especially many of the titles that I added fairly recently.

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

1) Confusion Is Nothing New by Paul Acampora

36127491Can a title qualify as unique if it is a quote from a song? I’ll admit that I added this book to my list primarily because of the title, which I can’t look at without automatically hearing Time After Time in my head. I liked this title because not only is it a classic song lyric, but it is also a pretty appropriate quote that characterizes being a teenager. This book is about a teenage girl named Ellie, who was raised by her single father and is trying to figure out who she is without having her mother around to be a role model. The synopsis is fairly vague since the book is not due out until May 2018, so I’m hoping a little more detail will become available as we get closer to the release date.

2) Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonslaves

31681354This is another book that is not due out until May of next year, but I thought it was an interesting title. I’ve actually always found the idea of carnivorous plants pretty interesting, and a topic that is not very common. I can’t quite figure out how the plants factor into the plot, since the synopsis says the book is about a girl struggling to find herself during her difficult freshman year at college. Aside from the title, this book appealed to me because there seem to be so few YA books that even address college beyond the stress of the application process. It has been described as “darkly funny,” and sounds like it could be a very interesting one to try.

3) The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

25650078I’m not 100% sure I can count this one as unique, since it reminds me quite a bit of another book on my TBR called The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I decided to go with this one because it was a more recent addition to my list, but both of these would apply. I found this book while browsing options for a challenge prompt this year that requires a book about food, since I thought the book I wanted would not be available in time. This book is about a chef named Lou who meets and connects with a food critic named Al, not knowing that this was the man whose review nearly got her restaurant shut down. The book has been compared to “You’ve Got Mail,” so it sounds like it might be a lot of fun to read!

4) The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

35604686This book appealed to me because of a combination of the unusual title and the beautiful cover art. It is a magical realism story about a teenage girl named Leigh who travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for the first time. Leigh is certain that when her mother committed suicide, she turned into a bird, which she is now determined to find. I like magical realism, but I sometimes find it difficult to get into depending on how well it is done. This book is supposed to be a great story about grief and finding hope, but I can also see myself having difficulty buying into the idea of Leigh being so convinced that her mother is now a bird. This book is due out in March 2018, so I’m looking forward to seeing what people think of it.

5) 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant

34220094I almost passed right over this book while I was looking at lists of new and upcoming releases because I assumed it was a self-help book of some kind. This book is actually a YA story about Hildy and Paul, who both join a university psychology study that consists of 36 questions to determine whether falling in love can be engineered. As a former psychology major myself, I love the concept of a book set around a study of this kind. As part of my intro to psychology course, we were required to participate in studies by some of the older students, most of which were just online surveys. I think it’s a really interesting choice to have this as a key plot point in a book, and I’m looking forward to trying this one.

6) Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley

9833965I’m really not a fan of non-fiction in general, but I thought the title to this one was pretty interesting. I have family members with severe allergies, and I work in a field where we always need to be conscious of allergies, so it is quite relevant to me. I thought the title “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl” was appealing because of how it captures the potential dangers of severe allergies, and the book itself sounds really interesting. There is so much controversy sometimes about how to manage people’s allergies in schools, at work, etc. so it is also a topic that I think really needs to be opened up and discussed. This is one of the few non-fiction books I may actually be motivated to give a chance.

7) A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

28220983The title of this book appealed to me because it immediately reminded me of Minecraft, a computer game I often play with my boyfriend and some friends. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book actually did focus on Minecraft as a way for the main character Alex to connect with his young son who has autism. Games are such an amazing way to connect with some children who have autism, so I thought it was pretty cool that an author out there decided to include that in his book. This book actually came out a little over a year ago, although I did not hear about it until very recently. Autism and Minecraft are two topics that really interest me, so I would love to see how the author manages to bring them together.

8) Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

28919058Honestly, when I first saw this title, I hated it. I tend to find made up words in titles pretty cringe-worthy, but the more I thought about this one, the more I thought it was kind of cute. It helped that one of my favourite Youtubers (CeCe at ProblemsOfABookNerd) was raving about this book! I also thought the cover art was very well-done, and the plot is right up my alley. This book is about a bisexual teenage boy named Tanner who is dared to take part in a prestigious writing seminar, where he must draft a book by the end of the semester. I almost took a creative writing class in my last year of high school as well, but I chickened out because I hated the idea of other people reading my writing (as ironic as that seems now), and especially of having to read what I wrote out loud. It’s also very hard for me to write on demand sometimes. I thought this book had a unique title because it was a twist on “autobiography” that seems to really capture the story. I am very excited to read this one!

9) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

29283884I don’t know why I was convinced for the longest time that this book had something to do with pirates. The title doesn’t even remotely sound like a pirate story, so I have no clue where I got that from. I thought this book had a unique title because it made it sound like such an official guidebook, but also seems to perfectly capture the story, at least from what I’ve heard about it. This book is about a boy named Henry “Monty” Montague who is expected to become a gentleman, who is sent on a year-long trip to give him one last chance for all of his vices before he must return home and take over his family’s estate. This book has received so much hype this year that it has been practically impossible to avoid. Considering the rave reviews it has received from all of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads, I may have to give it a chance pretty soon.

10) We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

30813401Like the first book on my list, I can’t really decide if this qualifies as unique since it is a direct quote. I literally cannot read this title without hearing Ross Gellar (from Friends) shouting it in my head. For that reason alone, I think I have to count it as a title that is very unique because I’m not sure other authors would be brave enough to use the line due to that association. This book is about a couple named Liv and Adam who go on holiday together, where Adam plans to propose. Somehow, the couple instead ends up taking a break from each other. It sounds like a great comedy of errors story, which can be a lot of fun to read. This is another book that has been out already for about a year, but I hadn’t heard of it until very recently. Sounds like a lot of fun!

Reader Struggles: Meme Mini-Series (#5)

I am really not a morning person, at all. I used to love waking up early and starting to read almost right away, but the older I get, the more difficult it is for me to focus on a book in the morning. I also now have a full-time job which is luckily a 5-10 minute walk from my house, so I don’t need to wake up too early . However, it does leave me with no time to read in the morning, and even if I wanted to, I’m usually not awake enough to pay attention. The evenings are another story. You would think it would be much more tiring to read after a long day of work, but I find it’s the perfect way for me to unwind. I have a bad habit of staying up too late anyway, especially on weekends, so I thought this meme was a perfect fit:

There have been so many times where I’ve decided to stay up way too late to continue my book, especially when I’m very close to the end. Sometimes, it’s not even a case of the book being that good but when I’m almost done, it seems pointless to save 10 or so pages for the next day. Even if it means going to bed a bit late (or more than a bit), it sometimes feels more worthwhile to just stay up and finish it off. Most of the time, if I’m staying up late to read, it’s because the book really is that exciting and I can’t wait to find out what happens next! It causes problems though, since there comes a time, usually by around 11:30, where I start to realize that I’m not really focusing properly on the book anymore but I don’t quite want to go to bed yet either. I’ve learned by now that once it hits that point, no matter how great the book is, there is no point continuing since I’m not likely to really process anything.

The worst culprit though is weekends or any time I have a day off. Unless I’m too tired, I’d much rather stay up reading and sleep in the next day. I often keep my weekends fairly open because I need the time to unwind before another week of work. I work in a day program for young adults with special needs, so at work I’m constantly around people all the time and having time to myself on the weekends is my way to recharge. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but it can be really exhausting! It’s nearly impossible for me to stay up ridiculously late on work nights and still be able to function properly for my job, but the weekends are fair game. I almost always stay up way too late either reading or sometimes watching videos, and sleep for most of the next morning. I know technically I’d be able to read the same amount if I just slept on time and woke up at a normal time, but I’m much more of a night person.

Top 5 Wednesdays: Top 5 Books Featuring Your Paranormal Creature of Choice

If I had to pick just one paranormal creature to read about, it would probably be witches. Unfortunately for me, a recent Top 5 Wednesday topic already covered books with witches so it was a bit of a struggle to find another favourite that I had read more than one or two books about. I enjoy paranormal stories but I haven’t read too many of them because so many seem very similar to Twilight. I decided to go with books about monsters since they seem to be a kind of creature that don’t get as much attention as vampires, ghosts or werewolves. It may be a bit of a cheat in a sense, since I’ve always thought of monster as a fairly broad term covering most paranormal creatures. Here are five books about monsters that I’ve read and enjoyed.

Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.

1) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

a_monster_callsThis was the first book that came to mind when I decided to write about books about monsters. This book still resonates as one of the strongest books that I read last year, which I devoured in one sitting. It is about a young boy named Conor who has frightening nightmares about a monster while dealing with  his mother’s cancer treatments. Conor wakes up to find the monster outside his window, who visits him each night. This is an incredible, raw and emotional book, especially for something aimed toward a middle grade audience. It is one of the few books that has genuinely made me cry. The illustrations are stunning, and the story is so well-written.

2) This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

23299512I read this book earlier this year, and it quickly became a favourite. It takes place in a city where people’s cruel and violent acts create real monsters. The book focuses on Kate, the daughter of powerful man who lets monsters roam free and forces people to pay for protection from them, and August, a monster who does not want to be one. This was the first book by Victoria Schwab that I have ever read, and I was very impressed with her writing style. I thought it was really interesting how this book incorporated several different kinds of monsters, and especially the whole element of how people (and monsters) can choose whether to behave like monsters. I always tend to love characters who have these kinds of shades of grey, and I can’t wait to read the next one.

3) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

18490I couldn’t possibly make a list of monster books without including this classic. As I’m sure most people know from all the versions of this over the years, this book is about a creature cobbled together from other people’s remains by Dr. Victor Frankenstein. As soon as the creature is brought to life, Dr. Frankenstein is horrified by what he has done and abandons it, causing the creature to wander the world to find a place where he might belong, becoming more angry and vengeful the more he is rejected. I was a little hesitant to read this book after already being so familiar with the basic story. I ended up really enjoying it. The book is quite different from the many versions we see in the movies, but it is still a powerful story.

4) Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

19543This is probably one of the earliest monster books most children read. I actually barely remember reading it as a child and I don’t think I was a huge fan of it, but I reread it again as an adult for my children’s literature class and I loved it. This book is about a little boy named Max who gets into trouble at home and is sent to his room. While there, a forest grows and a boat comes to take Max to a place where the “wild things” are, where he immediately decides he will be their king and starts a huge party. Unlike other monster stories, this is definitely not a scary book. It is actually a very sweet story that shows how even when children behave like wild animals, their parents still care about them. I’m glad I gave this book another chance.

5) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

missperegrinecoverMost people think of the peculiar children when they think of this series, but there are also some pretty creepy monsters involved. The book features two main kinds of monsters: wights and hollowgasts, both of which are strange creatures that attack Peculiars to consume their souls. The hollowgasts were the more obvious monsters, especially frightening because they are invisible to Peculiars, but the Wights were even more creepy in a way because they look so human and can shapeshift easily, making them very difficult to detect in what may be an even scarier way. As disturbing as invisible monsters are, the idea of monsters hiding out in plain sight as humans is just as creepy! This is not a book I would necessarily consider a monster story, but they definitely play a key role.

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top 10 Yummy Foods in Books

This was topic that really threw me off last week. I was convinced it was last week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic and was collecting ideas. I use that term a bit loosely though, since I found it quite a stressful topic. I’m a bit of a picky eater, but I love food…I just can’t say it’s something that I really pay attention to very much in books. Unless the characters are eating something really unique, I’m not very likely to remember what they ate after finishing the book. It was difficult to try to find even 5 books with memorable food, so realizing that this was a top 10 topic instead made it that much harder! I’m having some Internet problems at the moment, so I apologize for the lack of pictures to go with my choices. I just wanted to get the post up while I could!

Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

1) Wizarding World Food –  The Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)

This book is definitely the exception what I mentioned above about food being unmemorable. There are a few items that really don’t sound appetizing (Acid Pops or Cockroach Cluster, for example) but most of it sounds delicious! I’m a huge sweet eater, so I would love a trip to Honeyduke’s or Fortescue’s ice cream shop. I also love the incredible feasts the students have at Hogwarts, and I’d also love to eat some of Molly Weasley’s home cooking.

