The Top 10 Books That Surprised Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books That Surprised Me.

Any time I read a book, I want to love it. But sometimes, for whatever reason, I expect to like but maybe not love a book, but read it for one reason or another. Here are some books I hoped to like, but ended up really loving/liking more than expected!

This week’s list is in no particular order.

1. All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

2. A Dash of Dragon by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski

3. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

4. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

5. Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

7. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

8. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

9. Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

10. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

What books have you read that exceeded your expectations?

What I Read in February

No audiobooks this time around, after listening to eight in January! But here’s what I did read:

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson #1) by Rick Riordan

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater 

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West (finished March 1)

It was a great month for reading! I enjoyed each book, and I enjoyed each one just a little more than the one I had just finished.

Favorite book quotes of the month:

What did you read in February? Which was your favorite? 

The Top Ten Books I Could Re-read Forever

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Could Re-read Forever. I haven’t done a TTT topic since last JUNE! Time to get back into the game! This week’s list is in no particular order.

1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

2. Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

3. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys

4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

6. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

6. Finding Alice by Melody Carlson

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What books could you re-read forever? 

My Top 5 Episodes of Enterprise Season One

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way, so I decided to copy the same format as Charlene as she posted her journey with Star Trek.

I’ve got faith, of the heart… Oh, Enterprise theme song. How turn-of-the-century you are.

I was really excited about starting Enterprise again, because since my first watch of it, I’ve said it’s my second favorite Trek series (after DS9). I remembered not loving the pilot though, nor really most of the first season, but I thought: well, I know the characters now, it’ll be different.

Guys, the first season is still rough, even when you know it gets better. I can see why it might be hard for someone to get into. (Also, after watching the first few episodes of Discovery and being thoroughly unimpressed, I can better appreciate why people were super dubious of Enterprise when it debuted.) However, when looking for my top 5, I actually did have a hard time narrowing it down. While Enterprise did struggle with execution in their first season, they were definitely trying to tell good stories, and I can see it so many times in this first season.

So first, some honorable mentions: Silent Enemy, in which the B plot of Hoshi trying to discover Macolm’s favorite food outshines the main conflict (this was the first time I felt I connected with the characters when I watched the show the first time) and Shadows of P’Jem, in which we see the aftermath of the episode The Andorian Incident (also a decent episode). Now for my top 5…

5. Breaking the Ice

A lot of this episode is forgettable, but there are two things about it that really stand out to me. One is that it’s the first time we see T’pol trust Trip with something personal. She doesn’t do it willingly, as Trip reads a personal letter of hers that was encoded and flagged as suspicious, but we see this play out later on (including in another episode this season, Fusion, which I also considered for this list, but that Vulcan dude seriously gives me the heebie-jeebies). The second is Enterprise accepting the Vulcan ship’s help at the end of the episode. Archer really has a chip on his shoulder for the Vulcans holding them back from going out into space sooner, but here is a moment where he has to admit that they can’t do everything on their own. I think for a show that is about the beginnings of mankind’s deep space exploration, that is a very important moment.

4. Dear Doctor

So the doctor’s attitude at the end really kind of bothers me, which is why this is lower on the list rather than higher, but I am definitely a sucker for epistolary episodes. I like the insight it provides of the doctor’s life, ethics, and culture.

3. Acquisition

I can’t believe I’m putting a Ferengi episode at number three on my list. I can’t stand Ferengi episodes. But really, it’s fun to watch Trip first, then Archer, and then T’pol, outsmart the Ferengi (not hard to do) and get Enterprise back.

2. Shuttlepod One

I remember this one being a favorite for me during my first watch, but I have to admit that Trip and Malcolm both annoyed me in this one this time, plus they seem to jump to the conclusion that Enterprise was destroyed a little too quickly for me to really buy into it. But I chose this one as one of my favorites despite these things because it is good development for both Trip and Malcolm.

1. Detained

Captain Archer and Travis Mayweather are imprisoned alien race who believe they have purposely encroached their space. When the leader of the internment camp where they are staying at realizes the misunderstanding, he says they will be free to go on the next transport ship out, but as Archer gets to know the Suliban that are in the camp with them, he stages a revolt. This episode of course makes you think of internment camps in American history and how misguided they are.

What are your thoughts on Enterprise? Which episodes form season one stand out to you? 

What I Read in January

I’ve decided to try a new feature this year, where each month I recap what I read. (I was inspired by by Chelsea at The Girl Who Loved to Write.)

You would think I made a New Year’s resolution to read a bunch of audiobooks, but it honestly just sort of happened as I started running low on my podcast queue. So while I only read three books with my eyeballs from start to finish in January, I’ve read eight additional books thanks to the wonders of the audiobook.

The Audiobook Reads:

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (Middle grade contemporary)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys (reread) (Young adult historical fiction)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (Non-fiction/self-help)

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater (Middle grade fantasy contemporary) – The narrators were absolutely perfect for bringing this story to life!

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan (Humor)

Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (reread) – I listened to this solely because it was narrated by Eddie Redmayne, ha ha… (Fiction)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reread) (Young adult fiction)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (reread) (Young adult fiction) – I actually can’t remember if I finished this in January or early February but let’s just say January…

Read With my Eyeballs:

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Young adult fantasy)

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (Classic literature)

(DNF at page 146) Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (Young adult fiction)

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes (Young adult contemporary)


I have to say that rereading Salt to the Sea was such a good life decision, holy cow. Read it if you haven’t already! The audiobook of it was pretty good too. I also still love The Hunger Games. As far as new reads, I really enjoyed Goodbye Stranger, Rilla of Ingleside, and Girl Against the Universe. Time will tell which is my real favorite of the month.

DNF Already?

I can’t believe this. I purposely set aside about one book a year without the intention of ever picking it back up. Most years it’s late in the year, last year it was March, and this year it was freaking January. And it was a book I bought in hardcover. Disappointed is such an understatement. The concept was so cool, but I just didn’t like any of the characters.

Next month I hope to format this in a way that’s a little more interesting and in a more timely fashion. Let me know what you would like to know about my reads each month!

What did you read in January? Which was your favorite?