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Top 5

Top 5 Favorite Queer Books

Although Shanah at Bionic Book Worm is taking a break, I thought I’d do a Top 5 Tuesday of my own and post my top 5 favorite queer books for Pride Month.

M/M Romance

My absolute favorite queer book hands down is The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles. When Lucien Vaudrey, the newly minted Lord Crane, is beset by a magical curse that is trying to kill him, he goes to Stephen Day, a local magician. Stephen, though, has a life long enmity against the Crane family. However, once he sees the power of the curse, he cannot ignore his conscious and do the right thing and try to break the spell. Soon, a deep attraction develops between the two, and thought Stephen tries his best to deny it, Lucien will stop at nothing to get the magician into his bed.

This book is wonderfully plotted, the characters are amazing, and the sex is steamy. It’s a fantastic beginning to a great series.

YA Coming of Age

The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw follows Jake Pederson, who has recently come out to his mom, who, although trying her best, doesn’t fully accept his sexuality. Then, a new boy comes to town and Jake finds himself floating on air. When tragedy happens, Jake decides to organize a Pride event in his small town and allow everyone see his true self.

This was such a lovely coming-of-age novel. Even though there was a tragedy in it, it’s a happy ending and I love Jake to death. He was so sweet and genuine.

Genderqueer Romance

In Backward to Oregon by Jae, Luke Hamilton has never believed that marriage is in the cards for her. She’s been living as a man and doesn’t see the way. But when she needs a wife to join a wagon train to Oregon, she asks Nora Macauley, whose been working in a brothel and needs a way out, to join her. Now, two unlikely souls are married, and it’ll only be two thousand miles in which Luke needs to keep her secret.

Oh my goodness, this book is fabulous. Like, why am I not rereading this right now fabulous. It has everything I love: gender-nonconforming characters, unexpected pregnancy, long, slow-burn UST, and super hot sex. It’s perfection.

Biromantic Asexual Romance

In Let’s Talk About Love by Clarie Kann, biromantic, asexual Alice is in love with all things cute. When Takumi walks into her library and blows the lid off her cute index, she can’t stop thinking about him. It’s the perfect distraction from her heartbreak over her girlfriend dumping her over her asexuality. But is Alice ready for another relationship? And will Takumi accept her for who she is?

Ever read a book and felt seen? Yeah. This is that book for me.

New Adult M/M Coming -Out

Last, is Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. After a PR disaster as the royal wedding, Alex, the first son of the United States, has to pretend to be best friends with Henry, the Prince of Wales. Dislike and disgust quickly turn into friendship and late-night texting which, on New Years Eve, turns into a stolen kiss between the two. Now, they can’t get enough of each other, writing increasingly romantic e-mails and finding excuses to fly out and see one another. But, it’s an election year and this has the possibility of being a disaster for Alex’s presidential mom. Can true love conquer all?

This is one of the most romantic books I’ve ever read. It’s funny and lighthearted, romantic and dreamy. It’s a great comfort read and just lovely.

What are some of your favorite queer books?

Top 5 Summer Reads

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Top 5

Top 5 Summer Reads

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic and participants are invited to give their answers. This week, the topic is Top 5 Summer Reads.

Summer where I live tends to be gloomy and cool… but not this week! We went from temperate to hot, hot, hot overnight! As I write this, I’m sweating and thinking about getting out my fan. But the weather has perfectly put me in the mood to talk about summer reads.

First off, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is a fantastic summer read. It’s set partly at a camp, which gives it a summer feel, is a great adventure, and the characters are great. Summer is the best time to reread this fantastic series.

I cannot wait for Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian to come out. What better time to read a friends-to-lovers romance than summer? It will be the perfect beach read.

Considering the state of the world right now, I think Pandemica is a timely release. Set in the US during an outbreak of a bioweapon/plague, one child holds the key to humanity’s survival. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first heard Jonathan Maberry talk about it, and I preordered the second I found out it was available to do so. I cannot wait.

Ahab’s Wife, or the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund is a beautiful book about Una, Ahab’s wife from Moby-Dick. I first read it many years ago and fell in love with the prose, the characters, and the setting. I’ve always meant to read it again and never have. I think it’s the perfect summer read and I’ll put it on my TBR for sure.

