Ten Book Recommendations for Those in a Reading Slump

Today’s post is based on Top Ten Tuesday at Broke and Bookish. I have for you ten books that will help you break your reading slump. These are books that have gotten me out of my own slumps, or that I just couldn’t put down! (Post contains affiliate links.)

Ten Books for Those in a Reading Slump

1. Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

This is, hands-down, the best book I’ve read this year. An actual review is coming soon, but this book will definitely take you out of a slump! I read it all in one sitting. It follows Juliet, a photographer, who has recently lost her mother. She writes letters to her mother and leaves them at her mother’s grave. Declan, a high school delinquent, finds one of the letters and responds. The following conversations and events create an amazing story.

 

2. Cinder and Ella by Kelly Oram

 

This book is just plain adorable. It’s a pretty easy read and every time I even go to re-read a passage, I get sucked in and read basically the whole thing. The main character, Ella, is recovering from severe burns received due to a car accident. She has to deal with her father, stepmother, and stepsisters for the first time in her life, and it’s challenging. Her only solace is in her online blog and online pen-pal, Cinder.


3. What If by Randall Munroe
This is a super fun science book that takes crazy questions (“What would happen if you drained the ocean and put the water on Mars?”) and answers them with science. The author is as the creator of the web comic XKCD, and he once worked for NASA.

4. Talon by Julie Kagawa

 

Give this book two chapters, and you’ll be hooked. The female main character is a dragon in human form, assigned to learn how to assimilate with humans. The male main character is a dragon-slayer – a soldier who has been taught to kill first, ask questions never.

5. The Martian by Andy Weir

This may only pick you out of a slump if you are a logical-mathematical type person. I loved this story about a man who is accidentally left behind on Mars and must learn to survive with minimal supplies until he can be rescued. He has to face many obstacles you would never thing of on earth, and the stakes for everything are life or death.


6. Bad Connection by Melody Carlson

This is a Christian fiction novel that follows Samantha McGregor – a teen who gets visions. When she gets one of a person who has gone missing, she knows she needs to step in and help with the investigation. This is an intriguing mystery/crime novel.

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee

While I did only give this book three stars, it also kept me hooked from beginning to end. And then I did the same thing with the next book. And then the next. As a series, the books will keep you on edge, intrigued about the next action. The series follows Penryn as she navigates post-apocalyptic Earth, which has now been invaded by angels.

8. Crash by Lisa McMann

This is a super quick but intense read. It follows Jules – your average Italian high schooler, who works at her parent’s pizza shop, argues with her two siblings, and avoids her family’s rivals. Then she starts seeing a vision. There’s a crash, and then, lots of body bags. What does it mean? And what can she do about it?

9. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

 

This book is great for fans of Twilight. Jessica’s life has been pretty normal so far. And then an exchange student/vampire shows up and turns her life upside down.

10. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

This is an adorable young adult romance, and it’s my favorite in the Anna and the French Kiss series. (Lola… is second in the series, but it can easily be read out of order.) Lola is an eccentric designer with a passion for costumes, and Cricket is an inventor who lives next door, and who hasn’t been in Lola’s life for years. (It’s a romance, so I’m sure you can guess the rest. 🙂)

So that’s it! What books would you recommend to someone in a reading slump? Have you read any of the books above? Let me know!

❤️ Annette

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My Favorite Childhood Picture Books

Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite books from my childhood. Both of my parents were huge influences on my love of reading. My dad read to me and my siblings all the time in the evenings, a mother is a huge reader herself. She read chapter books aloud to us, or read them at the same time as us, so we could discuss them. The books below are all picture books that I remember being read to me over and over and over again, as I’d often request them.  Hopefully this will help you remember some of the wonderful books from your past as well! (Post contains affiliate links.)

Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambaut

This is one of the first books I think of when I think of picture books from my childhood. All the nonsensical words and the wonderful rhythm makes this book a wonderful read, for any age really. 🙂

Harvest Mice by Beverly Randall

 

This one is adorable, and maybe set off an obsession of mine with all things mouse related. (I’ve got a collection of adorable mice – not real, of course.) There is a sad page about harvest mice getting eaten though, so if you’re reading this to a child, maybe tear that page out first?

