Reading Inspiration

Hey fellow readers!

I’ve been in a horrible reading slump as of late, and it’s really wearing me out. As someone who decompresses by reading, I really feel the strain not wanting to read has on me.

This slump has drastically affected my reviewing pace as well, I feel like either the books I’ve finished haven’t been reviewable or I just haven’t finished many books since I’ve been working on some longer ones recently. Having a book blog really adds the pressure to review what you read, and I’m sorry for not having many quality reviews lately 😦 I’ll get out of the slump soon, I’m sure!

Anyway, sometimes when I’m in a reading/writing  slump, I look to my favorite authors, and I’ll share some of my favorite quotes from them (about reading, writing, life, or all three).






Well, let’s hope I get out of my slump, but in the meantime, if any of you wonderful bibliophiles have any suggestions, such as tips or quick reads you think will help get me back on track, please let me know!



Friday Five: Short Summer Reads

Summer is almost here!! Now is the time to get those summer reading lists going! I personally like conquering long books in the summer but sometimes you find yourself in a hammock all day and just need something short to read and fully escape into, and so for today’s Friday Five, in going to tell you some of my favorite short summer reads!

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

While this book is so popular, it really is my ultimate summer read. I love to sit on a porch with a drink and read this book on a hot summer day. I don’t know what it is about the story that brings out the summer in me, maybe it’s the drama, maybe it’s the heat, but I can’t resist reading it at some point during the summer.

2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This one would be a great hammock read. It brings you on an adventure, and it does it quickly. Plus, it has the “summer night” feel to it.

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

I first read this book in the middle of the summer on a hot train from Spain to Belgium, so I can personally confirm that it does well in heat. It’s a short, very funny book, that will make you want to travel in space.

4. The Alchamist by Paulo Coelho

This is for those who like to think while they relax. This book deals with life questions, and dives into philosophy and theology from time to time. However, it doesn’t dive to far, so it is still an enjoyable quick read for your summer day.

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

For most of you this would be a re-read (if you went through the U.S. public school system), but it is a good one to re-visit. I remember the first time I reread this book and it was a completely different book then the one I remembered. While it’s not exactly a pleasant book, it is thought provoking and fascinating.


What short summer reads do you recommend? I love adding to this list!

Top Ten Tuesday: Moms in Classic Literature, the best and the worst.

Another Tuesday, another Top Ten list brought to us by The Broke and Bookish blog. This week we have a freebie on “Mother’s Day.” I already wrote a couple of posts about mother’s day, but I didn’t want to skip this week, so I did a mix of my favorite and least favorite mom’s in literature. I stuck with classic lit. for this list, because, well, I like classic lit.

I found this list was a little tougher than I expected, as parents are much more rare in classic lit. than they are in modern stories. If they are portrayed, they usually take a minor role. However, there are some prominent mother’s in literature and some really stuck out to me.


The Best.
  1. Marmee March (The Little Women, Louisa May Alcott)
    • She’s kind to her children, loving to her husband, firm in her beliefs and morals, understanding toward failure, yet persistant that all try their best. I think it would be hard to arguee that she is the best image of a great mother in literature.
  2. Katie Nolan (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith)
    • Hardworking and determined, Katie Nolan gives her children the opportunities she never got to have. Katie spends most of the book trying to scrape together just enough food to keep her children alive, and yet the kids grew up thinking they were rich as kings.
  3. Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery)
    • Strict and harsh at first (and at times later), Marilla grows into a loving and wise mother to the orphan Anne. It takes her time to adjust to the spirit of Anne, but when she does, she becomes her biggest fan and confidant.
  4. Ma Ingalls (The Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder)
    • Tough to the core and hardworking, Ma shows us what it meant to be a mother in the tough times on the prairie. She is kind, but stern, encourages individuality in her children but demands obedience. To her husband she is supportive and a clear advisor. She set the standards for her children and her husband to live by, and by golly they followed them.
  5. Fantine (Les Miserables, Victor Hugo)
    • Perhaps the most tragic mother in literature is poor Fantine. This is a case where intention shows the heart of the woman. Fantine does all she can to give her child a good home, even if that meant giving her up. Leaving her child behind broke her heart, but she truly believed her daughter would be better without her. Then, due to the cruelty of others, she worked herself to death to provide for her child. She embodies the selflessness that mother’s have when caring for their children.
The Worst.
  1. Mrs. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)
    • Many people have a soft spot for Mrs. Bennet, and I guess I can understand that, but overall, I really dislike her. She’s ridiculous.
  2. The Stepmother (Hansel and Gretel, The Brother’s Grimm)
    • So all stepmothers in Grimm’s fairy tales are pretty bad, but this one is the worst. She convinces their father to leave his children in the woods because she wants more food. She’s terrible.
  3. Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald)
    • Did you forget that Daisy had a daughter? Don’t feel bad because apparently she did to.
  4.  Jocasta (Oedipus Rex, Sophocles)
    • She’s bad in the sense that she ends up marrying her son after killing her husband. It was all a big misunderstanding, but still.
  5. Mrs. Wormwood (Matilda, Roald Dahl)
    • Encourages her brilliant daughter not to be brilliant…yeah, she’s pretty awful.

