Saturday, June 30, 2012

80s Awesomeness! ~ 166

80s Awesomeness! is an original concoction of my insanity need to live in the 80s. The flashback started here and posts weekly on Saturdays, highlighting the best of 80s fashion, music, movies and whatever else the coked up, yuppie Rubik's Cube decade can throw at you.

Yet another crazy fad from the 80s, I was never personally into Strawberry Shortcake but I knew people that were.  I know her dolls smelled like strawberries but I'll be damned if I can tell you much else about the cartoon or the dolls or pretty much anything else Strawberry Shortcake.

So apparently Strawberry Shortcake was anything and everything her copyright owner could make her.  Cereal, toys, cartoon, it didn't really matter.

Freaky Friday :|: 166

Freaky Friday is a weekly post highlighting YA horror published between 1980 and 1999, originally inspired by Sharon's Flashback Friday.

Title: The Window
Author: Carol Ellis
Published: 1993
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 176
It should have been the skiing holdiay of a lifetime, but Jody sprains her ankle and finds herself alone with nothing to do but gaze out of her cabin window. Looking into the cabin of her neighbour, she witnesses a fight and murder - or does she?  (
You know it's scary because the cover has a blood smear on it.  *nods*  Horrifying.  Except when I read about it being a ski weekend I'm not really making the connection between that and the roses.  Valentine's Weekend?  Or at least make the smear a bloody hand print.  I know there's a movie like this.  They spoof it on The Simpsons and Family Guy.  I'll be damned if I know what movie it is though.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'd Watch This Twilight

I especially like the abs on minion!Jacob.  Yes, I would watch this.  A lot.

Since there isn't an actual minion parody, I've included something almost as good: rabbids.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

YAckers Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Published June 7, 2011.

Author website.

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.  (

'Twas I that was Keeper of the Book this month for the dear YAckers and out of the choices I provided MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was the ticket.  This book was always a draw for me because, really, anything with creepy ass children on the cover has GOT to be good.  I mean it takes some serious balls to use such a horrifyingly repelling yet car crash-level intriguing book cover.  Truly these are the photos of nightmares.  Especially the children in white wrestler masks with the string.  Goo.  Nightmares.

But it didn't end up going where I thought it was going to go.  That didn't mean it was bad but it was far more fantastical than it was horror.  Here, just take a look at the discussion.

Donna: Almost finished with Miss Peregrine's and it's not what I thought. I was thinking more creepy children-ish but it's far more whimsical than what I was anticipating. Not a bad thing. It's really well-written and I'm enjoying the story but when you show me fucked up photos of old timey-children I'm expecting a fucked up story. Or have I seen one too many horror movies?

Sya: It's a strange book - I loved it and thought it was quite refreshing that he didn't overload the creep/horror factor - the pictures were enough for me.

Donna: See I'm a masochist. I LOVE creep factor. But those clown children are truly horrifying.

Donna: And I'm a little creeper out that the MC is messing around with his grandpa's ex-girlfriend. Keeping it in the family, huh, Emma?

Donna: NOW it's time to Bueller this topic. Since I realized that, for once, I read the book head of my normal four seconds before it's due schedule.

Donna: Bueller? Don't make me talk to myself, guys . . .

Sya: Sorry, I'm only just back from holiday and started a new job and have a big wedding to attend and so HAVE NO BRAIN LEFT! Anyhoo... I really enjoyed this book. The hardback copy (which was stolen from me on a book tour... sob) was gorgeous to hold and look at and the pictures absolutely fascinated me. The story itself was compelling and I particularly liked how the author juxtaposed the more fantastical aspects with very real historical events. Jacob was a good protagonist but I felt that the character I consistently wanted to know more about was Abe, who seemed to haunt the book throughout (which, I suppose, was exactly the point). I read it a while ago and still haven't found anything quite like it since. I also interviewed the (HOT!) author - you can read that (if you wish) here.

Sya: As you will see, I seem to be quite fond of using the word juxtaposition, which is hilarious as I have only the vaguest idea what it actually means.