The last book on my list is Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I first read it two years ago during the summer, and it’s forever cemented in my mind as a summer read. Now that I’ve finished my reread of Illuminae, I cannot wait to read and listen to Gemina

What are some go-to summer reads for you?

Previous Top 5 Tuesday:

Top 5 Opening Lines

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Top 10 Tuesday Top 5

Top 5 Opening Lines

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Each week, Shanah gives a topic, and participants are invited to come up with their top 5 for that topic. This week is Top 5 Opening lines.

For my first opening line, I’m going with something that I imagine might be on quite a few lists (although, I could be wrong.) But, I’d be remiss if I left the first line from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen off this list.

It is a truth universally acknowledge, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Next, I am putting the opening line of one of my favorite children’s book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.

Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago.

My third choice is Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, which has a beautiful first line that perfectly sets the tone of the entire book.

That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift.

Honestly, I don’t know why I love the first lines of Beauty by Robin McKinley so much, but I love, love, love when books start with characters declaring who they are. I even copied that style when I was a baby writer of 17 and working on my first novel.

I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour, but few people except perhaps the abbot who had baptized all three of us remembered my given name.

And, last, in a slightly different tone, is the first line from Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry.

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week then there’s either something wrong with your skills or somethign wrong with your world.

And there’s nothing wrong with my skills.

And that’s it, my top 5 favorite opening lines. What are some of yours?

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Top 5 weekly meme

Top 5 Worst Rulers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is Top 5 Worst Rulers.

President Snow from The Hunger Games.

Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles.

The Silvers from The Red Queen.

The whole royal family, including Prince Charming, in Just Ella.

And, finally, she’s not exactly a ruler, but she definitely functions as one in Holes, so the Warden. She’s terrible.

Those are my top 5 worst rulers. What are some of yours? Drop a comment and let me know!

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Top 5 weekly wrap-up

Top 5 Cute Romances

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday. Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic is my Top 5 Cute Romances.

Alex and Henry in Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is the epitome of cute. It starts with Alex being absolutely obsessed with Henry. Like, over the top hating everything about him in really specific detail. Then they become friends,and then they fall in love and it’s the cutest, squishiest thing ever. They are so adorable together, from the way they talk and text to their romantic emails. Guys, they quote famous lovers to one another. It’s the best. They are definitely the cutest.

Arthur and Rory from the Magic in Manhattan series by Allie Therin are adorable too. On the one hand, you’ve got noble and too-good-to-be-true Arthur, who is basically a valiant knight out to protect the world. Then you’ve got Rory, a tiny, cranky firecracker who’s irresistible. They make me melt from squee.

Robin and Alistair are pretty darn cute in Unmasked by the Marquess. Robin is non-binary (although the language didn’t exist at the time, of course) and has been masquerading as her friend’s deceased brother for years. Alistair is immediately attracted to him and just as attracted when he discovers that Robin is also Charity. They are incredibly cute together.

Verity and Ash from A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian are adorable as well. He seduces her with writing and cheese. They’re so disgustingly in love with each other, it should be sickening, but it’s not. It’s great. Super cute.

Ella and Darien are my final cute romance couple. I’m a sucker for a good Cinderella retelling, and these two geeks made this one something special. I love how fannish they both are, and how they bond over it. I love how adorable they are together. They’re great.

What are some of your favorite cute romantic couples?

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Top 5 weekly wrap-up

Top 5 Things I’m Enjoying While in Isolation

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. I’ve been in isolation for 24 days, all by myself since I live alone. Well. I guess not totally alone, because I do have two cats, both of whom are thrilled that I am home. But this has been tough, and I’m glad to have a chance to reflect on things that I’m enjoying.

Books

Of course, I could not start a list of things I’m enjoying without acknowledging books. They are my solace. I’ve revisited old favorites and I’m discovering new. And while I’m scheduling my days as such that I don’t exactly have a ton more time to read, I am reading more and I am enjoying the time very much.

Daily Phone Calls to my Family

I call my mom about three times a day, and it’s helping so much. Even with calling that much, we always have tons to talk about, and it really helps my mood.