Around the World in 80 posts: Paris

I’ve started this series to highlight my favorite real world settings for books and what makes them so good! Feel free to join in on the fun and explore the world through your books! 



*note: I’m only including books where the primarily location is Paris; many books travel to Paris but will be included in a different country/city post.

Ahh Paris, you wonderful city. I’ve been to Paris several times and my heart yearns for it when I’m not there. It’s has a stereotype of being unwelcoming or rude to travelers, but honestly, I’ve never felt that to be the case. I’m terribly in love with this city and I could spend forever walking down the Siene and gazing at the Eiffel Tower. Since I cannot, however, I have to settle for reading books about Paris…it’s not the same, but it’s dang near to the real thing.

1. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain: Everyone knows Ernest Hemingway for his literary genus, but not many remember his first wife Hadley–this book remembers her. Hadley meets Ernest in Chicago and they fall in love. She follows him to Paris and lives the 1920’s, penniless lifestyle we always hear about.

“Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.”

2. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas: I went a very long time thinking I had read this book because I knew the story so well, only to discover that I had only read abridged versions of the story. When I finally read this massive book, I fell pretty hard for it. Athos, Pothos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan are fantastic characters, and their adventurous spirit brings Paris to life.

“Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures.”

3. The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George: Paris + Books = Perfection. This charming novel is about a man who owns a book barge and calls himself a book apothecary–when someone comes into his store he does not sell them book, he prescribes them books. This book is darling and I had to resist buying a plane ticket while reading it.

“Books keep stupidity at bay. And vain hopes. And vain men. They undress you with love, strength and knowledge. It’s love from within.”

4.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: This one could also go on my future London list but for some reason Paris sticks out to me as the primary city in this book. Set during the French Revolution, this book highlights the strength of the city and of it’s people in the best of times and the worst of time (see what I did there…) ;).

“What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!

-Charles Dickens

5. Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee: Lilliet Berne has made herself the talk of the city, but there is much more to her than people see as she performs in the Opera House. This exciting novel has a “Phantom of the Opera” feel and it hold the magic of Paris in it’s pages. Read my review here!

“When the earth opens up under your feet, be like a seed. Fall down; wait for the rain.”

6. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: This is maybe the most famous “Paris” story, and even the most famous French novel, thanks to the musical and the multiple movies, and because of the popularity of Hugo himself. This book follows many different plots, but the most prominant plot is that of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, who escapes parole to turn his life around and make up for his sins. Yes, that was the most abridged summary of Les Mis ever, but it’ll do for now :).

“He who contemplates the depth of Paris is seized with vertigo. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.”

-Victor Hugo


What is your favorite Paris book? I love adding to this list, so please let me know what Paris book I absolutely have to read!


T5W: Book Themed Events 

I usually don’t do the Top 5 Wednesday tag, but when I saw the theme, I couldn’t resist, mainly because I already had my 5 ideas. 

1. The Great Gatsby: This is a pretty popular theme for a party, but like the roaring 20’s, it never goes out of style. I mean, c’mon, everyone loves to look dapper while drinking gin, right? Maybe that’s just me 😉 

2. Sherlock Holmes/Agatha Christie: a good Murder mystery party is always a good idea. As long as it’s planned out well, these parties can be really fun!