Steph: I'm with you Donna. I did enjoy it and thought it was brilliantly written but feel slightly misled re. distinct lack of creepy fucked-up old timey kid horror. Beautiful looking book aswell, thought the inclusion of the photos to illustrate specific points in the plot was very clever

Donna: Sya, I only caught a single use of juxtaposition. I think you kept it in check nicely. I too like how he wove his made up elements in with actual aspects of history, his grandfather running from monsters, that kind of thing. It saddened the story a little bit, the historical part but it firmed it up in reality a little more. Not to mention the photographs ground it down yet again. Damn, those kids are creepy. I like how we're on the same page, Steph. If you're going to give me creepy-looking kids there better be some heinously creepy elements to the book as well. I wouldn't say it was whimsical but it definitely wasn't Children of the Cornish either. Yeah they were shut-ins but they weren't feeding people to their corn god. Is it weird that I'm a little disappointed by that?

Sandy: I'm still reading it but I'm enjoying it so far....Jacob's a smart narrator. I was sad when I read what happened to the grandfather :(

Donna: War-wise or beginning of the book-wise? Either way but you're bound to have someone go rogue. I think he was the only person that had to run to that effect though. I liked that he broke away. I can understand how he wouldn't want to be a prisoner yet again even if it was a safehouse.

Sandy: beginning of the book wise. I'm only on chapter five? six? Nowhere near the end. v.v

Donna: Oh, okay. Yeah, it was pretty sad to see him die the way he did and to have everyone think he was totally batty.

Sandy: Yeah...but Jacob figures it out eventually and I'm glad he does. I like that his dad was present too; parents being around are rare nowadays. And I agree with you Donna: I find Jacob making out with Emma kind of gross. Even if she's still "young". It actually reminded me of Rose's relationship with what's-his-face and HIS grandson from A Long Long Sleep.

Sya: Yep. On the sliding scale of Ick, it certainly tickled my gag reflex. Yet key it really didn't detract from the overall storytelling which I thought was accomplished. And not just because the author was hot.

Donna: I'm wondering where authors are getting relationship ideas from. I think they may be reading/watching too much Game of Thrones.

Donna: Any other words of wisdom for MISS PEREGRINE'S?

Laura: This book kept popping up as of those titles that they randomly throw into the YA category because the book 1) has young people in it and 2) YA is so hawt right now and I've found this amusing from the start because honestly, throwing this book on a table covered in black covered vampire books and books with slutty girls in ball gowns IS FUNNY. It's too good for the association. Don't get me wrong...I love YA and there ARE some good YA writers, but on the whole...well, you know. I'm drawn to YA for lots of reasons, but I can admit that excellent writing isn't one of my expectations. This was a nice break for me. It reminded me that every now and then, it's nice to sit down and read a book with a good story, told by an excellent writer who knows what the hell he's doing. GOD, sometimes it's just nice to READ REAL WORDS.

Donna: Your contribution is appreciated.

Laura: "Stars, too, were time travelers. How many of those ancient points of light were the last echoes of suns now dead? How many had been born but their light not yet come this far? If all the suns but ours collapsed tonight, how many lifetimes would it take us to realize that we were alone? I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was."


Laura: My physical treatment of this book was nearly criminal. I dog-ear a page whenever there is a passage I like. This book looks like some sort of origami chicken.

Donna: Truly, MISS PEREGRINE'S should be a standard for YA. I wouldn't be so disappointed all the time if that were so.

Sya: It is beautifully written - here's hoping it heralds more in the way of, well, awesome words in YA.

So generally speaking we loved it.  It stands out from the rest of the YA crowd not only in premise but in sheer awesomesauce writing.  There is a standard here that isn't too far-reaching but blows so much else out of the water that once you finish reading you can't help but declare "YOU'VE SUNK MY BATTLESHIP!"

So it didn't turn out like I thought.  I'm okay with that.  The creepy photos of small children are still epically horrifying and the story was pretty damn good too.  I'm glad MISS PEREGRINE'S lived up to its hype.  In a reading world where where I'm exceedingly hesitant to latch onto anything hype-like I'm glad I did it with this one.  Funky, chilling and at times something resembling whimsical, MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is a definite must-read for anyone dying for something GOOD.  Just damn good.

Participating YAckers -

Yours truly
Sya at The Mountains of Instead
Steph at The Mountains of Instead (contributing reviewer)
Sandy at Pirate Penguin's Reads
Laura at A Jane of All Reads

Ban Factor: High - A somewhat fairy world where children get to live as children forever because they have special powers except monsters lurking in the shadows are trying to murder them.  Yeah, I think some banner just shat him/herself somewhere.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And the winners are . . .

