Tuesday Top Ten

top ten history

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to pick a particular setting and then list our favorite books in that setting.  Since my book choices tend to be all over the place I chose to list my favorite books that take place in the past, that have some type of historical setting.

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Masterfully crafted (in case I haven’t said it enough!) story that takes place in Germany during WWII.
  2. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – Moving story about a Lithuanian family taken by the Russians during WWII.
  3. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – I loved the characters in this novel that takes place in French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950.
  4. Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra – Beautiful yet horrible story about the wars in Chechnya.  OK, so much of the story does not take place too far back in history (1994-2004), but there is much to be learned about the history of the area through this novel.
  5. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty – A great look at the early twentieth century as Cora becomes a chaperone to the young Louise Brooks in New York City before she becomes a silent film star.
  6. A Good American by Alex George – An epic novel following three generations of a family beginning with their immigration in 1904.
  7. Thieves of Book Row by Travis McDade – An amazing story of a ring of book thieves during the Great Depression.
  8. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power  by Jon Meacham – One of my favorite figures in American history and a engrossing portrait of his life.
  9. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick – A masterful work of art and a touching novel which travels back and forth between New York City in 1927 and Minnesota in 1977.
  10. Onion Street by Reed Farrel Coleman – A gritty detective novel set in 1960’s Brooklyn by one of my favorite mystery authors.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten openingclosing

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

Due to technical difficulties, I was out of contact on my blog last week, but now I’m back up and running!  So this week’s challenge was to list the beginning and endings of books that I love the most…

Beginnings

  1. “First the colors, Then the humans, That’s how I usually see things, Or at least, how I try. Here is a small fact, You are going to die.” – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2.  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” – Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  3.  “It was a pleasure to burn.” – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  4. “Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved.” – Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
  5.  “If you are interested in stories with happy ending, you would be better off reading some other book.” – Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Endings

  1.  “I am haunted by humans.” – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2.  “It’s a book, Jackass.” – It’s a Book by Lane Smith
  3.  “After all, tomorrow is another day.” – Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  4. “But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.” – The House on Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
  5. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald –

Tuesday Top Ten

toptenbookquotes

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge was the Tuesday Rewind – go back and pick a topic that you really liked or one that you missed from a previous week.  Since I haven’t been doing this for too long I had a lot to choose from and decided to go with a list of some of my favorite book quotes.  I may have ended up with more than ten… and there were so many more that I wanted to add!

First, two quotes from the amazing Book Thief by Markus Zusak…

  1. I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. 
  2. I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.
    None of those things, however, came out of my mouth.
    All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you.
    I am haunted by humans.

And then I will move on to another ten…  😉

  1.  The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss,  I Can Read with my Eyes Shut
  2. Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. – John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
  3. Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  –  A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
  4. “Once upon a time,” he said out loud to the darkness. He said these words because they were the best, the most powerful words that he knew and just the saying of them comforted him.  – Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
  5. “Harry — I think I’ve just understood something! I’ve got to go to the library!”
    And she sprinted away, up the stairs.
    “What does she understand?” said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from.
    “Loads more than I do,” said Ron, shaking his head.
    “But why’s she got to go to the library?”
    “Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron, shrugging. “When in doubt, go to the library.” 
     –  J.K. Rowling, The Chamber of Secrets
  6. “But you want murderous feelings? Hang around librarians,” confided Gamache. “All that silence. Gives them ideas.”  – Louise Penny, Rule Against Murder
  7. Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines-it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits. –  Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
  8. “The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  9. “It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.” – Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
  10. From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity.  – Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas

Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge is to list the characters that we would “crush on” if we were also a fictional character (because of course no real person ever actually crushes on a fictional character – that would just be silly and we are all firmly planted in reality…).  This was actually a really difficult list for me, I don’t tend to crush on fictional characters all that  much – I might like them, think they’re funny, inspiring, intriguing – but the idea of having a “crush” on them was a little weird for me, and I may have ended up with a list of male characters that I like, but don’t “like-like”, but I tried…