Exercise

It’s killing me that I cannot get to the gym. I’ve been working so hard lifting weights the past couple years, and now I’m going to lose all the muscles I’ve built. But, I bought weights for home and I’m on YouTube all the time looking for new workouts. I really look forward to working out every morning (this morning not included!) and it helps my mood and focus a ton.

Writing

All year, I have been dying for more time to write, and now I have it. I started by scheduling two hours a day to write, but I’m finding that I’m spending a ton more time because I’m loving it so much. I was writing the sequel to my unpublished book, but an author suggested I stop and write something else. Luckily, I had another book lined up, so now I’m writing about pirates, a very old love, and I’m having so much fun. Writing is awesome!

The Untamed

I’m almost done with the Netflix show The Untamed, which makes me sad, but I plan to start it over once I’m done. It’s so good and so complicated that I missed a ton of stuff at the beginning. And while I’m dragging my feet on getting to the end because I don’t want it to end, it makes me so very happy when I watch it. It’s got what I love: men being vulnerable and open with other men, and I love each and every squishy moment. It’s fantastic.

Those are just five things that I’m enjoying while in isolation. Runner’s up include my cats, coffee, Phantom of the Opera and other musicals, and the internet.

What are some of the things you’re enjoying in isolation?

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Top 5 weekly meme

Top 5 Tuesday: Authors U to Z

Can you believe it’s the last day of the month? March has lasted about five years. But, it’s finally over and it’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday. Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is authors U to Z.

I’m currently writing with a cat on my lap, so I’m just going to hop over to GoodReads and choose authors from my read list.

U – nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero

V -In this time of trouble and strife, it seems only fitting to put Brian K. Vaughn, author of Y: The Last Man which is a graphic novel about a plague that wipes out all men on Earth save one. I tore through this series when I discovered it and, one day, would like to own it and reread.

W – This is really hard, because I have a lot of W authors. I’m going to chose two: Patricia C. Wrede author of Dealing with Dragons and Brian Wood author of The DMZ. Both books were extremely engrossing. I remember reading Dealing with Dragons in middle school for some awards program and not being able to put it down. I have a vivid memory of sitting in History class, nose buried in the book, ignoring everything around me. The DMZ I discovered at Comic Con. I bought one issue then went back for ten more after ripping through it. I loved it so much and right now, I’m regretting unhauling it.

X– Nope

Y– The only thing I have for Y is Rick Yancey author of The 5th Wave. I enjoyed the book well enough to buy the second, but didn’t want to pay for the hardcover of the third and by the time it was in paperback, I’d forgotten about the other two.

Z There can only be on author for Z and that’s Timothy Zahn, the author who reignited my passion for Star Wars and sent it to new heights. I was in English class in middle school with nothing to read. Gershwin, a friend, passed me the hardcover of Heir to the Empire to read. I opened it and was done. It was like he’d given me drugs: I couldn’t think for the rest of the day and I was ruined for life. I still love that book and have my original copy, although it’s falling apart because I’ve read it so many times. It’s my Star Wars canon and always will be.

And that’s my literary life from A to Z! What a fun month (for this challenge, I mean. Not so much for real life). Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had fun putting it together. And thanks, Shanah, for the fun challenge!

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Top 5

Top 5 Tuesday P-T

It’s Tuesday and that means another Top 5 Tuesday! This is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Bookworm. This week’s topic is authors P to T.

P is for Ashley Poston author of Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl. Awesome stories that retell both Cinderella and The Prince and the Pauper, only in modern times and the ball is a fan convention. Genius.

I literally have nothing for Q. Not even on Goodreads.

R is for Rick Riordan. This one was hard, because there are so many good R writers, but I’m going with Riordan because, according to Goodreads, he’s my most read author.

S is for Tara Sim author of the Timekeeper series. Such an awesome series about an alternative universe where time is a physical thing that controls everything. It also has a great romance.

T is for Allie Therin the author of Spellbound. This is a delightful m/m historical romance about a magic user and the man who wants to protect him at all costs. It’s set in 1920s New York and was a lot of fun. AND I GOT APPROVED FOR THE ARC OF THE SEQUEL!!!! So exciting. 🙂

That’s all for today. Stay safe and healthy everyone!