 

 

Farmer Patrick Pig by Richard Scarry

This is the first book I remember reading all the way through by myself. Of course I’d heard the story before, but it was still a magical moment. I read the book to my mom, making only a few mistakes, and my five year old self decided to cement the book in her head as the first she ever read. (All of Richard Scarry’s books are awesome. I mean, Lowly Worm? A pickle car? They’re all awesome and inventive.)

Little Critter These Are My Pets by Mercer Mayer
I loved all Little Critter books (we owned most of them), but I think this one was my favorite. He has a spider and a dog and a frog and they were all so fun to point out on the page as a child.

A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer and P.D. Eastman

This story is about Otto the fish, who got fed to much and kept growing and growing and growing. He outgrows his fishbowl and then the bathtub… and so on.

Disney Babies

I don’t remember which book specifically it was that I read over and over again, but it was definitely one in this series.

But No Elephants by Jerry Smath

This is a wonderful book about a woman who takes all sorts of animals in… but won’t take elephants.

Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson

This one’s good for those who are learning to count! It was even recommended in my teaching math class in college. In this book a panda works to seat and feed groups of animals in his restaurant.

Dragon in a Wagon by Jane Moncure

This book is about a dragon in a wagon… need I say more? This is one my parents lament reading to me repeatedly. 🙂

Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Merle Peek

I’m fairly sure this was perpetually checked out (by me) at our local library. It’s got colors and a catchy rhyme. What’s not to love?

Go Dog Go by P. D. Eastman

I love this book too! Where are the dogs going? They’re all on their way to an important destination, and with such fun colors and shapes and sizes too!

Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse by Leo Lionni

This one is a-dor-a-ble. It’s about a mouse who meets a wind-up mouse and works to make the wind-up-mouse real, so they can be friends.

What are your favorite books from your childhood?

❤️ Annette

12 awesome picture books

10 Thought-Provoking Dystopian/Utopian Novels

Just like I love to read books about baking and super sweet things, I also enjoy reading dystopian/utopian novels. (Hows that for contrasting preferences??) Here are ten books (or series) that fall under the dystopian/utopian novel that I’ve read. Hopefully you’ll see one that intrigues you and you’ll pick it up too!

EXHIBITION

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    This is one of my favorite dystopian novels. It’s mature, so I don’t recommend it to anyone younger than high school age. In this world, babies are born out of bottles, there is no such thing as morals, and if you’re not happy, just take a Soma. The first time I read this book, I didn’t like it so much. And then I started researching it. And then I read it again… and again. Once you take the time to understand the choices the author made in writing this book, you’ll get the beauty of this novel.
  2. Anthem by Ayn Rand
    It’s been over ten years since I’ve read this book, so I don’t remember much about it. It follows Equality 7-2521, who stands out from his society by choosing to be an individual instead of part of the collective we.
  3. The Giver by Louis Lowry
    I read this one as a child and enjoyed it, but now that I know of its regard among dystopian/utopian novels, I would love to re-read it as an adult. It follows a boy who lives in a seemingly colorless world.
  4. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
    This is a four-book trilogy (that’s not a typo) by Scott Westerfield. Due to mature topics I also wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone younger than high school. In this futuristic world, sixteen-year-olds undergo surgery to become a “pretty”. Every aspect of them is changed so they can fit the “pretty” mold.
  5. Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee
    I’m sort of cheating with this one, since it’s more apocalyptic than dystopian. But because it does discuss the ramifications of human choice and human nature in a future time, I want to include it. This series follows Penryn as she befriends a fallen angel and navigates both his world and hers in post-apocalyptic times.
  6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    This series follows Katniss in a futuristic world that is divided into distinct districts. Every year, each district must send two children to fight to the death in the hunger games arena.
  7. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
    This series follows Zoe, who lives underground. Everyone in her society is implanted with a chip that controls their thoughts and actions. But one day, her chip glitches, and she begins to think on her own. She’s terrified of being discovered, but intrigued by the new world that has opened to her.
  8. Matched by Allie Condie
    I didn’t like this book very much. The world was fascinating, but the plot, not so much. In this world everyone has pretty much everything dictated to them. They’re fed the exact amount of calories they need, their supersize equipment automatically adjusts to keep them healthy, and their mates are pre-determined by a computer.
  9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    This futuristic novel follows a firefighter who is part of a book-burning crew. The book, written in 1953, is eerily accurate with some of its predictions, including the use of earbuds. What other things will it get right?
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth
    I haven’t read the third book in this series yet, so no spoilers please! This book follows Tris as she chooses one of five factions to live in. The factions are each characterized by a single trait – courage, honesty, selflessness, peace, or intelligence.