3. Brideshead Revisited: ok, this theme isn’t actually based on the book, but more on the title. You know how we women (sorry, guys, I’m leaving you out of this one) have to buy dresses for all the weddings we go to and the ones we are in? Well, I think there should be “Bridesmaid Revisited” parties, where women get together and have a chance to wear the dresses they’ve only worn once. It could be a really fun cocktail party or dinner party, where you get dressed up just because you already have a dress! 

4. A Moveable Feast: This one again is purely based off the name. We had a party like this in college and it was so fun. One house hosts cocktail hour and appetizers, the next hosts salads, the next holds the main dish, and next hosts dessert. This makes a usual dinner party fun and exciting! You can add or takeaway courses depending on the size of your party! 

5.  Around the World in 80 Days: For this party everyone would represent a different country. If you want games at the party you could have an Olympics theme as well. Otherwise you could have everyone bring a food or drink from the country they represent. 

Now, I really want to throw a themed party! Happy Wednesday, everyone! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Give me more…

Per usual Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish, the fabulous blog that orders us around every week (and we love it) ;). This week the topic is Ten Things On Our Reading Wish List: what I want more of in books.

I decided to focus on historical fiction for this post because it’s one of my favorite genres. My all-time favorite are WWII books, but as there is not a lack of those, I’ve picked 10 other Eras or topics that I would like to learn about.


  1. The Vikings!!!!: (sorry about the exclamation points, vikings make me super excited). In college my all-time favorite class was Viking Literature–it was amazing. The literature from that time period was fantastic and I would love to see it rejuvenated
  2. Pre-Russian Revolution: It’s no secret that I adore Russian literature, but I want more! There aren’t very many new fiction books about this era, and I think they could be very interesting and captivating.
  3. The Egyptian Empire: Pharos, Cleopatra, Egyptian gods, hieroglyphics, giant pyramids…there is so much material for great historical fiction.
  4. The Martyrs: There are so many martyrs in the christian faith and they all have their stories. I would love to see them told as straight as possible (much like the movie Silence or The Mission).
  5. The Incas, Mayans, and Aztecs: I loved learning about the empires of Central and South America before colonization happened, but I have not found decent fiction about those time periods, and I would love to read them.
  6. Captain Cook’s adventures/other famous explorers: I recently went to New Zealand and learned way more about Captain Cook then I thought I would. His life would make for some awesome historical fiction, the guy was pretty fascinating.
  7. The Ancient Chinese dynasties: I really don’t know enough about these dynasties to know which ones are the most interesting, which is why I would love to see more historical fiction about them. China has such a rich history, there has to be plenty of stories to uncover.
  8. The Rwandan Genocide: This is not a fun topic to read about, nor to think about, but it is important. I have heard many talks by a beautiful woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza, and she talks about her survival during the Rwandan Genocide. However, she is not the only one and the others, and the ones who didn’t survive, deserve to have their story told. If anyone is interested about reading Immaculee’s book, it’s called Left to Tell, and it’s beautiful.
  9.  Authors: I love historical fiction about authors. I think it’s so fun to get into famous authors minds and explore their work by exploring them.
  10. Constantine and Charlemagne:  There are tons of historical fiction books about the Holy Roman Empire, but there are not a lot about the two most famous of emperors of that era: Constantine and Charlemagne. I became super interested in Charlemagne when I went to Aachen, Germany and saw the Cathedral he built and the Charlemagne museum…the man really liked gold things….anyway, their lives were super cool and they both helped form Europe into what it is today, so I would love some Historical fiction about these two.


There you have it, my historical fiction wish list! Thanks for reading, and make sure to comment your TTT link so I can read your bookish wish list!

Greek Gods Book Tag

I was tagged by Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls to do this brand new tag, The Greek Gods Book Tag, made by the fabulous Zuky the BookBum.


  • Pingback to Zuky’s post
  • You can use Zuky’s graphics if you like, but you don’t have to if you don’t want
  • Tag as many people as you want, but please, share the love



4934.jpgThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I will argue, and I have, that no greater fiction book has ever been written. It’s 800 pages of pure genius, and the story is just amazing. It’s not light reading at all; it’s hard work, and you can’t just read it casually–no you need to sit down, book and drink in hand, and read with focus and purpose.