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Top 5

Top 5 Tuesday

Hi all! Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Every week, Shanah gives a topic and participants are invited to share their answers. This month’s theme is Author’s from A-Z and this week is the first 5 letters: A, B, C, D, E.

I am choosing to go by author’s last name (at least this week) and (this week) I’m only choosing author’s I have on my shelf (or Kindle). And, here I go!

A is for Avi. Avi is one of my favorite children’s authors. He’s written two of my favorite books, Who Stole the Wizard of Oz and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I also loved Wolf Rider and Something Upstairs. He’s a brilliant author and has kept me entertained for many years.

B is for Judy Blume. Another writer for children, I have loved every book I’ve read by her (except for Blubbler. HATED that book). When I was in seventh grade, I read Just as Long as We’re Together almost once a week for a solid month. I’ve read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret countless times. I also loved the Fudge books and Tiger Eyes.

C is for K.J. Charles. I discovered Charles a few years ago when I ran across her Society of Gentlemen series. The first one didn’t wow me, but the next few blew me away. I quickly went on to the Charm of Magpies series and then basically read everything she ever wrote. K.J. Charles is amazing if you like historical m/m romance.

D is for Peter David. Peter David wrote some Star Trek: The Next Generation books that I absolutely adore, such as Q-in-Law and Q-Squared. He wrote Q incredibly well. He’s written other things, but I honestly haven’t read anything outside of his Star Trek stuff.

E is for Elizabeth Eulberg. So, she’s the only “E’ I have on my shelf, but that’s okay because her book is amazing. Past Perfect Life is about a girl who finds out she was kidnapped as a child and has to deal with the consequences. It was really good.

And that’s my A-E. See you next week for F-J.

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Top 5 weekly meme

Top 5 Bookish Habits

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at The Bionic Book Worm. Each week, participants are given a prompt and invited to answer. This week’s prompt is Top 5 Bookish Habits.

Person reading in bed
Photo by Emily Rudolph on Unsplash
  1. I read in bed every night before I go to sleep. Sometimes, I read for a hour, sometimes less, but unless I get home too late or have a migraine, it’s part of my nightly routine. Sometimes, I go to bed early just so I can read, even though I am perfectly capable of reading in my living room. There’s just something about being in bed with a good book that makes me very happy and cozy.
Woman walking carrying a purse containing a purse.
Photo by Tamas Munkacsi on Unsplash

2. I always carry a book with me everywhere I go. Even if I’m just running errands or going to get gas, I tend to slip my book or Kindle in my purse just in case. I don’t like leaving the house without a book.

stack of books near a coffee cup and a potted plant.

3. I am usually reading multiple books at one time. I’ve always been like this. I’ll have a bedroom book, a living room book, a Kindle book, etc. Now, I usually have an audio book that I’m reading, too. People always ask me how I keep the storylines straight, and I honestly don’t know how to answer that. It’s not like I’m reading them at the same moment. It’s like watching several different TV shows. You just… do. Right?

person reading a book
Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

4. It’s probably no surprise, but whenever I am at the doctor or dentist or any place with a waiting room, I am reading. I will read the book I’ve taken, magazines in the waiting room, flyers, etc. But, usually, it’s my book. It’s a wonderful time to catch up on reading and I’m in a waiting room quite a bit. One of my doctor’s is usually an hour to an hour and a half behind. I just take a good book and I’m golden.

Woman at Disney World in front of the Castle

5. Last, I always take a book when I got to Disney. When I was a kid, the Skyway broke down and the people on it were stuck for hours. Now, I was not at Disneyland that day, but I lived nearby and heard about it and it sounded… well, A) scary, because I’m afraid heights, but B) scary because what do you do when you’re stuck for that long? My solution? Bring a book! I take one when I’m with people, just in case, and when I’m alone because I can find a place to relax and read (I don’t do this as much anymore, since I don’t have a pass and don’t go as much, but it’s an option). I took one on my trip to Disney World and I will take one until I can no longer go. It’s just something I gotta do.

Those are my top 5 bookish habits. What are some of yours?