I have a couple winners to announce since I have the memory of a gnat on meth . . .

The winner of LOVE DRUGGED by James Klise is . . .


Hooray!  That transaction has been completely made and I'm pretty sure she's already read it.  I base that on mostly nothing although it has already been shipped out.

And the winner of CINDER by Marissa Meyer is . . .


Congratulations to both of you!  Len should have a book in the mail this weekend.  And a big thanks to everyone who entered!

Not In My School (9)

Not In My School is a weekly feature that throws out one YA lit cliche a week to compare to my own high school days.  Because we all know how accurate those fictional nuances are . . .

Funky eye color

At the rate I'm reading in YA books there are a hell of a lot of people being born with violet (or other variations on purple), golden, unnatural blue or green or ghost-gray eyes.  I'm wondering if it's something in the food.  Hormones in the chicken maybe?  Or are people starting to reproduce with the more radioactive members of society?  Maybe it's just a bypassed Litmus Test thing or something.  I don't know.  But most of the people in my school?  Brown, green, blue or hazel.  You know, standard colors.  So where are these characters coming from?  And I'm not even talking about fantasy!  Or anything otherwise supernatural!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Author Bites - Marissa Meyer Teases The Lunar Chronicles

I will say I am a fan of Marissa Meyer's CINDER despite the ending that made me want to rip my hair out.  It's an amazing story and holy crap do I want to read more of it.  When I asked Marissa if she wanted to stop by and chat about CINDER she had the glorious brain child of an idea to talk about the FUTURE of The Lunar Chronicles.   OMMFGBBQ yes!  Like I'm going to pass that up.  So here you have it, Marissa giving some insight into the coming books in her Lunar Chronicles.  Thanks for stopping by, Marissa!

Coming Soon in The Lunar Chronicles

I’ve found that when I tell CINDER readers about my plans for the next three books in The Lunar Chronicles, many of them get a fearful, wide-eyed expression, and inevitably ask me—“Does this mean that there’ll be no more Cinder in the next books?”

The question is a logical one, because each book in the series is inspired by a different fairy tale: Cinderella (CINDER), Little Red Riding Hood (SCARLET), Rapunzel (CRESS), and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (WINTER). And yes, each of these classic heroines will make an appearance, with their own problems to deal with, their own goals to reach, and their own happily ever afters to claim.

But I’m here to put a rest to that fear that Cinder’s story is over—because I can guarantee much more Cinder and Kai in the upcoming books. More adventure, more romance, and—of course—more conflicts between good and evil are all in store for our cyborg heroine.

However, readers will also be introduced to a bunch of new characters that I am so excited for you to meet. Such as Scarlet. She’s spunky and hot-headed and fiercely loyal to the grandmother who raised her. She lives an uncomplicated life on a small farm in southern France—until one day her grandmother mysteriously vanishes. The only person who seems to have any answers is a city street fighter who calls himself Wolf, and while he’s willing to help Scarlet track down her missing grandmother, his motives and dark past are cause for plenty of suspicion.

Add to our band of unlikely allies an overconfident thief, a delirious aristocrat, a shy computer hacker, a secret revolutionary, a mad doctor (and more!), and I hope there will be a hero for everyone to root for, as these re-envisioned fairy tale characters join forces to fight against their mutual enemy:

A very devious, very cruel, very wicked queen.

Book 2 in The Lunar Chronicles: SCARLET will be out on February 5, 2013. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Last Call for Booksahol!

Tonight's the last night to win my ARC of CINDER by Marissa Meyer!  You have until midnight, EST, before this android gets exposed to may or may not turn into a pumpkin.  You don't want to miss your chance at winning this awesome book.  Trust.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Pub date: August 7, 2012.

Author website.

Looking for the teen girl version of Game of Thrones? Find it in this sweeping fantasy debut—that already has thousands of loyal online fans.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.  (

For help with this review I'm going to shamelessly employ the use of Tom Hiddleston's face.  It's come to my attention that he emotes rather well and his Loki faces will greatly enhance my feelings about this book.  Shall we begin?

"Teen girl version of GAME OF THRONES?"  Um, yes please.  How excited was I for THRONE OF GLASS?  I'm at a point in my life where I'm feigning some serious fantasy.  Like GOOD fantasy that gives me writer envy and encourages me to write my own work.  So of course I snapped this one up.  Why wouldn't I?