  1. Jack Reacher  – The main character in Lee Child’s Reacher series (the way that he is written – NOT Tom Cruise!!!), he is certainly characterized as being smart, tough, good-looking, and good with women.  He’s a tough guy, and you know that he’s going to move on after the current catastrophe is resolved, but hey – not a bad guy to have around if your life needs saving…
  2. Morelli vs Ranger – For fans of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series I will provide my thoughts on the Morelli vs Ranger question.  My vote?  Morelli.  Sure, Ranger is supposed to be crazy hot, but so is Morelli and wouldn’t it be nice to have a guy who was there even when your car wasn’t on fire?
  3. Edward vs Jake – For fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight stories – I pick Jake.  Sorry, but vampires are creepy – all that undead, blood-drinking, not sleeping, pale skin – doesn’t do anything for me.  Jake may be a werewolf, but at least they’re living, somehow makes it less weird, I guess?
  4. Atticus Finch – The dad in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely crushable – honest, ethical, a great single dad – and always Gregory Peck in my mind…
  5. Lucas Davenport – The main character in John Sandford’s Prey series is intense, well-dressed, extremely wealthy from his former dork-days (I’ve always been a sucker for a cute dork), and always catches the bad guy – what’s not to like?
  6. Robert Langdon – I have a soft-spot for smart guys, and Langdon from the Dan Brown books is definitely uber-smart, travels all over the world, and has crazy history-changing adventures.  Sounds like fun to me… as long as I don’t get killed…
  7. Cliff Janeway – Cliff Janeway is a former cop turned rare book dealer in John Dunning’s Janeway series.  A tough guy, always saves the day, who knows and loves books – what’s not to love?
  8. Rhett Butler – I’m much more reasonable than Scarlet ever dreamt of being, Rhett wouldn’t have to curse at me…
  9. Inspector Gamache – Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s mystery series is probably just a character that I really want to know – not necessarily a crush – I would be happy to have him as a friend, an uncle, a colleague – his constance, his sincerity, his intelligence, his kindness – I have always wished that I could actually meet him!  Plus, he’s married to a librarian… 😉
  10. Rudy – The perfect childhood crush – filled with innocence and adoration – the boy that will do anything for you while begging for a kiss and annoying you – Rudy from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is my definition of great childhood love.

And so it begins…

For awhile I’ve been contemplating of finding a way to share my thoughts on books: what I’m reading, quotes that inspire me, what’s happening in the world of libraries.  Today I woke up and decided I would try to put together this blog as a way of doing that.  I am sure it will take me a little while to work out the kinks, so please be patient and hang in there with me!

A little about me and why I am inspired to do this.  I received my BSEE from Clarkson University in 1995 and spent the next 16 years working in the engineering field.  Feeling unfulfilled by my career, in 2009 I announced to my husband that I was going to go back to school to get my degree in library science.  Why?  Definitely not for the power or the money!  😉  I have long felt that the power of the written word to entertain, inform, educate, and inspire is immeasurable.  To me, there is no greater purpose than to provide everyone with open and free access to books.  There are very few things that have the same capability to change people’s lives.  The greatest good that a community can provide for its citizens is to support a public library.

So began my journey.  For the next two years my family would provide unwavering support as I pursued my MLIS from Drexel University while continuing my engineering career.  In 2011 I received my degree and was fortunate enough to receive a position as the Director of the Sherrill-Kenwood Free Library in Sherrill, NY.  The destination was worth the journey and I now spend my days pursuing my passions.  This blog is my way of reaching out to an even wider audience, sharing what I love.

Why the name “Watching the Words”?  It is part of a quote from what is probably my most treasured book, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.  For now, all I will say about the book is that if you have not read it, you should, immediately.

As for a brief summary about me personally, I live in Canastota, NY, a small town in upstate NY in an old farmhouse.  I share this life with my husband, Todd (still an engineer!), and our children William (16) and Madalyn (11).  Other members of our family include a cranky cat (Jo-Jo), our protector Nala (a German Shepherd), and our newest addition Hugo (a Pug puppy).  Our life here is chaotic, fun, and full.  We are truly blessed.