This is the type of novel where I really wonder how the heck someone wrote something like this. Everything is so real in this book, and reading it makes you feel more alive yourself. // Buy Here

“Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts.”


70286248.jpgThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

How can you not love Liesel Meminger, the main character of The Book Thief? She’s bold, she’s courageous, she’s loyal, she’s smart, and she has a kind heart. She may not be bad-ass in the traditional sense of the phrase (she fight’s no pirates, nor does she lead an army), but she stands up to most evil of enemies and stays brave in the face of perilous danger. She is a true bad-ass. // Buy Here

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”


ncThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I fell in love with this book, and I was shocked when I heard it was her debut novel. The magic is beautiful, the setting is fantastic, and the characters are highly memorable. A fun little fact about this book, Morgenstern wrote it while participating in NaNoWriMo…so keep your heads up future writers, you can do it!  // Buy Here // Review

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”



Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This story is amazing and it had me hooked from start to finish. This harrowing story of a pilot captured in the Pacific during WWII will pull at all your heartstrings, and make you hope and pray that it is actually only fiction. It’s a tremendous read. // Buy Here


“In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation. Softly, he wept.”


JA-P.jpgJoan of Arc by Mark Twain

I recommend this book to EVERYONE! I’ve read it twice, both times while I was in France, and it has brought me to tears both time.

The oddest thing about this book is that it was written by Mark Twain. He is probably the last author I would pick to write a book about Joan of Arc, but I’m so happy he did. He claimed this is his best book, and it is his favorite of any he wrote. He spent 12 years researching for this book and 7 years writing it…it’s truly amazing. // Buy Here

“Consider this unique and imposing distinction. Since the writing of human history began, Joan of Arc is the only person, of either sex, who has ever held supreme command of the military forces of a nation at the age of seventeen.”


12898.jpgDeath of a Salesman by Author Miller

Ugh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to read this play, and every time it has driven me crazy. There is really nothing I like about this play, but for some reason every American Literature professor believes we have to suffer again and again and again by reading it. I’ve had people explain to me over and over again why it’s a classic play, but I still cannot understand. // Buy Here

“Be loving to him. Because he’s only a little boat looking for a harbor.”



Night by Elie Wiesel

While this book is groundbreaking as a personal story of a holocaust survivor, it was also groundbreaking for me because it was the first WWII book I had ever read. It opened my eyes and my heart to these stories–since then I’ve devoured every WWII book I’ve come across (as you can probably tell since there are 3 on this list). This was the first book that made me cry, and I really believe it changed my life.  // Buy Here


“I am not so naïve as to believe that this slim volume will change the course of history or shake the conscience of the world. Books no longer have the power they once did. Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.”


18143977.jpgAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Mesmerizing cover, enchanting book. The cover got me reading this book, but by the first chapter the words had hooked me. I found this book so wonderful, and honestly who can resist that beautiful blue cover?!? //Buy Here // Review



“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”



I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Yes, this book is ground-breaking and everyone should read it. However, it was really hard for me to get through. I’ve said this many times, I have a hard times with memoirs, and that apparently doesn’t change even when it is a culturally important memoir like this one. // Buy Here // Review


“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.”



The Hawk and the Dove Trilogy by Penelope Wilcock

I actually didn’t know this book was a trilogy until I was reading it because all the editions have all 3 books in 1. Regardless, I sped through this book(s). It’s close to 600 pages, but the story is so intriguing and captivating, I couldn’t put it down. It follows a group of monks in an English monastery, which sounds like an extremely boring topic, but it really is good. Just writing about it makes me want to pick it up again! // Buy Here

“As he rested in the great hollow shell of tranquility and light, listening to its silence, it dawned upon him that ‘empty’ was the wrong word for this place. It was as full as could be: full of silence, full of light, full of peace.”

I tag: alwaystrustinbooks // bookescapadeblog // bently @ bookbastion // Lyndsey’s Book Blog // sydneysshelves // readinaflash // bookloversblog

Thanks again to Angelica for the tag and to Zuky for creating this awesome tag! It was a fun one to do!!