I began reading and I was a little touchy.  The character seemed a bit much but of course I'm going to keep reading.  I'm only a handful of pages in.

06/12page 9
2.0%"I'm definitely interested but I'm pretty much over the super awesome heroine with fantasmagorical skills of death. We'll see where this goes."

Except I didn't like where it was going.

06/12page 11
3.0%"Okay, okay, authors? Can we please stop with the "this guy's a total douche but he's sooooooooo hot" bullshit? PLEASE? If a guy chains me in shakles and makes me a slave I'm not going to think him "achingly handsome." I'd want to chew his pretty boy face off. Gah! These forceful hints at romance are contrived and unnecessary."

Within a span of two pages I've already become enraged.  I am not a romance reader.  I've said that many, MANY times.  But if you're going to insist on giving me romance in books that I am willing to read, at least make it make sense.  At this point I'm starting to twitch.

06/12page 11
3.0%"Wait…what?? Two pages ago you weren't going to feel embarrassed by being dirty because that's WEAK and now, under the eyes of supreme royal hotness, you are ashamed of yourself and bemoan your "miserable state for a girl of former beauty"??? Head, meet brick wall."

And we are ALREADY deviating from character. Eleven pages in.  Super strong raging assassin bitch I DON'T CARE IF I'M DIRTY I HATE YOU ALL to OMG DON'T LOOK AT ME I'M HIDEOUS!

Apparently Celaena is unintentionally bipolar.  So we have some character issues  I can handle that.  She's not too Sueish so far.  I've read far worse . . .

06/12page 11
3.0%"OMG OMG OMG I can't do it. Not only is she a super awesome, highly trained assassin but we get a paragraph about the gloriousness of her beauty? Excuse me. I'm going to go stab my expectations to death followed by a hunt of PNR for DARING to bleed into fantasy."

06/12page 12
3.0%"And she was rich. Anything else? I don't want to give up after 12 pages. I WON'T give up after 12 pages."

06/12page 12
3.0%"She single-handedly killed 24 people in her escape attempt? O_o *facepalm*"

I just . . . is this for real?  Is this pompous little tart really for real?  From the 100 pages that I've read Celaena's only flaw is hubris except 99% of the time it's only validated.  Twelves pages.  I'm TWELVE pages in.  But no!  I'm going to keep trying!  I must!  Because surely they're going to keep treating her like the prisoner that she is!  Because anything else would just be contrivance and we can't possibly have MORE of that, right?  RIGHT?

06/12page 13
3.0%"Okay. If this girl is so insanely sooper speshul deadly, and they all know it, why isn't she bound up like Hannibal Ledger instead of being able to move in shackles, giving her the opportunity to "kill the prince in a second?" More importantly, if she's so sure of her skills why doesn't she actually take the opportunity instead of just running her brain about it?"


WHY is she being given her own rooms when they're so super afraid she's going to murder everyone?  (And that's supposed to be Lecter, by the way, stupid autocorrect).  WHY is she being given a mirror?  Oh wait . . . obviously that CAN'T BE SHATTERED AND USED TO GO STABBY ON PEOPLE.  WHY does she get a fork but not a knife?  BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW FORK TINES ARE HARMLESS.  In reality if this chick were so phantasmagorically awesome at killing she'd be treated as such.  She wouldn't be put in shackles that she can move around in, because obviously she can do a lot with just an inch.  She doesn't need the whole mile.  And she certainly wouldn't be getting a pretty room.  She's end up stuck next to that dude that Yahtzee's on everyone walking by.

On top of all of this Celaena apparently has the mental capacity of a twelve-year-old, asking inane questions and then name-calling when she's not pandered to.

06/12page 26
6.0%"The Captain of the Royal Guard is unkind for not wanting to humor and arrogant 18-year-old as she talks endlessly about her awesomeness? How horrible he is, truly."

06/12page 28
7.0%"Punch her, Chaol. She deserves it. Nice to know she's an arrogant ass and a petulant child. How can one be the supreme pizza topping assassin and have the mentality of someone five years younger than her? I guess maturity and assassinry are mutually exclusive."

Oh hey, you're still talking?  You need to shut up now.  Although I will say Chaol was a pretty good guy from what I read.  He really didn't put up with Celaena's crap and her ensuing pissy fits as a result amused me.  She actually called him mean for not responding to her.  Meanie McWeenie!  Nyah!

But wait!  There's more Sue!