What other books or series could be added to this list? I’d love recommendations for other dystopian/utopian novels I need to read!

❤️ Annette

Can’t-Wait Wednesday

CAN'T

I got this idea from Wishful Endings who hosts a weekly link-up for books for which people are waiting. So here are my three books I am looking forward to reading.

Post contains affiliate links.

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce

To be honest, it wouldn’t even matter what this book is about. If it’s by Tamora Pierce, I’m going to be reading it! This book looks like it will be a collection of short stories put together by Tamora Pierce and other authors, from the point of view of George Cooper. I am so excited for this book!

More Than We Can Tell by Bridgid Kemmerer

I recently read Letters to the Lost and it was fantastic! (Review coming soon 🙂More Than We Can Tell is going to follow Rev, the best friend of the main male character in Letters to the Lost. I don’t have words to describe how much I am looking forward to reading this book. I’m super intrigued to find out more about Rev, who we only saw bits and pieces of in the first book.

Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu

I’m looking forward to reading this one, mostly because it will help me figure out how I feel about this author. Her writing was powerful in The Truth About Alice, but I didn’t like the subject matter as much. So I’m interested to see how I’ll feel when the subject is different.

 

What books are you looking forward to reading?

❤️ Annette

Six Great BookTubers!

Up until about two years ago, I had no idea there were entire communities devoted to books. Those who use YouTube to talk about books are called “BookTubers” and the book area of Instagram is called “Bookstagram”. Today I’m going to share with you some of the BookTubers I follow, so you can find some that you like. 🙂

Six Great BookTubers

Most of these read primarily young adult (YA) fiction. Even if you don’t like the particular BookTubers, these should suggest others that you may like.

Thoughts on Tomes

Read by Zoe

Why Mermaids

Benjamin of Tomes

Heather Loves Reading

Book Escapism

So those are my favorite – who’s your favorite BookTuber?

💗 Annette

My Banana Book Collection

So, incredibly weird fact about me – I am fascinated with the history of bananas. While I’ve only read one of the banana books in my collection, it is something I enjoy reading about and talking about and researching. Did you know bananas did a lot to shape North and South America? That entire wars have started thanks to the banana? Not only is the banana itself interesting (did you know it’s an herb?), the companies and advertising associated with it is interesting as well. So without further ado, here’s my awesome collections of books about bananas!

IMG_5644

(Post contains affiliate links)

Bananas – How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman

This is the one book I have read. It covers the history of the banana as it relates to the United Fruit Company. This one company shaped a very large part of the Americans – North, Central, and South. While this book is written as more of a research paper instead of a narrative like modern pop science, I still found the stories and information contained within fascinating.

Banana – The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel

This book covers the entire history of the banana – from its very origins to its uncertain future. It is broken down into six parts: Family Trees; Expansion; Corn Flakes and Coup d’Etas; Never Enough; Good-bye Michael; and  A New Banana. Just reading the chapter titles gets me excited to read this book!

The Banana – Its History, Cultivation and Place among Staple Foods by Reynolds

I originally found this book while doing research at my university’s library. It was old and falling apart – and super interesting! It was first published in 1921 (according to what I can find on Amazon…) and it deals with the more biological history of the banana. What bits and pieces I have read from it are fascinating, as this book was written before a lot of the influential banana events of the 20th century occurred.

Bitter Fruit – The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer

The American coup in Guatemala is probably the event that got me hooked on bananas in the first place. I even once tried to write a historical ficiton book about it. (Turns out, writing historical fiction is a lot harder than one would think. 😛) This book goes into detail the events surrounding the coup.

 

The Fish That Ate the Whale – The Life and Times of America’s Banana King by Rich Cohen

This book follows the story of Samuel Zemurray – the “banana king”. It’s likely due to him that we even know about the banana at all. He is also the person who eventually led the United Fruit company and had great influence over the development of Central America.

Am I missing any important banana books? Which one of these intrigues you the most?

❤️ Annette

five fantastic books about bananas