2) Coconut Cream Cake – The Reptile Room (Lemony Snicket)

Originally, I was thinking of including pasta puttanesca, which was such a big part of the first Series of Unfortunate Events book, but once I saw a list of ingredients, I knew it was something I wouldn’t really eat. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but the cake that Baudelaires eat when they first meet their Uncle Monty just sounds delicious! It was obviously memorable enough to them because it shows up again toward the end of the series where Sunny decides to make it again for Violet’s birthday.

3) Lots of Chocolate and Candy! – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)

To be fair, I’m probably thinking of the movie more than the book with this one since I’ve seen the movie so many times. I’ve always loved the idea of a chocolate waterfall, although I still have no idea how it would be kept sanitary to actually eat. I also love all the different Wonka bars that came out, especially the Whipple-Scrumption Fudgemallow Delight, where Charlie finds his Golden Ticket. I love anything chocolaty!

4) Enchanted Fudge – No Such Thing as a Witch (Ruth Chew)

It’s a good thing my recent post about books involving witches reminded me of this childhood favourite. In this book, the children’s neighbour has enchanted fudge. Eating one piece makes them love animals, two makes them understand what animals are saying, three makes them act like animals, and four actually turns them into an animal! When I was younger, I thought it would be so much fun to be able to turn into an animal like the children in this book, but now I think I’d probably stop at just one or two pieces.

5) Capitol Food/Mellark Bakery – The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

I know most people will probably pick the delicious meals that Katniss eats in the Capitol. The food she eats during her training and with all of the people helping her prepare for the games (ie. Cinna) sounds amazing, but I also was very tempted by Peeta’s bakery. I’m a huge sucker for freshly baked bread, and other baked treats. The books mentioned raisin bread, iced cakes, and cinnamon bread, all of which are favourites of mine.

6) Edible Cookie Dough – The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli)

I love cookie dough in my ice cream, and I would quite happily eat it on it’s own if it was safe to do so. When I was reading the book, I think I naturally assumed it was regular chocolate chip cookie dough, but I’m sure there are plenty of varieties that we could make. I can’t remember if the recipe was actually included with the book, although I’m pretty sure it was not. I’m really not into the whole mason jar food trend, but edible cookie dough just sounds awesome.

7) Gelato – Love and Gelato (Jenna Evans Welch)

I actually wasn’t a huge fan of this book, which was a shame since I waited quite a while for the library to find me a copy. It was a fairly generic YA contemporary story, but I didn’t really like the characters. However, I have never tried gelato and this book made me really interested in tasting some! I love ice cream and frozen yogurt, and I honestly don’t understand how gelato is any different, but the flavours described throughout this book sounded delicious.

8) Chocolate, Chabela Wedding Cake and Three Kings’ Day Bread –  Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquival)

I’m only about halfway through this book right now, so I haven’t even reached the chapters about some of these foods yet. Honestly, everything sounds delicious but these are the three recipes that I think I’d be most likely to actually eat. I’m not really a big fan of the way the recipe steps are mixed in with the story, but the food all sounds so good. Even the recipes that I probably would never try in real life sound pretty tempting.

9) Many Foods – Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (Lucy Knisley)

I read this book late last year and I don’t own a copy, so I can’t remember specifically which foods were mentioned, but there were so many that sounded great. This book is a graphic novel in which Lucy Knisley describes the key role food and cooking have played in her life. I went into this book not really expecting much and I ended up really enjoying it, especially because I loved the attitude Lucy Knisley had toward food and eating, including a section about how we should not dismiss foods that people enjoy just because they are cheap or less healthy. I fully understand the importance of healthy eating, but I also very strongly believe that people need to enjoy what they are eating in order to make good food choices.

10) Our Daily Bread Bakery –  The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult)

This may seem like a bit of an odd choice for a list of books with great food, considering that it is primarily a Holocaust story. However, one of the main characters is a baker, and one of the things I really enjoyed about this book were the descriptions of how Sage made her baked goods. As I said above, I’m a huge sucker when it comes to freshly baked food and I would love to be able to visit a bakery every day if I could. Nearly every item at a bakery sounds good to me!