06/12page 31
7.0%"And she's magic too? This wasn't forshadowing WHATSOEVER."

At this point I'm filled with so much chagrin I don't even know what to do with myself.

From the super Sue to the plot devices of epic proportions to situational contrivances that are so blatantly obvious Helen Keller can see them I just couldn't go much further.

06/12page 33
8.0%"You are a piece of baggage to him, you dumbass. You are a slave serving a purpose. Did you expect high fives all around?"

06/12page 38
9.0%"Of course. What would the story be without the douchebag love interest POV as he softens and sees her as something more than a thing to use? Sigh."

06/12page 39
9.0%"Of course she totally empathizes with the slaves' pain. She feels SO BAD. And she totally ditched them to he the king's pawn, live in luxury and go back to killing. But she feels you, dog."

She gets you, man.  *giggle*  She's going to go weasel her way into someone's bed now.  At this point it's not very clear whose she'd like to end up in.  Chaol is obviously helping her out and we all know how indebted characters are to those that help them.  But then you have your I'M NOT SUPPOSED TO LIKE HIM BUT HE'S SO EVILLY HOT character that'll probably be the wrong choice for her and she'll realize it somewhere down the line when she realizes he can't really read after all.

06/12page 39
9.0%"1) Oh look, a blooming love triangle. 2) The palace is really made of glass? Is there no hail in this world? Or are we talking safety glass? I can only imagine the amount of birds flying into it."
06/12page 42
10.0%"This makes zero sense. They're anal about her escaping and going on a murdering spree so instead of putting her in a bare room they give her loads of opportunities in not one furnished room but five. Holy contrivance, Batman! Of course we can't have the pretty girl in a dirty cell anymore."
06/12page 42
10.0%"Of course she has a mirror. Because it can't be broken and the shards used for a stabbing spree. Urg."
06/12page 50
12.0%"Of course. What better way to ensure the young assassin doesn't get the mind to plot her escape than to give her a tour of the castle? NOTHING CAN COME OF THAT. How the Captain and the rest of his entourage haven't tripped and impaled themselves on their own swords is beyond me. Although I will say TSTL secondaries is refreshing. Usually that's reserved for the protagonist."

Damn right it's madness.  A gas station is less self-serving than this.  I'm not a fan of worlds bending to characters.  If you have a character they need to exist within the confines of that world, be it fantasy or otherwise.  When your plot starts serving your character I start getting cranky.  If she's some crazy bitch assassin THEN TREAT HER LIKE A CRAZY BITCH ASSASSIN.  At the tournament she gets a plain room/cell with ZERO opportunity to get all assassin-like.  But when you get self-serving like this, the entire thing, from the world to the characters, gets inconsistent and you end up reading a story of hypocrites that say one thing and do another.

06/12page 56
13.0%"Oh no. Mean girl competition. Couldn't see that coming."
06/12page 64
15.0%"Okay, so NOW she grows a conscience about being a hired murderer? She who's so proud if her Assassin title doesn't want to kill at the beck and call of the king? Is the the wielder or words or is this a step away from people realizing Celaena is not saintlier a murderer than she'd try to convince herself?"
06/12page 69
17.0%"Of course there are no knives. And everyone knows no one can do damage with a fork. That's just silly talk."
06/12page 76
18.0%"Stop making excuses, little girl. You're not as magnificent and you thought yourself to be."
06/12page 76
18.0%""She knew better than anyone not to underestimate opponents based on their appearance." WTF? She just did that to all of her competitors."

Case in point.  Literally, from one page to the next Celaena is passing judgment on everyone in the room with her, belittling men three times her size to nothing and then she says she knows better than to underestimate her opponents based on looks.  How am I to trust a damn thing in this story if it's that inconsistent?  From her looks to her actions her opinions are as substantial as a tissue in the rain.

06/12page 79
19.0%"I find it hard to believe that Celaena lives as ling as she did being as arrogant as she is."
06/12page 82
20.0%"At Celaena's fine humbling moment I'm tapping out. I'm far too disappointed in the character to keep reading."

Arrogance is a crap chute.  And it usually gets people their comeuppance.    Apparently hers was just being thrown in jail and living far longer than anyone else.  Oh right.  Forgot that part.  She lived for a year in the mines, with an escape attempt, when people normally average about a month or three.  OF COURSE!

Obviously I DNF'd this one.  I just couldn't do it.  But the thing is I do wonder if I'm some kind of defective.

Is my current reading funk grossly coloring my ability to read anything?  Have I really turned into Stan Marsh and am now seeing everything as crap?  I mean Publisher's Weekly gave THRONE OF GLASS a starred review.  And even people whose opinions I trust love this title.  Is something wrong with me?  I'm definitely having a frownie face moment.  But the thing is I'm definitely seeing Suethor fic here, coloring or not.  Would I have been able to overlook it a little more had I not been in such a funk?  Maybe.  But inconsistencies are inconsistencies.  I can't NOT overlook them because everyone else loves it and so should I.  I could be wrong but, that's not my thing.  Going with the flow, not not being wrong.

I don't go into books hating them.  I was SO EXCITED to read THRONE OF GLASS I can't even tell you.  I was talking it up at BEA.  SO EXCITED.  And this is what I get.  GAME OF THRONES for the teenage girl?

Ooooo I don't think so.  I think that's aiming a bit too high.  SEVEN REALMS?  Yes, teen GAME OF THRONES equivalent.  THRONE OF GLASS?  Guys, don't feed me chuck and expect me to rave as if it were filet.  Not going to happen.  I'm not going to love something because it already had a super awesome fan base built in before it was published.  I love me my strong heroines but not at the sacrifice of logic.  Celaena is so overblown even for her world I can't take her seriously.  And the fact that her world caves to her makes me pull away from the writing as a whole.

I tried.  I really did.  But all I wanted to do was smash the thing.  I had to stop before I actually did.

Ban Factor: High - Fantasy world with no Christian influence.  'Nuff said.  The teenage assassin thing probably doesn't hurt either.

Becca from The Bookshelf Muse Talks Top 5

In my ongoing support for all things Bookshelf Muse I'd like to bring on one member of the two member team, Becca, to talk a little bit about the top five books she wished she'd written herself.  Because what writer doesn't have those thoughts?  HARRY POTTER anyone?  If you're a writer or know someone that is, be sure to snag a copy of The Bookshelf Muse's Emotion Thesaurus that's now available for download and bound purchase.  It's an excellent resource to help any writer rid them of the woes of eye rolling, shoulder shrugging and the mundane like.

Thanks for stopping by, Becca!

Top 5 Books I Wish I’d Written Myself

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ok, so that’s 3 books (6, actually, if you’re a big enough nerd to know that each volume consists of 2 books), but whatever. No other story has had the biggest impact upon me as a writer. It’s the quintessential hero’s journey, good vs. evil, both an epic and the ultimate buddy story with themes of loyalty, redemption, perseverance, and hope. Oh my gosh, I could go on forever. When it comes to books that have greatly influenced literature, I put LotR right up there with The Odyssey and The Bible. Naturally, I wish I’d written it.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. When I first read this, my mind was blown by the sheer force of imagination. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, the mirror of Erised, the Great Hall, quidditch, the sorting hat. It was one amazing new invention after another. As a budding author, I was inspired by the unadulterated creativity. My favorite book in the series is #6, but this is the one that turns me green with writer envy.

Doomsday Book. Of all the books on my list, this is the kind of book I wish I could write. It’s sci-fi, historical fiction, and time-travel all rolled into one. There are two viewpoint characters--one an Oxford professor from the future, the other a college student stuck in the 1300s. Connie Willis seamlessly fluctuates between the two in a way that makes you just ache for them. When it comes to high stakes and high emotion, this book is one of the best.

Chime. A lot of elements are needed to write a good story. The hardest, in my opinion, is creating a strong, consistent, and individual character voice. Franny Billingsley nails this in Chime. I’m a sucker for a unique turn of phrase and this book is just riddled with them. And the opening lines! I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please. Man. If I could write like that, it would be my books popping up on these lists.

Goodnight Moon. Everybody who read this book loves it. Every. Single. Person. If I could come up with a storyline so simple and write it in a way that resonated with every person on the planet...well, isn’t that pretty much the goal?

So those are my top choices. What about you? What book do you wish you’d written?

Becca Puglisi is one half of The Bookshelf Muse blogging duo, and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. Listing the body language, visceral reactions and thoughts associated with 75 different emotions, this brainstorming guide is a valuable tool for showing, not telling, emotion. The Emotion Thesaurus is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords, and the PDF can be purchased directly from her blog.

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